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 aerozeppl
3.86/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Slighty reddish brown color with about 4 fingers of white head with tons of big air pockets in it. Good head retention. Looks like a solid examples of the style.

S: The nose is kind of tight but not unpleasant. The yeast is there and gives it a nice touch. Malty/bready. A touch of toffee but that is about it. Easiely the weakest part of this beer.

T: The taste is great. It is complex without being overwhelming. They went light on the sugar which is nice. Bready. A touch of toffee. Some interesting esters in there but they are quite calm.

M: A little on the thin side. The carbonation was high without being prickly spot on. They really nailed down the bottle conditioning.

D: I am exited that there might be a Trappist beer made in America. A really nice homage to the OGs. The body is a touch thin and the nose needs something. I think a lot of it is we get the EU versions aged 3 months. I am going to hold on to one of these and see where it goes. Very impressed by this and hope to see the Abbey restored.

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Photo of BobCS
2.9/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Hazy and brown with some red highlights under a tight beige foam. The haze appears to be chill haze and definitely temperature related.

S: Earthy, fruity, yeasty, with a distinctive Belgian abbey character. Although the aroma profile is spot on, the intensity is less than many other classic Abbey ales. Aroma and overal character definitely improves as this beer warms up in the glass.

T: Medium-sweet with dark fruit and banana, some tartness, and restrained spicing in the background. As with the aroma the overall character of the flavor is dead on for a Belgian abbey, but the overall impact is somewhat lacking.

M: Medium-full and well carbonated

D: This beer nicely fits the characteristics appropriate for Abbey beers, but is lacking in intensity (as compared with other classic examples). Do let this beer warm a bit as both the aroma and flavor will improve greatly. It is drinkable and enjoyable, but there may be little reason to return to it given some of the other excellent choices from Belgium and North America in this category.

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

A: This poured a hazy dark mahogany with fluffy off-white head.
S: It smelled like Belgian yeast with earthy cocoa powder and lemon grass, and some biscuit and light caramel.
T: It tasted like sweet and earthy caramel and sour Belgian yeast, with some candi sugar and lemon zest and raisin. It had a smooth and mellow bittersweet aftertaste.
M: It was oily with smooth natural carbonation. Wonderful body!
D: This was a very nice dubbel with great scent and taste, and nearly perfect body. Not too complex, but very enjoyable. Alcohol wasn't noticeable, so it was super easy to drink. Could maybe improve with age, but nice fresh.

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Photo of bigbelcher
4.11/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a tough one to judge, overall I loved the beer, however style wise I thought it was way to hoppy for a belgian dubbel. Color was a nice light brown. Tan head. Carbonation was good. Alcohol stregnth was nice with a little warmeth. I liked the hop bitterness however, based on the style they weren't appropriate.

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Photo of Beerenauslese
4.32/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark translucent brown. Head is ample, but then dissipates to a ring. Doesn't leave much lacing.

Smell is roasted malts and spices. There is a little astringent charred ash smell, some clove, dark fruit, and brown sugar.

A nice tasting dubbel. Malty sweet but with a charred malt note that gives it some depth, there is a little citrus acidity as well, along with dark fruit and some milk chocolate and clove and cinnamon. Finishes very dry with a bit of ash and some hop bitterness. Leaves a little spicy clove/cinnamon note in the long finish. It is tasting very like a Belgian dubbel, but a bit spicier than the norm.

Body is medium and carbonation is light, has a bit of a creamy mouthfeel.

Overall, a better dubbel than I was expecting. This is a nice, spicy Abby dubbel and very drinkable. Another good, novel offering from Sierra Nevada.

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Photo of TenHornsProud
3.33/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It pours a nice opaque crimson with light head that quickly fades from the high carbonation.

Smells of fig, sugar, and spicy yeast character.

Tastes of sweet, peppery, malt. The flavor is more yeast forward than anything, but the carbonation hides any depth.

Highly carbonated moutfeel, right on for style and flavor.

An overall average dubbel and nothing more. This could use more complexity, not a lot, but something more...A bit of a let down from SN.

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

A 750 ml bottle of limited edition.

It poured a nice dark brown with great head but I wish it would have stayed longer.

Nose is pretty weak. Not bad just not enough of it. Hints of dark fruit and vanilla. Not much more.

Taste is the high point. Dark fruit, raisins, hints of spice with malt. It also has an earthy yet slightly tart character. A little watery, but that is not uncommon for dubbels.

Mouth feel is very nicely carbonated. This beer is very drinkable with an unknown alcohol content. I will see after I drink this large bottle.

