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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

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

365 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 365
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: 365 | Reviews: 85 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of BeernDrum


3.96/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very unique in my mind. Smells peppery and citrusy. Don't smell the mandarins so much. Nice amber/orange color. The taste, very unique. It is smooth lots going on. You can taste the mandarins and the pepper. It also leaves a little of a peppery aftertaste. This may seem odd but I find it rather interesting. A very tasty full bodied beer with many different flavors. Maybe not a true Saison but quite delicious. One of the best packaging presentations in beer I've seen in a while.

Fathead head hunter still rules to me.

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2013 00:38:35 | More by BeernDrum
Photo of Murrhey


3.65/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12.7oz cork and cage bottle into a snifter in high elevation Kalispell, Mont. Reviewed live.

A- Three-finger white head on an orange body. Active carbonation. Settles down to a short white head. Nice looking beer.

S- Pink peppercorns. Smells aromatic and spicy. Not picking up the oranges though.

T- Spicy and sweet. Peppercorns, Belgian yeasts and citrusy notes. Tasty beer.

M- Creamy and wet. Finishes dry and ...foamy I guess. Nice feel.

O- Above average. A tasty saison but nothing wonderful.

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2013 05:28:45 | More by Murrhey
Photo of BEERMILER12


3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a golden orange (almost amber) color with 2 fingers of head that settles down to a thin cap. Quite a bit darker than most saisons

S: Mostly the mandarin oranges with some lightly spicy yeast and peppercorns. Some other fruits in the background as well

T: Starts off with a bit of spicy yeast and goes into the mandarin oranges and peppercorns. Get some more fruitiness and light spice into the finish along with a hint of alcohol

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

O: A little confused with this one. Like I said, it's quite a bit darker than most saisons (the only darker ones I've seen have been black saisons) and is a bit heavier as a result. It's still good, but in terms of style, just a bit confusing

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2013 04:24:41 | More by BEERMILER12
Photo of ksimons

New York

3.84/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A-a dark orange with a fingers worth of cream colored head

S-sweet fruit, banana, caramel malt, bit of peppery spice, and Belgian yeast

T-bready malt with a mix of fruity sweetness and citrus zest, light pepper spice. Not getting much of the typically Saison yeast.

M-medium body, medium carbonation, sweet finish

Overall this isn't a bad beer, but it doesn't seem to match the style at all. I like the Ovila offerings but probably wouldn't pick this up again.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2013 22:02:30 | More by ksimons
Photo of TeamMathis

West Virginia

3.76/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Orangish copper. Nice head at the start. Quite beautiful presentation.
Smell: Peppers, orange/citrus, banana, ginger, and something spicy.
Taste: Peppers and something citrusy, almost sour.
Mouthfeel: Very spritzy.

I loved the look of it. However, the head didn't last long at all. The smell was quite interesting. It had that ginger ale aspect which almost burned the nose a bit. A peppery smell also dominated the taste. The carbonation and spritzy character fills the back of the mouth. The citrus flavor is more noticeable as the drink warms. I will get this again next year.

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2013 20:59:11 | More by TeamMathis
Photo of Greywulfken

New York

3.6/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: clear deep amber orange body in a tulip, couple of fingers of off-white finely bubbled head

S: sweet malts suggesting mild fruits and some brighter notes I'll attribute to yeast; hints of peppery spice

T: peppercorn hits first, followed by the gentler malts and subtler spices; some suggestions of muted orange; earthy, herbal, and chalky elements

M: medium weight, modest carbonation, some chalkiness, some coating

O: didn't strike me as a saison, but I wasn't expecting too much here - some nice qualities, but nothing that would have me pick up another

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2013 16:53:45 | More by Greywulfken
Photo of SHODriver


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

A: pours a nice bronze hue with a finger of dense off white head that fades to a small mat
S: smells of oranges, honey sweetness, a bit of peppery spice, a tinge of bitterness and some fruity esters
T: tastes of fruitiness, a bit of bready malt, some peppery spice and a slight orangey sweetness. swallow brings some spicy yeast, a bit of cracker malt and some residual sweetness
M: light on the palate with slightly prickly carbonation. a bit drying but not overly so
O: Overall, it's a solid beer. There are better examples of the style out there but it isn't too far off the mark. I think it's a bit too sweet and could stand to be a bit drier but other than that it's good.

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2013 00:41:52 | More by SHODriver
Photo of mattkoon

South Carolina

3.96/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

i was craving a saison earlier....i couldnt resist this when i saw it. the smell is sweet with a slight earthiness to it. the taste has sweet citrus notes with a creaminess to it. also the sasion earthy flavor comes along. also i do get a little spicy i am assuming from the peppercorns. over all if i was craving a typical sasion i wouldnt reach for this- but this is a great beer in its own way. its pretty complex, and great.

