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Ovila Belgian Style Golden - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Ovila Belgian Style GoldenOvila Belgian Style Golden

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

188 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 188
Reviews: 53
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 11.02%
Wants: 8
Gots: 8 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Bitterbill on 06-24-2012)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 188 | Reviews: 53 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Philousa


3.68/5  rDev -3.4%

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.

09-26-2012 04:22:42 | More by Philousa
Photo of BEERchitect


4/5  rDev +5%

Sierra nevada continues to march through the more popular styles of Belgian ales for the bennefit of the Abbey of New Clairvaux. This time, they do so with the ever ellusive elegance found in few Belgian strong pale ales, even within the boarders of Belgium.

With a quick pop of the cork, the beer sounds off with Belgian confidence right out of the shoot. Not a gushing beer, but the careful decantment yields a billowing foam structure that easily topples the tulip. As the beer separates from the froth, the golden elixir underneath is a thing of beauty. A modest haze allows the beer to glow with shades of goldenrod. Persistent head retention and intermittent lacing reinforces the beer's Belgian authenticity.

Sweet and succulent notes of floral hops, honey, and fruit swirl in just the right balance to remind me of honeysuckle. Backed by the supple malt of biscuit and pilsner, the beer's cracker-like breadiness grounds the esters, hop oils, sweet scent and gives the aromas structure. Balancing notes of white pepper, clove and dried orange peel offset the sweeter fruitier notes and offers yet another layer of complexity to the overall scent.

Flavors ride the same consistent line of that in aroma. A medium-sweet captures the taste of honey and powdered sugar before developing into a dry-fruit taste of apples and pears- reminding me of Riesling or drier French ciders or perry. The light bready base of biscotti and animal crackers rein in the esters and sweetness and give the spicy balance a springboard in which to jump. White pepper, coriander, and curacao orange peel accompany milder tones of clove and cardamom as the beer dries out wonderfully headed into finish. A late stance of hop bitterness matches that of spiciness but never rivals for command in balance.

Medium-light in body, the early firmness is aided by residual malt sweetness and a rich grainy-sweet body. But the carbonation pulls the malt from the tongue and favors an arid dryness of fruit and spice. Finishing off-dry, the beers 8.5% strength delivers a warm and soothing finish with high drinkability and lightness.

Sierra Nevada's philanthropic endevors leads them to a very classy and authentic tasting Belgian strong pale ale that's on par with those like Delirium Tremens, Piraat Ale, and Lucifer. But it must be drier to match that of Duvel. Still, it's a pleasure to sit with a bottle of the beer!

09-25-2012 02:54:52 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of BEERMILER12


4.1/5  rDev +7.6%

A: Pours a clear golden yellow color with half a glass worth of bubbly white head, which is no surprise given the force that the cork came out with

S: Intensely aromatic, with funky, fruity, and spicy yeast notes and some faint malt undertones

T: Follows the nose with the yeasty notes, which include pear, apple, grape, and maybe some banana, spices, and a little funk. Alcohol also come through slightly, providing more fruity esters and general warmth

M: Light-medium bodied with ample carbonation. Very champagne-like

O: A solid BSPA that has a very intense Belgian yeast strain that brings out the best of the style. Some of it is lost in the taste, but it's all in the nose. A very good job by the monks at the Abbey. Also, thanks to SN for allowing this to happen

09-15-2012 03:33:41 | More by BEERMILER12
Photo of JayQue


3.9/5  rDev +2.4%

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.

09-13-2012 02:18:26 | More by JayQue
Photo of falconxman


3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

09-11-2012 23:50:07 | More by falconxman
Photo of Snodman

West Virginia

4.25/5  rDev +11.5%

09-08-2012 12:47:56 | More by Snodman
Photo of bum732


3.6/5  rDev -5.5%

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.

09-05-2012 01:44:02 | More by bum732
Photo of cvm4


3.88/5  rDev +1.8%

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.

09-02-2012 16:47:12 | More by cvm4
Photo of Zorro


3.93/5  rDev +3.1%

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.

09-02-2012 01:19:32 | More by Zorro
Photo of BeerFMAndy


4.25/5  rDev +11.5%

750 ml cork and caged bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada tulip.
8.5% ABV, numbers on bottle's shoulder.

A - This Ovila comes with a "Warning: Contents under pressure" label draped over the cork and caged top, and rightfully so. Just as I released the cage from the bottle, the cork shot out with enough force to break a window. The effervescent beer poured a clear pale golden color with a pillowy white head. Moderate retention eventually leads to a thin layer of suds but no classic lacing to be found.

S - With almost as much explosive power as the carbonation, the aroma erupts from this beer with a yeasty potency. Complex spicy notes of lemongrass and clove really resonate within the lungs upon a deep inhale (the tingle in the nostrils also probably comes from abundant C02). Earthy clay and white pepper strike a chord as Ovila Belgian-Style Golden finishes with traces of floral and herbal hops and light pilsner malt sweetness.

T - Sierra Nevada does a good job of masking most of the big alcohol contained in this beer, though few phenols emerge. The flavor mirrors the aroma quite nicely, bringing the overarching yeast earthiness through in waves of complex spice with light white grape and faint banana notes trailing behind. Clay and white pepper are still present but blend into the floral hop characteristic and sweet malt balance a little more.

