Review of Sierra Nevada Ovila Dubbel

27 Oct
For today’s craft beer review I have a beer that I’m really excited about trying.  It’s the Sierra Nevada Ovila Abbey Dubbel crafted by the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company out of Chico, California.

I have seen this beer on the shelves numerous times, but for some reason I have never picked it up.  Well, I bought a bottle and all that’s left to do now is review it. 

First, let’s find the description from the website,

Ovila Abbey Dubbel is brewed in the abbey tradition, and perfect for the rebirth of spring.  Clear and deep copper in color, this Abbey Dubbel has a complex and rich malty sweetness with hints of caramelized sugar.  The aroma is a heady and layered mix of fruit and spice with hints of clove, raisin, and black pepper from the use of an abbey-style yeast.  Released late March 2011.

How ’bout a pour???

The beer has an ABV of 7.5% and it comes in a stunning 25.4 oz. bottle.

It poured a murky brown to burgundy color.  A light tan head was formed from a relatively easy pour.  The crown was small, tight, smooth and creamy looking, but it had quite a bit of fizz as it started to settle.  The retention time was not great, however the lacing looked worthy.  After a few minutes the cap was gone and it left only a scant film on top for a bit, yet after a few more minutes it was gone too. 

The first thing I noticed about the smell were the cloves followed by a nice yeasty backbone.  Dark fruits and baked breads were there and accompanied by peppery spice.  It was not quite as rich, robust or complex as I was anticipating, but it was still pleasant, balanced and nice. 

The taste seemed a bit heavier on the spice of pepper and cloves than did the aroma.  I got a slight taste of alcohol also.  Dark fruits of figs, raisins and plums brought out a genuine sweetness.  A very good, sturdy toasted bread and yeasty component gave it a substantially “rounded” flavor.  I also noticed a touch of brown sugar along with an almond type of savor.  After the brew warmed considerably, I began to recognize the most faint touch of over ripened banana.  Not bad….. it tasted pretty good I thought. 

The mouthfeel was a sturdy medium.  Chewy, smooth, creamy and dry.  A little bit of alcohol warmth was felt at the back of the throat, however the flavor didn’t seem to stick around on the palate as long as I would have liked.

Overall, I thought this was a pretty solid beer.  It’s not quite a “world class” beer in my opinion, however it has some good qualities.  It tastes nice and the ease of drinkability is to be commended.  I think it’s worth a try if you happen to see a bottle.  It has many of the proper characteristics that would define a traditional Abbey Dubbel.  I didn’t think the Ovila was near as rich and robust as some of the Belgian versions, but there is still plenty to be excited about with this one. 

Be sure to let me know what you thought of it if you have tried it.

Thanks for reading and commenting.  I enjoy all of the feedback and opinions.  Until next time. 


Score:  3.7 out of 5
Grade:  B

Leave a comment

Posted by on October 27, 2011 in Country: USA, Sierra Nevada


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: