1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Ovila Abbey Dubbel - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Ovila Abbey DubbelOvila Abbey Dubbel

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

974 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 974
Reviews: 447
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 12.07%
Wants: 22
Gots: 114 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Thorpe429 on 03-12-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 974 | Reviews: 447 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Snow81


4.13/5  rDev +8.4%

Appearance: Dark amber with

Head: Little white head that dissipates quite quickly

Smell: Sweet malts with a hint of caramel toffee

Taste: Little caramel, toasted maltyness going on with what I think is some Trappist yeast and a nice hop on the back end

Weight: Medium body with low carbonation

Finish: Sweet malts with subtle hops and little caramel

04-11-2011 15:52:22 | More by Snow81
Photo of SkunkWorks

New York

3.95/5  rDev +3.7%

Had on tap at the Tap and Barrel in Smithtown, NY. Served in a tulip glass.

Look: reddish, brown body that looks a bit purple in the bar light. Three finger tan head that retains quite nicely but doesn't leave much in the way of lacing.

Smell: figs, cherries, a small amount of alcohol, and some bread and Belgian yeast aromas.

Taste: sweet with some fruity flavors, like fig and cherry, Belgian yeast flavors, balanced by a muted hop spiciness and some alcohol dryness.

Feel: felt a little thin for a dubbel, smooth carbonation, and quite easy drinking.

Overall: this is a good dubbel even if it is not particularly exceptional. I would give it a try because it is Sierra Nevada, after all. However, I think authentic Belgian dubbels are a bit better than this one. Cheers!

04-11-2011 14:42:10 | More by SkunkWorks
Photo of generalnotsew


2.28/5  rDev -40.2%

Snakes! This cork took me 10 minutes to pop. The pour produced a nice 1 finger off white head and the body is dark mahogany. Downside is the body does seem a bit thin.
Smell is burnt brown sugar and hints of plum mixed with some earthy notes.
Taste is a bit tart and tangy. Ok it is mostly tart and tangy. Reminds me a lot of apple juice. Also a bit watery and I am not picking up much more flavor at all. It is a far cry from most Dubbels I have had. I am usually not too critical of beers but if AB were to brew a Dubbel I could imagine it tasting like this. Or lack of taste rather.
The heat is quite burning. Surprising for something fairly low in abv. Actually most Belgians seem to have a bit of a burn but this is beyond normal.
Overall this is a disappointment. It is severly lacking in flavor. The only time I pick up anything is on the swallow. I don't even get an aftertaste out of this.

04-10-2011 23:25:46 | More by generalnotsew
Photo of FlannelAvenger


4.03/5  rDev +5.8%

New arrival at my local, a 750 ML champagne style bottle, caged and corked, poured into silver rimmed Chimay goblet.

First impression, frustration. I have never in my life run across such a stubborn cork. I was tempted to try and use power tools to get this bottle opened. It literally took me 5 minutes of serious muscle to get this opened.

Appearance - A rich reddish brown, hazy, 1/2 inch of thick head which dissipated quickly with no lacing.

Smell - The nose is herbal and peppery, very faint hints of fruit and molasses and cookie spice. Not the normal smells I associate with this style.

Taste - You have to breathe in while drinking, or you miss the flavors. It tastes like what it smells like, but only for a moment. It reminds me almost of a Japanese style dry beer, in that the taste is fleeting, and then gone, with no lingering aftertastes of any kind. The taste is mostly clean malt, cookie spice, a little herbal note, it's well balanced, and then, poof.

Mouthfeel - Crisp, clean, thin, and astringent.

Drinkability - Easily drinkable despite the higher ABV. No heat at all from the alcohol. It goes down as smooth as a light lager.

Final thoughts - This reminds me, style wise, of the brews I have had from Goose Island, such as Matilda and Pere Jacques. Excellent, well crafted brews, but such a unique variation on the traditional styles, that they perhaps need a new category to define them in. I like this beer very much, but to judge it as a dubbel, doesn't work, as it doesn't taste anything like a traditional Belgian dubbel. I was at a bit of a loss on how to score this, but, it is a solid well crafted brew, I will be trying this again in future, to see if there are any changes, and am also looking forwards to the next two releases in the Ovila series (the saison, and the quad).

04-10-2011 21:32:13 | More by FlannelAvenger
Photo of n2185

North Carolina

3.68/5  rDev -3.4%

A: Pours a murky copper-brown with two fingers of off-white head. The head retains very well in an ever-present cap, though there's not much lacing.

