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

very good
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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 spacecake9
4/5  rDev +6.1%

This beer just showed up in the stores around me so I'm not sure why it is marked as retired.
A - This looks like very much like a hazy apple cider.
S - And it smells like apple cider too. A deep sniff suggests some spicy pepper.
T - My first sip made me think of tart apples. I don't get oranges, and just a little bite from the peppercorn.
M - Medium body, flavor leaves quickly.
O - I'm not suggesting this tastes like apple cider. This is definitely a saison with an apple flavoring to it. It's very drinkable - this bottle went down quickly - and it's a very tasty brew. Try it you will like it.

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Photo of Catracho5
4/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

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Photo of JohnnyMc
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another addition in the Ovila series.

Pours out a decently dark golden type of orange with a finger of an off-white head.

The aroma has a big punch of orange right up front along with some fruity yeast esters. There are some subtle clove and banana notes, a straw type of smell, some bready malt and a bit of peppery spice.

The taste also has a huge amount of a sweet orange and a nice amount of fruity yeast esters up front. There are some very subtle notes of banana and clove and some of that bready malt on the back end. The spiciness is there, but it's not as spicy as I would have thought given the addition of peppercorns.

The body is medium and the mouthfeel is crisp with a decent amount of carbonation. The ABV is hidden very well.

This is a nice take on a Belgian style, but just like with the Ovila Quad the Belgian breweries do these styles much better. A very nice beer and certainly worth trying though.

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

Nice aroma of citrus with a little funk. Tart citrus flavor up front, some spicy pepper tones on the back end, very nice. Fairly thin and very creamy, as it was from the cask, but not bad for the style, good carbonation. Overall, was a very nice beer, I've had this from the bottle before, much better on cask at the brewery.

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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 tdm168
3.98/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - orangish amber with a huge, off white head that is thick and dense and has really good retention

S - big saison yeast in the nose; spicy, pears, peppery

T - husk, spicy yeast, peppery, oranges are faint but they're there in the background, some hints of lemon zest, mildly earthy bitter finish

M - medium bodied, some faint alcohol warmth, well carbonated

This is a nice saison. I was hoping for a more forward presence from both the oranges and the peppercorns, but they're both rather subdued. The peppercorns seem to be more forward because they compliment the already spicy yeast well. The oranges are subtle and show themselves more in the finish. Overall, this is a nice saison with a very enjoyable flavor profile. I enjoyed this beer though I was a tad disappointed with the presence of the mandarin oranges.

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Photo of brewtus
3.97/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz caged bottle. Poured into teku. Pours clear light orange with a single finger white bubbly head. Smell is a little bit of funk, some straw, some spice, some refreshing citrus. Taste starts with some sweet red velvet cake flavor, some dry wheat, some spicesome ever slight citrus from the mandarin, the peppercorn is really only present during the after taste. Overall this was really good but wasn't as funky as I prefer for a saison, also not enough peppercorn, I'd prefer some burn. Worth picking up a bottle but not as spicy and refreshing as you'd imagine from a fruity spicy saison.

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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 yamar68
3.96/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cloudy burnt orange body with hues of tobacco brown and amber. A creamy half finger of off-white head retains well, leaving trace amounts of lace behind.

The nose definitely screams farmhouse... dry yeast, wet hay, apple skins, subtly sweet pale fruits... the peppercorn addition was well executed I think, offering just a bit of spice.

The fresh saison notes are joined with a mellow caramel malt character and leafy tobacco. Honestly, I wish the oranges were more apparent on the palate. Nevertheless, it's a tasty beer. Easy to drink, but not quite as thirst-quenching as you might expect for the style.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.96/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear dark golden orangish yellow in color with heavy amounts of active visible carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass quickly and a light amount of amber highlights. The beer has a two finger tall dense foamy beige head that very slowly reduces to a half finger thick layer covering the entire surface of the beer with a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of lightly toasted malts as well as lighter aromas of grainy malts. There are moderate aromas of citrus/mandarin orange rind and spicy yeast/black peppercorns. There are light notes of banana.

T: Upfront there is a light to moderate flavor of grainy and toasted malts with a light amount of caramel sweetness. That is followed by moderate flavors of citrus/mandarin orange and citrus/mandarin orange rind. There is a light to moderate amount of spiciness from the yeast as well as the black peppercorns. Mild amounts of bitterness in the finish, mostly from the spices, which does not linger for long.

M: Medium bodied with slightly heavier than moderate amounts of carbonation. Very lightly stick with touches of dryness in the finish.

