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Sawtooth Ale - Left Hand Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Sawtooth AleSawtooth Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

675 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 675
Hads: 2,008
rAvg: 3.7
pDev: 11.35%
Wants: 71
Gots: 271 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 675 | Hads: 2,008
Photo of tillmac62
4.33/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

BBD 6/4/14. Pours a clear amber with a good head. Lacing and retention are normal. Nice subtle nose of orange, caramel malt and spice over a nice subdued mineral note. Magnificent heavy medium body that is creamy and better than many stouts. Above average carbonation with a nice effervescent finish. Well balanced and somewhat complex flavor profile. It begins with an orange and spice note which then flows into a moderate bitterness. Towards the end, the sweet caramel malt shines. It finishes with an effervescent burst that is slightly citric and tart, leaving you with a nice lingering low level bitterness over a mineral note. Not as bitter as I expected, it is; however, quite outstanding. (697 characters)

Photo of ZtremEoj
4.03/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Really nice beer. Not heavy and easy to drink. Enjoyed on a warm afternoon and it is refreshing.

Appearance is as expected.

Smell is average. It does not smell too beery, as others I have tasted/smelled do.

Taste is really nice. As the bottle states, it is not too malty and not too hoppy. A nice balance.

I am impressed by the mouthfeel of this beer. It is a light-medium body, almost creamy, mouthcoating type.

Overall, I would drink this beer again. In fact, I would not find it difficult to drink more than two or three at a time. To me, that means a lot. I usually like to move from one beer to the next, so staying with one for more than a couple drinks is a good thing!

Cheers,
Joe (697 characters)

Photo of dacrza1
4.02/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

DATE REVIEWED: June 5, 2014... GLASSWARE: Howard's Pub pint... OCCASION: last "1" day of the year--close to the end... APPEARANCE: nice brownish amber body with slow, subtle effervescence; white tow-finger, pillowy head is uneven; a good cloudy haze... AROMA: caramel malts and some more subtle West Coast hops generate a soft, slightly nondescript experience... PALATE: good, substantial mouthfeel with a balanced attack--teeth are active while the throat feels smoothly engaged--a pleasure to hold... TASTE: malty--mostly caramel--and some lagerish notes; likewise, hops are agreeable and aromatic; this beer has sessionable written all over it--and literally, written on the label ... OVERALLL: an overly agreeable pale ale that is balanced enough to make friends of democrats and republicans, Yanks/Sox fans, and ale/lager drinkers.... (839 characters)

Photo of dougbassett
3.67/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

One of the "1001 Beers You Must Taste Before You Die" -- #49 of the ones I've reviewed here.

I rather liked this one. Pleasant and sessionable, like somebody here has already said. The pour is an orangish-brown and made me worry for a bit that we'd be in American Amber land, a land I'm not all that crazy to explore, but this is much cleaner and crisper than most American Ambers. An interesting nose , once it warms up a little, of orange blossoms and spice. Again, you need to warm it up a bit, but once you do there's an interesting slightly orange-sweet touch that quickly turns to some prominent (although not TOO prominent) hop bitterness and bite. The mouthfeel emphasizes the crisp refreshingness of it, which is all to the good.

Something of an underrated beer, although it does need to sit in your glass and open up a bit first. (843 characters)

Photo of jaredtp
3.6/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was a really good beer I enjoyed it a lot. I enjoyed the taste a lot. It was very refreshing. It had a really good taste, I enjoyed the extra strong bitter taste that it had. I wish that they did not retore this beer. The hazy brown color was a nice color as well. The head of this beer was not that bad as well. (317 characters)

Photo of thecheapies
3.66/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Sawtooth pours a hazy bronze color with toffee coloring and only a small head cap. Doesn't really lace, but the cover stays on for awhile.

Dark, almost spicy, toastiness with mild savory hops and disrupted chocolate. Dry, with a little tobacco, and must English malts.

Bitter, at first, with some lingering earthy pine hop and light roast. A touch of toffee and chocolate to define the malts as British. Sessionably approachable, with no real heat to speak of. Has that odd English fruitiness that you get from a pub ale, but almost drowned out by rugged malty grain. The body is slick, but not oily. Carbonation levels are desirable. All is well, but not awesome, in Sawtooth land. (684 characters)

Photo of Mojo
3.57/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle -> New Belgium globe glass

A - pours up a cloudy deep amber with a small one inch white head, good retention, and good lacing.

S - the nose is very weak with barely perceptible grass and bread notes

T - very sweet and malty upfront with definite caramel notes. The finish is bitter but there is a sour undertone there as well.

M - average carbonation, some aftertaste but not severe

O - decent ESB, easy to drink. (437 characters)

Photo of KFBR392
3.7/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours with a slightly amber red color. Half a finger of head on the pour which dissipated quickly. Carbonation is below average for the style.

Smell: Amber malt, hoppy tones, and a combination of spices hit the nose first. The body is filled with cloves, medium bodied fruits, and lingering pine. Tones of brown sugar and syrupy malt run throughout. Airy spices and bitter hop tones really mix well.

