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Sawtooth Ale - Left Hand Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Sawtooth AleSawtooth Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,908 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,908
Reviews: 667
rAvg: 3.72
pDev: 12.9%
Wants: 58
Gots: 178 | 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: 1,908 | Reviews: 667 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MuenchenerKindl
3.44/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle to a pint glass, the liquid id dark red is orange with lots of good carbonation. The Head is 3 finger off white thick and rock and leaves huge amounts of sudsy lace.

The smell is light and faint, just a hit of hops and malt.

The taste is better. The malt is nice light caramel and a bit nutty. The hops are just a bit weak.

The mouthfeel is ok less then medium body with great carbonation.

The drinkability is ok an easy drinking beer but nothing to get you attention. MK

Photo of Gatch
3.95/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Golden-Amber w/ an off-white head which built quickly and faded quickly.

S - Sweet, malty, and a little fruit towards the end.

T - Surprisingly good. I'm not sure why but I didn't expect much and it exceeded my expectations. It's a little watered down but it's flavorful and enjoyable. I like the fact that it isn't overwhelming and if I wanted to have a couple more, I wouldn't hesitate.

M/D - A medium flavor and a medium body. A well-rounded beer that I would love to drink again.

Photo of MMAJYK
3.45/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Transparent, amber/orange color. Head was 2 fingers and dissapates at a rather quick rate.

S- Smell is bitter and sour. I can pick up over ripened citrus with grains. Hoppy in the first smell.

T- Taste is bitter too, but just a bit "watered down". Not too strong while bitter. The aftertaste is a rather funky.

M- Mouthfeel is nothing special. Carbonation is not very high.

D- Although the tastes are watery, that makes it a more drinkable beer. It is not too much for you to handle, so a sixer would go down easier of this stuff. Not my thing, but not bad either.

Photo of Vancer
2.78/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This Lefthander didn’t do a damn thing for me. The pour (clear amber brown with a foamy and lacey head) and aroma (a malty caramel) were ok to good.

But the quaff, whoo – not a ale to sample again in my book. A raspy saw cut of earthy vine. Biting, needs a lot more malt for a balanced brew. Finishes harsh and rough.

Oh well, not every brew is gonna be a winner.

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

i had this on-tap at the hopleaf after being subjected to mediocre beers all day at the cubs game, and that may be partially why i enjoyed this as much as i did, even after an alpha king (i needed a fix of ak after being by wrigley for that long). speaking of which, if there were an AK Lite, it may be something like this. this is a clear deep amber in the glass with caramelly malts in the nose along with citric and piney notes. taste is quite well-balanced between the light malt sweetness and light to moderate, smooth hop bitterness. light to medium mouthfeel. this is quite sessionable and interesting enough to want to keep drinking. i only wish there were more <6% abv beers out there that brought this much flavor to the party.
solid via bottle as well.

Photo of cjgator3
3.65/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a copper color with an off-white head that leaves a decent amount of lacing around the edge of the glass. The aroma is very malty with some biscuit and hops. The taste much like the aroma features a good amount of malt with a dry and bitter finish from the hops. Overall, this is a pretty good brew that I enjoyed. Something was a little bit "off" in the taste that prevented it from getting a "4". Reminds me more of an American Amber than a ESB. Recommended.

Photo of psinderson
3.42/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into Sam Adams special glass.

Appearance: Murky dark copper with a thick, foamy white head.

Smell: Very malty with some hints of brown sugar and molasses.

Taste: Strong molasses roastiness up front, with a light bitter finish. There is very little in between and the beer lacks overall complexity.

Mouthfeel: Light in carbonation which matches the style. Medium to thick body.

Drinkability: It's easy enough to quaff a few, but there's not much exciting about it.

Photo of TechMyst
3.6/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Hazy amber going toward orange. Tight honey yellow head. Aroma of an IPA. Head retained and laced all the way down. Bitter, with caramel malts. Low alcohol. This is the biggest tasting small beer I've ever had. Flavorful character. Light a maibock with a lot of hops added. Slight conditioning sting; but not bloating. Thin mouthfeel. Leaves a resinous palate. Solid brew.

Photo of tapman
4.27/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Let me start out by saying that so far I love this brewery!

Appears a dark copper with a luscious head of tan. The head remains for a good 5-8 minutes after poured, but the lacing stands as a reminder to the creaminess in this brew till the end.

Smells of roasted and chocolate malts with a hoppiness akin to that of an amber ale mixed with and english ale; hops are slightly bitter and there is a hint of outdoorsiness to it, but not too grassy and a little bready.

I said before that it appeared smooth and that remains true for the taste. Caramel cooked malts are highlighted here with a little neutral chocolate and finishes with a roasty malt aftertaste. Hops are more in the background of this brew but definetly has a slight english style breadiness to them. The hops compliment the malts very well.

