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Ovila Belgian-Style Abbey Quad: Ale Brewed With Plums | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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BA SCORE
88
very good
224 Reviews
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Ovila Belgian-Style Abbey Quad: Ale Brewed With PlumsOvila Belgian-Style Abbey Quad: Ale Brewed With Plums
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

Style: Quadrupel (Quad)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Trilogy31 on 01-30-2013

BEER STATS
Reviews:
224
Ratings:
1,112
Avg:
3.95
pDev:
24.56%
 
 
Wants:
57
Gots:
254
For Trade:
13
User Reviews
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Reviews: 224 | Ratings: 1,112
Photo of archyquaffer
3.76/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 375 ml long neck corked dark brown bottle into an 8 ounce sampler. Interesting label art depicting a hooded monk in silent contemplation. An even, moderate pour produces a 1/4 inch thick light tan head, with very little lace clinging to the glass (a side effect of the alcohol content).

I'm somewhat smell-challenged, but I definitely detect rich sweet malt, plums/prunes, spicy yeast, and earthy hops. The taste is very complex, with a good bit of pleasant sourness of dark fruit balancing rather well with the malt backbone. The plum is not overbearing at all. Also very apparent is a medicinal taste like old fashioned root beer, combined with a boozy, sherry-like taste/aroma. An essence of plum lingers in the aftertaste, along with some earthy hops, producing a taste evocative of a plum pit lingering in your mouth after you've drawn out all the juicy goodness. A building warming sensation is apparent in the belly and throat.

I'm enjoying this beer very much, as the style is (still) a relatively rare find in my area . The complex flavors (and high ABV) promote slow sipping, and quiet contemplation, as personified by the hooded monk on the label.

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Photo of damndirtyape
3.77/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12.7 oz corked and caged bottle poured into a Karmeliet tulip glass. No date on the bottle.

Appearance: Clear dark brown, with a deep coppery color when held up to the light. Thin tan foam across the top with occasional islands of lacing - not very persistent lacing. A few bubbles here and there very slowly coming up through the beer.

Smell: When first poured, quite metallic. As it warmed up the metallic is still there, but toffee notes come out. A hint of something fruity every now and then.

Taste: Rich toasted malt, caramel, toffee, some cocoa notes (but these disappeared as the beer warmed up), dark fruits, some spiciness. Definitely on the sweet side. Some tiny hints of warming alcohol as the beer warmed up.

Mouthfeel: Sticky, slick, some lingering alcohol bite and spiciness, but a bit flat as well.

Overall / Drinkability: I don't know if this was supposed to have yeast sediment in it or not, but when I pulled the cork and there was practically no noise I was concerned that something was off with this bottle. No bad tastes, but I wonder if something is missing in this beer given that I'm not picking up the aromas as described on the bottle. Tasty, but not an amazing quad. If there are plums in this, they are well hidden. For the price I cannot see getting it again when there are better quads available.

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Photo of jhawth
3.77/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Poured from beautiful corked and caged 12oz bottle into tulip. Pours an almost solid very dark brown, slightly lighter around the edges. Finger-width, off-white head.

Aroma: Plums and other dark fruits, sweet sugary/caramel-y malt notes, and a noticeable, isopropyl-like alcohol character. Alcohol character fades as it warms.

Taste: Follows nose, with added layer of spiciness from Belgian yeast.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, very lively carbonation. Almost overly carbonated.

Overall: Not a bad brew, but not quite as complex or nuanced as I would like a quad to be. Hopefully some age will mellow the booziness and promote the development of some different malt flavors.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.79/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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.

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Photo of eric5bellies
3.79/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Drank from my Chimay chalice

A - Pours the classic quad dark cola colour with an off white head that reduces to a film.

S - Plums and dark fruit with some sticky molassis.

T - Raisins, Plums and cola flavours. No sign of the ABV which is impressive. A little one dimensional.

M - Medium body and carbonation. Quite smooth.

