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Sawtooth Ale - Left Hand Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Sawtooth AleSawtooth Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,648 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,648
Reviews: 649
rAvg: 3.72
pDev: 12.9%
Wants: 42
Gots: 77 | 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: 1,648 | Reviews: 649 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dpnelson1978


3.53/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into glass pint.

$1.50 / ea.

A: Hazy copper body topped with one finger of creamy foam that quickly dissipates leaving moderate lacing and a thin bubbly cover.

S: A moderate bready malt aroma dominates the nose. Very light spicy hop character. Clean overall impression.

T: Bready malt once again takes center stage with hints of alcohol, and a touch of caramel sweetness. Hops are subdued but offer up some spicy character. Very little aftertaste.

M: Medium body with moderate to high carbonation.

D: Very sessionable beer that will have a wide audience. Goes down smooth with a pleasant flavor, and little aftertaste. Versatile.

O: Simple yet solid beer that I wouldn't mind having around the house on a regular basis.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2010 01:24:30 | More by dpnelson1978
Photo of GilGarp


4.38/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One sporting the snazzy new labels that Left Hand has recently unveiled. I really like them a lot. If ever there was label art, this is it.

12oz. bottle stamped 08/26/10 (bottled on).

Served cool into a snifter, Sawtooth is a perfect red amber color with great clarity. The head is short-lived but leaves a little bit of spotty lace.

Aroma is classic ESB - mostly malty and a little earthy. The hops are there but they are definately of the British variety.

Flavor is rich, malty, and smooth with caramel, lighty toasty malt, and woodsy peat.

Mouthfeel is medium-light in body and low in carbonation. This would be awesome on cask!

Overall a very solid beer and one that deserves a second try if you weren't impressed the first time. Have one fresh and enjoy the new look!

Serving type: bottle

10-07-2010 00:47:25 | More by GilGarp
Photo of lovetranquillity

Rhode Island

4.13/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear amber color with a small white head

Slight citric smell and malt but not really getting much of a smell.

Taste of hops, bread, malty sweetness, fruitiness.

Firm mouth feel, medium body.

Highly drinkable, goes down easy as sparkling water, not that it tastes watery.

This is a great esb and I will buy this again. A great beer to share with friends who do not like very bitter beers.

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2010 00:55:11 | More by lovetranquillity
Photo of claspada

New Jersey

2.45/5  rDev -34.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Aroma is mainly centered around the greenery on this one. Nice earthy, herbal, and mildly citrus nose with warming caramel malts, basically liquid bread.

Taste is kinda a letdown after the nose. Kinda watery to be honest. Not a great hop presence or malt backbone. Small amounts of earthy/herbal bitterness with semi-sweet caramel and biscuit malts but not enough of any to be honest.

Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied easy going natural carbonation not a cloying aspect to be had finishes a bit dry with some earthy hop bitterness.

I appreciate what they were trying to do here (make an American ESB) but this falls kinds short in my opinion. Drinkability is very high because of how light and watery this brew is in my opinion. This is a beer that you could be a 6 pack deep and not realize it, a good and a bad thing, but not a good thing in my opinion for and ESB.

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2010 20:12:10 | More by claspada
Photo of StaveHooks


3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a burnt orange. 2 finger head. Descent retention. Slight lacing

S - Clean citrus. Sharp caramel malt. Butterscotch.

T - Citrus hops blend into a toasted caramel/toffee malt. Hints of amaretto, pecan, tea, and spicy floral hops. The finish is bitter and slightly spicy.

M - Medium. Almost has a creaminess to it.

This is a fantastic beer. It has great balance with a great malt profile. The hops compliment the beer very well.
Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2010 00:33:57 | More by StaveHooks
Photo of July2Nov


4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured a nice copper amber color with a frothy 1/2 inch of head.

Smell: nice warm, strong hues of caramel and roasted nuts.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Deep malts hit you first. Has a slight metallic flavor with a chalky roasted nut flavor. Also a sweet buttery/caramel flavor perks up too. Light body. Very tasty.

