Chainsaw Ale | Left Hand Brewing Company

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Chainsaw AleChainsaw Ale
Very Good
346 Ratings
Chainsaw AleChainsaw Ale

Brewed by:
Left Hand Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.40%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Double Sawtooth

Added by RoBotGod on 03-06-2006

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 346 |  Reviews: 176
Reviews by andrewm190:
Photo of andrewm190
4.06/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The bottle art isn't all that appealing, but that isn't what we buy the beer for, I suppose. The brew itself pours a beautiful copper color, with a strong head that lasts a good while without clinging to the glass. The smell is quite loud, the kind that leaves you wondering what lies beneath the bubbles. Sure enough, it is a very tasty beer; a strong entry from Left Hand. There is a nice, lingering hops. The beer is quite heavy, and that would be the main knock; certainly, however, a good choice overall.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hmm a double Sawtooth ale I liked the "standard" so I went for the stronger version.Poured a hazed deep amber with a big fluffy slight off- white head that stuck like glue to the glass.Aromas of brown sugar and fruity malt dominate with a noticable peppery hop note,it takes awhile for the flavors to come together it took nearly 3/4 of the bottle for everything to come together but once they did it made for quite a nice beer.Starts out on the sweeter side notes of brown sugar and ripe fruit as it came together better a resiny hop presence became more pronounced with light alcohol burn in the finish.If you wait on this beer its a fine ale the hops provide more balance than character but they do show up on the palate.A nice beer I would buy again I think.

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Photo of brownbeer
2.06/5  rDev -45.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Poured from a bomber of the newest label. Bottled in 2010.

The appearance is a rather muddled looking orange-brown with no head.

The aroma is faint for a double anything, I mean off in the distance, far away. What I can smell is a medicial maraschino cherry. The aroma just gets further and further away until it's almost completely gone.

The mouthfeel is flat and syrupy, borderline horrendous for me. The taste is about as bland as the aroma. Dirty, watery taste that quickly transitions to a harsh finish, which isn't from a desirable hoppiness, it's just harsh. It makes me grimace. It's kind of cardboardy and becomes more medicinal as it warms. It lacks any warmth, depth, creaminess, or any other enjoyable qualities.

I really like Sawtooth, and a number of other Left Hand beers for that matter, but this is no Double Sawtooth. I've enjoyed few beers less.

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Photo of wesbrownyeah
4.02/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chainsaw Ale by Left Hand Brewing Comany 9.0% alcohol content. Had a few of the LHBC beers and I was never let down.

A- Pours a hazed amber color fluid with a light and frothy head that leaves excellent lacing on the the pint glass.

S- Sharp alcohol and citrus hops bite the nose on the upfront.

T-M- The flavor of this beer is alcoholic with tingling esters and fresh cut grass dominating the tongue. Sweet malts are present but not top shelf on the flavor. Mouthfeel is creamy and watery on the finish. For 9% alcohol it is quite smoomth.

D- Drinkable as hell for the content of alcohol and a excellent beer for a strong ale.

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Photo of GameOfBeers
3.92/5  rDev +3.2%

Photo of blitz134
3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up in Colorado. I've been fairly happy with Left Hand's brews and I never pass up a chance to have a limited release beer.

Cloudy caramel brew, with a dark center. Off white head that borders on tan. Head was 2" thick on the pour and reduced to a lumpy mass. Thick lacing forms a dense foam layer on the glass.

Interesting aroma with lots of caramel and other sweet malts, has some hints of cotton candy sugar. Hops are straw with some citrus coming through. The slightest touch of toasted malts come through with some of the alcohol.

Taste falls short of the aromas, just not as much complexity here. But on the other hand the flavor profile seems a lot different than the aroma. Caramel and light toasted malts, not as sweet as the aroma would have indicated. Has some dark fruit hints, raisins. Herbal, earthy hops with some intermitten floral flavors come though to round it out. Alcohol is well hidden to me though, with the exception of a touch of burn in the back of the throat.

Mouthfeel is a bit thinner than I would have liked and the carbonation is a touch low. Drinkability is still good though. Easy to put down for a 9% brew. It has an interesting flavor that seems to be a kicked up Sawtooth (which is how it is labeled). Not the typical strong ale as this one is classified and not the typical DIPA either, but not quite barleywine. I'll go with double ESB.

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Photo of Beaver13
3.63/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle. Pours a copper red with some small floaties. It has a thin frothy off-white head that quickly dissipates to a thin film.

The aroma is fruity caramel malts with some oak and a little alcohol.

