Limb & Life - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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Limb & Life
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92 Ratings
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Ratings: 92
Reviews: 50
rAvg: 3.61
pDev: 15.51%
Wants: 7
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Brown Ale |  4.80% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: rfgetz on 10-26-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Sierra Nevada & Dogfish Head collaboration brew.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 92 | Reviews: 50
Reviews by Discordian:
More User Reviews:
Photo of cynicgiraffe
2.63/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Pours chestnut brown, minimal head with a lot of lacing. Very faint malt aroma, with no hops. Palette is thin with little taste up front and a malty backtaste with some maple on the finish. This could be a session beer, but there are much better session beers out there. Overall I'm a little surprised that Sierra Nevada and Dogfish Head could combine to produce such a bland offering.

Photo of mdaschaf
2.66/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Review from notes. Had on tap at DFH in Rehoboth Beach.

A: Pours a clear copper color with a one finger white head on top that quickly reduces to 1/2 finger that holds up. Not much lacing though.

S: Not a ton going on here, a little bit of nutty malt and a slight hint of citrus.

T: More of the same from the aroma, not a ton going on, for lack of a better term, it just kind of tastes like a beer. There is a little bit of nutty malt that gives it a slight sweetness and again there is a slight hint of citrus.

M: Light to medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

O: Just boring. Would certainly go for something else if this was an option.

Photo of NJpadreFan
3.45/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sierra Nevada- Limb and Life

A- Dark lifeless brown with a small filmy head. Low carbonation.
S- Sweet brown sugar and molasses malt. Slight earthy hop touch.
T- Syrupy sweet brown sugar and molasses malt. A slight touch of pine hops in the aftertaste.
M- Very thin and watery at first, after warming up a bit it has a nice soft malty body with a lightly sweet malt finish. Slight hop presence in the throat.

Overall- Sessionable but almost lifeless. Decent but not worth seeking out.

Photo of beertooth
3.28/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a shaker pint.

This beer is a ruby brown liquid. There's a thin white head that fades to small bubbly collar in no time.

The nose is all herbal piney tea. I can't pick up on anything else, damn.

The taste follows the nose. Very herbal tea and muted pine with no malt backbone to back it up. I was hoping I would like this more than Life & Limb, but I guess not.

Mouthfeel is thin, watery and well carbonated.

I was not impressed with this at all. It's an easy drinker, but I wouldn't want to put a lot of these down unless they were priced right. I'm glad I was able to try this and I know it's a second running, but I really expected more from these two breweries.

Photo of nickd717
3.7/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Del Cerro Liquors in San Diego, then again at City Beer in SF.

Pours a clear medium brown with a fading beige head.

Aroma is caramel and bready malt, orange peel, and floral hops. Pretty hoppy, more so than its big brother I'd say.

Flavor is caramel, toffee, orange peel, and citrus/floral hops, some leafy notes. Well-balanced and decently tasty.

Body is medium light and the finish is somewhat bitter.

Drinkability is excellent. Didn't quite live up to the hype it was given by the brewers, but it is a pretty good session beer (said as I dodge rocks thrown at me by the ruthless "session beer" term enforcers from the UK who will kill at the mere suggestion that a beer over 4% might be considered a "session beer").

Photo of jhoban19
2.91/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at Sheffield's Beer School Bar for the Life and Limb release party. Served in a standard pint glass.

A: dark brown with some ruby hues when hit by some of the lighting around the bar. bartender poured a thin head, sort of tan color. the foam hung around for awhile with some moderate lacing.

S: citrus hops smacked me right in the nose before I even raised the glass all the way to my face. unfortunately the hops were so overpowering I didn't pick up anything other than that.

T: holy !@#$% it tastes like somebody poured my brown ale into a glass full of grapefruit slices. I like hops, a lot, but this is too much. the hops have such a strong grapefruit flavor and are so overpowering there's very little balance to this beer.

M: light bodied, silky, but astringent on the back end.

D: I did't care for this one overall, though it got a little more enjoyable when my food arrived as I was able to cut into the grapefruit flavor while I finished the beer. Definitely sessionable because it's light and low in alcohol, but I don't think I'd want more than one. The grapefruit flavor of the hops is just too much. It looks good and feels decent as it goes down, but it just doesn't taste all that good. Not what I was expecting or hoping for from two of my favorite breweries.

