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

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Ovila Belgian-Style Abbey Quad: Ale Brewed With PlumsOvila Belgian-Style Abbey Quad: Ale Brewed With Plums

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

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

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Reviews: 231 | Ratings: 1,131
Photo of VelvetExtract
3.57/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours a clear, dark reddish-brown. Big, fluffy head. Bubbly lacing.

S-Raisin bread and dried plums. Layered sweetness. I actually enjoyed the nose more than I was expecting.

T-Raisin, plum, molasses, rich caramel and liqueur-dipped croissant. Light whispers of anise and root beer. I wish I had tried the base beer before this guy.

M-Full bodied and chewy. Sappy almost. A bit hot.

O/D-Its well made. I got the bottle at around $4 so that's cool too.

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Photo of cjoc83
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

10oz pour into a brandy snifter at TJ's Restaurant and Drinkery in Paoli, PA. Dark brown/ruby with garnet highlights at the edges of the glass. There's an off-white collar around the glass when it's brought to the table. No lace, as expected.

Dark fruits galore, along with sweet and biscuity malts and a touch of brown sugar in the nose. The sugar plum is definitely discernible and lends an added sweetness.

The sugar plum is also apparent in the taste, and imparts a slight acidity that is almost (but not quite) tart. Prunes, rum-soaked raisins, figs, toffee, brown sugar, sweet caramel malt and pumpernickel bread. Finishes with a touch of earthy hops.

Medium to full body, slightly slick with a dry finish. Some alcohol heat is noticeable but not overbearing. Low carbonation fitting for the style.

The sugar plums don't make this a new beer, but it's a nice addition in an already super solid quad. The plums add a nice acidity that cuts through the heavy maltiness and provides depth. A great after dinner/desert beer, and a great quad all around. Definitely recommended for fans of the style.

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Photo of John_M
4.45/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed at the Apothecary alehouse the other evening. Might as well get it while I can, as only a very limited amount came into WV.

The beer pours a very dark brown color with good head retention and adequate lacing. The nose is quite attractive and complex in this one, as I get something of a dry stout aroma, but with overtones of plum, sour cherry, and a hint of chocolate and coffee. The beer is every bit as good on the palate, with plum, sour cherry and burnt toast flavor on the finish countering and balancing the moderate sweetness in this beer quite nicely. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a long, rich, plummy burnt toast finish. Sounds weird, but this stuff is just great. The alcohol is very well integrated into the flavor profile, though you can certainly tell it's up there a bit.

Just delicious... probably my favorite of the Ovila beers I've had so far.

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Photo of coders
3.93/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12.7 oz bottle.

A - Poured smoothly into a tulip. Thin head with a deep raspberry-like color. The beer itself is very dark.

S - Very pleasant, and fruity with a caramel aura.

T - Now this is a dark ale I can enjoy. I often expect chocolaty and coffee-like flavors when trying out a beer as dark as Ovila. A flash of sour pops before a lightly-spiced fruitful finish.

M - Crisp and warm, a tad sticky.

O - I'm enjoying this beer, but couldn't see me drinking more than one in a night. Well done Sierra Nevada.

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.15/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

On-tap at Beachwood I,

A: Pours a dark brown with a soft white head, some nice spotty thick lace.

S: Notes of sweet dried fruits, plums and raisins.

T: Nice dark fruit and candi sugar flavour. Smooth plum taste throughout, well balanced, lots of good flavour.

M: As with all the Ovila beers, the mouthfeel is exceptional. Very soft, easy drinking, creamy and smooth.

O: Good stuff, it was nice to revisit the Ovila line, another well made beer by these guys, especially in America in this style.

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

Consumed February 18th, 2013.

Very dark brown pour with deep garnet highlights. Really creamy dark tan head 1.5 fingers high provides excellent sticky sheeting down the sides of the glass. Really, a good-looking beer.

Aroma is dark pitted fruits (duh... plums, maybe?). Woody notes as well.

Dark, syrupy, bready malt character with sweet plums in the background. Slightly bitter on the finish. Some alcohol heat. Not very complex, but not bad at all.

Mouthfeel slightly thick, slightly drying. Significant alcohol warmth after a few sips.

This small bottle was just the right size.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.62/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bottle opened on 2.22.13

A - Pours a very dark amber with a thin light tan head that quickly moves to the edges.

S - Lots of plums, sweet fruit, Belgian yeast.

T - Pums and super sweet. Belgian yead with some dark fruits and malty.

D - Mild carbonation and a heavier body.

O - Sweet and fruity Belgian Quad. Pretty straight forward, but a bit sweet.

