Ovila® Abbey Ales are a series of Belgian-inspired beers brewed in collaboration with the monks at the Abbey of New Clairvaux in Vina, CA. An homage to the time-honored monastic brewing tradition, Ovila Abbey Ales combine the quality and craft of those dedicated artisans with a dose of American brewing innovation. Featuring ingredients grown by the monks on the grounds of the abbey, Ovila Abbey Ales are a fresh twist on the ancient brewing tradition. (Source: Sierra Nevada)
The first time Ovila Abbey Quad with Plums was available was late January, early February 2013, and the last time we were able to have it was May 2013- it sold out that quick! Surprisingly enough, we were able to find it again on the shelves on December 30, 2013! We were going to offer a BrewView on this beer on January 6th, however I was feeling under the weather and decided to postpone the BrewView until now. NOTE: We had a 2015 version of Ovila Quad on February 20, 2015… we’ll offer our tasting notes and overall impression along with the original BrewView text from 2014.
APPEARANCE / THE POUR:
10.2% ABV. Served at 51° F in a tulip shaped glass (with the Sierra Nevada logo on it!) Pours a very dense, thick, tightly bubbled tan colored head with a 2-finger height. Very slow rising meniscus. The color is very dark brown with some deep burgundy hues if you hold up the glass to the light. Around 5 minutes into the drinking time, Ovila Quad leaves behind very nice Brussels lacing. The beer does retain a nice ¼” dense head throughout consumption time.
2015 VERSION- Virtually the same appearance.
AROMA / BOUQUET:
Beautiful bouquet- Nutty, toasty, chestnuts. Dark baker’s chocolate, deep treacle toffee. Almost smoky. Deep heavy fruit, due the addition of the sugar plums in the beer. The hop aroma in this beer is very faint, in the background. This beer is all about malt aromas. The bouquet changes over the course of consumption. As the beer warms up a bit, the fruity character exudes more. The toasty notes become a bit deeper.
2015 VERSION- The aromas this time around were a bit different. They included the same components, however, the nutty bouquet was a bit gentler, with the overall mix blending into almost a Coca-Cola aroma.
The initial taste is toasted smoked malts, roasty, nutty, heavy dark baker’s chocolate. Think of roasted chestnuts. The sugar plum / raisin flavor is there, but the toastiness is first, with the fruit second, but not far behind. There is a nice Belgian yeastiness in the mix as well.
2015 VERSION- Many of the same flavors were present, however the nutty flavors were not as intense. The beer had a sweeter, sugary profile, with faint Coca-Cola notes.
MOUTHFEEL / PALATE:
The mouthfeel is very viscous, and envelops the entire mouth with its toastiness.
2015 VERSION- The mouthfeel was slightly different from the 2014 version. Slightly less viscous.
FOOD PAIRING SUGGESTIONS:
APPETIZERS: Rich blue veined or raw milk cheeses. Sharp cheddar, Port Salut. Boterhammen / Tartines, Charcuterie. ENTRÈES: Anything super-savory, smoked meats, smoked salmon. We would enjoy this with a well aged piece of ribeye steak, cooked medium rare. Boar, wild game. Carbonnades Flamandes. DESSERTS: Anything chocolate, pralines, crème brulee, speculoos, s’mores around a campfire!
This is our favorite beer being brewed by Sierra Nevada at the moment. This is brewed very true to style. There are sweeter Quadrupels out there and there are smokier, toastier Quadrupels. Ovila Quad of course, falls in the latter category. This is definitely a world class beer, seek this one out for sure. On Sierra Nevada’s website, the Ovila Quad is considered one of their “specialty” beers. At this point it looks to still be a seasonal release, so get it while you can!
2015 VERSION- This time around, the Ovila Quad is sweeter, embracing more of a “Belgian” flavor profile. It is still a very well made beer, and will not disappoint. As said before, get it while you can… cellar some and let the yeasts do their work. Try this version again in 1 year. We believe more chocolate and raisin flavors will develop. Cheers!
SIERRA NEVADA OVILA ABBEY QUAD WITH PLUMS: