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Life & Limb - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Life & LimbLife & Limb

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

1,469 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,469
Reviews: 743
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 11.69%
Wants: 139
Gots: 487 | FT: 14
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  10.20% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
Sierra Nevada & Dogfish Head collaboration brew.

(Beer added by: mjl21 on 11-14-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,469 | Reviews: 743 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Spider889:
Photo of Spider889
Spider889

Ohio

3.83/5  rDev -4.7%

Big thanks to RyanMcFly1985 for this bottle. For a while there I was resigned to never being able to get my hands on one of these.

2009 Vintage (first bottling).

The Julian dating seems to be pointing to a bottled on date of September 5, 2009.

At this point the bottle is just a few days shy of 2.5 years old. I can't wait to see how this beer holds up over time.

Poured into a Sierra Nevada nonic pint. Basically I wanted to use a branded glass and I had yet to use this one. Has a sweet laser-etched hop leaf at the base. The beer is very dark, and at first glance one might assume this was a stout. Held in the light you can just barely see that this is in fact nice and clear. A very tall toffee colored head rises slowly, cascading upwards against gravity. After each sip I am left with smears of lace creating rocky formations of pillowy foam. This just all serves to embody the essence of this beer - Life and Limb is all about dichotomy and the juxtaposition of ingredients.

The aroma is a bit of a let down - oxidized enough to make it easily noticeable - it's got that wet cardboard character. Setting this aside, this doesn't smell much different than the fresh batch I have been drinking recently (opened a bottle just a few days ago). Sweet and dark - like honeyed molasses - I don;t find maple particularly distinctive here. The birch is very strong however.

Digging beyond the limbs and into the life and flesh of this tree, the beer starts to reveal flavor nuances that distinguish it from the fresher batch. Darker sugars really spring forth, and the maple is blooming more full and lush than in pretty much any beer that uses it as an adjunct. Raisin, prune, and tart black cherry also grow into the root system of the beer. These flavors are not exactly unfamiliar in a beer this old, but also are not exactly helping me to enjoy this more. Bitter black malt adds a bit of roastiness that hides in the background - which in turn competes with the woodiness of the birch.

Digging deeper still into the roots of Life and Limb one discovers that this vintage is definitely drinking smoothly. Carbonation is strong enough to produce the tall head, lace, and provide excellent retention, but soft and silky on the palate. The alcohol is mellowing, yet easily noticed too.

Overall this is still a really satisfying beer, but I think I fully prefer this fresh. The dark fruit flavors tend to hide the true essence of the beer rather than compliment or enhance it in my opinion.

02-17-2012 05:53:33 | More by Spider889
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

4.05/5  rDev +0.7%

Obviously much anticipated,I am glad to grab a few bottles before they are gobbled up here in my area.Poured into an oversized wine glass a deep dark brown with some deep reddish colored hue when held to the light,a large clingy off white head atop.A mix of a whole lot of good stuff going on in the nose,winter spice,molasses,roast,and resiny hop comes through.Flavors are quite sweet at the onset with mollases and spice,some leather and dark fruit also show up,then a deep resiny hop flavor comes and really finishes this beer out as good as you can.Big chewey and mouth coating,you cant ask for a much better mouthfeel.Man I really like this beer,many times a anticipated beer doesnt live up to the hype,this does.

11-21-2009 00:22:28 | More by oberon
Photo of brownbeer
brownbeer

Missouri

3.1/5  rDev -22.9%

Pours a nice, dark brown color with a light brown head.

From a distance it smells a little like cheap beer with corn adjuncts. Other than that there are some more pleasant notes; light maple, brown sugar, all spice, tree bark, and no hops to speak of.

Taste mimicks the nose for the most part. It tastes like an imperial brown ale to me. The body is too thin and a little watery, alcohol is well hidden.

Overall, I expected a lot more richness and complexity from these two great breweries. I think this could improve drastically in a few years but right now it's a pass.

12-25-2009 19:39:37 | More by brownbeer
Photo of poibag808
poibag808

Hawaii

3/5  rDev -25.4%

11-28-2011 07:10:27 | More by poibag808
Photo of ricksrealm
ricksrealm

Florida

4/5  rDev -0.5%

01-26-2012 14:16:59 | More by ricksrealm
Photo of tuckevalastin
tuckevalastin

Delaware

4.55/5  rDev +13.2%

Poured from a bottle.

A: A beautiful dark mahogany, almost black with a nice head.

