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

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

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BA SCORE
85
very good

364 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 364
Reviews: 85
rAvg: 3.79
pDev: 9.76%


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

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Jason on 05-06-2013)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 364 | Reviews: 85 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of mikem0487
mikem0487

Pennsylvania

3.94/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

375mL bottle poured into Wicked Weed tulip glass.

A-Burnt amber body. Slightly hazy. Minimal head and lacing left on the glass.

S-Caramelized sugar, slight burnt bread crust, esters and definitely pick up on the mandarin orange. Overall pleasant and the burnt smell is very faint but there.

T-Bread crust, fruity esters, some peppercorn in the end. The yeast is definitely the main component here. The abbey yeast gives off plum and peach notes with nice phenolic spicy components. Complex saison...

M-Thin bodied. Almost the viscosity of H20. Dry finish. Effervescent for sure.

O-A good saison thats very complex in taste and smell. Overly complex for my liking. Its a great beer to have one or maybe two but after that you are looking for something more simple and straightforward.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2013 02:14:06 | More by mikem0487
Photo of davey101
davey101

Connecticut

3.66/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

375ml C+C bottle into a goblet. Julian date puts this one at June 18th, 2013.

Pours a rather clear amber body. Awfully dark for a saison. A fingers worth of thick white foam with nice lacing but minimal retention. Aroma is of dried oranges, cloves, pepper, wheat, and yeast. Awfully earthy and the mandarins are noticeable, I was just hoping for something a bit fruitier.
Taste is subtle oranges, grass, and wheat with a somewhat harsh wave of pepper and earthiness washing it over. Medium bodied with decent carbonation. Overall this is just decent, especially given the price point. It's also much better when colder.

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2013 23:37:52 | More by davey101
Photo of utopiajane
utopiajane

New York

3.8/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours clear and a deep golden with an orange hue. Streaming effervescence and plenty of tall, pillowy head to last and last. Left passionate lace. Nose was mandarin oranges, light and sweet and pepper as promised. Deep but not heavy spice with a little coriander and a stone fruit back drop that hints of peaches. Belgian yeast on the nose and it's tart and a little sour. There is sweet clover honey on the nose too . The malt is light caramel and a little bread. Floral and dry . Taste follows all the way. The light caramel is pretty sweet and steps out a little too far to overshadow the tart and sour yeast just a bit. The bread gives it palate and nuance. The fruits are sweet and juicy and deep. The spices dry it out a little and take it to a dry finish. There's some wheat dryness as well and when it all comes together in the finish, that caramel is not what lingers in the aftertaste. The balance was a little off and a little towards the malt but it's not unpleasant or cloying. It does drink a little heavy but the pepper and orange in the aftertaste are worth it. Mouthfeel is good, carbonation is lively and adds to the refreshment.

This is a stand up saison that combines a very sweet fruit character with a deep malt and comes up a winner with some honey and a spice that tingles. The pepper is so well done and authentic. The That pepper smacks at the back of the throat and stays there throughout the drink keeping a decent balance. There's lemon as it warms and that adds to the drink and lets the spice really shine through.

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2013 14:39:24 | More by utopiajane
Photo of Seanniek91
Seanniek91

Rhode Island

4.01/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2013 16:30:37 | More by Seanniek91
Photo of brewskifan55
brewskifan55

Mississippi

3.94/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served at the Tops of the Hops Festival, Jackson, MS (several times)

A: Opaque amber with a one finger white head that stayed a while. Curtainy lacing.

S: Honey and oranges pop up with Belgian yeast in the background.

T: Light, sweet, syrupy, frothy. Picking up lemon, caramel, oranges, coriander with peppercorn on the finish. Floral esthers rule.

M: Light to medium with frothy carbonation. Loved the peppercorn finish.

O: I'd tried the regular Ovila Saison a year before and wasnt impressed. Adding the oranges and pepercorn made it pop. This was one of the standouts at the fest. A great summer drink.

