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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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

212 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 212
Hads: 1,058
Avg: 3.95
pDev: 24.81%
Wants: 51
Gots: 211 | FT: 11
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Quadrupel (Quad) |  10.20% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Trilogy31 on 01-30-2013

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 212 | Hads: 1,058
Photo of stevoj
4.09/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Plums add a nice touch to this dark beer, a touch of sweetness to the normal dried fruit essence of this style. Velvety smooth, dark grain aroma, taste is sweet fruit, chocolate, no evidence of the high abv. Really nice quad.

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Photo of dogfishandi
4.11/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12.7 oz caged and corked bottle at fridge temp poured into a Belgian style chalice.

Pours out a really dark brown with a thin layer of tan colored head, not the best retention and spotty lace from a swirl is really quick to fall back into the beer.

Pretty big on a dry plum note, a bit is some other dark dried fruits, figs, maybe a bit of raisin, light molasses and light brown sugar as well. A bit of alcohol as it warms.

A lot like the aroma with maybe a bit more complexity. Plums are there as well as some other dark fruits, prunes, figs, light raisin, some plum skin, a nice molasses/ brown sugar sweetness maybe even a bit of caramel. Comes on fairly sweet but finishes with a bit of dryness.

Bigger side of medium bodied, drinks easy, the alcohol isn't noticeable in the taste as much. Really smooth.

For me this started off as a pretty average quad, but the more I drank it the more I started to really enjoy it and didn't want the glass to end. Very pronounced flavors.

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Photo of rangerred
3.94/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear dark ruby with a smallish head. Ok head retention and lacing. A little disappointing for a Belgian, though.

Lots of clove and banana in the aroma very typical for the style. Just a hint of dark fruit.

Bready banana flavor with clove and bubblegum. Dark fruit is present but not as much as I would have expected given the plums this is brewed with. A bit hoppier than other quads I have had making this seem more "American." The alcohol is noticeable but remains restrained.

Overall, a decent quad but it falls short of some more notable Belgian examples. I don't feel the addition of plums is really that big a deal but still worth picking up if you come across it.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.69/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - Pours deep brown with ruby red highlights where light can penetrate with a tan half finger's worth of head. Fair retention, leading to a flat and barren surface with no lacing on the side. Very wine-like in appearance.

Smell - Aroma hits on sweet, dark fruitiness and light sugary notes. Hints of astringency from the alcohol.

Taste - Follows the nose. The plum comes through well with a predominant dark fruit character, along with some brown sugar sweetness. Touches of alcohol in there, but doesn't get too hot. Very wine-like in the finish, with plum, black cherry fruit and dark chocolate in the mix.

Mouthfeel - Full in body with light carbonation. Not quite as chewy as some quads. Drying finish.

Overall - Good brew. Drinks similarly to red wine; like a cab or zin with a touch of carbonation. Maybe not the best or most complex quad out there, but certainly unique. I wouldn't be opposed to drinking it again.

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Photo of StaveHooks
3.09/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle served in a Duvel tulip

A - A hard pour reveals, dark ruby/brown body, nice clarity with a finger of tan head. Beautiful beer.

S - Roasted ashy malt, smoked molasses, very spicy aroma, rich and acidic fruit comes out with grapes, cherries, tobacco, burnt candy sugar. The fruit takes on a cooked character once warmed.

T - Spicy fruit, scorched cherries, acidic grapes, there's an odd smokiness to the malt, an alcohol sharpness that cuts through the sweet malt. Finishes astringent with flat cola, spicy alcohol and charred malt.

M - Medium to full body, semi-syrupy feel, low carbonation.

This is some odd flavors going on. Definitely a unique Quad...or beer for that matter. Grapes and cherries seemed to dominate the fruit profile especially when warm. There was a burnt charred character running through the entire beer and the heavy handed alcohol seemed to disrupt rather than add to the flavors. Not my cup of tea.

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Photo of stumac
4.64/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

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

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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 vkv822
3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz : tulip

Pours near black with a foamy light tan head.

Lightly boozy, dark fruit, Belgian candi sugar, cocoa and caramel notes.

Medium body, low fizzy carbonation.

A well done Quad, great mix of flavors.

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Photo of ThickNStout
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of gillagorilla
3.56/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12.7 oz. bottle poured into a Burley Oak snifter

A: Solid dark brown with a small head and almost no lacing.

S: Sweet and spicy, with just a bit of fruit in there. Smells like candy.

T: A bit spicy with a nice mellow sweetness. It is a bit syrupy and the mouthfeel doesn't help with that designation. Good blend but it kind of drops off.

M: Prickly carbonation with a weird thickness to it.

O: Not that great. I was expecting a lot more here. I got it as an extra in my first trade. It's good but was a bit weird for a quad. It must be the plums. Not a big fan of the fruit, so it makes sense.

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Photo of lunarbrew
3.93/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer poured dark brown with red hue. Pretty body, but poor head/head retention. Thin lacing sticks to the rim of the beer. Head kind of ruins the appearance of this beer. Beer has a rich nose of plums, molasses and a little cherry. Also some earthy notes, but those don't stand out much. Flavor is very sweet, even for a quad. I think the plums move the sweetness to the next level, and it's a little overwhelming. I taste high acidity, which hurts the balance of the beer. Flavors of tasted oats, smoke, tree bark, sweet berries, and of course plums. The body is nice and typical of the style. A little high on the carbonation. Overall, I like the beer. Drinkable, interesting, and a good example of a quad. The aftertaste, however, is acidic, bitter, and not so pleasant.

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Photo of richj1970
3.96/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz bottle into snifter glass. I have to say the packaging on this one is very nice. I love the caged and corked bottle. I love the artwork, and the nice heavy glass bottle. All top notch.

