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Ovila Abbey Dubbel - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Ovila Abbey DubbelOvila Abbey Dubbel

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

1,002 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,002
Reviews: 449
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 12.07%
Wants: 24
Gots: 122 | 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:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Thorpe429 on 03-12-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,002 | Reviews: 449 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Brez07
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 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

Photo of DoubleJ
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of psujmatt
4.22/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of mcallister
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Crimson chestnut colored and brilliantly clear. Pours with a very wispy half inch off white head leaving a nice layer of sticky lace behind.

Aromas of earth, raisin, dates, plum, dark breads, black currants, with a light spicy ester in the background. A bit of alcohol shows as well.

Bits of roasty malts with light milk chocolate, burnt caramel, rum soaked raisin, and date. A bit plumy in the middle with earth and spice characters. A nice bitter quick finish. Carbonation is moderate but leaving things a bit thin in the mouth.

Definitely worth a bottle for now and a couple for cellaring purposes. Not sure if this will get any better however, if this is a one time release buying some extra will result in less regret for the future.

Photo of wagenvolks
3.58/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750ml corked & caged bottle into a Three Philosophers chalice.

Pours, as one might expect, with a typical plummy-brown Dubbel body that turns a majestic mahogany red in the light. A small khaki head builds off the slow pour and retains well. Light aromas of the fruited variety: golden raisin, fig, apple. Hints of toffee and caramel malt in the back with a touch of floral hops.

Spicier flavor than the aroma, thanks in part to a boisterous carbonation level that coats the tongue and brings forward notes of pepper and dried fig. Fruity notes are still there, but play second fiddle to a more hefty toasted toffee maltiness. Mouthfeel is medium-thin and nearly dry on the finish with too many bubbles and not enough yeast ester notes to support it like so many true Belgian Dubbels. Overall, a decent attempt at the style (and made for a good cause), but Ovila falls short of expectations.

Photo of GoNowhere
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

S: A little bit of raisins, a little bit of cherries, a little bit of malt, a little bit of tobacky.

A: A nice little pour gives it a big mocha head. Nice tan body that allows some light through.

T: Fruity and a little spicy. Vanilla maybe... hard to pin down. Pretty good.

MF: A little hollow... Some would say thin. Not the greatest thing you want in a dubb but still very drinkable.

OA: Easy to drink. Easy to forget about. Had better, but have also had way worse. I hope the quad crushes.

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

Showed up at my local today with a big deep russet brown amber body with a thick tan head looks like rising bread dough. I like the background on the monks of the New Clairvaux Abbery. Aroma has deep raisin, plum, and dried dark fruits going on with hints of peppery spiced yeast notes. Not overtly sweet like some of the candy sugary Belgian dubbels much more balanced than the typical Belgian dubbel. Earthy herbal hops along with a bit of oak notes, even though I know this beer hasn't seen the wood. It must be the dry yeast that kind of mimics a cork like smell. Flavor balanced dark fruits with pepper spicy yeast notes blended with herbal green earthy hops, a very nice blend of flavors again a bit of wood maybe even cork notes going on. Mouthfeel is medium bodied effervescent carbonation this is excellent exciting Belgian style ale from Sierra Nevada a bit dry in the finish compared to an authentic toothache sweet Belgian dubbel but an excellent artisnal take on a world class style. Overall thoughts are that I must get more and share it with a professor of mine at a Catholic university who has peaked interest in the realm of craft beers. I will certainly drop him a bottle of this next along with the story of the restoration process goin on in Northern California for the Ovila abbey of New Clairvaux.

Photo of Phelps
3.13/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Enjoyed from the tap at Tops, inside a tall, thin 10-ounce glass.

The result of collaboration between Sierra Nevada and the Abbey of New Clairvaux, Ovila Dubbel pours a deep apple cider color -- a mix of ruby and amber. Beautiful clarity. A creamy, half-finger head of light tan quickly becomes a thin ring. No lace.

Fruity nose, from what I pick up, which isn't much at all. Some dark fruits, a touch of sweet banana. Too light.

Interesting flavor. Bananas and pears are the leaders, while raisins, strawberries and a bit of brown sugar are also noticeable before a slightly drying finish. Slight lactic tang. It's a nice, crisp flavor, but again, it's a bit light.

