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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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,036 |  Reviews: 454
Photo of roblowther
4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml corked & caged. It pours a mahogany color with an off-white head that pulls a Houdini after a bit. The smell is caramel, charred oak, pepper and cloves. The taste starts with raisins, then a strong peppery middle followed by a delicious caramel aftertaste and a slightly dry finish. Very nice! The mouthfeel is well carbonated and a bit slippery. And I seem to remember drinkability in here somewhere but I've obviously not been reviewing lately b/c I don't know how this works any more. So, stream of consciousness aside, a very nice beer and the best I've had from Sierra Nevada!

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Photo of Tilley4
3.06/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Really looking forward to trying this after hearing about it for months now...

A beautiful mahagony pour into my Chimay goblet... Terrific appearance...

Sweet malts along with a touch of banana and a heavy dose of yeast on the nose... I was expecting a little more in this dept. Smells ok I guess but its just not loud enough for me... Slightly spicy...

Fairly watery non-descript sweet malts with hints of banana and clove but again nothing to write home about really... This felt a bit lacking when compared to other Abbey ales... Not unpleasant at all but nothing sets this apart either...

One will probably be enough with this brew... Nothing screams at me to revisit it

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Photo of JizackFH
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - This beer pours a hazy amber brown color. It has a nice 2-finger off-white head. The head was short lived, and left a little bit of lacing behind on the glass.

S - It smells of sweet toasted malts and caramel. There are some nice dark fruit notes, as well as strong belgian yeast and white pepper.

T - It starts off with the sweet roasted malts and caramel. Then, the dark fruit notes come into play. I am getting Plum, cherry, and raisin. There is also some spice notes and a nice belgian yeast presence. The finish is smooth and the yeast flavor lingers in the mouth for a bit. There is also a touch of booziness.

M - This has a light-medium body and moderate carbonation. It goes down easy and there is also some dry yeastiness.

O - The drinkability here is good. It goes down easy and has nice flavor. Overall, I thought this was a good beer. I can't wait to try the other 2 belgians SN will be putting out. I recommend trying this, I don't think you'll be disappointed.

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Photo of pburland23
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a caged and corked 750 ml bottle into a Chimay chalice.

Beer pours a clear, copper color with a finger and half of bright, fluffy white head with very lingering retention and lasting lacing.

Beer smells of black pepper, currants, raisins and Belgian yeast.

Taste is quite complex. There is malty sweetness, some breadiness, spice from the Belgian yeast, black currants and cloves perhaps. It's not exactly a dubbel though. More like an interpretation of a dubbel. Still, a pretty good tasting beer.

Mouthfeel is nice. It's well carbonated and a mouth filler. Overall, a decent approximation of a Belgian dubbel. A nice Belgian effort from Sierra Nevada.

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

Poured from a corked and caged 750 ml into a tulip glass at about 50 degrees. Formed a nice foamy head that stayed fully formed. Liquor is a very clear dark ruby with very active carbonation. The nose is yeasty, with fresh baked bread and a spicy note, but it is subdued. The flavor begins with cloves and toasted nuts, and yields to a bready middle followed by a notes of dried fruit and spices. Again, carbonation is very evident. Overall this is a very nice double, competing favorably with the abbey beers I can find in the area. Highly drinkable.

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

A-dark cherry wood with a creamy creme colored head that dissipates. slightly transparent.

S-smells like dark cherries and belgian sugars. medium stregth

T-comes in with a light and smooth taste of roasted belgian malts. the flavors are not pronounced. this does go down extremely smoothly though. the after-taste is of burnt belgian malts but is not long lasting at all.

M-medium to high carbonation with a dry finish

D-goes down dangerously easy. but for me, it is way too light drinking to be a great dubbel. very tasty though.

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

Nice bottle presentation with the caged and corked bomber. Poured into a Chimay chalice. Deep brown body with a touch of plum red hue, and slightly hazy. Big three-finger light tan that is creamy and has superb retention, but little lacing.

Solid aroma that is balanced but not overpowering. Dark fruit and peppery spices from the yeast up front. Some sweet, caramel malt aroma follows.

