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Chainsaw Ale - Left Hand Brewing Company

Chainsaw AleChainsaw Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

228 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 228
Reviews: 160
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 12.6%

Brewed by:
Left Hand Brewing Company visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: RoBotGod on 03-06-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 228 | Reviews: 160 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of TMoney2591


2.59/5  rDev -32%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Served in a snifter at Firkin.

I have been a fan of Evil Dead for a while now... Anyway, this stuff pours a murky and brackish brown topped by a finger of glowing khaki foam. The nose comprises wet cardboard and buttery toffee backed by some very light orange peel. The taste holds notes of dry biscuit, orange peel, light earthy greens, very light tobacco, and a general sense of something musty hanging around, malingering in pain. It's an improvement on the smell, but that ain't sayin' much. The body is a light-leaning medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta/kinda drying finish. Overall, this stuff just seemed messy, dirty, in ways it shouldn't. Definitely not a fan.

Serving type: on-tap

05-17-2013 02:48:17 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of Thorpe429


2.14/5  rDev -43.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

On tap at Left Hand. Pours a mahogany color. Really sweet and boozy. Ick. Some hops after that initial impression, but still, really didn’t enjoy this.

Serving type: on-tap

01-09-2013 05:09:52 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of TwelveOunces


3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

10 oz pour
Pours hazy orange with a nice white head. The beer at first is reminicent of a big pale ale. The hop presence is fairly notable in this beer, there is a slight citrus and grapfruit. The beer has a light malt flavor that really is more about the feel then taste. The taste is nice but somewhat bland. This beer is big but drinks smooth.
Overall this is a passable beer. I had one that was aged 4 years and it really turns into a nice malt bomb but on tap it is somewhat uninspiring.

Serving type: on-tap

11-11-2012 02:57:04 | More by TwelveOunces
Photo of KickbacksSteve


4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Kickbacks in Jax. Poured into a small snifter. Light beige head, moderate retention, atop a deep mahogany body. Sticky, suddsy and oily lacing. Aroma includes caramel malts, raisins, brown sugar, caramel, maybe a touch of nougat, fruitcake. Taste is quite sweet, no alcohol noted, again fruitcake comes to mind, sweet maltiness. Pretty unique and tasty beer, very easy to drink.

Serving type: on-tap

11-06-2012 07:44:45 | More by KickbacksSteve
Photo of denver10


4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours gold with a nice white head. A huge malt forward aroma offering some butterscotch taffy, a little nutty, a slight infusion of some fruit, and a little hops in the finish. Flavor is defined by the malt offering a big butterscotch taffy base that is supported by some nut, some fruit (citric in nature) and a ever so slight bitter, hoppy finish. Alcohol is disguised quite well in this.. A fuller, creamy body. Overall, I generally don't enjoy butterscotch but had no problems with this one here, this was definitely one of the better non-dark beers by Left Hand. Would gladly drink this one again.

Serving type: on-tap

10-23-2012 01:42:38 | More by denver10
Photo of Darkmagus82


4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on tap in a 10 oz chalice glass

Appearance – Pours a brown colored brew with a small off white head. The head that was there faded quickly to leave a wisp on the surface of the beer with very light lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma was heaviest o f a sweeter caramel, some chocolate and faint aromas of a dark fruit nature. Mixed with these are a herbal and slightly earthy hop flavor as well.

Taste – The taste begins of sweeter dark fruit and caramel with flavors of a nutty and chocolate nature. As the taste advances, hop flavors begin entering the flavor profile. An earthy and floral hop taste begin coming into the taste as some of the caramel sweetness fades. At the end of the taste, the hop flavors, now with a light grapefruit flavor as well, get stronger while the nutty flavor present from the start picks up a tad in intensity to leave a pleasant bittered sweet nut flavor on the tongue. Quite nice.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is above average in terms of creaminess and thickness with the carbonation level rather average. It suits the flavor profile quite nicely and makes for a nice easy drinking brew.

Overall – Fairly nicely hopped brown ale. It starts sweet and finishes more hoppy but does so with a nice smooth transition.

Serving type: on-tap

09-19-2012 00:37:25 | More by Darkmagus82
Photo of DrDemento456


3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Not sure how old this is but I can assume at least over a year since I got it for 5 bucks.

A - A hazy dark amber brown with a 1/4 inch of head. Lacing is nice leaving the head settled to a nice ring.

