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Ovila Abbey Dubbel - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Ovila Abbey DubbelOvila Abbey Dubbel

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

451 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 451
Hads: 1,024
Avg: 3.8
pDev: 11.84%
Wants: 23
Gots: 134 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Dubbel |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Thorpe429 on 03-12-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 451 | Hads: 1,024
Photo of KTCamm
4.14/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Champagne bottle poured into a duvel glass.

Pours medium dark brown, builds from light to dark bottom to top. Small layer of off white foam covers the top. Light esthery yeast smell. Taste is fruity, lightly sweet with a dark fruit raisin anise taste throughout. Cherries buried too. Very minor hop bitter. This is an excellent made beer.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Okay. I like this dubbel. I find it a bit tight and wound up, but it still works how I would expect it to. The characteristics that I expect to find are there, though not as pronounced as I would hope for. The carbonation at first seems way overboard and interfering with the flavor delivery, but it does tone down over time. This one could have a bit more character to it, but for a mass produced dubbel, it's working well enough.

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Photo of fezmeister
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It’s tempting to write pretty much what the bottle says; turns out to be fairly accurate. The nose is mostly musty dark fruit and a vague whiff of bready yeast. More dark fruits and carmelized sugar in the taste with the usual dubbel funky yeast notes. One thing I really liked was the gorgeous slightly cloudy mahogany color of the beer, very nice with backlighting. Enough carbonation and lack of actually syrupy qualities, give this a descent mouthfeel. Really not a unique offering of the style, but a good one.

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Photo of Flounder57
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12.7 oz bottle poured into a duvel tulip glass.

Appearance: The beer poured a minimal head. It is a dark brown color with very little clarity and bubbles can be slightly seen from the bottom of the glass.

Smell: sweet and bready malts, spiciness, some dark fruits, and alcohol.

Taste: nice spiciness to it, dark fruits, bready malts, some chocolate, some booze, and a bit tasty. Picking up some bananas and apples too. Interesting.

Mouthfeel: smooth, medium to full bodied, a little dry, medum carbaonation, and deliciously easy to drink.

Overall: A solid dubbel in my opinion. Another style I am not familiar with, but with time I will be accustomed to it.

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Photo of OMGTheyKilkenny
4.19/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into a goblet.

A: Pours a muddy, semi-translucent brown. Extremely murky with rusty highlights around the edges where the light creeps in. Just about opaque in the center. No real signs of sediment. Quarter-inch of tan head dissipates quickly into a thin patch on top of the beer. Virtually no lacing.

S: Smells like beer. A very rich, sweet, heavy aroma that invites the drinker. Notes of honey and lots of fruit with a real kick from the alcohol. I don’t profess to be an expert on the different strains, but there is something special about the Belgian yeast behind this.

T: Creamy with notes of dried fruit (plums, currants, cherries, raisins, maybe pomegranate), caramel, oak, and a hint of chocolate. Very heavy roasted malts lend a pleasant sweetness that is balanced with a distinct bitterness on the back. The alcohol makes itself known going down. Lots of the flavors you’d expect from a true abbey dubbel but without quite the same level of composition. Almost reminiscent of a barley wine.

MF: Nice body. Full and hearty. Very creamy, but still crisp. Goes down smooth.

D: Quite drinkable, not nearly as heavy as I expected.

Note: I will admit walking into this beer with some pretty serious biases, both good and bad. First, I am very excited about the Abbey of New Clairvaux’ ultimate plans to brew this beer on premises and establish a legitimate, recognized Trappist brewery in the United States. I am rooting for my Catholic countrymen! However, generally speaking, the American “Belgian-style” Abbey Ale is my absolute least favorite variety. I find that proud small and medium-sized breweries, as well as BMC-owned ventures, that attempt to replicate the work of centuries of celibate men all fall flat on their faces. This beer lands somewhere in the middle. Let’s call it a good starting point for a hopeful future.

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Photo of BeerCon5
4.62/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep amber color with about one finger of tan frothy head that leaves a small amount throughout the beer.

Very nice scent, sweet fruit is prominant along with a lot of spice. Some alcohol is noticeable.

The taste is of sweet fruit like grapes, banana, maybe some apple, a nice amount of spice, and some roasted malt flavor, alcohol is quite noticeable.

Medium body, smooth but prickly feel, moderate carbonation.

This was maybe the most flavorful dubbel I've ever had. There is a lot to taste with this beer.

