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Sawtooth Ale - Left Hand Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Sawtooth AleSawtooth Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

1,736 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,736
Reviews: 655
rAvg: 3.72
pDev: 13.17%
Wants: 43
Gots: 102 | 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: 1,736 | Reviews: 655 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of pmcadamis
pmcadamis

Illinois

4.63/5  rDev +24.5%

Murky amber brew w/ a thin bubbly head. Nice arcs of lace. This is almost two-toned in that it is dark amber in the middle and carrrot orange near the top and around the edges.

Excellent citrus hops and biscuity malt. Very zesty yet warm and robust. As the beer warms, a very sweet malt scent steps forward a bit and the orange and lemon hops play second fiddle.

Extremely balance and tasty! Not as hopped as I wouold have thought based on the nose. Robustly malted. I taste sweet orange cookies and biscuits along with a hoppy lemon zest at the slighty dry finish.

Very full bodied, thick, chewy, and smooth as hell. This is excellently viscous!

Drinkability is superb. Although the thickness could be a bit filling if you plan on sessioning this brew, or enjoying a few with a meal, this is highly quaffable.

This is the first beer that the fellas at Left Hand ever brewed, and IMO it's their best offering by far.

10-27-2006 05:40:34 | More by pmcadamis
Photo of ikats
ikats

New Jersey

3.53/5  rDev -5.1%

Amber in color with fluffy, sticky head. Aroma is light and fruity. Taste is somewhat different from the aroma. Maltiness is very much up front and hoppy bite is subdued. This ale is quite sweet with caramel notes. Medium body. Drinks easily.

It's a good beer, but I have concerns whether it will be memorable enough. My bottle came out of Left Hand's Mixer, and according to the stamp on the bottle, it's only a month old.

10-07-2006 03:28:51 | More by ikats
Photo of jackorain
jackorain

Pennsylvania

4.05/5  rDev +8.9%

A-pours a coppery brown with a good bit of haze to it. Light tan 1 inch head has decent retention and good lacing.

S-Malty, molasses and bread like aroma, some hops in there too. Very strong aroma, comes right out on the pour.

T-Malty, caramel, right up front followed by soem bread/toast, and some fruitness. Balanced out by light to moderate amount of floral and herbal hops-really nice balance. A really nice example of an American interpretation of the ESB

M-a little fizzy but medium chewy body, decent to good

D-very nice for a light session

09-12-2006 14:21:25 | More by jackorain
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
GratefulBeerGuy

New Hampshire

3.68/5  rDev -1.1%

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Looks copper-amber, lively, bubbly with a slightly off white head leaving scattered lacing around the edge as the volume goes down. Really good head retention overall.

Smells mostly hoppy with mild fruityness and sweet smelling malt.

Taste is also hoppy with a fruityness, sweet malt with a nice mellow wheat flavor too.

Feels crisp and lively eventhough it was bottled on april 26th and not consumed until 9/3/06. A nice clean, refreshing dry hop effect.

Pretty tasty and really easy to drink.

09-08-2006 02:55:43 | More by GratefulBeerGuy
Photo of FightingEntropy
FightingEntropy

Minnesota

3.5/5  rDev -5.9%

Strong malty base with spicy understones. Hops aroma and presence is good, fills the nose when held there for a bit, but understated compared to the malt, giving a slightly sweet taste The light golden colored ale is also a bit light in the mouth, but not bad. Front end carbonation bite that goes flat off the back of the tongue. Good taste to the beer, but not multidimensional, and a beer to get when it pops up but don't hunt it down.

09-03-2006 14:23:11 | More by FightingEntropy
Photo of ColoradoBobs
ColoradoBobs

Colorado

3.83/5  rDev +3%

Lovely large off-white head over a clear amber body. Pretty beer.

Exceptionally buttery and nutty aroma. Malt and walnut dominate. Great smelling beer.

The taste fell off a bit, with a lighter buttery, nutty, malty taste. It smelled so good that the flavor disappointed a bit.

Mouthfeel was pleasantly round and full for a 4.75% beer.

A very easy-drinking beer, I'm thinking this would be very good for sessioning: not so much flavor that your palate gets tired, but enough there to keep your tastebuds interested, with a low enoug ABV that you could still stand after a few.

08-17-2006 04:00:32 | More by ColoradoBobs
Photo of Foxman
Foxman

New Jersey

3.43/5  rDev -7.8%

It pours a clear orangey amber. A finger of sparse off-white head melts instantly to tiny froth springs. There is minimal lacing.

The aroma brings a softly sweet caramel note with a hint of cocoa. A duo of biscuit and mild yeast supress a vague trace of peppery hops.

Upon tasting, a flow of toasted malt sweetness is stunted just after a flash of caramel, and the ensuing gap seems thin and rather wanting for any real grain presence. Soon comes a slightly spicy character that parts for a trickle of baked dough, before a fair bitterness takes over. The finish is dry and indistinctly bitter. It's got the basis for some flavor, but is thin and halting.

Light bodied, the malt helps to lay a nice coating on the palate, more lush than anticipated.

It looks nice enough, and smells even better, but the flavor is a disappointment. It's a shame it doesn't deliver more. The disconnect from smelling to drinking causes a stark drop-off, and such a let down is hard to get past. Still, it's not totally devoid of drinkability. It's just that you come away thinking it could have been so much more.

08-14-2006 21:01:27 | More by Foxman
Photo of BeerAmbassador
BeerAmbassador

Arizona

4.1/5  rDev +10.2%

Pours a decent sized head with good retention and a bit of lacing. Ruby amber color. Smells very malty with some carmel and fruity notes, a little hops to balance out. Taste is very smooth with those same malty notes and a good bit of hop backbone. Nicely carbonated with a good creamy mouthfeel.

This beer actually suprised me a little as I was expecting something average to mediocre. It is a great example of the style without being too over the top in any area as some brewers attempt. It has a great drinkability and is something I would pick up in a heartbeat for a good malty session beer. Would love to find it on draft.

08-10-2006 02:09:30 | More by BeerAmbassador
Photo of gunnerman
gunnerman

Florida

3.73/5  rDev +0.3%

Poured into a pint glass, nice amber color with one inch white head that leaves little lace. Smell is of malted barley with hint of some citrus smells. Taste is of a bitter malt with hints with some wheat in the background, very good flavor and easy to drink, leaves a good aftertaste as well. Another good brew from Left Hand Brewing company.

08-09-2006 22:29:35 | More by gunnerman
Photo of teg8612
teg8612

Texas

3.25/5  rDev -12.6%

A- Amber color with an off-white head. very little lace.

S- Pale malt with floral hop notes. Balanced but not complicated.

T- Hop bitterness is of the floral variety. Malt backs up the hops and gives it a nice balance with a dry finish. Kinda nutty. Not vey complicated but good. More malty dryness as it warms.

M- Medium bodied with a dry finish.

D- It is so balanced and uncomplicated it seems over before it began. I was done before I could really decide if it compared with some of the other ESB's out there. That could be a good thing. I'd grab it again but I think I prefer Redhook more.

08-08-2006 20:09:45 | More by teg8612
Photo of Dithyramb
Dithyramb

Maryland

3.18/5  rDev -14.5%

Part of the mixed 12 pack that is now available in NJ. Smeared bottled on date.
Copper colored with light off white head. Nice lacing.
Light citrus aroma.
Citrus hops and chalky/doughy malts. Thought throughout the drinking experience that it was rather uneventful. Nice and goes down smooth and drinkable enough. Just not something I'd knock anyone over to try again.

07-31-2006 20:41:46 | More by Dithyramb
Photo of mattpetti
mattpetti

New Jersey

3.13/5  rDev -15.9%

This was a weird beer to drink. I have never been into esb's, and this came in a sampl pack so i'm giving it a try. Purs an amber color into my glass with a sligh head that has decent retention and lacing. Small is of slight pine, more bread/ chalky malts, smells ok, but something is off. The taste was of a nutty, slightly hoppy and sweet flavor. Some kinda buttery caramel was the main flavors. I think i might have gotten an old batch of this. The mouth feel is medium bodied with decent coating and weight. The drinkablity is average right now, im going to have to review this beer again for a full picture. Now overall it is an easy drinking esb though. with the nutty and maybe a slight spice being the main flavors.

07-16-2006 05:25:20 | More by mattpetti
Photo of maddamish
maddamish

Tennessee

4.15/5  rDev +11.6%

Ap: Copper in color, this beer poured out a white rocky head that diminished quickly but laced nicely.

Smell: A nice malt presence in the nose.

Taste: There is a heavy yeast note in this beer that can be described as doughy. There was only a slight hint of the caramel/butterscotch flavors that were present in the draft version. Accompanying the doughy taste was a slight nut presence that added a bit of complexity to the beer. Very nice. There is an acidic alcohol note that is left on the palate after consumption with a lingering toastiness.

Comments: A very good bitter in it's own right but I am partial to the draft version of this beer.

07-13-2006 00:10:00 | More by maddamish
Photo of Xadoor
Xadoor

Texas

2.2/5  rDev -40.9%

Dark gold or copper colour in the glass. Off-white head that settled quickly. A strange aroma, sort of grassy and earthy. Flavour is a little odd as well, I opened a couple of them to see if they all tasted like that. My first impression was that it tasted a lot like iced tea. Sweet biscuity malt flavours to start with some light pine and fruitiness. It finishes quite dry, but with only a light hoppiness. Thin to medium mouthfeel. Its not a bad beer, but I just can't get rid of that tea-like flavour that I seem to get from it. Maybe I'll give it a try again if the opportunity presents itself.

07-12-2006 18:23:10 | More by Xadoor
Photo of


2.93/5  rDev -21.2%

12 oz. bottle. Beer was a dark gold color, crystal clear. Moderate size head, off white in color. Aroma was malt on top, with some citrus style of hops coming through as well. As I inhaled, I also picked up a vinegar smell - made me wonder about the beer. I pushed on to tasting, where the hops outweighed the malt quite a bit. Sweetness only came through towards the end for me, primarily in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel was fairly drying, and the carbonation seemed rather high. Body was light and it was fairly refreshing. Overall, an OK beer, but I wasn't that impressed, and the smell was rather off-putting. I will probably try again in case this one was damaged in some way.

07-12-2006 14:45:33 | More by
Photo of kimcgolf
kimcgolf

Georgia

3.33/5  rDev -10.5%

Poured from 12 0z. bottle. Reddish apearance, true to style, but little head and no lacing. Bitter throughout, as expected, with a very dry palate to begin with, that but became less so near the end...left a good finish. Not my favorite beer, but at 4.5% abv, a good one to have if drinking several.

07-03-2006 22:55:18 | More by kimcgolf
Photo of CRJMellor
CRJMellor

Arkansas

3.3/5  rDev -11.3%

Poured a raw copper with extra golden yellow highlights. Dull white somewhat foamy head formed and settled really quickly.
Aroma of light caramel and bit of flowery hops. Nothing really developed here, even as it warmed.
Flavors were dominated by a light toasty, bready note and hint of caramel and some peanuts.
Mouthfeel was moderate at best and really lacked no defining quality or "hook." Pleasant enogh just a bit pedestrian.
Drinakability was average. Just a rather bland brew. Nothing offensive just not one that captures your imagination or leaves you wanting another.

05-30-2006 14:44:45 | More by CRJMellor
Photo of jmbranum
jmbranum

Oklahoma

4.43/5  rDev +19.1%

The numerical score above is of the most recent tasting

Review of July 17, 2012:

Faint malty aroma

Pours a nice dark amber with a big head. Clear.

Lots of malt. Some toastyness and a hint of caramel. Fairly sweet but not overly so. Just a little bit of hops (too many ESB's put too many hops in, in my opinion) which fits this style just right.

An excellent well-balanced beer.

Medium mouthfeel.

Review of May 27, 2006:

AP: 4.0 AR 4.0 F 4.0 MF 4.0 D 3.5
Goregeous orange-amber brew with a smallish head.

Excellent fresh flavor. Well balanced with some faint floral and pine hop notes, a fair bit of bittering hops, lots of rich malt and a good mix of dryness and sweetness.

Very much recommend this beer for a nice balance and fresh flavor.

05-27-2006 04:25:14 | More by jmbranum
Photo of BurnsTau
BurnsTau

Alabama

3.45/5  rDev -7.3%

Pours a medium/dark amber, copperish, head that dissapates leaving little lacing behind.

Smells of a sweet malty aroma.

Tastes, the maltiness immediately comes through, hints of spice. Very little hops are apparent, I guess there is a hint detectable at the end, but nothing very pronounced.

I don't know how I really feel about this one, I guess it is ok, it's not a bad beer, it just doesn't really shine in any areas.

05-24-2006 00:49:23 | More by BurnsTau
Photo of UncleFlip
UncleFlip

Alabama

3.05/5  rDev -18%

Good copper colour, with a foamy two finger off white foamy head that quickly becomes a one finger off white foamy head.

The smell is kind of stale, with some fruity and spicy notes, overlaying deep malty sweetness.

A strange flavour...quick spicy matiness is replaced almost immediately by in-shell peanuts that haven't been roasted enough. It sounds odd, and it IS odd. There's still some maltiness and spice throughout. But I *swear* there's a not-quite raw peanut flavour there.

Mouthfeel is OK...a bit thicker than average, as is the carbonation. However, the carbonation stays up high where it doesn't get in the way.

This would be MUCH mroe drinkable were it not for the whole peanut thing.

Be well
-UF

05-22-2006 00:08:45 | More by UncleFlip
Photo of mmmbeer
mmmbeer

Massachusetts

4.4/5  rDev +18.3%

12 oz., bottled on 3/1/06 - served in a nonic. It pours a solid chestnut hue with a finger of khaki head that doesn't leave much lacing, but retains a 1/4" cap of bubbles throughout. The aroma is of citric/piney/floral hops, sweet/buttery malts, dark fruits?, and roasted/chocolate malts. The taste is about the same with the addition of tropical (grapefruit, orange, faint mango) hops that contribute a mild to medium bitterness on top of a medium body that is crisp and refreshing. Overall it is a more-than-adequate ESB that is quite balanced in both scent and flavor. Definitely worth the price and I'm sure it would make a great session brew.

05-21-2006 21:00:27 | More by mmmbeer
Photo of blitz134
blitz134

California

3.88/5  rDev +4.3%

My first cask ale...had at the Decatur, Ga Taco Mac.

Came to me with a cloudy dark caramel body. It had a little white head on top but quickly went to a white ring around my pint glass. I saw them pour this but it was still small.

Aroma was a bit of sweet malts with some floral aroma hints coming through. A bit weak overall. The flavor was a definate step in the right direction. This was loaded with a huge hit of biscuit malts and then transitioned to some herbal and peat hops for a bitter finish.

Mouthfeel was a full medium body, probably due to the lack of carbonation. Flavor really lingered. Good drinkability overall. A fairly solid ESB that was nonoffensive in the taste department but still went down easy.

05-13-2006 00:01:17 | More by blitz134
Photo of rabsten
rabsten

West Virginia

4.03/5  rDev +8.3%

Another of my clean-out-the-cooler series, pint glass poured from a bottle dated -Yikes! - August 31, 2004. Amber, good tan head, very good lacing, medium carbonation.

Smells malty with mild citrus hops. A caramel quality starts to show itself as the glass empties.

Tastes like a pleasant english bitter. Reminds me of Sam Smith or Newcastle, but with a more assertive hop presence. Clean finish.

Mouthfeel and drinkability are above average. Very drinkable.

This is the second Left Hand in a row I've reviewed - the other was the Black Jack Porter - and while both have been past their primes, they remain drinkable beers. This one in particular held up very well. I need to find a nice, fresh six of this one to try again.

Bottom line: Above average American take on a classic English style.

05-09-2006 22:24:37 | More by rabsten
Photo of scruffwhor
scruffwhor

Illinois

3.38/5  rDev -9.1%

Appearance- Pours a clear amber, actually the standard color compared to all the other bitters I've tried. The head though was a two finger pour with great retention. A permanent film was left throughout the entire enjoyment of the beer. I ould have given the appearance a "5" if I could've seen some more lacing.

Smell- A tit bit funky, but not a repellign macro funky. Like a mix between day old bread and ripened cheese funky.

Taste- Made me think of an old ESB. By old, I don't mean aged to perfection. Like this bottle might have been sitting on the shelf too long. But I can't be sure. The typical biscuity/bready malts mixed with subtle Goldings hops wasn't bad. But the flavors overall weren't exceptional.

Mouthfeel- A little tart mixed with sweaty socks. Yet I still gave it a "3" cause I have a bias for bitters.

05-09-2006 04:37:24 | More by scruffwhor
Photo of danielharper
danielharper

Michigan

3.55/5  rDev -4.6%

Purchased from Vulcan Beverage, Birmingham, AL. Bottled 03/08/2006.

A: Pours deep brownish amber color with a thin bubbly white head. Moderate lacing on the edge of the glass.

S: Malty notes of caramel, slightly sweet, very slight hoppiness.

T: Hoppy, drying character up front. Fruit notes, hints of apples follow with dry bready aftertaste.

M: Mouthfeel moderate, foamy.

D: Overall fairly drinkable, would make a good sessioner.

05-09-2006 04:20:35 | More by danielharper
Sawtooth Ale from Left Hand Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 1,736 ratings.