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

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
88
very good
224 Reviews
THE BROS
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BEER STATS
Reviews:
224
Ratings:
1,112
Avg:
3.95
pDev:
24.56%
 
 
Wants:
57
Gots:
254
For Trade:
13
Ovila Belgian-Style Abbey Quad: Ale Brewed With PlumsOvila Belgian-Style Abbey Quad: Ale Brewed With Plums
BEER INFO

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

Style: Quadrupel (Quad)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Trilogy31 on 01-30-2013

User Reviews
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Reviews: 224 | Ratings: 1,112
Photo of LiquidAmber
3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a very dark russet brown with red highlights at edges. Fine one finger light brown head with great retention and lacing. Subdued aroma of dark fruit; particularly plums, grape juice, sweet malt. Flavor follows aroma with dark fruit, grapes, bready malt, the fresh plum flavor is remarkable. Of all that times I've used plums as a flavor ingredient in beer, this is the first time I got such a fresh, first bite plum flavor. Medium bodied with light creaminess. A bit reserved in flavor for a quad, but enough to well cover the ABV, and refreshing in the fresh plum component. I hope I can pick up another bottle of this.

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Photo of AlexFields
3.32/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours a pretty solid black, very thin head even with an aggressive pour and even that fades quickly.

Smells of sugar and sweet dark fruit, molasses...not getting a lot of complexity in the nose, just the plums really.

Taste is better and a bit more going on, sweet dark fruit again, plums and blueberry, light chocolate flavor, light roast to back up the sweetness here. Tasty but not exceptional.

Mouthfeel is pretty fizzy for a quad, pretty full body but not crazy thick or cloying. Good drinkability for the style.

Good beer but not as complex as I'd like a quad to be, obviously an American example.

6.6/10

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Photo of rangerred
3.94/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear dark ruby with a smallish head. Ok head retention and lacing. A little disappointing for a Belgian, though.

Lots of clove and banana in the aroma very typical for the style. Just a hint of dark fruit.

Bready banana flavor with clove and bubblegum. Dark fruit is present but not as much as I would have expected given the plums this is brewed with. A bit hoppier than other quads I have had making this seem more "American." The alcohol is noticeable but remains restrained.

Overall, a decent quad but it falls short of some more notable Belgian examples. I don't feel the addition of plums is really that big a deal but still worth picking up if you come across it.

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Photo of Samuel906
3.7/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Light, sweet and very complex. Pours a deep, dark ruby with thin head. Smell is rich with sweet fruits, lots of plums and cherries with vanilla and hints of chocolate.
Taste follows suit, tons of plums, currants, hints of vanilla. surprisingly little booze for the abv. Light, crisp, lots of carbonation. I enjoyed this a lot, but I don't really have much experience with quads to make a good judge on style. Slightly too sweet.

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Photo of Auraan
4.45/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured a rich, almost black color with a thin head that receded to a ring that left little lacing. It looked beautiful upon pouring. Scents of chocolate, plums and a slight hint of alcohol. The flavor has notes of chocolate, plum, prune, Belgian yeast, peppery hints and a bit of alcohol on the finish. Mouthfeel is smooth, slightly sticky, medium bodied, with a medium carbonation level. On par for the style. A very good American example of a quad. It's not quite up there with the St. Bernardus quad or Rochefort 10, but it's a definite improvement over the standard Ovila Quad and quite good.

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Photo of justintcoons
4.03/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12.7oz C&C bottle poured into a La Trappe chalice.

Appearance
Dark brown/garnet with a short head that dissipates quickly. It's hard to see through but there does appear to be some active carbonation.

Nose
Grape jelly, plum, concord grape and hints of raspberry.

Taste
Ripe black plum, grape jelly and concord grape. Dark candy syrup, molasses and dates. Lights notes of blackberry. The finish is earthy with hints of char and dried hay.

Mouthfeel
Medium bodied, uber-smooth and a little sticky.

