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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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

209 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 209
Hads: 1,035
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 11.45%
Wants: 43
Gots: 201 | FT: 10
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Quadrupel (Quad) |  10.20% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Trilogy31 on 01-30-2013

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 209 | Hads: 1,035
Photo of JackRWatkins
3.37/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: I suppose I did not pour this with enough vigor but the head promised was not present at all. pours jet black and glossy. Darker than motor oil.
S: Kind of weak honestly, I was rather unimpressed, this beer was poured into a bernardus glass but I would recommend a snifter, should focus the release of the smell more so it is present for longer. Sweet and fruity, a tad malty I think but it dissipated so quickly I could not really tell. As the beer sits though the sweetness in the nose does become more pronounced. Tinge of oatiness to the taste as well.
T:Roasted malt marries nicely with the plum, a tad bitter at times and though the bitterness is not exactly a plus it's also not bitter enough to be off-putting. For a beer this conspicuously alcoholic, it is well enough masked, present just enough to encourage slow enjoyment but masked enough to all it to be enjoyed. Any prominent spicy character is mostly overwhelmed by the roasted malt, it's still there just kind of pushed back.
M: Sticky sweet, standard, no complaints.
O:This is a pleasant, albeit somewhat strange beer and I would say that serving it just to the left of cold would work just as well as serving it cold. It leaves a warm burn in the stomach and a sweet taste on the tongue, if this is to be your first foray into quad territory better go with St. Bernardus Abt. 12 instead, there really is no good place to start with this kind of beer so that is as good as any. this is good beer and an interesting beer, take time to enjoy it and the experience will be better for you. (1,559 characters)

Photo of OrangeMen
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Properly aged for 1 year

Appearance- Pours a deep dark mahogony brown, ruby red tints flash throughout. Two finger thick off white fizzy, frothy head, dissipates to half finger but hangs around.
Aroma- Sweet and sticky dark fruits, raisins, juicy plums, figs. Some spicy characteristics kick up, and accompany an underlying yeasty breadiness. Pungnant, sweet, slightly boozy.
Taste- Delicious caramel malts, rich, almost some slight chocolate aspects. Big sweet dark fruits, plums, sugary raisins. Slight spiciness on the finish, fruity esters, and clove phenolic characteristics.
Feel- Medium mouthfeel, slight stickiness and almost a creaminess. Moderate to lower carbonation.
Overall- Truly enjoyable beer, such a smoothness while pulling all these wonderful flavors together. Malt backbone was surprising and incredible, rich caramel just seemlessly blends with the sweet dark fruits. Plums and raisins are sugary and juicy, belgian yeast strain just pulls everything together adding slight spicy, earthy, and yeasty qualities.

Kicking myself for not buying a full 4 pack a year ago...i would be stoked if i had 3 more of these to continue to age out. (1,158 characters)

Photo of stal
1/5  rDev -74.6%

if i made this beer ... i too would wear a hood so that nobody would know i made it. lotta people with no taste..... sheeples jumping on the bandwagon. sn should go back to the drawing room and shoot the maker. (210 characters)

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.69/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - Pours deep brown with ruby red highlights where light can penetrate with a tan half finger's worth of head. Fair retention, leading to a flat and barren surface with no lacing on the side. Very wine-like in appearance.

Smell - Aroma hits on sweet, dark fruitiness and light sugary notes. Hints of astringency from the alcohol.

Taste - Follows the nose. The plum comes through well with a predominant dark fruit character, along with some brown sugar sweetness. Touches of alcohol in there, but doesn't get too hot. Very wine-like in the finish, with plum, black cherry fruit and dark chocolate in the mix.

Mouthfeel - Full in body with light carbonation. Not quite as chewy as some quads. Drying finish.

