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

BA SCORE
88
very good
231 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
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
Reviews:
231
Ratings:
1,130
Avg:
3.95
pDev:
10.89%
 
 
Wants:
64
Gots:
254
For Trade:
12
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 231 | Ratings: 1,130
Photo of dogfishandi
4.11/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12.7 oz caged and corked bottle at fridge temp poured into a Belgian style chalice.

Pours out a really dark brown with a thin layer of tan colored head, not the best retention and spotty lace from a swirl is really quick to fall back into the beer.

Pretty big on a dry plum note, a bit is some other dark dried fruits, figs, maybe a bit of raisin, light molasses and light brown sugar as well. A bit of alcohol as it warms.

A lot like the aroma with maybe a bit more complexity. Plums are there as well as some other dark fruits, prunes, figs, light raisin, some plum skin, a nice molasses/ brown sugar sweetness maybe even a bit of caramel. Comes on fairly sweet but finishes with a bit of dryness.

Bigger side of medium bodied, drinks easy, the alcohol isn't noticeable in the taste as much. Really smooth.

For me this started off as a pretty average quad, but the more I drank it the more I started to really enjoy it and didn't want the glass to end. Very pronounced flavors.

 988 characters

Photo of brian60625
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12.7 ounce bottle poured in a tulip, 4 pack at $14.99. Amazing stuff. Aroma has a roasted character, raisin bread pudding is a good descriptor, malts and dried fruit blended in a complementary way. Appearance is a dark brown-red with decent lacing and lingering residue of foam on top. Taste is a dried fruit lineup of plums, figs & raisins, very smooth despite the high abv, chocolate(?), orange zest. The main theme I picked up is that it’s all really well integrated. The wide array of roasted, citrus and dried fruit flavors work together. Palate is lively, sizzling in carbonation, medium bodied, long lasting flavor presence. Overall, this stuff is a good deal for the money and one of the few Belgian-style beers I’ve had in recent memory that’s highly recommendable.

 780 characters

Photo of lighthabit
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

unique. points for a beautiful bottle, complete with a label i love, and a cage on top. wonderfully understated in its presentation. at first i thought it was opaque, but the light-behind-the-glass showed it was just a really, really dark, clear ruby red. solid head dies down fairly quickly, thin layer hangs around. aroma is nothing too complicated, prunes are there just a bit. taste is refined, smooth, malty, with the plums adding a subtle sweet fruitiness that makes this the first fruit based beer i have ever cared for. mouthfeel is smooth, not too thick, just a bit. abv is hidden reasonably well, but it's there if you look. as it warms, the plums come out a bit more. this brew takes me back to the 1600s. nicely done, sn; i would look for this again.

i should note, sn's torpedo dipa is in my top 5, and this is so very different from torpedo . . . i enjoyed it all-the-more.

update 6/28/13 - bumped up a couple areas, turns out i like this more and more.

update 5/9/14 - chatting with my bro about this hard-to-find favorite of mine, realized it still had no image. not the best, it's a pic from my phone from last year, but i wanted to show the label because i absolutely love the look, and it has brethren with similar names but different styles/labels, wanted to help avoid confusion. cheers!

 1,312 characters

Photo of JohnnyMc
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Newest collaboration from Sierra Nevada!!

Pours out very dark with some ruby highlights and a finger of a khaki/off-white head.

The aroma is very dark fruit forward; plums, figs and raisins with a hint of tart cherry. There is some white pepper type of spice, some candied sugar, Belgian yeast characteristics and a bit of bready malt.

The taste is also very heavy on the dark up front; tons of plum, fig, raisin and a hint of cherry too. Definitely get some nice white pepper spiciness along with some orange peel, yeasty notes and it finishes with some candied sugar type of note.

The body is full and the mouthfeel is slightly creamy. The carbonation is a touch high though. The alcohol is pretty well hidden with only some warming as it goes down.

This is a decent beer, but definitely an American version of a Quad. Missing some of the best elements that make Belgian Quads so complex and tasty. It was a little sweet as it warmed up, but a very tasty beer that's worth checking out.

 995 characters

Photo of draheim
3.79/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

375mL into a chalice. Pours a clear deep mahogany w/ a 1-finger khaki head.

Aroma hits me a little grainy up front. Some definite plum/prune sweetness.

Taste is dark bready malt, candi sugar, and dark fruity sweetness. Kapow this is sweet and sugary. Alcohol well hidden.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, finishes semi-dry.

Overall about what I expected. Not in the league of Rochefort 10 or St. Berndardus 12, but the plum gives this beer a unique twist.

