Review of Sierra Nevada Tumbler

20 Sep
Hello guys.  Today, I thought I would try to review a “seasonal” beer considering that Fall is right around the corner and all the Pumping and Oktoberfest beers are starting to hit the shelves.

The beer I have chosen today is actually neither a Pumpkin nor Oktoberfest, but rather a Brown Ale produced by the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company located in Chico, California called the Tumbler.

The Tumbler is Sierra Nevada’s Fall Seasonal, so I think it still fits the mood.

Here’s the description from the website,     

As the nights grow cool, the leaves on the valley oaks begin to turn and fall.  In honor of this yearly dance, we bring you Tumbler Autumn Brown Ale and invite you to enjoy the show. 

We use malt within days of roasting at the peak of its flavor to give Tumbler a gracefully smooth malt character.  So pour a glass, and grab a window seat to watch as the leaves come tumbling down.

Wow.  If that description doesn’t get you in the mood for cooler weather, I don’t know what will.

The Tumbler comes in a 12 oz. bottle and has a modest 5.5% ABV.

This beer poured a clear, deep, mahogany/brown color with some cherry and ruby highlights throughout.  The collar was light tan, creamy, fluffy and soft.  It was very nicely sized and held great retention, however I found the lacing to be lacking just a bit.  It still looked rather nice though.

The aroma started with an expected roasty, toasty malt and nuttiness.  Something akin to walnuts and almonds.  Minor touches of chocolate were found along with slight hints of coffee and some “earthy” hops.  I even found it to have a touch of “smoke.”  I noticed that it had a remarkable aroma similar to chicory that is found in Dogfish Head’s Chicory Stout.  Nice.

The taste began with a very toasty, nutty (walnut) flavor with only a mild touch of bitterness.  I noticed a burnt toast flavor also, which sets the mood even further.  Notes of chocolate and coffee seemed even more reduced in the flavor, however they were still noticed.  The sweetness was kept to a minimum I thought, but that’s ok because I like the heavy malt aspects the most when concerning Brown Ales.  I, personally, do not want to be distracted by too much sweetness (except for brown sugar).  This taste, like the aroma, was solid to the core and very good.

The mouthfeel was medium, dry, chalky and smooth at first, however after it warmed a bit, the dryness subsided.  It never became watery by any means, but I was expecting a very dry finish and I never received it.  Plenty of flavor was left behind though and it still made for a solid mouthfeel.

Overall, Sierra Nevada has made a very sturdy, respectable and proper Brown Ale.  Really, would we expect anything less????  I haven’t had this since last Fall and it’s exactly how I remembered it.  An enjoyable drinking experience with enough complexity to satisfy most any craft beer drinker.  It’s very sessionable and worth a try if you happen across it.  I’m sure I will pick this up again as the season gets to rolling.  Is it the best Brown Ale on the market?  No, but it’s a great place to start if you want a great representation.  Like I said before, this beer sets the table for what’s to come with the Pumpkins and Oktoberfests.  Let the season begin!!!!

Have you guys had the Tumbler?  What did you think of it?

Thanks for reading everyone!!!!


Score:  3.95 out of 5
Grade:  B+ 

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Posted by on September 20, 2011 in Country: USA, Sierra Nevada


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