Lava | Ölvisholt Brugghús

LavaLava
BA SCORE
89.1%
Liked This Beer
4.1 w/ 560 ratings
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
Ranking:
#2,232
Reviews:
190
Ratings:
560
Liked:
499
Avg:
4.1/5
pDev:
10.24%
Alströms:
0
 
 
Wants:
60
Gots:
60
Trade:
2
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 560 |  Reviews: 190
Photo of mynie
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Micro Bar in Reykjavik.

Pours dark with a respectable head. Smells of coffee, dark barley, and dry hops. Tastes very similar--dry and roasty, nice firm body with medium complexity.

It more resembles a good American double stout than a Russian Imperial.

 266 characters

Photo of jera1350
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of andrenaline
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

 777 characters

Photo of BAsbill
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of cjgiant
4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

On tap:
Near black, if not. Light brown head that I watched build from a lighter tap pull. Creamy cap stares at me a while.

Nose is a nice sweet smoke. Smoked meat, but definitely more like a sweet sausage. Level of smoke rivals classic Schlenkerla smokiness, but the malts come into play yielding a cedar-like note.

Sweetness comes in a slightly burnt caramel note. There's a hint of salinity that may be entirely my perception.

To me, the smoke is strong enough to cross the boundary this beer is straddling. As an RIS, straight up, it's too smoky. As a smoke beer, it's too malty sweet. What to do? Warmth seems to quell the smoke a tad, leading to more generic roasted malts coming out. Sill seems a tad sweet for the style, though. The smoke adds a light saline/cured meat note as well.

Taste reminds me of a fuller, yet sweeter Urbock from the Bamburg brewery I mentioned earlier. Guessing if I did a side-by-side, I'd find Schlenkerla's beer much more smoky. That said, I liked the malt balance against a decent dose of smoke.

 1,052 characters

Photo of aztraz
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of GreenMind
3.83/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of jrenihan
3.88/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

 706 characters

Photo of Brenden
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is a thick inky black, perhaps some light creeping in just at the edges, very much appropriate for the style. A nice, compact but fairly sizable tan head displays good retention and leaves equally good lacing on the glass.
Peat and smoke lie in the foreground the whole way without detracting from the nature of the brew as an RIS or going charred or astringent. It's just a nice addition of smoke in an otherwise good stout, with all the bigness the style should have. It's not as huge, bold and heavy as its American counterparts, but it's very balanced without lacking. Malts lay a solid backbone with a roasty element and never fade. It offers the dark cocoa notes I would expect with a touch of dark fruits.
This beer is full-bodied but not too heavy. Some may want an RIS to go down like molasses and sit like a cement block, but this beer offers a nice, even, balanced, smooth feel.

 899 characters

Photo of papat444
3.7/5  rDev -9.8%
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 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

 307 characters

Photo of Kevinpitts
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of mportnoy
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of tbryan5
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of thegerm87
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of trevorpost
3.5/5  rDev -14.6%

Photo of Bunuelian
3.5/5  rDev -14.6%

Photo of PatGreer
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of thagr81us
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%
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 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.

 730 characters

Photo of hophugger
3.73/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Whatup14
3.84/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Photo of braican
3.48/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Lava from Ölvisholt Brugghús
Beer rating: 89.1% out of 100 with 560 ratings
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