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Sawtooth Ale - Left Hand Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Sawtooth AleSawtooth Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

675 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 675
Hads: 2,035
Avg: 3.7
pDev: 22.43%
Wants: 76
Gots: 293 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sawtooth Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 675 | Hads: 2,035
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.

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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.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.63/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

From 10/11/13 notes. Had this on tap at Distilled in NYC. Served in a pint glass, 16. oz pour on nitro-tap.

a - Pours a dark amber color with two inches of thick white head and low carbonation evident.

s - Smells of fruity malts, bready malts, honey, light citrus, biscuit, dough, wheat, and maybe some light caramel malts.

t - Tastes of fruity malts, bready malts, nuts, toasted malts, lightly sour twinge, biscuit malts, and wheat. No caramel or citrus here...small step down from the nose.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. The mouthfeel is awesome, just super smooth and creamy. Very easy to drink; love how nitro makes beers feel.

o - Overall an okay beer; the only thing that made it very good was the mouthfeel thanks to the nitro-tap. A little bland overall, not something I'd probably seek out again.

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Photo of MikeWard
3.43/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured from 12oz bottle into a standard pint glass. Best by 12/07/13, so well in time for this one. Looking forward to it.

Poured a pretty cloudy reddish amber color. Decent off white head, little lacing. Carbonation hard to gauge due to cloudiness. Oh-oh.

Smell ws pretty bland, just a faint wiff of bready malts

Taste wasn't much better. Something there. Bottle describes a perfect blend of hops & malts, but couldn't discern the hops at all. Not unpleasant, just didn't seem to be much to it.

Mouth was closer to medium than thin.

Overall, a rather bland and uninspiring beer.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
4.09/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Golden orange in color, mildly hazy. The head settles quickly, leaving a little more to be desired. A delicate ring of lacing remains where the head was once at its height.

S: Biscuit, light toffee, orange marmalade. Hint of grassy and tea-like hops. A good but muted nose.

T: Dry grain and biscuit. Shortbread and toffee. Treacle. Marmalade and lemon peel. Fig. Just the slightest suggestion of nutty cocoa. Grass and tea from the hops. Grassy hop finish.

M: Medium bodied. Creamy and smooth with moderate carbonation.

O: As good an American interpretation of an ESB as I've ever had. Very well done, nails the style.

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Photo of denver10
3.79/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours copper with a thick white head. Aroma is nutty, floral, earthy, caramel. Flavor followed suit; quite nutty, floral, earthy hops, and some caramel and cream. A medium bodied, creamy mouthfeel. Overall, solid brew from Lefthand here. Would drink again.

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Photo of vandemonian
3.44/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Left Hand Sawtooth Ale is a simple clean ESB. Maybe they are just accurately making the style, but I just wanted more flavour!

A: Orange colour and a 3 mm head that fades pretty fast. 4

S: Grainy. 3

T: Malty with some subtle, woody pine-hop tang. Clean finish. 3.5

M: Low carbonation. To style. 3.75

O: 3.5

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Photo of spinrsx
3.36/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz Bottle from CJ's Potsdam NY for $2.30

Appearance - Clear amber colour with a large size frothy beige coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is some good lacing. The head lasted for around 5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, caramel/toffee, cereal, grass

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, caramel and grassy hops. There is also some wet hay type flavour and bit of a rustiness. It ends with malty herbal aftertaste.

Overall - Not my favourite style of beer.. kind of tastes like a okotberfest type of brew. I wouldn't buy this one again.

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Photo of FLima
3.61/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Amber color with a thick head with good retention and leaving lots of laces.
Nice sweet aroma of slight toasted malts and floral hops.
Sweet biscuit malty taste well balanced by earthy and floral hops. Notes of guaraná soda.
Dry and bitter aftertaste.
Medium body with low carbonation.
Decent ESB, pleasant to drink and very well balanced.

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Photo of gleemonger
3.92/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hazy reddish yellow with a small white head. Looks a little flat, I wonder if this one is a little too old. No lacing.

Biscuity grany malts, a little honey sweetness, the slighest touch of citrusy hops (again, may have faded due to age). Some caramel malt too.

