Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...
Dismiss Notice
Join The Buzz! Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest BeerAdvocate updates delivered to your inbox.

Sierra Nevada Tumbler Autumn Brown Ale - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada Tumbler Autumn Brown AleSierra Nevada Tumbler Autumn Brown Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

1,067 Reviews
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,067
Hads: 3,150
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 9.92%
Wants: 81
Gots: 237 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Brown Ale |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Mebuzzard on 07-25-2010

Tumbler is our take on the classic brown ale – full of roasted malt flavor but delicate on the palate and perfect for crisp fall days. Layered with notes of chocolate and toasted bread and a hint of smoke, Tumbler is the ultimate autumn beer, so grab a seat and watch as the leaves come tumbling down.

2014 - Available in Fall Variety Pack (no longer available standalone)
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sierra Nevada Tumbler Autumn Brown Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,067 | Hads: 3,150
Photo of bobhits
3/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

n. a very impressive toast finish, the first thing that caught my attention. A weak malty start, but it's hard to place it with that toast aroma. I think there's a bit of american hop to go with that toffee chocolate malt, but it all blends together a bit much for me to really pull anything special out of it

a. Much darker brown than most brown ales, almost going black. A good head forms but quickly goes back to a nice white top.

T. Light chocolate/toffee malt start, fades back to a kiss of hops mixed with pretty strong almost burnt toast flavor.

m. A good mouth feel to this beer, but nothing to write home about. I was hoping for a bit more of a summer meets fall beer, but this is on it's way to a winter sipper.

d. I don't see me myself drinking too many of these in a night. Certainly nothing wrong but nothing special here.

I suppose what you would expect from Sierra, nothing bad but nothing that's above average. All around an average beer, but average for this style is pretty darn good. (1,010 characters)

Photo of Mit
3.1/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

a-pours a nice dark reddish brown colour. No real head to speak of...possibly some soap residue on my glasses.

s-Def some roasted malts on the bouquet. A little bit of the trademark SN hoppy smells...a real little bit.

t-the roasted malt is first on the palate followed by a kinda unpleasant taste I wasn't able to put my finger on. Mouthfull is rounded out by a little finishing bitterness.

m-average for the strength of beer. I woulda thought that it might have had a little more thickness on the tongue though.

d-It's kinda unoffensive...I really found that it was fairly average. Having said that I could finish lots of these in a night.

Sad that Anniversary was shelved for this. (689 characters)

Photo of washburnkid
4.37/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Brown hues with amber at the edges, capped off with a bubbly finger's worth of beige head. Where do I begin to describe the aromas? I don't think any version of "roasty" will suffice. It definitely exceeds any proper description, "supremely roasty" will have to do for now. It's a comforting blend of chocolate, a hint of coffee, and a tad smoky. There's an acidity in there that offers little balance, but I'm not complaining. Flavors are also intensely roasty, featuring the same characteristics I described in the aroma. Milk chocolate and coffee, light and sweet. There is also a huge nutty character, which lingers pretty nicely on the palate. The hops offer little to my description. Mouthfeel is light and crisp, translating to a gorgeously made and easily drinkable brown ale. I should note that the flavors really only held up their intensity for a little while before they started to dwindle a bit. A minor cap of head retains, and there is lacing all over.

Yum. I need more of this beer. (999 characters)

Photo of Liverpool08
3.31/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Unfortunately, this is nothing special from SN. After really enjoying everything I have had from them I am disapointed. Its just a average brown ale. Has a nice little malt toasty flavor with a little bit of that SN hops at the end. But nothing stands out. Its certainly easy to drink and can be a nice session brew, but its not up to the standards of SN. (355 characters)

Photo of glid02
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Brick Store.

Pours a crystal-clear amber-brown color with a one-finger off-white head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of muted caramel malts with hints of toastiness. As it warms very slight amounts of nutty aromas waft out as well.

Tastes more robust than it smells. Moderately sweet caramel malt flavors kick things off and are quickly joined by more heavily caramelized toasted malts. Midway through the sip the flavor profile turns slightly bitter as the only semblance of hops come out, carrying through to a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with smooth carbonation.

Drinkability is also good. I finished my glass without any problems and could have another.

