Ovila Abbey Saison | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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Ovila Abbey SaisonOvila Abbey Saison
Very Good
772 Ratings
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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 772 |  Reviews: 263
Photo of BhojanBevGuy
1/5  rDev -74%

Photo of Jwaks
1.75/5  rDev -54.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

It pours a translucent light golden color with little to no head, no lacing and no head retention. This is despite lots of carbonation being trapped in the beer, little carbonation contributes to bubbles in the body or any head or lacing. It plain sucks for a saison. Only an aggressive pour achives a lasting head with no lacing and very little to no bubbles in the body. I don't get how there is so much carbonation trapped in the beer with no head or bubbles, especially at room temperature.

Aromas consist of faint citrus, metal, minerals and hints of spice, all muted and underwhelming.

Flavor holds little lemon and lemon rind alongside metal, minerals, and spicy hops.

Mouthfeel is brutally dry. Gravity reading of 1 confirms it is way too dry and well outside the BJCP style guidelines. I'm not one to cling to BJCP guidelines as gospel but this is overkill even for a saison. Over attentuation is a consistent issue with these beers including the ovila dubble which was the same.

My guess is they used hard water and sugar with 3711. Any experienced homebrewer can tell you not to use sugar with 3711 French Saison, because it is such an agressive fermenter.

If I was sierra nevada I would stop working with whatever consultant they have and get some experienced people to help them with the ovila series beers.

In all honestly, This saison is worse than my first attmept brewing a saison with wyeast 3711. I refuse to spend $10 per bottle for special release beer from sierra nevada which is no better than beer I can brew at home and is way off from any sensible style guideline.

I'm sticking to authentic belgian and french saisons from now on.

 1,666 characters

Photo of Brew33
2/5  rDev -47.9%

Photo of Guden
2.36/5  rDev -38.5%

Photo of x37x
2.5/5  rDev -34.9%

Photo of bwarren82
2.5/5  rDev -34.9%

Photo of bkbergen
2.5/5  rDev -34.9%

Photo of KensWorld
2.55/5  rDev -33.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Way too malty and sweet. Way off balance. Almost no head. I remember having this a few years back and it was good. Something might have went wrong with this batch or its out of date. Bottle has a 2/9/2015 bottle date. Did not like at all, way too malty and butterscotch sweet 2.50

 280 characters

Photo of scoots511
2.68/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served from a corked 750mL bottle. Nice pop when the cork was removed.

A: Medium-Light amber color, white head pours easily but not over carbonated for the style. Dense white head.

S: Light level of smells coming off of this one...slight yeast, spice, caramel, and alcohol tones.

T: Sweet, spicy, slight tart/citrus taste finishes with very light hop bitterness. Seems like a very delicate/light saison for the flavor profile.

M: Carbonation level has active dissipation in the mouth and continues down the throat.

O: I hope I got this bottle for cheaper than other Saisons out there...It feels like it is designed to be a beginner Saison since most I've tasted have more character than this. I would like more of some outstanding taste and smell characters. This feels like a conservative muted taste to find wide audience acceptance. I hope as they develop a fan base for this line of beer they grow some cohones and take some risks.

 941 characters

Photo of Rando23
2.75/5  rDev -28.4%

Photo of HumphreyLee
2.75/5  rDev -28.4%

Photo of neophilus
2.78/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

From notes...

Thick, creamy head tops a cloudy golden-yellow brew. Sticky thin lacing hangs on the sides of the glass as the head falls.

Aroma is somewhat soapy but flowery. Notes of lavender are soft yet firm, caught somewhere between fresh spring flowers and laundry detergent. Rather feminine actually.

First taste brings peppery sweet flavors to the palate, with some lemon mixing things up. The flavor continues to be subdued and light as I continue to sip with a faint citrus character marking the taste's progression. The beer finishes with a mildly grainy aftertaste.

