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Lava - Ölvisholt Brugghús

Not Rated.
LavaLava

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

466 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 466
Reviews: 171
rAvg: 4.11
pDev: 9.98%
Wants: 38
Gots: 38 | 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
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Ratings: 466 | Reviews: 171 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of wordemupg
4.15/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle poured into tulip 29/4/12 bottle sent by liamt07 thanks for the long standing want

A shes pretty black with deep cola edges when held to the light, a large 3 finger mocha head falls fairly quickly and leaves no lace

S licorice, black-strap molasses and pipe tobacco come out right away, its a little smokey but not what I would expect from a smoked malt stout as its pretty mellow, some chocolate covered cherry, a little espresso and a fair amount of booze being my only major complaint

T some charred wood adds to the dark roast, less booze and more burnt espresso and bakers chocolate, everything I smell is still there but stronger, some burnt brown sugar on the finish

M a little thin but bubbles give it creamy feel, some heat and a long aftertaste of burnt caramels and char lingers for ages

O solid beer with awesome depth of flavors, it could use some age but still very nice

My first beer from Iceland and It's something I'd look for again, give it a try if you like the dark stuff. Thanks again liamt07 for sending it out my way

wordemupg, Apr 30, 2012
Photo of John_M
4.48/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Never heard of these guys or this beer. No matter. On tap at Max's today.

The beer pours a blackish brown color with good head retention and considerable lacing. The nose is impresive and unusual. I get considerable smoked meat, along with light coffee, vanilla and tobacco. I'm a sucker for smoked beer, so this is making me very happy. The flavor profile is every bit as good, and I'm amazed by how well the brewer has managed to interweave the smoked meat flavor into the dark chocolate, vanilla and coffee. There's even something of a light blueberry flavor in this beer that is intriguing, as well as a hint of licorice on the finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied to full, and this beer is very soft, long and smooth (it has almost a silk, satin-like mouthfeel that is unusual and impressive). Alcohol is well integrated into the flavor profile, though certainly you can tell it's up there a bit.

An unusual, very impressive beer.

John_M, Apr 28, 2012
Photo of ygtbsm94
4/5  rDev -2.7%

ygtbsm94, Apr 28, 2012
Photo of EgadBananas
4.28/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very nice dark, pretty much pitch black, with a medium mocha finger of head. Bubbles were tiny, dissipating fairly quickly, leaving a little bit of lace and a foamy ring.

The aroma is great. Big smoke notes hit you first, quite charred and reminiscent of bacon. There's a fairly pronounced sweet milk chocolate aroma hidden in there, some roasted maltiness and even some touches of espresso.

Again, the smoke hits you first, like a nice BBQ note, with some charred wood. Chocolate sweetness mellows out the smokiness, with some molasses hints and some roasted characters. Finishes slightly peaty.

The feel is really the only aspect that leaves something to be desired. It's got a nice, robust full body, with some creamy textures, but the carbonation is a bit stingy for the style.

The carbonation takes a little away from the drinkability, but it goes down smooth still. You can't taste that alcohol, but you do feel it a bit in the back of your throat.

Overall, this is pretty killer. Smoked Imperial Stouts aren't a dime a dozen, especially from Iceland. And this is very nice one. The smoke never hides itself, yet doesn't overwhelm, while giving the big stout room to make a name for itself too.

Very glad to have found this.

EgadBananas, Apr 28, 2012
Photo of popery
3.58/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours black with a small tan head. The aroma has medium to light smokiness. The smoke is somewhere between meaty and peaty. Not super interesting but good. Roast is quite strong and dominates a bit much. There's also a healthy coffee note and a touch of dark chocolate. It sorta smells like a meaty dark roasted coffee. The taste is medium sweet with a hefty dose of roast bitterness. Hops chime in a bit. The finish is dark and meaty. Feel is smooth and nice, though there's a bit too much booziness at the end. It's a pretty good beer, but since trying MS Bar Fly, I haven't been overly impressed by another smoked imperial stout. Lava just doesn't have a tasty enough smoke flavor and needs more chocolate sweetness in the mix.

popery, Apr 27, 2012
Photo of beergoot
4.43/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Opaque ebony body with a rich, sticky tan head. Excellent lacing and rings down the glass.

Robust, rich grains bringing to mind black coffee and bitter chocolate with a touch of smokiness that tries to hide the alcohol (but not quite succeeding!).

Wow! The smoked malt hits you right off the bat, quickly bringing dark chocolate, mocha, and dark roast coffee. Alcohol warmth becomes noticeable but is quickly tamed with an excellent combination of smooth malt sweetness and touch of mild bitterness.

Medium bodied, smooth and silky at first, giving way to a soft carbonation on the tongue.

A very fine imperial stout. The upfront smokiness really sets this one apart. Although intense, at first, the smoke blends in well with the rest of the malt character. Rich and complex, high ABV, intense from all angles, this beer is well-suited for lovers of smoked beers and/or imperial stouts.

beergoot, Apr 25, 2012
Photo of NickyDee21
4/5  rDev -2.7%

NickyDee21, Apr 22, 2012
Photo of coreyfmcdonald
4/5  rDev -2.7%

coreyfmcdonald, Apr 17, 2012
Photo of ZorPrime
4.28/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Received from Liam in a recent trade. Thanks and cheers Liam!

