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Sawtooth Ale - Left Hand Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Sawtooth AleSawtooth Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,929 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,929
Reviews: 675
rAvg: 3.72
pDev: 12.9%
Wants: 59
Gots: 199 | 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: 1,929 | Reviews: 675 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Photo of ocelot2500
4.23/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear orange with an off white head. Not much lacing.

Smells of toasted malts and some light floral hops. Also some fruity esters in there.

Tastes of the sweet malts upfront rounded out by some slightly bitter hops. Well balanced, with the toasted malts and some diacetyl, butter type notes, followed by a light floral hop touch. The floral hops are also complemented by some fruity esters.

The mouthfeel is smooth with a medium-light body and has a dry finish.

Photo of AmberMan22
4.34/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The big, red, left hand caught my eye and I felt the need to try this. Had a pint on tap.

A: This Ale from Left Hand BC pours a golden amber color, with an offwhite head. The retention on the glass is unlike anything I've seen from a beer of this class. Maybe I'm just a nub though.

S: Smells ofhoppy goodness and sweet malt.

T: Wow. The immediate sensation of the buttery malt hits the tongue, with notes of caramel and pale malts. The hops are incredibly well balanced, meeting the malt halfway and then closing out with a hoppy aftertaste. Again, perfect balance, absolutely delicious.

M: Creamy, medium-light body feel, rools easily over the tongue. Perfect for the color/style -- not too heavy.

D: Absolutely. I could drink this all night long and be happy as a clam. The sweet malty goodness meeting hoppy afterbite is incredible, and I could go for this beer anytime, anywhere.

Photo of clayrock81
3.8/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a clear amber-tinted brown with a quickly dying head and some lace patches. A mix of caramel malt and citric hops. A light to medium beer that contains both sweet malts like caramel and bready/biscuit malts that along with a light citric hop bitterness, balances well for a drink that is both sweet and crisp while retaining a dry finish. Beers like this are made to just sit and relax with at a bar and this one is no exception.

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

Label shows a born (bottled date) of 10/10/08
(I will continue with this review trying to ignore the date but I will try to get this beer again, but with the intension of finding a more fresh bottled date.)

Pours a nice orange color with 1 finger of offwhite head that reminds me of orange creamsicle. However, it doesn't take long for the head to fall back into the glass and leave just a film over the beverage.

Scent is quite pleasant; both hop and malt sweetness, also a little bit of spice from the hops as well come through. I also have the strange suspicion that I am smelling orange, damnit that might be because of my previous statement about the orange creamsicle-like initial head...hmmmm.

On to the taste scene. Mouthfeel is medium to light, carbination is nice and bubbly. There are still bubbles chasing to reach the surface. Taking a deep gulp you have initial hop sweetness and malty sweetness with a little followup of hop bitterness. Finish is quite crisp. I am not as excited about this as compared to other ESB's. It's not bad and I would definatley drink it again but its not something I would go out of my way for.

Photo of gory4d
4.15/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber into a Sam. Smith's Imperial pint glass. Pours a clear, ruddy amber with a dense, two-finger, off-white head that leaves lots of lacing. The smell is clover, whole grain, mineral tang. The taste is grain, sweet mild floral notes, mineral sharpness, and a not-too bitter finish with a hefty malt backbone. There are some faint buttery notes deep in the mix. It's well carbonated, though not too spritzy, and medium in body. Easy to down, and not too boozy for a small session. Glad I got two. A nice example of the style.

Photo of emsroth
3.52/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber. no date

app: Amber in color with a frothy off-white head.

smell: Straight northwestern hops. The type from which you can smell the bitterness, and I dislike a bitter nose. As it warms a slight biscuity malt scent pokes through.

taste: greeted by the bitterness and ends with a bready malt. The hops have a grassiness to them. An overall solid flavor. Very well balanced, and no extreme in any way. As it warms the flavor mellows and turns absolutely delicious. Let this baby warm a bit before serving.

Leaves a bit of a malty film in the mouth, but it does not detract.

An overall solid, decent brew.

Photo of drtth
3.92/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a standard shaker glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: The beer as served is a clear dark copper/amber color with a ½" off-white head that recedes slowly and leaves a small ring and some modest lacing. Though out most of the beer sipping leaves some but not a lot of speckled lacing.

Smell: The pleasant aroma is soft with sweet malt and floral hops.

Taste: The flavor is a demonstration of the word "balance." There are floral hops and a nice malt backbone with neither dominating the other. Throughout there are also some subdued floral and citrus notes (grapefruit) and a subtle pale malt sweetness.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is medium-bodied and smooth but a touch on the thin side. The carbonation is light but strong and persistent. The finish is moderately long and becomes dry and pleasantly bitter though to the end.

Drinkability: This beer is quite easy to drink and I could easily have more than one. I'll certainly look to have this one again sometime.

Photo of Rhynes2
3.67/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Not too impressed with this brew. It was a little under-hopped for my taste. Not much of a foam head to speak of and it what did foam up didn't stick around for long. Color was a bit dark and kinda reminded me of a bad version of Killians. Not much to say here it's just not any good. Will not be buying this brew again.

