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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

684 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 684
Reviews: 254
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 11.2%
Wants: 26
Gots: 50 | 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: 684 | Reviews: 254 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mudbug


4.22/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the large bottle (750?) into a large wine chalice results in a very nice cloudy orange with a one inch rocky head of foam.
Aroma is inviting, astringent clove and spice, very clean and light. Taste is complex, some clove, sweet malts, balanced by a hint of tartness, wet hay and grass in the aftertaste and a slight mushroom quality.
This is one fine beer, And Kudos to Sierra Nevada for expanding their horizons in such a good way.
I will buy this again and again.

Serving type: bottle

08-09-2011 04:39:04 | More by mudbug
Photo of zeff80


4.33/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a hazy, golden, yellow color with a two-finger, white head of bubbly foam. It left thick rings of sticky lace.

S - It smelled of lemon, cut grass with strong yeasty. It was slightly phenolic, too.

T - Great spicy/peppery flavor with some sweet caramel. Good yeasty flavor with some notes of lemon.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a clean finish.

O - This is a really good saison. I was glad to fine this on my travels.

Serving type: bottle

08-09-2011 02:48:37 | More by zeff80
Photo of nickthetick


3.53/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: pours hazy burnt orange into a DFH signature glass with a solid white head and doesn't leave any lacing.

S: oranges, apricot, bananas, hoppy and spicy.

T: soft yellow fruits, green apples and a bit of plums. Yeasty and a tad spicy with some good bread and hop notes.

MF: light and smooth, moderate carbonation.

O: this is a good saison for its nice hop quality but I'd like there to be more there.

Serving type: bottle

08-09-2011 01:28:40 | More by nickthetick
Photo of Brent


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

A solid saison across the board. A touch of barnyard, but not too much. Indistinct notes of apple and orchard fruit, with some bright, white wine notes toward the finish. Firm malt backbone with lively carbonation. Barest bit of pepper at the finish.

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2011 13:13:26 | More by Brent
Photo of JizackFH

New York

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

A - This beer pours a beautiful golden orange color. It has a nice 2-finger white head on it. the head has pretty good retention, and it leaves some specs of lace behind.

S - It smells of belgian yeast and a lot of spices right off the bat. There is also a good lemon zest and other fruits such as green apple and apricot. There is also a nice bit of barnyard smells.

T - The taste starts off with fruit flavors, spice, and some belgian yeast. There is some malty sweetness and a nice spicy hop presence as well.

M - This has a medium body and good carbonation. It goes down smooth and has a nice creamy feel to it. There is a nice bit of spice and hop presence. There is also a bit of sweetness in the background. Spices linger on the palate.

O - Great drinkability here. With each sip I found myself wanting more. This wasn't as funky as a lot of the other saisons I've had, but it is a damn fine beer none the less. I really enjoyed this and would recommend picking some up.

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2011 10:32:06 | More by JizackFH
Photo of THECPJ


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

Reviewed from notes at the Inaugural CPJ Beer Dinner.

appearance: golden yellow with a 1 finger white head

smell: farmhouse, spice, apples

taste: spices, apples, dry bitter finish,

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body,

overall: refreshing saison easy to drink. nice summertime beer. would love to grab another bottle.


Serving type: bottle

08-07-2011 16:30:45 | More by THECPJ
Photo of kauschovar


3.43/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear orange with a couple fingers of head. Has a very floral smell and similar taste. I also detect a little spice in the flavor, typical of other Saisons that I've tried. However, the flavor lacks a solid backing. Aside from the foral and spice accents, this beer tastes rather watery to me. In my mouth, the beer has a slight foamy feel.

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2011 04:53:31 | More by kauschovar
Photo of Hoptometrist


3.65/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap at Reverend's in a snifter

A- Poured s hazy amazingly bright orange color with a one finger frothy head

S- Sour apple, white wine characteristics, and some spice

T- Sour apple, white wine characteristics, lots of spice, and lots of bitterness

M- Soft and creamy with a nice amount of carbonation

O- Probably the most bitter saison I have ever had. A pretty good beer, but I would not seek it out again.

Serving type: on-tap

08-07-2011 01:59:47 | More by Hoptometrist
Photo of woosterbill


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

On-tap at Prime 16 into (inexplicably) a Chimay chalice. Not my preferred glassware for a Saison, but what can you do.

