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.
very good

1,066 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,066
Hads: 3,148
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 9.92%
Wants: 81
Gots: 236 | 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: 1,066 | Hads: 3,148
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.)


"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."


"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."


"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."


"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)

Photo of Augustiner719
3.91/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz stubby bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint.

Pours a very rich ruby brown color with a fluffy hazelnut colored head and a beautiful red hue to it. Has nice lacing and really clear body. The aroma is a tad muted. Has a tinge of roasted hazelnuts and walnuts. Really not much to smell. The taste is very nice and surprisingly refreshing fro a brown ale. Has a slight hop note to it that really sets it off and wakes this brew up. Sessionable and enjoyable. Really nice mouthfeel and great carbonation level. Has a lemony aftertaste to balance out the malt. A touch thin for me and really would be a much better beer if the body was bigger. Overall this is a great brown ale. Really nice addition to Sierra nevada's lineup. I would love to see a pumpkin beer for their fall beer but this will do. (814 characters)

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Bottled on code of 7/14/10 on label. It was a reddish brown color with plenty of carb streams. It had an average sized head that faded into a medium collar and several foam circles from the streams. Decent lacing that slowly slides back with some sticking.

The aroma was a malt show with roasted and caramel as the main attraction. Slight toffee in the back. No noticeable hops. Really good for a brown. The taste followed the aroma and had a brown sugar touch to it. Good roasted bite at the end. Not a flavor powerhouse but that's not what browns are for. Just a nice, solid malt flavor that is very drinkable. Mouthfeel was medium with good carbonation and good aftertaste.

Overall, a really good brown that I highly recommend. Nice and smooth flavor that has a good balance between the sweet and roasted malts. Very drinkable - an easy session beer. Also would be a good beer to give friends who want to expand past the BMC's. Avail here in TX. Rotation - been in a hop mode these days so brown don't take up much space in the fridge these days but I can see a 6 pack of these per season. Maybe more if sharing with my craft newbie neighbors. [O;O] (1,200 characters)

Photo of Ryan011235
2.95/5  rDev -23%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass on 8/15/10

Medium dark brown color, though very clear. Slightly-too-aggressive pour resulted in two fingers of tan foam that seem to be holding up well. Retention is thin but good. Decent, clumpy lace.

Roasted malts are at the fore of the aroma. Toasty with hints of caramel, brown sugar & spice. Earthy hop notes & nutty overtones. Notions of grass & straw.

Tumbler has two appreciable aspects in terms of taste; say, the first & second halves. The first half enjoys a burst of flavor that is none too surprising given the nose: distinct roasted malts, subtle hoppiness, spice & earth tones. All seems well. The second half however, loses the depth of flavor, becoming dull & transparent. The latter has fake, chintzy, medicinal flavors that don't jive.

A bit more than medium body. Moderately low carbonation; I wouldn't mind a little more, actually. The feel suffers the same fate as the taste. Initially it seems rather crisp & clean, though it ends up having an almost waxy feel that accompanies the latter cluster of flavors. Unfortunately, this is how it finishes.

I'm not so sure about old Tumbler. It has some good things going on but just falls apart at the end of each drink. Maybe it will pull itself together after a month or so. Who knows? (1,283 characters)

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

ST: 12oz bottle poured into a Pilsner glass.

A: Fall leaf and bark brown with a fluffy off-white tinged brown head. The head last a good while and clings to the glass side offering attractive lacing. When held to the light, steady carbonation is observable. The color certainly reminds one of fall.

S: Sweet malt and caramel toasted nuttiness.

T: A smack of sweet nutty malt flows into hoppy slightly bitter finish which helps balance the beer.

M: Creamy and smooth most of the way through.

D: It is smooth, pretty balanced, and does not have very high ABV.

