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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

1,015 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,015
Reviews: 451
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 11.81%
Wants: 22
Gots: 127 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,015 | Reviews: 451
Photo of jwc215
4.02/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 ml cork-caged bottle - poured into a glass chalice. Loud "pop" when uncorked.

Pours brown-ish, somewhat murky with a nice light tan head. Some lacing sticks.

The smell is of caramel, honey, slight cotton candy with a honey-like maltiness. A mix of fruits - dried apricot to a hint of fig - blends in. Spicy clove and a hint of pepper add to the complexity.

The flavor, at first, is more subtle than the aroma. Sweetness is nicely balanced by spiciness. Caramel/toffee, slight honey maltiness mixes with fruit and spiciness. It has a peppery finish.

Velvety smooth mouthfeel despite somewhat noticeable abv and a slightly steely character (that fades as it progresses).

A nice interpretation! A solid sipper. Sweet, but with enough spiciness to keep it balanced. Pretty complex, especially in the nose. Well-done!

Photo of THECPJ
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes had on draft at the Pickled Pig.

appearance: dark brown with little head

smell: dark fruits, caramel, malts

taste: dark fruits, malts,

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body

overall: thought it was a nice example of Dubbel. I really like how Sierra Nevada is trying to create all these different styles.


Photo of zoso1967
3.93/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Ovila Abbey Dubbel pours a woody and murky brown color with an attractive medium tan head. The head is fairly dense and has very nice retention. The lacing is moderate.

The aroma is very spicy with plenty of Belgian yeast notes. Clove, pepper and a touch of banana mingle with dark fruits and brown sugar.

The flavor is also spicy with a bit more earthy character. Clove, pepper and some coriander all are present. The fruity character comes out a bit more in the flavor, having some nice fig and dried cherry notes. These flavors blend with brown sugar sweetness that are very rich and enjoyable.

The mouthfeel is medium to full with a very nice amount of carbonation. They did a pretty good job of recreating that unique carbonation that only Belgian beers seem to have. The finish is well balanced and spicy.

I have been looking forward to trying this beer for quite some time and in typical SN fashion, they did not disappoint. While not as good as some of the finest Belgian examples of the style, it is solidly made and very enjoyable. I also found it to be fairly priced. Just another great beer from one of craft beers elder statesman.

Photo of Yesac
3.18/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a chalice after a very loud opening of the cork. Haven't had a cork with that kind of pressure in a while.

A- Pours translucent dark brown with a amber tint. Medium sized off-white head. Good lacing on the glass all around.

S- Not much aroma here.. everything is faint. Yeast, fig, brown sugar, caramel.

T- Prominent toasty malt nose, along with the smell everything else is faint... hint of dark fruits, candied sugar, caramel fig. The malt is so strong and reminds me of a pilsner :(

M- Medium bodied, high carbonation. Slighty dry.

O- Disappointing over all. A boring, not complex beer for such a complex style in comparison to the cult classics. The smell is very weak. As far as tastes..there is just way to much malt here that hides everything else. Nothing tasted remotely close to Belgian yeast as some other American knock offs have accomplished. Everything was faint and to top if off it has a overly dry finish.

Photo of Lerxst
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a semi hazy and dark amber with a substantial one inch beige head that has good retention and leaves a few wisps of lace.

S-Subtle fruit aromas hit me first, a bit of caramel and sugar, hints of earthy yeast. A more prominent nose would bump this one up a half a point.

T-Clean is the word that comes to mind-although that doesn't describe a particular flavor. A nice breadiness comes through, various fruits, caramel malt, the earthy yeast from the nose comes through as well.

M-Medium body, crisp carbonation, dry finish.

O-A nice effort. Its nothing that is going to rock your world, but it is respectable.

Photo of Bierlerner
3.86/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Out of bottle and into a tulip

A- pours a dark dark cloudy amber. 1 finger of head and quickly goes away. No lacing to speak of really.

S- a rather light aroma. Smells of barnyard, like a light hay smell. Some caramel and toasted notes to it as well

T- toasted grains and caramel. A nice sweetness. And a warming alcohol presence thats a tad strong but not overpowering and everything really meshes well together.