Medium-high carbonation pokes the tongue and fizzes up the beer as it moves. Medium, velvety body with good weight to it. Lighter finish than body implies.

Overall, a nice attempt at a Trappist ale by Sierra Nevada and their newfound monk buddies, but it falls short, lacking the depth and complexity of true abbey dubbels.

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

A: small white head that dies down quick on top of a clear, dark ruby body.

S: super fruity with some serious sweet aromas that remind me of caramel.

T: sweet with a fruity flavor that is very cherry like. The beer has a slightly bittsr finish that really works well to balance the beer.

M: medium body with low carbonation, which is surprisingly acceptable.

D: stupidly drinkable with a nice flavor. Good job SN.

Photo of russpowell
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle opens with a huge pop! Pours an effervescent brown with a pinky of tan head. Murks up a bit at the bottom of the bottle; very good head retention & average lacing

S: Figs, cherries & that's about it

T: Follows the nose, a touch of breadyness & charred candi sugar up front. Some grassy hops are hiding beneath the apricots, figs & cherries & some canned pears & honey dryness & a touch of fruitty boozeyness. Finishes with slightly figgyness, cherries, dryness, & some oaky & even leathery notes

MF: Medium bodied with a bit too firm carbonation, warming as well

This isn't a bad take on the style, but not blowing me away. I'm sure this will get better with a couple of years on it, but this is what I had to drink now. I expected a bit more from Sierra Nevada given the greatness of their anniversary offerings, Fantastic label though

Photo of rdilauro
3.33/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark dark brown with very little head. No detection of Malt, Hops or any spice.
Taste was relatively light, from start to finish.
In fact it had a bit of a bitter aftertaste
I think I would have enjoyed this more if it had more body.
I am not sure if I would try this one again, but I am sure there will be some followers

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

The 750mL bottle is corked and caged. The label tries to be over the top traditional with embossing and die cut label but its kinda phony. Poured a brown amber color with a huge creamy-frothy white head in color, with ruby highlights. Dense, creamy head with good retention.

Aroma is certainly dubbely. There ares nice hints of dark fruits and apple. Yeasty.

First thing I pick up on is the dryness of the finish. Taste isn't quite there in terms of a Belgian dubbel. Belgian yeast is there. There is a nice hop bite though. Hints of an unsweet cherry syrup and dried raisin. Slightly musty and earthy tasting. Belgian spicing is not strong enough.

The feel is surprisingly thin. Not bad at all but I had hoped for more.

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

A - Pours a cloudy mahogany color into my snifter with almost two fingers of off white head, excellent retention and some lace on the glass.

S - Sweet candy sugar, malts, brown sugar, dark fruit, clove and pepper. Although the aroma is subtle, it is very pleasing.

T - Quite similar to the nose, the flavors are subtle, yet very pleasing to the palate. Caramelized sugars and malts are most prevalent, toffee like sweetness, cherries and apples, honey and clove and a nice peppery finish that lingers on the palate.

M - Really a rather nice balance between body and carbonation, a little prickly on the palate, but that goes along with those peppery notes as well.

O - I personally enjoyed this beer, as tame as it may be, the aroma and flavors are very well balanced. Carbonation may be a little low for the style, but still is more suited to my preference then some of the Belgians. Solid offering.

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

On-tap 4/3/2011 at Track 84 in Warwick, RI, served in a goblet glass.

A: The beer is a deep coppery brown color, short off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is faint but contains Belgian yeast, caramelized malts, some fruit and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of fruit, caramel and a touch of spice. Then some breadiness from a hearty but not too heavy malt character and a decent Belgian yeast backbone comes in. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings some balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, this is a solid beer worth drinking for a while, but there are some better alternatives within the style.

Photo of jsh420
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pours hazy reddish amber brown with a big off white 2+ finger head that faded fast and left no lacing

smells very malty both sweet caramel malt and a light fruit malt

taste is similar to the nose - those light fruits are very refreshing - i get cherries banana some clove candied sugar - whats missing is the spicy earthy yeast that most dubbels have - still a very solid beer

mouthfeel is light/medium with lots of carbonation that works well with this style

overall i am very pleased - the only knock against it is the price - 12 buck a bottle - and for that money i can buy a chimay

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

While the story behind Ovila Dubbel is sensational, the beer carries a mystique of the highest of quality and flavor, even before its release.