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2013 18:20:54 | More by brewskifan55
Photo of Auraan
Auraan

Arizona

3.86/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured a pretty cloudy orange with a white half finger head. It looks quite nice, like a saison should. Scents of peppercorn, mandarin orange and slight musky aromas. Good scents, but lacks the funk of some other saisons. Flavor contains notes of peppercorn and slight mandarin orange, some other citrus notes and a light cracker wheat flavor in the finish and aftertaste. Also some earthy Belgian yeast flavors. Slightly sweet, not as dry as other saisons tend to be. A good level of complexity, but the sour notes I look for in a saison are absent. A good flavor, but more sourness would make it far better. Mouthfeel is light bodied with moderate carbonation. Good, true to style. Overall it's a good saison, but far from the best available. The mandarin orange and a bit of the pepper are present, and some other flavors add to the complexity. But the lack of sour flavors and the sweet notes hold it back. Still worth trying, an enjoyable beer taken on it's own merits.

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2013 06:24:04 | More by Auraan
Photo of brewtus
brewtus

Ohio

3.98/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz caged bottle. Poured into teku. Pours clear light orange with a single finger white bubbly head. Smell is a little bit of funk, some straw, some spice, some refreshing citrus. Taste starts with some sweet red velvet cake flavor, some dry wheat, some spicesome ever slight citrus from the mandarin, the peppercorn is really only present during the after taste. Overall this was really good but wasn't as funky as I prefer for a saison, also not enough peppercorn, I'd prefer some burn. Worth picking up a bottle but not as spicy and refreshing as you'd imagine from a fruity spicy saison.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2013 01:27:24 | More by brewtus
Photo of JanetCDavis
JanetCDavis

Texas

3.79/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Grabbed this off the shelf because it is Sierra Nevada. The SN Pale Ale is a fave, so expected great things from the Ovila. Was not disappointed. While light on smell, this beer was unexpectedly Creamy and paired nicely with an Abbot's Cheddar Black Pepper. Very light on the orange, so not overly fruity. Pepper at the start gave the sense of a meal. Nice.

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2013 22:58:16 | More by JanetCDavis
Photo of Wyattldavis
Wyattldavis

Texas

3.61/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Cooper color with a smell that is lighter than you would expect from the color. The taste is toward sweet with a medium weight in the mouth. Finish is slightly heavy. Can't really taste the peppercorns but the orange does come through. I would favor drinking this in cooler seasons.

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2013 22:54:52 | More by Wyattldavis
Photo of Brendog9
Brendog9

Massachusetts

3.2/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

375 ml cork and cage poured into a Delirium balloon glass. No date on the bottle.

I've been on a saison kick lately and had to try this out. A transparent amber pour with about a quarter inch head that fades quickly. The aroma has notes of honey and fruit. In the taste itself I get honey flavors and very suttle notes of peppercorn. Also some burn from the 7.5% ABV.

Overall, not what I was expecting. I didn't pick up any of the mandarin orange notes.

Serving type: bottle

08-09-2013 22:00:50 | More by Brendog9
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
Beerandraiderfan

Nevada

3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours out a light orange and yellow color, mostly orange, solid 2/3" head on it, white in color, small bubbles making up the head. Aroma was mildly citrus, in a non hop delivered way.

Taste, citrus, pepper, dry cracker malt mouthfeel. Alcohol well integrated. Carbonation is lively and appropriate. The pepper and citrus presence are pretty much existing in equal proportion on the tongue. Avoided a harsh belgian yeast presence, that was nice, thank you.

This is probably bigger than your average saison. But it does the trick, its impressive, and the old lady really likes it. I think its pretty good too.

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2013 23:01:17 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of superspak
superspak

Michigan

3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

375 ml bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 4/22/2013. Pours slightly hazy orange copper color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of lemon, pear, apple, orange, peppercorn, clove, herbal, honey, light caramel, floral, and yeast earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of malt and yeast ester notes with the spicing; and good strength. Taste of lemon, pear, apple, orange, pepper, clove, honey, herbal, caramel, bread, floral, and yeast earthiness. Lingering notes of light fruits, citrus, pepper, clove, honey, herbal, caramel, bread, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and complexity of malt, spice, and yeast ester flavors; with zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth and moderately slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a very nice spiced saison style. All around good complexity and balance of flavors; and very smooth to sip on. A very enjoyable offering.

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2013 04:14:50 | More by superspak
Photo of jlindros
jlindros

Massachusetts

3.51/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to my friend Ricky for sharing.

Mostly clear golden tan color, no sediment somehow for a bottle conditioned beer which is strange, decent fizzy head fades fairly quickly.

Nose light saison, little wheat and grainy, citrus peel, zest, sweet candy syrup like, light coriander like spices.

