Ovila Belgian-Style Abbey Quad: Ale Brewed With Plums
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Ovila Belgian-Style Abbey Quad: Ale Brewed With PlumsOvila Belgian-Style Abbey Quad: Ale Brewed With Plums
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Quadrupel (Quad)
Ranked #64
Ranked #6,559
4.01 | pDev: 10.72%
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States
Ovila Belgian-Style Abbey Quad: Ale Brewed With PlumsOvila Belgian-Style Abbey Quad: Ale Brewed With Plums
Reviews: 236 | Ratings: 1,158 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of entheos
entheos from California

3.83/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A bit too strong, but very rich and distinct. It’s flavorful, but too much will but you in a coma! I’ve had better, but Sierra Nevada knows how to brew so well I may eventually like this above other Belgians.

Jan 11, 2020
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Pray_For_Mojo from Colorado

3.73/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a tulip

Appearance: dark brown, cloudy (“muddy” kind of) and nearly opaque. This beer looks sweet when poured as if taste can be conveyed visually.

Aroma: this beer smells like simple syrup, plums and Belgian yeast. The aroma certainly fits the style.

Flavor: wow this is sweet! This is the second sweetest beer I’ve ever had (Carolus blue). This is on par with a mouthful of candy corn. The sweetness could easily be cut in half and still have plenty of flavor. Belgian yeast flavors with dark fruit…. You can’t taste the plums, per se, just the typical dark fruit character.

Mouthfeel: this is a heavy beer, which is no surprise at 10% abv, but it seems a bit too heavy. A 12oz bottle is going to serve as a light snack.

Overall: for $5 / 12oz bottle, this was worth trying, but it won’t be a repeat purchase. It is way too sweet, heavy, and overall kind of sloppy.

Mar 31, 2017
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MacMalt from New Jersey

4.14/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 12.7 oz. cork and cage bottle into tulip glass. It pours a dark walnut with mahogany hues and a finger of creamy, khaki-colored head and lacing. The head persisted through the pour which is attractive. It smells of roasted malt, plum, raisin, brown, molasses, and some faint chocolate and spice. It's nicely aromatic. It's quite sweet, almost cloying, with robust tastes of brown sugar, plum, and raisin, and a hint of chocolate. It's flavor profile and sweetness gives it a cordial quality. The alcohol taste is subtle. This Quad is viscous and creamy, pleasantly carbonated, and the 10.2% ABV, while noticeable, doesn't burn. Overall, I enjoyed Ovila quite a bit. Given it's sweetness, it's more of an after-meal sipper than a casual drinker.

Jan 22, 2017
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JayQue from Virginia

3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Good US take on a Quad. Pours a dark brown color with a thin, cap-covering light tan head into my Chimay goblet. Good aroma of dark fruit (plums figs and raisins), sweet malt and Belgian yeast. Taste is good too. Dark fruit, sweet malt/molasses like, and some Belgian yeast. Not as complex as the best Belgian Quads but certainly rich and flavorful. Rich and smooth mouthfeel, with a very moderate warming alcohol presence. A great slow sipper/winter drink.

Dec 12, 2016
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Libeertarian from Montana

4.28/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Original review was 07/11/15:

No date on the bottle or 4 pack from what I can tell.

Fairly clear, very dark shade of cola with wine-red hues. Medium-retaining cap of fine, brownish tan. Smells very sweet, of alcohol, darker and dried fruits, and faintly chocolatey toasted malts. Palate-enticing! Mildly tart up front, with dark fruity character and pinch of cocoa throughout. All this overtaken in the back by strong, boozy, syrupy molasses-like finish. Aftertaste, after finish cleans up and warmth clears out, is light-roasted coffee. Medium to full in body, not unpleasantly sticky, with presence of fine, prickly carbonation soon giving way to smoother suds. Medium astringency and warmth at the end. Very decadent beverage. Needed this after a long day of garage-saling (buyer, not seller). Goes well with lounging in bed listening to old-school metal.