The Dubbel pours with a mohogany amber color with a multiple shades of brown. Quite clear with only the modest of a haze. A creamy off-white head covers the beer with a heavy blanket of foam. Much more dense and weighted of a look than is normal for classic dubbel ales and without the lively carbonation that's normally associated with the style.

Muted aromas of barley malt, chesnuts, and with a mild spicy-fruity yeastiness that gives a simple and refined scent. Though the quality of aroma is high, the intensity is subtle.

Malty rich with deep caramel, almost toffee, along with a peanut brittle (without the peanuts) flavor. Estery influence of berries, cherries, and apples accompany the malt sweetness and give a much welcomed variety in taste. Decorated by peppery spice from yeast and by cleanly bitter hops, the balance pulls back from purely malt-focus but the beer retains it's malt forward taste. Again, a tasty beer but a somewhat simplistic flavor spread.

Creamy and full early, the beer retains a lot of its weight deep into the mid palate before a stubborn transition toward a malty dry finish. Carbonation keeps the beer creamy, but never the light and airy evaporation that's famed in such beers as Chimay Premiere or Ommegang Abbey Ale.

While the flavors that are present are clean, crisp, fresh, and high in quality, the beer lacks an overall level of complexity, depth, and layering that make authentic Belgian versions so endearing. The relatively low carbonation gives the impression of heightened sweetness and weight that steers the beer even further away from the whimsy that is a Belgian Dubbel.

Photo of Nerudamann
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into an oversized wine glass.

Look - dark caramel/light brown in color, with about 2 fingers worth of off-white/yellowish foam that dissipates somewhat slowly.

Smell - malty in smell, with subtle hints of spices/herbs.

Taste and Mouthfeel - definite spiciness/pepperiness, with almost a hint of "hot" spiciness or a little kick. Then malty, with only a slight touch of bitterness from the hops toward the finish. No lingering aftertaste. Texture is very well balanced.

Overall - a very nice brew, and fairly interesting. It's complex, but the complexities are subtle. You have to know they're there and then find them, but it's fun. It's also a good cause, as portions of the proceeds go to the restoration of the Belgian Abbey.

Photo of SolomonGrundy
2.53/5  rDev -33.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

oor VCU, ran outta fire...Gotta still love Butler, though!!!

The basics: $8.99/750ml bottle and nobody knows the ABV apparently...

I'm loving the direction Sierra Nevada has been going: still trying to push the envelope even though they long ago ceased being a "craft brewer", per se. Gotta flip over the High on Fire record so I'm gonna blaze through this (pun fully intended)...

Gorgeous beer. Nice reddish, orange-ish amber. Creamy, big fluffy head. Nice carbonation...

Aromas are faint, which is a bummer given how nice it looks. I get some orange extract, maybe some sour apple. It's very muted...bummer.

Flavor is weird. Not sure what's going on with it. Carbonation gives an excellent mouthfeel to it upfront, but it gets painfully thin in the middle...There isn't a lot going on here, to be damn honest...It's suprising how little flavor is captured in this. It's malty to be sure, and I like the texture, but overall I guess I expected more "oomph" to it...There's little to no heft in the flavor profile, which parallels the aroma profile in as much as it, too, lacked any kind of heft. Surprisingly poor beer, I'm afraid to say, but maybe others will love it's "sophistication" (that seems to be a buzz word among the beer bourgoisie for beer that lacks any robustness of any kind...us layman aren't good enough to understand the subtleness, right? Piss off, wankers)...

What I like most: The beautiful appearance

What I like least: The unbelieveably "subtle" aspects of teh rest of it...

Verdict: SN makes so many other great beers, you'd be remiss plunking your hard earned ducats down on a bottle of this...avoid.

Photo of gfreed
2.23/5  rDev -41.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

On tap at Cambridge Common.

Sierra Nevada is weird. They're wildly inconsistent. They make one of the worst porters I've ever had, yet they make one of the finest stouts in the world; they make some of the ickiest crap as well as some of the most refined beer there is to drink. This Ovila thing unfortunately fits into the below-the-five category. Most dubbels get better as they warm; this one got worse. Way, way worse, in fact. Right out of the tap it was rich and toasty and leathery; after about five minutes all the aroma and taste went flat. Not just flat, but FLAAAT. No more honeyed aroma, no more dense malt, no more nothing. Well, I detected some lemon furniture polish, but that's about all. Ultimately one of the blandest beers of the evening. Pass.

