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Ovila Abbey Saison - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Ovila Abbey SaisonOvila Abbey Saison

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

261 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 261
Hads: 767
Avg: 3.83
pDev: 19.06%
Wants: 28
Gots: 67 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 261 | Hads: 767
Photo of Sammy
4.07/5  rDev +6.3%
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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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.97/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy light honey orange with a 2 inch puffy white head that settles to a small cap. Random streaks and dots of lace form on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of grass, yeast, spices, and a citrus aroma. There is a slight honey smell that comes about as the beer warms. Taste is of grass, bread, yeast, spice, citrus, and some pepper notes on the finish. This beer has a crisp level of carbonation with a bubbly mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good saison with some great flavors. Very easy to drink too.

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Photo of kylehay2004
3.6/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: 1.5 finger head, hazy yellow gold color some scattered lacing

S: very nice spicey hop and belgian yeast aroma.

T: initially zesty and spicey with a mellowed out musty and earthy finish with yeasty notes.

M: medium to high carbonation, light to medium body. Dry finish.

Overall: a little too dry but drinkable. Nothing memorable but not too bad.

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Photo of metter98
3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is hazy golden yellow in color and has a moderate amount of carbonation. It poured with a finger high white head that has good retention properties and consistently left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface.
S: There are aromas of lemon citrus and peppery spices in the nose, which also has notes of grassy hops.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell and has hints of grainy malts.
M: It feels light-bodied on the palate and has a high amount of carbonation. No dryness is apparent in the finish.
O: The beer is very easy to drink and quite refreshing.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

maybe my least favorite from this series, but not a bad beer at all. it pours a very pale cloudy yellow color with a smallish white head. the aroma is grassy and wheaty, more of a hefeweizen in the nose than a saison, kind of missing that farmy aspect. the flavor is also quite grassy, like cut hay or something, more in the malts than in the yeast. there is a touch of lemon acidity to this as well, but the flavor is quite mild overall. mouthfeel is a tad undercarbonated i think, but the body is light and easy drinking. maybe the season has passed for light saisons, but this one didnt really do it for me. i much prefer the other beers in this line.

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Photo of Knapp85
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was hoping this beer would be more impressive than the Dubbel that was put out not too long ago. This beer poured out as a nice hazy looking yellow color with a good fizzy and foamy head on top. The smell wasn't too much like a farmhouse but it did have some floral and grainy aromas that were quite nice. The taste of the beer was a little citrusy and earthy, overall this beer was much better than the Dubbel in my opinion. Still waiting for the Quad to come out!

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Photo of BEERchitect
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clean, crisp, and with ultimate dryness, Sierra Nevada's second dip into the Ovila bucket carries a dry fruity ester nature with a spicy, warming finish that should appeal to appreciators of fine sparkling wines.

Pouring a deep golden color with medium yeasty haze, the beer forms a froathy white head with great persistance and intricate lace. The density of haze is a bit unusual for the style.

Pears, white pepper, apples, corriander, and a slight vinous wine note from white grape fill the nose with a zesty character. Backed by malty aromas of light sugar cookies and confectioner's sugar, the beer allows they yeasty esters and spices to command the balance of the nose.

Flavors follow suit, but with a dry bready-sweet to start, the beer takes a quick turn past the sweetness and into a crisp and clean flavor of light fruits and zesty spice in a way that reminds me of spiced pears, but with green apples included. Hop character contributes to the zest but without the signature earthy pungency that's expected from authentic Belgian varieties.

Medium malty weight to start with light, yet fleeting sweetness of powdered sugar. The beer ushers in a quick procession toward a very dry and refresheing finish with medium alcohol warmth. The classic spicy/fruity dryness is exhibited well in the finish.

Another solid effort in the Ovila series of beers. But the slight lack of complexity from blended Belgian yeast strains or the raw grassy-earthy-pungent hops keep the beer from competing with the Saison Duponts of Belgium.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from Rick's in Alexandria. Served in a Mikasa tulip.

Pours a nice golden color with a good white head. Really nice retention and a good deal of lacing on the way down. The nose carries a bit of light fruit plus grain. Faint earth and a bit of spice as well. Flavor hits those same notes, focusing a bit on the graininess, though the yeast doesn't slack. Good body with active carbonation and a semi-dry finish. Pretty good brew.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a hazy golden color ale with large foamy head with good retention and some good lacing. Aroma of sweet malt with some light hoppy notes and not much ester discernable. Taste is also a nice mix between some lightly sweet Belgian style malt with a dry hoppy finish. Lacks a bit of ester and yeast is quite tame. Body is full with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Not bad though I was expecting a bit more character from this beer.