Mouthfeel is above average for this brew. Nothing too spectacular, but in many cases just right. Carbonation is not too thick or too thin; beer has body that's not too thick and definetly not thin.

I would say highly drinkable if you are a malt-mouth like myself. Refreshing enough to be enjoyed after one is too drunk to care about flavor as much (sorry BAs, but it happens when one goes out drinking and you know it) but flavorful enough that you keep coming back to the taste no matter how many you have. Nice brew.

Photo of Jonte
4.22/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Amber/orange color. Head is about 3 centimeters and creamy, but fades after a couple of minutes. The color of the head is off-white. Good lacing.

Smells of fruity/citrus hoppiness, apricot, sweet caramel and some yesty sourness. I really like the smell of cascade hops.

The taste is fruity, mostly citrus, but also some more sweet fruits and caramel/toffee. Nice smooth finish with moderate bitterness.
Medium body and light carbonation.

High drinkability and a good session ale. One more please!

Photo of albern
2.8/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This one is a bit of a disappointment. The pour is amber, more on the light side of the spectrum as far as ambers go. The beer pours a slightly frothy head that dissipates quickly. Lacing is minimal. The smell is malty, sweet, cloying, ehhh, nothing great. The taste is definitely sweet, there is a bready feel to this one. There is a dryness that complements the sweetness and rounds things out a bit. There is some hop on the back end, but you need to really search for it. This beer is medium bodied and very average. Quite frankly, I was disappointed, thinking this was so much more. In part this is due to the ubiquitous availability of Left Hand, which seems to be on the shelves everywhere. As the beer warms, I'm getting a goodly dose of caramel and leather. This one is a one and done for me.

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

Pours a hazy amber color with a 1" head that reduced into a very thin collar. Big bubbles eat up little bubbles and yield tight lacing around the glass. Aroma is of floral hops, toast, and citrus bitterness. Taste is biscuity and sweet with grassy hop notes in the finish. Fruit flavors like pear and citrus are present. Medium bodied. A fine beer. Tasty without being overpowering.

Photo of beersabound
3.92/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It's been about fours years since I last had this fine ale and I am glad I tried it again. See I am in Shawnee OK for work for almos three weeks and there is not much good beer here. Nice small town with lovely people but the craft beer movement is moving at a snail's pace.

Anyways, the Sawtooth has a inviting orange/tawny color but the head is small and fizzles out quick. The CO2 fizzle also made the mouthfeel less pleasurable but still good. This beer on Nitro or hand pull would be outstanding. The aroma is malt balanced with caramel and light roast type notes. The hops are subdued and there is a light fruitiness in the aroma that follows throught in to the flavor. I like this beer alot and find it quite easy to drink.

Photo of JanM
3.18/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The colour was amber and it poured with a centimeter of creamy foam. My first impression of the smell was how much like an IPA it was with that sticky citric and yeast whiff as well as notes of plums and licorice/toffee. The taste had a kind of lemon note to it with a bitter bite at the end. The weak point was the lack of body which allowed for a certain amount of bad and flat mineral water character. Maybe fixable through a more generous dose of malts?

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

A: Copperish color with a firm but creamy lace. Looks very appealing.

S: Sweet malt, american hops, faint hint of something chocolateish.

T: First thing that hits me are a mixed wave of hops, citric notes (grapefruit!) and earth. Aftertaste has a weak hint of fruit, caramel and a mild bitterness.

M: Medium carbonation with small bubbles. Goes down real easy.

A good american beer for sure. I just wish there were a little more of
everything and this would have been a great beer. Still, this will make
a fine sessionbrew. Nice try but no cigar.

Photo of bark
4.07/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The colour is medium amber – copper; the compact off white head is two fingers high, quite firm with a hint of a crater. OK lacing.

The smell is hoppy, in an American way. Lots of bitter citric notes with some chemical sour flavours, peppery spicy notes are blended with some creamy sweet malt. There are also some notes of milk chocolate and gravy/bullion and a touch of wet leather.

The taste is also hoppy, but not as bitter as I had expected. Fresh notes of citric fruits (grape fruits, bitter oranges, limes), some salt, creamy sweet notes of malt with a lightly roasted touch and some very light earthy notes. The aftertaste got notes of sweet exotic fruits, some bitter-sour hops and a long lasting malty taste.

The carbonation is medium strong, medium sized bubbles. The liquid is very smooth.

A highly drinkable and very American ale.

Photo of katan
3.57/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a hazy brown color. A light quarter inch head appeared, and showed little carbonation to the body of the beer.

S - All I can say is malt malt malt. A nice sweet aroma.

T - Its a very light malt character to start, with very little bitter backdrop. Finishes with something akin to chocolate.

M - Light carbonation - has a very smooth finish.

D - I could drink a few of these at a time. Refreshing beer that might be best paired with dinner.