M - Surprisingly, this golden ale is no where near as eruptive in carbonation as the misfiring cork might lead one to believe. Strong, steady carbonation is on par with the style and not disruptive or attacking. Instead, this lighter-bodied golden is pretty smooth and nicely dry on the finish with a lingering spice and hidden kick. This is a dangerous beer.

O - Sierra Nevada has done very well with another Ovila series beer. This Belgian-style golden ale is intense and powerful with yeast complexity while remaining smooth and drinkable for a killer beer that'll knock you down. As they say, sharing is caring!

08-28-2012 01:46:28 | More by BeerFMAndy
Photo of Vixie


3.95/5  rDev +3.7%

Pours a nice yellow with a hint of orange. Forms a huge white head which lingers. Pour slowly, doesn't take much to overflow your glass.

Very fruity smell, seems to be mainly apple and pear. Reminds me a bit of the smell of apple juice. There is also a bit of a pepper smell to it.

Starts out a bit fruity, I would say mainly apple, maybe a hint of pear. There is spice as well, mainly pepper and a hint of coriander. Finishes with a bit of a hop bite, adding a floral note to it.

Goes down nice and smooth, feels like what I expect from the style.

Another nice beer in the Ovila line. It has a very Belgian flavor to it, and one I would happily try again.

08-28-2012 00:56:00 | More by Vixie
Photo of Focusf111


2.5/5  rDev -34.4%

08-26-2012 20:59:23 | More by Focusf111
Photo of JohnGalt1


3.53/5  rDev -7.3%

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.


08-24-2012 05:41:09 | More by JohnGalt1
Photo of hayesjw


3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

08-21-2012 20:55:02 | More by hayesjw
Photo of DovaliHops


4.28/5  rDev +12.3%

So stoked for this to finally get released. Pours a clear, bright golden color with a large, frothy white head that takes a long time to diminish. Scent is immediately lemon and pears. Very citrusy with a ton of peppery spice. A hint of rosemary. Belgian yeasts and a nice blend of citrus and spice. Taste is just as I was hoping. Green apples and ripe pears with some tart lemon flavors. A ton of pepper to mellow out the tartness. Belgian yeast with some hoppiness, but not too much. Great balance of all flavors for this style. Mouthfeel is crisp, refreshing, and highly carbonated. Drinkability is very high. ABV well hidden. Overall, this is another great offering from the SN Ovila series. Very tasty with amazing drinkability.

08-19-2012 07:33:09 | More by DovaliHops
Photo of wvsabbath

West Virginia

4.15/5  rDev +8.9%

Serving Type - 22oz caged and corked bottle

Appearance - Monster 4+ inch foamy, creamy head with insane amount of lacing. Golden tan color , much like a ipa. Looks amazing in the glass.

Smell - Very floral, yeasts, malts, lots of spices. Plenty of lemon. Very grassy and farmhouse like.

Taste - AS with the smell, very floral frutty notes at first sip. Lots of lemon, grapes, pineapple and pear. A huge spice kick comes in with a little alcohol to warm things up. Nice yeasty sugars mixed with malts to balance out and add more drinkibilty.

Mouthfeel - Fruity notes hit tounge first, then the spices pepper it up. Palate gets more fruits, and lots of yeasts. The finish is sweet, fruity and a little spicey.

Overall - Tasty and well done. Lots of flavor and easy to drink. The spice kick was a surprize, adding some real tang. Compairable to duvel, not quite as smooth though. A well done ale, probily my favorite from this ovila series.

08-19-2012 01:21:19 | More by wvsabbath
Photo of ThomasG19


4/5  rDev +5%

08-17-2012 16:39:04 | More by ThomasG19
Photo of CaptDavyJones

New York

4/5  rDev +5%

08-10-2012 20:10:45 | More by CaptDavyJones
Photo of Gmann

New York

3.73/5  rDev -2.1%

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.

08-04-2012 20:06:35 | More by Gmann
Photo of CommonRider


3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

08-03-2012 11:42:52 | More by CommonRider
Photo of nickfl


4.23/5  rDev +11%

A - Pours with two fingers of white foam on top of a lightly hazy, dark golden body. The head settles slowly but leaves only light lace.

S - Herbal hops and thick, bready malt with some vanilla notes.

T - Thick, rich malt up front with notes of bread, herbal hops, and vanilla. Some pear and spicy notes of coriander and pepper in the middle. Finishes with black pepper, pear, spicy hops, and thick, sweet malt.

M - A fairly thick body, moderately high carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.

D - Very good, this is a classic tripel with great malt and yeast character. Just a touch too sweet in the finish but otherwise perfectly executed.

08-03-2012 03:23:13 | More by nickfl
Photo of JohnLynch

4/5  rDev +5%

07-30-2012 02:41:22 | More by JohnLynch
Photo of whoneeds8


3.88/5  rDev +1.8%

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.

07-29-2012 03:14:25 | More by whoneeds8
Photo of Tilley4


3.53/5  rDev -7.3%

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...

07-26-2012 20:37:49 | More by Tilley4
Photo of MrJolly


4.25/5  rDev +11.5%

07-26-2012 01:17:18 | More by MrJolly
Ovila Belgian Style Golden from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 188 ratings.