Ovila Abbey Barrel Aged Dubbel
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Ovila Abbey Barrel Aged DubbelOvila Abbey Barrel Aged Dubbel
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Ranked #13
Ranked #5,494
4.08 | pDev: 8.58%
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States
Ovila Abbey Barrel Aged DubbelOvila Abbey Barrel Aged Dubbel
Notes: This Abbey Dubbel was aged in a blend of red wine and bourbon barrels to add a new level of complexity to an already beguiling brew. Rich malt flavors of burnt sugar and caramel blend seamlessly with bright fruit notes from the wine barrels, while the bourbon oak lends a mellow hint of vanilla.
Reviews: 62 | Ratings: 209 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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bwriley4 from Arkansas

4.68/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This was a joy to drink and to return to on tap at the brew pub in Chico during a week there. It is an excellent boozy dubbel that satisfies at every level. It tastes great. It quickly raises your joy level. The bourbon vanilla flavors aren’t too sweet to enjoy more than once.

Jun 17, 2020
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andypeters1971 from Georgia

4.73/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Perhaps the perfect beer? Probably has everything I want at least, in terms of level of carbonation, taste profile, aroma, feel and finish. I couldn't think of any reason to not recommend it

Oct 18, 2019
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arizcards from North Carolina

4.07/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a 750 ml bottle from the Craft Beer Hop Stop for $9.99. Alan must have gotten a deal from the distributor as i would have expected the charge to be $17.99. No bottling date visible.

Beer uncorked without much pressure, poured with a smallish bubbly head that dissipated quickly. Was concerned about the quality.

Nose is light bourbon, light dark fruit, light vanilla.

Taste is light bourbon and vanilla, getting some puckering from the red wine barrel and dark fruits.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth.

Overall a nice beer, aging this one has enhanced the flavor profile, glad i got to try!

Apr 09, 2018
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neenerzig from Ohio

4.34/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Got a bottle of this about 2 years ago now when I went to visit my good friend Jon Passow in northern California and we went on a day trip to the brewery. Decided to finally open it tonight. Poured out a 750 ml bottle into my goblet glass, this beer pours a fairly hazy/cloudy, deep, dark copper color with a slight tan/off-white head that's about 2/3 of an inch thick when first poured. head settles pretty quickly to a creamy looking surface coating of foam along with a pretty thick ring lining the inside of the glass. Good lacing too. Aromas of toasted, bready, caramel malt and toffee sweetness along with charred bourbon oak, a bit of red win tannins, and some dark fruit notes. The taste is pretty much the same, with somewhat toasted, bready caramel malt and toffee sweet notes that give way to some charred bourbon oak flavors and a nice bit of red wine taste. Rounded out with a bit of vanilla and some dark fruit notes of dates, plums, and raisins. No discernible hop flavors here at all whatsoever. Really an excellent flavor profile though. Has a fairly crisp, yet also smooth, frothy, and even somewhat creamy, full bodied mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. Has a silky and somewhat dry finish thanks to those red wine notes in this beer. A truly excellent beer all around.


Jun 30, 2017
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ovaltine from Indiana

4.29/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I've been sitting on this for 2 years, IIRC, and I'm glad I finally broke down and tried it. I love dubbels, so aging this in both red wine barrels and bourbon barrels piqued my interest.

The appearance is pure dubbel - rich burnt copper, edging toward burgundy, with a dark tan head. The aromas capture both barrels, with the red wine a bit more forward.

The taste is exceptional. Burnt sugar and caramel flavors, with a nice tartness from the red wine - and then the vanilla flavors from the bourbon bring this back into balance.

This is an example of a brewery stepping outside the box of a style, and elevating the base beer significantly, IMHO. Well done by a world-class brewery.

Feb 21, 2017
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TruePerception from California

4.08/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sierra Nevada's Barrel-Aged Ovila, Belgian-style dubbel. 8.5% ABV.

A: About a finger of light tan head. Deep, clear red, approaching brown. Honey yellow in the dimple. Decent sheeting and lacing.

S: Decent Bourbon aromas, more in the range of light charred oak, rich, earthy toffee, and oak. Nice raisin-y note. Light malt powder and tree sap.

T/MF: Hmm. Not as sweet as I've come to expect from barrel aged dark beers. More off-dry. Earthy. Tree sap. Whole grain bread. Slight rye note. Not a huge beer. Just very nice. Mild. A hint of dry red wine and char.

Poured from a 750ml bottle, into a Belgian tulip glass.

