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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 brownbeer


2.03/5  rDev -46.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Poured from a bomber of the newest label. Bottled in 2010.

The appearance is a rather muddled looking orange-brown with no head.

The aroma is faint for a double anything, I mean off in the distance, far away. What I can smell is a medicial maraschino cherry. The aroma just gets further and further away until it's almost completely gone.

The mouthfeel is flat and syrupy, borderline horrendous for me. The taste is about as bland as the aroma. Dirty, watery taste that quickly transitions to a harsh finish, which isn't from a desirable hoppiness, it's just harsh. It makes me grimace. It's kind of cardboardy and becomes more medicinal as it warms. It lacks any warmth, depth, creaminess, or any other enjoyable qualities.

I really like Sawtooth, and a number of other Left Hand beers for that matter, but this is no Double Sawtooth. I've enjoyed few beers less.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2010 02:39:42 | More by brownbeer
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 babaracas


2.3/5  rDev -39.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a slightly hazy red with amber edges, fast fading thin white head, couple of dots of lace. Smell: an astringent lemon ("we need more lemon Pledge"), leafy, toffee, cherry cough syrup. Taste: caramel, citrus peel, Capri Sun Cherry. Mouthfeel: medium bodied, nothing special, cherry cough syrup finish. This is really horrific, it tastes like a cherry Capri Sun with a big medicinal finish. Up until this, I was on the fence with Left Hand... hadn't been impressed but nothing was bad... this is just bad. You're off my christmas card list Left Hand! (2/3rds of bomber down the drain).

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2010 03:07:59 | More by babaracas
Photo of bound4er


2.33/5  rDev -38.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A. A stiff pour produced minimal, white head (not much density to the head either) over an amber liquid. Kind of meh looking.

S. Faint malt and an alcoholic cherry note - not much else.

T. Thin, uninteresting but not off-putting. Some citrus flavor upon entry and then mild piney bitterness from the hops at the close.

M. Thin, almost watery feeling and a bit low on carbonation.

D. Man, this beer did next to nothing for me. The beer "guy" at my local bottle shop recommended this. I guess I should have ignored him and grabbed the Founders Porter is was eyeing up. One of these is more than enough for me.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2010 00:07:15 | More by bound4er
Photo of oldbowhunter


2.48/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A - Corked and caged bottle poured into a pint glass. Color was a murky, copper; sediment settled and the beer cleared somewhat. Slim, off-white head which fell off with little lace - reminiscent of a day-old beer??? Something I may discuss with my retailer.

S - The aroma is definitely heavy on the malty side, with tastes of (over) rip figs and brown (burnt) sugar.

T - Initial taste is very malty and yeasty, then turns to a lingering bitterness and alcohol.

M - A medium to heavy bodied beer; thick and sweet, reminiscent of cold medicine.

D - Takes "getting used to." Definitely a sipping brew.

I probably won't drink this beer in the future.

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2009 00:05:42 | More by oldbowhunter
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 jujubeast6000


2.7/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed 8/25/2006 (bottle):

Pours a cloudy light-ish brown/red colored body, with a slightly off-white head. Has a very nutty aroma, and maltiness. A very malty taste, somewhat acidic. Also has a corn syrup sweet-like taste. Not too bad for a malty beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2009 03:57:55 | More by jujubeast6000
Photo of sweemzander


2.8/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

220z. bottle poured into a tulip. Bottled 20/10?

(A)- Pours a clear amber color that produced some white bubbles.

(S)- A light lemon-like floral aroma. Bits of pineapple & grapefruit. Plenty of woody pine. Has a lot of acidity that gives it an almost rotting smell.

(T)- The same fruits from the smell. Kinda musty. Some caramelization malt-wise, but is rather acid & fruit driven. Bitter & dry.

(M)- A good carbonation level. Was expecting much more of a malt backbone with an aggresive hop addition considering the style and the name, but this is actually rather thin and acid driven, with a dry woody feel.

(D)- Definitely was disappointed with this one; not at all what I was expecting. The $13 price tag made it even more disappointing. Has a fruit profile, but is still lower on the hop strength profile, not to mention the almost non-existent malt profile. I would expect this type of character from a pale ale or an ESB, but not at all from an american strong ale.

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2010 19:52:24 | More by sweemzander


3.05/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not much carbonation in this beer. After a vigorous pour I still only get big fat bubbles that pop away and give way to a slight foamy head that is just a skim on the top. Body is a murkey reddish brown. Nose has defanent hints of chocolate notes with a malty feel and a hint of anise. A very flat tongue coating feel. It is dark and rich and has a bit of roasted malt. Overall it is a solid drinkable beer but not anything special. Leaves a medium thickness on the mouth. OK brew

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2006 19:57:33 | More by SPLITGRIN
Photo of pinotboy007


3.05/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Murky root beer with amber color, decent cream colored head that leaves some nice clumps of lace; some yeast floaties, too.

