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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

741 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 741
Reviews: 258
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 11.2%
Wants: 27
Gots: 57 | 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:
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: 741 | Reviews: 258 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Lawnboy33
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of Travisnin
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of BelgianDip
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of trixdout
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of garuda
4/5  rDev +4.2%

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

750 ml bottle. Bought this at Tasty Beverage, not sure the price.

Appearance: Slightly hazy light golden color. Huge, soft, billowy head. Excellent head retention. Not a whole lot of lacing.

Smell: Musty yeast, lemons, apples, white grapes. Earthy, slightly herbal.

Taste: Bitter citrus pith-- bitter, but not tart. More musty yeast. A little grassy, earthy hops. More bitterness in the finish. The bitterness really detracts for me.

Mouthfeel: Nice and soft upfront, dry, bitter finish.

Overall: Looks great, smells good, tastes too bitter.

Photo of russpowell
4.33/5  rDev +12.8%
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

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

Poured from a bomber.

A- Hazy honey light orange in color, nice white head very frothy.

S - Getting lemons and oranges, also get a sense of a freshly cut lawn in the summer, slight malts.

T - Lemons and oranges continue, along with a nicely balanced maltiness, slight spice - peppery on the finish.

M - medium bodied, medium carbonation.

O - Very refreshing saison, nicely balanced, alcohol very subdued.

Photo of korguy123
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Dark yellow pour with a soapy white head that sticks around momentarily. Lacing hangs on for a good while.

S- Lemon and peach with a sweet touch of mandarin. There is a earthy/grassy note that makes it very light and refreshing. The yeast is subtle and makes you feel like you're in the bakery.

T- Lemon and peach with a bright grassy flavor. Yeast is subtle and wonderful. Alcohol is invisible.

M- Medium bodied with subtle carbonation. Light and refreshing.

O- Another excellent SN beer. Another excellent saison.

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 nataku00
3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

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

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.

Photo of Slatetank
4.27/5  rDev +11.2%
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.

Photo of dgilks
4.08/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

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

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.

Photo of Crossmd
3.93/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.


Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.35/5  rDev +13.3%
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.

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

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.

Photo of Fatehunter
3.23/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

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

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.

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
3.25/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of Buggies
3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

Ovila Abbey Saison from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 741 ratings.