Forget the oddly flavored pumpkin beers; throw out the Oktöberfests; and pitch the Märzens! Here is a beer that fits nicely next to a slice of decadent pumpkin cheesecake or sitting next to an outdoor fire while leaves carried on a brisk fall breeze, rustle in the background.
Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t the greatest beer on the face of the planet, but I do have to show an immense appreciation for a brewery that demonstrates some restraint while creating and nurturing it’s brew. All too often, American craft brewers try to launch themselves through the “glass ceiling” only to land with a disastrous thud and covered in broken glass. Such is the case with many fall seasonals. You can find a cloyingly sweet and overpowering pumpkin beer with great ease (see the Blue Moon Harvest Moon for an example on how NOT to brew). And Märzens/ Oktöberfests are almost cliché. But with the Sierra Nevada Tumbler, you can actually taste Autumn.
Eat good food. Drink good beer. And above all, stay classy.
|Sierra Nevada Tumbler Autumn Brown Ale|
Origin: Sierra Nevada Brewery, Chico, Cali.
Style: Brown Ale
Color: Deep reddish brown…Color is indicative of fall foliage (no really, it starts on the edges with a deep red hue with occasional flashes of orange, and finishes with a deep reddish brown).
Aroma: This beer’s aroma is mild and restrained, yet noticeable and pleasing. Roasted malts (a combination of toffee and bread with a faint twinge of coffee) predominate the front of the aroma. This fades to a subtle underpinning of a vegetal nature (think of a warm barn on a cold winter’s day with freshly strewn hay on the floor) with notes of leather. This transitions to notes of a slightly spicy nature (cinnamon) before finishing with the faintest smell of ripe fruits/ vanilla.
Taste: The initial taste of this brew comes across as a slightly maple syrup-esque sweetness with a few chords of nuttiness and the faint overtone of toffee. This quickly gives way to a rich and roasted flavor with the slight taste of coffee. The beer finishes with the faint taste of mocha (combination of coffee and vanilla really)
Mouthfeel: Crisp and surprisingly dry for such a dark ale, not entirely unlike champagne. Overall mouthfeel though is of an almost velvety creamy texture. Beer maintains a faint lacy head after the initial pour.
Recommendation: This beer is all about balance and nuance. It is definitely a transition beer between the Summer Hefes and the Winter Warmers (can’t wait!), and it performs this function with great virtue. It is, in short, the perfect beer for fall.