T- Just doesn't have the wow factor I continue to look for in the U.S. made Belgian styles. Having said that, there isn't much wrong with it.

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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 draheim
3.79/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

375mL into a chalice. Pours a clear deep mahogany w/ a 1-finger khaki head.

Aroma hits me a little grainy up front. Some definite plum/prune sweetness.

Taste is dark bready malt, candi sugar, and dark fruity sweetness. Kapow this is sweet and sugary. Alcohol well hidden.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, finishes semi-dry.

Overall about what I expected. Not in the league of Rochefort 10 or St. Berndardus 12, but the plum gives this beer a unique twist.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.79/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Plums are definitely showing through here. Kind of presents a sweet and somewhat thicker drinking experience. Could be toned down a bit on the plums, and the sweetness. But it works pretty much. Smooth feel. A pretty decent quad. Too sweet for me to go back to. But it’s pretty good as it is.

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Photo of Jonada
3.79/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours a dark brown color with hints of ruby red. Small light khaki colored head dissipated almost instantly to medium thick collar.

Smell: Sweet dark fruits, belgian yeast, brown sugar, raisin bread, red grape, some booze, roasted malt, tobacco. The aroma is fairly complex, I just wish it were a little stronger.

Taste: Sweet/slightly tart plums, powdery belgian yeast, slightly vinous. The finish and aftertaste is roasted malt, coffee(?), and dark chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, creamy mouthfeel. Medium carbonation.

Overall: Interesting take on a quad. Definitely deviates a bit from some of the more traditional options. The roasty and coffee flavors were a bit surprising, but they worked well with the other flavors. Worth picking up a bottle or two.

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Photo of DelMontiac
3.81/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Received in a care package from Willy! Thanks, Willy! Has the look of dark cola with foam to match in color and longevity. No lace at all. Aroma is wonderful from a Belgian style tulip glass - dark ripe fruits and berries simmering in a sauce pan. Think plums (you know, it was brewed with plums), passion fruit, blackberries, black cherries, and blueberries. There is a mighty swath of alcohol once it warms a bit. Flavors are mostly brown sugar, plum, burnt marsh mellow, and toffee, and alcohol. A bit on the astringent side. It's medium body and lack of much carb really accentuate the dryness of this beer. Overall, an interesting beer, but not one for the shopping list.

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Photo of Jadjunk
3.81/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

"Ovila Abbey Quad is heady with aromas of caramel, rich malt, and dark fruit- balanced by the spiciness and delicate fruity notes of a traditional Belgian yeast. This complex beer is a collaboration between Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. and the monks from the Abbey of New Clairvaux. It features sugar plums grown on the grounds of the Abbey, and harvested by the monks in Vina. We hope you enjoy this collaboration ale." Brewed in the style of a Quadrupel with plums added. A recent one-time release in the expanding Ovila Abbey Ales series, this one continues the reformatting to 4 11.5 ounce corked & caged bottles rather than the previous format of 750ml. bottles. A one-time release.

Poured from an 11.5oz. bottle to an Ovila Goblet glass. Served north of 56º Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a crispy caramel head of a light fizzy texture. Body color is a deep, dark brown. Retention is slightly above average, runs to a thin surface cover quickly and lacing is a bit thin and streaked. It's a pretty nice appearance. 3.75

(Smell) Aroma consists of bready caramel, clean candied brown sugars, hints of medium roasted buttery malt, fruity characters are certainly reminiscent of plums, although cherry lingers in trace amounts. Hints of anise for a slight licorice twang is in tow to contradict an otherwise clean aroma. Potency is slightly north of medium. All characters are collectively approachable and collaboratively enjoyable with few missteps. 4

