Ovila Belgian Style Golden
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Ovila Belgian Style GoldenOvila Belgian Style Golden
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Strong Ale - Belgian Pale
Ranked #92
Ranked #21,211
3.87 | pDev: 10.59%
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States
Very Good
Ovila Belgian Style GoldenOvila Belgian Style Golden
Reviews: 61 | Ratings: 221 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of rodbeermunch
rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.61/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Broke this out for Derby Day in September (2020) because I didn't want to try and power through this entire bottle myself.

Pours an impressive appearance, golden leaning into light amber, full on 1" of white head that is dense and with amazing retention. The aroma hit the belgian pale yeast notes, but omitted the belgian spice rack thankfully. Light grain note and alcohol warmth.

Taste was better than expected in a style I don't normally jive with. The mouth feel had lively carbonation that kept the yeast from absolute domination. Still a light grain and alcohol heat to it, although firm, not problematic. Had a sense of mustiness. Had been cellared a few years. Light citrus aspect and heavier bitterness. Hint of pepper. Dry finish.

About 8oz of this was just right for my sensibilities. I liked the muted spice rack and straightforward yeast presence, but the beer drank just as much like a tripel as it did a pale ale at times.

Sep 14, 2021
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Navanation from Pennsylvania

4.4/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured deep ruby red with minimal head that laced down the glass. Pomegranate added to the red color. Not as carbonated as a golden ale normally would. Delicious. Hard to get. This one isn't a regular at my beer store so when it shows up I buy a case.

Dec 16, 2020
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Treyliff from West Virginia

4.04/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Taken from notes in 2015

A- hazy golden brown, small foamy white head that reduces to ring, lacing left behind

S- Belgian yeast with candied dried fruit, earthy and musty, some saison-like qualities

T- candied Belgian yeast with some musty notes up front, fruity mid-palate with some red berries, slightly tart finish, dry more yeast on thr linger

M- medium-thick body with moderate carbonation, creamy Mouthfeel and finish

O- fruity and yeasty, solid

Sep 12, 2018
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Brolo75 from California

4.25/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750 ml bottle poured into a goblet

A: Pours a hazy golden orange with a bright white creamy head, great retention of a creamy head, lots of carbonation, light lacing, very nice appearance.

A: Lots of fruity aromas like green apples, pears, peaches, touch of pepper, Belgian yeast, touch of lemon peel tartness, subtle white wine, very complex.

T: Light stone fruit notes up front, kick of peppery spice in the middle, finish has some lemon peel tartness, lemongrass, wet hay, hit of Belgian yeast as well, banana, spice, pepper, clove, drinks very easy.

M: Medium bodied with lots of carbonation, dry white wine like finish, smooth, creamy, very nice.

O: Very impressed with this beer, my only complaint is there is an off flavor, like a lemon tartness that I usually don't get in Belgian Strong Pale Ales. Not sure what year this was bottled, I'm guessing at least two years old, and it's held up well. Definitely going to pick up another bottle if I see it again.

Dec 04, 2017
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KTCamm from New Jersey

3.97/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2/16...pours thick hazy golden colored, completely opaque. Fizzy white foam mostly settles down. Orange citrus malt , floral, bright. Fruity citrus forward high carbonated taste. Orange rind and grapefruit bitter. Quite good, if not a touch fizzy.

Apr 16, 2017
Photo of Premo88
Premo88 from Texas

4.11/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

13 oz. on-tap poured into tulip at Hay Merchant, Houston, TX
(drank 12/14/15)

L: peach ... not enough red to call it amber but way too much red to call gold ... a beautiful peach/orange; lots of stick, some lacing ... 50/50 hazy/clear

S: fruity ... super sweet ... slight lemon but also lots of peach/apricot

T: juicy sweet fruit mixed with slight pine/grass hops and some toasted malt ... great mix that works; slight tartness ties it all together; tropical fruit ... mango, pineapple; solid earthy base shows through at times

F: soft ale but filled out well enough with good carbonation

O: a great beer and my first Ovila ... plenty good enough that it won't be my last; it takes on a Belgian IPA-like character with lots of fruit and sweetness mixed with some American hop flavors, mainly pine but also some tropical fruits ... more grass-hop flavor would be awesome, but the hint of it was nice; the tartness is a highlight

Dec 21, 2015
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Radome from Florida

4.21/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a goblet.

