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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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Lava Alström Bros
Ratings: 466 | Reviews: 171 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of hotsudge
2.73/5  rDev -33.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours with a thick and dark head, probably the darkest head I've seen.

Smells better than it tastes. There is so much smoke flavour that it overwhelmes all other flavours. I didn't enjoy it, my husband thought it was good. My favourite smoked oatmeal stout is Samual Smiths and this one doesn't come close to the smooth rich flavour I was expecting.

It was almost undrinkable because there is so much smoke flavour. Not burnt, just smoke.

hotsudge, Mar 04, 2012
Photo of bigoten13
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%

bigoten13, Mar 02, 2012
Photo of WanderingFool
3.93/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Lava pours black with a tiny, thin head on top. The foam dissolves down to a ring around the surface leaving behind a few spots of lace.

The aroma is malty with notes of chocolate, roasted malt, coffee and smoke. A touch of pine is also present.

Each sip of this medium to full bodied beer is smooth, creamy with a moderate carbonated fizz. Seems a tiny bit thin for nearly 10% abv. The flavor is sweet with rich notes of chocolate, roasted malt, coffee and smoke. Nuttiness and grassy notes finish off each sip. Once gone the grass and chocolate lingers on the palate.

Quite an enjoyable beer that has a well balanced flavor. Sweet with enough bitterness to make it nice.

WanderingFool, Feb 27, 2012
Photo of PEIhop
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%

PEIhop, Feb 26, 2012
Photo of Intrinsic
4.08/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Lava is a very impressive looking beer. It pours a very creamy, medium brown head that sits atop an opaque dark brown body. The retention is good and so is the lacing.

The smell is intense. Loads of coffee, smoke, molasses, and dark bready malt screams out at you. Consequently, you're well-prepared for the taste that follows suit, with a little alcohol kick that's masked quite well for 10%. Good carbonation, slightly dry. Overall, a very good beer. Too bad Icelandic beers are not easy to find in Canada.

Intrinsic, Feb 18, 2012
Photo of papat444
3.68/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Never had a beer from Iceland. Thanks kjyost!

Poured from a 500ml. bottle, best before 240912.

Appearance: A dark brown body, almost black. Half the glass fills with brown foam but retention is average as it doesn't stick around too long. Clumps of lacing on the sides.

Smell: Strong smoke mixed with hickory and some coffee beans.

Taste: The smoke is felt more in the finish ans aftertaste. Flavor of meat smoked on a fire. Roasted notes mesh with some sweet BBQ sauce and a bit of charred wood.

Mouthfeel: Very creamy feel with low carbonation and easy to drink.

Overall: Found the flavor to be more in the finish. Starts very slow but good at the end. Decent overall the it is not have a great depth.

papat444, Feb 11, 2012
Photo of thehyperduck
4.3/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

500 mL bottle from the LCBO; best before September 2014. This is the first time I have had a beer from Iceland, not to mention my first true RIS review.

Pours black as night; I can't even make out any twinges of colour under the light. Topped with a luxurious, creamy brown head a little more than a finger thick. Fairly good retention. Rich aroma with roasted wheaty malts, molasses, dark chocolate, figs and some light smoky character. Herbal and a little boozy.

Malt-forward taste with a smooth underlying smoked flavour. Lots of roasted malts on the palate, wheaty with mocha and bittersweet baker's chocolate flavours being prominent. Some herbal anise notes followed by a dry, roasted finish with some warmth from the alcohol. Full-bodied with an amazingly silky-smooth mouthfeel. Leaves a slick feeling behind on the palate. Very soft carbonation.

This is a fabulous stout, and at 9.4% a little too easy to drink. Satisfying and an ideal winter sipper without a doubt; more than complex enough to satisfy most beer geeks, with the perfect amount of smokiness. Much more drinkable than most heavy stouts.

Final Grade: 4.3, this is A-grade material. One of the best stouts I've had in a long time, giving Peche Mortel a good run for its money. Lava is a pricy brew, but worth every penny in my opinion. The LCBO needs to make this an annual import.

thehyperduck, Feb 08, 2012
Photo of andrenaline
4.03/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes... A surprising find at the local LCBO as part of their winter seasonal release.

A - Pours pitch black, two fingers of dark mocha head with solid retention and sheeting lacing. Very appetizing.

S - Smoked wooden peat, with hickory and spicy mesquite smoke coming through, dark chocolate, espresso, malted milk and a hint of vanilla.

T - Loaded with smoke, reminiscent of a rauchbier, strong mocha chocolate flavours, loads of peat, quite rich and has a sweeter characteristic that lingers. ABV is almost undetectable.

M - Thicker bodied, chewy, syropy, smooth and a touch of dryness.

O - A tasty and bold offering from a country that I had no idea exported their beers. Definitely a worthy offering and a very unique experience with loads of memorable flavours.

andrenaline, Feb 06, 2012
Photo of tedstertm
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%

tedstertm, Feb 05, 2012
Photo of jrenihan
3.9/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

BB Sept 26, 2014

To the surprise of nobody, the beer is totally black. A vigorous pour results in a moderately sized tan head. Head bubbles rapidly and settles to a thin layer quite quickly. Decent lacing.

Smell contains roasted malt, coffee, smoke. Not a particularly strong smell.

