Ovila Abbey Barrel Aged Dubbel | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
89
very good
58 Reviews
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Ovila Abbey Barrel Aged DubbelOvila Abbey Barrel Aged Dubbel
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States
sierra-nevada.com

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
58
Ratings:
195
Avg:
4.03
pDev:
8.68%
 
 
Wants:
25
Gots:
42
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
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Reviews: 58 | Ratings: 195
Photo of ovaltine
4.29/5  rDev +6.5%
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 TruePerception
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
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 -7.2%
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
3.74/5.00

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Photo of Pundit_of_Potability
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
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 spoony
4.09/5  rDev +1.5%
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 +2.2%
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.

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Photo of chinchill
4.19/5  rDev +4%
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 DBosco
3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
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.

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Photo of Rock_Glenn
3.52/5  rDev -12.7%
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.

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Photo of MJSFS
4.17/5  rDev +3.5%
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.

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Photo of Sludgeman
4.15/5  rDev +3%
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.

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Photo of ABOWMan
4.36/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

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Photo of Caput_H_lupulorum
2.73/5  rDev -32.3%
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.

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Photo of Karibourgeois
4/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

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Photo of martinpfal
4.41/5  rDev +9.4%
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.

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Photo of uwmgdman
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

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Photo of Libeertarian
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

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Photo of ccg
3.82/5  rDev -5.2%
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.

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Photo of cjgiant
3.95/5  rDev -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.

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Photo of barnzy78
4.29/5  rDev +6.5%
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.

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Photo of maximum12
3.95/5  rDev -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.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

exceptional beer, one of my favorites from them in some time, its magic. the combination of the wine and the bourbon barrels really lends itself to elements already existing in the base beer. the vanilla from the bourbon loves the sweeter darker malt in the dubbel, and the fruit from the red wine likes the fruity notes in the belgian yeast strain, and when it all comes together, its really splendid. i was surprised by a number of things here. the first is how clear it is in color, has the right tone, but no haze at all, just a crystal clear deep auburn with a tall tan head, gorgeous. it smells and tastes fantastic, i like that its not too heavy on the barrel, not overly oaky or boozy and thick, especially not thick, its almost light for a dubbel, far drier than most, without half the body, but it doesnt want for grain flavor or texture, which is the real genius. i suspect the yeast kept working in the barrels, as this is much less sweet than i remember the regular version being. minor acidity from the red wine cuts it as well. maybe a little less complex and cleaner than others like it, but really, there is no others like it, its a work all of its own, and worthy at the finest table. improving constantly as it warms. this series has simply blown me away, and this is one of my favorites in it. i sure hope they keep it up!

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

The beer pours a cream colored head that dissipates quickly and leaves lacing around the rim. The beer itself is very nice to look at it with a clear ruby-brown. The hue is pretty nice and resembles wine a little bit.

The smell is pretty good and is a pleasure to smell. There are some nice bright red fruit notes like grapes from a cabernet sauvignon and bits of ripe plum. The malt notes mainly come off as caramel and burnt sugar notes with a little bit of toffee. The vanilla from the bourbon barrels is definitely there and blends well with the fruit and malt notes.

The taste is delicious and much better than the smell. The taste has the malt notes such as caramel, toffee with a hint of burnt sugar. The vanilla note is definitely present and still mixes with the malt notes. The fruit notes are bit more muted than the smell but still present and are given a slight bitter hop boost. There is also a very slight bourbon character to it that is subtle enough not to overpower the other notes but strong enough to be counted.

The feel is pretty good. It's medium bodied but a bit thin because of all the aging. The carbonation is pretty nice and biting; giving it a good texture.

Overall, a very good barrel-aged dubble and certainly unique enough to pay the purchase price.

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Photo of Boccu
4.26/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours nice with thick head. Lots of aroma. Taste is very smooth with tones of wine with a Carmel middle to a light bourbon finish. It's very drinkable like a mellow barley wine; smells of sweet malt, caramel,red wine with a light bourbon. As usual for sierra a great beer.

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Photo of Uniobrew31
4.24/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I really enjoyed this beer.
After reading review that it had low carbonation I gave it an aggressive pour. I nice tan head developed atop this dark reddish dubbel. It dissipated after a few minutes leaving a slight lacing around the top.

Smell was a tad pungent but in a good way, yeasty and dank

Taste was very complex, belgian sour bitterness up front that developed into a nice dark fruit flavor and as it hit my throat I started picking up a little vanilla

Feel is mild carbonation that let the complexity of this beer come through

Over all i would buy it again. I really enjoyed it. The cost was more than I can afford often but when I can I will treat myself to this great beer again!

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Ovila Abbey Barrel Aged Dubbel from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.03 out of 5 based on 195 ratings.
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