S: Spices and caramel malt up front followed by dark fruits like raisins and plums. There is a very floral, rose-like aroma in there as well. Underneath these lie some yeasty and hearty bread aromas.

T: Spices and candy sugar up front, though surprisingly not very sweet. There are traces of the dark fruits, but only just. The yeasty, hearty bread flavors dominate the middle and finish of the flavor with a touch of bitterness as well.

M: Medium-light body with high carbonation, this beer is nicely attenuated so it's nice and crisp.

O: Overall, a pretty solid dubbel. Nothing superb and not really worth the price, but solid nonetheless.

04-10-2011 20:57:59 | More by n2185
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly

New York

4.15/5  rDev +8.9%

750ml bottle served in a chalice.

L - hazed, dark cherrywood color with a off-white head that stayed as a thin layer which was fueled by rising carbonation bubbles.

S - the aroma is on the sweeter side with dark fruit and mild yeast.

T - sweet dark fruit upfront with a light yeasty twang on the somewhat dry finish.

F - medium bodied with a light, crisp feel.

O - a very delightful and most enjoyable Dubbel. I look forward to the other beers from this series.

04-10-2011 20:33:13 | More by JoeyBeerBelly
Photo of babaracas


4/5  rDev +5%

Pours a mostly clear mahogany (and then later a very hazy mahogany) with three fingers of cream colored foam. Settles slowly to a quarter inch leaving a couple rings of lace behind. Smell: big clove and peppery aroma, sweet fruit with a tart smelling skin - red plum-ish, caramelized sugar base. Taste: again dominated by clove and black pepper, brown sugar, red plum flesh and skin. Finishes sweet with a semi-drying peppery earthiness the last impression. Tasty and easy drinking with a low alcohol presence (7.5% btw).

04-10-2011 03:25:16 | More by babaracas
Photo of Zorro


3.23/5  rDev -15.2%

Clear dark brown colored beer with a tall tan colored head.

Sweet caramel candy smell the moment you open this. Scents of caramel, chocolate and plums. Coriander and brown sugar are also present.

Starts out mildly sweet with a bread flavor and a slight chocolate aftertaste. Coriander and fig in this and more chocolate. Frankly this is under-flavored.

Mouthfeel is OK.

Drinkability is OK. It isn't offensive, it is just under-flavored.

04-10-2011 03:19:09 | More by Zorro
Photo of cosmicevan

New York

4.35/5  rDev +14.2%

Picked this up the other day when I noticed it on shelves...

a - Opened bottle and poured into an ommegang chalice. Opened with a huge pop! Smoke rose from the bottle top (love that). Beer poured a deep mahogany with a thin dubbel head. Steady and even carbonation. Looks like a quality dubbel.

s - Spicey dark fruit and a touch of the dubble booziness that you'd expect. The booziness is subdued by the spicing.

t - Malty caramel and brown sugared plums/figs. Nicely done dubbel with good flavor balance. If anything, maybe a tad on the sweet side.

m - Very creamy just how I like a dubbel. Very pleasant aftertaste. A touch on the watery side.

o - Overall, this is an extremely solid dubbel. There aren't many american breweries that hit a dubbel (or a quad or dark ale) properly in my opinion. This was better than I had expected. Beer after beer, sierra nevada does not disappoint. The 30th anniversary and these special beers are all great examples that a craft brewery can be readily available across the country but still give the proper attention to all of their beers and make then with such quality in such large quantities.

04-10-2011 02:09:14 | More by cosmicevan
Photo of ocelot2500


4/5  rDev +5%

Pours a garnet color with a tight, fizzy off-white head that leaves a sheet of lacing.

Smells of toasted bread and yeast spice.

Tastes of rich toasted malts. Notes of berries and cherries along with some toasted bread and caramel. Not particularly sweet. Yeast adds some peppery spice. Finishes dry.

Mouthfeel is medium with a smooth amount of carbonation.

Overall, nothing special, but everything is done well.

04-10-2011 00:51:22 | More by ocelot2500
Photo of prg1976


4/5  rDev +5%

Pours a hazy copper color. Tons of fluffy white head. I had to stop pouring or it would have overflowed the glass. Leaves a thin white coating on top of the beer.

Smell is spicy banana, some orange, a little alcohol. Hints of clove in the background.

Taste is classic Dubbel. Spicy yeasty flavors. Lots of banana and clove. Some orange and some alcohol sneaking in there too.

The carbonation has pretty much dissipated by now, leaving a medium body with just a touch of fizz.

Overall, a really solid offering from SNBC. I look forward to trying the next pseudo-trappist American brew.

