Ovila Abbey Saison With Sage
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Ovila Abbey Saison With SageOvila Abbey Saison With Sage
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Farmhouse Ale - Saison
3.85 | pDev: 8.05%
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Ovila Abbey Saison With SageOvila Abbey Saison With Sage
Reviews: 35 | Ratings: 89 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of RMW66
RMW66 from Australia

3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Seems confused to me - abbey style seems to be a pale Belgian style ale, which is more malty than a usual saison. Only slight funk and overwhelming sage / herbal / earthy flavors. Misses the mark IMO.

May 14, 2020
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Vixie from Illinois

3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a nice clear golden yellow color with a slightly off white head that slowly dissipates, leaving a thin layer of foam across the top.

Nice floral outdoors type of smell to this. I feel a good saison should remind me of the outdoors, and this one definitely does. Floral and pepper seem to dominate the smell, and works very well here.

Sweet up front, mostly citrus and honey. The sage adds some spice to it, giving it a touch of pepper, and some light bitterness on the finish.

Solid and smooth going down, with a high amount of carbonation.

Overall I would say a better than average saison. It hits all the right notes for the style, from the look to the smell to the taste. It's too bad this one is retired, I would buy it again.

Jan 02, 2018
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bnes09 from Illinois

3.51/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Golden yellow with a subtle off-white head. Sweet, honey like aroma with hints of sage spice. Dense and syrupy, sweet body with subtle sage and yeast funk. Not very complex and too sweet overall for my taste.

Sep 15, 2017
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rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.72/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I dunno what the deal is, but the ever impressive Sierra Nevada seemingly makes even MORE attractive looking beer in the Ovila series. Let's dive in.

Pours a yellow with good clarity, glow and a full 1" of white head on the top and above average retention and lace. Cool aroma, super allergic to sage, but it works with the phenolic saison yeast.

Taste isn't as phenolic, more of a clean vibe with sage. The sage is noticeable and not just something to write on the side of the bottle. A little bit of a bitter and then dry mouth feel and finish to it. Not highly hopped, but you still get citrus/grapefruit notes, albeit somewhat mildly. Its not a big barnyard funk saison, its more of the clean style, with a truckload of sage. Interesting and good, but no FOMO for sure if you miss it.

Aug 16, 2017
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wmartin from North Carolina

3.13/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

This was brewed once last year and generally available as a boxed set with 2 other kinds of beer. Occasionally you see it sold separately. At this point, it is hard to find any copies anymore, and I really won't recommend acquiring any anyway. This review is to document how the sage flavor held-up over time.

I acquired 2 bottles at the same time by mail order a year ago last spring. Drank one immediately. I found the sage flavor remarkably clear and strong. Making a sage saison makes some sense as saisons lend them selves to herbal overtones, and I think it was well crafted. However, I really didn't like the strong sage flavor all that much. It was a little over-powering and I debated pouring or finishing the second half of the bottle. Because the sage flavor was so clear and crisp, I decided to finish it. If you love sage, this was probably tremendous. I found it difficult. So, what to do with the second bottle? I decided to store it for a year to see if it improved through fading of the sage flavor. It was stored at closet temp (~72F) for 15 months; and I finally dared to try it. Upon opening the closet-aged bottle, I immediately smelled a very nice whiff of sage that was very pleasant, so I had some hope the beer would taste nice as well. However, upon tasting it, the sage flavor had, indeed, experienced quite a drop-off. I would sat 90% of the sage flavor was gone from 15 months of room-temp storage. There was more sage flavor remaining on the nose than the palate. Despite the drop-off of the main feature of this beer (the sage-forward flavor), I actually liked the bottle-aged version better because the fresh version was just too strong. I had no trouble finishing the bottle, but it was good, not great, tasting like a basic ale with a hint of character. The saison yeast flavors were not that strong either.

Review is based on the aged bottle.

Aug 16, 2017
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Wasatch from Colorado

4.02/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Box Set One Of Three


Poured into a tulip a pretty nice clean/clear dark golden yellow color, very nice carbonation, with a very nice thick/creamy one-finger plus white head, which also leaves some pretty nice sticky lacing behind. The nose is malty, yeasty, with a good dose of sage, slight pepper, licorice. The taste is pretty nice, malty, yeasty, with some sage, pepper, licorice. Medium body, ABV hidden pretty well. Overall, a pretty tasty brew.

Jul 30, 2017
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Dewsby from Kentucky

4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L) Pours a lovely amber. The head is an offwhite with good retention and lacing.