Overall I think the best way to describe this beer is "inoffensive". There's not a whole lot about this beer that I would foresee BMC and non-BMC drinkers complaining about, and perhaps that is what SN is going for with their revamped marketing. Not worth seeking out, but a solid beer that's worth trying if it pops up. (1,078 characters)

Photo of silentjay
3.04/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pours a slightly translucent reddish brown with a decent off-white head that retains and laces well.

aroma is of an average english brown ale. minerally, bready malts and some earthy hops. a tiny bit of nuttiness and light caramel.

flavor is a bit better than the aroma, but not much. similar to an amber or english pale ale. the roasted nutty malts don't present themselves the way I'd like. hops are present and are grassy and earthy. some maple syrup and caramel. nothing special here. I would like more chocolaty, nutty, and roasty flavors.

almost medium bodied, but finishes watery with some lingering bitterness and some syrupy sweetness.

drinks ok. nothing repulsive, but nothing attractive either. I have had many better beers from Sierra Nevada and have had many better browns. I would rather an "above average" IPA (their anniversary ale) than this any day. I'll finish the 24oz bottle, but probably won't buy another. (932 characters)

Photo of monkeylovebeer
3.06/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sierra Nevada has made some interesting choices over the last year or so. I kind of understood their decision to trade the delicious E.S.B. (Early Spring Beer) for their Glissade Golden Bock (which taught me once and for all that I do not like bocks); perhaps bocks are underrepresented when considered against the bitter and they wanted to branch out and turn people onto what Germans drink while dancing around the maypole. Whatever.

The latest favorite to be benched was their incredible Anniversary Ale. Sierra made the case that they were swimming in hoppy beers; Torpedo, Chico Estate Harvest, Southern Hemisphere Harvest ... OK, I get their point. Once again, however, an old favorite has been replaced by ... well, meh.

I vaguely remember Sierra putting out a brown a few years back, and come to think of it, I haven't seen it around. Stepping into the breach, Tumbler fills that niche solidly, but not spectacularly. It pours, as you might imagine, a nice autumn brown with good head retention and decent lacing.

Upon first smell, I get some harsh mineral notes that obscure the hop profile and the roasted malt. On first sip, though, it's all good. This is a textbook brown, no more, no less. The requisite toffee and chocolate notes are there, and there is a slight grassy hop finish. The Tumbler's body is a little thin, perhaps the coach has it doing too much time on the mat.

With some real outstanding American-style browns on the market these days (I'm thinking Lost Coast's Downtown Brown, Bear Republic's Pete's Brown, Big Sky's Moose Drool), Sierra really had to distinguish itself here with something special ... and didn't. (1,649 characters)

Photo of Gmann
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear chestnut brown color with a wonderfully puffy khaki head that is slowly settling. The aroma has some mineral aspects to it, brown bread and general nuttiness. The taste is of brown bread, light brown sugar with a hint of toffee. There is some tea and lemon flavors which add some dry flavors and there is a fairly minimal grassy bitterness in the end. I also pick up some roasted malt as well. The ale has a moderate to full body and tingly carbonation which gives an almost creamy feel. Starts off sweet but the roasted and hoppy bitterness come in to balance everything out. Finishes a bit dry and slightly astringent. A very solid brown ale, some nice malty flavor. (682 characters)

Photo of Manoftyr
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance-Pours a straight brown into the glass with slight ruby highlights, a finger and a half of white head rises and leaves dabs of lacing along the sides of the glass.

Aroma-Spot on for a brown ale, I smell nutty and toasty lightly browned malt all the way through as well as a hint of fruit on the finish.

Taste-Follows the nose with the lightly browned and toasty malts taking center stage with flavors of nuts, unsweetened chocolate, light caramel and the aforementioned lightly browned malt character. Not as much fruit on the back end as in the aroma but it really doesn't need it.

Mouthfeel-Medium light body with medium light carbonation; standard.

Drinkability-Good, straight up easy drinking; perfect for what it is.

