Stranger | Left Hand Brewing Company

204 Reviews
no score
Send samples

Brewed by:
Left Hand Brewing Company
Colorado, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by brew3crew on 02-12-2011

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 204 | Ratings: 904
Photo of longmontcompass
4.5/5  rDev +28.9%

One of Left Hand’s main line of beers, the Stranger is a fruity and hoppy beer with a solid, but not overbearing citrus flavor. I tried one on a summer evening on my patio, it had been a hot day, so the cold beer helped to ease into a cool night.

Appearance: I poured a bottle of Stranger Pale Ale into a pint glass, and found that it left a thin but decent white head; it looked a bit like clouds on a weather radar, and I wondered if anyone used the Stranger to tell their future. It was a bit hazy, but a deep golden amber in color, almost like honey that has just started to crystallize and is darkening.

Aroma: Instead of the nose full of conifer needles that many pale ales offer, the Stranger had a nose balanced between floral scents, sweet caramel scents, and a subtle touch of pine. It was a familiar and comforting smell, but it felt new and surprising at the same time.

Flavor: The mouthfeel on this one is somewhere between an Amber and an IPA, which is nice. There are a lot of bright flavors on the tip of the tongue, followed by richer ones in the middle of the tongue and the insides of the cheeks. It is a thinner beer, which works well in its favor. Such light and subtle flavors wouldn’t communicate well in a thicker beer.

Overall Impression: Stranger Pale Ale is one of my favorite Left Hand brews. It’s not overly alcoholic, or overly hopped. It has refreshing and relaxing quality to it. Picture a late-afternoon barbecue, or a local baseball game: Stranger should be there. It’s a great segue into the evening from the afternoon.

 1,631 characters

Photo of GossageBrewery
4.35/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured this APA from a bottle into a pint glass. This ale poured a clear , light orange color, it produced a decent white head, average retention and average amount of lacing. The aroma of this apa contains caramel, citrus, and toasted grain. The taste of this beer has a baseline of fresh baked bread, sweet malted grain, spicy rye, citrus, grassy hops. Medium in body, very drinkable, good session beer, excellent example of a craft brewed APA.

 446 characters

Photo of tchenery
4.32/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer doesn't pour with a whole lot of head but other than that it looks great. It's very crisp and clean looking and extremely bright. Light straw in color, not even getting close to the darkness of say a Sierra Pale.

There is an amazing crispness on this beer and I think it has to be the rye. It comes through first on the nose. It's cutting bitter smell that is pretty new to me. It smells refreshing though. The taste is more of the same. It's this fruity malt, slightly hoppy taste bomb that is so refreshing and completely quenching.

Mouthfeel is great, it might be a bit too sweet on the finish for my taste, but that's just me.

Excellent beer and totally drinkable. I would like to have this on draft somewhere soon.

 729 characters

Photo of enfield249
4.3/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Very light golden color, almost wheat colored. A small white head.

S - Pine and slight citrus hops. A little Resin.

T - First thing I get is a nice pale malt flavor, very mild. Next is the pine hops followed shortly by the citrus. Very fresh tasting.

M - Light Medium to Medium. The right amount of CO2 for a pale ale.

O - What a great beer for the alcohol content! I love it. Plenty of flavor but you could drink it all day. Well done.

 445 characters

Photo of brew3crew
4.18/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had at Cincy winter beerfest 2011

A-very translucent yellow with white head around the edges.
S-piney hops and great malt balance
T-tastes alot like it smells. great balance between hops and malt. Can't get over it. Hate alas, love this one
M-very light and smooth
D-very drinkable. Pleasantly suprised.

 311 characters

Photo of gordavidson
4.15/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- A clear orange liquid with numerous streams of rising carbonation. The white head is thin but creamy with good retention.

S- Very crisp smelling with some aromas of caramel, grass, and a touch of citrus.

T- Caramel and grass with a bit of citrus. Clean and simple.

M- The carbonation keeps things light. The finish is very clean.

