Life & Limb | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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Life & LimbLife & Limb
1,544 Ratings
Life & LimbLife & Limb

Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: Old Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.20%

Availability: Rotating

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

(2009 Vintage) Vintage Ale brewed with Molasses, Maple, Birch

Added by mjl21 on 11-14-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,544 |  Reviews: 746
Photo of RaucusBacchus
1/5  rDev -75.1%

Photo of Sandstone
1.46/5  rDev -63.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

This beer is bad.

A: Pours a thick reddish brown with a head that quickly dissipates into a thin splotchy froth

S: Smell of alcohol and molasses. As the beer warms up it takes on an incredibly solventy aroma.

T: When cold, the beer has a weird astringency in the finish. As it warms up, the beer gets sweeter and sweeter until it becomes capable of putting you into a diabetic coma, and the finish transforms into something a bit more solventy.

M: Syrup. You could ooze this out over pancakes.

D: I wasn't able to finish my bottle. By the time I got to the last 6oz it was like chugging on a bottle of Ms. Butterworth's that had been spiked with cleaning solvent. Drain pour.

Overall, I think this is a bad beer coasting by on the hype of being associated with two popular (but usually mediocre) breweries.

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Photo of Arbitrator
1.94/5  rDev -51.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

On tap at the Rose & Crown.

This is one of those beers where I wonder, "What the hell is everyone else drinking?"

A: Pours a clear, deep amber color with a finger of off-white head in the snifter. Retention is quite amazing, especially for 10%. The final result is a collar on the brew, with no lacing down the sides.

S: Molasses, roast, nuts, raisins. As it warms, it quickly starts giving off a rubbery ethanol aroma, and when it really opens up it smells like a dead ringer for solvent.

T: When cold (and I mean COLD), it's really not that bad. A nice melange of toasted nuts, raisins, burnt caramel, molasses, and the lightest hint of roast. But again, as it warms up and hits its stride, it becomes _incredibly_ solventy, to the point where I'm wondering what the point of making this was. Didn't they taste this before releasing it?

M: Light-bodied, with high carbonation. LOTS of booze. Not even a little shy about 10%. Jeez, try to hide it better.

D: No. This is so harsh and solventy. It might age well -- the flavor underneath the booze was pretty solid -- but I have no desire to find out. I don't have any patience or respect for a booze-bomb.

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Photo of nrbw23
1.96/5  rDev -51.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

A- Pours a dark brownish color with just a few bubbles for a head. Bubbles hangg around the edge for a few and leave no lacing.

S- Smell on this one is pretty sweet. I'm picking up molasses, nuts, and dark fruits mainly plums.

T- Taste is also way too sweet. Follows the nose pretty well with the addition of charcoal, booze and raisins. Not really digging this one at all. Maybe a touch of wood in here too.

M- Lighter side of medium in body and pretty much no carbonation.

D- Struggled hard with this one and then was bailed out by Steve. No, thanks on this one again.

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Photo of bigbeers84
2/5  rDev -50.2%

Photo of Massbmx
2/5  rDev -50.2%

Photo of haddyhustle302
2/5  rDev -50.2%

Photo of garyford
2/5  rDev -50.2%

Photo of TheFlern
2.05/5  rDev -49%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Batch 2, not barrel aged.

So, flat beer scoring highly? Interesting...

my thoughts.

The beer comes in a beautiful bottle with a cork. It pours well. No lacing. Decent head retention.

Smell, is sweet with slight chocolate and syrup flavors. Thin is the word here.

Taste is very thin and syrupy, in a bad way. Imagine a coca-cola that you opened and let all the carbonation out of.

Mouthfeel, once again, imagine a flat coca-cola

Overall. Sucked. Sierra Nevada is quickly falling down my list of liked breweries with beers like this. Big disappointment. 9 dollars I'll never get back.

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Photo of harrymel
2.28/5  rDev -43.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Vintage 2011, 2nd release

A: Pours a dark brown ale with a finger of maple bar foam over the top. This head falls to a quilt of the same. Spotty lacing. Excellent, cherry hued clarity in this ale.

S: Coffee, birch and maple (but mostly birch), nutty brown smell. Reminds me more of a brown ale; light and sweet.

T: Sweet, hot. Tastes like the fermentation was poorly controlled with tons of roasted banana bread flavors and some more coffee and roasted malt flavors. Bad, disappointing at best.

M: Thin but sticky, highly carbed, dry finish. The opposite of what I believe this beer should be.

O: This does not make me happy. Does not make me want more. Reminds me of a RIS I did a couple years ago, the fermentation happened in the 80's and the beer took 8 months to taste right. Kinda feel like that is where this one lands; making it very sub par.

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Photo of bierguru
2.35/5  rDev -41.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

A - this beer poured almost black with a decent head that stayed well

S -didnt get much out the smell except sweetness

T - flavor was about the same and when it warmed it tasted like pure alcohol

M -mouth was nice full but felt like syrup with just enough carbonation

O - yeah i wouldnt buy try it again but since i already have another bottle im going to age it for about a yr before i try it again

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Photo of exposur3
2.5/5  rDev -37.8%

Photo of tatums1984
2.5/5  rDev -37.8%

Photo of zhanson88
2.56/5  rDev -36.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours a rather thin looking dark brown color with deep plum highlights. About an inch of head forms, which has very nice retention and lacing. Very good for a beer of this ABV.

Smell: I detect a touch of maple, some nuts, and dark fruits as well initially. Both cold and warm, a lot of ethanol comes out too. Alcohol really overtakes as the beer gets warmer.

Taste: Starts out reasonably promising, with maple, dark fruits and nuttiness. In the middle, pure alcohol takes over. Finish is empty and hollow with a lot of ethanol. A bit disappointing.

