Sawtooth Ale - Left Hand Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Sawtooth AleSawtooth Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,989 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,989
Reviews: 685
rAvg: 3.72
pDev: 12.9%
Wants: 68
Gots: 245 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Left Hand Brewing Company visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB) |  5.30% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-16-2001

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,989 | Reviews: 685
Reviews by NiceTaps:
Photo of NiceTaps
4.17/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz nitro-bottle pour into an Imperial pint pub glass.

A- "Pour hard" is the instruction on the label, so I did. Lots of nitro-style cascading suds quickly settle to a creamy 1-finger head. The copper-amber colored body is clean and clear. There's no activity once the head settles, yet it leaves lots of heavy lacing. The head never goes flat. A looker.

S- Very pleasant caramel malt and dark fruit aromas. Cinnamon roll or raisin bread-like. Mild floral hops and nuttiness, too.

T- Bready malts like those in the smell. Some caramel sweetness. Floral and herbal hops are light but... the beer finish clean and dry. The body is so nitro-clean, smooth, and creamy. Malt sweetness up front.

O- Obviously I enjoyed this one. It's so well balanced and very true to the style.

More User Reviews:
Photo of zhewitt98
1.96/5  rDev -47.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Not sure if I had a bad batch but it tastes like dirty river water

Photo of oberon
3.65/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice rich copper color with not much head but kept a nice lace down the glass.Smell was very malty and fruity with some dough-like aromas.Taste is very fruity with good balance of hops thrown in but it did leave an odd aftertaste.Seems to be quaffable Iam on my first with five more to go.

Photo of Marty
3.66/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice red/orange, with a lively light beige head. Carbonation was good, and those nice streams of tiny bubbles persisted until all the drink had been drunk. Dissipated head left a sticky ring of lace on the inside of the glass. Hoppiness is nice and round, not crisp, and contain hints of citrus. Overall, a very balanced beer, sure to please many a palate.

Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.85/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Unique and exceptional, this is certainly not your ordinary ale. When Maduro first tapped this brew, myself and those who I was with assumed that the complex and interesting fruit flavor and richness was a result of the Des Rocs Tripel Imperial that had, just moments before, been on tap in the same line. We were wrong. A month and a couple of half barrels have passed and the Saw Tooth just keeps bringing the same interesting intensity.

Appearance wise, this one checks in as a pretty, orange-copper. IT’s transparent and not without a decent amount of white lacing.

The aroma is juicy, loaded with a wonderful blend of toffee malt and orange, strawberry, and pineapple juice. Sweet but not without noticeable hops.

Flavor and mouthfeel are balanced and bready with lots of light fruits, citrus, toffee, caramel, and cinnamon. Bitterness is light to moderate. Body is full for the style. Yeasts seem to play a large roll in providing the honey sweetness and candy like fruitiness. Yummy.

Drinkability is quite high.

Photo of tectactoe
3.7/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

This beer pours a dark amber/brown color that is pretty translucent. Head was dense and white, mellowed out pretty quickly but remained in a thin layer almost the entire way down. The nose gets hit with sweet fruits, citrus, sour tones, grains, and a bit of caramel and sugar. The taste was great, lots of toasted malts and caramel up front, followed by a sweet, nearly tart, rush of fruits and citrus notes with just a small touch of hop oil. High carbonation, along with the sour-tart aftertaste almost makes you want to pucker just a bit, but in a good way. Sawtooth Ale is vibrant and full of a wonderful flavor profile. The body is pretty thin and leaves a crispy, dry finish.

A very tasty ESB from Left Hand here. I will definitely be having this one again.

Photo of nohead02
3.68/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm a big hop head so this isn't entirely my style of beer. Still, it does have a hoppy bite after the initial taste, but it is dominated by a carmelly, nutty flavor -- sort of a reduced Newcastle. Very frothy head that persists a long time. Yeah, I'd drink this again but not as beer of first choice.

Photo of wesbrownyeah
3.86/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got me some Left Hand Sawtooth Ale. Very festive bottle with a tie-die like look.

A- Pours a crystal clear fire orange with burnt outer tint when observed in sunlight. Nice one inch head that falls to a decent quarter inch froth. Leaves patchy lacing on sides of glass.

S- Smells of danky hop oil with mild hints of musky malts. Not much there.

T-M- Upfront is light citusy hops (lemon, orange and faint grass). Not a bad overall flavor but for ESB lacks bitterness. Smooth mouthfeel that leaves a slick coat on the tongue. Nice feel and very drinkable.