This takes like an american pale ale to me - a decent beer.

Photo of jwc215
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours amber with a thick off-white head that descends to a lasting cover. Some trailing lace sticks to the glass.

The smell is mild - caramelish graininess with underlying earthy tones. Slight butter.

The taste is of caramel with a touch of spicy earthiness. Light toast gives it some breadiness. Soft citric fruitiness intermingles. As it warms a touch of chocolate/toffee comes through with some dark fruits. Mild diacetyl in the very well-balanced bittersweet finish.

Medium in body and carbonation. Smooth with lingering flavor.

This is a good interpretation of an ESB. Well-balanced and on the spot for flavor.

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

12 fl oz brown bottle; served in a tumbler.
Bottled on 05.23.2007.

Crisp auburn in color beneath an inch of pillowy, white foam. Ringed patches of sticky lacing wrapped around the tumbler.

Faint caramel and molasses tones over a musty earthen floral hop aroma. Very mild aromatics.

Creamy caramel-flavored, toasted malt character; drops of diacetyl linger throughout. Spicy, floral hops that give an abrupt bitterness before receding to a musty, biscuit flavor.

Medium bodied; light and spicy. The hops make for a very earthen texture.

A tame ESB with a rather flavorless hop profile, despite the obligatory spice for the style. Nothing memorable.

Photo of becktone
3.2/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Eye: Dark gold in color. Just a bit cloudy in appearance with a small white head. Head retention and formation could be better as well as lacing.

Nose: Nice balanced aroma in this brew. Mostly malt influenced but there is just a hint at some hop aroma though it is so faint it is hard to describe, but I did get a little bit of hops here. Malt aroma is composed of sweet caramel notes and some grainy aromas.

Tongue: Overall this brew is very balanced. Hop bitterness is noticed right upfront then sweet malts come into play, followed by a nice blend of bitterness and sweet malts once more. Malt flavors include some diacetyl, caramel and toasted notes. Hops are low key, just enough to balance it out.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability: This beer is medium bodied with lower levels of very fine carbonation bubbles. Goes down easily and well. This is one that is easy to drink, makes a great session brew. However, I think that there are better examples out there. Definitely won't be purchasing this one again until I've tried other brews of the same style. In my opinion Moondog from GLBC is better. On the other hand, there is nothing wrong with this beer, yet there is nothing that makes me go "Wow!" either.

Photo of bluegrassbrew
3.43/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a dark copper color with a small head that leaves good lacing.

Smell is of sweet biscuits.

Taste is sweet and toasty. Mostly bready malt.

Mouthfeel was a bit too thin for me, but not bad for the style.

Overall, an easy drinker that makes for a good long session.

Photo of bblackwood
4.07/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Left Hand Brewing has been a rather recent discovery for me, but so far they are batting .1000 - everything I've had so far is quite good.

Appearance: Poured from a 22 oz 'bomber' bottle into a pint glass. The beer is a reddish in color amber. Poured to about 1/2" head with good lacing.

Smell: A nice mellow scent that mildly reminds me of Rogue's Dead Guy Ale, but less fruity. Slightly malty smell as well, very pleasant overall.

Taste: Nice malty flavor with some slight hoppiness.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with just a touch of carbonation. Nice round flavor, not too floral.

Drinkability: Very drinkable, it's become my 'standard', replacing Rogue's Dead Guy Ale for a 'daily drinker'. Not outstanind in any single way, but overall a very nice beer. Cheers!

Photo of brdc
3.97/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very nice looking amber brew, with a foamy white head with good retention and lacing.
The aroma is surprisingly pleasant and rich, reasonably malted and caramelized, with additional fruity hoppiness noted in the background.
Taste is a little bit less than I expected from the smell, but nonetheless pleasant, caramel maltiness, biscuit-like flavors and hints of chocolate and fruity hoppiness in there as well.
Firm body, but a rather dry finish with a slightly unpleasant bitter aftertaste.
A nice brew, not spectacular but certainly worthwhile.

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

I'm not a huge fan of ESBs but this one works out quite well.
Bready, a little sweet, nice textures and caramel tones in scent and flavor.
From a variety pack, and one of my first tastes of brew from this brewery, not a bad start at all. Drinks a bit like a good english pale ale.
Tasty, smooth, hints of mild citrus bitterness....
For a lower alcohol brew this ain't a bad choice.

Photo of BretSikkink
3.71/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear copper colored beer with a big foamy tan head. Thickness of head is nice, recedes quickly, leaving large soap-like bubbles.

Light caramel aromas in the nose, with a side of dark fruit and citric zest.

Malt is big here, slightly sweet and toasted. Fruit and biscuit, some hops but not very powerful. Okay balance, a little watery in the mouthfeel, and the finish is dry with a diacetyl note. Good bitter.

Sawtooth Ale from Left Hand Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 1,908 ratings.