S: Very light smell. Sweet with a hint of spice and not much in the way of hops.

T: Suprisingly, there is no strong taste but it all works. There is a clear woody note with a caramel and fruit mix behind it. The alcohol is completely hidden.

M: SMOOTH. This beer is definetly a smooth one. There is a ever so slight burn but this beer is incredibly drinkable.

I can't comment on the value of this beer because I had to pay considerably more than shelf price for mine. I will say it's a nice beer and one worth trying... just ashame it's not available like your average 6 pack.

12-18-2009 23:52:11 | More by tuckevalastin
Photo of orbitalr0x
orbitalr0x

Illinois

4.15/5  rDev +3.2%

Extremely dark brown with garnet highlights. Light tan head and spotty lacing on the glass. Aromas of sweet dark malts upfront. Crisp with dark fruit accents. Lots of syrup tones that bring herbal and earthy accents.

First sip brings crisp dark malts moving into herbal and earthy tones. Syrup is bold and weaves in well with maple tones and a bit of fruitiness throughout. Not overly sweet and it goes down well. A tasty strong ale.

Medium body overall with a creamy and smooth texture. Goes down pretty darn easy for the ABV. Overall this was a good collaboration and a tasty brew.

01-30-2010 03:38:35 | More by orbitalr0x
Photo of lordofthewiens
lordofthewiens

Maine

4.22/5  rDev +5%

750ml bottle poured into a pint glass. Very dark brown color with red highlights. Thick tan head that retained well.

Chocolate malt aroma, sweet maple syrup. Also kind of a root beer aroma.

Chocolate taste. Maple syrup. Birch beer. Wow! Little bit of late hops.

Very smooth and tasty. Alcohol not detectable. Complex and interesting.

09-17-2011 13:48:49 | More by lordofthewiens
Photo of DaftPatrick
DaftPatrick

Minnesota

4/5  rDev -0.5%

04-27-2014 05:05:11 | More by DaftPatrick
Photo of warnerry
warnerry

Michigan

4/5  rDev -0.5%

05-25-2014 01:32:15 | More by warnerry
Photo of bishopdc0
bishopdc0

Maine

3.65/5  rDev -9.2%

Had this at a tap take over event at Novare Res for dogfish.
Shared with my wife.

The beer is served in a nice tulip, dark brow with a thin whisp of head a good color not expected especially for a Belgian dark which tend to just look like a brown.

The aroma is toasted slight with malt mid roast range hints of earth hops almost a woody aroma as if it was barrel age nice.

The taste as my wife would say is like candy sweet malt start and carbonation fills the mouth. The taste of the malts dry and leave a belgian yeast at the end.

08-28-2011 02:06:20 | More by bishopdc0
Photo of SmellsofMahagony
SmellsofMahagony

Texas

3.25/5  rDev -19.2%

05-16-2013 02:14:01 | More by SmellsofMahagony
Photo of Britton
Britton

North Carolina

4/5  rDev -0.5%

11-21-2011 02:33:42 | More by Britton
Photo of steveja57
steveja57

California

4.03/5  rDev +0.2%

Nice beer. Definitely a sipping winter warmer sort of brew. Pours nearly black, light tan head that dissipated quickly. On the nose it was nice and roasty, caramel, baking spices. The body was somewhat light like a stout, it hid it's 10% alcohol well. I noticed the spruce much more than the maple. The flavor profile reminded me much more of a Sierra beer than a Dogfish. Makes me wonder what sort of beer one might brew from the yeast in the bottom of the bottle

12-16-2009 01:40:43 | More by steveja57
Photo of iemailjack
iemailjack

Florida

5/5  rDev +24.4%

12-09-2011 05:03:48 | More by iemailjack
Photo of megamass
megamass

New Jersey

4/5  rDev -0.5%

05-18-2013 05:54:21 | More by megamass
Photo of Billolick
Billolick

New York

4.33/5  rDev +7.7%

$11.99 for the 24 ounce bomber @ DeCiccio's in Ardsley, NY. Nice label artwork, but sadly no freshness/vintage info, even on a brew that's label speaks about "encouraging aging" oh well, another opportunity lost. This beauty pours darkest of browns, under a stocky dark khaki/mocha head, that stays and stays. Leaving gobs of sheeting and modern art lacing. The sniff reveals bountiful aromas of raisins, maple and dark malts. Full flavor sipper, notes of more raisins, ample maple (w/o being too sweet somehow) and again more lucious dark malts. Yummy creation, 10% well hidden...can you say Christmas dinner dessert beer/night capper. I hope to be able to get at least a few more bottles of this one ASAP

12-04-2009 02:31:38 | More by Billolick
Photo of Mora2000
Mora2000

Texas

3.9/5  rDev -3%

Beer pours dark brown with a white head. The aroma is malty, with lots of caramel malt. The flavor is malt along with dark fruits including cherries. You also get a maple flavor that is very nice. The beer has a big alcohol warming affect but the alcohol is not that present in the flavor. Medium mouthfeel and very drinkable.