Taste sweet candy syrup, wheat and grainy malts, light candy spices and coriander, little orange zest, fake spices like, hint of pink like peppercorns, little esters, light booze, light fruitiness. Finish is syrupy, light lingering spices and citrus, light ester booze.

Mouth is med bod, decent carb.

Overall meh. Nothing really special, spices are not so great, saison characters are also not the best, too syrupy sweet too for a real saison, just not their best take.

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2013 16:49:59 | More by jlindros
Photo of ChristopherTenore
ChristopherTenore

Massachusetts

4.36/5  rDev +15%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2013 16:30:43 | More by ChristopherTenore
Photo of breakingbland
breakingbland

Michigan

3.98/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from an unmarked, corked bottle into a snifter.

Appearance: Poured with a half-finger, slightly off-white head. The beer itself is a deep brownish golden that was slightly cloudy.

Aroma: Crisp aroma with slight funk, but overall, not much aroma.

Taste: Sour/tart. Slight funk and spice, with some of the spice probably due to the peppercorns. Bready up front, with a mild lingering sourness.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation, with an appropriate body for this style (fairly light).

Overall: This beer seems to be a good, typical example of this style. (This style is one of my favorites.) Though the flavor profile is not too complex, it is an interesting and refreshing beer. The lack of a more assertive aroma is somewhat disappointing but not a show-stopper. I'll look forward to having this one again as a "special occasion" beer (a bit pricey for an everyday beer).

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2013 11:48:43 | More by breakingbland
Photo of tdm168
tdm168

North Carolina

3.99/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - orangish amber with a huge, off white head that is thick and dense and has really good retention

S - big saison yeast in the nose; spicy, pears, peppery

T - husk, spicy yeast, peppery, oranges are faint but they're there in the background, some hints of lemon zest, mildly earthy bitter finish

M - medium bodied, some faint alcohol warmth, well carbonated

This is a nice saison. I was hoping for a more forward presence from both the oranges and the peppercorns, but they're both rather subdued. The peppercorns seem to be more forward because they compliment the already spicy yeast well. The oranges are subtle and show themselves more in the finish. Overall, this is a nice saison with a very enjoyable flavor profile. I enjoyed this beer though I was a tad disappointed with the presence of the mandarin oranges.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2013 23:16:29 | More by tdm168
Photo of rajendra82
rajendra82

Georgia

4.16/5  rDev +9.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2013 04:42:01 | More by rajendra82
Photo of cbutova
cbutova

Massachusetts

4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2013 03:20:53 | More by cbutova
Photo of Brewing_Rob
Brewing_Rob

Florida

3.56/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 375ml bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Golden amber and crystal clear. Thick foam that dissipates to a thin lasting head.

Smell: Malt, spice and fruit.

Taste: Bready malt, spice, light orange.

Mouthfeel: Rounded smooth mouthfeel.

Overall: Very nice Saison. Would prefer it to be a touch dryer but a great attempt by SN.

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2013 03:11:39 | More by Brewing_Rob
Photo of JohnGalt1
JohnGalt1

Idaho

3.48/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Picked up at Brewforia Eagle for about $4... definitely more expensive than other places in town, but I was in Eagle, so.. oh well.

Pours with a surprisingly short lasting white head atop a clear orange brew.

The aroma shows clovey phenols combining with the citrus... quite a bit of residual pale maltiness IMO.

Flavor is more leaning toward the esters with some pear and banana.. still a decent amount of clove... the citrus and peppercorn flavor merge more toward the finish... still too malty

Body is heavy for a saison... carbonation is also a bit light adding to the heavier body.

Decent beer at a decent price if I purchase elsewhere.

3.5/3.5/3.5/3.25/3.5

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2013 04:38:16 | More by JohnGalt1
Photo of kojevergas
kojevergas

Texas

3.16/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12.7 fl oz brown glass bottle with hood-and-wire cap over a cork acquired at a local SoCal bottle shop and served into a flared stem-snifter in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. 7.5% ABV confirmed. "Ale brewed with mandarin oranges and peppercorns." "Collaboration with monks of the abbey of New Clairvaux." Expectations are above average. Reviewed live.

Served cold - straight from the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a one finger wide head of beige-light khaki colour. Okay thickness. Limited creaminess. Not frothy at all. Complexion is mundane. Okay lacing as the head recedes. Retention is above average - about 3 minutes.

Body colour is a clear dark copper. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Perplexing that it's transparent; all the good saisons I've ever seen have at least been hazy. Limited vibrance.