Taste: Caramel and amber malt pop on the palate immediately. Some piney hops hit but reveal some medium bodied fruity hop tones. Syrupy caramel blasts through again on the back side which combines with the lingering bitterness which at this point comes off with a grassy flavor.

Mouthfeel: Great balance achieved of linger bitterness and sweet hop tones. Well done.

Overall: Probably one of the better crafted beers I've had from Left Hand. Impressive transitions in this brew. A good choice to bring to a party or drinking session with some friends. (970 characters)

Photo of DenverHopHead
3.65/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle with an enjoy by date of 6/4/14; into a pint glass.
Appearance - light, bubbly amber; thin white head that leaves scattered lacing.
Smell - I detect faint toast, some pine, as well as mild spice.
Taste - sweetness from the malt paired with a touch of bitterness from the hops.
Feel - light body with a well balanced malt and hop profile!
Overall - better than I expected and a good value! (409 characters)

Photo of barnzy78
3.74/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Nitro bottle, Best By 05/08/14
L - very rigorous pour, as indicated on cap and label, reveals a copper colored ale with a smooth ivory head that eventually rises to half a finger
S - very herbal aroma, caramel, vanilla and bread are all faintly present
T - bread, caramel, vanilla, herbal hop,
F - extra smooth feel, medium body, goes down easily
O - I'm not sure which I prefer (regular Sawtooth or Nitro Sawtooth), but this one is definitely unique. Glad to try it. (469 characters)

Photo of a0lbudman
4.28/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A-Dark brown with a red tint when a light is shined through and has a tan head that fades slowly and leaves a good lacing
S-a good dose of caramel malt with a moderate hop aroma
T-caramel malt comes in strong with a good hop bitterness that fades back tp a sweeter finish
M-medium carbonation and medium body
O-I think this beer was great I liked the balance and nothing was over the top (387 characters)

Photo of SamN
3.69/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

A mildly limp amber-orange, with a dallop of thick creamy nitro head. Never seen a beer quite like this, though it does make my mouth water a bit. Smell is of pale malts, English-style and some crisp, apple-like hoppiness. Nice aromas, as well. Moderate and not aggressive in the least, but still very appetizing. Taste features that same crip fruitiness, followed by a caramely creamy middle and a nice, easy sweetness. Finish is nicely hopped and almost-bitter, but balanced with no flavor overpowering others. Mouthfeel is dead on creamy and delctable, just like you'd expect a nitro beer to be but not heavy, still lighter in character. Almost brainlessly sessionable.

A nice, easy drinking ESB with a nitro twist that gives it the feel of a Guinness. Never had a nitro beer that wasn't a dark stout ale or porter, so this was a new experience for me. I liked it, and would have again. (890 characters)

Photo of NiceTaps
4.17/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz nitro-bottle pour into an Imperial pint pub glass.

A- "Pour hard" is the instruction on the label, so I did. Lots of nitro-style cascading suds quickly settle to a creamy 1-finger head. The copper-amber colored body is clean and clear. There's no activity once the head settles, yet it leaves lots of heavy lacing. The head never goes flat. A looker.

S- Very pleasant caramel malt and dark fruit aromas. Cinnamon roll or raisin bread-like. Mild floral hops and nuttiness, too.

T- Bready malts like those in the smell. Some caramel sweetness. Floral and herbal hops are light but...

M-...help the beer finish clean and dry. The body is so nitro-clean, smooth, and creamy. Malt sweetness up front.

O- Obviously I enjoyed this one. It's so well balanced and very true to the style. (789 characters)

Photo of homebrew311
3.31/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear amber with cascading bubbles and creamy nitro head. The nose is mild with rich caramel malts and deep grainy notes. Some herbal hop component comes in as well but is very restrained. The taste is somewhat muted. Bready malts, light herbal hops, some rich caramel notes all present. The balance is nice. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy. Not really sure if the nitro treatment improves this beer. It's an easy drinker and probably makes for a nice approachable beer for people just getting in craft. (510 characters)

Photo of Zraly
4.06/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Murphy's Stout glass. Drink by date on the side: 3/27/14.

Beautiful clear amber with a frothy, creamy head one can only get from a nitro pour. Always fun to watch and am glad to see Left Hand offering more of these classic English style brews in the nitro format. Cookie dough and caramel nose; really nice and hits the high mark for style.

The taste follows the smell and is simple but elegant all in the same breath. Biscuit and caramel malts support earthy and floral hop notes. Gentle and not too assertive, this makes for a great session ale. As it warms more and more, it surrenders itself a bit more and all of these notes are further highlighted. Mouthfeel is smooth and the finish is bone dry.

