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