Chainsaw Ale | Left Hand Brewing Company

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Chainsaw AleChainsaw Ale
Very Good
344 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:
No notes at this time.

Added by RoBotGod on 03-06-2006

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 344 |  Reviews: 176
Photo of SuperSpy
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A nutty brown color with a tan, pillowy head. Very cloudy. Looks tasty.

Quite the hoppy aroma. Lots of American hop aromas. Floral and earthy with a bit of medium roast malt.

A heavy body. Smooth and thick. A good mix of dark fruit flavors from the malt and earthy, herbal hops. The hops definitely dominate but this big beer still has plenty of malty flavors. The finish is a little sweet and

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Photo of beerdown77
4.45/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This pours murky brown and has nice fluffy off-white head. The smell is malty and sweet with some citrus. The flavor has a unique dark raison flavor, but unlike other beers similar to this one, it isn't dominated by an overly sweet, syrupy aftertaste. There is a nice bitter balance that keeps you coming back for another drink. I will say this is one of the more complex and mysterious tasting beers that I have had, there is a spicy brown sugar taste that is interesting. I cannot get over the drinkability. I really thought that this 9% ABV would overtake this beer. Instead, it is a well balanced bitter beer that is a welcome change from the usual overly hoppy and sweet beers that I tend to choose.

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Photo of MoustacheHero
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A double sawtooth from Left Hand Brewery. Quite the take on an ESB! Slightly rare and bottle conditioned.

a: A beautiful amber with orange glow. Pours with a medium, burnished head.

s: A sour and bitter nose with hints of dried fruit.

t: A great, complex taste with bitter and sour notes through out, finishing with fruity notes.

m: A medium mouth feel that is super smooth.

d: Surprisingly drinkable for being big and complex.

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Photo of Urbancaver
4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

07 vintage provided by Mike. Thanks man for a great taste!

Pours a murky orange. Lots of head off the pour. Pretty despite the murkiness. Malt on the nose. Nothing else really. HUGE malt profile. Lots and lots of malt on the tongue. Toasts in the background. Tons of caramel and very sweet. Hardly and ESB (which apparently its a double ESB). Thick and almost creamy on the tongue. Very drinkable. Clearly a tribute to cellaring

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Photo of orlandomag
4.37/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours very amber with hints of golden. somewhere in the 10 range on the SRM scale. little to no head, although creamy around the edge of my snifter. laces well.

the aroma is very fruity, with notes of apple, pear, and some strawberry prominent up front.

very silky on the tongue. mouth fills with dark fruit, a good balance with the bitterness of the hops and the apricot notes.

slight bv heat on the finish. dry, but not overly so.

very nice when it mellows out.

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Photo of theboozecruise
3.61/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bomber into a Chimay goblet. It's a reddish copper color with almost no head. Very bubbly though so it must not be flat.

The smell is strong with booze. There are hints of caramel and dark fruit in there as well. Smells a little like brandy.

Man, there are a LOT of hops on the tongue that didn't come through on the aroma. Strong bitterness throughout the sip. I'm going to let it warm some and see what happens but right now this too harsh for me. Brutally bitter.

It's definitely better warmer and more mellowed. The hops aren't unbearable and the flavors from the nose come through.

Not a bad beer this way, but let this one get close to room temps and sip it more like a brandy!

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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 brewdlyhooked13
3.36/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance - pours a coppery orange with plenty of fluffed yellowish-tan foam. Holds well at a thin cover and laces well.

Aroma - lighter levels on the nose. Some raisiny grain, a whiff of citrusy hops that do make a little more of a statement with a little setup time.

Taste - caramelly grain, pithy hops with a grapefruit rind flavor. Gets pretty dry and bitter on the swallow. Some mild bv heat, complements the flavors well.

Mouthfeel - fluffy with all the carbonation, very mouth-filling. Good weight to it, some hoppy slickness as well.

Drinkability - I liked it so much on tap at the Catskellar (thanks Adam!) that I had to grab a bomber. It's better on cask, more flavor development and softer hop profile, but this one's decent as well.

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

Pours a dark amber withs light brownish hue, a bit cloudy, and tightly bubbled white head that dissipates to a thin rim layer. Nose is lighter than I anticipated, with some toffee standing out. On the palate that toffee is there again, overall rather sweet, with some overripe fruit on the hoppy side to round it out somewhat. A bit of alcohol warmth on the finish and back of the palate. The sweetness helps to make it more drinkable while cold, but as it warms it becomes more of a sipper.