The smoke is noticeable immediately in the taste, but it is not overpowering. Meshes with the roasted malt, coffee, and some bitter hops. Finishes with more smoke. The smoked aspect of the beer is quite well integrated. A bit of a sweet molasses taste.

Full bodied, but a little lighter than most RISs. Relatively low carbonation level. Oily.

Overall, a nice beer. Smoke is noticeable but not overdone, which is good.

jrenihan, Feb 04, 2012
Photo of KevinSP
4/5  rDev -2.7%

KevinSP, Feb 01, 2012
Photo of oldp0rt
3/5  rDev -27%

oldp0rt, Jan 27, 2012
Photo of bryehn
4/5  rDev -2.7%

bryehn, Jan 23, 2012
Photo of ThinkAgain
4/5  rDev -2.7%

ThinkAgain, Jan 17, 2012
Photo of Kartoffeln
4.28/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark, opaque mahogany-black with a modest but dense head of dark tan fizz. Decent retention, dissipating to a bubbly ring and leaving scant spots of lacing.

S: Chocolate and black malts and roasted barley mingle with a potent birch smoke note and undertones of black coffee and cinder toffee. Just a hint of charcuterie and ethanol.

T: Rich chocolate and black malts with notes of caffe mocha, molasses, and baker's chocolate. Mild smokiness throughout, and a plummy dark fruit note partway through. Faint, woody hops and a bit of a lactic tang in the finish with some slight, warming booziness.

M: Full-bodied with very mild carbonation and a thick, silky-smooth texture. The hops are mild but make for a surpisingly dry finish and excellent balance overall.

D: Overall an excellent RIS with an especially aromatic smokiness that blends seamlessly into the complex palate. A well-rounded and distinctive example of the style well worth trying.

Kartoffeln, Jan 16, 2012
Photo of irishkyle21
4/5  rDev -2.7%

irishkyle21, Jan 13, 2012
Photo of jsnoek
4/5  rDev -2.7%

jsnoek, Jan 11, 2012
Photo of TerryW
3.78/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Looks great when poured. Dark and tarry looking from the bottle. Walnut coloured. Pours a great big, handsome brown head that settles to a heavy film and gives some lace. Impressive look.

Aroma is understated. A hint of smoke alongside malt and roastiness. Looks far outstrip the smell.

Toast, roasted barley and coffee dominate. No chalkiness. Distinguished by just a touch of smoke. I've had too many beers where the smoke is overpowering and hits you like a club. In this brew. it's nicely integrated and adds to the drinking experience.

Mouth feel is slightly unctuous. Slick, but not syrupy. Finishes bitter.

Stern, but not overpowering. Decent, but not for the inexperienced.

TerryW, Jan 02, 2012
Photo of Rijtjeshuis
4.28/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

L ~ this one pours jet black in color and is totally opaque. The head was pretty nice: dark khaki with a touch of mustard in color; it rose up to about three fingers in a snifter off a hard pour; fell at an acceptable rate, but without any major lacing.

S ~ definitely get the smoke on the nose, which adds to what would otherwise be a fairly unexceptional Imperial Stout. In terms of malt, I get the usual characters: roasted barley and black patent coming out at the front line. The roasty/toasty malt notes play very well off of the smokiness that's present. No real fruitness, no real sweeter specialty malts, and a slight hint of earthier hops.

T ~ similar to the aroma. It definitely has the richness and complexity you would otherwise expect an Imperial Stout. Same malt character: black patent and roasted barley coming up front; the finish has a bit of sweeter burnt molasses into the finish. The smoke, which is the major flavor counterpoint to the malt, comes in a bit earlier and this leaves the end not quite as dry as it could have been. No real hop flavor, minimal bitterness (definitely not a US version on the style).

F ~ full body, light carbonation. There was little syrupy feel to the finish; I really get more of a velvet feel to this one. Some mild alcoholic warmth, but this doesn't play all that well with the burnt molasses-like finish.

I've had a good number of Russian Imperial Stouts and I really enjoyed this one. The introduction of smoke to the mix was well balanced and added an interesting component that I hadn't seen before. nicely done!

Rijtjeshuis, Dec 31, 2011
Photo of brewedbehaviour
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%

brewedbehaviour, Dec 23, 2011
Photo of Stocean1
4.2/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a half finger beige head on a deep brown body quickly dropping to a thin film. A little patchy lacing yet still a pleasant looking brew.

Smell is burnt malt, vanilla, dark fruit, and some ethanol

Taste follows the nose with a nice woody smokiness. Some chocolate and coffee notes. Not nearly as sweet as I expected.

Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with a little carbonation to balance it out, nice amount of bitterness yet it is still smooth and almost creamy - definitely felt a nice warming as I progressed through the put.

Very nice RIS I will sample again while stocks last.

Stocean1, Dec 21, 2011
Photo of yerocdiamond
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%

yerocdiamond, Dec 19, 2011
Photo of MaryCeleste
5/5  rDev +21.7%

MaryCeleste, Dec 16, 2011
Photo of bigox420
3/5  rDev -27%

bigox420, Nov 29, 2011
Photo of RedAleMan
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%

RedAleMan, Nov 21, 2011
Lava from Ölvisholt Brugghús
92 out of 100 based on 466 ratings.