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Sawtooth Ale - Left Hand Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Sawtooth AleSawtooth Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,750 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,750
Reviews: 657
rAvg: 3.72
pDev: 12.9%
Wants: 46
Gots: 106 | 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: 1,750 | Reviews: 657 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ElizabethCraig


4.5/5  rDev +21%

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.

06-29-2011 11:27:20 | More by ElizabethCraig
Photo of TheGordianKnot


3.38/5  rDev -9.1%

Was about to order the milk stout til I realized this was on nitro instead... Poured into shaker pint

A- Creamy golden orange liquid with at least a one finger dense white head that grows as nitro rises and separated...

S- Slightly floral and a tiny amount of citrus are noticed first.. Bit grainy otherwise a minimal aroma

T/M- Very creamy, obviously from the nitro. The flavor is sweet and bitter. Floral hops come through but stay very very smooth. This really had a beer and cream taste (you know, like oranges and cream). I don't know if it's just my perception of the nitro or if this really does have a dairy creamer flavor component to it. Very thick and smooth creaminess.

O- Everything is better on nitro. I'm not sure whether I would like this out of the bottle or not, but it was a pretty good beer when I had it. Overall I feel it may have been light on aroma and flavor, but was an overall pleasurable experience.

06-28-2011 19:52:48 | More by TheGordianKnot
Photo of CharlieMurphy

New York

3.08/5  rDev -17.2%

A: 1/2" off white head, clumpy skim foam. Looks like apple cider, kinda cloudy, hard to see through, rich amber

S: Smells very fruity as attributed to the just the malts and hops. Kinda of like a hopped down IPA. Has held up well for being over a year old.

T: No hop bite what so ever. Carbonation fills over the flavors when cold out the fridge until a mildly sweet, barely there, malt presence makes itself known at the finish

M: Very full due to the carbonation, but not overly carbonated. Almost has that lager like flatness to it actually. The more you drink the thinner the liquid feel gets, kind of hard to articulate this aspect finitely.

O: Wish it tasted like it smelled. I think it's kind of hard to call this an ESB

06-22-2011 03:08:44 | More by CharlieMurphy
Photo of beerdown77

North Carolina

4/5  rDev +7.5%

This pours copper and has a nice head with excellent retention. The smell is malty, but not overly strong. The taste has a lot more dark fruit flavors than I was expecting, but the body is light and sessionable. The complexity is there without the sticky sweetness. This beer is fantastically smooth and delicious. I could have a few of these when I’m not craving a hop punch.

06-19-2011 20:37:05 | More by beerdown77
Photo of jsh420


2.28/5  rDev -38.7%

bottled on 11/01/11 (yes bottled in the future so the calories do not count until then)

pours clear copper with a 1/2 finger head that left no lacing

smells of watery toasted malts

taste is not any better - bland watery hops and malts - i question why this considered craft beer

mouthfeel is light decent carbonation

overall - its a good thing i am already hooked on craft beer because this would not be reeling anyone in

06-13-2011 01:19:40 | More by jsh420
Photo of ChopperSmith


3.73/5  rDev +0.3%

Poured from a 12 oz. longneck bottle that was part of a Left Hand sampler six-pack.

Appearance: Clear copper color. Minimal white frothy head, and some good lacing.

Smell: Subtle, but mostly sweet malts with a little underlying hops.

Taste: Sweet malts up front, a little hops bite in the middle and a nice smooth finish. A well balanced ESB that's a little heavier on the malts than the hops, but that's OK for this style.

Mouth feel: Medium body, good carbonation and crisp on the tongue.

Drinkability: A good representation of the ESB style. Well balanced with malts and hops, and easy drinking. A good session beer for ESB fans. Not my favorite style, but Left Hand does it well.

06-07-2011 22:59:53 | More by ChopperSmith
Photo of deadonhisfeet


3.88/5  rDev +4.3%

Pours out of the bottle a dark, cloudy amber without much of a head (pretty much spot-on for this style). There is a faint aroma of citrus.

