Ovila Abbey Dubbel | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

very good
1,036 Ratings
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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.

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Ratings: 1,036 |  Reviews: 454
Photo of glid02
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Brick Store.

Pours a clear brownish-amber color with a one-finger cream-colored head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving thick lacing.

Smells of dark malts with large amounts of sugar-dusted medium and dark fruits – pears, plums, and hints of dates.

Tastes very similar to how it smells. Mildly dry medium to dark malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by slightly boozy dark fruits. Midway through the sip the flavor profile sweetens with the addition of dark candi sugar, carrying through to a crisp ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It’s got a nice thickness with smooth carbonation.

Drinkability is also good. I didn’t have a problem finishing my glass and could have another.

Overall I wasn’t blown away by this beer but it’s very solid for the style. Worth a shot.

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

750ml bottle with the biggest bitch of a cork ever.

Served cool into a goblet, Ovila is a dark redish brown color with good clarity. The head is short and settles quickly with no lacing.

Aroma is malty with slight spice and dark dried fruit. Not bad but not particularly special either.

Flavor is good but again seems very average all things considered. Sweet up front with raisins and caramel, clove and pepper towards the end. Nice flavors but again nothing exceptional. It seems to be lacking in depth compared with the great ones.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and nicely carbonated.

Overall I'm more than a little disappointed. Maybe it was the fact that it was a Belgo-American collaboration, maybe it was the price, I don't know. All I know is that I expected more.

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Photo of angelogarcia3
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very good beer with a tan thin head. Light mahogany color with effervensce on the sides of the glass. Very light malt aroma does not prepare you for this flavorful beer. This sweet raisiny fruity beer finishes with a crisp cleansing taste. Had it at Sapsuckers in Huntington, NY.

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Photo of socon67
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours brown with a slight foam on top. Laces nicely into my Ommegang snifter. Visible carbonation.

S - Smells of cherries, and fresh bread. The belgian yeast is noted in the aroma.

T - Funny that the label mentions a spanish monastery. My first impression was that this reminded me of a good spanish red wine. Peppery spice combined with sweetness of dried fruit. It ends with the tartness typical in a belgian dubbel. A bit sweeter than the style normally is, but pleasant.

M - Extremely smooth for the style. I polished off the bottle easily on a hot Memorial Day. It is medium bodied and the carbonation dissapates.

O - I liked it. Maybe not the best dubbel but SN impresses me with their limited releases yet again.

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Photo of BranfordBound
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle, extremely attractive bottle and label work. Corked and cage into a wine glass due to the fact that my glass ware is either on the way or dirty.

Pours a light brown, transparent. Ruby highlights with a one finger head of tan bubbles that no matter how hard you pour it, never elevates more than a finger. Leaves moderate lacing.

Smells of malts and some sweet fruits.

Taste is a bit underwhelming. Some bready malts, hints of dark fruits, some caramel/brown sugar, finishes a bit warm. Weird taste when cold but is a bit better warm.

A bit thick, medium bodied.

Well I was a bit disappointed, I'm glad I got to try it, and being my first dubbel I expected more. It was a bit weak and one sided, hopefully some other examples will impress me more.

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Photo of csiewert
3.16/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This been poured in a chalice glass with litle foam but it does retain well. The aroma is strong with caramel and fusel. The taste starts malty sweet, with some hints of cherry. The mouthfeel is nice, but you get left with a strong alcohol harshness. Overall just another mass produced attempt..

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Photo of Arenbeer
3.26/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle into a goblet glass

A- If never seen so much smoke come out of a bottle, huge freakin pop! Pours a nice dark reddish brown with a fluffy tight bubbled 2 finger head that slowly dissipates.

S- Up front it smells really grainy and light like a lager. Kind of bummed. Belgian yeast, banana, and dark fruits come through but not as much as you would think. Maybe some hops present? A unique smelling dubbel, nothing like you would expect but not necessarily in a good way.

T- Just like the aroma. Real grainy up front but the yeast characters come through as well as dark fruits, bread, and some slight burnt sugars.

M- Medium bodied with moderate carbonation and a wet finish.

Overall this beer is pretty disappointing for me. I would expect a more array of flavors from the yeast but unfortunately the grains and malts dominate making it almost taste like a sweet lager IMO.


