Lava | Ölvisholt Brugghús

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LavaLava
BA SCORE
4.09/5
Exceptional
563 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:
#2,523
Reviews:
192
Ratings:
563
pDev:
10.51%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
59
Gots:
61
Trade:
2
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 563 |  Reviews: 192
Photo of shigg85
4.75/5  rDev +16.1%

Photo of Hanzo
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

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 TMoney2591
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

My first Icelandic find is a smoked stout? Sometimes fortune does indeed smile upon us tickers... Anyway, this stuff pours a straight obsidian topped by a strong finger of light sienna foam. The nose comprises dark smoke, roasted malts, and what may or may not be some dark coffee. The taste brings in more of the same, though now the darkness beneath the smoke is more varied: roasted malts, molasses, coffee, and dark chocolate. Combined with the dark, almost peat-y smoke, this is one of the blackest, most metal beers that's ever graced my tongue. The body is a strong medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a drying finish. Overall, a nice, deep, dark smoked stout, one certainly worthy to bear the name of such a powerful manifestation of our planet's inner mechanisms.

 817 characters

Photo of daliandragon
4.55/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Definitely my first beer from Iceland, although I had to go to Ohio to find it. Smoked Icelandic RIS named after the nearby mountain and it's molten flame, game on. Looks the part with a thin creamy head atop an obsidian chunk. The nose is smoky, starting with porkfat and ending in a familiar peat bog.

The taste is a pleasant melange. The smoke hits first, along with a dark rich malt flavor, colored with baker's chocolate and dark fruit notes. There is steady hop presence down to the aftertaste, along with a moderate dose of booze. The texture is thick and luxuriant, and very smooth throughout, despite the abv. This is an awesome stout with plenty of character, and real aggressive smoke flavor. Not cheap but highly recommended.

 739 characters

Photo of brbrocc
4/5  rDev -2.2%

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 StaveHooks
3.85/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz served in a snifter.

A - Pours opaque with a creamy tan head that forms a thin wispy ceiling of micro-bubbles.

S - Roasted malts, burnt cocoa smoked peat, charred wood, sharp prunes, cedar and pine sap.

T - Bakers chocolate, rich roasted coffee, roasted black malts, licorice, smoked wood, dry bitter cocoa at the end, finishes with a solid dose of woody pine.

M - Light side of full bodied, smooth carbonation, creamy body.

Very balanced and the addition of the smoke gives it a little edge. The smoke shows up heavier in the nose while the malts really shine in the flavor and meld well with the smoke. Very tasty.

 626 characters

Photo of 6demonbag
5/5  rDev +22.2%

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

Pours out coffee black with just a hint of off-white suds. Lacing here.
Smell is nutty chocolate and coffee with a slight yeast/alcohol burn in the nose.
Taste is smokey for sure but not a fake smoke/liquid smoke. The alcohol is hidden very well here.
Mouthfeel is very clean after the smoke leaves the palate.
Overall I like this RIS and usually I don't like smoked anything. I have only tried Smoked Porters and this is my first Smoked RIS. Pretty nice except for the cost. 10 bucks for a pint.

 496 characters

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 WillCarrera
4.13/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16.9 oz bottle, no bottled-on date, poured into a Duvel tulip glass.

A- It looks goddamn awesome, pours pitch black, a rough pour produces a huge two-inch head, thick and cake-like, light mocha brown in color, good retention and nice lacing.

S- Interesting aroma, lots of the expected chocolate cake and roasted malt, but also a nicely integrated meaty campfire smokiness.

T- Chocolatey sweetness and roasted malt, alcohol is more noticeable here, although still marginally so. The chocolate, booze and a bit of dried fig flavors contribute to a mild sweetness that competes with a roasty, charred wood and smoke flavor.

M- Medium-to-full bodied, has a nice smooth feel.

O- A very good beer overall, the smoke and chocolate work nicely together, it's also cool to try such a good beer from Iceland, although it's a bit pricey for the same reason. Still, definitely pick this up if you see it.

 897 characters

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

Photo of Fatehunter
4.52/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

In a Delirium glass. Pitch black color with almost a finger of tan head. Looks great.
Strong chocolate smell with roasted malt in the background. Hint of burnt wood.
Silky/creamy texture. Burnt taste, roasted malt, chocolate and burnt again. Tasty.
Low carbonation and a heavier body.
Outstanding, a pleasure to have.

 317 characters

Photo of scottiethebody
3.5/5  rDev -14.4%

Photo of aztraz
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%

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

my first icelandic beer, cool! good stuff too. it pours a cloudy chocolate brown color with a fair bit of carbonation creating a two inch off white head. its got a nice smokey malt smell, with some cocoa and clever yeast behind it. almost smells like a s'more. the taste isnt as sweet at the nose. the smoke flavor is pretty pronounced, and the chocolate from the nose comes through in the taste as well. the alcohol taste is pretty strong here, but it cuts through the thick smokey malt flavor nicely to leave a reasonably clean finish for a beer of this style. the feel is a little over carbonated at first, but it settles down as it warms. the body is huge, made bigger by the yeast sediment, but i had no problem with a bomber of this. id be curious to try more beers from iceland, hopefully they wont be as expensive as this one was. thats the only reason i wouldnt buy this again.

 886 characters

Photo of sulldaddy
4.37/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sampling a cellar temp bottle of this brew poured at cellar temperature into a snifter.
Beer pours a deep oil black hue with no light passing through the glass. Creamy tan head of .5 cm foams up and fades gradually to a sturdy edge layer.
ARoma is roasted malt and molasses, with some smokey burnt wood and a bit of dark cocoa as well. I dont get any hops in this brew and the booze is also well hidden.
First sip reveals a smooth silky textured brew that is fairly thick and features gentle rolling carbonation.
Flavor is deep roasted malt and smoke. I also get dark chocolate bar and a bit of molasses. Again no real hops, but there is a little warm booze on each swallow that heats up my throat and belly as it travels downward.
Even with the warming booze the beer is remarkably easy to drink and I find myself moving through the snifter quickly as I type these notes.
Certainly a robust brew that isnt for the light hearted, I would enjoy this with some smoked cheese and crackers in front of a fireplace on a cold snowy night. It is still pretty great tonite though too!

 1,076 characters

Photo of bump8628
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of zonker17
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of crobinso
4/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of Molson2000
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of Brenden
4/5  rDev -2.2%
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 pjs234
4.5/5  rDev +10%

Photo of Satyr179
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%

Lava from Ölvisholt Brugghús
Beer rating: 4.09 out of 5 with 563 ratings