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Sawtooth Ale - Left Hand Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Sawtooth AleSawtooth Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,948 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,948
Reviews: 679
rAvg: 3.72
pDev: 12.9%
Wants: 60
Gots: 210 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-16-2001

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,948 | Reviews: 679
Photo of samie85
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Pours a clear copper with a white, one finger head.

S- Caramel malt and a clean, floral hop nose.

T-Caramel malt at the forefront with a dry, bitter finish.

M-Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation.

D-Really easy drinking, and sessionable. I could see myself being able to drink these all day.

Photo of beertunes
3.4/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into 16oz stange. Poured a nice medium brown with about 1/2 inch of just off-white head that dissipated too quickly, but left decent lacing.

The aroma was a malty sweet base with a slight scent of hops in the background. The flavor was very similar, nutty malt with a slight hop sharpness on the finish.

The body was average for the style. Drinkability was very good, having several of these would be easy. Overall a decent enough beer that's worth a shot.

Photo of Lunch
3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on-tap at Jose Pistolas in Philadelphia, PA into a 16oz. shaker pint glass at the appropriate temperature (02/28/10).

A: Pours a caramel brown capped by a two finger off-white head with decent retention and lace.

S: Lots of caramel and a nice nutty tone dominate the aroma. Some mild bitter hops are faintly there with some citrus notes.

T: Nice and slightly bitter caramel/nutty tone hits the palate first with good and clean flavor. Hops bring in some citrus to add a bit of complexity.

M: Medium-bodied with some slickness and a slight oiliness.

D: Very easy to drink and quite low in terms of abv. this is quite sessionable, but not the most flavorful beer.

Overall this is a nice and sessionable ESB from Left Hand, but nothing I would seek out. Worth a look.

Photo of Duhast500
3.37/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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

The color is a clear amber with a finger of foamy white head and some nice lacing.

The smell is spicy and pretty malty. Some nice citrus flavor just in the outside of the nose.

The taste is pretty malty with a touch of some bitter hops. A good amount of citrus hop flavor and was slightly bitter.

The feel of this bitter is a good medium bodied flavor and is pretty easy drinking.

Photo of jadpsu
3.81/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear amber in color and has thick and foamy white head with better than average retention.

Smell: Some light caramel,light esters, grain and light citrus hop aromas.

Taste: Malty, with a hint of caramel, light chocolate, and some toastyness flavours. Medium-bodied and a little on the sweet side. Hop bitterness is mild, but balances the malt. Finishes a bit dry.

Photo of alli4051
3.51/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Color is a light, clear amber with a half inch head that dissipates quickly and leaves little to no lacing.

Smell is maltiness up front followed by some faint hop characteristics. Not much there really.

Taste is also somewhat faint. Lots of maltiness up front with some buttery tones. Finish has a nice hoppy bitterness.

Mouthfeel is watery with some slight carbonation.

Drinkability is pretty high on this one. While it's not one of my personal favorites I do think it is a very sessionable beer.

Photo of schoolboy
2.78/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Ah, yesterday was my birthday and the beer is always a great gift, even if is not very good. My sister happened upon one of the carry outs I frequent once a month or so and apparently it changed hands since I was there last and they were closing out their "singles" beers. Liking whatever is on sale runs in my family, so I got 12 different beers as a gift.

Some were ones I had previously tried. Others were not. I don't remember this one from before. I wonder if maybe the bottle sat too long. That's how it tastes. Funky and skunky. Weak head. No real redeeming quality.

It seems to me like I tried some Left Hands before - perhaps when I was skiing in CO, but I will avoid this one. Maybe the Chainsaw is better.

07-08-2011 I am having another of these and though not funk and skunky, it is a bit wimpy. I have noticed than nothing smells good today - it is summer, the windows are open, and for some reason everything has a wet - sea pier - smell that ruins it. It's not just me! It's definitely better than the sample that was too old, though.

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

This is not a deep beer, but it is tasty and refreshing and full of flavor considering the ABV. A good session beer.

Pours a clear copper with a big fluffy head. The aroma is malty with some floral hops and a tinge of honey. The flavor is malty, a bit bready, with a little light caramel. There are soem light floral hops and a slight woody bitterness on the finish. The mouthfeel is clean.

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

Poured this lighter amber beer into a pint glass. The head that appeared with the pour was a depth of a half inch. Which reduced slowly to a faint wisps of lacing. The aroma of a sweat grass greeted the nose and mouth. Yet the after taste is that of a dryer amount of grass tasting. Overall a decent beer to pass the time with.

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

A 12 oz bottle poured into a shaker pint.

ESB is a style that doesn't get a lot of play in the "beer geek" community, of which I consider beeradvocate to the standard-bearer.

