Life and Limb is one of the first big collaboration brews done in the industry and it made a lot of noise when it first came out. Life and Limb is brewed by Dogfish Head and Sierra Nevada Brewing Company and it is a great example of how two industry “giants” (in craft beer terms) can come together and make something great. The beer is brewed with maple syrup from the, “Calagione family farm in Massachusetts and estate barley grown on the Grossman ‘farm’ at the brewery in Chico, CA.” (Source) The name of the beer gets its name in from two parts. 1. Life to represent the yeast used in the making of the beer and 2. Limb the two different breweries and syrups used in the beer. As a side-note, before I dive into this review I just want to note that one of the lights for my lightbox broke when I was trying to get pictures for this beer, heck the non-white background.
Oddly enough, I live in Delaware, home of Dogfish Head, but my version of this beer was brewed by Sierra Nevada. Life and Limb pours a deep brown color and has a fluffy tan colored head to compliment the deep brown nicely. The nose is super malt with lots of chocolate and some slight roast. I also got a little heat from the nose. I didn’t get a lot of hops as the malt really rules the nose, but the hops that were there were very subdued.
On my first taste I got a really nice smack of roasted grain that fades into chocolate. There is also some really rich caramel flavors in there as well. The caramel could also have been a masked version of maple or birch syrup that were added to the beer, but I’m not sure. From my experience with syrups, you don’t get a ton of flavor out of them but rather some easy ABV points. Again the hops were there, but they didn’t bite and they certainty were not a star in this beer. I really liked that these two breweries, which can be a bit hop forward, really resisted using tons of hops and let the malt shine.
There was some slight heat in the flavor of the beer as well, but it was enjoyable. For a 10.2% beer I was surprised that there wasn’t more heat on it. As a beer which presumably has a lot of simple sugars (making for a thinner beer), Life and Limb was really creamy in the mouth. I really liked this one and I am glad that I had the chance to try it. I resisted getting it while I was at the Dogfish Head brewpub in favor of trying more beer, included Limb and Life, the counterpart of this beer. If you can find any bottles of this again, make sure you grab it. I’m not sure if they are still making it or if it was a one time run, but I sure hope they decide to do this beer again soon.