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

BA SCORE
88
very good
231 Reviews
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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
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Reviews: 231 | Ratings: 1,130
Photo of cbutova
3.98/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I like the new look of the corked and caged 12oz bottles. Says 10.2% ABV on this bottle, no date that I can find. Turns out this is an entirely separate beer, I just accidentally reviewed the normal version. This one has cooler labels!

A- Poured from the caged 12oz bottle into a large chalice. The beer itself is quite dark, a very dark brown hue with a light tan head. The cap is about one finger high with a very silky looking texture. The bubbles are extremely fine in the foam and retention is nice. Big coats of lace all around the glass.

S- Right upon opening the bottle I noticed a pretty heavy dark fruit, vinous presence. This has a grape and plum feel and is probably from both the added fruit and the yeast strain they use. Dark candi sugar, sweet caramel, raisins, esters like banana and some clove in there as well.

T- Like the nose, dark fruit forward in the flavor and a very strong flavor overall. Specific fruit elements I get are plum, figs, prune, dark grapes and fruit pits. Definitely like wine in a way with the heavy grape and dark fruit notes. Belgian yeast brings spice, phenols, pepper, clove and some esters. Caramel sweets, candi sugars and a hint of alcohol in the finish.

MF- A pretty big, oily thick body with a pretty creamy overall consistency. Carbonation is moderately high but smooth. Alcohol warmth and some bitterness in the finish.

Either the plums or the yeast gives this beer a pretty vinous overall flavor. This adds a nice complexity to a very flavorful yeast strain in such a big beer. A bit boozy but not enough to bother me.

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Photo of Bung
2.57/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

375ml. Dark cola brown pour, thin layer of off white head. Retained for a little while.

Aroma, pretty sweet, candied fruit, plum, some prune and fig.

Taste, a little sweet malt and brown sugar up front. Some yeastiness, allspice. Goes into plum other light candy fruit. Finish is cherry medicine.

About medium body, I thought a bit low on carbonation which did not help the cough syrup like nature of this. A little warming, like a nice shot of Nyquil.

It feels like this is close, maybe some time, maybe some small tweaks in the recipe. As it is seems a bit medicinal. It seems to get worse as it warms.

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Photo of impending
3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

B+

375ml into a tulip. Pours a slick deep dark copper mahogany, towering café au lait colored head with an encouraging pour recedes slowly, ok lacing.

Aroma is of spicy plums, a strong phenolic note and a little solvent alcohol but nice nonetheless.

Big flavor. Vinous notes and plums without a doubt. Minor bitter, tiny dry twang at the beginning of the finish. Generally bittersweet until the aftertaste fades when a pleasant sweetness is left behind. A strong phenolic aftertaste evaporates slowly. A tad more than thin mouthfeel.

interesting that this is apparently different that the original quad offering - the first I thought was one of the best american brewed quads, this one, not to the same degree
cheers
jd

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Photo of Gavage
3.84/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: pours a dark brown almost black color with a short wispy head.

Smell: malt and fruit sweetness, and a hint of alcohol comes through.

Taste: big malt profile with slight chocolate flavors, some plum sweetness, a hint of allspice, Belgian yeast, some pepper, and a decent balancing bitterness. Alcohol is soft but noticeable.

Mouthfeel: heavy in body. Lightly crisp to start, smooth and velvety at the finish. Sme dryness arrives late too.

Overall: a slow sipping big beer that has a nice flavor profile. The fruit sweetness is mild here so the plum flavors contribute but are not overly noticeable. Worthy of a try.

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Photo of teromous
3.68/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark black-brown completely opaque body. Thin creamy light tan head on top, with a few large bubbles in the mix. Does provide some spotty lacing on the glass.

S: I get a huge whiff of alcohol, followed by some coffee notes and wood.

T: Some alcohol flavor, along with a light roasted quality. The roasted flavor (although soft) is a lot stronger than you'll find in most other quads. Some dark chocolate flavors are in there as well, and a soft mineral-like quality to the taste. The bottle says it is brewed with plums, and I get zero plum flavor.