A: Hazy orange-gold body topped with a finger of fine, light, off-white foam. Average retention and spotty lace. Not bad, but nothing special.

S: Pleasant, very fruity aroma. Classic Belgian yeast esters provide apple and overripe pear, while the hops give some pleasant citrus. Not much to speak of in the way of spice, but there is a bit of lightly (and inoffensively) medicinal, band-aid-like phenolic presence. Quite enjoyable.

T: Juicy, fruity goodness - overripe apple and pear, orange and grapefruit hops, bready malt, and a clean finish with moderate minerality and plenty of bitterness. Perhaps a bit overly sweet with the malt and nigh-rotten fruitiness, but quite tasty.

M: Smooth, moderately carbonated medium body. Not as lively as I like a Saison to be, but its beautifully creamy feel is plenty pleasant.

O: I really enjoyed this one, but it didn't impress me with its authentic Belgian-ness nearly as much as the Ovila Dubbel - the hops in particular seemed quintessentially Sierra Nevada. I'm torn between enjoying this beer for what it is and wishing it were more of a dry, spicy refresher like Dupont. I think I'll just live in the moment and do the former.


Serving type: on-tap

08-07-2011 00:16:37 | More by woosterbill
Photo of billab914


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

750ml bottle into my Allagash glass. Amber in color with a thick and fluffy white head filling the top two inches of the glass. Nice head retention and decent lacing.

The aroma has a citrusy, herbal spice to it. I get a good amount of orange to it with a little lemon as well. The Belgian yeast adds some spice to it. Some sweeter, pale malts are there as well. Everything is pretty well in balance which gives it some smoothness.

The taste shows more of the brighter, citrusy flavors to it up front. I get a sweeter, candi sugar like flavor to it at first as well. Midway more of the yeast spice comes into play with some hop bitterness balancing it out. The orange and lemon like citrus is very nice in it and gives it a nice refreshing quality.

The mouthfeel is on the lighter side with carbonation being about average for the style but on the higher side in general. Overall it was a very good version of the style. Nicely balanced and drinkable with a good refreshing citrus quality to it. Very solid beer all around.

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2011 20:21:16 | More by billab914
Photo of zhanson88


3.43/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Here's to hoping this Ovila/SN collab saison is better than the dubbel.

Appearance: Pours a fairly clear straw color with about 1.5" of eggshell white head. Retention and lacing are okay, but could be better. It looks pretty decent.

Smell: Smells of citrus, banana and cloves, a hint of phenols peek through as well. Not the most rockin' saison I've smelled, but really very nice. Good start.

Taste: Citrus and clove are present up front, with maybe a touch of banana in there as well. Pretty nice on the front of the palate, but I get a mighty phenolic kick in the middle and back end that is off-putting. Pretty dry finish, and the lingering flavors are phenols and breadiness. Still....not terrible.

Mouthfeel/Overall: Between light and medium bodied with good carbonation. Pretty good here. Overall, I would say it's a decent saison, but not something I'll be having again most likely. I did like it a good deal better than the dubbel.

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2011 01:24:33 | More by zhanson88
Photo of megahurts4


3.63/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sierra Nevada Ovila Saison

Appearance: yellow-orange, large head, and some good lacing.

Smell: lots of yeast, grainy notes, and a faint citrus.

Taste: yeast, grain, and a very faint citrus/fruity flavor.

Mouthfeel: light and smooth.

The aroma is mainly yeast, but the overall flavor is fairly mild and soft. The amount of flavor resembles a kolsch more than a saison.

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2011 18:06:15 | More by megahurts4
Photo of JohnGalt1


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

Picked this one up at the COOP a while back... I'm watering the lawn and boxing beer... it is still freaking hot outside and in the house... the saison is sounding refreshing.

Poured into my Portsmouth goblet.... Scant 1" white head dies pretty quickly... no real lacing to speak of... the brew is a hazy lite orange.

The nose seems a bit tame IMO.. mildly phenlolic with some citrus and bready notes... not alot more surprisingly.

Flavor is better with better ester profile.. some pear and maybe apricot playing around... the spicy elements are the bigger player... white peppercorn and a touch of clove... some banana shows with warmth and seems a little out of place..

Body and carbonation are about right..

