Ovni Ale | Flat Earth Brewing Company

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Ovni AleOvni Ale
54 Ratings
Ovni AleOvni Ale

Brewed by:
Flat Earth Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States

Style: French Bière de Garde

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.10%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
In 1902, one hundred feet of the Eiffel Tower had to be replaced after it was struck by an electrical discharge. Many believe the source of that surge was from a passing flying saucer. Ovni (flying saucer in French) Ale commemorates the great craftsmanship that went into repairing the tower. This French style biere de garde is made with the finest imported malt and hops. This beer has a substantial malt character with a mild hop bitterness. Ovni Ale pairs well with bouillabaisse, wild game and pasta.

Added by feloniousmonk on 08-04-2008

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 54 |  Reviews: 32
Reviews by beerkittycat:
Photo of beerkittycat
4.47/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is mostly clear copper-brown with ruby highlights. A massive tan head appears but then settles down quickly to a thin layer for the duration and leaves some pretty lacing on my glass. Aroma, ahhh, of Belgian malts that remind me of raisin and black cherry along with toasted grains dance well with flowery (yet restrained) noble hops. Taste is bursting with the same malty goodness and it's oh-so-smooth but not thin at all. Kind of like a nice thick gravy to go along with your pot roast. Those flowery hops are juuuust enough to remind you that they were put there for flavor and bitterness and adds more complexity to the beer. It finishes mostly dry but there is a touch of malty sweetness to remind you that you should take another sip to explore all the good flavors hidden in this beer. Nicely balanced and yet supremely complex.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of bsp77
3.85/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving glass: Poured from bomber into Tulip.

Appearance: Dark reddish amber with moderate cream colored head and minor lacing.

Smell: Sweet toasted malts, caramel, cherry and light spice.

Taste: Very rich toasted flavor with some notes of caramel, clove, light spicy hops and a very mild earthiness.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, medium body, barely semi-dry finish.

Drinkability: Nice, heavily toasted, Biere de Garde. My only gripe is that it should be a little drier.

I originally had this a little over a year ago when it was several months old. That beer must have aged too swiftly because it was very sour. (I have seen other reviews note this). Strange thing though - I actually enjoyed that sour beer a little more than this true-to-style fresh one.

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Photo of NilocRellim
3.73/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear, tan/brown colour. Smells like roasted malts, lager yeast, crisp, and a little sweet. Tastes slightly sweet upfront, roasted malts, hay, slight char, medium-bodied, and a bitter-dry finish.

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Brilliant dark amber to chestnut under a lightly tanned white foam cap that grips the side of the glass providing thick lines of lace.
S: Spice with some traces of over ripe fruit.
T: Rich malts, light grain flavors, hints of chocolate, spice, earthy hop finish.
F: Medium body, the carbonation is soft but medium to medium high.
O: a well made biere de Garde that is not quite Belgian but is pretty damn close.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.15/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a tall Summit glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep amber orange with a lot of bubbles. About two fingers of off white head that fade into a thin creamy layer. Leaves a lot of creamy lacing around the glass.

Smell: A fairly sweet and toasty bready malt driven aroma with some fruity hints. Upfront bready toasted malts with hints of biscuit, toasted bread, caramel, toffee, grains, yeast, cracker, and nuts. Fruity scent with hints of apple, berry, cherry, and citrus orange and lemon zest. Decent backing hop presence with earthy hints and grass. Some hints of sugar as well. A pretty decent aroma.

Taste: Like the smell hints at, a bready, toasty, and fairly sweet malt forward taste with some good notes of fruit. Toasted malts with upfront notes of biscuit, caramel, toasted bread, toffee, yeast, grains, cracker, and some nuts. Lively taste of fruits with sweet notes of apple, berries, cherry, and some citrus orange and lemon zest. A little taste of brown sugar sweetness. Earthy hop presence in the background with some notes of grass. A pretty solid malty taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a medium to high level of carbonation. Creamy, crisp, juicy, and pretty smooth.

Overall: A pretty solid take on the Garde style. Good bready malt taste with a really nice presence of fruits.

