Ovila Abbey Saison | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

very good
263 Reviews
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Ovila Abbey SaisonOvila Abbey Saison

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

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-15-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 263 | Ratings: 773
Photo of viaingo
4.77/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Type: Saison Ale.
Color: Golden hue.
Body: Medium carbonation. Great full bodied saison.
Head: Nice lofty white head. left a fantastic lace that really added to the flavor.
Taste: Great fruit flavor. There is definitely a citric tang in the finish. Very dry throughout.
Aroma: Spicy and fruity. Full bodied and earthy flavor with a touch of yeast.

Sunday Sunday Sunday! The Super Bowl was amazing and so was this beer! This beer was a celebration of the monks style of brewing ales. The profits of the limited series of Ovila ales goes to the Santa Maria de Oliva chapter house on the grounds of the Abbey of New Clairvaux. The order of release of Ovila Ales goes as this: Dubel, Saison, Trippel. The saison was a good beer to drink during the Super Bowl. This was certainly a great beer to pair with snacks like carrots, cheese, and pita chips.


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Photo of JMScowcroft
4.66/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. - Ovila Abbey Season - 1pt 6fl oz bottle

Look - Pours golden with a tinge of copper. Slight, foamy head with decent lacing. Hazy, no noticeable carbonation.

Smell - Citrus and dry, almost like a high-quality champagne or cider with heartier overtones. If you pay attention you might smell a hint of strawberry.

Taste - Dry, crisp, and refreshing as hell with a creamy strawberry middle and a slight bitter citrus aftertaste that fades quickly.

Mouthfeel - Quite pleasing, this brew encourages you to drink more.

Overall - This is a great brew, this style isn't typically my personal style, but I would definitely get this brew again.

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Photo of KTCamm
4.58/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from champagne bottle into a Duvel glass.

Pours light copper with a good creamy head of white foam. Color moves light to dark, bottom to top. Belgian yeast smell, some sugar notes. Light fruity crisp taste. Subtle orange peel on the close. Light malt and citrus wrapped around.

Absolutely delicious.

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Photo of MrMalt27
4.47/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on tap at The Shepherd & Knucklehead in Haledon NJ.
Great aroma & color. The first sip reminds me of a hefe weizen but then that quickly dissipates and a lively spiciness arrives. Extremely drinkable- you would never know it's 7%. Fantastic.

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Photo of danmouer
4.43/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Sierra Nevada is a very competent brewery. I expect they will do things well. However, when producing a beer like saison, I hope to find a creative flair that sings "genius." Ovila saison succeeds at tickling my high-expectations fancy. This is a very fine beer.

The beer pours a nice traditional orange-amber, raising an energetic foamy head that fall to a satisfying foam ring, leaving little lace on my chalice. A very pretty opalescent haze is just right for saison.

The aroma caught me unprepared. I expected a professionally competent pilsner malt nose with some Belgian yeast spice. Instead I found a nice little bit of funk. The aroma is grassy hop transmuting to a wet- old-hay nose that is then followed by a bit of good spice. The malt is there, but the more earthy components win my attention.

The flavor is rich, complex, deep, all stitched together with a pleasant hop bitter backbone. No single component dominates. The mixture is luscious, intriguing and continually changing. Very nice beer.

The real crown in this achievement is the mouthfeel. Ovila Saison gets it exactly right. Light-medium body, excellent balance, crisp and mouthfilling fine carbonation,and clean bone-dry finish: incredibly refreshing.

Well done Sierra Nevada. Please make some more of this wonderful beer.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
4.4/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a hazy yellow to orange-ish color with an off white head. In the aroma, fruity, earthy, and yeasty. In the taste, fruity, tart green apple, yeasty and a hint of earth. A sour bite and medium to lighter bodied mouthfeel, with a dry sour green apple in the aftertaste. Almost Fantome like, very enjoyable.

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Photo of JayQue
4.39/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sierra Nevada never disappoints. I was expecting a bastardized hop bomb masquerading as a Saison. Not the case. This beer is true to style and very nice.

Pours a cloudy dark gold/orange color with a delicately bubbled white head. Head retention is average. A little lacing.

Smell is great. Lemon zest and yeast and funkiness.

Taste is more of the same. The lemon zest and funk are just right for the style. A nicely crafted Saison, as good as some imports

Mouthfeel is good. Crisp, a little sour and funky. Nice.

This is an impressive American take on a Saison. I would have this one again.

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Photo of lnashsig
4.38/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The second of the Ovila Collab series, I tried the Dubbel and wasn't impressed, hoping this rebounds. Poured into my Brooklyn tulip, pours a beautiful light orange color. Nice head, nice retention. Smell- lemon zest, clove, nice light fruit esters. Maybe some rosemary. This smells like a perfect Saison. Taste- just really well balanced lemon zest, light airy flavors. love this. They really rebounded here and this is just a textbook awesome example of a Saison. Mouthfeel- just a perfect dry finish, not too much carbonation. Overall, I'm impressed. Well done Sierra Nevada- you still got it!

