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

Not Rated.
Ovila Belgian-Style Abbey Quad: Ale Brewed With PlumsOvila Belgian-Style Abbey Quad: Ale Brewed With Plums

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

736 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 736
Reviews: 166
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 11.2%
Wants: 17
Gots: 102 | FT: 8
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: 736 | Reviews: 166 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by larryi86:
Photo of larryi86
3.7/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

larryi86, Feb 01, 2014
More User Reviews:
Photo of RexBanner
4.55/5  rDev +15.8%

Poured from bottle into a glass chalice.
Pours a dark brown leaning toward purple, almost like prune juice in its color. No detectable carbonation. 2 finger creamy head which dissipated after about 2 sips. Its appearance was by no means thick although no light made it through the glass.

The aroma was of Belgian yeast. Bready, banana like. You can really pickup the prunes as well as other dark fruits, raisins, dry figs etc.

The taste was delicious! Sweet malts, caramel, subtle prunes. The alcohol burn and spicy notes pleasantly balanced out the sweetness of the malts. Great aftertaste. The mouth feel was chewy yet not heavy. It coated the tongue but didn't linger.

Overall this was a delicious beer. Not a true quad. Its characteristics were more akin to an English barleywine than a Belgian quad but it was delicious nonetheless. I just hate/love these collaborations between brewers because every so often they come up with a gem but it can only be had for a limited time, then you're left with the memories.
I aged this one for 6 months. I think I'll age the remaining 4 bottles for 2 years and see what happens.

RexBanner, Aug 29, 2014
Photo of tectactoe
3.18/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Very interested to see Sierra Nevada's spin on the Belgian-style quadruple. Thanks to Chris for splitting this one. Ovila appears black from atop, but shows some beaming ruby translucency when held in front of the light. A small and creamy khaki-colored head settles almost instantly to a ring. Some wet lacing hangs for only a few moments before dripping back down into the beer, leaving the glass fairly unscathed in the end.

Heavy plums dominate the aroma - no surprise there, really. Unfortunately they seem a bit "off" - almost chalky and slightly medicinal to a degree. Not quite off-putting, but not extremely enjoyable, either. There are, however, lots of vibrant juicy and sweet fruit notes beneath the strange plum blanket. Some light cocoa notes, molasses, and Belgian spiced yeast aromas catch on a bit more once this sucker warms up. Mild spices and even a tint of bubblegum. Overall, kind of a middle of the road aroma for the style.

Would you be shocked to hear that Ovila tastes like a quad with extra-dense plum notes? Because that's what I'm about to tell you. Some of the "standard" or common quad flavors are present - dates, figs, light black licorice, phenols, and very faint Candi sugar. But the plums really work their hardest to pull the wool over all of these things. Sadly, the plums on the palate come right along with the weird chalky and medicinal notes that the aroma was putting out there. Almost tastes like a chewed up vitamin. That strong chalkiness carries into the aftertaste along with a faint hint of sugar, dates, and plums. Medium bodied, mildly creamy with medium carbonation.

Not terrible, but the weird and vitamin-like aroma and flavor that seemed to cling alongside the plums was just too prevalent to be fully enjoyable. It masked what would otherwise be a solid Belgian-style quad and instead turned it into a forgettable, slightly better than average ale. Wasn't disappointed to have tried it, but I recommend passing it up, especially when options like Rochefort 10 and Abt 12 are readily available.

tectactoe, May 08, 2013
Photo of MadScientist
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

MadScientist, Mar 02, 2014
Photo of BubalooBrewMaster
3/5  rDev -23.7%

BubalooBrewMaster, Dec 18, 2013
Photo of NWer
4/5  rDev +1.8%

NWer, Apr 26, 2013
Photo of thetommo
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

thetommo, Apr 27, 2014
Photo of SD-Alefan
4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
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.

SD-Alefan, Feb 22, 2014
Photo of warnerry
4/5  rDev +1.8%

warnerry, Apr 18, 2014
Photo of chip26
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

chip26, Jul 14, 2014
Photo of Beaver13
2.5/5  rDev -36.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

12.7 oz caged and corked bottle. Pours dark amber with a medium creamy tan head that goes to a thin film that laces the glass some.

The aroma is bready malts, dark fruits, some floral wood, Belgian yeast and a bit of harsh alcohol.

The flavor is sweet woody floral malts, with dark fruits and some harsh charred alcohol. It's got some off notes that I can't identify too (plastic and cardboard). The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with smooth carbonation.

Overall, I didn't care for this. I remember it being fruitier with less off notes last I had it (still not great though).

Beaver13, May 31, 2013
Photo of Dbrulet
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Dbrulet, Feb 14, 2014
Photo of Mugenlude
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Mugenlude, Mar 20, 2014
Photo of bartlettc42
5/5  rDev +27.2%

bartlettc42, Apr 22, 2014
Photo of bsp77
3.69/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Serving glass: Poured from really cool, cage & cork 375ml into a Snifter.

Appearance: Extremely dark purplish-brown with moderate tan head and champagne-like bubbles.

Smell: Caramel and toffee, loads of dark fruit (I am sure that plum is part of it), banana, and dry spiciness. Wonderful aroma.

Taste: Not quite as good as the aroma but still nice. Very fruity, with an emphasis on plum, dates and cherry, with underlying molasses and caramel. There are definite Belgian yeast notes, with banana, clove and pepper. Finishes a little sugary.

Feel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation. Somewhat smooth, but not enough dryness in the finish.

