Sawtooth Ale | Left Hand Brewing Company

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
84
good
688 Reviews
Sawtooth AleSawtooth Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Left Hand Brewing Company
Colorado, United States
lefthandbrewing.com

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
688
Ratings:
2,101
Avg:
3.7
pDev:
22.43%
 
 
Wants:
78
Gots:
346
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 688 | Ratings: 2,101
Photo of Gagnonsux
4.12/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The color is a lightly hazy caramel-tinted copper with plenty of carbonation. Head is creamy, off-white, and small. The aroma initially hits with a burst of moderately citrissy hops, but soon gives way to a pleasent caramel malt aroma. The taste is of caramel and bisquity malts with dashes of fruity flavors. Citrissy hops come into play towards the finish and add an assertive bitterness. Hop flavor seems to play a bigger role in this beer than the few English ESBs I've sampled. I'm not complaining though, this has a nice complexity that is enhanced by an ease of drinkability. I could see this being a regular in my fridge rotation.

 638 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I'm more impressed with this beer than I thought I'd be. This is one of those styles that American Micros usually butcher. Pours a nice light copper to straw color. Higher carbonated that expected. Decent head retention. Smells malty, caramelly and nutty. Light hop detection. Tastes are similar to aromas throw in more breadyness, yeastyness, earthyness. Nuttiness reminds me of pecans, nice on top of caramel and toffee flavors. No flavor is dominating. The beer is smooth in its flavors, the carbonation may be a distraction. Mouthfeel is round and just shy of medium. Finishes fairly airy and crisp. Nice subtle hop bittering; not too sweet. A very easily drinkable beer.

 675 characters

Photo of ryantupy
3.9/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This one poured a darkish amber with a nice frothy foamy head. It smelled great it had hints of toffee or carmel, fruits, cirtusy hops and malt. A very nice tasting beer with some nice bitterness to it and some sweet caramel malts and hints of biscuit character, dark chocolate. This was definatly a try.

 304 characters

Photo of battlekow
3.61/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, dark amber, with scant head and little lacing. Mostly lacks a discernible smell, but does possess a modicum of both maltiness and hoppiness. Tastes surprisingly good, malty upfront with a nice dry bitterness following. Well-balanced. Appropriate mouthfeel. A modest, easily enjoyable ESB.

 303 characters

Photo of Chadbrew
3.2/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - Nice reddish caramel colored ale with a light head, medium carbonation and average lacing.
Aroma - There is much malt sweetness in the nose, there is also a decent hop presence.
Taste - Definitely some sweetness but fairly smooth with a nice balance but there does seem to be some astringency in the finish. Some cloying sweetness.
Mouthfeel - It has good body without doubt, I think from crystal, adding to the overall sweetness.
Drinkability - Not a bad drinking beer, but not a great one either.

 515 characters

Photo of GeoffFromSJ
4.15/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A very decent ESB which is very much worth your time.

Decent head and very good lacing throughout. Nice amber color, but not quite coppery enough for my tastes.

Hops on the nose at first.

Taste is actually better when first poured at lowered temps. Actually, the taste is good and an enigma. Nice hops-biscuit notes balance. As it warms, buttery tastes come out and those tastes fade. If you could get them all their at the same time it would be wonderful.

Mouthfeel is quite excellent at first, but declines after that. Still good, just not as good.

 562 characters

Photo of Zorro
3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear amber colored ale with a white head, spot on for the style.

Smell is a bit of sweetness, malt and biscuits and cookie dough scent. Nice herbal and citrus hop scent.

Taste is very dry with the flavor of salt and oak at the start. Fairly bitter aftertaste with a very herbal hop flavor. Slightly grassy and astringent.

Mouthfeel is good.

Drinkability is good. This is a mild ale with no flavor that abuses your taste buds. Good tongue cleaning qualities make this a great choice for foods where you want the beer to play a role.

 553 characters

Photo of benmiliron
3.03/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Paid $1.59 for a 12 oz. single. Looks nice, transparent brown/tan color with little red. Heavy head with lace. Taste is heavy English malts dominating with light bitter hops in the background, again English-like. Aftertaste is all hops and alcohol. Odd for the low ABV. There is also a chemical taste present that I don't care for much at all. Phenol? Kind of mediciney.