The flavors definitely step it up a notch. Tasty blend of dark fruit, featuring plum and raisin, with the signature Belgian yeast spiciness. The yeast gives just enough zest to balance the sweeter malt flavors. Very balanced mix.

The mouthfeel is thin to medium, with a very smooth finish, and definitely appropriate for the style. No real notice of the alcohol at all. Excellent Dubbel.

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Photo of ZenAgnostic
2.54/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - Surprisingly light brown body but very hazy, dark, and opaque. Then again I was poured the bottom of the bottle so it's probably just sediment lightening it up.

Smell - Light banana. A bit floral. Not much spend for a dubbel.

Taste - Clear and light bodied. The Bud Light of dubbels.

Mouthfeel - Clean body with alcohol finish. Dry aftertaste.

Overall Drinkability - Pretty boring.

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

In a goblet the beer was claret colored. A thick tan head quickly disappeared.
Sweet aroma, sugary, fruity.
Big time malt taste, kind of caramel. Dark fruit. Candy.
Rather full-bodied and filling.
I definitely enjoyed this beer and look forward to more collaborative efforts.

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Photo of billab914
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle into into my Westvleteren chalice. It poured a murky brown color with a thick and creamy head filling the top inch of the glass.

The aroma has a nice mix of malty, sweet and yeasty, spice. I get some caramel and crisp fruit notes coming through in the maltiness, and some clove and nutmeg coming out of the belgian yeast. Some dark fruits started to peek through as it warmed.

The taste has more of the malty, sweet, crisp fruit flavor to it up front. Midway and towards the finish the Belgian yeast spice starts to come out along with some balancing bitterness. Pretty nice mix of flavors, and everything comes together pretty nicely.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side and has a nice silky, creaminess to it. The head lasting well into drinking it really helps the mouthfeel too.

Overall it was a pretty nice bee, it had nice flavors and managed to have some pretty good balance to it as well. I really liked how the belgian yeast spice felt integrated in it instead of overpowering. Pretty good beer of the style overall.

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Photo of gueuzer
3.25/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

App- Poured a ruby copper with a vigorous white head that quickly dissipated.

Sm- Somewhat muted. Heavy medicinal phenols with slight malt sweetness.

Ta- Toffee, ginger, clove, typical belgian yeastiness. A bit drier than your average dubbel.

MF- Much less carbonated then it's belgian brethren, but still a notch above your average beer. I like this about it. The body is a bit thin, personally wish they would have amped the sweetness up a bit.

Dr- Overall a solid effort. Between the lessened carbonation and then thinner body some people may like this more than the Belgian classics. For me though, I'd rather spend my $12 on a Chimay Red or a Prior 8.

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Photo of kscaldef
3.91/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Very loud cork pop, huge tan head recedes quickly to 1/2 finger. Gorgeous deep red / garnet color.

S: A rush of christmas spice out of the bottle. Brown sugar, banana.

T: Rich and warm. Dates, raisins, a little doughy.

M: Low carbonation, low-medium body, fairly short linger

O: Solid Dubbel, not top of class but very drinkable.

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Photo of Docer
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Snagged a bottle since I have been drinking Belgian Dubbels anyway tonight...

- Wonderful fruity looking bubbly pour from a huge pop of the cork.. big fizzy light light tan head.. slowly settled to a thin soft blanket of steady foam with a large ring of bubbly. Ruby brown clear brew.

- Bright, crisp, biscuity sweet malt, slight funk and earthy aromas.. Light spice, clove.. grain, and wet dog.

- Light sweet malt backbone with a soft bready quality.. light spice, esters.. fig, clove.. funk.. almost as if the yeast ate of everything in sight.. and left a well balanced beer.

- Medium bodied, creamy, well carbonated.... but little bubbles.. not overly beltchy. Slightly chalky and leaves the mouth dry.

- Overall this is quite a solid dubbel. I love how well the yeast took care of the beer. I find many dubbels are left too sweet and undone. This one is quite done. Smooth, and very drinkable.

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

A: The cork pops loudly and with some force. Poured into a Chimay chalice, the body is dark amber, but when backlit appears a bright ruby-red. Small stone-colored head recedes quickly, leaving behind no lace.

S: Some bready malt, fruity sweetness, and yeasty scents are all there. Waft of alcohol is noted too.

