Thursday, June 23, 2011

Ovila Dubbel

Father's Day weekend always coincides with the US Open golf tournament.  I had a bottle of the Sierra Nevada Belgian-style collaboration beer, Ovila Dubbel, on Saturday night, and in the spirit of the weekend I am going to compare it to a golf shot.  Ovila Dubbel was like hitting a drive, but instead of hitting the ball square, you hit it fat, and while the ball goes straight and stays in play, it ends up about two-thirds or three-quarters of where you wanted it to land.  It's clearly a playable shot, a decent shot, you may even get a few "nice shots" from your playing partners, but not nearly as good an effort as you wanted or were expecting.  This sums up my impression of Ovila Dubbel, a fine beer, but one that came up short.

Ovila is a series of collaboration beers between Sierra Nevada and the Cistercian monks of Abbey of New Clairvaux, which is in Northern California, not Belgium.  The Dubbel was the first beer in the series and there is now a Saison on the market.  I am not sure what, if any, styles are planned after the Saison.  The Dubbel poured a dark brown with a solid layer of white foam that lingered.  My initial impression was that Ovila Dubbel was too malty.  It was a sweet beer, sweeter than I was expecting.  It had a pleasant Belgian yeast presence, some light spiciness, and a mild hop bitterness in the finish.  Ovila Dubbel was a dry beer, which worked in its favor.  The mouthful was somewhat thin, especially for such a sweet, malty beer.  The alcohol was a manageable 7.5%.  This beer was solid but not spectacular.  I was expecting more, and even as it warmed, its character did not improve.  Maybe it was too malty or too sweet, I don't know.  It was drinkable and enjoyable, don't get me wrong, just not a great beer.  Of course I'll need a second "shot" and I'll take my hack with Ovila Saison.

1 comment:

Jay said...

Couldn't agree with you more. I will say I had it on draft a week after having a bottle, and draft was considerably closer to my - and your - expectations. More like a birdie on the18th hole.