Sierra Nevada Tumbler

The Tumbler & Studio 60, perfect.

Prologue:  Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been revisiting an old television show Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip which was a short lived series from the pen of Aaron Sorkin (he of West Wing and Social Network fame), as always it’s a sophisticated program for sophisticated audience.
It’s a behind the scenes look at a tonight show and the connection to beer is that a couple of the characters can be seen every now and again drinking none other than Sierra Nevada brews (specifically the pale ale). This is entirely believable as the characters are sophisticated Californians, much like the Sierra Nevada brewery itself.
We are not drinking the Pale Ale though, today I’m drinking the Tumbler which is an Autumn Brown Ale. So of course my seasons are all out of whack, which is one of the problems of drinking Northern Hemisphere beers. I also find it interesting that this is called Autumn Brown Ale, as I wasn’t aware Americans understood what Autumn was (or that there was a world outside of the 50 states).
Packaging: Autumnal – browns and oranges abound, there is a country lane and a stone house and it all works, even the Sierra Nevada banner works better on this than the bright green pale ale label.
Appearance:  This was a little like Autumn as well, it was a dark brown colour when looking at the glass on the table, but hold it up to the light and it turned a lovely ruby red colour, not unlike the leaves on a tree. 
Smell:  I thought I got hints of coffee beans, but it’s always hard for me to know as I often drink on the balcony and we live about three doors down from a coffee roasters, so my whole world smells like coffee. 
Taste:  From the first sip I could tell that this was a very good beer, there were these fantastic roasted, almost smoky malt tones, slightly piney hops notes and then it all faded away for just hints of powdered chocolate.   
In conclusion: The overused word in this review is ‘hints’. And that’s the thing, there are hints of lots of different familiar brown ale tastes, but no single flavour overpowers another. It’s beautifully balanced. Subtle, its beauty creeps up on you, this is Autumn in a bottle, it’s not extreme, rather it makes to sit and contemplate and consider.   
Ranking:  A Jug please (and a moleskin journal so I can record my musings whilst sitting under a maple tree with a pipe). 
6 Degrees of Norm (where we prove all beers can be linked to George Wendt in 6 easy steps)
1. This beer reminded me of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip
2. Which I would argue is Matt Perry’s best role.
3. But did you know Matt Perry was also in an episode of Charles in Charge?
4. Where it was Scott Baio who played the Charles that was in charge
5. And Scott was in a telemovie back in 1980 called ‘The boy who drank too much.’
6. Which is exactly what Normy did every episode of Cheers (although did you note that there was never any drunks in Cheers?)

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