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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

718 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 718
Reviews: 256
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 11.2%
Wants: 27
Gots: 58 | 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: 718 | Reviews: 256 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BurnInLA
4.33/5  rDev +12.8%

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.

BurnInLA, Aug 26, 2011
Photo of Pencible
3.73/5  rDev -2.9%

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.

Pencible, Aug 24, 2011
Photo of Retsinis
3.88/5  rDev +1%

Review from Notes

Ovila Saison 1st bottling (just adding that in case their is a 2nd for distinction)- 750 ml cork & caged. Opens with a generous "pop" of the cork when carefully opening, but thankfully there was no eruption.

A: Upon slow pouring into a tulip, a billowing white head rose a good 2+ inches, and hung around for a real long while. Upon settling, it left smooth lacing, not sticky, but bubbles that slowly slide down. The beer is a bright copper color, fairly clear, but with a mild haze.

S: White pepper, lemon zest, mild orange peel, and light yeast esters. Consistent for the style, but nothing that wowed me.

T: Intial draw mirrors the nose, some bread notes, a citrus lemon zest, some pepper or spice, finishing with some esters of yeast. As it warmed, I picked up a bit more flavors, a touch of banana and a very mild hay. Little detection of the alcohol, and well balanced.

M: Light mouth, but with high carbonation, not unlike the consistency of champagne.

O: Good. Consistent, balanced, and an easy sipper. I will cellar one bottle to do a side by side of all three of the Ovila series, and pick a favorite.

Retsinis, Aug 24, 2011
Photo of thespaceman
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Poured from a corked & caged bomber into a snifter:

Appearance: Pours a cloudy yellowish-gold in color - nice white head billows to the top of the beer and stays there. Tons of bubbles streamlining up the glass - very nice.

Smell: Up front I get your typical belgian-esque aromas, cloves, banana's, and some other spices. I also get a hint of fresh apple juice - very enticing as far as aromas ago. Fruit florals pop out huge all over.

Taste: Huge layers of fruit come about here, apples, pears, banana from the yeast - as well as a beautiful boquet of spice tickles the tongue. I get some clove and some black pepper here towards the finish. Malt sweetness is subtle yet flows nicely within the flavor profile here. A little touch of toasted grain rounds out the final sip of this beer.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation, although a tad bit undercarbonated for a saison - light-to-medium bodied.

Drinkability: Although not the greatest saison I've ever had - it is defintley one to give a go. I really liked the fruit florals in the nose as they are very easy to find. You can really taste every element in the beer which is great. A tad bit undercarbonated but it doesn't hurt it too much. At 7.00% ABV - it's not to hard to finish a whole bottle to yourself in a sitting which is nice. Overall, a good example of the saison style and will try again if I can get it.

thespaceman, Aug 23, 2011
Photo of mdaschaf
3.93/5  rDev +2.3%

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.

mdaschaf, Aug 23, 2011
Photo of harrymel
2.88/5  rDev -25%

Bottled 2011

A: pours a dirty grain colored ale with moderate haze and a three finger off white loose foam head. This falls rather quickly to a solid sheet of the same. No lace, wish there were.

S: Yeast, pepper, citrus and a hint of funk. Maybe a bit of plastic like whiffs at the back end. Meh, par for the coarse IMO.

T: The yeast is certainly the life blood of this one for me. The yeast is earthy and cloven - reminds me of Unibroue yeast, but toned WAY down (I hate Unibroue's yeast). There is a decent bitter bite with some evident sweetness and wheaty flavors. Again, some plastic flavor at the back end.

M: Medium bodied and sharply crisp with a dry finish. Here they hit the head nearly, prefer just the slightest resonance.

O: Well, Ovila is O for 2. Not a bad beer, not an exceptional beer, not even particularly above average. Really middle of the road with this one.

harrymel, Aug 23, 2011
Photo of willjschmidt
3.28/5  rDev -14.6%

Poured from a 750ml corked and caged bottle into a Sierra Nevada hop tulip.

A: Pours a deep golden color with a huge white head. Lots of carbonation.

S: Yeast, spice, a hint of sweet malt.

T: A decent saison, but far from great. It's got nice spice notes, a hint of grass, some light tartness. The major detractor in this beer though is that it is way too sweet. Saison's are supposed to be very dry.

M: Medium bodied, highly carbonated.

O: A decent saison, but I would not purchase again due to the sweetness and the fact that there are much better saisons available.

willjschmidt, Aug 23, 2011
Photo of afksports
3.6/5  rDev -6.3%

There are few things better than Sierra Nevada pale ale. But there are many things better than Sierra Nevada's Ovila line.

