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Ovila Abbey Saison - Mandarin Oranges & Peppercorns - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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Ovila Abbey Saison - Mandarin Oranges & PeppercornsOvila Abbey Saison - Mandarin Oranges & Peppercorns

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

134 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 134
Hads: 679
Avg: 3.77
pDev: 22.28%
Wants: 19
Gots: 84 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Jason on 05-06-2013

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 134 | Hads: 679
Photo of generallee
4.76/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Presentation: It was poured from a very cool corked 12.7 oz bottle. The label has a brief description and lists the abv at 7.5% abv.

Appearance: The body has a nice amber color with a very slight haze. Carbonation is also lively and helps support the head. It’s head is creamy, off white in color and long lasting. Lacing coats the glass and slowly slides down the sides of the glass.

Smell: The aroma is full and inviting. It’s has nice fruity and yeasty notes. I get notes of clove, banana and fresh bread.

Taste / Palate: It’s flavor starts with light malt sweetness blended with fruity and bready yeast. I also pick up some light sweet orange notes. This quickly turns dryer as some dry yeasty spice notes and notes from the peppercorns move across the tongue. The finish adds a light touch of floral spice and mild bitterness. The palate feels smooth and creamy and it’s 7.5% abv is well hidden in its flavor profile.

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Photo of SVan007
4.75/5  rDev +26%

Can in corked bottle, poured a two finger head in a tulip at room temp. First bottle had a sour spicy aroma and flavor, but I have to add that the second bottle was very green apple tang. Great body thickness felt awesome to pull . Good carbonation the ought mouth. Color of Apple juice . Magical in the words of a friend. I would buy again

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Photo of Shroombe
4.7/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Very good flavor is inherent in the first sip, aftertaste is incredibly complex. Notes of tobacco are very prominent in this brew. The taste is indescribable, however, the orange stands out while contrasted with the sharp feel of peppercorns.

Top-notch. Feel in the mouth is smooth like velvet, carbonation shines.

Highly recommended, buy on sight.

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Photo of ctxfenris
4.48/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12.7 OZ bottle.
Served in a pint glass.
Amber color, darker than most saisons I've had. Minimal head.
Smell is typical saison with sweetness from the mandarin oranges. Notes of banana.
Taste is caramel, spice, then orange in that order. Very pleasant, would have again.

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Photo of keithmurray
4.41/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look - Murky orange body with thin white head

Smell - orange, honey, ginger, coriander

Taste - comes in a bit better than the smell - oranges upfront, ginger, coriander and honey to round things out

mouthfeel - medium plus body, high carbonation, citrus upfront from the orange, spices come thru after that, dry finish

Overall - very enjoyable Saison that I found to be refreshing yet full of flavor. I would re-visit this in a heartbeat. Recommended

Price Point - $3.50/ 12.7 oz corked and caged bottle

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Photo of ChristopherTenore
4.34/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.75

A) Dark orange to copper in color. When it was poured a thin white head formed and didn't linger for long. A perlage slowly and constantly flows from the bottom to the surface of the beer.

S) Slight Hops hit your nose than you get the sweetness and citrus aromas form the mandarin oranges. The peppercorns leave a buttery almost oaked smell to the beer as well.

T) The beer is extremely complex. There is an acidic quality to the flavor that gives way quickly to the sweetness of the orange. Then the peppercorns come in leaving you with a little heat and an almost woody finish. The peppercorns linger in the finish of the beer on the tip of your tongue. As well as a nice hopped under note.

MF) Smooth creamy and velvety, a nice amount of carbonation is present. The peppercorns dance around on the tip of your tongue. It leaves with a nice clean finish.

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Photo of bnes09
4.31/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Deep orange, transparent ale with lots of visible bubbles. Sudsy, off white with good retention and some lacing.

Nice aroma of lemon, orange, herbs, wheat and straw. Hint of yeast and mild pepper in the mix as well.

Smooth biscuit, wheat-like, buttery malt character underneath a spicy herbal hop. Sweet and slightly tart oranges hit the tongue. White pepper and cloves. Mild yeast qualities round out the flavor. Extremely well balanced.