A very soft and delicate beer. I was expecting more funk from this style. It was either lavender or soap that was throwing the aroma off for me, I went in expecting some yeasty spice but got mostly flowers. The flavor was delicate as well, as the initial peppery spice did not carry through towards the end.

 887 characters

Photo of harrymel
2.9/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottled 2011

A: pours a dirty grain colored ale with moderate haze and a three finger off white loose foam head. This falls rather quickly to a solid sheet of the same. No lace, wish there were.

S: Yeast, pepper, citrus and a hint of funk. Maybe a bit of plastic like whiffs at the back end. Meh, par for the coarse IMO.

T: The yeast is certainly the life blood of this one for me. The yeast is earthy and cloven - reminds me of Unibroue yeast, but toned WAY down (I hate Unibroue's yeast). There is a decent bitter bite with some evident sweetness and wheaty flavors. Again, some plastic flavor at the back end.

M: Medium bodied and sharply crisp with a dry finish. Here they hit the head nearly, prefer just the slightest resonance.

O: Well, Ovila is O for 2. Not a bad beer, not an exceptional beer, not even particularly above average. Really middle of the road with this one.

 885 characters

Photo of tlazaroff
2.9/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

Took this out of the fridge 30 minutes before drinking to warm it up a bit.

A: Pours a honey color, slightly on the orange side. Carbonation streaming from the bottom of the glass to support the fluffy light tan head.

S: Smells like a Belgian beer. Yeasty, tart fruits, and maybe a little pepper dominate the aroma. Smells quite wonderful.

T: I don't get as much funk as I like in my Saisons. There are hints of hay and oats, and defiantly grassy notes too. Just didn't deliver on what the aroma promised, kinda sad really.

M: Very light bodied (almost creamy) and carbonated, also incredibly smooth, neither of which I was expecting. I don't think this fits the style very well.

D: Quite drinkable, but I'd rather have other saisons.

 739 characters

Photo of pants678
2.95/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

An orange-ish body with an off-white head, very usual.

Grains and lemon on the nose, little pine.

Muted and subdued, but definitely peppered and lemony. Almost too smooth, not enough edge on the hops. The alcohol's covered, though. Spices are present but uncertain. It's a given that saison is not the most exciting style but this needs punctuation, something definitive.

Very soft. The head retains and the carbonation is anything but aggressive.

 451 characters

Photo of hwwty4
2.96/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured a corked and caged 750ml into my to to saison glass, my Hennepin globe. This beer pours a grainy amber with a massive 4inch head that sticks around for days. Lacing is minimal but there is a bit sticking to the inside of the glass. The aroma is mild and fairly approachable. A bit of white pepper, intermingling with a bit of wet hay and nondiscript flower petals. Some estery yeast aromas are present too. The flavor is mild. Up front starts with just a bit of mild grains. Caramel and toast with just a bit of green Apple. Very little spice to the flavor profile compared to the nose. As it warms, I feel like I have to point out that there is a distinct banana flavor. I wonder what type lot yeast was used. While not unheard of in a saison, its not my favorite flavor in the style. The mouthfeel is just wrong. On the back of the bottle it mentions that this is supposed to be a dry and refreshing need. It's really the opposite. It has this odd creaminess to it. Reminds me almost of the mouthfeel you get in a beer on nitrous. A sort of artificial creaminess. No bueno. Overall its a very approachable beer for the style. Not my favorite though. Fix the mouthfeel and get back to me.

 1,196 characters

Photo of Marc33
3/5  rDev -21.9%

Photo of Rivenin
3/5  rDev -21.9%

Photo of JedediahK
3/5  rDev -21.9%

Photo of dgeebs07
3/5  rDev -21.9%

Photo of dreichus
3/5  rDev -21.9%

Photo of beeragate
3/5  rDev -21.9%

Photo of EdelweissDad
3/5  rDev -21.9%

Photo of ryendavid
3/5  rDev -21.9%

Photo of ONN8
3/5  rDev -21.9%

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Ovila Abbey Saison from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.84 out of 5 with 772 ratings