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Lava - Ölvisholt Brugghús

Not Rated.
LavaLava

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

471 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 471
Reviews: 171
rAvg: 4.11
pDev: 9.98%
Wants: 38
Gots: 39 | 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)
View: Beers (8) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 471 | Reviews: 171 | Display Reviews Only:
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

Photo of LoveBeerNo7
4/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of dbellizzi
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%

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.

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.

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.

Photo of bigoten13
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%

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.

Photo of PEIhop
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%

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.

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.

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.

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.

Photo of tedstertm
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%

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.

Photo of KevinSP
4/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of oldp0rt
3/5  rDev -27%

Photo of bryehn
4/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of ThinkAgain
4/5  rDev -2.7%

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.

Photo of irishkyle21
4/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of jsnoek
4/5  rDev -2.7%

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.

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!

Photo of brewedbehaviour
4.5/5  rDev +9.5%

Lava from Ölvisholt Brugghús
92 out of 100 based on 471 ratings.