S - Small bittering herbal tea and piney hops mostly in the nose. Mild yet well balanced.

T - Again much better than the regular Sawtooth. Piney hops seem to be a bit subdued in this old bottle yet mix very well with herbal like tea flavors of the ESB side, which again is subdued. The result is a nice mix of flavors.

M - Medium body with a well concealed ABV. Can't believe its around 9%

Overall a nice one off beer in fact not very ESB at all. Hides the ABV well and drinks just as good. Not bad for a one time thing.

Serving type: bottle

08-11-2012 02:26:02 | More by DrDemento456
Photo of LiquidAmber


3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from 5/2010 notes. Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a dark orange brown with a small, rapidly dissipating head. Light piney hops aroma. Mild malt and dark fruit up front with a mild spicy malt and hop finish. Pleasant, but not all that interesting. A satisfactory one time ale.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2012 19:42:08 | More by LiquidAmber
Photo of Dope


3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: A murky medium brown pour. Huge dense tan head. Retention is quite good and the lacing is so-so.

S: Lots of sweet caramel. Lots of raisin with some cherries perhaps?

T: Caramel with lots of buttered raisin bread. Yes, that's exactly what I'm tasting. Strange but interesting and not all that bad. Mildly hoppy, a bit of an earthy pine bite in the finish.

M: Medium bodied, a bit drying on the back end.

O: An interesting experiment for sure, a double ESB. Not great but not bad either.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2012 04:12:55 | More by Dope
Photo of Knapp85


3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured out as a nice brownish color. The head was a light tan color with a decent retention to it. The lacing is a little scattered but looks ok. The smell of the beer has a subtle sweetness to it. There are aromas of toffee and sweet malts on the nose. The taste of the beer is also quite nice. Some boozy characteristics with some heavier malt flavors and a nice caramel sweetness. The mouthfeel was decent. Overall I feel this beer was good but nothing overly spectacular. I would drink it again for sure but I wouldn't hunt it down.

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2011 20:38:02 | More by Knapp85
Photo of WrathsU


4.28/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Murky brown. 2 fingered white head with good retention.

S - Caramel, toffee, sweet treats here.

T - Sweet up front, with tastes of toffee. Balanced by a medium bodied bitterness and finally a complex roastiness towards the end. Really well done.

M - Medium bodied, low alcohol burn, especially considering the 9%abv.

D - Really a great beer, could drink this all night.

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2011 00:39:39 | More by WrathsU
Photo of JayS2629


3.93/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It pours a soft, cloudy brown with a creamy tan head, great retention, and creamy lacing.

The smell is of caramel, toffee and a touch of cocoa, mixed with floral, earthy hops and a touch of grapefruit.

The taste follows the smell with simplicity and great balance between the sweet malty front and a light bitter finish of floral and grapefruit. Nutty notes throughout a caramel and toffee backbone. Great balance.

Thick, creamy and chewy. Some floating chunks here and there.

Overall, a nicely balanced and slightly warming, soft creamy sipper. Very well done.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2011 16:50:26 | More by JayS2629
Photo of rawfish


4.25/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours from the bomber a dark rusty amber with a good deal of haze, excellent color. Forms a nice 3 inch cap of head, off white with decent retention and a generous amount of spotty lacing.

Nose is pretty great, golden raisins with a caramel backing and piney hops coupled with some dark citrus and pineapple. A bit strong with the alcohol even as this bottle has been left to sit for a while.

Brown sugar and toffee maltiness with a slight toasted feel that gives it a touch of nuttiness. Transitions from dark fruit notes into a citrus and pine hop backing. Hops provide a pleasant bitterness that tones down some of the syrupy sweetness in the malts. Finishes bitter with a lingering hint of grapefruit rind.

Full bodied and adequately carbonated. While finishing dry it's very boozy and syrupy at the same time, the flavors complement this effect well but it still doesn't sit right, alcohol should be able to be hidden better as there's more than enough malt to do this.

A slow sipper with lots of complex character that runs deep. Sawtooth is a light ESB so I really was expecting something similar, Chainsaw is more of a hybrid between a Belgian Dark and an ESB with extra alcohol kicked in. If there was oak and vanilla in this it would be a clone of Odell's Woodcut No. 3 and I mean that in the nicest way.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2011 04:05:21 | More by rawfish
Photo of jzeilinger


3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a deep amber butterscotch color with a huge three fingered, cream colored, fluffy, billowing head with gentle carbonation. Since I'm traveling, I had to settle for an oversized red wine glass that actually works quite well.

