May 27, 2011

Sierra Nevada Ovila Dubbel

Any news to do with Sierra Nevada and/or Belgian beer are always going to peak my interest, so when I got wind of their collaborative brew with Abbey of New Clairvaux (out of Vina, CA) I was pretty darn excited. I was never able to track down the brewery’s 30th Anniversary Grand Cru, so this was my first opportunity to try out a Belgian-inspired beer from the company.

So far, it’s not a bad start.


Ovila pours a dark brown in color with a mahogany edge. The off-white head faded slowly to a patchy film across the surface.


It smells pretty darn good, though rather mild and tame, as elements of caramel, dark fruits (raisin and fig), spices and a very light Belgian yeast presence come together.


Firstly, let’s just stat that this is a tasty brew, but overall the flavors are all rather subdued. The beer starts off with a toasted malt component that brings a light sweetness and caramel character to the beer as herbal spices and dark fruit join in the fun. There really isn’t too much of a Belgian yeast note throughout, though you do get a subtle hint of it toward the relatively dry finish. At 7.5% ABV, the alcohol isn’t dominating, but it does make its presence known as the beer warms.


Ovila isn’t a bad brew. It’s tasty and easy to drink, but could stand to be a little more pronounced in its flavor profile. Everything seems a bit toned down overall. Maybe a little time in the basement would even things out some? I guess I’ll just have to get another bottle and set it aside for a bit to find out.

Rating: 3.5/5

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