Medium bodied. Smooth fell with a sharp carbonation. Crisp finish.

Great saison. Love the flavors that were added. Highly complex, yet well balanced.

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Photo of FitnessForBeer
4.27/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Got a 4 pack of this years :)
A:pours a brownish orange, lots of carbonation rising through the beer. very little head
S: belgium funk, citrusy, wheat, smells like a saison
T: funky, spicy, mandarins are evident, lighter malts like wheat I cant nail it exactly however it is very sweet, very dry, little hop bitterness
M: amazing, nice high carbonation, and very dry
O: fun saison from one of the best breweries, also one of my favorites in the ovlia series

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Photo of sporklift87
4.26/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from corked 12.7 oz bottle into snifter. Pours over a finger of frothy head, poor retention, and no apparent lacing. Clear and darker orange with some amber tones. Somewhat spicy nose, definite Belgian yeast, and some Mandarin orange. Some slight citric tartness on tongue, with nicely structured peppercorn and well-balanced yeast and malt. Banana and cloves also noted. Feels medium-highly carbonated, with tingling sensation lingering near tip of tongue. Medium body, and somewhat heated finish. Very nice brew that I was happy to try (for ~$2.50/bottle). Once again, I am pleasantly surprised with everything SN does. Perhaps it is not ideal for the style, but when I wondered about food pairings, pizza was the first thing to come to mind.

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Pours brilliant amber under a clingy 2” foam cap that quickly dissipates. S: Pepper, fruit, hints of compost, citrus, orange, floral. T: Big fruit and pepper, citrus orange and spice, soft malt character, mild alcohol presence, spicy hops with a mikld bitter hop accent. Subdued tartness. F: Rich and creamy, soft, above average carbonation gives a full mouth feel. O: the orange and pepper corns are a nice addition in this big flavored saison.

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Photo of Catracho5
4.23/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle poured into a chalice

A: Pours a nice sunset orange with a creamy white head, the head vanished quickly, no lacing, looks great.

A: Belgian yeast aromas right up front, peppercorns coming through, nice citrusy backend, getting some bread biscuit aromas, slight herbal aromas, smells very complex.

T: Belgian yeast flavors, nice citrus bitterness in the middle, finishes strong with pepper spice, slight heat on the end, very nice.

M: Medium mouthfeel with a strong dry finish

O: I like this, it starts out with that Sierra Nevada Belgian yeast flavor like the Quad with Plums, some bread biscuits flavors, then dips into some citrus bitterness and a great spice dry finish, easy drinking for 7.5%, it has that Belgian beer complexity, will definitely pick up a four pack after having the single.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.23/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

From the stamp on the bottle, it looks like this was bottled March 28, 2014.

Gorgeous pour here. Depp golden colour with a huge head of foam that leaves lots of lovely lacing behind.

Big spicy nose with notes of pepper, cloves, lemon, and oranges that add a slight hint of tartness.

Dang, ditto for the taste. So true to the smell. The cloves and pepper go so well with that big lemon and orange, spicy hop, slightly tart flavours that it's scary. I do get some mild biscuit that seem to grow as the sipping continues. It's also cool that the abv is very manageable.

The mouthfeel seems slick with perfect carbonation and a nice medium body.

I think this is a very fine effort from Sierra Nevada...my favourite of their Ovila series.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.21/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12.7 oz. corked bottle into a Duvel tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep copper amber orange with a moderate amount of bubbles. About one finger of off white head that fades into a thin patch. Leaves a good amount of lacing around the glass.

Smell: A yeasty and spicy malt forward aroma with lots of citrus fruit hints. Upfront Belgian yeast with farmhouse funk and some clove. Big hints of white and black pepper. Slight coriander hint. Pale malt with hints of grains, straw, caramel, wheat, and cracker. Big citrus fruit presence with hints of the mandarin orange, lemon zest, and pineapple. Sweet Belgian candied sugar. Light hints of grassy hops and some alcohol. A pretty solid aroma.

