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

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70 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: 70 |  Reviews: 16
Photo of southhousebrew
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of n2185
3.9/5  rDev -8.5%
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.

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Photo of Sixofsigmas
5/5  rDev +17.4%

Photo of nmann08
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.5/5  rDev -17.8%

Photo of mjtiernan
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of benbking
5/5  rDev +17.4%

Photo of keepersj12
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What a great aroma, fruit and vanilla. A lot of wine, some alcohol, prunes, caramel. The pour is very dark like molasses with a tan head. The flavor has all of the same elements along with a bit of smoke. It is full bodied with a very long lasting after taste that is quite nice. Better than the original.

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Photo of DarthKostrizer
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
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

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Photo of rowingbrewer
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a nice brown color with a tan head. the smell is bourbon vanilla wood and a small roasty sweetness. the bourbon is smooth and sweet with vanilla undertones. the mouthfeel is full with low carbonation. the beer is verry good, i wish they would barrel age all life and limb

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Photo of July2Nov
4.26/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on-tap @ Murphy's Bar & Grill in Honolulu, HI. Thanks Jon!

Appearance: Finger-width of frothy foam that withstood the entirety of the beer. Color is a dark, dark brown (almost black). A beauty to behold.

Smell: Burnt caramel. Brown sugar and syrup.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Spice, syrup, more syrup (does not distract from the goodness of this beer in any way.), Warm and smooth with a full-bodied boldness that settles down into a sweet brown sugar loveliness afterwards.

Overall: I wasn't expecting to like this as much as I did and was pleasantly surprised by this collaboration, so much that I had two of these, when one probably would have been enough. The first one I had with the pastrami sandwich special, but the second one with the apple crumble dessert really made both the dessert and beer shine! Brown sugar was accentuated to the max! Drink this as a stand alone or with a good dessert. You won't be disappoint either way.

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Photo of xnicknj
4.07/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

on tap at tria in philly

Pours an opaque black with a thin beige head resting on tap. Dissolves quickly with a few webs of lacing and film.

Rich scents of bourbon and oak, some chocolate sweetness mixed with a nice swirl of vanilla. The booze is prevalent but soft, tempered by a nice malted backbone.

A nice slap of bourbon right up front, giving way to some rich flavors with vanilla and caramel. The malts and heavy and roasted with some syrupy tones - the hops have faded at this point but you can still detect their presence towards the finish. Plenty of earthy oak and booze on the finish.

Fuller medium body, nice carbonation, full and syrupy on the tongue. This was a really tasty beer that I randomly ran into - I'd absolutely drink it again.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.17/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

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Photo of BruChef
4.44/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Based on memory from about 6 hours ago at the Tap and Mallet, Sierra Nevada-total tap take-over so here goes:

Served in a white wine glass, poured a rich, somewhat murky, dark brown/mahogany color with head dissipating almost immediately after pouring. Some lacing on the sides and thin residual tan head on the surface.

The smell is amazing: Maple syrup up front complemented by port and other fortified wine like nuances. Combined with the taste, in addition to the maple syrup and port are notes of mission fig, raisin and other dark, dried fruits. The maple is what stands out the most and it is exceptionally pleasant. I feel like the barrel aging helped to bring that aspect out substantially although it's been a year since i had the regular version. Surprisingly and thankfully, this beer is not cloying at all like one might expect. The hops are not forward, nor should they be, but in the back round just enough to balance out everything that might have potentially made this beer too sweet. Such harmony!

The mouth feel is good for this beer; not quite coating the tongue but simply gracing it with medium to light carbonation. This beer drinks like Less than a porter but just slightly more than an English brown ale.

Overall this was a fantastic beer. Halfway through it i came up with what i thought was the perfect summation: It's like what you wanted your '97 Sam Adams triple bock to taste like except lighter and without the syrupy soy sauce body/flavor and carbonation. Super glad i had the chance to try this beer.

 1,540 characters

Photo of largadeer
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

From 03/11/11 notes. Had two samples of this on tap at NOTB in Boston.

a - Pours a dark mahogany brown color with less than an inch of head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of bourbon, chocolate, roasted malts, caramel malts, oak, and sweet sugar or molasses. The bourbon is up front but not overpowering; I loved the smell.

t - Tastes of bourbon, oak, roasted malts, vanilla, chocolate, dark fruits, and sweet molasses and syrup. Again, a big fan of the sweetness and bourbon mixing together, as it wasn't overly sweet or hot.

m - This one had a full body and low carbonation. It was insanely smooth and creamy, and went down very easy. No real heat from it; a perfect mouthfeel.

d - This was one of the top 3 beers I had at NOTB. The mixture of bourbon, sweet fruit, and chocolate was nearly perfect in my opinion, and the mouthfeel was perfect. I liked the normal version of this and this version blew it away. Would love to have this one again sometime and hoping they make more of it.

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Photo of glid02
4.54/5  rDev +6.6%
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 Radiodred
4.54/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

WOW! another great beer from KNB wine cellars 29 Sierra Night. I had this side by side with the regular life and limb. It really blew the other out of the water. The aroma of barrel aged beers is not overrated, and helps out on giving beers a roundness to it. The difference was also noticable in the taste. Scary looking at first, black doesnt even look that black, minimal lacing left on glass. Warm it up with time or your hands and really get those notes dance on your palate.

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Photo of thagr81us
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
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.

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Photo of jsanford
4.34/5  rDev +1.9%
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!

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Sierra Nevada Barrel Aged Life And Limb from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.26 out of 5 with 70 ratings