Ovila Abbey Saison - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Ovila Abbey SaisonOvila Abbey Saison

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

754 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 754
Reviews: 262
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 11.2%
Wants: 27
Gots: 65 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-15-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 754 | Reviews: 262
Reviews by hwwty4:
Photo of hwwty4
2.96/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured a corked and caged 750ml into my to to saison glass, my Hennepin globe. This beer pours a grainy amber with a massive 4inch head that sticks around for days. Lacing is minimal but there is a bit sticking to the inside of the glass. The aroma is mild and fairly approachable. A bit of white pepper, intermingling with a bit of wet hay and nondiscript flower petals. Some estery yeast aromas are present too. The flavor is mild. Up front starts with just a bit of mild grains. Caramel and toast with just a bit of green Apple. Very little spice to the flavor profile compared to the nose. As it warms, I feel like I have to point out that there is a distinct banana flavor. I wonder what type lot yeast was used. While not unheard of in a saison, its not my favorite flavor in the style. The mouthfeel is just wrong. On the back of the bottle it mentions that this is supposed to be a dry and refreshing need. It's really the opposite. It has this odd creaminess to it. Reminds me almost of the mouthfeel you get in a beer on nitrous. A sort of artificial creaminess. No bueno. Overall its a very approachable beer for the style. Not my favorite though. Fix the mouthfeel and get back to me.

More User Reviews:
Photo of SanDNigel
3.81/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

750 Bottle just like the picture
A- Straw-honey colored with bigger bubble white head
S- Citrusy funk with hay type undertones Smells great
T- Tastes like it smells, but seems to be lacking just a touch in body. Still has that clean Saison thing going that bites at the back of your tongue
M- Allows you to taste the beer but whisks it away pretty quick
O- Its good and I would drink it again, but maybe not the beer I search for

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.97/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice beer. In a room service glass, the beer was a dark gold color with a small white head.

Sweet candy aroma. Outdoorsy. Peppery spice.

Yeasty taste, wheat. Banana and citrus. A bit of spice.

Medium-bodied, very smooth. Great beer to drink while watching the Red Sox.

Photo of warnerry
3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Huge pop as the cork comes out. Pours a clear orange-tinged golden brown with three fingers of off-white head. Head has great retention.

S - Belgian yeast with a bit of spice up front. Some faint fruit aromas follow, mostly citrus, and a bit of bubblegum.

T - Nice mix of yeast, spice and fruits, lemon and orange. Fruit definitely takes a back seat here. This is nicely balanced between the earthiness, spice and sweet and tart fruit. The balance does however make this seem a bit tame.

M - Medium mouthfeel with good carbonation. Finishes semi-dry.

O - An enjoyable well made saiso, if a bit too tame to be great. I'd have this again, but would like a lower pricepoint for what it is.

Photo of mikechance
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

My tasting is from a 22 oz bottle. It pours to a nice hazy gold color with a small head. I'm picking up lots of earthy smells including grass and nutmeg. It has a very smooth taste with is heavy on bananas, wheat flavors and pepper with a little wheat-beer aftertaste. For me, this is a much better beer than the Dubbel (released earlier this year). I’m looking very much forward to the final release --- a Trappist-style Quadrupel in time for the holidays.

Photo of merlin48
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Corked and caged bottle pours a hazy golden body with a large offwhite head. Good patchy lacing is left on the tulip glass.

Aroma features grassy hops, dusty yeast, fruity ripe pears, and vague funky farmhouse notes.

Medium body and carbonation.

Taste mirrors the aroma. Grassy and floral hops, a hint of fruity pripe pears, earthy yeast, wheat malt, spicy white pepper notes, and a bit of yeasty funk.

A solid saison, certainly, but not outstanding. I would prefer a Hennepin for an American brewed saison most days of the week.

Photo of Billolick
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Large bottle, caged and corked, $10.99 at DeCicco's in Ardsley, NY

No freshness or bottling date info.