The flavor is sweet caramel malts with some melon leading to a decent spice hop finish with a bitter aftertaste. The mouthfeel is medium-full and fairly creamy.

Overall, it's decent. It's a little sweet and melony. It does have a bitter finish, but the flavors aren't well blended.

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Exiled for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a hazy brownish-amber color with a white head. The aroma is alcohol, candi-sugar and brown sugar. The beer smells fairly boozy. The flavor is brown sugar, caramel and toffee. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of bsp77
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into goblet.

Appearance (4): Murky brownish-orange that glows red in the light. Decent light tan head.

Smell (4): Strong piney and spicy aroma from the hops. Overripe fruit, caramel and toffee.

Taste (3.75): Immediate impact from the hops, with lots of pine and some citrus and spicy notes. Malts are fairly deep and intense, with caramel, toffee, and sweet dark fruits. The hops linger at the finish and provide some bitterness. A little bit abrasive and rough around the edges.

Feel (4): Moderate carbonation, medium to full body, mostly dry finish. A little but boozy.

Overall (4): Comes across as an aggressively hopped English Strong Ale. Quite tasty and decadent, even if it is a little rough.

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Photo of magictrokini
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

An excellent American Strong, right up there with Arrogant Bastard. Hazy copper pour with a medium off-white head. Rich aroma of caramel malt, piney hops, and yeast. Nice bittersweet taste of leather, wood, caramel, resiny hops, and a touch of smoke. An all-around excellent beer.

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Pours ruby chestnut with a slight haze under a cream colored 1” foam collar that grips the side of the glass.
S: Grassy earthy nose with some biscuit.
T: Malty sweetness establishes a beachhead on the palate clearing the way for cardamom, pear, caramel, biscuit and then an assertive hop bitterness.
F: Medium to medium full body and slightly above average carbonation with some pleasant alcohol warming.
O: A big well balanced beer to drink instead of a mixed drink.

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Photo of wo87810
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of ADR
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Translucent brown appearance with a faint glow in the light. Good yellowish head stays put at an inch in height. Spaced blobs of thinnish lace. Malty aroma, slightly woody with tones of cherry and applewood. Mouthfeel is solid and beefy, carbonation is medium -- together they play well. Overall, a big beer and quite sweet beer, deep in flavor but a bit unidimensional and featuring nectarines, slight mincemeat, and candied fruit. Hops lend a slatey underlayer to the finish, though they seem to show up mainly as bitter flavoring hops without much impact on the smell. Alcoholic senses by the end of the glass. Nothing seems wrong with this beer, but it doesn't shine with outstanding notable characteristics either, and its not a very good value in my opinion.

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Photo of valkyre65
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of glid02
3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at the Porter Beer Bar in Atlanta.

Pours a clear chestnut brown color with a one-finger tan head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of sweet caramel malts with good amounts of toffee and lighter amounts of sugar-coated medium fruits - apricots and raisins.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Sweet caramel malts backed by large amounts of heavy brown sugar. Midway through the sip hints of maple syrup work their way into things and are joined shortly by mild amounts of raisins. The mild fruit flavors carry through to an ending that's on the sweet side.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is alright. I finished my glass however I'm not sure about another.

Overall I'd been wanting to try this beer for quite a while as I was a big fan of the Sawtooth, but it just didn't do it for me. The flavors are too strong for what worked well in a subtler beer. Worth trying but not worth seeking out.

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Photo of OBIrish24
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of rhoadsrage
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer has a slightly hazy warm brown body with a thick creamy head of light tan foam. The head last and last with a very slow carbonation of tiny bubbles rising to the surface.

S- The aroma of slightly sweet toasted caramelized malt with some faint chocolate malt notes. The finish is a nice bitter hop aroma.

T- The taste of lightly toasted malt is balanced by a green hop bit in the finish. The malt has some faint notes of slightly more toasted flavors but nothing that is roasted. The hops finish have a big green note with some softer pine flavors in the background. As it warms a bit of alcohol flavor comes through and adds nice balance to the sweetness that comes with the warmth.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with no alcohol warmth or astringency. There is a bit of a creamy texture as it warms.

D- This beer has nice complexity and some good balance with the alcohol hidden in the background. The hops really add nice balance to the malts.

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Photo of ltdantheman
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of Helgy
2.5/5  rDev -34.2%

Photo of Dewey0603
3.56/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy burnt orange with a giant tan foamy head, very nice. The is a little light,but you can make out "bisquity' scents and sweet malt with a floral hop aroma. The taste has alcohol, malt,bitter hops, and a creamy bread yeast flavor.,not bad,but the alcohol is a little harsh. The m/f is medium with the flavors mixing only OK. A decent beer that could use some cellaring.

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Photo of GilGarp
3.63/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Chainsaw or Double Sawtooth is a creative play on their classic Sawtooth Ale.

Served on tap at the brewery, it has a hazy ruby-red/brown color and no head.

As with many of the beers I tried there just wasn't that much aroma. Maybe I'm a little stuffed up.

Flavors of toasted malts, toffee, and vanilla. Some clove spiciness. Lots of bitterness on the finish with an earthy hop quality.

Mouthfeel is good and full bodied with low carbonation. It's smooth but strong. One is enough. It's just too strong for multiples but a good sipping beer.

As it warms, there is an unfortunate scented candle flavor from the vanilla but otherwise it's a good strong ale.

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Photo of Metalmonk
3.66/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A gorgeous beer, this pours out a fiery red/orange color, lots of bubbles racing north to feed a two-finger head of creamtastic proportions. Thick and firm as Styrofoam, just about...beautiful.

The aroma, however, isn't quite as impressive. It seems to have everything a beer of this style should have, yet it's all compressed and muted. Pine-laden hops, juicy fruits, fruit-flavored pancake syrup, and alcohol-spiked caramel are here, but they do not abound as I wish they would.

I've never had Sawtooth, which Chainsaw is basically the doubled/imperialized version of...but I noticed that Sawtooth is classified as an ESB on this site, and whether that's true or not, this indeed drinks like such a creature as an Imperial ESB might. It's got musty malts that remind of toffee and treacle, the mellowness of overripe dark fruits and berries, the bitter bite of green apple-y and pine-ish hops. But it's not a flavor of remarkable depth or anything, and nothing here really WOWs as I want a beer like this to. There's a nice green bitterness hanging on the tongue in the finish, reminding you that the hops want to hang around and play.

Texturally it's fine, just as big, bold, sticky and creamy as the best in its class. (Looking at you, Double Bastard.) Smooth enough, silky enough, round enough...just, like the aroma, a little bit timid somehow.

Despite some (mild) gripes, this is pretty drinkable for a nine-percenter. There are enough flavors to take hold of, and that long bitter finish is good. I guess it's another good-but-not-great Left Hand beer for me...

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Photo of Sammy
3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not retired, as there is a 2008 version now out. I had last year's. Not too hoppy, but significant. Not too malty but significant. An easy drinking, dangerously hidden alcohol. Good head initially. Nothing outstanding but it was enjoable and satisfying.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.5/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Left Hand's 2008 bottle conditioned Chainsaw Ale pours a very dark copper/chestnut brown color, and it's topped by a creamy khaki head. The head retention is excellent and it continually maintains a full surface covering. It eventually erodes to a thin. 1/4" lid, but still leaves some very nice spots and splashes of lace as it goes.

The aroma is clearly bent towards malt (richly grainy, toasty and bready with a rich caramel edge), and well-infused with floral, leafy, and grassy hops. A hint of spiciness sneaks in, as well as some dark fruitiness.

In the mouth it's full bodied and remarkably creamy and slick with a very-fine-bubbled, natural (bottle-conditioned), and moderate carbonation.

The flavor is very much as the nose suggests, but much fuller and wider in flavor. It starts with a combination of smoothly caramelish bread, and oat-like malt infused with fruitiness; and then moves into spiciness and more hoppy notes that include pine/herbs, leaves, and a touch of grassiness. There's some mild yeasty fruitiness as well, including apples, berries, a hint of dark fruit, and perhaps some papaya (even coconut). The spiciness includes mild coriander and cardamom... and perhaps a suggestion of anise. It finishes dry with a wash of alcohol that clears the residual maltiness; as well as a slap of alcohol that helps to dry it.

It's rich, full, and complex - how can you go wrong? Certainly worth seeking out!

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Photo of cjgator3
4.35/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle

A- Corked and caged bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a dark amber color with a huge off-white head that possesses excellent retention and lacing.

S- The aroma leans heavily towards the malty side with a lot of toasted malts and caramel along with some hops as well.

T- The taste provides a lot of malt and caramel like the aroma suggests, but the taste also has a really nice hop presence that was a little surprising considering the malt stealing the show in the aroma.

M- The mouthfeel is on the lighter side with a good amount of carbonation.

D- Not bad at all, I'm really enjoying this one. Overall, this is one of the better offerings I've had from Left Hand. Highly recommended!

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Chainsaw Ale from Left Hand Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.8 out of 5 with 346 ratings