Drinkability: Very easy to drink. Not too rich....perfect for a hot day. First taste from Left Hand Brewing Co....good thing i bought the variety pack!

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2010 23:29:54 | More by July2Nov
Photo of philbertk


3.7/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Left Hand Brewing Company--Sawtooth Ale--2006 Release--12 oz. Bottle--4.80% ABV--27 IBU's. (4.0 / 5.0) ESB--Beer of the Month Club Selection October, 2006. Tight foamy off white lacy head. Clear bright amber orange color. Mild earthy toasted fruit hop front. Tangy earthy toasted caramel mild fruit biscuit ESB body. Clean earthy bitter hop spice end. Sampled 4/13/2007.

Left Hand Brewing Company--Sawtooth Ale--2010 12 oz. Bottle. 5.30% ABV. 27 IBU's. (3.75+ / 5.0) ESB--Mild lace off white light head. Clear thin bright dark amber color. Toasted mild hop caramel fruit hint front. Dry sweet crisp slightly earthy toasted biscuit caramel toffee herbal hint ripe crisp ESB body. Clean dry tangy hop hint toasted end. Light bodied rich flavored ESB. Sampled 9/8/2010. 6-Pack $7.79 @ Fred Meyer--Ballard--9/8/2010.

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2010 06:43:21 | More by philbertk
Photo of Onenote81

North Carolina

3.48/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a dark rusty orange with a moderate-sized creamy off-white head on top. Left lots of sticky lace behind. Scents of sweet floral, and a light toasted quality.

The mouth was firm, with a good amount of carbonation. Flavor was bitter and dry, par for the style. Some sawdust, mild caramel notes, and hints of hops on the finish. Not a bad beer by any means, but not one I'd seek out often.

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2010 14:05:54 | More by Onenote81
Photo of RickS95


3.2/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A nice looking ale. Dark copper/amber-ish, only a little light coming thru and initially, a nice thick white head. Decent retention.

Not much smell. I picked up the flowery hops, but that's about it. Maybe some biscuit as well.

Same as smell, not much taste. Some peppery, earthy hops, but not much else.

Early on, there's a creaminess but that gives way to the bittering hops in the finish. A medium-bodied drink with good lacing.

This goes down pretty well. As it warms, there is some sourness, but overall, it's a good drinking ale.

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2010 02:09:44 | More by RickS95
Photo of AgentMunky


3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pilsner glass.

A: A tawny colour, hazy, lots of initial bubbles. Thin head, persistent lacing. Nice.

S: Aromatically bitter hops. A hint of caramel.

T: Mm, this beer has an interesting flavour that is mostly thin and bitter, but with a lurking caramel sweetness around the edges. Carbonation reinforces dryness of the body. Aftertaste has mineral qualities.

M: Pretty average. The tingly dryness is pleasant, but there is a washy character that is less enjoyable.

D: Pretty good beer that I probably won't very often. Ideally, I would order this beer by pints in a pub and have it served to me in somewhat dubious, sturdy mugs by a taciturn, portly bartender. In this setting, I would consume Sawtooth Ale to glorious excess. Otherwise, I'll grab something else.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2010 22:26:35 | More by AgentMunky
Photo of bmwats


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

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

A: Light amber, reddish-golden hue. Pretty hefty carbonation, pours about a 1 finger, foamy, white head. Settles pretty slowly. Sparse spider web lacing remains.

S: Kind of a woody, nutty, piney, malty goodness.

T: Really piney hop goodness with a tinge of sweet, oakey malt.

M: Light body. Pine shocks the palette at first, but a slightly sweet, dry finish. Nice and bitter, but not overwhelmingly so.

D: Great sipping beer.

Atmosphere is really nice. Great appearance, nice foamy head. Nose has a really solid combo of components. Flavor is malty and hoppy, but too bitter or shocking. Overall, this is a really good quaff.

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2010 03:37:33 | More by bmwats
Photo of WeezyBoPeep


3.43/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

A: Clear orange with a reddish hue and a beige head.