Overall
Tons of plums! This is a nice Quad that hides the alcohol well.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.34/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

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Photo of Jonada
3.79/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours a dark brown color with hints of ruby red. Small light khaki colored head dissipated almost instantly to medium thick collar.

Smell: Sweet dark fruits, belgian yeast, brown sugar, raisin bread, red grape, some booze, roasted malt, tobacco. The aroma is fairly complex, I just wish it were a little stronger.

Taste: Sweet/slightly tart plums, powdery belgian yeast, slightly vinous. The finish and aftertaste is roasted malt, coffee(?), and dark chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, creamy mouthfeel. Medium carbonation.

Overall: Interesting take on a quad. Definitely deviates a bit from some of the more traditional options. The roasty and coffee flavors were a bit surprising, but they worked well with the other flavors. Worth picking up a bottle or two.

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Photo of lunarbrew
3.93/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer poured dark brown with red hue. Pretty body, but poor head/head retention. Thin lacing sticks to the rim of the beer. Head kind of ruins the appearance of this beer. Beer has a rich nose of plums, molasses and a little cherry. Also some earthy notes, but those don't stand out much. Flavor is very sweet, even for a quad. I think the plums move the sweetness to the next level, and it's a little overwhelming. I taste high acidity, which hurts the balance of the beer. Flavors of tasted oats, smoke, tree bark, sweet berries, and of course plums. The body is nice and typical of the style. A little high on the carbonation. Overall, I like the beer. Drinkable, interesting, and a good example of a quad. The aftertaste, however, is acidic, bitter, and not so pleasant.

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Photo of OtherShoe2
3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours dark brown with a cream-colored head. Light skim of foam coats the glass briefly with each sip. No true lace.

Dark rich malt and some fruit. Boozy, with burnt sugars prevalent.

Dark malt and burnt sugars, leading immediately to a bitter note. This overbalances the beer, particularly this style. This overcompensation of the sweet and complex makes you wish for more sugar. Too bad. Here comes the alcohol to clear even more away. Chemical flavors mingle with scorched malt and fruit toward the end. Bitterness comes in again.

Full bodied, some tingle and even a little burn.

Overall, not bad, just flawed. Can't hold a candle to traditional quads, but not a bad stab at it.

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Photo of arizcards
3.63/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Picked up a 4 pack from BevMo in early February for $12.99.

Beer poured dark brown with a off white head that is leaving a little lacing behind.

Nose is pretty light for a quad, hints of dark fruits are there.

Taste is of plums, dry and yeasty, not overly complex but good nonetheless.

Mouthfeel is pretty smooth but not quite classic quad.

Overall i like this brew, not quite as good as across the pond produces but enjoyable for sure.

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Photo of jeff1973
4.47/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle date of 1/1/2013. 375ml bottle into a New Belgian Chalice/Tulip. 2 yrs old at this point.

Note: This beer was flat out of the corked bottle. Bought a 4pk and this is the first one that was flat. Last one was drank about a year ago.

A - Dark brown. Almost opaque, light brown around the edges. Looks to be cloudy,

S - Big Cherry, Twizzlers, dark rum, a little alcohol.

T - Follows smell, but with a oak finish that is not too sweet. Very well balanced.

M - This is one of the few flat beers that I still enjoyed! The other was Angel's Share. There is so much flavor and thicker mouthfeel that you don't miss the carbonation, IMHO.

O - Great beer. I thought it was just OK when I had it fresh and with about year on it. It tastes great even without carbonation after a 2+ years. Will buy more to cellar.

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Photo of mothman
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light layer of beige head. Color is a dark burnt caramel brown.

Flavor profile is mainly malts. Sweet malts. Caramel, candied sugar. Plums, raisins, molasses. Some toffee as well. Maybe a bit of tobacco.

Mouthfeel: smooth and creamy. Medium bodied with a nice amount of carbonation.

Overall, this was a really nice quad. Very easy to drink with a lot of nice flavors. SN deserves more credit on this one.