Not the best saison in the USA.. but still is pretty good.. I will buy it again certainly... I may even pick a few up for the cellar. I am digging the Ovila series and respect the motives for it... good work and God's work :-)


Serving type: bottle

08-04-2011 07:06:48 | More by JohnGalt1
Photo of KMcG


4.13/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Golden orange hazy color, small carbonation bubbles, nice rich head that leaves a Lacey trace on the glass. The head during the pour was about 1/2 in thick. 

S: Peachy aroma combined with the traditional Belgian yeast bready scent. 

T: initial fruity flavor of citrus that doesn't last long. Then, lemon-pepper sharpness with a dry finish that leaves a slight bready taste in the mouth. 

Mouthfeel: medium body, fine grained carbonation

Drinkable and yummy!

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2011 01:04:33 | More by KMcG
Photo of rdilauro


4.13/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours like the golden sunshine over the Bay Bridge. A perfect creamy head that stayed for a while.

The aroma was outstanding, a nice touch of fruit, mostly tropical, some banana and a walnut like nut flavor

The taste was full and very well balanced. Full and nice from the start right down to the finish.

Lots of good tasting fruit here mixed with just the right amount of barley and malt.


Serving type: bottle

08-03-2011 00:33:54 | More by rdilauro
Photo of CuttDeez


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

Bottle poured into a tulip

A - A slightly hazed orange body with bubbles and a nice sized frothy white head.

S - A citrus front end with a ton of lemon and a good note of pepper in the middle that opens to some airy floral notes on the back end. Overall very light throughout.

T & M & D - The beer is very citrusy on the front end with some breadiness and the slightest hint of pepper. Then the flavor turns floral in nature but not earthen and rustic - instead it goes light and somewhat sugary. Medium bodied beer with some back end heat and a little bitterness.

O - A decent representation of the style and light crisp beer. It is worth the try.

- Cheers

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2011 23:52:03 | More by CuttDeez
Photo of cpetrone84


3.13/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy golden yellow with a tight bubbly white head. There is a strong hop presence in the nose, very floral, with a decent amount of peppery yeasty spice and some sweet tangeriness and nectarines in back. The flavors are about the same, the spice fades a little and the sweetness is up a notch, not quite as balanced on an already sweet nose. Creamy body, lightly carbonated and barely dry.

Serving type: on-tap

08-01-2011 19:35:52 | More by cpetrone84
Photo of nezelrac

New York

3.8/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from bottle into tulip

A - hazy orange amber; pours with a nice two fingers of fine-beaded just off-white foam that subsides to a half finger

S - initially inert; opens to show bread-y, caramel malt notes covered in generically citric and spicy notes with a yeasty background; perhaps it will open further?

T - a bit quick on the palate; showing firm malt and a clear hop presence - lightly floral and spicy; a nearly creamy instant gives way to a firm tartness with more layers of hop and yeast spiciness and hints of baked orange towards the finish

M - good weight; CO2 is just right - not vigorous, but alive; there is a creaminess to the texture that is enhanced by the CO2 which I find quite enjoyable

O - this is a really good effort; a beer to be revisited again and again

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2011 17:37:41 | More by nezelrac
Photo of MrMalt27

New Jersey

4.47/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on tap at The Shepherd & Knucklehead in Haledon NJ.
Great aroma & color. The first sip reminds me of a hefe weizen but then that quickly dissipates and a lively spiciness arrives. Extremely drinkable- you would never know it's 7%. Fantastic.

Serving type: on-tap

08-01-2011 14:35:06 | More by MrMalt27
Photo of Beejay


3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A light orange tan beer, hazy with a very large and fluffy white head.

S: Slight citrus notes as well as a pear aroma. There is a refreshing berry scent, but it is is in the background mixing with an almost champaign like smell. Some typical belgian yeast characteristics. Nice.

T: There is certainly a good amount of tang in the flavor. Tart with citrus notes, a spicy flavor, and a touch of booze. This is certainly a little more intense than the smell would lead you to believe. There is a nice floral note, but the alcohol flavor seems a little high for me.

M: Light in body though it has a nice smoothness. Slightly drying, with high carbonation.

