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Lava - Ölvisholt Brugghús

Not Rated.
LavaLava

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

505 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 505
Reviews: 176
rAvg: 4.11
pDev: 9.98%
Wants: 53
Gots: 50 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Ölvisholt Brugghús visit their website
Iceland

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  9.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: stulowitz on 12-01-2008

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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 505 | Reviews: 176
Photo of orangesol
4/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of smcolw
3.35/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Good starting head, but it dies quickly to only rim bubbles. Minute spotty lace on the glass. Inky black color where no light shines through.

Relatively mild aroma for an Imperial Stout. Some cocoa, some alcohol, otherwise rather pallid.

The flavor is more impressive than the smell. Neutral body with a higher than expected carbonation level. The flavor starts soft, but comes through in swallow where an oily alcohol presence is combined with a decent hop bite and a dark chocolate taste.

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.42/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Black Raven pint glass. Pours a very dark brown, appearing black in the glass. One finger light brown head with good retention and lacing. Aroma a pleasant roasted malt, chocolate, wood smoke and mild dark fruit. Taste follows with roasted malt, smoke, chocolate, dark dried fruit; finishes with light hop bitterness, smoke, malt and a hint of chocolate, nice. Well integrated and flavorful. Medium bodied with light creaminess. An excellent smoked imperial Russian stout. The high ABV is well hidden. Well done.

Photo of womencantsail
3.58/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours nearly black in color with a tall tan head. It’s certainly smokey. There is quite a bit of roasted malt and a touch of salted nuts. Pretty simple and straightforward aroma. A light sweetness on the palate; some toffee and a bit of chocolate to go with lots of roasted malt and smoke. There is a slight alcohol flavor in the background.

Photo of n2185
3.94/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pours black with a finger of tan head that fades into a tbin ring with no lacing.

S: lots of smoked meat and campfire notes on the nose with undertones of roasted malts and bitter chocolate.

T: similar to the aroma, tons of smokey flavors with roasted malts and bitter cocoa.

M: medium-heavy body with medium carbonation, this beer is surprisingly light-bodied for the style, but it works well with the smoke flavors

O: a good beer overall. Not terribly complex, but quite tasty and enjoyable

Photo of Cresant
4.05/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured this 1 pt .9 oz. brown bottle into a Sierra Nevada Hops Glass. No date. The body was brown/black with a rich tan head. Specks of lace remained.

The smell was of Band-Aids and molasses. Chocolate and hints of smoke. I was expecting more smoke, but there was enough.

The taste was gentle roasted malts and a nice lingering bitter aftertaste. Very nicely balanced. Understated smoke and lightly sweet. Chocolate and a bit salty.Very well hidden alcohol. All the characteristics seem to work very well here.

The mouthfeel was medium bodied and silky.

Photo of BigGruntyThirst
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of thagr81us
3.75/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Shared this one with aasher during his wedding week in Destin, FL! Served from bottle into a Boulevard tulip. Poured a massively dark brown with a half finger light tan head that subsided to minimal amount quickly. Maintained excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of roasted malt, smoke, smoked meat, and dark fruit. The flavor was of sweet malt, roasted malt, smoke, ham, and wood. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was a fairly good brew. There was quite a bit of smokiness going on in this one. Makes sense since this brew is called ‘Lava’. It was fairly well balanced, but wasn’t the best from the style. Worth trying if you get the chance, but I doubt I would go out of my way to do so again.

Photo of FreshHawk
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of KrisDLSmith
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of Vec2267
4.11/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - jet black, tan head that persists, spot on

S - smoke, roast malts, chocolate, licorice, sour, booze

T - chocolate, smoke, licorice, a very nice blend, nothing overpowering, assertive with overwhelming

F - the smoke adds richness without overwhelming the beer

O - the booze is much more noticeable in the nose than the taste, a great mix of flavors

The sour boozy nose detracts from what is otherwise a great RIS, still this is great beer. The price will preclude this being a regular, but I will definitely treat myself to another if it is still available. The smoke adds a unique twist without detracting.

Photo of jpro
4.2/5  rDev +2.2%
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)

Photo of Texasfan549
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of BeerHunter76
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of kjkinsey
4.75/5  rDev +15.6%

Photo of Hopstout
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of mick303
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.34/5  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.

Photo of jwat
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of drpimento
4.73/5  rDev +15.1%
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.

Photo of avalon07
4/5  rDev -2.7%
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.

Photo of Jammer42
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of JAHMUR
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of hagbergl
4/5  rDev -2.7%
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.

Photo of TrickkyGangsta
3.75/5  rDev -8.8%

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Lava from Ölvisholt Brugghús
92 out of 100 based on 505 ratings.