Here is an updated review for 09/02/16, same batch, so over a year of aging since the first review:

Clear dark ruby color, brown to black in indirect light. Fine foamy to almost creamy golden brown head of decent retention. As I near the halfway point, I can see deposits of chunky sediment dancing around on bottom of the goblet. Dark fruit, booze, cat pee or wet cardboard aromas. Bit of molasses. Interesting, and really, actually, not nasty, despite sound. Still, not as enticing as it was a little over a year ago when I last reviewed this from the same four pack. Flavor-wise, throughout, it is toffee, raisin, sweet chocolate, plum, slightest wet paper, black spiced rum-like booziness. Sweet, dare I say too sweet, right into aftertaste but some peppery notes with finish, clearly from alcohol. Full-bodied, chewy, fine abundant suds, considerably mellowed compared to last time I think. Still, combination of extreme alcohol heat and fizzing up of carbonation make the swallow quite exciting. Overall, not quite as good as it was a little more fresh (smell and flavor being most important here), but that might yet change. Point is, it does keep for a year if not years, and is still quite good. The three fruit flies that died in it agree, or at least at first they did. And I’m only halfway through it.

I'd rate this aged version 4.75, 3.75. 4, 4.75, 4

Oct 20, 2016
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CTHomer from Connecticut

4.32/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: opaque; cola brown with gold on the edges; less than a 1 finger light khaki head that receded quickly to a thin collar; little lacing;

S: plum, alcohol, sweet malt;

T dark fruit (plums more than anything else), molasses - a little rum-like; finish is all plum; no bitterness;

M: medium bodied; low to moderate carbonation; medium dry finish; smooth - hides the ABV well;

O: a great sipping beer;

Oct 06, 2016
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lochef81 from Michigan

4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is outstanding! I don't normally appreciate a sweeter ale but the depth n richness of this beer are great. If you're not into malt n residual sugar, then you won't appreciate this ale. But if you are n looking for a good sipper than this beauty rivals the authentic quads of Belgium.

Aug 23, 2016
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bushbeer75 from Michigan

3.96/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12.7oz brown bottle not dated

Ovila Belgian Style Abbey Quad filled my tulip glass with a very dark brown colored body. The foamy 1 1/2 - finger beige head that was formed had decent retention. The nose was of dark fruits and some bready notes. The taste has a big malt and dark fruit profile. The flavor of caramel, plums, brown sugar, raisins and even light chocolate are noted. The mouth feel is smooth creamy, and a fuller than expect body.

Overall, Ovila is a very drinkable Quad for having a 10.2 abv. The Ale pairs well with Colby Jack cheese and crakers.

Jun 16, 2016
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hophugger from Virginia

3.35/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Looks like a quad but a touch darker than I expected. Aromas were nice with the great, bready yeast coming through. Taste, unfortunately was too sweet for me, maybe from the plums. I like Belgians, but this one was a touch too sweet and flat..

Apr 15, 2016
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FriarMickOnThePlateau from Massachusetts

3.71/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Good beer, easy drinking for 10 abv, nice smooth flavors. Color and clarity appreciate. Head disappeared quickly. Body is light. Flavors are not overpowering. Getting better as it warms. Overall, I like it. Great 10.4% abv for everyday or special occasion.

Apr 06, 2016
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Troy-Hawaii from Hawaii

3.68/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought form Times Fujioka's @2.99 12oz bottle
Dark black color
Heavy thick mouthfeel
Low carbonation
Sweet, rich, malty, caramel, plums taste
Overall its like drinking wine, although you can feel the alcohol burn that you don't get with wine. Not something that you would want to drink often, but maybe once or twice a year for something different is good enough.

Mar 25, 2016
Photo of Dragginballs76
Dragginballs76 from South Carolina

4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours - jet black nice think tan head that dissipates to a thin 1/4" good lacing.

Smell - The alcohol is up front in this one, I can also pick out some dark fruit I assume the plums. The alcohol does not let much else through.