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Photo of cokes
4.18/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Glowing sienna hued topped with a 3-finger rise of beige suds which whittles down to a large-bubble, pocky skim with intricate lacing.
Toasty, grainy nose, given depth by apple musts, and brown sugar-crusted walnuts and some dry, wild grass hoppiness.
Malt, again, begins lightly toasty and grainy in the mouth, as apple cider hues gain control rather quickly. Musts and cores and all. It balances exactly between sweet and tart. A small lemon notion arises, and meets a congruent and agreeable sweet tea, with a small amount of tannic bitterness, that is bolstered by the peppery and sunbaked-leather yeast traits. A nut skin persona develops late coupled with a reappears of apples - still sweettart and now baked with brown sugar, then it is sheared off by a modest but slaking, reedy, wildflower and prairie grass hoppiness.
Well carbonated, but the opposite of coarse or rasping. The tiny beads give spark to the muscular body and a classic effervescence.
This is simply a very enjoyable Biere de Garde, and one of the finest Stateside versions I've come across.
The more I drink of it, the more I'm falling in love.

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Photo of alphagnome
4.16/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Incredibly clear, deep bronze body. Fluffy, bone white head hangs around for a minute before fading away to a simple ring around the glass. Light lacing and carbonation.

Piercing sweetness hits upfront, but there is plenty going on here! Toffee, toasted malts, brown sugar, raisins and other dark fruits. This one definitely pleases the nose!

The sweetness is present here too, but brings some light grassy hop bitterness with it to balance things out.. and I love it! Tart cherries, burnt biscuits, and plenty of malty goodness. That second one might seem weird (and it does) but it works here! Notes of figs and caramel sneak in every now and then. Light, burnt character on the finish with a bit of alcohol presence.

Plenty of bubbly and on the lighter side of medium bodied. Semi-sweet finish.

I have thoroughly enjoyed everything I have had from this small brewery located in Saint Paul, and Ovni Ale is no exception; it's great! Easy to drink, plenty of character, and refreshing. If you find yourself in Minnesota, do yourself a favor and seek this one (and any Flat Earth beer for that matter) out, you won't be disappointed!

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Photo of BigAl18
3.33/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of kenito799
3.97/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into a pint glass.

Clear reddish amber brew raises a small head and leaves no lacing.

No experience with bieres de garde...aroma is quite malty, some fruitiness. This fairly light-bodied beer has a pleasing midpalate of raosted apple fruitiness. This finish is crisp. Very fresh and light, goes down easy. Not very complex but a nice, well-made, drinkanble beer.

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Photo of russpowell
4.09/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this from, feloniousmonk, cheers Al!

Pours an effervescent copper/caramel with 2 finger of sand colored head. Above average head retention & lacing

S: Dirt & mushrooms & general funkyness & sourness

T: Raspberry tartness, a touch of vinegar & dryness up front. more tartness as this warms, hints of sour cherry, some green apple & grassyness. Finishes very tart with sour cherry & a general dirt taste

MF: Medium bodied with low carbonation & much tartness

Drinks pretty easy for the ABV & style has a lot of lambic/wild ale qualities to me. Wild ale freaks, rejoice!

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Photo of morimech
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours ruby brown with a nice off-white head that has good retention. Some sticky lacing is left on the glass. A Flat Earth beer that is not either completely flat or a gusher.

Aroma of musty malt, earthy and sweet. Fruit notes of cherries and raisens. Some noble hop aroma is also detected.

Big malt presence. Fruits with caramel and chocolate. Little if any hop flavor. Sweet from the start to finish.

Light body with robust carbonation. I hate to knock the carbonation because it has been so rare for me to get a bottle of Flat Earth beer that has any carbonation at all.

A very well done beer. Too sweet to drink more than one bottle and the ABV is a limiting factor as well.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.35/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A fantastic bottle to get as an extra, as I had never even heard of this one before. But since when does that fact stop me, right. Served cold, right out of my fridge, this twenty two ounce bottle was poured into a pint glass. Consumed on 11/06/2008.

The pour was very nice, rich amber in color with a good amount of haze and cloudiness to it. This gave away to some nice carbonation that could be seen coming in from the bottom of the glass, coming up into a head at the top that reached a height of around two inches before settling down into a small white pillow, that they crept up the sides of the glass.

The aroma was rich, some nice tart apple in there as well as a good dose of grains. Light fruit aromas are dancing around throughout here as well, really just lightening up the whole experience. As it warmed the tart and sour notes began to get even more pronounced. The flavor was just wonderful though. Rich, light, and crisp, this was a great representation of the style. Nice notes here of light fruit and grain as the palate opens up, midway though some nice bready malts and a touch of pear start to roll in, but then this quick hitting, apple vinegar like sourness just washing over the tongue and coming to a head after wiping the slate clean. Fantastic feel on this one, as the carbonation was simply top notch, never letting it have a dull moment at all.