M: The mouthfeel on this beer is fantastic. It's full bodied without being heavy, it's creamy, and just feels great to drink. Perfect carbonation, and just a real pleasure to drink.

O: Overall it was a very nice beer. I would call it a "take" on a quad, because it generally steps away from many Belgian flavors and scents. I was a bit dissatisfied that there was no plum taste in the beer. If the label didn't mention it, I never would have known.

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Photo of Chrysostom
3.53/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 3.75

This is the best American Trappist knock-off or Trappist replica I've yet to try, that still manages to be somewhat (and I use the word loosely), remotely, distantly like a Belgian. (Three Philosophers is the best, but, like this beer, is more of a stout-cum-barleywine than a Trappist.) For style, this beer is disqualified - it has none of the typical Trappist characteristics.

Presentation: 12.7 fl oz corked and caged bottle decanted (if that's the right word, the beer is so dark as to render impossible to detect any indication of bottle-conditioning or lees) in to a Chimay goblet/chalice.

A: Pours a very dark reddish brown, tending to black. Looks like a stout. One-finger head quickly recedes to barely a rim of foam. Lacing is nonexistent, in keeping with the high ABV and low hop presence (surprising for Sierra Nevada). This looks like a stout, not a Belgian.

S: Booze and grapes. Has a smell more reminiscent of a merlot or pinot noir (I'm not a big wine drinker, as you can tell from my conflating of styles) than anything resembling beer. There are dark fruits present, but no out-of-balance plum - the smell is the closest thing to Belgian about this beer, but the alcohol character is somewhat pronounced.

T: Booze and grapes, with dates, figs, and a definite plum on the back-palate. Moderately strong alcohol presence on the fore- and mid-palate, becoming stronger as the drink warms. Very tart, almost bitter alcoholic finish with a strong warming effect. A tiny bit of complexity, but not that much. "Booze and grapes", or "Booze and dark fruits", about sums it up. I thought I tasted a bit of spice, reminiscent of Rochefort, on my first sip. On later sips, it had disappeared. Uniquely, both malt and hops are virtually non-existent, or at least strongly overpowered by other characteristics. The backbone of this is "grape" or "booze", not malt. The bitterness-component of the finish is the only place where any hop comes through, and it's still dominated by the alcohol.

M: Very thin for the style. Unbalanced. Carbonation nil, at least in effect. Alcohol thins the palate perceptibly, leaning towards spirits. Low point of this beer. When cold, it tasted and felt like water on the tongue. As it warms, it tastes more like wine (non-sparkling) than beer.

D: Somewhat low. Not an excellent drink, but no problem finishing a bottle. Inoffensive, but high in alcohol content, and in alcohol character. Drinkable, but doesn't make you want another - it makes you want a Chimay.

O: About equal to the sum of its parts, a decent beer that is quite a bit above-average for American imitations of Trappists, head and shoulders above similar failed experiments such as the Nineteen, the Reverend, Brother Thelonious, etc., but is not something that one would go out of the way to drink again. About 72-75 on a scale of 100.

Three Philosophers is much better as a drink, but even less Belgian than this - at least this has some Belgian character in the nose.

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Photo of Murrhey
4.09/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12.7 oz cork and cage bottle into a tulip glass in high elevation Libby, Mont. Reviewed live. No best-by date visible.

A- Thin mocha head with high rate of erosion and aggressive, quick carbonation. Dark mahogany with some haziness in the body. Clear, vinous lacing. Actually not a super impressive looking beer.

S- Slightly sour, plums, heavy note of booze. Sweet fruity notes, dates, plums and maybe cherries. Yeast is spicy and up front as well.

T- Bitter, with a touch of dark fruit notes. Strong alcoholic flavor without being undrinkable. Kind of chocolate-based actually. Interesting.

M- Vinous and smooth.

O- I actually had to leave for an assignment halfway through this beer, so the flavors changed entirely as it warmed. Tasty, sweet and the booze wasn't killer.

