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 FLima
3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Amber color with a head with good retention.
Mild sweet and sour aroma. Notes of green apple and Belgian yeast.
Great flavor, some sour funkiness, orange peel, pepper, caramel, and piney hops.
Very dry aftertaste with a mild bitterness.
Medium body with good carbonation, 7.5% ABV is very well hidden, just having a mild numb effect.
Very good Saison, elegant sourness combined with adequate hopping.

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Photo of Bitterbill
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375ml corked and caged bottle, 7.5% abv on the label.

A- pours a slightly hazy orange with a 1" head of foam, plenty of lacing.

S- smells earthy, yeasty, spicy, kind of fruity..some citrus. Spicy goes to some notes of pepper.

T- I can ure taste the orange citrus, nice, spice is limited to light doses of pepper. Swishing the beer in my mouth brings the oranges out even more. Not much bitterness to this puppy, which I like. Slight hint of some funk the more I sip.

M- medium bodied, pretty high carbonation, it works for me.

O- This is a nice tasty Saison. I bought a single for $5 because I wasn't sure if I'd like it or not...duh. 4 packs in town are $13.99; I think I'll pick up a 4 pack or 2.

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Photo of garymuchow
3.93/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Part of b-day bash of saisons.
This was a nice solid, relatively simple version that was enjoyable and overall pleasing.
Light fruit aroma with fairly strong pepper. Fruit was citrus with lighter fruit like pear/apple.
Quite clear. Big full white head.
Really dries out in a big way. Fairly big malt character and taste is a lot less sweet than the aroma. Light fruit and bigger yeast flavors including the pepper.
Moderate feel and really dry. Effervescent but not too filling.
Drinks nicely. Simple but hits all the marks.

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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 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 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 atigerlife
4.02/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours orange-golden and slightly hazy. Lots of small carbonation rising. A 1-finger fluffy white head. Good retention.

Aroma of hay, citrus, honey, floral notes and some yeast.

Taste has hay, tangerine, grass, green apple, musty barn and some bread. Also some slightly sweet bits in there.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and cleansing.

Overall, very drinkable. Refreshing. Sessionable [OK, 1 bottle due to the ABV]. Nice take on the style. Missing some of the tartness of wild yeast, but still a worthy effort.

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.02/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden straw color with an orange tint to it, quite hazy looking but not chunkies on the first pour, white fizzy head fades quickly, no lacing.

Smell has a large citrus presence, orange being the dominate citrus aroma, slight peppery spice in the nose but nothing to make you sneeze like other brews made with heavy handed peppercorn, not much funk in this Saison.

Taste starts out with a light citrus hit, mellowed by the sweet malt backing, orange and some decent spiciness character liven things up, hops are essentially non-existent but there is a subtle earthiness to it, carbonation is on the high end and very seltzer like yet works for this beer, finishes light, crisp and a slightly dry.

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Photo of JMScowcroft
4.66/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. - Ovila Abbey Season - 1pt 6fl oz bottle

Look - Pours golden with a tinge of copper. Slight, foamy head with decent lacing. Hazy, no noticeable carbonation.

Smell - Citrus and dry, almost like a high-quality champagne or cider with heartier overtones. If you pay attention you might smell a hint of strawberry.

Taste - Dry, crisp, and refreshing as hell with a creamy strawberry middle and a slight bitter citrus aftertaste that fades quickly.

Mouthfeel - Quite pleasing, this brew encourages you to drink more.

Overall - This is a great brew, this style isn't typically my personal style, but I would definitely get this brew again.

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Photo of bambam2517
4.07/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

From a bomber to a tulip, split it with the wife at 45F.

A - Cloudy caramel body, nice white crown with a tilted pour that lasted long into the glass, and laced strong throughout.

S - Grassy, just a little citrusy. Fresh flowers, its so reminiscent of spring.

T - Really nice, better than I expected. Nice flavor profile falling right in line with high quality Belgian ales, plus a little honey flavor. A little sweet white wine in the background.

M - The palate is great, bright and refreshing. The aftertaste is a bit funky and lingering.

O - A pleasant surprise, Saisons are not my favorite but I really enjoyed this one.

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Photo of DavidST
3.81/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a goblet, no bottled date. This pours a slightly hazy golden color with a three finger white head which as good retention and leaves a slight lacing and alcohol legs. This smell is a little toned down, faint belgian funk, a little citrus, lemon peel. The feel is medium, higher carbonination. The taste is pretty good, you get some nice citrus flavors, a little peppery finish, some belgian yeast funk, not bad.

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Photo of themind
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared a bottle with a friend. I am surprised that this beer is not rated higher. It is a clean, crisp saison with a satisfying taste. Pours a thin head and goes down smooth. I had Terrapins Moo Hoo after having this and although different styles this brews quality destroys Terrapins offering. It is carbonated nicely and I would buy it again.

Bottom Line: Quality beer and an offering worth its price tag.

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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 BrownNut
3.2/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served cool in a tulip.

A - Cloudy dull orange. Sturdy off-white head that fades gradually to a film over a couple minutes.

S - 3.5 - Upon popping the cork, the main note is fruity yeasty. Once poured, earthy yet perfumy spice, faint saison funk, faint candy sweet orange, which may be the main component of that perfumy note.

