Ovila Quad
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Ovila QuadOvila Quad
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Quadrupel (Quad)
3.97 | pDev: 10.83%
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Ovila QuadOvila Quad
Reviews: 203 | Ratings: 738 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of GuyFawkes
GuyFawkes from Illinois

4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From old, undated notes. Had on draft.

Murky orange/yellow color.

White head; minimal lace.

Apple juice smell with a hint of yeast.

Medium thin mouthfeel.

Apple juice heaven. Delicious.

Jul 01, 2019
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rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.5/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A brown color, falling away from clarity aside from the color. Carbonation held in check, I would say maybe a 1/3" off white head. Aroma is dark fruit, sugar, alcohol, mild bubble gum yeastiness.

Taste, strong, brown sugar, prunes, fig, raisin. A mild hop spice presence. Keeps dropping alcohol, but relatively easy going given its double digit abv. The yeast is nice, you get that bubble gum in a small way mixing with dark belgian candy sugar kind of vibe. Keeps an unsweetened brown malt and toffee edge throughout. I enjoyed it more than I expected to.

Dec 13, 2016
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pat61 from Minnesota

4.5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From tasting notes. L: deep garnet to chestnut with ruby notes, head dissipates o film S: Malt, spice, cola, fruit, prune. T: Malt attack and then almost immediately dissolves into fruit, plum, prune over caramel, some spice – possibly cardamom, faint cola, very faint banana and a suggestion of bubble gum F: Juicy, full body, very fine soft carbonation, warming. O: A big, beautiful quad.

Aug 04, 2015
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twage04 from North Carolina

4.02/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reminded me a lot of three philosophers with more of a bubblegum chimay yeast profile. Complex and fruit with some booze and raisins going on. I'd pick three philosophers over this but it was still pretty good.

Jul 31, 2015
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BranfordBound from Connecticut

3.95/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

It's a great quad, no doubt, but doesn't hold a candle to some of the benchmark guys like St. Bernardus or Rochefort. Pretty solid taste of dark fruit and some spice, but the flavors aren't as diverse or as layered as I would like it. A little hot on the back-end.

Jul 13, 2015
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Libeertarian from Montana

4.28/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

No date on the bottle or 4 pack from what I can tell.

Fairly clear, very dark shade of cola with wine-red hues. Medium-retaining cap of fine, brownish tan. Smells very sweet, of alcohol, darker and dried fruits, and faintly chocolatey toasted malts. Palate-enticing! Mildly tart up front, with dark fruity character and pinch of cocoa throughout. All this overtaken in the back by strong, boozy, syrupy molasses-like finish. Aftertaste, after finish cleans up and warmth clears out, is light-roasted coffee. Medium to full in body, not unpleasantly sticky, with presence of fine, prickly carbonation soon giving way to smoother suds. Medium astringency and warmth at the end. Very decadent beverage. Needed this after a long day of garage-saling (buyer, not seller). Goes well with lounging in bed listening to old-school metal.

Here is an updated review for 09/02/16, same batch, so over a year of aging since the first review:

Clear dark ruby color, brown to black in indirect light. Fine foamy to almost creamy golden brown head of decent retention. As I near the halfway point, I can see deposits of chunky sediment dancing around on bottom of the goblet. Dark fruit, booze, cat pee or wet cardboard aromas. Bit of molasses. Interesting, and really, actually, not nasty, despite sound. Still, not as enticing as it was a little over a year ago when I last reviewed this from the same four pack. Flavor-wise, throughout, it is toffee, raisin, sweet chocolate, plum, slightest wet paper, black spiced rum-like booziness. Sweet, dare I say too sweet, right into aftertaste but some peppery notes with finish, clearly from alcohol. Full-bodied, chewy, fine abundant suds, considerably mellowed compared to last time I think. Still, combination of extreme alcohol heat and fizzing up of carbonation make the swallow quite exciting. Overall, not quite as good as it was a little more fresh (smell and flavor being most important here), but that might yet change. Point is, it does keep for a year if not years, and is still quite good. The three fruit flies that died in it agree, or at least at first they did. And I’m only halfway through it.

