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 CrazyDavros
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours toffee-amber with a large fading head.
Nose shows doughy wheat, spicy peppery phenols and lemon notes.
Flavours are very similar but with a bigger emphasis on the doughy wheat/yeast.
Carbonation seems a bit full-on.
Nails the style pretty well.

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Photo of DoubleSimcoe
3.25/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Ovila Saison, the second one in this series of "monastic" beers so dear to me for many reasons.

Appearance: Pours fine and unhurried, like a placid stream in a forest. First I got almost no head, but my second pour yielded a sizable lily-white, soapy head that lasts. And lasts. Weak retention, though. Color is a hazy straw, pretty damn dark for a saison. Almost looks like an IPA. Significant carbonation, as expected.

Smell: Some spice, honey, herbal overtones and a medicinal, astringent finish. Flowers, lavender, Provence in the summer. Van Gogh. The bigger the head, the better the aroma.

Taste: Mpre of the same, but diminished. A tad underwhelming/thin. Had it on tap and was much better. Spice, some yeast, that honey touch. Herbs and lavender fields. A tad of sour apple, but barely there, sadly.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation is not as present here, for good and bad. A little thin and watery all around, but alright. Drinks good, not too dry or overtly spicy like other saisons. Medium-low body, medium carbonation and low-to-medium body.

Overall: I will keep buying the Ovila beers just because of the monastery story and the charity aspect of it. Are they amazing beers? Sure not. But they are alright fine. I will revisit Ovila Dubbel but will probably not go back to Saison. This one is rather unexciting and generic, but drinkable for sure.

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Photo of Buggies
3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice copper orange color with a beautiful white creamy head. Some aromas of orange and lemon as well as yeast... typical spicy notes too.

Tastes good enough I guess. Rather average I'd say. Slightly fruity, maybe a little lemon twang, along with your typical Belgian yeast flavors.

A good tasting saison. Nothing amazing or earth shattering, but a very drinkable, average example of the style.

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Photo of prototypic
4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Ovila Saison is gold in color. It’s very hazy and looks a tad orange when held to light. A soft white crown sits on top. It’s about a finger in height and holds steady for quite a while. In fact, I’m not sure it will completely dissipate. Lacing was a little sticky and moderate.

The nose is good. It starts out with a grassy, herbal scent. It’s followed by Belgian yeast. The yeast is prominent and smells delicious. It definitely adds a spicy quality to the overall mix. Fruit notes of apple, pear, and light orange follow. They work very well with the earthy and yeasty notes. It features all the usual Saison bells and whistles. Alcohol is blended well. Good stuff.

The flavor is likewise quite good. It is very earthy and herbal throughout. That much is apparent on the first sip. Fruit flavors of apple, pear, and orange are all in the mix. They’re somewhat subtle, but effective. The complement the herbal notes quite well. Belgian yeast is a little less pronounced here, but is present. It tastes good and adds a spicy element that fits in nicely. Tastes like a mix of pepper and clove. Alcohol is pretty well buried. Finishes with a mix of herbs and spices.

Ovila Saison has a medium body. Carbonation feels very light and soft. I anticipated more carbonation given the force with which the cork emerged. Alas, that’s not the case. This stuff feels very smooth and soft. Goes down too easy. I’ll polish off this 750 with ease.

The second collaboration between Sierra Nevada Brewing Company and the Abbey of New Clairvaux is pretty good stuff. I believe I prefer it to the Dubbel. It’s not quite good enough to compete with the world’s best Saisons, but it is good. It’d be a little better with a stronger Belgian yeast presence. Good stuff all the same.

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

On tap at Max's.

The beer pours a solid gold color with good head retention and lacing. The nose is prototypical saison, with honey, light clove, and some underlying spice. The flavor profile replicates the nose in this nicely crafted beer, with the sweet honey and clove dominating. There's some bitterness on the finish which helps to counter the sweetness a bit. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a faily long, slightly bitter finish.

Though nothing extraordinairy, this is still a solid beer.

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

On tap at the durch, golden gazy capped by a light off white head. Scent is light yeast, lemon, slight earth. Taste is more focused in the light citrus and light malt. Light bodied, slick mouth. If i did not know better i'd say this critter is straight from belgium.

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Photo of hobojon
3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle into Sierra Nevada snifter.

Aroma- sweet pear, sweet bready malt. slight sourdough note. mild saison esters. herbal and earthy floral aroma. smells refreshing if that makes sense.

App- slight haze. large white foam cap settles into a 1/8" layer with some lacing.