Notes-This is quite simply a quality brown ale, nothing stands out in particular but I feel that is in a way its strength as it rounds together all the necessities of a brown ale and does them each equally well. Perfect for session drinking in my book. (989 characters)

Photo of mudbug
3.98/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A clear brown with a smallish off-white head that dissipated to a cap fairly quickly, some thin lacing as the level drops.
Faint lagerish aroma, small amount of floral hops.
Taste is subdued bitterness with a slightly roasty malt sweetness, nothing really stands out, just a well balanced brown ale that is refreshing.
A good beer, but I'd rather have a pale ale or Torpedo. (377 characters)

Photo of Haybeerman
3.98/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Clear chestnut color. Poured a 3 finger tan head with god retention. Patches of lace.

S: Toast, maple syrup and litte caramel. Hint of grasssy hops and faint vegetable odor

T: Toasted malts predominantly with an earthy foiundation. Slightly sweet in the middle. Toasted grains linger a bit in the bitter.

M: Medium body. Moderate carbonation. Nice malty flavor and still acheives a fair balance.

D: Flavorful and balanced. Very enjoyable. (445 characters)

Photo of jampics2
3.98/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap @ the Winking Lizard.

Looks nice in the open mouthed pint glass. Brown color (imagine that!) with a few red highlights on the edges. Nice head that doesn't stick around as long as I'd like but leaves excellent lacing.

Smell is caramel, toffee, chocolate and some mild hoppiness and nuttiness. The roast on the malt is really nice and expressive.

This beer tastes great. There's a nice mild chocolate taste from the malt that I absolutely love, and the caramel sweetness and brown sugar hints make this so enjoyable. Just a bit less hoppiness would actually make this outstanding.

The mouthfeel is the right mix of creamy and crisp. The body is medium to light and the carb is spot-on. I could drink a lot of this. I find brown ales too often overlooked, but this beer reminds me that they can please my roasted malt fix without being a chore to drink like stouts. (874 characters)

Photo of hdofu
4.12/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours the color of autumn brown, smells sort of nutty with notes of hopps. Taste is bitter sweet with a bit more emphasis on the bitter. A sort of has some pleasant malty finish with hopps flavor seira nevada is known for. This one is plenty drinkable (251 characters)

Photo of wingman14
4.23/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown with an off white head that fades fast. Smell is somewhat smoky, a small sweetness, with a nice malt aroma. The taste starts with the subtle smoke, followed by the sweetness and malt flavor, and a nice smooth finish. The mouthfeel is medium, a nice balance in flavor, not a powerful flavor but still deep. This is a great session beer, the flavors are great, I will be drinking this one often. (412 characters)

Photo of barleywinefiend
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a light brown color with good carbonation, red hues and a dirty white head

S: Maple, caramel, toffee

T: Mix of maple, toffee, caramel and hit of roasted malts.

M: Light tomedium body with good carbonation, sweet, crisp, tasty

D: A good brown ale, try it (267 characters)

Photo of donkeyrunner
3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Could Sierra Nevada be going away form their hoppy roots? First the spring ESB is switched for a maibock, and the anniversary ale is switched for a brown. I'm not worried, just curious.

Clear chestnut color. Large foamy head settles into a thin frothy retention. Looks like something I'd want to drink.

Aroma is toasted biscuit with a light sprinkling of chocolate malt. I catch a little whiff of light smoke and dry dirt. Taste is again led by toasted bread with light toffee highlights. Hops definitely have a presence but as a fairly neutral backdrop which adds depth to the beer. The hop selection however, (challenger) gives Tumbler a faint English leafy tea flavor which I'm not a fan of.

A solid brown ale and a nice oktoberfest seasonal alternative. (763 characters)

Photo of DaveHS
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Chestnut brown with ruby highlights. 1/2 inch of fluffy khaki head.

S-Slightly vegetal. Some maple syrup/caramel sweetness, a touch of grassy hops.

T-Roasted malts, moderately sweet mid-palate with a lingering flavor of toasted grain.

M- Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

D-Always looking for a good American brown ale. This one is pretty nice! (357 characters)

Photo of Billolick
3.97/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, no freshness info that I can make any sense of.

Pours darker chocolaty amber, light tan head with minor retentive powers being shown, then leaving decent strands of lacing.

Toffee and some light coffee notes in the nose. On the tongue and in the mouth, I'm picking up more light coffee, light chocolate and more toffee.