Excellent variation of a classic, English ESB. Great partner for fish n' chips, lovely on its own. (821 characters)

Photo of Jadjunk
3.61/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a pint glass. Served north of 51º Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a creamed frothy head of a dirty white complexion over a copper maple amber body. Clarity is very high. Retention is very good, naturally settles to a thick frothy silk layer with medium-light curtained lacing. 4

(Smell) Aromas of caramel, light toffee and a mild nuttiness. Soft tropical fruit and grassy, floral hops. Potency is light/medium, as per the nitro treatment, the aroma is cleaner and softer to the nose. 3.5

(Taste) Caramel grain malts, light toffee, soft, lightly dry tropical fruit. Mild, drinkable and smooth due to the nitro. 3.5

(Mouthfeel) Texture is smooth, light, dry and chalky. Body is light/medium for the style, light overall. Alcohol presence is light. 3.75

(Overall) A fairly enjoyable if not too ordinary ESB with potentially increased drinkability from the smoothness that the nitro treatment has to offer. 3.75

Left Hand Brewing Company's
(NITRO) Sawtooth Ale
3.6/5.00 (1,003 characters)

Photo of Dayman766
3.19/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A- Transparent, amber/gold
S- Rather light; certainly pick up the hops and the generic "amber-style" smell
T- I was expecting more powerful flavor. While the malts and hops are fairly balanced to give a nice bready taste, the taste overall just didn't really stand out enough for me.
M- Fairly smooth
O- Fine drinking but I won't be seeking it out (349 characters)

Photo of Act25
3.92/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12oz brown bottle with the bottled on date stamped on the side.

Appearance: Medium, clear amber with a very thick, lumpy and foamy white head, with exceptional retention. This will make a great black and bitter.

Smell: Caramel, cherries, figs, esters, cracker grain and light hop aromas.

Taste: Malt first. with flowers, biscuit malt. Pleasant fruit follow with malt and hop balance. Long firm finish. Hop bitterness is mild but long. Mineral, fresh, long finish.

MF: firm mouthfeel, medium-bodied. Even a bit creamy. Again - going to be a great blend with Stout.

Great: Top ESB. Easy to session. (620 characters)

Photo of gr0g
3/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Copper color with a one-finger head of creamy nitro-foam. Good head retention and stickiness, much like Left Hand's bottled Milk Stout Nitro. Aroma is faint and it's all bready, biscuity malt. Only the slightest trace of floral hops. Just weak and uninspired all around.

I hoped things would improve on the palate, but it didn't really turn out that way. On a positive note, the mouthfeel is nice and creamy. A very pleasant texture that would facilitate drinking multiple pints if the taste were even decent. It's not. The basic malt profile an English Bitter is there, but that's it. Mild hop bitterness. None of the tea-like herbal notes and fruity esters that proper examples of the style exhibit.

As a fan of Left Hand Milk Stout, I was hoping Sawtooth Ale would at least be a decent example of an English Bitter / Pale ale. Nope. (837 characters)

Photo of Beer-A-Lot
3.57/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Had high hopes for this, especially since I like LH's nitro stout so much. but the flavors and feel just weren't there for me. Not a drain pour, but lacking in robustness. Could use more citrus, carbonation, body. Maybe this is a style I just haven't learned to appreciate fully yet. (Although there's Fuller's.) Disappointing but I guess I'll soldier on. (355 characters)

Photo of Johnny_Muir
4.37/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into pint glass. Delicious foamy head, mostly cloudy and a gorgeous rusty caramely color. What you might think of when you think of a good beer. Plus, I'm left handed and a trail worker or "volunteer lumberjack" and appreciated the art work on the bottle. Lovely all around. (281 characters)

Photo of TastyAdventure
3.57/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - half finger head, slight hazy copper

S- mild citrus, mild spicy. Hops.

T- this is that ESB that I'm looking for but a little off. A little too much citrus. Then more citrus. Mat doesn't really come through.

M- medium nice and solid. A little "grainy".

Overall, seems like a lightly hopped, light citrus pale ale. (321 characters)

Photo of ONovoMexicano
3.9/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A- Pillowy, cloud-like head. Amber and copper in color. Good carbonation.

S- Malty, sweet brown sugar, mild piney hops.

T- Caramel, sweet malts, bread, bitter hop finish

M- Sweet, creamy start, hoppy, dry, bitter finish

A good beer with an excellent flavor and easy-drinking, yet complex profile. Aside from the nose, which seemed muted, this was a great beer. (414 characters)

Photo of jmw4437
3.97/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: This beer poured a nice golden orange color with a nice head that dissipated fairly quickly.

S: Not too much to note, faint grainy smell. Generally light in nature.

T: Main flavors that come through are a biscuit and grass with a slight hint of something sweeter such as toffee or caramel.

M: Very smooth with mild carbonation.

O: Overall a fairly good beer. Definitely something that you can keep sipping for an entire afternoon. (437 characters)

Photo of ArrogantB
3.19/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3

I really like nitro milk stout so I had to grab this one. I can't even remember having teh regular bottles of sawtooth. Appearance is great, bright amber with a creamy head, good lacing. Aroma is faint grainy malts, nothing special. Flavor is a bit of mineral and nuts, slightly chewy toffee flavor. Mouthfeel is great of course but overall this beer probably just wasn't that great to start with. (397 characters)

Sawtooth Ale from Left Hand Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 675 ratings.