 454 characters

Photo of FremontBar
3.45/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: pours a nice dark brown with hints of ruby, small head which dissipates rather quickly
S: smell is rather subdued, some sweetness, prunes and dark fruit
T: once this beer warmed up got a lot more flavor, raisins and plums/prunes, sweet and hides alcohol well until the finish which I find a little astringent.
M: has good carbonation and medium bodied
O : Probably will not drink again, had it on draft last week and then bottled. I generally like most Belgians and big beers but this one had a very astringent and bitter lingering taste that I found unpleasant. Worth trying because everyone has different taste but I will be moving on.

 640 characters

Photo of BEERMILER12
4.02/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Pours a deep dark ruby color with almost no head

S: Belgian yeast, plenty of dark fruits including cherry, plum, raisin, and fig with an emphasis on plum, some estery alcohol, and sweet malts

T: Follows the nose with an addition of spices. Starts off with the yeast, fruitiness, and spices and goes into more fruity esters, light alcohol, and sweet malts. Finishes with alcohol, spices, and plum

M: Medium-full bodied with low-moderate carbonation. Dry

O: A nice take on the base beer, with plenty of plum to be found in both aroma and taste. Reminds me of a Belgian winter beer with the spices and yeast. Good price point for a 4-pack as well at under $12

 663 characters

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a very dark russet brown with red highlights at edges. Fine one finger light brown head with great retention and lacing. Subdued aroma of dark fruit; particularly plums, grape juice, sweet malt. Flavor follows aroma with dark fruit, grapes, bready malt, the fresh plum flavor is remarkable. Of all that times I've used plums as a flavor ingredient in beer, this is the first time I got such a fresh, first bite plum flavor. Medium bodied with light creaminess. A bit reserved in flavor for a quad, but enough to well cover the ABV, and refreshing in the fresh plum component. I hope I can pick up another bottle of this.

 660 characters

Photo of AlexFields
3.32/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours a pretty solid black, very thin head even with an aggressive pour and even that fades quickly.

Smells of sugar and sweet dark fruit, molasses...not getting a lot of complexity in the nose, just the plums really.

Taste is better and a bit more going on, sweet dark fruit again, plums and blueberry, light chocolate flavor, light roast to back up the sweetness here. Tasty but not exceptional.

Mouthfeel is pretty fizzy for a quad, pretty full body but not crazy thick or cloying. Good drinkability for the style.

Good beer but not as complex as I'd like a quad to be, obviously an American example.

6.6/10

 615 characters

Photo of rangerred
3.94/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear dark ruby with a smallish head. Ok head retention and lacing. A little disappointing for a Belgian, though.

Lots of clove and banana in the aroma very typical for the style. Just a hint of dark fruit.

Bready banana flavor with clove and bubblegum. Dark fruit is present but not as much as I would have expected given the plums this is brewed with. A bit hoppier than other quads I have had making this seem more "American." The alcohol is noticeable but remains restrained.

Overall, a decent quad but it falls short of some more notable Belgian examples. I don't feel the addition of plums is really that big a deal but still worth picking up if you come across it.

 714 characters

Photo of Samuel906
3.7/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Light, sweet and very complex. Pours a deep, dark ruby with thin head. Smell is rich with sweet fruits, lots of plums and cherries with vanilla and hints of chocolate.
Taste follows suit, tons of plums, currants, hints of vanilla. surprisingly little booze for the abv. Light, crisp, lots of carbonation. I enjoyed this a lot, but I don't really have much experience with quads to make a good judge on style. Slightly too sweet.

 428 characters

Photo of Auraan
4.45/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured a rich, almost black color with a thin head that receded to a ring that left little lacing. It looked beautiful upon pouring. Scents of chocolate, plums and a slight hint of alcohol. The flavor has notes of chocolate, plum, prune, Belgian yeast, peppery hints and a bit of alcohol on the finish. Mouthfeel is smooth, slightly sticky, medium bodied, with a medium carbonation level. On par for the style. A very good American example of a quad. It's not quite up there with the St. Bernardus quad or Rochefort 10, but it's a definite improvement over the standard Ovila Quad and quite good.

 596 characters

Photo of justintcoons
4.03/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12.7oz C&C bottle poured into a La Trappe chalice.

Appearance
Dark brown/garnet with a short head that dissipates quickly. It's hard to see through but there does appear to be some active carbonation.

Nose
Grape jelly, plum, concord grape and hints of raspberry.

Taste
Ripe black plum, grape jelly and concord grape. Dark candy syrup, molasses and dates. Lights notes of blackberry. The finish is earthy with hints of char and dried hay.

Mouthfeel
Medium bodied, uber-smooth and a little sticky.

