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Sawtooth | Left Hand Brewing Company

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2,184 Ratings

Brewed by:
Left Hand Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Style: English Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.30%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,184 |  Reviews: 719
Reviews by pgh_04:
Photo of pgh_04
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%

More User Reviews:
Photo of zhewitt98
1.96/5  rDev -47.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Not sure if I had a bad batch but it tastes like dirty river water

66 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.43/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Left Hand Brewing Co. "Sawtooth Ale"
12 fl. oz. brown glass bottle
$2 @ Weis, Conshohocken, PA

Notes via stream of consciousness: Clear deer-amber/copper colored body beneath a finger thick head of fluffy off-white foam. The aroma is gently sweet and caramelish with a light hint of floral hops behind. The flavor follows the aroma. It's gently sweet and softly caramelish malt is accented by a light yeasty fruitiness that suggests pears and yellow apples as well as a bit of cherry. It's bready, biscuity, and just lightly toasty. The maltiness is not overdone, either in actual volume or intensity (percentage of the mash), or in depth of color and flavor (choice of ˚L caramel.ccrystal malts); and it's very nicely balanced against the floral and leafy hops. There's also a delicately mineralish character to it that gives it a bit of extra complexity. It's got a firm bitterness, that in combination with the mineral edginess, leads to a dry finish. Just a drop of sweet medium-dark caramel lingers along with some leafy and lightly grassy hops. Looking back I see that I've still got a completely solid, and somewhat creamy surface covering, and the lacing is in both broken and solid sheets throughout the entire area where the beer once was - in other words, excellent head retention and very good lacing. In the mouth it's medium bodied and smooth with a fine- bubbled, moderate carbonation. This is intended as an English-style premium bitter and the mouthfeel quite appropriately matches that of a hand-pulled pint (once it's warmed a bit). A beautiful beer that's remarkably well-done! It's balance is impeccable, and it's rounded character is fantastic! This is probably the best American made English-style premium bitter that I've ever tasted, and not only does it rival some of its UK cousins, it also surpasses many. Absolutely worth seeking out for fans of the style.

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Photo of Dinglehacker
4.19/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into glass mug. darkish amber color like Marzen. No head to speak of, just light lace.

Very malty nose, with a faint lemon.

Taste is malty bitterness, biscuit, mild sweets.

Very smooth mouth.

This is really well done. Nothing fancy, doesn't rewrite the book or anything. Just a good, malty beer. For fans of Oktoberfest, English brown ale, Helles lager, and, of course, Extra Specials.

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Photo of Blondarm76
4.18/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap this cannot be passed up...hands down one of my favorites anywhere. Deep copper with a nice thick tan head, it definitely resembles an authentic English Bitter (to me). Bready & malty (two of my favorite characteristics) but crisp and clean on the finish; keeps me coming back for more. Love this beer.

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Photo of oberon
3.65/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice rich copper color with not much head but kept a nice lace down the glass.Smell was very malty and fruity with some dough-like aromas.Taste is very fruity with good balance of hops thrown in but it did leave an odd aftertaste.Seems to be quaffable Iam on my first with five more to go.

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Photo of Marty
3.66/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice red/orange, with a lively light beige head. Carbonation was good, and those nice streams of tiny bubbles persisted until all the drink had been drunk. Dissipated head left a sticky ring of lace on the inside of the glass. Hoppiness is nice and round, not crisp, and contain hints of citrus. Overall, a very balanced beer, sure to please many a palate.

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.85/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Unique and exceptional, this is certainly not your ordinary ale. When Maduro first tapped this brew, myself and those who I was with assumed that the complex and interesting fruit flavor and richness was a result of the Des Rocs Tripel Imperial that had, just moments before, been on tap in the same line. We were wrong. A month and a couple of half barrels have passed and the Saw Tooth just keeps bringing the same interesting intensity.

Appearance wise, this one checks in as a pretty, orange-copper. IT’s transparent and not without a decent amount of white lacing.

The aroma is juicy, loaded with a wonderful blend of toffee malt and orange, strawberry, and pineapple juice. Sweet but not without noticeable hops.

Flavor and mouthfeel are balanced and bready with lots of light fruits, citrus, toffee, caramel, and cinnamon. Bitterness is light to moderate. Body is full for the style. Yeasts seem to play a large roll in providing the honey sweetness and candy like fruitiness. Yummy.

Drinkability is quite high.

 1,033 characters

Photo of Turbo
3.67/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of tectactoe
3.7/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

This beer pours a dark amber/brown color that is pretty translucent. Head was dense and white, mellowed out pretty quickly but remained in a thin layer almost the entire way down. The nose gets hit with sweet fruits, citrus, sour tones, grains, and a bit of caramel and sugar. The taste was great, lots of toasted malts and caramel up front, followed by a sweet, nearly tart, rush of fruits and citrus notes with just a small touch of hop oil. High carbonation, along with the sour-tart aftertaste almost makes you want to pucker just a bit, but in a good way. Sawtooth Ale is vibrant and full of a wonderful flavor profile. The body is pretty thin and leaves a crispy, dry finish.

