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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: 26
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 wifehatesthebike
3.97/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

Photo of mcallister
3.4/5  rDev -11.5%
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.

Photo of scottfrie
3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

Photo of Daniellobo
3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
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...

Photo of bum732
3.87/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

Photo of jamescain
3.8/5  rDev -1%
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.

Photo of gford217
3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
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.

Photo of axeman9182
3.97/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

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

Sierra Nevada Ovila Saison

25 oz bottle, corked and caged, opens with a fierce pop. Pours a cloudy straw, with a large foamy head and some lace. Aroma of bubblegum, white pepper, and citrus. In the flavor, estery Belgian yeast, wheat, clove and a mild bittering balance. Mouthfeel is loose, wet and cleansing. Overall, a decent saison style beer with big yeast elements. Pretty nice.

Photo of bluejacket74
3.74/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml caged and corked bottle, Sierra Nevada date stamp code on bottle says this was bottled on May 26, 2011. Served in a tulip glass, the beer pours a hazy orange color with about an inch and a half off-white head. Head retention is good, and there's a decent amount of lacing. Aroma is very nice, it smells like peppery spice, citrus, dried fruit, bananas and some wheat. The brew tastes like bready malt/wheat, grass, peppery spice, cloves and a bit of fruit. There's also a slight bitter finish. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's smooth and is well carbonated. I think it's decent enough and worth trying. $9.99 a bottle.

Photo of pitasoup
3.39/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: satisfying pop from the cork. pours straw golden yellow with nice fine and foamy two fingers of white head that is slow to subside, slight lacing as well. somewhat hazy body - i can see the outline of my fingers through the glass, but not much else.

S: wheat, dust, belgian/saison yeasts. a touch of peppers, lavender, and other floral notes are buried but present.

T: slight hop bitterness that slips into cloying saison yeast. muddled lemons, wheat.

M: feels overcarbonated, thin body doesn't hide the alcohol/phenols.

O: drinkable but nothing exceptional. too belgiany and phenolic for my tastes right now. i'd love to try it again in a year or two.

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

A: Light coppery/brass color with a respectable creamy white head and decorative lacing. Looks like adequate carbonation too. 4

S: Everything is very subtle. Earth, herbal, pepper, mild fruit and some caramel malt sweetness. Not sure how else to explain this, nothing is dominant enough to really punch me in the face. 3.5

T&M: Mild spice, mild fruit, some lingering sweetness in the back, mouthfeel is dry and to style but the flavor is lacking IMO. 3.5 / 4

O: This didn’t wow me, but maybe it’s just because I’ve had a Fantome Hiver and Boulevard Saison-Brett before this. It’s probably one of the most original Belgian styles I’ve tried from Sierra Nevada, but not as impressive as Boulevard, and definitely eclipsed by Fantome. 3.5

Photo of micromaniac129
4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Honey glazed oranges in color with a tall fluffy white head with modest density. The beer has a slight haze in it's clarity.

Aroma is fresh and refreshing. Malts are the dominate aroma here with wheat malts yeast and some pepperery spice.

Taste is spicy malts and yeast.

Thin in body with a tart spicy dryness and finishes smoothly.

A good beer to drink thats pleasing to look at smell and taste. Refreshing and smooth and tart.
Very good in my opinion. Would work well in the upcoming autumn leave piping season or watching hurricanes dart by I don't know.

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 GrumpyJunglist
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Duvel Tulip.

A: poured a hazy copper color with nice fluffy white head which was nearly 4 fingers high.

S: Aromas of citrus, bread, banana, and a hint of spice at the end.

T: For the most part mirrors its smell. Gets a nice amount of a refreshing citrus mouthful with a little bit of bread. A tiny amount of funk in this but its very nice.

M: It was very light and refreshing. Carbonation is not overpowering, with a mild warming at the end.

O: this was perfect after a hot day out here in Southern California. I am digging where Sierra Nevada is going with this Ovila series. Looking forward to what the Quad is going to have in store.

Photo of ColForbinBC
3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750mL bomber poured into a Duvel tulip

An slightly hazy light orange body sits underneath a huge, foamy paper white cap. No discernible lacing. A band-aid, medicinal funk takes control of the nose while banana, clove and pepper hold down the back end. The flavor profile mimics the nose exactly. Band-aid funk, banana, clove and pepper. Light body with an effervescent/astringent feel.

