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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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

750 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 750
Reviews: 166
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 11.2%
Wants: 18
Gots: 108 | 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:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Trilogy31 on 01-30-2013)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 750 | Reviews: 166 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MarkyMOD
4/5  rDev +1.8%

MarkyMOD, Jun 04, 2014
Photo of DrunkinYogi
4/5  rDev +1.8%

DrunkinYogi, Apr 12, 2013
Photo of kojevergas
3.34/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

B-

kojevergas, Feb 06, 2013
Photo of oriolesfan4
4/5  rDev +1.8%

oriolesfan4, Apr 25, 2014
Photo of XmnwildX12
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

XmnwildX12, Dec 13, 2013
Photo of Halcyondays
4.18/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

On-tap at Beachwood I,

A: Pours a dark brown with a soft white head, some nice spotty thick lace.

S: Notes of sweet dried fruits, plums and raisins.

T: Nice dark fruit and candi sugar flavour. Smooth plum taste throughout, well balanced, lots of good flavour.

M: As with all the Ovila beers, the mouthfeel is exceptional. Very soft, easy drinking, creamy and smooth.

O: Good stuff, it was nice to revisit the Ovila line, another well made beer by these guys, especially in America in this style.

Halcyondays, Mar 02, 2013
Photo of Gavage
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
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.

Gavage, Mar 16, 2013
Photo of Georgiabeer
4.11/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very solid beer that has improved even a bit more with a few months of age on it. I really like what Sierra Nevada is doing with these Ovila beers, both with the beers themselves and the backstory of helping the local monks with their abbey and perhaps eventual brewing. This particular beer definitely has gotten a bit plummier after a some months in the bottle, either from the fruit itself getting a bit more prominent, or the other constituent flavors mellowing a bit. Lots of juicy fruit on a fairly soft frame of malt and spice and a bit of tannin to help reign it in. The finish is long and has a touch of sweetness and then a long spice note. Very balanced and very pleasant!

Georgiabeer, Dec 29, 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 mothman
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light layer of beige head. Color is a dark burnt caramel brown.

Flavor profile is mainly malts. Sweet malts. Caramel, candied sugar. Plums, raisins, molasses. Some toffee as well. Maybe a bit of tobacco.

Mouthfeel: smooth and creamy. Medium bodied with a nice amount of carbonation.

Overall, this was a really nice quad. Very easy to drink with a lot of nice flavors. SN deserves more credit on this one.

mothman, Mar 28, 2013
Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

375 ml bottle into chalice, bottled on 2/7/2013. Pours hazy nearly opaque reddish brown color with a 1 finger dense tan head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of raisin, plum, prune, banana, clove, pepper, toast, dark bread, molasses, candi sugar, light chocolate, light bubblegum, and yeast earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of malt, plum, and fruity/spicy yeast ester notes; with good strength. Taste of raisin, plum, banana, toast, brown bread, clove, pepper, molasses, candi sugar, light chocolate, light bubblegum, and yeast earthiness. Lingering notes of dark fruit, banana, toast, dark bread, clove, molasses, candi sugar, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and complexity of dark malt and fruity/spicy esters; with good plum flavor presence and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a creamy, slick, and slightly syrupy mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with only a small warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very nice quadrupel style. All around good balance and complexity of malt, yeast, and plum flavors; and very smooth to sip on. A very enjoyable offering.

superspak, Sep 20, 2013
Photo of rhoadsrage
3.53/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a chalice)
A- This beer pours a dense walnut brown body with a glowing brown at the base and a thin cream of foam that breaks up in the center. There are microbubbles that pop at the surface.

S- The soft fusel alcohol and dark berry notes blend with some dark sweet malt and dark cola notes with graham hints growing as it opens. There is a classic abbey yeast character which always makes me think of monk’s bad breath when I smell it.

T- Tastes of sweet dark fruit with hints of tart plum skins under a sweet syrup malt finish. There is a fusel taste to the finish with some bittern notes and a slight tang that grows and leads to a plum hint that lingers.

