1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.
very good

728 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 728
Reviews: 166
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 11.2%
Wants: 18
Gots: 99 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 728 | Reviews: 166 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mportnoy
3.25/5  rDev -17.3%

mportnoy, Mar 17, 2013
Photo of Gavage
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%

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.

Gavage, Mar 16, 2013
Photo of teromous
3.68/5  rDev -6.4%

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.

teromous, Mar 16, 2013
Photo of KevSal
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

KevSal, Mar 16, 2013
Photo of Chrysostom
3.51/5  rDev -10.7%

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.

Chrysostom, Mar 16, 2013
Photo of Commodore69
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Commodore69, Mar 16, 2013
Photo of Murrhey
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%

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.

Murrhey, Mar 16, 2013
Photo of DefenCorps
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%

Bottle from the local Whole Foods. Real nice presentation here.

A very dark reddish brown with a dense, light-brown head with decent retention and nice lacing, this looks quite nice. The nose is solid. Fruity with the plum notes immediately noticeable, there's a pleasant blend of yeast and spice as well. Cocoa, a little leather, earth, black cumin, some caramel, a little alcohol are all noticeable.

The palate opens moderately sweet, with some caramel heft, wheat bread and fruit. The mid-palate is quite deliciously complex, with the interplay between the fruit, the yeast, the spice and the alcohol making this one warming treat. Burnt toast is also present. The yeast character is a relatively clean, fruity, spicy flavor, complementing the caramel notes quite well. Drying on the finish with an earthy, alcohol bite, this beer is medium in body and a little too crisply carbonated. The flavors on the finish are a blend of spice, fruit and carbonic acid. Solid stuff.

DefenCorps, Mar 16, 2013
Photo of JohnSnowNW
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

JohnSnowNW, Mar 16, 2013
Photo of rab53
3/5  rDev -23.7%

rab53, Mar 16, 2013
Photo of fehrminator
4/5  rDev +1.8%

fehrminator, Mar 16, 2013
Photo of stumac
4.65/5  rDev +18.3%

super dark brew with hazelnut edges. decent white head. aroma is heavy plum, lots of concord grapes, slight honey, some heather, a wintergreen spice in the finish. taste is insane! ive gotta boner. thick molasses, grape, sugar, vanilla, spearmint, caramel, earthy, cherries. furkin full bodied brah, heavy carbo. sticky finish. i fudgin bathe in this sheesh

stumac, Mar 15, 2013
Photo of coreyfmcdonald
2.66/5  rDev -32.3%

375ml bottle into a snifter

A: Pours extremely dark amber/brown, nearly black, with a finger of beige head on a decent pour.

S: Lots of juicy, sweet plums. They pretty much obliterate all other aromas in this one. I really don't get anything else.

T: Again, lots of sweet plums here. Thankfully, I do get some other flavors, though. I get some prunes and a bit of spicy esters.

M: quite thick for the style with low carbonation.

O: Not particularly complex, this beer is overtaken by plums. It's too sweet without enough esters. Not terrible, but certainly in the bottom half of Quads.

coreyfmcdonald, Mar 15, 2013
Photo of scottfrie
4.41/5  rDev +12.2%

375ml bottle into snifter.

A: Pours a very dark ruddy brown color with three fingers of dense and fluffy light creamy tan colored head. Head to forever to slowly collapse into a thick fuzzy film leaving patches of lace down the glass.
S: Fruit definitely dominates the nose. Plums, prunes, red apples, grapes, and red pears mix with spicy notes of cinnamon, coriander, clove, vanilla and pepper. Complex and delicious smelling.
T: All the fruits and spices of the nose with the addition of cocoa powder, caramel and leather in the finish and green apple, raisin, wood and maple in the aftertaste. Solid earthy bitterness as well. Sweet and spicy overall. Plums do noticeably distinguish this over the original.
M: Smooth and very creamy mouthfeel, not overly sweet or bitter, soft and light carbonation, medium-full body. Drinks very well.
O: I really enjoyed this one. Complex but not overly sweet. Plums add character. Awesome mouthfeel.

scottfrie, Mar 15, 2013
Photo of cfinch2
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

cfinch2, Mar 14, 2013
Photo of ThickNStout
3.93/5  rDev 0%

12.7oz bottle from Sherlocks (Marietta, GA). 12.48/ 4 pack. Bottled 1/9/13. Served in a Wild Heaven snifter.

