06 December 2010

Fall forward

The new autumn seasonal from Sierra Nevada, Tumbler is a medium-strength brown ale, 5.5% ABV and a dark mahogany in the glass, topped by thick off-white foam. The nose gives fresh, lightly mandarin, hops and a hint of caramel sweetness. It's quite understated in the flavour department, though what's there is nicely balanced between burnt treacley caramel and punchy hop fruits. The hops come out on top at the end, finishing bitter with a hint of saccharine.

I can't help being reminded of lighter, the punchier American and American-style amber ales like Speakeasy Prohibition or Brewdog 5am Saint: they do this sort of thing better. Tumbler is much heavier and creamier in texture, perhaps intended to be a softer, more huggable beer. But those typically Sierra Nevadan hops are just sending me the wrong signals: begging to be taken out for a wild time. A draught version is currently on tap in a couple of Dublin pubs and the hops are even more subdued there, to the point of invisibility.

It's hard to fault it, though. Tasty, smooth and filling it's a nice one to have on hand on a chilly evening, and there's no shortage of those round here right now.

12 comments:

  1. Overall, I didn't mind Tumbler, but it was probably the most 'meh' SN beer I've had in a while. I agree with your critique, though - it all seemed a bit directionless and was missing that SN trademark something (usually firm caramel and decent hopping) that I normally get. A strange beer; an odd one.

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  2. I thought it a cut well above the Kellerweis, though. Or indeed the Porter, though it's a couple of years since I last had that.

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  3. As an end of the day beer that I don't want to be challenged by, but simply to enjoy, Tumbler has become one of my go to bottles in the cellar. Had their porter a couple of weeks back and rather enjoyed that as well.

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  4. I tried this a little while ago and had similar thoughts. "Meh" was actually exactly what I first thought about it, too.
    http://flagonofale.blogspot.com/2010/10/beer-review-sierra-nevada-tumbler.html

    I noticed the odd clash between sharp, Sierra Nevada-style hops and what otherwise seemed like a pretty mild and mellow beer.

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  5. Had this in Against The Grain. Meh probably sums it up. Not helped by the fact that the font just had a SN clip on it, so I assumed I was ordering the pale ale.

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  6. ciaran7612:58 p.m.

    Had it a few weeks ago and I thought 1 was enough for me. Its ok but too carbonated for me.

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  7. Have to say I quite liked this, enjoyed a few pints on tap at the Bull & Castle a few weeks back, nice and heavy with a creamy texture and nice caramel flavours, although quite heavy I thought it was very drinkable.

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  8. Yep, agree on the Kellerweiss. A pretty average beer in thier range.

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  9. Ken and his Californian mob over at SN really know how to sell beer. They brew it pretty well too. I sometimes wish a few more of our talented young brewers would take a course in 'self promotion' (which our US cousins excel at with no need of coaching)because at the end of the day - marketing is the only absolutely essential skill left in the industry. Many wonderful ales are going unsunk in this country, not because they're unwanted - they're simply undiscovered. It's a shame.

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  10. Ken and his Californian mob over at SN really know how to sell beer. They brew it pretty well, too. I sometimes wish that more of our talented younger companies would take a course in 'guilt free self promotion' (a talent many of our US cousins excel at with no need of coaching) Many wonderful ales are going unsunk this side of the pond, not because they're unwanted - they're simply undiscovered. It's a shame.

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  11. They made me re-write the damn comment - then they go and print both! How technology conspires to ruin me! (It seem I remembered my phrasing pretty well though, I'm almost impressed!)

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  12. Gotta love Blogger... thanks for putting in the effort though. And yes, I don't have too look far either to see breweries that could be doing much more to tell people what they have and where to get it. Thankfully the younger, hungrier, ones are much better at it.

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