Atypical of the style and not looking great. Not unique or special by any means.

Sm: Clean malts, grains, pepper, spice (allspice), banana, biscuity character from the yeast, and a mild fruitiness - which hardly evokes mandarin orange in particular. Pepper is subtly executed here. No real noticeable hop character. No alcohol is detectable. A mild strength aroma which is appealing for the style, but far from ideal.

T: Pepper, certainly. But also more of a fruit presence than the aroma promised: white/green grape, apple, and pear. It's also got some spiciness, with coriander and clove coming through. Flirts with wine character. Bready and grainy body. Pilsner malt, biscuit malt, maybe even munich malt. Strangely clinical and filtered for the style. No hop profile is noticeable. I don't get any alcohol. It's a tasty beer with average flavour intensity and depth, but unfortunately it doesn't bring much in terms of complexity or subtlety - and what a crime that is in a saison. I don't find any mandarin orange here. Yeast is biscuity with some rough spiciness. Okay balance overall, but it's not gestalt or even particularly cohesive.

Mf: Smooth and wet, with some roughness from the spiciness. Overcarbonated. Decent body and thickness. Suits the flavour profile generally well though it doesn't come off custom-tailored to it. Unrefreshing. Lightly crisp.

Dr: A downable try at a saison that hides its ABV fairly well. By no means an exemplary beer in the style, but a passable one with a surprisingly high pricetag considering the brewery. Wouldn't recommend it to friends; wouldn't get it again - but it's not bad. Certainly above average. Meets meagre expectations.

C+

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2013 04:17:21 | More by kojevergas
Photo of Scotchboy
Scotchboy

Idaho

3.73/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12.7oz corked & caged bottle into my Hill Farmstead tulip...wonderful value @ $2.99.

A: Dark, clear gold with a moderate amount of head & lace.

S: Semi-big warm fruitiness, mandarin orange (or clementine or tangerine...) is detectable to me, as well as plenty of bready malt backbone and Belgian yeast characteristics.

T: Follows the nose with a touch more of a spice character (not really peppery though). Fruitiness, warmth (surprised at this - is it alcohol?), Belgian yeast and pale, bready malt.

MF: Dry medium bodied with slightly effervescent carbonation; probably more 'still' than I would expect from this style.

O: Decent and tasty, good price and appropriate serving size. Wouldn't want more than a glass of this but its pretty refreshing and tasty.

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2013 13:37:07 | More by Scotchboy
Photo of HalfFull
HalfFull

California

3.35/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Corked 375 ml. bottle poured into a wine glass. This new version of the Ovila Saison opens with a firm pop of the cork and pours somewhat deep in color for a saison and offers a thin yet moderately lingering cap of white foam and decent lace.

Aroma of yeast and pepper are dominant, along with an inordinate hop presence with warming. If there are mandarin oranges in there I'm not feeling the love. Warming brings more intrigue to the nose yet still falls a bit short of my hopes. Taste is more muddled and less concise than the original Ovila Saison, which I notably prefer at this point.

Feel is good though argueably misguided for the style. A bit deep and a bit dark for my preference anyway. Overall I hope that Ovila survives the reality punch of the North Amerian market in which it resides. Yet I would rather see it fail than let the American market tweak its recipes.

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2013 05:03:38 | More by HalfFull
Photo of lnashsig
lnashsig

Texas

3.38/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

many thanks to @sierrabrettp for this one- brought back from Chico last week. Poured from bottle into RR glass. Pours a crystal clear golden orange color- surprised to see this- was expecting a little more hazel Also very little head and next to zero retention. Effervescent bubbles stream up from the bottom of the glass. Smell- sweet bready candy sugar malt- I get the mandarin as advertised. Taste- a little bitterness (maybe from the pepper?) sweet orange fruitiness is next, leaves a lingering syrupy orange mandarin taste mixed with cracked pepper bitterness on the end. I was kinda hoping the carbonation would dry this up a little but, but it ends a bit sweet. This is a decent effort, far from "bad", but I prefer a much dryer saison. I liked the Ovila Saison base beer more.

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2013 18:15:25 | More by lnashsig
Photo of Jadjunk
Jadjunk

Georgia

4.04/5  rDev +6.6%
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
4.04/5.00

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2013 03:18:18 | More by Jadjunk
Ovila Abbey Saison - Mandarin Oranges & Peppercorns from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 364 ratings.