This was one good-tasting beer! At first, the maltiness I look for in an ESB simply wasn't there and I didn't think it was very well-balanced in this respect. However, as the beer sat at room temperature for a while and ``warmed up'', the flavors came nicely into balance (note to self: don't serve this beer too cold). Again, this beer has a very nice flavor. In addition to a nice hoppy kick, the beer has a delightful tartness to it and I caught distinct notes of sour fruit. This is a beer I could really enjoy if I stuck it between myself and a ball game.

06-03-2011 20:16:43 | More by deadonhisfeet
Photo of zrab11


3.68/5  rDev -1.1%

A- Pours a hazy copper color with 1 finger white head

S- Has a buttery toast smell with some earthy and dried nuts aroma

T- Buttery toast and rosted malts hit you up front then its followed by an almost vanilla middle than then finishes with a dry piney flavor

M-Light bodied with ok carbonation

D-Overall this was a drinkable brew. But notmuch going on in it to bring me back. Ive had better ESB's and worse ESB's so this is middle of the road for me.

05-27-2011 17:31:07 | More by zrab11
Photo of megahurts4


4/5  rDev +7.5%

Left Hand Sawtooth Ale

Appearance: reddish, small head, and some good lacing.

Smell: hops and nice malts.

Taste: nice warm malts, wet hops, and a floral flower.

Mouth feel: medium and smooth.

This is a nice and pleasant brew. It has plenty of flavor and is not powerful. It has a smoothness I expect from a draft brew.

05-27-2011 05:43:14 | More by megahurts4
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

3.9/5  rDev +4.8%

decent amber color with a smll head of white that just barely graced the top. Decent side glass lace as well.
very light grain and wheat with a slight hint of earthy grass. This was your average ESB. And I mean average. The flavor was rather bland and non descript with really no defining characteristic to it. Some light cereal grain, and a touch of earthy grass again, but nothing really sticking out in any way. Almost forgotten as soon as it was sipped. It had a very nice amount of carbonation which was the only thing really keeping my intrest at that point

05-26-2011 15:19:15 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of Erish


3.43/5  rDev -7.8%

I poured this 12 oz. bottle into a Nonic pint glass. Brewed on 02/10/11.

Hazy copper color, the biscuit-colored head quickly falls into a good cap with decent lacing. I dinged this beer for the haze.

S: earthy, dried fruit, nuts, toasty malt, buttered toast.

T: buttered toast, roasted malts with a vanilla and fruity character up front, the middle starts a bit woody/vanilla and moves into fruitiness, the finish has a mineral-like dryness and a somewhat pronounced herbal hop character. It is a bit too hopped for the style.

M: light-weight, silky to watery texture, and plentiful carbonation. The carbonation is too much for the style.

O: I hate to sound like a beer judge, but I feel there are some style inconsistencies with this beer. It is certainly drinkable, but not exceptional in any way.

05-17-2011 21:37:28 | More by Erish
Photo of TCMike


4/5  rDev +7.5%

Produced a 1 finger white head, which dissipated quickly. The beer was a dark honey color.

The smell was faint, and bready.

The taste was quite good. It was of light malts, a little bready taste, and a light bitter finish.

It was easy drinking, somewhat low carbonation, and medium mouth-feel.

05-16-2011 02:49:59 | More by TCMike
Photo of chocosushi


3.53/5  rDev -5.1%

Given to me by a friend.
12oz bottle -> Bridgeport Pint

A ~ darker than i expected.

S ~ Very faint. Malty grains.

T ~ Sweet Malts, Light light hops, sweet biscuits.

M ~ Amazing mouthfeel for how light it is.

D ~ Uber drinkable. Talk about Session city.

05-16-2011 01:33:21 | More by chocosushi
Photo of SWMeyer4141


3.05/5  rDev -18%

Drank this out of my friends fridge, not knowing what it was.

Appearance-Amber with carbonation floating up. 1 finger off white head.

