Ovila White Ale
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Ovila White AleOvila White Ale
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Wheat Beer - Witbier
Ranked #32
Ranked #12,816
3.96 | pDev: 7.32%
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States
Very Good
Ovila White AleOvila White Ale
Notes: The monks at the Abbey of New Clairvaux hold themselves to a higher standard. So when they challenged us to create a beer that transcends all others, our brewers blended Old World tradition with modern-day mastery to deliver the perfect expression of Belgian-Style witbier worthy of a goblet but comfortable in a pint.
Reviews: 42 | Ratings: 112 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.53/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Yet another Sierra Nevada review from the backlog. Not sure whether Bruery or Sierra Nevada are champ, but I'm damn sure I have over 100 reviews of each.

Pours golden. Slight haze. 4/5" white head, very pristine, great retention to it. Aroma hit the citrusy wheat note, coriander but not much else from the spice rack. And now I think I know where they're trying to go with this one.

Taste is easy going, there seems to be a bigger wheat percentage here than the more famous one(s) that have a good amount of market share behind them. Still citrus and coriander. Is there a peppercorn note here or am I confusing this with another beer? Seems like it, also pushed by a bouyant carbonation level.

Its a well made beer and I know which group of drinkers they're going after. Its not necessarily my cup of tea, but I can respect it for what it is, and why they made it.

Jul 31, 2020
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penguinsgoboom from California

4.17/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a thick one finger head. Color is a hazy light straw

S: Heavy coriander, wheat, yeast, a muskiness,

T: Begins with a citrus fruitiness, then the wheat and coriander really come to play. Finishes clean.

O: This is a great representation of the style. Solid Belgian witbier. Refreshing.

Jan 15, 2019
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Davedrinkinbeer from Indiana

4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very good Belgian Witbier. I prefer this to the more popular witbiers on the market. Beer is well balanced, very drinkable, and leaves a pleasant aftertaste. I will have to get more of this in the future. Sierra Nevada has made some great collaboration beers and this is no different.

Oct 27, 2018
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Ciocanelu from Romania

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

Hazy light golden color with a bit of white head. Aroma is slightly spicy with bittersweet orange peel. Taste is sweet, grainy and just slightly spicy with a light bitterness on the finish. Light body with medium plus carbonation. Overall it's a decent wit but not very intense.

Jul 25, 2018
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jkblr from Indiana

4.09/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottled 4/10/18 (nearly 3 months ago) poured into a chalice 5.3% ABV. Purchased at the SN gift shop in Mills River, NC. I've wanted to try this beer since it came out but have never seen it and apparently it doesn't even move quickly at the brewery. The beer pours mostly bright light straw yellow with a nearly white head which recedes to a small island and leaves a small amount of lacing. The aroma is equal parts wheat and coriander. The taste is semisweet wheat interwoven with citrus and coriander. No bitterness to speak of. The mouthfeel is medium to thin bodied, well carbonated and mostly dry in the finish. Overall, very good. It's a shame that this beer isn't more widely distributed. It's very well done, restrained in adjuncts and quite enjoyable. That's coming from someone who rarely enjoys a Witbier.

Jul 08, 2018
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drdiesel9483 from Ohio

4.23/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Look - pale yellow color with a slight white head. Slight haze
Smell - wheat coriander scent with slight citrus, Belgium yeast
Taste - a little more citrus than the scent but good light wheatiness and coriander.
Feel - medium light body with a crisp light carbonation
Overall - great Belgian white!

Jun 02, 2018
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Fear4Beer from Pennsylvania

3.51/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

This review might be a little unfair to the beer since I had it in the cellar for almost exactly one year. So the beer probably tastes different than if you were to buy a fresh bottle at a local beer store.

I've had a LOT of Belgian beers, it is one of my favorite styles (dubbels, triples, etc). This beer to me seemed flat, and that's possibly due to sitting for a year. Everything seemed a bit muted. But it was still drinkable and smooth. I wouldn't recommend letting this beer sit around for a long time.

I'll have to try it again some time and edit this review. I'm leaving this review here as a mental note that I did drink this brew.

