Ovila Abbey Tripel
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Ovila Abbey TripelOvila Abbey Tripel
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Belgian Tripel
3.87 | pDev: 9.82%
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Ovila Abbey TripelOvila Abbey Tripel
Reviews: 35 | Ratings: 224 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of mothmanscott
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From notes 11/15/14: Pours an almost clear deep gold producing only a finger of foamy, short-lived, white head that leaves no lace. Aroma is candy sugar, honey sweet and candy apple with hints of other white fruits, clove and other spices. Alcohol is also detectable. Taste is sweet with honey notes, cobbler dough, yeasty white fruits, spice and pepper. No definitive hoppiness as it should be. Alcohol is prominent in the forms of warmth and boozeiness and what bitterness is in evidence is probably from the alcohol as well. Finish is sweet but rapidly transitions to an initially bittersweet aftertaste that in time becomes semi-dry and somewhat astringent. Mouthfeel is medium-heavy bodied with medium carbonation, syrupy, even a little stick but smooth and creamy with only faint prickle at the end.

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Photo of Apellonious
3.78/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From a 32 oz growler at TBG into a tulip glass. First pour.

A - Hazy, yellowish gold with a one finger fluffy head that dissapates quickly to a thin lace.

S - Belgian yeast notes, clove and spices.

T - In line with nose, some muted mild sweet notes and wheat, no noticeable heat. Grape, vinous notes more noticeable on the 2nd pour.

M - Low carbonation, medium feel, semi-dry finish. A little sticky.

O - A light tripel that is worth giving a go if it comes around again

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Photo of Jadjunk
3.66/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

"Ovila Abbey Tripel's golden color and brillian foam hide an incredible depth of flavor. It maintains a perfect balance between slightly sweet and bready malts, floral hop notes, and the fruity aromatics of a traditional Belgian yeast. Tripels were first created by Belgian monks, and this beer is our homage to the original blonde abbey ale." Brewed in the style of a Belgian Tripel Ale, available in 12.7 oz bottled 4 packs and on limited draft. One-time offering under the Sierra Nevada Ovila label.

Poured from a 12.7 oz bottle to a tulip glass.

(Appearance) Pours a pale off white head of a short-lived crisp, frothy consistency over a moderately hazy golden amber body with mild flecked sediment and light, rapid carbonation. Retention is below average and there is no visible lacing. 3.25

(Smell) Aroma of yeasty bread malts, lightly spiced banana bread, fermented honey, clove, coriander and candied syrups. Sits a bit heavy on the nose with a rich malt and dominant yeast presence, potency is moderate. 3.5

(Taste) Light candied sugar sweetness with a delicate biscuit malt body, spiced pear fruit juice, finishing on a fruity note with cloves and banana bread. Nice yeast profile of fruit, and a surprisingly light drinking tripel in terms of body and gruffness, very little alcohol presence and very accessible drinking for the style. 3.75

(Mouthfeel) Texture is slick, lightly residual, moderately dry. Carbonation is moderate, generating a light frothiness and a briskly crisp finish. Body is shy of medium for the style, medium+ overall. Balance is slightly fruity, phenolic and spicy over sweet. Alcohol presence is mild and there are no off characters. 3.75

(Overall) A nicely presented Tripel with a reserved depth of body and more fruit flavors from the yeast profile, a somewhat rare treat for me as per the style. I'm used to heavier bodied and boozier Tripel ales, but I find this one stands easily classified as a Tripel and does a nice job of differentiating itself from the pack for its delicacy and attention to yeast detail. Enjoyable. 3.75

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.'s
Ovila Belgian Style Abbey Tripel

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
4.08/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Taken from notes from last year's craft expo.

Look : Dark amber, 20% opacity, 2 finger head.

Smell : Banana, yeast, plum, wheat, blood orange.

Taste : Lots of yeast out front, with a hop bite and wheat. Blood orange and Banana finish with more dry yeast. Alcoholic bite.

Feel : Light to medium bodied, creamy, semi-dry. Ends semi-dry with yeast character.

Overall : Good Tripel with yeasty overtones and mild fruit backbone, namely blood orange and banana.

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Photo of jopezu
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

pours a hazy straw-amber with medium soapy head. nose; pear juice and pulp. taste; toasty malt, pear & apple juice, honeyed biscuit, mild hops and a touch of spicy peppercorn. strong honey & biscuit notes on the aftertaste. most notably, the belgian yeast properties are absent. the 8.8% abv is almost totally under the radar here. this is certainly not a tripel proper, but as the bottle states, "an homage to the style", being much more fruit-dense and sweeter.