O- A very drinkable pale ale that is very nice on a hot summer night. Gives Sierra Nevada Pale Ale a run for its money.

 457 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.13/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was pleasantly surprised by Left Hand's Stranger, and not just because of the clever name. There are just so many APA's out there that taste very similar to each other, and that was what I was expecting (which would have been OK), but that's not what I got.

It looks like you'd expect an APA to look like, sporting a clear golden body beneath a creamy head of off-white froth. The head retention was quite good, and it left some very respectable lacing about the glass.

The aroma was bright, fresh, and inviting. It was floral, with notes of citrus and pine spicing it up a bit; and there was just enough of it that it still allowed a bit of the malt to come through.

The flavor followed suit, and I was surprised at just how hoppy it was. At the same time, it wasn't overdone. Sometimes hops can be overdone and you get a lot of resin and roughness, but there was none of that. It was interestingly spicy, piney, and gently citrusy and floral wrapped in a smooth blanket of golden malt. A solid bitterness balanced it, and it was quite a smooth transition from the first bit of hop and malt at the front to gently lingering, dry finish.

Medium bodied and crisp across the palate, it's a refreshing and flavorful ale.

I found it quite drinkable, offering a surprisingly unique character; and a flavor level that sets it just above some without slipping into almost IPA territory (as some others tend to do). Well done!

 1,425 characters

Photo of Billolick
4.12/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler fill from DeCicco's in Ardsley, NY

Pour is clear, lighter amber, the head is near white, fluffy and looser. Stays a spell, before leaving a high collar and nice well developed webs of fine lacing.

Nose is flush with basil, pepper and earthy hops.

Flavorful, enjoyable and pleasing APA. Site says the style goes well with pungent cheese and salad and I can confirm this fact. Nice balance of more moderatly spiced hops and maple malts with a minor nuttyness adding some nice complexity and interest. Well crafted and a nice addition to the Left Hand line of brews. Well worth a try.

 592 characters

Photo of devinoconnor
4.12/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

If you're not into the heavier beers, this is a perfect introduction into the world of craft brews.

This medium light amber pale ale pours a bright yellow, light color with little head.

Smell is nice and complex, a little hops and barley.

Taste has nice floral tones mixed with the sweet maltiness.

Very nice lighter ale.

 328 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.1/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I thought about Terrapin/Left Hand when reading they made a new pale with rye in it. This one appears a pale copper hue bright brilliant crystal clear body. Head forms nicely, fine speckled lacing that sticks evenly with each sip to my DFH pint. Aroma spicy rye with citric/pine hops going on this is a nice straightforward drinking hoppy RyePA. America say goodbye to Jackman's Pale Ale and say hello to Stranger American Pale Ale. Adds a nice level of complexity to an APA, crisp bitterness cuts through the body...citric/pine/spicy rye comes off iniitally as the beer warms a nice caramel spiced breadiness flavor comes around. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied evenly carbonated goes down smoothly, right at 5% abv will work for an American session ale for sure. Drinkability overall is excellent, complexity flavor and quality come to mind with my first few samples of this newly released Left Hand Pale Ale. Good choice the last six of Jackman's I had wouldn't go away I'm glad this was at the beer store this weekend.

 1,026 characters

Photo of TownDunkel
4.1/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Left Hand Brewing Company has a beer called "the Stranger".... maybe I am just dirty minded but it was so hilarious that I had to try it.

Appearance - Not the biggest fan of APA or IPA's but this one has a beautiful color to it. It is a nice medium brown with hints of orange and red.

Smell - I really enjoyed the smell on this. Usually this style of beer isnt fragrant enough for me, but with this one it has a great smell that reminds me of thistle and fall afternoons in the backyard.

Taste - Wow! Now that has a nice taste! Well done bitter honey and thistle with plenty of hops but not overpowering so. This is the best APA taste I have had yet.

Mouthfeel - This is where my heart was broken... The taste lasts only a couple seconds and the carbonation needs to stick around more. I need another drink just seconds after.

Overall - When I want or randomly crave an IPA or APA (which isnt usual...) I will get one of these.