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.89/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle from the local Whole Foods. Real nice presentation here.

A very dark reddish brown with a dense, light-brown head with decent retention and nice lacing, this looks quite nice. The nose is solid. Fruity with the plum notes immediately noticeable, there's a pleasant blend of yeast and spice as well. Cocoa, a little leather, earth, black cumin, some caramel, a little alcohol are all noticeable.

The palate opens moderately sweet, with some caramel heft, wheat bread and fruit. The mid-palate is quite deliciously complex, with the interplay between the fruit, the yeast, the spice and the alcohol making this one warming treat. Burnt toast is also present. The yeast character is a relatively clean, fruity, spicy flavor, complementing the caramel notes quite well. Drying on the finish with an earthy, alcohol bite, this beer is medium in body and a little too crisply carbonated. The flavors on the finish are a blend of spice, fruit and carbonic acid. Solid stuff.

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Photo of stumac
4.64/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

super dark brew with hazelnut edges. decent white head. aroma is heavy plum, lots of concord grapes, slight honey, some heather, a wintergreen spice in the finish. taste is insane! ive gotta boner. thick molasses, grape, sugar, vanilla, spearmint, caramel, earthy, cherries. furkin full bodied brah, heavy carbo. sticky finish. i fudgin bathe in this sheesh

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Photo of coreyfmcdonald
2.65/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

375ml bottle into a snifter

A: Pours extremely dark amber/brown, nearly black, with a finger of beige head on a decent pour.

S: Lots of juicy, sweet plums. They pretty much obliterate all other aromas in this one. I really don't get anything else.

T: Again, lots of sweet plums here. Thankfully, I do get some other flavors, though. I get some prunes and a bit of spicy esters.

M: quite thick for the style with low carbonation.

O: Not particularly complex, this beer is overtaken by plums. It's too sweet without enough esters. Not terrible, but certainly in the bottom half of Quads.

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Photo of scottfrie
4.4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle into snifter.

A: Pours a very dark ruddy brown color with three fingers of dense and fluffy light creamy tan colored head. Head to forever to slowly collapse into a thick fuzzy film leaving patches of lace down the glass.
S: Fruit definitely dominates the nose. Plums, prunes, red apples, grapes, and red pears mix with spicy notes of cinnamon, coriander, clove, vanilla and pepper. Complex and delicious smelling.
T: All the fruits and spices of the nose with the addition of cocoa powder, caramel and leather in the finish and green apple, raisin, wood and maple in the aftertaste. Solid earthy bitterness as well. Sweet and spicy overall. Plums do noticeably distinguish this over the original.
M: Smooth and very creamy mouthfeel, not overly sweet or bitter, soft and light carbonation, medium-full body. Drinks very well.
O: I really enjoyed this one. Complex but not overly sweet. Plums add character. Awesome mouthfeel.

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Photo of ThickNStout
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12.7oz bottle from Sherlocks (Marietta, GA). 12.48/ 4 pack. Bottled 1/9/13. Served in a Wild Heaven snifter.

Pours deep mahogany with russet edges and a dense but quickly fading muted khaki head. Very little lace.

Smells of wine, plums and sugar. Pleasent enough but not much there in the nose.

Taste is overflowing with dark fruit. The plums of course take center stage but leave room for grapes, figs, cherry skins, mild bannana, caramel, toffee, candy sugars and some yeast. A bit of booze bite but overall quite smooth.

Just beyond medium on it's way to heavy bodied with a light, subtle carbonation that allows the dark fruity flavors to rest on the palate. Lingering plums and yeasty bannana in the finish.

It might not blow anybody away but this is a nice quad. I liked the additional fruit notes from the plums and really appreciated the fact that it isn't overly carbonated. And while I typically don't talk about packaging, it is worth noting that this makes for a mighty sexy looking display. The corked and caged four pack is really quite attractive. And what's inside is right enjoyable too. If I resist the urge to drink them all, I'll see how 1 or 2 of them do with some age. For the price this is worth a shot for any fans of the style.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.79/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured a thin tan head on a dark brown, almost black body.
The aroma is wonderful and deep. Candy, plums, caramel and wet grain all dance around.
The taste is long. Fairly sweet throughout with a mild lemon bitterness in the middle, the finish is warm alcohol.
The texture is heavier with low carbonation.
It's pretty good, but the taste hasn't caught up with the rest of it.