S - Citrus, lemon, and roasted caramel dominate the nose along with some figs and other dark fruit.

T - Initially, the tongue is hit with sweet roasted caramel malt and dark fruit in a nice sweet initial wave before a gentle dose of citrus and mild pine hopping emerges to pull some of the sweetness back. The aftertaste is a little tart with dark fruit and citrus and when it slides down the throat, there's a slight alcohol warming, not much, but slightly and for a 9% beer, it's pretty well hidden.

M - Thick, heavy body, smooth and velvet-like feeling as it glides over the tongue.

O - I like it but not sure if I'd make another special trip for a bottle. I sit here and wonder if heat may have played a small role in the overall quality of this bottle, the place I bought it from was running no AC on a 90 degree day, and it's been hot all week.

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2011 00:03:51 | More by jzeilinger
Photo of FanofHefe


4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle, no dating present that I can find, poured into a Duvel tulip. Huge, frothy tan head, 4-fingers tall. It dissipates into a creamy volcano shaped heap in the middle of the glass and leaves plenty of lacing. The first pour is a clear dark amber color with red highlights. Looks good. And the new artwork on the label is very cool.

The aroma is a pleasant mix of caramel malts and earthy, floral hops. I get just a little dark fruit and a touch of toffee as well.

Solid flavor mix following the aroma. The caramel malt and toffee notes blend smoothly and sweetly. The floral hop notes blend and give an ever so slight bitterness in the finish. Very similar overall to a barleywine.

Medium to thick in the mouthfeel but still smooth. Nearly no notice of the alcohol. Very well done.,

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2011 01:01:57 | More by FanofHefe
Photo of ngeunit1


4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a bright slightly hazy copper-orange color with a finer of frothy off-white head. The head fades down to a thick ring around the glass lacing nicely in the process.

S - Aroma is a mix of some grassy hops and some dark fruits. Some background sweet malts are mixed in as well.

T - Starts off with some sweet dark fruit flavor and some grassy hops. There is some caramel malts and a touch of sourness in the background. Through the middle, some stronger malt and fruit flavors come through. The finish is a mix of caramel malts and bitterness with some fruit flavor and a touch of booze that lingers.

M - Medium to medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels very smooth and crisp. The booze flavor has a touch of warming at the finish alongside some bitterness.

D - Very drinkable. Well balanced and complex flavors and fairly strong. Very smooth for a relatively high abv (9%). The fruity flavors really blend nicely with the rest of the beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2011 01:25:26 | More by ngeunit1
Photo of SuperSpy


3.93/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A nutty brown color with a tan, pillowy head. Very cloudy. Looks tasty.

Quite the hoppy aroma. Lots of American hop aromas. Floral and earthy with a bit of medium roast malt.

A heavy body. Smooth and thick. A good mix of dark fruit flavors from the malt and earthy, herbal hops. The hops definitely dominate but this big beer still has plenty of malty flavors. The finish is a little sweet and

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2011 22:48:19 | More by SuperSpy
Photo of beerdown77

North Carolina

4.45/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This pours murky brown and has nice fluffy off-white head. The smell is malty and sweet with some citrus. The flavor has a unique dark raison flavor, but unlike other beers similar to this one, it isn't dominated by an overly sweet, syrupy aftertaste. There is a nice bitter balance that keeps you coming back for another drink. I will say this is one of the more complex and mysterious tasting beers that I have had, there is a spicy brown sugar taste that is interesting. I cannot get over the drinkability. I really thought that this 9% ABV would overtake this beer. Instead, it is a well balanced bitter beer that is a welcome change from the usual overly hoppy and sweet beers that I tend to choose.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2011 05:55:01 | More by beerdown77
Photo of MoustacheHero


3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A double sawtooth from Left Hand Brewery. Quite the take on an ESB! Slightly rare and bottle conditioned.

a: A beautiful amber with orange glow. Pours with a medium, burnished head.

s: A sour and bitter nose with hints of dried fruit.

t: A great, complex taste with bitter and sour notes through out, finishing with fruity notes.

m: A medium mouth feel that is super smooth.

d: Surprisingly drinkable for being big and complex.

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2011 05:20:58 | More by MoustacheHero
Photo of Urbancaver


4.22/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

07 vintage provided by Mike. Thanks man for a great taste!

