If you've been reading this blog for a while you'll notice right off the bat that I didn't put a brewery in front of the beer name. There's a simple explanation as there are two of them: Sierra Nevada and Dogfish Head. Two icons in the craft brewing industry came together back in 2009 and brewed the original Life and Limb. It sold so quickly that few people were able to get their hands on one including yours truly. It was because of that disappointment that I was excited to see they had decided to brew another batch of L&L for release and it was this last two weeks that it started to show up on the shelves.
L&L is an interesting brew in and of itself. As stated on Sierra Nevada's website, the life portion of the name comes from the living yeast cells in the bottle, so one knows this is a bottle conditioned ale. The Limb comes from the two syrups used, maple and birch.
The Beer: The beer weighs in at a hefty 10.2% abv and pours a very rich dark brown, almost black, with a thick taupe colored head. The nose is full of black malts, vanilla, oaky, honestly a little disappointed here. The beer doesn't have a powerful nose, and what is there is very subtle. That subtlety ends at the first sip. Its medium bodied, very malty, sweet, coffee, roasted malts, vanilla, syrupy. I don't think I have ever had birch syrup before, but there is an earthyness to the brew that I think comes from the maple syrup used. I don't get a lot of alcohol in the beer its easier drinking than expected. Some cherry notes as it warms, there is a chocolate cake quality to the beer. Its not overly sweet mind you, but its just what it reminds me of. This is a good unique beer, maybe not a home run, but a very solid brew that is worth looking out for if you can still find it around town.