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Sawtooth Ale - Left Hand Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Sawtooth AleSawtooth Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,837 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,837
Reviews: 662
rAvg: 3.72
pDev: 12.9%
Wants: 52
Gots: 137 | 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: 1,837 | Reviews: 662 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ffejherb
3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle into DFH specialty pint glass

A - Nice clear bronze amber body with healthy one-finger of creamy, off-white head and plenty of active carbonation. Very good head retention and some nice initial lacing.

S - Hop presence is primarily a sweet floral bouquet with a bit of perfume and citrus fruit. Malt is sweet with notes of caramel and fresh bread.

T - Tasty floral hoppiness with a bit of citrus juiciness. Malt tastes of crusty bread and biscuits. Nicely balanced.

M - Medium body with a bit of a syrupy texture. Quite a bubbly mouthfeel with effervescent bubbles of carbonation tickling the tastebuds. Finish is mildly bitter on the tongue.

D - Very tasty ESB that's well balanced and easy to drink. Nice session beer.

ffejherb, Mar 10, 2008
Photo of Riggsy
3.83/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into standard pint.

A: Pours a light copper with 1 finger slightly off-white head. A little haze detracts a bit from the appearance.

S: Bready, biscuity, toasted malt. Some citrus fruit esters, very slight earthy hop aroma.

T: Toasted, bready malt with a decent amount of caramel / toffee sweetness. Maybe some light hints of chocolate in there. Earthy english hops round out a lightly bitter finish.

M: Light to medium-light bodied, appropriately carbonated.

D: Very good session ESB.

Riggsy, Mar 08, 2008
Photo of riboflavin88
4.22/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer's appearance was amber and copper with a thick, foamy head. Nice lacing, remnants of it remained on the glass all the way down. It had a great nose, smelled of deep caramel and grain, notes of citrus too. Taste was great, bold and complex with primary notes of toasty malt flavors and caramel. Great mouthfeel, had a nice presence, definitely not forgettable! This beer finishes with a nice dry note. One of my favorite ESB's and I look forward to trying more from this brewery.

riboflavin88, Mar 08, 2008
Photo of IPAs4lyfe
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark amber with a 2 1/2 finger head that shrinks down to half its size after a minute. Nice lacing throughout, head is kept throughout as well.
S: Fruity and citrus, faint malt aroma with some honey. Slightly hoppy and floral aroma in the finish.
T: Subtle citrus and malt at first, then the bitterness of the hops comes in producing a WONDERFUL balance. Very slight watery finish, hardly noticeable. Flavors are more noticeable in the nose; the taste is good and just like it smells but more restrained and subtle. Nice smooth and balanced finish.
M: Light to medium body, good for this brew.
D: Highly drinkable, a good session beer.


IPAs4lyfe, Mar 04, 2008
Photo of nohead02
3.68/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm a big hop head so this isn't entirely my style of beer. Still, it does have a hoppy bite after the initial taste, but it is dominated by a carmelly, nutty flavor -- sort of a reduced Newcastle. Very frothy head that persists a long time. Yeah, I'd drink this again but not as beer of first choice.

nohead02, Mar 02, 2008
Photo of FleeVT
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz. brown bottle; bottled on 1/2/08

A: Beautiful clear amber with a nice 2 finger head that shrinks down to about half it's size with nice window lacing.
S: Citrus and hops, mostly. Slightly nutty aroma in the finish.
T: Add a mild malty taste to the smell, citrus, hops, and nutty. All of these flavors are muted. Difficult to describe this, as the flavors are there, but not in a big way. And the beer isn't watered down. It's got great balance .
D: This could be a great stepping stone beer for that special someone who is reluctant to try micros. And, dare I say, session beer.

FleeVT, Feb 29, 2008
Photo of treehugger02010
3.28/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I bought this in Conshohocken, Pa at a beer store that I can't recall. I poured it into a pint glass.
Appearance: I light amber color that was pretty cloudy. I big fluffy white head with really good lacing and ok retention.
Smell: Hoppy, a bit citrusy with hints of random spices. Nothing to much, but certainly there.
Taste: Citrusy and piny but watered down.
Mouthfeel: Smooth without loosing the rigidity.
Dirnkability: Good.
Don't drink and review.

treehugger02010, Feb 16, 2008
Photo of dickieb
3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy light amber color with a pretty nice head, and some big lacing for a sub 5% beer. The smell is sweat with a big whiff of graham crackers. The taste is light and refreshing with a mild malt flavoring with some sweet honey and floral hops finishing it off. The mouthfeel is good for a session brew. This would be a very good beer for a hot day

dickieb, Feb 15, 2008
Photo of tmitch75
3.38/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Another fine selection from my monthly beer club.

Hazy copper color with thick head and lots of lace.

Malty and sweet aroma, like graham crackers, with some caramel and honey.

Tastes the same with a floral hop finish.

Mouthfeel is a bit light but smooth.

Drinkability is very good. Overall this is a very tasty and sessionable brew. A bit light for the style but still quite good.

