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Chainsaw Ale - Left Hand Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Chainsaw AleChainsaw Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

175 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 175
Hads: 341
Avg: 3.82
pDev: 16.49%
Wants: 31
Gots: 33 | 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: 175 | Hads: 341
Photo of StoutHunter
3.71/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I picked up a bottle of Left Hand's Chainsaw Ale a couple months ago for $9.99 at Boyne Country Provisions. I haven't seen this one around before and I thought I should give it a try, so lets see how it goes. No visible bottle dating, I think it's from 2014, but I'm not sure. Poured from a brown 22oz bottle into snifter.

A- The label looks good, it's goes well with the name and it's eye catching. It poured a murky ruby amber color that took on more of a ruby hue when held to the light with almost three fingers worth of very light tan head that's pretty chunky and it died down to a thin ring that stayed till the and it left some nice rings of patchy lacing behind. This is a good looking beer, I have no complaints.

S- The aroma starts off with a slightly higher amount of medium sweetness with some fruity yeast being the first to show up and it's followed by the malts with some caramel malts, sweet malt, toasted malt and brown bread like aromas with no single aspects sticking out the most. Up next comes the hops which impart an herbal, light citrus rind and light soapy aroma. This beer has a nice aroma, but I could go without the soapy aroma.

T- The taste seems to be similar to the aroma and it starts off with a medium amount of sweetness with that slightly fruity yeast still being the first to show up and it's followed by the malts which impart all the aspects that they did in the aroma with no single aspect seeming to stick out the most. Up next comes the hops which show up more on the finish and they impart more of those herbal hops that got in the aroma and they linger into the afteraste with a very light amount of mediun bitterness and some fruity yeast. This is a pretty nice tasting beer, I like the balance.

M- Fairly smooth, crisp. on the slightly lighter side of being medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. This beer had a pretty nice mouthfeel and I thought it worked well with it.

Overall I thought this was a pretty nice beer and I thought it was a good example of the style, I don't think I've ever had a Double ESB, but It tasted just how i would expect a bigger and bolder version of an ESB to taste like and I liked that. This beer had nice drinkability, one or two would be my limit, but I was able to drink the full bottle. What I like the most about this beer is the balance, it was really nice. What I like the least about this beer is the aroma, I wish it didn't have that soapy aspect. I might buy this beer again and I would be interested to see how it ages. I would recommend trying this beer, especially if you like ESB's. All in all I liked this beer, I didn't have the highest expectations, but it tasted pretty good and it lived up to being called a double ESB. It's one of the better Left Hand beers i've had and it's above average for the style. Good job guys this was a pretty tasty beer.

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%
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.

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Photo of zacharyharrington77
2.29/5  rDev -40.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

The beer was a gorgeous dark color... poured somewhat flat and tasted even worse... I am not sure of I got a bad batch or not but certainly not my cup of tea

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Photo of SerialTicker
3.87/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had on-tap at Hop Cat in Detroit, Michigan.

I think a snifter of this was gonna be $10 or $12, so I opted to get a dollar or two sample of it... I'm glad I did. While this beer has an awesome heat I'd expect from a strong ale, and a super nice, fresh hoppiness and ALSO some solid balance, the price is just kind of crazy to me, especially since it's not even barrel-aged or anything. If this were a bit cheaper, I'd probably score it higher, as unfair as that probably is. I really do like the taste of this one though, it just doesn't warrant the price tag -- fresh hops, warming alcohol, nice combo of both sweet and bitter... pretty nice beer.

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Photo of jzlyo
3.59/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Aroma is malts, fruit, toffee and leather. The flavor is fruit, malts, toffee, slightly coarse texture, slight liquor notes, mild alcohol and a tangy/sour finish.

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Photo of mdagnew
4/5  rDev +4.7%

650ml bottle bought from Lighthouse Wines, Jordanstown...

Poured a deep hazy amber red colour. Creamy head poured small but quite thick then faded very quickly to light wispy covering with thicker edging... no carbonation at all... some light lines of lacing...

Aroma - Lots of piney, peppery and grassy hops up front mixed with toasted caramel malts... lightly roasted nuts, spicy dried fruits (raisins, figs), light tobacco, some cardboard traces, toasted malty loaf, blood oranges, light liquorice, some wet hay...

Taste - Big blast of grassy and spicy hop bitterness, piney resin traces, overripe fruits (bitter oranges, apples, bananas), also some dried fruits (prunes, dates, raisins), warming alcohol, sweet caramel and toffee maltiness, lightly toasted malt loaf, some butterscotch, medicinal traces, light smokiness, soapy...

M&D - Fairly smooth and creamy with a little oiliness... full bodied... much too rich and full bodied to be very drinkable (not to mention the 9.4% alcohol)...

Overall - A pretty good American Strong Ale if maybe a little rough round the edges... definitely worth a try though...

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Photo of bsp77
3.9/5  rDev +2.1%

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into goblet.

Appearance (4): Murky brownish-orange that glows red in the light. Decent light tan head.

Smell (4): Strong piney and spicy aroma from the hops. Overripe fruit, caramel and toffee.

Taste (3.75): Immediate impact from the hops, with lots of pine and some citrus and spicy notes. Malts are fairly deep and intense, with caramel, toffee, and sweet dark fruits. The hops linger at the finish and provide some bitterness. A little bit abrasive and rough around the edges.

