Ovila Quad | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

very good
201 Reviews
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Ovila QuadOvila Quad

Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: Quadrupel (Quad)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.40%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by mikechance on 10-29-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 201 | Ratings: 737
Photo of jtierney89
2.3/5  rDev -41.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Cork almost nailed me in the face after about 2 hours of sitting. Pours a deep deep very hazy brown with an off white head. Head is huge and shows no signs of slowing.

This is a very dark beer.

Nose is subtle for such a big beer. Dark candied belgian fruits along with some charcoal and licorice, but only if youre really looking for it. Some alcohol is present as well. A minor bit of peat smoke makes itself known.

Flavor is big on raisins and figs with some spice presence as well.

body is MASSIVE. Hop presence exists which is good but i'm afraid it's not big enough to balance the huge sweet malt flavors.

Flavor profile is extensive though and this is a massive beer. As for now I can only see the extreme sweetness of it but for those of you who have killed your taste buds through years of tastings, then maybe this will brighten your day.

HUge Huge Huge.

Layers of flavor, complex but not blended. Phenolic yet dry?

This if for the battered tongue that needs woken up.

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Photo of Beaver13
2.31/5  rDev -41.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

750ml bottle. Pours brown with a huge fizzy light tan head that retains well.

The aroma is pretty mild - some sweet caramel malts, cola and dark fruit.

The flavor is sweet sugary malts with some dark fruit and cola. The alcohol is fairly well hidden. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with smooth carbonation.

Overall, way too sugary sweet for me. A poor man's St Bernardus.

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Photo of harrymel
2.53/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks dentist

Pours unusually dark brown with fleeting yellow foam. Smells of apples skins, belgian yeast, dark cherries and some alchol. Flavor is sweet with lots of candy flavors and some molasses and cherries - not impressed. Thin with moderate carb and a semi dry finish. I am glad to have received this one for free. It's below avg IMO.

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Photo of aasher
2.8/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

This beer pours a light to medium bodied dirty raison brown in color with a beige one finger head. It appears thinner than most quads. The aromas consist of candied malts, Belgian yeast, bananas, cloves, sweet malts, and alcohol. It's pretty average. It actually smells more like a Belgian Dubbel. The flavors are quite bland and finish very quickly. You get sweet malt, light breadiness, some light dark fruit, and alcohol. It doesn't have much complexity and it drinks very watery. This is by far the thinnest quad I've ever come across. It just doesn't bring anything new or interesting to the table and is light years away from competing with Belgian quads. This Ovila series has been a string of disappointments. I just don't understand how a quality brewery could make such a mediocre line, mainstream or not.

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Photo of beertunes
3/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in Tulip. Poured a clean, clear, barely translucent brown that had a slight reddish tint. There was about 3/4 inch of dark tan head that had OK retention and very light lace.

The aroma was mostly malts, just a trace of the expected yeast and stone fruit flavors that typify the style. On the tongue, those good malts were again the headliner, with some cherry/plum flavors showing through as well. There was however a distractingly strong alcohol flavor. Generally, this style hides the alcohol very well.

The body was good, fairly typical, full and smooth and had a lingering alcohol finish. Drinkability was good, for a big beer, as I usually find Quads to be. Overall, a pretty good, but not outstanding, example of the style. Worth trying if you see it, not really worth seeking out.

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Photo of jzeilinger
3.15/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours a dark mahogany/cherry color with a disappointing head that's off-white in color, even, but not thick and creamy like I would expect from a Quad.

S - Toasted bread crust and caramel malt, dark Belgian candy sugar, mild roasted nuttiness.

T - Taste is faded and seems to be a former shell of a Quad. Sweet caramel candy malt, cherries, mild alcohol, nutty, and raisons - there's also a mild spiciness to this beer which adds a nice touch. There's a slight touch of booziness to this beer as well,present, but not overwhelming in any way.

M - Medium thin body and mellow on the tongue.

O - Decent but I'm sure this was far better when in it's prime.

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Photo of ypsifly
3.17/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

12.7 oz corked and caged bottle poured into a chalice.

Dark, heavy brown with a noisy foamy head of rich tan that settles down leaving a slight foamy ring. A nice island of carbonation forms in the middle with wispy tendrils.

The rich nose of dark fruits, belgian yeast with notes of spice fills the room. I'm really liking the nose. I get a faint whiff of the abv when sniffing up close, but you can smell those plums and yeast from a distance. They got the aromas right on this one.

The taste is, sadly, not as interesting. Malty upfront with some plum and then an astringent aftertaste with lots of alcohol. It was like I was going down the road and made an unexpected wrong turn into someplace unexpected and bad. That's the best way I can put it. I think this shouldn't be drank fresh. The alcohol flavors just knock everything off balance.

The mouth is a bit thin and the alcohol leaves a slight burn. Not liking the mouth.

Overall, this started out with much promise but went south quickly. The nose is amazing, but the latter atributes just didn't hold up. Having said all of that, I am buying another bottle or two as I think this might be a good candidate for cellaring. Once that heat dies back some other flavors may develop and be allowed to come through.