Feb 12, 2017
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Jadjunk from Georgia

3.74/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

"Our Ovila Abbey Ales series of beers is a collaboration with the monks of the Abbey of New Clairvaux in Vina, California. The monks there operate a winery, so it was a fitting choice to age this Abbey Dubbel in a blend of red wine and bourbon barrels to add a new level of complexity to and already beguiling brew. Rich malt flavors of burnt sugar and caramel blend seamlessly with bright fruit notes from the wine barrels, while the bourbon oak lends a mellow hint of vanilla." Brewed in the style of a Belgian Dubbel, aged in Bourbon and Red Wine barrels. Available in 750ml. bottles and on limited draft.

Poured from a 750ml. bottle to a snifter glass.

(Appearance) Pours a crisp, foamy head of a creamy tan color over a moderately hazy copper-brown body with varied sediment in tow and moderate, lively carbonation. Retention is below average and lacing is light and spotty. 3.5

(Smell) Bread and biscuit malts, rich, caramelized candied sugars and a clean, subtle dark fruit undertone. Aromatically, the impact of red wine and bourbon barrels is minimal, with red wine edging out slightly, generating a touch more acidity and vinous characteristics, all of which compliment this mildly-mannered but solid base beer favorably. Potency is moderate. 3.75

(Taste) The flavor largely follows the aroma, with smooth bread malts, dark fruit and candied sugars forming a simple, but pleasing malt base, and a very high cleanliness throughout. The wine barrel aging is subtle but the bourbon more so, with subtle wine and fruit compounds, and very gentle vanilla and leather from the bourbon. Honestly, it's not a significant improvement from Ovila Dubbel standard, but fortunately it's no worse for the wear with the barrel-aging in place. 3.75

(Mouthfeel) Texture is slick, smooth, clean, medium dry. Carbonation is modest, generating a medium frothiness and a mildly crisp finish. Body is medium for the style, medium+ overall. Balance is nearly even sweet to acidic, soft tannins and specialty malt bitterness. Alcohol presence is light and there are no off characters. 3.75

(Overall) It's a pretty run-of-the-mill Dubbel, even with the inclusion of barrel-aging and blending, which I would have expected to make a far more significant impact than it managed to do here. Despite coming off as pretty ordinary, the beer is flavorful, very easy drinking, clean and accessible, a fine example of a quality Dubbel going in- the barrel aging itself was the biggest underwhelming quality of this product. In summary, the better buy may be sticking with the standard 4 pack of Dubbel the next time it comes around (if it comes around again), and save this beer for the biggest few fans out there. The price hike isn't worth it on the surface. 3.75

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.'s
Barrel-Aged Ovila Belgian-Style Dubbel

Jan 12, 2017
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Pundit_of_Potability from Indiana

3.85/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A nice brown color dubbel with tight bubbles and a head that is almost nil and dissipates quickly. There is some minimal lacing. So, I bought this out of curiosity... Sierra Nevada is famous for their pale ales, but here they give a dubbel a try... You can smell the fruitiness, and caramel malts, apples, plums--and you can taste the same with the very first sip. The end of the sip leaves a slight bitterness and hint of the barrels this ale was aged in. Distinctly missing, however, is that wonderful Belgian yeast strain you find in authentic Belgians, and from domestic brewers like Ommegang and even Schlafly (and Unibroue, if you live in Canada). There is almost a chocolate-cola thing happening here and I enjoy slight bitterness you get from the barrels. Also distinctly missing (for me) is the zip of carbonation you get from the majority of Belgian ales in this style. A refreshing finish would really give the complex nature of the flavors here a lift. Instead, the finish is thin and lacks the creaminess that the color intimates. Worth drinking once, but I probably won't drink again. Reading some of the reviews below leads me to believe there may be a consistency issue with the batches... Some people seem to have got a nice head and carbonation--and others, like myself, got almost no head at all and very little carbonation... So keep that in mind.

Dec 20, 2016
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spoony from Colorado

4.09/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From a 650 ml bottle to a chalice.

A-The beer is not attractive, but it fits the style: A fat finger of mocha-tan head sits atop a deep amber-brown beer. The brew isn't murky, but it is dark enough to be almost opaque. Head retention is good and a thick cap hangs around for quite a while.

S-The aroma is quite sweet with dark, dried fruit notes. I sniff plum, prune, golden raisins, and a faint grape vinous note. Spices are mild and this beer is more on the fruit end of the spectrum than many dubbels. Barrel notes are both well-hidden, and a little alcohol heat creeps up as the beer warms.

