Sierra Nevada’s seasonal a winner
Tumbler Autumn Brown Ale is by Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. in Chico, Calif.
This seasonal ale pours a dark, rosy amber with a thick, creamy head that leaves substantial lacing.
The brewery claims to use freshly malted barley for this ale which comes through with an earthy aroma that brings to mind freshly turned dirt.
Taste is mild and malty with barely a hop presence. Mouthfeel is substantial upfront, fading to a nice, roasty afterthought.
Overall this is a pleasant brown ale that would pair as nicely with brats and ribs at a tailgate party as it would with a vegetable beef soup or venison. Get this seasonal while you can.
Rating: 4 out of 6 bottle caps.
Wamp had been raving about Sierra Nevada’s Tumbler since the germination of the Beer O’ The Week feature, so I’d been liking my lips in anticipation of this one without even a glance at the bottle label.
The second I see “brown ale” I’m usually turned off faster than watching Karl Rove and Dick Cheney in a naked Jell-O wrestling match. *Shudder* My enthusiasm wilted, but I popped the top anyway.
The first sniff and the first taste immediately changed my mind with some of the most delightful flavor combinations I’ve encountered in a beer. The closest resemblance I can muster is like eating lightly burnt toast and a crisp piece of bacon while sipping a fresh mug of coffee. My first instinct was to rush into the kitchen and whip up a hearty man-breakfast of eggs, sausage, bacon, ham — you name it — to pair with the Tumbler. If I buy another bottle, I’m going to do just that.
Wamp nails it perfectly: This seasonal is not to be missed. And as he pointed out to me, there’s no guarantee in future years that the Tumbler recipe will turn out the same delicious concoction. Don’t wait. Try it now.
Rating: 5 out of 6 bottle caps.
Tumbler Autumn Brown Ale
ABV: 5.5 percent
Bittering hops: Challenger
Finishing hops: Challenger and Yakima Goldings
Malts: Two-row Pale, Crystal, Chocolate and Smoked
• ABV = alcohol by volume; IBU = International Bittering Units, where less than 20 has little or no hops, 20 to 45 is average with mild to pronounced hops and more than 45 is heavily hopped and usually quite bitter.
One Cap: Put it back in the horse!
Two Caps: Consume only if the other choice is Tijuana tap water or Coors Light.
Three Caps: Acceptable without standing out. The Tito Jackson of beer, if you will.
Four Caps: Nice beer that rises above most but may not deliver enough to be considered great.
Five Caps: Truly great beer that delivers on all counts. A credit to its style. Could only be better if served by scantily clad concubines.
Six Caps: Any five cap beer served by scantily clad concubines.
▲ Beer O’ The Week is a joint production of two beer enthusiasts — J.T. Wampler and Richard Davis.