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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

733 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 733
Reviews: 258
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 11.2%
Wants: 28
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:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-15-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 733 | Reviews: 258 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kylehay2004
3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
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.

kylehay2004, Oct 06, 2011
Photo of OlRasputin989
4.08/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

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.

OlRasputin989, Oct 04, 2011
Photo of BradtheGreat7
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml brown bottle with a traditional abbey style cork. Very classy and beautiful. Poured into A tulip glass(one with a stem)

A - Hazy straw like blonde color. Frothy and thick white head with just decent lace.

S - very fruity. Light fruits with soft ripe banana and cloves. Brilliant whiff of spices. Really has an earthy like aroma going on.

T - Fresh grass like notes. A really good citrus 'tang' along with a solid portion of ripe banana. The clove notes hit me up front and had excellent spices all the way through. Good dry earthy flavor that fits in quite nice and really made the experience.

M - Fairly light bodied. Good carbonation. To me this was very easy to drink. A lovely dryness and very refreshing.

O - didn't really know what to expect here. The saison style is one of my all time favorites, so my expectations for one are through the roof. However this beer didn't disappoint. It's a very good saison. Saisons are hard to find here at home, let alone a good one. I just hope Sierra Nevada don't make this a one time thing. I'd buy multiple of these yearly.

BradtheGreat7, Sep 28, 2011
Photo of StoneBrewFanatic
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - The bottle opens with quite a pop and the beer pours a hazy gold with two fingers of tight white head that has moderate retention and a little splotchy lacing. Constant carbonation can be seen and helps maintain a thin white cap.

S - Notes of banana and clove, faint citrus, grassy hops, malt and peppery spice.

T - Similar to the nose, banana and clove, lemongrass, a touch of hops and yeast as well as peppery notes that linger on the palate.

M - Pretty light and very carbonated, even for the style.

O - Solid beer worth trying, nothing that really stands out positive or negative.

StoneBrewFanatic, Sep 28, 2011
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.

Billolick, Sep 25, 2011
Photo of BEERMILER12
3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a hazy golden straw yellow color with a finger and a half worth of sticky head that lasted for quite a while without going down at all

S: Definite farmhouse smell from the start, along with some lemon, pepper, and other light fruits

T: Same as the smell, nice and light on the lemon and farmhouse, with mild pepper and clove

M: Light-medium body with moderate carbonation. Enough umph to give it that feel that is recognizable as a saison for sure

O: This is an above-average saison that goes well with the warm weather and can still pack a definite punch. Pick it up while the warm weather lasts!

BEERMILER12, Sep 22, 2011
Photo of Goliath
3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a hazy pale orange color with a thin off white head. The head receeds quickly and leaves nothing behind except a broken film on the top.

The aroma is decent. A little banana and citrus offer a nice fruit presence, and it's accompanied by a touch of yeast spice. Pleasant enough IMO.

The taste is ok. Again some fruit is present mostly banana and citrus. Some pale malt gives a gentle grain presence and is accompanied by a bit of yeast.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a light fine bubbled carbonation.

Overall the beer is ok. I'm not convinced it has all of the qualities I look for in a saison but it has some merit. It's a solid beer and I would be happy to visit it again.

Goliath, Sep 20, 2011
Photo of metter98
3.8/5  rDev -1%
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.

metter98, Sep 19, 2011
Photo of ADZA
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy honey hue which leaves a rather creamy two finger head that stays and leaves nice clingy lacing,the smell is barnyard funk,spices and earthy hops,the mouthfeel is medium bodied and nice and creamy with tastes of lemongrass,funk,citrus zest,earthy hops and is finished with a nice spicy dryness and overall i like it and would buy again cheers.

ADZA, Sep 18, 2011
Photo of DrJay
3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Slightly hazed orange/gold colour with a fluffy white cap. Lemony aroma, very floral, grassy and peppery, bready, some coriander and faint apple. The flavour profile was a bit different, more of a focus on spiciness (peppery with some coriander) with a dry maltiness. Citrus and floral character was more muted, though there was still a light apple sweetness. Slight warmth, peppery and grassy finish, medium bodied with moderate carbonation, fairly dry. I enjoyed it and would purchase again, particularly if I found it on tap.