S) The sage is definitely present in the aroma. It is an herbaceous bomb with plenty of lemon zest, light caramels, and a bold spice to back it up.

T) The taste covers everything present in the nose, although the spice is more subtle than the nose would indicate. Slight peppercorns with a strong lemon and pleasant malt backbone work wonderfully well with the light hoppiness and herbal overload.

F) Medium carbonation and body. Works very well with everything at play. It has a very "wet" feel and is a pleasure to drink.

O) This is a fantastic saison. Do not purchase without a love for sage, it's unavoidable in this one. Absolutely fantastic beer to pair with any acidic or light food.

Jun 28, 2017
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polloenfuego from Canada (NB)

4.17/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a beautiful clear hay/gold with a fluffy 2 -3 fingers of head. The head takes quite a while to break, and there is generous lacing. The smell is traditional saison, a touch of candi, nice spice with hints of pepper and perhaps a touch of sage. The taste follows the nose, and is quite enjoyable. The pepper and sage are far more present than on the nose. The feel is nice and full with medium carbonation.

A pretty good saison. I liked the addition of the sage, and it went down easy.

Mar 23, 2017
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Tsar_Riga from Indiana

3.96/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Clear copper orange body, thin wispy white head, minimal lacing.

S - Quiet, with hints of limestone, lemon and lime juice, a hit of zest, with floral highlights.

T - Following the nose, with lemon flesh and zest, herbal and peppery elements in the middle, a bit of clay, and a mildly bitter close.

M - Clean open, slightly slick middle and close.

O - The flavors are good, drinkable, and mild. The sage is not too strong, but does color everything. I like a bit more force in the fruit, but it is well-balanced and quite drinkable.

Mar 11, 2017
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Urk1127 from New Jersey

2.6/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 2.5

Semi hazy gold. White head
Italian seasonings smell. More of a rosemary smell.
Taste is 100% herbal seasoning. Almost no sweetness or beer type malt taste behind it. It is incredibly spicy in an herbal way and dry.

I did not care for this. If you like herbs instead of hops this will do you well.

Mar 11, 2017
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Billolick from New York

4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased as part of last years boxed set of three alternate Ovila brews...thanks for aging it for me and only charging $9.99 for three caged and corked bombers...now that is a good value...

Pours pretty near clear, lighter almond amber, with bubbles continuing to rise, leaves nice looking fields of lacing up and down the glass

Sniff is strongly of sage and of pepper

Different take on the beloved saison style...heavy sage all over this one, spicy and biting...would be great with some kicked up and spicy thanksgiving stuffing/dressing with plenty of sage and pepper...

As a stand alone its basically a one and done deal...nice beer that would be great with thanksgiving dinner, but beyond that, I'm happy to have had the chance to try it

Dec 14, 2016
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

part of that little box set they did last year, been hanging out in the cellar and thanksgiving seemed like the time for these high culinary potential beers. the saison here was first, and it doesnt look the part at all, although its a beautiful glass of beer. honey colored and perfectly crystal clear, odd to look at a saison with no haze at all. head is thick and frothy and holds well. also easily aroused after it settles with a twirl of the glass. aroma here of fresh white sage leaves, the same ones in our stuffing and on our bird. they are herbaceous and strong, unmistakable. the saison yeast is the weak link here, its more of a belgian strain, nothing rustic or farmhouse about this at all, just too clean for a saison, better as a belgian golden. the sage flavor is awesome, and likes the spice notes in the belgian yeast, but i for one wouldnt mind a little funk to this. might be better still as a wild ale, but i like it being clean too, works great with the food. some residual sugar here from the grain too, which seems more than just wheat based, fuller bodied and with a honey note. good carbonation but the beer is not particularly delicate. a more sturdy take on the style, not exactly what we have come to expect in saison, but a really well made beer, aged well for a out a year, and perfect on the table with our holiday feast! the sage is potent, but its great with food.

Nov 26, 2016
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DBosco from Massachusetts

3.84/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Clear lemon gold with slowly settling white head. Many bubbles, which oddly seemed to be rising a little slower than usual - perhaps due to a sweeter thicker liquid or maybe it is that there are so many bubbles and the ones near the glass rise more slowly? Strong smell of sage, which dominates the otherwise clean odor. Taste is very strong with the sage, with a background of medicinal clove and sweetness. Mouthfeel is prickly with carbonation, and some alcohol warmth. Overall, this is pretty good - a clean taste but with some overly strong components - the sage could be dialed back 30% and it is too sweet and medicinal.

