Ovila Abbey Dubbel | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

very good
454 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 454 | Ratings: 1,035
Photo of Glibber
3.47/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Small off white head that almost dissapeared entirely. Amber brown color, light tasting on the tongue with some decent carbination. Had some dark fruit flavors and malt, but I wish the flavors were a little more pronounced as the beer was not quite up to my expectations considering the great beers from Sierra Nevada.

 318 characters

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

Poured from 750ml corked and caged bottle into Delirium Tulip.

A. Poured a 2+ finger well carbonated head. Good retention. Decent lacing. Color is a nice amber brown.

S. Has a pretty strong yeast smell. Get some light aroma of dark fruit. Caramel malt base. Fairly sweet smell.

T. Somewhat strange taste. Pretty sweet. Get some hop bitterness. Not a surprise a Sierra Nevada Belgian is going to have some hop flavor. Not a whole lot of traditional dubbel flavors though.

M. Medium/low bodied. Kind of disappointed in the pretty thin mouthfeel. Lots of carbonation. Lingering sweetness.

O. Overall I have to say that I was expecting more than I feel was delivered. Seems like a pretty simple dubbel to me with the addition of some hop bitterness. Mouthfeel was very thin. I am hoping for more out of the Saison and Quad. Glad I only bought one $15.99 bottle of this.

 874 characters

Photo of HalfFull
3.53/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750 ml. bottle into a wine glass. This, the first of the Ovila series, occupies the same bottle as the 30th Anniversary Beers from Sierra Nevada. A firm pop opens up the beer which pours a medium brown in color with some muddled crimson highlights. A half inch of off white crown offers good retention and keeping a nice cap throughout.

Nose is light and subtle. Perhaps too subtle in fact. I have a bit of a time gathering much from the nose at all. A bit of caramel with warming is evident but otherwise rather discreet, though surely not negative.

Similar in taste as to the aroma. Touch of caramel and a light sense of muddled brown sugar. The yeast notes are rather subtle both in the aroma and the flavor. Perhaps this an Americanized Dubbel as for makeup, though not quite sure where it's going. Has a bit of hop spice on the finish which seems oddly out of character.

Feel is a bit thin with light hints of spice and caramel. Overall rather mediocre I would say, with a rather light body for the style. Not much to offer..

Honestly, I'm rather disappointed in this brew. And at the price point, it's a total fail... Think I'll jjust grab a better beer from 6000 miles away next time...

Note: 7.5%

 1,224 characters

Photo of FosterJM
4.38/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

355th review on BA
bottle to chimay goblet
750 ML C/C

App- A very nice dark brown with amber/red highlights. One and a half finger head. Just soft and pillowy looking head and a marshmellow softness fade.

Smell- Rich layered sweetness with a malts and a bit of brown sugar.

Taste- The thing I love about dubbles is the yeasty softness. This was no different. Yeasty, soft and delicious. The slight peppery spice notes are very pleasant and the softness again just keeps drawing me in.

Mouth- Medium bodied with an almost high carb soft lace like finish.

Drink- A very good beer. I have wanted to try this since I read about it a long time ago. Was not dissapointed. I could drink a lot of this very quickly. Oh wait I did, my bottle was gone much too quick.

 762 characters

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

Ovila Dubbel was very appropriately wrapped in a dark brown Belgian Abby champagne-type bottle with cork and cage closure. The label just screams old-world, monastic, traditional Abby ale.

The brew pours a deep dark amber/brown--similar to Westmalle but darker than the "normal" range for dubbers. A very fine off-white head jumps up an inch plus and slowly recedes to a veil of lacy froth.

The aroma is as expected but understated a bit. And did I perhaps catch a slight whiff of American hops? Hmmm. The aroma is sweet, caramel, and peppery.

The flavor is mouth-filling, appropriately spicey-dry, and moderately complex. This is certainly a malt-driven beer without a hint of cloying candy-like sweetness. That's not to say that it isn't sweet, but the sugars are very well balanced by spice,carbonation, and the dry,medium-bodied, effervescent mouthfeel.

This is a good Dubbel. No it's a VERY good Dubbel. But it is missing some complexity. If this were from a Belgian abbey, or one of the traditional abbey-style brewers, I would expect the complexity to develop over time as the beer sits on the bottle lees. But I don' t think tis is bottle conditioned, and if that is true,then it is missing a major ingredient required for truly excellent abbey Dubbel.

Thank you Sierra Nevada for staying true to the style. I cannot wait to taste the forthcoming Saison and Quad.

 1,376 characters

Photo of avalon07
3.82/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a goblet. Had a brownish color with ruby tints and a mostly clear consistency. There was a big, foamy, fairly long-lasting head. Almost no lacing.

S: A solid smell of yeast, dark fruit, and some malt.