The color is very very dark black color with a pretty dense foamy head on top of it. Its beige! It disappear quite fast although.

The aroma is superb... its is sweet with some smoked malts and in the back, I get some chocolate notes with some coffee grains. Nice aroma. Pretty intense.

The taste is dominated by smoke. I like smoke, so I like this taste but be prepared... It is not an aggressive beer, not that much bitterness. It is pretty sweet in the mouth too. When cold it is almost thin bodied... as it warms up, it gets more one the medium body beer range. The alcohol is well hidden, too well that it gets to you at the end of the bottle (drank a 500 ml bottle).

This is a pretty decent stout! Thanks Liam!!

ZorPrime, Apr 14, 2012
Photo of kiki3drt292
4/5  rDev -2.7%

kiki3drt292, Apr 12, 2012
Photo of Halcyondays
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Beachwood I, the first Icelandic beer I've ever been able to buy in the US,

A: Pours very black with a full tan head, good lace and retention.

S: Definite smokiness, peaty malt, with some light dark fruit, orange.

T: Lots of dark malt and chocolate, some dark fruit. Rich and full-flavoured.

M: Full-bodied, soft carbonation, nice body weight, nice aftertaste.

O: A very well made smoked Imperial Stout. The flavours are very good, the price is a problem, but in the end this is a good beer.

Halcyondays, Apr 11, 2012
Photo of DIM
3.93/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: This had a pitcj black body and it poured with a big, sticky tan head.

s: Smoke, with a hint of sour poter, sweet bread, and a little dark fruit.

t: More chocolate than the smell suggested. Sweet dark bread with smoke throughout, getting stronger at the end.

m: Full bodied and creamy.

o: Very enjoyable, why aren't there more smoked stouts?

DIM, Apr 03, 2012
Photo of traumaqueen
3.75/5  rDev -8.8%

traumaqueen, Apr 03, 2012
Photo of SebD
4.08/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: It has a nice jet black color to it with some sediment in the bottom. It has a nice creamy mocha head that dies down moderately and leaves very minimal lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitly give out hints of smoke, dark fruit, coffee and roasted malts.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has a smokey flavor with coffee and chocolate, roasted malts, light dark fruit and a moderate bitterness.

Mouthfeel: It has a medium carbonation with a nice overall balance and feel. Nice lingering bitterness.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied with good flavors and aromas.

SebD, Apr 01, 2012
Photo of Mebuzzard
4.03/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Andre for pointing this one out on his shelf. I bought it. I drank it. I liked it.

Dark pour; ruby/brown/black. Huge off-brown/tan head. Rocky and sticky. Pretty good lacing. Looks great.

Oh, snap! It's smoky. Didn't know this. A smoked stout? Ok. So, aroma is smoky, dark fruit. Raisin. Cherry wood

Flavor is up front smoked malt. Umami and cherry wood campfire. Raisins again. Some sweet chocolate is a welcomed addition. This beer has all the makings of a campfire storytelling adventure. It's smooth and warming. The abv is high and not all hidden. Sweet on the end, but the smoke keeps it from getting too rich.

a darn good beer from Iceland

Mebuzzard, Mar 31, 2012
Photo of PeterIngemi
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pourd from a 22oz bottle... Into a shipyard tulip.

A: pours a nice dark black with traces of dark brown when held to light... Nice almost finger of micha creamy head, dissapates slowly. Looks very nice... But not much lacing...

S: like campfire, and almost marsh mellowness. Light bacon.. Black coffee ... Black licorice. A very interesting nose.... Not as overwhelmingly smoky as I expected... Which is a good thing for me.

T: much light the nose.... Campfire, char, but not overwhelimg.... A bit of bacon, a sweetness like black licorice with notes of burnt coffe rines and dark chocolate.... Nicley complex.

M: medium bodied and slick, oily, very well rounded ... Low carbonation.... The thing i like about this is that the smoke ends nicley at the end of the beer and you aren't left with a intensely smoky, lingering aftertaste.

O: a good beer, I am not a huge fan of smoke beers, but this is not
Overwhelimg, I could see how if you were a fan of this style this would be an excellent brew... And I could see how this beer would be exceptionally good for food pairings.

PeterIngemi, Mar 30, 2012
Photo of metter98
3.95/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is essentially jet black in color—traces of amber are visible near the edge of the glass. It poured with a thin light tan head that quickly died down and left some lacing on the surface and a thick ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are light to moderately strong aromas of roasted malts in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the taste has flavors of roasted malts along with notes of smoke.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is lighter in body compared to other Russian Imperial Stouts and resembles that which you would expect from a porter. The alcohol is well hidden from the taste.

metter98, Mar 27, 2012
Photo of dbrauneis
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours an opaque almost jet black in color with some light hints of reddish brown when held up to the light. The beer has half finger tall beige head that quickly reduces to a thick ring around the edges of the glass and a couple of patches. Significant lacing is observed.

