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Sawtooth Ale - Left Hand Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Sawtooth AleSawtooth Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,748 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,748
Reviews: 657
rAvg: 3.72
pDev: 13.17%
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: 1,748 | Reviews: 657 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of supercolter


4.1/5  rDev +10.2%

A very decent brew that I will have to agree with Billybob on- its tastes more like an IPA than an esb. Smells a quite hoppy up front, although not alot of the piney smell. Its more balanced with the malt backbone.
Taste is good, the malt tastes a bit old however.
Mouthfeel is very close to perfect, a bit oily medium in body.
Drinkability is good.

05-05-2007 04:33:48 | More by supercolter
Photo of rebel1771


3.78/5  rDev +1.6%

Pours a copper color with a slightly off white head that clings nicely to the glass.

The aroma of sweet malts abound along with a decent amount of hop aroma.

The taste has a more prominent hop blast up front than I expect from an ESB. Sweet caramel like malts show up after the hops subside.

Nice brew although not 100% inline with the style is represents.

04-24-2007 00:56:26 | More by rebel1771
Photo of billybob


3.7/5  rDev -0.5%

poured medium amber color three finger light tan head held very well with lots of lacing. aromas of citrus, grapefruit, and pine hops. tasted more like a ipa than a esb. some sweet caramel and bready malts with some hop balance. mouthfeel light to medium and carbonation ok. didn't like the fact i thought i was buying a esb and got something else, don't think i'll buy it again.

04-23-2007 00:07:26 | More by billybob
Photo of Marty


3.65/5  rDev -1.9%

Pours a nice red/orange, with a lively light beige head. Carbonation was good, and those nice streams of tiny bubbles persisted until all the drink had been drunk. Dissipated head left a sticky ring of lace on the inside of the glass. Hoppiness is nice and round, not crisp, and contain hints of citrus. Overall, a very balanced beer, sure to please many a palate.

04-22-2007 02:56:58 | More by Marty
Photo of wspscott


3.33/5  rDev -10.5%

12oz bottle in pint glass

Pours with a surprisingly thick 2 finger head, and leaves lots of lace on the glass. It is a light amber with lots of carbonation. The smell is mostly malts and that is what comes though in the mouth, I would like a little more hops. This is a little on the light side, there are good flavors, but something seems to be lacking. I suspect that I could give this to my father in law (the wine drinker) and I don't think he would have a problem. I could see drinking this at a baseball game or some other hot day. A nice beer, and worth trying, but not one I will buy again.

04-20-2007 23:15:09 | More by wspscott
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly

New York

3/5  rDev -19.4%

Nice clear amber color with a thick head that fades down to a thin layer, leaving good lacing.

Smell is ok, like a fresh loaf of bread with a hop aroma in the background.

Taste and mouthfeel are just ok too, caramel malt, with a slight hop bite. Medium bodied, moderately carbonated.

The beer is ok, but I wouldn't want to drink it all night.

04-20-2007 21:19:47 | More by JoeyBeerBelly
Photo of neonbrown82


3.15/5  rDev -15.3%

This is a decent beer. Not one of the better ESB's I've tried, though. Looks good, but everything else about it seems fairly par.

The beer pours to a nice coppery amber color with a thick off-white head. Good retention, great lacing. Carbonation is moderate. Looks just as I would expect my ESB to look.

The smell is where things start to go a bit downhill. Bready English malt with a small hint of sourness. Something I've been able to detect in all the Left Hand beers I've tried. The hops play a close second role to the caramelized malt. Smells like English hops as well, like an earthy, woody Fuggle as well as a hint of spicy and herbal hops.

The taste is quite similar to the nose, but more distinguishing. Bready pale malts with notes of caramel and toffee. Distinctly English, like Marris Otter. The hops provide a very subtle bitterness. Just enough to balance out the sweetness of the caramel and toffee. Same characteristics as mentioned in the nose. Finally, has a bit of a berry ester, along with an acrid sour flavor that lingers in the finish. Maybe DMS.

