Review: Sierra Nevada’s Ovila Abbey Dubbel

In a magazine I used to read a great deal, I was surprised to see an advertisement for an Abbey style ale from the awesome brewery known as…Sierra Nevada? Yes, Sierra Nevada has thrown their hat in the ring of craft abbey ales.  What did I think?  Well, hit the jump to find out.

Appearance – This beer has a nice, resilient head, which leaves slight lacing. Gorgeous amber color, with a hazy, authentic cast to it. Light reluctantly highlights the rich, woody brown of this very pretty beer. (4)

Smell – Nice, cidery sourness is present in the nose. Slight caramel apple tang is present. Alcohol overtones. (4)

Taste: This is where this hopeful beer lets down slightly, and I do mean slightly. I expected more sweetness to this beer. Tangy, certainly…almost sour. Alcohol is present on the tongue, giving me pleasant tinglies. Some residual sweetness would have been welcome in this beer, though. (3.5)

Mouthfeel: Maybe the lack of body in this beer is because of the lack of unfermentable sugars, but it, also, is a slight letdown. Not because it isn’t good, mind you. It’s not bad at all. However, some more body would really have made this much more pleasant. (3)

Overall: This is a solid offering, which with Sierra Nevada’s distribution ought to be available in a lot more places than most abbey-style dubbels. I think this beer is pretty approachable for someone with an open mind to what beers could taste like. The sourness in the nose and taste might put some people off, but if someone is open to experiencing the world of fine ales, this beer could show them that there is a lot more to beer than IPA’s and Stouts. (3.5)

Still someone who loves Abbey Ales will find this beer somewhat wanting, I fear. I do, however, hope this is something we can see a lot more of from Sierra Nevada in the future.

~A.E.

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