(Taste) Flavors of slight plum sugar and licorice up front, following into a semi-sweet cocoa and roasty malt finish. Balance is slightly sweet over bitter with lingering alcohol providing a balance counterpoint. There are a few weary spots of ethanol reminiscent of cough syrup consistency with not a lot of body flavor nor depth to balance it out, calling out a sharp, sticky and dry finish. Drinkability is lower than expected- not for the best reasons. The plum character is surprisingly mild, a bit underrepresented from my expectations in flavor, rather adding a pure phenolic sugar character to the already stark sweetness of the malt. 3.75

(Mouthfeel) Texture is slick with a medium thickness and mildly syrupy. Body is light/medium for quadrupels and medium+ amongst all beers. Alcohol presence is medium/heavy. The carbonation is fine, but there could have been a lot more depth to this beer; grain, fruit, malt sweetness, sour notes- anything should have been employed to balance out the alcohol presence- it just isn't captivating or even enjoyable on its own. 3.75

(Overall) Despite being a Quadrupel, flavors are very mild. Yet, it's not quite as drinkable as I thought it should be, with a startling cough syrup finish and not enough body depth nor flavor to round it out better. The plums were not particularly a strong focal point of this beer, but then again not much in this beer took that honor either. I'm not overly pleased with yet another Ovila collaboration. It's passable but I expect a lot more from my Quads than this one gives me. 3.75

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.'s
Ovila Belgian-Style Abbey Quad Ale Brewed With Plums
3.8/5.00

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Photo of HalfFull
3.82/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

375 ml. corked and caged bottle served up into a globe glass. Opens with a bit of a struggle and then finally a light pffft of outgassing. The pour is a deep yet oddly clear brown to the last drop with some deep crimson hightlights. A light cap of foam settles to a ring in a minute or so.

Aroma of light chocolate and earthy hops with a spin, along with more vinous and fruity notes after some settling and accompanied by a hint of ethanol in the mix. Taste is caramel/plum forward with fruit notes yet seems to lack much dark malt depth. Rummy fruitiness does linger fairly well on the palette however. Feel starts off a bit thin and as expected given the fruit nature, yet it thickens with warming to a degree.

Pleasant though a bit light for the style. That being fruity and some caramel vs. more chocolate in nature. Still better than those raisan infused beers nonetheless. At the same time I think this is a step back from the original yet an interesting aside.

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Photo of cvm4
3.82/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours a very dark brown, almost black and has a one finger tan head.

S - Dark fruits (the plum is in it) along with molasses and light spices.

T - Dark fruits in spades here with a good helping of belgian yeast and spices.

M - Medium carbonation and it's very smooth body.

O - The addition of plums make an interesting mix on the base quad. But, it's not enough to keep me wanting more or hold my attention.

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Photo of deadonhisfeet
3.83/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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.

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Photo of Brenden
3.84/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

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Photo of KYGunner
3.84/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This almost gives off a dark grape juice or purple like opaqueness with a compact head of tiny bubbles.

The nose is full of plums and candied fruits. Slightly sweet with a thick and hearty raisin, prune and fruit cake like malt aroma.

First sip is a wave of booziness, overwhelming and harsh. As the palate settles in the plums are at the forefront. Sugary sweet the plum is supported by raisin and a fruit cake malt. The booze continues but it becomes underlining.

The booze is tangy on the tongue and will make you wince but it starts to wear off and becomes easier to enjoy.

Perhaps the plums add additional sugars that amp up the ABV and therefore cause the boozy face of this ale. The plums really make this but on the other hand may be its deterrent too.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.84/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

375 ml caged and corked bottle. Served in a Unibroue tulip, the beer pours a dark cola brown color with a half inch light tan head. Head retention and lacing are both decent enough. The brew smells like plums, cherries, bready malt and a bit of molasses. It tastes like plums, bready malt, cloves, toffee, and some bananas, chocolate, and a slight medicinal taste. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit creamy and coating with a good amount of carbonation. I think it's a good brew overall, but with that being said it's not one of the best Quads I've tried. Still, it's certainly worth trying. $3.79 for a single bottle.

