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

very good
1,113 Reviews
Sierra Nevada Tumbler Autumn Brown AleSierra Nevada Tumbler Autumn Brown Ale

Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Fall

Notes / Commercial Description:
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)

Added by Mebuzzard on 07-25-2010

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Reviews: 1,113 | Ratings: 3,376
Photo of Pantalones
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Last bottle of this one from the fall variety pack; bottling date is July 20th, 2015.

Pours slightly lighter brown than a Coke or other soda; once in the glass it settles into a much darker brown color, with slightly lighter brown around the edges. If held up to the light it's a reddish-brown, and I can see the rising bubbles constantly coming up from the bottom. Pretty big head of foam on top (almost completely filled my pint glass!), off-white and very thick and fluffy. Audibly fizzes at first but quiets down after it's shrank to about half its original size, at which point the rate of shrinking slows down a good bit too. Halfway through the glass, there's still a coating on top and a thicker ring around the outside, and the foam has left huge swaths of lacing behind as it went. Starting around the 1/3 mark I can see a few rings showing exactly how much beer my sips took out of the glass, even.

Smell is definitely malty. I'm thinking roasted/toasted malts for sure, has a bit of a "stout/porter-like" roastedness to the smell. A bit of something a little sweeter in there at the end, too; maybe a caramel-y sort of thing? After drinking a bit and taking another few sniffs, I'm also picking up a faint bit of something that reminds me of woodsmoke, like from people burning wood in stoves to heat their houses. Nothing really strikes me as a "hoppy" smell here, so I suppose this one's not the "hoppy brown ale" subset of the American Brown Ale style.

Flavors, like the smell, are very malt-focused. Not getting anything obviously hoppy here at all, so I'm guessing the hops are mostly here for bittering rather than flavor. Roasty, a little toasty, a little nutty, occasionally a slight bit of caramel in there. A bit woody too, and after a little over a third of the glass I'm starting to pick up a bit of that slight smokiness in the flavor too, though it comes across a little different here than in the smell. Aftertaste is near-nonexistant at first, but gradually starts to build up a sweetish bready-caramely, sometimes a tiny bit smoky thing over time; the bready/caramel-y thing thing seems to stick around the longest. Interestingly, this beer doesn't really come across as sweet at all right away, it's only later (and mostly in the aftertaste) where sweetness comes in a bit. Toward the last third of the glass this seems to change -- a slight bit of leafy bitterness is starting to hang around in the aftertaste for a while (sometimes outlasting the sweet/bready, sometimes not), the first obvious sign of hops so far. I think I preferred the bready/caramely thing, though the hops being present isn't so bad either. Interestingly, I get a more chocolatey flavor when I drink small amounts of this one at a time rather than full-sized sips/gulps -- the last few drops from the bottom of the bottle definitely gave me a more chocolatey impression than what was in my glass, for example.

Feel might be the weakest point here. It's not bad -- at first when there's a lot of the foam on top it's very nice, actually, and I was thinking this would be one of the high points -- but after the foam has shrunk away to just a thin layer on top, it comes across as a little more thin and prickly than I was expecting. I'm not sure what it is exactly, but there's something about the feel of the carbonation that just doesn't quite sit right with my mouth.

Overall -- this was a pretty nice beer, but I think I liked it a bit more the first time I had it than I did this time around... and I'm not sure why, aside from the issues with mouthfeel, which I don't remember noticing as a problem the first time around. Maybe my taste buds just weren't quite in the mood for it today. I'm actually considering getting a second Fall Pack when I have the money since the Pale Ale is always a "go-to" beer of mine and Flipside and the Vienna Lager were pretty great beers that I'd like to have more of, so I suppose I may find out. But anyway... this was probably the weakest of the Fall Pack beers for me, but still definitely a beer that's worth trying a couple times -- as I've said before, going by my experience with them so far I don't think Sierra Nevada makes a single legitimately BAD beer.

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Photo of jp32
3.74/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a beautiful dark brown color. Transparent near the edges of the glass, and very dark in the middle. Nice khaki colored head rests atop. Sierra Nevada beers always seem to leave the best lacings.

The aroma is very grainy. Not as appealing as I expected it to be.

Flavor is hoppy and bitter up front, followed quickly by something more bitter.... before eventually smoothing out (somewhat) from the malts. Its a bit toasty, a bit grainy, but mostly somewhat bitter. It doesn't taste like a lot of other brown ales.

Excellent mouthfeel. Even better carbonation.

I have mixed opinions about this beer, but the more I get into it, the more I think the good outweighs the bad.

