Monday, September 5, 2011

Sierra Nevada Tumbler and The Kaiser

I decided to pick  up a six pack of Sierra Nevada's fall offering, a brown ale called Tumbler.

Appearance:
Pours with a thick off-white head that stays around for quite a while. Dark amber to light brown and fairly clear when held to the light.

Aroma:
Roasty malt nose with some raisin. There's a little grassy hop but not too much.

Flavor:
Raisin and molasses with some biscuit in the back end. A fair amount of bitterness for a brown (it's definitely an American variant).

Mouthfeel:
Medium body with a little astringency. Not entirely unpleasant. Not as thick as some browns I've had (notably Ithaca's Nut Brown).

Overall:
Not a bad beer but not my favorite brown. It could stand to have less hop bitterness which would let the malt shine a bit more. Pretty low alcohol makes this a decent session beer for cool fall afternoons. Not as impressive as the Torpedo and Kellerweiss but I'd drink it again.

Thanks to my wife, I also found The Kaiser from Avery on tap at Lucky's Tap Room so I had a pint. I didn't take notes so I won't post a full tasting form. It was a nice amber without much head (likely due to the high alcohol of this Imperial Oktoberfest). Caramel and brandy dominated the nose but I recall a number of more subtle malt characteristics. Moderate old world hop was detectable with some nice spice. It doesn't feel as thick and sweet on the tongue as I expected and had a reasonably balanced flavor. Overall a decent beer, pick one up on tap if you can but remember this is not a session Oktoberfest so moderate the intake.