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 JimmyTango
3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Meant to pick up the Ovila Dubbel, but grabbed the wrong bottle. Oh Well…

Another good afternoon beer. Very close to the Upright #4 but with less bittering hops, more aroma hops, and none of the aspirin taste. This beer was slightly less dry than some of the other saisons I’ve had lately, which was a good change. Not a lot to say, drinks like a crisp heffe with a touch of earthiness.

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

From notes... Props to my in-laws for snagging a bottle of this for me the last time they were in Duluth.

A - Pours a slightly hazy golden copper colour, thumb of head with solid retention and no real lacing.

S - Grassy hops, spiced wheat, hint of cloves and bananas.

T - Much like the nose, though a bready malt comes through nicely. The grassy flavours are complemented by tart fruit notes, yeast esthers and the cloves and wheat linger on the palette.

M - Lighter bodied ale that's a tad prickly going down but finishes nice and wet.

O - A tasty saison with a great flavour profile for the style. Super stoked to get a chance to try another of the Ovila series.

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Photo of Flounder57
3.92/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle was poured into a large tulip.

Appearance: The beer poured a two finger head. It a a foggy orange yellow with lots of carboantion coming up through the glass. Head has reduced to a decent foamy layer now.

Smell: vanilla, spices, apples, bready malts, belgian candy, pears, and some peppery notes too.

Taste: all of the above, but the flavors seem a little mellow and should be more pronounced. Some spiciness to the beer too.

Mouthfeel: dry, crisp, refreshing, medium bodied, medium to high carbonation, and easy to drink and a nice warm night.

Overall: An enjoyable saison collaboration from the two breweries. I cna see myself enjoying this every once in a while

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

Pours a dark gold(slightly orange) with nice big white head.

Nose is yeasty and funky.

Taste is lemon peel, pear, Belgian yeast and hints of funk and malt in the finish.

Carbonation is just right.

Overall this is a well done saison but not quite enough umpf for me.

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Photo of bylerteck
3.28/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle from Local Provisions. From notes.

A - Cloudy golden colour, one finger of white head, good carbonation. Spotty lace and a half finger of retention.

S - Orange and pepper, hay. Very basic and a little faint but welcoming.

T - Orange and pepper, spice, citrus, fruity with mild grass maybe. Mild Belgian yeast and some light malt. Seems mild as well.

M - Nice and refreshing, effervescent yet light carbonation, light to medium body.

O/D - Not bad but certainly not great. A basic saison with no flavour that really stands out and grabs you. All the flavours are pretty solid, there's just nothing that really seems to get the ball rolling.

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Photo of pants678
2.95/5  rDev -23%
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.

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Photo of Brenden
4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A creamy pillow of white head sits between one and two fingers tall, dropping off to heavy foam and leaving a good amount of thick patching well down the glass. Beneath is a very cloudy brew a coppery gold color.
This beer showcases a lot of earth and spiciness along with yeast, a mild sugary sweetness, a vinous sort of dry tartness, and some white fruits flesh. The Belgian character of the yeast is light but present, allowing for a pretty good complexity. There's a further balance between breads and very gentle leafy and citric hops bitterness.
The body is about medium and the feel of this beer is soft, creamy, smooth, flowing and fluffy without being overfilling. Crispness isn't lost in the midst of it. The mouthfeel is the best aspect, though it's very good overall.

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Photo of philbe311
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - A humongous pop of the cork... Voluminous fluffy crisp pure white head with a slightly rocky top... Loads of micro bubbled sized brisk paced carbonation rise randomly throughout... Rock solid retention gives way to a slightly thick slightly creamy lacing... The color is a light golden orange with a very faint haziness... Loads of lacing cling to the glass... Quite regal and sophisticated...

S - Loads of hay and grass... Lemon zest... A slight Belgian yeast component... A very subtle but intriguing funkiness... Perhaps the slightest bit of candied sugar... Touches of pear an apple... Very nice...

T - Earthy... Apples... Pears... A very little hint of pepper... Muted lemon and orange zest... Faint candied sugars... Apples... Solid, but perhaps just the slightest bit muddled and a bit too subdued...

M - Medium bodied... Smooth... A touch of lushness... Very lightly carbonated... Simple and effective...

D - A solidly above average Saison... Very nice all the way around... Spot on for the style... I would drink this again without hesitation, though this one falls short of excellent... My favorite beer thus far from the new Ovila line of brews...

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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 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 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 StaveHooks
4.04/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Split this one with Hopswagger.
Half of a 750 ml bottle poured into a Duvel Tulip glass.

A - Pours a hazy golden orange with 1.5 fingers of white head.

S - Floral hops, lemon and orange citrus, dry chalky yeast, orchard pears, apples, and bright stone fruit. Straw dust, there's a musty but clean damp basement aroma going on.

T - Orchard fruit-pears, apples skins, stone fruit, tangerines, earthy grass, wood, spicy musty yeast, the sweet pale malt quickly dries out on the finish.

M - Soft effervescent carbonation, medium bodied, dries out on the finish.

This was better than I expected. All the flavors played their part. It was fruity, musty, and dry. This is worth seeking out. Wish I had another bottle.

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Photo of snaotheus
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into a pair of large snifters

Pours mostly clear (until I got to the bottom of the bottle), yellow, with fair amount of head and plenty of active carbonation. Smell is sour and funky.

Taste is mildly sour, grassy, wheaty, yeasty, a little more of the funk. But fairly mild overall.

Mouthfeel is thick bodied but fairly light. Overall, pretty good.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: An explosive situation of effervesce erupts within an oxidized orange colored body. Porous eggshell white head sits dominantly atop 2 fingers strong with time passing. Good patchwork lacing.

