Ovila Abbey Saison - Mandarin Oranges & Peppercorns
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Ovila Abbey Saison - Mandarin Oranges & PeppercornsOvila Abbey Saison - Mandarin Oranges & Peppercorns
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Farmhouse Ale - Saison
3.84 | pDev: 9.64%
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Ovila Abbey Saison - Mandarin Oranges & PeppercornsOvila Abbey Saison - Mandarin Oranges & Peppercorns
Notes: This unique farmhouse ale is incredibly complex with notes of lemon, pepper, straw and herbs balanced by the tang of Mandarin oranges and a spicy kick of pepper.
Reviews: 140 | Ratings: 710 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of dcotom
dcotom from Iowa

4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from 12.7-ounce bottle into a tulip glass. An aggressive center pour yielded a finger of white head atop a dull opaque dark brownish-orange colored body. Much more malt forward and darker in appearance than I was expecting, very dubbel-like in character. Aromas and flavors of caramel and dark fruit, with quite a bit of sweetness and alcohol burn. The Mandarin orange and peppercorns do provide a nice dimension, and there is a pleasant lingering note of peppery spice on the finish. I picked this up intending it to be a table beer, but this is like a meal in a glass by itself. Would definitely drink again.

Jul 29, 2020
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rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dull orange color looking like one of those high ibu ipas from yesteryear, full on 3/4" white head. Aroma hits a variety of notes, saison yeast, dry hay, clear blue sky, peppercorn and citrus. Layered nicely, nothing too dominate. Thankfully missing the spice rack from your kitchen.

Taste was citrusy, peppery, pretty clean stuff, none of that horse blanket dog funk that you get in some of those saisons or spontaneous stuff. Good dry mouthfeel, carbonation was pretty high. Did a good job at hiding the alcohol, this had me leery given the strength, I've pretty much universally disliked "imperial" saisons. There was some burn, but hey, peppercorns and citrus, whaddya expect this to be other than more acidic than your normal non adjunct saison? Orange notes were minimal, thankfully this is not a fruit dominant saison. The peppery note isn't hot, its more like you know black pepper/peppercorn.

I dug it. Still have one left. Will bang again come summertime.

Mar 25, 2020
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macrosmatic from Florida

3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Reviewed from (very) long-standing notes. Poured from the corked and caged 375mL bottle into an El Catador Barrel-Aged glass. 2013 vintage bottle, consumed sometime in 2018 (didn't note exact date).

A: Pours a hazy dark gold, with minimal visible carbonation and no real head formation.

S: Caramelly malts, light saison yeast esters, and peppery spiciness. Some toasted sugars and a touch of farmhouse spiciness and funk – but much less than I was hoping to have developed in a bottle this old.

T: Sweet malts, some caramel and oxidation. Peppery – I would have called it just black peppercorn. Mild funk, more Belgian yeast fruity esters – pears, apples, mild clove. A light citrus bitterness – maybe that’s some of the Mandarin oranges, but I would have thought it was the aged hop flavors. A modest lingering fruitiness in the hang.

M: Average body, and low carbonation sensation but not as flat as it appeared. Modest amount of alcohol presence.

O: Not amazing, though I'm not sure that the age has helped this one. I expected the funk to have increased more than what it has. There wasn't anything in particular to step up and take the place of the loss of the citrus , nor make it any more complex.

Mar 21, 2019
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iguanodon from Utah

4.09/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

[Original rating 2015-07-03] Pours clear orange/gold with a thin white head that lasts. Steady fine carbonation rises from the bottom of the glass. Aroma is sweet malt, flowery, straw, spicy pepper. Taste is dry saison, the orange and pepper are there but not overwhelming. A hint of alcohol in the finish. Great mouth feel. A solid saison on its own, the orange and pepper are just enough to make it interesting.