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Photo of deadonhisfeet
3.83/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a Lost Abbey Teku. The pour is clear, but very dark with mahogany highlights. It has a thin tan head that quickly dissipates. Carbonation is moderate to low. The nose is pleasant, but rather faint, although it does seem to come alive on warming. I get notes of black currants, plums, toffee, rum, and puff pastry.

The beer has a full body, and slick smooth feel, and lots of dark fruit. Brown bread on the front of the palate gives way to plums, cherries, figs and a hint of tobacco. On the back of the palate, a rather intense red wine flavor charges in and heats up the finish, which is rather boozy but pleasant.

Overall, a nice beer, but not one I would buy again. It has lots of flavor, but the combination of dark fruit and intense booziness makes it rather difficult to drink. The best quads certainly have fruit and alcohol heat, but they also have malt complexity that this one lacks. Perhaps a bit more carbonation would drown out some of the fruit and wine notes and bring the bready, malty notes more to the foreground.

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Photo of hoplover82
4.59/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A-Pours a crystal clear dark ruby red (almost black) color, with a medium, tan, creamy head that has good retention and very good lacing.
S-The aroma is pungent right off the bat with notes of dark fruits (prunes) and sweet burned caramel. Some peppery spice in in the back from the yeast( or the hops). The prunes really come through in this beer. Very nice.
T-The flavor is much of the same with prunes and sweet caramel and some spicy/earthy hop notes.Very deep and rich.
M-The mouthfeel is huge and creamy with a balanced yet, long finish. The carbonation is mild (right on for the style)
O-Overall, I'm very glad I splurged and bought a four pack. Enjoyed this beer very very much and highly recommend it to any big beer fan. Cheers everyone!

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Photo of tdm168
4.43/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - very dark, brownish amber with a thick cap of dense, off white head that has decent retention

S - bread, caramel, some faint chocolate malt perhaps, and a huge plum/dark fruit aroma

T - bread, caramel, candy sugar, plums, figs, raisins, dark malts, some alcohol

M - full bodied, well carbonated

This is a great beer. The underlying quad is delicious but the plums really give credence to the "dark fruit" references that are always made in regards to this style. The flavor here is complex, deep, and very enjoyable. This is really a solid offering. This could be one of my favorite quads to date.

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Photo of King_KongDCO93
4.42/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice 12.7 oz Belgian bottle. I like the art work as well

A: dark brown and looks cleaner than traditional Belgian Quads. Carbonates but quickly dissipates. There is almost no head to speak of.

S: Lots of caramel and sweet fruits aroma. Not as pungent as other quads.

T: Wow, lighter than I had expected. Definitely getting the plums flavor. It also has some raisins, toffee, cherries, dark berries, and caramel. Mildly bitter and well balanced.

M: Mid-large body. easy to drink

O: Really a great beer.

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Photo of Lionheart
4.6/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark brown with a thick tan head that dissapates quickly.

Smells of dark fruit Fig, Plum, and black cherry.

Mouth feel is silky with a slight dry finish. Nice improvement fom the last gen quad.

I drank this at 50*. That temp does not do this complex ale justice! I let it warm up to about 60*-65*, WOW! An explosion of malt and fruit! This one should be fully appriciated at warmer temps. This should be enjoyed with a hearty flavorfull meat dish. Mine was Fillet, garlic mash, and green beans!

Better stock up on this one Quad lovers! I already bought two cases!

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Photo of Etan
3.39/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

12.7oz into a wine glass.

A: Pours a woody dark brown with purple hues. Nice soft cardboard-colored head.