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Photo of bubseymour
4.26/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- not the best looking beer in my chimay challis. Very dark brown iced tea look with no head

S - sweet plums and maltiness

T- Very delightful beer flavoring. Sweet and malty and the yeast and various fruits and spices come through nicely. Very smooth with crisp finish .
M- Nice and full bodied.

O- One of the better and more reasonably priced Abby Belgian. Beers made in us. Very good job sn.

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Photo of sinstaineddemon
2.88/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - even a careful pour creates a medium tan head thats three quarters of the glass at first, it tames after a minute or two enough to fill the glass properly. The beer is a dark brazil nut brown with crimson highlights and plenty of carbonation

S - malty for sure, some currant aromas peek through a yeasty aroma base

T - maltier than the aroma let on, the dark sweetness alluded to on the bottle is present, the candied sugar and dark fruits, especially currants or plums. The spicy, peppery notes are subdued if there at all

M&D - malty and malty, and sweet and sweet. not a very complex brew. Having the words Sierra Nevada on the bottle got my hopes up a bit and this didn't meet that. It's smooth and easy to drink, just expected a bit more. The "mild hop bitterness" characteristic of this style wasn't there to serve as a balancing factor.

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Photo of davey101
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

375ml C+C bottle poured into a goblet.

A - Dark brown body, murk one finger light tan head. Head is super deanse and foamy. Nice amount of lacing.

S - Cherries, oak, spices, Belgian yeast. Pretty average.

T - Cherries and light spices. A touch of bready yeast and and toffee. The finish is of ripe dark fruits and caramel. Sweet but one dimensional and somewhat bland. Mouth feel is creamy and somewhat chewy.

O - Doesn't hold a flame to the trappist breweries. But I wouldn't expect it to. Its a very solid dubbel, and the fact that its now sold in four packs of 375ml C+C bottles for $12 is pretty amazing.

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Photo of Hopswagger
4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

P:  Tannish finger width colored frothy head crowns a body of cloudy dark brownish amber with aggressive bubbles.  Head fades fast but leaves a thin layer of froth on top. 

S:  Loads of spiced banana, grapes, prunes, rich malts, faint phenolic aroma. Once swirled the peppery alcohol becomes more pronounced. 

T/M:  Taste delivers caramel sweetness, apples, pears, old mushy bananas, orange preserves, vanilla bean, clove, cherry alcohol, rotted wood and musk. The taste is not as sweet as the nose but more thick malts and earthy notes.  The yeast is apparent and brings pepper, stale wheat bread, and hints of rye.  Burnt brown sugar, toffee, tad salty and herbal hops on the drying finish.  Body is light-medium and a tad watered down for the style but has a slightly chalky feel with nice prickly carbonation. 

O:  Overall a great dubbel that delivers rich robust flavors and a good mouthfeel. The sweetness is complimented by the spices and herbal notes. The alcohol is hidden well and is easily drinkable. After one glass I was pretty full but eager to drink the rest. 

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Photo of gradestarr
3.36/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This bottle just looks and feels nice. Popping corks is something I could get used to!! My 12.7 oz let out a satisfying noise and visible vapor which was a bonus sensory treat I didn't expect.

The actual beer? It was ok!!
Poured into my jam jar, the head was fine and tan-ish, dissipating quickly and leaving a great ring of bubbles around the shoulder of the jar. The actual beer is slightly hazy
Woah!! This beer smelled weird to me. The first thought I had was olives. Nah I think it's just a dark fruit smell. I swear though.. you know those brownish kalamata olives with the pits in them.. That's what it smelled like at first. Maybe just some residue in my nose from work.
It tastes like a nice dubbel, nothing like a quebecois or belgian belgian, but nice nonetheless. It hits the tongue sweetly and exits more dryly, which is an inviting characteristic. Special B flavor (raisin and dark fruity) goes along with some roasted malt flavors, chocolatey! Raisinets beer. Cool. A little watery tasting though.
The stuff feels nice, moderate carbonation; smooth feel. Right around half of my sips have felt/tasted (can't really tell which) a bit watery. Maybe this one would actually be improved by a percent or few more shiney shine.
Overall, deeshint. I probably wouldn't give it another whirl, at $2.39 on the sticker for the (albeit corked) 12.7 oz, it was more sophisticated but not preferable to something like a New Belgium Dubbel in overall value terms. I had this bottle as a result of letting my thirsty, post-skatepark session self wild in the local bottle shop, which resulted in the purchase of a $12.50 mixed 6-pack of American, Canadian and Belgian Belgians. Definitely glad I tried it!

