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

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Ovila Abbey Saison - Mandarin Oranges & PeppercornsOvila Abbey Saison - Mandarin Oranges & Peppercorns

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

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Jason on 05-06-2013

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Reviews: 135 | Ratings: 704
Photo of FitnessForBeer
4.27/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Got a 4 pack of this years :)
A:pours a brownish orange, lots of carbonation rising through the beer. very little head
S: belgium funk, citrusy, wheat, smells like a saison
T: funky, spicy, mandarins are evident, lighter malts like wheat I cant nail it exactly however it is very sweet, very dry, little hop bitterness
M: amazing, nice high carbonation, and very dry
O: fun saison from one of the best breweries, also one of my favorites in the ovlia series

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Photo of inlimbo77
3.74/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

375ml, 2013
Lost Abbey tulip

A: Pours a different color than expected. Hazy orange, expecting more straw. Good finger of bright white head. Sticking around a while.

S: Mandarin orange. Citrus. Little touch of that peppercorn.

T: Citrus from the oranges up front. Maybe some zesty lemon. Not getting the dry farmhouse yeast and pepper I was expecting. Slick mouthfeel. Not as dry as I was expecting.

M: Medium bodied.

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Photo of hardy008
3.08/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours hazy orange with a 1/2 finger off white head which fades quickly. Has a very strong hop forward citrus aroma, smells just like mandarin oranges, as listed on the bottle. Also can pick up a pepper aroma from the peppercorns. Not very complex, or Belgian, in the aroma.

Tastes much like it smells with mandarin oranges, peppercorns, pears, and plenty of caramel for sweetness. Nothing Belgian about the taste either. No Belgian yeast in the taste or aroma. Tastes pretty good and smells pretty good, but not to style in my opinion.

Medium bodied with below normal carbonation for the style. A little syrupy compared to most Saisons. Does nopt finish dry like most Saisons do. Pretty good tasting, but definitely not done to style. I'm not sure if this is a fairly old bottle or not. There is no clear legible date, so I will grade this as though it is a fresh bottle.

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Photo of dogfishandi
3.63/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12.7 oz cork and caged bottle at fridge temp poured into a snifter. Not sure of freshness, but no fresher than 8 months old.

Pours out a hazy orange color, not as big of a head as I might have expected for a Belgian, off white in color. Weak retention with no real lacing.

Lots of yeast character, perhaps of the French strain. Some citrus but not necessarily orange and hints of spice. Fairly basic.

Very similar to what the aroma indicates. French saison yeast which might add somewhat of a creamy quality, some citrus and spice but nothing telling me the extras that were added to this beer are actually there.

Light to medium in body.

Nothing special, nothing terrible.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.94/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Nostradamus flute glass. Pours a medium orange amber with a one finger ivory head with great retention and nice lacing. Aroma of spicy orange, Belgian and saison yeast, light bready malt; peppery. Flavor is light stone and orange family fruit, Belgian yeast and light spicing, with coriander, pepper and clove developing along with a drier character, finishing semi-dry with peppery spicing. Nice creamy medium body. A pleasant take on the saison style, starting closer to a Belgian dubbel, but finishing closer to the dryier saison style. The orange flavor spicing is deftly done and not overwhelming. I enjoyed this and found it closer to Belgian abbey styles than others in the Ovila series.

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Photo of stakem
4.02/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375ml corked and caged bottle poured into a snifter. The brew appears a clear copper color with a persistent white head supported by rising bubbles. The cap holds throughout the duration with a finger atop.

The aroma comes across like candied oranges...almost a marmalde of sorts with yeasty spice and a faint clove accent. An interesting remix on a classic smelling brew.

The taste includes notes of oranges with a bit zest and almost candied like the aroma suggested with a hint io lemon and ginger. It is yeasty and earthen with a mild peppery spice.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest level of carbonation. It is smooth and quite nice. Drinking this was quite effortless and I would not mind having again.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.26/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

375ml bottle - $3.99 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours an essentially clear, amberesque body with a two-finger-high cap of near white foam.

