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 maxwelldeux
3.31/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Bottle. Pours a clear amber color with a moderate off-white head on it. Nose definitely has some of that saison funk to it - yeasty and slightly sour that definitely conjures up images of the farmhouse. Taste is decently sour without any residual sweetness. Feel is a bit thick and slightly heavy.

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Photo of dasenebler
3.34/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5


Pours a hazy, orange-amber with a nice two-finger head. Not much lacing, though retention is solid.

The aroma is quite complex, with lots of yeasty phenols, some vanilla, acidity and funk.

Flavor is somewhat grainy and wheaty at first, though the finish is bone dry. Yeast dominates the palate, with lots of spicy, peppery notes. A dirty rubber/plastic character is not too welcome in my book, and the funk seems a bit sullied. The mouthfeel is well-carbonated, with a medium-light body.

This Saison has some good things going for it, yet it misses the mark in the end. I know the Saison style is inherently NOT clean, but this one seems especially grimy.

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Photo of aasher
3.38/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This one pours a nice rich and cloudy gold with a one finger off white head. It poured medium in body. It gives off aromas of sweet bananas, cloves, and a heap of Belgian yeast. It has a pretty nice nose. Initially, it's appealing but the longer you sip it it gets a little old. The flavors are of sweet and bitter Belgian yeast with a banana and clove lead. That's all it is really and doesn't feature too much complexity. It drinks medium in body and actually drinks pretty well. Overall this is an ok saison but I'd prefer a Belgian or a Sofie.

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Photo of brotherloco
3.38/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml C&C bottle. No date, but this is the first batch released. Served in a tulip.

Pours cloudy amber with a huge off-white head. Settles down to a finger of foam. Mild lacing.

Aroma is a blend of peppery Belgian yeast and bright citrus notes. Getting some lemon, apple, orange, and tangerine. Finishes with some floral and funky notes.

Flavor is a let down, as it is weaker than I expected. The label doesn't lie, as grass and pepper dominate the flavor, but are a touch dull. Hardly any fruit in the flavor, although some emerges late in the finish, along with some sourness. Dry, but not really crisp.

Medium-low body with a bit above medium carbonation. Pretty nice overall mouthfeel.

Overall, the flavor is never stellar, but definitely gets better as the beer warms.

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Photo of Lerxst
3.38/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle poured into a snifter

A-Pours a slightly hazy gold with a gentle pour producing a one finger head of tightly knit bubbles that recedes to a thin ring. Leaves spotty lace.

S-Somewhat subdued nose, but I am picking up the earthy yeast, pale malt and light fruits. Nothing funky going on here, it is a pleasant but unspectacular nose.

T-earthy, peppery yeast, light fruit , pale malt, a tart slightly funky aftertaste comes in at the end.

M-crisp, sharp carbonation. Very dry. Light bodied.

O-this is a decent beer, just nothing particularly memorable.

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Photo of pitasoup
3.39/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: satisfying pop from the cork. pours straw golden yellow with nice fine and foamy two fingers of white head that is slow to subside, slight lacing as well. somewhat hazy body - i can see the outline of my fingers through the glass, but not much else.

S: wheat, dust, belgian/saison yeasts. a touch of peppers, lavender, and other floral notes are buried but present.

T: slight hop bitterness that slips into cloying saison yeast. muddled lemons, wheat.

M: feels overcarbonated, thin body doesn't hide the alcohol/phenols.

O: drinkable but nothing exceptional. too belgiany and phenolic for my tastes right now. i'd love to try it again in a year or two.

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Photo of trappistlover
3.4/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

(750ml bottle from Papago). Pours a hazy orange-yellow color with off-white head. Active carbonation. Aroma has lots of wheat, some citrus and loads of yeast--much like a hefeweizen. Taste is sweet with some bitterness. There is a bit of an off-taste, but its not too distracting. Medium bodied with a creamy texture. Smooth finish. Not that traditional for a saison, but a decent beer. I though the dubbel was closer to style.

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Photo of mcallister
3.4/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Dark golden colored with a thick, frothy head. Chunky and molten with long life. Showing some yellow hints and great retention.

Terrific aromas. Very floral, earthy with large amounts of yeast esters. Lemon and lime, white pepper, wild berries, fennel, coriander, carbonation.

A little off in the mouth. Especially the mouthfeel which hurts the overall picture. Good amount of hops bitterness, yeast, bread, hints of an almost brett like farmyard in the finish, lime zest, berries, pepper, grass, pine and more.

The mouth is weird it gives the impression that the carbonation isn't really there which in turn makes the flavors get lost and just ooze to quickly over the palate. But I think it may actually be so overcarbonated that its exploding on the tongue when it hits and is lost. Creamy but just lost.

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Photo of kauschovar
3.43/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear orange with a couple fingers of head. Has a very floral smell and similar taste. I also detect a little spice in the flavor, typical of other Saisons that I've tried. However, the flavor lacks a solid backing. Aside from the foral and spice accents, this beer tastes rather watery to me. In my mouth, the beer has a slight foamy feel.

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Photo of gueuzeonhigh
3.43/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy straw color.
The head is a short lived white bubbly affair.
No lacing

A mild nose- perhaps very mild. Hints of yeast, a pinch of hops, something reminds me of wild flowers.

Flavor is light- but with a definite ale character- dry, mild bitterness, hints of citrus and effervescence. Overall flavor body is thin-- initial flavor dissipates quickly.. flavor is not particularly complex even for a Saison.

Mouthfeel is cordial-- finish fades quicker than I'd like.. but nevertheless the stage is set for another sip.

Overall this is an enjoyable beer-- maybe even a fine summer-time drink chilled.

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Photo of MrKennedy
3.45/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750ml bottle thanks to Lukie. Poured into a Great Divide tulip.

Has an old-gold/orange hue with a nice, large, off-white head that craters and grips a little as it recedes.

Smells of citrus peel as well as citrus pips. A bit of yeast as well as spice. Some green pear as it opens up.

Taste is largely yeasty and spicy, but approachable with just a little bit of pear and apple featuring in the mix. The spice drops off quickly, while the yeast isn't over the top. Some orange comes later on as well.

A tiny bit of heat early, some booze late detract. Otherwise, it is refreshing from the carbonation as well as the yeast and spice.

Entry level saison, good, but nothing that would keep you coming back to grab a case of these. No faults, but not super memorable, merely reliable.

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Photo of gonzo000
3.45/5  rDev -9.9%

This beer is good, but I do not pick up the Mandarin oranges that were promised on the label. On the poor there is no head. The color is a cloudy (more foggy) reddish orange. Coriander, alcohol (other might call this funk), some citrus, and other spices (clove). Taste is bland - coriander, leads the way on the finish. Some bread on the very end.
Mouthfeel is the best aspect of this beer. It is incredibly smooth. Very easy drinking. This is a good beer, good because of the over the top mouthfeel.

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Photo of beertunes
3.45/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in bubble pint glass. Poured a lightly hazy orangeish-gold color with about a half-inch of white head that had low retention and light lacing.

The aroma was the typical combination of grain, yeast and spice that is expected from the style. On the tongue the story was pretty much the same, a nice, grainy base, a bit of a yeast tang and some spiciness floating in the background.

The body was also pretty typical, medium body without being heavy or thin. Drinkability was good, but I find most saisons to be very drinkable. Overall, a very nice, but not particularly notable, example of the style. Worth a shot if you see it, but I'm not sure it's worth the $12.95 price tag I've seen the 750's going for.

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Photo of fo5s
3.47/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750mL corked & caged, poured into a tumbler and paired with some chipotle. Cork pops quit loudly. No dating, but this is a one-off and is relatively fresh.

A- pours with a massive head but limited lacing.

S- peppery, earthy, grainy.

T- equal mix of funky and citrus, but somewhat muted on the whole. Peppery finish. Smooth.

M- Dry, yet slick. A touch creamy.

O- Overall a fine, unoffensive saison. Somewhat muted, but a nice intro to the style. There are certainly better, widely available saisons at the same pricepoint, and bottles won't be around for much longer. Worth trying, but no need to hunt these down if they become tough to find.

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Photo of zhanson88
3.47/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Here's to hoping this Ovila/SN collab saison is better than the dubbel.

Appearance: Pours a fairly clear straw color with about 1.5" of eggshell white head. Retention and lacing are okay, but could be better. It looks pretty decent.

Smell: Smells of citrus, banana and cloves, a hint of phenols peek through as well. Not the most rockin' saison I've smelled, but really very nice. Good start.

Taste: Citrus and clove are present up front, with maybe a touch of banana in there as well. Pretty nice on the front of the palate, but I get a mighty phenolic kick in the middle and back end that is off-putting. Pretty dry finish, and the lingering flavors are phenols and breadiness. Still....not terrible.

Mouthfeel/Overall: Between light and medium bodied with good carbonation. Pretty good here. Overall, I would say it's a decent saison, but not something I'll be having again most likely. I did like it a good deal better than the dubbel.

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Photo of mocktm
3.48/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Corked and caged bottle, into a snifter.

Straw yellow in appearance with abundant carbonation, laying the foundation for three fingers of thick, yet delicate white head. Champagne like almost.

