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Ovila Abbey Barrel Aged Dubbel - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Ovila Abbey Barrel Aged DubbelOvila Abbey Barrel Aged Dubbel

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

39 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 39
Hads: 129
Avg: 4.05
pDev: 16.3%
Wants: 22
Gots: 25 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Dubbel |  8.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: mdfb79 on 09-27-2012

This Abbey Dubbel was aged in a blend of red wine and bourbon barrels to add a new level of complexity to an already beguiling brew. Rich malt flavors of burnt sugar and caramel blend seamlessly with bright fruit notes from the wine barrels, while the bourbon oak lends a mellow hint of vanilla.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 39 | Hads: 129
Photo of barnzy78
4.29/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

750mL bottle, shared 4 ways
A - foamy tan head on a brown body with plenty of carbonation
S - fruity, apple, fig, date, oak, earthy, yeasty, vanilla, faint bourbon
T - similar to aroma with notes of earthy yeast, apple, grape, fig, toffee, brown sugar, caramel, vanilla, bourbon, oak
M - velvety smooth, fuller body, higher carbonation allows its complexity to dance across the palate; vanilla and bourbon ride out the dry, peppery finish
O - great to try! I think it would get cloyingly sweet to drink more than half of the bottle, so it was nice to share it.

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Photo of maximum12
3.95/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The Ovila Quad was so good that I’d been watching for this one, & here it is. 750ML brown bottle, corked & caged, split with my wife.

The pour, leaving the last ounce or two in the glass, is clear, ruddy cheeks in an anticipated Minnesota winter breeze (which should be arriving tomorrow morning, finally). The head is big & persistent. The nose is interesting enough that I sip it through most of a movie trailer: very vinous. Wine, with some malt dropped in the barrel, & plenty of dark fruit. Oaky. This will be fun!

Ovila Dubbel - Barrel Aged is yet another cross-breed of wine & brew. The barrels are strong: wine & oak are on top here, along with a strong breath of vanilla & mild booziness from the bourbon. Flailing underneath the barrels is the dubbel: rich dark fruits, brown sugar, sweet cherry juice. Slight spiciness, perhaps from the yeast, perhaps from the jaded dialogue. Easy to sip, but I’m finding everything easy to sip these days. Perhaps I should have that looked at by a professional.

I’m liking the Ovila series. This doesn’t hit as close to my joy buzzer as the quad, but it’s very good & even better, different.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

exceptional beer, one of my favorites from them in some time, its magic. the combination of the wine and the bourbon barrels really lends itself to elements already existing in the base beer. the vanilla from the bourbon loves the sweeter darker malt in the dubbel, and the fruit from the red wine likes the fruity notes in the belgian yeast strain, and when it all comes together, its really splendid. i was surprised by a number of things here. the first is how clear it is in color, has the right tone, but no haze at all, just a crystal clear deep auburn with a tall tan head, gorgeous. it smells and tastes fantastic, i like that its not too heavy on the barrel, not overly oaky or boozy and thick, especially not thick, its almost light for a dubbel, far drier than most, without half the body, but it doesnt want for grain flavor or texture, which is the real genius. i suspect the yeast kept working in the barrels, as this is much less sweet than i remember the regular version being. minor acidity from the red wine cuts it as well. maybe a little less complex and cleaner than others like it, but really, there is no others like it, its a work all of its own, and worthy at the finest table. improving constantly as it warms. this series has simply blown me away, and this is one of my favorites in it. i sure hope they keep it up!

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Photo of HattedClassic
4.21/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The beer pours a cream colored head that dissipates quickly and leaves lacing around the rim. The beer itself is very nice to look at it with a clear ruby-brown. The hue is pretty nice and resembles wine a little bit.

The smell is pretty good and is a pleasure to smell. There are some nice bright red fruit notes like grapes from a cabernet sauvignon and bits of ripe plum. The malt notes mainly come off as caramel and burnt sugar notes with a little bit of toffee. The vanilla from the bourbon barrels is definitely there and blends well with the fruit and malt notes.

