Chainsaw Ale - Left Hand Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Chainsaw AleChainsaw Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

174 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 174
Hads: 337
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 8.62%
Wants: 29
Gots: 32 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Left Hand Brewing Company visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  9.40% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: RoBotGod on 03-06-2006

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 174 | Hads: 337
Photo of mikeysab
4.9/5  rDev +27.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Drinking this from a 64 oz growler from a local distributor. Been watching it on the tap list, and finally gave it a go.

Appearance: looks great in the glass. Clear amber color with a head that looks like an off white wool winter hat. Thick lacing that stays when revisiting the glass.

Smell: sweet, fruity, golden raisiny,light brown sugary, slight pine and slight alcohol.

Taste: first impression is HOPS. But letting it sit on the mouth brings the raisins, fruity sugars, citrusy hops, and malty toffee, slightly burnt sugary flavors. Alcohol is there but not overwhelming, for the ABV. Very appealing, very satisfying, well balanced, definite feel of drunkenness coming.

Mouthfeel: a little syrupy, but expected. Upon swallowing, the hops kinda make you wanna stop, but the flavors to follow make you want to drink more and more.

Drinkability: probably the scariest part of this beer is how drinkable it is. The alcohol burn is not enough to stop you from drinking it. The flavor and overall experience makes this beer an all night affair. I'm almost done with 64 oz growler and wish I had another. I could see this as a house beer, but luckily have some common sense. Definitely an occasional treat. Wish I could brew this (1,233 characters)

Photo of jpittman80
4.8/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Bottle conditioned, so a little hazy. Second half of the bomber was murky. Copper colored with full, rocky, off-white head that lasts and lasts. Great lacing.

S - Mostly citrus aromas, such as pineapple and grapefruit.

T - Oh wow. I've never had a strong ale like this. It's almost like a summer seasonal of a strong ale. Very citrusy, with the pineapple and grapefruit, along with other tropical fruit. Caramel sweetness supports a substantial hop presence. Finishes dry with plenty of hops.

M - Silky smooth medium-light body. Soft carbonation and the slightest of alcohol warming.

D - I am plowing through this bomber, it is so tasty. Slight alcohol warmth, but not a bit detrimental. I can feel the alcohol content starting to get to me, but it's only because I'm at the end of the bottle and I took this baby DOWN.

This beer really scratched an itch for me. I was a little tired of "American Strong Ales" being either overly hoppy, overly sweet, or overly boozy. Absolutely great balance. This really does feel like a bigger brother of the light, delicious Sawtooth Ale. Pretty affordable, too. I am definitely picking up another bottle soon. Great strong ale for the miserable Florida summer. (1,209 characters)

Photo of billybob
4.65/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured from a 750 mi. bottle a cloudy tea color with a tan three finger head that held very well to the finish and lots of lace. aromas of caramel and chocolate and brown sugar all come through. all the same sweet flavors come to your taste buds and then the alcohol warms the finish. light mouthfeel and light carbonation fits this beer well. really enjoyed this beer. (369 characters)

Photo of jdubjacket
4.57/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured this into my Boulevard Smokestack goblet. Pours a deep amber brown. Not much of a head with a little bit of lacing along the side. Smell is very sweet, malty with brown sugar and caramel undertones. Taste is much sweeter and maltier than I was anticipating. Hops are present, but not pronounced. Mouthfeel is little thinner than I was hoping for, but it doesn't adversely affect the beer. A moderate amount of carbonation make this beer truly outstanding. One of Left Hand's best. (487 characters)

Photo of cheers2beers
4.55/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearnace: This brew pours a semi dark brown with an orangeish glow. The creamy tan head rose up to a good two to three finger height, while leaveing behind a tremendous amount of laceing.

Smell: The aromas present a sweet maltiness that seems to be comsumed by a most splendid hop character with caramel punch. I can also detect some nuttiness followed by a nice alcohol, but not too potent.

Taste: This is just an all around great beer. Has a sweet caramel maltiness with a subtle hop character. Like the nose the the nuttiness/woodiness comes out, esspecially as this beer warms, and this beer has an alcohol kick that seems to blend in perfectly. This is another one of those beers that are just plain and simple but with an all American taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium to thick body with high amounts of carbonation. Slick and silky smooth to drink with just a touch of graininess. Nice alcohol vapors in the finish.

Drinkability: This was the last one on the self, hope they get more cause I would love to revisit this one and I would definitely recommend this to all to try. Left hand brewery is starting to grow on me more and more.


