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Ovila Belgian Style Golden - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Ovila Belgian Style GoldenOvila Belgian Style Golden

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

55 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 55
Hads: 206
Avg: 3.89
pDev: 20.82%
Wants: 10
Gots: 9 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Pale Ale |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Bitterbill on 06-24-2012

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 55 | Hads: 206
Photo of themind
2.78/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This thing is way to carbonated! I tried nine different ways of pouring this into a glass and every time I ended up with a glass full of foam. When I removed the cage around the cork the freaking cork blasted off and bounced off my ceiling. This was sitting in my bar for a week so it's not like someone secretly grabbed it and shook it 1000 times before I decided to drink it. The taste is decent but I only got about one glass from the bomber due to the massive amount of foam.

Bottom Line: Foam blast nothing more!

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Photo of jinjeski
3.5/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

good aroma and taste. nice balance of hops,etc.Good grain expressed. Enjoyed the rich taste. Very nice Belgian style beer with golden color. Odd in that when I opened it after a day in the cellar, the cork shot to the ceiling. Way too much carbonation!!! Maybe I had an unusual bottle.Big head.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5


750 picked up at the COOP a week or so ago.. Finally got around to it tonight... This opened with a massive POP and thankfully I kept my grasp firmly on the cork... Pours with a decent lasting 3 finger head.. the brew is clear golden.

Nose is a bit clovey with some light pear and apple.... a bit of a floral hoppiness as the glass warms up...

Flavor mirrors the nose but the fruitiness seems like underripe produce.. a bit of a peppery note appears with warmth.. maltiness is very soft and melds seamlessly with the esters and phenols.. a bit boozy as it gets well out of fridge temperature... drink it colder.

Very carbonated.. perhaps more than even its continental cousins.

Good.. very burpy... but it is going to be a bit of a chore to finish this one later at night... A better early evening sipper.


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Photo of Tilley4
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The latest edition of the Ovila brews... I've been a fan of most of the other ones...

This certainly looks and smells the part... Very Duvel-like in its appearance with a huge white fluffy head atop a golden body...

Lots of yeast present in the aromas along with some sweet apple and pear... very earthy... there's almost a funkiness to this...

I will admit I wasn't crazy about this one after the first few sips... there was this strange aftertaste that I kept getting that really detracted from the brew... I walked away from it and came back a few minutes later and it seemed totally different... A big earthy yeastiness mingles and dances with the sweetness from the fruits mentioned above... Pear, apple and maybe a little grape?

Overall, an OK brew... probably my least favorite of the Ovila series...

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Photo of beertunes
3.6/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in 14oz goblet. Poured a lightly cloudy golden color with about an inch of white head that had pretty good retention and no lacing.

The aroma was very good, nice base grains, a tangy yeast scent and a bit of spiciness. The nice flavors were similar, about what you expect in the style. the grains providing a foundation for the yeast, spice and other floral notes to build upon. There was just a bit of an alcohol taste at the finish.

The body was very nice, smooth, full and even. Drinkability was pretty good, I could have easily had several of these. Overall, a nice, if not quite outstanding, example of the style. Certainly worth trying if you see it.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.6/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle, biggest pop I've ever heard opening a bottle, it hit the ceiling and then landed about 10 meters away,

A: Pours a deep gold with a fizzy white head, big bubbles, spotty lace.

S: Pear, lemon, sugar cane.

T: Soft pear and golden apple. A light tartness and hint of citrus peel throughout. Some noble tasting hops in the finish. Well balanced flavour, though a little light.

M: Medium-bodied, soft carbonation, crisp, not over done which is something I can always count on the Ovila beers for.

O: Probably the weakest of the Ovila beers, but still well made and enjoyable. I just wish the flavour was more intense.

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Photo of bum732
3.61/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

S: Soft pear with some apples, touch of pepper.

L: Fairly clear golden, big white effervescent head with amazing retention and lacing.

T: Dry, slightly peppery malt, some soft pear and apple notes. Medium herbal bitterness leading to a dryness with some slight phenolics and pepper.

M: Medium high carbonation, medium bodied. Quite effervescent.

Ok, a little one-noted for the style.

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Photo of billab914
3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle poured into my Allagash glass. Golden in color with a thick white foam filling nearly half the glass initially. Nice head retention as it settled down.

The aroma has a good balance to it. Zesty lemon citrus, Belgian yeast spice and bready pale malts all come together well. It's crisp, refreshing and pretty nice overall.