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Photo of zeff80
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a hazy, golden, yellow color with a two-finger, white head of bubbly foam. It left thick rings of sticky lace.

S - It smelled of lemon, cut grass with strong yeasty. It was slightly phenolic, too.

T - Great spicy/peppery flavor with some sweet caramel. Good yeasty flavor with some notes of lemon.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a clean finish.

O - This is a really good saison. I was glad to fine this on my travels.

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Photo of oline73
3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a Unibroue goblet.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy amber color with just over a finger of thick off white head. The head retention is very good and it leaves some lacing.

Smell: Quite sweet and a bit fruity. I'm picking up hints of herbs and yeast along with the malt.

Taste: Less sweet than the smell. Yeast with fruity notes as well as some mild herbal notes. The finish has a mild bitterness to it along with a little alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Body is on the thin side with a medium amount of carbonation. The finish is slightly dry.

Overall: Not bad. I didn't love the alcohol in the finish, but everything else was pleasant enough. I don't know that I'd buy more at the price I paid, but I would have another if offered.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Provisions

A: The beer pours a slightly cloudy orange color with a fluffy white head.

S: The nose is fairly citrusy with orange peel and lots of floral notes. A fair amount of phenolics and yeast with a mild bready note. There is just a tiny bit of coriander to it.

T: Decently phenolic and spicy with a nice citrus peel. Orange and lemon peel with a light floral note and lots of bread and wheat. There is a bit of sweetness to it, along with some yeast and apple skin.

M: The body and carbonation are both medium.

O: Perhaps I just had overly high expectations, but this was just okay to me. Not as good as the Dubbel.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.35/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle - $9.49 at Olde Crabapple Bottle Shoppe in Alpharetta, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a hazed, darkened gold body with a tall, white head that just fluffs out instantaneously.

Smell: Softly bready malts, with a bit of hinted at sweetness, a bit of tanginess to it, too. Little notes of lemony, zesty citrus, dew-moistened orchard fruits, and the humble banana. Modest spiciness.

Taste: Faintly grainy malts, some influences from malted wheat, maybe some pilsner as well. Light sweetness. Doughy, yeasty accents. Hint of sliced French loaf. Mild touches of bananas and tart orchard pears, maybe a sliver of Granny Smith apple and a couple basic white grapes, too. Pinch of finely ground spices. Sprinkling of flower petals. Scantly grassy, citrusy hops with ample bitterness present. A few drops of melon juice. Dry, fluffy finish with a light lingering tanginess.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Highly carbonated keeps things lively throughout.

Overall: Presents a good blend of flavors (more and more as it opens up), closes out nicely dry, and has excellent carbonation all the while. I liked it.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.94/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap 5/17/2014 at Track 84, in Warwick, RI served in a goblet glass.

A: The beer is a light golden brown color, with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains Belgian yeast, wheat, light caramelized malts, some citrus and bananas.

T: The taste starts out bready with flavors of Belgian yeast and a hearty malt character. Then some sweet flavors of caramel, bananas and citrus come in. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet and slightly bready.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, this is a decent beer to drink for a while.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.27/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I enjoyed this bottle at Bully's on Main in Columbia PA.

The color is a slightly dark than golden, perhaps apricot color with slight haze and pillowy thick white cream which has average sized bead and is visibly carbonated with subtle lace. The smell is very pleasant with a strong yeast aroma with slight tart wheat tang in the nose w/ light toasted grain and mild tropical fruit accents. The body is semi-full with moderately strong carbonation and moderate hop acidity with sliht creamy presence and light nutty/earthy texture with semi dry finish.

The taste of this saison is good with mostly tropical fruit from the yeast with a light tanginess from what I gather to be wheat with some hints of pineapple and almond with slight element of hops which could be adding floral notes, but seem to favor citrus with slight peppery and herbal quality. The yeast and malt work together to make a light spice and bready flavor which is very pleasant with light woody notes and mild toasted sweetness. The Saison works for me on the drinkability, I really enjoyed this and could have consumed the whole bottle if I wasn't sharing it with my wife and friend Steve.

