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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
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Reviews: 202 | Hads: 901
Photo of Sammy
3.34/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours light orange that poured a huge head that leaves three-eighths of an inch retained. Off-aromas. Initially orange and fruity and hoppy flavours, followed by lots of malt that took away. Decent drinkability, but a bottle is a lot. Decent mouthfeel. Could this be reqorked into a good hoppy IPA?

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Photo of kylehay2004
3.5/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: single finger head on a hazy golden-crimson body with thin lacing.

S: nice hop and malt profile with smokey and cirtus notes.

T: fairly hoppy but dull in a way. Not much sharpness or bitterness. Mostly mild grassy and earthy flavors. wood and mild citrus notes.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: This pale ale is a little different and seems a little light. Its fairly drinkable but not very memorable.

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Photo of metter98
3.5/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear light yellowish amber in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a half-finger high off white head that consistently left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface and lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: There are light aromas of citrusy hops in the nose.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell and has delicate flavors of citrus along with hints of caramel malts and a slight amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied and clean on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The beer is very easy to drink and goes down smoothly. I would consider it to be sessionable if it had a stronger and more interesting taste.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.57/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

a decent pale ale, a littler richer and sweeter than most. pours a really light fuzzy pale blonde color with a reasonable head. smells like candy hops, rock candy hops, with the flavor of sweet/tart hop. really nice evolution in the mouth, long finish, glory... a very very drinkable beer. goes good after dinner with a nice marijuana cigarette. whatever

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Photo of Knapp85
3.27/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured nicely into a pint glass. The head stopped perfectly at the brim of the glass. The appearance was bubbly and golden yellow, white fizzy head that settled rather quickly. This beer has a fairly nice aroma of some light pine and citrusy fruits on the nose. The taste was kind of hit and miss. Some sips were better than others. Some were hoppy and other were more earthy. It was odd, but the beer is decent to say the least.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.56/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

With fruitier over tones and a sweeter, more briney flavor, Stranger behaves in very English-like fashion. From the rye earthiness to grassy hops, I keep tasting classic English ale flavors throughout.

An appealing clear decantment of deep golden rod or light amber colors gives Stranger a solid pale ale start. The froathy, foamy head carries a more liquified appearance that has mild carbonation that forms a reserved statured head. Lacing and retention further reinforce the notion of English ales, perhaps traditional cask ales. Surprisingly, the signature dry-hop haze isn't present- the beer is very clear.

A balanced and blended nose of estery fruits, bread crust, light grain, and grassy hops carry the scent with impressions of wet tobacco, citrus, and pine. Only a metalic or minerally scent keeps the beer from complete enticement.

Hearty malt flavors range from the bread crust and grain found in the nose, along with spicy-earthy rye taste, medium caramel sweetness, tobacco, and maltball richness. Earthiness is accompanied by, and the sweetness is balance by grassy, piney hops that also compliment with background notes of citrus, herbal tea leaves, and finishing with a note of mint. Complex malt roundness compliment well the estery notes of over ripe oranges, apples, and pears. I'm happy that the metal/mineral elements aren't nearly as prevailant in taste as in aroma. An aftertaste of tea and caramel return for one final visit before the next sip.

With increased sweetness, the expected medium body also shows a rich and creamy weight that's less associated with American ales and more akin to English counterparts. The lush start holds onto a firm body, only attempting a minty, dryish, and bittering finish.

Aside from the label stating that this is an American pale ale, it is not as crisp or as neutral as American pale ales should be. Nor does Stranger exhibit the sharp and citrus bitterness of classics like Sierra Nevada's pale ale. But as an English pale ale, the beer fares well- with or without the spicy rye character.

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Photo of zeff80
3.68/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, golden-yellow color with a two-finger, head of white foam. It left thin trails of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of citrus, floral notes and maltiness.

T - It tasted of snappy citrus bite. Good roasted malt backbone and a touch of spiciness.

M -It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry, clean finish.

O - This is a nice APA. I've had better but this is a nice one to have around on a hot summer day.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.86/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Served a clear, light copper-orange body with a scant, wispy white head and some steady if sporadic effervescence. Sheet-like lacing on the way down.

Smell: Modest nose scented of lightly toasted bread, caramel, spicy rye, citrus fruits, and wet, soggy grains.

Taste: Lightly bready malts, lightly sweet and with some touches of grain, caramel, and zestful rye malt. Lightly earthy hops also delivering some fruity touches of oranges and lemons. Sufficiently bitter. A skosh more lemon on the drying finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium carbonation.

Overall: Well-balanced and keenly drinkable, without ever giving too much or too little maltiness or aimlessly wandering into being an IPA with excessive bitterness. A good replacement of Jackman's. Good-bye and good riddance, Jack.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.13/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was pleasantly surprised by Left Hand's Stranger, and not just because of the clever name. There are just so many APA's out there that taste very similar to each other, and that was what I was expecting (which would have been OK), but that's not what I got.

It looks like you'd expect an APA to look like, sporting a clear golden body beneath a creamy head of off-white froth. The head retention was quite good, and it left some very respectable lacing about the glass.

The aroma was bright, fresh, and inviting. It was floral, with notes of citrus and pine spicing it up a bit; and there was just enough of it that it still allowed a bit of the malt to come through.

The flavor followed suit, and I was surprised at just how hoppy it was. At the same time, it wasn't overdone. Sometimes hops can be overdone and you get a lot of resin and roughness, but there was none of that. It was interestingly spicy, piney, and gently citrusy and floral wrapped in a smooth blanket of golden malt. A solid bitterness balanced it, and it was quite a smooth transition from the first bit of hop and malt at the front to gently lingering, dry finish.

Medium bodied and crisp across the palate, it's a refreshing and flavorful ale.

I found it quite drinkable, offering a surprisingly unique character; and a flavor level that sets it just above some without slipping into almost IPA territory (as some others tend to do). Well done!

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Photo of Slatetank
3.53/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

purchased at Al's of Hampden -poured from the 12oz into a willybecker.

A beautiful golden poppy color with good clarity and lots of visible carbonation rising at a moderate pace. A Thin 1/4 inch foamy white cap sits with rocky top and spotty confetti lace sticks. The head retention is good. The smell is herbal and fruity with slight grassy tinges and floral w/ light malt odors and hint of toasted grain. The feel has a decent amount of carbonation and bitterness with more of a bitter than balanced feel w/ slight malt in texture and finish is dry as a bone.

The Pale has a taste that is good with mild hop presence up front which is semi-bitter and light herbal flavors coming through with subtle toast notes from the malt w/ bits of grassiness and slight citrus quality. This APA is good overall, one I would try again on draft. This bottle was sufficiently fresh and the flavor hops came through nicely, not just bitterness.

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Photo of russpowell
3.77/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Part of a build your own sixer...

Pours an effervescent honey color with a thumb of cream colored head. Above average head retention & lacing

S: Grassy, somewhat grainy, light floral note. Woody notes as well once warm

T: Grassyness, crackery notes, & some lemon & floral hops up front. Some metallic notes ^ a touch of grainyness, plus lemon once warm. Finishes crisp with slight sweet breadyness & nice lemony notes

MF: Medium bodied, firm carbonation that becomes creamy once warm, good balance

Way better than I hoped, very drinkable APA. Well done Left Hand!

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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.

 1,135 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.1/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I thought about Terrapin/Left Hand when reading they made a new pale with rye in it. This one appears a pale copper hue bright brilliant crystal clear body. Head forms nicely, fine speckled lacing that sticks evenly with each sip to my DFH pint. Aroma spicy rye with citric/pine hops going on this is a nice straightforward drinking hoppy RyePA. America say goodbye to Jackman's Pale Ale and say hello to Stranger American Pale Ale. Adds a nice level of complexity to an APA, crisp bitterness cuts through the body...citric/pine/spicy rye comes off iniitally as the beer warms a nice caramel spiced breadiness flavor comes around. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied evenly carbonated goes down smoothly, right at 5% abv will work for an American session ale for sure. Drinkability overall is excellent, complexity flavor and quality come to mind with my first few samples of this newly released Left Hand Pale Ale. Good choice the last six of Jackman's I had wouldn't go away I'm glad this was at the beer store this weekend.

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Photo of smcolw
3.53/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The bottle runneth over. The head is modest but it leaves significant lace. The color is pale gold and near clear.

Interesting combination of softer pale malts (without any raw graininess) and light hop. There's a stew-like smell that is distracting.

Lightly sour, the malt is very dry. There is a neutral bitterness than fades quickly in the aftertaste. Astringent and earthy. The body is as to be expected.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.43/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Lightly cloudy, pale orange.apricot appearance. Beautiful snowy white head holds it's growing.

Lightly hoppy nose, some fruity esters, delicate dance between bitter and sweet.

Taste: hoppy bitter punch starts it off, then sweetness glides in, integrates, and it all becomes mellow. Glides down the gullet with no effort at all. Pale ales are supposed to be easy drinkers, and this one qualifies handily. Hop bitterness continues to play along the palate, then bids adieu without a trace. Flavors of citrus and stone fruit keep it happy in the mouth, the finish is medium and sweet, the body is lean and likable.