M- The medium mouthfeel has a gentle alcohol heat that fills the throat after each sip.

O- This is a big hot (fusel) sweet monster that could really use some age, but no dates on the bottles. The fruity quality is nice but it can’t save the beer. It was a bit rough to slug through but perhaps it will be better in the bitter winter winds?

rhoadsrage, Jul 04, 2013
Photo of BARFLYB
4/5  rDev +1.8%

BARFLYB, Mar 19, 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 afsdan
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

afsdan, Apr 17, 2014
Photo of Wasatch
4.06/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12.7 oz. Bottle
Caged/Corked

Poured into a Westy chalice a very nice grapey color, very nice carbonation, with a very nice one-finger creamy off-white head, with some very nice thick sticky lacing with some nice big oil slicks. The nose is malty, with some nice yeast notes, plums, grapes, raisins, figs. The taste is malty, yeasty, with lot's of dark fruits. Medium body, ABV is hidden very well with this one. Overall a pleasure to drink, surprised to see this one in Utah.

Wasatch, Feb 23, 2014
Photo of John_M
4.45/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed at the Apothecary alehouse the other evening. Might as well get it while I can, as only a very limited amount came into WV.

The beer pours a very dark brown color with good head retention and adequate lacing. The nose is quite attractive and complex in this one, as I get something of a dry stout aroma, but with overtones of plum, sour cherry, and a hint of chocolate and coffee. The beer is every bit as good on the palate, with plum, sour cherry and burnt toast flavor on the finish countering and balancing the moderate sweetness in this beer quite nicely. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a long, rich, plummy burnt toast finish. Sounds weird, but this stuff is just great. The alcohol is very well integrated into the flavor profile, though you can certainly tell it's up there a bit.

Just delicious... probably my favorite of the Ovila beers I've had so far.

John_M, Mar 02, 2013
Photo of rab53
3/5  rDev -23.7%

rab53, Mar 16, 2013
Photo of tdm168
4.44/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - very dark, brownish amber with a thick cap of dense, off white head that has decent retention

S - bread, caramel, some faint chocolate malt perhaps, and a huge plum/dark fruit aroma

T - bread, caramel, candy sugar, plums, figs, raisins, dark malts, some alcohol

M - full bodied, well carbonated

This is a great beer. The underlying quad is delicious but the plums really give credence to the "dark fruit" references that are always made in regards to this style. The flavor here is complex, deep, and very enjoyable. This is really a solid offering. This could be one of my favorite quads to date.

tdm168, Mar 10, 2013
Photo of billab914
4/5  rDev +1.8%

billab914, Apr 09, 2013
Photo of iL0VEbeer
4/5  rDev +1.8%

iL0VEbeer, Mar 07, 2013
Photo of Zaphog
3.25/5  rDev -17.3%

Zaphog, Apr 07, 2013
Photo of JohnGalt1
3.51/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

375 picked up at the COOP for a VERY respectable $3.50... Cheap almost!!

Poured into my HotD goblet.. The brew is dark dark walnut brown with only some garnet showing through down at the stem end of the glass... dark tan head rises and then drops pretty quickly.

The aromas are nice.. not as rich as many quads, but still there are plenty of dark maltiness and more fruity esters than spicy notes... fruity notes actually outweigh the malts for the most part..

Flavors are sorta traditional.. again, very fruity without the background toasty malts... the malt is there, but obliterated by the esters and residual fruits..

Body and carbonation are pretty square...

Where are the plums?? Are they the fruity culprit that dried this one out? Did they get rid of the traditional maltiness?

Interesting... I will buy more for sure, but I have a hard time putting this one in the same wheelhouse as the Continental Quads..

3.75/3.5/3.5/3.5/3.5

JohnGalt1, Feb 03, 2013
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.35/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

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.

Beerandraiderfan, Feb 21, 2013
Photo of PEIhop
4/5  rDev +1.8%

PEIhop, Mar 21, 2013
Ovila Belgian-Style Abbey Quad: Ale Brewed With Plums from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 750 ratings.