S: The aroma has quite a bit of smoke in it along with some charred woods, toasted/roasted malts, and some light bittersweet chocolate.

T: Lots of roasted and toasted malt flavors up front along with some sweetness, then the smoke flavors come in and leave a wonderful lingering bitterness. Some very light hints of bittersweet chocolate.

M: Full bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: Slightly light in the body for a Russian imperial stout but a really enjoyable beer with very nice smoke hints which do not overpower the flavors. The beer has a pretty high ABV but no hints of the alcohol in the aroma or flavor. A great sipping beer and as someone born in Iceland, really happy to have found a good beer to sample from the country.

dbrauneis, Mar 25, 2012
Photo of Teleweizen2
4.43/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - pours a viscous opaque black with a frothy light tan head. decent retention. leaves spotty lacing.

S - It's like putting your nose in a volcano, or a bbq pit. notes of Bacon, campfire, and dry rub spices dominate the aroma. there is touch of roast and chocolate underneath the raging smoke notes.

T - essentially a more nuanced version of the nose. Roasty coffee notes up front, followed by hints of bakers chocolate. smoke and spice notes enter mid palate. smooth dry finish.

M - creamy texture. medium bodied verging on full with medium carbonation.

O - Excellent. a fantastic blend of roast and smoke.

Teleweizen2, Mar 25, 2012
Photo of Luckytiki
4.75/5  rDev +15.6%

Luckytiki, Mar 25, 2012
Photo of joemcgrath27
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

big ups to BA andrenaline for including this in a trade
A - jet black with a thumb of mocha head that retained at a thin covering, thin line of consistent lacing
S - peaty and smoky dominant, roasty and chocolate aromas in the background
T - WOW, a total smoke show, peat and charcoal with big roasty and mocha maltiness, a touch of sweetness on the tail end
M - relatively light for a stout, smooth with some prominent ABV warmth with a little bite, finishes with a dry charred feel
O - it delivers on all three descriptors: Smoked, Imperial, and Stout. Glad I had a chance to try this one, a treat for sure

joemcgrath27, Mar 24, 2012
Photo of LoveBeerNo7
4/5  rDev -2.7%

LoveBeerNo7, Mar 23, 2012
Photo of dbellizzi
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%

dbellizzi, Mar 23, 2012
Photo of jlindros
3.95/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On a day that is like summer out, why not crack a 9.4% abv beer. My first Icelandic beer (I think) so this should be interesting.

Pours a light fizzy darker colored head that fades instantly, practically no head which is typical for the style and abv, so nothing weird going on here, with a pitch black beer, no light escaping its folds of darkness, and some decent looking legs on the sides.

Nose has plenty of dark roasty stout aromas, dark roasted malts with a little bit of over roasted almost burnt but not quite. A nice smoke cuts through, bringing some campfire and light smoked cheese. Then a little bit of baker's chocolate but not much. The smoke is predominant, but gives way to a bit of vanilla and caramel, and a bit of booze rides the wave in.

Taste starts with the smoke again, not overpowering but definitely there, bringing a light campfire and a light smoked cheese rind, a bitterness of the rind and smoke brings a slight briny flavor. The smoke brings light phenolic flavors but not a lot. Then follows layers of stout flavors, some roast but not nearly as much as I expected. A little bit of cocoa and very dark bitter chocolate. Then some some light booze with a slight fusel flavor but not much. The malts also bring very light biscuit and vanilla. Bitterness is there throughout, some earthy hops there but plenty from the bitter roasty malts and some of the booze even. Finish is semi bitter, a bit more dark chocolate and cocoa coming through on the finish, with some light earthy hops, and a hint of roast, a bit of smoke is there but mostly faded at this point. The chocolate really comes through on the finish nicely.

Mouth is med to a bit fuller bodied but feels somewhat thin, decent carb, and decent amount of booze.

Overall pretty good, nice malts, roasted malts aren't too big, some decent smoke flavors that get a bit harsh but never overpowering, and the nice chocolate finish adds a nice touch.

jlindros, Mar 18, 2012
Photo of crossovert
3.88/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just saw that this is distributed to the US. I had another beer form this brewery when I was in Winnipeg. This one sounds eve better, love smoked impy stouts. 500ml bottle.

It pours a dark black with reddish brown on the edges and a foamy dark tan head that recedes rather quickly leaves a few splotches of lacing.

The scent of this one is great. It is smokey with a certain sweet spiciness to it ala cinnamon, but not a cinnamon scent. It just shoots out of the bottle as soon as you pop the top and pour it.

The flavor is good but not amazing. It seemed smokier in the scent. This one is sweet and malty in the flavor. A typical nordic imperial stout. Nice sweetness, an exotic bit of spice, and rich chocolatey malt notes. The smokiness is here but blends with the sweetness to a high degree and is quite mellow.

Overall it is a solid brew and very smooth and balanced. If you aren't used to big smoky beers this is a good start.

crossovert, Mar 12, 2012
Lava from Ölvisholt Brugghús
92 out of 100 based on 466 ratings.