Ovila Abbey Dubbel | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

very good
454 Reviews
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Ovila Abbey DubbelOvila Abbey Dubbel

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

Style: Dubbel

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Thorpe429 on 03-12-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
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Reviews: 454 | Ratings: 1,035
Photo of Sammy
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Corked bottle. Pour cloudy light golden colour with good head. A great blend of a dubbel and candy, light fruit, hops, and spice. Superior for the style and excellent drinkability. I would seek this one out and use it to transition Coors people toward good beer.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly hazy brown with a 2 inch puffy beige head that settles to a thin film. Random chunks of lace stick to the sides of the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, dark fruits, spices, and some Belgian yeast aromas. Taste is of malt, dark fruits, and some spice flavors. There is a slight bitterness that comes with each sip. This beer has a high level of carbonation with a crisp and prickly mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good dubbel but I was expecting something much different and to be honest, much better.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

an excellent dubbel, not too sweet, but sweeter than many. it pours a brick red to brown color, with a muddy haze to it and an excitible but not tall white head. the nose is molasses and sweeter malt, some spice from the yeast too, no hops to speak of. the flavor is in line with the nose, tons of malt supporting this one, a rich beer, lots of subtle flavors here, dried fruit, vanilla, and some wood. the feel is excellent. smoother than most belgian beers ive had, lighter in carbonation but plenty full of body. i like the mix, and its down easy for tha reason. wonderful as it warms too. overall a classic beer, so much going on and so much to appreciate. one bottle just isnt enough!

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Photo of Knapp85
3.57/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Popped the cork with a loud bang. This brew had a very lively tan headin it along with a decent brown color that was a little hazy. The smell of dark fruits & spice on the nose, not a whole lot of yeast aromas. This was too light on the mouthfeel, I found it went flat very quickly. The head vanishes and the brew just became kind of boring in my opinion. I expected a little more from Sierra Nevada here but I don't think this brew really turned out that great.

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Photo of metter98
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear amber in color and poured with a finger high beige head.
S: There are light aromas of brown sugar and caramel in the nose.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell and has additional flavors of dates and nuts.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a light amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is rather easy to drink because the alcohol is well masked from the taste.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

While the story behind Ovila Dubbel is sensational, the beer carries a mystique of the highest of quality and flavor, even before its release.

The Dubbel pours with a mohogany amber color with a multiple shades of brown. Quite clear with only the modest of a haze. A creamy off-white head covers the beer with a heavy blanket of foam. Much more dense and weighted of a look than is normal for classic dubbel ales and without the lively carbonation that's normally associated with the style.

Muted aromas of barley malt, chesnuts, and with a mild spicy-fruity yeastiness that gives a simple and refined scent. Though the quality of aroma is high, the intensity is subtle.

Malty rich with deep caramel, almost toffee, along with a peanut brittle (without the peanuts) flavor. Estery influence of berries, cherries, and apples accompany the malt sweetness and give a much welcomed variety in taste. Decorated by peppery spice from yeast and by cleanly bitter hops, the balance pulls back from purely malt-focus but the beer retains it's malt forward taste. Again, a tasty beer but a somewhat simplistic flavor spread.

Creamy and full early, the beer retains a lot of its weight deep into the mid palate before a stubborn transition toward a malty dry finish. Carbonation keeps the beer creamy, but never the light and airy evaporation that's famed in such beers as Chimay Premiere or Ommegang Abbey Ale.

While the flavors that are present are clean, crisp, fresh, and high in quality, the beer lacks an overall level of complexity, depth, and layering that make authentic Belgian versions so endearing. The relatively low carbonation gives the impression of heightened sweetness and weight that steers the beer even further away from the whimsy that is a Belgian Dubbel.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

25.4oz bottle, with a very wine-esque looking label. It took a bit of research to determine that 'New Clairvaux' is actually an abbey founded in California, and not the Low Countries.

This beer pours a somewhat cloudy, very dark burnt amber colour, with two fingers of thinly creamy pale beige head, which leaves but a few specks of lace as it readily recedes.

It smells mildly of dark fruity malts, some roasted biscuity pale grain, a mild nuttiness, and a middling earthy yeastiness. The taste is fruity dark malt, subtle standalone earthy confectioners' sugar, some further date/fig sweetness, a waning dry yeast essence, and leafy, kind of musty hops.

The carbonation is rather average, the body a supportive medium weight, and a wee bit tacky, so smoothness is a particularly contentious issue. It finishes fairly sweet, the muted caramel malt ceding little ground, but that dusty barn aura not quite keen on giving in either.

A respectable initial (I think) attempt at a rarefied old-world style, and modeled on the new world instances of the same. Sweet malt, somewhat complex contrary players, but just not in the same heady vein as one hopes for from such a seemingly symbiotic Golden State contender. Ok to drink, but not in the portion provided.

