Stranger | Left Hand Brewing Company

204 Reviews
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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.

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Reviews: 204 | Ratings: 904
Photo of Lemke10
3.17/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

This pours a hazy golden yellow color with a slight, off-white head. The aroma is filled with hops but fairly mild ones, not quite to the extent of an IPA. The taste is weaker and thinner than I expected. There is a decent bitterness to the beer that delivers flavor without being overly crisp. It’s fairly average and could use some work.

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Photo of rfgetz
3.58/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a golden orange color with firm cap of white froth, good lacing. Notes of dried grain, floral and grassy hops appear before a firm sweetness shines through. Taste is grainy and grassy, lightly floral and sugary sweet, moderate fruitiness, faint earthy spice. Medium bodied, some heft and graininess for a pale ale. Solid beer, unique composition.

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Photo of chugalug06
2.78/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.75

A friend left this brew at my casa after the SuperBowl...

Golden, nice clarity, lacing is nice, head is foamy white.

Very light aroma, not too much going..

Light, thin, bready, medium carbonation, crisp, missing many key flavors. Refreshing and nice, but not right for the style. Too relaxed. Bitterness is extremely mild. Recommended only for HOT days..

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Photo of thagr81us
3.5/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from tap into a sampler shaker. Poured golden yellow with a half finger white head that subsided to a minimal amount slowly. Maintained phenomenal lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, grass, spice, pine, pine hop, and subtle citrus. The flavor was of sweet malt, fruit, fruit hop, banana, and bread. It had a light feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall this was a decent brew. I really enjoyed how the notes of citrus in the nose and the banana in the flavor were incorporated into this brew. These slight little subtleties definitely took this one above average status for the style. I just wish there would have been more things going on if I am honest. This one definitely has a lot of potential with some subtle tweeks. Glad I got to try this one and would likely do so again.

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Photo of duffalo
2.55/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.25

Good color but a little bit cloudy. Nice hoppy smell, but very light. Not that it's an IPA, but I expect a little more of a hoppy scent in a Pale Ale. Fine mouth feel - not a too bubbly and also not too light either. As for the taste though - it tastes pretty strongly like malt extract. Not sure why that's the case, but it's a little offsetting. I don't expect outrageous amounts of hops, but in my opinion this beer is way too sweet for the style. In general I like Left Hand, but this is not my favorite Pale Ale - probably won't get this one again.

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Photo of SerialHiker
3.63/5  rDev +4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a transparent, maize/golden color...some bubbles in the middle…whitish head is minimal…(3/5)

Smell: Fresh pale malt smell…citrus and piney hops apparent…very light and crisp…traditional American pale ale aroma…a nice sweetness about this…(3.75/5)

Taste: Starts like a typical American pale ale…bread malt beginning with a citrus and piney finish…but this one has something a bit different…there’s a finishing quality about this that is different…it’s very malty…it’s almost: bready – citrus – piney – bready…(3.75/5)

Mouthfeel: Bitter entrance…light body, medium carbonation…it does have a nice feel to it that does leave my mouth watering for more…a fairly straight forward beer…(3.5/5)

Overall: It’s good…a nice APA that does have a bit of a unique twist on the idea…the bready malts are flavorful and does make it something different…it’s good, very drinkable and enjoyable…it’s not revolutionary by any means, but does what it does well… a six pack is nothing less than what this ale deserves…(3.5/5)

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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.

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Photo of YeastWrangler88
3.45/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12pz bottle into a Sam Adams Pint Glass:

Appearance: straw colored, with some really light amber hues. Kind of hazy. Nithing visable like hops floating, just a slight haze.

Aroma: smells of grapfefruit, with grass and some slight pear like aromas.

Flavor: flavor is very nice. Citrus flavors along with some pine and grass with some light bread like flavors to balance with some sweetness, bitterness is well balanced for a pale ale.

Mouthfeel: carbonation is nice, would like a little more mouth feel, its a little lite to me, but that doesnt take away from the flavor, head diminishes farely quickly, but a small bit of lacing remains.

Overall: a good APA, not the best, but its nice. Something ill remember. I would just enjoy some body to enhance the overall impression of this beer.

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Photo of SolipsismalCat
3.85/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a glass mug.

A: Slightly hazy golden yellow with one-and-a-half finger, white, creamy head that lasted a couple of minutes. Not much lacing.

S: Citrus hops. Mild.

T: Moderate sweetness and light to moderate hop bitterness. Sweet citrus and pine.

M: Medium bodied with soft carbonation. Very smooth.

