Sawtooth Ale - Left Hand Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Sawtooth AleSawtooth Ale

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1,893 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,893
Reviews: 663
rAvg: 3.72
pDev: 12.9%
Wants: 55
Gots: 161 | 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: 1,893 | Reviews: 663 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of zrab11
3.68/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of megahurts4
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

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

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

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

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.

Photo of TCMike
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of chocosushi
3.53/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of SWMeyer4141
3.05/5  rDev -18%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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).

Photo of millejf
4.18/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of BlackBearForge
3.73/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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!

Photo of ngeunit1
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of JRed
4.35/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of NordeastBrewer77
4.13/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of Bfarr
3.33/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

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

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.

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

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.

Photo of Mosley1212
3.78/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of PorterLambic
3.38/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

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

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.

Photo of DCon
3.8/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on-tap @ the Wolf Public House in Ballwin, MO. Served into a Pint glass and gulped down while listening to Bob "Bumblebee" Komoske play his Acoustic guitar.

Appearance- Poured very clear with a Glowing Amber body. 1 Finger of White Head that stays frothy and leaves huge coating behind.

Smell- Smells straight up like a cinnamon granola crunch dessert. Has a hint of caramel as well but mostly a yeast background... Strange! Thought hop would come into play.

Taste- Very dark/burnt to ast with this cinnamon powder on top. May have a spicy hoppiness to it but not very strong. Extremely bitter on the finish of the drink with a VERY mild citrus. Nice!

Mouthfeel- Medium-bodied with a Medium- High amount of carbonation from the bubbles, and then nothing much... Smooth but lame finish. Almost always like this for an ESB.

Overall- What a great ESB! Left Hand has always brewed great "go-to" ales and am excited for many more to enjoy. This one's drinkability was decent but am switching to another Oaked Arrogant Bastard Ale from Stone Brewing.

Photo of mattkoon
3.68/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

the sawtooth ale from left hand brewing is pretty different. I have to say, I have never had a beer quite like this. It pours a crystal coppery brown. The look makes me think of a strong brown ale but the oppistie is more the reality of this ale. It's very mild and drinkable with a nice earthy bitter flavor. It's kind of a trick beer in the sense that it looks pretty tough but you could get away with drinking a few at a time.

Photo of Brunite
3.25/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: A nice amber color with a good inch to inch and a half of head. Nice bubbly off-white head.

S: Biscuity...sopme herbal from the hops. Nothing really dominates.

T: Cracker...malt....dry.

M: Medium body...decent carb.

O: Average....tasty...drinkable...nothing memorable. Not a Fullers for sure.

Photo of lsrose
4.2/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Semi aggressive pour left a half finger head which disappeared quickly. Good amber color though.

S - Mostly caramel and hops smell.

T - Really balanced tasting beer. Not as bitter and flavorful as you might expect though. Exceptional drinkability and good taste though and it could easily be a session beer.

Photo of morebeergood
3.95/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On nitro tap this past Monday at the Other Side Cafe near Newbury St for $5 pint. Served in a standard pint glass. Color was shoe leather brown, with a marshmallow colored head. Almost looked like a whipped coffee drink. Smell was brown sugar and molasses. Really enjoyed the flavor. Great tastes of malt balanced with a subtle bit of hops. The nitro aspect really made this beer shine, as an ESB is not a style I see often on nitro. I thought an ESB as easy to drink before, but nitro made it practically gulpable. The abv was non existent, and I could have had a few of these no problem. A great beer that I've always wanted to try, in a format that I love.

Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.83/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I have really been digging Left Hand's beers lately, and appreciate that they are using solar power in their process. Another reason to buy their products as far as I'm concerned. Let's give their Sawtooth a go:

Appearance: Pours a very clear slightly orange gold color with a small head of mixed sized bubbles that faded back into the beer quite quickly. There are only a few bubbles where the beer meets the glass. No lacing left on the glass after drinking.

Aroma: My first impression was of some toasty malts and reserved hops, but when I went back to it, there was a metallic note that I am surprised that I didn't get in the first place. This metallic note doesn't last, and then the aroma is starting to lean toward the toasty and sweet caramel malts. The hops are also coming out a bit more, but they are very subtle in this beer.

Taste: The flavor is pretty good with malt being the biggest player in the flavor and finish. The hops show up pretty early and then let the malt do its thing. There are some bittering hops for sure, but they are reserved. I don't get the hard-water profile that you may expect for an ESB, so maybe this beer is misclassified on this site. The carbonation is a little too low, so it lets the beer leave a bit of a watery impression on the palate on the way through.

Opinion: This is a pretty good beer overall. It is a bit of a stretch to be a British ESB, but looking on their site, it calls it an "American" ESB. OK, so they are making the style up. That's cool, and I would say that it is the best "American" ESB I have ever had as it is the only one I have had. Either way, I am glad that I got a 6-pack of this beer as I will surely drink it all with pleasure.

Photo of gkunkle
3.8/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer looks a beautiful dark amber color in my imperial pint glass. With a heavy handed pour I get a head of about 2 fingers high. The smell was mostly malty, but had a touch of hops. Upony first taste I decide this would be a good beer to share with my Fat Tire friends, as the taste is good, bit not overly complicated or too strong. The bready malts hit first, which are tasty, but not a punch in the mouth, then the finish brings out the earthy hops. Mouthfeel is good, not too heavy with nice carbonation. Overall, a good beer, I think I'll take some of this to a family gathering.

Sawtooth Ale from Left Hand Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 1,893 ratings.