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Photo of mikeysab
4.9/5  rDev +28.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Drinking this from a 64 oz growler from a local distributor. Been watching it on the tap list, and finally gave it a go.

Appearance: looks great in the glass. Clear amber color with a head that looks like an off white wool winter hat. Thick lacing that stays when revisiting the glass.

Smell: sweet, fruity, golden raisiny,light brown sugary, slight pine and slight alcohol.

Taste: first impression is HOPS. But letting it sit on the mouth brings the raisins, fruity sugars, citrusy hops, and malty toffee, slightly burnt sugary flavors. Alcohol is there but not overwhelming, for the ABV. Very appealing, very satisfying, well balanced, definite feel of drunkenness coming.

Mouthfeel: a little syrupy, but expected. Upon swallowing, the hops kinda make you wanna stop, but the flavors to follow make you want to drink more and more.

Drinkability: probably the scariest part of this beer is how drinkable it is. The alcohol burn is not enough to stop you from drinking it. The flavor and overall experience makes this beer an all night affair. I'm almost done with 64 oz growler and wish I had another. I could see this as a house beer, but luckily have some common sense. Definitely an occasional treat. Wish I could brew this

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

Reviewed from notes taken on 6/21/10

A - Pours a slightly hazy reddish-amber with a foamy white head.

S - Lotsa pineapple and caramel. Smells like a canned fruit cocktail, all tropical fruits and sweet syrup.

T - More sweetness. Caramel malt and pineapple dominate with a bit of pine resin and alcohol.

M - Very juicy with a medium body and medium-low carbonation.

D - Pretty easy to drink, despite a bit of alcohol burn. Definitely got easier to drink as it warmed up. I didn't know what to expect from this one but I was pleasantly surprised by how different it tasted. I'll have this again.

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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 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 beerthulhu
3.66/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: A dark cadmium-orange coloring reveals a strong effervesce within on the first pour. The second pour produces a dark, murky offering of burnt rustic-oxide and macro particles that inhibit most lighting. A rich amount of bran colored yeast sits and covers the bottom of the glass compliments of the bottle conditioning. The capping is rigid and frothy, parchment paper in color while shellacking the glass walls with generous amounts of lacing.

S: On the open a good deal of piney hops exist, but only for a brief time. The nose fails to hold fading to a wimper of lightly toasted malts with some lemon straw hops and herbal dill notes. Anything labeled as a double better be prepared to bring it in all departments, not just alcohol.

T: Toasted dry grains come off strong and bold on the opening act highlighted by some dried citrus grind and strong notes of lemon pulp. Toasty and dry the malting plays a good role of support here, while the hops have enough juice to equally share the limelight with. Wet and hoppy with some lemon-pine hopping comes through in the middle of the palate before a finish that was drying and consisted of woodsy spicy notes.

M: Dry malty mouthful, decently thick and luscious feel. Carbonation is perhaps a bit diminished by now. Spicy dry citrus peel coats the tongue and leaves some bittering reminders behind.

D: A pretty big drink with big intentions. A bomber should sit well here.

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Photo of CampusCrew
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: amber-hued body with a thinnish, near white head. decent lacing.

Smell: toasty amber malts, sublte citrus fruit, herbaceous hop notes.

Taste: sweetish flavor of amber malts, very balanced as a esb should be. Earthy and light hop character but with only a subdued bitterness. finshes pretty dry..

Mouthfeel: Medium body.

Drinkability: solid big esb, nice and hoppy. Not typical of the brewery.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
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.

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Photo of david18
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I had a twelve ounce pour of this at the Amsterdam Ale House on Manhattan's upper west side. I've had it before in a bottle but i think I enjoyed the draft version better.

For the abv it's very drinkable. It has a dark brown color with a very dark head. Flavor is malty with a good amount of hops. Very easy to drink and I look forward to my next one.

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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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Photo of Haybeerman
3.65/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Deep, clear coppercolor. Poured a 3 finger light tan head with excellent retention to a 1 finger rocky cap. Lots of sticky lace.

S: Citrus, grapefruit and pine. Caramel and wet grains.