Taste - For the alcohol to be so strong in the smell I am surprised the plum and the belgian yeast come out first in the taste. The alcohol is there in the taste but it is very smooth and not over powering.

Feel - Medium body very smooth and thick, nice burn from the alcohol.

Overall - A great beer, glad I have a four pack!!

Mar 20, 2016
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Bitterbill from Wyoming

3.7/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The pour is a very dark brown almost black. 1"head of off white foam.

A very malty nose. And fruity. Caramel malt with heaps of dark fruits. .obviously plums, raisins with a slight indicator of a possible tart note or 2.

Caramel malt sweetness up front with quite the sharp taste of plums that's more bitter than tart. I sense some oxidation going on as well. .Cardboard, mild butterscotch.

Close to full bodied with medium carbonation and the alcohol is well hidden.

A slow sipping beer for sure and in general, I like what's going on.

Mar 13, 2016
Photo of clayrock81
clayrock81 from Florida

3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured a brown body with reddish tints and two finger head that quickly died without lace. Booze and wood comes through in aroma and the plums really come through, overpowering other dark fruit notes that comes across as raisins, figs, dates(?). Smooth, fuller bodied beer that has a yeast smoothness/sweetness to it as well a touch of sweetness from toffee (no candi sugar in this beer). The plums come through the most and offer a sweetness as a strong, almost wine-like dark fruit taste that requires slow sipping; the sipping is slow also due to a bit of booze in the backend. Not your typical quad but it's pretty good.

Feb 16, 2016
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KTCamm from New Jersey

3.93/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12/31....pours dark purple/violet brown colored, thin ring of white foam. Deep jammy nose, plums, figs, raisins, sugars, in a fruit forward aroma. Taste is a hearty heavy jam, all fruit, which swings to a boozy malt finish. Black cherry soda like flavors. Almost a port wine.

Feb 06, 2016
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Darkmagus82 from Texas

4.45/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from bottle into a snifter

Appearance – The beer pours a deep brown mahogany color, bordering on black, with a one finger tan colored head of foam. The head has a moderate level of retention, fading to leave bits of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – A huge dark fruit aroma of plum, raisin, and fig control the vast majority of the nose. Along with these smells comes some other aromas of a sweeter candied sugar can caramel as well as some notes of yeast and spice of clove and coriander. A bit of a light boozy and banana smell is there as well, mixing with the robust dark fruit and sweet aromas to produce a very warming and inviting smell.

Taste – The taste begins with a big, sweet dark fruit flavor of cherry, raisin, plum, and fig. This sweetness is augmented by some other sweeter tastes of candied sugar and molasses. As the taste advances the fruit flavors begin to fade a little bit while the molasses and some caramel take their place. With the exchange of the sweeter tastes, there is also some yeast and a bit of a more roasty taste that comes to the tongue. While a chunk of the dark fruit fades, the plum actually makes a comeback at the end of the taste, really amping up the plum flavor profile. This plum is accompanied by some light warming rum flavors and a little bit more candied sugar to leave on with a plum sweetened, boozy, but quite dangerously smooth and drinkable dark fruity taste to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the brew is on the average to slightly thinner and crisper for a 10.2 % abv. brew and has a carbonation level that is on the slightly lower side. For the warming sweet and boozy flavors mixed with the fruity but hearty tastes of the brew the feel really was quite nice. It had enough body to support all the flavors, all while not allowing the tastes buds to be overwhelmed by any one given flavor.

Overall – This is one fantastic quad in my opinion!! It has tons of nice dark fruity flavor, with it all being balanced very nicely. While the biggest of the flavors that accompany the dark fruit (mainly plum) are sweet, there is a superb blend of alcohol, yeast, spice, and roast, which seems to meld everything together well and make for one approachable slow sipper. This is a very tasty brew. Well done SN!!

Jan 23, 2016
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manfromanotherplace from New York

4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I think this is a little underrated.appearance and smell are superb, taste is right up there too, caramel, dark fruits and brown sugar, its sweet all the way through but not overly so, in my opinion this is a very good quad.

