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Beer – #232 – Sierra Nevada – Ovila Saison

I’m pleased to be able to drink this – a Sierra Nevada – Ovila Saison  with Mandarin Oranges and Peppercorns. Brewed by Sierra Nevada Brewing Company obviously in the style of a  Saison  and in a place that sounds like part of a group of bothers ChicoCalifornia USA

It’s cork and cage presentation, the interesting bottle shape, the dark label and of course it seeming;y weird concoction all called me.

Sierra Nevada - Ovila Saison

An homage to the monk’s noble work, this unique farmhouse ale is incredibly complex with notes of lemon, pepper, straw and herbs balanced by the tang of Mandarin oranges and a spicy kick of pepper. The Mandarin oranges used to make this beer were locally grown, including a portion grown on the grounds of the Abbey of New Clairvaux and picked by hand by the community of monks living there. We hope you enjoy this collaboration ale.

12.7fl oz,  or 375ml, of  a 7.5% ABV beer, making it 2.21 standard drinks in NZ (1.59 in the US)

 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 proceedsfrom 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.

It’s a bit wordy if nothing else.

Really fruity notes on opening, pours golden brown orange, little cloudy, thin head, aroma has more yeasts in it.

Little sourness, but an interesting mix of things. You’d expect the sourness of course, that’s one of the things. The fruits are trying hard to be made known, they hint and insinuate rather than standing up though. Very easy drinking this, and in the sun it’s making everything seem all a little more pleasing and relaxing.

Didn’t get anything like a fluffy head, nor any lacing, but I’m going to look all past that. If it was that I was limited to having a beer, just the one, this afternoon, this would be it.

The Sourness, the dried fruit aroma, the way the mandarin is giving it a good go, the nice caramel length means that it’s ticking a load of boxes. It’s nice for that.

Missing though is anything that you could confuse as peppercorns. I’m sure they do a thing.

So much so that the pdubyah-o-meter says easily a 8.5, making it almost a great beer to be drinking.  Sadly I only have the one, because this for it’s shortcomings is rather nice to have.


Fruity esters dominate the aroma. Clarity is good with a large foamy head on top. The addition of several spices and herbs create a complex fruity or citrusy flavor. Light to medium bodied with very high carbonation. Alcohol level is medium to high.


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