May 22, 2018
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AyatollahGold from Indiana

4.16/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured 12 oz. bottle into chimay goblet.
Beer pours a beautiful straw color. Almost lemon like when held up to the light. Thin white crown sits on top.
Smell is fresh earthy smells like oranges and floral mixed with straw. Great smell but wish it was a little stronger.
The taste is that freshness too. Oranges and lemon with floral and straw notes. Very good.
The mouthfeel is crisp. Refreshing. Perfect carbonation.
Overall, I wasn't let down by this brew.

Apr 25, 2018
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NeroFiddled from Pennsylvania

4.39/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. "Ovila White Ale"
12 fl. oz. brown glass bottle, PKGD 04/03/17 2058"
$2.49 @ Total Wine & More, Cherry Hill, NJ

Notes via stream of consciousness: Ah, Sierra Nevada, a brewery I can always count on. But this is a pretty old bottle so let's see how it goes. Nice slightly hazy yellow gold body beneath a short head of bright white. So good so far. Aroma of orange and lemon and coriander with some yeasty phenols over a delicately sweet malt base. Good again, and I'd imagine that if it's lost anything it would be in the aroma but it's fine so let's continue. Mmmmm, great flavor. The spices are soft and blend in with the wheaty and lightly sweet malt perfectly. The coriander adds more of a spiciness than flavor, and along with a moderate bitterness it finishes mostly dry with a little bit of everything lingering gently in the finish. Soft in the mouth with a gently tingling effervescence upfront before it warms to become more supple and smooth. This is very easy to drink, and quite satisfying and enjoyable. I'm probably drinking it faster than I should but it just keeps calling back to me. A perfect example of the style, unlike some of those heavier and sweeter versions (Blue Moon I'm looking at you). Oddly I've never had this before, but now that I know it's out there I'll be looking for it. A new favorite of mine. Absolutely worth seeking out for fans of the style.

Feb 07, 2018
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KTCamm from New Jersey

3.82/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12/29/17...pale muted yellow, some white foam. Classic wit nose, citrus and wheat at the forefront. Citrus forward flavor, wheaty, smooth. Juicy too. All wheat in the mouthfeel, very smooth.

Feb 04, 2018
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Riff from Virginia

3.79/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a cloudy yellow color with a large, white head that quickly fades away. Dominant smell is coriander, notes of malt, cloves, and wheat. Slight hint of funk. Tastes of coriander, cloves, white pepper, wheat, sweet malt. Medium light body, dry finish. Very drinkable, could session this easily, and would be a nice summer drink.

Jan 26, 2018
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BenHoppy from Michigan

3.64/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A cloudy yellow appearance with flavors of peppery lemon and orange with a bit of dryness. The lemon is over powering and having had other witbiers, this one is just okay.

Jan 21, 2018
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Gajo74 from New York

3.93/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an incredible pale and cloudy straw orange color. Not much of a head on this sucker.
In the nose there is a slight funkiness at first, but it is fleeting. Aromas of orange, coriander, pale malts and wheat.
Medium to light bodied, prickly carbonation, and clean when served cold. As the drink warms, the flavors open up; orange peel, gummy wheat texture, peppery spice, cloves. The dry finish increases drinkability.
Simple and well made. This one grew on me.

Dec 12, 2017
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Tone from Missouri

4.04/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy straw color. 5/4 inch head of a white color. Great retention and decent lacing. Smells of strong pale malt, sweet malt, coriander, clove, citrus hops, and yeast. Fits the style of a Witbier. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of strong pale malt, sweet malt, coriander, clove, citrus hops, hint of caramel malt, and strong yeast. Overall, good blend, body, and aroma.

Nov 27, 2017
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andrewh995 from Arizona

4.16/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a semi hazy gold with a white head. Smells of coriander, sweet wheat, white pepper, and yeast. Tastes of sweet wheat/malt, white pepper, coriander, orange peel, Belgian yeast, and other spices. Medium creamy body with medium carbonation. Overall an incredible witbier.

