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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

218 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 218
Hads: 1,090
Avg: 3.95
pDev: 11.14%
Wants: 53
Gots: 235 | FT: 11
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 218 | Hads: 1,090
Photo of ShamasUVA
3.11/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.75

Rating as a quad-- despite the inclusion of plums, this is by no means a Fruit beer.

L: Nice a dark, definitely darker than most quads, with a thin beige head.
S: Dark fruits (plum obviously, but also raisin) and burnt sugar. Minimal "belgian" esters which is in-line with the best examples of the styles. No banana/bubblegum.
T: Sweetness, some roast. More chocolate than appropriate. Hop bitterness is just enough to stand up to the rest of the beer.
F: This is where this beer really falters. Carbonation is just too low and the beer isn't quite attenuated enough. Slightly thick and could use significantly more carbonation.
O: A beer that is among the best US-made quads but really can't compete with the elite belgian ones like Rochefort/Bernardus/Van De Kaiser/Westvleteren. Straddles the line a bit between quad and belgian stout.

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Photo of Dsimenson
4.28/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a Pilsner
A: deep dark ruby red color, thick tan head that looks like you could walk cross it on a calm day, nice clinging lacing.
S: fruity, malty, rich aroma of plum, a bit of yeast, lovely!
T: hops, plums, toffee, a bit of alcohol and bitterness in the finish, and the rich flavor rise up to my sinuses
M: thick, creamy
O: overall outstanding, a real treat!

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Photo of chefbigjon
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

delicious. My kind of quad. Love the sweetness of the plums and the booziness. Can't wait to see how this develops. To me, a total bargain..corked and caged 12 oz bottles for around 3 bucks per?

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Photo of Jerebeer
4.42/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

(Preface: learning to taste. No where near an expert). I poured it into a chalice and it had very little head. It looks to be about a 36 on the SRM. Held up to the light, nothing comes through. After agitation, you definitely get the sweetness of the plum. For taste, I am getting some sweet, maltiness, and some mild bitterness.

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Photo of priwen
3.94/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Very dark with ruby highlights showing when held in front of a light. Nice, tan head that doesn't stay around too long. Aroma of dark fruits and malts. The plums can also be detected. The taste is sweet with rich malt and fruit flavors. The alcohol is well hidden. Medium-plus mouthfeel. The finish is sweet, but there is a touch of bitterness also present. Overall, this is a very nice beer. The plums add a little something extra, but overall it's a pretty straightforward Quad.

12.7 oz bottle
Date on bottle 111914
Purchased: February 2015
Served in an Oversized Wine glass

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Photo of gibgink
4.69/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up and tasted on 3-4-15. Pours a very dark brown/red. Can pick up the plum on the nose. Taste is very nice! Can pick up the plum influence, but it does not overpower or dominate. Extremely smooth finish. No hint whatsoever that this is a 10.2% alcohol. Would highly recommend.

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Photo of jasonpeckins32
4.62/5  rDev +17%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Darker than I expected, nearly black in color with some dark rootbeer colored tones. Sweet, candied flavors with some yeasty notes. Just enough carbonation seems to stick around the top of the beer at all times somehow.

Complex in flavor, yet it seems to become simpler as the glass goes on. Nice flavor balance. Nice carbonation. Nicely done.

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Photo of Fremont897
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Comes across more as a Belgian quad leaning toward barleywine qualities. The sweet elements of plum, dates and banana combined with mild alcohol heat without the latent ashiness of most Belgian styles hit the spot for me. One of those "tastes twice as good when half finished" brews...dig.

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Photo of vkv822
3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz : tulip

Pours near black with a foamy light tan head.

Lightly boozy, dark fruit, Belgian candi sugar, cocoa and caramel notes.

Medium body, low fizzy carbonation.

A well done Quad, great mix of flavors.

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Photo of PA-hunter
4.31/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a corked 12.7 oz bottle into snifter glass. 10.2% abv

Appearance- Pours a deep dark brown, borderline black. Two finger beige head that dissipates quickly.

Smell- Belgian yeast which has that unique sugary aroma, caramel, toffee, and plum.

Taste- Fresh tartness of sugared plums arrive quickly to the palate. The ripe plums blend well with the sweet Belgian yeast notes. Bits of caramel malt just make it through the sweet yeast and plum flavors. Has a hot peppery finish that ends the flavor profile nicely along side of a subtle hop zest. The plum flavor lingers.

Mouthfeel- Heavy in body with quite a viscous feel. Alcohol detectable.

Overall- A well done, spot on quad. Also love the fact that SN did it with a legit Belgian collaboration, and it is a one time offering which adds to the uniqueness. The plums set this one apart as it adds layers of sweet complexity. Yeast tasted like those of similar Belgian greats. Excellent all the way through.

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Photo of JackRWatkins
3.37/5  rDev -14.7%
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.

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Photo of OrangeMen
4.1/5  rDev +3.8%
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.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.69/5  rDev -6.6%
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.

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Photo of seedyone
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

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.

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Photo of RexBanner
4.55/5  rDev +15.2%

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.

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Photo of dbossman
4.02/5  rDev +1.8%
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

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Photo of sevreng
4.32/5  rDev +9.4%
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.

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Photo of patre_tim
4/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

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Photo of Louisville-Beer-Reviews
3.1/5  rDev -21.5%
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.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
4.34/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

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Photo of SportsandJorts
3.79/5  rDev -4.1%
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.

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Photo of foobula
3.92/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

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Photo of AyeMito
3.86/5  rDev -2.3%
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.

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Photo of JamieDuncan
4.23/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

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Photo of wvsabbath
4.32/5  rDev +9.4%
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.

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Ovila Belgian-Style Abbey Quad: Ale Brewed With Plums from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 218 ratings.