Friday, March 29, 2013

Oshkosh Beer Sampler 014: Lava, the Stöut From Hëll

A slanted and endless survey of what’s pouring in Oshkosh, tallied one beer at a time.

What: Lava by Ölvisholt Brugghús. A 9.5% ABV Russian Imperial Stout.

Where: Gardina's Wine Bar & Cafe (in the packaged beer section / not on tap). $9.99 for a 17oz bottle.

Why: First off, because there’s something intrinsically Mëtal about a Russian Imperial Stout from Iceland named Lava. And just as you’d hope, it’s a straight-up beast of a beer. It’s roasty and smoky and full of unrelenting shards of caramelized malt flavors. Personally, I tend to appreciate subtlety in a beer more than I do bombast, but sometimes you want something that goes at your palate like a buzzsaw and for times such as those a beer such as this is near perfect. This is no mellow Imperial Stout. This is the Berserker take on the style. The roast aspect of it dominates with a good draw of smokiness coming along with it; like a wood fire in a glass. Then it closes with a cleansing and satisfying burn of alcohol. You almost feel like the beer is roughing you up, but in an entirely enjoyable way. You wouldn’t want to live with a beer like this, but it’s definitely a fun place to visit.

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