Skjálfti | Ölvisholt Brugghús

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67 Ratings

Brewed by:
Ölvisholt Brugghús

Style: California Common / Steam Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by jdhilt on 07-27-2008

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Ratings: 67 |  Reviews: 48
Photo of bobsy
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Its easy to try a beer from a different country, but its often hard to chalk up the ones that are any good. I've never been much of a ticker, so I usually pass by all the crappy lagers from exotic places, but I was excited to see the local government monopoly add this Icelandic effort to its latest release.

Skjálfti pours a radiant gold with an off-white head that laces like a dream and shows great retention. As a beer its off to a flyer, and the nose hints at the promise that this could be a fantastic lager. Its full of lemon, and crisp malty goodness, along with hints of grass and herbs.

The flavour is great, with a nice herbal lemon hop profile and a soft malty body.A light bitterness provides a crisp finsh to a mildly sweet sip. Nice and refreshing in the summer heat. Not overly-complex, but certainly an easy-drinking lager. The medium-light body and pillowy carbonation add to this impression.

A decent lager, and one that I could happily drink on the patio. Perhaps not enough complexity for many repeat visits, buta good 'lawnmower' beer.

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Photo of mintjellie
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear copper body and a pile of off-white head. Decent retention and patch lace. Bready and floral aromas predominate, with lesser notes of citrus and sulfur. Toasted malt and tangerine hop flavour, with balancing bitterness in the finish. Not big and bold by any means, just a good balanced profile. Light-bodied but not thin, low carbonation, smooth. Nice session lager.

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Photo of MDDMD
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-medium amber color with a decent white head and some lacing

S-malt, citrus, some grassy notes

T-malt, light citrus, mild bitter grassy hop flavor and slight sweetness

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, slight crispness

O-a decent beer in this style, reasonable session beer

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Photo of Kartoffeln
3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a hazy, coppery orange with a large, foamy, cream-coloured head. Diminishes to a foamy cap.

S: Sweet bready and toffee malts with floral, slightly spicy hops. Just a hint of citrus.

T: Toffee malts up front with roasted notes and smooth, understated wheat malts. A fruity character comes out in the hops, a bit of orange zest, along with an enduring earthy, floral finish.

M: Very smooth and medium-bodied, nearly no bite from the carbonation. It drinks a bit heavy as a result, but the lasting citric and earthy bitterness in the finish keeps it refreshing.

D: This is actually the first steam beer I've had, so I've little to compare it to. That said, it's a refreshing and pleasant middle-ground between ale and lager well worth trying.

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Photo of andrenaline
3.82/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From notes... Another random I picked up at my local LCBO. I quite enjoyed their last offering, so curious to see what this one brings to the table.

A - Pours a light golden colour, finger of head with some retention, and no real lacing.

S - Light on the nose, biscuit and grainy malt, touch of sweet corn and metallic notes.

T - Toasted bread, butter notes, grainy and leafy hops, hints of honey and wheat.

M - Medium, though a tad prickly, and finishes wet.

O - Given the style, the flavour profile was quite loaded. Worth a try, but nothing mind blowing.

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Photo of peensteen
3.8/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice copper/amber colour, decent white head, light traces of lacing on the glass. Smell is not overly aromatic but nice smooth malt, light citrus, mildly hoppy. Taste is crisp, a nice hop presence is there, nice malt, a really flavorful lager. Good creamy mouthfeel, quite refreshing very smooth, perfect carbonation. Really solid beer, nice flavourful lager, I could drink this all day.

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Photo of Reinheitsgebot71
3.77/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An Icelandic beer at the lcbo never thought I'd see the day!

The beer pours a fine clear bronze colour, very nice. An off white head about a finger thick tops this but doesn't stick around long though it does leave decent lacing.

Fresh citrus hoppiness hits the nose first followed by aromas of honey and half baked bread. Musky grain warehouse and wet burlap smells add a curious note to the nose. Rounding out everything are faint hints of pear and caramel.

Bitterness is right up front on this one. The malt body shows strength and caramel notes in the middle fading to a mellow hop finish. The bitterness is very dry reminiscent of citrus pith. There is a slight metallic tinge in the finish.
A medium light body supports reasonable carbonation providing a very quaffable brew.

