Sawtooth | Left Hand Brewing Company

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2,164 Ratings

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: 2,164 |  Reviews: 713
Photo of bgillespie
3.28/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured into a pint glass.
Appearance: Clear cooper/amber with a thin off white head.
Smell: Faint smell of malt
Taste: Light flavor, mostly malt, herbal taste
Mouthfeel: Light and crisp with good carbonation.
Overall: Not a bad beer, but light on flavor. A good session beer.

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Photo of sb17
3.6/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of ZebulonXZogg
3.08/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a can, it's a clear amber orange with a white head with decent lacing. Aroma is malts and a little hops.
Flavor matches. Body is thin, nice carbonation. Overall just a so-so beer. One of a pick six. If I see it again, I'll leave it behind.

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Photo of Yancey82
3.14/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Photo of Spydersweb
3.49/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into nonic glass.
The beer pours a nice amber with a tan head that remains for several minutes. Nice lacing left on the glass.
The smell is lightly roasted malts, very light English hops.
Taste is mild caramel, malt heavy with a little lingering hops bitterness. Overall a decent beer, but there are better ESBs on the market.

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Photo of RyanK252
3.81/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle poured into a Mountain Rambler Brewing Co pint glass

A: Pours copper amber with a frothy tan head that settles to a firm layer and laces nicely.

S: Toasty bready malt, slightly earthy, fruity notes, and toffee sweetness.

T: Toasty bready malt, fruity notes, blackberry and prune, slight earthy bitterness, and some toffee sweetness.

M: Medium body, moderate carbonation.

O: This bottle is less than fresh so I will look to try this one again in the future, but I'm enjoying what's there.

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Photo of 1971bernat
2.5/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Photo of redsoxjim
4.51/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of TheCrowsEye
3.55/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of MrOH
4.01/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Absolutely gorgeous clear copper with an off-white head, nice lacing.
Smells like sweet, biscuity, caramelly, malt.
Tastes like it smells, with a slight hint of citrusy hops. Nice finish with a crack of bitterness.
A little heavier and stickier than I tend to like, but it suits the style, I suppose.
Not one much for ambers, but this one is pretty good.

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Photo of Vetbidder
3.68/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

See through amber beer with not many bubbles seen and a slight head. Slight caramel malt on the nose with some sweetness detected. Really not a whole lot on the nose of this one, maybe some slight grassy hops in addition . Slightly citrus with some bready and slight caramel malt finishing slightly bitter and grassy. A bit watery but pretty decent. Taste and feel was better than the nose for sure.

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Photo of FrancisM12
3.86/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of feuematt
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Amber colored beer with a slowly fading head. Taste is caramel and bready malts. Pretty rich in flavor yet goes down pretty smoothly. I would recommend to try at least once.

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Photo of superwho24
3.95/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Not as familiar with this style of beer, but it seemed to be of good quality. Feline in the nose and taste. Slightly yeasty detected in the flavor.

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Photo of dbl_delta
3.83/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Can dated 8/17/17 into pint glass. Pours a clear caramel-amber color with a persistent light tan head. Initial impression is dry, citrusy, bitter, medium-bodied; a hint of resinous hops with biscuity and caramel malts balancing all the foregooing somewhat. Carbonation is slightly on the high side of medium. Finish is dry and bitter with caramel undertones - consistent with the overall experience. Would be a dandy session ale.
Billed as an Amber Ale on the can. I think it fits better in the ESB category.

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Photo of cmurphy7
2.9/5  rDev -22%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of njammer
4.3/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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 KTCamm
3.62/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

6/25...pours rich amber, white foam about 1/8th of an inch high. Soft caramel nose, breads, toffee. Maple syrup forward taste. Soft mouthfeel. Tastes very fresh. Almost a cherry flavor. Cool.

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Photo of LostTechnique
4.29/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of jgiordano88
3.74/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Bitterbill
3.07/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle best by November 22nd.
Pours a clear copper with a 1" head of foam.
Smells of citrus hops and grainy malt, with some caramel.
Grainy taste, nice bit of bitter hops that's kinda fruity. Finish doesn't appeal to me. Sorta bitter but then it fades and gets all watery.
Not much of an ESB in my book. More like an average Amber.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.62/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Knowing that I was getting ready to do a small brewery horizontal of Left Hand's beers, I picked this one up recently to add to my collection. You may begin to get the sense of why The Bottle Backlog here at Chez Woody is undiminishing.

From the bottle: "Brewed on the banks of the mighty St. Vrain"; "This Amber ale is the perfect balance between malt and hops. A great session beer."

I kind of enjoy the Pop!ping of the cap. It is one of the few pleasures that I derive from bottled beers. I use a quarter atop the cap so that while the opener remains the lever, the coin becomes the fulcrum, preserving the cap for a local Countian who makes all sorts of art from them. As soon as I had the cap removed, I got a buncha foaming coming up through the neck, forcing me to take drastic action. Once everything settled to the point that I could move on, a very gentle pour produced two fingers of dense, foamy, rocky, tawny head with good retention Color was Deep Amber/Light Copper to Copper (SRM = > 13, < 17) with NE-quality clarity. Nose had a pine-like mintiness along with a bready maltiness. Mouthfeel was medium. The taste was much along the lines of the nose - bready malt & piney hops. It was not mind-blowing, but it was not unpleasant, either. I guess that I was still bothered by its desire to gush on the opening. Finish was semi-sweet, which was appropriate for the style. This review is a whole lot of damning with faint praise. Ho hum.

The FGBS recently had a tasting with the Left Hand B.C. rep & I came away with a buncha CANs for inclusion in The CANQuest (tm)! Today is Sa, 27 January 2018.

From the CAN: "Brewed on the banks of the mighty St. Vrain Est. 1993"; "This Amber Ale is the perfect balance between malt and hops. A great session beer."; "Employee owned, righteously independent (tm)"; "Please recycle".

I debated for a seCANd following the Crack! & decided to go with an inverted Glug for the first time in a while. The result was a fingers of dense, foamy, rocky, tawny head with decent retention that left some nice lacing in its wake. Color was a gorgeous Deep Amber/Light Copper to Copper (SRM = > 13, < 17) with NE-quality clarity. You may remember me mentioning Linda Lou, one of the ones that got away. Her hair was this shade! Gorgeous! Nose seemed to me to be weighted in favor of the biscuity malt, but that's okay since I don't expect a lot of hoppiness in an ESB anyway. Mouthfeel was medium-to-full, not quite creamy, but on the approach. The taste was still more malty than hoppy, but it also had a sweet berry-like fruitiness that was kind of unexpected, somewhere between raspberries and strawberries. Mmm. Finish was semi-dry, but very pleasant & quite quaffable.

In this Bottle/CAN matchup, CAN wins, going away!

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Photo of TPZEM
3.47/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Not sure what I was expecting with this beer, but definitely something worth the venture! I usually stick to less hoppy beers, but decided to take take a chance on this one as I have heard good things about Left Hand beers. Pours a medium-light amber with a decent, froth head. Has more lacing and retention than some of the other beers I have tried. Tastes of a sweeter maltiness on the tongue with a citrus finish. Very light to the taste, but my one big problem with the beer was that it left an extremely unpleasant aftertaste that just seemed to intensify as time went on. Definitely a beverage to enjoy while out with the boys, but if you don't immediately follow up with another beer, you might be feeling as if the Sawtooth has overstayed its welcome. Still, solid ale that could easily be up for another round at the bar!

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Photo of a77cj7
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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Sawtooth from Left Hand Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.72 out of 5 with 2,164 ratings