S: Thick stonefruit aromas (overripe plum, dried peach), dark candi sugar, vinous, chalky yeast. Despite its fruitiness, the aroma isn't very sweet.

T: Taste brings syrupy plum, grape juice, bitterish hop leaf and roasted grain, dark bread, bite of alcohol on the end. Lightly bitter yeast throughout.

M: Between medium and thick-bodied with pleasant and slightly frothy carbonation.

O: Not liking what the plums did to this beer - combined with the heavy yeastiness, it gives it an odd dried fruit taste that isn't very good.

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Photo of Munch1987
4.69/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

It's Definately one of my favorite beers all time. It's a dark beer but not too heavy! The hints of plum and banana were subtle enough to enjoy with out over-powering the dark coca. Excellent beer but be careful, this beer comes in at 10.3%! A couple of bottles will do.

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Photo of sweemzander
4.02/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375mL corked and caged bottle poured into a tulip.

(A)- Pours a near pitch black color; one of the darkest colors I have seen for a Quad. Minimal tan froth & lacing.

(S)- A lively bready yeast profile with biscuit and a subtle bubblegum/banana yeast profile. The plum is there with other dark fruits in the background. Subtle cocoa as it warms.

(T)- Similar to the smell, although, this has now has the deepest cocoa flavor I have seen for the style. Subtle plum and other dark fruits, but overall, the yeast is really lively.

(M)- A good carbonation level and balance. Plenty of rich cocoa and dark fruits in this, but mostly the yeast profile takes center stage. Bitterness increases significantly as it warms.

(O)- I like this, though was expecting it to be much more fruit forward due to the addition of the plums. Nonetheless, it fits the style well and easy to enjoy.

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

A- growler from Piggly Wiggly, Myrtle Beach. Pours a dark brown, almost murky. Small fizzy light-tan head reduces to just a ring, leaving no lace

S- dark and rich malty aromas up front with huge notes of dark fruit, the plums are definitely noticeable. Sugary sweet with just a bit of alcohol and some toast, very pleasant

T- sugary sweet dark fruits with a slight burnt crust ,rich and sweet malt with flavors of dried plum, a bit nutty with some toasted bread crust, the finish is sweet with a warming alcohol that lingers on the palate, fig-like notes linger, just a trace of grassy hop

M- med-heavy body, slightly viscous with low carbonation providing a slightly creamy mouthfeel and a smooth, warming finish

O- dark fruity notes dominate the palate, a nice sweet sipper that serves well as a nightcap on a cold night

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Photo of dheacck11
3.95/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pretty deep wooden brown with beige head and lacing. Murky looking.

Nose has surprising acidic bite with tones of figgy fruit, brown sugar, and molasses.

Taste is rich and deep with jammy fig, tobacco, maybe a hint of sour cherry. Subtle alcohol.

Mouthfeel is a little thinner and more acidic than I would prefer. Has some robustness, but not as much as other quads.

An interesting entry in the world of quads. Plums add something, which certainly makes it unique. But overall does not stand out on it's own as a quad.

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Photo of yamar68
4.21/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Classic looking quad... swampy brown body with a creamy khaki head that forms a dense, lacing collar.

Nice. The plums really do translate here... playing nicely with candy sugars, clean caramel and toffee, figs, alcohol is entirely hidden. Smooth... so far so good.

I like this. Sweet fruits flavors with smoky tobacco, brown sugar, there's a slight booze kick right at the end... appropriate though, leafy hops, more of that plum character.

This is much better than I was anticipating based on the ratings alone.

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

Served in a chalice.

A - Deep brown hue with a large khaki head. Similar to the Belgium quads with a head that seems to be a bit stickier. Nice lacing!

S - Caramel sweetness combats plums and spices. Smells damp with aromas of Belgian yeast to follow.

T - Dark fruits, smooth plum, sugar candi and caramel to tie it together. Nice flavors here with balance.

M - Creamy medium+ body with light carbonation.

O - An enjoyable brew that I would return to in the future. A twist on a traditional Belgian Quad.

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