Lava | Ölvisholt Brugghús

BA SCORE
91
outstanding
559 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
LavaLava
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Ölvisholt Brugghús
Iceland
brugghus.is

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.40%

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.

Added by stulowitz on 12-01-2008

BEER STATS
Ratings:
559
Reviews:
189
Avg:
4.09
pDev:
10.02%
 
 
Wants:
60
Gots:
60
For Trade:
2
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 559 |  Reviews: 189
Photo of womencantsail
3.58/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours nearly black in color with a tall tan head. It’s certainly smokey. There is quite a bit of roasted malt and a touch of salted nuts. Pretty simple and straightforward aroma. A light sweetness on the palate; some toffee and a bit of chocolate to go with lots of roasted malt and smoke. There is a slight alcohol flavor in the background.

 343 characters

Photo of popery
3.58/5  rDev -12.5%
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.

 730 characters

Photo of russpowell
3.61/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My first beer from Iceland I believe

Pours mahogany with 2 fingers of mocha head. Some head retention & lacing

S: Carob, smokeyness, dark fruit

T: Follows the nose, much smokeyness, dryness, a hint of cherry taffy , & some woody hops up front. Smokeyness, dark fruit & carob rule the day as this warms. Finishes smokey with some dark fruit & a bit more taffy & boozeyness

MF: Thick, low carbonation, warming

Maybe a bit too smokey to drink all the time, but a nice one to take the chill out of the air, worth a go...

 522 characters

Photo of GeezLynn
3.62/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Lava delivers a pretty sinister appearance – jet black with a modest but long-lived head. Nose shows an assertive woodsy smoke along with plenty of rich roasted maltyness and something I associate with damp soil.

The dominant flavor is an overly bitter charred roast accompanied by a drying smokyness that lingers through the finish. Flashes of cinnamon or some woody spice figure in there somewhere, along with a mild alcohol burn. This is a bit harsh for me. It could use a little sweetness to balance all that ashyness. Mouthfeel is pretty nice - dense, with good mouth coat. Carbonation is medium high and slightly prickly.

Not bad and I liked the level of smoke. Still, much too rough around the edges. Maybe this could mellow into something more enjoyable, but as is, I'll go for a Nils Oscar Rokaporter as a better Scandinavian smoked option.

 853 characters

Photo of 10Crumra
3.62/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.63/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16.9oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a short brown head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains roasted malts, smokiness, some dark fruit, chocolate and coffee along with a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out with a mild smokiness followed by flavors of dark fruit, chocolate and coffee. Then a hearty but not too heavy roasted malt character comes in. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings some balance. The after-taste is slightly smoky and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of style, it’s a solid beer but there are others in the style that I would choose first.

 850 characters

Photo of Jeffo
3.63/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got this one last summer but let it sit for a year.

From a 500ml bottle into a snifter
Best Before 14 September 2013

APPEARANCE: A black pour yields a two finger, medium looking, very fizzy, tan head with decent retention. Head fades to a half wisp and ring. Jet black body with higher levels of carbonation. A half wisp and ring remain but leave no lacing down the glass. Thick and dark, but a little too carbonated and fizzy.

SMELL: Some roasted and smoky malts with a touch of dark chocolate. A strong licorice anise aroma as well, and more coffee and chocolate come out as it sits. Nice, but not quite bold enough to be memorable.

TASTE: Roasted malts and licorice anise up front, with some smoky malts through the middle into a bitter chocolate and coffee finish. Bold and lingering aftertaste of smoky, roasted malts, dark, bitter chocolate and coffee/espresso flavors. Bigger flavors and more impressive than the nose.

PALATE: Medium body and medium levels of carbonation. Creamy smooth on the palate, goes down smooth and finishes slightly sticky. A touch of heat lingers, but well measured.

OVERALL: It started out a little average, but ended up working out quite nicely. Bolder flavors with enough complexity make this a worthy drink. Something I'd gladly drink again. Recommended.

 1,302 characters

Photo of papat444
3.7/5  rDev -9.5%
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.

 709 characters

Photo of JamesMN
3.71/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Super dark brown to the point of being black in color. Basically no head despite a vigorous pour but some tan residue on top.

Aroma: Dark fruit esters, alcohol, and dark malt. Mildly complex with a richness about it.

Taste: Immidiately hit with a bit of dark smoked malt but not nearly as intense as what follows. In fact, the flavor doesn't truly develop entirely until the finish and aftertaste. Finish is smooth and almost sweet with dark malt flavor. Aftertaste lends a huge smokey kick that slowly fades away. Very light bitterness throughout and the smoke flavor does the job of balancing out the sweet malt.

Mouthfeel: Lighter in body than its 9.4% ABV would suggest. Average carbonation and good drinkability for a beer with such strong smoked flavor.

Final Thoughts: If you like Imperial Stouts and smoked malt then Lava is the beer for you. Would I drink it again? Sure.

 896 characters

Photo of hophugger
3.73/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Sweffin
3.73/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of braugon
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of olradetbalder
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of gibgink
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of traumaqueen
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of aztraz
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of thagr81us
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Shared this one with aasher during his wedding week in Destin, FL! Served from bottle into a Boulevard tulip. Poured a massively dark brown with a half finger light tan head that subsided to minimal amount quickly. Maintained excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of roasted malt, smoke, smoked meat, and dark fruit. The flavor was of sweet malt, roasted malt, smoke, ham, and wood. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was a fairly good brew. There was quite a bit of smokiness going on in this one. Makes sense since this brew is called ‘Lava’. It was fairly well balanced, but wasn’t the best from the style. Worth trying if you get the chance, but I doubt I would go out of my way to do so again.

 772 characters

Photo of jsh420
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of jaydoc
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of StoutAtTheDevil
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of IPAchris
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of allan
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of trodam
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of Knoxrb12
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

Lava from Ölvisholt Brugghús
4.09 out of 5 based on 559 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.