Sierra Nevada / Dogfish Head - Life & Limb | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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Sierra Nevada / Dogfish Head - Life & LimbSierra Nevada / Dogfish Head - Life & Limb
1,544 Ratings
Sierra Nevada / Dogfish Head - Life & LimbSierra Nevada / Dogfish Head - Life & Limb

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

Style: Old Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
(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 Sammy
3.73/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Sugar Maple. Listed as 10.5% abv. Big bitterness that's pleasant enough, not much else going on for me. No aroma, average mouthfeel. Chocolate malts,A little toast and mollasses. Darker brown colour, some head. A bit boozy, alcohol warming.

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Photo of kylehay2004
4.33/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Two finger tan head with excellent lacing and retention on an dark, deep amber body. Aroma is excellent with dark chocolate, brown sugar, toasted malts, earthy hops and semisweet dark fruit. I was a little timid trying this one expecting it to be very boozy but it wasn't at all. Flavors more on the dark fruit and sour fruit side up front with bitter citrus into the finish on a base of chocolate and caramel toasted malts in the background. Full body and light to moderate carbonation. Nicely smooth for the style. Very nice beer. Deceptively boozy. Good to share.

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Photo of jaydoc
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -12.9%

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.83/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

certainly one of the most unique brews i have ever tasted. poured a slightly red hue of dark brown, with a thin cream-colored head. the smell was sharp and earthy, sweet and pungent. the taste of the beer is where i got hung up. what IS that? it isnt unpleasant, bit i cant put my finger on it. i sipped on an 8oz pour for about an hour trying to figure it out. upon consultation with the bartender, i discovered it to be alaskan birch syrup. AHA! i enjoyed my second glass much better now that i understood the ingredient that gave it such an unconventional taste. could probably make a night of drinking this beer, but i commend the creativity! definitely worth a try if you can find it.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.86/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is the second batch of Life & Limb with the cork and cage. Bottle shows a "2" on the label.

Pours a super dark brown with a hue 3 inch foamy khaki head that settles to a 1 inch cap. The carbonation bubbles are quite busy, moving down to the bottom of the head. Thick foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted/roasted malt, brown sugar, molasses, and wood aromas. Taste is of roasted malt (very stout-like in flavor), burnt sugar, molasses, and a dry wood flavor. The wood flavor lingers on the palate after each sip. A low level of carbonation with a slightly flat and thick mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that I have been following ever since I heard they were going to brew it again. A good beer but not quite what I was expecting here.

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Photo of Texasfan549
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%

Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of GRG1313
4.35/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Life & Limb 2; 750; corked & caged (why is this not listed seperately from the first effort?)

Pours dark brown/black with a lovely thick, creamy and firm khaki head that is long lasting.

Nose is rich with esters and phenols; medium sweet malt, plum, sweet coffee and coca-cola.

Mouthfeel is thick, rich, creamy, malty and just plain inviting with light carbonation and just about perfect balance.

Flavor profile is extremely complex and well integrated - roasted grain, sweet plum/malt and mocha coffee. Bitter coca-cola/bitter root beer character, all of which sounds weird but is very appealing and drinkable. There is a remarkable rich character and drinkability that goes with just about every food profile. (Went well with sweet dessert!)

A finish of bitter coffee/roasted grain and espresso. A really nice effort.

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Photo of Knapp85
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was so glad to get a bottle of this back when it first came out. The beer poured out as a deep rich looking brown color with an off white colored head. The head was thin and didn't do too much in way of lacing. The smell of the beer has some earthy fresh wood aromas mixed with some sweet maple and some caramel too. The taste of the beer was sweet mostly. Had a very light bitterness in the back end. The mouthfeel was very silky smooth, this beer was very easy to drink. Overall I feel that this beer was a really good calaboration between two breweries who don't really make beers of this style. Very interesting.

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Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3/5  rDev -25.4%

Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of metter98
4.05/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is dark brownish amber in color and poured with a thin tan head.
S: There are aromas of chocolate and candi sugars in the nose.
T: Similar to the smell, the beer is sweet and has flavors of chocolate.
M: It feels full-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: I could easily drink one or two of these, especially with dessert.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
3.73/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of BEERchitect
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's amazing how a brewery can continuously make such high flavory, high quality, high attenutated, and crisp clean beers consistently- this is what Sierra Nevada does and they make it look easy. Simply amazing. Life and Limb seems to take a stab at the American Strong Ale catagory with comparisons to Arrogant Bastard.

Aromas of dry malt, lightly burnt toffee, plumb and grape esters fill the nose and that's basically the beginning and end of the beer. Light citrus hops make a cameo appearance but any more than that is a stretch.

The beer pours a creamy dark brown with a lot of ruby and purple-ish darkness. A creamy and froathy head forms but settles into a lightl sheet of dense foam that evently coats the beer while leaving light lacing and legging behind.

Strong flavors of refined barley malt, lightly scorched toffee, molassas, sorghum, brown sugar... and similar robust sweetned flavors. But the interesting note here is that the beer doesn't leave an overly sweet taste on the palate. Bread crusts and light toast help to emphasize the stronger, more robust flavor notes. Estery plumbs and grapes make the beer seem more sweet than it actually is. Hoppy citrus notes give glimpses into orange zest, lemon grass, and light pine as well as enough bitterness to balance the bold malt presence. Obviously a beer that shows restrained power and delicate balance.