Very much follows the nose with the biscuity and caramel malts with just a light amount of citrusy hops and bitterness to balance it out. Pretty basic, but nice.

Moderate body with a fairly light carbonation. Could use a bit more carbonation I think, but pretty refreshing.

Bottle date is about 7 months old, so I'd like to try this again fresher, to maybe pick up a bit more of the hops. But regardless, it's a very nice, super refreshing ESB that goes down easy but has a good amount of complexity and is really tasty.

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Photo of utopiajane
3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours deep copper amber with a good head of fine foam that fell lazily to some sticky lace. Perfect clarity and some bubbles on their way up from the bottom of the glass. Nose is gentle. Good bit of yeast to kick start it then lots of bready malt. Doughy, biscuit, and toasted. Mellow floral hops, grass, some fruits, a little dank. Taste is excellent. Traditional. Malty with plenty of biscuit. Thin and a little watery at first then smooth and not chewy. Perfectly balanced. The chocolate in this beer is an airy dusting of cocoa powder that is light, easy and so well done. Hops are nice and floral, a touch fruity & grassy - but the malt stays up throughout the drink and the feel of it is flowing. It has some mineral qualities and a very nice malt sweetness takes it into the finish with some oil and hop bitterness for an unmarred aftertaste. Pleasant, drinkable and a great example of the style. Positively dapper.

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Photo of SportsandJorts
4.55/5  rDev +23%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: a real hazy straw yellow color, with a foamy white head that sits forever.

Smell: nice mellow floral hops and pale malts

Taste: floral hops that don't leave an outstanding bitterness, followed by some pale malts. Unbelievably balanced and delicious

Mouthfeel: perfectly smooth and clean. almost no bitterness. very refreshing

Overall: This one kinda blew me away. I really enjoyed it. This is almost exactly what I want out of an ESB and certainly the best american version I have had by far. I want to try it bottled and see how it compares.

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Photo of Flounder57
3.91/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured in a pint glass at Estelle's in Boston.

Appearance: This beer poured a small head that reduced to a thin layer. It is a copper color with great clarity and bubbles coming up through the glass. Crazy lacing on the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: malty, bready, and fruity

Taste: All of the above blended well together. Nice maltiness and mild bitterness to this beer.

Mouthfeel: Creamy smooth, a little chewy, medium bodied, low carbonation, and extremely drinkable.

Overall: Very nice ESB. Will have more.

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Photo of spoony
3.8/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

From a 355 ml bottle (best before June 22, 2013) into a tulip.

A-A normal pour produces a clear, red-tinted amber brew. The light-tan head drops quickly and leaves a touch of lacing on the glass.

S-I smell mildly citrusy hops fighting against some toasted pale malts. The nose is pretty gentle.

T-The taste is like the smell with slightly sharp and floral hops mostly outweighing the pale, dry malts. There is some malty sweetness up front, but for an ESB, this one leans toward the citrusy/hoppy side of things.

M-The feel is medium body with a decently aggressive carbonation. There is a touch of dank oiliness, too.

O-This is a pretty middle-of-the-road brew. I found the hops a little too strong for the style, which also affected the feel, but the flavor was decent and drinkability was good. This beer is pretty ubiquitous around my neck of the woods, and while there are better choices, I would drink this again.

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Photo of BWED
3.97/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a tumbler

A- Clear amber, with a fairly thin off white head. Not much lacing.

S- Caramel malt, with a hint of fruitiness and slight floral background.

T- Caramel and fruity sweet. A mellow hop finish to balance out.

M- Medium-light body, very well balanced with a semi-dry finish.

O- This is very very well balanced. Just enough hop to even out with the malt. Refreshing as well.

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Photo of M_C_Hampton
2.99/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3

A: poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass, orange amber colored with a short off white head that dissipates leaving some lacing, clear

S: not much of a smell, grainy with mild hops

T: the wheat imparts a weird cereal flavor to this beer, not for me

F: light to medium body with lively carbonation

O: an oddly flavored beer that would be better without the cream of wheat taste

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Photo of sbxx
3/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Appearance - Hazy red amber. 1 finger of foamy, light fluffy head.

Smell - Very light malt. No significant hints of hops.

Taste - Light, slick mix of hops, malt and water. Not bad. Not great.