Pour is cloudy, orange/cantelope hued amber, moderate off white head, showing little retentive abilities. Some slippery spots of lacing.

Nose of more oranges, some ripe melon

Soft, fruity with moderate sweatness and minor spice. Flavorful, flowery, earthy and quality saison. Subtle peppery note, with light mint and a hint of tea adds up to decent complexity. Well done and quite enjoyable. Washed down a raw clam or two and some crackers and goat cheese in a fine style.

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

The beer pours a hazy yellow color with a large white head. The aroma is full of fruit, with some orange and peach notes. I also get some Belgian yeast as well as some wheat and biscuit malt.

The flavor is also very fruity. I get oranges, peaches and apricots, as well as some wheat and biscuit malt. There is a nice amount of spice, mainly coriander and white pepper. There is also a little bit of alcohol. Overall, the fruit in this beer is very juicy tasting and goes very well with the other saison notes.

Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Photo of BigE90
3.8/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Purchased at Whole Foods for $9.99

a: a great golden yellow/orange color that was clear in clarity but yet dark enough that it was not like you were looking at a Coors. Poured a 2 finger head that faded quickly though to just a lacing.

s: a great belgian smell, earthy and spicy coming from it.

t: a very natural/earthy taste to it followed by some banana/clove/spice to it. A different aftertaste followed that I am unable to place but I know that I am not to fond of it.

m: true to style, nothing great nothing bad

o: a decent saison. just like the Ovila Dubbel, a good representation of the style but not an over the top wow I gotta have more brew. Definitely worth the taste though.

Photo of bsp77
3.63/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Tulip.

Appearance: A hazy honey gold color with a thick white head.

Smell: The yeast comes through strongly (mostly banana and clove). Maybe some light citrus, but the aroma is all about the Belgian yeast.

Taste: Sweet upfront, but abruptly turning very dry (and a little tart) at the finish. Some banana, citrus, lemon and bready malts, followed by spicy bitterness of clove and pepper.

Feel: Moderately high carbonation, medium body, abrupt dry finish.

Overall: I am happy this is not as overly sweet as many US Saisons are, making this quite refreshing overall. However, there is also not a lot going on, and the finish is a little odd. Better than the borderline atrocious Ovila Dubbel, but nowhere near being a world class Saison. Unless their Quad really wows me, this collaboration between Sierra Nevada and the monks of New Clairvaux is not all that great.

Photo of ehammond1
4.06/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On Tap

K&B Wine Cellars
San Diego, CA

Clear golden orange and yellow. Very thin white head. Not much lacing at all down the glass. Somewhat disappointing.

Beautifully aromatic beer. The lemon and sweet citrus stand out, along with the Belgian yeast, some sweet and slightly tangy farmhouse notes, and a comforting, somewhat bready malt backbone. Very nice.

The flavor isn't quite as outstanding as the aroma. A relatively sweet saison--lemon, citrus, pear, Belgian yeast tang--all comes together very nicely.

A good, medium bodied farmhouse ale. Easy to drink.

A simple, somewhat sweet and uncomplicated, saison. Great on a hot day.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.91/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very nice looking yellow beer, tons of head, very beautiful looking. Aroma was pretty dry and neutral outside of some small lemony citrus type of phenols.

Taste, very clean, crisp, pear bread (like banana bread, but with pears), love the flavor of the yeast, isn't clovey or heavy, its dry. Definitely some crossover with the belgian pale ale style, yeast similar to Westmalle. Moderate spice, don't agree with the heavy descriptions.