I'd rate this aged version 4.75, 3.75. 4, 4.75, 4

Jul 12, 2015
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BethanyB from New York

3.68/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Look: A deep, almost opaque coffee bean brown. The beige head is soft and creamy, and true to the Sierra Nevada trend, long lasting.

Smell: A bewitching bouquet. Dark stone fruit, spicy hops, and toasted malt come together to form a strong cinnamon raisin scent.

Taste: Very sweet--the light bitterness in the finish needs to be stronger in order to balance out the maraschino cherry taste. Notes of deeply toasted malt attempt to come to the rescue, but more dark fruit and the cinnamon, now mixed with sugar, keep the scale tipped towards cloying.

Mouthfeel: Thankfully, the mouthfeel is not at all viscous or sticky, overbearing qualities often present in a big, sweet beer. Instead, the body is silky smooth. Carbonation is a bit wanting, but the alcohol warming is just right for the style: noticeable, but not a distraction.

Overall: This beer has a lot of things going for it, but the great deal of promise is all but dashed out by the overt sweetness. It's good enough to have again, but only if you're in the mood for dessert.

Apr 10, 2015
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ivegot3Dvision from Oregon

4.9/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

I loved this beer. A 2012 bottle I found in a local bottle shop... The bottle is just pretty, there's no other way to put it.

The beer though, man, it's a simple Belgian Quad, nothing special. I love how simple it is though.

If I saw another bottle I'd pick it up.

Feb 14, 2015
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allforbetterbeer from Colorado

4.08/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2012 corked and caged 750 mL bottle stored on its side at 54 degrees F. Opened 01/24/2015 almost exactly 3 years after I bought it. Awesome bottle presentation and labeling. SN is giving the best Belgians a run for their money in the presentation department.

Smells rather like a toned down classic Belgian quad. Dark malts and somewhat "mature" yeasty notes with a small side of dried fruit. Inviting and balanced.

Calm and mature flavors are the theme. Lightly aged dark malts pair up with some fruity yeast notes, but lacking (from age most likely) is the ripe banana and spicy clove part of the spectrum. In its place is a hint of dried apple, a noticeable pear flavor, and a touch of raisin and dry dates. The malts and fruit are nicely balanced, and the overall effect is high drinkability.

Conclusion: This is not changed greatly from my memories of the already calm and poised fresh version. Many people ding this beer for not being assertive enough, but I commend SN for not making it overly "in your face". A highly drinkable and nicely flavorful tame BSDA is always welcome in my book, and this is a nice one. Sorry to see it is retired, but there are more masterful options coming from Belgium every day which cost less, so it isn't as if I would buy this much anyway.

Jan 25, 2015
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spinrsx from Canada

4.2/5  rDev +5.8%

750ml Bottle from Wegmans Dewitt NY- 2012 edition - $9

Appearance – Brown colour with an above average size fizzy beige coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation and there is some great lacing. The head lasted for over 5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell – Malts, caramel, chocolate, dark fruits

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, caramel, and a bit of chocolate. There is also some raisins/plums and a peppery spice mix,

Overall – Had some hints of a barley wine mixed in.. maybe due to the age of the bottle. Either way, I really enjoyed this one. It was sweet but not over the top and the booze is incredibly well hidden. This beer can compete with belgian quads for sure.

Sep 22, 2014
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elNopalero from California

4.09/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours a ruddy raisin brown color with light foam. There’s a bit of stone fruit and plums on the aroma, with an earthy estery profile. I find the flavor to be sweetish but not cloying, with some plums and figgy notes. Comes off smooth and almost velvety.

Jun 11, 2014
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argock from Virginia

4.02/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 ml brown bottle into a St. Feuillien goblet. 2012 vintage purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA).

A: Murky dark brown with a rim of off-white small bubbles which leave no lacing.

