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Sawtooth Ale | Left Hand Brewing Company

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Sawtooth AleSawtooth Ale
2,153 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: 2,153 |  Reviews: 706
Photo of RBorsato
4.54/5  rDev +22%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear golden-copper with a low beige head, good carbonation, and spotty lace. Nice aroma !! Malty with nice grassy hop aroma and a bit of fruitiness. Nice prominent grassy hop flavor and very well balanced. Light-medium (leans light) bodied with a good amount of bitterness in the finish.

Per L.H. website:
Malts: 2-Row, Crystal, Munich, Black Patent
Hops: Cascade, East Kent Goldings, Fuggles & Magnum
Original Gravity: 12 Plato ( 1.050 )
IBU's: 27

Gold - 1994 GABF (Traditional Bitter)

Bottled: 07/15/03 (Erickson)
Tasted: 11/11/03

Bottled: 10/21/03 (Zoe)
Tasted: 03/30/04 (lowered Mouthfeel from 4.5 to 4)

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Photo of Riggo
4.3/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The poor man's Sam Smith Pale Ale, in my book, this is a great, quaffable english-style ale. In the glass, an attractive copper color and a creamy beige head that falls to a thin collar, leaving good lacing. Smell of earthy, roasted malt, yeast and perhaps apples. Has a hint of that earthy, musty smell that I love in Sam Smith's Pale Ale, very english. Taste is fruity, earthy malt with just the right balance of hop clean-ness. Estery, fruity, buttery and toffeeish. Mouthfeel could be a tad fuller but the low carbonation is definitely appealing and, I think, in the tradition of good english session bitters. Drinkability is very high, especially for fans of english-style ale.

Bravo for Left Hand. This is an excellent mellow ale, perfect for everyday drinking, but still full of character and charm.

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Photo of inebrius
3.28/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I like the earthy, buttery English mix when in the right context. This is close. Nose of toffee dropped into a basket of flour and leaves then pulled out and left on the dashboard in August. Flavor runs malt heavy though the tinny hops keep it from tilting too far. Fluent through the pipes. Not bad, yet not really something I would keep on hand.

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Photo of hotstuff
3.21/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not one of my favorite beer styles.When poured, this beer had a small sized ivory head with fine sized bubbles that quickly dissipated.The body was clear with some carbonation observed and the hue was amber.The nose was definitely malty, malty and malty.The flavor was sweet tasting along with some hops.It had a smooth and tingly mouthfeel and this beer left a fair amount of lacing on the sides of my glass.

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Photo of beerguy101
3.7/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Medium copper color. Large head. Aroma is malty. A medium bodied bitter. Malts are nutty and sweet. Hops are piney and they tend to linger a little and finish kind of sweet. A nice very drinkable beer. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is dry. Aftertaste is slightly sweet

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Photo of clvand0
3.43/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a dark amber color with an average head and little lacing on the glass. The aroma was hoppy and malty, but I couldn't find anything else. The flavor was dominated by the malts, but there were hints of caramel. Fairly smooth and enjoyable. I would have it again.

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

Lefthand Sawtooth Ale: from a bottle dated June 24, 2003. That is what I call a fresh bottle. Poured a deep amber, nicely colored and fairly clear. Nice dense head, dissipating down to nice coverage. The aroma was fairly hoppy, floral. As I had anticipated from the aroma, this brew was nicely hopped, but equally well balanced by the almost caramel malts. Nice lingering malty aftertaste. Very nice.

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Photo of bditty187
4.27/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear, tawny-auburn/copper in shade, smallish off-white head, quick to fade to a soapy residue. Minimal spotty lace. Still, it looks mighty nice in my glass. Wonderful English ESB nose: perfectly malty… biscuity, soft caramel, faint hoppy undercurrents. Inviting! Awesome palate, biscuit, crackers, caramel malt, slight nuttiness… crisp hoppiness melds the flavors together wonderfully. If the yeast qualities were a little more pronounced you’d swear it’s authentic. The finish is ideally hoppy with kisses of malt. Clean. Medium-full body, firm carbonation… pleasant mouthfeel. Dangerously easy to drink and damn enjoyable to quaff! Session brew. Yummy!