Smell: Lightly toasted bread, toasted grains with a layer of sweet-scented candied glaze. Faint flash of sourishness. Banana, aromatic orange, coriander, pepper.

Taste: Sweet caramel, toffee in the foreground atop the malted wheat. A little, light banana. Candied orange (a bit tangy) dusted with a little pepper, a little coriander. Some stern florals ahead of a stronger, bitterish orange oil presence. Still remains rather candyish, sweetish on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium-plus carbonation, fighting back some stickiness.

Overall: Don't get me wrong, I am still on-board for this whole Ovila deal, but I WAAAY preferred the no-thrills Ovila Saison over this new, "now with more stuff!" version.

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Photo of aquazr1
3.52/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a pint glass from a 12oz bottle.

A - Pours a reddish brown with a short, one finger head.

S - I get a lot of earthiness, not something that I've come across before.

T - The peppercorns are at the forefront, with some notes of something similar to straw. I don't get a lot of the mandarin orange.

M - A medium bodied beer that is relatively easy to drink.

I like the beer, just not in love with it. You would never know the ABV is above 7%. May have to give it another shot at a later time.

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Photo of arizcards
3.81/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Picked up a couple of singles from Total Wine in mid-August for $3.49 each.

Beer poured a dark orange with a little white head.

Nose is funk with a whole lotta lemon.

Taste is lemon, orange, peppery.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and not overly smooth or lively.

Overall this is a tasty brew but it lacks the Saison qualities associates with the traditional European offerings.

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Photo of DIM
2.95/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

a: Clear, semi dark golden color; pours with a small, short lived head.

s: Maybe its the gentle carbonation, but I couldn't pull much out of this. Some orange and some Belgian yeast character in the form fruity esters (pear and grape). Maybe some grassy hops?

t: Orange dominant; and while it is a pleasant flavor, sweet and juicy, it kind of clashes with the saison elements. On the sweet side overall, almost candy like. The finish is a bit boozy with plum and pear estery flavors and a hint of barnyard yeast. I did not taste the peppercorns.

m: Heavy and under carbonated, not very saison like.

o: My least favorite SN offering so far, everything else has been top notch. Too much O.J. not enough saison. Tasted blind, I would have probably called this a dubbel. I need to try more of these Ovila offerings. Hope I like the rest more than this one.

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Photo of gillagorilla
3.25/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

On tap at Max's (from notes)

A: Hazy copper with ok lacing.

S: Light. Sweet with funk and yeast.

T: Ugh. Lots of yeasty funk that is quite heavy with a weird aftertaste. I get no mandarins. Kind of rye with a roast.

M: Foamy with lots of smooth bubbles.

O: Quite a heavy and thick saison.

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Photo of zeledonia
3.44/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

Tasted 17 April 2015

Pours medium orange amber, 99% clear. One finger of whitish head, okay retention and lacing.

Smell is warm, fruity, and yeasty. The oranges come through strong, more than I'd like them to (reminding me a bit of Dave's BrewFarm's amazing S.O.B. O.M.G.). Slightly tart oranges dominate the smell, shading out most of the saison elements.

Taste is a lot like the smell, with a spicy bite. Some of that seems to come from the pepper, and some from the yeast. It has this dulled Belgian yeast character, but there's not a whole lot to it. Warm, full, and spicy.

Feel is on the flat side. It feels rather heavy, thicker than most saisons, and it really needs more carbonation. It needs to dance. The flavors settle, rather than springing up. Meh.

This is a very warm beer. Warm in the nose, warm in the mouth. It's rounded, but the rounding hides what should be its best features. Decent, but not something I'll seek out again.

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Photo of thegodfather1076
3.99/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: Very cool old fashioned looking bottle and label that is classy yet eye-catching. Artwork and font is very attractive. Front label states “Brewed in collaboration with The Abbey of New Clairvaux, gives ABV info, a bit of brewery info, states “Monastic Inspiration”, states “ American Innovation”. Back label gives web info, a nice back story and description of the beer. Cork and cage bottle.