Overall - Good brew. Drinks similarly to red wine; like a cab or zin with a touch of carbonation. Maybe not the best or most complex quad out there, but certainly unique. I wouldn't be opposed to drinking it again. (935 characters)

Photo of seedyone
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

02/06/14 From bottle at RAttle n HUm, NYC. This is a superior brew...but if your not a fan of raisins or plums or prunes, stand back. Great taste. Complex . It makes you think of foreign lands but one need not be too adventerous to appreciate this offering. Do it! You will not be sorry. BTW it's 10%+ so be aware. (315 characters)

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. (1,130 characters)

Photo of dbossman
4.02/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark reddish brown--actually almost black--with a huge, brown and frothy head; okay lacing

S: Fruity--grapes, plums, cherries, banana--up front; some candi sugars; burnt brown sugar; roasted malts underneath the complexities develop as this warms

T: Slightly burnt brown sugar mingles with fruits: cherries, plums, bananas; some roasted malts linger but the sugary, fruity esters are the star here; some booziness as well in the finish

F: Medium body; nice texture and mouth feel

O: A really pleasant, fruity malty quad (526 characters)

Photo of sevreng
4.32/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12.7oz bottle purchased at Atlas Bottle Works in June, 2014. Poured into tulip glass.

A - Bright but might as well be hazy due to the dark dark reddish-brown hue. Thin head on pour, dissipates quickly.

S - Dark cured fruits like dates, raisins, and apricot meet with rum notes to hint at fruitcake. Almond in the background.

T - Chocolate, rum-raisin, date, and just delicious. Drinking this as a desert beer was an excellent choice. Plums provide a subtle tart note hidden in the complex fruit flavors. Some alcohol hotness on the finish.

M - Creamy yet well carbonated, the residual stickiness of this beer in the mouth is actually pleasant.

O - Superb dessert beer, would pair well with chocolate, darker cakes, and cheesecake. Hints of coffee and the lack of sickly stickiness on the finish makes this one of the better quads that I've had. (849 characters)

Photo of patre_tim
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. (614 characters)

Photo of Louisville-Beer-Reviews
3.1/5  rDev -21.1%
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. (1,569 characters)

Photo of Brutaltruth
4.34/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Excellent Abbey style quad from Sierra Nevada. Pours a dark roasted brown with a tannish brown off white head that gives a Guinness cascade when poured with a slowly dissipating head that leaves a thin tight beaded head that lightly clings to the glass. Smell of chocolate, dark plums, tart cherry, and astringent grains. Taste is of dark berries, cherries, raisins, plums and dark malt rounded by Belgian candy sugar. Aftertaste is pleasant with dark chocolate and dark fruits and a slight herbal note, yeast flavor is hard to find with everything else going on, which is a LOT----especially as it warms. Silky smooth mouthfeel and VERY deceptive of the alcohol. Another APLUS from Sierra Nevada brewing, a favorite I have had many times in bottle, but could not pass up the chance to have on draft. As a side note, I noticed a different head and more subtle flavors from tap than bottle....for what it's worth. Try it! Cheers. (928 characters)

Photo of SportsandJorts
3.79/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: deep garnet almost mahogany colored. Has some brightness to it but mostly opaque due to the darkness. A finger of a tan head that fades slowly and leaves a small lacing behind.

Smell: definite dry plum smell to it. Lots of amber candi sugar. Some alcohol strength and belgian yeast to it

Taste: opens with a dark amber candi sugar. Some plums and very apparent alcohol belgian yeast and spiciness play in the backend.

Mouthfeel: medium body. Very dry and alcohol heavy.

Overall: a good and strong quad. Be prepared for some strong and hot alcohol though. (573 characters)

Photo of foobula
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle code translates to 1/8/13 bottle date. Dark brown cola-colored pour. 1/2 finger tan head dissipated relatively quickly. Smell is booze, fruity sweetness & moderate yeast. Taste is decent fruitiness up front (from the plums?) with yeast esters. Pleasantly sweet. Finish yields more yeast esters along with slight bitterness. It isn't as complex as your ideal quads but I think the plums add another level of sweetness. Mouthfeel is medium, somewhat creamy but also slightly on the thin side. Overall I like it. It isn't the best quad ever but it's got enough yeast and the plums add some fruitiness that make it interesting. (630 characters)