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Photo of majorbase2
3.76/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear orange color with a small fizzy white foam head the immediately recedes, leaving absolutely no lacing.

Aroma of coriander, clove, and yeast.

Taste of bready malts, yeast, clove, pepper and saltines. Although the taste is fine and all the flavors work well together, there's not much going on here to differentiate this beer or take it to the next level.

Light body with moderate carbonation. Absolutely no bite from the nearly 9% alcohol, which was quite impressive. This is the definition of a sneaky beer. Crisp and refreshing finish.

Overall, it is clear SN is out of their element here. It's not bad, but there's always a little extra "oomph" that separates the decent/good beers from the great beers, and this beer is definitely missing that oomph.

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Photo of Hunter
3.1/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Look: Clear amber-gold ale, thin head with zero tracing.

Smell: Spicy sugared notes

Taste: The spicy-sweet notes in the nose come through on the palate. Not much alcoholic heat despite the nearly 9% ABV.

Feel: Thin, almost wispy, even for a tripel

Overall: Not bad, but somehow neutered. The Belgians still rule this style.

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Photo of Andrewharemza
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Classic Belgian candy sugar aroma. Medium yellow color with a small foamy white head. A nice burst of alcohol hits right along side of the sweet candied malt flavor. There’s a touch of toast, hay and corn mid-sip and some earthy bitterness.

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Photo of GOBLIN
3.53/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It's an ok tripel . . . Just nothing exciting going on and in my opinion a shade below par or average. Has some of the basic elements here but nothing comes together to produce a nice example of the style.

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Photo of doktorhops
3.53/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

OK: Sierra Nevada have made an Abbey Tripel in collaboration with the monks of the Abbey of New Clairvaux, California. This will be epic... or crap, we don’t know yet, but my experience drinking Sierra Nevada beers is that they never disappoint. In fact I still buy Torpedo on a regular basis, it has a permanent home in my fridge door next to Weihenstephaner Hefeweizen and Founders Breakfast Stout, with these three beers I drink [that was almost a semi-vague Lord of the Rings reference]. Can Sierra Nevada and a bunch of American monks challenge the might of the Trappist brewers? We’ll soon find out.

Poured from a 375ml bottle into a Chimay chalice.

A: Presents a hazed Tangelo body with a wispy thin white head that disappears quickly. Swirling the glass reveals some fine “legs”* on this Tripel, nice, here’s hoping the alcohol is hidden. 8/10.

S: All of the classic Tripel aromas are there: Clove, coriander, bready yeast, a (small) truckload of candi sugar and hints of pepper. Certainly nothing out of the ordinary style-wise... still this is up against awesome brews like Westmalle and Karmeliet so it better have an ace up its sleeve. 7/10.

T: Alright, well balanced off the bat, but there’s something missing... flavours of: Clove and pepper provide spiciness, the middle is big and bready, with dry water crackers in the mix. Finish is light bitter orange juice with dry crackers. Definitely the biggest feature in this brew is the dryness given the style. Most Tripels I’ve had, including the above noted ones are a lot sweeter - this is quite dry. 7/10.

M: Mid to light bodied with a slightly prickly carbonation. 7/10.

D: Not bad, but as I mentioned before something’s missing. I liked this but up against personal favourites such as: Westmalle and Karmeliet it doesn’t have enough going for it to make it a winner in my eyes... though I think it is a decent stab at a complex and difficult to replicate style by Sierra Nevada. Damn it is dry though... I’ve had less dry Japanese beers. Oh and this is a shockingly pricey brew here in Australia - I paid $17 for the bottle. I give them a ‘B+’ for effort. 7/10.

Food match: Water... seriously though: Something pheasanty, like pheasant.

*A wine industry term for the Gibbs-Marangoni effect, basically the differences in surface tension between alcohol and water create visible “legs” on the inside of the glass after swirling... this is of course a simplistic explanation.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from corked 375 ml bottle into a chalice glass

Appearance – The beer pours a hazy lighter golden-straw color with a billowy and thick white head. The head has a great level of retention, very slowly fading over time to leave a great level of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma of the beer is quite strong of a yeasty and very spicy smell of coriander, clove and a little bit of white pepper. Along with these aromas comes some notes of a biscuit smell as well as a little bit of lemon and banana. A decent showing of a grassy and hay-like smell are there as well mixing with the rest to produce a nice, drier, and rather strongly spiced Belgian triple aroma overall.