Appearance: An aggressive pour from its 12.7oz brown bottle into a 16oz Imperial Pint led to a 2 finger very light airy and active white head resting atop a slightly hazy copper colored beer. Head retention was only 1min 5sec quickly dissipating into a thin foam coating and ring with OK lacing.

Smell/Aroma: Smell is very sweet with candied oranges, clove, and coriander very prominent along with a nice bready aroma. A bit of of a yeasty sour scent is also detectable. 4/5

Flavor/Taste: Tastes of sweet candied oranges along with a black pepper bite on the front end. Midpoint is dominated by a bready clove flavor that turns to a toasty maltiness. A bit of coriander, oranges, and malt dominate the back end and finish.

MouthFeel/Drinkability: Smooth and slick with a slightly creamy medium bodied feel. Very tasty and drinkable.

Overall/Comments: This is a very good beer put out by the collaboration of two unique organizations. A very tasty and drinkable beer that I would recommend trying. Classified as a Saison/Farmhouse Ale @ 7.5% ABV. Consumed on 8/27/2013.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.86/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

375 ml cork and caged bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada tulip.
7.5% ABV

A - Dirty apricot orange in color, this saison is hazed through completely and topped by a thin, creamy ivory head that leaves little lace behind.

S - Peppercorn-rubbed orange marmalade spread over a toasted biscuit influences this saison heavily as subtle rustic yeast wanders through the background, casting out suggestions of over ripe honeydew melon, white clay, and wet rocks.

T - Sierra Nevada maintains the rustic saison character in the flavor but beyond the dry earthiness that mirrors the aroma there is little yeast character that truly harkens back to the classic Belgian style. Pepper sticks almost exclusively to the aroma, lending little spice in flavor but chunky orange marmalade spread across a cool, toasted English muffin is a welcome finish to this beer.

M - Medium-bodied and smooth, this saison is dry through and through with a nice little twang of orange citrus and hint of pepper spice on the finish for a balanced and easy drinking American saison.

O - Mandarin oranges and peppercorns are a welcome addition to the earthy citrus characteristics of a saison but Sierra Nevada plays it a little too safe with this Ovila, opting for conservative incorporation of both. More striking though, is the absence of the classic bouquet of typical saison yeast, even for an American-made style. Good regardless, this beer keeps complexity and interest alive but could stand being taken to the next level.

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Photo of teromous
2.98/5  rDev -21%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Fairly hazy orange and light brown color with a foamy white head. Alright head retention, some lacing.

S: Very faint muskiness accompanied by a distant lemon scent. There's a bit of Belgian yeast character, giving it this spicy scent. It is nice smelling but very very faint.

T: There is a lot of sweet malt flavor up front, with a bit of light cedar. It doesn't really have any Saison character to it. No funk, no sourness, nothing really. I don't taste any contribution from the oranges or peppercorns, from what I can tell. It has a definite Belgian flavor to the beer, but it just doesn't taste like a Saison.

M: The mouthfeel is light to medium with low bitterness. Not real spectacular.

O: It was petty good as just a "Belgian Beer" so if you're looking for that then you're set. While it smelled similar to a Saison, it really didn't taste like one. It also felt too sweet in both the flavor and body (not dry enough). It just tasted like an average beer to me. I didn't get anything from the oranges or peppercorns. I probably wouldn't get it again.

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Photo of tviz33
3.82/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12.7 oz. cage top bottle in to a snifter.

A- Pours with two fingers of creamy off-white head with a clear copper body with lots of bubbles.

S- Smell is citrus up front with Belgian yeast and pepper. Another review mentioned leather and I definitely get that as well. Quite good.

T- Lots of orange and similar citrus flavors. The spice comes and goes pretty quickly. The peppercorn is also there. A bit of floral hops that leave lingering bitterness.

M- Just a bit thin. The carbonation is fairly high.