L - Medium gold color with just a hint of haze. Head is white, thick and active on pouring, but fades quickly. Lots of lace.

S - Beautiful aromas of bread, green apples and low cut grass. Yeast is evident as a low fruitiness and cotton candy, but not overly assertive for a Belgian style. Aromas are clean and crisp.

T - Low bready malt is quickly outshone by green apple and grassy hops. Finish is dry with mown grass lingering. Clean but not overly interesting.

F - Low to moderate hops bitterness. Light to medium body. Moderate but prickly carbonation. Surprisingly low alcohol presence for the 8.5 % ABV.

O - This is a well-made, clean, crisp example of the style. It lacks a little in depth and complexity for me, but is very enjoyable.

Jul 27, 2015
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scootny from New York

4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle. Head is prodigious and the retention is good. bright golden ale with a touch of haze. A constant and lively carbonation that keeps the head sitting two fingers proud also fades slowly to a light decoration on the sides of my glass. Smell has light pilsner malt and healthy Belgian funk. Horse blanket, dry white wine, apples and pears. A mild peppery spiciness and soap. Taste has an almost dubbel like profile. Dark fruits, raisins, figs and cherries. A bit of oak based vanilla. Malt is light and sugary, a solid pils and faint caramel, heavy crystal. Feel is full and creamy with the lively carbonation adding to joy of sipping this one. This is a complex sipper that has a bi-polar attraction. One is the malt smoothness, the other a yeast based pepper, spice and licorice that opens up the relatively subdued hop earthiness and allows it to balance the higher but hidden abv and keep it light and drinkable. Feel is the strong point for me. Creaminess is counter by a carbonation like this, but they coexist. Fullness is countered by drinkability. Somehow this sipper quickly vanishes while being sipped. Jus a solid and enjoyable beer at this time of year. Nice

Jan 01, 2015
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Lemke10 from Wisconsin

4.23/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This pours a golden yellow color with lots if carbonation for a thick, fluffy head. The aroma is very yeasty with some hints of citrus. Rich yeasty taste very filling decent spices flavors there are sure to fill your stomach. Pretty decent for an American made Belgian brew but this was still missing something to put it over-the-top.

May 11, 2014
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snaotheus from Washington

4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle split between two large snifters. Poured vigorously, so any sediment is probably mixed in.

Pours very cloudy, golden, with a big white head. Lots of carbonation. Smell is yeasty, grassy, slightly spicy, hint of lemon.

Taste is surprisingly crisp, lemony, a bit hoppy/lemony, Very yeasty, bready.

Mouthfeel is dry and light. Overall, this is a very solid beer, though not spectacular.

Oct 05, 2013
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Jdbateman83 from California

4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

One if my favorite beers. Inexpensive at Costco compared to other Belgium style ales. Excellent deep gold color. Easy pour. Flavorful taste, slight hops, lots of caramel malt sweetness. Flavor lasts on the pallet as well. I have had the other Ovila's and they are good, but this beer has everything I am looking for. Very strong alcohol, and you feel it after one of the large bottles.

Aug 29, 2013
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jinjeski from Wisconsin

3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

good aroma and taste. nice balance of hops,etc.Good grain expressed. Enjoyed the rich taste. Very nice Belgian style beer with golden color. Odd in that when I opened it after a day in the cellar, the cork shot to the ceiling. Way too much carbonation!!! Maybe I had an unusual bottle.Big head.

Aug 16, 2013
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Fatehunter from Oregon

3.97/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured with a half finger of head on a fairly clear, golden colored body.
The aroma is wonderful. Lots of grain and a little bright apple and pear.
The taste is a crisp fruity (apple and pear again) with a touch of lemon bitterness. Nicely balanced and light.
The texture is fizzy with a crisp body.

Aug 14, 2013
Photo of Roguer
Roguer from Connecticut

3.83/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A - Lovely golden color, perfectly pure white head. Pleasant lacing and reasonable retention. Huge amount of carbonation, and strongly translucent.