The taste is delicious and much better than the smell. The taste has the malt notes such as caramel, toffee with a hint of burnt sugar. The vanilla note is definitely present and still mixes with the malt notes. The fruit notes are bit more muted than the smell but still present and are given a slight bitter hop boost. There is also a very slight bourbon character to it that is subtle enough not to overpower the other notes but strong enough to be counted.

The feel is pretty good. It's medium bodied but a bit thin because of all the aging. The carbonation is pretty nice and biting; giving it a good texture.

Overall, a very good barrel-aged dubble and certainly unique enough to pay the purchase price.

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Photo of Boccu
4.26/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours nice with thick head. Lots of aroma. Taste is very smooth with tones of wine with a Carmel middle to a light bourbon finish. It's very drinkable like a mellow barley wine; smells of sweet malt, caramel,red wine with a light bourbon. As usual for sierra a great beer.

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Photo of Uniobrew31
4.24/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I really enjoyed this beer.
After reading review that it had low carbonation I gave it an aggressive pour. I nice tan head developed atop this dark reddish dubbel. It dissipated after a few minutes leaving a slight lacing around the top.

Smell was a tad pungent but in a good way, yeasty and dank

Taste was very complex, belgian sour bitterness up front that developed into a nice dark fruit flavor and as it hit my throat I started picking up a little vanilla

Feel is mild carbonation that let the complexity of this beer come through

Over all i would buy it again. I really enjoyed it. The cost was more than I can afford often but when I can I will treat myself to this great beer again!

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Photo of Pencible
4.06/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

A: This poured a nearly opaque dark mahogany with rocky light tan head.
S: It smelled like earthy pumpernickel and dry dark fruit, with some oak and spicy Belgian yeast.
T: It tasted like earthy honey wheat bread and nutty biscuit, with some oak and raisin and sour Belgian yeast. It had a clean earthy and sweet aftertaste.
M: It was watery with lots of fine natural carbonation. Nice slick body.
D: This was a nice brew, with subtle and complex scent and taste. The body was a little weak, but the finish was really smooth with well hidden alcohol, so it was easy to drink. Should age well, but doesn't need it. Yum!

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Photo of Gmann
4.04/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a dark Amber color with a short dense khaki head that settled into a light ring.

The aroma is sweet and fruity. I pick up the wine barrel on the nose. Nice fruity aroma almost grape juice like. Perhaps some caramel notes and fig but those would be subtle.

The taste is of plum, dark cherry and fig. A light pepper and clove spice. Nice subtle wine barrel note, again brings some grape juice notes. The bourbon barrel brings toasted caramel and vanilla. Not a lot of bourbon flavors but it smooths out the beer. Excellent example of of dubbel

The feel is light to moderate with fizzy carbonation. Sweet on the palate but not overly so. A bit sticky in the finish.

I dig the flavor in this beer. The wine barrel works well with a dubbel. Just the right amount of dark fruit notes and sweetness. Good yeast presence.

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Photo of stortore
4.17/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750 ml bottle into a chalice.

Pours a hazy, deep garnet color. Small head, small ring of foam clings throughout. Smell brings plenty of malt, wine, grapes, plums, oak, some bourbon as it warms. Taste also leads with the malt and wine, plums, figs, more bourbon than the nose, dates, caramel, oak, touch of vanilla. Little bit of alcohol taste. Smooth, creamy for the style, nice level of carbonation. A touch thin feeling.

Really like this. Both the wine and bourbon barrels had a solid presence, but were restrained, allowing the style to come through. Well blended, very enjoyable.

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Photo of mschrei
4.26/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Dark. Big head and carbonation at the beginning but mellows out big time. Slightly sweet and mouth filling. Barrel aging gives it a mellow warmth underneath. Warms up nicely. Tasty and enjoyable.