Photo of akorsak
3.68/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the brewpub.

A: The brown ale is appropriately brown, a full amber color that retains its translucence. The caramel-colored beer supports a thin white head.

S: The nose is malty, caramel and grains leading the way. The fullness of the malts, even for a second running, stand out.

T: Firm and malty, the ale has plenty of caramel and nuts to go around. That rich maltiness is the strongest aspect of the ale, covering up thicker aspects within the body. The fullness is evident initially but the ale is rather light overall. The richness of the malts lends a strong brown ale flavor that works well for a second pass.

M: The mouthfeel is smooth and sweet, chewy with a boldness that hints at its bigger brother. I regret not having time to dig into Life & Limb, it would have been a nice side-by-side.

Photo of JohnGalt1
2.83/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this twice in the last week.. both at Bittercreek.

Short lasting tan head... the brew is pretty cloudy but a nice chestnut brown.

Nose is citrus hops with a lite nutty maltiness ... not as malt forward as needed to balance out the hoppiness...

Flavor has an unexpected roastiness that seems out of place.. not enough malty sweetness to really balance either the roastiness nor the fairly abundant citric notes.... as it warms a bit of astringency that I can only say reminds me of black tea... fairly lite on body and really fairly lite across the board... it left me wanting more... I realize this is supposed to be a "session" beer, but I can think of a dozen of other beers that are more satisfying in a session.

I am glad that I got a chance to try this one, but I doubt I would buy it again.... I guess a good thing is at least the 2nd runnings didn't go to waste.

2.88/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Remained on draft for longer than expected at The Drafting Room. I think I know why. I was really excited to try this collaborative effort. On my first attempt, I thought my palate was shot and decided to wait. On my second:

A: Medium brown with faded mauvy highlights. Small head diminishes quickly and leaves no lacing behind.

S: Forward citrus-y hops barking up front, lightly roasted caramel malts mid-palate and a little bitter black tea bite in the back.

T: A little dull. There was an earthiness character to it that must have taken first since not much else showed up. (The 'second runnings'...)

M: Nice carbonation, and fairly smooth with a little prickle on the tongue. Decent body.

D: Plenty of fuller flavor, better beers for your buck here (although I am happy to have tried it). And I still look forward to trying Life & Limb. Please don't disappoint SN/DFH!

Photo of bjacokes
3.18/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On tap at Hopleaf.

A - mahogany brown, little head retention.
S - very faint smell gets stronger as it warms up, earthy/woody with a bit of maple
T - mostly toasty, then some woodiness that I'm assuming is from the maple again.
M - thin to moderate, the woodiness adds a bit of weight.
D - lighter beer than it looks, I could have plenty of these.

A bit disappointed - guess I should have figured with it being a second runnings beer, but with Sierra and dogfish working together I had bigger expectations.

Photo of Hullabaloo2
3.82/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Aroma - Fresh piney resenous hop aroma. Light, but prominant hops. Little to no malt aroma through the hops. The birch really comes through in the limb and life.

Appearance - Dark brown with red highlights. Tan head poured and stayed at one fingerwidth. Nice lacing.

Taste - Nice fresh hop flavor, but simultaneously there is a prominant roasty malt flavor and a woodsy (tree?) flavor. Lots of hop flavor, but very little bitterness.

Mouthfeel - Thin body. Medium carbonation. Has a carbonic bite. Again, little bitterness. Smooth, slightly dry finish. Some lingering roast.

Overall Impession - This is a light beer, but that's to be expected from a second running beer. This would be a great session beer. it's too bad they didn't bottle it. The hop flavor is wondrful. This beer really only lacks some bittereness.

The presence of hops in the limb and life is what is desperately missing in the life and limb. I would take this beer over its larger counterpart anyday.

Photo of Ghenna
3.49/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this at the Life and Limb release party last night. Poured from a cask into a wine glass. 3 fingers of head, though I didn't note the lacing.
It is a little disorienting actually, you wouldn't expect the very present hop smell from a beer that looks like a brown ale. The hop smell translates into a hoppy taste, though it lacked the bitterness I usually associate with a beer that smells that hoppy.
Last night Sam called it an Imperial small beer, and I think that title suits this beer. I think for others it would be pretty sessionable, though not being a hop person it isn't for me.