O: Another nice offering in the Ovila series from Sierra Nevada - I like the addition of the mandarin oranges and black peppercorns to the saison, makes enough new complexity and flavors/aromas to keep me interested. Alcohol is well hidden and this one is refreshing + easy to drink.

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

i was craving a saison earlier....i couldnt resist this when i saw it. the smell is sweet with a slight earthiness to it. the taste has sweet citrus notes with a creaminess to it. also the sasion earthy flavor comes along. also i do get a little spicy i am assuming from the peppercorns. over all if i was craving a typical sasion i wouldnt reach for this- but this is a great beer in its own way. its pretty complex, and great.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.95/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a four finger cream head that fades slowly leaving some lace. Almost clear amber color. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Mandarin orange nose and flavor is citrusy orange and lemon with what seems to be Belgian yeast. Mellow for a saison. $3.90 for a caged & corked 375ml bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, MA.

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Photo of theyeastyboy
3.95/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served out of a bottle into a tulip glass.

The appearance on the Ovila Abbey Saison with Mandarin Oranges and Peppercorns is a medium to dark amber color. Light shines through the glass readily as this beer is very clear. From the looks of it, the beer has been filtered and was not bottle conditioned. This is not necessarily a downside, but odd for a saison in my experience. Bubbles are streaming up from the bottom of the glass, indicating a good bit of carbonation. On the initial pour, there was at least a finger of head that dissipated somewhat after a few minutes to a half finger head. The head has a mixture of medium and small bubbles.

On the nose, there is an apparent Belgian yeast character. Additionally, there is some light citrus and a peppery note but nothing that sticks out substantially. No hop bitterness is detectable.

The taste of this beer is very juicy and refreshing. The lack of mandarin and citrus on the nose is very prevalent in the taste. On the front of the tongue is a prickly sensation most likely from the peppercorns, and towards the middle the citrusy sweetness takes over. Compared to other saisons I have had, this one is much less drying but thirst quenching as result of the citrus. The finish consists of a stronger yeast character and bready taste that is enjoyable. In the back of the throat, there is a bit of warmth from the alcohol, which is surprising at 7.5% abv.

In terms of the mouthfeel, this beer is more full bodied than one would expect. The carbonation is lighter than I anticipated based on the original bubbles, but after swallowing, the taste lingers on the palate. This is nice because citrus is primarily what is hanging around and the spiciness is absent.

Overall, while a definite diversion from the traditional style, I enjoyed this very much. It lacked some of the complexity that many yeasty farmhouse saisons procure, but the citrus taste is very refreshing and the addition of the peppercorns is subtle. I purchased a single of this beer and would consider buying another single, but at ~$14 a 4-pack, it is unlikely that I will pick up a whole one.

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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 breakingbland
3.94/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from an unmarked, corked bottle into a snifter.

Appearance: Poured with a half-finger, slightly off-white head. The beer itself is a deep brownish golden that was slightly cloudy.

Aroma: Crisp aroma with slight funk, but overall, not much aroma.

Taste: Sour/tart. Slight funk and spice, with some of the spice probably due to the peppercorns. Bready up front, with a mild lingering sourness.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation, with an appropriate body for this style (fairly light).

Overall: This beer seems to be a good, typical example of this style. (This style is one of my favorites.) Though the flavor profile is not too complex, it is an interesting and refreshing beer. The lack of a more assertive aroma is somewhat disappointing but not a show-stopper. I'll look forward to having this one again as a "special occasion" beer (a bit pricey for an everyday beer).

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Photo of BeernDrum
3.94/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very unique in my mind. Smells peppery and citrusy. Don't smell the mandarins so much. Nice amber/orange color. The taste, very unique. It is smooth lots going on. You can taste the mandarins and the pepper. It also leaves a little of a peppery aftertaste. This may seem odd but I find it rather interesting. A very tasty full bodied beer with many different flavors. Maybe not a true Saison but quite delicious. One of the best packaging presentations in beer I've seen in a while.

Fathead head hunter still rules to me.

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Photo of mikem0487
3.94/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

375mL bottle poured into Wicked Weed tulip glass.

A-Burnt amber body. Slightly hazy. Minimal head and lacing left on the glass.

S-Caramelized sugar, slight burnt bread crust, esters and definitely pick up on the mandarin orange. Overall pleasant and the burnt smell is very faint but there.

T-Bread crust, fruity esters, some peppercorn in the end. The yeast is definitely the main component here. The abbey yeast gives off plum and peach notes with nice phenolic spicy components. Complex saison...