O: The mouthfeel and subdued hops make this very drinkable to me. Just above average pale ale.

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Photo of mtnbeer87
2.8/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-- light orange/ yellow in color. Bout a finger of white head.

S- fruity, sweet, quite a bit on nose that I couldn't pin point.

T- slight sweet taste, little hops,

M- light, watery, smooth, the way I imagined american pale ale would be.

O- enjoyed the smell more than the taste. Still likes it but just imho the smell was lots better than taste


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Photo of TwelveOunces
3.46/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 Oz bottle poured into a pint glass

This beer pours hazy golden orange with a one finger white head, good retention. The beer doesn't have much on the nose at all. It has a very faint fragrance that matches the taste. The taste is well balanced for a pale ale but lacks in strong flavors. There is a slightly bitter hop presence but it doesnt do much. The feel of the beer is quite nice, it has a heavy and thick feel for a pale ale and it goes down quite smooth. Overall, this is a pass, I think if you can get your hands on this then you can get something better.

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Photo of tdm168
3.7/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - clear gold with a short-lived, soft, white head

S - bready, citrusy

T - bread, toast, citrus, faint earthiness

M - light bodied, smooth, well carbonated

I didn't appreciate the toasted malt that was pretty forward in the flavor, but the rest of the flavor notes were good. This isn't a bad beer by any means, but it's not one I'm going to pick up again.

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Photo of davecavemaster
3.92/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours with a bubbly white head that quickly dissipates down to a thin covering on the top of the brew. Moderate lacing around the sides of the glass.
The color is pale golden, with a bit of yellow.

Amazing nose of heavy floral hops, with hints of lemon

Taste very much follows the nose, as the floral hoppiness is fully at the front of the taste. Heavy citrus flavors, strong on the orange and lemon tastes. I also get some sensations of pine.

This pale ale has a smooth and refreshing taste to it. It feels crisp and satisfying in your mouth. The light carbonation makes this a very easy beer to drink...and then drink another.

Overall, a very good pale ale. It has some very different flavor profiles than most other pale ales, maybe that comes from the rye malt they use.
Worth checking out.

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

Available as part of the variety mix pack, my first review from the series. No information on the label- beer was bottled on 05/11/2012.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a pint glass. Served in the low 40's. It's a bit of a gusher.

(Appearance) Pours a giant golden cream head, retains well but brightens as it settles to a near white. Body color is a very hazy golden copper with abundant relaxed carbonation. Flecked lacing drapes the sides of the class. Appearance is good. 4

(Smell) Smells of pale malts, some faint citrus and floral hop bouquet, and a small yeasty funk in the background. Aroma is simple but enjoyable. 3.5

(Taste) Flavors are a bit more murky and mysterious. There's a mild bready malt profile with a peppery rye bite in the finish. Most of the hop character is faint and the citrusy fruitiness has mellowed out a lot, giving in to the musty characters, but there's still some subtle lemon in trace amounts, complementing the peppery rye finish. I don't personally love the flavor of this brew but I do find it a more interesting interpretation of the style. It doesn't necessarily focus on high drinkability and simplicity but rather originality, and I can respect that. I don't think that this is a pale ale flavor meant for everybody, but some might enjoy it quite a bit. 3.5

(Mouthfeel) Really slick smooth relaxed texture. Medium body amongst pale ales and light body overall. Alcohol presence is low, well concealed by the flavorful malt profile. The texture is a good pairing for the style and the flavors for this particular beer. I found the faint carbonation pleasant and cooperative with the flavor, keeping attention trained to the subtleties and uniqueness of the beer. 4.5

(Overall) Stranger pale ale is an interesting pale ale option, mysterious and murky flavored. You might be mislead by the brighter aromas, but the flavors warm up to you, much like a stranger when given time and attention. It's not quite the crowning achievement of Left Hand's repertoire, but there's certainly a market for this beer, and the name couldn't be more fitting for the flavors involved. If you're going for an American Pale Ale, consider this a variation likely worth seeking out. 3.5

Left Hand Brewing Company's
Stranger American Pale Ale

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Photo of bmwats
3.23/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a standard pint.

A: Golden hue. Medium carbonation. Pours about a half finger, foamy, white head. Settles and dissipates slowly leaving a thick blanket of foam. Substantial lacing.

S: Piny hops, basil, oregano, parsley, and a little lemon citrus.

T: Piny and a little steely.

M: Light and crisp. Really washed-out, shallow feel. Metallic aftertaste.

D: Light and goes down without much resistance.