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Photo of russpowell
4.33/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review from notes:

Pours a semi-hazed honey color with 2+ fingers of cream colored head. Great head retention & lacing

S: Lemon grass, white pepper & hay

T: Pineapple, grassyness, some bready notes, white pepper & subdued phenolic notes up front. Pineapple & apricot as this warms, more phenols & some dryness. Finishes with pineapple, dryness, grassyness& grainy bread notes

MF: Medium bodied, subtle carbonation, nice balance. Carbonation becomes creamy as this warms along with a touch of coarseness

Really enjoyed this, liked this way more than the dubbel

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Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 5/26/2011. Pours slightly hazy bright orange color with a 2 finger fairly dense and fluffy off white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big lemon, tangerine, apricot, pear, apple, light banana, clove, pepper, honey, bread, herbal, straw, grass, and yeast earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of fruity/spicy yeast and moderate pale malt sweetness; with good strength. Taste of lemon, tangerine, apricot, pear, apple, light banana, clove, pepper, honey, bread, herbal, straw, grass, and yeast earthiness. Good amount of earthy yeast spiciness and slight tartness on the finish; with lingering notes of lemon, tangerine, apricot, pear, apple, pepper, honey, bread, herbal, straw, grass, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity and robustness of fruity/spicy yeast and moderate pale malt sweetness; with a great malt/yeast balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium bodied; with a very smooth, moderately crisp, and lightly creamy/bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice saison. All around great complexity and balance of fruity/spicy yeast and moderate pale malt sweetness; and very smooth and crisp to sip on. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.12/5  rDev +7.6%
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.

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Photo of chinchill
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 07/16/11 notes. Picked this up on my way onto LBI in NJ this past weekend and drank it later that night. Poured from a 750ml bottle into a pint glass.

a - Pours a hazy yellow color with two fingers of fluffy white head and moderate carbonation evident. Some spotty lacing left on the glass and head retention for a few minutes, with an inch throughout drinking it.

s - Smells of mint, Belgian yeast, spices, bananas, cloves, and bready malts. Lots of yeast and bananas; a really enjoyable nose.

t - Tastes of Belgian yeast, spices, light bananas and fruit, and bread. Not quite a s much bananas as the nose, but still good.

m - Medium body and low carbonation, the body is smooth and very creamy. Very easy to drink and great mouthfeel.

o - Overall a really nice saison. Would definitely have it again sometime.

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Photo of jwc215
3.82/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml cage-corked bottle that opened with a loud "pop" -

Pours hazed golden with a decent thin bubbly head. Dotted lacing sticks.

The smell is of lemongrass with citrus notes. Not as "funky" as some other examples, but pleasant. Pleasant enough to give it the higher of two scores that originally came to mind.

The taste is lemony, fairly tart with some sweetness. Orange and floral notes mix in. Again - not as "funky" as some classic examples, but there is a range of funkiness in this style I have notice, and what is here works well enough to fit. It has a refreshing character - a bit of yeast with citrus and floral notes. Very slight alcohol is detectable. It has a dry, refreshing finish.

Light and crisp, it is a bit thin at times, but holds together well enough.

While not the boldest saison, it is a pleasant one. It's a nice brew! Glad I had the chance to try it - worth getting while it lasts!

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.92/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.7/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beer on tap. Beer is yellow and heavily carbonated with tiny bubbles, white head, lots of lacing, interesting overall.

Aroma is sweet and quite yeasty, bready, biscuit, orange slightly.

Beer is thin, very thin and has a spicy finish to it. Interesting overall but not my favorite saison, mildly sweet on the front with a big yeast palate in the middle. I don't think I'll repeat this beer.

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Photo of billab914
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle into my Allagash glass. Amber in color with a thick and fluffy white head filling the top two inches of the glass. Nice head retention and decent lacing.

The aroma has a citrusy, herbal spice to it. I get a good amount of orange to it with a little lemon as well. The Belgian yeast adds some spice to it. Some sweeter, pale malts are there as well. Everything is pretty well in balance which gives it some smoothness.

The taste shows more of the brighter, citrusy flavors to it up front. I get a sweeter, candi sugar like flavor to it at first as well. Midway more of the yeast spice comes into play with some hop bitterness balancing it out. The orange and lemon like citrus is very nice in it and gives it a nice refreshing quality.

The mouthfeel is on the lighter side with carbonation being about average for the style but on the higher side in general. Overall it was a very good version of the style. Nicely balanced and drinkable with a good refreshing citrus quality to it. Very solid beer all around.

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

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Ovila Abbey Saison from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 261 ratings.