The beer is an outstanding example of the style. The color is a bright ruby-orange. The head dissipates quickly. The aroma is spot on, if not a hint on the "red ale" side. Colorado water keeps the effervescence in check.

The flavor..certainly malt-forward, but not "sweet" in any offensive sense. It has the sweetness you get in a good bread.

Bitterness plays a harmony part in the second half the pallete experience, never overwhelming, never pine-y or resinous; just a crisp, dry bitterness the balance the red-bread-sweetness as it slowly meanders off the front of the tongue.

I love this beer. Not because it's sexy or new or hybrid. Not because the brewer decided to jam as many hops as possible into every sip, from every corner of yakima. This beer is beautiful like good, old blues music...it's exactly what you expect and it still gets to you. It's written from a limited collection of chords, time measures and moods...and it's still beautiful every time.


Photo of DawnL
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I think I was expecting more from this beer than was fair. I was in the mood for something a bit more complex and hoppy.

The color was a very nice amber/brown. The head was white/off-white and had good retention.

The nose was very pretty. It was citrusy and floral with pleasing hints of fruit. Very nice use of hops as aromatics and very subtle in it's beauty. I really liked the complexities in the nose.

The palate was weak in comparison. There was so much flavor missing. Basically I felt this way, "It's cold and it's wet."

After mowing the lawn, I would probably give this beer an A. But, after a day at work when I wanted something to knock my socks off, it didn't even untie my shoes.

Photo of Vonerichs
3.63/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The body is a clear new penny copper color. This was served on tap into a pint glass and the head was two fingers and very creamy.

The smell is mostly biscuity malt with a touch of sweetness. Light grassy hops in the end.

Flavor is pale malt, bitter, biscuit, and a light floral hop finish.

Mouthfeel was thin and mildly carbonated. It's very bitter and dry.

This had a very light body and went well with my meal.

Overall, a decent beer but nothing special. I liked it with my food because of the light and easy drinkability.

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

A - Pours a nice copper amber with 2 fingers of khaki head with good retention and nice lace.

S - I could smell the malt as soon as I cracked the bottle. Nice mix of malt and some hop citrus.

T - Pale malt up front with some caramel malt rounded out by some hop flavor and bitterness. A nice balance. Somewhat mellow.

M - Pretty watery and thin. Light carbonation.

D - A nice drinkable ale. Nicely sessionable and not overwhelming with flavor or alcohol.

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Label indicates this one was bottled on 11/11/09.

A: Dark gold/copper in color with a few carbonation bubbles. Thin head that dissipates quickly. Leaves very little lacing down the side.

S: Sweet malty smell. Pretty weak on the nose, but what is there smells nice.

T: Similar to the smell, heavy on the malts with a touch of bitterness on the back end. Not picking up any distinct hop notes.

M: Light mouthfeel, decent carbonation. I'm no expert in the ESB style, but the mouthfeel seems adequate.

D: Definitely a sessionable beer @ 4.75%. Nothing that could keep you from enjoying several of these at a time.

Overall a decent beer. Nothing stands out as extraordinary about it, but if you're in the mood for a smooth ESB, this one should do the trick.

Photo of BravoTwo
3.92/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

Photo of Blitzstyle
3.42/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured form a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Nice blanket of head leaves some lace on the glass. Hazy amber color looks very appealing.

Biscuty and caramell malts really make this aroma. Don't really get a hop smell from it. Kinda blah nothing really going on.

What it lacks in aroma it makes up for in taste. A nice dull earthy hop flavor with mild smooth bitterness. The rest is caramell and biscuty malts.

Medium body, low carb makes this beer quiet easy to drink.

Photo of jjanega08
3.58/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A= pours a nice looking golden amber color with a fluffy off white head that has some decent retention and some spotty lacing. Not bad looking.

S= nice biscuity malts and caramel malt in it. Smells like a really solid ESB. You get some hop built in there but not too defined in the hop area. As I smell it more it reminds me more and more of a regular American Pale Ale... Nothing Really ESB like pokes out at me. Perhaps it is called an ESB because it is a little more tamed in the hop department compared to most APAs these days. Really smells like a classic APA though.

T= A little more hoppy in the taste than the smell leads on. Reminds me of Summit's Extra Pale Ale only built more focused on some American hops with a sweeter more citrus flavor and less of the earthy notes you find in the Summit beer. Really nice biscuity and caramelly malts. The beer hits the tip of your tongue all biscuit and caramel malt and slowly evolves and moves across your tongue before ending in just plain hop bitterness but nothing over powering. Really quite different from what I think of when I think ESB. Much much more of an APA in my opinion.

M= Very smooth and creamy. Up front it is a little prickly but it's very very smooth and creamy. Again reminds me of a biscuit.