Oct 24, 2018
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hoptheology from South Dakota

3.66/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

With a pleasurable pop from the cork after a simple twist of the wire harness, this baby pours a dark hazy mango blush with a tightly knit creamy cap of 2 fingers. It recedes slowly and retains at about 1/2 finger.

Fresh mandarin oranges come out straight away in the aroma, followed by the white peppercorns, slight clove and cilantro.

Flavors of golden malts, salty watermelon, melon rinds, and flavorless yeast. Some peppercorn flavors hang around a bit afterwards. After a few sips I am easily done with this beer, however. It grows stale and old real quick.

It feels creamy and full of carbonation, and the finish is crisp and bright.

Overall the beer starts strong but grows tired very quickly. I almost want to drain pour this but I feel ashamed for doing so. I'll age the other three bottles and see how they do.

Jan 22, 2016
Photo of J_Chavez15
J_Chavez15 from California

4.6/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours out amber maybe copper. Smell oranges and some type of spices. Light to medium body. Taste lemon, pepper,and oranges. The finish is my favorite part about this saison. My very first saison hope to try many more. Cheers!

Oct 26, 2015
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outdoor7or24 from Georgia

3.63/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12.7 oz bottle poured into pint glass.
A: pours a clear dark honey orange, +1 finger white foam head, carbonation
S: mandrin oranges, heavy malt, pepper
M: medium body creamy
T: lemon, malt, citrus, mandrin orange, tiny hints of pepper
O: good saison brew with some orange flavor.

Oct 04, 2015
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hopsputin from New Jersey

3.81/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

a: hazy (chill haze, probably) caramel color, with a few darker notes towards the center. 1/2 finger white, bubbly head

s: sweet malt and tons of spicy yeast - pepper and coriander. ripe pear, sweet oranges, a clean grassy aroma, a hint of lemongrass. finishes with some sweet caramel

t: caramel and ripe pears. lots of sweet orange, faint red apple skin, caramel, pepper, coriander, lemongrass, a bit of a grainy grassy flavor, and some clove. there is also a very faint funk in here as well that works nicely. this actually follows the nose pretty well

m: medium mouthfeel. the carbonation is a bit less than i'm used to for the style, making it feel a bit heavier

o: its pretty good. a bit less effervescent than i like for the style. i really enjoy the pear flavor in here, but would like it to be a bit lighter in the mouth. it is enjoyable, and theres nothing off-putting in here. but, i feel like it falls just a bit short of some of the really good saisons out there

Sep 08, 2015
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BeerDawgs from Georgia

3.84/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

L - Golden, 2 fingers of white head, and lots of lace left on top of the brew and on the glass

S - belgian yeast, sugarcane

T - Sweet and not real balanced

F - medium body light carbonation

O - A good saison, but there are others that are better

Sep 06, 2015
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DaverCS from Arizona

3.57/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2015 bottle

Pours a relatively darker orange color. Surprisingly dark for the style. 1/2 finger of head.

Aroma leaches out of the bottle once uncorked. I get a big malt/ molasses/ honey sweetness on the nose. I do definitely get the mandarin oranges... It smells like the artificial canned stuff with that slight off-tartness. Some spice on the nose, but the malt aroma really dominates the overall nose.

Taste is.... well.... super disappointing! It is like a malty saison without the complexity. WAY too sweet! That honey/ malt-like sweetness dominates the palate; it's almost mixed with a caramel flavor. In addition, I get some mandarin orange juice and a sweet syrupy canned peach juice. Good amount of carbonation.

Overall, especially for the price, this was a failure for me. No spiciness, way too sweet, not complex at all! I would pair this with a very vinegar/acid forward salad, potentially with mandarins oranges. It gets a 71.5/100.