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

Serving Type - 220z bottle

Appearance - Tanish brown, redish tint. Monster 4 finger creamy thick head. Tons of lacing.

Smell - Very floral, lots of apple, lemon, grapefruit,sugars and spices. Yeasty Bread armoa.

Taste - Starts off sweet, lots of apple and spices. Carmal malts are present, and actually there is a mild hop bite also. Alcohol is masked pretty well.

Mouthfeel - Its medium thickness, coats mouth with plenty of flavors. Pallete gets covered with some hops and sugars. After taste is dry and warm.

Overall - Pretty good and flavorful. Its a little sweeter then most dubbels. The malts are a little weak but still pretty good. I think its a different take on a dubbel and that can make it a unique drink and worthy to find and try.

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

Ovila Abbey Dubbel is a really nice collision of crimson and copper. It’s quite hazy, and definitely has more of a reddish look when held to light. A soft tan head covers it. It rises to about a finger and a half. Retention was very good. It held just above a surface covering for quite a while. Lacing was sticky and moderate.

The nose is a little lacking in strength, but is pretty good. It kicks off with a light caramel malt scent. Smells a little sweet. Belgian yeast is noted. It’s not quite as strong as I’d like, but it does have a pretty nice, spicy presence. Pepper and clove are the strongest points. Light raisin, apple, cherry, and praline notes are secondary. Alcohol is masked well. I’m not getting any.

The flavor is good. The malt base is definitely caramel. It’s a tad on the sweet side, but features a roasted flavor that balances it pretty well. There’s a mix of golden and dark fruit flavors. Apple, pear, raisin, and fig are all noted. Belgian yeast is a little less notable than I anticipated. It’s there, and certainly adds some spicy phenol, clove, and pepper flavors. There’s a hoppy bite on the tail. Tastes like grassy, floral hops. Noble? Perhaps. Alcohol is blended nicely and doesn’t seem like much of a factor. Good stuff.

Ovila has a medium body. Carbonation seems active, and a tad buzzy. It feels relatively smooth. Nonetheless, it doesn’t compete with the world’s best, authentic Belgian Dubbels. It goes down rather easy. This 750 will not be a problem at all.

Sierra Nevada Brewing Company and the Abbey of New Clairvaux created a pretty nice Dubbel in Ovila. It’s not a groundbreaking release by any stretch, but it is definitely good. It could be improved with more of a Belgian yeast presence and perhaps a little more body. Nonetheless, it’s good stuff. Far from a bad effort for the first authentic American Trappist-style Abbey ale. Easily recommended.

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Photo of DoubleSimcoe
3.13/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sierra Ovila on tap at The Blind Tiger, NYC, served in a 12-oz snifter and pricey at $8 ($7 during happy hour).

Appearance: A whitish head dies almost right away, leaving a rim and an island, like an atoll in the South Pacific where the French throw nukes while accusing us Americans of being nuclear. Color is a mysterious copper, sort of barleywine style.

Smell: Some honey, cloves, spice. Yeast and glue. Smashed prune, raisin extract. A faint, underwhelming nose. Mellow sweetness. Picture the Heartland on a sunny, glorious day. Scattered bees pollinating bright-yellow flowers. Artificially flavored bubblegum.

Taste: Follows nose, with a sticky sweetness, brulee sugars and artisanal honey. Watery, thin finish that hurts the overall. A tad of dry hops at the end of the sip. Soda, sparkling water.

Mouthfeel: Again, thin and watery. Incomplete. Low carbonation and body, medium flavor. Spicy prickly finish.

Overall: Drinkable for sure, but SO boring! Ovila on a bottle was a very good beer. On tap, a disappointment.

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Photo of argock
3.76/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 750mL brown bottle into a St. Feuillien goblet. No freshness date. Purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $11.49.

A: Leathery brown hue with 1/2-1 finger of soft eggshell colored head with decent retention but little to no lacing.

S: Quite light in aroma with some soft breadiness, a bit of phenolic yeast character and much more malts than hops with mostly dark fruity aromas of raisins and fig. Hopping is very light and mainly herbal.