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Photo of williamjbauer
3.2/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap served in a sampler 4 oz glass

A - Dark mahogany brown with a one finger tan head with minimal lacing and moderate head retention

S - Smells of dark fruits, caramel malts

T - Figs, raisins, plums, with caramel sweetness, just not as rich as I'd hope. A nice smooth finish with decent alcohol taste.

M - Medium body, and moderate carbonation

O - I had big expectation and felt like this was a really average beer. I'll try it again just to confirm my suspicions.

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Photo of MaxSpang
3.26/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Chimay goblet.


It looks like a typical quad, maybe perhaps a little darker than others. Pours a Coca-Cola brown with some slight red coming through from the light. The khaki head was about a finger and had very small bubbles. Overall looks true to the style.


The first thing I get is Belgian yeast character - some spice and black pepper. The alcohol comes through after it warms a bit, and some Cola-like aroma follows. There's a small amount of dark fruits dipped in caramel on the nose, too. Honestly, this is one of the most mild smelling quads I've had - but it is very pleasant.


Lots of maltiness hits the tongue first. It's slightly carmel-like, and surprisingly slightly Cola-like just as the nose was. The dark fruit notes come out, tasting like ripe plum and slight raisin. There isn't a ton of Belgian spice character, but there is a bit of black pepper and clove. There's a small bit of an almost artificial sweetener taste, which isn't great but somehow works in this beer. Like the nose, this is a mild version of a quad on the tongue.


This beer has a really nice mouthfeel. It's definitely full bodied yet drinkable. It's not as carbonated as other quads I've had, nor is it as sticky sweet. Very balanced and smooth mouthfeel.


Like the other Ovila beers, this one falls short of being anything to get excited about. It's good, don't get me wrong, but it just doesn't blow me away. I'd much rather have a St. Bernardus Abt 12 than another one of these to be brutally honest. It's good, but not great - much like the dubbel and the saison from the Ovila series.


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Photo of champ103
3.39/5  rDev -14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark ruby red/brown color. A towering beige head forms, and finally settles. The pillowing foam has excellent retention. Sticky lace is left down the glass.
S: Yeast, burnt toast and bread, light dark fruits. Light fruity esters of banana.
T: Starts off sweet with some caramel malts. Then quickly turns to some dry burnt toast. Light dark fruits and the same fruity esters.
M/D: A medium body that is a bit light for my tastes. The alcohol is present and makes this a slow sipper.

Decent for the most part. I am not really digging this, or the other Ovila beers for what ever reason. Not to my tastes, but certainly nothing wrong with this.

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Photo of Doppelbockulus
3.4/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The appearance is dark brown with hardly any head. It smells lightly of fermented dark fruits and alcohol.

Taste is similar to the smell... a mash-up of fermenting fruits with alcohol, similar to a good portion of wines, not sweet.

Feels almost creamy, carbonation is light with very tiny bubbles.

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Photo of Ghenna
3.4/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from corked and caged bottle into NB snifter.

Black with a tinge of scarlet around the edges, though only noticeable when holding it to light. Very creamy of white head, bubble size reminds me of a nitro stout.

When cold I get a lot of the roast malt in the nose, with a little dark fruit and alcohol. As the beer warms up though booze makes itself more known, as do the dark fruit notes

Flavor is, a lot lighter than I expected. With all the booze and fruit in the nose I was expecting something full of heavy flavor, not so. Flavors. Belgian yeastiness, dark fruit esters, dryish roast finish. MF is light, creamy.

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Photo of TheBeerAlmanac
3.41/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a tulip

A: Pours a very dark brown and settles thick with a tan head.

S: Smell is darkly sweet with candi sugar, maple syrup, peach and figs, even a bit of cola.

T/M: Flavor is strong with alcohol up front followed closely by dates and plum. There's a strange hint of chocolate on the end, not typical of a Belgian, but it finishes pretty clean.

A little too sweet, but a good sipper.


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Photo of DoubleSimcoe
3.43/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Ovila Quad, on tap at Good Beer.

Appearance: Served in a 0.25-l chalice with a gold rim, the Quad comes with one finger of head that dies soon, leaving a rim and a mantle.

Smell: Quite subdued, with smooth dark-fruit, cherry and some toffee at the end. Yeast, glue, honey. Spice.

Taste: More of the same, with a bitter bite at the end.
Brown sugar, hard caramel. Spice around the edges. Raisin juice concentrate, smashed prune.

Mouthfeel: As with all the Ovila, a little thin and unremarkable but “OK”. Medium-low body, medium flavor, low carbonation. Could use a kick and an upgrade.

Overall: What’s the booze here? And where? Pretty damn drinkable for such a big brew. Not the best, for sure, but it does the trick. At least it’s not horribly sweet and boozy like many American quads… and always the good Ovila cause, which I support.

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Photo of concealed
3.45/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is an average quad, pretty high in alcohol content, so not a daily choice for me. Poured into a Leffe chalice, opaque brown, decent carbonation, minimal head/lacing. Nothing particularly blows me away, smell is lacking, but mouthfeel and taste are redeeming. Bought a single 375ml bottle as part of a mixed six pack for $3.50, so the value is there, but I will not purchase again.

