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Ovila Abbey Saison - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Ovila Abbey SaisonOvila Abbey Saison

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

706 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 706
Reviews: 255
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 11.2%
Wants: 26
Gots: 56 | FT: 0
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-15-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 706 | Reviews: 255 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of nataku00


3.58/5  rDev -6.8%

On tap poured into a straight sided glass. Beer is pale yellow with a finger of foamy off white head. Decent head retention with some sticky lacing on the glass, took several minutes before it receded to a half a finger collar. Some decent carbonation, small bubbles streaming up from the bottom of the glass.

Nose is a pretty standard saison, earthy, herbal with biscuit malts, some fruity yeast esters.

Taste is earthy and herbal flavors, with some of the fruity esters initially, then mostly malt sweetness through to the medium finish. Some lingering earthiness on the tongue. Tastes similar to a light Saison DuPont, but with fewer yeast traits.

Light to medium body with nice zesty carbonation to really keep it crisp and light on the tongue. Great warm weather beer. Decent but unremarkable saison.

10-30-2011 08:16:21 | More by nataku00
Photo of mntlover


4/5  rDev +4.2%

Pours a hazy peach color with a big white head that falls pretty quick but laces well.

Aroma is bready malts nice tropical fruits mango, apple, pear mingled together with yeast and spicy pepper. Some light funky notes and hints of chalk.

Taste is on par with the nose fruity malty with bursts of carbonation that leads to the funk and big doses of spice. Pretty good Saison but fruitiness seems slightly over ridden by the spice.

Mouthfeel is good light side of medium with pretty peppy carbonation that makes an impact on this brew.

Overall pretty enjoyable, maybe not world class but good enough to pick up another for sure.

10-29-2011 05:40:55 | More by mntlover
Photo of Slatetank


4.3/5  rDev +12%

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.

10-24-2011 18:42:03 | More by Slatetank
Photo of dgilks


4.08/5  rDev +6.3%

Hazy golden amber colour with a big, rocky, off-white head. Good head retention.

Big, candy like, spicy aroma with notes of coriander, clove and banana. Mild hard fruit esters.

Creamy malt gives way to mild pear and stone fruit notes. The spicing is strong with plenty of pepper and coriander. A touch of earthy bitterness adds depth. Quite good.

Medium body with moderately-high carbonation. Good.

A really nice American Saison that is better than many other examples. Supremely drinkable and refreshingly dry, this is a good beer.

10-23-2011 06:45:45 | More by dgilks
Photo of mltobin


4.1/5  rDev +6.8%

From the bottle, poured into a wine glass.

The appearance of this saison from Sierra Nevada is a cloudy orange tone with a one finger sized off-white head. Its` nose has grass, fruit, yeast and some floral hops. The taste hits you with pepper, some honey, white grapes, other fruit and some other spices that I cannot pinpoint. Mouthfeel is crisp with a dry finish. A very good beer and I am most certainly happy with the first 2 beers from this series that I have tried. Looking forward to trying the next one.

10-23-2011 01:17:28 | More by mltobin
Photo of Crossmd


3.95/5  rDev +2.9%

Poured 44 degrees Fahrenheit into a shaker pint. No born date.

Pours a hazy orange with a hint of yellow and a very substantial, thick eggshell head.

Smells lightly of apricot, clove and maybe a hint of banana? Not especially well projected.

Taste is thick, lush blend of florals and ripe fruits. A slight spiciness and a hint of what feels a lot like carrot? Finish is light and airy, with a pleasant uplifting texture that lingers well.

Overall, a relatively standard belgian with nothing tremendous to make it stand out. Very agreeable though, and certainly well made. Probably not going to try and grab again however, for almost $10USD a bomber.


10-22-2011 22:15:25 | More by Crossmd
Photo of ChainGangGuy


4.38/5  rDev +14.1%

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.

10-22-2011 03:19:21 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of Haybeerman


4.1/5  rDev +6.8%

A: Clear gold color. Poured a 3 finger coarse white head with good retention to a 2 finger cap. Decanted continually. Laced the glass in thin, wavy rings.

S: Light-colored fruit; pear and white grape. Slight bready malt aroma commingles with sour funk. Earthy and herbal in the background. Very complex nose.

