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Ovila Belgian-Style Abbey Quad: Ale Brewed With Plums - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Ovila Belgian-Style Abbey Quad: Ale Brewed With PlumsOvila Belgian-Style Abbey Quad: Ale Brewed With Plums

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very good

616 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 616
Reviews: 152
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 11.22%

Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Quadrupel (Quad) |  10.20% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Trilogy31 on 01-30-2013)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 616 | Reviews: 152 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of DrDemento456


4.48/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Snagged a bottle for 5 dollars tax included from the House of 1,000 beers. Into a pint glass.
A - Big dark bold ruby brown almost porter pitch black with a 1/2 inch of deep mocha head, that seems to be fizzing out rather quickly.
S - Must be very balanced since the smell is very tame. Fruity yeasts, notes of dark fruits obviously Plums and some underlining biscuit and caramel scents.
T - The addition to plums not only improves the tartness of the beer but really rounds out the overall taste of the chalky yeasts and alcohol sting. It is fairy complex with layers of dark fruit flavor and finishes with balanced sweetness. This is what I expected from "Pretty Things Baby Tree in terms of a quad brewed with plums.
M - Medium bodied not super sticky but sort of chewy. Love how the alcohol doesn't bite back.

Overall this was well worth the price of admission and I could see purchasing a four pack for around 15 bucks (works out to a 7.50 bomber) Tasty stuff.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2014 23:29:33 | More by DrDemento456
Photo of Arithmeticus


4.56/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poured chilled in shaker pint glasses at home

A: purplish black, half-finger creamy head, very fine bubbles, excellent lacing
S: bubblegum; very boozy; classic roasted malt aroma
T: fig raisin, dark fruit; cherry; complex and boozy; opens up nicely as it warms into further complex tastes; belgian yeast
M: thick, mealy

This is an amazing beer--congrats SN!

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2014 15:08:32 | More by Arithmeticus
Photo of abeeronthebeach


3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Nice deep red mahogany colour, with solid retention.

S - Sweet dark fruits. Booziness and a little yeastiness.

T - Tasty stuff. The plum is quite faint but it does lend this beer additional sweetness compared with a traditional quad. Soreen loaf, brandy. It tastes pleasant, but perhaps a little one-dimensional.

M - Nice carbonation, although could use a little weightiness and stickiness.

O - A tasty beer at a good price. Worth trying for sure. I'd have it again.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2014 06:10:08 | More by abeeronthebeach
Photo of BeerKangaroo


3.99/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanx to AceofSuds.

Into a chalice.

A: dark brown close to a black colored body with a one fingered white foamy head that concaves at the edges once it dies; lacing slides into the body

S: brown sugar, plums, light raisins and then takes the Belgian yeast to combine subtly and give a spicy sweet aroma to pummel my olfactory senses - wonderful

T: spicy and sweet at the same time; sticky sweet and spicy aftertaste, dry lingering sticky sweet finish

M: sits about at a medium on the body - closer to a sipper, carbonation runs fairly smooth around my mouth and tongue and is good for the most part for the style and for me

O: I say this is a good Quad well worthy of coming back to

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2014 03:38:49 | More by BeerKangaroo
Photo of LambicPentameter


3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Enjoyed on tap at Urban Table along with a nice, big brunch of biscuits and gravy. While in an ideal world, I'd want all places like this to have a really knowledgeable staff when it comes to beer, sometimes, it works out in your favor if they don't. Case in point: this massive 10% ABV beer was served in a 16 oz tumbler glass.

Appearance - Body is a rich, dark brown with deep, jewel-like garnet highlights where the light manages to penetrate. Hazy and opaque. Atop the body sits a one finger head of khaki foam that has a silky, smooth appearance reminiscent of how you might expect a nitro-tap head to look. Hard to discern any individual bubbles, and after retaining for a good, long while, there are sheets of lacing left in rings on the sides of the glass as I consume the beverage.

Smell - The plum really dominates here, with notes of black plum bringing other dark fruits to mind: date, fig and a very faint hint of raisins. Alongside those fruit notes are earthier characteristics of dark malt and baking spices.