Sierra Nev. does not disappoint here. This is a tasty brown, on the bolder side, as would be expected in an American brown from SN.

Thoroughly enjoyable. A nice addition to the SN line of fine beers. Do they ever make a bad beer? (574 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
2.71/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

On-tap at Lucky Baldwin's

A: The pour is a nice deep, rich brown color with a solid off-white head.

S: There is a weird aroma to this beer. Roasted, almost burnt, nuts, sulfur, butter, toasted malts, and a mild sweetness.

T: Immediately there is a noticeable astringency to this beer. Burnt and bitter nuts, slight sulfur, and a bit of toffee and caramel sweetness.

M: The body is slightly watery and thin, with a moderate level of carbonation.

D: A really disappointing effort from a brewery that is nearly bulletproof. And it's even worse because it is replacing a solid offering. (587 characters)

Photo of ThreeWiseMen
4.6/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz. bottle poured into a standard pint glass. Bottle dated July 9, 2010 (roughly 5 weeks old).

Appearance: Standard pour yielded a full inch of soft, tan foam. As that head slowly receded, it left a thick trail of lacing on the walls of the pint glass (lacing was great all the way down). Nice head retention. Body is deep brown through the center with caramel edges. When held to light, crimson shades shine through. While dark, the beer exhibits great clarity. Impressive across the board.

Smell: Nuts, caramel, and "autumn" spices. There's something about this one that just smells like Thanksgiving. It's sort of reminiscent of a pumpkin ale, but without the pumpkin. I'm not too familiar with the spices used in pumpkin ales, but I assume some of the common ones are also used in Tumbler. Soft, woody hops clean up the end of each whiff. Butter and/or toffee appear as the beer warms. Very unique. I really like this aroma.

Taste: Caramel and nuts appear on the palate first, but they're quickly followed by a rich, bready malt backbone. Again I get "autumn" spices. Hops add a touch of citrus, earth and pine (all pretty subtle), and also create a pleasingly bitter finish. Thought he majority of the flavors seem to come from the malts, Tumbler actually displays nice balance. Spot on style-wise, and unique and tasty to boot!

Mouthfeel: Fuller in body than most browns, but not by a lot. Starts out malty and finishes crisp and bitter. Carbonation adds a bit of prickliness; suits the style well. Nearly all of the flavors cling to the palate long after the end of each sip, creating a very flavorful aftertaste.

Drinkability: You'd be hard-pressed to find a better American brown ale than this. Unique, flavorful, balanced, and tasty; extremely drinkable. This may have just dethroned Deschutes Buzzsaw Brown as my favorite American brown ale. (1,859 characters)

Photo of hangh
4.12/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Brown colored beer with rich head that lingers throughout the drink and has an excellent taste added. Very crisp beer. It has a rich chocolate and toffee smell. Pungent for a brown ale. Taste is incredible. One of my favorite brown ales. There is a sweet chocolate start that ends with a bitter toffee finish. It's really a good beer, I wish it was available more often. Lightly carbonated, clean and crisp. I'd highly recommend, get it if you find it. (452 characters)

Photo of StonyB
3.56/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(Phone rings.)

"Hello?"

"Hey StonyB!"

"Hey Sierra Nevada! How's it going, my old friend?"

"Been busy, but it's a good busy, if you know what I mean."

"Absolutely, gotta take care of the thirsty masses..."

"Listen, you mind if I swing by? I've got a new beer I want you to try."

"Mi casa es su casa, amigo."

"Great! It's an American Brown Ale called Tumbler. I'll bring it right over..."

(Doorbell rings.)

"Wow, that was quick! Come on in, SN."

"Thanks Stony, see you cleaned up the place before I got here...or not."

"Yeah yeah, I know I won't be winning the BA Good Housekeeping award. But no time for chitchat. Let's crack open that bottle you brought."

"Here it is!"

"Nice. 12 ounce bottle, your usual attractive label, brown background. As befits the style, of course."

"Exactly. Notice how I called it an 'Autumn Brown Ale', we're going for a seasonal vibe. Tumblin' leaves and all..."

(Pouring beer)

"Man, check out the carbonation! Almost a gusher, better slow this down."

"True Stony, but check it out as it settles. Pretty attractive, right?"