S: Dusty, musky, floral hops with biscuit malt. Notes of flowers and earth. Smells like a hippy beer. That's a good thing.

T: Earthy with plenty of malt. Crispy and refreshing with a nice twang. Bitterish finish; dry.

D: Interesting taster beer.

Value: Decent.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2010 14:14:31 | More by WeezyBoPeep
Photo of animalchin

North Carolina

4.05/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - A very dark burnt orange pour with a definitive body. Decent head and lacing follows along.

S - Sweet and robust caramel with some orange. Picking up more malt than hop.

T - A bitter citrus ordeal upfront with some cherry and faint caramel to follow. Everything is very much alive in this brew. Also picking up on some rather thick creaminess that somewhat counteracts the the thinner character of orange.

M - Relatively smooth and easy moving.

My first experience with Left Hand was indeed a great one. Liking a lot about this beer. Nothing outdoes the other as far as malt/hop goes.

Highly recommendable for a summer evening or a fall afternoon.

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2010 19:02:17 | More by animalchin
Photo of tronester


3.78/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear reddish copper with a thin off-white head. Smells of soapy, lemony hops. Taste is light malt sweetness up front, followed by an herbal woody hop flavor. A hint of dark caramel in there too. Good hop bitterness levels. Mouthfeel is rich for the gravity, and nice low carbonation levels too. Drinkability is quite good, low alcohol, and no extreme malt or hops make this a fine daily drinker. I would certainly get this again.

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2010 01:05:48 | More by tronester
Photo of climax


4.03/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Left Hand's flagship ended up a copper color with pretty good clarity. The tallish head was very soft and and alive. As it faded slowly, rings of popped bubbles and clumpy foam hugged the glass.

Malt was the initial verdict of the nose, french toast. Cinnamon, brown sugar, caramel and even raisins made up the sweet and buttery backbone. Earthy hop flavors struggled to match.

There was much more balance in the flavor, as the sweet malt flavors met their match with floral and slightly citrusy hops. The tone took more of a bitter and spicy tone well into the finish that ended slightly sweet and buttery.

The body was medium and quite creamy, the carbonation was mild but kept the viscous body crisp. The finish was clean and just slightly dry, with a bit of stickiness. Sessionable for sure, especially for the malt lover. Complex and enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2010 20:30:15 | More by climax
Photo of NODAK


4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Aroma is a nice, creamy, hoppy smell. Smells like some British beers, really...just a bit creamier. Like a mixture between a red beer and an IPA.

Taste is of creamy malt and some toffee, much like that on the nose. This is followed by a pretty assertive bitterness with citric hops. The finish features more hoppiness, cream and toffee. This is somewhat of a chewy beer. The mixture of creaminess and citrusy hops is pretty well done though in my opinion. The balance is there and doesn't sway too hard in favor of the bitterness.

This is a good beer in a style that I'm not always a big fan of. I could have a few.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2010 01:18:55 | More by NODAK
Photo of bruachan

District of Columbia

3.03/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

nice red color! well...reddish amber. sudsy head that doesn't hold up too well and doesn't (look like it's going to) leave much lacing

nice british hop aroma for the most part obscures the malt landscape: wet hay and meadow grass. but not much of the caramel or toastiness or diacetyl i would expect in an ESB. toasy does creep through, but only with time

dry. caramel that tastes like i imagine red would, and...dry. certainly hoppy. toasty to quite a nominal degree and not enough malt back bone to support the hopload (at least for an english brew)

way too dry for an ESB, and generally

Serving type: bottle

08-09-2010 02:47:23 | More by bruachan
Photo of Halcyondays


3.78/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours amber with a frothy medium off-white head. Average retention, some good lace.

S: Sweet red malt, light hops, smells a tad underattenuated.

T: Taste is much more balanced. Real nice crystal malt style flavour, not overhopped. Good amount of residual sweetness but not overdone. Thought it was an ESB before knowing the style so that says something for it.

M: Medium-bodied, very soft carbonation. Creamy, smooth.

