Brewery: Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Chico, California
Beer: Ovila Saison
Serving: 750 ml cork and caged bottle
Information: 7% ABV
Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale
Availability: Limited Release
Lightly hazed, this saison is a brilliant golden yellow in color and is crowned by a dense off-white foam. Great retention despite the lack of carbonation – surprising from the easy and loud cork pop. Wispy lace sticks to the glass effortlessly.
Earthy Belgian yeast erupts into the air with a delicate pungency so common to the classic saisons. Subtle citrus notes follow up with a blend of more yeast characteristics; wet clay, white pepper, and a drop of exotic fruit I can’t put my finger on.
The spice characteristics of the nose carry through to the flavor well. The light citrus burst is a bit more noticeable, signalling some nice hop character. Unfortunately the yeast qualities are offset by a lingering minerally, slightly metallic finish, mainly felt in the feel.
The faintly tinny finish in the feel really detracts from the otherwise fantastic beer that’s going on here. The soft, medium-light body is delectable; complimented by a low level of carbonation. Alcohol content in this beer remains unseen on any level. Very well-balanced and slightly dry.
Delicious despite minor faults, Sierra Nevada’s Ovila Saison showcases a superb use of Belgian yeast, especially in balance. It’s hard to keep from over or under use of the yeast, but this brew does a fantastic job. Dangerously drinkable at 7% ABV, the earthy qualities of this saison would lend the beer to be a great late summer, early fall brew to sip on a lazy Saturday afternoon.
Score: 82 / 100 – Very Good