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2013 21:01:02 | More by mattkoon
Photo of notchucknorris


3.61/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a clear copper color with a thin white head. Not much lace or visible carbonation. Doesn't look terrible, but I'm used to a bit more head than this.

S: Orange blossom, lemon curd, lots of bready malt, some caramel and a bit of a floral perfume-like scent.

T: Starts pretty sweet with a load of bready malt hitting the palate right away. The orange tries to work its way in there, but it never really gets past the malt. A touch of lemon, mandarin and maybe some white pepper, but the malt just weighs everything down in here for me. The mouthfeel is way heavy and there's little carbonation to lighten things up. I'm not really getting "saison" from any part of this. Not a bad beer, but I wouldn't call it a good saison.

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2013 00:42:33 | More by notchucknorris
Photo of BEERchitect


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

Piggybacking upon the success of Ovila Saison, it seems that the clean complexity of fruit esters, phenol spice and dry malt is not enough. There has to be something new, unique and enticing to draw in the culinary palates- and mandarin oranges and pepper spice serves just this option!

And like the standard Ovila Saison, the ale pours with a deep golden color and a medium yeasty haze. The beer forms a frothy white head with great persistence and intricate lace. The density of haze is a bit rich for standard Saisons.

Oranges are evident, but additional pear, apple and white grapes esters lurk closely behind. A balance of white pepper,coriander, clove, and a slight vinous wine note from white grape fill the nose with a zesty character. Backed by malty aromas of light sugar cookies and confectioner's sugar, the beer allows they yeasty esters and spices to command the balance of the nose.

Similarly, the taste starts with dry bread-sweetness and light honey malt, but the beer takes a quick turn to fruity oranges, lemons and apples. Light sultans and clove mingle in the middle for a seamless transition to spice. In finish a Clean, crisp, and with ultimate dryness, Sierra Nevada's second dip into the Ovila bucket carries a dry fruity ester nature with a spicy, warming finish that should appeal to appreciators of fine sparkling wines.

Pouring a deep golden color with medium yeasty haze, the beer forms a froathy white head with great persistence and intricate lace. The density of haze is a bit unusual for the style.

Pears, white pepper, apples, coriander, and a slight vinous wine note from white grape fill the nose with a zesty character. Backed by malty aromas of light sugar cookies and confectioner's sugar, the beer allows they yeasty esters and spices to command the balance of the nose.

Flavors follow suit, but with a dry bready-sweet to start, the beer takes a quick turn past the sweetness and into a crisp and clean flavor of light fruits and zesty spice in a way that reminds me of spiced pears, but with green apples included. Hop character contributes to the zest but without the signature earthy pungency that's expected from authentic Belgian varieties.

Medium malty weight to start with light, yet fleeting sweetness of powdered sugar. The beer ushers in a quick procession toward a very dry and refreshing finish with medium alcohol warmth. The classic spicy/fruity dryness is exhibited well in the finish.

Another solid effort in the Ovila series of beers. But the slight lack of complexity from blended Belgian yeast strains or the raw grassy-earthy-pungent hops keep the beer from competing with the Saison Duponts of Belgium.-rich peppery character exacerbates alcohol warmth and gives new life to the malt and fruit in an unexpected balance. Its zesty and racy finish wakens the taste buds much like peppery Chardonnay.

Medium malty weight rises early, but the fleeting sweetness of powdered sugar leaves the palate refreshed. This results in a semi-dry and quenching finish with spicy and bready-wine finish.

As a variation of the standard Ovila Saison , the solid effort in the Ovila series of beers brings about obvious pepper additions but less obvious fruit complements. Sure the beer is orange-y, but most of the mandarin character could easily be chocked up to esters. This keeps the beer authentically tasting- yet to timidly so.

Serving type: on-tap

07-08-2013 05:52:51 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of Ri0


3.63/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

poured 12oz bottle into Duvel tulip

A - Dark hazy burnt orange in color with 1.5 finger white head. I expect a bigger head on a Saison.

S - Sweet and spicy. Citrus, orange, bready yeast, straw, and white pepper. Enjoyable scent for a Saison.

T - A light orange, citrus that seems watery. Some yeast, straw, and cracker with light pepper spice. Easy to drink on a hot summers day. Not too complex even though it mentions how complex it is.

M - Light body, wet, crisp, refreshing with ow carbonation, medium bodied. Bit of spice lingers afterwards.

O - Easy drinking Saison with nice orange flavor and hints of spice. Enjoyable, but there are better Saisons available. Just seems to be missing something to bring me to want to buy it again.

Serving type: bottle

07-03-2013 22:39:03 | More by Ri0
Photo of fank2788


3.65/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

375ml bottle served in a pint glass
Hazy orange gold color that starts off with a one finger tall white head that settles to a fine layer of bubbles. The smell is of Belgian yeast esters, pale malts and wheat, oranges, lemon and a touch of pepper. The oranges are very evident in the taste along with the Belgian yeast flavors. The malt provides balance and bitterness from hops and pepper are evident in the there as well. The finish is a bit sweet, not nearly dry enough for a classic saison but it's not bad. The aftertaste is quite nice as the orange flavor lingers for a while, otherwise the finish is clean if a little sweet as mentioned earlier. I think I would like to have a bit more lively carbonation in a beer of this style as well. An interesting idea by SN ends up producing a good but not great beer. It's off the mark when it comes to matching the style but still has enough going for it that it is worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2013 00:47:09 | More by fank2788
Photo of scottfrie


3.25/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

375ml bottle into snifter.

A: Pours a rather dark honey color with a short lived, fizzy, off white head that quickly faded into a faint collar.
S: Sweet scents of mandarin oranges dominate alongside notes of Belgian yeast and herbal, peppery, hops and spices.
T: Mandarin is very easy to pick out but not as potent as the nose. I get notes of grainy malt, peppercorn, herbal hops, and earthy yeast. Peppercorn shins in the finish and more citrus comes through in the aftertaste. Mild bitterness, lingering bready yeast flavor.
M: Heavy mouthfeel, this beer could use some drying out. Frothy foamy carbonation, medium-full body.
O: Great mandarin twist and the peppercorn add another layer of spice to the yeast. This was a bit think, heavy and frothy for me to absolutely love, but I would definitely drink this again.

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2013 23:18:45 | More by scottfrie
Photo of impending


3.15/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 3


375ml into a tulip. Pours a crystal clear amber copper, minor eggcream colored head, minor lacing.

The aroma is dominated by an herbal spicy note that is backed by a bit of gunpowder or scorched knuckle hair atop a sweetness. certainly is complex, unique

The taste surprises in its level of uniqueness. The peppercorn is now fully revealed. Mild herbal bitter. Not much in the way of dry, the bitter sits in. Aftertaste is short lived to its benefit.
Between thin and medium bodied lifeless mouthfeel, would really benefit from more fizz. sits between a saison & a dubbel

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2013 04:35:25 | More by impending
Photo of Duff27


3.69/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a half inch bone white head on an amber orange body. Cap and collar throughout, clumpy lacing. Overall a solid looking appearance.

Smells spicy, inevitably from the peppercorn. Fresh saison yeast aromas.

Peppercorns throughout the sip but most pronounced with a sharp bite on the backend. Mardarin orange aspec lends a helping hand by adding a certain sweet citrusy note to compliment the dry saison yeast and peppercorn flavors.

Smooth and creamlike mouthfeel, different for a saison. Normally I'd prefer a little more carbonation pricklyness but this seems to work alright for this particular beer.

A solid if not a bit underwhelming beer. No overt flaws but not outstanding enough to warrant a buy unless you're a big time Sierra Nevada or saison fan. Thanks for the bottle 4DAloveofSTOUT!

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2013 03:07:46 | More by Duff27
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a large tulip glass a clear burnt orange color with a thinner but well retained white head atop.Aromas consist of wet grain and orange peel with a tinge of mineral,there is a fain spiciness from the peppercorns detected.Flavors of spiced yeasty phenols and toasted grain stand out most on the palate up front along with juicy fruitiness and mild spice in the finish,not a big flavorful beer, more subtle nuances.Slightly medicinal and yeasty it's still not a bad beer,the black pepper will catch ya in the back of the throat after awhile, wich Iam starting to find out.

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2013 23:32:51 | More by oberon
Photo of cvm4


3.68/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours amber in color with orange hues and an eggshell head.

S - Orange peel, sugar and some bready yeast. Not much in the peppercorn arena.

T - An opening of orange and sugar collide. Dessert like. Light yeast, some white pepper and the saison qualities are faint.

M - Low carbonation, medium bodied. On the edge of cloying with the sweetness.

O - I'm torn... Not huge saison qualities here but the orange sweetness is endearing.

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2013 23:45:50 | More by cvm4
Photo of vkv822


3.55/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12.7oz C&C bottle : tulip

Pours a lightly hazy, burnt-orange color with a foamy, creamy off white head.