The body is medium with a very gentle carbonation. Only 4.75% ABV, but not something I could session on.

04-13-2007 07:36:41 | More by neonbrown82
Photo of BlindPig


4.1/5  rDev +10.2%

A- About a 1/2" off white head on a pretty clear orange/amber body. Decent lacing covering top of brew and sticking to side a bit.
S- Nice big citrus and grapefruit hops with a nice backing of malt body. Some pine in there too.
T- A nice balance between hops and malts. Hops are out weighing malts and leave a pretty big bitterness on the tongue. Get a nice caramel mixed with some pine and grapefruit (pine over powers the grapefruit).
M- Medium to maybe a full body with medium carbonation.
D- I really like it and could easily have a few of these.

03-14-2007 20:08:05 | More by BlindPig
Photo of kajerm


1.88/5  rDev -49.5%

Tried this at a beer tasting a few months back. Poured golden-brown with an averageish head into my pint glass.

The aroma? Yogurt, yogurt, and more yogurt. This beer reeked of lactobacillus. The taste was nearly as bad, laden with sour cream and yogurt notes-- horribly, horribly infected.

Drinkable for a vile bottle of pestilence and plague, I guess.

I've tasted Left Hand's imperial stout and I know they can craft a decent brew, but a for-profit brewery should not be letting this kind of thing happen.

03-14-2007 07:35:05 | More by kajerm
Photo of Bobikel


3.38/5  rDev -9.1%

Appearance - Poured a deep orange with a good sized clunky head that stuck around for quite a while. Laching is also above average.

Smell - Malts dominate, with just a slight earthy hoppiness.

Taste - Bready malts take over at first, followed by a bittering hopy push, which in turn, recedes back into a mellow toasted flavor.

Mouthfeel - Full bodied and a little slick with an even carbonaiton.

Drinkability - A very mellow and easy drinking amber ale. A descent amount of complexity allows for an interesting evening, while it retains enough simplicity to be quaffed with a few friends over dinner.

03-13-2007 01:34:15 | More by Bobikel
Photo of Stimack

New York

3.45/5  rDev -7.3%

Picked up the variety 12 pack this past weekend and finally was able to give them a try. First time I have seen them at my local places in New York, probably have been just walking right past them because they have been available (at least the Milk Stout) at my local hang out.

This brew pours to a slightly hazy dull amber color with a nice sized head that has pretty good retention and left a nice amount of lacing at the top pf the glass. The aroma is very nice, lots of malt come through with biscuit and caramel scents. Also I am picking up a nice hop aroma that while subtle is there and mixes very nicely. This is a very good aromatic brew, very inviting. The taste while very nice seems to be missing my expectation. From the aroma’s I was expecting a more robust flavor but is seems somewhat dull. While this being said it is a nice tasting brew just does not live up to my expectations. Some hop taste up front is noticeable but does not live up to the smell, agree that for this style that they should not be overwhelming but should have a little better punch IMO. Also the malts seem to be somewhat bland and I feel that this is what is causing my thoughts on this brew to be so-so. Somewhat sweet flavor but very plain to almost feeling watery. I would say that this brew is fair, nothing to write home about but a fair choice for a sessional brew.

03-12-2007 13:29:09 | More by Stimack
Photo of Hibernator


3.75/5  rDev +0.8%

Left Hand Sawtooth Ale
12 oz brown bottle
Bottled on 02-07-07
Served in a 20 oz tulip pint glass

Pours a light amber brown with an orange tint. A fluffy head forms on top and leaves nice patterns of sticky lace on the glass.

The nose is bready and malty. A touch of sweetness and spicy hops linger in the background.

Juicy caramel malt backbone with a hint of nutty flavors. Bready, reminding me of the crust from wheat bread. The finish provides a grapefruit citrus twang.

A middle of the road ESB from Left Hand. Not one of my favorite styles, but I enjoyed it just the same.

03-10-2007 17:55:17 | More by Hibernator
Photo of beeragent


3.75/5  rDev +0.8%

Serving style: 12oz. bottle, poured into a pint glass.