S: Big blasts of dark fruit reminiscent of rum raisin with prune and fig and a nice earthy hoppiness completing the nose. No alcohol detected. The yeast esters are also fruity and a bit leathery and musty, but not in a negative way.

T: This really opens up as it warms with a cannonade of dark fruitiness -- fig, raisin, and plum -- steeped but not overwhelmed by light malty and medium caramel sweetness and countered with background earthy, herbal hopping that brings a low-moderate bitterness. It borders BDSA a little bit, but the sweetness does plunge it pretty well into quad territory.

M: Very smooth and easy to drink with low carbonation and medium body.

O: Ovila Quad is a really enjoyable beer where the maltiness dominates and is delivered in a readily drinkable package. It's not the most complex beer in this style, but it is one of the most approachable and drinkable. A very enjoyable and nice example of the style.

May 14, 2014
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BeerDazed from Wisconsin

3.65/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

First...This 12oz.+ bottle was very cool looking. Corked with metal twisty holding it in, and the graphic of the monk, and associated text/description was nicely executed. (Thick glass used for this bottle too. Really thick.)

I poured in a tulip, and it had a nice dark brown with fat finger head. Medium carbonation.

The aroma had plum, raisin,caramel, and that funky Belgian yeast.

Taste is solid. Very complex flavors and a (too?) warming bit of alcohol in the finish. (I think this one ranked at 10.2% abv.

For the style, very well done, and I would buy again if the opportunity arose. So many different Belgian-style brews though...Gotta keep trying different ones.

Note of interest...The Plums used in this beer were grown on the grounds of the Abbey by the monks. A collaborative beer worth the price of admission!

May 12, 2014
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stephens101 from Oklahoma

4.38/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown with a thin and wispy tan head.

Aroma consists of so many ripe fruits (plum, raisin, persimmon), grain, burnt sugar and caramel. Finely tuned and intriguing so far.

Smooth with prominent caramel followed by dark fruits, grain and yeast. The alcohol heat lingers just right.

Well-balanced, nearing delicate, but has a definite punch.

All beer politics aside, this one is underrated for sure.

Apr 29, 2014
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ahommell from Mississippi

4.27/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

NOTE: Poured from corcked bottle into Chimay Chalice and then re-reviewed from corked bottle into Delirium Tremens Chalice. Both had similar reviews... but one big difference was the fruity esters. I liked them more from the Chimay Chalice than the DT. But this is merely a personal thing. The head had better retention in DT.

A: True to style. Black, dank and murky. Light cream colored head that is half a finger and stays around as it sinks into a creamy sticky coating to the beer.

S: Fruit, spicy and dark. Belgian yeast, but with a twist... it is light and fruity. Oak. dark cherries.

T: Spice! much more than the scent. Dark fruit (plums). Dark candi sugar. Smooth into the burn of the alcohol. Not the greatest example of the style... but this is fantastic attempt.

M: Smooth as a 10% beer from the states is going to be. Medium bodied.

O: Worth a try. I bought a 4 pack and will have no problem keeping it to myself; hidden from my room mates. If it was a little cheaper a 4 pack... I'd be happier buying it. Otherwise, I'd rather spend a few more dollars and get Chimay, Hommel (Obviously... it is my last name! although... not a quad), or even T. Rochefort. Still, like I said... worth the try and very enjoyable.

Apr 27, 2014
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thecheapies from Pennsylvania

4.08/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Thick, dark quad with no room for a head because of the overpour. Looks dark brown.

Rich raisiny nose with notes of plum, chocolate, and toffee. Smells rich and sweet with a burly strength that can only be masked by this mega-dark-fruit aroma. A good amount of roast is also evident. Fantastic.

Toffee, prune juice, rum raisin, brown bread, spicy alcohol, pressed grape, cough medicine, and a touch of dark chocolate. Really exquisite. Tons of complexity. Rather sweet, but decadently good. Mild bitterness that's aided by the booze. A liquory, fruity, Belgian dessert monster.

Very thick. Mouth-coating viscosity. Great body and a kick of gas, to boot. A sipper feel with big sipper strength.

