Ovila Belgian-Style Abbey Quad: Ale Brewed With Plums - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 714 | Reviews: 164 | Display Reviews Only:
3.29/5 rDev -16.1%
Odd that this hasnt been reviewed yet very similar to the regular quad, pours a midnight chestnut brown with the slightest touch of maroon held to light. An espresso crema cap just hangs on through the finish. Nose brings belgian yeast, bran and buckwheat, dark fruity esters and milkshake malt. The taste brings more of the same and while pleasant is one dimensional. Oddly while i do pick up slight dark fruits i cannot find any plums for the life of me - just an average belgian style quad in my book. Nothing to look at here.
01-30-2013 03:22:53 | More by Trilogy31
3.31/5 rDev -15.6%
Pours black with ruby highlights and a large head.
Nose shows brown sugar, candi sugar, golden syrup. Incredibly sweet-smelling.
Somewhat harsh flavours, with hot alcohol throughout. Lots of sweetness with golden syrup and candied figs. Cloying finish.
Carbonation feels a bit full-on.
09-18-2013 08:59:20 | More by CrazyDavros
3.34/5 rDev -14.8%
Ovila Abbey Ale Belgian Style Abbey Quad brewed with (sugar) plums. "Brewed in collaboration with monks of the abbey of New Clairvoux." 10.20% ABV. Sold in four packs. 12.7 fl oz brown glass bottle with cool black label and hood and wire cap over a cork acquired individually at a SoCal beer store for just under $4.00 and served into a New Belgium stem-goblet in me gaff in Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Expectations are above average; I'm indifferent towards the brewery but I love the style.
Paired with pretzels.
Served straight from the fridge and allowed to warm considerably over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.
A: Pours a 1.5 finger rich khaki colour head of great cream, very good thickness, and excellent retention (~6+ minutes) for the high ABV. Body colour is a solid nontransparent dark black. Opaque. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. I love the head; it's quite good for a quad. Lacks the darker colour of a more refined quad like Rochefort or Westvleteren, but it far exceeds my expectations given the brewery. There's nothing unique here, but it's on the money for the style - with the exception of the body colour; I'd much prefer to see a dark refined red hue or a rich caramel/biscuit. Black is strange.
Sm: Malty sweetness, sugar plum, caramel, light yeasty spice, raisin, and refined malts. Lacks the dark fruit suggested by the label, to its detriment and my severe disappointment. Even the plum comes off sweet and sugary, not dark. The best beers in the style always have those dark fig and plum or prune notes; it's sorely missing here. That said, the malts are evocative and appealing, though not quite subtle and rich like those of the best beers in the style. Plum is dominant. I could use more biscuity yeast character; again subtlety is missing here. But there's plenty of complexity and balance. I'm excited to try it. No alcohol is detectable. An appealing aroma of moderate strength. Good for the style.
T: Cream, imbalanced raisin, dried plum, overdone malty sweetness, caramel, light spice from the yeast, and a vaguely raisiney finish. It's nowhere near as complex as the aroma suggested it might be. Subtlety and true balance is also severely lacking here, but it balances the notes it does have. No stunning dark fruit here. Emphasis is on the bright plum and caramel malts, neither of which is particularly interesting. That said, it is well executed for the style and hits the mark more than any other American macro quad I can immediately think of. Flavorful but not real deep. I do like it for what it is. It doesn't quite have the profile of a true distinct quad; there's a fair amount of strong dark ale character here, especially in terms of the raisin (which feels ripped straight from Unibroue's bag of tricks). There's no questioning it's a solid beer, however.
Mf: Smooth and thick. Wet and with adequate body. None of the delicacy or fragility of truly masterful quads, but it gets the job done. It doesn't distract from the flavour profile, and supports what depth of flavour there is. Good carbonation. Overall, it's too thick and overbearing. Subtlety just isn't Sierra Nevada's strong suit.
Dr: A drinkable enjoyable quad that doesn't disappoint in spite of the brewery it comes from. If you were hoping for a decadent dark fruit-laden quad, this won't fit the bill, but if you want a solid macrobrewed offering this is your man. Well priced for the quality. Hides its ABV well. A good introductory quad for beginners. I wouldn't even mind aging one of these for 2-3 years to see what happens. Sierra Nevada surpassed my low expectations, but this is far from exemplary. Worth picking up at its low price.
02-06-2013 04:29:03 | More by kojevergas
3.34/5 rDev -14.8%
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.
04-12-2013 02:16:19 | More by AlexFields
3.35/5 rDev -14.5%
Picked up a four pack at the brewery in Chico (along with a shitton of other stuff like BA Bigfoot). Pours dirty dark brown, thin beige head at the top of it. Looked professional, no floaties. Aroma was prune, alcohol, belgian yeast, probably the thing they were going for, but not something that floats my boat. Actually alcohol was probably the strongest thing, then prune.