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Photo of rudzud
4.12/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Picked up a few bottles at Marlboro Wine and Spirits.

A - Poured into my Duvel tulip a nice crystal clear super deep dark ruby brown/garnet hue. Good one finger tan head that fades to leave a thin blanket and nice halo. Solid light lacing.

S - Aromas of almost overly sweet malts, brown sugar, candied sugar, belgian yeast, caramel, and solid dark fruits particularly the plum. Solid roast malt on the end and surprisingly hardly any alcohol.

T - Not a sweet as I thought it would be. And actually alot more roasted. Sweet malts, not really sweet dark fruits. Just plums, not sweet just there. Light raisin notes. Finish is quite roasty with a lingering candy sweetness. Booze is hidden nicely which is what bumped this up to a 4 for me. Still shocked at the lingering roast finish. Faint, faint chocolate notes too.

M - Mouthfeel is solid. Smooth, alcohol hidden nicely.

O - Overall, so I was not blown away by this beer. But at $4.20 per bottle I'm not really going to complain. Glad I have 2 more to just forget about in the cellar. I bet/hope with some time that roast will die out and this will become nice and sweet and plummy. Looking forward to that.

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Photo of CloudStrife
4.08/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12.7oz bottle poured into a snifter. Bottled February 7th 2013.

A: Pours a very dark ruby brown with a 1 finger lightly tanned head. Dissipates in a minute or so leaving a ring around the glass. Specs of lacing as I sip.

S: Immense sweet fruitiness up front from the plums. Carmel and roasted malts bring up the rear. Can get some brown sugar and toffee. Must be some candied sugars in here and the belgian yeast comes through nicely too.

T: Strong and very complex flavor going on here. Starts off with the dark fruits you would expect from the aroma, good plum, fig and raisin characteristics. Malt comes takes over mid sip with a roasty sweetness. Booze gives you a good smack in the face reminding you this is a quad. Lingers with the plum and a sweet roasted malt.

M: Medium body with pretty low carbonation. Is a bit sticky from the sweetness. Feels just a little thin considering all the oomph this beer has. Nice and warming.

Overall a real tasty American quad from Sierra Nevada and the Monks of New Clairvaux. Perhaps a little sweet for my taste buds now but would love to try one that has some age on it.

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Photo of ksimons
4.16/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-dark mahogany with slight ruby highlights and about a fingers worth of light tan head that leaves a bit of lace around the top

S-smells very nice, lots of dark fruit, malt, molasses, and very light chocolate

T-taste is similar to the smell with lots of dark fruits, molasses, Belgian yeast, and a very light roastedness at the end

M-medium body, high carbonation, and a good amount of sweetness present but not too much to be cloying

Overall maybe this isn't as good as some of the Belgian quads I have had, but it's pretty good for an American version. Really nice dark fruit in this.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.84/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

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.

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Photo of BigPlay1824
4.51/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

served in a sierra Nevada snifter

A: pours a very deep brown, not quite black. slightly transparent with a very thin head of fine bubbled coffee tan colored head that dissipates immediately, has a nice amount of small carbonation bubbles working their way up from the bottom,
S: very deep dark fruit notes, plums are most obvious with grapes as well and a bit of a smell like the outdoors after a torrential downpour in the spring with the sun shining and everything feeling clean again
T: very multidimensional, begins with the deep fruit notes up front and then, moves into the nice deep Belgian spice notes i had been looking for from the yeast profile, finishes just slightly cloying and sweet with an interesting warmth in the back of the throat that hits gently and briefly from the ABV
M: smooth all across, interesting thickness to it which makes is slightly astringent and dry but not at all too much, very well balanced, perfect amount of carbonation for the style, quite wonderful
O: pretty much on par with what I expect from sierra Nevada, exceptional quality and balance. i really enjoyed this one but ive also had the brandy barrel aged one which was a bit more over the top as is to be expected.

