Spirt of Philadelphia First Friday 2017 Leaderboard

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
spacer

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:
 
Behind the Bar: Trevor Schneider, US Reyka Vodka Ambassador

Behind the Bar: Trevor Schneider, US Reyka Vodka Ambassador

This installment of Behind the Bar is focused on Trevor Schneider, the US brand ambassador for the Icelandic Reyka Vodka....read more ›

by Alexander Frane Apr 19, 2017
Drink Your Way Through the 2017 Philly Science Festival, April 21-29

Drink Your Way Through the 2017 Philly Science Festival, April 21-29

Get to know what's in your glass down to every particle at the 2017 Philly Science Festival, which is taking p...read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Apr 19, 2017
SPONSORED
Skygarten is Back for the Season with a Grand Relaunch Party, April 19

Skygarten is Back for the Season with a Grand Relaunch Party, April 19

Skygarten, the beer garden perched atop Sky Philadelphia (formerly Top of the Tower), will reopen with a relau...read more ›

by Drink Philly Apr 19, 2017
Sample Cask Beer at the 10th Annual Yards Real Ale Invitational, April 30

Sample Cask Beer at the 10th Annual Yards Real Ale Invitational, April 30

Yards' popular Real Ale Invitational, which celebrates cask-conditioned and unfiltered beers, is back for its ...read more ›

by Drink Philly Apr 18, 2017
Woodford Reserve is Bringing Two Distinct Culinary Experiences to Center City, April 24 & 25

Woodford Reserve is Bringing Two Distinct Culinary Experiences to Center City, April 24 & 25

Woodford Reserve is bringing two unique whiskey-focused dinners to Center City, complete with cocktails, paire...read more ›

by Drink Philly Apr 18, 2017
Drinking Wine is the Best Mental Exercise, According to Science

Drinking Wine is the Best Mental Exercise, According to Science

Can drinking wine actually be beneficial to your health? A professor of neuroscience at Yale may have found an answer....read more ›

by Alexander Frane Apr 12, 2017
Best Bars For Outdoor Drinking in Philadelphia, 2017

Best Bars For Outdoor Drinking in Philadelphia, 2017

Whether it's to enjoy the first warm breezes of spring or the summer's sunshine, Philadelphia is full of great places to drink in the great outdoors....read more ›

by Drink Philly Apr 11, 2017
Cira Green is Hosting a Pop-Up Beer Garden on Fridays This Spring

Cira Green is Hosting a Pop-Up Beer Garden on Fridays This Spring

Philly is adding another sky high beer garden to its portfolio this spring, with the new pop-up Beer Garden at Cira Green opening April 21....read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Apr 10, 2017
This Summer, You Can Drink Your Rose Out Of a Forty

This Summer, You Can Drink Your Rose Out Of a Forty

A company called Forty Ounce Wines is now selling this warm-weather wine in forties, giving drinkers a whole new way to drink 'rose all day.'...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Apr 10, 2017
SPONSORED
View all Articles

Sign up to get weekly drinking news, bar reviews, events and more sent directly to your inbox!

Close