Atmosphere is really solid. Great head, and some thick persistent lacing. Nose is piny and spicy. Flavor is slightly piny, and has a more metallic character to it. Washed-out and shallow. Overall, this is a pretty decent quaff.

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Photo of YouSkeete
2.95/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pale yellow/orange, very hazy appearance. Short white head with decent lacing. Pale malts, sour apples, grapefruit and wheat grass. Soft hop aroma is also present in the aroma. First sip is a sour, bitter pinch of hops and citrus fruits. The rest of the body doesnt really even out at all, remains very bitter and sour throughout. Sweeter, drier finish. Possibly bunked, quite average if not.

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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.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.18/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap in a pint glass

Appearance – The beer was served a light golden-straw color with a one finger white head. The head faded relatively fast to give a medium amount of lacing.

Smell – A aroma is strongest of biscuit and bready smells mixed with some citrus of grapefruit and orange. Mixed with these is an ever so light floral aroma as well.

Taste – The taste begins with some caramel mixed with a biscuit base. As the taste advances some hop flavors of a more citrus nature come to the tongue. Toward the end the brew dries out some as a more floral hop flavor comes to the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the brew was on the average thickness and had a very average carbonation level. Good for the style and one easy drinking brew.

Overall – It was very easy to down with a moderately nice flavor. While a good session beer but it is nothing all that special.

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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.

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Photo of patpbr
3.38/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- near bronze with a bubbly head
S- not so exciting, based on smell i would say no.
T- smooth pale ale. some bite which is good.
M- its there and then its gone, good for the style
O- It's a solid pale ale, your not going to be disappointed or blown away.

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Photo of mscudder
3.2/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a snifter.

A - Dark, cloudy straw yellow. A thin head that left a modest sized lacing.

S - Lots of yeast and an abundance of rye and tarty peaches. Bready malts hold it all together.

T - Some hop bitterness hits the palette initially. Some floral and citrus notes follow, accented by some faint sweet malts. Finishes relatively dry for a pale ale.

M - Light bodied, light carbonation and overall relaxed feel. Nothing is greatly done, yet everything is in fair balance and would be considered: drinkable.

O - A pale ale that I find average. Nothing worth seeking or returning to. The balance is not superb, which is what I see in the style.

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Photo of RickS95
2.67/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Looks like wine. Pours a golden orange, very pale and very clear. No carbonation after the head forms, zero bubbles trying to escape from the bottom. Head is thin and white, and lacks retention, though there is some slight lacing.

I pick up more malt in the nose than anything. Kind of biscuity and maybe, just maybe, if you really try, you get the slightest touch of citrus.

It's got a strange taste in that you pick up what appears to be pilsner malt with a floral hoppy finish.

There's complexity in a sense, in that you get a mild, smoothish malty feel followed by a bitter finish. But really, it's pretty underwhelming.

Overall, it's just not that much of a good beer. Nothing stands out and it's not something I'd have again.

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Photo of Mora2000
3.33/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours an orange-amber color with a white head. The aroma is full of orange citrus and biscuit malt, with some light pine notes. The flavor has a lot of bitter pine as well a some light orange citrus. The biscuit malt keeps the bitterness low. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of jhartley
3.03/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed on April 7, 2012. Bottled on February 2,2012 20:28.
Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Poco Grande flute glass.

A-Pours a golden orange color with a soapy white head with a lot of tight bubbles. Nice amount of carbonation coming up from the bottom. Nice lacing left on the glass.

S-Citrus and rye...peahces??? Not sure nothing too pronounced.

T-Light bitter up front with some orange like flavor, taste doesn't match the smell.

M-Nice carbonation and a decent dry finish.

O-Decent beer, easy drinker. Would like a little more hops.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.74/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Cask at Falling Rock Taphouse in Denver. Received in a pint glass. This was dry-hopped with Williamette and Cascade.

3.0 A: Lightly hazed medium orange color. One finger of mainly foamy head. Never had a cask beer that looks like this.

4.0 S: Clean and less yeasty than every other cask beer I've had. Dry hopping yields a big floweriness with citrus fruits and emphasizing orange and pineapple. Lightly bready.

4.0 T: Pleasant hoppiness is also found in the taste. Flowers, orange, and pineapple. Shockingly clean. Lightly bready and some caramel.

3.0 M: This doesn't feel like cask. Rather, it feels like a bottled beer that has been poured and sat too long. Not creamy, not chewy. Lighter medium body. "Normal" cask level carbonation. A bit too watery.

3.5 D: Good enough, but I feel like I missed the cask experience.

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Stranger from Left Hand Brewing Company
3.49 out of 5 based on 904 ratings.
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