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Photo of brentk56
3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: After the most powerful popping of a cork I have ever encountered in beerdom, the beer poured out with a modest cap as if nothing had happened; the color of the liquid was mahogany and there was a smattering of lace left behind

Smell: Brown sugar, caramel and vanilla, with undertones of oak, figs and cherry

Taste: The caramel and vanilla tones dominate the front end, with some dried dark fruit, brown sugar and earthy elements building up in the middle; the earthy flavors, including some oak, add a counterpoint to the sweetness after the swallow, leaving a nicely balanced impression

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, rather creamy, with low to moderate carbonation; lacks the delicate mouthfeel I seek in a Belgian style

Overall: I find myself slightly disappointed in this beer as I would have expected more complexity and a better mouthfeel from Sierra Nevada; a decent effort here and gets better as it warms, but nothing more

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.6/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a dark brown color ale with a large off-white foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of light fruity ester, sweet malt is enticing though light alcohol ester is not that pleasant. Taste is a good mix between some sweet malt notes with light note of fruity ester and some dry raisins notes. Body is quite full with good carbonation and light alcohol is apparent. Interesting though there is something (I am guessing it might be the yeast train) in the Ovila series that doesn’t do it for me.

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Photo of LXIXME
3.76/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear burnt red cherry color beneath a big light tan head that recedes leaving a light frothy lacing with a thin layer of slowly popping carbonation bubbles.

The aroma is a mixture of light malts, fruits, grains, with slight hint of yeast on basically a very washed out wine grapes smell.

The taste is similar to the aroma in that you taste what you think is grains and malts and the next taste is seems you get more fruit with a maltiness to it and back and forth you go. Although it's quite an enjoyable drink because this beer has a mouth feel to it I really liked, much thinker, frothier than most standard American beers.

A light almost woody aftertaste, not wet and not dry, it kinda reminded me of the feeling you have when you play with the toothpick that's in your mouth.

I would like to try this beer with one of its recommended food pairings, I think that would be a pretty darn good meal.

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Photo of zeff80
3.97/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, burgundy color with a two-finger, tan head of very bubbly foam. It left sudsy trails of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of dried fruits - mostly plum and raisin.

T - It tasted of plum, currants, raisin and a good spicy bite. It had a good bready malt backbone.

M - It was crisp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry, clean finish.

O - This is a very good dubbel. The Ovila collaborations have been very nice.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle at the special session at Extreme Beer Fest. Apparently the world premiere.

Pours a medium chestnut brown with a light tan head. Nose brings some mild nuttiness and some dark fruits--raisins and a bit of date character. Mild caramel and bread in the background. Flavor is stronger with good fruit and sweetness plus some malt. Well rounded. Body is medium with light to moderate carbonation. Drinkability is nice. Good story and a pretty good beer.

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Photo of nickfl
3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - The cork comes out with a loud pop, and the beer pours into the glass with a large, two finger head of off-white foam. The body is a dark amber-brown with good clarity and the head settles slowly and leaves average lace.

S - A light aroma of toffee malt with a little bit of caramel in the background and some clove. Surprisingly mild, overall.

T - Bready toffee malt up front with a little bit of spicy clove. Some pepper and more clove yeast character come out in the middle with a bit of pear. The beer finishes up with more toffee and dark toast as well as spicy hops and mild bitterness.

M - Medium-thick body, moderately high carbonation, and a dry finish.

D - Not bad, but really not as good as I hoped it would be. There is a lot of spicy character from the yeast and a bit of appropriately herbal hop character, but the malt is really lacking. Instead of the rich caramel and toffee that I would like to see in this sort of beer, I get a mild toasty toffee that is lacking in depth and darkness. It is better, and much dryer/drinkable, than the draught version, but it isn't on par with any of the real Trappist dubbels that I have had.

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Photo of oberon
3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my Ommegang goblet an amber tinged brown with a fluffy slight off white head atop,aromas of brown sugar,light roasted nut,and phenolic spice,smells quite sweet.The palate is on the sweeter side with dark fruit and brown sugar dominating,the phenols pack a hefty spiced punch as well.Its not bad but it isnt overly complex, and on the sweeter side for my taste.