Taste - The assault of plum doesn't stop with the aroma, bringing a sweetness to the taste alongside more earthy and rich undertones from the malt and yeast profile. Unfortunately, as tasty as the plum makes this brew, it also makes it a bit one-dimensional. There are some elements of brown sugar and light molasses to bring a little bit of complexity, but it's mostly a one-trick pony.

Mouthfeel - Medium-to-full bodied with a viscous feel and moderate carbonation. Lingering sweetness on the tongue well after the beer has been swallowed.

Overall, a very tasty quad and one that's great to pair with food, but as noted previously, it's not very complex, which is typically a hallmark of this style. I can't help but feel as if the plums are crowding out everything else that might be going on here, but what can I say--I enjoyed the beer.

Serving type: on-tap

03-28-2014 15:32:43 | More by LambicPentameter
Photo of RblWthACoz


3.79/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Plums are definitely showing through here. Kind of presents a sweet and somewhat thicker drinking experience. Could be toned down a bit on the plums, and the sweetness. But it works pretty much. Smooth feel. A pretty decent quad. Too sweet for me to go back to. But it’s pretty good as it is.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2014 22:22:16 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of WVbeergeek


3.86/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Dark body in the chalice with ruby highlights, looks great big head tan colored rolling with fine bubbles it looks great. Aroma deep dark fruits of course with the plums added the tart ripened fruit holds over other notes. Flavor dark fruit again the plums are added to bring out raisin tart dark fruit with alcoholic notes more and more big fruit flavors with each sip this stuff is excellent, Belgian style with the higher carbonation it carries it all very well. Each sip brings out chocolate malt with high end spectrum dark fruits a mixture of dry and sweet malts add to the balance. This is a big calorie big flavored beer mouthfeel is medium to full even flowing carbonation residual sugars lie down for me. Overall it's a big beer meant to be enjoyed by the masses.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2014 01:44:10 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead


4.04/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from interesting corked and caged into fluted snifter; very deep mahogany brown, showing deep garnet in light. Minimal brown head that fades after a bit into a thin ring of bubbles around the edge.
Smells of malt; dark bread, toffee, caramel. Dark fruit, raisins and plums. Not much booze present in the smell.
Taste is sweet bready malt, toffee. Some dark fruit, plum especially. Booze heat warms up the mouth and the aftertaste is very strong with yeasty bitterness and tart fruit.
Mouthfeel is good, fluffy and effervescent.
Overall, while this quad is a bit messy, I enjoy the plum flavor. I'm not sure if I'd try any of the other SN Ovila line, but I enjoyed this one.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2014 02:28:15 | More by BurgeoningBrewhead
Photo of DIM


3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

a: Dark chestnut brown; poured with a medium sized off-white head, no lace.

s: Very pleasant boozy stewed dark fruits, caramel, brown sugar, perfumed alcohol.

t: Sweet up front with the drier, semi-hot finish. Caramel and very pronounced, almost too much, plum notes. Floral and warm at the end with hints of cocoa.

m: Full bodied and silky, gently carbonated.

o: Really good stuff, much better than the saison.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2014 11:28:24 | More by DIM
Photo of Slagpile


4.49/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I bought the latest release of this beer about 5-6 weeks ago, and it is a wonderful, full bodied Quad. I didn't think I was going to like it when I saw "PLUMS", but it one of the better quads I have experienced. I have currently put a 4-pack back for aging and look forward to how it will mature over a year or two.I'll get back to you on that.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2014 06:27:35 | More by Slagpile
Photo of ONovoMexicano

New Mexico

3.99/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Shade Tree on Central in Nob Hill, ABQ, NM.

A- Came with no head and I have to wonder if it's the tap at the bar. Either way, the beer is dark brown with hints of amber, is very opaque and looks thick in body.

S- Sweet malt, plums and dark fruit, raisins.

T- This beer is very heavy on the plums and dark fruit, almost more so than any quad I've had. There's also some peppery spice and sweet malt to make things interesting.