Oct 26, 2017
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1000lbgrizzly from Illinois

4.06/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Slightly hazy yellow-golden body with streams of fine carbonation rising to support a white, delicate head. The nose offers crisp aromas of orange rind and coriander as well as hints of baking spices like allspice and clove. The flavor is also based on these two flavors but adds something akin to wheat-derived vanilla, and the finish alternates between bubblegum and Hamm's, both of which I am fine with, although more exacting critics would probably deduct major points. It is light bodied and has a solid, almost aggressive, zip of carbonation.
I loved this beer. It kept it light, crisp, and refreshing (none of that dusty chalky yeast flavor most witbiers have). The unexpected, somewhat 'macro' flavors of bubblegum and Hamm's might turn off some, but I like a beer with a within-style surprise.

Oct 17, 2017
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Brian_L-2056 from West Virginia

4.21/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a clear pale yellow color until I stopped pouring and swirled the remainder in the bottle around and got the good stuff off the bottom of the bottle, finished pouring into hazy pale yellow color. One finger head that disappears quickly. Smell is spicy and fruity with only a hint of any hops. Initial taste is much like a Hefe or wheat brew but with more of the spicy coriander notes. There is a little bit of lacing as well. The aftertaste is more coriander and a little hops, overall this is a solid brew that I hope to enjoy more of, well done

Oct 14, 2017
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mactrail from Washington

3.49/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Clear golden color, long-lasting foam, and bubbles streaming in the Rodenbach goblet. Crisp and fizzy in the mouth. Dry and scratchy with a mineral finish. Quite aromatic with coriander, though there are hints of clove and allspice.

Aftertaste is even a little sourish. My only complaint is the excessive spice taste which adds some gritty, dirty notes to what is otherwise an elegant brew. From the six pack of 12 oz bottles.

Oct 13, 2017
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Zorro from California

4.47/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pale cloudy sunny yellow beer with a medium sized white colored ale.

Smells intensely of Belgian yeast and spice even from a distance. Smells sweet and floral with lots of coriander and a strong allspice scent. Scent of fresh mixed bread mixes with the powdery scent of Belgian wheat beer yeast. Lesser scents of honeysuckle and sage honey. This is a notably aromatic ale.

Starts out mildly sweet and malty with a lovely spice and cake batter after taste. Wheat cracker malt flavor with something like cahe batter in the after taste. Bitter is mild but detectable and a flavor element of its' own.

Mouthfeel is thick without being choking or resembling drinking pancake batter.

Overall a very nice surprise. This is Sierra Nevada so I expected a decent beer. But this is better than that. This tastes as good as the best example you will ever get from actual Belgium. Highly recommended.

Oct 07, 2017
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0panther0 from Illinois

3.94/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

L - pale yellow cloudy appearance, nice that quickly dissipates, a lot of carbonation
S - citrus, earthy but weak aroma
T - spice, citrus, licorice... nice full flavored... crisp, dry finish
F - good body but strong carbonation
O - earthy, spicy, complex flavors... a little too carbonated... very enjoyable

Sep 24, 2017
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basaywhat from Illinois

4.16/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Pours a clear gold with a finger of foam that lingers a tad. Nice soft banana esters and coriander with a touch of citrus aromas. Bitter and peppery on the palate with a mild clove honey note. Very good example of the style.

Sep 23, 2017
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barnzy78 from Illinois

3.9/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, PKGD 04/03/17
Cloudy straw colored ale with a thinner white head that fades to a thin foam. Zesty orange, peppery coriander, wit yeast and wheat on the nose. Flavors are nicely balanced with notes of cracked wheat malt, orange zest, spicy hops and yeast, and peppery coriander. Medium body, pleasant carbonation, finishing zesty and peppery. Overall, very good representation of the style; very refreshing and flavorful.

Sep 20, 2017
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doktorhops from Australia

3.91/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Oooo, new Sierra Nevada has arrived on our sunny shores - just in time for spring too! It’s another in their Ovila range which are beers brewed in collaboration with the monks at the Abbey of New Clairvaux in California. I had SN’s Abbey Tripel back in 2015 and I wasn’t blown away, it was technically well made but missing that touch of character you get in Tripels like Karmeliet and Westmalle... oh yeah and it was expensive AF at $17 per 375ml bottle. This one sits in more of a reasonable price bracket (I think it was around $30 per 6-er). Anyway, judging by other reviews SN are on to something special here, they really are still a top flight brewer in my books ever since I started drinking craft beer (about 9-10 years ago now... yikes!).

Poured from a 355ml bottle into a Chimay chalice.