T: First impression is the fruity sweetness: dark fruit (figs & prunes) and berries (alcohol-soaked raspberries). Candied or brown sugar are there as well. Finishes with a touch of peppery spice, some bitterness - more than expected, actually - and drying alcohol. Clean finish leaves little aftertaste up front, though there's some lingering flavor on the back and sides of the tongue.

M: Very active carbonation creates a good fizziness; comes close to mirroring the best true Belgians, but doesn't quite get there in a combination of creaminess and fizziness. Body is lighter side of medium in heft.

O: An easy-to-drink Dubbel. Not terribly complex, but solid.

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Photo of beer2day
3.65/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark caramel brown pour with thick, pillow-like 1-finger head. No retention, though. Very hazy. Not much in the way of lace. Nice rich color.

Fruity nose with plum, raisin, and fig. Malt notes of caramel and toffee underneath. Reminds me of a slightly stale fig newton.

Less flavor than I was expecting up front. Dry, tart fruit does come rushing in, though, with the same fruits as in the aroma. Fig and light raisin. Caramel again backing the fruit up. Even tastes a bit like a newton.

Feel is weaker than expected. Fizzy without much heft.

I'm glad I tried it, but probably won't go back to it. At least not this year.

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

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ

A: The pour is a somewhat opaque amber color with a finger of khaki colored head.

S: Sweet malt and bread up front with a nice bit of caramel. There is some sweet sugar, especially brown sugar, and quite a lot of dark fruits. Currants and raisins are the primary fruits, but there is plenty of banana and a moderate spiciness.

T: Great maltiness to this beer. Bread gives great substance to it and there's of course caramel and dark fruits. Banana and clove contributions from the yeast and there are some hints of alcohol from time to time.

M: Medium in body with a smooth, creamy carbonation.

O: Glad Sierra Nevada has redeemed after the miss that was Hoptimum. Solid stuff.

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Photo of homebrew311
3.38/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: clear crimson, thin white head, thick lacing, no head retention

S: bananas, clove, candied grape, bubblegum and Belgian yeast. The aroma is fairly muted.

T: again- things are mellow, nice balance between sweet fruit notes and spice character. This does not quite match up to others of the style

Mf: high carb, light body

O: easy drinking dubbel, a bit underwhelming but nice balance

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Photo of jayhawk73
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Opens with a resounding pop, almost took my head off! Pours a medium brown color with ample caramel head. The head stays around a long time, and really looks great. Very good carbonation, and good lacing on this beer.

S- Smell is that of fruit, Belgian yeast, malt, barley, and some caramel. Smells are good, nothing overpowers anything else, very balanced. Not super pungent, but it all works nicely to create a nice experience.

T- Taste is malty, with a tinge of bitterness to it. Malt, yeast, caramel are present and accounted for. There's a nutty flavor that rides in the background, along w/ the barley. Alcohol is completely absent from the taste. 7.5%, so that's not real surprising. Good beer. I'd like a little thicker, it tastes a little on the thin side to me. Not bad though.

M- Mouthfeel is very creamy, smooth, and balanced. This and the smell is probably the strong point of this beer. Almost a 4.5, but not quite. Very sweet feeling w/ a bitter aftertaste and feel.

O- Good solid beer.. A good solid effort, and I'm glad I got to try this one. Worth trying if you like dubbels.

Edit: I've raised a couple scores a tic after having this beer again in December 2011.

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Photo of broken22
2.63/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

So I was looking for new Brews at my store when I this beer. The label caught my eye. Its nice and simple with subtle details. I like the label design a lot. So when I saw this was a Sierra Nevada brew I was surprised. Once I read the label about how buying this beer would make me a good Samaritan, okay not really, but it does say that proceeds go to help rebuild The Abbey Of New Clairvaux. So naturally I wanted to help and I bought this beer :P

Lets get on with the review.

I have had this now on tap and in a glass so thats why I put on-tap. This beer comes out with lots of carbonation. I had to wait a while until it stopped effervescing. Once its done your left with a nice glassy lake like surface without any head to speak of. I was kind of worried that it was over-carbonated. The color of this beer is a nice medium brown with a hint of red. The beer smells kind of yeasty and bread like. The flavor is much the same. I'm not getting much fruit or any other flavors you would come to expect from this style of beer. The finish does have an ever so slight bitterness to it. However its so very slight and subtle as in barely there. There isn't much carbonation to this beer. So overall mouth feel is rater bland.

