I've always had a soft spot for Sierra Nevada Brewing. Their Pale Ale introduced me to hoppy beers many years ago and the first beer I ever brewed was a clone of that beer. Their Bigfoot is one of the best American Barleywines around and I always pick up a six pack when it comes out. Over the last year they've really upped their game. Last year it was the release of their special 30th anniversary beers. This year they've come out with a series of beers called Ovila Abbey Ales.
Ovila Abbey ales are a collaboration between Sierra Nevada and the monks at the Abbey of New Clairvaux. SN's goal is to brew beers based on monastic tradition, similar to many abbey ales in Belgium. While these aren't Trappist Ales (they aren't brewed at an abbey), they closely follow traditions set forth by them. A portion of the proceeds from each Ovila beer sold will go towards restoration projects at the abbey. Its very cool project by a great brewery and its one that I fully support. SN plans to brew a Saison (release in June) and a Quad (release in Nov), but the first release is their Dubbel.
The Beer: The beer weighs in at 7.5% and pours a chestnut brown with a thin taupe colored head. Malty, fruity, figs, caramelized sugars, yeast esters on the nose. Mouthfeel is full bodied with a creaminess to it. Fruity esters, caramel, brown sugar, figs, spices, cloves (from the yeast?), peppery. Very fruity a little bit on the sweet side, a little too sweet in my mind. Its not a bad beer, but the sweetness has nothing to balance it really. This one gets a B- from me. Worth picking up, but not sure I would pick it up again.