M- medium body and medium carbonation. Really smooth.

O- really great all around beer. I could drink this over and over. Well done.

Photo of peabody
3.66/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours out yellowish with lots of suds. No lacing to speak of.
Smell is barnyard leather and straw with granny's broken spice rack spilling goodness.
Taste leaves something to be desired. Needs more hop. The spices are there but the grass almost isn't.
While a little sticky this is a mild dubbel .
Good try from Sierra Nevada. Like the price.

Photo of stephens101
4.17/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured straight down the middle of the goblet. Murky reddish-brown in color with a consistent tan head that pops slowly into oblivion, leaving little lace behind. Subtle aroma involves sweet malts, some toasted grain, dark fruits and phenols. There's a definite bitter edge to this Dubbel, but it plays well with others. Tastes sweet and fruity with a creamy base and somewhat dry ending. No discernible alcohol heat. A little grainy after a while with some spice and a bit of melon. Thoroughly enjoying this one. Nothing bold or extreme here, just a good, well-balanced beer that accomplishes a lot with its nuance.

Photo of Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a hazy brown color with a tan head. The aroma is a mix of Belgian yeast, toffee and candy sugar. I don't have any complaints from the aroma, which smells like a dubbel should smell. The flavor a nice mix of toffee, yeast and candy sugar. The alcohol is detectable but is not overpowering. The beer is very smooth and easy to drink. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. One of the best American-made dubbels that I have tried.

Photo of Fenris244
3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On tap at the saucer

Has a brown color along with a frothy 1 finger head, great retention and good lace.

Bits of raisin and clove in the nose, not overly strong though little more sweetness but not much else.

Good amount of fruit flavors, cherry, fig and raisin, bits of spice are there as well, some clove and cinnamon, flavors balance quite nicely.

Medium in body, smooth, kinda crisp.

Not bad, good dubbel and I'm happy to revisit one of the first styles I got into.

Photo of woosterbill
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the West Hartford Plan B into a shaker pint.

A: Looks black in the dim light, but when held up to a brighter background it positively glows with a radiant burnt sienna hue; one finger of fine tan foam makes a brief appearance, and leaves some delicate lace. Just fine.

S: The boring glass isn't doing it any favors, but I'm getting mainly malt: chocolate, nuttiness, and whole-grain bread come through, as well as some lightly spicy yeast. A little understated, but very pleasant.

T: Opens with sweet chocolate malt, then gets quickly dried out by the yeast. Undertones of hazelnut, earthiness and spice. Lovely.

M: Delicate - fairly light, but substantial body roiling with soft, fine effervescence. Great.

O: What a pleasant beer. This didn't blow me away like some authentic Belgian's have (although I can't think of too many great Dubbels - Westmalle?), but it was really enjoyable throughout. The complexity of the malt, added to the yeast character made for a deep and satisfying drinking experience. I'd gladly drink it again.


Photo of benpopper
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Opening the bottle was like opening a bottle of champagne, totally unexpected and fun.

Pours a just slightly cloudy bright amber. Depending on the pour, the beige head height varies, but it hangs out for a while with a decent lacing regardless.

Smells pleasant, clean and fresh. the sugars are there as well as the yeast. Pretty standard.

Tastes clean and good. The sharp belgian style yeast is there slightly, which makes it pretty drinkable, but flat in flavor profile.

Carbonation is good, not to hot or sharp. Feels good in the mouth but sort of seems like it is because the yeast I am expecting isn't there.

Overall I don't think it is amazing for its class, but solid none the less. There really are not a whole lot of american doubles being made, so I'd more than likely get another just because I like the style in the spring.

Photo of Naugros
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The typical raisin color of a Belgian-style dubbel with an aroma that wasn't that aggressive, unlike Belgian-style dubbels. When you finally get something from it you do get the standard raisin and grainy bread with some apple or pear esters and I thought I got a whiff of chocolate hiding in back.

The flavors make up for some of flaws and fall in line with the style. The raisins and grains are there, but the esters disappear and I couldn't reproduce that chocolate I got in the nose. Maybe it was the alcohol that washed them away? There wash exhibited no bitterness and all the flavors decrescendo and just fade away nicely.

