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Stranger - Left Hand Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

202 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 202
Hads: 901
Avg: 3.49
pDev: 13.75%
Wants: 11
Gots: 92 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Left Hand Brewing Company visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: brew3crew on 02-12-2011

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
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Reviews: 202 | Hads: 901
Photo of jzlyo
3.28/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Hops, tea and spice in the aroma while the appearance is yellow-gold. The taste is the rye up front with the hoppinesss behind it. Not really that different from the retired old APA Left Hand makes although the rye helps with the flavor some.

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Photo of Jeffreysan
3.7/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a mostly opaque, golden amber/copper color with a quarter of a finger of white-colored head that quickly dissolved away into a thin lacing of foam that completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Not much in the aroma department at all. I get some faint, I mean really faint, aromas, of toasted malt, some caramel, black pepper, honey-suckle, clover and a touch of grassy, piney, slightly citrusy hops.

Taste: Very nice! Strong flavors of bready, toasted malt up front, imparting flavors of cereal, crackers and biscuits, followed by some caramel and brown sugar-like sweetness, spices of honeysuckle, black pepper, and a touch of coriander. The beer finished with some beautifully balanced, piney, slightly citrusy hops. Delicious!

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and both creamy and effervescent at the same time. With an ABV of 5.0%, there is no alcohol on the palate.

Overall: This is another excellent beer from Colorado, and another excellent beer from Left Hand, which is fastley becoming one of my favorite Colorado breweries. It’s beautifully balanced between bready malt, sweetness and floral, slightly citrusy hops. An excellent American Pale Ale!

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Photo of Immortale25
3.37/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured into a Funky Buddha Brewery snifter. Variety pack says best before Jan 30 2015.

A- Pours a medium amber color with a 1/2 inch off-white head that retains a bit before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a center patch of bubbly surface foam. Not-so-resilient lacing leaves small splotches behind.

S- Somewhat hoppy aroma that's decidedly more herbal and has a biscuity malt backing with a faint sweetness to it.

T- Flavor is balanced, that is if you consider not much flavor to speak of being balanced. Low hop bitterness combines with some bready malt and doesn't go much further from there. There's also a slight metallic taste that doesn't help at all.

M- Small hop bite with medium carbonation and a body leaning toward the lighter side.

O- Drinkable but boring. Wasn't really expecting much due to the low score. Variety pack purchased for the holidays. A tick's a tick, am I right?

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Photo of pat61
4/5  rDev +14.6%

Spicy hop aromas mingle with citrus, light fruit and light biscuit.
Pours gold with a slight haze under a 1" creamy head.
Palate begins with light fruit and biscuit leading to a pleasant citrus bitter finish with a hint of herbal vegetal bitterness from the hops.
Above average carbonation and medium body. Light sweetness up front but finishes dry.

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Photo of ttroha
3.5/5  rDev +0.3%

Bottle from Lazy Dog Macon. Pours transparent gold with white head. Aroma of fruity hops and citrus. Taste of bitter hops, citrus and caramel. Pretty good.

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Photo of longmontcompass
4.5/5  rDev +28.9%

One of Left Hand’s main line of beers, the Stranger is a fruity and hoppy beer with a solid, but not overbearing citrus flavor. I tried one on a summer evening on my patio, it had been a hot day, so the cold beer helped to ease into a cool night.

Appearance: I poured a bottle of Stranger Pale Ale into a pint glass, and found that it left a thin but decent white head; it looked a bit like clouds on a weather radar, and I wondered if anyone used the Stranger to tell their future. It was a bit hazy, but a deep golden amber in color, almost like honey that has just started to crystallize and is darkening.

Aroma: Instead of the nose full of conifer needles that many pale ales offer, the Stranger had a nose balanced between floral scents, sweet caramel scents, and a subtle touch of pine. It was a familiar and comforting smell, but it felt new and surprising at the same time.

Flavor: The mouthfeel on this one is somewhere between an Amber and an IPA, which is nice. There are a lot of bright flavors on the tip of the tongue, followed by richer ones in the middle of the tongue and the insides of the cheeks. It is a thinner beer, which works well in its favor. Such light and subtle flavors wouldn’t communicate well in a thicker beer.

Overall Impression: Stranger Pale Ale is one of my favorite Left Hand brews. It’s not overly alcoholic, or overly hopped. It has refreshing and relaxing quality to it. Picture a late-afternoon barbecue, or a local baseball game: Stranger should be there. It’s a great segue into the evening from the afternoon.


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Photo of dcscientist
4/5  rDev +14.6%

Most people don't know this one because Left Hand makes so many other great beers. It's a nice change of pace, which seems odd to say for an APA. But they do so well with the dark beers that this one almost gets lost. I like it a little better than Sawtooth, but would probably order something darker if I was getting a Left Hand brew.