Killer quad. One of the best American versions I have tasted. The best part is that it's not trying to be like the Belgian examples. Unique, and still top-notch.

Mar 28, 2014
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bubseymour from Maryland

4.83/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

My eager young cadet Beer Advocate shared this beer with me that he bought. I told him I am very hit or miss with quads so better to split a bottle then do a flat out trade as it might be risk of drain pour. So this one was a definite hit. For over 10% it is very smooth and not boozy at all. Very buttery mouthfeel. Lots of fruit complexity mixed in here with the usual raisin, fig flavor etc. I find this quad as well made as some of the best from Belgium. Very high caliber quad. Thanks for sharing with me my eager young Beer advocate!

Mar 01, 2014
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DeFaz from Ohio

4.26/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I am truly impressed by this beer. I had a taste of it on tap, and at that time I wasn't able to get enough of it to reflect on all that is going on with it. But after having in a bottle, there really is a lot to appreciate. First, let me say that this will taste to some more like wine than beer. The ABV is on the wine level, and it's dark with fruit flavors. But there's a lot of complexity here, from plum to raisin to the nice Belgian yeast that reminds me vaguely of my favorite Abbey ale (Orval) while taking this to a whole new extreme. This beer is for sipping. While the appearance lacks in the head department and while the smell is relatively uninteresting, the taste really makes this one of the most interesting beers I've had in a long time. The alcohol, which dominates the nose, is well concealed in the taste. This is a great beer that is quite inexpensive for its quality.

Oh, and by the way: This beer does all of the above with an insanely smooth mouthfeel void of an alcohol bite.

Feb 13, 2014
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JamieDuncan from Maryland

4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Guru mentioned this beer so I picked one up. Outstanding looking beer, not transparent, dark, great head that does not dissipate quickly. Smooth taste that improves as it warms, you should definitely let it warm, does not taste boozy for over 10% which gives big overall bonus points, excellent big beer that I will revisit from time to time.

Feb 13, 2014
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CowsandBeer from Nebraska

3.76/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to Sean “good to go” Freeman for the bottle. Corked and caged with a nicely textured label; bottled on 01/08/2013. 12.7 oz bottle poured into an Achel Trappist goblet.

Appearance: Less than a finger of sandy colored head. Dark brown body with ruby highlights. Surprised at the lack of head and retention.

Aroma: My initial impression was of a boozy, sweet red wine. Bubblegum yeast, brown sugar, sweet stone fruit with a perfumy alcohol.

Taste: Bubblegum yeasts with a peppery bite, sweet mellow stone fruits and dried cherries with a sweet sugary malty finish.

Mouthfeel: Prickly carbonation, very drying and warming. Medium mouthfeel.

Overall: A sweet, malty strong ale. While it was not much to look at, it had nice complexity in the aroma and taste with a very enjoyable and warming mouthfeel. Would love to try this out of a variety of barrels (cognac, wine, French oak, etc).

Feb 09, 2014
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BierJager89 from California

4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Murky dark brown with a slight ring of brown head. Ugly like a good quad should be.

S: Dark fruit and fruity Belgian yeast esters in the nose.

T: Spicy, oaky almost, raisin, plum and other dark fruits. Only a hint of ethanol.

M: Smooth enough, full bodied.

O: Not the greatest quad I've ever had, nor is it their greatest beer, but a decent example of the style and worth a try.

Jan 24, 2014
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Act25 from New Jersey

4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Beautifully thick brown color and tan head, with lots of sticky retention. Serious.

Smell: As expected, as if in belgium: it's spicy Belgian yeast, raisin, dark fruit, and dates, perhaps a trace of spice, cardamom.

Taste: Follows the smell, with yeast and dark fruit forward, complex, with raisin and date flavors. Brandy like. Then, the finish is like caramel & dark fruit, but not cloying. You do get the alcohol, it's like an after dinner drink.

Mouthfeel: It's full body, with a creamy mouth feel; moderate carbonation

Overall: Great Quad for an American brewery; not cloying and though it lacks some complexity it is a meditation, sipping beer.

