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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User Reviews
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Reviews: 263 | Ratings: 773
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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Photo of Mikus
4.19/5  rDev +9.4%

This was a welcome find on a recent trip to Columbus OH. Love me some SN. Poured into a stemless wine glass. A cloudy, deep amber color with some small white bubbles dancing on top. Appetizing look. Aromas of some funk, coriander, bananas, and banana bread. Interesting. Surprisingly clean taste, some spicy notes (cinnamon, clove?). Nice, rich mouthfeel. This brew lingered nicely, and was more than expected as a whole package. Nice foray into an area I'm not too familiar with yet. Made me feel as though I was in some kind of beer time warp, back into the middle ages... I would enjoy this again in a heartbeat.

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Photo of DCon
4.18/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on-tap @ Pizza Port Brewing in Carlsbad, CA for $4.75. Tapped from the Black Non-Labeled Tap Handle (with Sierra Nevada Label above it) into a 13oz Tulip Glass.

Aroma- Huge amount of hop from the beginning of the smell. There are a good amount of spices mixed in and then has citrus aroma at the end. Not much sour characteristics and the malt is hidden with the hop aroma...

Appearance- Light golden body that you can see perfectly through with 3 fingers of puffy head that leaves huge, thick lacing.

Flavor- Starts very fruity and sour. The fruits are lemon like and have to do with the malt character. There is a spicy hop taste that keeps the beer interesting all the way through. There is an extra long finish and it more sweet than hoppy. Great!

Mouthfeel- Light- Medium Bodied, High Carbonation, and leaves hop on the palate (more earthy though...).

Overall Impression- This was such a complexed Saison, I hope to see these in bottles soon to have! Very refreshing, nice fruit attributes, and the hops used aren't too overpowering but add a good balance to the beer. This one took me awhile to sip on but I loved every second of it! Would recommend!

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Photo of avalon07
4.18/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a yellow-brown color and a cloudy texture. There was a huge, creamy, long-lasting head. Below average lacing.

S: Smelled of that typical saison barnyard funk, along with a fruity aspect and malt.

T: Tasted of fruit (apples), malt, some pepper and the aforementioned barnyard funk. A solid, well-rounded flavor that is oddly satisfying.

M: A highly carbonated beer with a smooth, yet earthy finish. Medium-bodied.

O: One of the better American versions of saison.

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Photo of rdilauro
4.15/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours like the golden sunshine over the Bay Bridge. A perfect creamy head that stayed for a while.

The aroma was outstanding, a nice touch of fruit, mostly tropical, some banana and a walnut like nut flavor

The taste was full and very well balanced. Full and nice from the start right down to the finish.

Lots of good tasting fruit here mixed with just the right amount of barley and malt.


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Photo of KMcG
4.15/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Golden orange hazy color, small carbonation bubbles, nice rich head that leaves a Lacey trace on the glass. The head during the pour was about 1/2 in thick. 

S: Peachy aroma combined with the traditional Belgian yeast bready scent. 

T: initial fruity flavor of citrus that doesn't last long. Then, lemon-pepper sharpness with a dry finish that leaves a slight bready taste in the mouth. 

Mouthfeel: medium body, fine grained carbonation

Drinkable and yummy!

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Photo of flexabull
4.15/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The 2nd Ovila beer has arrived, and it's a Saison, nice.

Pours a bright gold color with a very nice white head. Looks nice!

Aromas are of lemon zest, spices, bubble gum, and yeast.

Taste is clean, crisp, and dry. Light lemon zest, spices, yeast, and some lightly sweet creamy and doughy malt flavors. Finish is soft, with some bright clove flavors.

Mouthfeel is pretty good, but feels a touch thin.

Overall, this is a nice take on the Saison style. The Ovila Dubbel was nice, this tastes even better. I have to say though, the price tag on these Ovila beers have made them a 1 and done.

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Photo of Hopswagger
4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From notes:
Split with Stavehooks

P: huge head frothy and ceamy. Great retention. Blonde cloudy with beautiful bubbles. 

S: sweet candy and citrus fruits crisp clean a tad musty. Alcohol is evident but not a huge player. Earthy maybe somewhat grainy. 