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.35/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle - $9.49 at Olde Crabapple Bottle Shoppe in Alpharetta, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a hazed, darkened gold body with a tall, white head that just fluffs out instantaneously.

Smell: Softly bready malts, with a bit of hinted at sweetness, a bit of tanginess to it, too. Little notes of lemony, zesty citrus, dew-moistened orchard fruits, and the humble banana. Modest spiciness.

Taste: Faintly grainy malts, some influences from malted wheat, maybe some pilsner as well. Light sweetness. Doughy, yeasty accents. Hint of sliced French loaf. Mild touches of bananas and tart orchard pears, maybe a sliver of Granny Smith apple and a couple basic white grapes, too. Pinch of finely ground spices. Sprinkling of flower petals. Scantly grassy, citrusy hops with ample bitterness present. A few drops of melon juice. Dry, fluffy finish with a light lingering tanginess.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Highly carbonated keeps things lively throughout.

Overall: Presents a good blend of flavors (more and more as it opens up), closes out nicely dry, and has excellent carbonation all the while. I liked it.

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Photo of russpowell
4.33/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review from notes:

Pours a semi-hazed honey color with 2+ fingers of cream colored head. Great head retention & lacing

S: Lemon grass, white pepper & hay

T: Pineapple, grassyness, some bready notes, white pepper & subdued phenolic notes up front. Pineapple & apricot as this warms, more phenols & some dryness. Finishes with pineapple, dryness, grassyness& grainy bread notes

MF: Medium bodied, subtle carbonation, nice balance. Carbonation becomes creamy as this warms along with a touch of coarseness

Really enjoyed this, liked this way more than the dubbel

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Photo of Forb
4.32/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Corked from a 750ml bottle...

Appearance: Hazy yellow to orange to amber hue that shows plenty of rising carbonation into a massive 4 finger head.

Smell: Complex earthy elements of freshly cut grass accompanied by spice and fruit aromas.

Taste: Earthy elements come forward predominantly with the spicy complexity of citrus fruit sparking the flavor finishing with a subtle peppery closure.

Mouthfeel: A light to medium body, dry, crisp, and utterly refreshing in carbonation.

Overall: Similar to the Ovila Dubbell; this beer just comes across much easier to drink. Clearly a summertime beverage just layered with complex flavoring to intrigue ones pallet. Try it while it's around!!


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Photo of DoubleJ
4.32/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at The Pint House and served in a Chimay chalice. On to the beer:

Morning sunshine orange in color with a creamy, thin lace that covers the top and leaves some thin layers on the glass. It has a good aroma, not over the top, relaxed. Quite dry with lemon and horse blanket.

This is where Ovila gets its name. The taste is very easy to approach and does not overpower in any one aspect. Lightly sweet; suggestions of pear, bubblegum (more specifically Bubble Tape brand), and pleasant spice. The fun doesn't stop there; its smooth and chalky body are extremely pleasing and helps create a very worthwhile experience.

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Photo of zeff80
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a hazy, golden, yellow color with a two-finger, white head of bubbly foam. It left thick rings of sticky lace.

S - It smelled of lemon, cut grass with strong yeasty. It was slightly phenolic, too.

T - Great spicy/peppery flavor with some sweet caramel. Good yeasty flavor with some notes of lemon.

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

O - This is a really good saison. I was glad to fine this on my travels.

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Photo of BurnInLA
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz caged/corked bomber into a tulip glass.

Poured a rich, hazy amber color with a substantial amount of fine bubble carbonation that builds a thick white head about an inch and a half. Head fades quickly. No lace.

Sweet malt, citrus, floral and spice of coriander on the nose.

Flavors of citrus, coriander and more floral notes upon consumption. A very light trace of tartness on the finish. Very nice drinkable flavor....

Mouthfeel is very good; on the lighter side but very smooth.

Overall this beer is a very good Saison. This could be a session beer for sure... goes down very easy.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.27/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I enjoyed this bottle at Bully's on Main in Columbia PA.

The color is a slightly dark than golden, perhaps apricot color with slight haze and pillowy thick white cream which has average sized bead and is visibly carbonated with subtle lace. The smell is very pleasant with a strong yeast aroma with slight tart wheat tang in the nose w/ light toasted grain and mild tropical fruit accents. The body is semi-full with moderately strong carbonation and moderate hop acidity with sliht creamy presence and light nutty/earthy texture with semi dry finish.