A: Pale, almost phosphorescent (spooky!) hazy straw-coloured body with a firm powder-white head that sticks around well. This is a damn fine looking Witbier, damn fine! There’s a density in this head that really draws you in for a hearty gulp. 9/10.

S: Coriander spice and orange peel upfront and ever-present - classic Wit territory. Other notes include lemon, dry cracker, peppery character. Hint of phenolic clove as well. This is all fairly standard Wit stuff, for me this aroma could use a bit more oomph, but otherwise it’s OK. 7/10.

T: This beer immediately reminds me of how Hoegaarden Original tasted before it got bought out by InBev and watered down for the mass market - Ovila White Ale has all the Hoegaarden flavours: Coriander, orange peel, dry cracker, pepper and a hint of clove. Only difference is that this has the dial turned up to 9 (instead of Hoegaarden’s 5). Let this warm up a little and the flavours really come shining through, classy stuff from Chico California. 8/10.

M: Medium bodied, fairly creamy, gotta love that influence from the wheat - it really makes the mouthfeel wholesome. 8/10.

D: Great stuff from SN yet again! This is one of their more subtle brews, but sometimes in subtlety we find great depth - and Ovila White Ale has depth. It’s one that I’ll come back to again as decent Witbiers are not easy to find. Sure Hoegaarden body slams this on price, but put the two together and I’m sure you’d notice a world of difference between them (ones watered down AF and the other tastes like a decent Witbier). Cheers SN! 8/10.

Food match: Lighter fare such as salads, chicken, crumbly cheeses.

Sep 04, 2017
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Mindcrime1000 from South Dakota

4.2/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a single-serve bottle into a wheat beer glass

Pours a hazy and golden color, though a skosh darker than a true wit--more like an American Wheat (i.e. a Boulevard Wheat or something similar). The head looks nice, but is a little subdued. However, the carbonation is excellent and so is the lacing.

The aroma is skewed a little tart, with lemon a little more present than classic estery banana. There are clove and coriander too as promised. Overall, it's a pleasant smell, but it's a little lacking in something, including strength. Nice, but not spectacular.

The palate is pretty special in many ways. Big fruity esters take the main stage, with the expected (banana) but with other nice players as well including honey, apple, pear, and, maybe most of all, lemon. The spice is strong in this, with phenolic clove leading the charge, and coriander in the background. The flavor is a bit more aggressive than a typical wit, but that isn't a problem at all when the flavors are this good and complex.

The mouthfeel is pretty classic for the style. Light to medium bodied, with just enough carbonation and sourness at the finish to remain crisp and semi-dry.

Overall, this is a fine take on one of my favorite styles. It doesn't quite look or smell like a wit, but it sure tastes like a great one.

Aug 13, 2017
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superspak from Ohio

4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into Sierra Nevada pint glass, bottled on 5/24/2017. Pours opaquely hazy pale golden/yellow color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense and fluffy white head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of big lemon, orange peel, pear, apple, coriander, peppercorn, clove, light banana/bubblegum, wheat, cracker, white bread dough, herbal, grass, and yeast earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of fruity/earthy yeast, spices, and pale malt notes; with great strength. Taste of big lemon, orange peel, pear, apple, coriander, peppercorn, clove, light banana/bubblegum, wheat, cracker, white bread dough, herbal, grass, and yeast earthiness. Light herbal/grassy bitterness and yeast/coriander spiciness on the finish. Lingering notes of lemon, orange peel, pear, apple, coriander, peppercorn, clove, light banana/bubblegum, wheat, cracker, white bread dough, herbal, grass, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a while. Awesome complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/earthy yeast, spices, and pale malt flavors; with an great malt/bitter/spiciness balance, and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Slight dryness from bitter/spiciness. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, moderately creamy/bready/grainy, and lightly sticky balanced mouthfeel that is awesome. Zero warming alcohol as expected of 5.3%. Overall this is an outstanding witbier! All around awesome complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/earthy yeast, spices, and pale malt flavors; very smooth and highly refreshing to drink. Amazingly flavorful for the ABV; with perfectly balanced yeast, spices, and pale/wheat malt flavors. A highly enjoyable offering. Once of the best I have had, flawless example of the style.

Aug 12, 2017
Ovila White Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 112 ratings