Mouthfeel/Overall: Body is pretty thin for the ABV, and carbonation is moderate. Not terrible, but again the alcohol retracts from the feel. Overall, wanted to like it and the base flavors are decent, but way too much alcohol. Not terribly impressed, unfortunately.

 829 characters

Photo of mothman
2.63/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Life and Limb Part 2 Cork and Cage

Pours a finger of tan head. Fades to a thin layer. Color is a deep brown with mahogany edges.

Aroma: Syrup flavors and malts. Caramel and toffee with chocolate notes. Some nutty flavors.

Taste: The syrup flavors show so much more here. Very sweet. Caramel, toffee, chocolate, and vanilla notes. A bit of heat shows.

Mouthfeel: Dry and sweet, a bit roasted. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends dry.

Overall, I was less of a fan of this one compared to the first one and I didn't enjoy the first one very much. It was just kind of messy. Not something I'd buy again.

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Photo of Nachojon
2.64/5  rDev -34.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from bottle into pint, probably not the best choice. Anyhow I was excited, Sierra? Dogfish Head? My favorites. Not my favorite beer. Malty chocolate head very thin and minimal lacing. Dark chocolate color, was a nice looking beer. The first sip is dark chocolate, molasses, brown sugar, sugar, malt, yes maybe I cannot stand a beer with no bitterness. Honestly, would drink it again just to prove myself wrong. Mouthfeel was the blandness, how can a beer this thick be so watery? Just not my cup.

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Photo of Stigs
2.68/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

24oz bottle, served into a snifter

A - poured a nice looked deep brown, with a very thin and spotty, soapy and odd looking head

S - sweet malt, licorice, caramel and butterscotch. maple and hops are there if you seek it out.

T - sugary sweet with a metallic twang, tastes like the hops are already turning south. overwhelming sweetness and barely anything to compliment it.

M - thinnish body, very chalky. all the sugar puts sweaters on your teeth. needed to order a water to help cleanse my pallate every few sips.

D - drank the whole bottle, mostly because of the $25 price tag. not much good about it.

 609 characters

Photo of northaustin
2.71/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pours a dark brown with a fat finger of brown head which hangs around for a while but leaves almost no lacing.

smell: syrupy maple sweet madness. some roasted grains but for the most part its just extreme with the syrup. me no likey

taste: double dogfish brown ale with a buttload of syrup. no joke.

mouthfeel: pretty thin at first but goes into syrup mode and leaves a stickyness. once again, me no likey.

 409 characters

Photo of dgeebs07
2.75/5  rDev -31.6%

Photo of largadeer
2.75/5  rDev -31.6%

Photo of chippo33
2.75/5  rDev -31.6%

Photo of thedifferencemaker
2.75/5  rDev -31.6%

Photo of olympuszymurgus
2.81/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I never got a bottle of this when it hit the shelves, but surprise to me when my local beer bar pulled out a keg a few days ago. An 8oz pour for 4.50 and the thick copper liquid sits in front of me. Its a dark brownish copper, in the light hints of red and purple shine through.

Smell has hints of maple syrup, wood, and a ashy roast. Taste is lacking, its feels like many good things are buried but there is an overarching burnt roast, like cheap charcoal. The maple comes out in the lingering sweetness, probably the highlight of the beverage.

The beer is a bit thin for my tastes, but is definitely drinkable if you dont get bored of it. Sadness, I love Sierra Nevada, I was hoping for something spectacular in this beer.

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Photo of loren01
2.83/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a reddish brown color, large head with not too much lacing down the glass
S: Smell is sweet, almost smells like root beer to me, not much else though
T: Sweet and syrupy once again tastes like root beer
M: Full bodied, too much so. Syrupy and slow going down
O: I honestly expected a better beer from a Dogfish/Sierra Nevada collaboration beer. Way too syrupy sweet. I would not buy this again.

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Photo of taylorhamrick
2.84/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Reviewed from notes from January 2010.

Pours dark, but not quite black, a nice deep mahogany brown, with a hint of blackness in there. The head is very thin, the bubbles fade fast, and there is absolutely no lacing. Looks average - and I have no idea what to expect from the sight. The smell has a big of coffee and chocolate in it, but there's a rum-like sweetness, which is probably just the smell of alcohol that comes from a source other than fermented maltose. I can even smell a bit of tobacco leaves in there, earthy and herbal kind of. The smell is kind of lost somewhere between a mixed drink, a belgian quad, and a brown ale. But still, a little more enticing than the look. The flavor is fruity. Reminds me of rotten plums, like the ones that fall off the tree and have laid there for a couple days. I can taste the maple syrup, too, dried out from fermentation. There are flavors of wood, rum, and toffee. I get a bit of the roasty, chocolatey in there too. And I can taste the leaves, like burning leaves - not in a bad way, but like earthy, nearly charred, herbal flavors - kind of like the tobacco from the smell - a combination of the hops, probably, maybe a bit of the darker malts, and the fermentation temps (ester production) are the most likely culprits for this. I guess a lot of what I've described sounds bad - but the beer isn't actually bad. I will say that I was interested in it, which, actually, I suppose, usually means something bad from a beer persons mouth. I can definitely taste and feel the alcohol, but he body is kind of medium, thinner than a beer this strong should be. The carbonation, for what it lacked in head production, sure does bite in the beer. This beer, for what it has in pre-drinking intersted, kind of lacks overall. It was okay, but not sensation, probably would be worse if it didn't have SN and DFH name on it - you know? You really kind of wan to like it more than you actually do.

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Life & Limb from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.02 out of 5 with 1,544 ratings