The taste shows a little more of the yeast spice showing up. It's got some of the zesty lemon coming through, which gives it some refreshing qualities. A little bit of the pale, sweeter malts come through with some lighter, crisp fruit flavors.

The mouthfeel is on the lighter side with carbonation being high. Overall, it was a pretty easy drinking and refreshing beer. The earthy yeast spice seemed a touch dominating in the taste, but other then that it felt pretty well balanced. Pretty solid beer of the style overall.

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Photo of russpowell
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow, did that ever open with a pop! As soon as I uncaged this the cork shot off, their warning label was apt

Pours an effervescent gold with 2 fingers+ of pearl colored head. Stays effervescent, good head retention & lacing

S: Grassy notes, lemon peels, & faint pear notes

T: Green apple peels, some pear & just a touch of coriander up front. Pears & a slight bit of dirt as this warms, just a bit of peppery hops & slight boozey warming. Finishes very fruitty with some phenolic twang & a little bit of lemon hop bite

MF: Medium bodied, lively carbonation, warming

Drinks easy, no Duvel, but not bad, just wear some safety glasses

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Photo of Bitterbill
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml corked and caged bottle. A collaboration brew between Sierra Nevada and The Abbey of New Clairveaux.

A huge champagne like pop when I removed the cork, it pours(straight from the fridge) a light gold with close to a 2 finger head of foam and leaves some lacing behind.

It smells yeasty, spicy, fruity, slightly funky.

The taste starts off yeasty with a candi sugar like sweetness that quickly changes to a green apple like tartness that isn't all apples; I see the label says pears..could be what I'm getting. The spice slips in with some peppery notes and the ample alcohol warms things up considerably. There's a light bitterness here throughout and it accounts for the dry finish.

The mouthfeel is nice and overall, it's a tasty brew.

I paid $9.99 for the bottle at the store I bought it at. I saw it at $7.99 at another store later. That would be a better bargain, obviously; I have to say, I don't quite get the whole gist of this beer. The other Ovila brews I've had were in the same range and not as satisfying as I'd hoped they'd be. Sorry about that, Sierra Nevada; I'm still a big fan of most of your brews.

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Photo of prototypic
3.7/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

WARNING! Once you remove the cage on this one, the cork will likely shoot out like a cannon! Mine certainly did! Be careful with this one!

Beglian Style Golden Ale pours a lighter golden color. It’s clear and looks a little yellowish with backlighting. Carbonation is extremely active! The head on this one is easily over four fingers in height! It’s white in color and takes forever to dissipate. It’s a bit annoying. Lacing was sticky and moderate.

The nose is pretty good. Maybe a tad weak, but pretty good. It’s a little biscuity and fruity up front. Apple and pear scents are noted early on. It’s a bit earthy and grassy throughout. Smells like there’s a bit of mild noble hops present. Belgian yeast is in the mix and adds some light spicy notes. Smells mostly like pepper and light clove. Alcohol is there, but isn’t too strong in the mix. Honestly, 8.5% seems about right.

The flavor is a bit better. Enough to trigger a score bump. The malt base does have biscuity flavor. Tastes like pilsner malt. Fruit notes of apple and pear are noted early on. Belgian yeast follows and tastes really nice. It adds spicy clove and pepper flavors. Earthy, grainy, and grassy notes are prominent throughout. I can’t say for sure, but it seems like there’s some use of noble hops here. I like it. Alcohol is there, but isn’t overbearing. It’s not warm at all. Finishes fruity, grassy, and a little dry.

The body is medium. Carbonation is active and a bit buzzy. It’s not quite smooth, but it’s not bad. It goes down easy enough. This 750 is disappearing with relative ease.

Belgian Style Golden Ale is a pretty good collaboration from Sierra Nevada Brewing Company and the Abbey of New Clairvaux. Its biggest problem is the overcarbonation. That needs to be toned down quite a bit. Pretty solid otherwise.

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Photo of Philousa
3.7/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The cork pops with a bang. The foam nearly overflows on its own into my Duvel tulip, but it does not spew out after I fill the glass. The beer is very clear with a dull brass color that catches the light like polished metal. The head is big and billowy and calms down to cover the glass in thin, irregular clumps. The aroma makes me feel like I'm on a wheat farm. I get hay, coppery dirt, coriander, and a little honey. Spices like pepper and clove are there as well, but the aroma mainly stays on the light end of the spice spectrum. The hops are there under the malt and yeast, floral with bit of nectar. Taste starts sweet, like honey, with some clove hitting the nasal cavities and a pungent Pilsner malt. There are lots of spices in the middle, mostly pepper and clove, but also some coriander and a little lavender. The Pilsner malt carries through, a bit metallic, to bitter, nectar tinged hops. The feel is tending towards watery and the finish is predictably dry, despite the somewhat uncharacteristically sweet taste.