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Photo of TheWhiskerReview
3.45/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy reddish-mahogany with a 2-3 finger off-white head with nice retention and lacing that lasts through just about all of the glass.

The nose is by far the most interesting with notes of caramel, ripe banana and red licorice surrounding a caramelized-sugary bready character, with further hoppy tones of fresh, flowery melon. As you get further in the glass, however, the nose sort of breaks down and looks more similar to the palate.

The palate starts with a bright carbonation which leads to a mouthfilling, juicy malt- a touch watered down though- with flavors of caramel, cloves and a very earthy yeast. The finish is moderate and continues with the spicy yeast character.

Overall, not bad but lacks flavor and a little body. The finish could be longer as well. It's certainly not going to stop me from picking up everything else in this series, however, when I can get ahold of it.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From 04/09/11 notes. Poured into a tulip.

a - Pours a reddish mahogany color with one inch of off white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of spices, bready malts, yeast, fruit, and light caramel malts.

t - Tastes of bready malts, grain, spices, Belgian yeast, raisins, dark fruits, and light caramelmalts. Tastes a bit watered down.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation.

o - Overall a nice dubbel I was glad to have tried. The taste seemed a tiny bit watered down but I still enjoyed it. Would give another shot.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.82/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle poured into a Duvel tulip. (while I was given a set of awesome Ovila glasses, I still refuse to review out of wide-mouth glasses. They let all the aroma escape)
7.5% ABV, no date.

A - Ovila Dubbel lets loose rambunctiously with a tall, densely packed tan head. Good retention keeps it alive but its missing the classic Belgian lace. The beer itself is a hazy yet gorgeous crimson amber color.

S - Mellow caramelly sweet and toasted bread notes are underlines by ripe fruit esters of fig and dark cherry. A tinge of hops keep the aroma in check and a faint yeast earthiness adds beautiful authenticity.

T - Soft, smooth alcohol pushes it's way in followed by...not much. The maltiness is there but much more restrained than the aroma offers. The classic fruity esters and Belgian yeast are also subdued, almost to the point of being lost. The taste isn't bad but falls pretty flat.

M - Despite the higher level of carbonation for the style, the mouthfeel remains fairly medium-bodied and rounded while finishing clean. Warming alcohol is felt retro-nasally as well as lingering through the finish.

O - The recluse flavor of Ovila is a stark contrast to the open, exhibitionist-like aroma. While it's certainly not bad by any means, it does leave me wanting. I appreciate nuanced beers but I think too much of the character of Ovila Dubbel is lost in translation. I'll give it that it's still worth getting another for aging.

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

Trying to review beers consistently again, why not start out with a new Sierra Nevada brew.

A- Dark brown-black witha decent tan head that looks fizzy and falls down quite quickly. A small cloud and ring are there but no lace at all.

S- Dark fruit, raisin, fig and malt are pretty big. Some bread, spice and dark brown sugar sweets. Fruit seems like cherry.

T- Dark cherry/fruit/raisin is big as well as yeast bread and spice. Slight roast/nutty malt makes this interesting. Some brown sugar sweetness, has that Trappist/Belgian feel that so many American takes miss. Nice bread and spicy Euro hops.

MF- Fizzy highly carbonated body that stings the palate. Light overall and just a bit bitter.

DB- Overall I like it and I had no trouble finishing the whole bottle, saying a lot lately. I think it is balanced nicely and is a good "Americanized" Belgian ale.

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Photo of MbpBugeye
3.54/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada Ovila chalice for a really nice presentation.

This beer is quite heady but the foam is easily manageable. Great retention but the pillowy foam is not very stick, thus no lacing. The beer is pretty dark in the wide mouthed glass, collecting as a deep reddish brown. At the very end of the glass, when there isn't much beer left, the liquid shows its dark ruby hues.

I have to say this smell is fairly weak for the style. Its missing some richness and its lower on those dark cherry and dried fruit elements I expect from the very best dubbels. It does retain lots of sourdough and leather, while keeping hints of figgy fruits and cherry.

Very inline with the aroma. A breadiness akin to a nice dark pumpernickel with some leathery flavors, earth and figs. Yeast imparts appreciable spice. I seems to lack some deeper levels of richness and fruitness.

Pretty dry on the finish, which does actually suit this glass of beer just fine. The carbonation is nicely pillowy and rich. The body could use a push towards fullness but it still falls in the heavier side of medium.

This is one of the better American brewed abbey style ales. The label and presentation are certainly high class. When it all boils down, this is a very likable brew.

