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Lava - Ölvisholt Brugghús

Not Rated.
LavaLava

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

486 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 486
Reviews: 174
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 10%
Wants: 47
Gots: 41 | FT: 3
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.
View: Beers (8) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 486 | Reviews: 174 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of drpimento
4.73/5  rDev +15.4%
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 -2.4%
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 +3.7%

Photo of JAHMUR
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of hagbergl
4/5  rDev -2.4%
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 -8.5%

Photo of bluejacket74
3.97/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

Photo of ste5venla
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of alxndr33
4.75/5  rDev +15.9%

Photo of jdhilt
4/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

Photo of hlaus
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of mmmaaattt
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of Harkrank
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of PatGreer
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of Jefe73
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of PuFtonLyfe
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of kaelingirl
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of Rifugium
3.78/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

First had: on tap at Teresa's, Wayne, PA

Dark brown-black pour with a finger or so of tannish head displaying decent retention and lacing. Dark malts in the aroma, roast and smoke, a bit of peat. Taste was similar: dark malts, dark chocolate, some dark fruits, tobacco, peaty smoke, with a bit of candy sweetness. Body is on the heavier side of medium, with a bit of alcohol warmth hitting you in the end. Overall quite good.

Photo of MDDMD
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-dark brown black color with a small tan head and minimal lacing

S-coffee and mild chocolate and smoky notes

T-dark roasted malts, coffee, charcoal and some chocolate

F-medium body with light carbonation, nice smooth feel

O-a decent RIS, but needs a little more sweet chocolate to balance the smokiness

Photo of Rochefort10nh
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of wordemupg
4.12/5  rDev +0.5%
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

Photo of John_M
4.47/5  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.

Photo of ygtbsm94
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of EgadBananas
4.27/5  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.

Photo of popery
3.58/5  rDev -12.7%
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.

Lava from Ölvisholt Brugghús
91 out of 100 based on 486 ratings.