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Photo of Redneckwine
4.37/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle into tulip

Appearance - Dark, medium brown in the light, and not much of that light is getting through the brown void. Pours with gorgeous 1 finger head that's very dense and has excellent retention.

Smell - Not terribly pungent but reminiscent of roasty and toasty grains and cocoa notes, a little fruity/sweet character hits home and vaguely reminds one of chocolate covered fruit. Some spicy hops mingle gently in the background.

Taste - Tastes pretty much exactly how it smells, but you get so much more of the toasty/roasty bread and cocoa action followed by notes of earth and fruit. The hops are much more prevalent than noted in the smell, and they follow through with touches of spicy herb and a little pine. The hops don't overpower and only serve to balance wonderfully. A dry beer pretty much all the way through, this one finishes with some light roasty malts and a slight drying hop bitterness.

Feel - Starts out with a good amount of very promising dense, fluffy carb, which makes the medium body very light and drinkable; however, I thought the carb/body balance kind of "died" towards the finish, a little like going flat. Still, downright refreshing for a brown ale.

Overall - This very well may be the definition of an American brown ale, and definitely rivals Moose Drool, one of my all-time favorites. So toasty and malty, nice hit of hops to balance, so refreshing... Mmmm. This is a great beer, and I'm so stoked SN brought it back so I could give it a shot. It's no wonder a bunch of people freaked out when they first discontinued it!

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Photo of dacrza1
3.87/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

DATE TASTED: October 3, 2015 ... GLASSWARE: Hop Devil nonick... OCCASION: a whole day in due to a cold rain--it calls for a brown ale... APPEARANCE: frothy, thick, two-finger off-white head that clings to the glass, producing attractive cloud-like lacing; body is dark amber and autumnal in color... AROMA: robust toasted malts mingle with soft cocoa to invite the first sip; definite caramel in strength; butter, lactic hints are present as well; some odd yeastiness... PALATE: lively and expressive--for a brown, audacious--and medium-bodied, making the beer sippable but significant; flavorful, lingering aftertaste... TASTE: surprisingly chocolaty at the start; smoky malts and earthy peat build a sweet, robust profile; the label suggests hops, but a blanketing maltiness allows only a faint window of that trademark West Coast spruce and citrus... OVERALL: as I remembered it from last year--formidable on its own, suitable pairing for the autumn weather --and a great part of the fall mix pack (though no Oktoberfest is disputable)... as browns go, demanding of attention and distinguished in it chocolate character...

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Photo of Franziskaner
4.29/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Deep mahogany color and only a slight bit of light will seep through when held up to a light. There's a fingernail of beige resting on top. Moderate to heavy lacing. Luscious aroma of caramel and chocolate with a hint of black patent malt and smoke. The taste is chocolate, caramel, a touch of black malt and a hint of smoke. The mouth shows a light chewiness and finishes dry. This is fall in a glass.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.13/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Bottle packaged 7/21/15 at 42 degrees into snifter
Aroma of burnt malt
Head small (< two cm, aggressive pour), light brown, frothy, quickly diminishing to two mm ring and partial layer
Lacing poor – few small islands of tiny bubbles
Body dark brown, clear
Flavor burnt malt, followed by just enough hoppiness to cut the flavor slightly; no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate medium, watery, lively carbonation

Appearance 3.5, Aroma 3, Flavor 3, Palate 3.5, Overall 3.25

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

Pours a medium brown with some black and red around the edges. Aroma is roasted malts and nuttiness. Taste follows with roasted malt, nuttiness, and a bit of toffee. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, easy to drink but with substance. Overall, for me this is one of the best brown ales. Hits every hallmark I look for and enjoy about the style.

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Photo of Brian_L-2056
3.81/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up in a fall pack yesterday. Can smell the roasted malts when you open the bottle. Pours a nice medium brown color with plenty of head. Lacing is plentiful and really hangs in there. Initial taste is pleasant, malts and ends with more of a mild black coffee taste. Overall, this brew is fairly mild for a brown ale, but that is also what makes it so drinkable. Will definitely enjoy the others this fall.

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Photo of beerboy21
3.55/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Definitely a SN product. Hops, and wee biscuit in the nose. Bitterness, biscuit, and chocolate in the taste. Too dry and hoppy for an brown ale. Up the malt please.

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Photo of Wiffler27
4.14/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

pours an amber brown with a solid white head.

smells like reserved hop, a roasted/nutty hop. plenty of bready malt as well.

tastes like a nutty sweet biscuit. some coffee/chocolate and banana flavors as well. tastes like stouts i've had as well.

mouthfeel is very smooth, goes down easy but leaves a slight flavor at the end.

good beer but nothing spectacular. there are brown ales i prefer strongly to this but it isn't a bad beer. a very inoffensive brown ale, if you like Newcastle then you'll love this! I prefer DFH Indian Brown, i know that's a hybrid brown ale but it offers a lot more complexity. not something I would buy a 6pack of but I would drink this again if given it!