A - The beer poured a deep copper, forming a nice 1 inch head, leaving thin rings of lace on the glass.

S - The aroma is mostly of sweet malt, a hint of hops, and a little caramel.

T - Sweet caramel flavor, along with a nice nutty finish. Cant really detect any hops in the taste.

M - Medium smooth mouthfeel.

Overall, this seems to be a very smooth, east to drink, ESB. Not as harsh as others of this style that I've experienced. I could see having a few of these during a session.

03-05-2007 06:54:43 | More by beeragent
Photo of jettjon


3.45/5  rDev -7.3%

Presented in a 12 oz bottle marked “bottled on 12-27-06.” Goes into a pint glass an amber-brown color with no evident carbonation. One finger head quickly fades leaving a spotty cap with solid lace sheeting and great retention. Nose of solid piney hops with a bit of sweet malt in the back. Smells like a good APA should. Taste of piney hops up front with a good balance against the sweeter malt. Pretty tasty (wish I had been more descriptive in my notes). Mouth is rather middle-of-the-road, wet and refreshing with medium carbonation, soothing. Drinkability is good for this easily sessionable brew. It’s tasty and refreshing.

Overall: This one was kind of a surprise, but the kind of good surprise I’m experiencing more and more lately. A good, from left field (no pun intended) solid pale ale that definitely worth your time.

03-05-2007 04:00:33 | More by jettjon
Photo of barefootbrewer


3.75/5  rDev +0.8%

This beer poured a clear brown with a decent, persistent head. The smell is quite malty with a touch of bitter notes. The taste is malty and bitter. It is a good balance between the two. The mouthfeel is full and the carbonation is noticeable. The balance of this beer along with it’s body makes this a nice drinking beer.

03-03-2007 23:09:18 | More by barefootbrewer
Photo of Applesauce1


3.9/5  rDev +4.8%

I picked this up at the Pit Stop in Nelsonville, OH.

Appearance: copper-amber color with a nice 3/4" head on the pour
Smell: i smell some spices (winter warmer spices); kind of a weird smell for this type
Taste: very good; nice balance; mild hoppiness; but mostly a malty flavor with some of that winter warmer/bock flavor (kinda weird, but thats what it feels like)
Mouthfeel: medium to light bodied
Drinkability: going down pretty good

Overall, I'm impressed with this beer and would like to try it again.

03-02-2007 05:25:18 | More by Applesauce1
Photo of browner


3.88/5  rDev +4.3%

This beer was a nice surprise. Not very familiar with ESB's but I found this very drinkable. The copper color had a big tan head with a bit of lacing. Head settled down to a half inch or less. This beer had a light hop and faint fruit and red grapefruit. I found this beer to finish nicely and while this may be considered average I enjoyed the brew. Nothing necessarily memorable but a good solid beer and very drinkable. Not overbearing. Enjoyed it and a fun change of pace.

02-25-2007 19:30:24 | More by browner
Photo of Wasatch


3.53/5  rDev -5.1%

Thanks Csims

Pours a nicel clear amber color, nice carbonation, nice one finger foamy tannish head, which then leaves some nice sticky lacying afterwards. The nose is malty, slightly hoppy, and nice touch of caramel. The taste is sweet malty, slightly hoppy, and a nice undertone of caramel. Medium body. Drinkable, a nice ESB, glad to have a chance to try it out.

02-25-2007 03:32:50 | More by Wasatch
Photo of wcdoyle


3.48/5  rDev -6.5%

Pours quite well. Color is ultra clear and clean: cloudless.Head was made of moderately-sized bubbles, which seems to settle out to able a 1/2 to one-inch light, light, light caramel-brown head.

Taste seems a bit thin, but it's nothing to sneeze at (I was coming off a sample of Rogue's Brutal Bitter). Hops are prominent, but not super-sharp. They retreat quickly, settling *way* in the the back of the mouth. malts are mild and there's a decent balance between hops and malt.