A nice offering and my first experience with the steam beer style outside of Anchor. I am looking forward to the smoked stout from the brewery later this year.

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Photo of traumaqueen
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of BuddhaBrowett
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of Roke87
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500 mL bottle, chilled and poured into a pilsner glass.
Best before: 04.01.2012

Appearance- Pours a dark copper colour with three fingers of billowing fluffy off white almost tan head that takes a while to dwindle down to a nice thick bubbly top that never really leaves, leaving tonnes of lacing throughout the glass right till the finish.

Smell- The nose on this one is very sweet, right off the bat I am hit with an intense aroma of caramel/toffee malts, some mild grassy hops in there as well but not overpowering in anyway, the aromas actually really remind me of a doppelbock.

Taste- Is much the same as the smells, the taste comes through with a dominant sweet caramel/toffee malt flavour mixed with a nice grassy hop flavour, I detect a very mild touch of citrusy fruits in there as well.

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied with very good carbonation, this is a very smooth and easy drinking beer, it does finish a little on the dry side though.

Overall- This is a very interesting beer, right away this kind of reminded me of a doppelbock from the smells and even initially on the tastes as well. I did really enjoy this one although I kind of had low expectations, which I am quickly finding out that these Scandinavian offerings are a little more above average than I initially thought. Great balance although there is not a whole lot going on in this beer, but I do like the ice sweet caramel bread malts mixed with the mild hop presence and an even more mild citrusy fruit presence in there as well. All in all I wish I would have picked up a few more of this one because I actually liked it!

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Photo of RedAleMan
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of WeissBoy
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of Molson2000
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of Drknight
3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of MasterSki
3.72/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Birthday gift from cousin Dan. Best before January 20th, 2001. Served in a mug.

A - Pours with a half-finger of eggshell foam that sizzles to a partial cap. Body is a hazy peach color with tons of bubbles clinging to the sides of the glass.

S - Smell has some nice citrus hop character - ripe oranges mingle with a nice clean sugary malt character. There's a bit of lemon sourness and earthy spice too but they are in the periphery.

T - Taste is a little less interesting, with more spice and pepper flavors instead of the sweet juicy citrus of the nose. The malt character is also more bready. Not bad, but a bit of a letdown.

M - Carbonation is a little high, and the body is a touch grittier than I prefer. Body is medium and of sufficiently heft, and the finish is slightly dry.

D - Nice solid, session brew. I dig the idea of a hopped-up steam beer, and the nose on this one is quite enjoyable. If it tasted a bit more like it smelled I'd actually get this semi-regularly.

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Photo of liamt07
3.7/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from the LCBO, best before April 1, 2012. Into a tulip.

Pours a golden orange, with a creamy offwhite head. Good retention and some lace. Nose has some distinct grassiness, fairly leafy. Taste has more of the grassiness in it, bitterness is evident but not overpowering. Again, leafy with some pine notes as well. Moderate malt base, some breadiness but subdued. A bit of butter. Finish lingers a bit, but overall a decent beer.

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Photo of ludachris
3.7/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a bright and hazy amber hue with one finger of fluffy cream coloured head yeilding after an aggressive pour, displaying good retention and leaving sticky and thick legs of lace.

Fresh doughy bread, lemons, a bit of pine, and a fruity undertone I can't quite put my finger on. Maybe raisons? Whatever it is, the nose is quite inviting.

The bready malts play as more of a backbone in the taste with a long lemony/grapefruit snap being the most prominent thing going on, eventually leading to a pleasantly bitter herbal hop finish.

Mouthfeel is clean, cirsp, balanced, and dry at the end thanks to the hoppy finish. I'm drinking this on a warm spring (feels like summer) night, and it suits it perfectly. Flavourful and sooo refreshing.

I felt almost obligated to pick this one up because of the rarity or rather lack of availability of the style, and I'm very happy I did. On a hot summer's day, this beer would be on my top three to turn to. Worth a try for sure, and the perfect season to do it.

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Photo of Stevedore
3.69/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle, served at Rauda Husio in Eyrarbakki, Iceland. Served in a tulip glass.