Taste- notes of honey and coriander. mild hop bitterness and some spicy hop flavor. soft balance between malt, hops and saison yeast. spicy yeast with some classic belgian saison flavors.

Mouthfeel- creamy high carb. very fine carb makes the beer seem less carbed but swishing it really brings out the foam. dry but has lingering sweet malt on the tongue.

Overall- very good for a US saison, but lacking rustic qualities. for the same or lower price I can get Saison Dupont so this is a one time buy.

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Photo of Brewlore
3.79/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a Tulip glass.

Very large white billowy head that slowly reduces and hangs around the glass. A very nice hazy orange color. It's a good looking beer.

Light aroma with some spice & phenols. A slight hint of fruit in the nose as well.

Very quaffable. Finishes dry and makes you want to quickly take another sip. The taste is of yeasty phenols and malt and a nice hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel is smooth and carbonated.

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Photo of hosehead83
4.11/5  rDev +7%
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 match1112
3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

orangeish brown in appearance, with a two finger fluffy white head that lasted a good five minutes and left loads of thick chunky lacing behind. smell and taste go hand in hand with this beer. starts out with a sweet yeasty presence than i pick up on citrus and spice, mainly pepper. mouthfeel was a little thin but not too bad, definatly drinkable. overall not the best saison but worth the try.

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Photo of carolinabeerguy
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from notes at World of Beer - Fort Myers on 10/5/11.

Poured on draft into a Tripel Karmeliet tulip.

Appearance: Pours a medium golden caramel with a 2 finger snow white head. Nice lacing.

Smell: Light citrus with mild phenols and a touch of spiciness.

Taste: Orange up front followed by mild phenols in the middle before ending with a spiciness and a touch of bitter hops at the finish. Aftertaste is bittersweet.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a high amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: Decent drinkability. The somewhat elevated ABV% and the flavor keeps me from coming back for multiples.

Overall: Good beer overall. Not worth the price tag, in my opinion, but it's worth trying if you don't mind paying for it.

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Photo of warnerry
3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Huge pop as the cork comes out. Pours a clear orange-tinged golden brown with three fingers of off-white head. Head has great retention.

S - Belgian yeast with a bit of spice up front. Some faint fruit aromas follow, mostly citrus, and a bit of bubblegum.

T - Nice mix of yeast, spice and fruits, lemon and orange. Fruit definitely takes a back seat here. This is nicely balanced between the earthiness, spice and sweet and tart fruit. The balance does however make this seem a bit tame.

M - Medium mouthfeel with good carbonation. Finishes semi-dry.

O - An enjoyable well made saiso, if a bit too tame to be great. I'd have this again, but would like a lower pricepoint for what it is.

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Photo of Belpaire
3.86/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Uncorked the bottle with it's custom printed cage and cork and poured into a generic hotel 8 oz glass. Pours a light gold bordering on straw with lively carbonation. The head fades quickly with no lacing but since I didn't wash the glass, this could be due to residual soap.

I can only say that this beer has a classic funky saison aroma. Definately invites you in to join the party.

The flavor is more of the same, classic funky saison. Lots of yeast derived flavors with a seemingly simple malt bill. At first sip, there's a flash if sweetness that quickly dissapates into a dry finish. Dry but not super dry like Jack D'Or. It intices you to sip and savor.

I've committed myself to the bottle on my own (the wife is preggers) and am quite happy to have done so. A nice, well rounded saison that doesn't try to be too complex. While I couldn't drink this all all night long, I am quite happy to finish off my night with it.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
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 kylehay2004
3.6/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: 1.5 finger head, hazy yellow gold color some scattered lacing

S: very nice spicey hop and belgian yeast aroma.

T: initially zesty and spicey with a mellowed out musty and earthy finish with yeasty notes.

M: medium to high carbonation, light to medium body. Dry finish.

Overall: a little too dry but drinkable. Nothing memorable but not too bad.

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Photo of OlRasputin989
4.07/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured into Duvel tulip...

A: pours a hazy yellow-orange with a thick and persistent white head. fades to a thin white cap, leaving no lacing, which was suprising. It seems that all of Sierra Nevada's beers have that signature lacing to them and this one's a Belgian which are known for lacing.

S: aroma is musty and earthy, with delicate spice, and aromas of banana and orange peel.

T: flavors are lush and delicate. lots of fruity and spicy flavors, mostly orange, more banana, and lemon that is almost sour, blending very well into a peppery finish.

M: probably the best part of this beer. so light and velvety. the first sip is amazing. goes down smooth. finishes just off dry and mostly clean.

Overall, a very good saison from Sierra Nevada. i feel the flavors fall closer to Blue Moon than "rustic saison". However, this is definitely worth a shot, especially if a newcomer to farmhouse ales, as is Sierra Nevada.