"Absolutely. Foamy milkshake head, clear but slightly mysterious brown, streaked with tinges of red. Can't wait to drink this bad boy."

"Don't forget to take a whiff first!"

"Of course, my friend. Here we go."

"Well?"

"Hmm, gotta admit I'm not as crazy about the aroma as I am with the appearance. I know it's a Brown Ale, but I'm not getting strong notes here."

"Okay, so what do you smell then?"

"Would you believe hot dog buns?"

"Come on now."

"No, seriously. You ever been to the ballpark and get a hot dog? It smells a lot like one of the buns they use. For better or worse.'

"Anything else?"

"Yeah, maybe some faint roasty coffee notes, but that bready bun aroma dominates."

"I'll let the guys back at the shop know. Of course, it might just be you."

"Could be."

"Now for the best part. Dive in..."

"You don't have to tell me twice."

"And?"

"Hey, pretty good. You sure this isn't a nut brown? It's got a real nutty flavor. A little bit of mild coffee as well."

"Go on."

"Well, because it has a creamy, dextrous mouthfeel, it reminds me a little bit like drinking a pecan pie."

'Get out."

"Yup. I mean, it's not thick like a stout, and I'm not tasting any booze, but it really does have a full-bodied rich kind of feel for a session beer."

"I'm guessing that's a good thing?"

"Sure. A bit unusual for the style, but hey, if it tastes good, who cares."

"Could you see yourself drinking this again?"

"I think so. I'm picking up some toasted malt as the beer warms, and each sip remains enjoyable."

"Cool."

"Hey listen, thanks for stopping by Sierra. And for the beer, of course."

"Anytime. You know where to find me."

"I sure do. Good night now."

"Good night, StonyB." (2,771 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A neutral, crisps, and seriously clean beer- the signatures of Sierra Nevada are felt through and through in this moderate American Brown.

Malty-rich aromas of toast are followed by toffee, chocolate, and nuttiness. Piney hops weave into the malt mix with a sprucy-spicy note that gives an element of pep to the beer

Toffee sweetness is met with acrid roast flavor that balance each other and contribute to the masculine matrix. Woody, pine, nutty, and toast continue the flavorful variety while offering up bold bitterness that pushes the envelope of balance. Clean flavors throughout with no mention of fruity esters or phenolics.

Medium early, medium at mid palate, and medium late, this Brown has a consistent malty texture from sip to finish. Very late hop drying and fleeting malt toasty crispness take hold and allow only for a linger of pine.

A terrific Brown Ale that has everything that the style perscribes. However, with no real outstanding character, the beer is hard to celebrate. (998 characters)

Photo of Georgiabeer
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours chestnut brown with a decent head that sticks around as a thin cap. Classic brown ale aromas, with bready malt, a touch of toast, and some citrus and pine from the hops. There is a bit of grainy sourness as well, which is never my favorite. The taste is similar, a bit softer than the nose would suggest, and the hops are a bit more restrained as well. The mouthfeel is soft and creamy, and overall I'd say this is pretty solid. Not all that grainy, creamy, and a bit less bready and toasty than some, but a well crafted, gentle brown that goes down easily. (563 characters)

Photo of WOTO97
3.72/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A bit of chestnut and mahogany in color. Head quickly dissolves into a thin creamy film of suds. Very delicate, thin, fading lace.

Lots of freshly toasted bread. Malt comes through in a big way with a bit of bitterness from the malt as well. A bit of burned sugar in the background. Maybe even a bit of fresh ground coffee. As it warms, reminds me of a burning pile of freshly raked autumn leaves...too much?

Flavors aren't as pronounced as the nose but most are there. A bit of molasses on the mid and back palate. Toast and a slight biscuit quality. A soft round hop bitterness lingers in the background.

Allowing this guy to reach temperature is a good move. The body definitely improves. A bit rounder as it warms up. Finishes a bit dense but still clean. A little too thin up front.

This is an interesting addition to the SN arsenal. Wish it carried a bit more weight in the body and the flavors complemented the nose a bit better. Nonetheless, this a pleasant drinker and not a bad accompaniment to the fall season. (1,025 characters)

Sierra Nevada Tumbler Autumn Brown Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 1,067 ratings.