Ovila Belgian-Style Abbey Quad: Ale Brewed With Plums - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 567 | Reviews: 144 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by kojevergas:
3.34/5 rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
Ovila Abbey Ale Belgian Style Abbey Quad brewed with (sugar) plums. "Brewed in collaboration with monks of the abbey of New Clairvoux." 10.20% ABV. Sold in four packs. 12.7 fl oz brown glass bottle with cool black label and hood and wire cap over a cork acquired individually at a SoCal beer store for just under $4.00 and served into a New Belgium stem-goblet in me gaff in Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Expectations are above average; I'm indifferent towards the brewery but I love the style.
Paired with pretzels.
Served straight from the fridge and allowed to warm considerably over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.
A: Pours a 1.5 finger rich khaki colour head of great cream, very good thickness, and excellent retention (~6+ minutes) for the high ABV. Body colour is a solid nontransparent dark black. Opaque. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. I love the head; it's quite good for a quad. Lacks the darker colour of a more refined quad like Rochefort or Westvleteren, but it far exceeds my expectations given the brewery. There's nothing unique here, but it's on the money for the style - with the exception of the body colour; I'd much prefer to see a dark refined red hue or a rich caramel/biscuit. Black is strange.
Sm: Malty sweetness, sugar plum, caramel, light yeasty spice, raisin, and refined malts. Lacks the dark fruit suggested by the label, to its detriment and my severe disappointment. Even the plum comes off sweet and sugary, not dark. The best beers in the style always have those dark fig and plum or prune notes; it's sorely missing here. That said, the malts are evocative and appealing, though not quite subtle and rich like those of the best beers in the style. Plum is dominant. I could use more biscuity yeast character; again subtlety is missing here. But there's plenty of complexity and balance. I'm excited to try it. No alcohol is detectable. An appealing aroma of moderate strength. Good for the style.
T: Cream, imbalanced raisin, dried plum, overdone malty sweetness, caramel, light spice from the yeast, and a vaguely raisiney finish. It's nowhere near as complex as the aroma suggested it might be. Subtlety and true balance is also severely lacking here, but it balances the notes it does have. No stunning dark fruit here. Emphasis is on the bright plum and caramel malts, neither of which is particularly interesting. That said, it is well executed for the style and hits the mark more than any other American macro quad I can immediately think of. Flavorful but not real deep. I do like it for what it is. It doesn't quite have the profile of a true distinct quad; there's a fair amount of strong dark ale character here, especially in terms of the raisin (which feels ripped straight from Unibroue's bag of tricks). There's no questioning it's a solid beer, however.
Mf: Smooth and thick. Wet and with adequate body. None of the delicacy or fragility of truly masterful quads, but it gets the job done. It doesn't distract from the flavour profile, and supports what depth of flavour there is. Good carbonation. Overall, it's too thick and overbearing. Subtlety just isn't Sierra Nevada's strong suit.
Dr: A drinkable enjoyable quad that doesn't disappoint in spite of the brewery it comes from. If you were hoping for a decadent dark fruit-laden quad, this won't fit the bill, but if you want a solid macrobrewed offering this is your man. Well priced for the quality. Hides its ABV well. A good introductory quad for beginners. I wouldn't even mind aging one of these for 2-3 years to see what happens. Sierra Nevada surpassed my low expectations, but this is far from exemplary. Worth picking up at its low price.
Serving type: bottle
02-06-2013 04:29:03 | More by kojevergas
More User Reviews:
3.98/5 rDev +2.1%
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
4.49/5 rDev +15.1%
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
3.99/5 rDev +2.3%
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
4.25/5 rDev +9%
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
Ovila Belgian-Style Abbey Quad: Ale Brewed With Plums from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 567 ratings.