D- I would love to have a few of these around to drink when I need a dose of fresh beer that isn't chalked with alcohol.

Photo of SIRIUS2
3.82/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A: Sort of a light amber color, clear, with thin white creamy head. Low retention and light lacing.

S: Malty, caramel, with some fruity notes in the hops.

T: Quite malty with a light sweetness and the propensity for a dry finish. The hops seem to be fighting for balance but the grain malt flavors still come through. The malts seem to be on the lighter side, pale & caramel. Finish is pretty quick and relatively dry, with little bitter hop kiss at the end.

M&D: Mostly lighter flavors of malt but it has a heavier weight to it in the mouth. Carbonation is fine but abundant and somehow seems to bring out the malt nicely. I can really taste the barley in this one and for the most part, it is pretty good. It's almost reminiscent of a lighter bock style.

Photo of blitz134
3.85/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first cask ale...had at the Decatur, Ga Taco Mac.

Came to me with a cloudy dark caramel body. It had a little white head on top but quickly went to a white ring around my pint glass. I saw them pour this but it was still small.

Aroma was a bit of sweet malts with some floral aroma hints coming through. A bit weak overall. The flavor was a definate step in the right direction. This was loaded with a huge hit of biscuit malts and then transitioned to some herbal and peat hops for a bitter finish.

Mouthfeel was a full medium body, probably due to the lack of carbonation. Flavor really lingered. Good drinkability overall. A fairly solid ESB that was nonoffensive in the taste department but still went down easy.

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.71/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A 12oz bottle, with bottled on 12/12/07 stamped on the label. Poured into a pint glass, it was a golden color with a fairly thick head. Little aroma, bread and slightly sweet. It had a sweet taste, could almost taste chocolate. Some peppery spice in there also. Pretty pleasant beer, would consider this a good session beer.

Photo of Todd
4.2/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12oz brown bottle with the bottled on date stamped on the side.

Appearance: Medium, clear amber in colour with a very healthy looking thick and foamy white head with exceptional retention.

Smell: Caramel, dark fruits, light esters, grain and light citrus hop aromas in the nose.

Taste: A malty brew with caramel, light chocolate, toasted and some biscuit malt flavours. Very firm mouthfeel, medium-bodied. Pleasant fruit flavours follow and mingle oh so nicely with the even malt sweetness and complexities. Hop bitterness is mild, but balances the malt with light citrus and raw hop flavours that linger through to the end. Mineral-like flavours can also be detected. Finishes a bit dry with light grain tannins and faint background chocolate malt.

Notes: A freagin' spot on ESB, and a very impressive ale. I thoroughly enjoyed tasting this beer, and only wish I had more.

03/06/2002 Notes:

Nice rich amber beer, good head and retention. Slightly pungent floral hop with notes of citrus -- a bit perfumy. Malty, sweet, smooth with a grainy backdrop. Hops balance very well, with tannins and refreshing citrusy bite. Biscuit malt flavours flow into the dry finish, with a touch of buttery diacetyl and fruit.

Great beer! Spot on for the style. Thanks to Arctic Liquors for the sample.

Photo of merlin48
3.17/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle, "Bottled on 05 20 03" stamped on bottom right of label. Pours a clear copper amber, essentially no head, and minimal lacing. Not much of an aroma, maybe some candied caramel apple and piney hops. Mouthfeel feels a lot more carbonated than it looks. Taste is somewhat putrid. I'm beginning to think I got a skunky bottle that got lightstruck sitting on the shelf as a single. English ESBs are my favorite style but I can't even finish this glass. I'll give Sawtooth Ale another try somewhere down the line and see if this was just a bad bottle.

Photo of Billolick
3.6/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle, W/ bottled on dating, FRESH. Found this stuff, down in NJ, never seen it before in NY state. Pours a mid auburn, honeyish color, low carbonation and head, tiny bit of lacing. Nice grainy, bready nose. Mild sweet malt notes, soft on the old palate for this mellow Brit style ale. A wee bit lacking in the flavor department for my tastes, but what remains is a drinkable, balanced session brew. Worth a try.

Photo of fdrich29
4.32/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Bukowski's in Boston.

This beer surprised me in a major way. I wasn't expecting something quite so malty (not because I knew anything about this beer, I just don't tend to drink malty beers). The sweet malty-caramel smell and taste hit the spot and put a smile on my face. I definitely could have had a few more of these bad boys. Give it a try if you can find it, nice alternative to the norm.