04-09-2011 22:52:12 | More by prg1976
Photo of albern


4.1/5  rDev +7.6%

I like this Dubbel and it does need to settle right out of the bottle before trying this. It pours a nice cloudy, slightly dirty water amber brown. The beer is plenty carbonated and has lots of head soon after the cork is popped. Things settle considerably as the beer settles in and then there is really no head at all, no lace either.

The nose on the beer is quite yeasty, caramel bready, with a touch of booziness. There is a candied type pineapple liqueur nose on this beer, its very typical for the style. The taste is also very typical. There are hints of clove, lots of candied sugars, plenty of caramel, some green apples, a nice bready earthiness, the beer is quite sweet. There is a peppery snap to the beer towards the finish. The florals and fruitiness picks up as this beer starts to warm and settle in. This is a medium bodied beer, the consistency is a bit thick and syrupy, a touch cloying. The spicey pepper in the finish adds a nice touch to this beer. What's not to like. I would have this again if I were seeking out a Belgian Dubbel. The labelling gives you all the background on the collaboration with Sierra Nevada, without it just being silly marketing. L'Chaim.

04-09-2011 22:29:40 | More by albern
Photo of megahurts4


4/5  rDev +5%

Sierra Nevada Ovila Dubbel

Appearance: brown, medium head, and some good lacing.

Smell: yeast and mild dark fruits.

Taste: yeast, malts, slight dark fruit, grapes, and a mild sweetness.

Mouthfeel: medium.

This is a good brew. It is similar to a belgian, but the dark fruit flavors are not as pronounced.

04-09-2011 05:25:34 | More by megahurts4
Photo of Gmann

New York

3.55/5  rDev -6.8%

Pours a murky mud puddle brown color with a tight tan head that dissipated into a sparse cap.

The aroma is of light aroma clove and dark fruit. There is a touch of a copper metallic scent. Overall the aroma is quite subtle.

The flavor is of grape juice, a light pepper and clove spice. A dark candi sugar presence with some berry fruitness. This beer is screaming for some belgian yeast goodness but it fails to deliver. SN gives you a neutral malty brew sweetened by dark belgian candi sugar but no soul. A rather ho-hum dubbel.

The feel is moderate and spritzy, has nice life to it. Sweet on the palate but has a tangy spicy offset.

Flavor wise the brew is average, rather bland. It does have a nice crisp feel to it. Needs more yeast flavor. A bit disappointed.

04-09-2011 05:05:53 | More by Gmann
Photo of SkeeterHawk


3.73/5  rDev -2.1%

This is the first time I have seen this beer, so I had to pick one up. Let's see what it is all about:

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown color with a 2" head of tan bubbles that was fizzy and active as heck, looking like the eruption of a volcano in my tulip. There are lots of bubbles rising to cause the foam to shake about on top of the freshly poured beer. After a couple minutes, the head has fallen to a steady 1/4" and is maintaining and getting creamier looking.

Aroma: I initially got a healthy dose of malt with some dark caramel leading the way along with some very noticeable yeasty esters. There are some dark fruit like plums and raisins coming out as the beer sits a little. As the beer sits further, there are some roasty notes starting to come out and the beer is getting more nutty.

Taste: The initial flavor is more estery than I thought from the aroma. The fruity esters don't take charge of the flavor for very long, but they are pretty strong initially. There are lots of sweet caramel notes and the beer is highly carbonated so it takes the medium body and makes it sail across your palate to leave you with some dryness from the roast and then the warming sets in from the alcohol, but doesn't get hot at any time.

Opinion: This is a pretty good beer. There are a few things about it that make it stand out, and I think that a good Dubbel is so well blended in flavor that you hardly notice it. There is a roast component that you notice here and the yeast are playing a bigger role in the overall profile than some other more classic examples. This is a pretty good beer nonetheless, so if you are on the quest to try all Dubbels, by all means, give this a try. Otherwise, give this a shot if you really like dubbels and want to try another one as this is only "decent" when held against the classic examples.

04-09-2011 04:12:48 | More by SkeeterHawk
Photo of Beejay


4.22/5  rDev +10.8%

A: Fairly clear, and a nice garnet shade. The head is frothy smooth and light tan. It looks very soft, even if it is shrinking as I type. A very healthy pop upon opening, so this baby has some carbonation... an aggressive pour would make my cup runneth over.

S: Ripe strawberries, and grapes come through, almost a touch like champaign. Once you sniff past the fruit and yeasty scents you get a bit of fresh baked bread. Very classic belgian yeast notes in this.