Pours a murky orange. Lots of head off the pour. Pretty despite the murkiness. Malt on the nose. Nothing else really. HUGE malt profile. Lots and lots of malt on the tongue. Toasts in the background. Tons of caramel and very sweet. Hardly and ESB (which apparently its a double ESB). Thick and almost creamy on the tongue. Very drinkable. Clearly a tribute to cellaring

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2011 05:02:56 | More by Urbancaver
Photo of orlandomag


4.38/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours very amber with hints of golden. somewhere in the 10 range on the SRM scale. little to no head, although creamy around the edge of my snifter. laces well.

the aroma is very fruity, with notes of apple, pear, and some strawberry prominent up front.

very silky on the tongue. mouth fills with dark fruit, a good balance with the bitterness of the hops and the apricot notes.

slight bv heat on the finish. dry, but not overly so.

very nice when it mellows out.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2011 20:07:54 | More by orlandomag
Photo of theboozecruise


3.58/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bomber into a Chimay goblet. It's a reddish copper color with almost no head. Very bubbly though so it must not be flat.

The smell is strong with booze. There are hints of caramel and dark fruit in there as well. Smells a little like brandy.

Man, there are a LOT of hops on the tongue that didn't come through on the aroma. Strong bitterness throughout the sip. I'm going to let it warm some and see what happens but right now this too harsh for me. Brutally bitter.

It's definitely better warmer and more mellowed. The hops aren't unbearable and the flavors from the nose come through.

Not a bad beer this way, but let this one get close to room temps and sip it more like a brandy!

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2011 04:20:16 | More by theboozecruise
Photo of Metalmonk

North Carolina

3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A gorgeous beer, this pours out a fiery red/orange color, lots of bubbles racing north to feed a two-finger head of creamtastic proportions. Thick and firm as Styrofoam, just about...beautiful.

The aroma, however, isn't quite as impressive. It seems to have everything a beer of this style should have, yet it's all compressed and muted. Pine-laden hops, juicy fruits, fruit-flavored pancake syrup, and alcohol-spiked caramel are here, but they do not abound as I wish they would.

I've never had Sawtooth, which Chainsaw is basically the doubled/imperialized version of...but I noticed that Sawtooth is classified as an ESB on this site, and whether that's true or not, this indeed drinks like such a creature as an Imperial ESB might. It's got musty malts that remind of toffee and treacle, the mellowness of overripe dark fruits and berries, the bitter bite of green apple-y and pine-ish hops. But it's not a flavor of remarkable depth or anything, and nothing here really WOWs as I want a beer like this to. There's a nice green bitterness hanging on the tongue in the finish, reminding you that the hops want to hang around and play.

Texturally it's fine, just as big, bold, sticky and creamy as the best in its class. (Looking at you, Double Bastard.) Smooth enough, silky enough, round enough...just, like the aroma, a little bit timid somehow.

Despite some (mild) gripes, this is pretty drinkable for a nine-percenter. There are enough flavors to take hold of, and that long bitter finish is good. I guess it's another good-but-not-great Left Hand beer for me...

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2010 22:15:17 | More by Metalmonk
Photo of brewdlyhooked13


3.38/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance - pours a coppery orange with plenty of fluffed yellowish-tan foam. Holds well at a thin cover and laces well.

Aroma - lighter levels on the nose. Some raisiny grain, a whiff of citrusy hops that do make a little more of a statement with a little setup time.

Taste - caramelly grain, pithy hops with a grapefruit rind flavor. Gets pretty dry and bitter on the swallow. Some mild bv heat, complements the flavors well.

Mouthfeel - fluffy with all the carbonation, very mouth-filling. Good weight to it, some hoppy slickness as well.

Drinkability - I liked it so much on tap at the Catskellar (thanks Adam!) that I had to grab a bomber. It's better on cask, more flavor development and softer hop profile, but this one's decent as well.

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2010 05:05:07 | More by brewdlyhooked13
Photo of yemenmocha


3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark amber withs light brownish hue, a bit cloudy, and tightly bubbled white head that dissipates to a thin rim layer. Nose is lighter than I anticipated, with some toffee standing out. On the palate that toffee is there again, overall rather sweet, with some overripe fruit on the hoppy side to round it out somewhat. A bit of alcohol warmth on the finish and back of the palate. The sweetness helps to make it more drinkable while cold, but as it warms it becomes more of a sipper.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2010 03:47:01 | More by yemenmocha
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Chainsaw Ale from Left Hand Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 228 ratings.