Overall
Tons of plums! This is a nice Quad that hides the alcohol well.

 572 characters

Photo of MattyG85
4.34/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12.7 oz. corked bottle into a St. Bernardus goblet glass.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown with hints of amber and ruby. Moderate amount of bubbles and a small finger of tan head that fades into a thin patchy layer. Leaves a decent amount of lacing with noticeable alcohol legs.

Smell: A big and rich yeast and malt driven aroma with fruits and chocolate scents. Belgian yeast with candied sugar and cinnamon and clove spice. Roasted malts with hints of dark chocolate, caramel, toffee, dark bread, and biscuit. Big aroma of dark fruits with good hints of plums, fig, raisin, dates, prune, and dark cherries. Also some burnt brown sugar and banana hints in the mix as well. A very nice smelling Quad.

Taste: Follows the nose well with a big complex mix of yeast, dark malts, and fruits. Belgian yeast along with a taste of cinnamon and clove spicing. Notes of banana, clove, candied and brown sugars. Big bready dark malt presence with notes of dark roast chocolate, caramel, toffee, dark bread, and biscuit. Big dark fruit presence with notes of plums, fig, raisin, dark grape and cherry, dates, and prune. A little earthy hop presence towards the finish. More roasty than typical for the style. A very good taste.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Creamy and nicely chewy. Sweet but fairly drying on the finish. Alcohol heat is very faint which is surprising for the style.

Overall: A really tasty and unique take on the Quad style. Bigger dark brownish flavor than what is typical for the style which adds a nice spin. Solid yeast and dark fruit presence.

 1,608 characters

Photo of Jonada
3.79/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours a dark brown color with hints of ruby red. Small light khaki colored head dissipated almost instantly to medium thick collar.

Smell: Sweet dark fruits, belgian yeast, brown sugar, raisin bread, red grape, some booze, roasted malt, tobacco. The aroma is fairly complex, I just wish it were a little stronger.

Taste: Sweet/slightly tart plums, powdery belgian yeast, slightly vinous. The finish and aftertaste is roasted malt, coffee(?), and dark chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, creamy mouthfeel. Medium carbonation.

Overall: Interesting take on a quad. Definitely deviates a bit from some of the more traditional options. The roasty and coffee flavors were a bit surprising, but they worked well with the other flavors. Worth picking up a bottle or two.

 779 characters

Photo of lunarbrew
3.93/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer poured dark brown with red hue. Pretty body, but poor head/head retention. Thin lacing sticks to the rim of the beer. Head kind of ruins the appearance of this beer. Beer has a rich nose of plums, molasses and a little cherry. Also some earthy notes, but those don't stand out much. Flavor is very sweet, even for a quad. I think the plums move the sweetness to the next level, and it's a little overwhelming. I taste high acidity, which hurts the balance of the beer. Flavors of tasted oats, smoke, tree bark, sweet berries, and of course plums. The body is nice and typical of the style. A little high on the carbonation. Overall, I like the beer. Drinkable, interesting, and a good example of a quad. The aftertaste, however, is acidic, bitter, and not so pleasant.

 773 characters

Photo of OtherShoe2
3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours dark brown with a cream-colored head. Light skim of foam coats the glass briefly with each sip. No true lace.

Dark rich malt and some fruit. Boozy, with burnt sugars prevalent.

Dark malt and burnt sugars, leading immediately to a bitter note. This overbalances the beer, particularly this style. This overcompensation of the sweet and complex makes you wish for more sugar. Too bad. Here comes the alcohol to clear even more away. Chemical flavors mingle with scorched malt and fruit toward the end. Bitterness comes in again.

Full bodied, some tingle and even a little burn.

Overall, not bad, just flawed. Can't hold a candle to traditional quads, but not a bad stab at it.

 684 characters

Photo of arizcards
3.63/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Picked up a 4 pack from BevMo in early February for $12.99.

Beer poured dark brown with a off white head that is leaving a little lacing behind.

Nose is pretty light for a quad, hints of dark fruits are there.

Taste is of plums, dry and yeasty, not overly complex but good nonetheless.

Mouthfeel is pretty smooth but not quite classic quad.

Overall i like this brew, not quite as good as across the pond produces but enjoyable for sure.

 441 characters

Photo of jeff1973
4.47/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle date of 1/1/2013. 375ml bottle into a New Belgian Chalice/Tulip. 2 yrs old at this point.

Note: This beer was flat out of the corked bottle. Bought a 4pk and this is the first one that was flat. Last one was drank about a year ago.