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Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into chalice, bottled on 2/21/2011. Pours fairly crystal clear deep ruby red color with a 1 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of raisin, plum, cherry, pear, apple, fig, caramel, brown sugar, toast, brown bread, light chocolate, clove, herbal, light pepper, and yeast/toasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of fruity/earthy yeast and dark/bready malt sweetness; with good strength. Taste of raisin, plum, cherry, fig, pear, apple, caramel, brown sugar, toast, brown bread, light chocolate, clove, herbal, light pepper, and yeast/toast earthiness. Light earthy yeast spice on the finish; with lingering notes of raisin, plum, cherry, pear, apple, fig, caramel, brown sugar, toast, brown bread, light chocolate, clove, herbal, light pepper, and yeast/toast earthiness on the finish for a while. Damn nice complexity and robustness of fruity/earthy yeast and dark/bready malt sweetness; with a great malt/yeast balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, fairly crisp, and lightly slick/bready mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent dubbel style. All around great complexity and balance of fruity/earthy yeast and dark/bready malt sweetness; and very smooth to sip on. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of jlindros
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big fluffy white 2+ finger head fades semi slowly with lots of messy lacing, semi clear dark molasses reddish brown color.

Nose some darker fruit, light dark malts, light candi sugar, light esthery Belgian boozy some typical in big Belgians, light spices and clove, touch of hazelnut, touch of herbal hops.

Taste is lighter than I expected, soft Belgian malts, light candi sugar, some darker Belgian yeast fruit, light esthery booze, light spices, clove, nutty, hazelnut, light herbal hops, bit of a bock taste, semi sweet and little syrupy. Finishes still a bit sweet, done lingering fruit and malts, and nutty tastes.

Mouth is med bodied, lots of carbonation, very light warming booze.

Overall decent, typical dubbel, semi sweet, bit estery, light herbal hops, not too boozy, decent, could have dried a bit more on the finish though.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ovila Dubbel
25.4 fl. oz bottle; corked and caged.
Ink jet coded: 1047613:31
Purchased warm and stored upright for three week before chilling to 40˚F for two weeks.

The refrigerated bottle opened with quite a "crack" but the beer did not rise up in the neck. A careful pour delivered a hazy deep-russet brown body beneath a one-finger thick head of pillowy khaki lace. When held to the light it revealed glowing crimson-orange edges along the glass. The head dropped fairly quickly to a quarter inch cap, but then held steady.

In the nose I found hints of peppery spiciness and sweetish clove amidst a soft, dark skinned fruitiness.

The flavor was much fuller than the nose suggested, I was pleasantly surprised to learn just how rich it was, offering up plenty of the malt that was missing in the aroma. It was caramelish and sugary with an undertone of cocoa that became more apparent in the finish. The yeasty pepperiness and a spritz of drying alcohol balanced it perfectly. Oddly, the dark skinned fruitiness was restrained. It was straightforward across the palate, opening with sugary malt and finishing a bit dryer with lots of black pepper and a bit of alcoholic heat. The clove character remained throughout, tying everything together and lending to a "rounded' character.

In the mouth it was surprisingly creamy with a medium-full body, and a fine-bubbled median carbonation that lent a gentle zest to the tongue.

I don't think that it can be said that there's any fault to this beer, and I think that the alcohol that's present is in balance, and an important component of it. It would be nice if there was a bit more 'tart' fruitiness to it, lending another component to its complexity, but you can't judge anything on what it might be, only on what it already is. That said, I appreciate the rich fullness of it; and given the price point I'll certainly be buying more. I'm quite curious to see what a bit of aging will do for it.

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Photo of chinchill
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very nice packaging (on bottles), very sweet story and all, but let's see how the beer is.

Appearance: hazy amber body with a fine beige head. Head had very good retention.

Smell: subtle nutty and yeasty aroma with faint hints of fruit and vague spices.

Taste: The 1st sip immediately reminded me of Westmalle dubbel, but this past quickly as the Ovila doesn't have quite same flavor profile ... nor the complexity. Fruity and floral, but not overly so, with a modicum of spices that sit in the background rather coming to the fore. Nice semi-dry and fruity finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body; well-chosen medium-high carbonation.

Overall: A very good Belgian beer that can be said to have no flaws yet it is not up to the best. With actual monks and Sierra Nevada involved I had high hopes that were not quite met.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.55/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 ml corked & caged bottle into a couple of goblets.

Pours a deep ruby, with a finger of off-white head. This retains with a thin and fizzy layer that skims the surface and collects more along the edges with some foamy bunching. This leaves back a rich cascade of lace that quickly slides down the sides of the glass. The aroma smells of sugary caramel, light toasted bread, and ripe fruit, with some light floral accents that surround the edges. Peppery clove and some light warmth add a touch of attitude to the nose. This is pretty straight-forward for a Dubbel.

The taste is sweet sugars and ripe dark fruit, with a dash of roast present. A flush of green citric character comes out a bit more towards the back. Spicy clove is present throughout the profile and really comes out in the finish with an assertive lingering dryness. The mouthfeel is medium to fuller bodied, with a lively carbonation that stays sharp on the palate. There is a bit of underlying beefy warmth to the body, which mostly serves to accentuate the strength of that yeast character, yet the actual ABV seems mostly well hid here.