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Photo of polloenfuego
4.06/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very nice dubbel with a very strong barrel presence on both the nose and the taste. I found this beer got much better as it warmed. Very little carbonation was present, and the feel full and sweet.

An enjoyable sipper.

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Photo of richj1970
3.99/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from 750 ml into Old Guardian glass.

A: Reddish brown with one finger light tan head that settles to a thin ring and moderate lacing.

S: Tons of dark fruits - raisin, plum, fig, and dates. Subtle oak and vanilla.

T: Belgian yeast, plum, figs, and dates. Slightly sweet but well controlled.

M: Full bodied and light carbonation. Finish is a touch sweet.

O: Very nice beer. I just wish the price point was better.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.67/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

With the tethers of bourbon barrel flavors pulling the flavors of Ovila Dubbel even tighter and tighter, a beautiful array of flavor tantalize the tastebuds and seduce the senses in a unique Belgo-American kind of way.

Deep and russet brown, the beer's chestnut and mahogany hues shed a creamy yet short foam cap and simmers with rich maple, dark dried fruit, pepeprcorn and booze-soaked wood. To taste, the beer is lavish with residual sweetness, slathering the palate with caramel, toffee, butter pecan and maple.

Then the middle opens up and the sweetness evenly coats the mouth as the fruit and spice come out to play. Date, fig, raison, cherry, apple and apricot all seem dried and leathered, stewing in its earthen broth. Counter to the fruit and malt are the yeasty spices who carry a spicy tinge of fresh-cracked peppercorn, mild clove and oak tannin and an unmistakable bourbon jolt.

Holding onto its sweetness, the malts resist fade as the carbonaiton turns from an initial zesty nature to creamy, candied feel. Seemingly somewhat barleywine-like, the forefront of fruit and spice distinguishes it a Belgian. Yet the ale finishes malty-dry with caldering warmth and a pleasant prickle of peppercorn with an aftertaste of peanut skins.

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Photo of superspak
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into chalice; bottled on 6/18/2015. Pours crystal clear deep ruby red/brownish color with a 1 finger dense tan head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of raisin, plum, fig, pear, apple, red wine, caramel, brown sugar, toast, brown bread, nuttiness, light chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, oak, pepper, clove, and yeast/toasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of fruity/spicy yeast, dark/bready malt, and bourbon/wine barrel notes; with good strength. Taste of big raisin, plum, fig, pear, apple, red wine, caramel, brown sugar, toast, brown bread, nuttiness, light chocolate, vanilla, bourbon, oak, pepper, clove, and yeast/toasted earthiness. Moderate amount of earthy yeast and bourbon/oak spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of raisin, plum, pear, apple, red wine, caramel, brown sugar, brown bread, nuttiness, vanilla, bourbon, oak, and yeast/toasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Fantastic complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/spicy yeast, dark/bready malt, and wine/bourbon barrel flavors; with an awesome malt/yeast balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a very smooth, moderately creamy/bready, and slightly slick mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warmth lingering after the finish. Overall this is a fantastic barrel aged dubbel style! All around awesome complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/spicy yeast, dark/bready malt, and wine/bourbon barrel flavors; and very smooth and easy to sip on for the ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of BEERMILER12
4.09/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark ruby/mahogany color with 2 fingers of head that fades down to a thin cap

S: Belgian yeast, dark fruits, moderate spice, caramel, a bit of a vinous touch from the wine barrels, and some light sweetness from the bourbon barrels. Hints of oak and vanilla in there as well

T: Starts off with the dark fruits, oak and vanilla from the bourbon barrels, vinous notes from the wine barrels, and some spiciness from the yeast. Goes into some moderate sweetness from the caramel maltiness and burnt sugar as well as more general fruitiness from the wine. Finishes with lingering oak, spices, and burnt sugar

M: Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation

O: A very nice take on a dubbel, with a solid base and great barrel additions. It's hard to pick out which barrel shines more, but both do a very good job at imparting themselves onto the base. If you're a fan of Belgian brews or looking for something a little different, don't let the $17 scare you away

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Photo of Jnarowe
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Light aroma of candi sugar, malts. Solid dubbel with some heat and traces of cabernet on the finish. A little more complex than the average dubbel, but well balanced and enjoyable. Tasted @ 60F.