This is a great example of a Belgian Golden Strong brewed by an American brewery. It leans against the style guidelines, not going into wild flavors or techniques. I think it speaks to what they are trying to do since this beer stays true to the Belgian traditions and expectations. There are better Belgian Golden Strongs out there, but this one is solid.

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Photo of Gmann
3.71/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Wow, I must have gotten a bad bottle. It opened with the slightest of pops and poured nearly flat with just a small wispy white head.

The aroma is light and floral with some yeasty spice. Light pale malt mixes with some grassy hops. The yeast brings some clove and hay. Not big on the coriander which is a huge plus in my book.

The taste is of a light pils malt, cracker like. Nice floral/honey sweetness. Enjoyable clove flavors from the yeast with an appropriate touch of coriander. Some bubblegum and hay notes from the yeast as well.

The feel like the appearance is rather dead from this bottle. Very weak carbonation gives the brew some life but no where near what a BSPA should be. Sweet and light on the palate with just enough grassy bitterness.

I think I got a dud bottle so I will re-review at some point. The beer tastes good and has a nice aroma so I have no issues buying another. I expect my grade to go up.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.78/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle I brought to share at Wowcoolman's tasting.

Pours a hazy orange with a foamy bone head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, fruit, and yeast aromas. Taste is much the same with fruity and yeast flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a high level of carbonation with a crisp and prickly mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is tasty but smells slightly better in my opinion.

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Photo of Sammy
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer from recent Maine trip. Slightly boozy golden, but still good drinkable and more of a Belgian strong. Big foamy lasting head. Nice yeast, simple and slightly sweet. A little orange citrus, bubble gum and tropical fruit. Soft mouthfeel.Worth seeking out to try.

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Photo of rlee1390
3.82/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Translucent yelllow orange, well carbonated, two finger head.

S-Grass, lemon, wheat and spice, could use a tad more hops.

T-Starts with a lot of grass with wheat balancing it out. Some bitterness, end with mild bitterness. Clove comes out as it warms.

M-Light and extremely carbonated, possibly overly carbonated.

O-The worst of the Ovila series so far. There are much better Belgian Pale Ales out there.

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Photo of Roguer
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A - Lovely golden color, perfectly pure white head. Pleasant lacing and reasonable retention. Huge amount of carbonation, and strongly translucent.

S - Very little to it: wheat or barley, some yeast, a slight sour note.

T - Subdued Belgian pale. Sweet, but not overbearingly so; the typical Belgian candi flavor comes in late, and if not in subtle fashion, then at least not huge. I get a mouthful of grain, almost like a farmhouse ale.

M - Medium, almost medium light. Refreshing, yet with clingy oils. Despite the tons of carbonation in my bottle, this is an easy beer to toss around the mouth, although there is a slight sting. Absolutely no hint of the 8.5%, which is impressive, indeed.

O - This beer could easily go down on a hot day outdoors, or as a nightcap in the study. The mixture of wheaty goodness and Belgian sugary sweetness, balancing out right in the middle, makes it pretty versatile. Paired easily with some sharp cheddar and spicy soup.

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Photo of cvm4
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours just like the name says, a clear golden in color with a huge billowing white head.

S - Yeast, sweet malts, spicey... About it.

T - Starts off sweet with a hint of pears. Then the yeast and sweet malts come out with hints of belgian funk.

M - Light, effervescent and highly carbonated.

O - I like this style. It's just a clean & crisp beer that would satisfy a lot of palettes.

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Photo of JayQue
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another good one from Sierra Nevada. Pours a fairly clear golden color from a corked and caged 750 ml bottle. The cork pressure was not as powerful as advertized but still produced a resounding pop. Big delicately bubbly head with great retention and some lacing.

Smell is light fruit...apples and pears with some black pepper thrown in. Still fairly mild

Taste is very good. The fruit presence and some sweetness are strong and inviting. There is a little hoppines and bite from the pepper and other spices (coriander??) and the alcohol.

Mouthfeel is rich. The spices and alcohol provide a nice balance from the fruity sweetness.

It ain't Duvel but it is still a very tasty beer, true to style.