Photo of rfgetz
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Limb & Life is a small beer produced from the runnings of Sierra Nevada's and Dogfish Head's other collaboration, Life & Limb. On tap at Jose Pistola's.

Pours a cloudy, earthy brown in color with red highlights. Minimal head, but decent lacing. Smell is a complex blend of roasted grains and hops (floral, piney & citrus). Taste continues with the balanced complexity... great rich roasted grain malt background, earthy mixed with pacific hop charachter - floral, piney and spicy hops. Some hints of cocoa and dark fruit. No discernable maple syrup presence that is used in the production of its big brother, but some carmely sweetness is there. Feel is very bright & crisp with refreshing carbonation. On the lighter side of medium bodied. Very good, uniquely balanced brew that is hard to imagine as a small beer. Looking forward to its bolder big brother.

Photo of Thorpe429
3.65/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. On tap at Churchkey.

Pours a moderate caramel brown. Almost looks woody. Nose is fairly light, but there are noticeable notes of leafy hops, leather, maple, and molasses. The taste certainly brings a lot of these elements, though they are certainly faint. The finish is dry and brings out a bit more. I wonder if this would have been better in cask.

Photo of Chambic
2.93/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

02.05.10 at City Beer

A: the clear, dark brown reminds me a bit of burnt caramel, with dense head

S: smells lighter than it looks, a bit flowery, and maybe some fruit

T: a surpringly herbal taste that belies the "friendly" aroma; maybe some orange peel going on, because this citrus flavor floats over the tongue

M: a full, frothy fizz

D: it's a unique composition, but overall, not into it

Photo of smcolw
3.65/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is a rather pedestrian beer from Sierra Nevada. This version, available at Lord Hobo in Cambridge, seems to be a collaboration with Dogfish and has an abv of 10.2%!

Deep amber color and very clear. Provides a spotty blanket of lace.

The smell is exceptionally mild, particularly from either of these brewers. With some searching, I think I might have found a touch of hop.

There's an interesting juniper berry flavor on the initial taste. Very dry finish that leaves nearly no aftertaste. The body is quite watery.

Photo of flexabull
3.5/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Sierra Nevada.

Pours a slightly hazy brown color with a decent off white head.

Aromas are muted, but pleasant. Some oak, spicy bread, and roasted nuts.

Taste is really subtle. Some light cream, brown sugar sweetness, with hints of roasted nuts and bread dough. Light metalic hops on the finish.

Mouthfeel is good, on the thin side, but not overly so.

Overall, this is an unspectacular brown ale. It's simple, drinkable, fairly tasty, but a bit forgettable.

Photo of John_M
3.6/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Max's.

The beer pours a fairly dark brown color with OK head retention and not much lacing. The nose is attractive enough, albeit a bit simple. I get some light tobacco, light brown sugar, and some underlying woodiness. Flavors replicate the nose, with the beer tasting very much like a light brown ale or mild, but with some underlying hoppy bitterness. Mouthfeel is pretty light, but is not watery. Drinkability is pretty good, and this beer has an impressive amount of flavor for its abv.

A nice enough beer...

Photo of saccro
3.65/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I don't have any real notes on this beer. I definitely picked up on the birch flavor which I thought was a bit odd. Overall I felt this beer was out of balance towards the hops. The sweetness from malt just was not there. I had the Life and Limb the same night and liked it better with the malt backbone.

Photo of rayjay
3.01/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

On tap at the pub.

Carmel brown appearance like the first running beer was. Good lacing.

Prominent hop bitterness, but hop aroma is a bit lacking. Birch and maple syrups are lost in the mix for this one too; much of the same malt flavors as the Life and Limb, but highly diluted. There is a notable lack of sweetness, and believe me I am not usually one to complain about's not over-attenuated or too dry, but there is a serious carmel malt defiency from this recipe. I know it's second runnings, but normally there are specialty malt additions for the second mash and this beer has apparently none. Much in common with watered down tea, even a bit tannic. Not revolting, just not noteworthy.

Spritzy mouthfeel, just like a force carbed mild ale or bitter.