Photo of nem2006
3.4/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The beer is a clear, deep copper with an incredible amount of visible carbonation. The white head was dense and about 1/2 inch thick.

There is quite a bit of malt in the nose. Smell a little caramel with a hint of citrus and floral.

This is a medium bodied beer with a lasting aftertaste. The carbonation is felt on the tongue. There is a short malt taste at the start with a heavy and long lasting hop finish.

Photo of tigg924
4.57/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: dark copper, medium head, cloudy, high carb

Smell: cinnamon, malt, brown sugar, and honey

Taste: brown sugar and sweet malt dominate

Mouthfeel: light, smooth, and sweet

Drinkability: I love sweet malt, I love this beer. Left Hand is slowly becoming a favorite of mine and this beer is excellent...I will session this. Wow another great offering.

Photo of Mora2000
3.68/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a hazy orange-amber color with a white head. The aroma is not very strong. I get some notes of toffee as well as some earthy hops. The flavor is much more complex. I get toffee, tea, grapes, apples, earthy hops and bready malt. Low bitterness. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Very drinkable.

Photo of PsychoJedi
3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The look is a nice amber color that is not filmy. The smell smells of fresh fruit, but not to the point of excess. The taste is a nice taste of fruit, but not to much and rather easy to drink. One drawback is that there is a real after taste that anyone would notice. For the most part, I good beer. Verdict: try it.

Photo of bsp77
3.83/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Nonic Pint.

Appearance: Clear rich amber with foamy white head that leaves bubbly legs on the glass.

Smell: Caramel, cherry and floral & metallic hops.

Taste: Rich caramel malt base with just a hint of cherry. Light floral and spicy bitterness at the end from the English hops.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, slightly too light body, semi-dry finish.

Drinkability: Great everyday beer, and a fine example of an ESB.

Photo of Bamabrew22
3.85/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Poured a beautiful amber straight into the glass with a 2-finger fluffy head. This beer smelled of delicious spicy hops. The taste was great; nice foral notes with a bit of sweet malt and a good hop punch. A great West coast style ale. Overall, you can't go wrong with this one.

Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +21%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours gold with copper highlights under a sudsy white foam cap while exuding faint spicy, earthy hop aromas and rich malts. The palate is malty and nutty with some biscuit, drying out on the finish with a moderate bitter accent. Very easy to drink and almost sessionable.

Photo of Osiris9588
3.95/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle dated 2/28/07. Pours a deep bronze color, wtih a creamy two-finger head, good retention, forming into a frothy cap and leaving plenty of sticky lacing.

The aroma is malt and caramel, as is the flavor, unitl the burst of hops and subtle alcohol on the finish.

The beer is light-bodied but shows some complexity with the contrast of the caramel, sweet malt, and floral hops. Very drinkable and overall a solid brew.

Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.58/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A 12oz bottle with a BB of March 2013. Picked up some time back from Trembling Madness in York. I like the colourful label, even though the imagery is odd.

Poured into a tulip pint glass. A hazy brownish-amber with good carbonation. Yields a decent head of creamy off-white foam that lasts for a minute or two before reducing to a surface layer. Aroma of earthy, grainy malt with notes of caramel, wheat, stewed hops, dry yeast esters and a hint of brown sugar. A slight spiciness in the background (wheat influence?).

Tastes of grainy caramel malt with a dry, yeasty finish. Notes of wheat, caramel/toffee, yeast esters, stewed hops and mild brown sugar. Faint leafy hop overtones and subtle background spice. A restrained bitterness upon swallowing. Mouthfeel is smooth, dry and tingly, with good body and understated carbonation. Rather astringent, with an aftertaste of yeasty, wheaty malt and stewed hops.

I'm not loving this - its character and flavour just seem muddled. Distinctly malty, with plenty of earthy yeast and a notable wheat presence. The hops don't come across well and the bitterness seems lacklustre. I reckon the wheat is adding something unusual that doesn't belong with the style. Odd spicy hints in the background - similar to coriander. It seems well made but it just doesn't work; not a great ESB. I would expect an English example to be cleaner and boozier. No need to seek it out.

Photo of far333
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear copper colored with a low orangey yellow head that settles out slowly. Aroma of biscuity malt and lemon notes.

Flavors of bisucit malt, some nuttiness, but herbal and spicy hops emerge. Some lemon notes, mild peppery bite. Well balance, not individual flavor dominates. Even mouthfeel, moderate carbonation, good beer.

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Sawtooth Ale from Left Hand Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 1,989 ratings.