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Photo of natemort13
3.56/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly hazy burgundy with a khaki head that retains decently.

Nose is tart fruit and yeast. Cherries, green apple, caramel.

Taste brings toffee up front, the cherries are slightly more muted than the nose. Finish is weak.

Lacking...thin, very carbonated.

Overall decent but unimpressive.

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Photo of mactrail
3.76/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Gorgous beer in the tall Stella chalice. Velvety red brown with a fine-grained blanket of foam that clings nicely to the glass. Sudsy and creamy on the tongue. Medium body.

Slightly prickly and more dry than you might expect for the style. Sweet tang of dark caramel to let you know it's a Dubbel, but minus the often cloying, candy flavor. I think it's a great balance among the flavors. Dark roast malt, a touch of burnt sugar, and unsweetened cocoa. Slightly fruity, but less of the raisins and more like bitter orange marmalade. Slight bitter aftertaste and a tang of yeast is about all of the Belgian character.

Very drinkable for being the more dry, but a rather austere example of the style. From the 12.7 oz corked bottle.

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Photo of Greywulfken
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: brown/amber brown beer with a firm tan head that settles into a film

S: dark fruit, cocoa, rich malt

T: following the nose, some dark fruit like plums and figs, with a nice spice, some hints of drier cocoa

M: nicely textured brew, soft and smooth with a little fizz; robust aftertaste

O: decent representation of the style from Sierra Nevada; drinkable and fresh-tasting - gotta love the cork and cage on bottle in a 4-pack - but not on par with Belgian dubbels.

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Photo of brentk56
3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: After the most powerful popping of a cork I have ever encountered in beerdom, the beer poured out with a modest cap as if nothing had happened; the color of the liquid was mahogany and there was a smattering of lace left behind

Smell: Brown sugar, caramel and vanilla, with undertones of oak, figs and cherry

Taste: The caramel and vanilla tones dominate the front end, with some dried dark fruit, brown sugar and earthy elements building up in the middle; the earthy flavors, including some oak, add a counterpoint to the sweetness after the swallow, leaving a nicely balanced impression

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, rather creamy, with low to moderate carbonation; lacks the delicate mouthfeel I seek in a Belgian style

Overall: I find myself slightly disappointed in this beer as I would have expected more complexity and a better mouthfeel from Sierra Nevada; a decent effort here and gets better as it warms, but nothing more

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Photo of ChBass
3.71/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in a tulip at the Hay Merchant in Houston.

Color is dark brown with a little bit of red when held up to the light. It's crystal clear, with a think, creamy head that takes its trime to subside.

The nose is slightly boozy, followed by some dark fruit.

The flavor builds on the nose, adding some dark maltiness. It finishes clean, but has some booziness throughout. I know it's 7.5%, but the booziness is still surprising.

It feels lighter & less viscous than it should, given the fullness of flavor.

Overall, a nice beer, but I don't love it.

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Photo of ronniebruner
3.45/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Caramel and golden colored beer. Minimal head and lace. Aroma of yeast, sugar, and fruits, but also a bit spicy. Tastes sweet, of sugar and yeast, but a bit sharp on the tongue. I had very high hopes for this beer as Sierra Nevada has never let me down, however, this beer is a tad bit lacking for the price. Not a bad brew at all, but $4.99 for a 12.7 ounce bottle is a bit overpriced.

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Photo of andrenaline
3.97/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge props to my in-laws for grabbing me a bottle of this for my b-day...

A - Pours a hazy brown colour, thumb of head with some retention and some sporadic lacing.

S - Musty caramel, raisins, dark fruit, cloves and spice.

T - Loads of fruity flavors, cloves, the rich caramel and toffee comes through, toffee lingers with hints of leafy greens, and a peppery spice.

M - Medium bodied, though comes across quite light, smooth and a touch of dryness.

O - Overall an incredibly flavorful dubbel, loads of complex flavors, goes down super smooth and the abv is dangerously well hidden.

