Chainsaw Ale | Left Hand Brewing Company

BA SCORE
86
very good
344 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
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Chainsaw AleChainsaw Ale
BEER INFO

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

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.40%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by RoBotGod on 03-06-2006

BEER STATS
Ratings:
344
Reviews:
176
Avg:
3.82
pDev:
11.78%
 
 
Wants:
30
Gots:
32
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 344 |  Reviews: 176
Photo of Sammy
3.68/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

 253 characters

Photo of GRG1313
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of jaydoc
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.8/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

back after a long hiatus, this is essentially double sawtooth ale, so a double esb, and i think its wonderful. rich and more american than english on the hop front, but with a real sturdy and classic english malt base. the alcohol is high, but its well hidden in this smoothed out feeling drink, than improves with temperature. copper in color, mostly clear, decadent looking with a tall and foamy white head. malt first and hops on the back end in both nose and taste. distinct flavor elements include an herbal complexion, culinary herbs, maybe bay leaf, as well as unlit smokes, birch syrup, and tangerine zest. its dynamic, and i appreciate the interesting hops here, its a necessary twist in a style of beer that i dont think gets played with enough. it comes in layers, and is far more complex than i expected it to ever be. mouthfeel is full bodied but well carbonated, frothy in feel, palate coating, and a little resinous from the hops. finish is long and bitter, yet clean feeling, and extremely satisfying overall. a beautiful american take on the english classic. i hope this one sticks around.

 1,106 characters

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of Knapp85
3.68/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured out as a nice brownish color. The head was a light tan color with a decent retention to it. The lacing is a little scattered but looks ok. The smell of the beer has a subtle sweetness to it. There are aromas of toffee and sweet malts on the nose. The taste of the beer is also quite nice. Some boozy characteristics with some heavier malt flavors and a nice caramel sweetness. The mouthfeel was decent. Overall I feel this beer was good but nothing overly spectacular. I would drink it again for sure but I wouldn't hunt it down.

 541 characters

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

Photo of BEERchitect
3.65/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The standard Sawtooth is a very nice malty Pale Ale with a more English take on styles. Double it? I expect a sweet Double or Imperial IPA.

Chainsaw pours a very murky amber-copper hue, creamy and froathy head formation of off-white foam, great retention, and leaving lots of lacing behind. Other than the heavy haze, the beer looks very good.

Aromas of heavy malt (caramels and toffees) ride along side of spicy and piney hops with a chaser of pine and phenolics. Strong alcohol aromas bring about acetone and nail polish remover notes. Still quite fruity all the way.

Flavors give a balanced approach between the malts and hops, but I prefer the hops to take charge in beers like these. Alcohols, phenolics, and estery compounds make the beer a bit rough from mid-palate on. Finishes with a conflicted malty/hoppy blend that struggles with the harmony.

Chainsaw begins malty and sweet then ends basically the same but with intensifying heat, bitterness, alcohol roughness, and bite. These flaws don't ruin the beer; just keeping it from becomming as great as a Double Sawtooth could be.

This beer is a Double IPA but it has an aggressive sweet tone, plastic phenol, strong alcohol character that hurt the drinkability in the end. Still, a pretty good beer... just wondering how good it could get.

 1,303 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of zeff80
3.91/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a slightly cloudy, light burgandy color with a tan, foamy, two-finger head. It left sticky rings of lace.

S - It smelled of sweet malt and of powerful alcohol.

T - It tasted malty and biscuity. Very sweet and boozy.

M - It was chewy and thick. A medium to heavy-bodied beer.

D - This was pretty good, but I've had better in this style and at a lower price tag.

 380 characters

Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of dmorgan310
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into snifter, bottled on 6/10/2014. Pours slightly hazy/cloudy deep ruby red color with a 1-2 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass. Aromas of grapefruit, lemon zest, orange peel, pine, floral, grass, caramel, toast, toffee, brown sugar, raisin, light roast, and herbal/grassy earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of citrus/pine/grassy hops and moderate dark/bready malt sweetness; with great strength. Taste of big grapefruit, lemon zest, orange peel, pine, floral, grass, caramel, toast, toffee, brown sugar, raisin, light roast, and herbal/grassy earthiness. Good amount of pine/grassy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, citrus peel, pine, grass, caramel, toast, toffee, brown sugar, raisin, light roast, and herbal/grassy earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice complexity and balance of citrus/pine/grassy hops and dark/bready malt sweetness; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a smooth, moderately crisp/sticky, and lightly slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice imperial ESB style. All around great balance and complexity of citrus/pine/grassy hops and dark/bready malts; and very smooth and crisp to sip on for the big ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

 1,523 characters

Photo of mothman
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

Photo of DrBier
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of Boone757
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of Thorpe429
2.19/5  rDev -42.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

On tap at Left Hand. Pours a mahogany color. Really sweet and boozy. Ick. Some hops after that initial impression, but still, really didn’t enjoy this.

 153 characters

Photo of oberon
4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

 762 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.5/5  rDev +17.8%
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!

 1,428 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
2.75/5  rDev -28%

Photo of XmnwildX12
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.58/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

10 ounce goblet - $5.00 at Taco Mac in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Graciously served up a clear, dark mahogany-hued body under a half-inch ceiling of off-white foam.

Smell: A bold nose, with sweet-scented, melty caramel cubes atop a layer of toast and fruit pie filling. What isn't particular bold is the hops, with only muffled notes of herbs, spice, and some timorous floral hints. Perhaps they're in reserve for the taste. Also present and inescapable are some cutting alcoholic wafts.

Taste: Initially sweet, upfront maltiness tasting of toasted bread, toasted biscuits, and dark caramel candy. Within are some berry accents, bordering on a cherry-like fruitiness. Incredibly small pinch of cocoa powder. Citric, spicy, herbaceous hops moderate level of bitterness. Vague woodiness on the drying, bitter back half. Final perks of fruit and toast on the amply heated finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Sadly, the stinging bitterness and the hot, glaring alcohol, even in a seemingly sensible ten ounce size, was a bit much for me. Anybody want to split this with me? Having said that, it's still decent albeit coarse.

 1,164 characters

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Chainsaw Ale from Left Hand Brewing Company
3.82 out of 5 based on 344 ratings.
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