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Photo of BradtheGreat7
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml brown bottle with a traditional abbey style cork. Very classy and beautiful. Poured into A tulip glass(one with a stem)

A - Hazy straw like blonde color. Frothy and thick white head with just decent lace.

S - very fruity. Light fruits with soft ripe banana and cloves. Brilliant whiff of spices. Really has an earthy like aroma going on.

T - Fresh grass like notes. A really good citrus 'tang' along with a solid portion of ripe banana. The clove notes hit me up front and had excellent spices all the way through. Good dry earthy flavor that fits in quite nice and really made the experience.

M - Fairly light bodied. Good carbonation. To me this was very easy to drink. A lovely dryness and very refreshing.

O - didn't really know what to expect here. The saison style is one of my all time favorites, so my expectations for one are through the roof. However this beer didn't disappoint. It's a very good saison. Saisons are hard to find here at home, let alone a good one. I just hope Sierra Nevada don't make this a one time thing. I'd buy multiple of these yearly.

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Photo of StoneBrewFanatic
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - The bottle opens with quite a pop and the beer pours a hazy gold with two fingers of tight white head that has moderate retention and a little splotchy lacing. Constant carbonation can be seen and helps maintain a thin white cap.

S - Notes of banana and clove, faint citrus, grassy hops, malt and peppery spice.

T - Similar to the nose, banana and clove, lemongrass, a touch of hops and yeast as well as peppery notes that linger on the palate.

M - Pretty light and very carbonated, even for the style.

O - Solid beer worth trying, nothing that really stands out positive or negative.

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Photo of Billolick
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
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 BEERMILER12
3.96/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a hazy golden straw yellow color with a finger and a half worth of sticky head that lasted for quite a while without going down at all

S: Definite farmhouse smell from the start, along with some lemon, pepper, and other light fruits

T: Same as the smell, nice and light on the lemon and farmhouse, with mild pepper and clove

M: Light-medium body with moderate carbonation. Enough umph to give it that feel that is recognizable as a saison for sure

O: This is an above-average saison that goes well with the warm weather and can still pack a definite punch. Pick it up while the warm weather lasts!

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Photo of Goliath
3.8/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a hazy pale orange color with a thin off white head. The head receeds quickly and leaves nothing behind except a broken film on the top.

The aroma is decent. A little banana and citrus offer a nice fruit presence, and it's accompanied by a touch of yeast spice. Pleasant enough IMO.

The taste is ok. Again some fruit is present mostly banana and citrus. Some pale malt gives a gentle grain presence and is accompanied by a bit of yeast.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a light fine bubbled carbonation.

Overall the beer is ok. I'm not convinced it has all of the qualities I look for in a saison but it has some merit. It's a solid beer and I would be happy to visit it again.

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Photo of metter98
3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is hazy golden yellow in color and has a moderate amount of carbonation. It poured with a finger high white head that has good retention properties and consistently left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface.
S: There are aromas of lemon citrus and peppery spices in the nose, which also has notes of grassy hops.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell and has hints of grainy malts.
M: It feels light-bodied on the palate and has a high amount of carbonation. No dryness is apparent in the finish.
O: The beer is very easy to drink and quite refreshing.

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

Pours a hazy honey hue which leaves a rather creamy two finger head that stays and leaves nice clingy lacing,the smell is barnyard funk,spices and earthy hops,the mouthfeel is medium bodied and nice and creamy with tastes of lemongrass,funk,citrus zest,earthy hops and is finished with a nice spicy dryness and overall i like it and would buy again cheers.

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Photo of DrJay
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Slightly hazed orange/gold colour with a fluffy white cap. Lemony aroma, very floral, grassy and peppery, bready, some coriander and faint apple. The flavour profile was a bit different, more of a focus on spiciness (peppery with some coriander) with a dry maltiness. Citrus and floral character was more muted, though there was still a light apple sweetness. Slight warmth, peppery and grassy finish, medium bodied with moderate carbonation, fairly dry. I enjoyed it and would purchase again, particularly if I found it on tap.

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Photo of jsprain1
3.97/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Cloudy straw. Thick head disappates down to one finger with almost no lacing.
S- Smell is heavy on the pepper and clove. Lemon and banana are also present.
T- Somewhat sweet at first but it's quite peppery and spicy. As it warms the banana and lemon notes come through more and more.
M- Medium-light for style. Medium carbonation.
O- It almost is like a sturdy, peppery hefe rather than your stereotypical funky saison, but that's ok. I enjoyed it and would gladly drink it again.

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