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
BA SCORE
83.7%
Liked This Beer
3.99 w/ 1,134 ratings
Ovila Belgian-Style Abbey Quad: Ale Brewed With PlumsOvila Belgian-Style Abbey Quad: Ale Brewed With Plums
BEER INFO

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

Style: Quadrupel (Quad)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Trilogy31 on 01-30-2013

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#3,829
Reviews:
232
Ratings:
1,134
Liked:
949
Avg:
3.99/5
pDev:
10.78%
Alströms:
0
 
 
Wants:
63
Gots:
254
Trade:
11
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,134 |  Reviews: 232
Photo of Sammy
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

Photo of kylehay2004
3.75/5  rDev -6%

Photo of Texasfan549
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

Photo of jaydoc
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.84/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours an almost opaque super dark crimson-brown with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, dark fruits, and earthy spices. Taste is much the same with plum and spice flavors on the finish. There is a bit of a sourness with each sip as well. There is a medium amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with a distinct plum flavor but it really doesn't stand out too much in the smell.

 610 characters

Photo of GRG1313
3.75/5  rDev -6%

Photo of spycow
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

what i love about sierra nevada is not just how good this beer is, but the fact that it is on shelves for $2.99, a steal at any rate, but for a beer this strong and this good, its insane. rich mahogany body to this and not much head in my globe. the nose is amazing though, i get more cherries than plums, but a definite dark fruit element stands strong among the grain trees here, sweet and a little spicy, quintessentially belgian. the fruit is there in the taste too, which is layered and huge, but not hot. it ins some ways reminds me of life and limb, that different sort of sugar additive, birch syrup or something, earthy and stately, really delicious, and a great compliment to the plums and the yeast. its a long flavorful experience driven by rich grain and semisweet under ripe plums. one of the best quads ive had honestly, and the fact that it was so affordable makes me want to go out and buy up all i can find. really big body and not much carbonation here, it really isnt needed or missed, as the flavors carry themselves just fine in its absence. top quality quad packed with flavor. a real generous gift to the beer community this one. thank you for it sierra nevada.

 1,185 characters

Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of djrn2
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

Photo of Knapp85
3.99/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured out as a deep brown color, almost black. The head was thin and cream colored. The retention is thin and the lacing is scattered. The smell of the beer is bready and sweet with a subtle touch of chocolate malt in there as well. The taste of the beer is sweet with some chocolate and herbal spice flavors. There is some fruity elements in there as well. The mouthfeel is a smooth with a pretty solid carbonation and medium body. Overall it's a good brew, not sure what I'm supposed to taste from the plum that were added but either way it's a pretty solid Quad.

 571 characters

Photo of oriolesfan4
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.75/5  rDev -6%

Photo of BEERchitect
3.74/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Sierra Nevada's Belgian-inspired Ovila series takes a serious left turn as its "Quad" introduces the taste of plums in order to exacerbate the dark fruit flavor that's already pleasant in the original Ovila Quad.

Much like other Quad variations, the ale pours with a dense, rusty appearance that's chocked full of brown and red hues along with a sturdy haze. As a creamy barley-stained head patiently builds up towards the tulip's rim, its retention is strong during the session and its lace is of broken rings. Its a strong appearance even through the ale doesn't have the exuberence that traditional Belgian Dark Strong Ales do.

Rich aromas kick off with a sweeter tone that's backed with brown sugar and light molasses. As the fruit aromas fold it, the ale takes a red wine scent with acidic grape, blackberry, raisin, prune, dates and figs to go along with obvious plumb overtones. A counterpart of spice also stems from its vinous acidic scent- fresh cracked peppercorn, orange peels and fennel. As the alcohol tickles the nose, and as the first sip nears, the aromas culminate in a way to remind me of spiced rum and plumb wine.

And to taste much of that brown sugar and molasses taste greets the early palate with unexpected rich malts. But once its sweetness fully saturates the taste buds, the balance of fruit and spice slices right through the sweetness with acidity and peppery heat. Blackberries, currants and red grapes bounce off of white pepper, black pepper, coriander, light clove and earthy near-licorice taste for complexity and intrigue in the middle. Trailing with plum overtones, the alcohol spice and light woody bitterness takes charge and gives the ale the rummy and winy finish that the nose promised.

Much fuller in body than expected, the ale retains its creamy-sweet structure very long and not drifting into drier sensibilities just yet. Its long draw across the middle palate provides a marshmallow texture to accompany its spice, acidity, and fruity tartness that lightens its viscosity to a mild extent. Its warm finish is semi-dry and again spicy with rum attributes.

With all that sugar plum talk dancing in my head, its easy to become seduced by the ale's clean fruit/spice balance and its hearty malt sweetness. But comparing it to more authentic Belgian versions, its easy to see that this much more simplistic ale not only lacks the much needed complexity it also doesn't allow for the drier drinkability to emerge which would facilitate a much more palatable and Belgian-esque digestible quality.