Another winner from Sierra Nevada, and that's not even counting the lack of a rarity grade boost that lesser beers in lower production will get up in here.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.12/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big 750 ml bottle of Saison from the folks at Sierra Nevada. Plours a big deep golden haziness, looks like a bowel of honey in my La Chouffe chalice. Big white head forms thick carbonation is bursting the cork hit my ceiling and bounced off of three other surfaces. Spicy yeast notes with a touch of black pepper, fruity hints of citrus apple and an airy perfume note. Flavor is flowing with a mix of apples/citrus fruit tones and a spicy peppery yeast highlight. A solid earthy herbal background hop content, pretty nice solid clouded saison. Mouthfeel was medium bodied with a strong sturdy carbonation I spoke about earlier, really a dry finish though with the yeast profile. Overall high quality Belgian style ale that will just get better with some age on it.

Photo of chinchill
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Served from a small corked bottle into a small tulip.

Appearance: Slightly hazy amber body topped by a good head and lacing.

Very limited Belgium funk in both the taste and the aroma, but Belgian yeast is evident.
Slightly dry. Very clean finish for style. Well hidden ABV.

Photo of mocktm
3.48/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Corked and caged bottle, into a snifter.

Straw yellow in appearance with abundant carbonation, laying the foundation for three fingers of thick, yet delicate white head. Champagne like almost.

Nose is spicy, white pepper and clove predominantly, plus aromas of barnyard hay and bananas. Mild funk, but the complexity factor is just not really there.

As with the nose, this just seems a bit muted overall. As it warms, the banana flavor overtakes all others turning this into more of a Hefe than a Saison. The advertised citrus twang is also noticeably absent, which so happens to be my favorite attribute within the style.

Mouthfeel is medium, effervescent and semi-dry, plus a moderate creaminess that's kind of off-putting.

Overall, this just isn't what I look for in a Saison. Some may like it, but I won't be picking it up again.

Photo of rhoadsrage
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

(Served in a chalice)

A- This beer has a slightly hazy deep orange body with a racing carbonation of big bubbles. There is a bubbly light beige head on top that last for a good bit. The beer gets hazier with each pour.

S- The soft citrus fruity esters have a very faint yeasty quality that take on a phenolic coriander as the beer warms up.

T- The dry crisp fruit hints have citrus and red grapefruit qualities wit a bit of alcohol to dry out the finish. There is some spice hop qualities that turn more green as the beer opens.

M- The light mouthfeel has a soft alcohol note in the finish that turns into a much larger alcohol burn on the back of the throat.

O- This beer is a bit too big to be refreshing and although it does have dry and fruity character it doesn't have the yeasty qualities that I enjoy in this style. The alcohol and phenolic characters are just to overpowering and the fruity esters are just odd aswell.

Photo of Brenden
4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A creamy pillow of white head sits between one and two fingers tall, dropping off to heavy foam and leaving a good amount of thick patching well down the glass. Beneath is a very cloudy brew a coppery gold color.
This beer showcases a lot of earth and spiciness along with yeast, a mild sugary sweetness, a vinous sort of dry tartness, and some white fruits flesh. The Belgian character of the yeast is light but present, allowing for a pretty good complexity. There's a further balance between breads and very gentle leafy and citric hops bitterness.
The body is about medium and the feel of this beer is soft, creamy, smooth, flowing and fluffy without being overfilling. Crispness isn't lost in the midst of it. The mouthfeel is the best aspect, though it's very good overall.

Photo of rdilauro
4.15/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours like the golden sunshine over the Bay Bridge. A perfect creamy head that stayed for a while.

The aroma was outstanding, a nice touch of fruit, mostly tropical, some banana and a walnut like nut flavor

The taste was full and very well balanced. Full and nice from the start right down to the finish.

Lots of good tasting fruit here mixed with just the right amount of barley and malt.


Photo of lnashsig
4.38/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The second of the Ovila Collab series, I tried the Dubbel and wasn't impressed, hoping this rebounds. Poured into my Brooklyn tulip, pours a beautiful light orange color. Nice head, nice retention. Smell- lemon zest, clove, nice light fruit esters. Maybe some rosemary. This smells like a perfect Saison. Taste- just really well balanced lemon zest, light airy flavors. love this. They really rebounded here and this is just a textbook awesome example of a Saison. Mouthfeel- just a perfect dry finish, not too much carbonation. Overall, I'm impressed. Well done Sierra Nevada- you still got it!