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Photo of Snow81
4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark amber with

Head: Little white head that dissipates quite quickly

Smell: Sweet malts with a hint of caramel toffee

Taste: Little caramel, toasted maltyness going on with what I think is some Trappist yeast and a nice hop on the back end

Weight: Medium body with low carbonation

Finish: Sweet malts with subtle hops and little caramel

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

Had on tap at the Tap and Barrel in Smithtown, NY. Served in a tulip glass.

Look: reddish, brown body that looks a bit purple in the bar light. Three finger tan head that retains quite nicely but doesn't leave much in the way of lacing.

Smell: figs, cherries, a small amount of alcohol, and some bread and Belgian yeast aromas.

Taste: sweet with some fruity flavors, like fig and cherry, Belgian yeast flavors, balanced by a muted hop spiciness and some alcohol dryness.

Feel: felt a little thin for a dubbel, smooth carbonation, and quite easy drinking.

Overall: this is a good dubbel even if it is not particularly exceptional. I would give it a try because it is Sierra Nevada, after all. However, I think authentic Belgian dubbels are a bit better than this one. Cheers!

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Photo of generalnotsew
2.37/5  rDev -37.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Snakes! This cork took me 10 minutes to pop. The pour produced a nice 1 finger off white head and the body is dark mahogany. Downside is the body does seem a bit thin.
Smell is burnt brown sugar and hints of plum mixed with some earthy notes.
Taste is a bit tart and tangy. Ok it is mostly tart and tangy. Reminds me a lot of apple juice. Also a bit watery and I am not picking up much more flavor at all. It is a far cry from most Dubbels I have had. I am usually not too critical of beers but if AB were to brew a Dubbel I could imagine it tasting like this. Or lack of taste rather.
The heat is quite burning. Surprising for something fairly low in abv. Actually most Belgians seem to have a bit of a burn but this is beyond normal.
Overall this is a disappointment. It is severly lacking in flavor. The only time I pick up anything is on the swallow. I don't even get an aftertaste out of this.

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

New arrival at my local, a 750 ML champagne style bottle, caged and corked, poured into silver rimmed Chimay goblet.

First impression, frustration. I have never in my life run across such a stubborn cork. I was tempted to try and use power tools to get this bottle opened. It literally took me 5 minutes of serious muscle to get this opened.

Appearance - A rich reddish brown, hazy, 1/2 inch of thick head which dissipated quickly with no lacing.

Smell - The nose is herbal and peppery, very faint hints of fruit and molasses and cookie spice. Not the normal smells I associate with this style.

Taste - You have to breathe in while drinking, or you miss the flavors. It tastes like what it smells like, but only for a moment. It reminds me almost of a Japanese style dry beer, in that the taste is fleeting, and then gone, with no lingering aftertastes of any kind. The taste is mostly clean malt, cookie spice, a little herbal note, it's well balanced, and then, poof.

Mouthfeel - Crisp, clean, thin, and astringent.

Drinkability - Easily drinkable despite the higher ABV. No heat at all from the alcohol. It goes down as smooth as a light lager.

Final thoughts - This reminds me, style wise, of the brews I have had from Goose Island, such as Matilda and Pere Jacques. Excellent, well crafted brews, but such a unique variation on the traditional styles, that they perhaps need a new category to define them in. I like this beer very much, but to judge it as a dubbel, doesn't work, as it doesn't taste anything like a traditional Belgian dubbel. I was at a bit of a loss on how to score this, but, it is a solid well crafted brew, I will be trying this again in future, to see if there are any changes, and am also looking forwards to the next two releases in the Ovila series (the saison, and the quad).

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Photo of n2185
3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a murky copper-brown with two fingers of off-white head. The head retains very well in an ever-present cap, though there's not much lacing.

S: Spices and caramel malt up front followed by dark fruits like raisins and plums. There is a very floral, rose-like aroma in there as well. Underneath these lie some yeasty and hearty bread aromas.

T: Spices and candy sugar up front, though surprisingly not very sweet. There are traces of the dark fruits, but only just. The yeasty, hearty bread flavors dominate the middle and finish of the flavor with a touch of bitterness as well.

M: Medium-light body with high carbonation, this beer is nicely attenuated so it's nice and crisp.

O: Overall, a pretty solid dubbel. Nothing superb and not really worth the price, but solid nonetheless.

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.15/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle served in a chalice.

L - hazed, dark cherrywood color with a off-white head that stayed as a thin layer which was fueled by rising carbonation bubbles.

S - the aroma is on the sweeter side with dark fruit and mild yeast.