Nose is spicy, white pepper and clove predominantly, plus aromas of barnyard hay and bananas. Mild funk, but the complexity factor is just not really there.

As with the nose, this just seems a bit muted overall. As it warms, the banana flavor overtakes all others turning this into more of a Hefe than a Saison. The advertised citrus twang is also noticeably absent, which so happens to be my favorite attribute within the style.

Mouthfeel is medium, effervescent and semi-dry, plus a moderate creaminess that's kind of off-putting.

Overall, this just isn't what I look for in a Saison. Some may like it, but I won't be picking it up again.

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Photo of andrewinski1
3.48/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip. The color is light straw almost golden, quite clear. There is a 2 inch head that shrinks to about an eighth inch layer of foam.

This smell nice and zesty. There is some sweet spice and some nice peppery hop in the aroma.

The taste is very pleasant, delivering a little bit of sweetness with a nice peppery yeast driven finish.

The body is light to medium. This doesn't drink quite as crisply as I'd like for a saison, and borders on being a Belgian pale ale.

This is tasty but doesn't quite scratch my saison itch, making it a middling to above average offering.

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Photo of Infamous7100
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: poured from bomber into snifter a dark golden, near copper color. Very thin white head.
S: grass, pepper, citrus fruits. Nice blend.
T: a tad spicy up front, with a bit of fruit mixed in, apple maybe? Fades to a tartness at the back. The grassy, earthy scents don't seem to come through in the flavor.
M: medium carbonation with some spicy sharpness. Very at the end.
O: pretty good beer. Not my favorite saison, but a good representation of the style.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a hazy golden color ale with large foamy head with good retention and some good lacing. Aroma of sweet malt with some light hoppy notes and not much ester discernable. Taste is also a nice mix between some lightly sweet Belgian style malt with a dry hoppy finish. Lacks a bit of ester and yeast is quite tame. Body is full with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Not bad though I was expecting a bit more character from this beer.

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Photo of travolta
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

Appearance: A robust, cloud-like head, with nice retention and awesome lacing. Ever slightly hazy straw/apricot in color.

Nose: Lemon, tangerine, apricot, and pear. Honey and spices.

Taste: Bitter lemon and bread. Yeasty with nice carbonation.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

maybe my least favorite from this series, but not a bad beer at all. it pours a very pale cloudy yellow color with a smallish white head. the aroma is grassy and wheaty, more of a hefeweizen in the nose than a saison, kind of missing that farmy aspect. the flavor is also quite grassy, like cut hay or something, more in the malts than in the yeast. there is a touch of lemon acidity to this as well, but the flavor is quite mild overall. mouthfeel is a tad undercarbonated i think, but the body is light and easy drinking. maybe the season has passed for light saisons, but this one didnt really do it for me. i much prefer the other beers in this line.

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Photo of nukem5
3.52/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Pours a nice dark copper color with a thin head with barely if any lacing.

S: Aromatic with peppery notes, some malts with a carmel taste. It did have a slightly astringent smell to it.

T; Carmels ,spice, with some peppery notes .

M: Medium to full bodied with very little carbonation.

O: Definitly a drinkier and this one went perfect with some calamari and lobster.

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Photo of nickthetick
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: pours hazy burnt orange into a DFH signature glass with a solid white head and doesn't leave any lacing.

S: oranges, apricot, bananas, hoppy and spicy.

T: soft yellow fruits, green apples and a bit of plums. Yeasty and a tad spicy with some good bread and hop notes.

MF: light and smooth, moderate carbonation.

O: this is a good saison for its nice hop quality but I'd like there to be more there.

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Photo of StRocco
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - very hazy straw color with a head that is only a few shades off of bright white. Lots bubbles coming up from the bottom of the glass. As expected, there is lots of lacing around the glass.

S - strong sense of hops, not much malt. The smell has a little bit of sweetness and nothing that really jumps out at me

T - taste has that infamous Belgium yeasty taste. There is a slight bitterness.

M - this is a lighter body beer and was expected going in at only 7%.

O - this is a good beer, that's about it. It reminds me a lot of the Ommegang Hennepin.

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Photo of popery
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From notes 7/21/11. It’s a gentle, pleasant saison that drinks easily but lacks any great depth of character. I would have liked to see SN push things a bit more with this beer. The aroma is fresh grain, bananas, lemons, mild pepper and some more spice - maybe, a little clove and coriander. It kinda tends toward German wheat beer flavors. The taste starts sweet with a little tang and finishes mildly dry with a very nice grassy, citrus hop note. Mouthfeel is kinda low on carbonation for the style but fine, otherwise. Appearance is a translucent and fairly light orange amber with a big white head. This is a good saison but too safe and a touch too sweet for me.

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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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