Pours a darker caramel body, orange hue, clear with a one finger white head, good retention, bits of lacing. Smells of light caramel sweetness, grassy and earthy hop aromas, mild cereal grain, a bit of citrus as well. Flavour is caramel, touch of citrus, grassiness, a bit of earth. Cereal grain. I thought it tastes a bit like Anchor, and I did not know this was a California Common. It is a bit sweeter. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, crisp and refreshing, good carbonation, and accompanied the lobster bisque entree quite well. Not a bad beer overall.

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Photo of crossovert
3.67/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle.

It pours a deep gold with a fizzy white head.

The smell is malty. There is a hint of citrus and pine.

The flavor is nice and malty, a tiny bit of hops on the back end. It really reminds me of a good helles lager mixed with a steam beer and an icelandic touch.

Pretty decent stuff.

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Photo of Mit
3.67/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a-Pours an amber clear colour with minimal head.

s-hoppy flavours come through in the smell. Some malt odours.

t-hoppy flavours right at the beginning with the finish being fairly typical of a wheat.

m-good for the abv.

o-I would buy this again in a heart beat. Really interesting find for the LCBO.

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Photo of eat
3.65/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear amber body with a good cover of off-white head, fading to a ring around the glass. Very nice colour.

Smells of lots of yeast and sweet malt, salted caramel, a bit of citrusy hops. Quite sweet.

The flavour is on the light side and mostly of basic grain and hops. The wheat does show through and adds a nice character. Hops are more earthy here and linger for quite a while on the finish, along with the wheat, leaving a fairly strong drying feeling in the mouth. There is some sweet malt but it's out-balanced by the hop bitterness.

Nice full body with pretty mild carbonation. I like it this feel.

A basic and mostly unmemorable beer, though it's well-made enough and pretty drinkable. I'd probably drink this sometimes as a sessionable beer if I lived in Iceland to try keeping things local. Here in Canada, there are too many other good beers similar to this one.

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Photo of ThatWineGuy
3.65/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I just saw this today at the LCBO, how nice to be the first reviewer from Toronto for a change. Big foamy off-white head, three fingers, low moderate carbonation, lots of sticky sheet lace. In due course, the head settled into a few large beige blotches floating atop a clear copper brew. There was a citrus fruit hoppy aroma on the pour and more sweet apricot and bready malt nose after it breathed; quite a pleasant smelling beer. The taste was more malty than hoppy with pine flavour and a resiny mouthfeel, earthy swallow, more pine and bitterness in the long lingering finish. Mouth is pine resiny, medium body, buttery texture. No hint of volcanic ash whatsoever. Overall, not bad at all and I'd gladly have another.

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Photo of kwjd
3.63/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a copper colour with a nice white head. Smells sweet like fruit candy almost. Taste has some hops with a strong malt backbone. Very bready type taste that has some type of fruit in there. Very smooth and a great drinker. Probably not going to buy a lot at the price in Ontario, but a very nice beer.

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Photo of marty21
3.62/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a nice clear copper colour with 1 finger worth of off white fluffy head. Eventually goes down to nothing and didn’t leave much for lacing. The colour of this beer is what was responsible for most of the points for appearance.

S: Bready malt, caramel, some grassy hops and a bit of sweet citrus on the finish.

T: Grassy hops and sweet citrus but is then taken over by a malty grainy taste.

M: Light carbonation with a light body.

O: Nothing crazy about this beer. I could easily turn this into a session beer but might get a little bored after awhile.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500ml Bottle

Appearance - The beer pours a hazy amber/orange colour with an average size fizzy and frothy off white colour head. I can't see much carbonation due to the haziness of the beer.. The head last for only a few minutes before it was gone.

Smell - hops, honey, malts, a grassiness

Taste & Mouth - a very nice mouth feel; perfect combination of carbonation and smoothness. The beer has a very nice mild hop flavour, similar to that found in say a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, but much more toned down. There is also a honey sweetness and notes of toffee and lemon juice. The beer finishes with a malty slightly bitter hop aftertaste.

Drink - A pretty decent brew that is definitely worth a try if you happen to see it on the shelves. Sure hit the spot while watching nfl football today.

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Skjálfti from Ölvisholt Brugghús
Beer rating: 3.7 out of 5 with 67 ratings