Madrid (9) - - JUN 30, 2017 does not count 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 don’t 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; Westvleteren’s unbelievably cookie-like nose, Rochefort’s head retention (legendary) and the incredible marshmallowy mouthfeel.
This is what I would brew and be proud of it. Sure it’s nice. It’s 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 can’t 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.
Jkjsjjdjduduejeiejejejrjrjeifirifirirififififififi via Beer Buddy for iPhone kyzr (1596) - Montana, USA - MAY 15, 2017
Dark brown pour with small off white head. Big nose of dried fruit, alcohol and chocolate. Flavor of plum, pruin with a touch of chocolate and roast malt. Warm chunk of alcohol on the finish. thedm (6319) - Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA - OCT 13, 2016
This draft brew from a restaurant poured a small sized head of foamy finely sized tan colored bubbles that were long lasting and left behind a softly carbonated opaque except at the edges dark ruby red brown colored body and a fair lacing. The mild aroma was hoppy dough and dark malt. The mouth feel was weakly tingly at the start and at the finish fruity aftertaste. The odd tasting vinous flavor contained notes of a fruityd ark malt. A decent one but not one that I would consider drinking again. I was not sure how much of it I could continue drinking. Sammy (12760) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - MAY 31, 2016
The original. SN as in many of its beersw makes championship quality even though bigger batch. Bang on the style, its like a good drinking wine,with a nice sweetness and smooth mouthfeel.A natural brown-winish colour. Dervock (1445) - AUSTRALIA - APR 29, 2016
Bottle - dark pour with a reddish twinge. Aroma is sweet lots of dried fruit and sugar, bit of malt in there too. Taste is sweet up front then a transition into a dry bittersweet finish, fruit and roast malt come through.
JohnGalt1 (1721) - Boise, Idaho, USA - APR 27, 2016
Decent pour tonight at FD for $6... okay price.. decent tan head... okay lacing as the walnut colored brew drops.
Nose is complex, but not as much so as some of the best continental bottles, but still nicely done... dark toast crusts and raisins... fig and maybe a little pepper and light clove.
Big maltiness... dark toast... brown sugar essence... dried cherry and a bit of fig...
medium body with quite a bit carbonation.. perhaps a bit too much for given the body...
Gets significantly better with warmth.... seems to bloom and jump out of the glass much more as it approaches room temperature. oldrtybastrd (5228) - Fort Walton Beach, Florida, USA - APR 19, 2016
Pours a dark mahogany brown with fluffy head. Aromas of dark fruit, malts, and some woody notes. Flavors of dark malts and fruits, fig, and some tobacco notes. JPDIPSO (6286) - Wauwatosa, USA - MAR 14, 2016
Dark brown with a hint of ruby when held to the light. Quicker diminishing beige head. Dark malt and fruit aromas along with some pipe tobacco. Sweet flavors, with some berries, bananas and toasted wheat. Alcohol id quite hidden. Quite dangerous, but not that appealing to make one go to wild. 11/11
DeliriumT (542) - Brisbane, AUSTRALIA - FEB 28, 2016
Pours black with soft pillowy head. Aroma of brown sugar, plums, dates and figs. Flavour is sweet and complex. Rich dark fruits dominate with a whack of dates and raisins. Lovely beer!
---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone stepthom (8) - Charleston, West Virginia, USA - JAN 23, 2016 does not count
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.