Dec 25, 2013
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JoanS from California

4.44/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This very unique. I was not expecting this taste, color, or texture at all. I was expecting something crisper like an Allagash Curieaux.

It is extremely smooth, mildly fruity but not sweet, not much carbonation. Normally, I love to sip and savor my beers. But I kept going back for more sips and before I knew it, it was almost gone.

It's supposed to be caramelly and the color is very brown and cloudy. No head to speak of. Very drinkable. Slight hoppy after-taste. It improves with more tasting.

My son, who has a better sense of taste, identified plum and hints of grape and caramel.
There is no alcohol smell and after drinking a mug, I did not feel the effects.
This is a very social beer. It would be very acceptable to a wine-lover since it tastes similar to a port.

Sep 07, 2013
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Gueuzedude from Arizona

3.94/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Sampled January 2012
A solid pour into my Lost Abbey Teku glass produces a 3-finger thick, nicely amber tinged, dark tan colored head. The beer is concentrated amber color that shows a brilliantly clear, deep, ruby-red hue when held up to the light. The aroma smells of pears, prunes, raisins and dark, sweet, fruity brandy up front and it gets a touch more spicy towards the finish with more warming alcohol notes, touches of pepper and some definite clove aromatics. The rich fruit character is really what defines and dominates the nose here though. The malt character certainly contributes to the fruit aromatics, but it also provides softer notes of toasted malt / bread, hints of chocolate perhaps, a definite dark caramelized character and even a raisin like note that seems clearly malt

The beer has only a soft’ish carbonation (but this is after smelling it for almost 10 minutes), but this nicely balances the rich, but not overwhelming body. The beer is not as sweet tasting as the fruit-focused aroma might have suggested; instead of being sticky with malt sweetness it really accentuates a deep fruitiness that reminds me of pears prunes, dried figs, raisins and perhaps even a touch of dates. The finish has a warm, spicy, alcohol laden kick to it that isn’t quite hot, but is definitely on the warming side of things. There is a sort of bitter / astringent character from the dark malt and/or dark sugar character here in the flavor & this mixes in with the higher alcohols, clove like phenols, and general spiciness from the fermentation character. There is a solid bread-like character here that contributes lots of caramelized grain notes, toasted brown bread character, brown sugar coated crust, an almost nut-like character, and just that rich, almost sweet-dessert like character one gets from deeply caramelized, perhaps molasses laden, dark breads. This beer reminds me of port, and even brandy (though not nearly so hot as that) in many ways with its ample fruitiness; it isn’t nearly as sweet as port is though, and I like that this has only a supporting sweetness to it such that it never seems overly heavy or cloying. The body is actually fairly light for a beer of this strength, it certainly has a viscous quality to it as it slides across the tongue, but it is more drinkable than is absolutely safe for a beer of this strength. When cold, and more carbonated more of the dark, concentrated sugar / dark-candi sugar like notes start to come out; it almost has a dark rum / more molasses character here and even almost has that sweet, buttery note that molasses and candi sugar can have to it.

The pear note seems to be the dominant fruit note in this beer, but the dark color and richness throws your senses off from recognizing this fact. The supporting dark bread, and touch of spice character really plays a key, supporting role in this beer. This is a solid Quad, one that I am quite happy to be drinking; it even seems to have a touch more complexity than young Westvleteren 12 does, but time will tell if this ages nearly so well.

Aug 22, 2013
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KTCamm from New Jersey

4.49/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Champgane bottle poured into a Duvel glass.

Pours dark chocolate brown. Thick. Light tan foam on top. Chocolate dark fruity nose. Raisins. Better yet, raisinettes. Rich fruity taste, very smooth. Figs. Plummy. Really boozy. Brown sugar (how come you taste so good?). cHOCOLATE SWIRLS IN. vERY COMPLEX AND FLAVORFUL. aND QUITE SMOOTH. hITS WITH A HAMMER. wONDERUL.

Jul 13, 2013
Ovila Quad from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 738 ratings