Ballantine Beer Leaderboard
Gogol Bordello header

Beer Review: Olvisholt Brugghus Lava

An Icelandic take on imperial stout
by Mike Lorenz on May 21, 2012 in Beer
Beer Review: Olvisholt Brugghus Lava

The current craft beer explosion can present problems of choice. When there are so many new beers to try along with tried and true favorites, making a selection can be tough. One brewery to recently enter the U.S. market is Iceland’s Ölvisholt Brugghús, formed in 2007 by neighboring farmers who shared an interest in brew-making. The land on which the brewery rests had been a conventional sheep and dairy farm since Iceland was first settled more than 1,000 years ago. We opted to sample Lava, a smokey imperial stout inspired by the active volcano Hekla — visible from the brewhouse’s front door.

Poured from a 22-oz. bottle into a snifter glass, Lava appears dark, black and mysterious. Smoke leaps up from the glass and is the first thing to hit the nose, followed by the roasted malt, vanilla and coffee often found in this style. The taste is similar to the nose, with strong but not overpowering smoke up front. Sipping through the beer, flavors of sweet chocolate and roasted malt stand out, as well as a warming sensation in the throat. As with many imperial stouts, Lava packs a punch with a 9.4% ABV — the alchol is present in the flavor but doesn’t reach the point of being boozy or heavy handed. This beer has pleasant level of carbonation and medium body, providing a nice, clean finish for a style that can sometimes be heavy and tacky on the palate.

Olvisholt Brugghus is hitting the U.S. shores via Vanburg and DeWulf, the acclaimed Belgian experts. Thanks to the importers’ reach in the business, Lava should be widely available anywhere you find other beers on the roster. Lava is a valuable addition to the crowded craft brew canon, with a fresh take on the imperial stout style that is balanced, interesting and tasteful. Save this beer for an unseasonably cold evening and enjoy a unique imperial stout with an equally unique back story.

Recent Articles
Win Tickets to Matisyahu at the Theater of Living Arts, Dec. 23
Welcome to the Mile High [Cocktail] Club
The Five Difficult Drinkers on Your Christmas List and How to Shop for Them
spacer
Drink Philly Craft Beer New Year Header
From Around The Web

Feedback

How are we doing? Tell us what you like or don't like and how we can improve. We would love to hear your thoughts!

*Name:
*E-mail:
*Suggestions:
 
The Five Difficult Drinkers on Your Christmas List and How to Shop for Them

The Five Difficult Drinkers on Your Christmas List and How to Shop for Them

Sometimes it's not as easy as picking up a random six pack and jamming it in your friend's stocking. That's wh...read more ›

by Ryan Hudak Dec 15, 2014
Home Bar Project: How to Make a Gold Rush

Home Bar Project: How to Make a Gold Rush

Have you ever dreamed of having an amazing home bar, filled with bottles you actually use and the tools you need to execute a finely crafted cocktail?...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Dec 15, 2014
SPONSORED
Perch Pub Brunch Rectangle
Free Ride: Sign up for Uber With a Drink Philly Promo Code

Free Ride: Sign up for Uber With a Drink Philly Promo Code

Getting home after a night of fun can be a pain, especially if you've been drinking at a bar tucked into one of many Philly neighborhoods where cabs d...read more ›

by Drink Philly Oct 8, 2014
Beer Review: Great Divide's Hibernation Ale

Beer Review: Great Divide's Hibernation Ale

Hibernation is a hearty English Style Old Ale that would rouse the most snoozy bear from slumber....read more ›

by Nathan Solheim Dec 12, 2014
Where to Host a Private Event in Philadelphia

Where to Host a Private Event in Philadelphia

Whether for work or home, sometimes you're looking for a place you can take 20 or more people for a party...read more ›

by Drink Philly Nov 15, 2014
A Fiery Look at Japanese Whisky and the Barrel Charring Process

A Fiery Look at Japanese Whisky and the Barrel Charring Process

Japan isn't usually the first thing you think of when you think about whisky, but that could change very soon. ...read more ›

by Kate Monzo Dec 12, 2014
The Holiday Social at the Neighborhood House in Old City, Dec. 17

The Holiday Social at the Neighborhood House in Old City, Dec. 17

Do your part to help the underprivileged underprivileged youth of Philadelphia this Holiday Season....read more ›

by Drink Philly Dec 10, 2014
Cavanaugh's Headhouse Hosts Special Goose Island Brew & Chew Featuring Bourbon County, Dec. 17

Cavanaugh's Headhouse Hosts Special Goose Island Brew & Chew Featuring Bourbon County, Dec. 17

Matilda, Lolita, Bourbon County Stout and Bourbon County Vanilla Rye are all on the bill for December's Brew &...read more ›

by Drink Philly Dec 10, 2014
Drink Philly Presents: 'A Craft Beer New Year'

Drink Philly Presents: 'A Craft Beer New Year'

This year Drink Philly is ringing in the New Year with 2nd Story Brewing Co. Tickets for the evening include an open bar, featuring in-house brews and...read more ›

by Drink Philly Dec 8, 2014
SPONSORED
Craft Beer New Year Desktop rectangle
View all Articles

Like us on Facebook!

Close