The saison does it's job however, and if you want a saison you will not be let down. But as much as it won't dissapoint, it won't astound. Smells yeasty. Suppose I'll review more later.

It's a sweet and malty and yeasty (really, Brendan?) 7.0 percent beer. But dudes - are you standing in the keg room of your favorite bar?

Didn't think so.

Saison is ok.

afksports, Aug 23, 2011
Photo of bigfnjoe
3.63/5  rDev -5.5%

Poured from a bottle into a Duvel tulip

A- pours a slightly cloudy shade of orange with a two finger white head....the head was huge before I let it settle and poured some more in there. Typical for a saison, maybe a little darker

S- spicy. Yeasty. Smells....very Belgian.

T- it's very sweet, that's for sure. The Belgian yeast totally dominates.

M- the body seems pretty thick, but I think a lot of that is the strength of the yeast talking....I'd prefer it a little thinner

O- I wish they toned this down a little bit. I like my saisons crisp....this one is a little sweet for my taste

bigfnjoe, Aug 22, 2011
Photo of Infamous7100
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

A: poured from bomber into snifter a dark golden, near copper color. Very thin white head.
S: grass, pepper, citrus fruits. Nice blend.
T: a tad spicy up front, with a bit of fruit mixed in, apple maybe? Fades to a tartness at the back. The grassy, earthy scents don't seem to come through in the flavor.
M: medium carbonation with some spicy sharpness. Very at the end.
O: pretty good beer. Not my favorite saison, but a good representation of the style.

Infamous7100, Aug 21, 2011
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4/5  rDev +4.2%

750ml bottle served in a tulip glass.

L - hazy copper color with a white head that left waves of lacing behind.

S - yeast and earthy spices.

T - spices and yeast are blended well in this tasty beer that finishes dry with slight tartness.

F - medium bodied with good carbonation that tingles the tongue.

O - a good example of the style.

JoeyBeerBelly, Aug 21, 2011
Photo of bonkers
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%

I poured from a bomber into a snifter, hazy yellow pour with a big, fluffy white head, light lacing. The aroma was full of oranges, and spices. The flavors were light citrus, grass notes, pear notes. The body was light, cabonation high. An enjoyable saison. There is something missing that would put it up to the next level.

bonkers, Aug 21, 2011
Photo of impending
3.03/5  rDev -21.1%

750ml into a tulip. Pours a heavy hazed orange, dense towering yellow white head, fine lacing.

Aroma is deliciously pungent. Massively yeasty, spicy, clean with lots of esters and a phenolic finish. Outstanding

Flavor is a disjointed mix of yeast, grasses, a quiet citrus and hazy spices. Mildly dry. No aspect of the flavor is notable. A muted peppery bitterness rides the length of the aftertaste. Medium bodied, almost chewy mouthfeel, unusual for a saison, off-putting.
Taste is a tremendous letdown from the expectation of the scent.

impending, Aug 20, 2011
Photo of twiggamortis420
4.05/5  rDev +5.5%

750 mL bottle pours a very hazed, dark gold color with a nice, large cap of off-white head. Nice retention and lacing. A good-looking brew all around, though I am surprised at just how cloudy it actually is.

Nose is crackery grains, sharp, zesty yeast with a bit of cloves and a decent leafy hop aroma.

I like the fact that Ovila is neither bone-dry nor sugary sweet. It has a nice grainy, lightly honeyed malt flavor and the yeast does a pretty good job showcasing saison flavors...zesty cloves and even gets a little lemony. Hops are there plenty, pretty juicy and floral/citric - shows both flavoring and bittering. I like this one much better than the Dubbel. I think this is a pretty good American-brewed saison...not much farmhouse feel to it and is a relatively 'clean' beer. But tasty beverage overall.

twiggamortis420, Aug 19, 2011
Photo of andrewinski1
3.48/5  rDev -9.4%

Poured into a tulip. The color is light straw almost golden, quite clear. There is a 2 inch head that shrinks to about an eighth inch layer of foam.

This smell nice and zesty. There is some sweet spice and some nice peppery hop in the aroma.

The taste is very pleasant, delivering a little bit of sweetness with a nice peppery yeast driven finish.

The body is light to medium. This doesn't drink quite as crisply as I'd like for a saison, and borders on being a Belgian pale ale.

This is tasty but doesn't quite scratch my saison itch, making it a middling to above average offering.

andrewinski1, Aug 19, 2011
Photo of tlazaroff
2.78/5  rDev -27.6%

Took this out of the fridge 30 minutes before drinking to warm it up a bit.