T: Fruit, malt and funk in the taste are very consistent with the nose. Add clover honey and coriander. Finish is slightly resiny, spicey and dry.

M: Light body. Ample carbonation; active in the glass and on the palate. Starts a little coating and creamy, but clears quickly with carbonation, spice and dry finish.

O: Complex; a lot going on - in a good way. Moderate ABV and odd balance make it very drinkable.

10-21-2011 18:41:15 | More by Haybeerman
Photo of Fatehunter


3.2/5  rDev -16.7%

Popped the cork and poured into a Westmalle chalice. Orange color with a finger of head that held.
Faint smell of orange zest, grapefruit and pear.
Tastes like bread, watery and dry.
Very bubbly, light body and smooth.
I really want to like this, but it is missing the flavor... a big hole there. However try it out... at least once.

10-19-2011 03:25:46 | More by Fatehunter
Photo of CrazyDavros


3.73/5  rDev -2.9%

Pours toffee-amber with a large fading head.
Nose shows doughy wheat, spicy peppery phenols and lemon notes.
Flavours are very similar but with a bigger emphasis on the doughy wheat/yeast.
Carbonation seems a bit full-on.
Nails the style pretty well.

10-18-2011 07:14:07 | More by CrazyDavros
Photo of DoubleSimcoe

New York

3.23/5  rDev -15.9%

Ovila Saison, the second one in this series of "monastic" beers so dear to me for many reasons.

Appearance: Pours fine and unhurried, like a placid stream in a forest. First I got almost no head, but my second pour yielded a sizable lily-white, soapy head that lasts. And lasts. Weak retention, though. Color is a hazy straw, pretty damn dark for a saison. Almost looks like an IPA. Significant carbonation, as expected.

Smell: Some spice, honey, herbal overtones and a medicinal, astringent finish. Flowers, lavender, Provence in the summer. Van Gogh. The bigger the head, the better the aroma.

Taste: Mpre of the same, but diminished. A tad underwhelming/thin. Had it on tap and was much better. Spice, some yeast, that honey touch. Herbs and lavender fields. A tad of sour apple, but barely there, sadly.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation is not as present here, for good and bad. A little thin and watery all around, but alright. Drinks good, not too dry or overtly spicy like other saisons. Medium-low body, medium carbonation and low-to-medium body.

Overall: I will keep buying the Ovila beers just because of the monastery story and the charity aspect of it. Are they amazing beers? Sure not. But they are alright fine. I will revisit Ovila Dubbel but will probably not go back to Saison. This one is rather unexciting and generic, but drinkable for sure.

10-18-2011 04:32:00 | More by DoubleSimcoe
Photo of Buggies


3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Pours a nice copper orange color with a beautiful white creamy head. Some aromas of orange and lemon as well as yeast... typical spicy notes too.

Tastes good enough I guess. Rather average I'd say. Slightly fruity, maybe a little lemon twang, along with your typical Belgian yeast flavors.

A good tasting saison. Nothing amazing or earth shattering, but a very drinkable, average example of the style.

10-17-2011 20:35:22 | More by Buggies
Photo of prototypic


4.05/5  rDev +5.5%

Ovila Saison is gold in color. It’s very hazy and looks a tad orange when held to light. A soft white crown sits on top. It’s about a finger in height and holds steady for quite a while. In fact, I’m not sure it will completely dissipate. Lacing was a little sticky and moderate.

The nose is good. It starts out with a grassy, herbal scent. It’s followed by Belgian yeast. The yeast is prominent and smells delicious. It definitely adds a spicy quality to the overall mix. Fruit notes of apple, pear, and light orange follow. They work very well with the earthy and yeasty notes. It features all the usual Saison bells and whistles. Alcohol is blended well. Good stuff.

The flavor is likewise quite good. It is very earthy and herbal throughout. That much is apparent on the first sip. Fruit flavors of apple, pear, and orange are all in the mix. They’re somewhat subtle, but effective. The complement the herbal notes quite well. Belgian yeast is a little less pronounced here, but is present. It tastes good and adds a spicy element that fits in nicely. Tastes like a mix of pepper and clove. Alcohol is pretty well buried. Finishes with a mix of herbs and spices.