T: The flavor brings more to the table with a lot of malty dark fruit flavors like fig and raisin with a bit of peppery flavor enhanced by the crisp carbonation and relatively light feel. The aftertaste is mildly phenolic. Herbal hops are light and keep the malt from getting out of hand.

M: Very crisp up front but a little thinner than I like for this style, but nothing wrong with it. Carbonation is above-average for the style.

O: A good beer but I still would rather drink Ommegang Abbey Ale for its raw maltiness at about $4 less per bottle.

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Photo of Tone
3.86/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy, dark amber color. 1/4 inch head of an off-white color. Slight retention and slight lacing. Smells of sweet malt, hint of citrus, slight dry hop, hint of earthy malt, and hint of alcohol. Fits the style of a Dubbel. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, hint of roasted malt, citrus hops, hint of floral, slight alcohol, and slight pale malt. Overall, good aroma, feel, blend, and body. Not cloying in sweetness, easy to drink, weak in appearance though.

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Photo of wisrarebeer
3.17/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: lots of tiny bubbles, great deep copper color, very nice creamy head that poured with a firm head and kept it
S: mild nose, caramelized malt and candy sugar
T: not bad, thin mouthfeel and lacking complexity, I'm surprised that it doesn't have more depth and character, slight heat from EtOH but that's about the only standout in taste profile
M: spritzy from CO2, clean, gentle
O: overall so-so and lacking depth and character

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Photo of bort11
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz corked and caged bottle, poured into a St. Bernardus chalice. A very loud "Pop" when the cork came free. At first there is a tall, light brown head, but then is recedes to nothing in a blink of an eye. There is no lacing, and no amount of swirling reactivates the foam. I was honestly expecting more based on the loud cork pop and the initial head. Body color is a dark caramel brown, with red honey highlights.

Smell is not very noticeable at first. I really have to get my nose down into the glass to pick up the notes. There is a mild Belgian yeast mustiness paired with a lightly toasted bread. Taste picks up the game quite a bit, which I'm gad for. The Belgian yeast comes in stronger and gives a nice tartness. The malts give off more toasted bread, and there is a hint of toffee and dried fruit.

The mouthfeel is pretty light for a dubbel, and the carbonation is very crisp. This leaves me a bit confused because of the contrast to the head retention. This is a good beer, but I think if I wanted another dubbel I would stick with local Doodle Dubbel. It is just as good, and a lot more affordable.

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Photo of spointon
3.39/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I have long awaited this beer as I am a big fan of both Belgian ales and Sierra Nevada. I poured this one from a unique 750ml bottle that looked like an oversized bomber bottle.

A= Poured a deep reddish brown color with a good looking off-white head that rose a good 3/4" and stayed around a long long time.

S= This is where things started to get weird. This smelled much more like an English Old Ale than a Belgian Dubbel. Sorely lacking in Belgian yeast character, though the maltiness was pleasant enough.

T= Sweet-ish malt from the start gave this a rich, burnt caramel/toffee flavor with layers of malt complexity to follow. Just a hint of nutty/toasty malt in there to dry things out a bit. Very little Belgian character...seriously I can't tell if they actually used a Belgian strain of yeast. Finished dry.

MF= Body was medium+, with a fairly high carbonation level that was appropriate to the style.

D= This was, as I said, a weird one. Easy enough to drink but not sure I would buy it again to tell the truth. It was just so disappointing in its lack of Belgian flavor and yeast character.

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Photo of HOMEPL8
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A good beer. Pretty simple...sales pitch on side of bottle is a little over the top, but once you just enjoy it for what it is, a nice simple dubbel, I found it enjoyable. I think SN takes a bad rap at times b/c they have grown so much, but this was enjoyable. I'm less descriptive than the average BA but I know what I like and what works for me. I'd buy it again b/c I think it tastes good and overall, it is solid 4's for me.

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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 charlzm
4.59/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Consumed May 22nd, 2011 from a Triple Petrus tulip/snifter.

Beer pours a mostly transparent deep caramel color; not as dark as a soda, but dark brown. A two finger head of irregularly sized bubbles forms and fairly quickly subsides to a thin crown of off-white bubbles.

Gorgeous aroma: fruity (apricots and white grapes) with a hint of pepper and sweet, yeasty fresh bread.