I have a couple of these put away and will be anxious to see how they age.

12-28-2009 20:21:16 | More by Mora2000
Photo of sm0key
sm0key

Michigan

4/5  rDev -0.5%

11-15-2011 19:27:18 | More by sm0key
Photo of 1Adam12
1Adam12

Indiana

3.58/5  rDev -10.9%

Pours very dark, but not quite black. Nose is chocolatey, with a bit of wood, vanilla, maybe a bit of cherry, and I definitely pick up alcohol. Really wasn't impressed by the nose. Just more boozy than anything else. Taste is very chocolate forward. I also catch a bit of fruit, vanilla, some roasts, lots of wood, and also quite a bit of alcohol. Mouthfeel is very nice. Creamy with mild carbonation. Lots of wood on my tongue that lingers on and on. Overall this was good, but not to where my expectations had it. I have one more bottle, and I'm hoping to find at least one more now that I'm looking for it (I just stumbled on 2 bottles today without looking for it.) Really hoping that I will enjoy this more with a bit of age on it. Lots of potential here.

Edit: MUCH better with age. Just opened my 2nd and last bottle about 2 weeks ago and it was fantastic. Age this beer!

08-18-2011 02:33:05 | More by 1Adam12
Photo of Mattco
Mattco

Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +11.9%

01-14-2013 16:40:06 | More by Mattco
Photo of brewerdrew
brewerdrew

Maryland

2.93/5  rDev -27.1%

The beer poured a nice Dark Brown with Ruby Red notes. Very little head that dissipated fast.

Surprisingly, very non-discript flavor with out too much body or flavor.

As a whole, underwhelmed.

This beer will probably be better with Age.

If this wasn't a collaboration between SN/DFH, my guess is the ratings would be alot lower. Just goes to show what hype and the Sam Caligione marketing machine can do.

12-15-2009 01:43:34 | More by brewerdrew
Photo of bsp77
bsp77

Minnesota

3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Snifter. 2011 Vintage.

Appearance: Dark reddish-brown with long sustained head and spotty lacing.

Smell: Fruity (plum, cherry), caramelly, spicy and (above all) boozy.

Taste: Sweet malt base of caramel, plum, cherry and syrup. Finish has some light spiciness from the hops and a mild pine-like character. This is not as strong tasting as expected.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, syrupy yet thin body. Very warming.

Overall: Boozy but mild - not the greatest combination. However, it tastes quite good and is a nice sipper. Glad I tried, but probably not worth it.

08-23-2011 21:38:54 | More by bsp77
Photo of magictrokini
magictrokini

California

3.13/5  rDev -22.1%

Hmm, intrigued by the label listing some ingredients. Was hoping for a hoppy, SN offering, but this is not looking so good. Poured murky brown with a fluffy off-white head. Okay lacing. Strange nose. Can really smell the maple syrup and roasted malt. There is a smell in there I just can't describe. Like a molasses/tree bark/wet leaves/cocoa powder mess. Its not pleasant, but interesting. Taste was okay. Coffee, cocoa, maple syrup and the birch as advertised. Reminiscent of the Sam Adams Root Beer from that 1700's/Presidential series. Except the Root Beer is blended with a nice porter. It could have used more hops, because this just felt flat in mouthfeel and taste.

12-21-2009 22:23:08 | More by magictrokini
Photo of NilocRellim
NilocRellim

Minnesota

4.08/5  rDev +1.5%

Poured very cold from the bottle. Very dark, porter-esque appearance to the beer. Creamy, slightly brown-hued head. The nose was very complex and slightly sweet. The beer itself was not as sweet tasting as the nose led to believe, but was definitely more sweet than bitter. The beer was made with maple and birch syrup, but neither were very dominant in the taste. Overall a very complex-tasting, balanced, interesting beer.

Would I buy it again? Yes.

11-19-2012 02:12:00 | More by NilocRellim
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Life & Limb from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 1,469 ratings.