Life & Limb - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
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Ratings: 1,466 | Reviews: 743 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by weizenbob:
3.9/5 rDev -3%
This 500 ml corked & caged bottle was purchased at Shop-N-Save in Ludington, MI for $10.99. It is the 2011 vintage and was brewed with maple and birch syrups. I sampled this bottle around 50 degrees Fahrenheit. The cork came off with a loud pop. The bottle was poured into a Duvel tulip glass. A fairly aggressive pour manifests an aggressive four fingers of head. The head is khaki tinted. Retention is excellent. Lacing is not kidding around. The brew is a very dark brown, akin to maple syrup. The visual aesthetic of this beer is wholly reminiscent of a Belgian Quad.
The aroma reveals a high-gravity ale that is still very young. Alcohol is very far forward in the nose, suggesting a cross between malt liquor and barley wine. Other sweet aromas suggest maple and caramel but those secondary scents are totally outmatched by alcoholic heat. I fear that I opened this bottle far too early in its shelf life.
The flavor is somewhat better than the aroma was implying. The summation is that this brew tastes akin to a Quad that was brewed with maple syrup rather than candy sugar. Maple is the first discernable flavor on the tongue. It is expectedly literal and strong. Molasses follows. A minor cooked veggie flavor bleeds through the maple. Some earthy smokiness adds a nice balance to the sweetness. Some surprisingly piercing grapefruit hop bitterness manifests as the sweetness subsides. The bitter resins coat the mouth and linger for an unpleasantly long tenure. The finish is alcoholic, though far more in check than the aroma suggested. This one needs some age to tame some of the sharp edges. However, I’m tasting a lot of potential.
The feel is very nice. The body is full and the viscosity is nearly that of maple syrup. In fact, if it were any thicker I’d be tempted to drizzle it on a Belgian waffle. The carbonation level is relatively low, furthering the syrupy impression. Alcohol no doubt aides the smooth feel while warming the throat like brandy.
My overall impression of this Sierra Nevada-Dogfish Head collaboration is that I opened the bottle way too early. It has a great look and some nice raw sweetness. Still the drinkability is not very high at this point. The 10.2% alcohol is just too hot and the hopiness, though not overwhelming, seems totally out of place. Still, the price is not bad for what you get. I am definitely going to buy a second bottle to revisit in a year or two. Oh, and be sure to have a friend around to share this with. It’s a bruiser.
The Two-Schlitz Scale: (reference my profile for an explanation)
I give two Schlitz for this syrupy treat: one for life, and one for limb.
12-03-2011 21:11:54 | More by weizenbob
More User Reviews:
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Life & Limb from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 1,466 ratings.