T: Tasted of malt, dark fruit (plums, etc.), and Belgian yeast. Did not have quite the bite or complexity you find with most Belgian dubbels. Not a bad flavor, but not exactly mind-blowing either.

M: A highly carbonated beer with a smooth and dry finish. Medium-bodied.

D: This is a mixed bag of a beer. It has some laudable components, but is certainly uneven. Drinkable, though.

 612 characters

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

Poured into tulip, pours a hazy rusty amber color with good head, not the best retention and so-so lacing. Smell has a definite caramelized sugar and sweet fruit aspect to it. Having a hard time pinpointing what exact fruit but a very nice and complex nose. Taste starts out sweeter with the caramelized malt and sugar notes. After that i notice the fruits and in particular a tart cherry, though not terribly noticeable i loved a nice tartness to it. Mouthfeel was smooth and velvety, not thin but not too full. Overall a great beer and definitely unlike any others in the Sierra Nevada collection.

 599 characters

Photo of mntlover
4.35/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a red walnut color with thumb sized tan head that falls to ring with some spotty lace.

Aroma is malty goodness with dark fruits plums, raisins, hints of peat and soft cloves, spice. Aroma is sweet, soft and inviting very pleasant if a bit subdued.

Taste is wow spot on, big malty goodness sweet moving to fruity plums, figs with residual sugars here and there. Moving to peat, earthy yeast notes then spice clove mostly. Some lingering hop notes herbal like. Very nice Dubbel very well done, much better then any of Stones Belgian tries.

Mouthfeel is maybe little lighter then expected but carbonation is wonderful lightly peppy but mostly feels nice and smooth. One of my big knocks against most brews is to much carbonation, but not here.

Drinkability is great very enjoyable, very well done wouldn't mind having a few more of these at all.

 852 characters

Photo of MEsquandoles
4.01/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750mL (same as 30th Anniversary Series). 7.5% abv on label. They've done well with corking these - all the ones I've opened have exeted a loud "pop".

Brown in color, with ruby highlights. Dense, creamy head with good retention.

I've poured in 2 different glasses - old school New Belgium glass and a smaller Konigshoeven - yet don't get a very intense aroma.

...most of the traditional Dubbel-y flavours...predominately raisins-figs-dates with cloves and other spices. Maple-y, but less sweet than most. I like the dry finish. Earthy, like some stone-like flavours. A slight hop and bitterness presence (likely due to freshness vs. Belgian examples).

Very smooth. No booziness.

Much spicier with the bottom of the bottle poured in the glass. Yet still not as yeasty (not phenolic, estery, fusel-y) as a lot of other Dubbels - a quality which I really enjoy about this one.

This has an impressively close resemblance to a Trappist version of the style, especially in look and feel. Sure the complexity is it not fully there, but this is very drinkable and there's not much else wrong with it. I had no problem finishing the 750mL. It's great enjoyed slower, amongst its tempting drinkability.

I can't think of many examples made in the U.S. that I'd prefer over this.

I might buy another bottle, but definitely worth trying.

2012-01-24 - Still very enjoyable. Super smooth. Aroma still the least best aspect; but great carbonation, mouthfeel, evolution of flavor; aftertaste is epic.

 1,491 characters

Photo of Halcyondays
4.14/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle, great label, opens with a Champagne like pop,

A: Pours a deep red umber to brown with an initial three finger head which recedes quickly to a smooth cap of foam, no lace is a surprise.

S: Definite plum notes and sweet brown sugar with a soupçon of dark chocolate.

T: Direct gingerbread notes attack first with a pleasing mix of dark sugar, allspice, and clove. Secondary dark fruit flavours, mission fig and prune, though the fruitiness is not as direct as the nose would indicate.

M: Medium-bodied overall. Soft prickly pleasing carbonation which is very distinct. Arguably the most authentic Belgianesque mouthfeel I've had in an American made, Belgian style beer, reminds me a ton of Achel Brune in this respect. Very impressive.

O: A fantastic dubbel, good flavours and tasted blind this could easily be mistaken for a Belgian made effort, perhaps it's the monks. Fans of St. Bernardus Prior 8 should love this.

 936 characters

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

Mahogany colored body with some lighter coppery red highlights in the chalice. Fluffy light ivory colored head, about 3 fingers thick to start and slowly fades, leaving little lace behind.

Caramel and candy sweetness with some hints of spice in the aroma but comes across as a bit underwhelming.

Taste opens up a bit more than the aroma with lots of malty/caramel sweetness and some fruitiness too. Clove like spice and fruity esters provide a nice Belgian yeast profile.

Mouthfeel is creamy but a bit lighter than expected.

Overall, a nice dubbel and a great effort from SN and these monks.

 598 characters

Photo of thekoz
4.31/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip from a corked bottle. High carbonation pop when I removed the corked, though the carbonation level seemed light and tight.