The taste of this saison is good with mostly tropical fruit from the yeast with a light tanginess from what I gather to be wheat with some hints of pineapple and almond with slight element of hops which could be adding floral notes, but seem to favor citrus with slight peppery and herbal quality. The yeast and malt work together to make a light spice and bready flavor which is very pleasant with light woody notes and mild toasted sweetness. The Saison works for me on the drinkability, I really enjoyed this and could have consumed the whole bottle if I wasn't sharing it with my wife and friend Steve.

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From notes. This pours a light clear golden color with a nice fluffy head. The Ovila is less hazy than some saisons. The head dissipates quickly and does not leave a lot of lacing. The aroma includes spiciness from the yeast and hops and a little malt. The malt sweetness also comes through initially in the flavor but it diminishes during the dry finish. I think Sierra Nevada does a real fine job with the carbonation and mouthfeel. It is medium bodied and refreshing. It is very clean tasting and it lacks some of the uniqueness (both good and bad) found in other saisons.

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Photo of rlee1390
4.25/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-Cloudy orange with a finger of lacing.

S-Light citrus notes, with pine and grass there as well.

T-Great blend of citrus and grass. Ends with some spicy bitterness.

M-Light with a good bit of carbonation and very crisp.

O-Another great beer from the Ovila series. A solid Saison.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.25/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a cloudy and bright orange-yellow color with a huge layer of frothy white head atop. The head fades down slowly leaving behind some lacing.

S - Aroma is a mix of lemon and yeast scents. There is also a bit of light spices and funkiness mixed in as well.

T - Starts off with some lemon and yeast flavors and just a touch of light spices. Through the middle, the flavors get a bit stronger with a bit of banana and funkiness coming thorough. The finish is again a mix of rich yeast and lemon flavor with just a touch of bready yeast flavor.

M - Medium-light bodied with fairly strong carbonation. Feels very smooth and lively on the tongue with a nice dry mouthfeel.

D - Very drinkable. Not quite the complex balance of a true Belgian saison but very close. The mouthfeel is right on through.

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Photo of Arithmeticus
4.24/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured chilled in ale glass

A: cloudy, dark peach color; good head; decent lacing
S: persistent, buoyant; esters, booze, pear dominate
T: sweet with overtones of pear; light at first, moving to dry ale on the back end, almost too raw; complex, flavorful beer

A pleasant saison. Go for it.

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Photo of TenHornsProud
4.23/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light orange with hints of yellow with a big, fluffy head.

Smells of spice, some sweetness, spicy hop notes.

Tastes up front spice with sweetness and citrus coming in the middle. Finishes dry with some lingering sweetness.

Mouthfeel is good. It is dry but not as dry as some of the saisons I've had. I like a bit more dryness.

This is a fantastic saison that has overriding spice and citrus notes. I'd buy it again.

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.22/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Beachwood I,

A: Pours a yellow-orange with a medium white head, average retention, some spotty lace.

S: Lots of pear and yellow apple, the Belgian yeast is apparent. Some light spice.

T: Pears and apricots with a hint of orange. Some residual sugar keeping everything in balance. Hop flavour is minimal, but adds a pleasant earthy backbone.

M: Soft carbonation, easy drinking, medium-bodied overall, very smooth.

O: Sierra Nevada's Ovila label impressed with the dubbel and now with the saison. This is a fantastic American saison beer.

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Photo of chugalug06
4.21/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Nice thin fluffy white crest of a head rides on top of dark brown red colored murky liquid.

Light slightly funky orange aroma with lots of spice.

Malty, light, grassy, orange, lavender, creamy, high carbonation, moderate appropriate sweetness zero bitterness.

Nicely surprised. Recommended @ $3.50/375ml C&C

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Photo of mudbug
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the large bottle (750?) into a large wine chalice results in a very nice cloudy orange with a one inch rocky head of foam.
Aroma is inviting, astringent clove and spice, very clean and light. Taste is complex, some clove, sweet malts, balanced by a hint of tartness, wet hay and grass in the aftertaste and a slight mushroom quality.
This is one fine beer, And Kudos to Sierra Nevada for expanding their horizons in such a good way.
I will buy this again and again.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Black Raven pint glass. Pours a slightly cloudy orange amber with a thick one finger white head and lacing. Looks nice. Fairly complex aroma of caramel malt, banana, light fruit and Belgian spices. Starts with a medium sweet malt and light fruit flavor and abruptly finishes dry with pepper, citrus, a hint of funk, Belgian spices and a light hop kick. A very different flavor progression. A bit too dry on the finish for my taste, but very well made and interesting enough to keep my interest.

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Photo of CampusCrew
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amazing saison with some actual body. Great malt backbone and decent hop profile. I love the super spicy flavor and balance with the Belgo yeast. This is not a light saison and very full bodied for the style. Love this paired up with some funky cheeses.

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Ovila Abbey Saison from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
3.83 out of 5 based on 773 ratings.
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