Sawtooth Ale - Left Hand Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Sawtooth AleSawtooth Ale

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1,990 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,990
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: 1,990 | Reviews: 685
Photo of jimthepisces
5/5  rDev +34.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is my absolute favorite American style ESB. The balance between the malt & hops is perfection. It's complex but definitely sessionable. I had one one draft and have also tried it on nitro...I think I prefer the co2 version for this one. Very sessionable. A must-try beer!!

Photo of mluchies
4.88/5  rDev +31.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

One of all time favorites from a brewery I'm dying to get to!

Photo of Mackbekeza
4.83/5  rDev +29.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

One of my favorites from Left Hand

Photo of mark_walters
4.69/5  rDev +26.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Great beer, smooth hopped ale. Taste was consistent through out the sip. Definitely one of my new favorites. Smooth enough to drink over and over, but strong flavor that you can get away with a few.

Photo of russpowell
4.65/5  rDev +25%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Beautiful copper coloring with a foamy head that holds up fairly well. Residual lace follows down the class

Smell: Citrus-like hop aroma with some faint bready malt smells

Taste is very well balanced, nice sweet maltiness gives way to hoppy, some what resiny bitter tastes on the tounge & throat.

Mouth feel is perfect, chewy maltiness & just right amount of carbination

ESBs are amognst my favorite styles and this is in my personnal upper tier, yum, great finish...

Photo of JasonCoop
4.65/5  rDev +25%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

pours typically amber/orange color with a slight haze and a good head

smells light and hoppy. very faint fruit sweet smell.

taste is great. very malty tasting, but stays light. subtle buttery caramel taste with nice crisp, dry finish. nicely balanced.

mouthfeel is nice and crisp, pretty dry. easily drinkable and delicious.

Photo of LongsPeakAveBrew
4.65/5  rDev +25%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Lefthand Brewery's Sawtooth Ale pours a clear copper into thin walled pint glass. Off white head dissipates quickly leaving curtains on the glass and just a trace of head on the top.

Toasted malt balances earthy grassy hop notes.

Taste opens with a full maltiness before being brought into blance by strong earthy and piney hops.

Nice full ale mouthfeel.

Eminently drinkable due to the perfectly balanced flavor and nice balnce of body and carbonation

Photo of pmcadamis
4.62/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Murky amber brew w/ a thin bubbly head. Nice arcs of lace. This is almost two-toned in that it is dark amber in the middle and carrrot orange near the top and around the edges.

Excellent citrus hops and biscuity malt. Very zesty yet warm and robust. As the beer warms, a very sweet malt scent steps forward a bit and the orange and lemon hops play second fiddle.

Extremely balance and tasty! Not as hopped as I wouold have thought based on the nose. Robustly malted. I taste sweet orange cookies and biscuits along with a hoppy lemon zest at the slighty dry finish.

Very full bodied, thick, chewy, and smooth as hell. This is excellently viscous!

Drinkability is superb. Although the thickness could be a bit filling if you plan on sessioning this brew, or enjoying a few with a meal, this is highly quaffable.

This is the first beer that the fellas at Left Hand ever brewed, and IMO it's their best offering by far.

Photo of keng1343
4.59/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Beer very smooth on nitro

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 LuDookie
4.55/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is my new go-to beer when I'm not enjoying the stouts. It is very complex, in my opinion, and goes down very well. I would not consider it a "strong bitter" at all, for I am not a fan of hoppy beers. I've never even been able to stomach most bitters, or hoppy beer, such as IPA's, etc, but I really like this beer.

Photo of SportsandJorts
4.55/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: a real hazy straw yellow color, with a foamy white head that sits forever.

Smell: nice mellow floral hops and pale malts

Taste: floral hops that don't leave an outstanding bitterness, followed by some pale malts. Unbelievably balanced and delicious

Mouthfeel: perfectly smooth and clean. almost no bitterness. very refreshing

Overall: This one kinda blew me away. I really enjoyed it. This is almost exactly what I want out of an ESB and certainly the best american version I have had by far. I want to try it bottled and see how it compares.

Photo of barknee
4.55/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into chilled glass tankard, (yea I know.. Faux Pas!)..showing a foamy light mocha colored head, which diminshed in a few minutes. Color is a saturated medium reddish brown, and the constitution is clear without sediment or particulate. The scent of fruity hops soars from the glass, with hints of lightly roasted cashew nut. The fruity scent that wafts from the glass has a very nice myrrh component to it. The carbonation was not visible, but the feeling of a fine effervescence on the tongue last the entire glass. The taste is wonderful; malty with notes of birch with a very pleasant bitterness, rounded out and balanced. This brew has the perfect acidity, and is a pleasure to take on with vigor. The beer is medium bodied, and has a long tasty finish that lasts several minutes. This is one of the most enjoyable brews I have ever had, and it is a wonderful candidate for a homogeneous evening selection. Super refreshing with a brilliant mouthfeel.
This is a must do situation!!!!