Tasted 1/23/08

tmitch75, Feb 13, 2008
Photo of mwilbur
4.33/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap pours a brown hue with nice white head. Smell is full of sweet hops. Taste brings in honey tones with hops over malt. Slight caramel note too. Finishes with satisfying dry hop taste leaving you wanting for more...and you want more. Definitely drinkable...very good sessionability. A fine brew.

mwilbur, Feb 12, 2008
Photo of hustlesworth
4.18/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- clear golden amber in color with a thin cap of off white foam that leaves trails of lace like grass hanging over a cliff edge like in a nintendo game.

S- sweet caramel cookie aroma and spiced butter, creamy red berries, and mild english hops, i knew this was an ESB without even asking. somewhat woodsy and floral up my nose but the malt sweetness up front has me sold.

T- a little sweet for 1/2 a second then it begins to dry with woodsy spicy english style hops and bready malty biscuit bottoms. sourdough, pale barley with a little caramel and toffee and perhaps some cocoa way in the back. tart lemon and grapefruit flavors make a brief appearance before the dry floral her finish.

MF- medium carbonation and a medium body this baby was slick and juicy and nicely balanced.

D- as a fan of ESB's i had no problem with this what-so-evaaaa

hustlesworth, Feb 11, 2008
Photo of mat5175
3.55/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

This is a nice looking brew. Crystal clear light amber in color. Pours a thick head that doesn't last too long, but leaves behind a fair amount of lacing.

The aroma is light but good. Reminds me of a light lager in the nose. The hops come through only lightly in the bouguet.

i really enjoy this for a light beer, good with dinner as it won't overpower food. Also good for a refreshing beer that has more flavor than its lighter cousins. The hops keep it from being bland and boring. A nice coppery taste on the front end.

This has a lively carbonation. Smooth on the palate with some weight, not heavy or syrupy.

i could go through a ton of these. Not too high in alcohol, nor too bold in flavor. The flavor has enough going on though not to bore me. Good beer!

mat5175, Feb 10, 2008
Photo of srobertson59
3.28/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle:

A - Pours a nice coppery color with tons of effervescence. Decent near-white foam forms that leaves nice lacing.

S - Malts hit the nose first, followed by a sweet-nutty aroma like nougat. Hops are scarce.

T - Carmel malt with a nutty aftertaste that is somewhat metallic. Finish is dry with just a hint of hops.

M - Thin and prickly from the carbonation. Maybe a bit too much carbonation as it seems to chase away the aftertaste too quickly.

D - Nice as it warms, but still too much carbonation.

Not what I would call a complex brew, but flavorful none the less. I'm looking forward to breaking out it's big brother, Chainsaw Ale Double Sawtooth, that I have tucked away.

srobertson59, Feb 10, 2008
Photo of hiikeeba
3.95/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Purchased in a sampler twelve pack at Central Market in South Austin.

A - Pours up an amber/orange with a white head

S - Caramel malts dominate the aroma and a hint of citrus hops.

T - Starts off with caramel, roast malts fill in and hops are in the finish.

M - A little thin, made up for with a lot of carbonation.

D - The hops finish builds up over time, otherwise a drinkable beer.

hiikeeba, Feb 09, 2008
Photo of jkrich
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle with freshness date stamped on side of bottle. Interesting name, "sawtooth ale." Many of the beer names from this brewery are eccentric.

I poured this ale in a standard pint glass which revealed a clear, reddish, bronze color with a slightly off-white head that quickly dissipated.

There is not a great deal of aroma here; what I smell is a spicy sweetness.

This ale admirably copies the English bitter style with a nod toward a refreshing taste of maltiness followed by some hop flavor. The ale leaves a lingering sweet taste on the tongue and lips. Despite the emphasis on the sweet malt, this ale never becomes cloying even as it warms in the glass.

This ale has a medium body with a sweet touch of malt that teases the tongue.

At 4.75 % ABV, this is an almost perfect session bitter. It would be even better if served on cask.

jkrich, Feb 02, 2008
Photo of lordofthewiens
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A 12oz bottle, with bottled on 12/12/07 stamped on the label. Poured into a pint glass, it was a golden color with a fairly thick head. Little aroma, bread and slightly sweet. It had a sweet taste, could almost taste chocolate. Some peppery spice in there also. Pretty pleasant beer, would consider this a good session beer.

lordofthewiens, Jan 30, 2008
Photo of Georgiabeer
3.58/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a little pale for the style, a light copper color with almost no head. Smells somewhat sweet and malty, but leans toward the dry side. There is also a nice nutty aroma as well as a touch of metal on the finish that is not unusual for the style. The taste is also quite nutty and their is a somewhite bacony flavor mixed in there as well. Medium bitterness, also maybe a touch high for the style and dryer than the nose suggested. Pretty decent. Mouthfeel is squeeky clean and a litttle light. There is a residual roastiness that cobines with some of the nutty flavors to leave a pleasant aftertaste that makes this nicely drinkable. Not bad at all.

Georgiabeer, Jan 19, 2008
Photo of thryn
4.15/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've just learned I have to review ten beers to complete my gauntlet at the pub. So I'm reviewing way before I planned to ... Be gentle!

