Sawtooth Ale | Left Hand Brewing Company

Sawtooth AleSawtooth Ale
2,149 Ratings
Sawtooth AleSawtooth Ale

Brewed by:
Left Hand Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.30%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-16-2001

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,149 |  Reviews: 705
Reviews by rickyleepotts:
Photo of rickyleepotts
3.23/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I am not a big fan of Left Hand. Until we sat down to drink this one, I had no idea where the name came from. That is a pretty cool story. Anyway, their Milk Stout is what they are pretty much known for. At least for me. I am not a big fan of that one. Jake has a bottle of the nitro… and he likes that style. But this one is known as their "flagship beer", so I hope this has more flavor and complexity than the Milk Stout. If nothing else, I like their logo! The Milk Stout is on our list, and is in our fridge. Let's get to it…

In the Glass: It looks like an ale. Sheryl didn't think so. She thought it looked like a pale ale. (Edit from Sheryl: that is NOT what I said.) Yep… still an ale! Anyway, it looks good in the glass. I am not too excited about the ABV here. Coming in under 5% I am not sure what the hype is. I guess I need to stop writing

Nose: I am picking up a TON of malt on this one. It smells like a barleywine. I am telling you… I am on a HUGE barleywine kick right now. Not sure why. Maybe because of how sweet they are. But this one is loaded with malts, and it is obvious from the nose. Let's see what she tastes like.

Flavor: The sweetness I was picking up on the nose is there, but only for a second. Then it settles down, and slides across the palate leaving a velvety mouthfeel that just hangs around. Then the swallow is very balanced and the hops are never more than just there. Because this has such a low ABV, I can see this beer being something I could/would chug if the price was right.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is great. It is silky smooth, and almost buttery. The burp is nice too, bringing back those malts that you could smell and briefly taste. The beer is extremely smooth, and leads to a smooth and balanced finish.

Aftertaste: There isn't much going on here, but that's OK. I didn't really expect it nor want it. The beer is so smooth, I want another drink! For not being a big fan of Left Hand, I am pretty impressed with this. There are a lot of things going on, but the flavor just equals a good, quality brew. Bottoms up, people!

Left Hand Sawtooth Ale - The bottle says: "Brewed with clean energy powered by SimpleSolar electric systems. Brewed on the banked of the mighty St. Vrain."

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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 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 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of ajkelly451
4.03/5  rDev +8.3%

Photo of TTripp725
3.44/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

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Sawtooth Ale from Left Hand Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.72 out of 5 with 2,149 ratings
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