 932 characters

Photo of Urbancaver
4.09/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden yellow. a bit hazy with a fairly good amount of head. looks decent enough. Smells very hopy. Lots of citrus and grapefruit on the nice. Reminiscent of half acre's pale ale. smells pretty good. Tastes very similar to half acre. The hop profile is very similar. Less hoppy than I would like but for a pale ale its solid. a great hoppy beer especially for left hand. Good mouthfeel and very drinkable

 412 characters

Photo of plfahey
4.07/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance-Medium golden yellow color with great clarity and a tall ivory-white lacy head on top with fair retention

Aroma-Lively, fresh american hops leap from the glass, with notes of lemongrass, grass, hay, flowers, and light citrus. Underneath there is honey blossom, and some white bread malt/barley cereal/caramel aromas.

Flavor-Soft floral/grassy hop flavors open onto a palate of bready barley malt and caramel. In the mid-palate, hops become more bitter, with a slight resin and hay flavor evolving. In the finish, moderate hop bitterness appears, and bready malt and resiny hops achieve a fine balance and linger well into the aftertaste. Finish is moderately dry and because of the bitterness leans towards the hops.

Mouthfeel-Medium body with moderate carbonation, but feels almost a bit flabby at times. This is a relatively minor complaint though.

This is an awesome APA, and I could definitely drink a ton of it. It has plenty of hop and malt character in the aroma and flavor to keep me interested, while remaining superbly drinkable. Bravo.

 1,103 characters

Photo of chicagoabbot
4.05/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a pint glass...have never had this before. Pours a bright golden with a fine but not massive head. Smell is malty, with a fruity bit of subdued hops. Taste is quite mild and very smooth...this could almost be termed a mild ale. Mouthfeel is excellent. Very refreshing beer, well put together and highly sessionable. If you think you're going to find a brew to make you stop buying Alpha King, this isn't it, but if you like to keep a few different kinds of pales in the fridge, this isn't a bad one to have around, it is better than most.

 556 characters

Photo of patoakes7
4.01/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours a crisp amber clear color with minimal white head. Decent carbonation and very light lacing on the glass.

S-Mild hop aroma slightly citrusy. Not an overwhelming nose to this beer.

T-This beer is smooth and light to the start. It is balanced nicely at the end with its bitterness.

M-Crisp all around, Carbonation gives it the nice bite at the end.

D- Easy to drink as I plan to have another one.

All around its considered an American Pale Ale but its not textbook. Had it on draft before liked it alot better. Love the name!

 536 characters

Photo of pat61
4/5  rDev +14.6%

Spicy hop aromas mingle with citrus, light fruit and light biscuit.
Pours gold with a slight haze under a 1" creamy head.
Palate begins with light fruit and biscuit leading to a pleasant citrus bitter finish with a hint of herbal vegetal bitterness from the hops.
Above average carbonation and medium body. Light sweetness up front but finishes dry.

 350 characters

Photo of Brunite
4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Super clear...bright yellow color. Dense white head that stays capped. Lace is lingering and leaves a nice lattice on glass.

S: Lots of hops for a PA. Citrus dominates with an undercurrent of bready notes.

T: Very juicy citrus tastes. This is exactly the taste I love in a APA or IPA. Perfect toasted bread flavors are the underlying foundation here. Dry finish.

M: Medium body....solid carbonation...nice resinous feel left behind.

D: Impressive. A solid APA that is reasonably priced. This will merit regular consideration.

 532 characters

Photo of albern
4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a very nice APA and it is growing on me. It pours a fairly pale golden color extremely clear with a surprising amount of lace. The head isn't much and there is no retention at all, but there is a very lacey design on the sides of my glass. I'm impressed with that. The nose is slightly citrus, quite grassy, with a nice piney hop aroma. The nose is quite nice.

