Sawtooth Nitro
Left Hand Brewing Company

Sawtooth NitroSawtooth Nitro
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English Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)
Ranked #307
Ranked #46,173
3.42 | pDev: 17.25%
Left Hand Brewing Company
Colorado, United States
Sawtooth NitroSawtooth Nitro
Reviews: 69 | Ratings: 553 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Libeertarian
3.47/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From notes taken 05/13/17:

Cloudy pink-hued copper-amber. Head if fine, cream-textured and cream to tan in color, obviously nitrous, not very tall but long-lasting. Sweet malt, nearly caramel, but also grainy and bready aroma of wheat, with hints of grass, biscuit, light toast. Very similar on palate though less sweet than aroma and harsher wheat character, and a light leathery, leafy, earthy, and almost soapy hoppiness, no longer just grass. Seems light-bodied but excellent fine and soft, creamy nitrous carbonation could be hiding something heavier.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.54/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

I am just continuing to plow through the bottle backlog here at Chez Woody. Have no fear, though. The CANQuest (tm) will return, stronger than ever!

From the bottle: "Brewed on the banks of the mighty St. Vrain"; "Super smooth nutty malt flavors balanced by herbal hops."; "Design by Moxie Sozo Artist: Ivan Rocha".

The cap read "Keep Cold - Pour Hard", so I did exactly that. I watched as the cascade slowly produced two-plus fingers of light-tan head with great retention. Once the cascading action stopped, I was left with a glass of Deep Amber/Light Copper to Copper (SRM = > 13, < 17) with NE-quality clarity. Nose had a honey and herbal tea-like quality. Mmmm. Mouthfeel was creamy, due to the N2 presence. The taste was very mellow, a light nutty breadiness with a slight honey sweetness and a hay-like grassiness. Finish was equally mellow, semi-dry with a taste that made me think of Celestial Seasonings' Sleepytime Tea. MUCH too mellow! Zzzzz.

Today is T, 25 Apr 2017 & I am revisiting this one with a fresh bottle. I just wonder if any of my initial perceptions will have changed. Nose was now deeply of fresh-mown hay with grass & honey, VERY hay-like! The taste was still pretty mellow, but the hay & grass flavors were more pronounced this time, leading me to remember summers at my maternal grandparents' place which abutted a working farm. The smell of drying hay and cooling bread is SO evocative of those days. This seemed less ho-hum than on my first try, but it was still kind of a novelty act. I like my ESBs on hand-drawn cask, not amped up in an N2 bottle. Oh well.

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Photo of HorseheadsHophead
3.54/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

The look is clear dark amber, with a big, creamy white head and sheets of lacing, as expected.

Not much on the aroma, as is expected from nitro. A bit of caramel and toffee and a touch of earth.

The flavor is caramel, toffee, toast, graininess, and a touch of light earthy bitterness, and tobacco leaves, to balance out some of the sweetness.

Mouthfeel is full and creamy, of course, but watery on the finish.

A great easy drinking malty beer. Good for pounding on a cool night.

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Photo of goodbeer4cheap
4.16/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

The first Nitro beer I ever had when I first got it in 2013. I inverted the bottle into a mug and pure cool visual of nitro's. Look- The coolness of the nitro in a golden amber hue. Smell- Malt in it's sweetest form, slight caramel too.
Taste- I love ESB beers and while this one is not quite as lovely as Sawtooth ale it hits my sweet spot or palate cleanser after a really hoppy or strong beer. Feel= Nitro beer is smooth, I order the nitro tap a lot when out of the house. Overall- Call me a huge ESB fan because I am. Scoff if you want but I consider the finding the good in the style much as you who clammer for Hopslam or KBS or Dark Lord. Hard to get your hands on and absent much of the year. I would order this in any bar most likely. Good beer.

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Photo of DrMullet
3.48/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a medium amber. Has a faint sweet aroma. The taste is mildly sweet malt. Not much bitterness.
Slick and creamy mouthfeel. The flatness is a bit of a turn off.

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Photo of Sabtos
2.83/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Not a fan, and you don't want to know how much I paid for this. Unobtrusively bland and semi-bitter, somewhat floral and herbal, with nutty biscuit and caramel.

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Photo of dcscientist
3.71/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This is an interesting beer for their nitro system - it really adds a lot of smoothness to what is normally a pretty sharp style. It mellows out the bitterness quite a lot, which some people may not care for if they want a true ESB, but I thought it was a nice variation on a beer that I'm normally not crazy about drinking. It's a beautiful color when poured hard into a glass, and the nitrogenation makes the bubbles kind of fun to watch. I'll drink this again, and I like it a bit more than the regular version of Sawtooth.