They should have made this one a cask-only brew with some carmel malt additions, this is the polar opposite of the first runnings brew which I enjoyed immensely. Worth a try since you should form your own opinion, but it's once and done for me.

AND, at $4.50 for a HALF PINT and it's from the taproom of the plant it was made at, consider it by far the worst value on the beer menu (pints of Harvest were $2.75). Failure.

Photo of jgasparine
3.84/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 4.5

A- Poured from the tap with a thin white head, which dissipated to reveal just a tiny trace of edge lacing. The body was a clear reddish-brown color, and carbonation was not visible from the sides of the glass.

S- Very hoppy nose...the hop aroma is both earthy and piney. Lesser notes of molasses and caramel play second fiddle to the hops.

T- Surprisingly balanced on the palate. The hop character is big, as anticipated, but this is met with a substantial molasses and somewhat roasty malt character. This balance lasts until the finish, where the flavor turns resinous in a long, lingering hoppy finish.

M- I was very unimpressed with the mouthfeel. The beer seemed over-attenuated with a thin body that was similar to water in consistency. I expected a much firmer body with such a high alcohol beer. Thankfully there was some nice effervescent carbonation which saved this from being a complete failure in the mouthfeel department.

D- Despite the disappointing mouthfeel, this beer is exceptionally drinkable.

Photo of ToasterChef
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a tulip glass at Sierra Nevada night at the Great Lost Bear. It pours a very dark ruby color; I can barely see some light making its way though the glass. There was a very thin tan head that settled quickly. The aroma was made up of some nice aromatic hops and sweet malts (molasses and maple). The Limb & Life has a strong flavor. There was some bitter hops and a lot of alcohol in my first sip. The strong alcohol went away quickly though. I can taste some of the maple and spruce flavors I detected in the Life & Limb. There is also something that reminds me of dark fruit--plum maybe? The pine-like hops in the finish are very nice. It has a slightly less-than-medium body.The noticeable carbonation works well with the hop character. There is some mouthcoating going on from the excess alcohol and sugars, but it isn't bad. I find myself going through this glass rather quickly, so it must be quite drinkable. After a few rounds, the mouthfeel may cause me to switch beers (there is too much mouthcoating for me to keep drinking it all night),but because this beer is so rare, I don't think that will be an issue [The Great Lost Bear sold out of Limb & Life 41 minutes after they tapped the keg.]

Photo of homebrew311
2.63/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: reddish clear pour, minimal head, some lacing, much lighter colored than what I'd expect for a brown ale.

S: brown malts, faint sweetness, faint roasted qaulities. Not nearly as robust as it's big brother.

T: kind of watery, very evident that this is the second rubbings of a more flavorful brew. Faint malts and even fainter maple character. This beer is bland and is very much a disappointment.

Mf: very light, medium carbonation

O: this brew isn't bad, but very mild and lacking in flavor. Seeing as this is billed as a brown ale, it gets pretty low scores. Ha it been billed as a mild, it would earn higher points.

Photo of illidurit
3.5/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at The Red in Santa Cruz. Pours a dark clear brown color with the same fizzling tan head as its older brother Life and Limb. Aroma is bread crusts and dark fruits, and the flavor isn't much different. Being a second-runnings beer, I knew Limb and Life was low in alcohol, but it tasted hotter than 4.8%. Mild maple syrup notes and a little citrus. Mouthfeel is a little thin. Decent drinkability.

Photo of JoePat
4.72/5  rDev +30.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Beer tried on tap at Sergio's World of Beer.
I have also tried this beer in a growler with similar experience.
this beer pours amber brown with an off white to tan head. The head provides a nice lacing as it dicipates.
The aroma is of HOPS. Some citrusy hops dominate the aroma with some earthy tones.
In the taste malt is definately not the forward taste. You get some citrus flavors and some tea flavors from the hops and possible the birch syrup(never had this in a beer but it is a woody tea like taste).
Mouth feel is good nothing great but that is not to be expected from a second runnings beer.
The up front flavors of the hops and what may be the birch syrup are the main attaction and in my opinion what make it better than is big brother at this time. Time will tell if its big brother can change my mind.

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Limb & Life from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 92 ratings.