Jan 15, 2016
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GoBearsWalter34 from Illinois

4.49/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a murky dishwater brown with a thin, white head. Not a huge smell yeast and malt with the typical dark fruit. Wholly cow, the taste blew me away. Dark fruits with a perfect Carmel malt blend. Notes of chocolate. The balance of this is incredible. Mouthfeel perfect. A big suprise as I chose due to the fact I didn't like the other options.

Jan 02, 2016
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Jimlikesbeer from North Carolina

4.17/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very smooth quad. Only a slight alcohol taste. Lingering head with moderate lacing. I always did like plums and this beer has not changed my opinion.

Dec 30, 2015
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rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.31/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Murky brown, beige head. Aroma was alcohol heat, dark fruits, prune, plum.

Kind a bitter taste for what it is. Brown sugar could be more amped up to cover up the bitterness. I'm not a quad guy, so don't let my distaste for dark fruits get to ya.

Dec 16, 2015
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stevoj from Idaho

4.09/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Plums add a nice touch to this dark beer, a touch of sweetness to the normal dried fruit essence of this style. Velvety smooth, dark grain aroma, taste is sweet fruit, chocolate, no evidence of the high abv. Really nice quad.

Oct 20, 2015
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CO-Bloom from Colorado

4.38/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Wow, this is one of the best values in the craft beer world. This pours a dark brown almost black, but when held up to light you see deep red shine through. Smells sweet, bready and slightly spicy. Taste is a huge blast of brown sugar, dark fruit and sugary spiced banana bread. Very sweet, which could be toned down a bit. As it warms you get more roasted malt and some licorice, as the sweetness dies down slightly. Very warming with, lower carbonation which helps it achieve a medium-heavy mouthfeel. Delicious, high value beer. If the sweetness was turned down a smidge so that the other flavors could shine through a little more - it would be one of my top big Belgians I have had (which is not a ton).

Sep 23, 2015
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kemoarps from Washington

3.97/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Murky medium dark brown with a nice half finger of brown head. Settles into a nice central island of velvety fluff.

Nose connotes plum (unsurprising!) along with almost kind of a dark rye bread kind of.

Flavour begins with dark stone fruits sweet and rich, as well as a faint dusting of chocolate and candied sugar. Plum, sure, but there's some dark cherries a touch of rum.

Kind of amazed that this is the first time I've had this. Neither here nor there. This is solid. Doesn't blow me away but it's solid.

Sep 19, 2015
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chinchill from South Carolina

4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A corked and caged 12.7 oz bottle served in a St. Bernardus snifter. Pulling the cork released almost no pressure, and the pour and thin head confirmed very low carbonation. The mouthfeel, however, was just fine in this respect. The main weaknesses in the feel, instead, was the nearly inevitable signs of high ABV, This too, however, blended nicely with the flavor profile of the ale.

Appearance: The beer poured very dark brown, near black, with dark brown highlights at the edges. While the tan head quickly reduced to a thin ring, it did leave a tiny amount of lacing.

Aroma: Dark fruits, plums, raisins and cherries.The high ABV gives a suggestion of fruit liqueur. Sweet with some toasted bread.

Taste: Dark bread and dark fruits, including plums, figs and cherries. Nice balance and complexity, if a touch too sweet. Improves with warming, in part because the sweetness gets slightly lowered and black licorice becomes more evident. Hints of coffee, dark chocolate, burnt toast in the finish and aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Full, smooth body despite a mild alcohol bite and some alcohol warmth; low carbonation,

Overall: excellent

Aug 28, 2015
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alexanderplatz from Kentucky

3.24/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

In overall appearance and taste Ovila is like someone crossed a stout with either a Quad or a Belgian Strong Dark Ale, with perhaps 3 parts stout to one part Quad.

Jul 30, 2015
Ovila Belgian-Style Abbey Quad: Ale Brewed With Plums from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 1158 ratings