So, as mentioned here, we had the fortune of obtaining a bottle of Life and Limb, a collaboration between Sierra Nevada and Dogfish Head. Yeah, we just now got around to drinking it. So sue us.
It comes in 24oz. bottles only, if you can find it. As our guy in Minnesota said, the entire state got 5 cases and he got one of them.
It pours a very dark brown. The head was sort of a caramelly brown and it dissipated pretty quickly.
It had a nice roasty smell with some alcohol notes, and you could definitely detect the maple syrup in it. At least, that's what Simon told us...
Overall, I liked the beer. I'm not that great at picking up "notes", so I would describe it as a strong roasty brown ale, plenty of warming alcohol presence (it IS 10% ABV), with a little too much maple syrup on the back end. It also contains birch syrup, but I have no idea what the hell that tastes like. My fiancee likes strong beers, but she did not care for this one. She felt like her palate was being hit over the head with the maple, and I can certainly see how that would be the case.
If you tried the Tommyknocker Imperial Maple Nut Brown when it was around town, this was about the same beer but with a bit more depth and complexity. Considering it costs 3 times as much as that beer ounce-for-ounce, your marginal enjoyment isn't going to compete.
I think this was a reasonably successful collaboration, and I think most people who are into strong ales would like this beer. If this were, say, Boulder Beer Company and Bridgeport, the beer geek world would not have been quite so abuzz. But this was Sierra Nevada and Dogfish Head, two darlings of the industry, so it would have been almost impossible to live up to the hype.
My vote? Give it a try if you come across it, but there's no need to make any crazy multi-state jaunt to get your hands on a bottle. It's just beer.