I have been a fan of Dogfish Head from day one, and have a long personal history with them. I remember going to the restaurant they took over before they where in existence and watched them grow from there.
They produce high quality craft beers, and their Shelter Pale ale for me is a bench mark for all Pale Ales. Their 90 minute IPA is also regarded as a top notch benchmarking IPA. I also had the experience of going to Chico California and seeing the Sierra Nevada brew pub this fall.
So this past weekend when I met a friend at the original Dogfish Head brew pub in Rehoboth Beach, DE this Saturday, he sold me on trying the Life and Limb beer. The L&L was a collaborative effort between Sierra Nevada and Dogfish Head, perhaps two of the most well known craft breweries on their respective coasts. This is a must try for beer fans.
First on availability, this was a very limited release, I was told there were a total of 60 cases that went into distribution, (12 22oz bottles) Dogfish Head was able to distribute 30 cases. They sent one case each to their top 30 liquor stores to sell. So finding a bottle was difficult at first and now impossible as they are sold out. Some bottles are going for $80 on ebay.
Back to Saturday night, they had it on draft and will do so for a few months until they run out. This is a high octane beer coming in at 10.5% and served in a snifter. At first I was concerned that this would be overly sweet and taste too much like alcohol. I was wrong. This beer is actually brewed with maple syrup,
Appearance- dark brown, almost black, with a medium head that stayed around for half the time it was in my glass.
Aroma- my nose isn’t the best so bear with my primitiveness. It was a bit lighter than you would expect, a little bit of caramel and chocolate.
Palate – Wow! Incredibly smooth for such a high ABV, some fruit, cherries perhaps. And a mild mild bitterness. I spent my first snifter full trying to nail it down, and my second one enjoying it immensely. Just a very interesting tasty beer in normal guy terms.
Overall: I was shocked how good and drinkable this beer was at 10.5%, is this a session beer? No. You should have no more than two portions in a sitting, but wow this one was to be savored like a fine single malt. Perhaps I was caught up in the moment of exclusiveness to having the beer, or perhaps it really is this good, but I give this a 9 on the BBA rating scale.