T/M:  very dry with good carbonation. Smell is better than the taste. Spicy with good mouthfeel. Tad on the tart side but not overpowering at all.  Dry grass and apple peels and a slight bitterness of orange rind on the finish.  Touches of funky wheat.  Yeasty once beer warms 

O:  smell is outstanding and Tate is well done. Great for the style. I could smell this all day. Another great addition to the SN line up.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.12/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big 750 ml bottle of Saison from the folks at Sierra Nevada. Plours a big deep golden haziness, looks like a bowel of honey in my La Chouffe chalice. Big white head forms thick carbonation is bursting the cork hit my ceiling and bounced off of three other surfaces. Spicy yeast notes with a touch of black pepper, fruity hints of citrus apple and an airy perfume note. Flavor is flowing with a mix of apples/citrus fruit tones and a spicy peppery yeast highlight. A solid earthy herbal background hop content, pretty nice solid clouded saison. Mouthfeel was medium bodied with a strong sturdy carbonation I spoke about earlier, really a dry finish though with the yeast profile. Overall high quality Belgian style ale that will just get better with some age on it.

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Photo of GilGarp
4.12/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL corked and caged bottle served cold into a goblet.

Ovila Saison is a slightly hazy golden yellow color with a thick white cap. It settles slowly leaving a little lace as it does.

Aroma is really pleasant with great floral and fruit notes.

Flavor is mild but complex with minty, peppery, spice character over a light fruity, banana and lemon base. Very good balance of flavors and easily sippable.

Mouthfeel is medium-light in body and well carbonated. Alcohol isn't that strong and that's how it comes across.

Overall a good saison but not an excellent one. Similar to their version of a dubbel, a solid attempt but not up there with the best of the style.

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Photo of blackie
4.12/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: poured into a large chalice, medium golden amber in color with a nice layer of off-white carbonation that retains well

s: both clean pils malts and a low amount of sweeter, lightly toasty malts form the malt base of the aroma, aromas of fuzzy pit fruits, spicy yeast influence, pepper, fresh cut grass hops and glimpses of citrus, a lovely saison aroma with lots to hold on to

m: carbonation lively, moderate-high, with a body kicking around somewhere between light and medium

t: the typically crisp pils and pale malts are augmented here with a low dose of something a little darker - caramel perhaps - that lends a residual sweetness that hits lightly in the middle but cleans up well by the finish, some flavors of sweet tree fruits - peach, nicely spicy yeast output and bready yeast flavors, grassy hops in good balance, great range of balanced flavours leading in to a dry, peppery finish

o: quite complex for the style, exceedingly well balanced, and obviously crafted with lots of care - one of the better stateside saisons out there

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Photo of deadonhisfeet
4.12/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a Duvel tulip. The beer pours out slightly hazy with an appetizing amber-orange color, only a finger's worth of foam, and very little effervescence. The beer smells of flowers, wheat, and candied fruit. Moderate hop character, but definitely fruity esters present.

The beer has a lot of body for a Saison and a surprisingly oily feel. Lots of sweetness on the palate with a good earthy spiciness to go with it. Up front I get lemon and orange marmalade. A good hit of spicy phenols accompany it at mid-palate, killing any medicinal sweetness that might exist. It finishes dry, but all the flavors seem to linger a little. Nothing dominates.

Not as spicy or earthy as some other Saisons I've had, but the style does allow a lot of room for interpretation and the flavor is undeniably pleasant. It has some nice complexity and a good balance between sweet and spicy. Really nice, but it could use more carbonation.

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Photo of KickbacksSteve
4.12/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Kickbacks in Jax. Poured into a snifter. White head, high retention on a hazy opalescent golden body. Aroma includes tangerine, lemon peel, candi sugar and that wispy Belgian saison yeast. Taste is lemony, slightly grassy (fresh grass), ever so slight green apple tartness, and delicious yeastiness. Great American version of this classic style. Very nice.

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Photo of mltobin
4.12/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the bottle, poured into a wine glass.

The appearance of this saison from Sierra Nevada is a cloudy orange tone with a one finger sized off-white head. Its` nose has grass, fruit, yeast and some floral hops. The taste hits you with pepper, some honey, white grapes, other fruit and some other spices that I cannot pinpoint. Mouthfeel is crisp with a dry finish. A very good beer and I am most certainly happy with the first 2 beers from this series that I have tried. Looking forward to trying the next one.

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Photo of Haybeerman
4.12/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Clear gold color. Poured a 3 finger coarse white head with good retention to a 2 finger cap. Decanted continually. Laced the glass in thin, wavy rings.

S: Light-colored fruit; pear and white grape. Slight bready malt aroma commingles with sour funk. Earthy and herbal in the background. Very complex nose.

T: Fruit, malt and funk in the taste are very consistent with the nose. Add clover honey and coriander. Finish is slightly resiny, spicey and dry.

M: Light body. Ample carbonation; active in the glass and on the palate. Starts a little coating and creamy, but clears quickly with carbonation, spice and dry finish.

O: Complex; a lot going on - in a good way. Moderate ABV and odd balance make it very drinkable.

