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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Beer Tasting Notes {Life and Limb}

When I first saw the press for Life and Limb, I was attracted by the label alone (I'm a tree-hugger, it called out to my inner hippie).  But as I read the description for this fantastic collaboration by California's Sierra Nevada Brewing and Delaware's Dogfish Head Brewing, I was equally intrigued.  So I called my hubby and asked him to find a bottle ASAP.

A note: you may notice that I send my hubby on lots of beer hunts - he works in the beer industry, so he's out in the trade most days.  He calls on some of the best retailers of fine craft beers, so if he, of all people, can't find it in his travels, it's not available here!

So by the next day, a bottle of Life and Limb was sitting comfortably on the top shelf in the refrigerator, daring me to pop the cork... but I promised myself that I would savor it on Friday night, when life takes a slower turn for a couple of precious days; so I waited.  Friday came, and I talked about my bottle all day.  I made myself wait until the wee one was in bed asleep, and finally popped the cork.  I'm so glad I waited.

Here is the inscription on the bottle:
LIFE - this living ale is naturally carbonated to enhance complexity, refinement and to encourage aging.  LIMB - for the birch and maple trees, whose syrup gives this ale its unique flavor and symbolizes the collaboration between Sierra Nevada and Dogfish Head.  We are proud to share our Life and Limb with the thousands of other branches who collectively comprise the craft-brewing family tree.  Sip slowly with friends and loved ones; savor - because one could do better than be a swigger of birches.

I took my tulip glass out to the backyard and sipped this gorgeous brew while watching my hubby work on his boat.  It made a chill Friday night even more relaxing.  Bliss.

Without further ado, my tasting notes.

Sierra Nevada Brewing and Dogfish Head Brewing Life and Limb

Life and Limb is a 10.2% ABV American Strong Ale.  And strong it is.  It pours a dark black brown with a thick gorgeous tanned caramel head - when held to the light, it shows a warm amber-red glow.  The aroma is sweet and sticky and very boozy (in a VERY good way); full of roasty dark chocolatey malt and a sweet caramelized maple twist, with light citrusy orange leafy hops dancing around the fringe.  A warm liquory maple flavor slides down my throat, leaving a burnt malt sherry flavor on my tongue and starting a small comforting campfire burning in my tummy.  The sticky maple malt lingers in the mouth, making this a perfect sipping beer. The flavors only got better as it warmed.  A must have, and a must-cellar brew.


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