A - Dark brown. Almost opaque, light brown around the edges. Looks to be cloudy,

S - Big Cherry, Twizzlers, dark rum, a little alcohol.

T - Follows smell, but with a oak finish that is not too sweet. Very well balanced.

M - This is one of the few flat beers that I still enjoyed! The other was Angel's Share. There is so much flavor and thicker mouthfeel that you don't miss the carbonation, IMHO.

O - Great beer. I thought it was just OK when I had it fresh and with about year on it. It tastes great even without carbonation after a 2+ years. Will buy more to cellar.

 815 characters

Photo of mothman
4/5  rDev +1.3%
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 rudzud
4.12/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Picked up a few bottles at Marlboro Wine and Spirits.

A - Poured into my Duvel tulip a nice crystal clear super deep dark ruby brown/garnet hue. Good one finger tan head that fades to leave a thin blanket and nice halo. Solid light lacing.

S - Aromas of almost overly sweet malts, brown sugar, candied sugar, belgian yeast, caramel, and solid dark fruits particularly the plum. Solid roast malt on the end and surprisingly hardly any alcohol.

T - Not a sweet as I thought it would be. And actually alot more roasted. Sweet malts, not really sweet dark fruits. Just plums, not sweet just there. Light raisin notes. Finish is quite roasty with a lingering candy sweetness. Booze is hidden nicely which is what bumped this up to a 4 for me. Still shocked at the lingering roast finish. Faint, faint chocolate notes too.

M - Mouthfeel is solid. Smooth, alcohol hidden nicely.

O - Overall, so I was not blown away by this beer. But at $4.20 per bottle I'm not really going to complain. Glad I have 2 more to just forget about in the cellar. I bet/hope with some time that roast will die out and this will become nice and sweet and plummy. Looking forward to that.

 1,163 characters

Photo of CloudStrife
4.08/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12.7oz bottle poured into a snifter. Bottled February 7th 2013.

A: Pours a very dark ruby brown with a 1 finger lightly tanned head. Dissipates in a minute or so leaving a ring around the glass. Specs of lacing as I sip.

S: Immense sweet fruitiness up front from the plums. Carmel and roasted malts bring up the rear. Can get some brown sugar and toffee. Must be some candied sugars in here and the belgian yeast comes through nicely too.

T: Strong and very complex flavor going on here. Starts off with the dark fruits you would expect from the aroma, good plum, fig and raisin characteristics. Malt comes takes over mid sip with a roasty sweetness. Booze gives you a good smack in the face reminding you this is a quad. Lingers with the plum and a sweet roasted malt.

M: Medium body with pretty low carbonation. Is a bit sticky from the sweetness. Feels just a little thin considering all the oomph this beer has. Nice and warming.

Overall a real tasty American quad from Sierra Nevada and the Monks of New Clairvaux. Perhaps a little sweet for my taste buds now but would love to try one that has some age on it.

 1,123 characters

Photo of ksimons
4.16/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-dark mahogany with slight ruby highlights and about a fingers worth of light tan head that leaves a bit of lace around the top

S-smells very nice, lots of dark fruit, malt, molasses, and very light chocolate

T-taste is similar to the smell with lots of dark fruits, molasses, Belgian yeast, and a very light roastedness at the end

M-medium body, high carbonation, and a good amount of sweetness present but not too much to be cloying

Overall maybe this isn't as good as some of the Belgian quads I have had, but it's pretty good for an American version. Really nice dark fruit in this.

 591 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.84/5  rDev -2.8%
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 BigPlay1824
4.51/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

served in a sierra Nevada snifter

A: pours a very deep brown, not quite black. slightly transparent with a very thin head of fine bubbled coffee tan colored head that dissipates immediately, has a nice amount of small carbonation bubbles working their way up from the bottom,
S: very deep dark fruit notes, plums are most obvious with grapes as well and a bit of a smell like the outdoors after a torrential downpour in the spring with the sun shining and everything feeling clean again
T: very multidimensional, begins with the deep fruit notes up front and then, moves into the nice deep Belgian spice notes i had been looking for from the yeast profile, finishes just slightly cloying and sweet with an interesting warmth in the back of the throat that hits gently and briefly from the ABV
M: smooth all across, interesting thickness to it which makes is slightly astringent and dry but not at all too much, very well balanced, perfect amount of carbonation for the style, quite wonderful
O: pretty much on par with what I expect from sierra Nevada, exceptional quality and balance. i really enjoyed this one but ive also had the brandy barrel aged one which was a bit more over the top as is to be expected.

 1,213 characters

Ovila Belgian-Style Abbey Quad: Ale Brewed With Plums from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
3.95 out of 5 based on 1,130 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Subscribe