Cheers2Beers (1,165 characters)

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Left Hand's 2008 bottle conditioned Chainsaw Ale pours a very dark copper/chestnut brown color, and it's topped by a creamy khaki head. The head retention is excellent and it continually maintains a full surface covering. It eventually erodes to a thin. 1/4" lid, but still leaves some very nice spots and splashes of lace as it goes.

The aroma is clearly bent towards malt (richly grainy, toasty and bready with a rich caramel edge), and well-infused with floral, leafy, and grassy hops. A hint of spiciness sneaks in, as well as some dark fruitiness.

In the mouth it's full bodied and remarkably creamy and slick with a very-fine-bubbled, natural (bottle-conditioned), and moderate carbonation.

The flavor is very much as the nose suggests, but much fuller and wider in flavor. It starts with a combination of smoothly caramelish bread, and oat-like malt infused with fruitiness; and then moves into spiciness and more hoppy notes that include pine/herbs, leaves, and a touch of grassiness. There's some mild yeasty fruitiness as well, including apples, berries, a hint of dark fruit, and perhaps some papaya (even coconut). The spiciness includes mild coriander and cardamom... and perhaps a suggestion of anise. It finishes dry with a wash of alcohol that clears the residual maltiness; as well as a slap of alcohol that helps to dry it.

It's rich, full, and complex - how can you go wrong? Certainly worth seeking out! (1,428 characters)

Photo of dsa7783
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ML bottle purchased caged and corked from Super Saver in Somerville for the incredible price of $5.99...
"2008 Bottle Conditioned"...
Left Hand's original Sawtooth Ale was outstanding, so I figured this would be a step above and beyond... It didn't dissapoint...
Pours a ruby-red, mahogany-brown colored hue with an modest head that soon dissipated and left a fair amount of lacing...
Strong, noticeable hops balanced out by a slight bit of malts in the aroma, a little coriander, perhaps, touched with a bit of caramel...
Taste strongly complemented the smell, and as far as an American Strong Ale goes, this is certainly one of the better representations of the style that I have recently encountered... Great bread and butter, nutty, caramel taste with a tinge of vanilla and grass...
Excellent, crisp, clear, refreshing mouthfeel with a great level of drinkability that went down smooth without the slightest hint of any alcohol present...
Great stuff...
An excellent depiction of the style...
Recommended... (1,016 characters)

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml caged cork bottle, 2008 Bottle Conditioned, served in a chalice.

A - cloudy orange/amber color with a big fluffy tan head that fell to a layer, leaving heavy lacing on the glass.

S - sweet dark fruits and sweet malty aroma with a hint of yeast.

T - sweet toffee, dark fruits, lightly toasted malt, finishing sweet and dry.

M - full bodied with clean carbonation feel.

D - a most enjoyable brew. (405 characters)

Photo of stumac
4.45/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

keep in mind, i've already had a few so my judgment might be a little impaired due to alcohol and crack rock....j/k about the rock.

pours up a dark brown with a full ivory head. the nose is toffee, english smelling malts, caramel. taste is toffee, dark malt, very crisp hops. full bodied, low carbo as it breathes, sweet to dry finish.

this is a great brew! i love the Sawtooth and this is a very apparent Double ESB! (420 characters)

Photo of beerdown77
4.45/5  rDev +16.2%
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. (704 characters)

Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
4.43/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Hazy, dark-amber/red body and a big, creamy head with an orange tint. Leaves a solid sheet of lacing and retains at about 1/8 inch thick. Body is too hazy to see carbonation streams, but the head is composed of mostly micro-small bubbles with a few larger bubbles mostly along the edge opposite my sip.

S- Lots of sweet, creamy, and grainy aromas in the nose. There's a hint of suntan lotion (coconut, pineapple, banana) on top of a biscuit and caramel malt base.

T- The taste is more bitter than the nose led me to believe. It really helps to balance the sweeter caramel malt flavors on the tongue. Ends up tasting spicy and doughy. There is a hint of tea with flavors of honey and flowers.

M- Creamy in body and carbonation, this beer goes quick with a very quaff-able personality.

D- Enjoyable in many ways, drink it with or without food. I forgot to mention alcohol characteristics because they weren't noticeable. (926 characters)

Photo of Flashsp2
4.37/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Chainsaw Ale

Poured from a 2006 750ml (corked and wired) into a snifter. Beautiful deep mahogony color with a two finger, fluffy/creamy, tightly bubbled, beige head. Dissipates to a thin layer which stays all the way through. Decent lacing down the sides.

Deep vinous aroma with spices, maybe some slight oxidation from the hops. Smells of bourbon, with some raisin and prune notes as well. Some underlying caramel malty sweetness. Nose is almost overwhelming, some overripe dark fruit linger. The aging has really brought out some massive complexities here.