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Photo of Strat58cat
3.76/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

From the Sierra Nevada Fall Variety pack, instead of their Oktoberfest joint venture with the German brewer, apparently. Interesting choice to make a brown ale. Sierra Nevada is roaming far and wide.

As advertised, Tumbler pours mahogany into the glass, foaming up a head immediately, sustaining, and lacing.

The smell is that brown ale smell of grains and chocolate in an indefinable mix. The hops are just around the edges - the dank hops that Sierra Nevada likes. There's no Lagunitas grape fruit to be found here folks. This is old school. Compared to a Newcastle, the smell is sublime - beyond a 5. We live in a new world, including from Sierra Nevada, though.

The taste is very good. It's a sweet-sour mix of malt and hops. The IBU of 37 is the same as pale ale, but the substantial malt counters it, creating actually a very neutral-tasting drink with a very malty character. Although Tumbler is an ale, it reminds me a whole lot of Guinnes Stout. Tumbler at other moments reminds me of a malted shake with the nutty flavors. Then, the hops can emerge unexpectedly and lend a bitter edge to the flavor. There's plenty of hops in here to counter the rich malt. There's never a feeling of too much malt or that the ale is cloying. Sierra Nevada keeps this ale clean.

The feel of Tumbler is a strong suit. It's got a very thick, malted feeling. The carbonation may be somewhat low, but the head is very long-lasting. This ale's not too heavy for the flavors and appearance. It's right for the style.

Overall, Tumbler is a very enjoyable ale. It's miles beyond the European imports.

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Photo of puck1225
4.06/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Usually not a big brown ale fan but I like this. Very malty, nice roasted coffee taste, a bit chocolate tastes. A beautiful dark brown color. I enjoyed it very much. I like the fall variety pack this year from Sierra Nevada!

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Photo of timfelix
4.42/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

a great brown ale, full flavored with rich malts and very nice hops (which complement rather than overpower other flavors) Tough to beat this one; Dogfish makes a great one also.

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Photo of TheSSG
3.14/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a soft, frothy, off-white head. Soft, toasted malt aroma with a touch of spicy hops. Clear, burnt umber color. Starts with a crisp, medium hop bitterness with toasted malt. The hop bitterness lingers a bit while the toasted acidity builds. Finish is lingering hop bitterness on top of toasted malt.

This is a bit too hoppy for my preferences for the style, but that seems par for the course for anything from out West. Not bad, but it wouldn't be my first choice by a long shot if I had a hankerin' for a brown ale.

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Photo of Buck89
3.89/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter. Nearly opaque dark brown color with a modest light tan head. Decent lacing in the glass. Nice roasted malt smell, with brown bread, toast, and graham cracker. The roasted malt arrived early on the first sip, and was followed by a pleasant burnt toast flavor and a slightly bitter bite on the back. Medium-bodied and carbed, with a nice feel.

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Photo of Alpha309
3.89/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a shaker pint.

Pours a dark red to brown color. Clean looking and slightly transparent. About 1 finger of a very fine head. Strong head retention.

Smells very sweet, almost sugary. Some earthy undertones, but hard to place them.

Tastes very molasses like. Bitter on the aftertaste. Hard to detect what is underneath the sweetness.

Very light in body compared to what was expected with the color. A little syrupy going down.

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Photo of utopiajane
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours brown and dark with hues of copper, fire from copper and golden hues to catch the light as well. Head is creamy tan and persists a long time leaving streaks and rings of lace. Nose is taosty malt. Smells like toast that just popped up out of the toaster. A light ribbon of caramel underscores the beer. No real hops presence on the nose but there is a subtle hint of chocolate. Not too sweet more like bakers chocolate. Drinks just like that. Smooth rich and light enough to not be porter. That means the mouthfeel never went over fully to caramel or to a thicker mouthfeel Scrumptious and does not finish with a mammoth hops presence. A light breath of herbal and no real bitterness move this one to the finish gracefully.

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Photo of gr0g
3.7/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle from the 2015 Fall Variety Pack. Deep brown with mahogany highlights. Very good head retention plus nice lacing. Toasty-smelling with some bittersweet, dark chocolate notes.