Great mahogany color. Sweet aroma with hints of raisin and other dried fruits (dates?).

Lightly bittered, lots of fruity flavor. Mostly raisin.

Head a tan head when initially poured, which dissipated fairly quickly.

 361 characters

Photo of brotherloco
3.46/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml C&C Bottle. Can't find a date, but this a brand new brew.

Poured into a tulip. Deep red tinged dark brown appearance with a beige head that settles fairly thin across the top of the brew.

Smells of expected sweet caramel malt, dark fruits, spices. Not very strong. I think I detect a bit of Sierra Nevada-ness in there too, maybe their hops?

Taste is a little surprising. Much more grassy, earthy, and metallic than I was expecting. The middle gets a little acidic but brings on the sweet malt from the nose, it doesn't make a huge impact though. Peppery notes throughout the finish. Carbonation is good and the brew is medium bodied.

I'm a bit disappointed in this beer overall, was expecting more from SN. I'm glad they started this project though, and I'll certainly give the forthcoming Saison and Quad a try.

 823 characters

Photo of tlazaroff
4.02/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Beautiful brown with a light mocha colored head, but brilliant red when held to light. Visible carbonation keeps the head alive which sticks to the glass in nice lacing patterns.
S: Wonderful rich caramel smell backed by raisins & dates.
T: The bitterness is more poignant on the palate than on the nose, however, malt dominates. It has a nice earthy quality, robust flavors of dark fruit and caramel with some chocolate notes.
M: Higher carbonation than expected, medium-full bodied.
D: This is a sipping beer, just a bottle for me please.

 543 characters

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

750ml bottle corked and caged. Served in a chalice. Opened with a big pop. Lots of carbonation. Poured a mahogany with a couple of fingers of fine bubbled, off white head. Spice from the yeast and some dark malt sweetness in the aroma. Medium bodied. Nice spicy flavor with clove. Not overly sweet as some dubbels can be. Some carmelized sugar and dark fruit. Very easy drinking. I liked this a lot.

 399 characters

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

Poured a rich, clear gold into a tulip with a finger of sticky eggshell head. Relatively delicate aroma of the usual banana, clove, and spice with just a hint of dark fruit sweetness.

Moderate carbonation and an extremely smooth, creamy mouthfeel. Once again, the flavor didn't wow me with anything too unusual for the style, with some banana/toffee sweetness and gentle spice on the finish.

Nothing really jumped out at me with this one, but it was really balanced and easy drinking. Glad I tried it on tap, but I wouldn't seek it out in the bottle at the current price point.

 579 characters

Photo of trappistlover
3.94/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(750ml bottle). Pours hazy cola color with nice beige head. Appropriate carbonation. Aroma has candied sugar, black pepper, ripe pit fruit. Taste has some malt sweetness, but not over the top. A hit of bitterness in there. Medium bodied with an oily texture. Smooth finish where the pepper is distinctive to me. This beer is pretty nicely balanced, if a little subdued

 368 characters

Photo of July2Nov
4.16/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Murphy's Bar and Grill, Honolulu, HI.

Appearance: Poured a copper-red-brown with a thin lacing.

Smell: Sweet bread with a slight amount of alcohol coming through.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Getting some cloves and dark fruit. Got some tang and spice to it. Aftertaste is grainy with a slight flash of alcohol. Also, tend to get an ever so slight bit of banana/bubble gum flavor, along with a ting of sour fruit notes. Carbonation tingles a little bit.

Overall: Very impressed by this brew by Sierra Nevada. Very great example of the style by the people who know what they're doing. For a 7.5% abv, it's very hearty. This is a beer that should be sipped and enjoyed.

 677 characters

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

Bottle into The Bruery tulip. Same presentation as I've come to expect from all of Sierra Nevada's special releases, which is pure class, from the cage to the label to the cork itself.

Pours deep mahogany, with a lush three fingers of fluffy, dense khaki head. Fantastic retention, and excellent stickage as it settles slowly down to a one-finger cap, clinging tenaciously to the sides of the glass as it does. A bit better lacing is all this one would need to hit perfection.

Nose is very nice - light alcohol, pronounced spicy clove and a bit of white pepper, fresh strawberries and a bit of red grapes, with a light, deeply bready brown sugar sweetness underneath.

Taste is very good as well. Soft and lush, this one drinks way, way too easily. The spicy phenolics mentioned earlier, replete with bucket loads of clove and just a bit of soft pepper, are wrapped up in a blanket of deep, soft, fresh-baked spice bread. Dark fruit shows through with some soft dried figs - the berries and grapes promised in the nose are only hinted at here. Still, not sweet - deeply malty, but dry for all that, with the soft alcohol adding quite a bit of depth within the grand scheme. Not to repeat, but every bit of this one felt light, soft, and lush, from the mouthfeel to the individual flavors. Not one to bash you over the head by any stretch.