T - sweet dark fruit upfront with a light yeasty twang on the somewhat dry finish.

F - medium bodied with a light, crisp feel.

O - a very delightful and most enjoyable Dubbel. I look forward to the other beers from this series.

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

Pours a mostly clear mahogany (and then later a very hazy mahogany) with three fingers of cream colored foam. Settles slowly to a quarter inch leaving a couple rings of lace behind. Smell: big clove and peppery aroma, sweet fruit with a tart smelling skin - red plum-ish, caramelized sugar base. Taste: again dominated by clove and black pepper, brown sugar, red plum flesh and skin. Finishes sweet with a semi-drying peppery earthiness the last impression. Tasty and easy drinking with a low alcohol presence (7.5% btw).

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Photo of Zorro
3.26/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Clear dark brown colored beer with a tall tan colored head.

Sweet caramel candy smell the moment you open this. Scents of caramel, chocolate and plums. Coriander and brown sugar are also present.

Starts out mildly sweet with a bread flavor and a slight chocolate aftertaste. Coriander and fig in this and more chocolate. Frankly this is under-flavored.

Mouthfeel is OK.

Drinkability is OK. It isn't offensive, it is just under-flavored.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.33/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up the other day when I noticed it on shelves...

a - Opened bottle and poured into an ommegang chalice. Opened with a huge pop! Smoke rose from the bottle top (love that). Beer poured a deep mahogany with a thin dubbel head. Steady and even carbonation. Looks like a quality dubbel.

s - Spicey dark fruit and a touch of the dubble booziness that you'd expect. The booziness is subdued by the spicing.

t - Malty caramel and brown sugared plums/figs. Nicely done dubbel with good flavor balance. If anything, maybe a tad on the sweet side.

m - Very creamy just how I like a dubbel. Very pleasant aftertaste. A touch on the watery side.

o - Overall, this is an extremely solid dubbel. There aren't many american breweries that hit a dubbel (or a quad or dark ale) properly in my opinion. This was better than I had expected. Beer after beer, sierra nevada does not disappoint. The 30th anniversary and these special beers are all great examples that a craft brewery can be readily available across the country but still give the proper attention to all of their beers and make then with such quality in such large quantities.

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Photo of ocelot2500
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a garnet color with a tight, fizzy off-white head that leaves a sheet of lacing.

Smells of toasted bread and yeast spice.

Tastes of rich toasted malts. Notes of berries and cherries along with some toasted bread and caramel. Not particularly sweet. Yeast adds some peppery spice. Finishes dry.

Mouthfeel is medium with a smooth amount of carbonation.

Overall, nothing special, but everything is done well.

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Photo of prg1976
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy copper color. Tons of fluffy white head. I had to stop pouring or it would have overflowed the glass. Leaves a thin white coating on top of the beer.

Smell is spicy banana, some orange, a little alcohol. Hints of clove in the background.

Taste is classic Dubbel. Spicy yeasty flavors. Lots of banana and clove. Some orange and some alcohol sneaking in there too.

The carbonation has pretty much dissipated by now, leaving a medium body with just a touch of fizz.

Overall, a really solid offering from SNBC. I look forward to trying the next pseudo-trappist American brew.

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Photo of albern
4.12/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I like this Dubbel and it does need to settle right out of the bottle before trying this. It pours a nice cloudy, slightly dirty water amber brown. The beer is plenty carbonated and has lots of head soon after the cork is popped. Things settle considerably as the beer settles in and then there is really no head at all, no lace either.

The nose on the beer is quite yeasty, caramel bready, with a touch of booziness. There is a candied type pineapple liqueur nose on this beer, its very typical for the style. The taste is also very typical. There are hints of clove, lots of candied sugars, plenty of caramel, some green apples, a nice bready earthiness, the beer is quite sweet. There is a peppery snap to the beer towards the finish. The florals and fruitiness picks up as this beer starts to warm and settle in. This is a medium bodied beer, the consistency is a bit thick and syrupy, a touch cloying. The spicey pepper in the finish adds a nice touch to this beer. What's not to like. I would have this again if I were seeking out a Belgian Dubbel. The labelling gives you all the background on the collaboration with Sierra Nevada, without it just being silly marketing. L'Chaim.

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Photo of megahurts4
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sierra Nevada Ovila Dubbel

Appearance: brown, medium head, and some good lacing.

Smell: yeast and mild dark fruits.

Taste: yeast, malts, slight dark fruit, grapes, and a mild sweetness.

Mouthfeel: medium.

This is a good brew. It is similar to a belgian, but the dark fruit flavors are not as pronounced.

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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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