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.
BA SCORE
88
very good

730 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 730
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: 730 | Reviews: 166 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of hash_tagger
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

hash_tagger, Feb 21, 2013
Photo of metalgdog
4/5  rDev +1.8%

metalgdog, Feb 20, 2013
Photo of brock146
4.14/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - Dark purplish-brown with off white/tan head

S - Sweet and fruity with that funky "Belgian" aroma

T - Bittersweet, fermented dry and dark fruits, a hint of sweet plum. Alcohol is definitely noticeable but not in a bad way.

M - Smooth and a little cream with a medium body. Warming soon after it has been taken in.

O - This is a really good Belgian quad IMO. I'm not a real big fan of Belgian yeast flavor most of the time but it seems like the sugar plum used in this one helps this beer lean toward a much evolved flavor. I would purchase it again, even at $6 a bottle.

brock146, Feb 18, 2013
Photo of BradtheGreat7
4.16/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review taken from notes last week(Feb. 2013)

12.7 oz brown bottle abbey style capped and corked. Fantastic label in design and quality. The monk on the label is pretty BA if you ask me. A real thick bottle. Screams quality. Poured into a stemmed tulip glass.

A - deep maroon in color. Deep brown-mahogany tint. Big tan head that does provide some stick to the glass.

S - dark fruit with a touch of dried plum. A nice spiciness with hints of alcohol esters. Maybe a hint of Chocolate and soft molasses.

T - rich dark fruits with a big dried plum. Very fruity character with excellent spice and cinnamon. Tasty Belgian style yeast flavors. Nicely balanced overall with some spice in the finish.

M - smooth and velvet like in the feel. Does its job in coating the entire mouth with A rich quad like flavor. Alcohol warmth is present, but it a very enjoyable Quad.

O - I didn't read reviews before buying this and I'm glad I didn't for the fact that I probably wouldn't have done so based on other opinions. But boy was this a treat and did it's job. One of the best american made belgian style ales I've ever had. It's a shame this is probably the only time it'll be offered bc it's worthy of a seasonal release. The quality of dark fruit and plum flavors are spot on and overall this quad is very tasty. Grab it if you can.

BradtheGreat7, Feb 18, 2013
Photo of popery
3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours dark brown - sort of a maroon-tinted mahogany - but light enough for color to be seen throughout and the beer is transparent even in a full (small) glass. Head is thin layer of fine beige bubbles. The aroma has lots of sweet malt and dark fruit notes. Lots of raisins, prunes, plums and other fruitiness. If I didn't know there were plums added, I probably would think this is just a normal quad with particularly deep fruit notes. It smells like a raisin bread pudding. Lots of doughy, bready malt with caramel, molasses, treacle and sweet booze. Very nice spice, as well. Taste starts sweet and builds in complexity and spice. The fruit comes through with a bit of tannic bitterness. Makes me think of macerated plum skin. Most of the sweetness is caramel and other doughy, toasty malt notes. The finish is a bit boozy, but there's a lot of nice lingering flavor. The mouthfeel is fine and gentle. It does get a tad sticky as the beer warms and some of the carbonation comes out of the beer. Hard to avoid that. Still, it coats the mouth nicely and that light bitter note keeps the beer from getting cloying. Overall, I'm impressed by this beer. With their fancier offerings, Sierra Nevada shows off a mastery of restraint. When it comes to adding fruit (and barrel-aging), breweries tend to go overboard. This beer uses plums to enhance its flavor, and the beer, rather than the plums, remains the star of the show.

popery, Feb 18, 2013
Photo of bsp77
3.69/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Serving glass: Poured from really cool, cage & cork 375ml into a Snifter.

Appearance: Extremely dark purplish-brown with moderate tan head and champagne-like bubbles.

Smell: Caramel and toffee, loads of dark fruit (I am sure that plum is part of it), banana, and dry spiciness. Wonderful aroma.

Taste: Not quite as good as the aroma but still nice. Very fruity, with an emphasis on plum, dates and cherry, with underlying molasses and caramel. There are definite Belgian yeast notes, with banana, clove and pepper. Finishes a little sugary.