Overall: I have never had the standard Ovila Quad, but this version is good despite the lingering cloying sweetness. Better than the Ovila Dubbel and Saison, but still not top notch. I am not sure why Sierra Nevada can't nail these traditional Belgian styles - usually the mouthfeel seems to be the issue. But damn this is a good smelling beer.

bsp77, Feb 17, 2013
Photo of deebo
4.24/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A cork and caged 12.7 oz bottle bought in February and kept refrigerated until now. Poured into a snifter this beer provides a thin finger of tan bubbly head that quickly breaks completely down. Dark brown with red highlights with held up to the light. Clear.

Aromas of plums and notes of Belgian yeast-definitely estery. A rich malt sweetness with a bit of bread and some lightly roasted notes. Some spicy peppery phenolic notes and a nice alcohol aroma.

Taste is similar to the nose. With a sweet malt character with hints of roasted malt. A bit sweet in the finish but rather quick and semi-dry. Plenty of yeast charcter with weak phenolic peppery taste with a fair amount of a vapory alcohol finish...but not overpowering.

Medium bodied for a quad with fair levels of carbonation with an alcoholic finish.

Overall this is probably the best American quad I've had. A bit boozier than the world class versions but with most of the nice flavor qualities of those. A nice beer.

deebo, May 28, 2013
Photo of mjtiernan
4/5  rDev +1.8%

mjtiernan, Jun 06, 2014
Photo of dogfishandi
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12.7 oz caged and corked bottle at fridge temp poured into a Belgian style chalice.

Pours out a really dark brown with a thin layer of tan colored head, not the best retention and spotty lace from a swirl is really quick to fall back into the beer.

Pretty big on a dry plum note, a bit is some other dark dried fruits, figs, maybe a bit of raisin, light molasses and light brown sugar as well. A bit of alcohol as it warms.

A lot like the aroma with maybe a bit more complexity. Plums are there as well as some other dark fruits, prunes, figs, light raisin, some plum skin, a nice molasses/ brown sugar sweetness maybe even a bit of caramel. Comes on fairly sweet but finishes with a bit of dryness.

Bigger side of medium bodied, drinks easy, the alcohol isn't noticeable in the taste as much. Really smooth.

For me this started off as a pretty average quad, but the more I drank it the more I started to really enjoy it and didn't want the glass to end. Very pronounced flavors.

dogfishandi, Apr 20, 2013
Photo of MattyG85
4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12.7 oz. corked bottle into a St. Bernardus goblet glass.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown with hints of amber and ruby. Moderate amount of bubbles and a small finger of tan head that fades into a thin patchy layer. Leaves a decent amount of lacing with noticeable alcohol legs.

Smell: A big and rich yeast and malt driven aroma with fruits and chocolate scents. Belgian yeast with candied sugar and cinnamon and clove spice. Roasted malts with hints of dark chocolate, caramel, toffee, dark bread, and biscuit. Big aroma of dark fruits with good hints of plums, fig, raisin, dates, prune, and dark cherries. Also some burnt brown sugar and banana hints in the mix as well. A very nice smelling Quad.

Taste: Follows the nose well with a big complex mix of yeast, dark malts, and fruits. Belgian yeast along with a taste of cinnamon and clove spicing. Notes of banana, clove, candied and brown sugars. Big bready dark malt presence with notes of dark roast chocolate, caramel, toffee, dark bread, and biscuit. Big dark fruit presence with notes of plums, fig, raisin, dark grape and cherry, dates, and prune. A little earthy hop presence towards the finish. More roasty than typical for the style. A very good taste.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Creamy and nicely chewy. Sweet but fairly drying on the finish. Alcohol heat is very faint which is surprising for the style.

Overall: A really tasty and unique take on the Quad style. Bigger dark brownish flavor than what is typical for the style which adds a nice spin. Solid yeast and dark fruit presence.

MattyG85, Apr 05, 2013
Photo of Mantooth
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Mantooth, Jul 07, 2013
Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
4.04/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

BurgeoningBrewhead, Mar 17, 2014
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.35/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a four pack at the brewery in Chico (along with a shitton of other stuff like BA Bigfoot). Pours dirty dark brown, thin beige head at the top of it. Looked professional, no floaties. Aroma was prune, alcohol, belgian yeast, probably the thing they were going for, but not something that floats my boat. Actually alcohol was probably the strongest thing, then prune.

Taste was prune and raisin soaked alcohol. I'm already thinking to myself, 'you bought these for the old lady, be glad you don't have to choke down the rest of this beer, or the remaining 3 bottles from the four pack. I didn't really like the dark fruit bitter alcohol bite of this one. Has very little in the way of malt contribution, the beer seemed a little thin, and no appreciable flavor or character to whatever they used. It was all prune, raisin, licorice, alcohol, fig and belgian yeast type of thing going on. What I had hoped for in terms of plum sweetness just never came across, that merle haggard? song "always wanting you, but never having you," came to mind.

Not my style, disregard these notes if it is your style, don't let this guy make you think it won't be something you like. The old lady likes it, but she is on facebook too much to write a beer review.

Beerandraiderfan, Feb 21, 2013
Photo of WVbeergeek
3.86/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

WVbeergeek, Mar 19, 2014
Photo of timontheroad
4/5  rDev +1.8%

timontheroad, Apr 05, 2014
Photo of Oelschlager
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

Oelschlager, Jul 31, 2013
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Ovila Belgian-Style Abbey Quad: Ale Brewed With Plums from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 736 ratings.