S - Malt that has a pronounced Belgian inspiration to it.

T/M - Malty hops with some nice toffee/caramel notes and even a tinge of leather as it warms. Has decent enough mouthfeel but is a bit thinner than I'd hoped.

D - I may need to try this again. I can see this as a dessert and cigars kind of ale.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2008 22:56:46 | More by pinotboy007
Photo of benito


3.15/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've had this in my cellar for over a year now and figured that it was time to give it a whirl. I've found Left Hand's year-round beers to be pretty hit or miss, but their Big Mo series has been dependably good. Chainsaw is rusty red with a frothy white head. It tastes more like an imperial brown than anything else, with a strong molasses flavor and some hints of chocolate. I didn't notice any hop presence, but, based on what I gather from the other reviews, that may be a function of my aging.

Overall, Chainsaw is competently done but forgettable strong ale. It made for a nice cooking beer when I used in in a beef dish, and I'd like to try it on tap someday to see how it compares when fresh.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2007 13:42:50 | More by benito
Photo of Westsidethreat


3.28/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Thanks to JeffKrenner for this one.

A: Absolutely suberb carbonation. Towering gorgeous oatmeal colored head. Looks like a barleywine, deep terra-cota color.

S: Smells of the Pacific Northwest. Lots of pine with hints of grapefruits. Touch of amarillo hops and maybe rye malts?

T: A fairly non complex hit of hops. Little bit of citrus with some vinous woody flavors. Solid base of dirty melon bitterness. Bit of alcohol sweetness on the tip of the tongue.

M: Medium body with nice carbonation. Good.

D: Not bad. Not very complex and I'm not a fan of that dirty bitterness wash.

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2006 06:09:42 | More by Westsidethreat
Photo of MuddyFeet

North Carolina

3.3/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Interesting style...makes me think more of a Belgian Strong Dark Ale. Then again, American Strong ale is a "catch-all" style.

Pours a dirty brown in color into my tulip glass. thins out towards the bottom where the beer isn't as thick--but I suppose that makes sense. Nose is grossly sweetly malty with some sugars and just the slightest hint of hops.

Flavor is a bit over the top with quick and sudden hop bite that dies but then is followed with some heat from the alcohol. The malts give this a very sweet malty base. Some pepper and spice too. Very light body that kind of evaporates off the tongue. Rather a dissappointment honestly.

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2006 01:23:22 | More by MuddyFeet
Photo of mwilbur


3.3/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 750 mL bottle into snifter. Labeled as 2008 bottle.
A: Pours red in color with high carbonation producing thick (2+ inches) off-white head. Decent retention on the glass.
S: Boozy malt aroma. Some floral and herbal hop notes come through after a bit.
T: Unfortunately, the high ABV overpowers the rest of the brew. In the background, herbal hops with a hint of pine are noted. Malt is barely distinguishable.
M: Medium body, alcohol lingers with a bit of hoppy bite.
D: This certainly isn't a terrible beer, but when comparing to the original Sawtooth there is no comparison. Sawtooth is a wonderful beer...making a higher ABV version doesn't go so well. I'm glad I tried it, but it certainly won't be a regular in the rotation.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2009 04:48:56 | More by mwilbur
Photo of ImusBeer


3.3/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a regular 16oz pint glass. Dark amber in color and slightly cloudy. About an inch of head yellowish tan in color. some lacing on the sides of the glass as I drank.

Aroma was mostly malt and kind of sweet. Taste mimicked the aroma with malty tones and possibly dates.

It was slightly silky feeling on the tongue, smooth and a bit syrupy. Lots of Hop pine bite at the end.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2010 15:26:55 | More by ImusBeer
Photo of Parrotbeak


3.33/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Murky, rusty amber with a thin, white head that fades quickly, leaving some very thin patches.
Smell is sweet, sourdough-bready malts. Red fruits.
Taste is heavy, slightly sweet malts accompanied by some bitter hops. Caramel notes follow, with some faint, mushy red fruits. Finish is slightly bitter and malty, with a touch of brown sugar.
Mouthfeel is fairly flat and flabby, with a tiny bit of carbonation. Medium body, with a watery finish.
Drinkability is okay. While the alcohol is well-concealed, this one is a bit messy and off-balanced.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2010 00:58:20 | More by Parrotbeak
Photo of chaz01


3.33/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A couple of 3 oz sample pours at a local grocery store beer tasting event - served in a champagne flute.

A: Amber Mahogany color, very small head that recedes to nothing.

