Review of Sierra Nevada Ovila Saison

13 May
Hi guys.  For today’s craft beer review I’m going to be trying the Sierra Nevada Ovila Saison produced by the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company located in Chico, California.

I’ve tried and reviewed both the Ovila Dubbel and the Ovila Quad, but have yet to give this one a go.  I’m a big fan of Saison/Farmhouse styled Ales, so I’m really looking forward to trying this.  

Let’s get to the website,, to get the commercial description of this brew.

A collaboration between Sierra Nevada Brewing Co and the monks at the Abbey of New Clairvaux, Ovila Abbey Saison brings the centuries-old monastery brewing tradition to America. Ovila Abbey Saison is complex and contemplative-but also refreshingly dry and drinkable. With earthy and spicy aromas, this rustic Saison has note of green grass and a faint citrus tang. The body is light and layered with fruit and spice accents and a dry, peppery finish. A portion of the proceeds from this ale go toward the restoration of the historic Santa Maria de Oliva chapter house on the grounds of the Abbey of New Clairvaux. This medieval building stood for nearly eight centuries in Spain. William Randolph Hearst purchased the monastery in 1931 and planned to use the stones for a castle even grander than his famous San Simeon. Although Hearst’s plan crumbled, these historic stones will rise again in a California Cistercian abbey.

Time for a sip.

This beverage comes in a 25.4 oz. bottle and it has an ABV of 7.0%.

It poured a hazy orange to deep pineapple juice color.  It formed a white head of good size that was smooth and soft, but a touch soapy and fizzy.  The retention time seemed to be above average, however the lacing left a bit to be desired.  It was thin and didn’t stick around all that long.  Oh well.

It presented a delicate but honorable nose of lemon citrus, grassy hops, light sourness and light floral notes.  The funkiness that I was so looking forward to was very, very restrained and modest.  Some peppery spices added a tickle to the nostrils and some sufficient amounts of bread came forth more as it warmed.  Plus it helped pull some of the sweetness off the top.  Overall, it was balanced fairly well and pleasing, although not extremely strong.

The taste let loose with some befittingly tart lemon citrus.  The peppery spice added some bite while the sourness and funk were kept to a minimum.  Through the middle it began to get very grassy, bready, wheaty and biscuity, which I liked very well.  Like the aroma, the taste had a nice floral component.  No mustiness to speak of in all honesty.  Quite fresh and lively.  I found that the bitterness was easily managed and slight also.

The mouthfeel was medium to medium/thin bodied.  Smooth, but spritzy.  Dry, snappy and refreshing.  A very lively carbonation and a suitable amount of flavor was left behind on the palate after the sip as well.

Well, I think this is an ok Saison.  Although, I do think it’s probably more of an introductory Saison to tell the truth.  It just doesn’t quite have that “lip puckering/nostril flaring/eye squinting” characteristic that a lot of the others out there possess.  I still liked it fairly well though.  It was a super easy drink and I think it would be perfect for the Spring and Summer season.  If you see it, pick up a bottle and give it a try.  Not to mention that some of the proceeds go to a good cause.  Be sure to let me know what you think of it if you try or have tried it.

Thanks for reading and commenting everyone.  I really appreciate it.

Until next time.  Cheers.

Score:  3.7 out of 5
Grade:  B        


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