Overall, this is a quality take on the style. Nothing groundbreaking, just a solid, straightforward interpretation of the style.

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 Bucknutty24
3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Caged and corked bottle poured into a snifter glass.

A: Pours a hazy gold color with a nice white head of bubbles.

S: Has a bready malty smell.With some pepper and spice.

T: The taste hit perfectly with the smell. Lots of bready,wheat flavors. With a bit of pepper and lemon.

M: Low carbination with a light mouthfeel.

O: This was my first Saison. Have to say I enjoyed this very much. I will be going back for another bottle today.

Photo of nukem5
3.52/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Pours a nice dark copper color with a thin head with barely if any lacing.

S: Aromatic with peppery notes, some malts with a carmel taste. It did have a slightly astringent smell to it.

T; Carmels ,spice, with some peppery notes .

M: Medium to full bodied with very little carbonation.

O: Definitly a drinkier and this one went perfect with some calamari and lobster.

Photo of ibbjamin
3.7/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Received this 750ml bottle from a friend as a wedding present. I pour into my Rodenbach tulip to review.

Not as fizzy and carbonated as your average Saison. White head of an inch in height. Transparent and gold in color with a visible tornado of rising carbonation from the bottom of the tulip. Very nice layer of retention. Not much lacing.

No surprises here really in the nose, but all of the usual in good balance; banana, clove, Belgian spice, biscuity malts, lemon citrus, grassy hop and white pepper.

Good saison taste; refreshing summer beer with citrus and grassy hops. Many of the aforementioned come together in good harmony here.

Mouth is refreshingly carbonated, but not over the top which is one of the turn offs for me with this style, so I commend them for taming that characteristic. Light to medium body and a slightly dry mouth leads to a crisp finish but lemony hop taste remains to a medium length finish.

Certainly far from my favorite style, but this was a good one and I was glad I tried it.

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

Pours a slightly hazy gold with a few inches of white foam; settles quickly to a thin layer, leaving a few blobs of lace on the glass. Smell: peppery, spicy hopping, fruity with a little clove and cut grass. Taste: sweet pale cut through by wheat and pepper. Spicy, dried apricot, and a little mashed banana. Creamy upfront, then dries out quickly. Pretty nice.

Photo of ckeegan04
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Hazy brownish-orange with very active carbonation. Despite a rather gentle pour a thick 4 finger head of dirty white foam settles on top. Very picturesque beer.

S - White pepper and citrus dominate the nose with some lemon zest coming to mind. It smells as though a wheat malt was used in this as well. As the beer warms a faint sweetness comeing into the nose along with a touch of spice.

T - Light sweetness with a sharp pepperiness. Citrus fruits quickly come in a play with the white pepper very well. Lots of lemon zest. Faint taste of coriander as it warms. Very standard saison tastes. Nothing exceptional, but certainly a strong showing.

M - Light and crisp. Very well carbonated. Rather dry finish. Hits the standards for a saison very well.

O - A very strong saison from the Sierra Nevada folks. Nothing earth shattering here, but one of the better American made saisons I have had.

Photo of BurnInLA
4.3/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz caged/corked bomber into a tulip glass.

Poured a rich, hazy amber color with a substantial amount of fine bubble carbonation that builds a thick white head about an inch and a half. Head fades quickly. No lace.

Sweet malt, citrus, floral and spice of coriander on the nose.

Flavors of citrus, coriander and more floral notes upon consumption. A very light trace of tartness on the finish. Very nice drinkable flavor....

Mouthfeel is very good; on the lighter side but very smooth.

Overall this beer is a very good Saison. This could be a session beer for sure... goes down very easy.

Photo of Pencible
3.7/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: This poured a hazy dark gold with lots of quickly dissipating light tan head.
S: It smelled like earthy lemon zest and sourdough bread, with some grassy hops and minerals and funk.
T: It tasted like earthy lemon zest and grassy hops, with sourdough bread and a little funk and wild honey. It had a tart and clean aftertaste.
M: It was thin with lots of carbonation. Very light body.
D: This was a decent beer, but not the best saison at all. The scent and body both left me wanting. The taste was good, and the light aftertaste make it easy to drink. Ovila Dubbel was much more impressive. Not recommended.

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