T-The taste tracks the smell. A sweet, slightly alcoholic mixture of the aforementioned fruit, as well as some brown sugar. Barrel presence is not very strong, but there is a little oak and vanilla, especially on the finish.

M-The body is substantial with a touch of slick wetness. Carbonation isn't quite creamy like the true Belgians, but it does a nice imitation.

O-I enjoyed this beer. It doesn't whack you over the head with barrel flavors, but uses the barrel to bring out the base beer. A touch too sweet, but I'd drink it again.

Nov 07, 2016
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TreyIsWilson from Michigan

4.12/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark amber with a two finger creamy off white head. Light amount of soapy lacing.

S - Aroma is apples, pears, plums and vanilla.

T - The flavor is apples, plums, raisins, fig, brown sugar, caramel, vanilla and bourbon.

M - Medium body with medium carbonation. Soft mouthfeel with a crisp dry finish.

O - This is a nice barrel aged quad. The barrel is light allowing the natural dubbel flavors shine.

Oct 29, 2016
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chinchill from South Carolina

4.19/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

From a shared bottle at the Fall 2016 L.E.A.F.

Fine use of barrel aging with these effects in very nice balance with the base dubbel which, of course, is excellent to begin with. Lots of dark fruits, especially up front, with the woody bourbon notes coming in later.
Very smooth.

Oct 25, 2016
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DBosco from Massachusetts

3.73/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I was surprised that there was almost no "pop" when taking out the cork. However, there is a reasonable amount of carbonation after pouring, although little head that quickly settles and disappears. Color is a clear reddish brown. Smells of some plummy fruit and bourbon. Taste is sweet, almost cola like with the touch of bourbon. Mouthfeel is smooth with some alcohol heat and not much carbonation. Overall, a pretty good beer that is worth trying.

Aug 14, 2016
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Rock_Glenn from New York

3.52/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours very dark like an antique bronze, good tasting with a hint of wood/oak and a very strong toffee like flavor. There is an inherent floral taste, but is is that of a single flower, not a full bouquet. I found this to be a bit bitter for a belgian. The body is solid, and well balanced, and the head was nice while it lasted.

May 31, 2016
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MJSFS from Florida

4.17/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Very solid Belgian Dubbel. Ice tea appearance with a nice sweet caramel aroma. The barrel notes were pretty much non-existent however and maybe I should have left it in the bottle a little longer so the yeast could do its thing. There was no pop when the cork was release and barely any carbonation in the mouth.

May 28, 2016
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Sludgeman from District of Columbia

4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Not your typical over the top, too much bourbon barrel-aged beer. The bourbon barrel flavors stay in the background and the vanilla and caramel blend nicely. Still the alcohol from the barrel is evident.

May 16, 2016
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ABOWMan from Ohio

4.36/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured a beautiful golden brown. Nose was ripe plums and brown sugar. Very little head which dissipates quickly. No lacing to speak of. Mouthfeel is rich and velvety. Extremely drinkable. This is a wonderful example of a Belgian Dubbel I'd highly recommend it.

Mar 07, 2016
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Caput_H_lupulorum from Maine

2.73/5  rDev -33.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Look: Pours a ruby brown color, with a thin rapidly dispersing head.
Smell: Sweet and oaky.
Taste: Rather diappointing, a raisin and oaky sweetness prevails but overall the beer is thin and lacking spiciness.
Feel: A syrupy mouthfeel that is offset by a lively effervescene, appropriate to the beer.
Overall: Very disappointing given the price.

Jan 16, 2016
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Karibourgeois from Texas

4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear brown pour with a small off-white head. Strong aroma of malt and light booze. Taste has bready malt and licorice upfront backed by a slight boozy warmth. Can also taste a bit of brown sugar and caramel.

Jan 08, 2016
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martinpfal from Indiana

4.41/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Color is dark Amber. Smell of sweetness. Taste of some barrel aging. Not overpowering. The look was alluring (corked bottle and $20 price tag) but probably over priced.

Jan 01, 2016
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uwmgdman from Wisconsin

4.22/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Nice deep deep Amber color with a ruby hue. Head quickly diminished. The aroma is caramel, stone fruits, bourbon and oak, subtle Belgian spicy character and a little fruity. Flavor is front loaded with oak, bourbon, some vanilla and stone fruit, then a pleasant red wine flavor emerges accompanied by Belgian spicy flavor and a long lingering dry finish. Body is medium and carbonation the same. Finish is dry, fruity, oaky and very flavorful.