M- Ovila is thick and creamy, perhaps even viscous would be a better word, although there's some carbonation and yeasty tingle. I get some slightly syrupy sweetness as well as a mild heat from the alcohol.

I'd argue that this holds its own against other quads, but it may have a bit more astringency than the best of the best. Still,very good.

Serving type: on-tap

03-05-2014 22:25:49 | More by ONovoMexicano
Photo of jman005


4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Served from bottle into goblet.

A - A dark and murky look, with some reddish tints in the light. Not bad but nothing exceptional about the appearance.

S - Of many dark fruits; dark cherry, fig, currant, plum, golden raisin. Little bit of a yeasty spice and a little bit of a candied smell. Very nice aroma.

T - Getting all that dark fruitiness in the taste with a bit of spice and sweetness. Great plum/cherry flavors coming through and residing on the palate.

M - Meduim- full, pretty smooth but a kind of sticky on the tounge. To be somewhat excpected from this strong malty style.

Overall this beer is one of the more enjoyable Quads I've had to date. Really liked it and would pick up again, especially for the price.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2014 23:04:37 | More by jman005
Photo of Wasatch


4.06/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12.7 oz. Bottle

Poured into a Westy chalice a very nice grapey color, very nice carbonation, with a very nice one-finger creamy off-white head, with some very nice thick sticky lacing with some nice big oil slicks. The nose is malty, with some nice yeast notes, plums, grapes, raisins, figs. The taste is malty, yeasty, with lot's of dark fruits. Medium body, ABV is hidden very well with this one. Overall a pleasure to drink, surprised to see this one in Utah.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2014 20:55:23 | More by Wasatch
Photo of garymuchow


3.91/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from a 4-pack. Poured into my Boulevard tulip.
Kind of a spicy phenolic at first. Whiffs of sweet fruity and malt with alcohol. The plums show in time and add a nice character.
Really quite dark with a clear garnet in the light. Slow building but eventually large full and dense darkish head. Good looking.
Sweet perfume alcohol flavor. Richer malts show a little later. Tasty fruit flavor, but can't say I'm getting a strong plum flavor. More of hints of the plum. But the fruits are complex and enjoyable.
Full and rich and reasonable heavy for style. Interesting drying on the front of the drink and in the front of the tongue with drying on the sides and back later.
This is big and rich. Definitely a slower drinker and a 12 oz is the right size, especially if I don't add any food to the experience. Not great but really solid. Would have like more plum in the flavor but is was a nice addition to the aroma.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2014 19:07:04 | More by garymuchow
Photo of SD-Alefan

South Dakota

4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Sierra Nevada Luettich Balloon.

This beer pours a very, very dark plum color. It's nearly black with spots of plum purple showing up in the light. There's very little foam from an aggressive center pour, perhaps a half a finger that quickly dissipates to traceries of a head.

The smell? Initially it was booze. Straight up. Then hints of fruit gather in your nostrils. Plum? I think so. There's also just a trace of yeast in the background.

The first taste to hit my tongue was the sharp bite of alcohol, then maybe a little smack of chocolate and roast coffee, maybe even some good black tea. Then the fruit. Plum, raisin, maybe some fig. There is a very nice, lingering tartness and the finishing bubbly, boozy dryness. As the beer warms a bit, I'm getting more of the plum.

The mouthfeel is warm and boozy, smooth and slick, followed by the bubbly carb and a alcohol bite the back of the throat. there is a pleasant, lingering tingle.

All in all, a very enjoyable experience and a great sipping brew. I was expecting more plum very but I find I'm enjoying the subtlety here,. Quite nice. It would be interesting to age a couple of these.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2014 03:27:35 | More by SD-Alefan
Photo of KYGunner


3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This almost gives off a dark grape juice or purple like opaqueness with a compact head of tiny bubbles.

The nose is full of plums and candied fruits. Slightly sweet with a thick and hearty raisin, prune and fruit cake like malt aroma.