Mouthfeel - Medium body, light carbonation, semi-dry finish.

Overall - Sessionable but nothing special. Forgettable. Doubt I'll buy again.

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Photo of RevRaymer
3.3/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured into a pint glass the beer had a nice amber color with just a slight head on it. The smell was floral but not very strong. Really had to work at getting a good smell off of it.

The feel was smooth with little carbonation.

The taste, although pleasant, was a bit understated. I dare say that it even had a watered down flavor to it.

Overall, it was an ok beer with a smooth consistency and flavor. However, it just seemed to lack much character. Simply, nothing very impressive about it.

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Photo of rangerred
3.3/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had on nitro tap.

Poured a clear light brown with a thick frothy two finger head typical of a nitro poured beer. This head lasted throughout the glass and left thick lacing along the walls of the glass all the way down.

The aroma, unfortunately, was lacking as is all too typical with nitro-poured beers. There is a little bit of caramel and grass present but I really have to struggle to pick that up. Very weak.

The flavor is not too impressive either. Lots of caramel with some lightly toasted malt but it is all a little watery. Some grassy hops are present leading to a light bitterness and a very dry finish. Mouthfeel is very watery and light.

Overall, I was fairly unimpressed with this beer as I think the nitro pour takes away too many subtleties that are very important in a fairly lighter beer such as this one. I would like to try it again sometime in a different format.

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Photo of LuDookie
4.55/5  rDev +23%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is my new go-to beer when I'm not enjoying the stouts. It is very complex, in my opinion, and goes down very well. I would not consider it a "strong bitter" at all, for I am not a fan of hoppy beers. I've never even been able to stomach most bitters, or hoppy beer, such as IPA's, etc, but I really like this beer.

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Photo of plaid75
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

On nitro at The Lark, East Nortthport, NY.

Poured a medium copper hue with a one finger frothy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured light doughy malts and some grassiness.

The flavor was pretty muted on nitro but some of the above notes were detected as well as a residual bitterness.

The mouthfeel was smooth and full.

Overall a seemingly Goid ale that is restrained unfortunately on nitro.

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Photo of scratch69
3.84/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I poured a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance- Clear amber color with a half a fingers worth of head. Almost no lacing.

Smell- Bread-like malt aroma with some earthy hops notes.

Taste- Sweet caramel malt with a light herbal hop flavor for balance.

Mouthfeel- Light bodied and very well carbonated. Crisp with a slightly dry finish.

Overall- A well balanced and drinkable beer. While it is not the best ESB I have had, it is worth trying.

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Photo of Yosefus
4.08/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Best by 3/19/13 printed on bottle, poured into a pint glass.

Appearance - Poured a crystal clear copper color with one finger of lasting off-white head. Excellent lacing.

Smell - Bready malt forwardness with a nice floral hop backbone.

Taste - Slight breadiness with excellent hop bitterness. Just enough hops to balance the malt.

Mouthfeel - Medium to medium-high carbonation with medium mouthfeel.

Overall - Very enjoyable session beer. One of the more balanced beers I have had in a long time (I'm a hophead). This will definitely be added to my session beer go-to list.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.65/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle opened on 1.11.13.

A - Pours a clear amber-orange with a very thin light tan head that fades quickly to the edges.

S - Malty, biscuity, sweet fruit.

T - Malty, orange, bready. No hops?

D - Decent carbonation with a medium body.

O - Malty and bready. Not much of a hop presence.

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Photo of sommersb
3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tasted On: 12-21-2012
Freshness: Bottled on 06-16-2012
Packaging: 12 oz. brown bottle, pry-cap
Glassware: Nonic pint
Purchased: Received from a friend

Pours with 2 fingers of cream-colored head on a bright copper, clear beer. Head retention is very good as is the lacing. Aromas feature a moderate level of citrus hops, with a bready malt backbone and a mild hint of nuts.

The initial taste is of the hops, but bitterness is not high as the pale, bready malts counter for an overall nice balance. The body is medium and carbonation is also average. The finish is dry with a hoppy bitter aftertaste, but still the balance is done well.

Overall a well-executed ESB in my opinion and one I could recommend.

Thanks to Craig for this one!

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