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 johnnnniee
3.86/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Bottle from Colonial Spirits.
Solid dark brown with faint garnet at the edges with a long lasting somewhat small khaki head. Aroma is smokey with roast, chocolate, caramel, and brown sugar underneath. The flavor gives a solid hit of smoke up front with plenty of dark sugary sweetness to go around. Light chocolate and roast with just a hint of earthy hop flavor. Thick body with a light level of carbonation and a creamy silky smooth mouthfeel. Wow this is a really nice smoked imperial stout that I picked up on a whim. Thanks Todd.

 534 characters

Photo of InspectorBob
4.02/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of BeerForMuscle
3.97/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Black bodied beer with a rich crayon brown head.

S - Salty smoked meats come to mind. Smoked fish and cured meats. Toasted, roasted grains and burnt wood.

T - Very smokey on the palate like the nose eluded. Akin to liquid smoke. Notes of charcoal, beef jerky, and firewood. Roasted blackened grains mixed with espresso. Plenty of bitter black flavors with a little hint of hops. The black roasty character is the star here.

M - This beer is dry and roasted to the max. This is close to drinking charcoal.

O - They certainly hit the mark with the amount of smoke this beer has. Put liquid smoke in a cup of espresso.

 623 characters

Photo of JAHMUR
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of rolltide8425
4.5/5  rDev +10%

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.29/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is definitely a thick stout. In flavor profile and on the body. There is a good touch of molasses on here, but what I really like most of all is the kind of berry tone that is really showing nicely after a little while of it being opened. The smoke mellows at the same time the berry thing shows up. Body is thick. This beer stays consistent. And I like it a lot. The price point is pretty high, which is somewhat of a discouraging factor, but I am happy to drop the coin.

 477 characters

Photo of dvmin98
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of SadMachine
4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Dicers
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of krome
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of IPAchris
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of t2grogan
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.58/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Blue Monk, in Buffalo, NY.

Pours black. Not the darkest beer I've ever had, some light might penetrate the liquid, but not much. 3 inch head, mocha-colored, forms on top of the beer.

Smells like roasted malt and chocolate- not much smoke in the aroma.

Much more smoke in the tastes. Sort of a campfire marshmallow taste, with some ash, chocolate. The smoke is restrained, and doesn't take over from the other flavors of chocolate, oak, and a bit of coffee.

Medium to full bodied, medium carbonation as well.

A great find, this wasn't on my radar at all, and I quite enjoyed it. Not the hugest fan of smoked beers usually- this struck a really nice balance for me. The bottle I bought later on was definitely smokier than the on-tap version.

 759 characters

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.42/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Black Raven pint glass. Pours a very dark brown, appearing black in the glass. One finger light brown head with good retention and lacing. Aroma a pleasant roasted malt, chocolate, wood smoke and mild dark fruit. Taste follows with roasted malt, smoke, chocolate, dark dried fruit; finishes with light hop bitterness, smoke, malt and a hint of chocolate, nice. Well integrated and flavorful. Medium bodied with light creaminess. An excellent smoked imperial Russian stout. The high ABV is well hidden. Well done.

 526 characters

Photo of tone77
4.17/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a brown 16.9 oz. bottle. Has a black color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is very smoky, some roasted malts. Taste also has a considerable amount of smoke, some chocolate, roasted malts, complex and full of flavor. Feels full bodied in the mouth and overall is defiantly worth a try.

 292 characters

Photo of Rochefort10nh
4.5/5  rDev +10%

Photo of Mebuzzard
4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Andre for pointing this one out on his shelf. I bought it. I drank it. I liked it.

Dark pour; ruby/brown/black. Huge off-brown/tan head. Rocky and sticky. Pretty good lacing. Looks great.

Oh, snap! It's smoky. Didn't know this. A smoked stout? Ok. So, aroma is smoky, dark fruit. Raisin. Cherry wood

Flavor is up front smoked malt. Umami and cherry wood campfire. Raisins again. Some sweet chocolate is a welcomed addition. This beer has all the makings of a campfire storytelling adventure. It's smooth and warming. The abv is high and not all hidden. Sweet on the end, but the smoke keeps it from getting too rich.

a darn good beer from Iceland

 661 characters

Photo of liamt07
4.01/5  rDev -2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from the LCBO, into a snfiter. Best before date of September 2013.

Pitch black in the snifter, with several fingers of creamy khaki head. Nose of smoked dark chocolate, roastiness and a hint of coffee. Taste is a heavy bitter dark chocolate and smoke, both of which dominate the palate. A bit of vanilla and brown sugar sweetnesss comes in around the late-middle/end of the mouth along with a hint of the alcohol. The alcohol is more pronounced as it warms. Thick and full body, really how I like my imperial stouts. A tad more than a sipper, but smooth going down regardless. Nice surprise to have picked this up.

 623 characters

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 LoveStout
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

Photo of a77cj7
4/5  rDev -2.2%

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

Showing some Brazilians that there was craft beer available to purchase from Iceland, we took the plunge and added a bottle to our purchase and later tasted. From a 500 ml bottle, on to the beer:

No surpise, black is color of this Icelandic stout. Next....the smell. Licorice and a touch of cocoa hit, and surprising a smokiness that reminds me more of smoked Gouda cheese than smoked meat. The taste does follow much like the taste, with a few subtle changes. Licorice is still the main theme of the beer, roasty and cocoa notes hitting around. The smoked gouda note is replaced of a vague yet still appetizing soft smoked note. A thick stout being nearly heavy bodied, which you can attribute to the 9.4% ABV, but you'd be hard pressed to find much of it as it's hidden well.

Volcanoes and a serious banking crisis have put Iceland on the map in recent years. With Einstok and Olvisholt exporting beer to the US recently, perhaps it's time to add craft beer to the list.

 975 characters

Photo of tobelerone
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of tommy5
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first Icelandic beer, and one I've been wanting to try for a while. Quite an interesting beer- very dry, but big, and with a pronounced smokiness that is subtle enough to play well with the roastiness, licorice, and chocolate notes and noticeable enough to provide a unique element to the stout. There is also a nice ashiness that works well with the smoke. Lava indeed. Very nice.

 384 characters

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.

    Learn More
  • Our Events

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

    Learn More
  • Our Magazine

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

    Learn More