Nov 19, 2016
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LiquidAmber from Washington

4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a medium golden amber with a half finger white head with good retention and lots of lacing. Aroma of sweet grainy malt, sage, saison yeast. Flavor is semi-sweet pale and grainy malt, hints of light fruit, sage, starting with a real Belgian yeast and light fruit profile, but drying out into a slightly funky, farmhouse finish with light hops and sage bitterness. Medium bodied with light creaminess. There is a little more Belgian pale ale malt here than I'd expect in a saison, but it lingers only a while until the more rustic sage and saison yeast flavors carry into the finish. I enjoy this flavor progression and it gives this a little more unique flavor than a strictly uniform saison. The sage is well handled; distinct in both aroma and taste, but acting like a light bittering agent in the end; I'm not even sure whether this is lightly hopped, it may be just herbally bittered. I like it and am quite pleased as this was the bottle I had least expectations for from this boxed set. So far, these have been quite solid.

Nov 04, 2016
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GratefulBeerGuy from New Hampshire

3.58/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Looks about right, hazy straw golden color, mid sized tower of white foam, but recedes rather fast to a minimal lace.
The Aroma is dominated by sage, the balance in aroma and flavor ends with the sage addition. Light, dry earthy yeast and perhaps to much malt for the aroma.
Flavor is much of the same, a rather bland yeast effect, too much sweet malt and big sage effect the entire way.
The feel is to relaxed, malty and heavy. This is my favorite beer style and without a nice, complex, jazzy or funky yeast effect the beer just becomes a bit off balance.
I liked the sage idea, was it executed well?....not in my opinion. It could've worked with a more potent yeast strain and lighter bodied, jazzy feel. This style should be rather complex but also refreshing.
This box of three Americanized Abbey brews. 750 ml. Bottles was still a good deal at $25 .

Aug 02, 2016
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Brutaltruth from Ohio

3.34/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

From the 750 ml bottle in a snifter. This clear golden saison pours with a
thick tight beaded bead of white foam that settles to a thick ring, thin layer, and
nice lacing. Nose of Belgian yeast, herbal sage, crackers, and odd mineral notes.
Flavors follow the nose but are overpowered by the mineral flavors and sage
aftertaste that lingers a bit too long....like WAY too long with touches of
crackers and lemon zest this is one brew that was more pleasant colder than
warmer. Decent mouth feel with a dry finish and lingering bitterness from the hops
and sage.

Overall this is the lesser of the 3 pack (which includes the quad and dubbel).
If you like sage this is up your alley, but it misses the mark in my opinion.

This ale is much like a pregnant yak....lacking balance.

Jul 17, 2016
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stevoj from Idaho

3.49/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle share on 7/2. Pours out a hazy golden with soft white head. mellow aroma of sage works well with the saison notes. Taste also reflects this blend, the sage adding earthy, herbal, floral notes. Slippery consistency.

Jul 10, 2016
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puboflyons from New Hampshire

3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From the corked, caged 750 ml. bottle with no date but it was part of the 2016 three-pack. Sampled on July 4, 2016.

The pour is a handsome looking mahogany amber with a small white head that fades fast.

There are definite herbal notes on the nose but the Sage seems rather downplayed considering that is meant to be the main spice. Sage is one of my favorite herbs and I only get a touch of it. Otherwise toasted Belgian malts.

Medium and better body.

The taste has a mellow Belgian toasted bread and biscuit note before the herbal bite kicks in. Sage has a distinctive after taste and I get it along with Rosemary, which is similar.

Jul 04, 2016
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MikeWard from Pennsylvania

3.81/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

bottled shared with my niece, thanks Ali.

slightly hazy yellowish orange body with a small off white head.

Lot of hits on the nose. Sage of course, but also some lemon and a slight mustiness. Something else i could not put my finger on.

The sage pretty much dominates the taste, giving the beer a somewhat bitter feel. On the taste, the saison is lost a bit, and this comes off like a herb/spiced beer. not unpleasant on the taste at all.

Feel is around medium. Finish is bitter

Overall, an interesting beer to try. Am intrigued to try the other variants.

Jun 20, 2016
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archyquaffer from Montana

3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I'm drinking this beer on Father's Day during the 7th game of the NBA finals (Cavaliers 93 Warriors 89). Poured from a magnum bottle into a clear glass chalice. A semi-aggressive pour produces a frothy one inch head of a cream color. The beer is a pale amber color with perhaps just a touch of haze and light carbonation.