02-22-2007 19:33:30 | More by wcdoyle
Photo of BadRockBeer


3.43/5  rDev -7.8%

Serving Type Sampled: 12 fl. oz. brown crown top bottle with brewed on date.

Appearance: Pours a copper with amber hue. Very 1 finger head that leads to nice lace.

Smell: Faint citrus hops, very mild nose.

Taste: Caramel malt up front, followed by harsh floral hops. Very nice bitter qualities fit style well.

Mouthfeel: Light-medium. Moderate carbonation. Sweet, resiny finish that lingers.

Drinkability: Good. Great ball game beer or if you live in Colorado, Great snow shoveling beer!

02-22-2007 05:18:52 | More by BadRockBeer
Photo of Morris729


3.73/5  rDev +0.3%

Pours a copper-amber color with a foamy off-white head that coats the sides of the glass with curtains of sticky lace as it recedes. Nose is sweet and malty with some fruity citrusy hops. Taste is toasted malt blended with an earthy and herbal hop bitterness along with a bit of dry grain. Moderate in body and easy-drinking. A good session beer.

02-17-2007 00:56:32 | More by Morris729
Photo of Pegasus


3.63/5  rDev -2.4%

Appearance: Clear, deeply toned copper color, with a large white head, slight, slow-rising carbonation, a large, rocky, white head, and thick, scattered lacing.

Aroma: Almost over-the-top toasted malts, notes of dark fruit, earthy yeast, and citric hops, in all, strikingly complex.

Taste: Earthy notes and toasted malts dominate, with darker fruits later in the taste performing in a supporting role. Late in the taste lingering citrus hop notes, these carry on well past its end.

Mouth feel: Full, with zesty carbonation, has a slight mineral water feel.

Drinkability/notes: A well-made example of the style, the complex flavors of the style are expressed in a complex and complimentary fusion.

Presentation: Packaged in a twelve-ounce brown glass long neck bottle, served in a standard pint tap glass. The 'bottled on' date is 06/16/06.

01-28-2007 01:38:37 | More by Pegasus
Photo of shadow1961


3.85/5  rDev +3.5%

Left Hand's Sawtooth Ale pours out a big fluffy head over a cloudy
amber brew. Carbonation seems moderate, and the nose is malty,
yeasty, and a bit herbal. The flavor is a nice balance of dark malt
and grassy, herbal hop. Mouthfeel is smooth and dry. Alcohol by
volume 4.8%. A really competent brew!

01-16-2007 07:58:33 | More by shadow1961
Photo of BeerBelcher


3.28/5  rDev -11.8%

I am not all that well-grounded in judging ESB's versus style, ut this is certainly a good bit lighter than a Fuller's ESB I had some time ago. The light hoppiness of this brew made me think more of an English-style IPA than an ESB. It is a light and pleasing beer, but rather unmemorable.

It poured a very attractive and slightly hazy red-orange color with good head formation and retention.

Odor was rather fruity...a sort of non-specific hop smell.

Taste was that of caramel malt with some fruit augmentation. It seemed well balanced with some isoamly acetate (banana) flavor in the finish. All-in-all, a pretty good tasting beer.

Mouthfeel was very light, but unremarkable.

01-16-2007 00:21:37 | More by BeerBelcher
Photo of mentor


3.85/5  rDev +3.5%

Pours a finger of dirty-tan head over a clear light orange-copper liquid. Smells grassy and oranges. Mild pine woody earthy dry malt.

Tastes earthy hops with mild oranges. Toasted grains, bordering on over-toasted. Interesting character. Drying, due to overcarbonation. Esters mix with the hops deliciously. Apricot with oranges. Almost a tettnanger gritty quality. Lovely aftertaste is a resurge of the malt along with some iron flavor. All told, this beer is very floral hoppy flavored with mild hip bitterness.

Md body and a touch overcarbonated for my liking, and way overcarbonated for the style.

01-15-2007 07:09:54 | More by mentor
Sawtooth Ale from Left Hand Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 1,748 ratings.