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Sawtooth Ale - Left Hand Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Sawtooth AleSawtooth Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,677 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,677
Reviews: 652
rAvg: 3.72
pDev: 13.17%
Wants: 42
Gots: 84 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-16-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,677 | Reviews: 652 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Applesauce1


3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked this up at the Pit Stop in Nelsonville, OH.

Appearance: copper-amber color with a nice 3/4" head on the pour
Smell: i smell some spices (winter warmer spices); kind of a weird smell for this type
Taste: very good; nice balance; mild hoppiness; but mostly a malty flavor with some of that winter warmer/bock flavor (kinda weird, but thats what it feels like)
Mouthfeel: medium to light bodied
Drinkability: going down pretty good

Overall, I'm impressed with this beer and would like to try it again.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2007 05:25:18 | More by Applesauce1
Photo of beermanbrian


3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark copper color with light tan head. Smell of biscuits with a toasted note. Taste is very malty but there is a piney hop note that just sneeks through. Very smooth finish with little to no aftertaste. This is a very drinkable beer that i could see having around. Pleasantly surprised by this one.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2006 00:29:31 | More by beermanbrian
Photo of ryantupy


3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This one poured a darkish amber with a nice frothy foamy head. It smelled great it had hints of toffee or carmel, fruits, cirtusy hops and malt. A very nice tasting beer with some nice bitterness to it and some sweet caramel malts and hints of biscuit character, dark chocolate. This was definatly a try.

Serving type: on-tap

09-01-2005 00:14:21 | More by ryantupy
Photo of drizzam


3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Poured into a clear pint glass. Creamy half finger eggshell head with mediocre head retention. Cloudy reddish orange color brew.

Smell - Candied caramel, with a tinge of citrus hops. Very light esters in this one.

Taste - Caramel and buttery toffee are the prominent flavors that I'm getting here. It finishes with a bitter piney hop bite...not overly hoppy, but it's there. The flavors are actually very well balanced.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability- Thin bodied mouthfeel with medium carbonation. Finishes crisp with no aftertaste to speak of. The low ABV and well balnced flavors make this a highly drinkable offering from left hand.

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2009 02:36:42 | More by drizzam
Photo of ffejherb


3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle into DFH specialty pint glass

A - Nice clear bronze amber body with healthy one-finger of creamy, off-white head and plenty of active carbonation. Very good head retention and some nice initial lacing.

S - Hop presence is primarily a sweet floral bouquet with a bit of perfume and citrus fruit. Malt is sweet with notes of caramel and fresh bread.

T - Tasty floral hoppiness with a bit of citrus juiciness. Malt tastes of crusty bread and biscuits. Nicely balanced.

M - Medium body with a bit of a syrupy texture. Quite a bubbly mouthfeel with effervescent bubbles of carbonation tickling the tastebuds. Finish is mildly bitter on the tongue.

D - Very tasty ESB that's well balanced and easy to drink. Nice session beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2008 00:30:22 | More by ffejherb
Photo of ONovoMexicano

New Mexico

3.91/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

A- Pillowy, cloud-like head. Amber and copper in color. Good carbonation.

S- Malty, sweet brown sugar, mild piney hops.

T- Caramel, sweet malts, bread, bitter hop finish

M- Sweet, creamy start, hoppy, dry, bitter finish

A good beer with an excellent flavor and easy-drinking, yet complex profile. Aside from the nose, which seemed muted, this was a great beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2013 19:43:44 | More by ONovoMexicano
Photo of drtth


3.93/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a standard shaker glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: The beer as served is a clear dark copper/amber color with a ½" off-white head that recedes slowly and leaves a small ring and some modest lacing. Though out most of the beer sipping leaves some but not a lot of speckled lacing.

Smell: The pleasant aroma is soft with sweet malt and floral hops.

Taste: The flavor is a demonstration of the word "balance." There are floral hops and a nice malt backbone with neither dominating the other. Throughout there are also some subdued floral and citrus notes (grapefruit) and a subtle pale malt sweetness.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is medium-bodied and smooth but a touch on the thin side. The carbonation is light but strong and persistent. The finish is moderately long and becomes dry and pleasantly bitter though to the end.

Drinkability: This beer is quite easy to drink and I could easily have more than one. I'll certainly look to have this one again sometime.

Serving type: on-tap

07-30-2009 00:53:50 | More by drtth
Photo of JuicesFlowing


3.93/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a conical pint glass.

The beer pours a decidedly amber orange. A soapy off white head recedes to a random patch of bubbles while nice sticky lacing makes world map rings on the glass.

The beer smells pretty pure and simple. Lots of hops after the initially subdued sweet malts. Some citrus and namely grapefruit peel come through.

The taste mimics the aroma but pulling no punches. A nice round mellow malt body that adds some needed sweetness, then a nice tangy, citrus hop follow through. There's a very faint fruit note coating the hops as to not make this too sharp. A somewhat tangy tea finish.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and sharp. Some dryness.