D: A real good beer from Left Hand, one of the better made domestic ESBs I've had, well worth a pickup.

Serving type: bottle

08-09-2010 02:46:10 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of Durge


3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Found this on tap at terminal C in Denver airport (The Timberline Grill & Steakhouse). It shows a slightly hazy golden amber color with a decent off-white head and lots of lacing. The aroma is very mild, wheaty grass hop, nothing much to go on. The flavor makes a nice statement however, with bright grass and citrus hop highlights. There's some earthy yeastiness with lots of crisp carbonation to refresh the tongue. Maybe some hints of toffee malt down deep, finishing with some dryness. It's medium light bodied with a crisp, refreshing feel that's highly drinkable. It offers a nice taste for sessioning.

Serving type: on-tap

08-07-2010 20:57:51 | More by Durge
Photo of AlCaponeJunior


3.2/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Clear and tannish brown, not a lot of head but fair lacing.

Smells of toffee, faint citrus, light hops and toasted malts, with an undeniable scent of wet dog*.

Tastes of malts, spiced cherries, caramel and toffee. Actually I didn't find it all that enthralling, but slightly above average.

Feels pretty nice actually. Thick and chewy, smooth and lingers with a nice sensation that's decently typical of the style.

Drink is average at best. I'm starting to realize that this isn't my style, but even amongst ESBs, this one isn't all that outstanding, and isn't calling my name to have another anytime soon.

* 3 out of 3 agree, it smells like a wet dog. We just got a sixer and we're all having one for the first time. I think I'm liking it the least out of the three.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2010 21:59:51 | More by AlCaponeJunior
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2010 03:25:18 | More by Mora2000
Photo of Lerxst


3.28/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A-Pours a somewhat hazy amber with a thin head that faded very quickly and left no lacing.

S-Mellow and tame citrus hops with sweet and toasty malt.

T-Malt, bread, caramel, tame citrus and floral hop flavors and a bit of spice.

M-A bit thin and watery.

D-Drinking one left me with no desire to have another.

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2010 21:00:52 | More by Lerxst
Photo of Spica66


4.43/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle during Left Hand tasting at Pat's Liquors in Porter, IN on 7/22/10. The brewery rep was pouring and telling us all about the beers as we went. Very informational and fun.

A: Deep amber, perfect amount of carbonation. Very nice.

S: Noble hops, rich malts. Extremely balanced.

T: Completely balanced rich malt and wonderful hops. Wow!

M: Medium body, carbonation does the right thing.

D: Extremely enjoyable, low alcohol= set'em up!

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2010 19:13:45 | More by Spica66
Photo of unclejimbay


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

Appearance is golden honey/caramel in color. Decent head, retention and lace. Colorful bottle label with bottled date clearly marked as 3/16/10. About 4 months old it seems.

Smells of nice toasty malts with mild but balanced hop support.

Taste is inverse of aroma. Balanced but a bitter more hop fwd flavor than the aroma but still on a nice toasty malt body.

Mouthfeel is crisp with medium body. Medium+ carbonation, works well IMO bit a tad bubbly for the style.

Enjoyable brew for sure. Nice and balanced as the goal of a true ESB. A tad more hoppy than malty, in a good way, reminds me of an Anchor Steam. I would order this one for a balanced pale brew.

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2010 21:24:02 | More by unclejimbay
Photo of Bestein


4.13/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The appearance of the beer is very impressive. It's semi-dark with an interesting look to it.

The smell is everything a good beer should smell like. It has a smooth smell that doesn't come across as too stong.

The taste is like no other. It is a bitter beer, but the bittness doesn't come into effect until midway drinking the beer. there's a slight taste of honey in it that adds a unique quality.

The mouthfeel is very interesting. It starts off swell with the bitterness making its way all over the mouth.

In terms of bitter beers, it's really drinkable and taste worthy. But personally, I probably would drink it one beer per sitting.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2010 01:06:14 | More by Bestein
Sawtooth Ale from Left Hand Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 1,648 ratings.