Mouthfeel is perfect - creamy, soft and lush, almost fluffy because of the ridiculous head retention, with a body that feels lighter than expected, and a carbonation that is as far away from sharp as can be imagined.

Very nice beer overall. A drier take on the style, but well executed - the guys from Chico delivered an absolutely world-class Abbey Ale for sure.

 1,709 characters

Photo of Trilogy31
3.82/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a chestnut brown with a frothy head that leaves quickly with light lacing. On the nose there is some sour stone fruit, maybe a touch of fruity yeast and chocolate covered cherries. Very pleasant mouthfeel and taste, milk chocolate pudding, some hops and citrus, nice somewhat dry finish. Very nice abbey style ale from SN, a bit pricy but i look forward to their future releases

 384 characters

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

Had on tap at 12th South Taproom; served in a tulip glass.

Color is a clear, dark copper. Nice lacing from the off-white head of about 1 finger. Aromas are complex, with sweet malts and caramel, dark fruits and spices.

Taste is very good - caramel malt sweetness with spices in the background. Smooth mouthfeel and a medium-full body. A nice bit of alcohol warmth. Aftertaste is sweet, but not as sweet as other dubbels I've had.

Great start to the new Ovila series. I'm looking forward to the others from Sierra Nevada.

 523 characters

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

Loudest pop I've ever had from a corked bottle. Pours a nice brown color that looks amber red when held up to the light with a large cream colored head. Scent is Belgian yeast with some nice peppery notes. I get some dark fruits and clove as well. Taste is very well balanced with some great dark fruit and Belgian yeast flavors. A bit of clove and caramel with ground pepper. Finishes a bit spicy with caramel and a hint of chocolate. Mouthfeel is very light and creamy, but not too light. Has a "fluffy" feel to it. Drinkability is high. Overall, it's a great beer from a brewery who doesn't specialize in this particular style. I love this brewery!

 651 characters

Photo of vince4953529
4.35/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Haven't had a Belgian ale for awhile...got one bottle for $10, 7.5% abv listed on the classy label; a relaxing drink on a Tuesday morning.

Served slightly chilled in my RR glass. Dark ruby red color against the backdrop of an overcast day. The pour formed a creamy head also.

Tasted of brown sugar, peppery, and some unusual faint hint of celery and taste of fish; sounds weird but tasted great.

A very very smooth brew, creamy in the mouth goes down easily. Definitely enjoyable, but for the price it's unlikely I'll have this again... at least not in bottles.

I also toasted Ovila to one of my dear friends who committed suicide the past week, so tragic and shocking. May you have a good afterlife...

 707 characters

Photo of JohnGalt1
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up at the COOP for about $9.... poured into MNFG... nice long lasting tannish head.... okay lacing but a nice firm cap for the entire glass.... the brew is slightly hazed deep amber.

Nose shows all the right elements ... bit of caramel and mild toast.. little bit of plummy and lesser raisin esters... smells very nice.

Flavor is a rich mix of estery fruitiness and a hint of clovey phenol... rye bread crusts with warmth... a little bit of heat helps pull out the malt profile a bit more.

Medium bodied with a touch more than medium carbonation.. no alcohol to speak of.

I am really digging this one... I typically don't age dubbels, but this one I could see developing a deeper and more rich flavor profile. Good stuff.

All 4's

 746 characters

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

Poured into a 10 oz. goblet

Appearance: Ovila is a full reddish brown with a leather quality to the texture. Upon pouring the ale a light head forms but dissipates within a minute and a half. The remainder of the head clings to the glass.

Smell: My first impression of this ale is of autumn. There is something leafy about this beer. The ale is distinctive for its bouquet of various malts. The immediate impression of the ale is spearmint. While smelling it I get a strong aroma of raisin which is tainted by a rank malt liquor smell. This malt liquor smell stays with the beer the whole way through and definitely diminishes some of its better qualities. Other characteristics of the smell are cinnamon and nutmeg.

Taste: The first sip is dry and earthy in body. Upon a second sip I get a mild pepper and tobacco flavor. There is definitely a basic grain flavor which isn't very interesting. Ovila has a minor sour quality in addition to a fruity mix of plum, tart cherry and dried apricots. The malts are overly sweetened by cane sugar. There is a heavy amount of hops. I am not surprised since this is a Sierra Nevada ale. The hops are astringent. I find this ale to be too carbonated.

Drinkability: An ale that has a ton of good characteristics that are made less palatable because of serious off notes that make it tough to swallow. It isn't an undrinkable ale, but Ovila does have room for improvement.

Mouthfeel: The body is medium. The bread malts make the beer slightly chewy. I find Ovila a bit too fizzy. The off malt liquor flavor makes me want to drink it very quickly.

 1,590 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.