 370 characters

Photo of gbontrag
4.1/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice fruity ale aroma lingers with a sprig of crushed, citrusy thyme. Fluffy white froth sits on a pleasant brew the color of my well-used, oiled, 30 year old maple wood bowl. The froth stays like a raft built of tiny bubble wrap; lace gilds the glass.

Great biscuit chewiness is nudged aside slowly be a twisted stick of dried herbs (oregano, catnip, epazote). A little peach juice floats by leaving the tongue coated with peach fuzz. Very nice bitter.

 456 characters

Photo of palliko
4.12/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Copper brown and clear in color. The cream colored foam disappeared within a minute, leaving a little lacing. Malt present in the aroma, and few hops. Doughy, initial taste with nutty caramel, mild carbonation and some resin in the finish. A great session beer that goes well with food.

 286 characters

Photo of ybnorml
3.8/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A clean cooper/amber colored beer. Has a big creamy dark beige head and a nice bit of lace. The aroma is a sweet malt with a hint of caramel. There is also a light floral hop note in the background. The flavor starts with a light sweet malt character which dominates the taste until the finish. In which a smooth hop bitterness sits gentley on the back of your tongue.

 368 characters

Photo of allengarvin
3.36/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a deep copper-amber color with a frothy white head. Aroma is faintly malty, but very light. Flavor likewise is malty, slightly sweet, with enough bitterness to keep it reasonably balanced. Finishes nutty. Body is light, even a tad watery.

Fairly average amber ale.

 277 characters

Photo of sonofdon
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Orderd this on the recomendation of the server @ Boundry resturant in Nashville.

Nice head with about 2 fingers of foam. Some lacing.

It smells of sweet malt with a hint of bread. The first drink was very rewarding. Smooth, almost creamy taste. Not very bitter, but there is a hint of hops. Very faint. I know this is an ESB, but it's the least hoppiest one I've had. Good mouth feel

This is a very easy drinking beer. The sawtooth went very well with my Mahi Mahi. This would be a great everyday beer.

I'm going to pick up a six as soon as I can.

sonofDon

 572 characters

Photo of LarryV
3.14/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Smell is very weak, almost nonexistent, but slightly floral. Poured with a thin head that was gone in what seemed an instant. It pours a very appealing reddish copper color. Carbonation is thin which probably adds to the creamy mouthfeel. The problem is, it's somewhat lacking in flavor, or more exactly, seriously lacking in flavor. Hops are there but barely discernible, and the maltiness is suppressed as well. Somewhat sweet and watered down, the flavor doesn't linger on the palate at all. I can't really pick out a flavor profile to describe it. Bland and unexciting pretty much sum up my feelings about this brew. YMMV.

PS: It's really hard getting through a six pack of this beer, it's just so bland. Almost like drinking apple cider. I've got two bottles left that are going to be used for cooking.

 810 characters

Photo of twelvsies
3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Never really heard anything about this brewery before, and I know that it's bad to "judge a book by its cover" but I always see this in the stores and think it looks good, so I finally picked up a sixer tonight. Appears a reddish amber color with a pretty decent head, decent retention. Smell is lighty malty and a bit buttery with some nice spicy hops to back it up. Taste isn't bad, isn't excellent. A decent pale malty palate, and more buttery creamy notes, leads to a decent bitter bite at the end, nice and dry, which is pretty good actually. Just not a ton of flavor up front. Bitterness is good though. This beer does have a very redeemingly smooth mouthfeel, light and airy, leading to a high drinkabilty score. It would probably make a great session beer, if it could keep your interest a little more.

 810 characters

Photo of rousee
2.79/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

An ESB ? It doesn't strike me as one. More like a cherry amber pouring american red pale ale. It does have a slight flatness like a good british beer will but sometimes this aids the smoothness factor. Overall, this is kind of disappointing. The other Left Hand I had was better and I am left handed.

Taste notes:cedar and woody nose, spicy and cidery -all elements are present palate-wise too and there is a peppery finish.

 427 characters

Photo of LPorter33
4.25/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased single bottle from Liquor World in Porter Sq.

Appearance = Great looking semi-transparent deep amber, tiny lacing but lots of carbonation on the inside

Smell = mmm...lots of flavor here. A definite fruit smell comes through reminiscent of pears and grapes.

Taste = Fine tasting beer. More bitter than the smell would indicate but some of the fruit sweetness is there. Decent hop kick in which is balanced quit nicely.