The sage is very distinct on the nose. A bit of a lemon-lime aroma sneaks in beneath and perhaps also some mint. The sage is quite dominant in the flavor, particularly at first, but it recedes just enough to allow some tartness, earthiness and bready notes to balance the strong herbal and spice flavors. A light earthy funk hints of its presence and becomes more apparent as the beer warms. Hints of possible DMS suggesting cooked cabbage are perceived. The herbal aroma remains strong as I work my way through the magnum bottle.

This is a unique beer and helped to satisfy my curiosity about herb flavored beer. I admit I was taken aback at first by the assertive sage aroma-flavor but once my palate adjusted the flavors seemed to balance out and mesh. The herbs are overbearing in the aroma, however, which reduces this beer's drinkability for me. Another reviewer suggested this beer might go well with Thanksgiving dinner. I could also imagine drinking this with roasted chicken or a pork loin, but probably not very much of it. I purchased this as part of a variety three pack of magnum bottles for around $26.

Jun 20, 2016
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DrBocktopus from Mississippi

4.31/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Consumed in a tulip glass.
Appearance: Clear, amber, little head
Smell: Herbal, spicy, and peppery, classic Belgian
Taste: Spicy and peppery flavors with the added zest of sage. Just enough malt to keep it in balance, but it had a slightly bitter and unpleasant aftertaste.
Mouthfeel: Light and zesty. It dances on the tip of the tongue without being too effervescent.

Overall: Great example of a saison. The addition of sage was a good move.

Jun 12, 2016
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Ozzylizard from Pennsylvania

4.12/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle dated 020216 at 42 degrees into a hand washed and dried JK snifter, allowed to warm to 50 degrees
Aroma light, sage and some yeast phenolics, doesn’t last the entire glass
Head average (Maximum 3.8 cm, aggressive pour), off white, frothy, diminishing to an irregular three to six mm ring and an irregular thin to frothy layer
Lacing fair – partial rings of tiny to small bubbles and isolated islands
Body – medium yellow, chill haze
Flavor – sage and yeast; no hops, no malt, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate light to medium, watery, lively carbonation

Very nice – the sage cuts the fruitiness of the usual saison and adds a nice herbal, almost dry, touch. Something I would definitely buy again.

Appearance 4, Aroma 3.75, Flavor 4.25, Palate 4.25, Overall 4.25

Jun 09, 2016
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StraightNoChaser from Georgia

4.02/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

look: Honey-Gold with big soapy white head and lacing. Mostly clear except for the steady stream of rising bubbles.
smell: Sage is front and center. A bit of yeast and spice in the distant background.
taste: Much like the nose. Sage is quite prominent and not much else. There's a mild bitterness in the finish. If you're a sage nut, this one's for you.

Jun 05, 2016
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arizcards from North Carolina

3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up as part of the Ovila three pack in early April for $25.

Beer poured golden orange with a beautiful white head upon the initial pour.

Nose is saison yeast phenols and sage.

Taste has a hint of funk, sage, saison yeast phenols, and pepper.

Mouthfeel is classic belgian as this is so light and smooth.

Overall this beer is a nice representation of the saison style with the sage twist. Sage works very nicely in this genre. Check it out if you come across this.

Jun 04, 2016
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HattedClassic from Virginia

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

The beer pours a nice white bubbly head that dissipates fairly quickly. The beer itself is a nice clear medium amber color that is actually pretty nice to look at. It's certainly darker than the style but it works since it's light enough to resemble something close to it.

The smell is pretty nice. It has earthy floral bitterness and yeast notes that you expect from a saison but has a nice spice note from the sage. It isn't a super complex smell but a fairly simple one. Even though the spice sometimes dominates the beer, the hops manage to find their way back.

The taste is good. The taste has the same bitter floral hop notes and slightly banana Belgian yeast notes with the sage. The main difference is that the sage is not as prominent.

The feel is pretty good. It is a nice medium bodied beer wiht some nice tingling carbonation to it and gives a bit of texture. It has a smooth slightly thin feel to it.

Overall, a fairly good and interesting saison. It doesn't stray too far from the style guidelines but adds an interesting note to it. The execution definitely makes this one worth a try. Go for it.

Jun 02, 2016
Ovila Abbey Saison With Sage from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 89 ratings