D= Good beer. Really nothing crazy or exciting about this beer. It's just a good ol' APA labeled on the site as an ESB. Great flavors coming from it I really dig the bready biscuityness of this beer. Great complement to the hops. My score is based on rating this as an ESB.

Photo of Frosty80
4.18/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Color: pours light golden brown. sits brilliantly clear amber. creamy white head with great retention

Smell: moderately high hop aroma (mostly UK varieties). moderate malt aroma to balance with a slight toasty quality. very clean. very low fruity esters

Taste: low-medium bitterness. medium, mild, earthy hop flavor with and almost equal amount of slightly caramelly, bready malt to balance. finish is medium dry with a slight lingering bitterness and hop flavor.

Mouthfeel: smooth, light medium body with low-moderate carbonation

Notes: good ESB. maybe a little light on the bittering hops. good balance between malt and hops with superb drinkability

Photo of ToasterChef
3.92/5  rDev +5.4%
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!

Photo of webbcreative
4.33/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Copper amber colored pour with 2 finger white head.
Smell is caramel malt, and floral hops
Taste - same - caramel malts, with floral hop flavor that is really good.
Mouthfeel - thin side of medium.

Overall - although my review is somewhat thin, this is a GREAT ESB, spot on for the style in my opinion. Well balanced beer.
I will be drinkig more of this one in the future.

Photo of pokesbeerdude
3.97/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle from Arctic Liquors in Steamboat, CO. $1.50

A: Slightly hazed copper colored beer with an off white head, not much retention, a few bubbles here and there. Just a few spots of lacing around. Not bad.

S: Big malt profile, biscuity, roasted, caramel, and just a slight hint at hops, nothing overbearing and all in all smells pretty nice.

T: Taste follows the nose with a roasted malt and biscuit malt profile dominating the whole thing, just a hint of clean citrus hops at the end, definitely on the grapefruit peel side of the spectrum. Clean bitterness is left lingering on the tongue. Nicely done.

M: A little too strong on the carbonation for me, but it works with this beer. Fairly dry, and easy going down.

D: Wow, I think I may have found my next favorite session beer with this stuff. Great flavors, but not overbearing in any way. Very balanced and multi dimensional. Nice beer. Will definitely be keeping this one on hand!

Photo of Zebus0
3.42/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- Quite good. The head was large and foamy, pleasant dark amber color. Not extraordinarily carbonated, but I do like that. Pretty good looking ale.

S- Honestly doesn't really have one. Very muted. From what I can pick up it is pleasant, just quite understated. Maybe slightly fruity? Sweet smelling.

T- Very tasty. Nice blend of the burnt toast and bite from fruit. Not really bitter. Quite balanced I think. Top end has a little bit of tart, medium finish.

M- Smooth. Not really grainy at all. Not much to say really.

D- I was impressed, pretty damn good ale. Not something that you'll see me drink often, bit on the light side for my taste but a welcome change.

Photo of LongsPeakAveBrew
4.65/5  rDev +25%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Lefthand Brewery's Sawtooth Ale pours a clear copper into thin walled pint glass. Off white head dissipates quickly leaving curtains on the glass and just a trace of head on the top.

Toasted malt balances earthy grassy hop notes.

Taste opens with a full maltiness before being brought into blance by strong earthy and piney hops.

Nice full ale mouthfeel.

Eminently drinkable due to the perfectly balanced flavor and nice balnce of body and carbonation

Photo of wesbrownyeah
3.86/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got me some Left Hand Sawtooth Ale. Very festive bottle with a tie-die like look.

A- Pours a crystal clear fire orange with burnt outer tint when observed in sunlight. Nice one inch head that falls to a decent quarter inch froth. Leaves patchy lacing on sides of glass.

S- Smells of danky hop oil with mild hints of musky malts. Not much there.

T-M- Upfront is light citusy hops (lemon, orange and faint grass). Not a bad overall flavor but for ESB lacks bitterness. Smooth mouthfeel that leaves a slick coat on the tongue. Nice feel and very drinkable.

D- I would love to have a few of these around to drink when I need a dose of fresh beer that isn't chalked with alcohol.

Photo of GRG1313
2.09/5  rDev -43.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a bright clear copper orange. Thin and fast fading white head.

Unassertive light orange juice nose with just a hint of light spice; rather unassertive and with little real character in the nose.

Mouthfeel is thin, weak and short; watery.

Flavors are light, without character and with only hints of bitter orange juice, a hint of malt and a hint of yeast. Not real flavor; no real character and no real finish other than a very short basic light bitter with no appeal.

This is a beer with absolutely no character; tastes and smells like a lightly bitter water. Just my opinion or a really bad batch.

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Sawtooth Ale from Left Hand Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 1,948 ratings.