Feel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation. Somewhat smooth, but not enough dryness in the finish.

Overall: I have never had the standard Ovila Quad, but this version is good despite the lingering cloying sweetness. Better than the Ovila Dubbel and Saison, but still not top notch. I am not sure why Sierra Nevada can't nail these traditional Belgian styles - usually the mouthfeel seems to be the issue. But damn this is a good smelling beer.

bsp77, Feb 17, 2013
Photo of brewskifan55
4.09/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass

A: Brownish/amber with a tan half finger head that slowly dissolves to tiny bubbles. heavy lacing.

S: Big time plums and Belgian funk. Pour, please!

T: Smooth, sultry. Dark fruits, featuring the plums, of course. Biscuity malts. Caramel, molasses, pepper. Brown sugar sweet. A chocolate finish. Just terrific. Alcohol slides in for a lovely stupor.

M: Heavy; super creamy.

O: Just fantastic. Loved the original Ovila Quad. This one amps it up a bit more. Will be buying more, especially at this price.

brewskifan55, Feb 17, 2013
Photo of Knapp85
3.99/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Knapp85, Feb 17, 2013
Photo of weltywm
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark brown to light black. About a finger of off-brown head.

Smell: As soon as I popped the cork, the smell hit me. Really big. Notes of red wine, molasses, brown sugar, and fruit.

Taste: Just like the nose, there are flavors of wine, molasses, sugar, and lots of fruit like plums, figs, dates, and raisins. At the finish, there are more flavors of spice, yeast, and banana, with even more molasses and plum.

Mouthfeel: Pretty thick and well carbonated, but goes down smooth. An average length on the finish.

Overall: A really nice example of the style from Sierra Nevada, especially for the price. Would definitely buy again.

weltywm, Feb 17, 2013
Photo of raynmoon
3.06/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 3

It had a very nice color, almost no head to speak of, almost looked like a coca-cola.

It smelled okay. It had a nice bready maltiness with a hint of star anise or licorice.

The taste was more of the same. It tasted mostly just like a decent quad. Low carbonation, super thin and watery mouth feel, and finishes with a nice star anise flavor and some sugar and alcohol. The malt is pretty much non existent in this beer. Kind of takes on a wine-like character with the plums. Zero yeast character.

Overall, this is pretty disappointing. It's not bad by any means, but it is missing so much character and umph to make it a "wow" beer. Just average. The bottle is cute though.

raynmoon, Feb 16, 2013
Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev +1.8%

kjkinsey, Feb 16, 2013
Photo of CheapBeerBuzz
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

CheapBeerBuzz, Feb 16, 2013
Photo of GarretD
4/5  rDev +1.8%

GarretD, Feb 16, 2013
Photo of Resuin
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

Resuin, Feb 15, 2013
Photo of BlackBelt5112203
3.58/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

375 bottle poured into a chalice at cellar temperature.

L – Deep brown, nearly black color with a 1-finger frothy, creamy, tan head. Really nice retention as the head fades down to a thin cap that stays on the surface throughout with some great lacing.

S – Caramel malt, dark candi sugar, plums, raisins, bready and spicy yeast, and a phenolic aroma that definitely smells a little like Band-Aids. I’ve heard this description of phenols before, but I’ve always interpreted them as medicinal until this beer. Other than the phenols, it smells pretty good.

T – It starts off sweet with caramel malt, molasses, raisins, plums, and dark candi sugar. As the taste progresses, spicy, peppery, dry, and bready Belgian-style yeast appears. The phenols that I found in the aroma are luckily very subdued and only appear at the very, very end of the finish. This beer tastes alright, but the sweetness is a bit cloying.

F – Medium-to-full-bodied with good carbonation, a sticky and mildly creamy mouthfeel, and a sweet, spicy, and dry finish. Spicy, bready yeast flavors and some phenols linger for a bit. There’s a slight palate-and-throat-warming sensation from the alcohol but not as much as I anticipated. The mouthfeel is pretty good but lacks the smoothness of classic Belgian examples of the style.