Smell-Biscuity and Malty, with some floral hops as well.

Taste-I didn't even know this beer was an ESB. I got some sweet malts up front and finished with a light bitterness. A little citrus in there on the backend.

Mouthfeel-Very light, fair amount of carbonation. A little bit prickly in the mouth.

Overall-My buddy claimed this was one of hte worst beers he's purchased, but it wasn't horrible. However, I would not buy a 6 pack of this, but would drink it again(I drank a second one).

05-15-2011 14:19:12 | More by SWMeyer4141
Photo of millejf


4.18/5  rDev +12.4%

Bought a 6'er from my local grocery store. Poured into a tall pilsner glass.

Appearance : Carbonated for sure, very light head...amber color.

Smell: I smell nothing but sweetness...malty goodness all over the place.

Taste: Starts off sweet and finishes bitter. Flavor is exceptional.

Mouthfeel: A bit fizzy...medium bodied, and easily drinkable.

Overall: Outstanding beer, it doesn't look the part...but the rest more than makes up for it.

05-13-2011 02:02:44 | More by millejf
Photo of BlackBearForge


3.73/5  rDev +0.3%

Sawtooth pours a deep golden amber with a creamy head of suds that leaves some nice lacing as it falls.

The aroma is quite pleasant, smooth bready malts with the tang of grassy hops.

The flavor has a somewhat caramel bready malt with a hint of butter with grassy earthy hops which builds to a nice bitterness on the finish. A few moments in the glass improves flavors as it begins warming.

Mouthfeel is medium with a bit of creaminess that develops as it warms.

Overall a pleasant drinking ale, nice bitterness and mellow malt. I'd like to try it on tap!

05-11-2011 22:32:35 | More by BlackBearForge
Photo of ngeunit1


4/5  rDev +7.5%

A - Pours a clear golden-orange color with a finger of frothy off-white head. The head fades fairly quickly down to a thin ring, leaving behind a bit of lace in the process.

S - Aroma is a mix of sweet caramel malts and some light citrus hops. There is just a touch of more floral and earthy elements in the background and just a touch of yeast.

T - Starts off with some sweet caramel malts and some just a touch of hop and yeast in the background. Through the middle, some stronger hops and some bread malts come through. The finish is a mix of caramel malts, citrus, and a touch of yeast that linger.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels really smooth and crisp. The finish is fairly clean and just a touch of lingering sweetness.

D - Very drinkable. Very well balanced between the hops and the malts. Nothing mind blowing, but a really nice beer.

05-09-2011 01:20:51 | More by ngeunit1
Photo of JRed

New Jersey

4.35/5  rDev +16.9%

Pours transparent light copper in body with white frothy head on top that leaves lacing. Pleasant aroma of subtle citrus notes, orange peel, biscuit upfront, slight toffee undertone. Balanced flavors of subtle citrus, biscuit, toffee, hop presence towards the finish to really round things out. The coating mouthfeel of an ESB is there as expected. Light bodied with light carbonation. What a session is all about. A pleasure to drink again and again.

05-08-2011 23:43:23 | More by JRed
Photo of NordeastBrewer77


4.13/5  rDev +11%

12 oz bottle poured into English pint glass.

Poured a pale orange color with a nice rocky 2 finger head. Retreated quickly, leaving a nice bubbly slick and some lacing

Aroma is of clean grains and bready yeast. Earthy hops follow with a touch of diacetyl, appropriate for the style.

Flavor has alot going on. Earthy, piney hops up front with a clean malt backbone. Bitter English hops linger in the finish.

Mouthfeel is a little too bubbley for the style, but still rich and full. Some hop astringency lingers, but only long enuff to remind you of the great ale you just drank.

Overall, I give this beer an A for living up to the 'premium bitter' style while giving it a distinctively American twist. As they did with 400 Pound Monkey, Left Hand has brewed a stellar traditional ale.

