erway (1004) - Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA - DEC 8, 2011
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
First off, let me say that Sierra Nevada is one of my all- time favorite breweries. They know what they are and are doing the best job of doing it. Ovila was certainly a journey away from their comfort zone. I was struck by the quality of the first two. Both were spot on. Well made, but missing something.
This beer pours a deep garnet brown with a moderate head and fair lacing. The aroma is big Iso-AA. Some bubblegum, 4 VG is well balanced/not overstated, but somehow comes across as smokey. Touches of anise and raisins, but I donít get the raisins as much as some reviewers.
The flavor is fairly dry but not overly so. CO2 is low for style; an issue with all in the series. The banana is really bothering me in the mouth. Just too much. If you cloudied this up, you could serve it and believe that it was some form of Weizenbock. Like I said too much. Nice spice and very well hidden alcohol. Very well hidden.
The finish is exceptionally well balanced, almost too well balanced. I expect some sweet figgyness, but I am not getting that here.
The mouthfeel is thin for what I would like. My minds-mouth wants dessert. This is not delivering. Really reminds me of Chimay Bleu. Good? Sure, but not perfect and not compelling. Well made? Flawless, and with the right intention, but not...compelling.
So much of what makes this style wonderful are those intangible perfections. The two that come to mind are easy; Westvleterenís unbelievably cookie-like nose, Rochefortís head retention (legendary) and the incredible marshmallowy mouthfeel.
This is what I would brew and be proud of it. Sure itís nice. Itís well brewed and does not deviate far from the style. It lacks the intangibles that I am looking for. I can give you some of the technicals that I am talking about, but I canít say how to do better and I know I could not. There is something heavenly that is pervasive with the examples of the style that outshine this. There is, and it sucks to not be able to put my finger on it.
EithCubes (4567) - New Jersey, USA - MAR 5, 2014
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
750mL, corked and caged, 333th rating for this brew. Nose sweetly malty and lightly yeasty, just tons of stone fruit, swirling eddies of heavy plum with lighter peach, over sturdy base toffee and red berry, even some faint earth and smoke. Pours deep dark brown, almost black, with some ruby before the volume accumulates, and a creamy pale tan head. Taste is sweet with light tang, heavy berry, strong but seductive and pleasantly soft warmth in the throat and chest, heavy plum, faint earth and toffee, with a nice yeasty resolution. Itís obviously very big but the alcohol is handled masterfully here, and the big picture is clean, fresh, and well-executed. Very low bitterness, but the subtle hop spices emerge in the mid-body and maintain their grip. Soft vanilla and wheat character, medium but appreciable ester and phenol development, smooth medium-full body. There will inevitably be some sniping from the peanut gallery about supposed American boorishness here, but I canít come close to agreeing; this is clearly the stroke of a master, and one to hold up against more established examples (though Iíd gladly take a dash more Special B per bottle!).
GTAEgeek (1022) - Atlanta, Georgia, USA - MAR 4, 2014
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle from Ale Yeah! Pours black, with a small, beige head. Aromas of dates, chocolate, cinnamon, cloves, and toffee. Very sweet, with a lot of savory spices. Heavy body, sticky, and slightly warming. Overall, this is a pretty good attempt at an American Quad, but still lacking the complexity and balance Iíd expect.
crossovert (6088) - Illinois, USA - MAR 2, 2014
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Draft. Spices and dark fruits in the flavor and aroma. A decently mqde american qquad.
BrettTaylor (363) - Radford, Virginia, USA - FEB 28, 2014
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Poured as a taster at local shop. Pours a rich clear brown with reddish hints and very little head. Aroma - grape, raisin, toffee, and subtle alcohol. Taste is a bit boozy, brown sugar, cherry, vanilla, and malt. It is thick and oily on the palate and has a nice long lasting finish.
shrubber85 (6792) - Greenville, Indiana, USA - FEB 23, 2014
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Draft. Wood, alcohol, and cherry-raisin malt aroma. Chestnut with small head. Sweet woody cherry cola and toffee malt flavor. Mild alcohol finish. Body a bit light. Pleasant.
ajnepple (1437) - Clear Creek, Colorado, USA - FEB 20, 2014
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
On tap at Freshcraft. Dark brown appearance with a tan head. Aroma of fruity esters, sweet malts, yeast, candi sugar and light earthy hops. Similar flavor, adding caramel and notes of clove, banana, and light spices. Rich and complex.
badgerben (4354) - Blaine, Minnesota, USA - FEB 20, 2014
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Deep red color with a small head. Prune and raisin aroma, with a bit of banana. Malty flavor. A bit metallic. Very boozy. Some fruit character, maybe banana.
catface5326 (118) - virginia beach, Virginia, USA - FEB 20, 2014
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Great beer. Drank from a bottle. Full bodied and great quad taste. Highly recommended
jayzz (133) - Illinois, USA - FEB 12, 2014
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Sweet brown sugar aroma with a whiff of stiff whiskey and a dark amber color. Has a sweet whiskey flavor and long burn finish.
Bebum (189) - - JAN 31, 2014
3.4 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Deep copper, good lacing.
Full body, intense and lasting flavor.
Sweet with a hint of bitterness, strong alcohol burn,
Fruity, raisins, like drinking barley wine with vodka or port.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone