1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Sawtooth Ale - Left Hand Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Sawtooth AleSawtooth Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,887 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,887
Reviews: 663
rAvg: 3.72
pDev: 12.9%
Wants: 55
Gots: 157 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sawtooth Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,887 | Reviews: 663 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tigg924
4.63/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: dark copper, medium head, cloudy, high carb

Smell: cinnamon, malt, brown sugar, and honey

Taste: brown sugar and sweet malt dominate

Mouthfeel: light, smooth, and sweet

Drinkability: I love sweet malt, I love this beer. Left Hand is slowly becoming a favorite of mine and this beer is excellent...I will session this. Wow another great offering.

Photo of donteatpoop
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a copper color with a very light haze, thin white head with no retention

Smells like fruit and funk and funky fruit.
Very sweet.

The smell is the taste, though the funk hits you first followed by a lingering sweetness.

A bit fizzy, not bitey carbonation but fizzy. It's all very fizzy. And funky fruit fresh.

You know that drink that people make for parties? The big tub of random liquers with a bunch of random fruit left to soak in it for like a day or two... That's the type of impression that this ale gives, full of all kinds of shit that I can't quite place but pleasant just the same.

Very unique beer, and though I would certainly drink it again, it might be a very "occassional" thing.

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

Pours a dark amber copper with a little head, not much lacing to speak of. Smells malty with a hint of sweet caramel. Tastes malty and bitter, light mouthfeel, finishes pretty smooth. Pretty drinkable for its style. This is a few people I know's favorite beer and they always have some, but otherwise I would not go out of my way to find this.

Photo of Guzzler78
3.65/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy orange/copper color. A nice finger and a half of foamy white head. Leaves a fair amount of lacing.
Smells of sweet malts and fresh fruits.
Tastes of malts and citrus fruits, a light hoppy flavor.
A light to medium mouthfeel, nice medium amount of carbonation. A lingering slightly bitter aftertaste.
Overall a good drinking beer. A lighter ale that is satisfying and refreshing.

Photo of AdmiralDiaz
3.63/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured to pint glass.

A: Copper in color with a one finger head that has decent retention but not a lot of lacing.

S: Smells malty with a bit of caramel and sweet fruits.

T: Malty up front with a strong caramel flavor with some fruit that turns into a nice bitter finish that balances out the initial sweetness very nicely.

Overall a pretty enjoyable ESB and even better for the price. I bought this as a single bottle for just a bit over a dollar so I'll pick up some more for sure. Very drinkable and very crisp.

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

Had this on-tap at Gene's Hofbrau.

A - Pours copper colored and clear with a medium, foamy, white head.

S - Smells like malt, mild fruits.

T - The frontend is sweet, malty, sort of a roasted malt flavor, then the bitterness takes over and leaves you with a grapefruity finish.

M - Thin bodied with moderate carbonation.

Notes - Tasty, very drinkable and refreshing. Should pick this one up again in the summer.

Photo of SLeffler27
3.38/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Fills the glass with a clear, shiny, new-penny copper with a rocky champagne head. Lace coats the glass, dropping to a light puff.

Straw, nuts and caramel greet orange, some coriander and wood.

Sawtooth is a lightly bitter beer with fair balance, although a bit grainy with a moderate finish. While full-flavored, it lacks complexity.

Dry, with a medium body and watery texture, there are some metallic notes and no hint of alcohol.

This is a great lawn-mower beer and thirst quencher. If having a deck party, let this one flow and enjoy the company.

Date consumed: 11 September 2008

Photo of dakid618
3.68/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep golden light brown translucent color with a finger of head. Some lacing on glass. Smell is like caramel malt. Taste is very malty. Light mouthfeel. Fairly drinkable, a little malty for my taste. Wish it had more alcohol to it. Not a bad beer by any means but will probably not buy again.

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

A - Clear golden amber. Small fading head.

S - A weak malt and sweet fruit aroma.

T - Big smooth malt/bready notes up front.. bitterness carries you to a sweet fruity finish.

M - Thin, medium carbonated.

D - Really easy drinker here... sweet malt bomb with some bite. Nothing special, but a great brew to keep in the fridge.

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

Poured a rich amber color with a thin white lacing. The first thing that really stood out to me in both the flavor and the aroma was the nice, round bitterness of the hops, along with some light fruity notes. This had a very nice bitterness with a nice, clean finish, and was surprisingly drinkable for a beer with this kind of hops profile. Not bad at all.

Photo of ATPete
3.7/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle

bottled 9/10/08 consumed 1/2/09

Pours an orange brown color with a small off white head and some light sticking. Roasted malt in the nose, hints at chocolate malt as well even some whiffs of coffee, interesting. Nice flavor, subtle bitter hops, stale grainy malt, medium bodied. Nothing that will really 'wow' you but it drinks pretty well.

Photo of BedetheVenerable
3.13/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Presentation: 12oz brown bottle with 09-17-08 bottled on date.

Appearance: A medium pour produces a fairly bright, dark orange/amber beer with vigorous, steady carbonation and a nice off-whie head that soon fades to a substantial film.

Smell: Fruity. There are notes of dark fruit up front (blackcurrants and raspberries) with a sweet, biscuity, malty breadiness in the background. At first the fruity esters dominate, but give it a swirl and let it warm up a few degrees and the malt character really emerges.

Taste: Sweet biscuity malt, actually a little touch of alcohol solvent in the background (quite surprising in a beer of this abv). There's some mild citrus hop flavor, but the hops come through mostly in terms of bitterness. There's a goofy mineral quality in here, a good dose of buttery diacetyl, and something else I can't quite place...something kind of earthy.

Mouthfeel: Light-medium, and a bit over-carbonated for my liking in this style.

Drinkability: It's ok, but doesn't really leave me wanting another.

Conclusion: I tried, but I didn't really like this one all that much. Maybe I got an "off" bottle? Everything just seems kind of out of balance and the various flavor components don't mesh well together.

Photo of HomebrewPgh
3/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A fairly standard ESB. Aroma was light...hints of caramel malt. Pour was a light copper with a thin white ring for a head. Taste was very malty and thin..caramel and pale malts with just a hint of hops in the aftertaste after the swallow. Not very strong in any category.

Photo of DoctorDog
4.1/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A- Clear orange appearance. Pours with ~1 fingers of white-ish head, which fades quickly, leaving a thin ring. Moderate lacing noted.

S- A distinct grapefruit odor hits my nose first, followed by some malty/grainy smells.

T- Grapefruit/citrus, malts/grains, and even some fleeting hints of chocolate. The bitterness is mild, and such that I'd liken it to eating a tasty grapefruit. Better than expected!

M- Crisp and refreshing. Fairly light.

D- Very high. This would be a good beer anytime, and a top notch summer brew. Could easily knock back multiples of this in an evening.

Future outlook: Situationally likely to purchase again. Not the most complex, flavorful, or interesting beer IMO, but a damn good drink nonetheless.

Photo of JMBSH
3.55/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Not much head from this slightly hazy somewhat dark golden looking beer. The head quickly shrank to a coating over the top of the beer.A little carbonation is seen.

S - Toasted, biscuity like scent. Not too strong.

T - The toasted malts again come forward the most with a bit of piney hops in the background.

M - Light and refreshing. Not at all heavy. The hops lingers a bit but is not overpowering.

D - Very drinkable. Fairly light in alcohol and with the slight hoppiness makes this a beer you can have more then one of.

Photo of champ103
3.28/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark red amber color. A small white head forms and leaves patchy lace.
S: Sweet caramel malt. I was expecting some more toasty malt, but did not get it. More citrus hops than I would like for the style.
T: Sweet caramel malt that is almost cloying. Again, not much toasted flavor. Lots of citrus hops.
M/D: A medium body that is well carbonated. Thick and chewy. Not hard to drink at first. Though the sweetness takes over after a while. One is plenty.

I was not that impressed wit this. It does not measure up to Fuller's, Youngs, or Bombardier IMO.

Photo of Douglas88
3.6/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle bought at College Liquors in Grand Junction. Pours a clear amber color with a large white head and lots of lacing. The aroma is mostly rich caramel malts and some citrus hops. The taste is very nice; sweet and rich caramel malts, some pine and citrus hops in the finish. A clean and easygoing brew. Pretty nice.

Photo of snaotheus
4.1/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was pleasantly surprised by this beer. Maybe that's because it was preceded by a beer I didn't like much, but no harm done.