T: Sweet clove and a touch of banana at first. Remarkably clean finish on this. Notes of raisons, baked bread and a touch of citrus. Very nice overall, with just a hint of booze in the finish.

M: It feels a little thin. The carbonation is plentiful, and appropriate for the style. There is almost a smoothness to this which I really like. Finish is dry.

O: Perhaps just a smidge timid on flavor, but it is certainly well crafted. Classic Belgian flavors, and an enjoyable experience. If it was a wee cheaper, I'd buy a lot of this.

04-09-2011 04:04:19 | More by Beejay
Photo of theboozecruise


3.93/5  rDev +3.1%

Picked up a few of these from Marcello's in BR.

Nice pop to the cork, it pours a murky deep orange color with a couple fingers of off-white head. It dissipated pretty quick but left some nice creamy pooling.

The smell is a little weird to me. The first thing I noticed is a little malt sweetness then a bit if floral hops. Definitely a little more hoppy than a typical dubbel.

The taste is a lot like the aroma except the malt us more forward than the hops. The alcohol content is noticeable and the floral hops are still there in the background.

I think this one will really age well, so I'll be sure to cellar a bottle and re-visit later.

Overall I'm impressed. This is a pretty fine effort from Sierra Nevada.

04-09-2011 03:18:48 | More by theboozecruise
Photo of Hopfenpeter


3.98/5  rDev +4.5%

I bought this beer with great expectations for the price.
It pours a nice murky mahagony, with a beige head building, about three fingers high.It leaves within about three minutes and leaves good lacing .
Smelling this beer I was surprised that therer was only very light bread, yeast and maybe some fruit somewhere.
The taste up front is confirming those mild bread and yeast notes, but is delicately enriched by plum, and other dark fruits in the middle, and at the end crowned by those caramelized sugars and malt. this is a really gentle composition of flavors and I certainly will buy another couple of bottles for aging this beer. I bet this beer becomes great after a couple of years in the bottle.
Great mouthfeel and very drinkable. Great Job !!!

04-09-2011 03:16:19 | More by Hopfenpeter
Photo of ehammond1

3.98/5  rDev +4.5%

Bottle (2011)

Liquor Stop
San Marcos, CA

A deep rich mahogany brown with deep auburn edges. The tan head quickly forms and builds to the rim of the glass, but doesn't last for a particularly long time, nor does it leave much sticky lacing on the glass. This beer appears to be missing the extraordinary carbonation I've become accustomed to with terrific dubbels.

A somewhat subdued and distant aroma; I wish there was more here, but granted, what is here is very, very good. There's the familiar and welcome aroma of some dark fruits: plums and some raisins, which is backed up by strong bready malts, and some fruity and yeasty sweetness. Very nice, but subdued.

Bready malts along with caramel, a hint of yeasty spice, and plenty of dark fruit flavors. Very balanced and relatively simple, even with all that incredible deliciousness going on. I suppose I wish everything that is here was just multiplied.

Medium body and the carbonation helps the beer feel light and extremely palatable. A real pleasure to drink.

A relatively simple dubbel and an interesting venture from the West Coast boys at Sierra Nevada. While it doesn't stand quite alongside its Belgians forefathers or its Lost Abbey brothers, it's still a remarkably delicious beer.

04-09-2011 00:52:54 | More by ehammond1
Photo of AmericanGothic


3.98/5  rDev +4.5%

Poured into a Unibroue tulip.

A: Pours a medium brown color with minimal translucence. One finger head with moderate retention and minimal lace.

S: Quite a bit of banana in the nose, also some spice. Nose fades as the beer warms.

T: Interesting. Leads with roasted malts and black pepper. Then biscuit and cinnamon. Long finish is good.

M: Body is a little on the light side, helped by the ample carbonation.

O: Good beer and different take on the style. Not bad, but could use more depth. Looking forward to the quad to see how that one turns out.

04-08-2011 23:46:30 | More by AmericanGothic
Photo of CuttDeez


3.53/5  rDev -7.3%

A - Very cloudy dark brown with hints of black and slight orange hues in the light. A decent but fast diminishing white head with a lack of lacing.
S - Slight fig and cherry smells with a hint of other dark fruits. There is a touch of yeast and the faintest hint of spice and clove. Very very very mild nose that you need to search for.
T & M - Slightly sweet forefront and mixed light fruits and a hint of spices. The taste is very faint in the front end and doesn't wow you. There is a ton of carbination that lightens up the mouthfeel. On the middle of the taste the notes of dark fruit become a little deeper and the spices and warmth come through a little more. The finish is very bready and yeasty with the slightest fruits.
O - A good beer. Nothing stands up and shouts in this beer. I think it is just - good - nothing epic nothing great.


