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.
stepthom (7) - Charleston, West Virginia, USA - JAN 23, 2016 does not count
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
On tap at growler bar. Black with a tan head. Sweet malt nose. Roasted malt caramel flavor. Strong notes of dried fruit, raisin or prune. Sweet overall. Not to boozy for the high ABV.
hockey9930 (216) - - DEC 27, 2015
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Black with frothy long lasting one finger tan head. Strong roasted malt aroma with a little coffee and earthiness. Powerful dark roasted flavor with strong alcohol. Has a somewhat of a Bourbon barrel flavor with dark fruits such prunes and raisins. A heavy palette; a bit thick and oily. Really enjoyable. I will get this again.
mike5326 (1399) - virginia beach, Virginia, USA - NOV 1, 2015
3.2 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Poured from a bottle. Dark brown color, small off white head. Sweet malt aroma. Medium body with a sweet malt flavor and a medium finish.
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone
Luvystypotables (1294) - Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA - OCT 31, 2015
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 12/20
Aroma of plums and fruit, dark brown color with a thin tan head. Medium body with a taste of fruit and a hint of malt.
Emeister84 (1804) - Charlottesville, Virginia, USA - JUN 16, 2015
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Aromas of raisins, dried cherries, figs. Dark red-black with a somewhat lasting beige head. Fruity, somewhat sweet, some booze. Full bodied.
wlajwl (5056) - Quad Cities, Iowa, USA - JUN 5, 2015
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Aroma is toasted malts, caramel and dark malts. The flavor is dark fruit/plums, dark malts and a mix of sour and Belgian yeast in the finish.
hbchrist (76) - North Carolina, USA - MAY 29, 2015
2.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 2/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 14/20
I had this into at the brewery in north Carolina. It was way too sweet for me, and I really like malty beers.
chucklemation (1035) - Royal Oak, Michigan, USA - APR 29, 2015
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Pours a dark mahogany with no foam head. Aroma is dark fruits and caramel. Flavor is dark fruits, caramel, and booze. A bit too boozy for my tastes, but still pretty enjoyable.
drdisque (699) - Illinois, USA - APR 5, 2015
3.7 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
On tap at Fiddlerís hearth. Rich very fruity. Nice malt balance. Prune and caramel flavors. Good but lacking some in overall tastiness/"it" factor.
fiulijn (17458) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - MAR 31, 2015
2.6 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 10/20
Bottle, corked and caged, from Happyís Market, Ellensburg, WA
Cloudy darker shade of blond with small compact head. The aroma presents some bubblegum, banana, vegetables; and Iím not in the mood to forgive this un-Belgian idea. Smooth mouthfeel; indiscernible malt flavor, with little residual sweetness, vegetables, phenol, some spicy yeast, and topped with a hint of alcohol.