Taste – Upfront the taste is strongest of a drier biscuit malt flavor mixed with a good showing of a yeasty and moderately spiced taste. The spice begins mainly as a clove and coriander nature, with these growing stronger and stronger as the taste moves onto the end, and being joined by a little more yeast and some pepper as well. Along with these flavors comes some lighter sweet tastes of a banana and candied sugar, which combined with a grassy flavors and all the bigger flavors that were present upfront, to leave a still rather dry and quite spicy and yeasty triple flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the slightly thinner side for the 8.8 % abv. triple with the beer containing a carbonation level that is rather average to a little bit higher then normal. For the drier flavors of the brew, the feel is fantastic and matches well the crisp and spicy flavors nicely.

Overall – A quite nice, drier triple with lots of spice and a nice blend of biscuit, hop, and yeast. This was a rather enjoyable triple overall.

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Photo of Flounder57
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Servedin a snifter at the Union Brewhouse in Weymouth.

Appearance: A one finger head was poured that reduced to a puffy layer. It is a pale yellow orange color with great clarity and vision of tiny bubbles coming up through the glass. Frothy lacing down the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: Vanilla, powdery yeast, esters, pilsner malts, pale malts, green apple, and pear.

Taste: Same as above with a little booze in the rear. Nice blend of flavors and very tasty.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, a little chewy, medium bodied, a little dry, and medium to high carbonation.

Overall: Brewed once? I'm dissapointed. This should be brewed at least once a year. Might have to stock up on some bottles soon.

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Photo of kitch
3.29/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

A corked and caged 12.7oz (375ml) bottle poured into Westmalle goblet. Packaged and bottled on 13 August 2014. Sierra Nevada suggests 365 days expiry.

A: Poured a golden orange, mostly clear, small head
S: Honey, candied sugar, bananas
T: Sweet, honey, pineapple (disappears fast though). The alcohol comes out as it gets warmer
M: Medium body, light carbonation
O: I bought it because I was attracted to the nice bottle and labelling. The beer itself was decent and not too sweet but I haven’t decided if I would buy it again yet.

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Photo of bnes09
4.24/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Transparent, golden color. Thin, soap bubble head. Recedes to a thin ring around the glass with minimal lacing.

Wonderful, floral, citric aroma. Very fresh smelling with weeds, grass and white pepper blended in. Spicy, fresh and well rounded.

Mild, bready malt with a semi-sweet flavor. Honey and lemon. Hop quality is herbal, soapy with a mild citrus edge. Subtle garlic and white pepper in the back add a comfortable level of spice. Well balanced on the palate.

Medium to full bodied. Slightly syrupy/sticky on the tongue and lips. Well carbonated.

One of the better tripels I've had.

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Photo of Fear4Beer
3.92/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer is malty with that hint of bread, yeast, and hops to balance things out. The hops are not very bitter but you can feel them trying to come to the front. There is an apple like quality to this beer and the overall mouthfeel is light. That's the biggest downfall is that the beer feels too light in the mouth, like watered down. The AMAZING thing about this beer is that it has 8.8% abv in it. If I were to guess I'd be WAY off, you can't taste the alcohol. Ohhhh you can certainly feel it after you are done with the beer though! Very easy to drink and it tastes nice. Comparing it to other great Belgian beers (or American Belgian beers like Allagash's Tripel) it falls a bit short. Still a fun beer to drink. I wish more American breweries had the guts to make more Belgian style ales. I'm thankful I got to try this one.

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Photo of arizcards
4.09/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Picked up a four-pack from TW Arrowhead in late November for $12.99. Bottled on 8-6-14.

Beer poured golden with absolutely no head into my Duvel Tulip glass.

Nose initially was a blast of pear and apple which has sustained well. Getting notes of pepper as it warms.

Taste is apple and pear sprinkled with pepper. There maybe a bit of coriander going on as I am getting a hop like bite in the after taste.

Mouthfeel is pretty legit, light to medium bodied. Each sip dances delicately and lightly across the palate.

Overall this is a good brew. I cannot quite put my finger on it but there is something slightly amiss that prevents this from challenging the world class brews in this genre. Get it if you can find it and are a fan of the style.

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Photo of jellikit
3.91/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: mostly yellow with a light orange hue. Small head. Mostly clear with a ever so slight haze.
Smell: lemon peel. Herbal. Pepper.
Taste: light to medium esters. Followed by herbs and hops.
Mouthfeel: highly carbonated. Medium body. Dry.
Overall: decent tripel. Pretty flavorful. I think I should have aged it a bit longer. Tasty. I like this style, but its a bit on the different side.

