Ovila Belgian-Style Abbey Quad: Ale Brewed With Plums - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 698 | Reviews: 162 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by kojevergas:
3.34/5 rDev -15%
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:
4/5 rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
A: Dark brown with a plum tinge. It’s a deep red purple tinge when held to the light. Looks clear not cloudy on first pour, no visible carbonation. A finger of beige head with a light purple tinge.
S: Sweet plums, plum pudding or plum pie, fruity, brown sugar, alcohol, raisins.
T: Fruity, plums, brown sugar, alcohol, dark toasted notes, plum skin, slightly tannic
M: Thick syrupy body with medium foamy carbonation.
O: I really like this style, and its well done by Sierra Nevada. Yes, it has the plum theme all the way through. Drank at Turkey Creek Rd, Clyde NC June 28 2014 my daughter’s 2nd birthday.
Serving type: bottle
06-29-2014 03:00:56 | More by patre_tim
3.11/5 rDev -20.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.25
Appearance: Very dark ruby, like cola, with a thin, tan head.
Aroma: Very boozy, with some black liquorice, spice, and a touch of dark fruit and fig. Aroma is so alcoholic that it almost has a nail polish character to it.
Taste & Mouthfeel: Spicy black liquorice and alcohol flavors hit you immediately, with a dry, dark roasted malt finish. Hops are most noticeable in the finish, where they offer a bit of dryness and complement the rich, dark chocolate flavor. Some fig and raisin flavors eventually become apparent, though still very subtle; they add an overall sugary sweet flavor to the brew. Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth.
Final Word: Unfortunately, the strong alcohol presence got in the way of the other flavors in this beer, and made the experience feel lopsided. While the black liquorice, spice, dark fruit, dark sugar and chocolate flavors could have created a nuanced drink, they felt as if they were crushed and compacted under the weight of the alcohol flavor. Had they been allowed to bloom and expand, this beer would have been very complex and satisfying, but instead it felt like every sip was dominated by booze. It was as if each sip had a 50/50 blend of alcohol flavor and ONE random flavor contained within the beer. You’d get a hint of raisin in one sip, but get only black liquorice in the next, and the flavors never seemed to mingle. The potential here was great, but the experience felt like a missed opportunity. Still some good flavors in here, but the profile is much too alcoholic for the subtle flavors within, even for a Quad.
Serving type: on-tap
06-21-2014 18:42:31 | More by Louisville-Beer-Reviews
Ovila Belgian-Style Abbey Quad: Ale Brewed With Plums from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 698 ratings.