Ovila Belgian-Style Abbey Quad: Ale Brewed With Plums - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 715 | Reviews: 164 | Display Reviews Only:
3.83/5 rDev -2.3%
Pours an almost opaque super dark crimson-brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, dark fruits, and earthy spices. Taste is much the same with plum and spice flavors on the finish. There is a bit of a sourness with each sip as well. There is a medium amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with a distinct plum flavor but it really doesn't stand out too much in the smell.
03-24-2013 04:41:54 | More by UCLABrewN84
3.74/5 rDev -4.6%
Sierra Nevada's Belgian-inspired Ovila series takes a serious left turn as its "Quad" introduces the taste of plums in order to exacerbate the dark fruit flavor that's already pleasant in the original Ovila Quad.
Much like other Quad variations, the ale pours with a dense, rusty appearance that's chocked full of brown and red hues along with a sturdy haze. As a creamy barley-stained head patiently builds up towards the tulip's rim, its retention is strong during the session and its lace is of broken rings. Its a strong appearance even through the ale doesn't have the exuberence that traditional Belgian Dark Strong Ales do.
Rich aromas kick off with a sweeter tone that's backed with brown sugar and light molasses. As the fruit aromas fold it, the ale takes a red wine scent with acidic grape, blackberry, raisin, prune, dates and figs to go along with obvious plumb overtones. A counterpart of spice also stems from its vinous acidic scent- fresh cracked peppercorn, orange peels and fennel. As the alcohol tickles the nose, and as the first sip nears, the aromas culminate in a way to remind me of spiced rum and plumb wine.
And to taste much of that brown sugar and molasses taste greets the early palate with unexpected rich malts. But once its sweetness fully saturates the taste buds, the balance of fruit and spice slices right through the sweetness with acidity and peppery heat. Blackberries, currants and red grapes bounce off of white pepper, black pepper, coriander, light clove and earthy near-licorice taste for complexity and intrigue in the middle. Trailing with plum overtones, the alcohol spice and light woody bitterness takes charge and gives the ale the rummy and winy finish that the nose promised.
Much fuller in body than expected, the ale retains its creamy-sweet structure very long and not drifting into drier sensibilities just yet. Its long draw across the middle palate provides a marshmallow texture to accompany its spice, acidity, and fruity tartness that lightens its viscosity to a mild extent. Its warm finish is semi-dry and again spicy with rum attributes.
With all that sugar plum talk dancing in my head, its easy to become seduced by the ale's clean fruit/spice balance and its hearty malt sweetness. But comparing it to more authentic Belgian versions, its easy to see that this much more simplistic ale not only lacks the much needed complexity it also doesn't allow for the drier drinkability to emerge which would facilitate a much more palatable and Belgian-esque digestible quality.
01-21-2014 17:29:54 | More by BEERchitect
4.13/5 rDev +5.4%
375ml bottle - $3.99 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.
Appearance: Pours a dark burgundy body with a thin, light ecru head.
Smell: Displays a heavy dose of toastiness, as well as brown sugar. As with the taste, just a touch of chocolate. Moderate fruitiness present, as is a pungent phenolic spiciness. Takes on a spiced fruit cake quality as it warms a bit.
Taste: Deeply toasty, brown sugar-tasting maltiness given an extra drizzle of simple syrup. Fairly fruity, both from the esters to the addition of the plums. Lightly tangy. Very faint dusting of cocoa powder. Quite spicy, moreso than I recalled the original Quad being - anise, white peppercorns, coriander seed. Finishes up spicy and sweet, toasty and warming.
Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium-plus carbonation. Smooth mouthfeel. As with the standard-issue Quad, I'm glad it's never sickly sticky or menacingly cloying.
Overall: Quite good. I appreciate the smaller-sized portion here, allowing me to get on with my grim life. I can knock back a quad without getting knocked out for a nap.
04-27-2013 02:58:02 | More by ChainGangGuy
3.99/5 rDev +1.8%
This poured out as a deep brown color, almost black. The head was thin and cream colored. The retention is thin and the lacing is scattered. The smell of the beer is bready and sweet with a subtle touch of chocolate malt in there as well. The taste of the beer is sweet with some chocolate and herbal spice flavors. There is some fruity elements in there as well. The mouthfeel is a smooth with a pretty solid carbonation and medium body. Overall it's a good brew, not sure what I'm supposed to taste from the plum that were added but either way it's a pretty solid Quad.
02-17-2013 05:50:09 | More by Knapp85
3.79/5 rDev -3.3%
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.
03-25-2014 22:22:16 | More by RblWthACoz
3.86/5 rDev -1.5%
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.
03-19-2014 01:44:10 | More by WVbeergeek
3.96/5 rDev +1%
Sierra Nevada Ovila Belgian-style Abbey Quad, "Ale Brewed with Plums, Brewed in Collaboration with the monks of the Abbey of New CIairvaux." Monastic Inspiration, American Innovation."
Appearance: looking very dark, deep brown, under a slim, cocoa-tinged head.
Aroma: Lovely stuff. Dark fruits, plums, dates, raisins, sweet and lovely, but not TOO sweet. Spicy. And some banana.
Taste: Complexity starts us off, a myriad of rich flavors at work. Plenty of the dark fruits, the raisins and plums, and the rich, sweet notes, with malt working wonders below it all. Damned tasty. Hits all the right notes, but misses some magic.
05-13-2013 02:22:51 | More by feloniousmonk
4.2/5 rDev +7.1%
what i love about sierra nevada is not just how good this beer is, but the fact that it is on shelves for $2.99, a steal at any rate, but for a beer this strong and this good, its insane. rich mahogany body to this and not much head in my globe. the nose is amazing though, i get more cherries than plums, but a definite dark fruit element stands strong among the grain trees here, sweet and a little spicy, quintessentially belgian. the fruit is there in the taste too, which is layered and huge, but not hot. it ins some ways reminds me of life and limb, that different sort of sugar additive, birch syrup or something, earthy and stately, really delicious, and a great compliment to the plums and the yeast. its a long flavorful experience driven by rich grain and semisweet under ripe plums. one of the best quads ive had honestly, and the fact that it was so affordable makes me want to go out and buy up all i can find. really big body and not much carbonation here, it really isnt needed or missed, as the flavors carry themselves just fine in its absence. top quality quad packed with flavor. a real generous gift to the beer community this one. thank you for it sierra nevada.
01-19-2014 17:01:52 | More by StonedTrippin
3.08/5 rDev -21.4%
Deep, dark ruby in the little snifter. Not much carbonation.
If you think of plums, it does taste like plums. If you said it's brewed with agave syrup instead of malt, I'd snap my finger and say "I knew it!" Not much in the way of variety. this seems really sweet and one-dimensional. This bitter-sweet ending is just not vetry pleasant. A syrupy taste, a sweetness that doesn't go away. I can't taste any malt but there must be plenty of it.
Maybe this is an interesting beer, but compared to many other Quads, I have to rate it lower. If I saw it in bottles I might try one-- this just seems to need some sudsiness to lighten up the dark fruitcake. On tap at Tiger! Tiger! in San Diego.
02-11-2013 05:57:48 | More by mactrail
Ovila Belgian-Style Abbey Quad: Ale Brewed With Plums from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 715 ratings.