Photo of omnigrits
4.45/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a goblet. The cork wanted to get out of the bottle in a hurry!

A. Deep, very deep mahogany colour with a light tan head that fades fairly rapidly. Not much lace.

S. Lots of caramel, a strong waft of hops, otherwise very typically Belgian dubbel. Hints of barley sugar.

T. This is a really well balanced dubbel with non of the cloying sweetness sometimes found in this style. Very fruity up front with an exceptionally dry finish.

M. A little on the medium bodied side for a dubbel.

O. A very nice beer indeed. Subtle in both flavour and ABV (7.5%) making it deceptively easy to drink.

Photo of Avagadro
4.45/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: Ovila is deep copper in color, and pours with an enormous head of a creamy color. The lacing is the most impressive aspect here, with millions of pinhead-sized bubbles racing to the top of this brew, and its head never falls below 1/2" in thickness.

S: The bouquet is vibrant, with great hints of stone fruit, clove, and rum.

T: What a display of balance! Ovila boasts notes of stone fruit, rum, clove, and a touch of chocolate. This brew displays all of the characters of a great Belgian-made dubbel.

M: The full body and chewy texture of this brew is emphasized by its extreme level of carbonation. It displays the awesomely creamy texture only found in the best dubbels.

D: This is a top notch dubbel from one of my favorite breweries in America. It has all of the attributes I look for in this style, and doesn't seem to have a single flaw. Congrats, SN, on another amazing brew, I look forward to the next two offerings in this lineup.

Photo of whoneeds8
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Maudite glass a deep brown with a very thick froathy head, definatly not expected. The smell has yeast hints and grapefruit hints. The taste is kinda mild for the style. The grapfruit and nutty flavors are there, just not in abundance. It's a rather medium to full bodied beer, again a suprise compaired to the style. Overall, it's a nice dubbel, but definatly an American Dubbel.

Photo of salvo
4.3/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A wonderful collaboration. Ovila pours dark walnut brown into a snifter with two full inches of tan head that eventually disappears leaving very little trace it ever existed. Nose fills with smoky rich chocolate and coffee vapor with just a hint of jasmin behind a roasty fresh bread yeasty mist.

Taste starts tart with some rich figgy fruit flavors ending with tartness and bitterness. No real chocolate on the palate, but the coffee and roasty-smoky hints are there in the middle between the start and finish. Finishes languidly, particularly when warmed to room temperature, slowing wishing your tongue, lips, and palate adieu. Thank you. Thank you for visiting.
Mouthfeel is astounding: rich, meaty, full-bodied, and worthy of a central starring dinner table role, able to hold its own amidst any oenophile's tantrum about the relative value of grape to grain.

Photo of Glibber
3.48/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Small off white head that almost dissapeared entirely. Amber brown color, light tasting on the tongue with some decent carbination. Had some dark fruit flavors and malt, but I wish the flavors were a little more pronounced as the beer was not quite up to my expectations considering the great beers from Sierra Nevada.

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

Poured from 750ml corked and caged bottle into Delirium Tulip.

A. Poured a 2+ finger well carbonated head. Good retention. Decent lacing. Color is a nice amber brown.

S. Has a pretty strong yeast smell. Get some light aroma of dark fruit. Caramel malt base. Fairly sweet smell.

T. Somewhat strange taste. Pretty sweet. Get some hop bitterness. Not a surprise a Sierra Nevada Belgian is going to have some hop flavor. Not a whole lot of traditional dubbel flavors though.

M. Medium/low bodied. Kind of disappointed in the pretty thin mouthfeel. Lots of carbonation. Lingering sweetness.

O. Overall I have to say that I was expecting more than I feel was delivered. Seems like a pretty simple dubbel to me with the addition of some hop bitterness. Mouthfeel was very thin. I am hoping for more out of the Saison and Quad. Glad I only bought one $15.99 bottle of this.

Ovila Abbey Dubbel from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 1,002 ratings.