DrJay, Sep 17, 2011
Photo of jsprain1
3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Cloudy straw. Thick head disappates down to one finger with almost no lacing.
S- Smell is heavy on the pepper and clove. Lemon and banana are also present.
T- Somewhat sweet at first but it's quite peppery and spicy. As it warms the banana and lemon notes come through more and more.
M- Medium-light for style. Medium carbonation.
O- It almost is like a sturdy, peppery hefe rather than your stereotypical funky saison, but that's ok. I enjoyed it and would gladly drink it again.

jsprain1, Sep 16, 2011
Photo of avalon07
4.18/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a yellow-brown color and a cloudy texture. There was a huge, creamy, long-lasting head. Below average lacing.

S: Smelled of that typical saison barnyard funk, along with a fruity aspect and malt.

T: Tasted of fruit (apples), malt, some pepper and the aforementioned barnyard funk. A solid, well-rounded flavor that is oddly satisfying.

M: A highly carbonated beer with a smooth, yet earthy finish. Medium-bodied.

O: One of the better American versions of saison.

avalon07, Sep 15, 2011
Photo of OWSLEY069
4.43/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a hazy yellow to orange-ish color with an off white head. In the aroma, fruity, earthy, and yeasty. In the taste, fruity, tart green apple, yeasty and a hint of earth. A sour bite and medium to lighter bodied mouthfeel, with a dry sour green apple in the aftertaste. Almost Fantome like, very enjoyable.

OWSLEY069, Sep 14, 2011
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.

mocktm, Sep 13, 2011
Photo of jale
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Crunchy's in East Lansing.

A: Pours a light straw with a finger of white head.

S: Banana and clove. A hint of spice.

T: Banana and clove upfront followed by mild spice and light hops. Very nice clean finish.

M: Light body with good carbonation.

O: A nice saison. would drink another.

jale, Sep 12, 2011
Photo of hwwty4
2.95/5  rDev -23.2%
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.

hwwty4, Sep 12, 2011
Photo of fo5s
3.48/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750mL corked & caged, poured into a tumbler and paired with some chipotle. Cork pops quit loudly. No dating, but this is a one-off and is relatively fresh.

A- pours with a massive head but limited lacing.

S- peppery, earthy, grainy.

T- equal mix of funky and citrus, but somewhat muted on the whole. Peppery finish. Smooth.

M- Dry, yet slick. A touch creamy.

O- Overall a fine, unoffensive saison. Somewhat muted, but a nice intro to the style. There are certainly better, widely available saisons at the same pricepoint, and bottles won't be around for much longer. Worth trying, but no need to hunt these down if they become tough to find.

fo5s, Sep 11, 2011
Photo of wifehatesthebike
3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First time in forever where the cork broke trying to twist it out. Anyway...

A: Golden and slightly cloudy with a bubbly white head with good lasting quality.

S: Bananas, citrus, yeasty and bready. No surprise here.

T: Peppery and lively at first, fades to a banana and bubblegum flavor. Very buttery.

M: Full and smooth, heavy on the palate.

O: Very good for the style, I wouldn't mind if it were a bit cleaner tasting though.

wifehatesthebike, Sep 11, 2011
Photo of mcallister
3.38/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Dark golden colored with a thick, frothy head. Chunky and molten with long life. Showing some yellow hints and great retention.

Terrific aromas. Very floral, earthy with large amounts of yeast esters. Lemon and lime, white pepper, wild berries, fennel, coriander, carbonation.

A little off in the mouth. Especially the mouthfeel which hurts the overall picture. Good amount of hops bitterness, yeast, bread, hints of an almost brett like farmyard in the finish, lime zest, berries, pepper, grass, pine and more.

The mouth is weird it gives the impression that the carbonation isn't really there which in turn makes the flavors get lost and just ooze to quickly over the palate. But I think it may actually be so overcarbonated that its exploding on the tongue when it hits and is lost. Creamy but just lost.

mcallister, Sep 09, 2011
Photo of scottfrie
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle into Portsmouth snifter.

A: Pours a cloudy apricot color with a huge bright white head that slowly faded into a thick fluffy film that left a few streaks of sticky lacing down the glass.
S: Dominating notes of cardamom with hints of pears, lemon zest, orange, spicy hops and bready yeast.
T: Follows the nose with flavors of cardamom, pear, lemon, spicy earthy hops, pepper and bubblegumy bready yeast. The finish is a lightly sweet, and the aftertaste is just barely bitter.
M: Frothy airy carbonation bubbles up in my mouth over the medium body. The mouthfeel is airy but finishes slick.
O: An easy drinking saison and a great attempt from one of my favorite breweries. Not the best but I would drink this again.

scottfrie, Sep 08, 2011
Photo of Daniellobo
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Generic, easy, and approachable take on a saison.