My left hand gives this one a thumbs-up! Recommended.

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Photo of Brent
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An ESB? Wow, I was way off. My single bottle did not give any indication of the style, and I was guessing a light Scottish Ale. Well, style aside, it was a nicely crafted beer. Nice, sweet malt backbone. As it warmed, the aroma was something of cotton candy. Brisk hopping with a finish that just faintly hinted of some fruit I could not quite identify. Quite clean at the end.

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Photo of John1985
3.64/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Deep amber color,slight and dissipating head. Aroma was malty and pleasantly hopped. Taste had a balanced malt hop flavor and finish faded rather quickly. Overall impression is that this is a solid sturdy pale ale but not exceptional. A good session beer and would go well with food.

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Photo of Tballz420
3.7/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Its a nice copper color with a slight cream colored head. Smells like caramel, with a slight citrus odor as well. These are also present in the taste. Its not a bad beer at all, but not one of my favorites of this style. Something i would take if i was offered it, but not something i would seek out in the future.

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Photo of jaz
4.35/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice deep copper color. Very clear with a thick creamy head. Aroma was mild and malty, somewhat fruity and earthy. Taste was very pleasant. Initial taste was light sweetness with flavors of carmel and sweet malt, with a hint of roast. Fruit flavors developed in the middle, and finished with a nice floral bitterness. Could use a bit more bittering hops, but a very drinkable ESB.

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Photo of cretemixer
3.8/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Red amber in color with a thin fast fading head.
The aroma is malty and slightly earthy. It has a roasted caramel thing going on too.
The taste is very malt driven. Sweet and bready. It finishes with a mild hop bitterness to balance things out nicely.
An easy drinker. Lighter in body than I was expecting and appropriately carbonated. If my packy decides to carry this I will drink it again.

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Photo of AtLagerHeads
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A good looking ale of clear amber/copper that has a huge white head. The head lingers well and creates generous lacing. Nose of malt, bread, and grain. Sweet starting flavor from the malt with a bit of hops to add great balance. This is a nicely crafted ale that is just a bit light on body, but is very drinkable. Worth a pint or two.

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Photo of Gusler
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

As it slips from the bottle into my glass a glistening copper color, the head median in size, spumescent in texture and the color a winsome light tan. All malt is the nose, crisp, clean and fresh with the start somewhat sweet, the top light to medium in feel. Finish has specific acidic bite, the hops lenient in their spiciness, quite dry and a decent beer for the forth coming hot summer afternoons.

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Photo of garymuchow
3.32/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A sweet and sour mix of malt and hops in the aroma, and blended pretty well. Very smallish head, that goes to only a ring around the top. Amber and clear. Flavor is similar to aroma, a sweet and sour mix. Seems a little watery to me. Fairly soft mouthfeel with a well balanced carbonation. Pretty average ale to me. It took me a bit, but it finely dawned on me that there was a flavor I didn't like. It's the hops flavor that is too similar to tea. Sam Adams lager has the same quality. Not appealing to me. I've liked the other beers I sampled from this brewery better.

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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 TXHops
4.42/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

-Original Gravity: 1.050
-Final Gravity: 1.014
-ABV: 4.75%
-ABW: 3.7%
-Attenuation: 70.4%
-Real Extract: 5.24 P
-Calories per 12 oz: 166
-IBU’s: 27
-Malts: 2-Row, Crystal, Munich, Black Patent
-Hops: Cascade, East Kent Goldings, Fuggles & Magnum

Man, aint nothin’ better than looking closely at the beer you brought home from out-of-sate and seeing a bottled-on date within the last 6 weeks… I’ve owned this beer for more than 2 of those weeks! Let’s hear it for bottled-on dating!