Pours deep mahogany with russet edges and a dense but quickly fading muted khaki head. Very little lace.

Smells of wine, plums and sugar. Pleasent enough but not much there in the nose.

Taste is overflowing with dark fruit. The plums of course take center stage but leave room for grapes, figs, cherry skins, mild bannana, caramel, toffee, candy sugars and some yeast. A bit of booze bite but overall quite smooth.

Just beyond medium on it's way to heavy bodied with a light, subtle carbonation that allows the dark fruity flavors to rest on the palate. Lingering plums and yeasty bannana in the finish.

It might not blow anybody away but this is a nice quad. I liked the additional fruit notes from the plums and really appreciated the fact that it isn't overly carbonated. And while I typically don't talk about packaging, it is worth noting that this makes for a mighty sexy looking display. The corked and caged four pack is really quite attractive. And what's inside is right enjoyable too. If I resist the urge to drink them all, I'll see how 1 or 2 of them do with some age. For the price this is worth a shot for any fans of the style.

ThickNStout, Mar 14, 2013
Photo of Fatehunter
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

Poured a thin tan head on a dark brown, almost black body.
The aroma is wonderful and deep. Candy, plums, caramel and wet grain all dance around.
The taste is long. Fairly sweet throughout with a mild lemon bitterness in the middle, the finish is warm alcohol.
The texture is heavier with low carbonation.
It's pretty good, but the taste hasn't caught up with the rest of it.

Fatehunter, Mar 14, 2013
Photo of Fossilhunter
4.75/5  rDev +20.9%

Fossilhunter, Mar 13, 2013
Photo of irish01980
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%

irish01980, Mar 13, 2013
Photo of Mattyb79
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

Mattyb79, Mar 13, 2013
Photo of LOCAL
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%

LOCAL, Mar 13, 2013
Photo of zestar
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

zestar, Mar 12, 2013
Photo of deadonhisfeet
3.81/5  rDev -3.1%

Poured from a bottle into a Lost Abbey Teku. The pour is clear, but very dark with mahogany highlights. It has a thin tan head that quickly dissipates. Carbonation is moderate to low. The nose is pleasant, but rather faint, although it does seem to come alive on warming. I get notes of black currants, plums, toffee, rum, and puff pastry.

The beer has a full body, and slick smooth feel, and lots of dark fruit. Brown bread on the front of the palate gives way to plums, cherries, figs and a hint of tobacco. On the back of the palate, a rather intense red wine flavor charges in and heats up the finish, which is rather boozy but pleasant.

Overall, a nice beer, but not one I would buy again. It has lots of flavor, but the combination of dark fruit and intense booziness makes it rather difficult to drink. The best quads certainly have fruit and alcohol heat, but they also have malt complexity that this one lacks. Perhaps a bit more carbonation would drown out some of the fruit and wine notes and bring the bready, malty notes more to the foreground.

deadonhisfeet, Mar 12, 2013
Photo of hoplover82
4.59/5  rDev +16.8%

A-Pours a crystal clear dark ruby red (almost black) color, with a medium, tan, creamy head that has good retention and very good lacing.
S-The aroma is pungent right off the bat with notes of dark fruits (prunes) and sweet burned caramel. Some peppery spice in in the back from the yeast( or the hops). The prunes really come through in this beer. Very nice.
T-The flavor is much of the same with prunes and sweet caramel and some spicy/earthy hop notes.Very deep and rich.
M-The mouthfeel is huge and creamy with a balanced yet, long finish. The carbonation is mild (right on for the style)
O-Overall, I'm very glad I splurged and bought a four pack. Enjoyed this beer very very much and highly recommend it to any big beer fan. Cheers everyone!

hoplover82, Mar 12, 2013
Photo of Festigio
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Festigio, Mar 11, 2013
Ovila Belgian-Style Abbey Quad: Ale Brewed With Plums from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 728 ratings.