This is a pretty serviceable American take on the style from Sierra Nevada. There wasn’t a massive amount of complexity here but the flavors that were present mostly got the job done and this had a pleasant smooth warmth to it that kept me interested. This is worth a look.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap 4/3/2011 at Track 84 in Warwick, RI, served in a goblet glass.

A: The beer is a deep coppery brown color, short off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is faint but contains Belgian yeast, caramelized malts, some fruit and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of fruit, caramel and a touch of spice. Then some breadiness from a hearty but not too heavy malt character and a decent Belgian yeast backbone comes in. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings some balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, this is a solid beer worth drinking for a while, but there are some better alternatives within the style.

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Photo of mactrail
3.76/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Gorgous beer in the tall Stella chalice. Velvety red brown with a fine-grained blanket of foam that clings nicely to the glass. Sudsy and creamy on the tongue. Medium body.

Slightly prickly and more dry than you might expect for the style. Sweet tang of dark caramel to let you know it's a Dubbel, but minus the often cloying, candy flavor. I think it's a great balance among the flavors. Dark roast malt, a touch of burnt sugar, and unsweetened cocoa. Slightly fruity, but less of the raisins and more like bitter orange marmalade. Slight bitter aftertaste and a tang of yeast is about all of the Belgian character.

Very drinkable for being the more dry, but a rather austere example of the style. From the 12.7 oz corked bottle.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.54/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle - $9.99 at Olde Crabapple Bottle Shoppe in Alpharetta, Georgia.

Very nice packaging involved, very sweet story and all, but let's see how the beer is.

Appearance: Pours a dark amber-brown body with just a hint of haze to it. Lofty, gassy, beige head. Though it thins out, the head manages to stick around for the entire undertaking.

Smell: Warming, swirling, shouting -- nothing seems to ever get this aroma off the ground. Just be quiet and happy with your indistinct, mild notes of dark bread, dark nuts, finely-ground spice, and a faroff sniff of cherry-flavor cough syrup.

Taste: Modest breadiness, then a quick drop-off into sugared sweetness and juicy fruitiness, with tastes of sweet cherries, raspberries, Anjou pears and prunes. Pinches of brown sugar and ground pepper up next. Slight toasted almonds, then a few cloves, which slides into a faint medicinal phenolic tone. And just when you're perceiving that faint medicinal phenolic tone, it subtly slides back towards the lightly tart berries, imparting some alcohol warmth. Drying, fruity finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium-high, lively carbonation.

Overall: Ovila: Part One is neither awe-inspiring nor great, but it's fairly good, though definitely falling short of the better brews Belgian (or the Belgian-inspired) has to offer.

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes

A: This beer was a clear dark brown with an off-white head, quite foamy. Initially it was probably 1/2 finger in height, but reduced down to a thin layer on top. Spotty lacing.

S: A bit on the nutty side with a heavy hand of bready malt, and some darker fruits. Seemed a bit closed.

T: Very malty with lots of caramel, some toffee, and dark fruits. There was a little bit of apple and even some hints of tobacco that caught me by surprise.

M: Medium bodied with a nice creaminess.

O: Pretty easy drinking. Good, but not great. No hint of alcohol with good flavor and a nice mouthfeel.

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Photo of russpowell
3.61/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle opens with a huge pop! Pours an effervescent brown with a pinky of tan head. Murks up a bit at the bottom of the bottle; very good head retention & average lacing

S: Figs, cherries & that's about it

T: Follows the nose, a touch of breadyness & charred candi sugar up front. Some grassy hops are hiding beneath the apricots, figs & cherries & some canned pears & honey dryness & a touch of fruitty boozeyness. Finishes with slightly figgyness, cherries, dryness, & some oaky & even leathery notes

MF: Medium bodied with a bit too firm carbonation, warming as well

This isn't a bad take on the style, but not blowing me away. I'm sure this will get better with a couple of years on it, but this is what I had to drink now. I expected a bit more from Sierra Nevada given the greatness of their anniversary offerings, Fantastic label though

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Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

light brown with loads of ruby colored tint emerging before me. Lots of haze and cloudiness to it as well, with a little bit of sedimentation in the bottom after it started to settle. A nice sized two inch high head of tan colored foam then came across the topl.

Sspices and hints of dark fruit. The first thing I picked up was this nice spicy dubbel like aroma. Hints of raisins and plums, along with dates and figs were all over this one. Really nice profile here, with a touch of grain n the back. rich toffee like sweetness rolled through first, with a rich spiced back that really got your attention nice dark fruity flavors. Really interesting combo here, with the raisins being very pronounced and the fig and date like flavors coming through more so in the finish then in the front. Still very sweet, but with a nice bitter chocolate like flavor mixed in, very interesting to be honest.

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Ovila Abbey Dubbel from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
3.8 out of 5 based on 1,035 ratings.
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