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

12.8 oz bottle poured into chimay chalice
A- pours dark dark ruby reddish brown, small dense head that fades after a few seconds.
S- dark fruit, Belgian yeast, faint chocolate
T/M- starts thick like a quad, you get a lot of the Belgian yeast, candied sugar,a lot of dark fruits, again some chocolate, finishes kind of bitter. Creamy texture, low carbonation
O- this isn't too bad but not my favorite. I like trying beer variants but I won't do this one again. The plums add a nice subtle taste but.... Who loves plums? Sweet label though.

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Photo of SolipsismalCat
4.04/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter.

A: Dark red-brown with one-finger, tan, fizzy head that lasted a minute or two. Pretty good lacing.

S: Dark fruit, bubble gum, Belgian spice. Alcohol.

T: Moderate sweetness and light bitterness. Roasted malt, dark fruit, Belgian spice.

M: Medium to full bodied with fizzy carbonation. Smooth and very warm going down.

O: Pretty good Quad. I really like the mouthfeel of this one. The appearance was dull though.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
4.01/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

375 mL C&C pours a dark brown color with a fairly small, light tan head. Clarity is pretty good and lacing/retention is both pretty minimal.

Very nice aromas of roasty chocolate and plums. Dark bread comes out as well as some near-burnt caramel. Just enough sweet aromas (mostly brown sugar) to offset the toast and toffee.

It has some really nice flavors of dark grains, chocolate and dark fruit. The fruitiness is kept at a good level; it does not overpower the malt. The bready aspect is just a touch too much on the 'burnt' side, like a loaf of the brown bread from Outback that got left in the oven a bit long. Alcohol is well integrating and lacks the usual 'sting' of some beers this high in ABV. Mouthfeel is fine-bubbled and not quite chewy but full enough not to be a problem, carbonation a touch on the low side. It’s a pretty good quad; I’m glad I bought a 4-pack of this and look forward to seeing what this does over the next couple years.

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Photo of ngeunit1
4.16/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark red-brown with a finger of frothy khaki-brown head. Fades normal.

S - Sweet dark caramel malts with plums, raisins, other dark fruits, Belgian yeast, clove, pepper, spices, and a bit of booze.

T - Sweet dark caramel malts, plums, raisins, other dark fruits, Belgian yeast, clove, pepper, other spices, candi sugar, and some booze.

M - Full bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth with a sweet and warming finish.

D - Nicely balanced Quad with great mouthfeel.

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Photo of BeerlyLegal
3.02/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

This beer surprised me. It's pours very dark with little head. By dark its basically pitch black.

The plums have the biggest impact.

It's got a nice nice airy, fruity scent but the taste and mouthfeel is like grape/plum soda.

I'm a big Sierra Nevada fan, however this beer isn't that amazing alone. With a meal it might be alright.

Poured it from a 12.7 corked bottle into a pint glass.

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Photo of cvm4
3.82/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours a very dark brown, almost black and has a one finger tan head.

S - Dark fruits (the plum is in it) along with molasses and light spices.

T - Dark fruits in spades here with a good helping of belgian yeast and spices.

M - Medium carbonation and it's very smooth body.

O - The addition of plums make an interesting mix on the base quad. But, it's not enough to keep me wanting more or hold my attention.

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Photo of phishsihq
4.09/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sierra Nevada collaborated with monks of the Abbey of New Clairvaux. The quad features sugar plums grown on the Abbey grounds and harvested by the monks. The beer pours a deep, rich brown with ruby highlights and is nearly opaque. A decent khaki colored head diminishes slowly, but is well retained. The nose is rich with malty flavors. Hints of the dark fruits are aided by the addition of the sugar plums, and a bit of molasses, toffee, and spices round out the complex aroma. The dark fruits are pronounced on the palate, with dark cherries, plums, and figs all playing a role. Toffee, caramel, and molasses flavors are contributed by the bold maltiness, while a touch of booze and slight Belgian funk carry across the tongue. Silky smooth, Ovila is fairly heavy in body with a moderate level of carbonation.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.36/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a four pack at the brewery in Chico (along with a shitton of other stuff like BA Bigfoot). Pours dirty dark brown, thin beige head at the top of it. Looked professional, no floaties. Aroma was prune, alcohol, belgian yeast, probably the thing they were going for, but not something that floats my boat. Actually alcohol was probably the strongest thing, then prune.