The flavor is very pleasant, somewhat delicate, a slight bit thin. There are some citrus florals in the malt, plenty of piney hops, but nothing too biting or estery. There is a bit of grassiness to the beer, and a slight rye like malty dryness. This is a good beer and the piney hops play very nicely with the dry malts, and the floral notes. The beer takes a bit of time to settle and it may have a touch too much of the perfumey alcohol note. It's a touch thin, but this beer is good.

 856 characters

Photo of schoolboy
4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Here's a nice APA on the lighter side that doesn't taste lighter. It has the hoppy bite you would expect. This might be a good one to have when you are having more than one.

It has a smooth aftertaste and good all around balance. It would definitely be OK to buy this again as long as it is not too pricey (I think it was OK).

 327 characters

Photo of PsilohsaiBiN
4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Appearance: Pours golden amber with a small white head.

Smell: Smells like a pale ale to me. Definitely has that adjunct corn smell with a little bit of hops in the background.

Taste: I hate to sound like a crazy person, but this tastes similar to FFF Alpha King, although a notch below. You get a corn sweetness that fades into the bitter hops that are there for the duration of the drink. Nothing special but not bad by any means, a good pale.

Mouthfeel: Average carbonation with a good tongue coating semi-chewiness.

Overall: Better than I thought it would be, this random X-Mas gift beer turned out to be a winner. Not quite Alpha King, but I would certainly drink it again over many of the same old, lame domestic options you always seem to get offered.

 770 characters

Photo of ngeunit1
4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a bright clear golden-orange color with a finger of white frothy head. The head fades down to a ring around the glass lacing nicely in the process.

S - Aroma is a mix of sweet caramel malts and citrus and pine hops. Little bit of yeast hanging out in the background.

T - Starts off with citrus hop and bitterness and some light sweet caramel malts. Touch of grassy hops in the background. Through the middle, some stronger bitterness and yeast comes through. The finish is a mix of citrus hop and bitterness and some caramel malt sweetness that linger nicely.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels super crisp and smooth. Finish is nice and dry and really pleasant.

D - Very drinkable. The flavors are all nice and powerful-enough and the beer is far from empty. The hop profile is pretty nice and the malt balances nicely.

 850 characters

Photo of Rayek
4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Perfect Pint glass.

A: Brilliant pale amber with lots of carbonation. A dense eggshell cap has nice retention and leaves a fair amount of lace.

S: Pine and citrus dominate, with pine being the most prevalent. A toasted bread aroma resides underneath.

T: Cracker and toasted bread flavors create the base. The bitterness comes on almost immediately with a puckering citrus flavor. Finishes semi-dry with a lingering bitterness.

M: The medium body is quite oily. The carbonation could stand a little less vigor.

D: This is a nice APA that fit in well with the warm late winter day I had it on.

 610 characters

Photo of secondtooth
3.97/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Semi-transparent gold, with a crisp, white head. Lace kinda spotty, though.

Aroma is clean, with pronounced hops and a yeasty presence, too. Nicely balanced on the nose.

Tastes of malty sweetness and some crisp hops snappiness. It's all balanced, though. Operative word here is "balance".

I also do detect some of the sturdy rye in there, which only adds to the complex flavor profile.

A light beer that's full of flavor? Stranger wins. Perfect summer sessioner.

 467 characters

Photo of jwc215
3.95/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours slightly hazed golden with a thin lasting head that leaves lacing.

The smell is of citrus and herbal notes with slight malty aroma.

The taste is of citrus and herbal notes with some bread and pale malt. A touch of rye gives a minty aftertaste. A mild, but pleasant, taste.

The feel is a bit thin, but holds up well enough to be a light thirst-quencher with lingering taste.

A mild APA with a good balance and pleasant aftertaste. A solid "sessionable" APA.

 466 characters

Photo of jktedder12
3.95/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Clear deep yellow/tan color. 3/8 inch head with a bit of lacing. Head quickly dissipated. Smelled malt with a faint amount of hops. Hoppy pale flavor came through on first taste. Nice medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall a well balanced, above average pale ale.

 303 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Stranger from Left Hand Brewing Company
3.49 out of 5 based on 904 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.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.