First sip is a wave of booziness, overwhelming and harsh. As the palate settles in the plums are at the forefront. Sugary sweet the plum is supported by raisin and a fruit cake malt. The booze continues but it becomes underlining.

The booze is tangy on the tongue and will make you wince but it starts to wear off and becomes easier to enjoy.

Perhaps the plums add additional sugars that amp up the ABV and therefore cause the boozy face of this ale. The plums really make this but on the other hand may be its deterrent too.

Serving type: on-tap

02-21-2014 00:54:07 | More by KYGunner
Photo of reebtaerG


3.99/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on draft at Lures in a pint

A-Pours out a decent brownish color with a small tan head.

S-Aroma is of dried fruits, plum, light hard candy, earth, bitter berries.

T-Taste is complex, full bodied with sweet dried plums, dark cherries, layers of earthy notes, spice and some lingering alcohol burn.

M-Mouthfeel is medium to full body, semi-syrupy feel, low carbonation.

O-Overall a great rich fruity Quad. Solid.

Serving type: on-tap

02-13-2014 20:57:28 | More by reebtaerG
Photo of jhawth


3.76/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Poured from beautiful corked and caged 12oz bottle into tulip. Pours an almost solid very dark brown, slightly lighter around the edges. Finger-width, off-white head.

Aroma: Plums and other dark fruits, sweet sugary/caramel-y malt notes, and a noticeable, isopropyl-like alcohol character. Alcohol character fades as it warms.

Taste: Follows nose, with added layer of spiciness from Belgian yeast.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, very lively carbonation. Almost overly carbonated.

Overall: Not a bad brew, but not quite as complex or nuanced as I would like a quad to be. Hopefully some age will mellow the booziness and promote the development of some different malt flavors.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2014 02:48:00 | More by jhawth
Photo of DrinkMoreBigBeers


4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A - Pours out a dark reddish brown with a dark khaki head that dissipates rather fast. Nice bubbles streaming up, with great lacing and legs.

S - The nose is all sweet malts with plum, raisins, fig, sugar candy, caramel and some of the classic Belgium yeast notes. Smells smooth.

T - Plum, raisins, roast, cherry,roasty breadiness, cinnamon, salty, spicy-alcohol, lingering fig flavor.

M - Soft and pillowy with a medium to full body, sweet in the beginning and drys out toward the end with good carbonation. The spicy alcohol bite of this beer gets to your tongue after a while to the point which I believe it hinders my ability to taste all the flavors.

O - A very nice offering by Sierra Nevada in collaboration with Abbey of New Clairvaux. Solid Quad worth seeking out if you like this style. Only complaint is I wish the finish did not mess with my palate so much, other then that its a winner, cheers!

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2014 22:50:24 | More by DrinkMoreBigBeers
Photo of TeamMathis

West Virginia

3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Almost black. Deep brown. Not much of a head remains.
Smell: Roasted something. Coffee.
Taste: Roasted coffee, chocolate, alcohol, fruit.

Great! The drink looks so deep and inviting. The smell is pretty good, but rather simple; mainly a roasted malt and coffee hint. The taste has more components. The best to me was the chocolate. It had a delicious, creamy chocolate taste. The alcohol is certainly noticeable, but not over the top for this ABV. All around, this is one to get and try. I would get it again.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2014 04:37:04 | More by TeamMathis
Photo of damndirtyape


3.79/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12.7 oz corked and caged bottle poured into a Karmeliet tulip glass. No date on the bottle.

Appearance: Clear dark brown, with a deep coppery color when held up to the light. Thin tan foam across the top with occasional islands of lacing - not very persistent lacing. A few bubbles here and there very slowly coming up through the beer.

Smell: When first poured, quite metallic. As it warmed up the metallic is still there, but toffee notes come out. A hint of something fruity every now and then.

Taste: Rich toasted malt, caramel, toffee, some cocoa notes (but these disappeared as the beer warmed up), dark fruits, some spiciness. Definitely on the sweet side. Some tiny hints of warming alcohol as the beer warmed up.

Mouthfeel: Sticky, slick, some lingering alcohol bite and spiciness, but a bit flat as well.

