Ovila® Abbey Saison with Mandarin Oranges and Peppercorns – Sierra Nevada Brewing Company

Limited Collaboration

This Ale was created in Collaboration with Sierra Nevada Brewing Company and the Trappist-Cistercian Monks at Abbey of New Clairvaux both in California.  The brewery is located in Chico while the abbey is located in Vina.  The monks may be trappist Monks but this is not an official Trappist beer but an Abby Ale.  The “Ovila® Abbey Saison with Mandarin Oranges and Peppercorns” is what has been born out of this collaboration.  This interesting saison pours an amber/orange with a quickly dissipating off white head.  The aroma consists of peppercorn, mandarin oranges, lemon, yeast and wheat.  The flavour is of lemon, mandarin oranges, peppercorn, yeast, wheat and some hops bitterness at the finish.  This body has a very nice mouth feel and body.  The alcohol content comes in at a respectable 7.5% alcohol and IBU of 24.  This is a highly tasty beer and I really hope that the monks start to look into becoming an official Trappist brewery to shine a light on this very special project they have with Sierra Nevada Brewing Company.

Commercial Description:  An homage to the monks’ noble work, this unique farmhouse ale is incredibly complex with notes of lemon, pepper, straw and herbs balanced by the tang of Mandarin oranges and a spicy kick of pepper. The Mandarin oranges used to make this beer were locally grown, including a portion grown on the grounds of the Abbey of New Clairvaux and picked by hand by the community of monks living there. We hope you enjoy this collaboration ale.

Food Pairing as per the Sierra Nevada Brewing:  Curried dishes, poultry, fish, shellfish, Camembert, Parmesan, Gorgonzola, orange sorbet, crepes.


Westvleteren XII – Brouwerij Westvleteren

The “Westvleteren XII” trappist beer is brewed at the Brouwerij Westvleteren brewery in the The abbey of Saint Sixtus of Westvleteren in Belgium.  This beer is often rated as one of the best beer in the world including a perfect 100 score on both ratebeer.com and beeradvocate.com.  As a rule this beer is only available at the Monestary in Belgium and is sold under strict guidelines including that you may not resell the beer or buy more than a certain amount per month.  Due to a very expensive renovation though people from around the world have been able to get their hands on this very special limited edition 6 pack box set that includes 2 gold-rimmed branded glasses.  This is a very limited release that cost anywhere from $67 to $90 in both Canada and the United States.  The beer pours a brown colour with an off white head.  The aroma of this beer is full off all kinds of fruit including apples and figs among all types as well as a distinctly Belgian yeast strain.  The flavour of this trappist brew is not as full as the aroma but consists of lots of dark fruits as well as apple, Belgian yeast and some alcohol.  This beer is both sweet and tart at the same time which is quite interesting.  I would not say this is at the top of the list for beers I like to drink but it is very nice.  The scarcity of this beer does make it that much more interesting to drink though.  I will cellar some of the bottles of this set for sure and see how it ages.  The alcohol content of this brew is 10.2%.  These Monks sure know how to brew beer!