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Photo of chinchill
3.57/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle upended into an over-sized .5L mug to accommodate the expected large head. Well, only a 2 cm head was generated but it did have excellent retention. While the appearance was not disappointing, the feel was, with very good carbonation and smoothness but an overly thin body.
Malt, hops and some dark fruits in the aroma. Some raisins in the taste as well, but mostly malt with a mild, lightly spicy hop aspect. Has a typical mildly bitter ESB finish and aftertaste.

O - a good ESB.

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Photo of FirstDraft
3.22/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Well this is the perfect case of 'the beer that could have been....' See my full review at The First Draft!!

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Photo of ZakFaruki
2.89/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

L: Poured from 12 oz. into a Nooner glass as prescribed on the label, did the hard pour method which led to an interesting cascading effect. Pours a dark amber brown with an slightly tan head, delicate amounts of lacing occur.

Smell: Barley and Malt, as well as some yeast, nothing too exciting here yet.

T: Flat, with some hop and malt that fade in and out, there's a strong watery presence that just steamrolls over any flavors this beer has.

M: Has that "creamy" feel associated with nitro beers, but the flatness and lack of carbonation make the "creamy" sensation feel unwelcome.

O: I have a sneaking suspicion that Left Hand got a bit too excited with the Nitro Stout's success that they have been experimenting with other beers. Unfortunately, the nitrogen did not take to this well, thus leaving a flat and watery brew. I'm just glad I didn't buy a six-pack.

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Photo of metter98
3.81/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is relatively clear coppery amber in color and has a slight amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a short, creamy white head that died down, leaving a thin layer of bubbles on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of biscuity and bready malts are present in the nose.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste has flavors of biscuity and bready malts along with bits of caramel malts and hints of associated sweetness. No bitterness is perceptible.
M: It feels medium-bodied, quite smooth, and somewhat creamy on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is easy to drink and is a good representation of the style. The nitrogen lends some pleasant qualities to the mouthfeel in the form of creaminess.

Serving type: nitro-bottle

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Photo of hopphead31415
3.42/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

I had been looking forward to trying this little brother version of their other Nitro brew. It has 5.3% ABV and is best poured very vigorously. You really have to put the bottle upside down and just let it rip.

Look-It has a deep amber color that has mahogany hues and is clear. If you pour it correctly you’ll be in for quite a spectacle as the fine foam separates into layers and undulates and oscillates upward, culminating in a thick foamy off-white head that is perched persistently all the way down. The lacing is moist and delicate.

Smell-It smells of sweet vanilla, oak, and smoked wood.

Taste-The taste follows the nose, but has a nice malt backbone that is composed of nutty spiciness. The flavor is sweet, but not overpowering. It is pleasant. It has almost a cream soda flavor.

Mouthfeel-It is silky smooth texture with very little carbonation. It is a good thing though, because the delicate muted flavors would be overwhelmed by any more carbonation than it has now. It leaves a smoky flavor coating the tongue. It is almost like burnt marsh mellow.

Overall-It is a pleasant, beer and tastes nice. It is a bit too delicate and attenuated though, but I enjoyed this beer and I know you will, too!

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Photo of rawfish
3.4/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Hard pour nets the usual cascading effect though it is not a prominent on this beer as the left hand stouts. Amber hue and clear. Head retention and lacing is minimal.

Inviting aroma of cereal malts, caramel sweetness and light hazelnut. Hops are scant on the back end , slightly herbaceous in character.

The watery body of this beer is initially very distracting to the taste which follows the nose with more added caramel sweetness and a balancing scrap of herbal hops.

Very smooth as you'd imagine and crushable but the construction of this beer feels overly watery.

Sawtooth is a nice balanced ESB with softer hop edges than its true English counterparts. The watery base doesn't play well with the nitro carbonation but the caramel and nuttiness from the malt is present and enjoyable.

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Photo of Czequershuus
4.21/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This beers pours a lively reddish brown. It is also fun to pour, as are all nitro beers in bottles. I still have not gotten over how fun this is. On the nose i get fruit, nuts, and a fairly strong alcohol smell for a beer of its ABV. The texture is awesome, very creamy as you would expect. Awesome flavor, with rich caramel notes combining with a solid level of bitterness. The hops notes are muted, but I do love the way a direct, gentian-like bitter flavor comes through.