Photo of racer2k
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured 22oz. bottle into one of my Belgian beer tulip glasses

A - Beer pours a hazy golden color with lots of carbonation and
a 2 finger ivory colored head which dissipates pretty quickly

S - Biscuit, citrus, yeast and spices are present. Very clean textured aroma. There is a distinct hint of lemon in this beer.

T - Fresh baked bread, moderate malt, fruity flavors including pears and apples and some clove spices are all present. This is a very balanced beer with a clean dry finish. The taste profile becomes even more appealing as the beer warms.

M - Lots of fizz and carbonation but not overwhelming.

O - Great beer and a great cause. Very drinkable solid version of the style. Not quite as complex and funky as some Saison offerings.

Photo of mdaschaf
3.92/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review from notes. Thanks to THECPJ for sharing.

A: Poured a hazy deep yellow/golden color with a foamy white head on top. Great head retention and left behind some rather thick lacing, albeit sporadic as to where it remained.

S: Rather spicy with some white pepper and coriander. There is a nice compliment of pear and apple as well as some doughy malt.

T: The taste is rather similar to the aroma. Light fruits consisting of apples, pears, and a little bit of banana along with some doughy malt and the expected Belgian yeast flavor characteristics. Lightly spiced with coriander and pepper.

M: On the light side of medium bodied, but drinks smooth and easy. Slightly dry finish.

O: A pretty good saison, not my favorite, but nice nonetheless. If it were a bit cheaper I would probably grab some more.

Photo of mudbug
4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the large bottle (750?) into a large wine chalice results in a very nice cloudy orange with a one inch rocky head of foam.
Aroma is inviting, astringent clove and spice, very clean and light. Taste is complex, some clove, sweet malts, balanced by a hint of tartness, wet hay and grass in the aftertaste and a slight mushroom quality.
This is one fine beer, And Kudos to Sierra Nevada for expanding their horizons in such a good way.
I will buy this again and again.

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

first off, I really enjoy collabrative effort brews!

Very gold and amber, gyser-style bubbles, creating a massive, sparkling, fizzy white tower of foam. smooths out as it slowly recedes and becomes creamy as it settles.

Big earthy and citrus-fruity yeast aroma up-front. Lemmon zest, hearty spices and herbs, dry wheat, gentle vanilla-like smooth malty sweetnessbut subtle. Grassy and herbacious, mandarin orange pops out of the hop aroma later on.

The yeast is very, very nice, not the most complex but really good, with earthy musk, herbaciousness, wheat and grains, dry earth with sour fruits undertone, mild heat holds it down with a layer of warmth. The feel is lush, crisp, dry and earthy with a zesty earth pop. The yeast settles down and mellows and then so does the feel after a bit.

I love this style.

Photo of GilGarp
4.12/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL corked and caged bottle served cold into a goblet.

Ovila Saison is a slightly hazy golden yellow color with a thick white cap. It settles slowly leaving a little lace as it does.

Aroma is really pleasant with great floral and fruit notes.

Flavor is mild but complex with minty, peppery, spice character over a light fruity, banana and lemon base. Very good balance of flavors and easily sippable.

Mouthfeel is medium-light in body and well carbonated. Alcohol isn't that strong and that's how it comes across.

Overall a good saison but not an excellent one. Similar to their version of a dubbel, a solid attempt but not up there with the best of the style.

Photo of Sammy
4.07/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Although very yeasty rather than spicey, and on the sweet side, it is very tasty and drinkable saison. Fruity apricot and peach and citrus and apple, some bannana, a tad of clove and white pepper, herbal. Good mouthfeel.Very drinkable.Carbonation right there.

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Ovila Abbey Saison from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 754 ratings.