Sep 05, 2015
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MacMalt from New Jersey

4.07/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into pint glass. The color is a pretty golden-hone with a thick, snow white head and lacing. It's a very attractive pour. The nose features orange peel, yeast, lemon, straw, and pepper. The taste follows the nose and is a very nice combination; the first thing I tasted is the pepper, followed by the sweet and tangy mandarin orange. There is also noticeable spice and a slight bitter hoppiness, and, upon several sips, a slightly noticeable caramel. This ale is nicely carbonated; it almost has a champagne feel and is very pleasant to drink. Overall, this is a complex, but highly drinkable, and fun, saison.

Sep 01, 2015
Photo of NCMatt
NCMatt from North Carolina

4.13/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Normally I dislike Saison's. Just something about them. This was pleasantly different and unlike any Saison I have had before.

I can only assume the addition of mandarin oranges was what mellowed the spices and (for me) made this a very well rounded and enjoyable brew. Finishes dry, which I enjoyed. Overall, the Oliva Abbey beers never disappoint!

Aug 11, 2015
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pat61 from Minnesota

4.25/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Pours brilliant amber under a clingy 2” foam cap that quickly dissipates. S: Pepper, fruit, hints of compost, citrus, orange, floral. T: Big fruit and pepper, citrus orange and spice, soft malt character, mild alcohol presence, spicy hops with a mikld bitter hop accent. Subdued tartness. F: Rich and creamy, soft, above average carbonation gives a full mouth feel. O: the orange and pepper corns are a nice addition in this big flavored saison.

Aug 04, 2015
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Terp96 from North Carolina

3.54/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Interesting take on a saison. However it is a bit boozy in the nose and taste. I can't seem to find the mandarin or the peppercorn bit I expected. I have had better but I'm glad I tried it.

Jul 25, 2015
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kitch from Hong Kong

3.7/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

A 12.7 fl oz corked and caged bottle packaged on 5th February 2015 and poured into a Duvel tulip glass.

Appearance: The beer poured a clear orangey copper colour with a one finger white head that slowly dissipates resulting in a thin soapy layer and stringy lacing.

Aroma: Orange and honey aromas, some Belgian yeasty notes and ginger.

Taste: Sweeter than I expected but not too sweet which is good. I get citrus orange and lemon upfront followed by honey and caramel. There is some spice in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, medium to high carbonation, dryness.

Overall: Of the SN Ovila series that I’ve tried before (the other two being the Tripel and Quad w/ plums), this was the best one. Its unlike the other saisons that I’ve tried, but still a solid beer.

Jul 10, 2015
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ClavisAurea from New York

3.02/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

375ml bottle served in a wide mouth taster at cellar temps. Bottled on date is 02/2015.

Appearance: dark golden yellow with no head but some bubbles poking through the liquid. Poured very light body.

Nose: oranges, bready and with some yeast character. Kinda flat nose.

Taste: The beer is almost flat, very little carbonation if any at all. Oranges, spicy phenols from the yeast, bready and malty sweetness but very restrained.

This beer just needs some carbonation to be really refreshing and delicious. It just kinda sits on your palate without the bubbles. I'll try cooling the other bottle I have to see if it makes it better.

Jun 27, 2015
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keithmurray from Connecticut

4.41/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look - Murky orange body with thin white head

Smell - orange, honey, ginger, coriander

Taste - comes in a bit better than the smell - oranges upfront, ginger, coriander and honey to round things out

mouthfeel - medium plus body, high carbonation, citrus upfront from the orange, spices come thru after that, dry finish

Overall - very enjoyable Saison that I found to be refreshing yet full of flavor. I would re-visit this in a heartbeat. Recommended

Price Point - $3.50/ 12.7 oz corked and caged bottle

Jun 21, 2015
Photo of Shroombe
Shroombe from Indiana

4.7/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Very good flavor is inherent in the first sip, aftertaste is incredibly complex. Notes of tobacco are very prominent in this brew. The taste is indescribable, however, the orange stands out while contrasted with the sharp feel of peppercorns.

Top-notch. Feel in the mouth is smooth like velvet, carbonation shines.

Highly recommended, buy on sight.