12-ounce bottle, poured into a 23-ounce pilsner glass because I thought that would work better than my large wine glass. [1]

The beer is a translucent dark amber. It catches the light nicely. Head is a very light cream color and dissipates to a creamy looking layer of foam on top, with some sticking to the walls of the glass.

The smell is sweet and malty, with an edge that my unsophisticated nose would call medicinal.

The taste follows the smell -- it's sweet and malty but has enough hop character to keep it from becoming cloying and put some bitterness in the aftertaste.

In the mouth, there's enough carbonation to keep it bright, but it has some body to it.

It's extremely drinkable overall. Definitely a good session candidate for fans of this style, and one I would keep in the fridge for my import ale-drinking friends if not for the fact that once in my fridge, this beer would easily vanish before company arrives.

[1] I don't have a decent pint glass right now. I'm working on that. I tried the ABC I bought this beer at to no avail.

thryn, Jan 17, 2008
Photo of cer40
4.5/5  rDev +21%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I sampled this beer out of a 12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. It poured with a one finger head that left a slight lace and hung around on top throughout the beer.

It smelled delicious with a sweet maltiness and a floral hoppiness. The taste was much the same with a nice dry finish.

A good bodied ale with enough carbonation to wet your thirst. I had to have a second immediately.

cer40, Jan 15, 2008
Photo of dsa7783
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a typical 12oz bottle copped singly from total wine and more in union, this is my second brew from Left Hand... their Milk Stout was one of my all-time favorite stouts, so had high hopes for this ESB... didn't disappoint... great stuff... pours a copper color with a frothy head, which leads to a bready and enticing aroma... flavor is full of caramel, slight vanilla, and a bread and butter taste that is easily drinkable and not at all too bitter... easy drinkability and a modest alcohol percentage make this a good, sociable, session beer... recommended... good stuff...

dsa7783, Jan 03, 2008
Photo of argock
3.55/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a clear pint glass

A: Clear orange-copper color with medium off-white head with decent retention and good lacing detail.

S: Subtle but fruity and estery with malts a bit greater than hops.

T: Good but a little too mellow and could use a bit more substance to really elevate this brew. Caramelly and malty with soft hops bitterness in the finish. Finish is pretty dry.

M: Feels a bit thin and has a little bit of a cardboard aftertaste.

D: Enjoyable but nothing super special. Needs a little more punch.

argock, Dec 28, 2007
Photo of jasonjlewis
3.65/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a huge head with good retention. Nice, slightly dark amber color. I can see through the glass.

Smell is of caramel malts and hops. Smells like a typical esb. Hops come in the backround and are earthy. Smells like a verys light chocolate malting.

Taste: upfront sweetness from pale malts followed by toasted and caramel malts. Slight chocolate malting undertones. Citrusy hop bitterness on the finish.

Mouthfeel: moderately low carbonation and slightly watery.

Not a bad esb at all, I just want more from it. I can't explain why, but I just want MORE.

jasonjlewis, Dec 20, 2007
Photo of ultralarry2006
3.08/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle. Leaves one finger of a tan head that has good retention, and leaves webs of good sticky lacing. Body is red amber with orange highlights. Appearance will be this ale's high point.

Smell - grassy, herbal, spicy hops, and toasty malt biscuits, and a metallic aroma.

Taste - same as the smell. Toasty malt biscuits and grassy, herbal, spicy hops all washed through with an unfortunate metallic taste.

Mouthfeel - medium to full bodied, and smooth. Semi-dry at times from the metallic taste.

Drinkability - this is a decent beer, but it is marred by the metallic taste and the metallic mouthfeel, so to me it is not sessionable because I'd want a different taste after two or so of these.

ultralarry2006, Dec 07, 2007
Photo of Redwood21
4.13/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This bee rlooks great, a nice rocky whiute head on top of a rust colored beer.the head does die out but there is sticking all over the glass.
S: nothing powerful or particularly noteworthy here. maybe a tad of a hop aroma and some cooked sugar?
T: I looked up this style to see where it should hit, and after reading the description i was surprised how well it describes this beer. its an esb, which isnt really about being bitter but being balanced. that is the best way to describe this beer, is balanced. it combined some maltyness and hop kick in an all around package that doesn't allow one aspect to outshine another

Redwood21, Nov 29, 2007
Photo of irish53b
3.6/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle states brewed on the banks of the mighty St. Vrain
Bottled on date printed on the label 09/12/07, Drank 11/16/07

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass
Nice two fingers of foam billowy and thick,lacing all the way to the finish.
Copper to caramel color

Clean nose, mild floral notes and a whiff of biscuit.

Taste is nicely balanced with a bitter leave on the back of the tongue that tastes of citrus.
A vanilla note cuts through the bitterness as the beer warms which serves to balance the flavor.
Finishes with mild butter note.

The mouthfeel was on the thin side with a tad too much carbonation for my liking

Overall this beer very solid style wise, it would make a good session beer, but I was turned off by the high carbonation and thin mouthfeel.

irish53b, Nov 17, 2007
Sawtooth Ale from Left Hand Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 1,837 ratings.