Overall, I like the balance in this. It's very straight-forward and simply in construction, and not at all bad to have a few.

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2012 15:05:34 | More by JuicesFlowing
Photo of 57md


3.93/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance is copper with a finger of head that had no retention. There is a mild herbal nose to this offering. There is a classic malty flavor upfront with a distinct transition to dry hoppiness on the finish. This is an excellent example of an ESB.

Serving type: on-tap

02-18-2012 08:18:17 | More by 57md
Photo of hangh


3.93/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice orange color with minimal foam. Fairly clear, not too much lacing but it is very fine. Decent appearance I guess. Smell is a rich citrus coupled with some sweet malty smells. It has a very peculiar and nice smell. Taste begins with a short, bitter citrus that eases into a prolonged sweet malt taste. Aftertaste is pretty good and definitely adds to the drink. Full of taste and flavor, I'm really glad I picked it up. Medium carbonation but light bodied. Pretty easy to drink and full of life and flavor. It is well worth the purchase.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2010 02:07:01 | More by hangh
Photo of ToasterChef


3.93/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a cellar temperature bottle into a 12oz 'pint' glass. The beer has a light brown color with hints of copper. There is a small head of tiny bubbles. Visible in this clear beer are many carbonation bubbles streaming to the top of the glass. While pouring the beer, I could smell some caramel sweetness. Once I bring the glass up to my nose, I get a robust, woodsy, sweet aroma. It is very pleasing and makes me excited to take my first sip. The main taste characteristic is of toffee, but there is also a pine-like hop flavor in the finish. There is a mild bitterness in the aftertaste, but nothing too sensational. This beer tastes more like a brown to me. It has a light body, which suits it well. There is plenty of carbonation and not much coating. I find this beer to be very drinkable. I could have a number of these in a row without growing tired of it. Too bad this is my last bottle!

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2009 00:23:41 | More by ToasterChef
Photo of karengarys


3.93/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours a nice rich deep hazy amber. Minimal head though, and a very small ring around the edge disappears. No lacing.

Smells hoppy and grapefruitey and slightly sweet with a hint of malt balance.

It tastes pretty yummy. What I would expect in an ESB. A dry hop crispness smacks you in the face right off the bat - I happen to like that... It stays throughout it's journey down your throat. After the inital whallop, grapefruit joins the flavor, and hangs around.

The mouthfeel is kind of nice, but a bit thin for my tastes. Per the style? I think maybe a bit watery. The crisp hop saves it, though, tingling for the first half of the drink in a nice fizz. After that it drys up into a citrus flavor with hints of rind.

The finish is very clean.

I think the body is a little thin.

This is a really good ESB. In my opinion, one of the better that I have tried. I recommend trying it.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2004 02:11:54 | More by karengarys
Photo of gleemonger


3.93/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hazy reddish yellow with a small white head. Looks a little flat, I wonder if this one is a little too old. No lacing.

Biscuity grany malts, a little honey sweetness, the slighest touch of citrusy hops (again, may have faded due to age). Some caramel malt too.

Very much follows the nose with the biscuity and caramel malts with just a light amount of citrusy hops and bitterness to balance it out. Pretty basic, but nice.

Moderate body with a fairly light carbonation. Could use a bit more carbonation I think, but pretty refreshing.

Bottle date is about 7 months old, so I'd like to try this again fresher, to maybe pick up a bit more of the hops. But regardless, it's a very nice, super refreshing ESB that goes down easy but has a good amount of complexity and is really tasty.

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2013 20:42:55 | More by gleemonger
Photo of beersabound


3.93/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It's been about fours years since I last had this fine ale and I am glad I tried it again. See I am in Shawnee OK for work for almos three weeks and there is not much good beer here. Nice small town with lovely people but the craft beer movement is moving at a snail's pace.

Anyways, the Sawtooth has a inviting orange/tawny color but the head is small and fizzles out quick. The CO2 fizzle also made the mouthfeel less pleasurable but still good. This beer on Nitro or hand pull would be outstanding. The aroma is malt balanced with caramel and light roast type notes. The hops are subdued and there is a light fruitiness in the aroma that follows throught in to the flavor. I like this beer alot and find it quite easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle

08-15-2007 02:42:38 | More by beersabound
Photo of canucklehead

British Columbia (Canada)

3.93/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep copper colour with a brewery malty type nose with is kinda nice.The malts are the mainstay with some hops on the followup which bring to mind Fullsail Amber in flavour profile. Very drinkable and food friendly this is a decent beer from a brewery that I have not tried before.

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2008 15:59:57 | More by canucklehead
Photo of ZAP


3.93/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Apperance: Deep copper color....mininal head...

Smell: Nice aroma of caramel and nuts....a real nice nose

Taste: Nicely balanced malt/hop blend...a tasty caramel/nut backbone with a dry finish...begins malty but finishes tight and dry

Mouthfeel: Lower carbonation level....Medium/light body....

