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RATINGS: 406   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.57   SEASONAL: Summer   EST. CALORIES: 210   ABV: 7%
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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.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
flatmatt (1129) - Northville, Michigan, USA - AUG 23, 2011
750 mL bottle. Pours a lightly hazed golden with a white head. Apple aroma leading into bubble gum and clove yeastiness, banana and hints of brett. Bubble gum, spices, and cloves with biscuit and apples in the flavor, herbal hoppy hints, again a dry brett note. Great saison here.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
savnac (2391) - Anchorage, Alaska, USA - AUG 22, 2011
750ml bottle. Slightly hazy light amber with a thick, foamy off white head. Aroma of spicy Belgian yeast esters, hay, musty earth and light toast. Flavor is smooth rich malt with a light sour bite and subtle hop bitterness. Medium to light body with average carbonation and a tart, spicy finish. Really nice beer, the malt, yeast and hops all blend well together.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
FlacoAlto (3810) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - AUG 22, 2011
A steady pour into my large Tripel karmeliet tulip produces a four finger thick, pale tan colored head; this leaves lots of thick lacing on the sides of my glass as it slowly subsides. The beer is an amber hue that shows a mostly clear, deep orange tinged, rich gold hue when held up to the light. As I pour this beer a strong note of ripe pears with a touch of apples is noticeable. This is amplified with a more focused look at the aroma, but this is backed by a touch of spiciness and a mustiness that is a bit stronger towards the finish. Aromatic specifics remind me of musty white pepper, perhaps a hint of woody ginger, ; A deep inspection of the nose makes noticeable a grainy, toasted cracker note as well as a some dried grass notes. This really has an earthy, musty note that makes me think of a damp cellar, though for some reason not a dark one, but rather one that has some nice a sunlight coming into it.

Sweet and fruity tasting, a spicy, earthiness tries to balance this towards the finish, but the finish remains dominated by the bright, pear and floral apple fruitiness. There is a dried hay grain character as well a toothsome, wholesome sweet pale malt note. The finish has a phenolic spiciness that is mostly clove, but also has a warmth to it somehow that reminds me of woody white pepper and spicy ginger. While the fruitiness is certainly the most noticeable character here, it is pretty well balanced by the musty earthiness and the spiciness that is here. The body has a certain fullness to, it is not overly heavy, but it does have certain viscous character to it that sees it sticking to the palate for a bit before finally being washed clean by the lingering fruitiness and spiciness.

I prefer a Saison that is quite a bit drier and I would prefer that the spiciness and / or a bright hoppiness was the dominant character, as opposed to the fruitiness. Still this is a pretty tasty beer that I am quite happy to be drinking and would definitely have again.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Beerman6686 (4423) - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA - AUG 22, 2011
This poured a cloudy darker yellow color with a white head. Aroma was lots of spices, yeast and some lemon and citrus fruit. Flavor was also very spicey and fairly dry, a bit sweet, and light yeast and fruit on the back. Decent but nothing special.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
That1Guy (1941) - Greeley, Colorado, USA - AUG 21, 2011
Pours a hazy orange with a sticky white head. Spicy, grassy, earthy nose and flavor with a nice lemon citrus finish. Very light and refreshing and tasty. A nice beer.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Kinz (3307) - Glen Allen, Virginia, USA - AUG 21, 2011
Deep gold, light haze, nice head fades. Aroma is very dusty peppery. Flavor is lightly sweet malts and a good dose of dusty hops, moving into a balanced, dry finish. A bit more on the "dusty" side than I like, but still a nice beer. Very happy with this new line of offerings from SN.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
sherm1016 (1158) - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA - AUG 20, 2011
750ml bottle. Pours a golden amber color with a white head. Aroma is yeasty, bread. Medium on the palate with average carbonation. Flavor is sweet, a lttle malty, yeast.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
smith4498 (3038) - Miami, Florida, USA - AUG 20, 2011
Pours cloudy dark golden color with big white head. Peppery and spicy aroma with lots of doughy yeast. Sweet fruity flavor with some spiciness, citrus and bready yeast. Slightly hoppy with some earthiness. Medium body with lively carbonation and a slightly dry finish.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Heathen (1500) - Wilmington, Delaware, USA - AUG 20, 2011
THOUGHTS: Nice and refreshing after a hard day working in the vegetable garden. Would go nice with some very sharp cheddar. Very nice. Could easily pass for Belgian. TECHNICAL: Bottle. Poured a slightly hazy, light, golden-orange with beautiful carbonation that kept adding to the head from the bottom at about the seem rate the head was dissolving at the top. Said head was average, creamy and off-white. It mostly lasted and left good lacing. The aroma had moderate light-colored bread and candy; light to moderate grassy hops; moderate to heavy doughy, spicy and slightly funky yeast; pepper and fruity citrus. The initial flavor was light to moderately sweet, moderately acidic and slightly bitter; while the finish was moderate to heavily acidic, moderately bitter and lightly sweet with and average to long duration. There was pale malt, a little caramel, hints of candy, fruit, citrus notes, doughy and spicy yeast, a little pepper, grassy and citric hops and just a lot of yeast. The light to medium body was dry and fizzy with a light to moderately astringent and ever so slighty alcoholic finish.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
MrBunn (2461) - The Wet Side of a Dry Town, Pennsylvania, USA - AUG 19, 2011
UPDATED: AUG 28, 2011 Bottle. Pours a deep gold with a big fizzy head that dies to a film in short order. Aromas are saison-y... a spicy edge (pepper, lemongrass, etc.), oranges, honey. Flavor is about the same... but this is not my style of saison. The sour is understated and the malt is kinda heavy and syrupy and the funk is underdeveloped.

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