Overall = I definitely recommend this beer. I could drink several in one sitting. Another fine crafted brew from Left Hand.

 565 characters

Photo of EPseja
3.45/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Deep bright copper color with 1/2" head - bubbles on top like a pancake cooking in the griddle - steady throughout.

S - Medium bodied hops, toasted caramel malts. Slight bready yeasty notes.

T - Malty sweet to start, cleanly hoppy in the end. Decent, but a metallic aftertaste in the end keeps it from being any better than average.

M - Active mouthfeel, crisp on the tongue, decent amount of carbonation. Probably would have been better with less bubbles.

D - Once you get going on this (and the metallic taste subsides) it's a fairly easy drinker.

 565 characters

Photo of alexwag
3.3/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Lighter amber, nothing out of the ordinary. Head is minimal and very white. Appropriately, lacing isn't very substantive and is spotty at best.

Smell: Crisp and dry, with fruity notes and, if you look reaaally hard, a little bit of hop bitterness. ESB what? So far I'm unimpressed.

Taste: Malt is first for a split second before milder hops and carbonation take over. Hops mellow as the carbonation fades, leaving bitterness on the tongue, though not a particularly unpleasant one. Aftertaste hearkens back to the malt a tad.

Mouthfeel: Inoffensive but not particularly interesting.

Drinkability: Plenty drinkable, but would you want to drink it all? I wouldn't.

Overall: eh. Plenty better ESB's out there.

 736 characters

Photo of tavernjef
3.21/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear, light copper toned body, super-mega slow carbonation bubbles rise every now and then. Capping it is a small compact fluff of white sand and the lacing coats in oily, spotty sheeting.

Aroma is quite empty but clean with a very subdued toasted malt and nuttyness with faint cardboard notes.

Flavors are nearly as empty, plain tasting dryish sweet malt with a light dusty cardboard-like hopping. Somewhat creamy though and fairly smooth across the palate; very barely toasty in some areas.

Feel is creamy and smooth with a lesser medium body with some drying light grainyness and cardboard flakeyness.

Fairly boring but drinkable enough due to its creamy smoothness and slippery soft carbonation. Passable in most regards though; this ESB just doesn't have anything special about it.

 799 characters

Photo of RoBotGod
4.03/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

When I saw the name sawtooth I was expecting some king of pine sappy beer. Instead I got a great ale. I feel this beer is way under rated and have turned it on to many of my friends. The pour is amber but tastes much darker. The head was thick and the lace was impressive leaving quite a line. As a whole the beer had a pine nut taste like an IPA but the well cooked backwash of great pale ale. When I recommend this overlooked beer to fat tire drinkers, they switch over right away. I’m not a huge fan of all of the left hand six packs but this one tops them all. It tasted as if you biting in to a freshly cut forest tree. If you are in town and have to drink one for the left hand company, this is it.

 705 characters

Photo of mschofield
2.35/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a dark golden amber, topped with a two finger fluffy light tan head, leaves webs of lacing.
Interesting aroma, herbs, kind of floral, bread and cinammon.
Not a very pleasant taste, it's harsh and seems off, fruit, tree bark and grain husk.
Medium bodied.

 263 characters

Photo of jdhilt
3.48/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a two-finger cream head that soon goes leaving traces of lace. Clear amber color. Light carbonation and light bodied. Slight malty nose. Starts with a mix of hops and malts with the malts dominating, some sweetness, very drinkable different from a lot of ESBs that are hoppy. $1.70 for a 12oz bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, MA.

 338 characters

Photo of crookedhalo
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light copper/amber color with no real head, but there was lacy evidence that there was once one. Light grassy tones and a bit of tea-like maltiness. Lightly malty and a bit herbal in the hop flavor, with mild blueberry-like fruity esters. Very drinkable and satisfying, especially for being in the lighter spectrum of an ale.

 333 characters

Photo of NJpadreFan
4.15/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Left Hand Sawtooth Ale

purchased at Isaac Newton's. Newtown, PA.

Appearance- nice copper brown with a decent creamy head.
Smell- light malt and hop with some caramel.
Taste- caramel and malt balanced with an earthy/ woody hop flavor.

Overall- very delicious and too easy to drink. A beer I'll look for again.

 319 characters

Sawtooth Ale from Left Hand Brewing Company
3.7 out of 5 based on 2,101 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!