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Photo of Atatum
4.26/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

L: pours a nice tan head that lasts very shortly. A thin lacy head sits as the drink warms. A very dark orange body. N: licorice, brandy, dark fruit, molasses, leather. A very beautiful nose! T: a dry, alcohol dust taste. Tastes a lot like a good brandy, quite syrupy and has a nice malt balance. Burnt sugar and thick molasses taste. Overall: the barrel aging adds a touch of dry flavors but does not contribute to the flavor like one would assume. No real woodiness, just a little extra brandy flavor. Overall a very tasty brew.

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Photo of russpowell
3.49/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 2.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an effervescent chestnut with a sliver of cream colored head. Viscous look, minimal lacing or head retention

S: Plums & Bourbon barrel

T: Plums, raisins, figs, a little oakyness, dryness up front. A little boozey, plums & not much else as this warms, some leafy & aged hops as well, woodiness as well. Finishes dry, a little plummy with caramel & faint boozeyness

MF: Medium body with lively carbonation, a little sticky, warming, carbonation slacks a bit once warm

Alright, but was hoping for more

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Photo of Catracho5
4.33/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750 ml bottle poured into Ovila Abbey Ales goblet

A: Brown with a tan colored head that disappeared pretty quick. Some decent amount of carbonation, little lacing, light comes through when held up, looks cloudy.

A: Belgian yeast, caramel, spices, picking up some oak, cloves, figs, prunes, some sweetness, not getting any of the bourbon but there is a nice oak presence, not getting any alcohol, smells complex with some depth.

T: Belgian yeast flavors, toasted caramel, spices, cloves, oak, slightly bitter, finishes with some strong dark fruit notes likes figs, prunes, lots of flavor, complexity, depth. The oak from the wine barrels comes through more than the bourbon flavors, not a bourbon bomb, a little heat from the alcohol.

M: Medium mouthfeel, slightly dry finish, a good amount of carbonation.

O: Very impressed, has a nice Belgian yeast characteristic up front, get some oak, lots of other flavors, a great sipping beer. I'm going to pick up another bottle or two for the cellar.

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Photo of Tele
3.62/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: 4.25 Pours reddish-brown with a one-inch, light tan head. Looks like a pretty standard dubbel.

S: 4 Smells rather sweet up front with some spice and fruit mixed in. Mostly get caramel and malt followed by classic Belgian esters. Cinnamon and nutmeg seem a bit more dominant than most Belgians. There’s a little earthy funk as well, probably from the wine barrels.

T: 3.5 Actually a bit fruity and tart at first. It doesn’t taste infected, rather the wine barrel aging must have imparted more tart, cherry-like qualities than expected. Sweetness and esters come through as well, but they are covered up by the tartness. Bitterness on the finish is a bit off-putting, but it does provide some interesting funk that reminds me of aged cheddar; it’s strange, but at least it counters the unexpected tartness.

M: 3 Rather thin, watery, and under carbonated.

O: 3.5 Pretty strange beer here. The wine barrels have made some interesting aspects come through, but it doesn’t seem like the base beer could handle it resulting in an unbalanced beer.

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Photo of Bouleboubier
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

(purchased this at the Sierra Nevada Brewery in April 2013 - poured into a 10 oz goblet)

A: big head rise on the pour (as well as extra pours), quick.... fairly hazy russet-amber.... keeps a misty foam atop straight through, however, not a spit of lace

S: initial impression is it's comparable to a Flemish red or Oud Bruin - that realm - maybe (sweet) red wine?.... oak-aging is apparent.... touch of cocoa nibs.... wine-fruity, yet also hints of dates and raspberry(?)