Overall / Drinkability: I don't know if this was supposed to have yeast sediment in it or not, but when I pulled the cork and there was practically no noise I was concerned that something was off with this bottle. No bad tastes, but I wonder if something is missing in this beer given that I'm not picking up the aromas as described on the bottle. Tasty, but not an amazing quad. If there are plums in this, they are well hidden. For the price I cannot see getting it again when there are better quads available.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2014 23:32:58 | More by damndirtyape
Photo of NYR2

New Jersey

4.28/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A - Dark with no head but a little bit of foam(poured into a goblet) which is creating just a bit of lacing.

S - Smells of a Belgian ale...this may be a ridiculous description, but my brain tells me when I am smelling a Belgian ale and that's what it's telling me now.

T - Mildly spicy and a little fruity but very smooth. Deliciously hiding the alcohol content. IMO Sierra Nevada should remove their name from this because this beer is entirely too good to not be a stand alone brand.

M - Smooth, slight carbonation on the tongue and throat.

O - I am glad I got my hands on this before my local liquor stores ran out of it as it seems to be in low quantity and high demand. If I can grab another 4 pack I will and I suggest you do the same if you enjoy dark Belgian ales.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2014 04:58:41 | More by NYR2
Photo of larryi86


3.7/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

375 mL bottle poured into a goblet

A- A deep ruby red with a small off-white head.

S- Dark fruits, plum, sweet malts, caramel malts, very mild for a quad.

T- Dark fruits, slightly tart plums, caramel malts, earthy slightly bitter spices, again mild for a quad.

M- Medium body, lots of carbonation.

O- Not a bad beer, but again this is a very mild quad. Plums work in the beer and are enjoyable. I like a lot of beers from Sierra Nevada, but this is one the few I wouldn't pick up again.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2014 02:23:49 | More by larryi86
Photo of richj1970


3.96/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz bottle into snifter glass. I have to say the packaging on this one is very nice. I love the caged and corked bottle. I love the artwork, and the nice heavy glass bottle. All top notch.

A: Very dark brown with an almost purple tone. Smallish one finger tan head with some decent retention but very little lacing.

S: Plum, raisin, dates, Belgian yeast. Perhaps a bit more fruit forward than I was expecting.

T: Again the plum flavors are quite strong. Other dark fruits mixed with that familiar Belgian yeast. A bit boozy but not in a bad way. It lacks a little of the complexity I was hoping for.

M: Full bodied, coating the tongue nicely. Perhaps a bit sweet.

O: A nice American interpretation of a quad and an enjoyable brew but not my favorite of the group.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2014 02:07:18 | More by richj1970
Photo of Mongrel


3.49/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

I had high hopes for this one, but I gotta say I'm not a big fan. I love the packaging - a heavy 375 ml bottle with great artwork and a cork n cage topper - but it's all a bit downhill from there.

Its appearance in the glass is pretty good I guess - dark brown with ruby and purple highlights, but no lasting head or lace.

Smell is mild for a quad, with some definite fruit and some definite booze. And maybe some toffee/caramel. Not unpleasant, just not overly inviting.

The most dominant flavor on the palate is tart, fizzy plums. Now, I understand that this is a beer that is brewed with plums, but I do not expect to experience "tart" or "fizzy" in a quad. It never delivers on a quad's deep, luxurious sweetness and complex Belgian spice. Instead, it seems overly dry and actually somewhat bitter and sulphuric, like underripe fruit. As the beer warms, some berries and caramel emerge, but not enough to overcome its tart dryness.

Mouthfeel is, as mentioned, a bit fizzy and watered down for a quad. Booze is definitely perceptible.

Overall, I don't mean to totally rip apart this beer but I am disappointed in it both as a quad and as a Sierra Nevada product. SN offerings are usually top notch. Perhaps if it was labeled as a Belgian strong ale or something else, it would have been more successful.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2014 03:39:23 | More by Mongrel
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Ovila Belgian-Style Abbey Quad: Ale Brewed With Plums from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 616 ratings.