Dec 20, 2015
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Libeertarian from Montana

4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Vintage 2015. Reviewing first December 2015. Will age (and review) my second bottle for a year from now I think.

Dull but beautiful semi-hazy mahogany. Head is fizzy and weak, although after it has almost entirely dissipated leaves patches of fine bubbles. Dark fruit but not overly sweet, light balsamic vinegar, light vanilla, light alcohol, oak, phenols, and leather aromas. Almonds and caramel backbone. Oak is much more prevalent on the palate, and balances well with dark fruit (dates all the way!) and liqueur flavors. Vanilla and balsamic notes, not too sweet or sour. Aftertaste is unsurprisingly woody and bourbon-like, and yet, bready. Medium in body, though somewhat thin, choppy, with carbonation that starts out sparse and prickly but flattens quickly to fine, abundant, gulpable suds. Warm, not hot. Overall, it is about as good as any number of other high ABV, darker Belgian style beers, but it didn't live up to my expectations, vague though they were.

Dec 19, 2015
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ccg from Virginia

3.82/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep, rich orange with nice retention on a layer of tan foam
Initial blast of whiskey smells gives way to Belgian, banana-like malt and a hint of alcohol burn.
Flavor is mild sweet malt and mild whiskey. A bit of oak and earthiness comes through. I wouldn't have guessed it was partially wine-barrel aged if the label didn't say so, but it makes sense. It's a bit more earthy and less sweet than I would expect otherwise.
A mild and well-balanced double.

Dec 13, 2015
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cjgiant from District of Columbia

3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Bottle, no date found, but been in fridge for couple months:
Pours a nice cola brow, perhaps a slight plum tint. Head builds up nicely, a foamy redfish-purplish tan. Still have nice head coverage halfway through pour, though no lacing.

Nose includes the barrel notes, but the base beer is the star. Candi sugar, cola or light root beer (sasparilla?), bourbon-tinged vanilla.

Taste leans a little more on the barrel notes, especially the bourbon and wood notes. There is no heat from the booze notes, just the flavor. Not as sweet a beer as the nose implied, a bit more cola-ish than root beer. The carbonation is light and tingly at strongest. Lighter side of medium body, drinks easily for a BA beer.

Wished the taste had the strength of the nose, but the fishers were well-balanced. Not sure if some age had an effect on that. A little more robustness or a little more excitement of feel wouldn't hurt, either. A nicely made beer.

Dec 12, 2015
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barnzy78 from Illinois

4.29/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

750mL bottle, shared 4 ways
A - foamy tan head on a brown body with plenty of carbonation
S - fruity, apple, fig, date, oak, earthy, yeasty, vanilla, faint bourbon
T - similar to aroma with notes of earthy yeast, apple, grape, fig, toffee, brown sugar, caramel, vanilla, bourbon, oak
M - velvety smooth, fuller body, higher carbonation allows its complexity to dance across the palate; vanilla and bourbon ride out the dry, peppery finish
O - great to try! I think it would get cloyingly sweet to drink more than half of the bottle, so it was nice to share it.

Nov 22, 2015
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maximum12 from Minnesota

3.95/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The Ovila Quad was so good that I’d been watching for this one, & here it is. 750ML brown bottle, corked & caged, split with my wife.

The pour, leaving the last ounce or two in the glass, is clear, ruddy cheeks in an anticipated Minnesota winter breeze (which should be arriving tomorrow morning, finally). The head is big & persistent. The nose is interesting enough that I sip it through most of a movie trailer: very vinous. Wine, with some malt dropped in the barrel, & plenty of dark fruit. Oaky. This will be fun!

Ovila Dubbel - Barrel Aged is yet another cross-breed of wine & brew. The barrels are strong: wine & oak are on top here, along with a strong breath of vanilla & mild booziness from the bourbon. Flailing underneath the barrels is the dubbel: rich dark fruits, brown sugar, sweet cherry juice. Slight spiciness, perhaps from the yeast, perhaps from the jaded dialogue. Easy to sip, but I’m finding everything easy to sip these days. Perhaps I should have that looked at by a professional.

I’m liking the Ovila series. This doesn’t hit as close to my joy buzzer as the quad, but it’s very good & even better, different.

Nov 19, 2015
Ovila Abbey Barrel Aged Dubbel from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 209 ratings