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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: 2,034
Avg: 3.7
pDev: 22.43%
Wants: 75
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: 2,034
Photo of LarryV
3.14/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Smell is very weak, almost nonexistent, but slightly floral. Poured with a thin head that was gone in what seemed an instant. It pours a very appealing reddish copper color. Carbonation is thin which probably adds to the creamy mouthfeel. The problem is, it's somewhat lacking in flavor, or more exactly, seriously lacking in flavor. Hops are there but barely discernible, and the maltiness is suppressed as well. Somewhat sweet and watered down, the flavor doesn't linger on the palate at all. I can't really pick out a flavor profile to describe it. Bland and unexciting pretty much sum up my feelings about this brew. YMMV.

PS: It's really hard getting through a six pack of this beer, it's just so bland. Almost like drinking apple cider. I've got two bottles left that are going to be used for cooking.

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Photo of twelvsies
3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Never really heard anything about this brewery before, and I know that it's bad to "judge a book by its cover" but I always see this in the stores and think it looks good, so I finally picked up a sixer tonight. Appears a reddish amber color with a pretty decent head, decent retention. Smell is lighty malty and a bit buttery with some nice spicy hops to back it up. Taste isn't bad, isn't excellent. A decent pale malty palate, and more buttery creamy notes, leads to a decent bitter bite at the end, nice and dry, which is pretty good actually. Just not a ton of flavor up front. Bitterness is good though. This beer does have a very redeemingly smooth mouthfeel, light and airy, leading to a high drinkabilty score. It would probably make a great session beer, if it could keep your interest a little more.

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Photo of rousee
2.79/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

An ESB ? It doesn't strike me as one. More like a cherry amber pouring american red pale ale. It does have a slight flatness like a good british beer will but sometimes this aids the smoothness factor. Overall, this is kind of disappointing. The other Left Hand I had was better and I am left handed.

Taste notes:cedar and woody nose, spicy and cidery -all elements are present palate-wise too and there is a peppery finish.

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Photo of LPorter33
4.25/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased single bottle from Liquor World in Porter Sq.

Appearance = Great looking semi-transparent deep amber, tiny lacing but lots of carbonation on the inside

Smell = mmm...lots of flavor here. A definite fruit smell comes through reminiscent of pears and grapes.

Taste = Fine tasting beer. More bitter than the smell would indicate but some of the fruit sweetness is there. Decent hop kick in which is balanced quit nicely.

Overall = I definitely recommend this beer. I could drink several in one sitting. Another fine crafted brew from Left Hand.

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Photo of EPseja
3.45/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Deep bright copper color with 1/2" head - bubbles on top like a pancake cooking in the griddle - steady throughout.

S - Medium bodied hops, toasted caramel malts. Slight bready yeasty notes.

T - Malty sweet to start, cleanly hoppy in the end. Decent, but a metallic aftertaste in the end keeps it from being any better than average.

M - Active mouthfeel, crisp on the tongue, decent amount of carbonation. Probably would have been better with less bubbles.

D - Once you get going on this (and the metallic taste subsides) it's a fairly easy drinker.

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Photo of alexwag
3.3/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Lighter amber, nothing out of the ordinary. Head is minimal and very white. Appropriately, lacing isn't very substantive and is spotty at best.

Smell: Crisp and dry, with fruity notes and, if you look reaaally hard, a little bit of hop bitterness. ESB what? So far I'm unimpressed.

Taste: Malt is first for a split second before milder hops and carbonation take over. Hops mellow as the carbonation fades, leaving bitterness on the tongue, though not a particularly unpleasant one. Aftertaste hearkens back to the malt a tad.

Mouthfeel: Inoffensive but not particularly interesting.

Drinkability: Plenty drinkable, but would you want to drink it all? I wouldn't.

Overall: eh. Plenty better ESB's out there.

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Photo of tavernjef
3.21/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear, light copper toned body, super-mega slow carbonation bubbles rise every now and then. Capping it is a small compact fluff of white sand and the lacing coats in oily, spotty sheeting.

Aroma is quite empty but clean with a very subdued toasted malt and nuttyness with faint cardboard notes.

Flavors are nearly as empty, plain tasting dryish sweet malt with a light dusty cardboard-like hopping. Somewhat creamy though and fairly smooth across the palate; very barely toasty in some areas.

Feel is creamy and smooth with a lesser medium body with some drying light grainyness and cardboard flakeyness.