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Photo of Con-a-sewer
4.67/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: dark ruby poured into sniffer no head little lacing

S: raisen fig slight booze bourbon

T: malt, raisen ripe fruit, awesome bourbon

M: smooth, clean crispness easy to drink

O: I like this a lot it's smooth and rich I like the aged taste it makes me feel sophisticated at least until I hit the floor lol

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.02/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - Pours a dark ruby amber. Head is light tan and 2 fingers thick. Retention for days. Resulting lace is thick as hell and sticks to the sides with ease.

Smell - Some sugary character.... really hard to distinguish any kind of discernible aroma.

Taste - Starts slightly sour, there's a bit of light fig. Really, there's not much here to comment on. Finishes slightly sour.

Mouthfeel - Medium to full body. Decent carbonation leads to a bit of liveliness.

Overall - Meh. I usually chide dubbels for their thick, rich and sugary character, and because this beer lacks that, it would stand to reason that I might like this beer... but I don't. there's just nothing interesting going on with this beer. It's almost bland. I've gotten more flavor out of pale ales.

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Photo of One2Remeber
4.11/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Lively carbonation. Body a mix of a murky mahogany and dark ruby red color.

S: Sharp tart, apple juice aroma. Heavy peppery spice.

T/M: Creamy, banana pudding taste. Black pepper spice taste. Hardly any bitterness, smooth as could be.

O: Love the style and this is spot on. Rich Belgian yeast, fruity tastes, lighter body. I would love this aged with funky wild yeast.

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Photo of tdm168
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - dark brownish amber with a thick layer of brownish head that's dense and foamy and has great retention

S - faint caramel and a faint spiciness

T - heavy caramel, sugar, apples, sweet, alcohol

M - medium to full bodied, crisp, a bit heavily carbonated.

I was hoping for a great deal from this beer. It's SN, it's Belgian, but ultimately doesn't meet all expectations. It's has great potential, but misses the mark. The sugar and caramel are a bit heavy and the drinkability is lower than would be expected. It's got decent flavor and body, but it's not as well put together as I would have expected. It's good, but I won't be picking up another one.

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Photo of burns1066
4.47/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I really enjoyed this beer! Not as substantive as I expected, but with enough body to satisfy. Wonderful caramel smells, with just a hint of citrus and pepper. Very little lacing, head disappeared fairly quickly, which I thought was surprising. Tastwed like it smelled, a less full-bodied version of a more autumnal brew. Nice when you want something with a little bit more substance, but without being overly cloying.

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Photo of jwhancher
3.48/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bought a corked bottle some time ago. I'm brewing a Dubbel now so I'm trying to try as many of this style as I can. Poured into a chalice-like glass.

A: pours a cloudy, murky dark brown with amber & ruby highlights. Nice rocky white head that settles to a thin film. No real evidence of lacing on the glass.

S: after the cork popped off and I poured, I got a lot of lemony spritzy aromas, almost like lemon merangue pie. Also reminded me of a sparkling champagne. After reading the back label again, I do get slight hints of light fruit, black pepper, and clove.

T: lots of bready malts with hints of raisin, plum, and fig. Hints of light watery-like cocoa. Again, after re-reading the back label, I get some hints of carmelized brown sugar. As another reviewer mentions previously, I do get a dusty, barn aura distinction.

M: very watery-like and dry tasting. Would like some more malt presence, but I understand if this is more to the true intended style.

O: an okay beer. I'm not blown away by it, but I still enjoyed it nonetheless. With all the marketing in various beer mags & nice packaging, I think I was expecting a bit more. Am still interested in trying the other beers in this series.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.62/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into chalice glass

Appearance – Pours a hazy brown color with a hue of red. Upon pouring there is a big off white head that has a very decent retention. Eventually it fades to give a light level of lacing.

Smell – A strong brown bread aroma is the heaviest in the nose. This breadiness is mixed with darker fruit aromas of cherry and some prune, a strong yeast smell and a medium boozy smell.

Taste – The taste starts out with a dry bready flavor. Towards the middle some flavors of dark fruits and a good bit of yeast cake come to the tongue. These flavors sweeten the brew a bit, but overall it is still rather dry. At the end these flavors are met with an alcohol flavor that leaves a slight booze burn on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the brew is on the creamier side with a medium level of carbonation. With it being more on the dry side a bit more carbonation may have been better, but overall it’s not too bad.

Overall – It is an OK dubbel, but nothing too spectacular. It has a more subtle flavor profile and for what you pay for this one you could find other more common dubbel’s that are better overall.

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Ovila Abbey Dubbel from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 451 ratings.