O- Different... not sure if in a good or bad way.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.71/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle to snifter.

A - Opaque cloudy amber, orange along the bottom. A thin layer of off-white head.

S - Bread, Belgian yeast, peppery spice, citrus, clove.

T - Big yeast flavours up front with clove and peppery spice. A sweet bready flavour is present throughout and the mandarin orange shows up in the finish. Very sweet overall for a saison.

M - Medium body. Somewhat dry. Light carbonation.

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Photo of BarryMFBurton
3.91/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Sometimes you’re just not in the mood to buy 750mL of beer you’ve never tried; such is the case with Sierra Nevada’s Ovila series. Thankfully, I found a smaller, more affordable bottle at the local bottle shop. Cheers!

A: A luminescent, orange-amber body pours out from the bottle, alive with fizz. The head, stark white and thin, rises for a moment before condensing to a creamy retention. Small strands of lacing are scattered around the glass’s interior.

S: The balance in this nose is quite pleasant: Belgian yeast notes of black pepper and leathery funk coated in a sweet mandarin orange, creamy vanilla, and fruity taffy scent. It comes together in a single character, nearly, though with a slight edge toward the soft fruit-and-cream tone.

T: Upon first sip the mouth is coated with the taste of canned oranges – that “light syrup” that’s always advertised on the label covers the tongue in marmalade sweetness. There’s a short-lived Belgian bitterness that comes soon after, an herbal hop and yeast combo of green tea, lemon pulp, coriander, just a hint of freshly-ground pepper (it’s definitely not as spicy as I expected). Finishes with a fantastic bready malt quality: biscuit dough and a touch of grain husk.

M: Undeniably rich with mild carbonation, this one has a texture I can only describe as velvety. Filling, but just barely; it’s still very drinkable.

O: Sierra Nevada has created what seems to be a model saison, but its mild balance keeps me from falling in love with it. A brewer shouldn’t have to sacrifice balance for boldness to craft something I’d love, but the fact that nothing stands out here besides “drinkable” makes this a beer that’s just flirting with greatness.

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Photo of DrinkSlurm
3.92/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured rom bottle into tulip. Huge 3 finger head over a burnt orange/copper color. Bready peppery and a hint of citrus aroma. Dried fruit with peppery Belgian yeast/banana notes. Very faint mandarin/orange flavor but it is noticeable, followed by some bready malts, but nice. Really smooth...but heavy. Nice brew overall...not quite the "style" of saison, but a really good brew. Id get again for sure.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.21/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12.7 oz. corked bottle into a Duvel tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep copper amber orange with a moderate amount of bubbles. About one finger of off white head that fades into a thin patch. Leaves a good amount of lacing around the glass.

Smell: A yeasty and spicy malt forward aroma with lots of citrus fruit hints. Upfront Belgian yeast with farmhouse funk and some clove. Big hints of white and black pepper. Slight coriander hint. Pale malt with hints of grains, straw, caramel, wheat, and cracker. Big citrus fruit presence with hints of the mandarin orange, lemon zest, and pineapple. Sweet Belgian candied sugar. Light hints of grassy hops and some alcohol. A pretty solid aroma.

Taste: Like the smell hints at, a yeasty and spicy malt forward taste with a big citrus orange presence. Belgian yeast with some upfront farmhouse funk, clove, peppercorn, and coriander spicing. Bready malts with a taste of grains, straw, wheat, caramel, and cracker. Big fruit presence with notes of mandarin orange, lemon zest, and pineapple. Sweet notes of candied Belgian sugar. Subtle backing of grassy hops. Slight alcohol taste is noticeable. A pretty good and interesting taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Spicy, juicy, and slightly syrupy. Slight alcohol bite is felt.

Overall: A pretty good spin on a Saison/Farmhouse. Good mix of funk and spices with the oranges.

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Photo of CloudStrife
3.88/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12.7 oz corked and caged bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a slightly hazy orangish amber with a thin slightly yellowed head. A bit too opaque to see much visible carbonation. Not really any lacing on the side of the glass.