A: Pours a honey color, slightly on the orange side. Carbonation streaming from the bottom of the glass to support the fluffy light tan head.

S: Smells like a Belgian beer. Yeasty, tart fruits, and maybe a little pepper dominate the aroma. Smells quite wonderful.

T: I don't get as much funk as I like in my Saisons. There are hints of hay and oats, and defiantly grassy notes too. Just didn't deliver on what the aroma promised, kinda sad really.

M: Very light bodied (almost creamy) and carbonated, also incredibly smooth, neither of which I was expecting. I don't think this fits the style very well.

D: Quite drinkable, but I'd rather have other saisons.

tlazaroff, Aug 19, 2011
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.78/5  rDev -1.6%

Poured in to Duvel tulip.

A - Translucent light orange colour with one finger of thick, bubbly white head.

S - Sweet grainy notes, Belgian yeast, light citrus and grassy notes. Some funk is present as well.

T - Grainy/bready malts and Belgian yeasty flavours are predominant. Light citrus and earthy notes are present as well along with some funk. The finish is very dry and has a bitterness that lingers slightly.

M - Medium body with light to moderate carbonation.

TheSevenDuffs, Aug 19, 2011
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.93/5  rDev +2.3%

Very nice looking yellow beer, tons of head, very beautiful looking. Aroma was pretty dry and neutral outside of some small lemony citrus type of phenols.

Taste, very clean, crisp, pear bread (like banana bread, but with pears), love the flavor of the yeast, isn't clovey or heavy, its dry. Definitely some crossover with the belgian pale ale style, yeast similar to Westmalle. Moderate spice, don't agree with the heavy descriptions.

Another winner from Sierra Nevada, and that's not even counting the lack of a rarity grade boost that lesser beers in lower production will get up in here.

Beerandraiderfan, Aug 18, 2011
Photo of CampusCrew
4.22/5  rDev +9.9%

Amazing saison with some actual body. Great malt backbone and decent hop profile. I love the super spicy flavor and balance with the Belgo yeast. This is not a light saison and very full bodied for the style. Love this paired up with some funky cheeses.

CampusCrew, Aug 18, 2011
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

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.

Phyl21ca, Aug 18, 2011
Photo of Knapp85
4/5  rDev +4.2%

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!

Knapp85, Aug 17, 2011
Photo of WVbeergeek
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%

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.

WVbeergeek, Aug 17, 2011
Photo of popery
3.53/5  rDev -8.1%

From notes 7/21/11. It’s a gentle, pleasant saison that drinks easily but lacks any great depth of character. I would have liked to see SN push things a bit more with this beer. The aroma is fresh grain, bananas, lemons, mild pepper and some more spice - maybe, a little clove and coriander. It kinda tends toward German wheat beer flavors. The taste starts sweet with a little tang and finishes mildly dry with a very nice grassy, citrus hop note. Mouthfeel is kinda low on carbonation for the style but fine, otherwise. Appearance is a translucent and fairly light orange amber with a big white head. This is a good saison but too safe and a touch too sweet for me.

popery, Aug 16, 2011
Photo of brotherloco
3.35/5  rDev -12.8%

750ml C&C bottle. No date, but this is the first batch released. Served in a tulip.

Pours cloudy amber with a huge off-white head. Settles down to a finger of foam. Mild lacing.

Aroma is a blend of peppery Belgian yeast and bright citrus notes. Getting some lemon, apple, orange, and tangerine. Finishes with some floral and funky notes.

Flavor is a let down, as it is weaker than I expected. The label doesn't lie, as grass and pepper dominate the flavor, but are a touch dull. Hardly any fruit in the flavor, although some emerges late in the finish, along with some sourness. Dry, but not really crisp.

Medium-low body with a bit above medium carbonation. Pretty nice overall mouthfeel.

Overall, the flavor is never stellar, but definitely gets better as the beer warms.

brotherloco, Aug 15, 2011
Photo of Georgiabeer
3.83/5  rDev -0.3%

A solid Saison. I hope to see the Abbey brewing their own one day. Pours golden with a nice high head that settles to a respectable cap. Smells yeasty, slightly sweet, and lightly bready, with some subtle fruit notes of apple, pear, and a bit of white pepper. Quite nice. The taste is a little bit hot, and the fruit notes aren't as clear, but otherwise the taste shares much with the aroma. Not quite as crisp and bracing as I like my Saison's, this seems almost in the direction of Belgian Pale. Nevertheless, I enjoyed it well enough.

Georgiabeer, Aug 14, 2011
Ovila Abbey Saison from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 718 ratings.