04-08-2011 23:28:37 | More by CuttDeez
Photo of Hojaminbag


3.58/5  rDev -6%

Ovila pours a fairly clear, deep brown color. The off-white head towers over the beer and has quite a creamy appearance to it. The lacing and retention are both pretty good.

The aroma leans heavily on rich, slightly sweet malt. Beyond that the yeast lends some fruit and a good bit of spicy characteristics.

Ovila's flavor profile is pretty straight forward. The malt takes center stage, with a moderate sweetness that comes in the form of caramel, toffee and hints of candied sugar. Both light and dark fruit pop up in the middle, but neither are very powerful. Beyond the malt, the strongest flavor in the beer is the peppery, slightly medicinal flavor from the yeast.

Big, creamy mouthfeel. This beer has the look and feel down for sure.

I was excited to try this one, as the story behind it is pretty interesting. When I saw it on-tap in a bar for the same price per ounce I would pay for a bottle at a store, I couldn't pass it up. What I got was a fine Dubbel that doesn't have enough depth or complexity to stand up to the best in the style. That doesn't mean it's a bad beer though, give it a try for yourself.

04-08-2011 15:20:02 | More by Hojaminbag
Photo of Brez07


3.9/5  rDev +2.4%

750ml bottle served in a Chimay glass. Drank this last night so reviewing from notes

A: Deep cherry red color. Starts with a 1 finger white head. Really great retention for this one. No lacing though

S: I'd say this smells like your standard dubbel - some belgian yeast with accompanying peppery spice. Also picked up some bread crust

T: Some light crisp fruit (apple, golden raisin). Moves on to a caramel (or possibly candied sugar) sweetness, before ending with a dry peppery finish. None of the flavors really linger due to the carbonation

M: Sharp, active carbonation until about the last third of the bottle. Dry finish. Medium bodied

D: Great drinking dubbel that I would purchase again. Right up there with the imports

04-08-2011 13:22:22 | More by Brez07
Photo of DoubleJ


3.95/5  rDev +3.7%

With two egg lays in a row, I hope that Ovila can extinguish that trend. The presentation is classy and not just because it's corked and caged. On to the beer:

What a beautiful sight! The ruby brown color of the beer looks shiny inside the large Tripel Karmeliet tulip. The oatmeal colored head forms large at first, then drop to a small creamy lace. Retention and lace are okay, but the lovely color remains. The aroma is not bad, though I'll note that it was stronger when the cork was popped. It gives suggestions of pears, rolled oats, cinnamon in the raw, and nutmeg.

It's on target to being Belgian styled. There's a distinct taste looming around that tastes neutral and slighty sweet, oats perhaps? Or is that the yeast doing its part? Creamy pear comes around in the taste, just as it did in the aroma. Light sprinkles of dark candi sugar arrive, as does allspice. The alcohol, listed at 7.5%, somehow warms the throat without being detected in the mouth. The mouthfeel is great; very smooth and creamy in the mouth with a small jump of carbonation.

Despite being almost as expensive as the Belgian imports, Ovila is just as good as the Belgian imports. A dandy to say the least.

04-08-2011 05:45:01 | More by DoubleJ
Photo of psujmatt


4.22/5  rDev +10.8%

On-tap at Black Star Co-op, 9-oz serving in snifter.

A -- Essentially no head, small bubbles form at side of glass leaving very thin, short lived foam. A bit lighter in color than a normal Dubbel, but maybe it was a trick of the smaller glass. Definite reddish tint to it.

S -- For some reason, about all I'm getting is sweetness and raisins, with the sweetness almost reminding me of a brandy barrel aged beer.

T -- Pretty sweet on the tongue with little tang at the finish, and a definite sense of raisins/fig, especially in the finish. Some of the normal Belgian spiciness, even though that was absent in the nose. I hint of oak, almost as if it were barrel aged. For my tastes, this was nearly perfect balance of sweet and tangy, without being fruity (other than raisin/fig). Not as complex as some Dubbels, but I think it added to the drinkability.

MF: It has a thicker mouthfeel than I expected, and it was wonderful. Very smooth and light with carbonation while also seeming viscous. I really enjoyed it, but can't quite describe it!

I could have kept drinking this all night. Assuming it had the normal Dubbel alcohol content, it was well hidden.

04-07-2011 22:35:46 | More by psujmatt
Ovila Abbey Dubbel from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 974 ratings.