Photo of AyeMito
3.86/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This Quad definitely caught my eye the first time I saw it. Even the appearance of the bottle itself was appealing to me. I absolutely loved the artwork on the label and the cork on top is such a great touch! The Beer itself has a thick dark appearance with a tan, fizzy head when poured. Nothing crazy but still looks satisfying and has a wonderful smell. The first inhale I took I was hit by a rich chocolaty scent with a slight undertone of plum finishing out with a smooth hint of sourness. Leading into my first taste I was definitely hit by the bold fruit flavor and velvety smooth finish. It was rich and round with hints of fig, chocolate and spice. I loved this beer! A true standout from other Belgian-Style Quads I've had. (733 characters)

Photo of JamieDuncan
4.23/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have had this beer a few times and realized I had not reviewed it yet, so stuck one in the fridge and here we go. Beautiful beer, thick and dark on the pour and then thick enough appearance to get me salivating. The smell is also awesome, not super strong but clean and no obvious alcohol despite the over 10%. The taste is very good and gets even better and smoother as it warms, take your time and enjoy sipping on this one. Overall it gets bonus points for both value, $15 a four pack I believe, and for the ABV which does not come on strong. Also, the corked 12 oz bottles are unique and cool. (599 characters)

Photo of wvsabbath
4.32/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Serving Type - 16.7 oz caged and corked bottle

Appearance - Black with a tan and purple tint. 1 inch foamy head with tons of sticky lacing.

Smell - Lots of spices, plums, grapes, dates, fig. Bready malts, yeasts, alcohol.

Taste - Right on par with the aroma, huge plum jumps out with lots of spices, bready malts and some alcohol warmth. Grapes and raisin are also a main flavor. A nice yeasty note adds some sweetness to counter some bitter from the dark fruits. A little honey and cherry at the finish.

Mouthfeel - Dark fruits, especially plums coat the tongue. Bready malts and yeasts really nail the palate. Alcohol warmth is present throughout. Aftertaste is dark fruits, spices, honey and alcohol.

Overall - A really nice, balanced attack of sweet and bitter, with loads of complex flavors. A big beer with alcohol warmth from the first sip. Really enjoy the big plum flavor mixed with the other dark fruits. A real winner here, cant wait to try a aged bottle. (973 characters)

Photo of Cubatobaco
3.7/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

No date visible, but the bottle is from last year. Poured into a Witkap Pater chalice.

A - Pours a murky brown, with a purple tint, leaving only a thin white ring. Slippery lacing as it is swirled against the glass. Meets my expectations considering the style and with what it was brewed with.

S - Has a vinous nose of dark fruits, of course the most notable is plums. Concord grapes, raisins, a subtle touch of bread. The nose is slightly muted by its cool temp. I'm sure more aromas will shine through as it warms.

T - The flavors follow the nose, but they seem to be disjointed. There is a nice sweetness on the entry, but is recedes to a dry and slightly bitter finish. Outside of the flavors mentioned in the smell, you can detect and estery presence along side a touch of alcohol. There is a tad bit of tartness as well. I'm sure if this was fresh, it would be a lot better.

M - Medium-bodied with an acidic feel. Complex, slightly tart and bitter on the finish. The finish does linger 45+ secs.

O - As I mentioned above, I'm sure this was a lot better when it was fresh. With it being a Quad, I didn't feel the need to drink it right away and figured it may benefit from some down time. I have two of these left and I want to try one soon to se if this may be a bad bottle. (1,288 characters)

Photo of keithmurray
4.29/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - dark eggplant color with slight tan head

Smell - plums, raisins, figs, brown sugar, blueberry

Taste - plums, raisins , figs, brown sugar, grape, blueberry

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, medium carbonation, sweetness upfront from the plums, slightly tart in the finish

Overall - good American take on a style that usually runs flat when done outside of Belgium. Quad lovers should give it a chance

Price Point - $3/12 oz single (440 characters)

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Old Toad in Rochester, NY.

Pours a raisiny looking brown, with a half inch head, and not much lacing.

Smells like dark fruits (plums and raisins), brown sugar, molasses, and booze.

The taste is similar. The fruit addition really ramps up the typical dark fruit flavor that quads give off. Lots of booze-drenched plums, some raisins and figs, brown sugar, molasses, cloves, and some slight hop bitterness.