The beer is quite easy to drink due to the lighter-than-expected body but I'm still impressed. For a while the East Coast has been in the fore of good Belgian-style beers with the likes of Ommegang, Allagash, Weyerbacher and Victory. This was punctuated when Flying Dog moved from Colorado to Maryland. But this beer shows that there are more West Coast breweries that can successfully replicate a classic Belgian style other than Lost Abbey. Yeah, I'm sure there are others, so please let me know what they are because I'd love to try them.

Photo of Knapp85
3.57/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Popped the cork with a loud bang. This brew had a very lively tan headin it along with a decent brown color that was a little hazy. The smell of dark fruits & spice on the nose, not a whole lot of yeast aromas. This was too light on the mouthfeel, I found it went flat very quickly. The head vanishes and the brew just became kind of boring in my opinion. I expected a little more from Sierra Nevada here but I don't think this brew really turned out that great.

Photo of metter98
3.85/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear amber in color and poured with a finger high beige head.
S: There are light aromas of brown sugar and caramel in the nose.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell and has additional flavors of dates and nuts.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a light amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is rather easy to drink because the alcohol is well masked from the taste.

Photo of JamnesCameron
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Chimay chalice. Pours a slightly hazy, deep chestnut hue, with a big, creamy light tan head that drops after a few minutes leaving a wisp of foam. Evidence of some lacing.

Aromas of cooked sugar, cloves, dark fruits, raisins, figs. Hints of black pepper.

Flavors of rum raisins, pepper, cloves. Interesting mix for such a brew. Mostly coming from the yeast, according to the label. Dark fruit from the malt, caramel, figs. After it warms a bit, the alcohol begins to peek out from behind the other flavors. Finish is medium, with dark fruit, caramelized sugar and pepper lingering.

Mouthfeel is medium, chewy malt. A spicy mouthcoating. Good level of carbonation.

Overall a good dubbel. Not on same level as belgian trappist dubbels, but I think we're on to something here. Start a new style...American Trappist ales. Twelve Trappist monasteries in the U.S. Let's get a brewery in each of them!

Photo of lackenhauser
3.18/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Very nice, deep bronze color with a head that seems to go on and on each time I top the glass up. Ok aroma-some sweet spice going on. Yeasty and somewhat earthen like. A sort of caramel like quality as it warms. Moderate malt flavors upfront. Some candy-like sugary flavors. Spicy bite to it. Body is simply ok, could really use a boost. A notch above average for me. Used my first bottle of this in a recipe. Underwhelming in the long run.

Photo of sbennett22
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: The corked bottle opened with a crack, but fortunately did not overflow out of bottle. Color is like a dark cherry wood with good carbonation and head that disappeared quickly.

S: Smell is not overwhelming. Caramel, yeast, and pine.

T: Sweet at first. Different than the smell with a dark fruit flavor.

M: Very thin. Smooth and not as carbonated as expected.

O: I don't have the most experience in Dubbels but I was slightly disappointed. Expected something bolder out of this collaboration. Good beer with a cool story, but I probably will not buy it again in the near future.

Photo of claspada
2.53/5  rDev -33.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Aromas of grainy/ bready malts, with very very very light fruitiness (plum and raisin), some earthy/mineral aromas. Really not that pleasant or exciting or inviting.
The taste follows the nose with brown sugar and dominant bready maltiness. Really can't taste much as far as dark fruits, If you stretch you can barely get plum or date but you have to stretch and focus on it to find it.
Mouthfeel is borderline watery with below average carbonation for the style, despite the huge pop I got when I opened this.
Overall this is one of the worst Dubbels I have ever had. I have made and had numerous homebrewed Belgian browns/dubbels which exponentially more aroma and flavor. The pleasant spicy yeast flavors are completely masked by waves and waves or bready and grainy malts. It's almost like they stripped the flavors by using some German/Belgian hybrid lager yeast. Don't waste your $8 on this flavorless "Belgian Dubbel;" also for the record I didn't even drink the second half of the bottle because, why drink average beer.