Flavor follows nose, though pepper is mostly absent. White grapes and light breadiness are the main components. The flavor is also relatively light, as in not too malty or sweet. Low bitterness. Nicely done!

Slightly thick and ever-so-slightly creamy. Win!

This is a great beer with a flavor profile slightly out of the norm for a dubbel; I drank the whole bottle with no difficulty at all. Goes great with red meat.

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Photo of SIRIUS2
4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice dense off-white foam of perhaps a finger or so covers a nice chestnut brown ale. My pour included some of the lees from the bottom of the bottle so there was a slight haze.

Aromas of caramel malts, some raisins or dark fruit, and that Belgian yeasty smell. Pretty classic for a dubbel, but with a little bit more fruit.

Flavors are nicely joined on the tongue with caramel malts coming on first and then folding nicely into a complex splash of dark fruit, a slight bitterness, and some of the bready yeast. There is some of that brown sugar on the back end as well. The mouthfeel was a little thin, but still pulls off some creaminess that was a little unexpected.

I enjoyed this brew a bunch! It had notes of a typical dubbel but also has some character of its own. Nice.

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Photo of colts9016
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a chalice at 48 degrees.

Appearance: A very nice one finger head that is frothy and creamy with good retention. The head is tan in color and left a little lacing on the glass. The color of the beer is burnt caramel with a dark orange copper hues. The clarity of the beer is opaque; however, there is carbonation bubble on the side of the glass.

Nose: A floral aroma with cloves, a banana notes, toasted malt, caramel, yeast, raisins, cherries, white peppers, and phenols.

Taste: A malty sweetness that is toasted malt, caramel, yeast, raisins, cherries, white pepper, cloves, fruity esters, cloves, banana, and phenols.

Overall: The mouth feel is coating, low alcohol, and slightly carbonated. The body of the beer is medium and the finish is medium. This is a good dubbel, but I feel that the flavors are not near as pronounced, but the beer is really smooth like an aged dubbel.

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Photo of srandycarter
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Caramel candy syrup with tan head that leaves to disk. Some cling lace.

S - First thought smoked meats. Juicy fruit there and signature Belgian yeast.

T - Nice malt up front, bittered well and classic Belgian yeast twang.

M - Medium body, good carb, fair balance.

D - Not a bad beer. Pretty decent. One is enough though. Just doesn't have a wow factor.

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Photo of mikechance
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I opened a chilled bottle and let it breathe and warm up for about 15 minutes. Pours very dark, almost copper or mahogany with a nice half inch head - very nice. I picked up a lot of aroma - raisins, spices, clove, and dark fruits. The taste is very malt forward, peppery, and not bitter at all. It is fill-bodied and very smooth. The aftertaste holds up well, but got a little sour near the bottom of the bottle. It is good, but not great.

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Photo of fragilehearted
3.14/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750ml into Chimay chalice.

A - Dark reddish brown. Nice thick head that goes down quickly, but not TOO quickly.

S - kind of boring compared to other dubbels. Candied dark fruits, clove, caramel, bready. But it's pretty subdued for a dubbel. I love a good aroma, so I'm kind of bummed. I really had to reach for that description.

T - Like it smells, but not so bland. It's a little spicy too, which I didn't pick up on by the smell. Not wild about the aftertaste.

M - I don't usually complain about this, but it's just a little too carbonated. Medium body, finish isn't too bad.

D/O - It was fun to try, but I won't be having it again. It's FINE...which is not good enough for what I am looking for in a dubbel. It's a good try, but there are dubbels that are much better out there. I'd say the Belgians do it better, but one of my favorite dubbels is also an American dubbel, so I guess the Americans do it better too.

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Photo of david18
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had a twelve ounce glass of this at DBGB on Manhattan's Upper East Side. I had never heard of this beer, nor did i have any idea that Sierra Nevada produced this style, much less for export to New York.

Appearance was a dark mahogany red with a reddish-white head that stuck around for a while.

Aroma was a combination of fruit and flowery hops. Nice, especially in the right glass.

Flavor was like a hoppy dubbel. All of that belgian candy characteristic with a bit of hops and crispness combined in there.

Overall a very good beer and I hope to see other belgian styles available from this brewery.

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Ovila Abbey Dubbel from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
3.8 out of 5 based on 1,036 ratings.
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