Ovila Saison has a medium body. Carbonation feels very light and soft. I anticipated more carbonation given the force with which the cork emerged. Alas, that’s not the case. This stuff feels very smooth and soft. Goes down too easy. I’ll polish off this 750 with ease.

The second collaboration between Sierra Nevada Brewing Company and the Abbey of New Clairvaux is pretty good stuff. I believe I prefer it to the Dubbel. It’s not quite good enough to compete with the world’s best Saisons, but it is good. It’d be a little better with a stronger Belgian yeast presence. Good stuff all the same.

10-16-2011 04:01:35 | More by prototypic
Photo of John_M


4/5  rDev +4.2%

On tap at Max's.

The beer pours a solid gold color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is prototypical saison, with honey, light clove, and some underlying spice. The flavor profile replicates the nose in this nicely crafted beer, with the sweet honey and clove dominating. There's some bitterness on the finish which helps to counter the sweetness a bit. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a faily long, slightly bitter finish.

Though nothing extraordinairy, this is still a solid beer.

10-15-2011 19:56:53 | More by John_M
Photo of UDbeernut

New York

4/5  rDev +4.2%

On tap at the durch, golden gazy capped by a light off white head. Scent is light yeast, lemon, slight earth. Taste is more focused in the light citrus and light malt. Light bodied, slick mouth. If i did not know better i'd say this critter is straight from belgium.

10-15-2011 13:03:00 | More by UDbeernut
Photo of hobojon


3.8/5  rDev -1%

Bottle into Sierra Nevada snifter.

Aroma- sweet pear, sweet bready malt. slight sourdough note. mild saison esters. herbal and earthy floral aroma. smells refreshing if that makes sense.

App- slight haze. large white foam cap settles into a 1/8" layer with some lacing.

Taste- notes of honey and coriander. mild hop bitterness and some spicy hop flavor. soft balance between malt, hops and saison yeast. spicy yeast with some classic belgian saison flavors.

Mouthfeel- creamy high carb. very fine carb makes the beer seem less carbed but swishing it really brings out the foam. dry but has lingering sweet malt on the tongue.

Overall- very good for a US saison, but lacking rustic qualities. for the same or lower price I can get Saison Dupont so this is a one time buy.

10-13-2011 02:05:21 | More by hobojon
Photo of Brewlore


3.83/5  rDev -0.3%

Bottle poured into a Tulip glass.

Very large white billowy head that slowly reduces and hangs around the glass. A very nice hazy orange color. It's a good looking beer.

Light aroma with some spice & phenols. A slight hint of fruit in the nose as well.

Very quaffable. Finishes dry and makes you want to quickly take another sip. The taste is of yeasty phenols and malt and a nice hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel is smooth and carbonated.

10-12-2011 23:55:06 | More by Brewlore
Photo of hosehead83


4.15/5  rDev +8.1%

Poured from a "corked and caged" big bottle into a wine goblet.
Burnt orange in color, with a big creamy head of bright white foam. Nice looking beer.
Aroma-Subtle spiciness and fruit
Taste-Peach fruit, dusty yeast, subtle funkiness and white pepper note. Earthy, herbal hop notes and a bit of a sweet finish. Very smooth and "gulpable" American saison, not nearly as complex and earthy as its Belgian cousins but very nice just the same.

10-10-2011 16:58:55 | More by hosehead83
Photo of match1112


3.98/5  rDev +3.6%

orangeish brown in appearance, with a two finger fluffy white head that lasted a good five minutes and left loads of thick chunky lacing behind. smell and taste go hand in hand with this beer. starts out with a sweet yeasty presence than i pick up on citrus and spice, mainly pepper. mouthfeel was a little thin but not too bad, definatly drinkable. overall not the best saison but worth the try.

10-09-2011 19:19:51 | More by match1112
Photo of adam42381


3.9/5  rDev +1.6%

Review from notes at World of Beer - Fort Myers on 10/5/11.

Poured on draft into a Tripel Karmeliet tulip.

Appearance: Pours a medium golden caramel with a 2 finger snow white head. Nice lacing.

Smell: Light citrus with mild phenols and a touch of spiciness.