Drinkability: Would seem to be a good session beer...slides down easy...nice dose of flavor but highly quaffable...perhaps a bit too dry on the finish for my taste for an ESB but I'm getting picky....very nicely done beer overall

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2006 03:20:02 | More by ZAP
Photo of BravoTwo


3.93/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Clear amber brown with a nice amount of white head, that left spotty lacing down the side of the glass.

S - Grainy, with caramel notes and a very light hops presence

T - Nice caramel notes, with clean flavors. Biscuit and grain with a well balanced cirusy hops presence. Slightly fruity.

M - Fair mouthfeel, with a lighter feel. Good level of carbonation.

D - Nicely drinkable ESB, hitting the right notes with flavor but subdued enough to be an easily sessionable ale.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2009 19:13:18 | More by BravoTwo
Photo of axeman9182

New Jersey

3.93/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap in a nonic pint glass at Good Beer.

Left Hand's Sawtooth initially pours fairly turbid, but it clears nicely to a translucenr copper. The head starts off as two fingers of tightly packed white foam. I'm typing this more than halfway through the glass and the head still hasn't dissipated, and it's doing a fairly good job of coating the glass with lacing. The nose is very, very mild, with aromas of toast and tea barely escaping out of the glass. The toasted bread and biscuit maltiness pops a little bit more on my palate. It's followed by a gentle suggestion bitterness, and closed out with an herbal English tea hop presence. The body is a little bit sturdy, and paired with a subtle carbonation that prickles your tongue just a little bit. Left Hand's Sawtooth is a good re-creation of a classic English style by an American brewery.

Serving type: on-tap

11-20-2012 23:48:46 | More by axeman9182
Photo of MacQ32

South Carolina

3.93/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a deep amber color with a finger of white head that dissipates almost immediately, ok lacing.

S - Bready, sweet malty caramel with some earthy hops present.

T - Bready sweet malt earthy hops and a hint of lemon, simple but damn delicious

M - Medium bodied, well carbonated, refreshing

O - Overall this brew is damn tasty, simple but delicious

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2011 01:42:23 | More by MacQ32
Photo of Flounder57


3.93/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured in a pint glass at Estelle's in Boston.

Appearance: This beer poured a small head that reduced to a thin layer. It is a copper color with great clarity and bubbles coming up through the glass. Crazy lacing on the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: malty, bready, and fruity

Taste: All of the above blended well together. Nice maltiness and mild bitterness to this beer.

Mouthfeel: Creamy smooth, a little chewy, medium bodied, low carbonation, and extremely drinkable.

Overall: Very nice ESB. Will have more.

Serving type: on-tap

04-15-2013 21:11:57 | More by Flounder57
Photo of Act25

New Jersey

3.93/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

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

Appearance: Medium, clear amber with a very thick, lumpy and foamy white head, with exceptional retention. This will make a great black and bitter.

Smell: Caramel, cherries, figs, esters, cracker grain and light hop aromas.

Taste: Malt first. with flowers, biscuit malt. Pleasant fruit follow with malt and hop balance. Long firm finish. Hop bitterness is mild but long. Mineral, fresh, long finish.

MF: firm mouthfeel, medium-bodied. Even a bit creamy. Again - going to be a great blend with Stout.

Great: Top ESB. Easy to session.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2014 18:41:33 | More by Act25
Photo of Pencible


3.93/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This poured a slightly hazy amber with off-white head. It smelled like a blend of earthy and caramel malts with some copper hops. It tasted like light but sweet caramel malt with some mild copper hops. It was watery with no carbonation, and had a very mild aftertaste. Overall this was not a very flavorful beer, but it was clean and easy to drink. Good traditional ESB that's nice to relax with.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2008 21:44:22 | More by Pencible
Photo of feloniousmonk


3.93/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear coppery color, with small, but suitable off-white head. Aroma is clean, but fruity, with hints and dribbles of citrus, grapefruit, fresh and zesty. Taste is zippy, with delicious spritzes of hops that maintain a presence throughout the finish and all through the contents of the bottle. Great balance, smooth, but full of flavor.
Normally I turn my nose at ESBs, but this one has style, body, and taste that many lack.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2003 20:04:52 | More by feloniousmonk
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2007 03:59:44 | More by Osiris9588
Photo of hiikeeba


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

Purchased in a sampler twelve pack at Central Market in South Austin.

A - Pours up an amber/orange with a white head

S - Caramel malts dominate the aroma and a hint of citrus hops.

T - Starts off with caramel, roast malts fill in and hops are in the finish.

M - A little thin, made up for with a lot of carbonation.

D - The hops finish builds up over time, otherwise a drinkable beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2008 23:10:03 | More by hiikeeba
Sawtooth Ale from Left Hand Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 1,677 ratings.