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.
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