Dark fruit in the taste, some bourbon with the subtle boozy sting, some malty sweetness underlying it all, and hanging out a bit at the end. A little bit of oxidation in the form a slight wet cardboard taste, but given the age and likely substandard storage (the distributor found it after almost two years), it's still amazingly good. Maybe some currant? Anise? Hops pull through around midway, giving a little bite that lingers almost to the end. The end is mainly prune, licorice. Big pruny and bourbon throughout. Better storage would have made this amazing, but for now it's damn near amazing.

Mouthfeel is lush, full bodied, nearing syrupy, but since it's not entirely sweet the viscosity is actually quite nice. The 9% is well hidden. Quite quaffable indeed.

Got this for $4, and at that price I would definitely consume this bad boy again....and again (1,426 characters)

Photo of WickedSluggy
4.37/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I enjoyed this malty strong ale. Having a head-cold, I was afraid I would not be able to taste much. (Two nights ago, this cold ruined my Great Divide Old Ruffian - a brew I usually enjoy tasted like hop tea)

I was very pleasantly surprised. I will have to get another bottle and try it when my sinuses clear.

A - Amber brown; second poor with inevitable floating yeast (25oz bommber) since it is a bottle conditioned ale.

S - Nice caramel malty (I have a cold, but it still smells good).

T - Not as bitter hoppy as my usual choices.
Malty caramel, sweet - Just what I was hoping for on this occasion.

M - Full bodied with light carbonation.

D - The 25oz bomber is plenty. Good dessert brew or meal replacement. If I were to follow this up with a second beer that beer would be somthing light bodied. (808 characters)

Photo of orlandomag
4.37/5  rDev +14.1%
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. (467 characters)

Photo of Tilley4
4.37/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Without a doubt, this is my favorite Left Hand offering thus far...

Warm inviting reddish brown with a creamy tan head...glowing...

Aroma carries sweet malts, sweet fruit, citrusy hops that remind me of oranges and pineapple...smells delicious...

It is delicious....sweet and fruity, warm and malty, mildly hoppy...its a delicious brew... I can't detect the alcohol at all... I want to chug this down but I know better...

Terrific effort from Left Hand!! One more bottle left and I can't wait for it... (506 characters)

Photo of cjgator3
4.35/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle

A- Corked and caged bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a dark amber color with a huge off-white head that possesses excellent retention and lacing.

S- The aroma leans heavily towards the malty side with a lot of toasted malts and caramel along with some hops as well.

T- The taste provides a lot of malt and caramel like the aroma suggests, but the taste also has a really nice hop presence that was a little surprising considering the malt stealing the show in the aroma.

M- The mouthfeel is on the lighter side with a good amount of carbonation.

D- Not bad at all, I'm really enjoying this one. Overall, this is one of the better offerings I've had from Left Hand. Highly recommended! (709 characters)

Photo of CharlieMopps
4.35/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours an opaque, cherry-wood hue; the color was auburn, a medium brown with some ruby highlights. Dense head that stuck around for a while, in addition to sticking to the sides of the glass.

S: A well-balanced aroma, with a solid toasted malt side showing up alongside a hint of caramel, as well as some bittering from the hop presence.

T: The taste reflects the nose, to an extent. Plenty of malty goodness up front, a sweet, cloying presence that is most welcome. Has a kind of grainy quality that blends and segues perfectly with the hops, which bitter the beer's exit down the throat. Hints of dark fruit and some spice were noticeable, especially as the beer warmed, being similar to an Old Ale. Aftertaste is lingering hop bitterness and sweetness underneath.

M: Full bodied with a creamy and fluffy texture, and the carbonation is spot-on. There is some hop oil, and some sweet coating character like caramel that is phenomenal. The mouthfeel is absolutely spot-on.

D: An incredibly drinkable beer. It's a shame this was only a one-off, as it has an assertive hop and malt presence, but is still balanced at the same time. Mouthfeel is superb, and it makes for a quaffable delight that I'd love to have more of. Excellent in autumn as the weather has gotten colder. (1,281 characters)

Photo of kirok1999
4.33/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz caged bomber. Fresh from the brewery.

Appearance- Pours a thick, opaque dark copper with a creamy oatmeal colored head. Chunks of yeast sediment at the bottom of the glass.

Smell- Piney, citrus hops with a basic malt sweetness. Bit of wheat in the smell too.

Taste- Stronger than the smell. Large hop presence, citrus and pine, grapefruit, caramel. The wheat comes through in a nice balancing note. I'm not a fan of wheat beers but this in nicely muted, just enough not to overwhelm the brew.

Mouthfeel- Smooth and creamy, very nice carbonation- abundant but not overwhelming.

