Ovila Abbey Barrel Aged Dubbel | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Ovila Abbey Barrel Aged DubbelOvila Abbey Barrel Aged Dubbel
198 Ratings
Ovila Abbey Barrel Aged DubbelOvila Abbey Barrel Aged Dubbel

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

Style: Dubbel

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by mdfb79 on 09-27-2012

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 198 |  Reviews: 59
Photo of anon
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of MickeyHops
3.97/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of neenerzig
4.34/5  rDev +6.9%
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.


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Photo of Commandophile
4.34/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of gordavidson
3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of kmoen
4.16/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of ovaltine
4.29/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

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Photo of chuckgietzen
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of TruePerception
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

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Photo of Jadjunk
3.74/5  rDev -7.9%
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

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Photo of Pundit_of_Potability
3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
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.

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Photo of cswhitehorse
4.44/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of rydev24
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of spoony
4.09/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

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Photo of TreyIsWilson
4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

 415 characters

Photo of dawardster
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of chinchill
4.19/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

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Photo of Agentveba
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of TwoTrees
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Korbynlehr
3.78/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of BYingling
4.19/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

rich, but enjoyable for even a witbier person.

46 characters

Photo of DBosco
3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
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.

 456 characters

Photo of FreshButterbeer
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Nightmare1972
3.51/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Rock_Glenn
3.52/5  rDev -13.3%
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.

 328 characters

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Ovila Abbey Barrel Aged Dubbel from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.06 out of 5 with 198 ratings
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