T: Slightly sweet malt gives way quickly to a number of resiny hop flavors; grapefruit, citrus rind, orange peel and pine. Sharp bitter in the balance to finish. Resiny hops lingers in the finish.

M: Medium body. Moderate carbonation. Resiny.

D: Good hop character. A bit resiny in the mouth and on the tongue. Disguides the abv very well.

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

Pours a hazy, ruby brown with a nice light tan head. Head falls slow but stays. Decent clinging lace.

Herbal hop aroma backed by a sweet malt smell.

I notice the bitter hops first in the taste followed by a sweet malt character. Nice balance.

Medium bodied and sharp on the tongue.

Nice brew. Bold and fairly balanced.

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Photo of Casey10
4.15/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Not a bad brew at all pours a bit hazy but brown orange copper minimal head.

S - light malt smell maybe slight rasion.

T - not bad sort of rason chocolatety light and nice.

M - leaves behind sort of a bit of a feel some notes again of a chocolate feel.

D - I liked it the price wasn't bad you get a nice bang for your buck. Would definately have again.

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Photo of drpimento
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle opened with a nice "pop". Poured with a decent tan foamy frothy thick head. Color is a cloudy medium to dark amber. Nose is malt caramel fresh cut grass hops. Flavor is like aroma but much more intense; plus, at first there was a metallic tinge and then it's just a big barley wine. Body is what I'd expect, full and it has great carbonation for this style. Finish is like a good barley wine- huge and bittersweet. Actually reminds me of several homebrewed barley wines.

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Photo of lightindarkness
3.65/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - coppery amber, clear at first, but cloudy with sediment towards bottom of bottle. Sudsy filmy head is thin but hangs. Decent strings of patchy lace.

N - Caramel over deep grain. Sweet pineapple and some mild citrus fruit. Light spice and simple background herb through grapefruit.

T - Juicy and delicate initially, intensifying quickly. Tightens to a strong dense medium light-malt with harder swelling bitterness. Good hop finish, with fruits of cantaloupe, pineapple, grapefruit and mandarin orange washing over resiny bitterness. Off flavored underlying 'band - aid' chemical taste behind the hops.

F - seems watery when held in the mouth at first, but thickens and becomes nicely smooth. Carbonation is present but faint, and bitterness/hops create an almost raspy sensation in combination with alcohol.

D - Pretty good overall. I don't love it, but am glad I've tried it. Satisfies the craving for a big strong ale that's got depth and strong on hops without being too much of either. Alcohol is a little strong, but not out of whack, actually adding a lot of spicy character to the beer.

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

Bottle into bicentennial Mason jar.

A: Translucent amber with a nice 3 finger ecru head. Lacing is short lived.

S: Fuggles and Cascade hops hit the nose along with caramelly maltiness.

T: Nice strong piney hops throughout. On the edges are sweet malts that make brief but satisfying appearances in the flavor spectrum.

M: Not bad. Kind of watery but not too light. More creaminess would be good for the thick flavor.

D: Wow this brew packs a punch but if one paces himself he could sip on all night.

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Photo of jpittman80
4.8/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Bottle conditioned, so a little hazy. Second half of the bomber was murky. Copper colored with full, rocky, off-white head that lasts and lasts. Great lacing.

S - Mostly citrus aromas, such as pineapple and grapefruit.

T - Oh wow. I've never had a strong ale like this. It's almost like a summer seasonal of a strong ale. Very citrusy, with the pineapple and grapefruit, along with other tropical fruit. Caramel sweetness supports a substantial hop presence. Finishes dry with plenty of hops.

M - Silky smooth medium-light body. Soft carbonation and the slightest of alcohol warming.

D - I am plowing through this bomber, it is so tasty. Slight alcohol warmth, but not a bit detrimental. I can feel the alcohol content starting to get to me, but it's only because I'm at the end of the bottle and I took this baby DOWN.

This beer really scratched an itch for me. I was a little tired of "American Strong Ales" being either overly hoppy, overly sweet, or overly boozy. Absolutely great balance. This really does feel like a bigger brother of the light, delicious Sawtooth Ale. Pretty affordable, too. I am definitely picking up another bottle soon. Great strong ale for the miserable Florida summer.

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Chainsaw Ale from Left Hand Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.8 out of 5 with 344 ratings
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