This beer is okay. I was expecting something with a little more flavor than what this has. I hate to end up ranking this as one of the lowest scoring beers since I started writing these but I have to be true. I still encourage you to pick one up and try. If you don't like it either just say to yourself that is was for a good cause.

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

I poured this out of the bottle into an Ovila goblet that I'm so happy that I got my hands on!
It poured dark copper color, almost ruby, an off white head with minimal retention and lacing. Its sweet and fruity with prominent malt flavor, backed by very slight hints of spice and Belgian yeast. The mouth feel was that of a medium body. It went down nice and smooth and I had no problem finishing off the bottle as I paired it with a leg of lamb, fresh mozzarella and sundried tomatoes with whith truffle olive oil. I'm just happy that I have 2 more bottles of this.

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Photo of champ103
3.92/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a ruby/brown color. At first a two finger tan head rises, and gently fades in a second. Light lace is left behind.
S: Up front is some earthy yeast that is enjoyable. Some dark fruits of raisins. Toasted malts and a lingering sweetness.
T: Follows the nose with a distinct earthy Belgian yeast. Toasted and sweet malt. Some raisins cherries as well. A lingering spiciness on the tongue.
M/D: A medium body, but a bit thin in the mouth. Not enough carbonation. Easy to drink. I will finish the bottle without a problem.

Overall this is very nice. The sweetness is not over barring, which can be a be a problem with many US version of the style. There is a good balance between the yeast and malt. I wish the body was a bit fuller though. Otherwise something I would recommend.

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Photo of ramseye4
3.83/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A=Gorgeous looking bottle, caged and corked, pours a cloudy dark brown color with a thick head that quickly fades and leaves a bit of lacing down the glass.
S=sweet dark fruit, sugary, bready malt
T=Brown sugar, big fig and raisin hit the tongue hard. A bit of spicy pepper gives the taste a bit of a zing.
M=A bit thin feeling and sticky
O=Not a bad beer considering that this is a bit of a departure from the typical Sierra Nevada beers. I would definitely have it again, and I'm glad I found it at a local store when I wasn't even looking for it.

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Photo of JRed
3.91/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep copper with reddish edges topped by everlasting khaki head. Aroma of fig, ginger, hops, molasses, brown sugar. Tastes of fig, herbal, spice, brown sugar, subtle apple skins, slight cherry, grape, cola and bread dipped in French Onion soup. Medium bodied with light carbonation. Incredibly smooth and rather refreshing. Thick and chewy.

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Photo of augustgarage
3.6/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a caged-and-corked 750mL bottle into my Trappist Westvleteren goblet. The shape of the bottle is subtlely distinctive. Cork comes out with a loud pop, but this isn't a gusher thankfully.

Burnt umber liquid with a tinge of copper. Faintly hazy. Sudsy isabelline head which recedes quickly to a lasting collar and slick. Pasty lacing, light legs.

Weak tea, burnt sugar, vague hops, and lots of ester-drenched malt in the nose.

Interesting malt profile - starting off with lots of pale, followed with a wave of caramel and a hint of toast. Raisins and grassy (Saaz?) hops mid-palate, growing dryer into the finish. Faint bread crusts, and a touch of citrus maybe as well. Nutmeg and other phenols emerge as the ale warms.

While not effervescent, the carbonation level seems a bit high/active, especially for the style...almost like a soft drink.
Barely medium-bodied. ABV is spot on.

Not an easy style to brew well - and while this is one of the better domestic examples I've tried, it misses the mark compared to the better Belgian creations.

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Photo of beer4colin
3.67/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured into tulip gives a thick and creamy head which disappears very rapidly without lace. Naturally hazy with a constant effervescence. Deep cherrywod color with red hilights.

A- Yeast and dark sugar dominate.

T - dark fruit mixing with dark sugars. very pleasant but there are better dubbels out there.

O - I expected a bit more from Sierra. This is good but not great. I wil get it again but when it's gone I won't be looking to stock up.

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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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