Ovila Abbey Tripel | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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Ovila Abbey TripelOvila Abbey Tripel
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Ovila Abbey TripelOvila Abbey Tripel

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

Style: Belgian Tripel

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.80%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 34 | Ratings: 222
Photo of Hunter
3.1/5  rDev -19.7%
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 Roguer
3.22/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Very clear golden brew. Two bottles have yielded inconsistent heads: one with about a 1/2 finger of white foam, and the other with virtually no head.

Belgian yeast aroma, candi sugar, bananas, spices, and cloves.

Strong and spicy flavor. Not getting a ton of individual flavors: yeast, sugar, spice, and a bit of citrusy hops. Strong alcohol presence.

While this comes across as a pretty traditional Tripel, it doesn't come across as a very good one. I'll have to try another bottle to make sure I'm giving it a fair shake, but I am very unimpressed.

Very lively, medium sting, sticky. Long finish with a hint of skunk on the very end.

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Photo of kitch
3.29/5  rDev -14.8%
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 StoutHunter
3.3/5  rDev -14.5%

I picked up a bottle of Sierra Nevada's Ovila Abbey Tripel last week for $3.29 at The Lager Mill. I've never heard of this beer from Ovila Abbey series and since I haven't had a Tripel in a while I thought I would take a chance on it, so lets see how it goes. 2014 Vintage. Poured from a brown corked and caged 12.7oz bottle into a Belgian Tulip.

A- The label looks nice, it's got a simple label that seems to suit this beer, the label isn't too eye catching, but the smaller corked and caged bottles are. It poured a cloudy slightly darker yellow color that took on more of a golden orange color when held to the light with almost three fingers worth of dense off white head that died down to a thick ring that stayed till the end and it left some spotty lacing behind. This was a nice looking Tripel, I have no complaints.

S- The aroma starts off with a higher amount of medium sweetness with the malts being the first to show up and they impart a sweet malt and bready aroma , Up next comes a fruity aroma that starts off with some citrus rind aromas that lead right into the Belgian yeast with some clove and banana aromas coming through and it seems like no single aspect seems to stick out the most. Towards the end I get just a little bit of floral hops with a very slight alcohol like aroma. This beer had a nice aroma that seemed to be pretty true to style.

T- The taste seems to be fairly similar to the aroma, but lighter and it starts off with a higher amount of medium sweetness that had a slight candied like flavor to it with the a fruity flavor being the first to show up, it's similar to how it was in the aroma, but this time the orange rinds don't really show up and instead there's a light apple juice like flavor that takes it's place and it combines with the banana flavors. Up next comes the clove which is just a little lighter than it was in the aroma and it's followed by the malts which impart the same aspects that they did in the aroma, but they seem to stick out a little more and the alcohol is hardly noticeable. On the finish there's a light amount of medium bitterness with a sweet and fruity aftertaste. This was a decent tasting Tripel, but it didn't seem as bright as some of the better example of the style.

M- Fairly smooth, crisp, medium bodied with a slightly higher amount of medium carbonation. The mouthfeel was nice and true to style.

Overall I thought this was a decent beer and a decent example of a Tripel, most things about this beer seemed to be true to style, but it seemed like for every good aspect there was something that was just a little off from where it should be. This beer had a decent drinkability, it was fairly smooth, crisp, not too filling and the taste did a decent job at holding my attention, but I think one would be enough for me, any more than that and I might start to get bored with it. What I like the most about this beer was how well the alcohol was hidden when it came to the taste the alcohol was very well hidden. What I liked the least about this beer was that it started to get just a little bland when it got to the taste and it didn't turn out as bright as some of the better examples of the style. I don't know if I would buy this beer again, I didn't love it, but it was priced nicely and I wouldn't turn one down if I was offered it. I can't say I would recommend this as a good Tripel, but I still think it's worth trying once to see how you feel about it. All in all I was a little disappointed with this beer, I've only had one beer from this series and it was the plum quad, it was pretty good so I had good expectations for this beer, but in the end it just didn't come together as well as it could have. This isn't my favorite beer from Sierra Nevada or my favorite from this series and it's not a favorite of the style either, it pretty much falls right in the middle. I appreciate the effort, but this one could use a little work, better luck next time.

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Photo of predikit
3.35/5  rDev -13.2%
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 stephens101
3.42/5  rDev -11.4%
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 lighthabit
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

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 GOBLIN
3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
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 -8.5%
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 DIM
3.55/5  rDev -8%
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 gatornation
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12.7 corked caged bottle
A-pours a slight hazed lemon yellow color with a thin white head
S-floral hops and white fruit notes sweet bready malts
T-white fruit start of apples and pears with belgian yeast some floral hops nicely drinkable with ABV well hidden
M-sweet and low carbonation a dry finish
O- worth a try a nice bottle and label but probably not a repeat purchase

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Photo of Jadjunk
3.66/5  rDev -5.2%
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 flagmantho
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%

Poured from 375mL corked & caged bottle into a tulip. My 100th tripel!

Appearance: medium golden hue with a tiny touch of haze and a light effervescence. Head poured a rather thin finger of white foam; usually there's a little more head to a tripel, but overall not too bad.

Smell: sweet malt with a bit of alcoholic heat. Not bad, but it lacks some of the fruity character I so love in the style.

Taste: sweet malt with a little orchardy fruitiness. There's also a little bit of a chalky character (which I like) and a little bit of that alcohol from the aroma. Finish is a little syrupy for my taste.

Mouthfeel: big body with a good smoothness and a pretty good carbonation and creaminess. Not at all bad.

Overall: this beer is a little sweet and I feel like it lacks a certain finesse, but it's a decent enough take on the style.

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Photo of allengarvin
3.71/5  rDev -3.9%
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 majorbase2
3.76/5  rDev -2.6%
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 Apellonious
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
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 StonedTrippin
3.79/5  rDev -1.8%
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 HalfFull
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
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 barczar
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Peach, a touch of pear, and green apple form the aroma, with a lightly toasted, bready backbone emerging in flavor. Dangerously drinkable, for the abv.

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Photo of jellikit
3.91/5  rDev +1.3%
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 ksimons
3.92/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Has a nice golden color with a finger worth of white head. Smell is bready malt, spices, yeast, and sweet fruits. Taste is similar to the smell with a bready malt backbone, fruits, yeast, and spices. Also has a light hop bitterness to it.
Medium body, moderation carbonation, spicy finish
Overall I really enjoyed this beer, very easy to drink, really liked the spicy finish

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Photo of Fear4Beer
3.92/5  rDev +1.6%
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 UCLABrewN84
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottled 8/8/14.

Pours a hazy golden-orange with a foamy beige head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Tiny dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, honey, fruit, earth, spice, and yeast aromas. Taste is much the same with grain, cracker, earth, spice, and yeast flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with a nice mix of spice and yeast qualities all around.

Serving type: bottle.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
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 Zorro
3.97/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chill hazed amber colored ale with a small white colored head.

Smells sweet and fruity with a distinct bubblegum aroma. Lesser scent of apricot. Fainter yet are scents of coriander and pepper.

Starts out mildly sweet and fruity. Spicy with a dried apricot flavor. Alcohol is well hidden.

Good mouthfeel.

Overall a tasty tripel from California.

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Ovila Abbey Tripel from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.86 out of 5 with 222 ratings