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

I had out of a 12 oz. bottle.
A- Amber in color, limited head and lace. Semi-bubbly.
S- Good malty scent to it.
T- Has almost a cherry lollipop, candy kind of taste to it. Really good with above average sweetness.

Not sure what that sweet taste is, but it's different and I like it.

Photo of Anthony1
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured into a perfect pint

pours a copper color with a small off white head. smells malty with fruits and bread. fruity taste with a balance of hops. not much else to say. Enjoyed the beer, but not much better then average. still ok, nice and balanced.

Photo of PaleAlien2
4.17/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear amber in color with a white head.

Smells really good--sweet caramel, toasted bread and malt.

I love this beer. Caramel malt is prevalent in the taste. Bread and yeast there as well.

Medium body. A little bit a filmy finish.

Great session beer.

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

The look is a nice amber color that is not filmy. The smell smells of fresh fruit, but not to the point of excess. The taste is a nice taste of fruit, but not to much and rather easy to drink. One drawback is that there is a real after taste that anyone would notice. For the most part, I good beer. Verdict: try it.

Photo of Risser09
3.46/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a nonic - fridge - bottled 8/17/08

Appearance: A copper colored liquid that has bright yellow highlights. A 1.5" tall ivory head rises and shows decent retention. A nice amount of sticky foam coats the glass. Some bubbles flow to the surface.

Smell: Pale malt, moderate hops. Cereal, some citrus and otherwise not very strong in aroma.

Taste: An immediate pinch of bitterness from a somewhat flavorless bittering hop addition. I guess the finish is a piney one. The midtones include caramel malt that also packs a lot of flavor.

Mouthfeel: Pinchy but smooth. This medium bodied beer has ample carbonation, and the bitterness hits down through the esophagus. A dry, bitter and a little boozy finish.

Drinkability: Not too bad. I don't know if the bitterness would lend itself to a session, but it's a solid beer for sure.

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

A - Poured honey, small head, clingy lace. Fairly clear.

S - Light, crisp. I cannot discern much else.

T - Malt up front, bittered and dried very fast. Not much left at finsih.

M - light bodied, lots of carb, very dry.

D - Easy enough! I could drink a 6 of these pretty quick.

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

From the Mountain Mixer sample pack
A nice bright copper color body with a thick lasting off-white head leaving some lacing. Aroma is slightly malty,a bit bready,hints of floral hops,slightly sweet. Flavor is malty up front some nice caramel,a touch of bread dough, a little spicy hops and hints of lemon at the finish,lightly bitter,medium body and lively carbonation, grainy,malty aftertaste. Quite drinkable.

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

Sawtooth pours a light honeish-amber tone, light ever-so-tan head frothy, lingers for a while. Nice appearance.
Smells of refined hoppy goodness, a proper ESB nose. floral bittering hops, golden maltiness, drying citrus, floral citric bitterness is the overall impression, and a very nice "English" refinement.
Taste is pretty good. Upfront a malty hop presence that moves into a dryish citrus finish, toasted biscuity bread flavor, caramel, and even a suggestion of bitter cocoa., toffee. Slightly caramelized cashew/nuttiness.
Mouthfeel is enjoyable in its restrained weight. Its nice not to have a Americanized super-malted-hopped-to-the-hilt classic English ESB.
Pair this with duck breast, or penut dusted scallops with an earthy farro or creamy risotto to offset the bitterness.

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

A- Big, frothy head with excellent lacing and retention. Beer is moderately hazy and carbonation streams are not visible. Pale Ale color of amber with some orange tones

S- Smooth, sweet, fruity, grainy. Scents of caramel, biscuit, citrus and grassy herb.

T- Well balanced but lacking a whole lot of flavor. Sometimes this is a plus and it is fitting for a session brew. Taste is light with white bread flavors and vegetal spices and some tasty yeast.

M- Carbonation is light yet exhilarating. Body is light and quenching

D- Exceptional brew even for people who only drink BMC.

Photo of hopmonkey
2.68/5  rDev -28%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A - Pours a nice copper hue. Very rich color.

S - A nice smell with some pine, citrus, bread.

T - In a word, boring. Thin and one-dimensional. Seems closed off. Relatively balanced, but to the point of a lack of identity.

M - Thin carbonation adds to the feeling that this almost tastes like a beer that's been sitting out in the sun for too long.

D - Low ABV makes it a drinkable beer. Too bad I don't want any more of it.

Photo of originalsin
3.73/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Came home for the summer the other day and found a 6 of this waiting in the fridge for me. Thanks mom ! hahaha

But really- Hadn't heard much about this stuff but saw it on tap at a local spot last night (went with some dogfish brews instead) but had one with lunch first thing this afternoon. The pour was a clear clear amber color with a tasty white head that retained and laced beautifully. No complaints here.

Mostly caramel and a little light sweet fruit on the nose. For some reason I love the way this beer smells but then after I let it set in for a moment I can't enjoy it quite as much. A light hint of citrus hops on the nose, too.

It's got a solid mouthfeel with some biscuity malt flavors that work nicely with the weak hop bitterness and light citrus hop flavors. It's dry on the back of the mouth .

Likely won't take me long to finish the rest of the pack, but I can't say just yet if i'll be goin' back for more. It's a decent beer, and a great ESB. That is all.

Sawtooth Ale from Left Hand Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 1,929 ratings.