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Photo of delta490
2.95/5  rDev -15.5%

Pours a clear gold with a hint of amber. The white head is non-existent after about a minute; no lacing. The aroma is just barely there and is a weird sweet. The taste isn't an improvement, ill-defined and just...odd.

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Photo of gonzo000
3.62/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

a. Nice golden/orange color. Not much head, 1 finger in a tulip glass.

s. Not Pale Ale like. Breads, some slight citrus, malt.

t. Nothing pale here. This is more like a lager. Not much spice, which was on the label. Pretty straight forward beer.

m. This is velvet in the mouth. Not a lot of carbonation, but something silky smooth about it.

o. On the very good side of good, slightly. would revisit, might not seek out.

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Photo of gabrielsyme
3.1/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

12oz bottle in a pint glass.

Appearance: Clear, golden color, maybe a touch darker than true golden, generous white foam.

Aroma: Slightly malty, maybe some toast.

Taste: Bitter, with something of a sulfur flavor. Tastes like a full-bodied lager

Mouthfeel: Easy drinker.

Overall: Nothing special.

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Photo of bubseymour
3.93/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up this one as a single. Drinking on 5/24/14 with a best by 8/14/14 date so it seems very fresh I would guess.

Has an yellow/orange color with 1 finger head, but it holds well and retains.

Smell of some bread and hop.

This is a very run of the mill and ordinary crafted American pale ale that you can find a dime a dozen around the US. Its decent and well made but very generic. If offered take one. If a bar has it on tap vs BMC its a fine choice. Just nothing at all to separate this one from the pack.

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Photo of Emnmarko
3.42/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Clean and clear with a nice off white head

S- citrusy hop aroma that's a little skunky.

T- Same as smell the citrusy hops prevail although a bit dirty.

M- This one has a refreshing crisp feel to it. A Mello but firm aftertaste hangs for a few.

O- Not over or underwhelming. The look and feel unfortunately outshined other, and in my mind, more important attributes. I'll drink it again but won't seek it out.

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Photo of Act25
3.69/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

1 YEAR LATER: Reviewed against SCHLAFLY 3.9 and Hoppum 4.1, and in a flight. I reach for this last, although they are all great APAs and sessionable.

I am a fan of APAs (dales pale ale is my favorite beer), and of Left Hand.

Appearance: Pours a clear, copper-blonde body with a modest 1 inch head, that settled quickly, but leaves lacing all the way down. Not quite as sticky, lacy, copper as a Dales, but still good looking.

Smell: Too modest nose, which is made of toasted bread, caramel, rye, ripening fruits, and wet hay.

Taste: Definitely let this warm as it gets better and more complex. Dont drink cold, drink at cask temp. Dominant malts, plenty sweet and with some touches of grain, caramel, and spicy rye. An earthy hops second wave provides tangy oranges and lemons and flowers. Sufficiently bitter. Well balanced beer. Great food beer. I'd come back to this happily.

Mouthfeel: Medium body & carbonation.

Overall: Great APA. Others wrote, perhaps it's English inspired in style. Original and sessionable. This could be an evening long session. Must try.

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Photo of Ri0
3.64/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

poured 12oz bottle into snifter. Best by 10/17/13. Whoops this is 3 weeks old!

A - A dark yellow with a 1.5 finger white head. Retention is low and the lacing is minimal.

S - I pick up the rye right away with faint notes of citrus and floral hops. I also notice some oak. It has a nice aroma.

T - Starts off with the rye and woody oak. The middle brings in the light citrus and floral notes from the hops. It is rather mellow with the bitterness, and has a tiny spice element to it.

M - Light bodied with fair carbonation.

O - I'm a bit surprised by the over all score as I would think this should rate around an 85. I enjoyed it and it was past its prime. I like the balance of rye, hops. and malt.

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Photo of scotorum
3.36/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

a: Clear gold with a finger thick white head which dissipated quickly to heavy surface foam and extensive lacing.

s: Nothing detectable.

t: One of the lightest craft pales I have had. Easy drinking, but then so is Bud. This has more substance to it than Bud, but not a helluva lot more.

m: Light to moderate.

o: Refreshing enough, just little else to make it stand out. Probably a decent session brew or dinner beer with mild food, but not worth much of the extra cost over, say, Genny Cream Ale.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.16/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

12oz Bottle from the Potsdam NY IGA for $2.25

Appearance - Clear yellow colour with a large size fizzy off-white coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is some decent lacing. The head lasted for around 4-5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, caramel, cereal

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, caramel and grassy notes. There are also biscuit/cereal notes. It ends with a grainy/biscuit aftertaste.

Overall - Blah... just a basic lager. No hops to be found and zero citrus etc. Not something I'd buy again.

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Photo of Groomsy
3.27/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

12 oz. bottle poured into a nonic. Best by 09/06/13.