Overall: I saw this and could not help getting an early sample of fall brews in general and Sierra Nevada's in specific. It is a nice brew though, to be blunt, not my favorite offering of the fall. I feel the balancing hops are a bit to strong, again a personal taste, I prefer my fall beers to be pretty malty. (877 characters)

Photo of rpardon7
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap, pouted nice and smooth with a soft white head that faded and left a small amount of lacing in the glass. The beer is a nice reddish brown with a nice thin light off white head. The smell is heavy with malt and roasted barley. Very small amount of hops in the nose. Taste is of smooth sweet malt that is balanced at the end by a small amount of spicy hops, with a small biscuit dry malt finish. This beer is more malt than hops unlike most SN beers. The mouthfeel is nice and smooth just enought carbonation to give the beer a nice body. I would say the drinkability of this beer is very high, a definate fall sessionable seasonal. Not a fantastic beer by SN but a very pleasing fall beer. (703 characters)

Photo of Kala1073
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a six pk of this and shared it with some friends. It poured a reddish brown, not what I was expecting, but it still looked alright. Took a smell of this beer and nothing was really standing out. You could barely pick out the roasted nuts, maybe some carmel malts, and other aromas I wasn't able to pinpoint. The taste was a little underwhelming to tell you the truth. Not that is was bad, it just was average. Nothing really stood out! It was very similar to it's aroma. Its an ok beer, but I will probably skip it the next time I'm at the store! (556 characters)

Photo of RichieS2
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a standard pint glass.

A - Pours a dark reddish-brown, reminiscent of dirty copper with a creamy white head and moderate carbonation.

S - Plenty of malts there to greet the nose, promising sweetness. Not much in terms of hops.

T - Wow, fantastic! The malts bring incredible sweetness that dance on the tongue before some faint hoppiness comes into balance.

M -Pleasingly thick in the mouth and on the way down.

D - Kind of on the heavy side, but I would not hesitate to have another. (514 characters)

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

Pours an almost clear reddish brown with minimal creamy yellowish head, some sticky lacing. Scent is faint, lightly sweet carmel malts, some roasted nuts, bready yeasts and a hint of char and earth. Taste is slightly more aggressive, with a nice blend of lightly sweet carmel and roasted nut flavors, a more pronounced smokey taste blends with the bready yeasts. Lighter side of medium bodied, decent carbonation. A good beer that doesnt do much to wow, but just enough to please the palate. (491 characters)

Photo of nrbw23
3.23/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Pours a crystal clear reddish brown color with a nice off white head. Head slowly fades and leaves some spotty lacing.

S- Smells pretty sweet, nutty, caramel and roasted malts. A bit of spicy hops here but nothing to get excited about.

T- Taste is malty up front with a soft bitter hoppy finish at the end. A bit of smoke, toffee and nutty too. This one is not really doing it for me though.

M- Medium in body and lighter side of carbonation.

D- Its easy to drink, but it just didn't do anything for me. I thought this one was a bit boring. (548 characters)

Photo of Vengeance526
4.07/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a translucent brownish amber color with a large tan head that hangs around for a few mintues before fading to a light sudsy ring and leaving a little lacing.

Malty aroma of chocolate and caramel with a nice smokiness all around.

The smoky flavors are the first thing to come out in the taste, followed by caramel, biscuity malt and subtle hints of chocolate. Some piney and earthy hops show up at the end and into the finish.

Medium body with medium carbonation and a dry mouthfeel. A very drinkable brown that isn't mindblowing but makes for another straight up solid offering in the SN lineup. This is something I'll probably want to have around in a few more weeks when fall actually comes around. (709 characters)

Photo of herman77
3.62/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark dark amber-brown/mahogany with a small white head. Ruby around the edges. Transparent when held up to a light. Hardly any lacing.

S: Toasted malt and molasses. Brown sugar, nutty, hints of chocolate and toast. Reminds me of fall.

T: Roasted malt, light brown sugar/molasses sweetness. Nutty, earthy and mineral-like flavors. Mild herbal and earthy hops come through near the finish to provide some nice bitterness to the malt. More of a mix between a porter and a brown ale. All these flavors seem rich and hearty, but its actually kind of light, almost watered down. Finishes crisp and light with a short malty aftertaste.

M: Light to medium body. Feels a bit thin. Moderate carbonation.

D: Decent drinkability, but nothing really jumps out at me saying drink more. It does remind me a lot of the coming season. (824 characters)

Sierra Nevada Tumbler Autumn Brown Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 1,066 ratings.