M-Thin bodied. Almost the viscosity of H20. Dry finish. Effervescent for sure.

O-A good saison thats very complex in taste and smell. Overly complex for my liking. Its a great beer to have one or maybe two but after that you are looking for something more simple and straightforward.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.93/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

the newest I think from the ovila series, I really like this one. it pours a surprisingly clear shade of orange, not unfiltered and raw like the style usually is, but its got a nice light copper glow and a lasting white head about two inches high. the nose is peppery yeast for sure, not positive if its from the peppercorns too or not, but the mandarin oranges are obvious, strong, sweet, and bright. in terms of flavor, there is a lot of semisweet malt base to this, and the yeast isn't quite as up front as I like saisons to be. in its place though is a lovely fruity twist from the oranges that give this beer a nice summer feel and a whole lot of life. slight spice in the finish, but again, I wouldn't know its peppercorns if the label didn't say so, I would have attributed it to the yeast. lovely carbonation and a drinkable lighter than medium body. overall what I like most here is the use of oranges, it contributes more than the usual orange peel bitterness. an excellent drinkable saison for summer, and brilliantly priced at just $3.29 a pop.

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Photo of brewskifan55
3.93/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served at the Tops of the Hops Festival, Jackson, MS (several times)

A: Opaque amber with a one finger white head that stayed a while. Curtainy lacing.

S: Honey and oranges pop up with Belgian yeast in the background.

T: Light, sweet, syrupy, frothy. Picking up lemon, caramel, oranges, coriander with peppercorn on the finish. Floral esthers rule.

M: Light to medium with frothy carbonation. Loved the peppercorn finish.

O: I'd tried the regular Ovila Saison a year before and wasnt impressed. Adding the oranges and pepercorn made it pop. This was one of the standouts at the fest. A great summer drink.

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

Pours a bright and clear gold color with a smaller white head.

Aromas are nice, a mixture of lemon zest, oranges, spices, and yeast.

Taste is dry up front, light peppery notes, slightly creamy, bready and sweet. Finish has a mix of spices, oranges, and crisp tart lemon.

Mouthfeel is nice, good body, and snappy carbonation.

Overall, a nice Saison, very refreshing and drinkable. About a step or two below the great ones though.

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the 375mL bottle into a Belgian tulip.

The pour produces a two finger thick, foamy, creamy, but still fizzy, pale white head. Robust carbonation surges upwards. The body is amber-colored with a high level of clarity.

The aroma is heavily malty, bread-like, and pungent. There's a slight floral aroma, but it's mostly subdued. There's also a bit of graininess.

Orange flavor becomes more apparent, and is tasty, on the tongue. Sweet notes of caramel and honey, yeasty floral flavors, and the faintest notes of pepper all wander my palate.

Abbey Saison is creamy, but has a bit of a kick from some spice (the pepper I assume) and the yeast. It drinks sweetly with a faint tartness from citrus and has the slightest of booziness, although this bottle has been well-aged.

I think this beer has improved with age. I enjoyed it quite a bit. Maybe the best of the Ovila series.

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Photo of sweemzander
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

375mL corked and caged bottle poured into a tulip.

(A)- Pours a deep orange hue. Some white froth with decent retention.

(S)- A bright lively zesty combo of a biscuity yeast with lemony orange citrus. Ever so slight aroma of wet stone and subtle spice. Fairly clean, but with an ever so slight hint of funk. The orange really starts to show more as it opens up.

(T)- Quite zesty overall spice-wise, but not strongly like pepper necessarily. An assertiveyeast to it that lends some bitterness. I will say it goes well with the orange citrus, but the fruit is fainter than I had hoped.

(M)- A nice carbonation level for the style. The yeast is assertive which does up the bitterness a bit, but the orange citrus fits this well; just wish it was present more.

(O)- Overall, I like this. The idea works; just maybe amped up a touch. For the $$ in this style, this is also quite affordable for a 4pack of these

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Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

375 ml bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 4/22/2013. Pours slightly hazy orange copper color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of lemon, pear, apple, orange, peppercorn, clove, herbal, honey, light caramel, floral, and yeast earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of malt and yeast ester notes with the spicing; and good strength. Taste of lemon, pear, apple, orange, pepper, clove, honey, herbal, caramel, bread, floral, and yeast earthiness. Lingering notes of light fruits, citrus, pepper, clove, honey, herbal, caramel, bread, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and complexity of malt, spice, and yeast ester flavors; with zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth and moderately slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a very nice spiced saison style. All around good complexity and balance of flavors; and very smooth to sip on. A very enjoyable offering.

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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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