T: a bit messy upon first sip - a touch of smoke (phenol) comes through in the finish.... an unrefined sort of "infection" quality.... late lightly-toasty, bruised-prune, lingers in aftertaste... midway through the tasting, nice hints of dark fruit (via dark caramel malt or yeast? both?), however, a mild acidic funk keeps getting in the way... warmer (15-20 min): mellow chocolate-vinous notes like that found in a Flemish Red (again, the wood?)... overall, it has a bold enough flavor, it's just the balance is pretty off between the malts/yeast against the results of the barrel-aging

M: a bit light-bodied and watery for a Dubbel - this improves as it warms but, with the tartness and the seeming tiny prickliness of the carbonation, it's still slightly dull-dry and one can't help but long for a little depth/richness in the malt-body character

O: almost decent - best offerings when warmer - the barrel-derived funk does seem to dominate (at the expensive of balance and malt savoring).... perhaps it improves with age, but I have my doubts

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Photo of CharlieMurphy
3.46/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Warm mahogany with tangerine and maplewood undertone hues. Fuzzy microbubbled cream colored head that wades around the surface and doesn't lace.

S: An odd combo at work:
-Dark fruitiness such as candied appricots, apples, maybe a little bit of not yet ripe figs and green raisins.
-Splinteringly fresh oak
-A bug and bourbon oak cocktail like the ones that don't work in a AWA. Reminds me of Squatters Root Cellar.

T: Much more balanced and beer-backboned than the nose. Lighter malts than the average dubblel and seemingly more like a petite quad. The wine is there and works well with the belgian yeast and malt profile, but is in the foreground for sure. It almost has notes akin to a partial apple brandy barrel treatment amidst merlot barrels. The oak is vary faint (I'd guess these saw ~3 months) and not astringent and bold like the nose.

M: Very light and mild. A teeny tiny bit of residual tartness, but nearly squeaky clean down and out. Light and thin for sure, similar to a light apple juice.

O: Overall pretty balanced, but there's a few things that don't quite tow the line. Worth the try for $2.99 all day.

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Photo of Samuel906
3.89/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light and fruity, you can really taste the barrels this was brewed in. Pours deep ruby red, thin head, no lacing. Really great smell, lots of grapes, some lime, cherries yeast, and cider. Taste is delicate and complex. Lots of wine influence, oak, yeast, caramel, and fruit. No booze at all. Very light feel, refreshing. Good beer, more well balanced than the quad.

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Photo of scottfrie
3.57/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

375ml bottle purchased at the brewery. Poured into snifter. Aged in red wine barrels.

A: Pours a very dark ruby red with a finger of short-lived light brown head that quickly faded into a faint collar and scummy film.
S: Dry oak nose with a large red wine vinous quality to it (as expected). Musty earthy woody grape notes dominate over hints of dark fruits, leafy hops, and peppery yeasty spices.
T: Greasy caramel, dark fruits, and “dubbel” flavors take a back seat to the vinous wine barrel that dominated the nose. The finish is light with flavors of pear, apple and cinnamon, and the aftertaste contains raisins, brown sugar and toffee. No tartness just dry oak and light red wine.
M: Airy splashy carbonation, medium-light body, drying mouthfeel and fairly crisp overall.
O: A nice touch on the original, and while not my favorite, a very drinkable beer all around. I would gladly drink this again.

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Photo of dar482
3.64/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I had this at Good Beer in NYC.

It comes in a ruby color, lighter than the Quad version.

I did not like this as much as the BBA Quad version. It had some lovely drinkable flavors, but lacked the depth and smoothness of the BBA Quad. It taste a bit of dried prunes and sweet cherry juice. It has a medium carbonation and I'm surprised it was so drinkable with its decent ABV.

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Ovila Abbey Barrel Aged Dubbel from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 39 ratings.