Overall, I thought this was just great. One of the better examples of the style I have had. Rich, light, crisp, and with a very profound apple tart flavor. I would seek this one out again it was definitely worth it.

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Photo of bigbeers84
3/5  rDev -19.8%

Photo of Ragingbull
3.35/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The bottle has an UFO crashing into the Eifel Tower which is fun and interesting like many of the Flat Earth labels. The beer is a dark amber color with some reddish hues when held to the light. In "the shadows" it look like its a light brown and the taste is more consistent with a "light brown" in my mind's eye. Very active prickle that cuts through what started as thick head with the consistency of soap bubbles but dissipated quickly into a thin head like that on a soda pop. Mild malt nose. Heavy malt attack and a sweet but robust malt flavor. As the flavor clears from you mouth there are faint hints of chocolate and perhaps a little caramel. It isn't exactly aftertaste as the flavor dries from your mouth clean. The ending is a very pleasant surprise as what starts as a very heavy and robust beer lightens up to have a light mouthfeel upon finish. Strong grain presence is detectable after getting acquainted with the beer. About halfway through the beer I think I am picking up a very faint nut flavor as well. I am always excited for a new beer from a brewer I trust and I am not disappointed.

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Photo of CraigP83
3.34/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Brown but yet clear almost like tanic water in appearance. The taste was carmel with faint hops. Really thought it was just kind of bland.

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Photo of Stales
1/5  rDev -73.3%

Photo of ParnellJoseph1138
3.78/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The malt and hop combination provide an interesting and complex taste profile

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Photo of iRun2Beer
3.78/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of grub
3.58/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

group tasting at Derek's place. Derek contributed this one, so thanks!

22oz bottle. sampled aug 7/09.

pours deep red-brown with a small cap of tan head. the head drops fast and leaves spotty lace.

aroma is nice. earthy and woody. bit of leather. light plum and date. raisin. bit of caramel. rye bread. bit of grain. light alcohol.

taste is neat. light malt vinegar. bit of sourness. horse blanket and leather. bit of rye and grain. white bread. bit of cracker. light alcohol. orange and lemon. low bitterness level.

mouthfeel is good. light body. medium carbonation level.

drinkability is nice. a bit more sour than i'd expect from a biere de garde, but it's nice.

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Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +7%

Photo of kraticus41
2.25/5  rDev -39.8%

Photo of Derek
3.25/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Amber-brown with a light tan head, some retention & lacing.

S: Cider & brown sugar with a hint of spice & funk

T: This bottle has to be over a year old, and despite being refrigerated for most of that time, some vinegar flavour has come forward. The cider vinegar ruins this for me. Underlying dark fruit, caramel, modest bitterness.

M: Light to moderate body has an off-dry finish.

D: Perhaps I should have had this one younger.

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Photo of WallE89
4/5  rDev +7%

Photo of MattMorin
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of demcorhip
4.12/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed a bomber of this fine brew last night. A chestnut coloured ale, somewhat opaque. Was overly gentle on the pour, resulting in almost no head. A pale, tan collar formed on the pour. Mild yet persistent finely bubbled streams of carbonation present. Essentially no lacings.

Interesting in that i got a lot of rich malt aromas out of the nose of this one, hazelnuts, toffee, and some caramel. Earthy aromas as well as floral hops also present.

My nose completely missed the predominant flavour of this beer, a mildly tart apple funk that came to the front, with both sweet, aromatic, and tart qualities. Reminded me of a blend of golden delicious, and macintosh with a touch of granny smith. Then the malts showed up with nutty and toffee flavours, finishing in grassy and floral hops.

Almost medium bodied with a mild effervescence despite the mild level of carbonation. Tart and earthy with a touch of funk, and the rich yet muted malts as well as just the right amount of hops made for a very complex and interesting brew. Somewhat tea like, dry, but just a very mild astringency.

A very drinkable ale, almost dangerously so. The 7.1% abv is not at all apparent. I really enjoyed this complex yet oh so drinkable ale. While not overly familiar with the style, this was a very interesting, complex ale that was refreshingly easy to drink. It was a real treat, and is well worth seeking out for fans of some tart funk.

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Ovni Ale from Flat Earth Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.74 out of 5 with 54 ratings