1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Lava - Ölvisholt Brugghús

Not Rated.
LavaLava

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

444 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 444
Reviews: 169
rAvg: 4.12
pDev: 9.71%
Wants: 36
Gots: 36 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Ölvisholt Brugghús visit their website
Iceland

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  9.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
The active volcano Hekla is visible from the brewhouse door and occasionally, eruptions are visible from the Ölvisholt farm. The illustration resembles the view from the brewhouse door when an eruption occurs. Full-bodied, pitch black beer with a dense brown head. Richly flavored with notes of dark chocolate, roasted malt and smoke.

(Beer added by: stulowitz on 12-01-2008)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Lava Alström Bros
Ratings: 444 | Reviews: 169 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jpro
4.23/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle from CBX. Poured into an Old Rasputin shaped pint glass...

A: Pours black; light tan head (two-finger), leaves a nice ring of retention, but no lace.

S: Black patent malt; sweet; smoke - a lot of smoke.

T: Super smoky; mesquite; roasted malt; some caramel notes smooth things out on the end... the smoke lasts, though.

M: Full; creamy; moderate-high carbonation; sticky.

O: Smokiest beer I’ve ever had - hands down; pretty tasty, even though its on the extreme end of smoked beers; I’d have it again.

*from notes (6-15-12)

jpro, Jun 25, 2012
Photo of Texasfan549
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Texasfan549, Jun 24, 2012
Photo of BeerHunter76
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

BeerHunter76, Jun 22, 2012
Photo of kjkinsey
4.75/5  rDev +15.3%

kjkinsey, Jun 22, 2012
Photo of Hopstout
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Hopstout, Jun 20, 2012
Photo of mick303
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

mick303, Jun 19, 2012
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.35/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Beachwood BBQ in Long Beach, CA.

Pours an opaque dark brown with a dark khaki head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of smoked malt, campfire, and smoked meats and cheeses. Taste is much the same with a medium roasty bitterness after each sip. This is a very good smoked beer with some awesome aromas and flavors.

UCLABrewN84, Jun 19, 2012
Photo of jwat
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

jwat, Jun 19, 2012
Photo of drpimento
4.78/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Fabulous beer! Poured at a good temperature with massive light brown head that settled after a bit and some lace. Color is (apparently) a clear, dark, almost, black ruby red. Aroma is malt, roast, smoke, vanilla. Flavor's like nose, with a subdued but very good balance between sweet, bitter, and carbonic tang. Also cocoa; smoke is there but very complimentary. Body is soft, full, lush, round with carbonation just right. Finish is surprisingly of average length despite the bold style of beer, making this exceedingly drinkable; slight booziness.

drpimento, Jun 11, 2012
Photo of avalon07
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a jet black color and a thick, impenetrable texture. There was an inch of creamy, tan-colored, fairly long-lasting head. Average lacing.

S: An interesting aroma of dark fruit, chocolate, malt and a smoky quality.

T: Tasted of dark chocolate, roasted malt, dark fruit (plums), and the smoky quality. Surprisingly, not a coffee presence in the flavor (not a bad thing). A slightly more subtle, well balanced taste.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a slick finish. Medium- to full-bodied.

O: A well made, slightly different Russian Imperial Stout. Very drinkable.

avalon07, Jun 06, 2012
Photo of Jammer42
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

Jammer42, Jun 06, 2012
Photo of JAHMUR
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

JAHMUR, Jun 04, 2012
Photo of hagbergl
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a 1 pint 9 oz. bottle of Lava Smoked Imperial Stout at the Craft Beer Cellar in Belmont, MA. Split the bottle with my stout enthusiast girlfriend. As usual, I drank this black nectar from my trusty Dogfish Head signature snifter.

Appearance (4/5): Lava pours a one and a half finger, tan-colored head that sits atop a body of motor oil black beer. I think stouts look great in stemmed glasses; this beer is no different and looks just outstanding. Very nice.