T - 3.0 - Pretty mild. There are good flavors, but fleeting and substantially fainter than you'd like. Muted. The whole thing comes across diluted, which is really unsatisfying, like the good stuff is just out of reach. The flavors fade and you're left with nothing pretty quickly. There's a twinge of tartness at the end, and a slightly bitter aftertaste that is quickly gone. Mixed with the diluted character, the bitterness comes across in a not good way. I'm not giving it a 3 because I think it's average, but because it's something good that has something wrong with it. It didn't set out to be average and succeed - it set out to be better but failed.

M - 3.5 - Light. Slightly soft. A bit of carbonation tingle on the tongue. Ends just slightly dry.

O - 3.0 - The second Ovila beer I've had, a disappointment like the quad. Not up to Sierra Nevada's standard of excellence. The cork, cage, story and pedigree seduced me, but left me wanting. Giving up on the Ovila line. As in the taste category, this isn't a 3/average because it aimed to be average and succeeded, but because it aimed to be better and failed.

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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 secondtooth
3.94/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Murky gold, with a thick head of white carbonation. Little trace of lace, though.

Nose is fruity and spicy -- displaying a distinctly Belgian-style character. Nice.

Flavor is spiced fruitiness (berry, orange), followed by a peppery zing. Alcohol (7%) is well-masked, and this is faithful Belgian-style, but not as interesting as I'd hoped.

Additional notes: The fruitiness (and a dry booziness) comes out more prominently as this one warms.

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

A: Cloudy, almost rusty orange color. There is very little head to the beer, despite it being constantly fed from a stream of bubbles.

S: Belgian yeast, slight funkiness, and some sweet malts with grassy notes and citrus peel. When I first poured it the smell hit me like a sledgehammer, but it fades pretty quickly.

T: The taste is actually different than I was expecting, and not as potent. There a slight maltiness at first, followed by the yeast, then it's really the aftertaste that brings a taste of earthy hay, funk and peppery spice.

M: Moderate body, moderate carbonation and dry.

O: A decent saison, but far from my favorite. It's a little too heavy on the Belgian side for my liking.

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

750ml. Effervescent gold pour, 2 fingers of frothy white head.

Aroma, bright and grassy. Citrus, light herbal white peppercorn.

Taste, about the same. Don't get too much sweetness which I like. Earthy yeast spice, minimal pineapple. Light grass/hay and lighter funk.

Well carbonated lighter body. Drinks pretty easy and is quite refreshing. Maybe just a little restrained.

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Photo of stephens101
3.61/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a reddish, golden orange with nearly 3-fingers of thick white head that is profoundly retentive. Smells peppery and citrusy with a splash of orange and lemon. Sugar and a background of whispering funk arise upon closer inspection. Fruity up front on the tongue, followed by some grain and lemon twang. An earthy aftertaste and a slight candied sweetness evolve slowly and innocuously, adding some complexity. Dry and light bodied. This is a well-balanced beer that works on many levels, but could use some spirit in the flavor department.

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Photo of Etan
3.96/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a wine glass.

A: Pours a mellow gold with a big, soft, creamy white head. Absolutely beautiful beer.

S: Perfumy pale malt and stone fruit esters. White cake, sugar, peach, mild herbal notes.

T: Similar to the nose, more on the straight BPA side for a saison. Sugary cake, a bit of peppery bitterness, nectarine and apricot, mild hop bite in the finish.

M: Great mouthfeel - creamy and light, perfect carbonation level.

O: Looks and feels really great, but the taste is a little too straight ahead BPA to be distinguished.

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Photo of Hopfenpeter
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The color is a hazy amber gold, with a creamy tan head about one and a half fingers high. Dissipates fast, leaving some lacing.
The smell is weak, maybe some fruits.
Tasting the beer, the citrus fruit notes are present first, being followed by a mild yeast flavoring. More peppery spices are towards the end. A well balanced Saison, very drinkable.
Good carbonation, great mouthfeel.

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Photo of Florida9
3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Rather cloudy pale amber-yellow in color. Forms a modest white head that does seem to stick around fairly well. No lacing.

S: Bright and slightly acidic with notes of lemon, black pepper, spice and a bit of yeast.

T: Rather mild and unassuming. Starts off with very mild, slightly fruity, pale malts before turning herbal and peppery. Then a hint of lemon and a light bit of yeast with lots of pepper on the finish.

M: On the lighter side with heavier carbonation, a spry mouthfeel and virtually no bitterness.

O: An acceptable, approachable, Saison: I've had better and I've had worse.

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Photo of morebeergood
3.91/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle on sale for $5.99. Seemed very low priced compared to what I have seen it priced at elsewhere. Poured into a tulip glass. Huge pop of the cork. Nice bright yellow-orange color. Tons of carbonation forms a thick white head with a careful pour. Peppery, zesty, and yeasty on the nose. Fruity, spicy, and sweet on the palate. A great combination. The abv is well hidden; very smooth to drink. I was at the same store tonight and the few cases they had on discount are long gone. Damn, I should have picked up a few more bottles at that price.

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

Picked up a 750 ml bottle from Total Wine in mid-April for $8.99.

Beer poured light orange with a nice healthy head on the initial pour.

Nose is slight funk, grassy, lemony.

Taste is very much like the nose, with a very light pepper finish.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and pretty smooth.

Overall this is a pretty good brew, pretty close to the style. It just lacks the nice peppery finish to be a classic.

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Photo of brewskifan55
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter

A: Hazy, burnt orange with an off white, one finger head that lingers. Good lacing.

S: Belgian yeast, oranges, coriander.

T: Citrus, light, oranges/lemons, coriander, Belgian funk. A peppery finish.

M: Medium with lots of carbonation.

O: A decent saison. I like the Ovila dubbel and quad better, but this was worth a try.

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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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