Taste: Like the smell hints at, a yeasty and spicy malt forward taste with a big citrus orange presence. Belgian yeast with some upfront farmhouse funk, clove, peppercorn, and coriander spicing. Bready malts with a taste of grains, straw, wheat, caramel, and cracker. Big fruit presence with notes of mandarin orange, lemon zest, and pineapple. Sweet notes of candied Belgian sugar. Subtle backing of grassy hops. Slight alcohol taste is noticeable. A pretty good and interesting taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Spicy, juicy, and slightly syrupy. Slight alcohol bite is felt.

Overall: A pretty good spin on a Saison/Farmhouse. Good mix of funk and spices with the oranges.

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Photo of BradtheGreat7
4.21/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Review taken on its arrival spring 2014.

12.7oz brown bottle in sturdy and thick Ovila abbey style. Another fantastic collaboration label with a hooded monk. Poured into a stemmed tulip glass.

A - orangish-amber with hints of brilliant golden. Head pours quite nice with a creamy texture of lace.

S - Ovila style yeast and peppercorn spices. Crisp floral notes, juicy fruits of mandarin and nearly ripe pear. A bready malt balances very well.

T - sweet but fruity mandarin notes pop up front with a slight hint of pear and breaded malt. Yeast is exceptional while flowing over the peppercorn and belgian spice notes. Some alcohol notes and an earthy undertone as it warms

M - exactly as a good farmhouse ale should be. Medium bodied and drinkable while the belgian style and spices keep you sipping. Finish is flavorful and has a slightly warm linger.

O - I love finding these bottles of Ovila Abbey ales. We get a batch every so often and they are just a great take on traditional belgian styles. Sierra Nevada have so many offerings these days and they still get me excited over new releases.

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Photo of rajendra82
4.19/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

It is very unusual to see a beer shipped in 12.7 oz. bottles, and a four pack of smaller bottles like this closed with a cork and wire cage. The unusual packaging, label art, and beer style promised something different. The beer poured out reddish amber in color, with a very small ring of bubbles forming on the top. The smell of funky yeast, spicy and floral in its overtones, was just perfect for the style. Pepper was evident when I took deeper whiffs. The taste was very citric, as lemon juice, orange peel, and grapefruit seemed to burst across the tongue. The pepper was only noticeable in the finish. The beer was very dry on the palette because of the sour and pepper combinations, but I like my Saisons on the dry side. If I was to fault anything, I would say there was not enough pepper in here. Next time kick that up a few notches please.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.17/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had on-tap at Thirsty Monk Asheville. Served in a tall footed glass.

A- Pours a medium golden color with a 1/2 inch white head that retains decently before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and minimal surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves a thick solid ring behind.

S- Rich, crisp saison yeast aroma bursts from the glass and is just about perfect. Notes of banana and bubble gum.

T- Flavor is a bit more standard with a large wheat malt presence and I'm not detecting much mandarin or peppercorn. The alcohol is very well-hidden though and there's a sweetness that's quite nice.

M- Milky in texture with medium carbonation and a light body.

O- Very good but I'm not finding the listed adjuncts in the flavor or aroma. Either way, it's a well-made saison that I would recommend to anyone.

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Photo of Chaney
4.16/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Corked and caged, popped, and served in a Stone tulip.

A: Poured out a fairly translucent orange, apricot color, with a slight chill haze. The head was about 1/8 finger at best.

S: Lots of mandarin oranges here... almost dessert-like in its disposition. I definitely got some kick from the pepper as well.

T: Delicious, however, if you're looking for farmhouse funk, look elsewhere. This had a very straight-forward fruit component from start and especially the finish, not dry, and with a hint of pepper in the middle.

M: Fairly low in terms of carbonation bill, but it was all good. It was sweet, but not in the least bit sticky. Very smooth and with a slight booze burn in the middle.

O: I guess I liked this a lot more than most. I'm a sucker for this kind of stuff.

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Photo of NCMatt
4.13/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Normally I dislike Saison's. Just something about them. This was pleasantly different and unlike any Saison I have had before.