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Photo of cbutova
3.98/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I like the new look of the corked and caged 12oz bottles. Says 10.2% ABV on this bottle, no date that I can find. Turns out this is an entirely separate beer, I just accidentally reviewed the normal version. This one has cooler labels!

A- Poured from the caged 12oz bottle into a large chalice. The beer itself is quite dark, a very dark brown hue with a light tan head. The cap is about one finger high with a very silky looking texture. The bubbles are extremely fine in the foam and retention is nice. Big coats of lace all around the glass.

S- Right upon opening the bottle I noticed a pretty heavy dark fruit, vinous presence. This has a grape and plum feel and is probably from both the added fruit and the yeast strain they use. Dark candi sugar, sweet caramel, raisins, esters like banana and some clove in there as well.

T- Like the nose, dark fruit forward in the flavor and a very strong flavor overall. Specific fruit elements I get are plum, figs, prune, dark grapes and fruit pits. Definitely like wine in a way with the heavy grape and dark fruit notes. Belgian yeast brings spice, phenols, pepper, clove and some esters. Caramel sweets, candi sugars and a hint of alcohol in the finish.

MF- A pretty big, oily thick body with a pretty creamy overall consistency. Carbonation is moderately high but smooth. Alcohol warmth and some bitterness in the finish.

Either the plums or the yeast gives this beer a pretty vinous overall flavor. This adds a nice complexity to a very flavorful yeast strain in such a big beer. A bit boozy but not enough to bother me.

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Photo of Bung
2.57/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

375ml. Dark cola brown pour, thin layer of off white head. Retained for a little while.

Aroma, pretty sweet, candied fruit, plum, some prune and fig.

Taste, a little sweet malt and brown sugar up front. Some yeastiness, allspice. Goes into plum other light candy fruit. Finish is cherry medicine.

About medium body, I thought a bit low on carbonation which did not help the cough syrup like nature of this. A little warming, like a nice shot of Nyquil.

It feels like this is close, maybe some time, maybe some small tweaks in the recipe. As it is seems a bit medicinal. It seems to get worse as it warms.

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Photo of impending
3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

B+

375ml into a tulip. Pours a slick deep dark copper mahogany, towering café au lait colored head with an encouraging pour recedes slowly, ok lacing.

Aroma is of spicy plums, a strong phenolic note and a little solvent alcohol but nice nonetheless.

Big flavor. Vinous notes and plums without a doubt. Minor bitter, tiny dry twang at the beginning of the finish. Generally bittersweet until the aftertaste fades when a pleasant sweetness is left behind. A strong phenolic aftertaste evaporates slowly. A tad more than thin mouthfeel.

interesting that this is apparently different that the original quad offering - the first I thought was one of the best american brewed quads, this one, not to the same degree
cheers
jd

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Photo of Gavage
3.84/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: pours a dark brown almost black color with a short wispy head.

Smell: malt and fruit sweetness, and a hint of alcohol comes through.

Taste: big malt profile with slight chocolate flavors, some plum sweetness, a hint of allspice, Belgian yeast, some pepper, and a decent balancing bitterness. Alcohol is soft but noticeable.

Mouthfeel: heavy in body. Lightly crisp to start, smooth and velvety at the finish. Sme dryness arrives late too.

Overall: a slow sipping big beer that has a nice flavor profile. The fruit sweetness is mild here so the plum flavors contribute but are not overly noticeable. Worthy of a try.

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Photo of teromous
3.68/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark black-brown completely opaque body. Thin creamy light tan head on top, with a few large bubbles in the mix. Does provide some spotty lacing on the glass.

S: I get a huge whiff of alcohol, followed by some coffee notes and wood.

T: Some alcohol flavor, along with a light roasted quality. The roasted flavor (although soft) is a lot stronger than you'll find in most other quads. Some dark chocolate flavors are in there as well, and a soft mineral-like quality to the taste. The bottle says it is brewed with plums, and I get zero plum flavor.

M: The mouthfeel on this beer is fantastic. It's full bodied without being heavy, it's creamy, and just feels great to drink. Perfect carbonation, and just a real pleasure to drink.