Classic, saison, bready, yeats character with light orange towards the finish and just a touch of spice.

Medium body with foamy, fizzy carbonation.

A well done saison, the orange comes through just a bit, and the peppercorn adds a very slight touch, though I would like to see a bit more from it.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2013 08:53:44 | More by vkv822
Photo of Jimmys


3.44/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

12.7 fl oz bottle into tulip. cant seem to find a date or code on here.

A: definitely an orange hued body. a surprising amount of clarity. frothy, slight off-white head. good retention, lacing is minimal.

S: aroma has a sizeable amount of orange peel. sugar. not getting a whole heck of a lot from the peppercorn end. otherwise, not getting enough saison bready, dry, yeast aromas.

T: a lot of sugar on the initial sip. slight bits of sweet orange meat. caramel grist, some mild saison yeast esters, really not that much though. similar to the nose, not enough saison characteristics

M: a very fine carb level. medium bodied.

D: I kinda want to try the un-spiced version of this saison so I have a base to go off of, however I have to say I am a bit underwhelmed here. too much sweetness for a good saison and the additional flavor additives are not helping.

Serving type: bottle

06-19-2013 02:38:23 | More by Jimmys
Photo of jpro

South Carolina

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

12.7oz bottle from CBX. Poured into a tulip glass...

A: Pours a copper orange, with a thin, half-finger head of fizzy almond foam; nice retention; no lace.

S: I think the peppercorn aroma is a little more noticeable than anything from mandarin oranges; lemon peel; doughy gingerbread; not much funk or typical farmhouse aroma, though.

T: Maybe a touch of orange; bready; again - its not bad, but there's really not much saison character; kind of a lighter abbey dubbel.

M: Feel is on the full side of medium; moderate carbonation; a touch creamy; kind of sweet - definitely not dry.

O: A nice abbey ale.

Serving type: bottle

06-19-2013 02:02:45 | More by jpro
Photo of Chaney

District of Columbia

4.16/5  rDev +9.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2013 22:43:17 | More by Chaney
Photo of wedge

North Carolina

3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First of all, the presentation is beautiful for such an affordable little bottle. Pours from said pretty bottle a slightly hazy amber color with a moderate, frothy head forming on top that slips down to a bubbly covering. Smells of jammy orange sweetness, peppery yeast, caramel, honey, and herbs. Zesty citrus and Belgian yeast flavors. Grain, banana, light floral notes, and a sort of vanilla creaminess. Plush, dry, and slightly crisp in the finish. Not bad, not bad. A little sweet and not the most authentic representation of a Saison, but satisfactory.

Serving type: bottle

06-17-2013 02:06:23 | More by wedge
Photo of DefenCorps


3.49/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from Whole Foods.

Pouring an amber orange, rather clear, with a thin but lasting white head that leaves some lacing, this looks pretty good. The nose is solid. The subtle but complex citrus character is very enjoyable, and the pepper does complement the fruit. Moderately yeasty as well. Some honey and malt character is present. Unfortunately, though, the malt character isn't particularly rustic. Still, this is solid.

The palate opens rather over-carbonated, especially for how sweet this beer is. Fruity with a blend of citrus, pepper and fennel, the flavors from the adjuncts blend well with the yeast characteristics. The mid-palate has honey, a little bit of caramel and some sugar. Medium in body, the finish is a delicate blend of honey, citrus and pepper with a moderate yeasty character that dominates the blend. A little drier and a little lower in ABV and this beer would be excellent, but unfortunately, for now, it is sweeter than I'd like. Solid

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2013 19:48:06 | More by DefenCorps
Photo of flexabull


3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a bright and clear gold color with a smaller white head.

Aromas are nice, a mixture of lemon zest, oranges, spices, and yeast.

Taste is dry up front, light peppery notes, slightly creamy, bready and sweet. Finish has a mix of spices, oranges, and crisp tart lemon.

Mouthfeel is nice, good body, and snappy carbonation.

Overall, a nice Saison, very refreshing and drinkable. About a step or two below the great ones though.

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2013 19:27:45 | More by flexabull
Photo of UCLABrewN84


3.53/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle I brought to share at Ritual Brewing Company in Redlands, CA.

Pours a hazy orange with a foamy bone head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, banana, spice, yeast, and slight citrus aromas. Taste is much the same with malt and pepper flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with the pepper presence being more noticeable than any sort of mandarin orange presence.

Serving type: bottle

06-14-2013 04:33:35 | More by UCLABrewN84
Ovila Abbey Saison - Mandarin Oranges & Peppercorns from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 365 ratings.