Feel (4): Moderate carbonation, medium to full body, mostly dry finish. A little but boozy.

Overall (4): Comes across as an aggressively hopped English Strong Ale. Quite tasty and decadent, even if it is a little rough.

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Photo of cindyjeffsmith
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

appearance: Slightly hazy copper. Slight tan head and not much to it.
smell: Some piney notes and not much else. Pretty meh nose on this. Not bad, just not a lot happening.
taste: much like the nose. A strong ale with a bit of hop bite but not a lot happening.
overall: Frankly, a little disappointed from an admittedly spoiled beer lover. Maybe a bad bottle? Maybe it needs some age.

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Photo of ocelot2500
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, deep amber color with a tight, tan head that leaves chunks of lacing.

Smells of toasted malts with some pine hops.

Tastes of the piny hops with a big malt base. Hops lead off with pine and citrus coupled with some spiciness. Malts come through next, adding caramel and toffee sweetness. Some earthy notes come towards the middle along with a bit of an herbal character. This gives way to a bit of alcohol before the finish of slightly spicy hops.

Mouthfeel is medium-full with a smooth amount of carbonation.

Overall, this is tasty.

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Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled on 6/10/2014. Pours slightly hazy/cloudy deep ruby red color with a 1-2 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of grapefruit, lemon zest, orange peel, pine, floral, grass, caramel, toast, toffee, brown sugar, raisin, light roast, and herbal/grassy earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of citrus/pine/grassy hops and moderate dark/bready malt sweetness; with great strength. Taste of big grapefruit, lemon zest, orange peel, pine, floral, grass, caramel, toast, toffee, brown sugar, raisin, light roast, and herbal/grassy earthiness. Good amount of pine/grassy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, citrus peel, pine, grass, caramel, toast, toffee, brown sugar, raisin, light roast, and herbal/grassy earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice complexity and balance of citrus/pine/grassy hops and dark/bready malt sweetness; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a smooth, moderately crisp/sticky, and lightly slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice imperial ESB style. All around great balance and complexity of citrus/pine/grassy hops and dark/bready malts; and very smooth and crisp to sip on for the big ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of Goosehunter75
3.61/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours a bright reddish rust color with 2 1/2 fingers offwhite fluffy , creamy head. Very good retention and a very nice looking lacing

S - Aroma is on the lighter side. Lots of caramel upfront, but there are aromas of other alcohols mixed in. I do pick up port wine and a slight trace of bourbon as well.

T - Very nice. Deep caramel flavors followed by bourbon and port. It is slightly nutty as well. The flavor has lots going on and they seem to work together quite nicely.

M - A fairly smooth beer for 9.4% abv. It does have s light warming sensation in the mouth, but I would hesitate to call it a burn. Definitely a heavier beer, but remarkably drinkable at its ABV.

O - A very impressive beer. Lots of flavor and doesn't rely on a ton of hops to accomplish it. Would make a great fall sipper. I'll be looking for it again

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Photo of bnes09
4.02/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cooper color. Finger and a half head with nice retention and fine patches of lace. Nonspecific malt aroma. Smooth and nutty. Rich malty flavor of oats, wheat and a touch of roasted nuts. Assertive earthy hops. Well balanced. Full bodied. Good carbonation. Malty texture. Tasty stuff.

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Photo of utfiero
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%
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.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.8/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

back after a long hiatus, this is essentially double sawtooth ale, so a double esb, and i think its wonderful. rich and more american than english on the hop front, but with a real sturdy and classic english malt base. the alcohol is high, but its well hidden in this smoothed out feeling drink, than improves with temperature. copper in color, mostly clear, decadent looking with a tall and foamy white head. malt first and hops on the back end in both nose and taste. distinct flavor elements include an herbal complexion, culinary herbs, maybe bay leaf, as well as unlit smokes, birch syrup, and tangerine zest. its dynamic, and i appreciate the interesting hops here, its a necessary twist in a style of beer that i dont think gets played with enough. it comes in layers, and is far more complex than i expected it to ever be. mouthfeel is full bodied but well carbonated, frothy in feel, palate coating, and a little resinous from the hops. finish is long and bitter, yet clean feeling, and extremely satisfying overall. a beautiful american take on the english classic. i hope this one sticks around.

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Photo of Greywulfken
4.04/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: dark amber brown ale with a few fingers of tan foam. some lines of lace trailed behind

S: dark toffee and herbal pine, sugars apparent, earthy and woodsy tones

T: toffee and caramel-sweet; muted hops bitterness; rich malt body more forward than all else; some fruits and slightly wet, jam-sweet toast

M: slick, medium-weight, and sticky

O: Think of an extra special bitter, which is not necessarily bitter, but balanced, and then make it a double (Imperialized)... a real nice drink if you know what you're getting. Rich and relatively dense, sticky and toffee-sweet, with dull and mild resinous bittering. Strong ale but not necessarily American-style.

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Photo of TMoney2591
2.59/5  rDev -32.2%
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.

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Photo of Thorpe429
2.19/5  rDev -42.7%
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.

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Photo of TwelveOunces
3.8/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Photo of KickbacksSteve
4/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

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Photo of denver10
4/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.97/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.78/5  rDev -1%
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.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.7/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

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Photo of Dope
3.7/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.68/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

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Chainsaw Ale from Left Hand Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 175 ratings.