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Photo of hosehead83
4.11/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a "corked and caged" big bottle into a wine goblet.
Burnt orange in color, with a big creamy head of bright white foam. Nice looking beer.
Aroma-Subtle spiciness and fruit
Taste-Peach fruit, dusty yeast, subtle funkiness and white pepper note. Earthy, herbal hop notes and a bit of a sweet finish. Very smooth and "gulpable" American saison, not nearly as complex and earthy as its Belgian cousins but very nice just the same.

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Photo of Billolick
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Large bottle, caged and corked, $10.99 at DeCicco's in Ardsley, NY

No freshness or bottling date info.

Pour is cloudy, orange/cantelope hued amber, moderate off white head, showing little retentive abilities. Some slippery spots of lacing.

Nose of more oranges, some ripe melon

Soft, fruity with moderate sweatness and minor spice. Flavorful, flowery, earthy and quality saison. Subtle peppery note, with light mint and a hint of tea adds up to decent complexity. Well done and quite enjoyable. Washed down a raw clam or two and some crackers and goat cheese in a fine style.

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Photo of Gmann
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly hazy golden color with a nice pillowy white head that settled in to a puffy cap.

The aroma is lightly tary and funky. Very nice clovey spice from the yeast with bubblegum and a sharp fruitiness. Pretty Beligan yeast aroma though it borders on too strong for the saison style. Smell great though.

The taste is of a slightly bready malt, a bit heavier than it should be for the style. There is a lovely apple and pear fruit flavor coupled with the clove and bubblegum from the yeast. Very tasty. Some coriander as well.

The feel is moderate with active carbonation. Sits sweet on the palate with a touch of a peppery spice from the yeast. The malt feels heavy at first but the beer finishes dry, like it should.

I love how this beer tastes but seems a bit off for the style. A bit, and I mean a bit, too heavy for the style. Not quite dry enough, not quite tart enough. Stellar BSPA though. This is a top notch beer, much better than the dubbel.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 ml cork and caged bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada tulip and Ovila chalice.
7% ABV, 1151616126 printed on the neck.

A - Lightly hazed, this saison is a brilliant golden yellow in color and is crowned by a dense off-white foam. Great retention despite the lack of carbonation - surprising from the easy and loud cork pop. Wispy lace sticks to the glass effortlessly.

S - Earthy Belgian yeast erupts into the air with a delicate pungency so common to the classic saisons. Subtle citrus notes follow up with a blend of more yeast characteristics; wet clay, white pepper, and a drop of exotic fruit I can't put my finger on.

T - The spice characteristics of the nose carry through to the flavor well. The light citrus burst is a bit more noticeable, signalling some nice hop character. Unfortunately the yeast qualities are offset by a lingering minerally, slightly metallic finish, mainly felt in the feel.

M - The faintly tinny finish in the feel really detracts from the otherwise fantastic beer that's going on here. The soft, medium-light body is delectable; complimented by a low level of carbonation. Alcohol content in this beer remains unseen on any level. Very well-balanced and slightly dry.

O - Delicious despite minor faults, Sierra Nevada's Ovila Saison showcases a superb use of Belgian yeast, especially in balance. It's hard to keep from over or under use of the yeast, but this brew does a fantastic job. Dangerously drinkable at 7% ABV, the earthy qualities of this saison would lend the beer to be a great late summer, early fall brew to sip on a lazy Saturday afternoon.

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Photo of Chaney
4.09/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle corked and caged. No bottling date or additional packaging info.

I filled up my Cigar City pint glass with this liquid.

A: Poured a very slightly muddy yellow color, with a 2 finger frothy head that stuck around for a while. I looked much more like an IPA than a saison.... especially of the farmhouse, funk variety.

S: Ahhh... there it is - the farmhouse funk! Strong scent of candy sugar, with a mild bit of sourness, wrapped up in coriander, pepper, and apricot. Smells yummy!

T: Despite the appearance, this one definitely has the farmhouse flair, but it's not an in-your-face spice bomb by any means. Fruity mandarin orange/apricot fruit comb, with a dry peppery finish.

M: Not too sweet or spicy. This one actually plays the whole saison funk thing right down the middle. Even the lacing was pretty tame.

O: I've gotta admit, this is VERY drinkable.... maybe even too. A part of me wishes that this were MORE spicy and sip-inducing.... maybe that would make me slow down!

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Photo of larryi86
4.08/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into a tulip

A- A clear golden amber color with a four finger white head.

S- Earthy spices, pears, yeast, faint apples.

T- Nice light fruits, pears and apples, light tartness, finishes with earthy spices, not very funky.

M- Smooth, crisp, light to medium body.

O- A nice, easy drinking Saison, not the best Saison I have had, but will pick it up again.

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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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