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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Sierra Nevada Ovila Quad Belgian Ale

Sierra Nevada Ovila Quad, the last published ale offering from the Ovila collaboration between Sierra Nevada and the Abbey of New Clairvaux, a Belgian Quad-style Ale, poured a dark, deep brown topped with a vigorous, foamy tan head fed by rapid carbonation trails.  The nose carried prominent Belgian funk, with dark fruits, dark candi sugar, a a mint and pepper bite layered beneath.

Sierra Nevada Ovila Quad opened with a surprisingly big pepper and mint bite that mellowed into a menthol coldness that coated the mouth.  Although the menthol sensation lingered throughout the tasting, sweet candi sugar, tobacco, and burnt sugar all made appearances before the ale mellowed off the a biting, menthol finish. It should be noted that many of the less desirable (or at least more distracting) aspects of the ale lessened as the ale warmed to closer to room temperature.

Sierra Nevada Ovila Quad is not for the weak of heart, and was certainly one of the more challenging ales they have offered.  While the uniqueness of the ale is worth checking out, the price and strange melange of flavors make it a difficult one to recommend.  I'll likely buy another bottle and put it away for 6-12 months to see what it mellows into, as it seems very young at this point.

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