Sierra Nevada Barrel Aged Life And Limb | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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71 Ratings

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

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by mikesgroove on 02-25-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 71 |  Reviews: 17
Reviews by the Alström Bros:

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More User Reviews:
Photo of mjtiernan
4/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of glid02
4.54/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on-tap multiple times at Brewvival.

Pours a deep amber color with hints of darker brown and a one-finger cream-colored head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of robust caramel and toasted malts with large amounts of vanilla and spicy bourbon. Also present are hints of syrup and dark fruits.

Tastes similar to how it smells though not quite as well-balanced. Robust caramel malts with equally light hints of toasted and roasted malts kick things off. Joining in shortly thereafter are solid amounts of vanilla from the oak. Midway through the sip the flavor profile sweetens with hints of maple syrup flavors that fade out into a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with solid carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass quickly and could easily have a few more.

Overall, I wasn't a huge fan of the original beer but the addition of barrels really helped it out, as I assume some time to settle down did as well. Very much worth a shot if you're lucky enough to see it around.

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Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of mcbeerbrew
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of Damian74
4/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of bdub32689
4/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of thagr81us
4.3/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had while at Brewvival! Served from tap into a sampler Brewvival imperial pint. Poured a dark dark brown with a one finger tan head that subsided to a minimal amount slowly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, slight roasted malt, cream, and dark chocolate. The flavor was of sweet malt, roasted malt, cream, dark chocolate, and just a hint of bitter hops. It had a heavy feel on the palate with low carbonation. Overall this was an excellent brew. Based on the flavor and mouthfeel I got on this one, I would have never guessed that it was a Barleywine if I'm honest as it was more imperial stout like. The barrel aging definitely mellowed this one out and made it completely sublime. Now I really need to get ahold of the regular version and try it. A must try if you ever have the chance.

 841 characters

Photo of cougarbait
5/5  rDev +17.1%

Photo of DallasHuber
4/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of seanh99
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Photo of n2185
3.9/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: pours black with barely any head that completely vanishes with no lacing.

S: lots of caramel, vanilla, oak, and whiskey aromas. Some sweet maple and birch-like aromas come through as well.

T: lots of whiskey, caramel, oak, and some vanilla. Some roasted malts mixed in as well along with a slight alcohol burn and a touch of maple. Surprisingly smooth.

M: medium body with low carbonation, this beer could benefit from a thicker body.

O: a pretty good beer. Fairly simple, but smooth, tasty, and smells great.

 516 characters

Photo of jsanford
4.34/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Brewvival 2011. Excited to try this one, I rather enjoyed regular Life and Limb. Aged 10 months in American Bourbon Barrels.

Pours a dark brown with a thin khaki-colored head. Nice sweet aromas and flavors of bourbon, dark malt, caramel, chocolate, maple syrup,toasted nuts, and oak. Nice crisp carbonation with a full, luscious body. Pleasantly drinkable, I really enjoyed this one!

 394 characters

Photo of Biketopia
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Photo of tclapper
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Photo of largadeer
4.1/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Draft at Publick House. Aged in bourbon barrels for 10 months.

Black body with no head. Tons of bourbon -bals on the nose. Vanilla, maple syrup, faint toastiness. Rich and caramelized. Smells quite nice, hugely better than regular Life and Limb. The palate, likewise, is extremely bourbon-forward. Nice caramel-vanilla-maple syrup sweetness, with just a touch of toasted malt. Essentially a bourbon barrel showcase, it's probably for the best that the base beer is barely recognized. The body is a bit thin, but it does the job. Finishes with toasted, caramelized sweetness. Bit of lingering almond-like nuttiness and a touch of cola. Surprisingly nice overall, a vast improvement over the base beer.

 701 characters

Photo of Sixofsigmas
5/5  rDev +17.1%

Photo of beardownaz
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Photo of DarthKostrizer
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look: Black with brown rings around the edges with very little head and no retention

Smell: Bourbon, bourbon and more bourbon..Oh wait did I say bourbon. Yum

Taste: Like the nose the bourbon is very present but it blends very well with the oak and vanilla bean flavors to create a perfect harmony of flavors

Mouthfeel: Velvety silkyness to it and it is full bodied with low carbonation

Overall: Not at all what I expected when I ordered it but I must say the flavor was very good and the complete package was a hell of alot better than I thought it would be. Highly recommended

 581 characters

Photo of akokinakes
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%

Photo of jnoelani
5/5  rDev +17.1%

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.25/5  rDev -23.9%

Photo of Thorpe429
4.17/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Night of the Barrels 2011. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a dark brown color with a good creamy off-white head and a bit of lacing as the beer's head falls to a thin cap. The nose carries really nice bourbon notes as well as a good dose of chocolate plus some caramel and brown sugar. Sweet malt layered with bourbon; really nice. The flavor doesn't quite integrate everything like the nose did, but the combination of the oak and bourbon with the base is quite nice. Really full and excellent body with low carbonation leading to even more perceived thickness. Really excellent. I liked this quite a bit more than the base beer.

 636 characters

Photo of deadliest
4/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of Sanderson
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Pontzie
4.75/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A found pair of barrells aged since 2011 by the former brewmaster at my local watering hole lead to a tap takeover by Sierra Nevada to celebrate the pouring of the last known kegs of this edition. June 2018.
Kind of a cool feeling to get in to something that doesn't exist anymore elsewhere.

L: dark dark dark strong ale pour with a thin fine head. Still, inky dark mahogany brown color. The carbonation push out through the middle to the edge and slowly bubbles up to the surface.

S: I was told to expect maple but I didn't sense much of that type of sweetness. Instead, I encountered bready malts, a mellow vanilla and bourbon scent. However, there was not a lot of barrel aged woodiness to the scent, instead it was as if the bourbon were added as opposed to the beer being barrel aged. Earthy and delicious scent punctuate the age of this barrel.

T: All of the goodness of the smell translates across the palate when sipping this ale. A ripened plum note initially surprises and carries into warm and delicious bread and Earth flavor in the middle. The finish is crisp and clean for a strong ale. The alcohol is carried perfectly through.

F: The age of this barrel did some funky things here. The beer flattened out and the carbonation that was left tended to escape in odd patterns. Who knows what the real alcohol content was but it was surely significantly higher than the 10.4 percent on the label. All of that alcohol can be a chore to carry but the flavors here handle it well.

O: A unique experience but a slight metallic twang stops this from being a heavenly experience. Fun to talk beer history and discuss Brewers who were visionary about doing crossover barrells of the best flavor before it became the latest trend. I would highly recommend this if you are some sort of evil super villain with access to hidden treasures and the means. Otherwise I'll mark it up as a lucky guy being in the right place at the right time.

 1,954 characters

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Sierra Nevada Barrel Aged Life And Limb from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.27 out of 5 with 71 ratings