A: Very dark brown with an almost purple tone. Smallish one finger tan head with some decent retention but very little lacing.

S: Plum, raisin, dates, Belgian yeast. Perhaps a bit more fruit forward than I was expecting.

T: Again the plum flavors are quite strong. Other dark fruits mixed with that familiar Belgian yeast. A bit boozy but not in a bad way. It lacks a little of the complexity I was hoping for.

M: Full bodied, coating the tongue nicely. Perhaps a bit sweet.

O: A nice American interpretation of a quad and an enjoyable brew but not my favorite of the group.

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Photo of rajendra82
4.08/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I usually reserve my St. Bernardus chalice, gifted to me during my only visit to Brawley's in Charlotte, NC, several years ago for special treats, of which I am hoping the Ovila Abbey Quad is one. Opens up with a light pop, as the cork is freed from the wire cage and extracted. The carbonation is light, and the beer pours very dark brown, looking like a thick cola. The smell is filled with cherry, plum, and other dark skinned fruit. There is a touch of hops upon deeper inspection of the smell. The taste has more of a brown sugar, than a dark fruit type sweetness, with sour notes becoming more noticeable mid palette, before being swept aside by the alcohol warmth. Some dark chocolate presence in the finish. If I have a fault to pick, it is the thinness of the body. It does not quite seem up to the velvet like feel of others in the style. I like the Ovila Quad for what it is, but I think the Ovila Saison is better.

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Photo of coreyfmcdonald
2.65/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

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.

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Photo of ONUMello
3.86/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12.7oz bottle poured into a tulip
A: Pitch black, surprisingly carbonated with a fizzy head that disappears in an instant. Reminds me of Coke
S: Plums, raisins, brown sugar, molasses, cola
T: Cola & dark malts initially followed by molasses then raisin/prune/plum towards the lengthy finish
M: Honestly forgive my cola references but this has the mouthfeel of cola that's heavy on the syrup. Not viscous, but a moderately sweet, very fluid body
T: I like it overall, but I bought a beer not a Coke. Tasty, fairly complex, the plums come through well, but I wish that soft drink note weren't persistent throughout

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Photo of bnes09
4.27/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dark mahogany with ruby hues. Mostly opaque. Weak, soda-like head on the pour with minimal retention and no lacing.

Dark fruit and yeast aroma.

Sweet caramel, toffee and brown sugar. Dark fruits, raisins, dates and prominent plum complimenting the sweet qualities of the beer. Mild esters add a subtle tartness. Musky yeast. Excellent balance and complexity.

Full bodied. Well carbonated. Yeasty texture. Slick finish.

An excellent quad. Love the addition of plums.

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Photo of larryi86
3.69/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

375 mL bottle poured into a goblet

A- A deep ruby red with a small off-white head.

S- Dark fruits, plum, sweet malts, caramel malts, very mild for a quad.

T- Dark fruits, slightly tart plums, caramel malts, earthy slightly bitter spices, again mild for a quad.

M- Medium body, lots of carbonation.

O- Not a bad beer, but again this is a very mild quad. Plums work in the beer and are enjoyable. I like a lot of beers from Sierra Nevada, but this is one the few I wouldn't pick up again.

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Photo of Etan
3.39/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

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.

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Photo of utopiajane
3.16/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

From a straight pour it’s purplish black like an eggplant with a soft full head of foam that fell fast but hugs the glass with soapy lace. Left a thin skin on top and has alcohol legs. Nose is really sweet and I’m immediately turned off. Big heavy malt, sugar, molasses and dough. Plums, more dark fruit sweetness and the subtlest of hop floral and spice underneath. Alcohol is peeking out. As it warms it opens up vinous and with some leather and tobacco . Taste is sweet and then some. Sugar, heavy and cloying. Plums are lost to the sugary sweetness and to the taste of prune. The malt is underplayed and could have used more roast, more toast, more depth and some biscuit. There was no hop presence to balance the sweetness and it was thick and syrupy. Yeast tries to offer up spice but is devoured by sugar. One dimensional. As it warmed it developed a bitterness from the alcohol. Without much carbonation the alcohol is fully on the palate and this hits the stomach like a big sweet donut. I could live without it.

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Photo of Furlinator
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours opaque dark brown with cola edges. The thin khaki head quickly disappears completely, leaving no lace.

Smell is of funky yeast, molasses and dark fruit.

Taste is of bready malt, plums, dates and molasses.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation.

A solid American quad. The addition of sugar plums provides a pleasant sweetness.

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Photo of reebtaerG
3.99/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on draft at Lures in a pint

A-Pours out a decent brownish color with a small tan head.

S-Aroma is of dried fruits, plum, light hard candy, earth, bitter berries.

T-Taste is complex, full bodied with sweet dried plums, dark cherries, layers of earthy notes, spice and some lingering alcohol burn.

M-Mouthfeel is medium to full body, semi-syrupy feel, low carbonation.

O-Overall a great rich fruity Quad. Solid.

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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


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

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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

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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 ksimons
4.16/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-dark mahogany with slight ruby highlights and about a fingers worth of light tan head that leaves a bit of lace around the top

S-smells very nice, lots of dark fruit, malt, molasses, and very light chocolate

T-taste is similar to the smell with lots of dark fruits, molasses, Belgian yeast, and a very light roastedness at the end

M-medium body, high carbonation, and a good amount of sweetness present but not too much to be cloying

Overall maybe this isn't as good as some of the Belgian quads I have had, but it's pretty good for an American version. Really nice dark fruit in this.

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Ovila Belgian-Style Abbey Quad: Ale Brewed With Plums from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 212 ratings.