Saturday, September 7, 2013

Sierra Nevada Tumbler Autumn Brown Ale

A sweet bit of fall.  During the dog days of summer. 

Tumbler Autumn Brown Ale
Sierra Nevada Brewing Company
5.5% ABV, 37 IBUs

Tumbler is Sierra Nevada's delectable autumn seasonal offering.  It's not unlike the Marzens available now to celebrate Oktoberfest, though a bit sweeter. 

The beer builds in the glass with a rich brown hue. A significant amber ascent makes Tumbler the color of a Middle Eastern date.  

In the glass stein, there is a frothy head; moderately creamy with stable retention.  Color and suds make for an opaque cream soda-like appearance. 

The aroma dances gingerly from glass to nose and is thoroughly pleasing. Roasted malt dominates and, despite the sun and warmth outside, one is quickly reminded of chestnuts roasting over an open fire. 

The scent is excellent and may be the best aspect of an all-around good beer. 

Lacing remains throughout, but is spotty. 

Does Tumbler's taste match the remarkable smell that precedes it?

Well, initially, your reviewer's palate is met with a smack of caramel matched by an immediate carbonation pop.
Tumbler is quickly and obviously enjoyable, though a bit sweet. 

The featured aspect here is certainly the thin, pleasing caramel layer.  Just enough of a touch of chocolate is present to make Tumbler seem almost like a brown sugar porter, though lighter in body and with higher carbonation.  

As with the scent, the flavor profile also offers a nut characteristic; perhaps almond or cashew.  And, finally, the cacophony is rounded out by the additional sweetness of raisin. 

Though generally sweet, there is more to this beer.  West coast hops say, "Hello" in the aftertaste, where some bitterness lingers. 

The sweetness, though, is a bit excessive.  It is the type that is more cane-derived than honey-like.   And that sweetness knocks the balance moderately out of whack.  Though, these are marginal complaints. 

Besides, all of this was intended, as Sierra Nevada explains on their website, with the sugar detail due intentionally to Tumbler's specialty malts. 

So, the highlights: Tumbler's excellent aroma and elegant appearance. 

Also good: the flavor profile in general. 

Though sweeter than anticipated, truly nothing about this beer is "bad," and any negative that does exist is overshadowed by the positive, described above. 

Sierra Nevada brews better beers (namely, its best, Narwhal, in this writer's opinion).  But Tumbler is still very good. 
Overall, it's a 3.5 star beer (of five) and is recommended by


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