Fairly boring but drinkable enough due to its creamy smoothness and slippery soft carbonation. Passable in most regards though; this ESB just doesn't have anything special about it.

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Photo of RoBotGod
4.03/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

When I saw the name sawtooth I was expecting some king of pine sappy beer. Instead I got a great ale. I feel this beer is way under rated and have turned it on to many of my friends. The pour is amber but tastes much darker. The head was thick and the lace was impressive leaving quite a line. As a whole the beer had a pine nut taste like an IPA but the well cooked backwash of great pale ale. When I recommend this overlooked beer to fat tire drinkers, they switch over right away. I’m not a huge fan of all of the left hand six packs but this one tops them all. It tasted as if you biting in to a freshly cut forest tree. If you are in town and have to drink one for the left hand company, this is it.

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Photo of mschofield
2.35/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a dark golden amber, topped with a two finger fluffy light tan head, leaves webs of lacing.
Interesting aroma, herbs, kind of floral, bread and cinammon.
Not a very pleasant taste, it's harsh and seems off, fruit, tree bark and grain husk.
Medium bodied.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.48/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a two-finger cream head that soon goes leaving traces of lace. Clear amber color. Light carbonation and light bodied. Slight malty nose. Starts with a mix of hops and malts with the malts dominating, some sweetness, very drinkable different from a lot of ESBs that are hoppy. $1.70 for a 12oz bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, MA.

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Photo of crookedhalo
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light copper/amber color with no real head, but there was lacy evidence that there was once one. Light grassy tones and a bit of tea-like maltiness. Lightly malty and a bit herbal in the hop flavor, with mild blueberry-like fruity esters. Very drinkable and satisfying, especially for being in the lighter spectrum of an ale.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
4.15/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Left Hand Sawtooth Ale

purchased at Isaac Newton's. Newtown, PA.

Appearance- nice copper brown with a decent creamy head.
Smell- light malt and hop with some caramel.
Taste- caramel and malt balanced with an earthy/ woody hop flavor.

Overall- very delicious and too easy to drink. A beer I'll look for again.

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Photo of mynie
4.12/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark amber. Pretty color, but no head.

Strong caramel malt in the nose against a very dry, sultry hop. Nice.

What a wonderfully balanced ESB! Very sweet malt upfront with strong notes of toffee and caramel. Light and complex hops in the back, along with more malt, leaving a chocolate finish. Not really a bitter bitter, but still good.

Very smooth, rich body align with light carbonation to make for one supreme session ale.

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Photo of mattcrill
3.26/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Carmel colored and clear with a chunky white to tan head. It leaves nice lacings throughout the glass.

Smell: Tea-like hop smell up front with some carmel and brown sugar in the background.

Taste: clove, ginger, and spices are noted first with a touch of honey roasted peanuts. A watery and disappointing finish as the beer begins to warm.

Mouthfeel: Thin and prickly due to the carbonation.

Drinkability: Easy and boring. Well done but nothing to write home about.

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Photo of EagleTalon
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Pours to an amber-caramel color and sparse white head. Aroma is malty-caramel and citrus. Flavor is a very smoothly-executed British bitter consisting of a moderate hoppiness and caramel malt character. Very quenching and tasty. Not too intense nor insipid. A solid choice if you want a fresher, more local British ESB/pale ale in the States.

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Photo of blitheringidiot
3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Label Lore: Psychedelic colorful label with an indiscernible freshnes blob: Bottled on 060604.

Dark orangey pour under a khaki tight cake like head with plenty of bead bubbles rising up.

Huge malt scents. Caramely nearly overbearing.

First Swigs: Sour creamt caramel. Like the inside of a milky way bar. Sweet molasses. Dry lingering finish. Diacetyl butterscotch. Middle is ripe bananas.

Buttery oily feel.

Last Swigs: One dimensional oily malt hard candy. Not a session.

Beer is good. Happy mixed ESB/Pale beering.

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

pours a nice rich deep hazy amber. Minimal head though, and a very small ring around the edge disappears. No lacing.

Smells hoppy and grapefruitey and slightly sweet with a hint of malt balance.

It tastes pretty yummy. What I would expect in an ESB. A dry hop crispness smacks you in the face right off the bat - I happen to like that... It stays throughout it's journey down your throat. After the inital whallop, grapefruit joins the flavor, and hangs around.