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Photo of jeffjeff1
3.84/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I had this on tap today at Sierra Nevada Brewery in Chico.

Appearance- black color, no head

Smell- malt, dark fruit(plums)

Taste- dark fruit mostly(plums)

Mouthfeel- medium bodied

Drinkability- I thought this was very good. We should have bought some at the gift shop but we didn't. I would love to drink it again.

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Photo of Gavage
3.84/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

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.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.84/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours an almost opaque super dark crimson-brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, dark fruits, and earthy spices. Taste is much the same with plum and spice flavors on the finish. There is a bit of a sourness with each sip as well. There is a medium amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with a distinct plum flavor but it really doesn't stand out too much in the smell.

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Photo of brewtus
3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12.8 oz bottle poured into chimay chalice
A- pours dark dark ruby reddish brown, small dense head that fades after a few seconds.
S- dark fruit, Belgian yeast, faint chocolate
T/M- starts thick like a quad, you get a lot of the Belgian yeast, candied sugar,a lot of dark fruits, again some chocolate, finishes kind of bitter. Creamy texture, low carbonation
O- this isn't too bad but not my favorite. I like trying beer variants but I won't do this one again. The plums add a nice subtle taste but.... Who loves plums? Sweet label though.

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Photo of OtherShoe2
3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours dark brown with a cream-colored head. Light skim of foam coats the glass briefly with each sip. No true lace.

Dark rich malt and some fruit. Boozy, with burnt sugars prevalent.

Dark malt and burnt sugars, leading immediately to a bitter note. This overbalances the beer, particularly this style. This overcompensation of the sweet and complex makes you wish for more sugar. Too bad. Here comes the alcohol to clear even more away. Chemical flavors mingle with scorched malt and fruit toward the end. Bitterness comes in again.

Full bodied, some tingle and even a little burn.

Overall, not bad, just flawed. Can't hold a candle to traditional quads, but not a bad stab at it.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured a brown body with reddish tints and two finger head that quickly died without lace. Booze and wood comes through in aroma and the plums really come through, overpowering other dark fruit notes that comes across as raisins, figs, dates(?). Smooth, fuller bodied beer that has a yeast smoothness/sweetness to it as well a touch of sweetness from toffee (no candi sugar in this beer). The plums come through the most and offer a sweetness as a strong, almost wine-like dark fruit taste that requires slow sipping; the sipping is slow also due to a bit of booze in the backend. Not your typical quad but it's pretty good.

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Photo of impending
3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

B+

375ml into a tulip. Pours a slick deep dark copper mahogany, towering café au lait colored head with an encouraging pour recedes slowly, ok lacing.

Aroma is of spicy plums, a strong phenolic note and a little solvent alcohol but nice nonetheless.

Big flavor. Vinous notes and plums without a doubt. Minor bitter, tiny dry twang at the beginning of the finish. Generally bittersweet until the aftertaste fades when a pleasant sweetness is left behind. A strong phenolic aftertaste evaporates slowly. A tad more than thin mouthfeel.

interesting that this is apparently different that the original quad offering - the first I thought was one of the best american brewed quads, this one, not to the same degree
cheers
jd

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.86/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Dark body in the chalice with ruby highlights, looks great big head tan colored rolling with fine bubbles it looks great. Aroma deep dark fruits of course with the plums added the tart ripened fruit holds over other notes. Flavor dark fruit again the plums are added to bring out raisin tart dark fruit with alcoholic notes more and more big fruit flavors with each sip this stuff is excellent, Belgian style with the higher carbonation it carries it all very well. Each sip brings out chocolate malt with high end spectrum dark fruits a mixture of dry and sweet malts add to the balance. This is a big calorie big flavored beer mouthfeel is medium to full even flowing carbonation residual sugars lie down for me. Overall it's a big beer meant to be enjoyed by the masses.

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Ovila Belgian-Style Abbey Quad: Ale Brewed With Plums from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 224 ratings.