Taste was prune and raisin soaked alcohol. I'm already thinking to myself, 'you bought these for the old lady, be glad you don't have to choke down the rest of this beer, or the remaining 3 bottles from the four pack. I didn't really like the dark fruit bitter alcohol bite of this one. Has very little in the way of malt contribution, the beer seemed a little thin, and no appreciable flavor or character to whatever they used. It was all prune, raisin, licorice, alcohol, fig and belgian yeast type of thing going on. What I had hoped for in terms of plum sweetness just never came across, that merle haggard? song "always wanting you, but never having you," came to mind.
Not my style, disregard these notes if it is your style, don't let this guy make you think it won't be something you like. The old lady likes it, but she is on facebook too much to write a beer review.
02-21-2013 21:38:20 | More by Beerandraiderfan
3.38/5 rDev -13.8%
12.7oz into a wine glass.
A: Pours a woody dark brown with purple hues. Nice soft cardboard-colored head.
S: Thick stonefruit aromas (overripe plum, dried peach), dark candi sugar, vinous, chalky yeast. Despite its fruitiness, the aroma isn't very sweet.
T: Taste brings syrupy plum, grape juice, bitterish hop leaf and roasted grain, dark bread, bite of alcohol on the end. Lightly bitter yeast throughout.
M: Between medium and thick-bodied with pleasant and slightly frothy carbonation.
O: Not liking what the plums did to this beer - combined with the heavy yeastiness, it gives it an odd dried fruit taste that isn't very good.
03-06-2013 18:13:24 | More by Etan
3.38/5 rDev -13.8%
Basically black. Fluffy strong head, good lacing.
Dark fruit, plum, blueberry, sour cherry, sweetness like cinammon, vanilla, very light nutty influences.
Rich plum, very sweet, not too many belgian anything.
Solid mouthfeel, creamy, light carbonation. I guessed ABV around 7.5, nicely done.
More carbonation, less sweetness, this needs a little pep in its step to set itself apart.
04-28-2013 01:23:29 | More by ptykozoon
3.4/5 rDev -13.3%
Pours a kola hue with the creamiest two finger head that stays forever and clingy lacing all down the sides,the smell is caramel candy,booze,plums,toffee malts and raisin bread,the mouthfeel is just over medium bodied with moderate carbonation and has tastes of plum jam,port,toffee liqueur,marzipan,bready malts and finished with a sweet raisin booziness which is most noticeable on first sip and goes away after it warms you up and overall it's not a bad quad but I don't get much of the plums added and just tastes like a normal quad with nothing added but a nice winter warmer netherless just not a beer you would have to repeat to relive the taste.
06-30-2013 12:02:55 | More by ADZA
3.46/5 rDev -11.7%
A: pours a nice dark brown with hints of ruby, small head which dissipates rather quickly
S: smell is rather subdued, some sweetness, prunes and dark fruit
T: once this beer warmed up got a lot more flavor, raisins and plums/prunes, sweet and hides alcohol well until the finish which I find a little astringent.
M: has good carbonation and medium bodied
O : Probably will not drink again, had it on draft last week and then bottled. I generally like most Belgians and big beers but this one had a very astringent and bitter lingering taste that I found unpleasant. Worth trying because everyone has different taste but I will be moving on.
04-14-2013 03:07:44 | More by FremontBar
3.49/5 rDev -11%
I had high hopes for this one, but I gotta say I'm not a big fan. I love the packaging - a heavy 375 ml bottle with great artwork and a cork n cage topper - but it's all a bit downhill from there.
Its appearance in the glass is pretty good I guess - dark brown with ruby and purple highlights, but no lasting head or lace.
Smell is mild for a quad, with some definite fruit and some definite booze. And maybe some toffee/caramel. Not unpleasant, just not overly inviting.
The most dominant flavor on the palate is tart, fizzy plums. Now, I understand that this is a beer that is brewed with plums, but I do not expect to experience "tart" or "fizzy" in a quad. It never delivers on a quad's deep, luxurious sweetness and complex Belgian spice. Instead, it seems overly dry and actually somewhat bitter and sulphuric, like underripe fruit. As the beer warms, some berries and caramel emerge, but not enough to overcome its tart dryness.
Mouthfeel is, as mentioned, a bit fizzy and watered down for a quad. Booze is definitely perceptible.
Overall, I don't mean to totally rip apart this beer but I am disappointed in it both as a quad and as a Sierra Nevada product. SN offerings are usually top notch. Perhaps if it was labeled as a Belgian strong ale or something else, it would have been more successful.
01-30-2014 03:39:23 | More by Mongrel
Ovila Belgian-Style Abbey Quad: Ale Brewed With Plums from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 714 ratings.