S - Very little to it: wheat or barley, some yeast, a slight sour note.

T - Subdued Belgian pale. Sweet, but not overbearingly so; the typical Belgian candi flavor comes in late, and if not in subtle fashion, then at least not huge. I get a mouthful of grain, almost like a farmhouse ale.

M - Medium, almost medium light. Refreshing, yet with clingy oils. Despite the tons of carbonation in my bottle, this is an easy beer to toss around the mouth, although there is a slight sting. Absolutely no hint of the 8.5%, which is impressive, indeed.

O - This beer could easily go down on a hot day outdoors, or as a nightcap in the study. The mixture of wheaty goodness and Belgian sugary sweetness, balancing out right in the middle, makes it pretty versatile. Paired easily with some sharp cheddar and spicy soup.

Jul 22, 2013
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mlichens from New Hampshire

4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours from a caged, corked bottle into a belgian goblet. Very carbonated, perhaps a bit too much for a Belgian. The head took some time to go down and then remained consistent for the entire drink. It's a golden, cloudy colour.

Taste is not too sweet, but does have a caramel after taste. It is subtle, but I do taste it. Goes down smoothly, but again is carbonated quite a bit. I'd love to taste a flat or nitro pint if it ever becomes available.

Overall, a great American take on a Belgian, with some fine monastic influences. I'll be excited to try the rest of the line.

May 26, 2013
Photo of themind
themind from New Jersey

2.78/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This thing is way to carbonated! I tried nine different ways of pouring this into a glass and every time I ended up with a glass full of foam. When I removed the cage around the cork the freaking cork blasted off and bounced off my ceiling. This was sitting in my bar for a week so it's not like someone secretly grabbed it and shook it 1000 times before I decided to drink it. The taste is decent but I only got about one glass from the bomber due to the massive amount of foam.

Bottom Line: Foam blast nothing more!

May 20, 2013
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UCLABrewN84 from California

3.78/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle I brought to share at Wowcoolman's tasting.

Pours a hazy orange with a foamy bone head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace slowly drip into the remaining beer on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, fruit, and yeast aromas. Taste is much the same with fruity and yeast flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a high level of carbonation with a crisp and prickly mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is tasty but smells slightly better in my opinion.

Apr 24, 2013
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rangerred from Tennessee

3.89/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a goblet of a 750ml bottle.

Pours a clear deep gold with a fluffy two finger white head. The head never really goes away thanks to the abundant carbonation but there is also not a whole lot of lacing.

Big Belgian citrusy note on the nose with tons of pear and peaches. Some peppery spicyness along with clove and a touch of banana. Not bad but not quite as sharp and in your face as some others.

The taste is somewhat muted which is disappointing because there is really so much potential. Nice spice along with lots of pear. A little peppery as well with some light hints of biscuit. Mouthfeel is very soft and spritzy and really is perfect for the style. Finish is moderately dry with just a little stickyness and the alcohol is well hidden.

Overall, a nice attempt by Sierra Nevada at a beer that can be difficult to get right. While it is not as good as some of the top of the line Belgians, it is a great job by a large brewery in the States.

Apr 02, 2013
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SHODriver from North Carolina

3.96/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: self removing cork poured into a duvel tulip to a clear light gold with a huge four finger fluffy white head that has excellent retention
S: spicy yeast and slightly fruity, a bit of pale malt and some lemony hop
T: fruity pear and spicy yeast, slight citrus with a bit of pepperyness, a bit of bready malt and apple like sweetness and a slight amount of funk at times. swallow is more fruitiness and spicy yeast
M: lighter side of medium on the palate due to the ample yet still somewhat soft carbonation
O: huge flavors, very complex and good qualities overall. pretty good and a solid example of the style.

Mar 03, 2013
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atr2605 from New York

4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-pours golden with a huge white head that clings to the side of the glass
S-citrus, slightly earthy, minerals, honey, yeast
T-Citrus and mineral flavor up front leading into the honey and malt sweetness with the belgian yeast lingering
M-medium-light bodied with lots of carbonation
O-very solid strong pale ale with great balance. What I would expect from sierra nevada

Mar 03, 2013
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puboflyons from New Hampshire

4.25/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From the caged, corked 750 ml. bottle. Sampled on February 18, 2013.