Jun 08, 2015
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ocelot2500 from Maryland

3.77/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pouts a clear copper color with a soapy, white head that leaves chunks of lacing.

Smells of orange and some spiciness.

Tastes of the spiciness layered over fruits and some malts. Spices lead off with notes of pepper. This gives way to some oranges along with nectarine and peach notes. Some sweetness backs up the fruits. Toasted bread notes come through towards the end. Finishes with a lingering sweetness.

Mouthfeel is medium-full with a creamy amount of carbonation.

Overall, this is pretty good, but the oranges feel a little out of place.

Jun 06, 2015
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constantine_272 from Oregon

3.8/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Dark orange copper, with low white head. Smells of spice and rye bread. Maybe even some ginger and some steel. Taste is rich and bready that builds with a zesty and spicy fruitiness. Slight acidity, with definite orange fruitiness and some peach and nectarine followed by some sweet cream. Finishes tangy again with orange and zesty and spicy. Finishes medium dry. There is a lot of sweetness and malt up front but it is nicely balanced. A slight sweet orange builds in the aftertaste. Tastes a little odd in the aftertaste; like or and tictacs. Overall it's deep rich and comples. I like it except the orange is a little too strong for my taste and could have been a bit more restrained.

May 24, 2015
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mudbug from Oregon

4.06/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the C&C 12.7 Oz bottle with no freshness date that I can see into a Samuel Smith's perfect pint glass results in a very clear burnt orange body capped by a thin cap of foam. lots of small bubbles rise to the top keeping things very lively.
Aroma is slightly astringent citrus and of course belgian yeast.
Taste has a slight tartness upfront then a little malt sweetness, the orange is there in the background but everything is tinged by the characteristic yeast. I'm not getting much of anything with the peppercorns. I guess I was hoping for more spice. Perhaps this is an older bottle and it's faded?
Nicely carbonated with a refreshing prickle. and clean finish.
Overall, a nice Saison that I'd drink again.

May 23, 2015
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Jrguru from Florida

4.08/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Mandarin orange and spices of the peppercorn make themselves present after the initial malt front. Flavor lingers on the pallet, but doesn't intensify in orange and spice notes, which would have been nice. Overall a solid saison with a nice twist. Very smooth mouthfeel, rich amber color.

Apr 18, 2015
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Brolo75 from California

4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a chalice

A: Pours a nice sunset orange with a creamy white head, the head vanished quickly, no lacing, looks great.

A: Belgian yeast aromas right up front, peppercorns coming through, nice citrusy backend, getting some bread biscuit aromas, slight herbal aromas, smells very complex.

T: Belgian yeast flavors, nice citrus bitterness in the middle, finishes strong with pepper spice, slight heat on the end, very nice.

M: Medium mouthfeel with a strong dry finish

O: I like this, it starts out with that Sierra Nevada Belgian yeast flavor like the Quad with Plums, some bread biscuits flavors, then dips into some citrus bitterness and a great spice dry finish, easy drinking for 7.5%, it has that Belgian beer complexity, will definitely pick up a four pack after having the single.

Apr 13, 2015
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goochpunch from Texas

2.68/5  rDev -30.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Deep burnt orange body with a barely there head. Smells grainy with very spicy yeast and apricot. Very sweet saison. Overly spicy and yeasty. Pretty grainy quality. I get more banana from the yeast than I do orange peel or pepper. Mouthfeel is sticky and slick with mild carbonation. I'm not feeling this.

Apr 12, 2015
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Zorro from California

3.29/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Chill hazed amber colored beer with a small white colored head.

Smells fruity with only a touch of coriander. Malt and pepper with a hint of orange and grape.

Starts out dry and spicy. Orange and pepper with coriander. Faint caramel flavor. Gets sweeter as you drink it.

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall an OK Saison.

Apr 11, 2015
Ovila Abbey Saison - Mandarin Oranges & Peppercorns from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 710 ratings