The beer give the impression of sweetness and weight up front but the it begins to lift off of the tongue and other surfaces of the mouth gradually for a malty-dry feel and finish from mid palate on. Truely remarkable and drinkable.

Obviously a sensational beer. After recently drinking the Bell's Batch 9000, this one seems in the same class. Where the flavors here aren't as bold, they seem less reckless and more refined. A joy to drink. Thanks Pwoody!

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Photo of oline73
4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had a side by side with a bottle from batch 1 and batch 2. Poured into a goblet. I enjoyed the newer batch more. Batch 1 had more of an alcohol burn, even with the age on it.

Appearance: Pours a dark mahogany color with a reddish tint when the light hits it. There is a finger of off white head and great retention.

Smell: Sweet malt with some banana, caramel, and a hint of molasses.

Taste: Sweet molasses and a mild birch beer like flavor along with the strong malt presence. The sweetness fades while you sip, there are some dark fruit notes as well. The finish is a bit bitter.

Mouthfeel: Body is on the thicker side with tingly carbonation and a slick finish.

Overall: I was surprised how smooth the new batch is. They're both very good in my opinion.

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Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, bottled 6/29/2011. Pours fairly clear extremely dark reddish brown color with a 1-2 finger dense khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of raisin, toffee, molasses, toast, biscuit, wood, chocolate, maple, clove, light vanilla, and roasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with great balance and complexity of malt notes with well balanced wood notes. Taste of raisin, toast, toffee, chocolate, dark bread, wood, maple, molasses, light clove, roasted malt, slight char, and roasted earthiness. Slight earthy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of toffee, toast, raisin, chocolate, maple, molasses, dark bread, roasted malt, light clove, slight char, and earthiness on the finish for a while. Damn nice complexity and balance of malt flavors with wood notes; with light hop balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a creamy and fairly slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is an excellent strong ale! Great balance and complexity of malt flavor and wood aging; and very smooth to sip on. Really enjoyed this one.

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Photo of zeff80
4.17/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a dark, dark brown color with a one-finger, tan head of foam. It left thin rings of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled very roasty with chocolate and toffee notes. Some piney hop notes, too.

T - It tasted of strong roastiness with some bitter dark chocolate flavors. A touch of toffee with some piney bitterness.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry, clean finish.

O - This was really good. It was worth the wait. Thanks to madarab55 for sharing.

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Photo of brentk56
3.33/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a burnt caramel color with a sturdy tan head that develops almost like a stout; nice pattern of lacing left behind as the liquid descends

Smell: Burnt caramel, molasses, raisins and maple syrup

Taste: Opens with a burnt caramel and maple syrup, with the raisins adding a dark fruit element; by mid-palate, however, the molasses takes over and thr profile turns in a big and sticky direction, though there is plenty of piney bitterness underneath; after the swallow, the sweet malts continue to dominate and ultimately pummel the hops into submission

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and sticky, with moderate carbonation and some warming alcohol in the gullet

Drinkability: I'm having a hard time getting excited about this brew as it is just too unbalanced for my palate

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.88/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep burgundy color ale with a super large brown foamy head with good retention and some good lacing. Aroma of caramelized sugar and light toffee notes with some dry fruit ester. Taste is a mix between some caramelized sugar notes with some dry fruit. Body is quite full with great carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Not the most complex brew thought this is not a criticism as this one is just an easy drinking high ABV beer.

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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 vfgccp
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A – Ruby black body. Huge, creamy tan head.

S – A delicious combination of maple syrup, rootbeer, and marshmallow.

T – Molasses, roast malt, and rootbeer opening. Ginger and raisin center. Caramel and juniper finish.

M – Medium full body with pleasant carbonation and a lingering sweet finish. Shade syrupy.

O – The profile is complex with a brisk ginger spiciness and a ice depth of flavor. A very nice brew.

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Photo of jlindros
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One I've been saving for a while.

A nice fluffy bubbly 2 finger head fades semi quickly then slows to a 1/2 finger head covering that stays strong, all over an almost black but more very dark brown color.

The nose billows out on the pout with lots of dark malts, roasty, crystal malts, Belgian strong dark malts, toffee, dark fruits, raisin, dates, fig, some maple, a nice creamy rich malty aroma, with a slight touch of booze and some light creamy chocolate.

The taste comes on like a heavy creamy porter crossed with a Belgian strong ale. Creamy and rich malts. Lots of malts, crystal, dark roasty, with a little creamy chocolate, Belgian dark malts, etc. Some toffee and caramel, molasses, and hint of maple. Some warming tingly booze as well, some sweet sticky feeling too, with a little syrupy feel and taste. More fruits, fig, raisin, date, etc. Finishes with lingering malts, syrups, sticky sweet fruits and roasty.

Mouth is heavier bodied, rich and syrupy, with decent carbonation.

Drinks OK for what it is. It's boozy with warming and tingly feeling which is typical for a 10% beer. Lots of sticky sweetness too, but not the minerality I was expecting.

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