Smell (4/5): Lava smells heavily of smoked malt, though this isn't the only aroma emanating from the glass. Notes of chocolate, dark fruits, and only a slight bit of alcohol can be picked up, as well. So, the smoked malt, while dominant in the nose, mixes well with aromas more characteristic of traditional Russian Imperial-style stouts. I like that Lava is a different and unique-smelling stout, and for that it gets a bump in the smell category, but it's not close to the best Russian Imperial Stouts--one of the best smelling style categories in all of beerdom, in my humble opinion.

Taste (4/5): As with the nose, smoked malt dominates the taste of Lava. I can taste a smokiness from the smoked malt, and it is very pleasantly reminiscent of that beautiful scent given off by meat cooking on a grill...nice. I also pick up more traditional RIS flavors like chocolate, coffee beans, dark fruits, and a hint of alcohol that makes itself known moreso with a warming effect in the finish. I appreciate that the brewers didn't make this a booze bomb--while heavy ABV brews can be great, too much of an alcohol presence has been the downfall of many an imperial/double stout. The flavor is very nice and certainly unusual. It tastes like a cross between a German Rauchbier and a RIS and it's a very favorable fusion indeed. While this isn't the best tasting stout in the world, it gets a bump for being unusual and memorable.

Mouthfeel (4/5): mouthfeel on this beer is medium-thick, though not overly viscous like some stouts. It sits pleasantly on the tongue, and the smokiness of the beer does not have an adverse effect. I would say Lava strikes a good balance for an imperial stout and successfully avoids some of the problematic characteristics of heavy stouts--syrupy viscosity in the mouthfeel being one. Mouthfeel is, overall, very good.

Overall (4/5): Lava is, simply put, very good beer. It is a delicious, not overly complex new spin on a familiar style. (you don't have to add all sorts of strange ingredients to make a beer unique and memorable.) I enjoyed the smokiness of the beer very much, though I was not sure at first how well it would work with a beer brewed in the RIS style. It turned out to work great; Lava is actually quite well balanced and complex, and is not simply a smoked malt delivery system. I think anyone who enjoys imperial stouts but may be looking for something a bit different to give Lava a spin.

hagbergl, Jun 04, 2012
Photo of TrickkyGangsta
3.75/5  rDev -9%

TrickkyGangsta, Jun 03, 2012
Photo of bluejacket74
3.98/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle. Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with a half inch tan head that went away quickly. There's a small amount of lacing. The brew smells like smoked malt/meats, chocolate, molasses and coffee. Taste is pretty much just like the aroma, it tastes like smoked malt/meats, milk and bittersweet chocolate, coffee, burnt/charred malt and little bit of licorice. There's also a nice lingering bittersweet smoky finish. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's creamy and coating with moderate carbonation. I think it's a solid overall beer, and it's definitely worth a try. $11.49 a bottle.

bluejacket74, May 27, 2012
Photo of ste5venla
4/5  rDev -2.9%

ste5venla, May 23, 2012
Photo of alxndr33
4.75/5  rDev +15.3%

alxndr33, May 17, 2012
Photo of jdhilt
4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a three finger brown head that fades quickly leaving some lace. Midnight black color, no highlights. Light-medium carbonation and heavy bodied. Smoky, chocolate nose and flavor is similar smoky baked chocolate malts. Best so far from Iceland. $11.30 for a 500ml bottle from Tully's Beer and Wine Wells, Me.

jdhilt, May 16, 2012
Photo of hlaus
4/5  rDev -2.9%

hlaus, May 14, 2012
Photo of mmmaaattt
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

mmmaaattt, May 14, 2012
Photo of Harkrank
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Harkrank, May 13, 2012
Photo of PatGreer
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

PatGreer, May 13, 2012
Photo of Jefe73
4/5  rDev -2.9%

Jefe73, May 10, 2012
Photo of PuFtonLyfe
4.5/5  rDev +9.2%

PuFtonLyfe, May 09, 2012
Photo of kaelingirl
4.25/5  rDev +3.2%

kaelingirl, May 08, 2012
Lava from Ölvisholt Brugghús
92 out of 100 based on 444 ratings.