S: A smooth blend of Belgian yeast, pale malts and a hint of orange fruitiness. Not an overwhelming flavor but an enticing one nonetheless. Hints of sweetness and alcohol.

T: First thing I notice is the malts and Belgian yeast. The mandarin orange comes powering through mid sip and takes over the flavor. Hints of peppercorn after swallowing but the focus seems to be on the yeast and orange. Good Belgian tone overall.

M: Medium body with ample carbonation. Fairly clean finish, just a bit of stickiness from the sweetness of the orange.

Overall this beer pulls in more orange flavor than most beers I've had. On the plus side it strays away from the fake orange taste that ruins some of the belgian style beers for me. Might grab a bottle to set down for a while.

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Photo of taylor714914
3.48/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

When shopping at my local store, I saw these 4 pack of corked and caged bottles for 15 bucks, and had to pull the trigger.

Pours a copper color with a thin head.

Smell is of sweet malts and a bit of spice.

Taste is interesting. Doesn't really remind me of a saison, more of a watered down dubbel or octoberfest. There is a bit of orange that comes through, along with some clove and bready malt.

Mouthfeel is thick for the style.

Overall, too sweet and not nearly dry enough for a saison, but still a decent brew. Think of this as a more fall like saison. kind of a cross between a saison and octoberfest.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.96/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12.7 ounce caged and corked bottle. Served in a tulip, the beer pours an amber/orange color with an inch white head. Head retention and lacing are both good. The brew smells like peppercorns, bready malt, oranges, peaches, sweet spices, and some wheat/bready malt. I think the taste is just like the aroma. However, I think the peppery spice and wheat flavors are the strongest. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit slick and creamy, and is also well carbonated. I think it's a solid overall brew. $12.99 a 4-pack.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.82/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from bottle into a chalice glass

Appearance – The beer pours a murky copper color with a one finger foamy-just off white head. The head has a great level of retention, very slowly fading over time to leave a tremendous level of streaky lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma is bready and yeasty with lots of spice of clove and coriander. Some lighter aromas of caramelized sugar and some orange citrus fruit are there as well as some very light hints of pepper.

Taste – The taste starts out with a smooth wheaty taste as well as a smooth tangerine orange flavor. A yeast cake and spice flavor of coriander and clove quickly come to the tongue. These flavors all create a base for the brew and persist to the end while other flavors also join in. Toward the middle to the end some flavors of pepper and grassy come to the tongue. At the end a little bit of a alcohol taste to leave a nice smooth Belgian spiced orange and wheaty taste on the tongue

Mouthfeel –The body of the beer is on the slightly thinner side in its creaminess and thickness with a carbonation that is average to slightly below average for the style. The two combined, accentuate the very smooth flavors of the brew giving it a very easy drinking style but having just enough of an alcohol presence to keep you in check.

Overall – A very smooth and easy drinking saison. Not a flavor powerhouse and nothing super out of the ordinary, but very tasty and very easy drinking none the less.

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

12.7 oz corked and caged bottle (no date) poured into a Karmeleit tripel glass.

Appearance: Dark amber honey, mostly translucent. Persistent 1/8" dense white foam. Thick islands and strands of lacing.

Smell: Musty, hint of tart orange peel, hint of pepper.

Taste: Lots of flavors running together, but you can pick them out, just not in the order they hit the tongue. Malt sweetness, bready, hint of yeast, fruit, mandarin oranges, hint of pepper.

Mouthfeel: Slick, approaching creamy in thickness. Just enough carbonation to take everything off the teeth and tongue.

Overall / Drinkability: Interesting, but not as strong flavored as I thought it would be. Delicate would be a good way to describe the flavors of this beer. I wonder if the meal I paired with this (burger and corn-on-the-cob) clashed a bit. A good and refreshing beer, just not amazing.

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Ovila Abbey Saison - Mandarin Oranges & Peppercorns from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
3.77 out of 5 based on 704 ratings.
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