Taste was prune and raisin soaked alcohol. I'm already thinking to myself, 'you bought these for the old lady, be glad you don't have to choke down the rest of this beer, or the remaining 3 bottles from the four pack. I didn't really like the dark fruit bitter alcohol bite of this one. Has very little in the way of malt contribution, the beer seemed a little thin, and no appreciable flavor or character to whatever they used. It was all prune, raisin, licorice, alcohol, fig and belgian yeast type of thing going on. What I had hoped for in terms of plum sweetness just never came across, that merle haggard? song "always wanting you, but never having you," came to mind.

Not my style, disregard these notes if it is your style, don't let this guy make you think it won't be something you like. The old lady likes it, but she is on facebook too much to write a beer review.

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Photo of brock146
4.12/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - Dark purplish-brown with off white/tan head

S - Sweet and fruity with that funky "Belgian" aroma

T - Bittersweet, fermented dry and dark fruits, a hint of sweet plum. Alcohol is definitely noticeable but not in a bad way.

M - Smooth and a little cream with a medium body. Warming soon after it has been taken in.

O - This is a really good Belgian quad IMO. I'm not a real big fan of Belgian yeast flavor most of the time but it seems like the sugar plum used in this one helps this beer lean toward a much evolved flavor. I would purchase it again, even at $6 a bottle.

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Photo of BradtheGreat7
4.16/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review taken from notes last week(Feb. 2013)

12.7 oz brown bottle abbey style capped and corked. Fantastic label in design and quality. The monk on the label is pretty BA if you ask me. A real thick bottle. Screams quality. Poured into a stemmed tulip glass.

A - deep maroon in color. Deep brown-mahogany tint. Big tan head that does provide some stick to the glass.

S - dark fruit with a touch of dried plum. A nice spiciness with hints of alcohol esters. Maybe a hint of Chocolate and soft molasses.

T - rich dark fruits with a big dried plum. Very fruity character with excellent spice and cinnamon. Tasty Belgian style yeast flavors. Nicely balanced overall with some spice in the finish.

M - smooth and velvet like in the feel. Does its job in coating the entire mouth with A rich quad like flavor. Alcohol warmth is present, but it a very enjoyable Quad.

O - I didn't read reviews before buying this and I'm glad I didn't for the fact that I probably wouldn't have done so based on other opinions. But boy was this a treat and did it's job. One of the best american made belgian style ales I've ever had. It's a shame this is probably the only time it'll be offered bc it's worthy of a seasonal release. The quality of dark fruit and plum flavors are spot on and overall this quad is very tasty. Grab it if you can.

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Photo of popery
3.99/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours dark brown - sort of a maroon-tinted mahogany - but light enough for color to be seen throughout and the beer is transparent even in a full (small) glass. Head is thin layer of fine beige bubbles. The aroma has lots of sweet malt and dark fruit notes. Lots of raisins, prunes, plums and other fruitiness. If I didn't know there were plums added, I probably would think this is just a normal quad with particularly deep fruit notes. It smells like a raisin bread pudding. Lots of doughy, bready malt with caramel, molasses, treacle and sweet booze. Very nice spice, as well. Taste starts sweet and builds in complexity and spice. The fruit comes through with a bit of tannic bitterness. Makes me think of macerated plum skin. Most of the sweetness is caramel and other doughy, toasty malt notes. The finish is a bit boozy, but there's a lot of nice lingering flavor. The mouthfeel is fine and gentle. It does get a tad sticky as the beer warms and some of the carbonation comes out of the beer. Hard to avoid that. Still, it coats the mouth nicely and that light bitter note keeps the beer from getting cloying. Overall, I'm impressed by this beer. With their fancier offerings, Sierra Nevada shows off a mastery of restraint. When it comes to adding fruit (and barrel-aging), breweries tend to go overboard. This beer uses plums to enhance its flavor, and the beer, rather than the plums, remains the star of the show.

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Photo of bsp77
3.74/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Serving glass: Poured from really cool, cage & cork 375ml into a Snifter.

Appearance: Extremely dark purplish-brown with moderate tan head and champagne-like bubbles.

Smell: Caramel and toffee, loads of dark fruit (I am sure that plum is part of it), banana, and dry spiciness. Wonderful aroma.

Taste: Not quite as good as the aroma but still nice. Very fruity, with an emphasis on plum, dates and cherry, with underlying molasses and caramel. There are definite Belgian yeast notes, with banana, clove and pepper. Finishes a little sugary.

Feel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation. Somewhat smooth, but not enough dryness in the finish.

Overall: I have never had the standard Ovila Quad, but this version is good despite the lingering cloying sweetness. Better than the Ovila Dubbel and Saison, but still not top notch. I am not sure why Sierra Nevada can't nail these traditional Belgian styles - usually the mouthfeel seems to be the issue. But damn this is a good smelling beer.