Photo of ColForbinBC
3.28/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On-tap, served in an Ovila chalice

Pours a deep maroon tinted light brown body with rich mahogany edges when held up to the light. A small, off-white cap rose about half a finger and settled to leave some delicate laces in its wake.

The aroma is sweet. Raisins, figs and brown sugar with some cinnamon, toffee, and spicy notes that remind me of rye. A hearty, bready yeast with clove rounds out the aroma.

Brown sugar, fruity sweetness up front. Raisins and figs with toffee and clove through the middle. The finish brings some light phenols and more raisins with a touch of plums. I find this to be a little all over the place. It has some complexity, but it is lacking in its cohesiveness.

Medium body with a dry, fruity finish. Light alcohol. Overall, I found this to be a fair example of the style. Not one I would go out of my way for, but slightly above average on its best day.

Photo of Brad007
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a mild red color with a one-finger head into my glass. Seems decent for the style.

Sweet malt with a hint of plum in the nose. Yeast is kept to a minimum as it should be.

A strong plum essence greets the taste buds followed by lightly-spiced yeast. Hard to describe but it's certainly not a tripel or anything else.

Body is a bit lacking. Otherwise, nothing unusual of note. At 7.5%, you wouldn't know it unless you looked at the label. If they can do it at 7.5, I imagine they could do it much higher for Ovila offerings.

I like it. It's not quite authentic but it'll do when compared against a few other American examples.

Photo of beerandcycling88
3.62/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into a snifter

A First off this one was carbonated as the cork exploded out of the bottle, yet thankfully it somehow didn't gush out which was nice. Poured out a a dark brown body with a medium off white head.

S The nose on this one was pretty good. It had a tropical fruit like smell, that mixed very well with the notes of yeast and spicy cloves that were also present.

T The taste again has the presence of tropical fruits, along with a yeasty biscuit like flavor, followed by some spices and a little tartness on the finish.

M Very light.

Overall this is a solid dubbel. It is not anything spectacular but it was very good and I enjoyed it immensely so its a good effort by Sierra Nevada.

Photo of Domingo
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Popping the cork releases a ton of carbonation, but it surprisingly doesn't gush.
Pours a dark chocolate color with a medium to heavy off-white head.
The flavor profile bounces between mild chocolate, caramelized sugars, rum, and banana. The finish has a bit of a pepper note. While the rum flavor is definitely there, there isn't much heat at all. Not necessarily a quaffer, but more so than most dubbels I've had.
Honestly, I can't complain about this at all. I doubt I could tell this blindly from a truly Belgian dubbel, although I do like how it's more drinkable slightly at the expense of texture. To me it's a trade I'll take.
Cheers to Sierra Nevada and the monks of New Clairvaux.
A really good take on a style that is often under appreciated.

Photo of blackie
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: poured into a big westmalle chalice, producing a thin but fully coating tan head that recedes to a spotty layer on the surface, the beer itself a deep brown in color, sporting some reddish hues

s: lots of dried, leathery dark fruits on the nose - date and raisin especially but also some fig and perhaps spicy berries, appropriately sugary - dark and rich, a little bread or biscuit, great yeasty spice presence, pepper and clove, heavily toasted malts, mild grassy hops, just a prick of alcohol, everything in balance, love the nose

m: carbonation around moderate, lively and smooth, body a full medium with a nice malty sugar weight

t: nice blend of dried dark fruits, raisin and date, fruity sugars nicely offset with a clean pale malt base - pulling out some biscuity flavors, drying nicely towards the finish to leave complex fruit skin and leather, well toasted malt, hop flavors mild and grassy

o: a very nice dubbel, great set of aromas and flavors, authentic and faithful to the style's origins

Photo of snaotheus
3.45/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle split into two large snifters. I have never had so much trouble pulling a cork.

Pours a dark brown, pretty decent light beige head, lots of fine active carbonation. Smell is yeasty, a little date-y, carbonation.

Taste is a little odd -- a little lagery, a little fruity, somewhat sweet.

Mouthfeel is surprisingly dry, fairly light and effervescent. Overall, not shabby at all.

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Ovila Abbey Dubbel from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 1,015 ratings.