S: Ripe pear with a hint of pepper and honey dew fruitiness for aroma. Dry vinery.

T: For flavor a spicy twang of citrus, hint of Belgian pear yeastiness, and green melon fruitiness. Dry herbaceous notes, citronella with a soft peppery touch. Sweet malt based, toasted, semi-dry rounds things out.

M: Strong carbonation rings through in the mouthful creating a frothy nature on the hold. Dry spicy twang of citrus on the exit.

O: Overall spicy, dry with a strong carbonation presence well suited per style. Smooth flavor and transition, fruity Belgian yeasty contributions with a crisp factor ranks this as good.

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Photo of jeffjeff1
3.82/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My wife got this for me a while ago.

Appearance- golden color, thin head, good head retention

Smell- very fruity, spices

Taste- citrus fruits, nice flavor of spices

Mouthfeel- medium bodied, good carbonation

Drinkability- I thought it was very good. Sierra Nevada always makes good beer though.

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

A: Poured into a tulip glass. A hazy light orange color with a 2 inch thick white, fluffy head.

S: Biscuity malt, Belgian yeast, clove, lemon citrus, pineapple, alcohol.

T: A nice biscuity malt flavor with Belgain spice up front. There's a citrus quality to it and also some tropical fruit. It finishes semi-dry with a clove spice and alcohol lingering flavor. There is a bittering hop flavor there in the finish also.

M: Medium body with high carbonation to give it a spicy feel. Finish dry and a little bit bitter.

O: Good Saison here. Flavors are there and the feel is good. I've always like the aromas that Saisons give off and this one didn't disappoint.

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Photo of joecast
3.61/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Great presentation, bottle and label. Cork goves a forceful pop when released.

Lightly cloudy golden with a touch of orange. Gorgeous pillowy head. Almost looks too good to drink. Low to medium carbonation,

Aroma has a light yeast and sort of fresh herbal character. Some hints of floral and spice but overall a bit light. This may change as it warms though.

Stronger base malt presence than expected. Not real heavy but more than I have noticed from other examples of the style. That is joined by the more typical yeast and a touch of rounding sweetness in the finish.

Overall a quality beer but less exciting than I had hoped (mind you I put very high expectations on anything from SN). Nice and certainly tasty. Will go well with the pizza that's just come out of the oven.

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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 Gueuzedude
3.7/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

sampled August 2011
A steady pour into my large Tripel karmeliet tulip produces a four finger thick, pale tan colored head; this leaves lots of thick lacing on the sides of my glass as it slowly subsides. The beer is an amber hue that shows a mostly clear, deep orange tinged, rich gold hue when held up to the light. As I pour this beer a strong note of ripe pears with a touch of apples is noticeable. This is amplified with a more focused look at the aroma, but this is backed by a touch of spiciness and a mustiness that is a bit stronger towards the finish. Aromatic specifics remind me of musty white pepper, perhaps a hint of woody ginger, ; A deep inspection of the nose makes noticeable a grainy, toasted cracker note as well as a some dried grass notes. This really has an earthy, musty note that makes me think of a damp cellar, though for some reason not a dark one, but rather one that has some nice a sunlight coming into it

Sweet and fruity tasting, a spicy, earthiness tries to balance this towards the finish, but the finish remains dominated by the bright, pear and floral apple fruitiness. There is a dried hay grain character as well a toothsome, wholesome sweet pale malt note. The finish has a phenolic spiciness that is mostly clove, but also has a warmth to it somehow that reminds me of woody white pepper and spicy ginger. While the fruitiness is certainly the most noticeable character here, it is pretty well balanced by the musty earthiness and the spiciness that is here. The body has a certain fullness to, it is not overly heavy, but it does have certain viscous character to it that sees it sticking to the palate for a bit before finally being washed clean by the lingering fruitiness and spiciness.

I prefer a Saison that is quite a bit drier and I would prefer that the spiciness and / or a bright hoppiness was the dominant character, as opposed to the fruitiness. Still this is a pretty tasty beer that I am quite happy to be drinking and would definitely have again.

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Photo of cvm4
3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - A loving light amber/golden in color with a nice 2 finger head.

S - Earthy qualities / yeast / hops

T - A little tart and some bitterness from the hops. Dry and crisp, somewhat thin on body.

M - Light to my mouth, effervescent almost.

O - A pleasing saison that develops nicely as you drink it. I was not in awe of it but it delivered.

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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 jayhawk73
3.65/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a rustic orange color with a beautiful eggshell head. Nice thick lacing on the side of my CBS snifter. This beer is very cloudy in appearance, as expected. The nose is very citrus oriented. Orange being the key player. I also get yeast, malt, grass and spices. Nice nose. The taste is very spice oriented and earthy. Definitely some pepper in there as well. Feel is medium, with a fairly dry finish. Pepper aftertaste on the back end. Overall, a good saison, but a little short of great. I'd have this again, however. Cheers.

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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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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

(Served in a chalice)

A- This beer has a slightly hazy deep orange body with a racing carbonation of big bubbles. There is a bubbly light beige head on top that last for a good bit. The beer gets hazier with each pour.

S- The soft citrus fruity esters have a very faint yeasty quality that take on a phenolic coriander as the beer warms up.

T- The dry crisp fruit hints have citrus and red grapefruit qualities wit a bit of alcohol to dry out the finish. There is some spice hop qualities that turn more green as the beer opens.

M- The light mouthfeel has a soft alcohol note in the finish that turns into a much larger alcohol burn on the back of the throat.

O- This beer is a bit too big to be refreshing and although it does have dry and fruity character it doesn't have the yeasty qualities that I enjoy in this style. The alcohol and phenolic characters are just to overpowering and the fruity esters are just odd aswell.

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