At the pop of the cork I immediately see a nice burst of carbonated mist erupting from the bottle. The pour is golden yellow with a lasting, soft white head. It is a tad cloudy.

The nose is tickled with all of the Belgian style aromas that I like including yeast, pale malts, Belgian sugar, pear, and baked bread.

The body is full but astringent.

The taste starts out sweeter than other Belgian Strong Ales with a carbonated centerpiece of malts, sugar and then a linger drug hop finish bringing up the rear. Very nice indeed.

Feb 18, 2013
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superspak from North Carolina

3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 5/2/2012. Cork shot the ceiling as soon as he cage came off. Pours fairly cloudy golden amber color with a nice 2-3 finger fluffy white head with great retention; that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty foamy lacing clings to the glass, with a large amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of big apple. pear, grape, herbal, floral, apricot, grass, pepper, and earthy yeast esters. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of fruity esters. Taste of pear, apple, grape, pepper, apricot, herbal, grass, and earthy yeast esters. Lingering notes of light fruits, light pepper, herbal, floral, grass, and earthy yeast esters on the finish for a good bit. Very nice flavor balance and complexity of fruity and malty flavors; with minimal cloying sweetness present after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium bodied; with a very crisp, foamy, and lightly slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a small warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a very nice Belgian golden ale. Very nice balance and complexity of malt and yeast esters; and quite smooth to sip on. A nicely enjoyable offering.

Jan 31, 2013
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Hopswagger from South Carolina

3.89/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

P: A billowing 3 inch of white ricky head hovering over a sea of murky golden apricot. Retention is ridiculous and just seems to get creamier. Yeast specks sprinkle the creamy head while lacing bubbles around the edges.

S: Sweet stone fruits, citrus, big Belgian yeast nose, pils malt, sourdough and dried wheat. Spices and floral aroma are also present. The great yeast aroma is the heavy hitter here. Once agitated stale bubblegum comes out and the booze becomes more present.

T/M: Old leather, slightly smoked grains, clove, cinnamon, white pepper, stone fruits, spice rum soaked apricots and a hefty dose of dry yeast. Finish is super dry with lingering sourdough, bitter green bananas and kale. Vivacious carbonation in a medium body that dries out the palate upon entering.

O: A beautiful presentation of a delicious beer. Gotta love BSPA's. super dry, spicy and great fruit sweetness. I'm glad I was able to find this Ovila and I look forward to enjoying the quad soon. Cheers!

Jan 31, 2013
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Stinkypuss from Pennsylvania

4.02/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Ovila Belgian Style Golden
Sierra Nevada Brewing

APPEARANCE: 750 ml bottle corked and caged. When the cage is open the cork works it own way out for the most part and opens with a vigorous pop. Pours a solid golden color with a chill haze and huge lather like foam.

SMELL: Earthy bready Belgian yeast character is definitely noticeable. Faint lemony citrus. Also smells like a fresh sea breeze coupled with spice and fruits.

TASTE: Belgian yeast with soft unripe green apple and pear notes. Mild citrusy like notes and acidity which can be defined by the yeast or the hops. There is a well rounded earthy bitterness and even a slight spicy note to balance this ale. No real noticeable alcohol presence. Muted funk from the yeast. Fairly expressive.

FEEL: Medium bodied but at the same time light and airy. The finish is very clean and refreshing and almost dry.

OVERALL: A nice simple Belgian Strong Pale Ale might even come close to a Tripel in its flavor. Very enjoyable and fresh tasting.

Jan 30, 2013
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searsclone from Arizona

3.97/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

bottle into a wine glass

hazy honey color with a bright white fizzy head. good retention with champagne like bubbles

smell is white grape, pine, spices, sweet yeast and alcohol

taste is bitter and smokey. a bit one dimensional, not what I expected to taste after the great smell. a touch of green apple in the swallow.

mouthfeel is sharp and heavy. prickly carbonation and a slightly wet finish

overall, it seems a bit lacking to me in flavor. the rest of it is really good though, and it is smooth and really easy to drink

Jan 11, 2013
Ovila Belgian Style Golden from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 221 ratings