We got a pitcher of it, thinking it was an amber, which was the best compromise we could come up with (two hop heads, two anti-hop heads). I see BA lists it as an ESB, but I'll still think of it in terms of an amber.

It pours the an amber color, and has a thick frothy head. It smells pleasantly musty and has a low hop, high malt flavor. A little hint of peat. I get the feeling I could drink and enjoy a large quantity of this beer.

Photo of JBuff41413
3.78/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I have loved everything I have had from Left Hand so far so I picked up their variety pack to see what else they had to offer.

A- Dark clover honey color with a 1 inch white head that fades fast.

S- Very malty, with some fruit and some sweet spice I can't put my finger on.

T- Caramel malts, mixed with the perfect amount of hops and a little fruitiness. Great balanced beer.

M- Medium bodied but it has a creamy mouthfeel. I love the texture of this beer.

D- Extremely drinkable. This is a GREAT session beer. Pick up a 12 pack and you will go trough it fast (in a good way)

Left Hand continues to impress me. I need to make a trip to the brewery soon. Try this beer, it is a great session beer that you won't regret trying.

Photo of AMo
3.85/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Left Hand Brewing Company Sawtooth Ale pours a dark amberish orange with a nice froathy head that stands the test of time. The smell is light and pleasant of a citrus like hops. Taste is lacking a bit. Its light, smooth, with a slight bitter hop background. Mouthfeel is on the thicker side of a medium density. There is also a nice medium to low carbonation that fits this brew nicely. Overall I'd say the feel was the best quality of this beer. It definitely gave it a nice drinkable despite its mellow taste. A good beer worth trying and reasonably priced too.

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

Pours a nice copper amber with a medium white head and good lacing. Smell is light and fragrant of citrus hops and light malt. Some caramel and toffee. Seems more like an Amber or Pale but whatever. Taste is much of the same. Seems a little hoppy for an ESB but not too bad. A good caramel malt backbone and some citrus hops. Not much for a biscuity or bready flavor, either. Notes of brown sugar. Mouthfeel is just a touch bitter to me. I mean, it's not drying or IPA like but it doesn't seem like an ESB. Still, I'm a hop head. This happens quite often with me. Somebody will overhop a particular style and while it doesn't necessarily match, I'll give it praise in the drinkability department. Sure, it didn't seem completely like an ESB should. The point is I could drink this pretty easy and would probably have another. To be honest, it makes me long for Blue Point ESB more than ever...

Photo of tempest
3.6/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Out of a variety case. Pours a clear amber with a short white head.

Mmm, I love a good session beer like this. The malts are a crisp combination of caramel and light toffee with a touch of fruit punh, while grassy, earthy hops finish the beer up and leave a mellow, but tasty aftertaste. Thin enough and certainly worth a few pints, this a pretty good, yet not great ESB.

Photo of canucklehead
3.93/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep copper colour with a brewery malty type nose with is kinda nice.The malts are the mainstay with some hops on the followup which bring to mind Fullsail Amber in flavour profile. Very drinkable and food friendly this is a decent beer from a brewery that I have not tried before.

Photo of nem2006
3.35/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The beer is a clear, deep copper with an incredible amount of visible carbonation. The white head was dense and about 1/2 inch thick.

There is quite a bit of malt in the nose. Smell a little caramel with a hint of citrus and floral.

This is a medium bodied beer with a lasting aftertaste. The carbonation is felt on the tongue. There is a short malt taste at the start with a heavy and long lasting hop finish.

Photo of williamherbert
3.6/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

[Bottled 4/16/08; consumed 9/17/08]

Gorgeous dark orange look, cloudy and with a cidery haze. Thick finger of foamy white head. Really terrific-looking.

Smell is a tad musty, but not horrible. Has a decent bready ale aroma. The hop is mild and spicy.

Again, the taste is a bit musty too. And again, not bad. A little funkhouse touch to a regular ale base. The age doesn't kill the flavor, but doesn't optimize it either. A good pub ale flavor.

Thick feel in a cream ale sort of way. A little chewy and bubbly. It's a pretty good pub ale. Might be a tad old but still worthy nonetheless.

Sawtooth Ale from Left Hand Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 1,887 ratings.