The mouthfeel is kind of nice, but a bit thin for my tastes. Per the style? I think maybe a bit watery. The crisp hop saves it, though, tingling for the first half of the drink in a nice fizz. After that it drys up into a citrus flavor with hints of rind.

The finish is very clean.

I think the body is a little thin.

This is a really good ESB. In my opinion, one of the better that I have tried. I recommend trying it.

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Photo of barknee
4.55/5  rDev +23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into chilled glass tankard, (yea I know.. Faux Pas!)..showing a foamy light mocha colored head, which diminshed in a few minutes. Color is a saturated medium reddish brown, and the constitution is clear without sediment or particulate. The scent of fruity hops soars from the glass, with hints of lightly roasted cashew nut. The fruity scent that wafts from the glass has a very nice myrrh component to it. The carbonation was not visible, but the feeling of a fine effervescence on the tongue last the entire glass. The taste is wonderful; malty with notes of birch with a very pleasant bitterness, rounded out and balanced. This brew has the perfect acidity, and is a pleasure to take on with vigor. The beer is medium bodied, and has a long tasty finish that lasts several minutes. This is one of the most enjoyable brews I have ever had, and it is a wonderful candidate for a homogeneous evening selection. Super refreshing with a brilliant mouthfeel.
This is a must do situation!!!!

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Photo of fdrich29
4.32/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Bukowski's in Boston.

This beer surprised me in a major way. I wasn't expecting something quite so malty (not because I knew anything about this beer, I just don't tend to drink malty beers). The sweet malty-caramel smell and taste hit the spot and put a smile on my face. I definitely could have had a few more of these bad boys. Give it a try if you can find it, nice alternative to the norm.

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Photo of meathookjones
3.48/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This appeared a clear amber color with about 2 fingers worth of frothy white head. The head quickly died down to a cap of bubbles leaving sparse lacing around the glass. All I can pick up in the nose is the sweet caramel malt. The taste was similar with caramel malt dominating and a slightly fruity sweetness joining it. Even though the finish is slightly bitter the sweetness is still a little excessive. This is about a medium body brew with good carbonation. I easily finished this and could have had another if not for the eventually overbearing sweetness. Overall a decent ESB but there are better choices available.

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Photo of Guinness4me
3.45/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This pours a bright copper color with an almost sudsy head. It almost looks like brandy in my snifter-shaped glass. It's a viscous brew that makes me smile.

A caramel nose give a hint of things to come. It's sweetness is offset nicely by the healthy dose of bitterness. I almost pick up a starchy, almost fruity taste. Maybe star fruit? The final taste is nutty and pleasant.

I find this beer a bit above average in its drinkability. Very refreshing!

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Photo of keilerdunkel
3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured with a nice deep amber color with a large fluffy head that subsided gradually and left nice lacing on the way down. This is more of a traditional English Bitter very dominated by the malts (a little fruit taste in there as well?) with very little in the hops. It is a little shock to my system moving away from the American hops, but very good. This was an old favorite of mine when I lived in Colorado, and it is nice to see that it is still solid.

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Photo of necoadam
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a hazy copper color with a nice head that goes away to lacing. Smell consisted of malts mostly with a fruity backround, but malts were way stronger than the fruity tones. Taste was ok. Malts show up quickly but then mix in with some fruit notes and then the hops take over everything. Blends in quite nicely though. Mouthfeel was medium with a good enough carbonation in this thing. A decent ESB to say the least.

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Photo of Gavage
3.76/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber color with some big carbonation bubbles sticking to the glass. A 1" head with big bubbles lasts through the drink. Some mild lacing develops too. The aroma is a dull caramel tone. The flavor is all caramel with a little bitterness, and is rounded out by some bread tones. Not great at the start of the glass, but it grows on you.

The mouthfeel is smooth at the start with a short caramel dry finish. Medium bodied. Overall drinkability is good as this has a nice flavor and seems light in alcohol.

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Photo of budsboy
3.63/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From notes: Poured a dark amber, clear as glass, with a thin white head.

Smell is bready, malty with a slight hint of citrus. Not inviting really.

Taste that carmel malt. Big. But then a nice balance of hops and sweet malt combine. Cool. Sweetness is dominant.

Thick, full-bodied but finishing cleanly, nearly dry.

A bit too sweet for my bitter tastes, but still a nice brew and one I'd recommend for what it's worth.

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