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Sawtooth Ale - Left Hand Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Sawtooth AleSawtooth Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,947 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,947
Reviews: 679
rAvg: 3.72
pDev: 12.9%
Wants: 60
Gots: 208 | 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: 1,947 | Reviews: 679
Photo of Jwale73
3.68/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on 12/12/2007. Served in a standard pint glass. Poured a translucent reddish-copper color; excellent clarity. Two finger rocky, white head with decent retention eventually dissipates into some foamy residue. Sticky webs of lacing adhered to the glass during and after the session. Aromas of hops, citrus and bread. Flavors of grain and some fruity esters and a slight hoppy bitterness at the finish. Some carbonation, but slightly subdued; not at all unpleasant however. Very drinkable session brew, but a little subdued for the style due to the minimal hops presence. However, very well balanced from start to finish.

Photo of maddogruss
3.95/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a 12 ounce bottle into a glass mug.

A: Pours a cloudy, amber body with a small, white head with poor retention and minimal lacing along the top of the beer and the sides of the glass.

S: Smells of sweet malts with bitter undertones.

T: A smooth, bitter hop taste with an earthy, interesting, alt-bier aftertaste. Slightly bitter undertones in the aftertaste as well.

M: A little on the thin side, but still pretty smooth and crisp.

D: A nice, drinkable ESB. A crisp, bitter taste with a nice, dry finish. Pretty smooth drinking going down. Overall, a nice beer.

Photo of animal69
3.85/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

i haven't had many ESB's, but here it is ; pours a clear med. copper color w/ a thin off-white head which dissipates quickly leaving some decent broken lacing down my glass ; not a strong smell, piney grapefruitish hop and grainy, nutty caramel mostly ; a bit astringent, lightly toasted malts, nuts, darker fruit and a grassy hop presence as well, almost tastes like tea, but better ; a light, dry, yet creamy mouthfeel, not too carbonated though ; a fine brew, very drinkable, i think i'll have to try more ESB's this summer...

Photo of JEdmund
4.18/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thick, hazy; deep amber color; moderate head

Bready malts, some berry hints, a bit of hops

Taste & Mouthfeel
Really nice from the get go--very smooth mix of malt and hops, overall very balanced and pleasing beer; hits exactly what this style should taste like

The perfect session beer; great for the style; my favorite so far from Left Hand

Photo of ebit
3.61/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Two finger off white head when poured straight into the bottle. Red amber body. Yep, it's beer.

Sweet and roasted grain malts with not much detection of hop presence.

Grain malts. I also get a bit of corn which was unexpected. The taste is much like the smell. Nothing bad, the malts are balanced a bit by carbonation which bites into the tongue at the front. Would pair great with an acidic ethnic dish such as Mexican.

Carbonation up front. Medium to light body.

Again would go great with Mexican spice dishes to play off the malts. By itself you could have a few but when properly paired with food you have a great session beer.

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

A: Amber body.. thin offwhite head.. moderate lacing..

S: Soft floral hops... coffee malts.. some grain/bready smells..

T: Caramel malts dominate... grain and bready add some depth... thats about it though...

M: Medium-light body... could be a bit smoother

D: An alright beer...

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

Appearance: It's clear and reddish amber in color. Head is foamy, off white and a solid two fingers deep. Retention and lacing were good.

Smell: There is a sweet, caramel-toffee malt aroma. It's a bit grainy smelling. Very light hops emerge. It has a yeasty-biscuity smell to wrap it up. Pretty straight forward.

Taste: Caramel malts mesh with light citrus flavors and make it initially sweet and slightly bitter. Hops are very good and have a nice bitter bite throughout. Yeasty toward the end. Nice, dry and bitter finish.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's light bodied, crisp, and very well carbonated. Smooth and very drinkable. Almost goes down too easy. Overall, this is a pretty solid beer. Definitely one I'd drink again.

Photo of BradLikesBrew
3.53/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a: Golden amber body, white head, great retention.

s: Caramel malt, citrus hops, slightly fruity.

t: Toasted, biscuity, caramel malt, is paired with a light citric hop profile.

m: Medium body, slightly dry.

d: Seems pretty average to me. I would classify it more as an amber ale than an ESB, but what do I know? More like a Fat Tire. A decent beer, sessionable, but nothing out of the ordinary, pretty forgettable in my opinion.

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

A - Poured an amber color with a tan head that leaves lacing

S - Is of bready malt with some hops

T - Has a nice malt start with caramel and has a hop finish

M - This is a medium bodied beer with medium carbonation

D - This is a good beer that is sessionable this would be good while playing some darts this is worth trying sometime

Photo of nasty15108
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled from a 12oz bottle (stamped bottled on : 12/19/07) poured into a pint glass.

A - Nice cloudy deep copper color. White foamy head with ample lacing throughout.

S - Hoppy aroma with hints of spice and perfume.

T - Crisp and clean. Hoppy and slightly fruity up front and finishes dry and slightly bitter.

MF&D - Good amount of carbonation. Slightly thin and oily, but coated the mouth fairly well allowing for a flavorful aftertaste.

A quality American ESB. Very drinkable and definate session beer. I'd have another.

Photo of ffejherb
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

Photo of Riggsy
3.8/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

Photo of riboflavin88
4.2/5  rDev +12.9%
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.

Photo of IPAs4lyfe
3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
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.


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.

Photo of FleeVT
3.98/5  rDev +7%
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.

Photo of treehugger02010
3.3/5  rDev -11.3%
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.

Photo of dickieb
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
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

Photo of tmitch75
3.37/5  rDev -9.4%
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

Photo of mwilbur
4.3/5  rDev +15.6%
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.

Photo of hustlesworth
4.19/5  rDev +12.6%
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

Photo of mat5175
3.53/5  rDev -5.1%
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!

Photo of srobertson59
3.26/5  rDev -12.4%
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.

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.

Photo of jkrich
3.98/5  rDev +7%
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.

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Sawtooth Ale from Left Hand Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 1,947 ratings.