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Photo of DaveBlack
3.46/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark brown, some slight reddish tints at the side. Only about a 1/2 finger of off-white head, and that doesn't stick around for more than a few seconds.

S: Dark fruits, Belgian Yeast, candied sugar. Not a huge aroma on this beer.

T: The taste very closely matches the smell, except that it's not quite as underwhelming in terms of strength. Same dark fruits, not as much of the yeast as I was expecting, a nice candied sweetness and a heavy hit of the alcohol that kind of overwhelms the rest of the flavors.

M: medium body, pretty heavy on the carbonation, and slightly oily in the mouth.

O: A pretty decent quad. I would be interested to see what a few years would do to this. As of right now, it is pretty good, but has a ways to go to really deliver anything special.

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Photo of Pencible
3.46/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: This poured a dark mahogany with some tan head.
S: It smelled like faint wet cardboard. Really not much there.
T: It tasted like raisin and molasses and currant, with some pumpernickel and wild yeast, and bit of banana and clove and copper. It had a mostly clean and slightly hot aftertaste.
M: It was slightly thick with moderate carbonation. Decent body.
D: This had a generally weak scent, but ok taste and body. The alcohol was fairly well hidden, so it was reasonably easy to drink. But it really didn't have bold or rich flavors, or anything unique or memorable about it. It might improve with age, but it'll never be top tier. Not bad fresh, but not recommended either.

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Photo of Hoplomachus
3.47/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought two bottles about a month ago. The first I drank right away and was not impressed; alcohol smell and taste was too prominent and the beer was very sweet. I'm drinking the second bottle (it was left in my mini fridge) and the sweetness is not as strong and the alcohol has blended in better with the rest of the beer. It's a pretty good beer and agreat bargain. However I don't feel the need to go out and buy another.

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Photo of ikantspel
3.47/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml into a duvel tulip

pours a midnight brown color with a slightly small head that is staying put for now

classic quad scents of dark druits, sweet belgian yeast and toasted malts. very subtle

dark fruit, brown sugar, plum/raisin taste. not too sweet but cant deny that sweetness

overall a very SOLID quad.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%
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.

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Photo of videofrog
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Chimay goblet. No date.

A: a deep mahogany brown color, nearly opaque. 1/2 finger light tan head dissipates immediately leaving no lacing.

S: Dark fruits, sugars, breadiness, slight alcohol.

T: Good malt character. Bread, dark fruits from the yeast, caramel, burnt sugars, and nicely hidden alcohol. Slightly vinuous tartness in the aftertaste.

M: High carbonation for the style, medium to heavy mouthfeel, dry finish.

O: Enjoyed this one, definitely a nice sipper. Above average, but not spectacular. I like 3 Philosophers as a better American interpretation of the style.

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Photo of ADZA
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark sherry hue which leaves a two finger head and sporadic clingy lacing,the smell is dark malts,sherry,dark fruits and treacle,the mouthfeel is medium bodied with a touch of syrup too and could be a little fuller for a quad and has tastes of dark candied plums,a hint of warming booziness,sherry,dried apricots with the finish being a nice sweet twist of sticky treacle and chestnuts and overall i like the nutty finish but its not exactly the most true to style quad ive ever sampled as its easy enough to drink with the lighter than expected feel but i like my Quads fuller and even though its better than average i wouldnt go out and buy it again but wouldnt knock back if offered cheers.

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Photo of ebrauser
3.52/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750

THis one is a deep brown with thick, flaky brown head with no stickiness and dissipates very quickly. Smells of big cherries and stringent alcohol. Deep dark fruits with spiciness on the nose with some nutmeg also. The flavor is of dark fruit and very strong-armed. Plums and figs move through sticky-sweet malt that pulls through an earthy finish. The aftertaste is rich and lasting.

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Photo of Phelps
3.52/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed in a tall taster glass at Tops.

Dark cherry-caramel in color, mostly clear. Half a finger of fuzzy tan head dissipates to a ring after a minute.

In the aroma, a base of sweet dates, figs and a little banana has been lightly spiced with maple, cinnamon and brown sugar. Some toasted wheat is in there as well. Not intense, but smooth.

The flavor is much more raisiny and toasty-bitter. Some alcohol; a little cinnamon; the lightest hints of strawberry and banana. Not much depth.

Light, pinching carbonation. The velvety medium body is nice and creamy. Some booze comes through the nose.

It's okay. Drinkable, but without complexity.

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Photo of rdilauro
3.53/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Poured a nice dark hue with little head. Malt was coming through the moment it was opened and while pouring into the glass. The aroma was all malt, I really didnt notice anything else standing out.
The first taste was big, perhaps a bit too big. The aftertaste was not nearly as big.
My second sip was much more enjoyable. Here, I tasted the barley and malt round and full, offset by a banana nose and some faint but noticeable hop/yeast bouquet.
This was a big round beer, enjoyable, not a summer beer, more for sitting around a fireplace snaking on some cheese and nuts

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Ovila Quad from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
3.94 out of 5 based on 737 ratings.
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