O: Overall I enjoy it, but I most likely would not buy another bottle. I think it is a little too rough around the edges, and if it smoothed out it would be real nice.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2011 19:36:57 | More by Beejay
Photo of aasher


3.35/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This one pours a nice rich and cloudy gold with a one finger off white head. It poured medium in body. It gives off aromas of sweet bananas, cloves, and a heap of Belgian yeast. It has a pretty nice nose. Initially, it's appealing but the longer you sip it it gets a little old. The flavors are of sweet and bitter Belgian yeast with a banana and clove lead. That's all it is really and doesn't feature too much complexity. It drinks medium in body and actually drinks pretty well. Overall this is an ok saison but I'd prefer a Belgian or a Sofie.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2011 02:17:32 | More by aasher
Photo of lnashsig


4.4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The second of the Ovila Collab series, I tried the Dubbel and wasn't impressed, hoping this rebounds. Poured into my Brooklyn tulip, pours a beautiful light orange color. Nice head, nice retention. Smell- lemon zest, clove, nice light fruit esters. Maybe some rosemary. This smells like a perfect Saison. Taste- just really well balanced lemon zest, light airy flavors. love this. They really rebounded here and this is just a textbook awesome example of a Saison. Mouthfeel- just a perfect dry finish, not too much carbonation. Overall, I'm impressed. Well done Sierra Nevada- you still got it!

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2011 23:45:36 | More by lnashsig
Photo of bsp77


3.6/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Tulip.

Appearance: A hazy honey gold color with a thick white head.

Smell: The yeast comes through strongly (mostly banana and clove). Maybe some light citrus, but the aroma is all about the Belgian yeast.

Taste: Sweet upfront, but abruptly turning very dry (and a little tart) at the finish. Some banana, citrus, lemon and bready malts, followed by spicy bitterness of clove and pepper.

Feel: Moderately high carbonation, medium body, abrupt dry finish.

Overall: I am happy this is not as overly sweet as many US Saisons are, making this quite refreshing overall. However, there is also not a lot going on, and the finish is a little odd. Better than the borderline atrocious Ovila Dubbel, but nowhere near being a world class Saison. Unless their Quad really wows me, this collaboration between Sierra Nevada and the monks of New Clairvaux is not all that great.

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2011 21:24:09 | More by bsp77
Photo of FosterJM


3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

692nd Review on BA
Bottle to Tulip
750 ML, C/C

App- A lighter orange with some yellow bulbous colors around the edges. A gigantic three finger head presented and fell quite nicely.
A little bit of bubbles came up from the center of the glass on this one.

Smell- Right off the bat it has that unique saison scent with a little citrus tucked back in there nicely. The bread comes in next with a little bit of layering along the lines of a damp field.

Taste- I'm not sure where I stand on this one. It's a nice saison. Nice being key word. It didn't bowl me over with a WOW or underwhelm with off flavors. It has a nice start with a little yeast and a little citrus note. A bit dry with a white pepper spike to it as well.

Mouth- It's a bigger saison and it's medium bodied and medium carbonated. Leaves a bit of a green apple flavor behind with some spice and some yeast.

Drink- I was very excited for this second bottle in the series. I have to say I was a bit let down with this one. I expected something more than what it was. It could be my expectations vs what the brewers were going for. Thats okay. People don't have to like every beer out there. This was still nice. It had a good balance but seemed to be a bit underdeveloped and a big too thick or big so to speak. I might have this again but CA is a good mecca for beer and saisons so I don't know.

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2011 04:29:42 | More by FosterJM
Photo of Gmann

New York

4.13/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly hazy golden color with a nice pillowy white head that settled in to a puffy cap.

The aroma is lightly tary and funky. Very nice clovey spice from the yeast with bubblegum and a sharp fruitiness. Pretty Beligan yeast aroma though it borders on too strong for the saison style. Smell great though.

The taste is of a slightly bready malt, a bit heavier than it should be for the style. There is a lovely apple and pear fruit flavor coupled with the clove and bubblegum from the yeast. Very tasty. Some coriander as well.

The feel is moderate with active carbonation. Sits sweet on the palate with a touch of a peppery spice from the yeast. The malt feels heavy at first but the beer finishes dry, like it should.

I love how this beer tastes but seems a bit off for the style. A bit, and I mean a bit, too heavy for the style. Not quite dry enough, not quite tart enough. Stellar BSPA though. This is a top notch beer, much better than the dubbel.

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2011 03:52:01 | More by Gmann
Ovila Abbey Saison from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 684 ratings.