 2,552 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.34/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ovila Abbey Ale Belgian Style Abbey Quad brewed with (sugar) plums. "Brewed in collaboration with monks of the abbey of New Clairvoux." 10.20% ABV. Sold in four packs. 12.7 fl oz brown glass bottle with cool black label and hood and wire cap over a cork acquired individually at a SoCal beer store for just under $4.00 and served into a New Belgium stem-goblet in me gaff in Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Expectations are above average; I'm indifferent towards the brewery but I love the style.

Paired with pretzels.

Served straight from the fridge and allowed to warm considerably over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a 1.5 finger rich khaki colour head of great cream, very good thickness, and excellent retention (~6+ minutes) for the high ABV. Body colour is a solid nontransparent dark black. Opaque. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. I love the head; it's quite good for a quad. Lacks the darker colour of a more refined quad like Rochefort or Westvleteren, but it far exceeds my expectations given the brewery. There's nothing unique here, but it's on the money for the style - with the exception of the body colour; I'd much prefer to see a dark refined red hue or a rich caramel/biscuit. Black is strange.

Sm: Malty sweetness, sugar plum, caramel, light yeasty spice, raisin, and refined malts. Lacks the dark fruit suggested by the label, to its detriment and my severe disappointment. Even the plum comes off sweet and sugary, not dark. The best beers in the style always have those dark fig and plum or prune notes; it's sorely missing here. That said, the malts are evocative and appealing, though not quite subtle and rich like those of the best beers in the style. Plum is dominant. I could use more biscuity yeast character; again subtlety is missing here. But there's plenty of complexity and balance. I'm excited to try it. No alcohol is detectable. An appealing aroma of moderate strength. Good for the style.

T: Cream, imbalanced raisin, dried plum, overdone malty sweetness, caramel, light spice from the yeast, and a vaguely raisiney finish. It's nowhere near as complex as the aroma suggested it might be. Subtlety and true balance is also severely lacking here, but it balances the notes it does have. No stunning dark fruit here. Emphasis is on the bright plum and caramel malts, neither of which is particularly interesting. That said, it is well executed for the style and hits the mark more than any other American macro quad I can immediately think of. Flavorful but not real deep. I do like it for what it is. It doesn't quite have the profile of a true distinct quad; there's a fair amount of strong dark ale character here, especially in terms of the raisin (which feels ripped straight from Unibroue's bag of tricks). There's no questioning it's a solid beer, however.

Mf: Smooth and thick. Wet and with adequate body. None of the delicacy or fragility of truly masterful quads, but it gets the job done. It doesn't distract from the flavour profile, and supports what depth of flavour there is. Good carbonation. Overall, it's too thick and overbearing. Subtlety just isn't Sierra Nevada's strong suit.

Dr: A drinkable enjoyable quad that doesn't disappoint in spite of the brewery it comes from. If you were hoping for a decadent dark fruit-laden quad, this won't fit the bill, but if you want a solid macrobrewed offering this is your man. Well priced for the quality. Hides its ABV well. A good introductory quad for beginners. I wouldn't even mind aging one of these for 2-3 years to see what happens. Sierra Nevada surpassed my low expectations, but this is far from exemplary. Worth picking up at its low price.

B-

 3,768 characters

Photo of oline73
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

Photo of WillieThreebiers
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of zeff80
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of largadeer
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

Photo of zestar
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

375 ml bottle into chalice, bottled on 2/7/2013. Pours hazy nearly opaque reddish brown color with a 1 finger dense tan head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of raisin, plum, prune, banana, clove, pepper, toast, dark bread, molasses, candi sugar, light chocolate, light bubblegum, and yeast earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of malt, plum, and fruity/spicy yeast ester notes; with good strength. Taste of raisin, plum, banana, toast, brown bread, clove, pepper, molasses, candi sugar, light chocolate, light bubblegum, and yeast earthiness. Lingering notes of dark fruit, banana, toast, dark bread, clove, molasses, candi sugar, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and complexity of dark malt and fruity/spicy esters; with good plum flavor presence and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a creamy, slick, and slightly syrupy mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with only a small warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very nice quadrupel style. All around good balance and complexity of malt, yeast, and plum flavors; and very smooth to sip on. A very enjoyable offering.

 1,293 characters

Photo of mothman
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light layer of beige head. Color is a dark burnt caramel brown.

Flavor profile is mainly malts. Sweet malts. Caramel, candied sugar. Plums, raisins, molasses. Some toffee as well. Maybe a bit of tobacco.

Mouthfeel: smooth and creamy. Medium bodied with a nice amount of carbonation.

Overall, this was a really nice quad. Very easy to drink with a lot of nice flavors. SN deserves more credit on this one.

 407 characters

Photo of chinchill
4.05/5  rDev +1.5%
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

 1,145 characters

Photo of olradetbalder
3/5  rDev -24.8%

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Ovila Belgian-Style Abbey Quad: Ale Brewed With Plums from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 83.7% out of 100 with 1,134 ratings
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