Sawtooth is my first Left Hand beer, though I’ve been reading about the brewery for more than 5 years now. Sawtooth is a deep amber, clover-honey-color in the glass, with a VERY white head of fairly long-lasting foam (Black Patent Malts at work?) A huge blast of apricot-like fruitiness is the first thing I smell out of the bottle. Man, this is a fruity beer! The taste is the same—intensely fruity, but not necessarily apricots: it tastes more like a mélange of various, nondescript, indigenous fruits. I know this yeast strain—it’s the same one that the Texas Big Buck uses for it’s ESB, I’d be willing to bet. I’d be further willing to bet that it’s one of the standard Wyeast or White Labs ESB strains, because I’ve tasted it before. It has a signature fruitiness that I’ve always loved and can never forget. Enough digression... The apricot nose seems to pick up steam as the beer sits, and the fruitiness in the flavor grows right along with the nose. For a 4.75% beer, this one has the senses enjoying themselves! The bitterness is expertly employed to offset any cloyingly sweet maltiness, but is far from assertive. Nor is any hop flavor immediately evident. This is one of those beers where hops are used to counter sweetness, not to lend flavor: their original purpose before the Americans and British got hold of them ;)

Ah, great beer. I’d gladly do an English-style session with pints of these. I can only dream of this beer on cask—the fruitiness must be overwhelming…

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.92/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear coppery color, with small, but suitable off-white head. Aroma is clean, but fruity, with hints and dribbles of citrus, grapefruit, fresh and zesty. Taste is zippy, with delicious spritzes of hops that maintain a presence throughout the finish and all through the contents of the bottle. Great balance, smooth, but full of flavor.
Normally I turn my nose at ESBs, but this one has style, body, and taste that many lack.

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Photo of WilliamPhilaPa
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(12oz bottle-Bottled on 12-17-02)-- Pours a nice clear copperish color and the decent thick, creamy head and very good retention. On the nose the aroma of grains, citrus hop, hints of caramel and very light fruity esters. On the palate the flavors consisted of caramel, some biscuit malt, citrus hop flavors, mild bitterness. Mouthfeel is slightly tingly and smooth; medium bodied... tasty brew.

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

Bronze in color with a chill haze. Off-white head with good lacing. Aroma is malty with a citric, lemon zest aroma. The flavor is somewhat biscuity, with sweet caramel malts, balanced by the citric hop bitterness. Overall, a well-balanced tasty ale. I really enjoyed this one.

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Photo of Bighuge
3.55/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Orange-amber color. Thin, sticky beige head with some retention. Lacework is pleasing to the eye. The aroma is fruity, malty, caramely and sugary. The taste is subdued hops, fruity esters and a small bitter after bite. Hop tones are herbal. Body is better than medium, but not full. Better than average ESB here.

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Photo of beernut7
3.3/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew pours with a light copper color and a foamy white head. The aroma is metallic and malty. Smooth body with a heavy malt roast flavor and an oppressive sharp bitterness. Not well balanced, not at all a favorite.

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

Not too bitter, but has a nice strong hops presence. Maple syrup colored with a medium thick off-white head. Based on recommendations from other drinkers I let it warm up a little before trying and I was glad I did. Clean flavored with citrusy aftertaste. I have enjoyed all of Left Hand's offerings so far (the Deep Cover and JuJu Ginger are good too) and look forward to the next.

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Photo of HopheadEd
3.28/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Not very hoppy for an ale, very subtle, but good mouth feel. A fairly good head, little retention, little lace. Kind of average finish, not bad, but nothing to scream about. I guess I was expecting a little more. Just slightly above average. I wouldn't seek it out, but if I saw it in a bucket of ice at a party...

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Sawtooth Ale from Left Hand Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.72 out of 5 with 2,153 ratings
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