Strangers pours a slightly hazy dark gold/light amber and is topped by a foamy head of about two fingers that sticks around and leaves some okay lacing behind. Small, sporadic bubbles rise to the top.

The nose on this isn't quite what I expected and reminds me more of a lager, surprisingly. The hop aromas are more floral and herbal than citrus, and the malts are more grainy than sweet. It's still pretty well-developed and balanced with some slight fruity esters, but it definitely threw me off. A slight citrus note hangs in the background with a note of spice and rye. Definitely not typical, but still nice.

Stranger, though not the usual APA, is still refreshing. With a zesty floral bitterness over the tongue on the front, a grainy malt presence comes in slowly before the hops take over again on a slightly citrusy bitter finish, dry and short. Not bad. It's refreshing and has the bitterness quotient to fit into its category, but it's not the "usual" APA.

Rather light body on this one with a dry finish and short bitter finish. Pretty refreshing, and the ABV makes it sessionable.

Not bad. I'd rather have Milk Stout or Milk Stout Nitro, but this isn't the worst pale ale you can get.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.59/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a tulip glass)
Bottled 1/21/12
Drank 5/1/12
A- This beer pours a slightly hazy orange body with a rocky white head that last and last sticking to the glass with each sip.

S- The pale malt hint has a softer green woody hop note that follows.

T- The woody dry green hop flavor has quick hop bite in the finish and a slight mint quality in the hops lingers in the aftertaste.

M- The medium mouthfeel has a gentle fizz that compliments the hops in the finish.

O- This beer has some nice flavors that are a bit soft and muted but a nice dry woody hop flavor makes it easy to drink.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.21/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle. Sampled on July 17, 2013.

It is a light amber-orange-yellow pour with a small but lingering white head. It is a little cloudy and might even include a floater or two.

The aroma is of pale malts, grains, mild sweetness, bread, and herbs with a more muted hop sensation.

The body is light to medium with a little astringency.

The hops are more evident in the taste particularly at the end, which gives it a little more character than the typical pale. Otherwise bready malts and some sweetness in the flavor. But it went down very quickly so it is easy to drink.

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Photo of Mojo
3.77/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce bottle -> New belgium globe

A- Pours up a pale gold with a one finger head that dissipates quickly, but does leave some lacing.
S- The best part of the beer. Nose is rich floral, pine, bread, and spicy hops.
T- Nothing special. Easily drinkable with notes of citrus and a spicy metallic slightly bitter finish.
M-Decently carbonated
O- Easy to drink. Take it or leave it.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.94/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a really smooth and easy drinking pale ale. Nice hop character in a noticable, yet milder way. At least in comparison to most of the stuff out there. Very easy to drink. I'm halfway done before even realizing it. Don't know why this one has such little love. I guess it isn't obnoxious enough with the hops. Regardless, I definitely like it.

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Photo of superspak
3.68/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, best before 6/27/2013. Pours hazy golden amber color with a 2 finger dense and fluffy white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass. Aromas of grapefruit, orange zest, floral, pine, grass, spicy rye, caramel, bread, and toast. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of malt and hop notes with decent strength; very unique aromas. Taste of grapefruit, orange zest, lemon zest, floral, pine, grass, caramel, light rye spiciness, bread, and toast. Light floral bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of citrus, floral, pine, caramel, light rye, bread, and toast on the finish for a bit. Good complexity of hop and malt flavors; with very balanced hop/malt flavors and no cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a fairly creamy and lightly sticky mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is very well hidden with no warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a nice pale ale. Good balance and complexity of hop and malt flavors; and very smooth to drink. A nicely enjoyable offering.

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Photo of JuicesFlowing
3.6/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a shaker pint glass.

Look: Hazy honey amber. Light cream colored head slowly recedes and leaves a good film. Good webby lacing.

Aroma: Bright and hoppy, minimal malt sweetness.

Taste: An underlying malt body, but everything else is about the hop presence. The piny, subtle citrus comes out and a faint peppery spice comes about in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium, slightly dry.

Overall: Balanced, but in a weird way, the malts are hidden pretty well but still there.

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Photo of Lemke10
3.17/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

This pours a hazy golden yellow color with a slight, off-white head. The aroma is filled with hops but fairly mild ones, not quite to the extent of an IPA. The taste is weaker and thinner than I expected. There is a decent bitterness to the beer that delivers flavor without being overly crisp. It’s fairly average and could use some work.

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Photo of rfgetz
3.58/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a golden orange color with firm cap of white froth, good lacing. Notes of dried grain, floral and grassy hops appear before a firm sweetness shines through. Taste is grainy and grassy, lightly floral and sugary sweet, moderate fruitiness, faint earthy spice. Medium bodied, some heft and graininess for a pale ale. Solid beer, unique composition.

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Stranger from Left Hand Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 202 ratings.