Full-flavored with nice touches of roasted malt. Hop bitterness is assertive -- enough to warrant the American brown ale moniker, but it doesn't overshadow the malt backbone. Tumbler is a very good American brown -- rich and malty with a hop bite that keeps the palate from lapsing into boredom.

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Photo of frozyn
4.15/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L -- Brown ruby, if that makes sense -- I guess mahogany? No, a little too much red for that. Tan, frothy head that sticks around a bit in my tulip, eventually degrading into a thin film in the center and a thicker ring around the edge. Lacing is pretty consistent on the back side of the glass.

S -- Roasted malts revealing a nutty breadiness. A very slight piney scent, along with a slight nudge of cocoa.

T -- The toasty malt puts the nut in the background and moves headstrong into cocoa and coffee flavors. Mid-palate starts to bely a bit of acidity in a very small dose that persists through the end, where it's met by a roasted/burnt note. I notice a distinct sweetness in the aftertaste that presents mostly as sugar, but also slightly of milk chocolate.

F -- Full body, very smooth. At first, it had a bit more carbonation than I expected, but that mellowed with time and a few swirls.

O -- A very good beer that is a perfect fit for fall drinking. The flavors are diverse, but none of them overpower and they meld together well. Great value for the price and if they distributed in 12 packs, I could see myself grabbing one or two each fall.

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Photo of ChuckHardslab
4.21/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours a beautifully transparent reddish brown with a pillowy cream colored head. Leaves decent amounts of lacing.
Aroma: Toasty malts with toffee and caramel. Nutty grain. Faint whiffs of cocoa.
Taste: Follows the nose with a warm malty opening. A nice nutty and roasted cereal flavor mid-palate and slightly bitter hops/burnt grain finish.
Mouth feel is medium bodied with soft, style appropriate carbonation.

Overall this is really good example of the style and it make me look forward to autumn when I can get my hands on some!

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Photo of maedhros09
4.18/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Look: dark brown with huge rocky tan head that leaves a bunch of lacing
Smell: roasty, nutty
Taste: lightly roasty and very nutty with some background hoppy acidity. finishes with nutty herbal moderately bitter finish
Feel: medium body with average carbonation

Overall: A nicely crafted brown ale, with a signature nuttiness. Initially it seemed kind of odd that they would call it an "autumn ale" but it definitely tastes like fall. Well done, SN.

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Photo of Czequershuus
4.74/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This beer pours a rich mahogany brown with a reasonable head. The aromas of toast, chocolate, and tea swirls up from the glass. The flavor leads with an off dry nuttiness, followed by a round roast flavor, and hint of chocolate, cream, clove, and oak round out the flavor. The mouthfeel is luxurious but not thick. This is simply an excellent brown ale, on the richer side, but perfect to just slip into.

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Photo of Eamonn-Cummings3
3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Look is a reddish brown with a thin head.

Aroma is roasted malt and a bit of coffee.

Taste is bitter hops with a roasted malt and a thin body,

Great Fall drinker.

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Photo of BeerisGod
4.31/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured out of a bottle, cola/coffee colored with a nice khaki colored head. Bit of a nutty malty smell with a slight hop aroma. Roasted malt flavor up front with hints of coffee and chocolate. Nice finish and mouth feel. Very good autumn brown ale, will taste better once football starts.

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

Poured into a wine/snifter/tulip glass from a 12oz bottle

A - A deep dark brown almost completely opaque, two finger off-white (almost) tan thick/bubbly head and some sticky lacing

S - First thing that comes to mind is the end of summer through Thanksgiving -- it's really nice when a beer/ale can bring things like that to the forefront of your mind from nothing but a smell, lovely. Dark chocolate, sugar, red/brown earth notes, oak, baking yeast, slight hint of mulling spices, freshly roasted grains, vanilla, holiday baking spices, huge malt, earthy hop and a hint of toasted tobacco.

T - earthy maybe even floral hop, dark chocolate, very malty, roasted/toasted grains, vanilla pipe tobacco, baking spices, fresh baked nut bread, caramel, dry wood and a huge malt bite at the end.

M - Full bodied, medium minus acidity, medium minus carbonation, well balanced, nice complexity and from start to finish the essence of Autumn.

D/O - Very refreshing, full bodied but goes down smooth, very tasty and perfect for anytime of day or year. Just an all around great beer. Flavors galore but not overwhelming in anyway. Very well done and per usual with Sierra Nevada.

Final thoughts - The perfect beer for the end of Summer/Fall on those hot days and cool evenings. A 5.5% ABV is perfect to have one or a few. Price isn't bad either at $8-9 a six pack.

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Sierra Nevada Tumbler Autumn Brown Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
3.83 out of 5 based on 3,376 ratings.
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