A very tasty ESB from Left Hand here. I will definitely be having this one again.

 764 characters

Photo of t2grogan
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%

Photo of Mac19872
5/5  rDev +34.4%

Photo of nohead02
3.68/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm a big hop head so this isn't entirely my style of beer. Still, it does have a hoppy bite after the initial taste, but it is dominated by a carmelly, nutty flavor -- sort of a reduced Newcastle. Very frothy head that persists a long time. Yeah, I'd drink this again but not as beer of first choice.

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Photo of Tiernan
3.25/5  rDev -12.6%

Photo of wesbrownyeah
3.86/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got me some Left Hand Sawtooth Ale. Very festive bottle with a tie-die like look.

A- Pours a crystal clear fire orange with burnt outer tint when observed in sunlight. Nice one inch head that falls to a decent quarter inch froth. Leaves patchy lacing on sides of glass.

S- Smells of danky hop oil with mild hints of musky malts. Not much there.

T-M- Upfront is light citusy hops (lemon, orange and faint grass). Not a bad overall flavor but for ESB lacks bitterness. Smooth mouthfeel that leaves a slick coat on the tongue. Nice feel and very drinkable.

D- I would love to have a few of these around to drink when I need a dose of fresh beer that isn't chalked with alcohol.

 679 characters

Photo of Herze
3.32/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Photo of SIRIUS2
3.82/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A: Sort of a light amber color, clear, with thin white creamy head. Low retention and light lacing.

S: Malty, caramel, with some fruity notes in the hops.

T: Quite malty with a light sweetness and the propensity for a dry finish. The hops seem to be fighting for balance but the grain malt flavors still come through. The malts seem to be on the lighter side, pale & caramel. Finish is pretty quick and relatively dry, with little bitter hop kiss at the end.

M&D: Mostly lighter flavors of malt but it has a heavier weight to it in the mouth. Carbonation is fine but abundant and somehow seems to bring out the malt nicely. I can really taste the barley in this one and for the most part, it is pretty good. It's almost reminiscent of a lighter bock style.

 807 characters

Photo of blitz134
3.85/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first cask ale...had at the Decatur, Ga Taco Mac.

Came to me with a cloudy dark caramel body. It had a little white head on top but quickly went to a white ring around my pint glass. I saw them pour this but it was still small.

Aroma was a bit of sweet malts with some floral aroma hints coming through. A bit weak overall. The flavor was a definate step in the right direction. This was loaded with a huge hit of biscuit malts and then transitioned to some herbal and peat hops for a bitter finish.

Mouthfeel was a full medium body, probably due to the lack of carbonation. Flavor really lingered. Good drinkability overall. A fairly solid ESB that was nonoffensive in the taste department but still went down easy.

 728 characters

Photo of markallmon
5/5  rDev +34.4%

Photo of RoninBirdman
2.5/5  rDev -32.8%

Photo of Bszymkow09
4.5/5  rDev +21%

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.71/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A 12oz bottle, with bottled on 12/12/07 stamped on the label. Poured into a pint glass, it was a golden color with a fairly thick head. Little aroma, bread and slightly sweet. It had a sweet taste, could almost taste chocolate. Some peppery spice in there also. Pretty pleasant beer, would consider this a good session beer.

 324 characters

Photo of xgoodyx
4.25/5  rDev +14.2%

Photo of Kappakoosh
4/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of Todd
4.2/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12oz brown bottle with the bottled on date stamped on the side.

Appearance: Medium, clear amber in colour with a very healthy looking thick and foamy white head with exceptional retention.

Smell: Caramel, dark fruits, light esters, grain and light citrus hop aromas in the nose.

Taste: A malty brew with caramel, light chocolate, toasted and some biscuit malt flavours. Very firm mouthfeel, medium-bodied. Pleasant fruit flavours follow and mingle oh so nicely with the even malt sweetness and complexities. Hop bitterness is mild, but balances the malt with light citrus and raw hop flavours that linger through to the end. Mineral-like flavours can also be detected. Finishes a bit dry with light grain tannins and faint background chocolate malt.

Notes: A freagin' spot on ESB, and a very impressive ale. I thoroughly enjoyed tasting this beer, and only wish I had more.

03/06/2002 Notes:

Nice rich amber beer, good head and retention. Slightly pungent floral hop with notes of citrus -- a bit perfumy. Malty, sweet, smooth with a grainy backdrop. Hops balance very well, with tannins and refreshing citrusy bite. Biscuit malt flavours flow into the dry finish, with a touch of buttery diacetyl and fruit.

Great beer! Spot on for the style. Thanks to Arctic Liquors for the sample.

 1,319 characters

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Sawtooth from Left Hand Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.72 out of 5 with 2,184 ratings