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Photo of DIM
3.55/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

Beautiful beer. Clear, shining golden and a massive, long lasting thick white head.

Mild aroma here. Potpourri like fruity spice, stewed apples, and some Smarties like sugariness. Surprisingly muted on the tongue. This isn't as sweet as most tripels. It's oddly dry in fact. Stewed apple flavors with strong potpourri like spice. Faint candi-sugar, grassy hops, and vaguely medicinal heat. Kind of lackluster overall.

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Photo of predikit
3.35/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Drank this for New Years. Don't remember much about it now, but after La Fin du Monde, I was disappointed.

The fruity yeast and malty character was there in spades, but it didn't paint a good picture, a bit off on the aftertaste.

Medium body, medium carbonation.

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Photo of HalfFull
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Been wondering if the Ovila/Sierra Nevada crew would come up with a Tripel for a while so glad to see this on a recent outing. Poured into a large wine glass from a corked 375 ml. bottle. Bottle opens with just a light pffft and pours initially with a light cap of foam, though perhaps a bit cold. Light golden in color and with a touch of chill haze.

Aroma started a bit slow but then ramped up swiftly, adding pleasant yeast notes, some tropical fruit and a subtle waft of here and there ethanol wrapped in spice. Aroma expands with warming and reminds me a bit of St. Bernardus Watou in a good way. Bit of muddled lemon emerges with time.

Taste is spritzy but a bit subued, yet without flaw or apparent sweetness to offset to a degree. A second pour revitalizes things a bit with more foam and vibrancy. Feel is solid and full, bready and yeasty though again lacking the sweetness often found at the ABV thanks to a lightly coarse texture.

Overalll a bit of a quandary. Light on the candi sugar I would guess and quite well done, yet lacking the close in some way. Will have to do a side by side with a few other favorites to better determine.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.79/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

As always with this series, the beer is fantastic and the price is even better. A big frothy hearty tripel, full bodied for the style and only sweet in the middle. Hazy muted blonde, looks the part with a huge white head. I smell coriander in this, and the esters of the Belgian yeast. It's got to have plenty of oats in it too. It has that feel. On the taste I get floral honey and the Belgian yeast. The alcohol is amazingly well hidden, and the carbonation being so high almost makes it feel light. Amazing they can put out beer this good for so cheap. I like this a lot, but it's begging for an oak barrel, maybe cognac...

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Photo of stephens101
3.42/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Thin covering of tan froth upon a golden brew.

Smells of spice, green apple and taffy.

Other light fruits spice from the yeast with a floral hop end.

Dry and medium bodied with a slight and quick alcohol burn.

I keep waiting for something in this brew to strike me as interesting, but it's not going to happen.

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Photo of allengarvin
3.71/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Another adorable little 4-pack! cork-topped 12.7 oz bottles.

A: 3.5 - Slightly hazy gold color. I couldn't get much of a head out of it at all, and what was there faded quickly.
S: 3.75 - Light fruity scent, with a bit of sweetness.
T: 3.75 - Initial taste is sweet, with light malt flavor, and pleasant floral fruitiness, with a touch of vanilla.
M: 3.5 - A bit thin and watery.
O: 3.75 - Though not bad, it's a disappointment. The other Ovila collaboration beers have been better.

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Photo of lighthabit
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%

appearance - bottle and label for this series is, as always, beautifully presented. pour is middle of the pack, faint copper hue to the golden color, not much head though. nose - faint banana, a bit of clove, a hint of fresh grass and lemon, fresh, but not quite showing the sweetness i was hoping for. taste is mild tripel with that hint of grassy lemony zest, kinda kicks the candy sugar off center. feel is solid tripel territory. overall, a nice, unique offering from SN.

30 minute edit - let it warm a bit, the flavors mellow well :)

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Photo of Vixie
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Pours a nice yellow orange color with a decent sized white head. The head does leave a bit of lacing as it dissipates.

Smells strongly of yeast and citrus, hint of pepper and floral mixed with a bit of pine.

Starts out on the sweet side, citrus and other fruit notes as well. Finishes with a bit of pine and floral from the hops.

The feel is very solid for the style, fairly thick and smooth.

Overall, on of the better US made triples I have had. It has a very Belgian character to it, and has the flavor profile I expect from the style. It's not quite the best triple I have had, but better than many that have tried the style but not succeeded.

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Ovila Abbey Tripel from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 224 ratings