05-06-2011 07:04:59 | More by NordeastBrewer77
Photo of Bfarr


3.33/5  rDev -10.5%

Slightly hazy light orange amber, moderate foamy off white head, and okay retention. Nice citrus aroma. Sweet balance of orange light sour and pepper with light bitterness. A slightly off linger. Moderate carbonation and a light bite.

There are some good flavors in this however it’s not quite enough to really turn my head. There was no date printed under the bottled on mark on the label so I don’t know how old it really is. I’ll have to look for it fresh somewhere.

05-01-2011 23:26:51 | More by Bfarr
Photo of magine


3.75/5  rDev +0.8%

Poured into a tulip pint glass.

Pours a cloudy orange colored amber. Brew has an off white fluffy head that settles to a nice thick capping. Head thins out to a patch island. Some minimal sticky lacing. Decent looking brew.

Brew smells of caramel malts, earthy hops, maybe some citrus and floral hops as well. Good smelling brew.

Brew tastes smooth; very balanced. Citrus hops, earthy hops, caramel malts. Real good solid mesh of flavors and a solid balanced chewy mouthfeel. Brew finishes slightly dry, with a quenching that makes it real easy to want another sip. Brew tastes more like an amber ale to me, not so bitter or hoppy. Good stuff here none the less.

A solid as can be brew; good flavors, great drinkability. Case worthy sessionable stuff here. Good stuff.

04-30-2011 02:01:11 | More by magine
Photo of secondtooth


3.2/5  rDev -14%

Cloudy amber, with a rich, tan head. Only minor lacing here.

Nose is bready and yeasty. Didn't get the hoppy presence here at all.

Flavor echoes this sentiment....biscuits and yeast. Overall, a pretty typical amber ale (though here it's labeled as an ESB?). More than session-worthy, but not one I'd pursue again, either.

04-27-2011 00:38:35 | More by secondtooth
Photo of Mosley1212


3.78/5  rDev +1.6%

Poured from the bottle into my pint glass.

A--Pours a warm amber color. There are a few carbonation bubbles coming from the bottom. Almost no head to speak of.

S--Sweet caramel and a load of malt. The smell is pleasant, but it's very hard to get anything off this beer.

T--Better than the smell. It has a pleasant malt flavor up front with an over-so-slight hoppy bitter aftertaste. There really isn't much else there that I can detect though.

M--Light bodied with a slight tinge of carbonation. The bitter aftertaste is pleasant on the tongue and leaves it stinging a little bit after each sip.

O--This is an ok beer for me. It is pleasant enough to drink, but that's all I can say about it--it's a middle of the road beer. Not great, not bad. Just refreshing and pleasant.

04-27-2011 00:11:36 | More by Mosley1212
Photo of PorterLambic


3.38/5  rDev -9.1%

Pours an orange-copper color with a light tan head. Good retention. A very light haze, like a light fog, clouds the brew. Some lacing.
Smell is much fainter than expected and consists of one note: wheat bread. After warming for 15 minutes notes of hops, light citrus and caramel sweetness. Still quite weak but noticeably better than fridge temp.
Taste is more involved. Wheat bread is still there with malt and hops with a little caramel sweetness. Good balance.
Medium bodied, medium effervescence. Just a hint of warming with a slight drying finish. A good beer overall but not their best effort.

04-26-2011 01:12:27 | More by PorterLambic
Photo of KenC

New Jersey

4.43/5  rDev +19.1%

Dated: ??/21/11

A - Medium amber color that was slightly cloudy. Three fingers of tan head that quickly dissipated, after an aggressive pour. It left very little lacing

S - Sweet caramel as soon as I opened the bottle. Then noted citrus hops.

T - Started out sweet but the hops come shining through in the middle. The finish has malt dryness in perfect balance.

M - medium body with a fair amount of carbonation.

O - This was just what I was in the mood for. VERY drinkable and I was left wishing I had another one. I’ll see you again, soon.

04-25-2011 21:36:16 | More by KenC
Sawtooth Ale from Left Hand Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 1,750 ratings.