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RATINGS: 380   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.73/5   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 312   ABV: 10.4%
A collaboration between Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. and the monks at the Abbey of New Clairvaux, Ovila Abbey Quad brings the centuries-old monastery brewing tradition to America. Ovila Abbey Quad is rich and complex with layers of flavor including notes of intense dark fruits, and caramel-like maltiness. Rich and complex, this ale should be shared among friends in the true spirit of the season. A portion of the proceeds from this ale goes toward the restoration of the historic Santa Maria de Ovila 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 plans crumbled, these historic stones will rise again in a California Cistercian abbey.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
peteinSD (1439) - San Diego, California, USA - JAN 31, 2012
On tap. Clear dark brown with red hues and a tan slick of foam. Aroma is clove, raisin, plum, candied sugar, and caramel. Taste is sweet raisin, plum, miscellaneous dark fruit, candied sugar, noticeable alcohol through the back half, and a bit of lingering bite from the booze. Even, airy mouthfeel. Very sweet but enjoyable.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
davidajensen (206) - Nashville, Tennessee, USA - JAN 29, 2012
A nice quad. It pours dark with a thick and creamy tan colored head. The aroma is of fruit and oak. The mouthfeel is lighter than expected and it is an easy beer to drink. Good stuff.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
cards04 (2510) - Steinbach, Manitoba, CANADA - JAN 29, 2012
Pours the color of prune juice..with nice white head. Raisins and prunes on the palate with more of the same intense dark dried fruit on the palate. Some sweet caramel as well. Solid Belgian ale.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Silphium (3191) - East Lansing, Michigan, USA - JAN 29, 2012
Draft at Crunchy’s, East Lansing. Deep murky orange-red body, thick clumping puffy tan head. Nose of berries and berry skin, leathery, with some spice. Hot, prickly body with bubblegum, candy corn, and clove, leathery, tannic berries and dark fruits, and alcohol. Lots of sweet and tannic grape notes complemented by spice. Aggressive, sharp, and estery.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
KAggie97 (3529) - Ugly, Hot, and Humid Spring, Texas, USA - JAN 29, 2012
Bottle. Pours a deep, rich amber with a nose of berries, barn must, and hay. Flavor s old, old. Attic blanket with spilt berry jam bread. Thick on the tongue. Tasty.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
northropfrye (2973) - Steinbach, Manitoba, CANADA - JAN 28, 2012
UPDATED: JAN 29, 2012 Dark brown colour with off white head. Subtle sweet aroma, a bit boozy. Sweet dried fruit taste. Very good.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
FlacoAlto (4100) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - JAN 28, 2012
A solid pour into my Lost Abbey Teku glass produces a 3-finger thick, nicely amber tinged, dark tan colored head. The beer is concentrated amber color that shows a brilliantly clear, deep, ruby-red hue when held up to the light. The aroma smells of pears, prunes, raisins and dark, sweet, fruity brandy up front and it gets a touch more spicy towards the finish with more warming alcohol notes, touches of pepper and some definite clove aromatics. The rich fruit character is really what defines and dominates the nose here though. The malt character certainly contributes to the fruit aromatics, but it also provides softer notes of toasted malt / bread, hints of chocolate perhaps, a definite dark caramelized character and even a raisin like note that seems clearly malt.

The beer has only a soft’ish carbonation (but this is after smelling it for almost 10 minutes), but this nicely balances the rich, but not overwhelming body. The beer is not as sweet tasting as the fruit-focused aroma might have suggested; instead of being sticky with malt sweetness it really accentuates a deep fruitiness that reminds me of pears prunes, dried figs, raisins and perhaps even a touch of dates. The finish has a warm, spicy, alcohol laden kick to it that isn’t quite hot, but is definitely on the warming side of things. There is a sort of bitter / astringent character from the dark malt and/or dark sugar character here in the flavor & this mixes in with the higher alcohols, clove like phenols, and general spiciness from the fermentation character. There is a solid bread-like character here that contributes lots of caramelized grain notes, toasted brown bread character, brown sugar coated crust, an almost nut-like character, and just that rich, almost sweet-dessert like character one gets from deeply caramelized, perhaps molasses laden, dark breads. This beer reminds me of port, and even brandy (though not nearly so hot as that) in many ways with its ample fruitiness; it isn’t nearly as sweet as port is though, and I like that this has only a supporting sweetness to it such that it never seems overly heavy or cloying. The body is actually fairly light for a beer of this strength, it certainly has a viscous quality to it as it slides across the tongue, but it is more drinkable than is absolutely safe for a beer of this strength. When cold, and more carbonated more of the dark, concentrated sugar / dark-candi sugar like notes start to come out; it almost has a dark rum / more molasses character here and even almost has that sweet, buttery note that molasses and candi sugar can have to it.

The pear note seems to be the dominant fruit note in this beer, but the dark color and richness throws your senses off from recognizing this fact. The supporting dark bread, and touch of spice character really plays a key, supporting role in this beer. This is a solid Quad, one that I am quite happy to be drinking; it even seems to have a touch more complexity than young Westvleteren 12 does, but time will tell if this ages nearly so well.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
Rustyham (1821) - St. Petersburg, Florida, USA - JAN 28, 2012
Very peppery flavor at first, warm aerated feeling. Some raisins, mollases, but pretty light and thin. More flavor in the aftertaste than before.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
jar72404 (426) - USA - JAN 28, 2012
Bomber. Pours dark brown with white head that retains. Aroma is dark fruit and candied sugar. Flavor is dark fruit (raisins and figs?) and a little drier than expected. Very nice quad for an American brewery.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
jb (2701) - Rochester, New York, USA - JAN 28, 2012
I like the beer and the style, but this one didn’t seem to be top class. Still a very good beer. Sampled Bob’s beer, thanks Bob! I have another in my basement that I can now age. The usual dark fruit is big in the nose and palate. Sweet sugary nose. A little harsh and boozy, not as blended and subtle as some I’ve had.

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