Taste: Orange up front followed by mild phenols in the middle before ending with a spiciness and a touch of bitter hops at the finish. Aftertaste is bittersweet.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a high amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: Decent drinkability. The somewhat elevated ABV% and the flavor keeps me from coming back for multiples.

Overall: Good beer overall. Not worth the price tag, in my opinion, but it's worth trying if you don't mind paying for it.

10-09-2011 14:04:38 | More by adam42381
Photo of warnerry


3.98/5  rDev +3.6%

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.

10-08-2011 20:50:51 | More by warnerry
Photo of Belpaire

New York

3.88/5  rDev +1%

Uncorked the bottle with it's custom printed cage and cork and poured into a generic hotel 8 oz glass. Pours a light gold bordering on straw with lively carbonation. The head fades quickly with no lacing but since I didn't wash the glass, this could be due to residual soap.

I can only say that this beer has a classic funky saison aroma. Definately invites you in to join the party.

The flavor is more of the same, classic funky saison. Lots of yeast derived flavors with a seemingly simple malt bill. At first sip, there's a flash if sweetness that quickly dissapates into a dry finish. Dry but not super dry like Jack D'Or. It intices you to sip and savor.

I've committed myself to the bottle on my own (the wife is preggers) and am quite happy to have done so. A nice, well rounded saison that doesn't try to be too complex. While I couldn't drink this all all night long, I am quite happy to finish off my night with it.

10-07-2011 01:00:33 | More by Belpaire
Photo of BeerFMAndy


4.08/5  rDev +6.3%

750 ml cork and caged bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada tulip and Ovila chalice.
7% ABV, 1151616126 printed on the neck.

A - Lightly hazed, this saison is a brilliant golden yellow in color and is crowned by a dense off-white foam. Great retention despite the lack of carbonation - surprising from the easy and loud cork pop. Wispy lace sticks to the glass effortlessly.

S - Earthy Belgian yeast erupts into the air with a delicate pungency so common to the classic saisons. Subtle citrus notes follow up with a blend of more yeast characteristics; wet clay, white pepper, and a drop of exotic fruit I can't put my finger on.

T - The spice characteristics of the nose carry through to the flavor well. The light citrus burst is a bit more noticeable, signalling some nice hop character. Unfortunately the yeast qualities are offset by a lingering minerally, slightly metallic finish, mainly felt in the feel.

M - The faintly tinny finish in the feel really detracts from the otherwise fantastic beer that's going on here. The soft, medium-light body is delectable; complimented by a low level of carbonation. Alcohol content in this beer remains unseen on any level. Very well-balanced and slightly dry.

O - Delicious despite minor faults, Sierra Nevada's Ovila Saison showcases a superb use of Belgian yeast, especially in balance. It's hard to keep from over or under use of the yeast, but this brew does a fantastic job. Dangerously drinkable at 7% ABV, the earthy qualities of this saison would lend the beer to be a great late summer, early fall brew to sip on a lazy Saturday afternoon.

10-06-2011 03:14:24 | More by BeerFMAndy
Photo of kylehay2004


3.58/5  rDev -6.8%

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.

10-06-2011 00:21:52 | More by kylehay2004
Photo of OlRasputin989


4.08/5  rDev +6.3%

Poured into Duvel tulip...

A: pours a hazy yellow-orange with a thick and persistent white head. fades to a thin white cap, leaving no lacing, which was suprising. It seems that all of Sierra Nevada's beers have that signature lacing to them and this one's a Belgian which are known for lacing.

S: aroma is musty and earthy, with delicate spice, and aromas of banana and orange peel.

T: flavors are lush and delicate. lots of fruity and spicy flavors, mostly orange, more banana, and lemon that is almost sour, blending very well into a peppery finish.

M: probably the best part of this beer. so light and velvety. the first sip is amazing. goes down smooth. finishes just off dry and mostly clean.

Overall, a very good saison from Sierra Nevada. i feel the flavors fall closer to Blue Moon than "rustic saison". However, this is definitely worth a shot, especially if a newcomer to farmhouse ales, as is Sierra Nevada.

10-04-2011 00:48:36 | More by OlRasputin989
Ovila Abbey Saison from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 706 ratings.