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Photo of whoneeds8
3.89/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

That stip of paper across the cork cage sure does fit it's purpose, this cork popped better than most champagne. Do be careful.

Poured into a tulip glass, the first glass poured majority of a thick froathy head. Second glass was easily controlled, creating a golden yellow with a two finger thich head. Lacing is minimal.

Scent is strong of citrus, spice, yeast, and alcohol. The taste is of spice and lemons with a bread like after taste. Interestingly the spices come back in the very end of the flavors to finish things off.

Mouthfeel is overall average with a high alcohol burn.

Comparisons to Duvel are fairly acurate. All though I would put this as what Duvel would be if more care were put into it.

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Photo of Hopswagger
3.89/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

P: A billowing 3 inch of white ricky head hovering over a sea of murky golden apricot. Retention is ridiculous and just seems to get creamier. Yeast specks sprinkle the creamy head while lacing bubbles around the edges.

S: Sweet stone fruits, citrus, big Belgian yeast nose, pils malt, sourdough and dried wheat. Spices and floral aroma are also present. The great yeast aroma is the heavy hitter here. Once agitated stale bubblegum comes out and the booze becomes more present.

T/M: Old leather, slightly smoked grains, clove, cinnamon, white pepper, stone fruits, spice rum soaked apricots and a hefty dose of dry yeast. Finish is super dry with lingering sourdough, bitter green bananas and kale. Vivacious carbonation in a medium body that dries out the palate upon entering.

O: A beautiful presentation of a delicious beer. Gotta love BSPA's. super dry, spicy and great fruit sweetness. I'm glad I was able to find this Ovila and I look forward to enjoying the quad soon. Cheers!

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Photo of rangerred
3.89/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a goblet of a 750ml bottle.

Pours a clear deep gold with a fluffy two finger white head. The head never really goes away thanks to the abundant carbonation but there is also not a whole lot of lacing.

Big Belgian citrusy note on the nose with tons of pear and peaches. Some peppery spicyness along with clove and a touch of banana. Not bad but not quite as sharp and in your face as some others.

The taste is somewhat muted which is disappointing because there is really so much potential. Nice spice along with lots of pear. A little peppery as well with some light hints of biscuit. Mouthfeel is very soft and spritzy and really is perfect for the style. Finish is moderately dry with just a little stickyness and the alcohol is well hidden.

Overall, a nice attempt by Sierra Nevada at a beer that can be difficult to get right. While it is not as good as some of the top of the line Belgians, it is a great job by a large brewery in the States.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The beer pours a clear golden color with a large white head. The aroma is full of biscuit malt, with a dose of Belgian yeast and citrus from the hops. There is also a little bit of spice - seemingly cinnamon and coriander. The flavor has a lot of malt and yeast character, as well as some sugar, lemons and oranges. The alcohol is noticeable but the beer is still easy to drink. High, prickly carbonation and medium mouthfeel.

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Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 5/2/2012. Cork shot the ceiling as soon as he cage came off. Pours fairly cloudy golden amber color with a nice 2-3 finger fluffy white head with great retention; that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty foamy lacing clings to the glass, with a large amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of big apple. pear, grape, herbal, floral, apricot, grass, pepper, and earthy yeast esters. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of fruity esters. Taste of pear, apple, grape, pepper, apricot, herbal, grass, and earthy yeast esters. Lingering notes of light fruits, light pepper, herbal, floral, grass, and earthy yeast esters on the finish for a good bit. Very nice flavor balance and complexity of fruity and malty flavors; with minimal cloying sweetness present after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium bodied; with a very crisp, foamy, and lightly slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a small warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a very nice Belgian golden ale. Very nice balance and complexity of malt and yeast esters; and quite smooth to sip on. A nicely enjoyable offering.

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Photo of Zorro
3.91/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ML corked and caged bottle with a white tape warning that the contents are under high pressure. What next Warning Water maybe wet?

Cork comes out very easily with a Champagne like pop.

Clear dark golden colored beer with a thick and massive white colored head.

Smell is honeysuckle malt and herbal hops. Scent of apples and pepper with a slight soapy aroma. Coriander scent is medium.

Starts out mildly sweet with a fruity flavor. Floral flavor with a bit of coriander. Tastes much like a Saison tastes like a field on a sunny day. Mild honey and pollen flavors.

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall a very good beer. No faults at all, smell could be a little more complex.

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Ovila Belgian Style Golden from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 55 ratings.