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Photo of brewskifan55
4.07/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass

A: Brownish/amber with a tan half finger head that slowly dissolves to tiny bubbles. heavy lacing.

S: Big time plums and Belgian funk. Pour, please!

T: Smooth, sultry. Dark fruits, featuring the plums, of course. Biscuity malts. Caramel, molasses, pepper. Brown sugar sweet. A chocolate finish. Just terrific. Alcohol slides in for a lovely stupor.

M: Heavy; super creamy.

O: Just fantastic. Loved the original Ovila Quad. This one amps it up a bit more. Will be buying more, especially at this price.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.99/5  rDev +1%
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.

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Photo of weltywm
4.07/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark brown to light black. About a finger of off-brown head.

Smell: As soon as I popped the cork, the smell hit me. Really big. Notes of red wine, molasses, brown sugar, and fruit.

Taste: Just like the nose, there are flavors of wine, molasses, sugar, and lots of fruit like plums, figs, dates, and raisins. At the finish, there are more flavors of spice, yeast, and banana, with even more molasses and plum.

Mouthfeel: Pretty thick and well carbonated, but goes down smooth. An average length on the finish.

Overall: A really nice example of the style from Sierra Nevada, especially for the price. Would definitely buy again.

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Photo of raynmoon
3.05/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 3

It had a very nice color, almost no head to speak of, almost looked like a coca-cola.

It smelled okay. It had a nice bready maltiness with a hint of star anise or licorice.

The taste was more of the same. It tasted mostly just like a decent quad. Low carbonation, super thin and watery mouth feel, and finishes with a nice star anise flavor and some sugar and alcohol. The malt is pretty much non existent in this beer. Kind of takes on a wine-like character with the plums. Zero yeast character.

Overall, this is pretty disappointing. It's not bad by any means, but it is missing so much character and umph to make it a "wow" beer. Just average. The bottle is cute though.

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Photo of BlackBelt5112203
3.59/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

375 bottle poured into a chalice at cellar temperature.

L – Deep brown, nearly black color with a 1-finger frothy, creamy, tan head. Really nice retention as the head fades down to a thin cap that stays on the surface throughout with some great lacing.

S – Caramel malt, dark candi sugar, plums, raisins, bready and spicy yeast, and a phenolic aroma that definitely smells a little like Band-Aids. I’ve heard this description of phenols before, but I’ve always interpreted them as medicinal until this beer. Other than the phenols, it smells pretty good.

T – It starts off sweet with caramel malt, molasses, raisins, plums, and dark candi sugar. As the taste progresses, spicy, peppery, dry, and bready Belgian-style yeast appears. The phenols that I found in the aroma are luckily very subdued and only appear at the very, very end of the finish. This beer tastes alright, but the sweetness is a bit cloying.

F – Medium-to-full-bodied with good carbonation, a sticky and mildly creamy mouthfeel, and a sweet, spicy, and dry finish. Spicy, bready yeast flavors and some phenols linger for a bit. There’s a slight palate-and-throat-warming sensation from the alcohol but not as much as I anticipated. The mouthfeel is pretty good but lacks the smoothness of classic Belgian examples of the style.

O – This is a decent beer. Unfortunately for it, it’s the quad category, which immediately puts it at a disadvantage (some of the best beers in the world are in this style). Every aspect of the beer minus the appearance is lacking in some aspect – the aroma and taste lack the complexity of good quads and each have evidence of phenols, the flavor is a bit cloying, and the mouthfeel is lacking in that wonderful characteristic Belgian creaminess. Regardless of all of these things, I appreciate the collaboration and originality of brewing the beer with plums. It’s also pretty tasty (albeit lacking for the style) and very drinkable for 10.2% ABV. All-in-all, it’s a decent beer, and I’m glad I tried it.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.36/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Poured a deep purple, very dark with a creamy dirty white head. The head has pretty good retention it hangs around after a few sips, clings to the glass and provides a few bubbles

S: A big sweet aroma with candy sugar, plums, plums and more plums with other dark fruits like juicy, ripe purple/red grapes.

T: Upfront is a good dose of sweetness with molasses and candy sugar followed by caramel and big, rich ripe plums with some grape juice in the mix. There is only a slight booze sting which is really subdued by the sugar plums.The finish is sweet, somewhat sticky with a tinge of heat

M: Medium bodied with good carbonation, plenty of taste and sweetness that would make any Quad lover happy

O: Not a perfect Quad but I love plums, perhaps I overlooked some of the flaws and rated this to high based upon my tastes and bias to SN. Either way, I would drink again and at $5 for a 375mL...yeah, its def worth a try.

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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 1,131 ratings.
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