Lava | Ölvisholt Brugghús

Liked This Beer
4.1 w/ 560 ratings

Brewed by:
Ölvisholt Brugghús

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

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Ratings: 560 |  Reviews: 190
Photo of DruC4
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of Maillard
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of Phillyz
3.5/5  rDev -14.6%

Photo of Kevincredible
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of TheBeeraholic
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of Axnjxn
3.78/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle into a tulip. no bottling date apparent.

Pours a pitch black color with an inch thick beige head. Pretty attractive pour. Smell is smokey chocolate malts. Taste is an intense smokey taste. A bit too smokey in my opinion. The chocolate malts are still there but are overshadowed by the smoke. Not so easy to drink. Heavier side of medium bodied with medium carbonation. An almost creamy texture. Definitely not syrupy like other imp stouts.

Overall it's different, but not my favorite. I wouldn't have another but i'm glad to have tried it.

 554 characters

Photo of vicsju1991
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of zeff80
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500 ml bottle into snifter, no bottle dating. Pours pitch black color with a small dense tan head with decent retention, that reduces to a thin lace cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big dark chocolate, roasted malt, cocoa, coffee, char, wood, smoke, toast, smoked meat, licorice, slight dark fruit, and roasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of roasted and smoked notes; with good strength. Taste of big dark chocolate, roasted malt, cocoa, toast, coffee, char, smoke, wood, smoked meat, light licorice, light dark fruit, and roasted earthiness. Lingering notes of dark chocolate, roasted malt, char, smoke, wood, coffee, toast, licorice, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and complexity of dark roasted flavors; with moderate smoke flavor balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a very creamy and fairly slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with hardly any warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is an excellent smoked imperial stout. All around nice balance and complexity of roasted flavors and moderate smoke; and very smooth to sip on. A very enjoyable offering.

 1,265 characters

Photo of Oakenator
4.32/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a dark black color with some head. Veiled lacing leads to simple spotted.

S: Chocolate with a subtle sweetness.

T: Chocolate sweetness up front leads to a strong smoky flavor on the back. Some spices.

M: Has lots of body - malts provide a richness.

O: Really nice.

 281 characters

Photo of egrace84
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of magictacosinus
4.32/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I had been looking for this beer for as long as I can remember, and I really want to thank my friend for pointing out that Toronado Pub was tapping it, of all places. Poured into a tulip glass.

Pours a thick, charred viscous opaque black color. Literally no light shines through, not even at the liquid's edges when held against the light. There's a nicely toned mocha colored head that graces the top of the glass that's about 1.5 fingers large, but it actually dies down rather quickly and leaves no lacing, no bubbles, and not a ring of head to speak of halfway through consumption. It still maintained an appearance similar to cola, and the thickened feel did indeed fade with the carbonation's disappearance. Not bad, but not necessarily worth raving over.

The aroma makes me forget my disappointment with the beer's looks - this smells very fabulous, and definitely sets itself apart from the average RIS here. Dark chocolate, cherries, raisins, slightly smoked currants, vanilla, coffee, all coated underneath a cake-like batter sugary consistency. Not sure at all how this is "smoked" by any means (although according to the brewers, it is), but I supposed there's a little bit of charred phenols mixing with the sweetened, dark malts - but it's really, really subtle. The juicy, candied dark fruit flavor is not, however, and melded with the vanilla and chocolate, it's truly awesome.

The flavor actually has a lot less of the fruity, sugared consistency in the aroma, but it does take all of those flavors and melds them well rather than in a cloying, overtly sweet manner. There's a lot more of the roasted, slightly smoky character at the front, melding with fresh, jubilant coffee beans, chocolate, vanilla, a slight oaky sensation, and faded but present fruitiness, ranging from the light raisins to cherries. The finish is very calm, with no alcohol bite or burn to speak of. The flavors meld lightly with the dark malts and coffee flavor, and finish in an aftertaste that is only slightly astringent, yet thickened and full-bodied to the point of being a very easy drinking experience. Carbonation is good, despite what happened to the head. Everything is so well balanced here, which is crazy considering this is a big beer. Nothing is too sweet or too bitter, nor too roasted. Simply fantastic stuff.

I'm so glad I was able to find this! It was a great way to have my lunch in the bar with burgers that were cooked next door. The alcohol is well hidden and buzzed me out a bit by the end, but it was super relaxing and easy drinking as any great, strong stout is. Despite its thickness, there's nothing heavy about this, and it stands as a very versatile and flexible beer of its caliber, mainly due to its balanced yet flavorful presentation of ingredients. Awesome find - Iceland should hopefully keep producing more world class stouts like this.

 2,870 characters

Photo of Beerontwowheels
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of cbeer88
4.75/5  rDev +15.9%

Photo of OregonGrown7
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of ngeunit1
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark black with a hint of brown and a finger of frothy khaki-chocolate head. Fades fairly slowly.

S - Roasted chocolate and caramel malts, smoke, vanilla, molasses, black licorice, dark cocoa, coffee, dark fruits, and a bit of booze.

T - Chocolate and caramel malts, smoke, vanilla, black licorice, molasses, dark cocoa, roasted coffee, dark fruits, earthy hops, and a bit of booze.

M - Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth with a sweet, smoky, warming finish.

D - Nice smoked stout. Good overall balance and mouthfeel.

 543 characters

Photo of cadaugherty
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of rolltide8425
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of Neorebel
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

"Lava" has the an appealing appearance similar to an espresso... it's the deepest shade of brown topped with a thin ring of tan colored froth. There does not seem to be much carbonation, if at all. Observed after the beer was finished, were some small patches of lacing clinging to the sides of the empty glass.

The aroma was very surprising to me, in that there was very much a burst of dark and sweet fresh fruit esters coming through the campfire smells typical to any smoked beer. The flavor itself however, did in fact lend itself mostly to earthiness and woody, charcoal smoke. There was also a savory aspect, like simple food cooked on open flames.

The mouthfeel is relatively light, as is the perceived alcohol heat, so, as log as you are predisposed to like smoked beers, this will go down very easily. Overall, I am excited to have a beer made in Iceland, and would recommend this to anyone into Rauchbiers. The smoke intensity rivals that of Schlenkerla... My only detractor is that the hoppiness in the beer, while tasty, may not be the most appropriate thing for the style. I may not have categorized this as a RIS in a blind tasting given the opportunity. I would love to have this again and try something else from this brewery as well.

 1,255 characters

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4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

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4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of John_Schlaffer
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

Photo of trodam
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of PHBoiler
3.5/5  rDev -14.6%

Photo of AmandaSchaefer
4/5  rDev -2.4%

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