I can only assume the addition of mandarin oranges was what mellowed the spices and (for me) made this a very well rounded and enjoyable brew. Finishes dry, which I enjoyed. Overall, the Oliva Abbey beers never disappoint!

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Photo of mac31
4.08/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz Bottle to tulip.

Crystal clear, burnt orange pour in to tulip.

Nose of a typical saison. Straw, some slightly sweet grain, citrus-more toward orange.

I poured this beer on the ever-so-slightly chilled side. Initial sips were pleasant citrus and straw. Very dry with only trace sweetness in its "chilled" phase. The beer became more juicy as it warmed, still on the dry side though. I enjoyed this beer the most as it reached room temperature. The straw and citrus flavors are followed by yeasty, clove esters. The black pepper(corn) is subtly intertwined in those esters. The finish is slightly grainy. After drinking about a third of the beer I noticed the black pepper lingers on the tongue. Along with the pepper, the flavor of orange zest/oil minutely prickles along the palate, it reminds of the flavor you get when you first bite in to an orange in order to peel it. I think those two nuances take this beer to another level. A great beer that I will have again.

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Photo of Jrguru
4.08/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Mandarin orange and spices of the peppercorn make themselves present after the initial malt front. Flavor lingers on the pallet, but doesn't intensify in orange and spice notes, which would have been nice. Overall a solid saison with a nice twist. Very smooth mouthfeel, rich amber color.

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Photo of MacMalt
4.07/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into pint glass. The color is a pretty golden-hone with a thick, snow white head and lacing. It's a very attractive pour. The nose features orange peel, yeast, lemon, straw, and pepper. The taste follows the nose and is a very nice combination; the first thin I tasted is the pepper, followed by the sweet and tangy mandarin orange. There is also noticeable spice and a slight bitter hoppiness, and, upon several sips, a slightly noticeable caramel. This ale is nicely carbonate; it almost has a champagne feel and is very pleasant to drink. Overall, this is a complex, but highly drinkable, and fun, saison.

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Photo of mudbug
4.06/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the C&C 12.7 Oz bottle with no freshness date that I can see into a Samuel Smith's perfect pint glass results in a very clear burnt orange body capped by a thin cap of foam. lots of small bubbles rise to the top keeping things very lively.
Aroma is slightly astringent citrus and of course belgian yeast.
Taste has a slight tartness upfront then a little malt sweetness, the orange is there in the background but everything is tinged by the characteristic yeast. I'm not getting much of anything with the peppercorns. I guess I was hoping for more spice. Perhaps this is an older bottle and it's faded?
Nicely carbonated with a refreshing prickle. and clean finish.
Overall, a nice Saison that I'd drink again.

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Photo of Jadjunk
4.04/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

"An homage to the monks' noble work, this unique farmhouse ale is incredibly complex with notes of lemon, pepper, straw and herbs balanced by the tang of Mandarin oranges and a spicy kick of pepper. The Mandarin oranges used to make this beer were locally grown, including a portion grown on the grounds of the Abbey of New Clairvaux and picked by hand by the community of monks living there. We hope you enjoy this collaboration ale." Brewed in the style of a Saison. This marks the latest limited-release collaboration between Sierra Nevada and the Abbey of New Clairvaux, the seventh in the Ovila series, and the third bottled in nifty 4 packs of miniature single-serving bottles.

Poured from a 12.7fl oz. bottle to a Ovila goblet. Served north of º Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a frothy golden white head over a copper amber tone body, with a slight haze and moderate, relaxed carbonation. Retention is average, lacing is light and clingy and surface cover holds strong. Appearance is decent, although not particularly impressive for the style. 3.25

(Smell) Notes of clean Belgian malt bread with a very familiar Belgian yeast strain, always a safe choice for Saisons, it adds an approachable acidity to the malt as well as a touch of bright spice and wafts of tropical fruits like pear, pineapple and tangerine to the aroma. Despite the already existing fruit basket of aroma, this beer focuses around a moderate orange addition that provides a light syrupy orange sweetness as well as a modest orange-rind tartness as well. It is quite possibly mandarin based on my aroma impressions. Blending in all too nicely with the yeast's spice encore, the peppercorns add a touch of earthy zest, although not as potent as the orange character. I am glad they take a backseat lest they otherwise complicate this very inviting aroma. 4.25