Drinkability- Very smooth and drinkable. I like it but don't think it's worth the $13 per bomber. For the money I'd buy 2 Double Bastards. (737 characters)

Photo of simonjohansson
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Smell: lots of sweet malt: caramell, toffee, some nuts, some chocolate; some dried fruits (plum, raisins?), orange and some herbs.
Taste: caramell, some chocolate, some toffee, orange, salt, nuts, wonderful bitterness from the hops, a bit grassy, almost wormwood-like; some dried fruits.

Another great brew from Left Hand! Great balance between malt and hops. (362 characters)

Photo of ryanonline
4.29/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark golden orange with a large off white head and gobs of lacing.

Smells luscious and pineappley with a hint of coconut. Its like a pina colada beer... am I reviewing the right beer? Its the only one from left hand that came up when I typed in sawtooth.

Taste is slightly more piney and resiney with the lingering citrus notes I was talking about. This beers flavor is truly unique. Slighlty earth undertones.

Velvety mouth feel with smooth carbonation.

Moderate drinkability. Its a mite on the bitter side and kind of heavy.

Truly unique and delicious offering from left hand. I love it. (603 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.28/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark and thoroughly hazed, is this, near mahogany, maybe ruddy chestnut...underneath a thick slab of light tannish head...looking nice!

Aroma: surprisingly simplistic, I'm not getting much from it. (clears his nasal passage)...ah, there we go! Big time fruit, very much a bonafied boufante bitter, this guy, oversized, spilling hops and fruity associations...cherries, grapes, apples, even...I like it! A big-boned ESB, so far, and that I do appreciate.

Taste: Mmmm! Big fat hops all over the palate, big fruit, and plenty of bitter, and lots of lush malt, as well. Lots of bigness going on in here. Sweetness tickles the tongue and bitterness smacks it up. But, a double ESB, racking in at 9%...? Hoo-daddy!
This is a massive ale in a massive package which I may have saved for a night of sharing with friends, but, screw them, and hurray me! I'm enjoying it, and luxuriating in it...and, goldarnit, I deserve it!

Cheers to Lefthand for making this...I found it in the least likely store, for some reason, but I'm glad I tracked it down.

P.S., scrolling through reviews, I pity blitheringidiot, ...I only paid $11.29, before tax. (1,143 characters)

Photo of BirdFlu
4.27/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a brownish amber color, a bit like a cola or rootbeer, though a little less opaque. Sort of looks likea scotch/wee heavy. It tastes like it should have a darker color, but is still nice looking.
Smells very malty, like roasted malts and cocoa. A bit of a milk chocolate smell. The aroma isn't very strong, but its enticing.
Taste is very nice. Its sweet but I did not find it to be a syrupy sweetness. Chocolate (milk, again, not dark), roasted malts, toffee, a bit caramel. Has a bit of a bittersweet aftertaste that isn't very strong. Again, like rootbeer.
Mouth is a medium ground and well carbonated. Not too much gravity, which is good cause its a big bottle but it doesn't weigh you down. A good body for the flavor.
Very drinkable. Its delicious and not too heavy like a stout or something. (803 characters)

Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Pours ruby chestnut with a slight haze under a cream colored 1” foam collar that grips the side of the glass.
S: Grassy earthy nose with some biscuit.
T: Malty sweetness establishes a beachhead on the palate clearing the way for cardamom, pear, caramel, biscuit and then an assertive hop bitterness.
F: Medium to medium full body and slightly above average carbonation with some pleasant alcohol warming.
O: A big well balanced beer to drink instead of a mixed drink. (476 characters)

Photo of utfiero
4.25/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Color- red amber. Medium head.

Aroma- alcohol esters and hops combine to form a grapefruit and lemon sweet perfume.

Taste- a very strong double ESB. Starts rich with heavy bready malts, definitely a double, mellows in the middle with some sweetness, and finishes with a huge nicely bitter hop ending. I had to read the label to figure out it was an ESB because this struck me as an imperial IPA.

Poured from 650 ml bomber into a Liefmans Goudenband glass (my preferred all purpose beer tasting glass). Tasted July 2014. Purchased at Costco. (546 characters)

Photo of CampusCrew
4.25/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: amber-hued body with a thinnish, near white head. decent lacing.

Smell: toasty amber malts, sublte citrus fruit, herbaceous hop notes.

Taste: sweetish flavor of amber malts, very balanced as a esb should be. Earthy and light hop character but with only a subdued bitterness. finshes pretty dry..

Mouthfeel: Medium body.

Drinkability: solid big esb, nice and hoppy. Not typical of the brewery. (409 characters)

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Chainsaw Ale from Left Hand Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 174 ratings.