Medium bodied, this one's a slow sipper due the strength and alcohol. Sweet, creamy mouthfeel. Very low carbonation.

A nice interpretation of a quad from SN, but not up to level of the classics. (618 characters)

Photo of beergoot
3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep brownish-red color with a thin yet persistent light tan head. Smells of cocoa and dark fruit and a subtle boozy quality simmering underneath. Warm, malty flavors of chocolate, dates, and mild alcohol heat; bready. Medium bodied; smooth and tingly on the palate; dry finish.

A very nice, smooth and tasty dark ale. New aspects of flavor and feel come out with every sip and all are enjoyable. Subtle, deep and a real pleasure to savor. (440 characters)

Photo of Brenden
3.84/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

More mahogany than cherry wood, this dark brown beer nonetheless does have some deep red hues running deep into its body. The head, off-white, is a bubbly and dense 3/4 finger that holds up and puts down some pretty good patching.
The smell shows some richness and complexity, all the dark fruits I expect with a dark, barley grains malt backbone and candi sugar sweetness balanced by bitter leaf. Alcohol comes out with every sniff, but not too heavily. It's got some black pepper tickling the nostrils as well.
Spicy, tangy and sweet, the pepper and other, drier spices, some clove as well, come in right with the plum, raisin, and something like citrus at the same time as a sort of molasses note. Toffee and brown sugar, slightly burnt, come in with some pith and wood. Alcohol adds a stronger bite on the tongue, increased by the beer's spicier aspects, but it also becomes distinctly ethanolic and remains that way. It's pretty tasty, though, sweet but not too sweet with just enough hops to balance.
The body is full, almost thick without being too syrupy as a dryness opens it up and crispness keeps it moving and biting. There's a light acidity, and the alcohol's effect on the body keeps it from doing too much rather than detracting from it. (1,252 characters)

Photo of rajendra82
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I usually reserve my St. Bernardus chalice, gifted to me during my only visit to Brawley's in Charlotte, NC, several years ago for special treats, of which I am hoping the Ovila Abbey Quad is one. Opens up with a light pop, as the cork is freed from the wire cage and extracted. The carbonation is light, and the beer pours very dark brown, looking like a thick cola. The smell is filled with cherry, plum, and other dark skinned fruit. There is a touch of hops upon deeper inspection of the smell. The taste has more of a brown sugar, than a dark fruit type sweetness, with sour notes becoming more noticeable mid palette, before being swept aside by the alcohol warmth. Some dark chocolate presence in the finish. If I have a fault to pick, it is the thinness of the body. It does not quite seem up to the velvet like feel of others in the style. I like the Ovila Quad for what it is, but I think the Ovila Saison is better. (926 characters)

Photo of Abra
4.11/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown with a tan head that dissipates quickly.

Aroma very sweet with a noticeable alcohol presence.

Taste is smooth, strong, and warming. Very sweet, picking up on dark fruit, caramel, and honey. Not getting much Belgian spice, I think the alcohol overpowers it.
Definitely leaves a lingering sweetness.

Overall, a very nice Quad but could maybe use more of a balance between alcohol and spice. (415 characters)

Photo of GregA135
4.23/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured a dark brown/dark purple color

You can slightly smell the plums, a bit of raisins, dark fruits

Smooth with a sweet plum taste, the plum isn't overbearing and works well with the other flavors

Lightly carbonated, and easy on the palate

A good Quad, the plums give a great taste and color for the beer (311 characters)

Photo of daledeee
4.09/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A single bottle I couldn't pass up. $3.75 price tag is also good!

Poured this into a big wine type glass. Got a very dark body, even for a quad and some head but that didn't last.

Smell at first was pretty alcoholic. Dark fruit as well. The alcohol went away after a little breathing time. Then it was purely dark fruit(figs and prunes).

Taste is very balanced. Early, dark fruit, spice and on the sweet side. This beer is very enjoyable to drink. (451 characters)

Ovila Belgian-Style Abbey Quad: Ale Brewed With Plums from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 209 ratings.