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Sawtooth Ale - Left Hand Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Sawtooth AleSawtooth Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,758 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,758
Reviews: 658
rAvg: 3.72
pDev: 13.17%
Wants: 46
Gots: 108 | 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: 1,758 | Reviews: 658 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Suds


3.8/5  rDev +2.2%

This beer pours a clear copper color with a tall, fluffy, white head. It's aroma is essentially composed of caramel and pale malt scents. Some herbal hop components are also in the smell, but they take a backseat to the caramel scents. Nice. The taste is nicely balanced. Semi-dry, with a big malt flavor. Bittering kicks in during the mid-taste, but it's well placed. Short finish, but solid and malty. Medium body. It's a nice drinking beer, but not anything particularly special.

11-23-2010 21:21:37 | More by Suds
Photo of sbw138


3.7/5  rDev -0.5%

Saw that Left Hand decided to redesign the label on this bottle, and I figured that this could be another one I could add to my growing bottle collection.

Pours a pretty nice copper amber color, that leaves some, but not much lacing.

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.

11-17-2010 21:54:53 | More by sbw138
Photo of Thorpe429


3.88/5  rDev +4.3%

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a really nice copper color that is a bit bright. Really nice white head and quite a bit of lacing. The nose brings some light pine and earthy hops and also has a good dose of some caramel backing. The taste is focused more on some bready caramel with only faint hops in the background. Good feel that is a bit malty and slightly bitter. Good body, especially with the cask. Drinks quite well and goes down really smoothly.

11-14-2010 02:26:04 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of gskitt

New York

4.03/5  rDev +8.3%

A- Pours a shiny copper with a thin off-white head, lacing is evident.
S- fresh, citrusy, malty goodness. Something else too, cloves?
T- mellowed out hops is really balanced, bitter at first, but finishes a bit sweet. Really good.
M- Slick and clean.
D- the balanced malts and hops make this a very drinkable brew.

11-12-2010 23:52:18 | More by gskitt
Photo of BarleyThere

New York

2.05/5  rDev -44.9%

Just beer.

This beer is good, let me say that first. Give me a plate of nachos or a bucket of hot wings and I could drink it straight through the night. That said, there is absolutely nothing salient about the brew.

Pours a light copper color, with light head retention.
Very mild smell of hops and some vague fruit characteristics.
Taste is almost like a brown ale, but without the caramel flavor or biscuit-y quality.

Tastes like beer, drinks like beer, great for packing 'em in. Not to be savored.

10-30-2010 02:02:56 | More by BarleyThere
Photo of ktrillionaire


3.68/5  rDev -1.1%

This bottle was filled on 9-17-10. Quite fresh.

A - Pours a deep copper hue and is capped with a respectable margin of white froth, depositing a thick lace high-water (beer) line.

S - Vaguely grassy hops and a sort of unsweet caramel nuance comprise the aroma. Not bad, but not impressive either.

T - The taste is more impressive than the smell, certainly. Which is not to say that the taste is tremendously impressive, more so 'above average'. Slightly buttery, mildly bitter, with herbal and grassy hops and rich but semi-dry malt. ESB is such a nice style, and this is a decent offering.

M - It is slightly less than medium-bodied, yet still seems very robust.

D - Drinkability is the hallmark of ESB, and this one is sure drinkable.

10-30-2010 00:08:13 | More by ktrillionaire
Photo of yeahnatenelson


3.35/5  rDev -9.9%

Imbibed at Finnegan's in Plainfield, IL

Appearance -- Pours a ruddy amber, very bright, with a finger of creamy beige head.

Smell -- Bready and toasted malt, some pine resin hops.

Taste -- Biscuit dough, toasted malt, mild hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel -- Meidum-full in body with very mild carbonation.

Drinkability -- Aside from the nitro-tap mouthfeel, this beer wasn't very thrilling. Pretty ho-hum.

10-25-2010 21:39:13 | More by yeahnatenelson
Photo of cnally


3.33/5  rDev -10.5%

Poured into a goblet.

Pale red color in the body, crystal clear color and a quickly dissipating head.

Very mild aroma, lightly toasted grains, a little musty.

Flavor is, again, subdued, with a taste of caramel malt and heavily reliant on sweetness. A faint bitterness in the finish, but mostly the flavors are malty, with a little almond and vanilla.

Creamy mouthfeel. Good carbonation. Balanced.

A forgettable brew that does its best to be completely non-offensive.

10-23-2010 02:09:38 | More by cnally
Photo of Lemke10


3.9/5  rDev +4.8%

I bought a single bottle of this from Woodman's in Menomonee Falls, WI for about $1.50 in early fall 2010.

This ale from Left Hand Brewery is a little darker and slightly more bitter than a standard ale. It pours a dark amber color, with a slight hint of wheat. It has a very smooth texture and luckily a full taste otherwise I would drink this beer much too fast. A good find and a must try for any ale lovers.

10-22-2010 03:01:45 | More by Lemke10
Photo of aepb1


3.98/5  rDev +7%

A- Cloudy copper with a small white head

S- Malts and alcohol, not a whole lot else

T- A nutty malt, very rich and full. Not much like the nose

M- Light/medium bodied, the carbonation and hops make it finish dry

D- The nutty malts make this cool and interesting and easy to revisit

10-21-2010 16:26:10 | More by aepb1
Photo of dpnelson1978


3.53/5  rDev -5.1%

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.

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


4.38/5  rDev +17.7%

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!

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

Rhode Island

4.13/5  rDev +11%

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.

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

New Jersey

2.45/5  rDev -34.1%

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.

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


3.88/5  rDev +4.3%

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.

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


4/5  rDev +7.5%

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!

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


3.7/5  rDev -0.5%

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.

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

North Carolina

3.48/5  rDev -6.5%

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.

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


3.2/5  rDev -14%

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.

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


3.75/5  rDev +0.8%

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.

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


3.65/5  rDev -1.9%

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.

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


3.43/5  rDev -7.8%

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.

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

North Carolina

4.05/5  rDev +8.9%

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.

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


3.78/5  rDev +1.6%

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.

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


4.03/5  rDev +8.3%

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.

08-13-2010 20:30:15 | More by climax
Sawtooth Ale from Left Hand Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 1,758 ratings.