Photo of Brentkruger1989
4.54/5  rDev +22%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is good and clean. Smells amazing!But wasn't the best beer I've ever had. Not even e n the best beer i had tonight

Photo of RBorsato
4.54/5  rDev +22%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear golden-copper with a low beige head, good carbonation, and spotty lace. Nice aroma !! Malty with nice grassy hop aroma and a bit of fruitiness. Nice prominent grassy hop flavor and very well balanced. Light-medium (leans light) bodied with a good amount of bitterness in the finish.

Per L.H. website:
Malts: 2-Row, Crystal, Munich, Black Patent
Hops: Cascade, East Kent Goldings, Fuggles & Magnum
Original Gravity: 12 Plato ( 1.050 )
IBU's: 27

Gold - 1994 GABF (Traditional Bitter)

Bottled: 07/15/03 (Erickson)
Tasted: 11/11/03

Bottled: 10/21/03 (Zoe)
Tasted: 03/30/04 (lowered Mouthfeel from 4.5 to 4)

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 hydrate
4.5/5  rDev +21%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Love it. Great flavor. Dry, hoppy.

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

This brew pours a clear light amber color. Its head is large white and fluffy, and sticks around forever. The aroma is nice and hoppy with some fruity notes. The taste is as hoppy as the aroma. Not overpowering, but still strong. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with ample carbonation. Overall, this is a great brew.

Photo of everythingiszen
4.5/5  rDev +21%

Try the nitro!

Photo of ClavisAurea
4.5/5  rDev +21%

Served at fridge temp in a tulip glass (all I had clean ATM).

Appearance: Beautiful copper with a light brown head that dissipated after a minute or two to a thin foam on the surface.

Nose: Caramel candy, sweet malt, slight hops.

Taste: Round maltyness with absolutely no hop bitterness at all. Much more like a English Mild. Absolutely wonderful flavor of orange marmalade, fruity and delicious (Ringwood ale yeast like).

This was truly a treat. Not at all what I thought it would be like from the bottle description or what I know about ESBs. I've had Redhook beforeand I expected a Pacific Northwest/West Coast hop slam to my mouth but this was so malty and well rounded that I'm going to have to pick up some more. Try this beer.

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

I love ESB's, but I have trouble describing them. I'm hoping by reviewing a few and reading reviews I'll gain more skill in evaluating this style.

Color/Appearance: medium amber, white head that quickly dissipates.

Aroma: Lt caramel with citrus (bitter lemon) notes.

Taste: Medium body, grainy medium caramel fading to caramel and bitter lemon. Finishes fairly clean.

A very enjoyable beer - I've had this one a few times and I think it's one of my favorite examples of the style.

Photo of cer40
4.48/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I sampled this beer out of a 12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. It poured with a one finger head that left a slight lace and hung around on top throughout the beer.

It smelled delicious with a sweet maltiness and a floral hoppiness. The taste was much the same with a nice dry finish.

A good bodied ale with enough carbonation to wet your thirst. I had to have a second immediately.

Photo of cutout
4.47/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 0z. bottle poured into 20 oz. tulip glass.

A. Golden amber color 1/2 finger head creamy but not lingering.
S. Your nose comes alive with malty sweetness and carmel and biscuit overtones.
T. Such a well balance of hop and malt the hops being the real surprise from not picking them up on smell but o so present in subtle way.
M. A dry but sweet taste followed all the way through.
Being a Pale Ale and IPA fan this was a contrast but pleasant surprise to my palate and a beer i will reach for again .

Photo of osusullins
4.46/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I think that this is an excellent ESB. It is meant to be poured from a nitro tap, so I can understand some of the poor reviews from the bottle drinkers. Totally different experience with nitro.

This is my favorite beer to watch pour from the tap. Pours initially a cloudy off white, but soon begins to cascade into the most brilliant looking tan ale with an off-white head. Beautiful lacing.

Not much to the aroma. I know it sounds stupid, but it just smells like beer. lol.

Taste is solid for an ESB. Dry with some bitterness, but not offensive at all. The nitro helps create a texture that I find comparable to Boddingtons. Finishes quite dry. Very creamy and smooth... So very, very smooth. Just covers the mouth with creamy goodness. Taste lingers. I've found that this beer accompanies spicey foods very well. Probably my favorite pub ale.

Photo of jpittman80
4.44/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Beautiful brilliantly clear copper with a mostly white head. that fades to the rim.

S - Apples, citrus, wine, faint bready malt and apples.

T - I really didn't see this coming from the smell. Instead of a cidery beer, it's full tasty caramel and bready malts. The apple flavor is present, but faint and in the background. Good clean hop bitterness rounds it out to a nice dry finish.

M - Silky smooth medium body. I really enjoy drinking this.

D - See above. A great flavored, well balanced beer.

What took me so long to try this?

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Sawtooth Ale from Left Hand Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 1,990 ratings.