S: Musky hoppy aroma

T: Some piney hop notes initially followed by some grapefruit and citrus notes in the finish. Pretty sweet malt backing

M: A little light bodied with low carbonation levels present

D: A bit sweet, but hoppy enough that it would go with a fish or poultry dinner.

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2010 23:07:20 | More by chaz01
Photo of WalterSobchak


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

Pours a hazy mahogany with a tight thin white cap, not much of a head.
Rich chocolate and malts and that's about it.
I'm pleasantly surprised. Definitely a malt heavy beer but the very nicely done carbonation and hops follow up make it lively on the palate and a lasting smokey malt flavor.
Fairly drinkable but not really my thing; I would recommend it for those who are into the malts.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2009 23:28:19 | More by WalterSobchak
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 ppoitras


3.4/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle from Mentor as part of BIF 33/The Race - Team Spring. Thanks for the opportunity. Corked and caged.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/4" tan head above the slightly murky reddish brown brew. Plenty of lacing, and the head is pretty quick down to an uneven layer of bubbles. Aroma is a bit hoppy, a bit sweet, but largely boring. Taste is moderately bitter upfront, with ample sweetness kicking in quickly to try to balance. Doesn't quite make it, and the bitterness lingers into the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is smooth, but kind of flat, and drinkability is reasonable. Alcohol is not very apparent in this brew, which could be dangerous. This brew seems to have so much potential in so many areas, I ended up being a bit harsh. But that's the impression I was left with, for better or worse.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2006 22:36:35 | More by ppoitras
Photo of TexIndy


3.4/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 750 ml corked and caged bottle with a painted label that's pretty cool. It poured a dark rich amber. It had a massive 3 finger head that slowly settled into a 1/4'" foam with good lacing. The smell was hard to pin down but I didn't like it. Not sure how to describe it but some have called it earthy or woody. I can see that but probably more in the earthy vein - damp mud with rotting vegetation maybe. I thought it would detract from the flavor but it didn't once you get the glass away from your nose but that's half the drink. As it warmed, the alcohol became more pronounced in the aroma and taste. The mouthfeel was really good. Overall, I liked Sawtooth and most Left Hand beers but this one missed the mark for me. First I've had of the style so it may be the style. (3, NA, N, N)

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2007 04:03:37 | More by TexIndy
Photo of OliasOfSunhillow


3.43/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I have to admit to being disappointed by this one. I've had it twice now, once at the Wildland Fire Benefit at the Pumphouse and tonight at the brewery on Boston Ave. It's not a bad beer by any means, but it's just not that interesting. Both times I've noticed a paucity of hops, both in the nose and in taste. There is a whole lot of malt sweetness and a pleasant cereal quality, balanced with an adequate level of bitterness, but it just doesn't have that much going for it. I'll give it one more try, of course...

Serving type: on-tap

03-17-2006 05:31:09 | More by OliasOfSunhillow
Photo of Onslow


3.43/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pretty damn rustic ... very smooth and alcohol is pretty well hidden ..'i'm caca for coocoo puffs' ... lacing is premium stuff ... caramel, molasses, some dust, ... a good brew but a stretch at $11 ... nothing spectacular, just the same old left hand bullshit...

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2008 14:25:22 | More by Onslow
Photo of goatgoat


3.45/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a dark copper with a thick off-white head. Head falls into a thin cap leaves a moderate lace. Aroma is strong and balanced. Sweet, lightly honeyed and dark fruit malts with musty herbal hops. Taste is malt forward at first switching over to a lingering hop bitterness. There's a bit of late astringency and alcohol warming. A good medium heavy mouth.

A decent brew. Seems it was last brewed in early 2008, I probably would have enjoyed this more if it were fresher.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2009 03:00:04 | More by goatgoat
Photo of Gueuzedude


3.48/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours with a frothy, amply, three-finger thick, amber-tan colored head. The beer is a hazy, deep ruby amber color. The aroma has up front notes of crystal malts (caramel, some toffee and some toasted malt notes), lightly herbal hop notes and a bit of alcohol. The aroma is note nearly as hoppy as I was expecting, though it is nice and malty.

The taste is quite sweet up front, but slowly moves to ample malt character that is not all that sweet in the finish. A dry toasted malt note, evocative of biscuits dominates the finish and leaves an almost salty rich malty note that lingers on in the finish. A solid herbal character is also here, there is a bit of an astringent side to the hop character. The hops though are fairly muted, like a lightly hopped, supped up amber ale. In the end this beer is just not that well integrated, it is rich and malty, but needs some ample hop character to help balance things out. The finish has a touch too much hot alcohol, which tends to un-balance things a bit more. Still drinkable, and even a bit enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2006 04:39:15 | More by Gueuzedude
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Chainsaw Ale from Left Hand Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 228 ratings.