O – This is a decent beer. Unfortunately for it, it’s the quad category, which immediately puts it at a disadvantage (some of the best beers in the world are in this style). Every aspect of the beer minus the appearance is lacking in some aspect – the aroma and taste lack the complexity of good quads and each have evidence of phenols, the flavor is a bit cloying, and the mouthfeel is lacking in that wonderful characteristic Belgian creaminess. Regardless of all of these things, I appreciate the collaboration and originality of brewing the beer with plums. It’s also pretty tasty (albeit lacking for the style) and very drinkable for 10.2% ABV. All-in-all, it’s a decent beer, and I’m glad I tried it.

BlackBelt5112203, Feb 15, 2013
Photo of barleywinefiend
4.38/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Poured a deep purple, very dark with a creamy dirty white head. The head has pretty good retention it hangs around after a few sips, clings to the glass and provides a few bubbles

S: A big sweet aroma with candy sugar, plums, plums and more plums with other dark fruits like juicy, ripe purple/red grapes.

T: Upfront is a good dose of sweetness with molasses and candy sugar followed by caramel and big, rich ripe plums with some grape juice in the mix. There is only a slight booze sting which is really subdued by the sugar plums.The finish is sweet, somewhat sticky with a tinge of heat

M: Medium bodied with good carbonation, plenty of taste and sweetness that would make any Quad lover happy

O: Not a perfect Quad but I love plums, perhaps I overlooked some of the flaws and rated this to high based upon my tastes and bias to SN. Either way, I would drink again and at $5 for a 375mL...yeah, its def worth a try.

barleywinefiend, Feb 14, 2013
Photo of vcoggins
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

vcoggins, Feb 14, 2013
Photo of Ynot2
3/5  rDev -23.7%

Ynot2, Feb 13, 2013
Photo of brez8791
3/5  rDev -23.7%

brez8791, Feb 13, 2013
Photo of mactrail
3.08/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

mactrail, Feb 11, 2013
Photo of marct
4/5  rDev +1.8%

marct, Feb 10, 2013
Photo of Zorro
3.63/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Corked and caged 375 ML Bottle from a 4 pack.

Clear dark brown colored ale with a small light brown head.

Smells sweet and fruity with a clear scent of plums. Sweet smelling with a light scent of phenols. For a Quad this is pretty low key in the scent department.

Starts out sweet with a good fruit flavor and a little coriander actually tastes drier than it smells. Mild and tame tasting alcohol is completely under control, it is only detectable in the warmth it delivers to the chest. Mild tasting for a quad.

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall this is a tasty yet mild ale. Only problem is it is too mild really for a Quadrupel.

Zorro, Feb 10, 2013
Photo of beerdhabelly
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

beerdhabelly, Feb 10, 2013
Photo of BilbosNuts
3.74/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to my buddy Bluz4Frank for picking up a couple of these for me.

Poured from a 375mL bottle into a tulip.

A: Pours nearly pitch black except for some dark purple/garnet colored hues along the edges. A thin, creamy, off-white head sits on top by fades to a solid ring that lasts till the last drop.

S: There are a lot of phenols up front creating a slight medicinal aroma. Bold sweetness of dark fruits follow with a touch of alcohol.

T: Rich caramel malt and mildly sweet dark fruits blend well while the medicinal aromatics found in the nose have mostly disappeared. The alcohol is hardly noticeable, and finishes with a sweet kick at the end.

M: Medium bodied with a minimal amount of carbonation. Overall it feels very still, but finishes smoothly with the alcohol hidden dangerously well.

O: While this beer has its flaws, it isn't a bad example of the style overall. Easy to drink and pretty tasty, I'll revisit this from time to time.

BilbosNuts, Feb 09, 2013
Photo of JoshuaGoins
4/5  rDev +1.8%

JoshuaGoins, Feb 08, 2013
Ovila Belgian-Style Abbey Quad: Ale Brewed With Plums from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 730 ratings.