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Photo of ScaryEd
2.09/5  rDev -38.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Given this beer a try on two separate occasions and I just can't get into it. The absolutely flat mouthfeel just does not work for this style of beer, in my humble opinion.

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Photo of ShaneHarte
1.98/5  rDev -42.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

Very bland beer. Texture and aroma very minimal. Nitrogen infusion unfortunately just hasn't worked and it's resulted in a sub par beer. Below the carbonation levels the beer itself is very bland. One dimensional maltiness.
Shame as I enjoy a lot of Left Hand's beers, unfortunately however this didn't work out too well

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Photo of BigDaddyWarbuxx
3.42/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This seems like it was a bit of an experiment, and unfortunately it failed. As with their Nitro Stout, Left Hand relies way too heavily on the nitrogen infusion, and it tastes really flat as a result. Flatness is more acceptable in a stout/porter, but in a more basic ale such as this, it's a massive disappointment. I like the maltiness of it, and I think it could be really good in a more conventional and properly carbonated version.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
2.36/5  rDev -31%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

Best by: 9/16/15.

Pours a clear dark orange with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, caramel, and nut aromas. Taste is much the same with toast, caramel, and lots of metallic flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a smooth, creamy, and slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a really poor beer with really solid aromas, but there is an intense metallic flavor that makes this one basically undrinkable to me.

Serving type: nitro bottle.

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Photo of glorp719
1.71/5  rDev -50%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I'm pissed about this one. It was a waste of $11 for a six-pack. The malt flavor is not assertive enough to enjoy as a dark beer. (although I have to admit I don't have a use for stouts and this may have been a variation of that). The hop did not compliment the malt. To sell this as an 'All American Ale' is, at best, a misnomer if not outright prevarication. It's has a flat, sour flavor that is unpleasant to drink alone and provides no acceptable compliment to food. The only thing it has going for it is that it's not a BudMillerCoors product.

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Photo of pat61
4/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours brilliant copper amber under a very finely bubbled white foam cap that lightly hugs the side of the glass. The nose is nutty, spicy, and malty with some fruit. The palate follows the nose with the nuttiness more expressed and the malt balanced by some rich hop flavors. Also some hard to define background fruit. Finishes dry. Medium light body, very creamymedium low to low carbonation. A good beer but the nitro washes out some of the character in this beer.

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Photo of ljbonadonna92
2.8/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

This beer has great mouth feel and a great look too. Sawtooth on nitro has a slight hop aroma and taste but a more up front malt sweetness.. I also feel that the nitro did more harm then good In this case. The nitro I feel doesn't compliment the style as it does their milk stout. This beer has subtle tastes only. The nitro really covers up all the flavors and aromas and makes for a slightly bland beer.

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Photo of Moose90
2.59/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2

Served On-Tap, Nitro Pour into a 16oz Becher glass

A — Pours a very light and pale amber color, there is of course a creamy white head that forms on-top, and leaves behind some strangely random lacing.

S — Smells of rich malts and a bit of sweetness, not much else, kind of dominated by sweet malts.

T — Tastes of sweet cloying malts and really not much else, this is a bit of a malty mess.

M — Medium bodied, OK overall, but the Nitro may really be covering this lackluster beer.

O — Just a poor attempt, this beer is OK on its own, but the Nitro just makes it worse, if anything.

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Photo of greyghost86
2.09/5  rDev -38.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

I don't know if I got an under carbonated bottle but it tasted flat and was difficult to swallow. I would try it again if I didn't have to pay for it.

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Photo of SaltofOH
3.74/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle best by 12-9-14. Threshold beer glass. Reviewed 10-31-2014.

Appearance: Beautiful clear reddish amber with a light tan, frothy, foamy head. Nice "English cap." EPIC lacing, and retains a solid 1/4" head.

Aroma: Mild hoppines, restrained. Slightly toasty maltiness.

Taste: Soft, malty, clean bitterness. Slight sweetness with a hint of toastiness.

Mouthfeel: Soft. Heavier side of mid-weight. Low carbonation.

Overall: Very much lie Bell's Amber, but with firmer bittering hops on the end. Would consider this more an Amber than an ESB; a very American take on the style. Plan on making this (or the non-nitro) a yearly regular.

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Photo of potownbill
2.32/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This was a flat bitter mess. Poured the beer into a pint glass. There was no head. Aroma was bitter and stale. I had one sip and poured it out. It could have been a bad bottle.

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Sawtooth Nitro from Left Hand Brewing Company
Beer rating: 78 out of 100 with 553 ratings