Presentation: 750 ml brown corked and caged bottle. Old fashion label trying to look non-sierra and antique themed, overall quite unremarkable image of faded abbey arches in muted pistachio green. Back offers notes about the collaboration with the abbey, main characteristics of the brew, and how a part of the benefits will go to an effort to restore a transplanted medieval building in California. Shows 7% Alc. by Vol. Served in a tulip glass.

A - Hazy gold pour with a good 1" of frothy head, moderate retention, with fair surface memory and lacing.

S - Nose is fair earthy and yeasty with a soft fruitiness with a peppery touch and a hint of caramel.

T - Fruity and lightly zesty, soft yeasty sense with a touch of spice. The hint of caramel is also there in the lingering finish.

M - Light/medium body with moderate carbonation.

O - Quite quaffable, nothing memorable but a good drink.

Notes: Not sure where SN is going with these takes on Belgium styles. They are quality but pretty generic, and in that context they feel a bit too expensive, at least to pick them up for a second time, and certainly considering competing options sitting next to them with better pricing and more interesting flavor profiles...

Daniellobo, Sep 07, 2011
Photo of bum732
3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

S: Fresh cut grass off the bat, some citrus spiciness, grapefruit juice, black pepper.

L: Slight hazy orange amber, lots of bubbles rising to the surface, carbonated off-white head that dissipates.

T: Spicy malt with a green grass component. Slightly grapefruit citrus, medium low bitterness leading to some grapefruit juicebut mostly semi-dry spicy malt. Finishes semi-dry with just a touch of white pepper.

M: Medium carbonation, medium mouthfeel.

Liked it, aroma was very good, taste doesn't quite match this. A lot of fresh cut grass and grapefruit, but worked for the most part.

bum732, Sep 07, 2011
Photo of jamescain
3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a White Birch flute glass.

Appearance: Golden orange with a fluffy white head about two fingers thick that slowly fades into a lacing over the top. Good head retention.

Aroma: Spicy yeasty notes with a touch of citrus.

Taste: Earthy and spicy with subtle bready notes.

Mouthfeel: Medium-high carbonation with a dry finish, refreshing and easy to drink.

Overall: A good saison, I feel there are better versions out there but glad I tried it.

jamescain, Sep 06, 2011
Photo of gford217
3.63/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml cork and caged bottle.

Pours a slightly hazy golden with a thick creamy beige head that recedes slowly to a thin collar with a stream of bubbles feeding it.

Aroma is spicy initially with some black pepper and coriander as well as plenty of sweet malts and hints of Belgian yeast though there isn't a lot of fruitiness in the nose. There is a hint of lemon zest and herbal grasses.

Taste is a little sweeter than the aroma and has some of the fruity esters that the aroma lacked. The spices are dialed down a bit though there is a peppery finish in the end. The lemons are present up front with some grainy malts underneath.

Mouthfeel is very active with lots of carbonation and medium bodied. It's not quite as dry as I would expect in a top-tier saison.

I don't think I like this one as much as the dubbel but it's another good interpretation of a Belgian style from Sierra. A little too watery to be world class for me.

gford217, Sep 05, 2011
Photo of axeman9182
3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL bottle that went right from the fridge into my Duvel tulip.

Ovila Saison pours a nice goldenrod, and there's some visibility through to the other side of the glass (though I wouldn't call the beer clear). The head is absolutely massive, four fingers plus of white foam. Head retention is very good, but lacing is spotty at best, which is a bit of a disappointment. The smell is a very nice blend of herbal, peppery and citrusy aromas, with the first two probably outshining the latter. The flavor brings not even a hint of sweetness, just a bone dry beer allowing the above flavors to fill in the flavor profile. I'd say herbs is the lead player here, with white pepper and lemon citrus supporting it, definitely in that order. The body is nice and light, the beer really is super attenuated. Carbonation is a little lacking though, it could stand to be more active. Ovila Saison is a fine beer, and miles ahead of the Ovila Dubbel, but it feels like a very rote, by the numbers version of what can be a very versatile style.

axeman9182, Sep 05, 2011
Ovila Abbey Saison from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 733 ratings.