Not terribly interesting, but, damn, if you can't push it past your lips with the greatest of ease. And that's exactly what you want in a pale ale, isn't it?"

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Photo of jwc215
3.95/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours slightly hazed golden with a thin lasting head that leaves lacing.

The smell is of citrus and herbal notes with slight malty aroma.

The taste is of citrus and herbal notes with some bread and pale malt. A touch of rye gives a minty aftertaste. A mild, but pleasant, taste.

The feel is a bit thin, but holds up well enough to be a light thirst-quencher with lingering taste.

A mild APA with a good balance and pleasant aftertaste. A solid "sessionable" APA.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.51/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a bottle at Ethos in Orlando, FL.

A: Pours a crystal clear golden orange to copper in color with some very light amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a half finger tall dark beige head that reduces to a thin layer over the entire surface of the beer. Moderate to heavy amounts of lacing are observed.

S: There are aromas of caramel malt sweetness upfront and just a hint of grassy and tropical fruit hops (very subtle hop aromas which surprised me considering the style)

T: The beer had a much maltier than hoppy flavor which I did not expect. There are caramel malt sweetness with just a hint of some toffee notes as well. Light amounts of grassy and tropical (pineapple) hops can be detected with a very light amount of bitterness. Beer seems to be pretty well balanced.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: This was a pretty easy to drink beer that had a rather pleasant taste. I could definitely sit down and have a couple of these though I am not sure that it qualifies as sessionable (as I would probably only have a maximum of 2).

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Photo of drabmuh
3.58/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beer is amber and clear with a thin head of small bubbles, some lacing, low retention, moderate to low carbonation.

Aroma is mildly hoppy but mostly malty overall weak.

Beer is medium in body and sweet on the front, mildly bitter / dry at the back and the midpalate is more malt and a little pine hops. Not a great pale ale but a decent one. I had two bottles of it and I don't think I'll have much more.

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Photo of mothman
3.45/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours hardly any head. Leaves a bit of lacing, however. Color is a clear golden yellow.

Aroma: Weedy hops, grassy flavors, and some bready malts.

Taste: Grassy and weedy hops, a bit floral. Some bready and biscuit malts. Decent hop kick.

Mouthfeel: Bitter and creamy. Lighter bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. End a bit dry.

Overall, a decent pale ale. Nothing out of this world, but pretty easy drinking. Not bad. A bit dry.

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Photo of tdm168
3.7/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - clear gold with a short-lived, soft, white head

S - bready, citrusy

T - bread, toast, citrus, faint earthiness

M - light bodied, smooth, well carbonated

I didn't appreciate the toasted malt that was pretty forward in the flavor, but the rest of the flavor notes were good. This isn't a bad beer by any means, but it's not one I'm going to pick up again.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.33/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours an orange-amber color with a white head. The aroma is full of orange citrus and biscuit malt, with some light pine notes. The flavor has a lot of bitter pine as well a some light orange citrus. The biscuit malt keeps the bitterness low. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

 292 characters

Photo of Billolick
4.12/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler fill from DeCicco's in Ardsley, NY

Pour is clear, lighter amber, the head is near white, fluffy and looser. Stays a spell, before leaving a high collar and nice well developed webs of fine lacing.

Nose is flush with basil, pepper and earthy hops.

Flavorful, enjoyable and pleasing APA. Site says the style goes well with pungent cheese and salad and I can confirm this fact. Nice balance of more moderatly spiced hops and maple malts with a minor nuttyness adding some nice complexity and interest. Well crafted and a nice addition to the Left Hand line of brews. Well worth a try.

 592 characters

Photo of BARFLYB
3.16/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a flying fish pint glass, about two weeks old at this point.

A- Pretty faded gold with the slightest tint of bronze. A nice sized fairly foamy off white head, no stick, very clear.

S- Pale and rye malt right off the bat but nothing much else. Watered down apple juice.

T- A interesting pale ale in that it does nothing for me. The addition of rye malt might be throwing me off. Some apple and pale malts nothing much more, fairly simple.

M- Thin, watery, fairly carbed, goes down easy, like water.

D- Good for a go, but no mo.

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Photo of tempest
3.53/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had a bottle at Liberty St. Tavern. So this is supposed to be a rye pale ale. I'm not sure if I could pull that flavor out, but overall this is a nice, fairly sessionable pale ale. The hops bring a mild, floral citrus character with a hint of spice. The barley has a standard (for the style) sweet bready taste and a touch of caramel. Check it out for new session ale.

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