O: Overall it was a very nice beer. I would call it a "take" on a quad, because it generally steps away from many Belgian flavors and scents. I was a bit dissatisfied that there was no plum taste in the beer. If the label didn't mention it, I never would have known.

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Photo of Chrysostom
3.53/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 3.75

This is the best American Trappist knock-off or Trappist replica I've yet to try, that still manages to be somewhat (and I use the word loosely), remotely, distantly like a Belgian. (Three Philosophers is the best, but, like this beer, is more of a stout-cum-barleywine than a Trappist.) For style, this beer is disqualified - it has none of the typical Trappist characteristics.

Presentation: 12.7 fl oz corked and caged bottle decanted (if that's the right word, the beer is so dark as to render impossible to detect any indication of bottle-conditioning or lees) in to a Chimay goblet/chalice.

A: Pours a very dark reddish brown, tending to black. Looks like a stout. One-finger head quickly recedes to barely a rim of foam. Lacing is nonexistent, in keeping with the high ABV and low hop presence (surprising for Sierra Nevada). This looks like a stout, not a Belgian.

S: Booze and grapes. Has a smell more reminiscent of a merlot or pinot noir (I'm not a big wine drinker, as you can tell from my conflating of styles) than anything resembling beer. There are dark fruits present, but no out-of-balance plum - the smell is the closest thing to Belgian about this beer, but the alcohol character is somewhat pronounced.

T: Booze and grapes, with dates, figs, and a definite plum on the back-palate. Moderately strong alcohol presence on the fore- and mid-palate, becoming stronger as the drink warms. Very tart, almost bitter alcoholic finish with a strong warming effect. A tiny bit of complexity, but not that much. "Booze and grapes", or "Booze and dark fruits", about sums it up. I thought I tasted a bit of spice, reminiscent of Rochefort, on my first sip. On later sips, it had disappeared. Uniquely, both malt and hops are virtually non-existent, or at least strongly overpowered by other characteristics. The backbone of this is "grape" or "booze", not malt. The bitterness-component of the finish is the only place where any hop comes through, and it's still dominated by the alcohol.

M: Very thin for the style. Unbalanced. Carbonation nil, at least in effect. Alcohol thins the palate perceptibly, leaning towards spirits. Low point of this beer. When cold, it tasted and felt like water on the tongue. As it warms, it tastes more like wine (non-sparkling) than beer.

D: Somewhat low. Not an excellent drink, but no problem finishing a bottle. Inoffensive, but high in alcohol content, and in alcohol character. Drinkable, but doesn't make you want another - it makes you want a Chimay.

O: About equal to the sum of its parts, a decent beer that is quite a bit above-average for American imitations of Trappists, head and shoulders above similar failed experiments such as the Nineteen, the Reverend, Brother Thelonious, etc., but is not something that one would go out of the way to drink again. About 72-75 on a scale of 100.

Three Philosophers is much better as a drink, but even less Belgian than this - at least this has some Belgian character in the nose.

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Photo of Murrhey
4.09/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12.7 oz cork and cage bottle into a tulip glass in high elevation Libby, Mont. Reviewed live. No best-by date visible.

A- Thin mocha head with high rate of erosion and aggressive, quick carbonation. Dark mahogany with some haziness in the body. Clear, vinous lacing. Actually not a super impressive looking beer.

S- Slightly sour, plums, heavy note of booze. Sweet fruity notes, dates, plums and maybe cherries. Yeast is spicy and up front as well.

T- Bitter, with a touch of dark fruit notes. Strong alcoholic flavor without being undrinkable. Kind of chocolate-based actually. Interesting.

M- Vinous and smooth.

O- I actually had to leave for an assignment halfway through this beer, so the flavors changed entirely as it warmed. Tasty, sweet and the booze wasn't killer.

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Ovila Belgian-Style Abbey Quad: Ale Brewed With Plums from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 224 ratings.