(Taste) Orange accents most parts of the drinking experience, and for the most part it works out very well. The malt front is a clean, dry biscuity and light bready Belgian malt with banana esters and a subtle spritely spice- coriander and possibly peppercorn. It finishes out with with a tart citrus rind and light syrup on a mild bready malt finish, accented by a perky pepper and spice note. The mild viscosity of the citrus syrup makes this a touch heavier-bodied than predicted via the aroma but the flavors are overall very well preserved and presented, complementing each other gracefully. Despite a touch of residual sweetness, there's no doubting this as a well-crafted Saison. 4

(Mouthfeel) Malt texture is slick, very lightly syrupy sweet from the mandarin. Carbonation adds a modest level of zippy carbonation for a spritely texture that gels well with the mandarin zest and spice. The body is slightly over medium for a Saison, medium overall, perhaps a touch heavier drinking than the finest-balanced Saisons manage. Alcohol presence is low, not perfectly concealed by the cleanliness this beer presents. Despite this , there are far more hits than misses in the build of the mouthfeel. 4.25

(Overall) Far and away the finest entry in the Ovila project to date- Sierra Nevada should keep working their magic on innovating these Belgian light styles. I greatly enjoyed the mandarin orange addition, even if it came out mostly in sweetness, there was some complimentary orange zest on the finish and a touch of orange body throughout. The peppercorns, while arguably underutilized, may have added some zip to the already standard Belgian yeast spice encore, and certainly brought a faint note of earthy flavor to the beer, very faint but enjoyable. I'm certainly not regretting this purchase in the least and recommend this to anybody who may be a fan of Saisons. 4

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.'s
Ovila Belgian-Style Abbey Saison Ale Brewed with Mandarin Oranges And Peppercorns

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Photo of cbutova
4.02/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

First of all I have no idea what an Abbey Saison is but I am excited to try it.

A- Poured into a large tulip glass from the corked 375ml bottle. Cork opens with a nice bang and the beer pours with a slightly hazy dark orange body. A creamy and silky white head forms to just over a finger high and retains quite well. A nice frothy cloud and ring stays on the beer for a long time. Lacing is fairly spotty.

S- Aroma remind me of a Trappist yeast with some Saison mixed in. Citrus and spices are prevalent. Pepper, herbs, general Belgian spice and some darker fruit/raisin sugars come to mind.

T- Really takes some time to get a feel for this one. It has the feel of both a Trappist and Saison yeast strain which throws my taste buds all over. With time the beer has a very herbal and spicy feel overall with hints of pepper, nutmeg, thyme and spiced raisins. The addition of oranges gives of a slightly bitter zesty flavor that blends in nicely. I get a slightly cracked grain and candi-sugar feel as far as malts go.

MF- Super silky and somewhat creamy body that has a medium-light consistency. Carbonation is foamy but still creamy and super smooth at a pretty high level. Herbal and spicy bitterness on the palate.

Really feels like a well-done blend of two "styles." The Saison aspect comes in nicely with the citrus and peppery feel. The Abbey feel has a nice Candi-sugar and spicy yeast feel. The complexity and originality is nice, underrated beer IMO.

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Photo of Seanniek91
4.02/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a 375ml C&C bottle into a Hill Farmstead Stemmed Tulip. My 150th review I believe.

Appearance- Very nice orange/red with little to no head.

Smell- Definantly mandarin orange, light pepper, yeast, solid malt back bone. The orange dominates, but the spicy characteristics are still there as well.

Taste- Follows the nose exactly to the T. Heavy mandarin orange, lighter pepper notes, belgian yeast. Pretty much how they described it.

Mouthfeel- Lighter carbonation with a lighter body. Very nice summer beverage. No hint of booze heat either.

Overall- A nice beer fruited saison from Sierra Nevada. Pleasantly surprised with this one.

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Ovila Abbey Saison - Mandarin Oranges & Peppercorns from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 134 ratings.