Sawtooth Ale | Bitter Root Brewing

21 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Sawtooth AleSawtooth Ale

Brewed by:
Bitter Root Brewing
Montana, United States

Style: American Blonde Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Lewis and Clark's 1805-1806 expedition took them past the many creeks that flow into the Bitterroot River each spring, among them Sawtooth Creek. Bitter Root Brewing's blonde ale is made from the finest pale malt and hops available. The addition of malted rye and wheat give this beer a crisp, dry flavor. It's a national medal winner, and a year round favorite.

Added by Gusler on 05-05-2004

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Reviews: 21 | Ratings: 37
Reviews by the Alström Bros:

  None found.

More User Reviews:
Photo of biboergosum
3.43/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Moose's Saloon.

This beer appears a clear pale golden colour, with one finger of creamy white head, which leaves a decently played out web of lace as the story develops. It smells faintly of citrus and barley grain. The taste is fruity malt - apple and pear, with some floral, earthy hops. The carbonation is moderate, the body medium weight and fruity smooth, and it finishes dry, and well, fruity.

A nice mild-flavoured blonde ale; the fruity focus held to the end.

 479 characters

Photo of jheezee
3.5/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of mrjshock
3.36/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours into glass with a thick white head that holds well. Pale yellow or straw like color. appears very bubbly with a slight cloudiness. attractive glass of beer.

Smells of banana and pale malt.

Wheat flavor comes through. Slightly sweet. Mild to light hop bitterness.

tingly to the tip of the tongue with a watery finish.

A pleasant very drinkable beer that goes down easy and leaves me wanting more. Would be a great summertime lawn mowing beer.

 453 characters

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.6/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I have the rare Thursday night off... Managed to pull Brenda into Brewforia on our jaunt out to El Gallo Giro (Great Mexican food) ... Picked up a nice mixed 6'er.. Paid waaaay to much for this bottle.. $6.20ish.

Pours clear golden.. descent head and lacing.

Nose is pale malts and little else.. not really a flaw though.. some minor floral hops.. ehhh...

Clean pale malts.. something that make me think adjuncts like corn... but really this is just a good very drinkable blonde...

Body is sturdy for the style... carbonation is pretty much perfect..

The price is waaaay too much for this brew/style.. I would be happy with $3.. but $6 is harsh.

I am pretty happy to find Bitter Root in Boise... I've picked up their 22's everywhere in my many trips to MT... and have enjoyed some nice ales in the taproom... but.. again... $6.. is too much even given the distance.


 893 characters

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.56/5  rDev +0.6%

Pours a hazy medium straw amber with golden notes. One finger white head with good retention and lacing. Aroma of wheat, light bready malt, lemon citrus and a bit of tart rye. Flavor is wheat, light lemon, hint of rye, surprisingly tart; finishes with tart citrus wheat and light grassy hop bitterness. Light to medium bodied. Unusual for a blonde ale, this seems dominated by the wheat and rye, I'd have guessed it was a wheat ale. Oddly tart for the style. As a citrusy wheat ale, it's nice and refreshing, but its not what I expected from a blonde. Pleasant, but not to style and bit too tart for my taste.

 609 characters

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

The beer disembogues the brown 22 ounce bottle a slightly bemused amber color, the head a prestigious light tan crown to sit upon the body with the lace a silky curtain to obscure the glass. The nose is sweetly malt with a bit of floral spiciness to accentuate the crispness, also a bit of yeast from the Rye and Wheat, a pleasant treat for the schnozzle. Start is lightly sweet with a nice malt profile and the top moderate in its feel to the palate. Finish has a purposeful acidity and the hops spicy in their mild but flavorful bite, the aftertaste is quite dry and a nice refreshing beer, and I once again thank abnranger for this bottle.

 642 characters

Photo of GeezLynn
3.34/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Five or six years since I've had anything from these guys. The nut brown used to be pretty solid beer.

A: Golden straw color with a light white head.

S: Pretty grainy smell, with a little wheat and adjunct - maybe corn? Not enticing.

T: Flavor is sweet with and fruity, mainly apple/pear with a slight lemon tang. I can also pick up the wheat and a little hop flavor.

M: Body is light but not thin with crisp carbonation.

Flavor's not bad for style, but the smell leaves a lot to be desired. Not my first choice of Bitter Root beers but it might have it's place on a hot day.

 580 characters

Photo of Jameswoody
3.25/5  rDev -8.2%

Photo of elektronen
3.75/5  rDev +5.9%

Photo of hockenbeer
4/5  rDev +13%

Photo of thebigredone
3.25/5  rDev -8.2%

Photo of neckbeered
3/5  rDev -15.3%

Photo of robwestcott
4.3/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

thanks to ivanwho and the Noob BIF round 2 for this one.

poured cold from the bomber a semi-translucent straw yellow / gold to a shaped sun king pint with a long lasting foamy white head with nice retention.

pleasant aroma of lemon rind and ripe pears.

subtle puckery tart on the first sip, lemon, citrus, sweet apples.

smooth, creamy, medium bodied, subtle tart to the roof of the mouth.

drinkable - very.

 411 characters

Photo of zeff80
3.5/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a hazy, golden yellow color with a one-finger head of bubbly foam. It left sudsy trails of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of caramel and some floral notes.

T - It tasted of sweet caramel with some subtle roasty notes. Slight biter hop bite.

M - It was fairly crisp and sharp. A light to medium bodied ale with a dry finish.

O - This is an okay blonde ale. Nice to try something from a small Montana brewery.

 429 characters

Photo of archyquaffer
3.44/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into a Pilsener style sampler. For some reason, the labels on the bottles from this brewery are always crinkly, like they've gotten wet. The blurb mentions the use of rye and wheat, and states that the beer is a "national medal winner". Does this medal have a name?

A moderate pour produces about 1/2 inch of frothy head that reduces to about 1/8 inch and sticks to the glass pretty well. The color is a hazy, pale yellowish golden with fairly high carbonation.

The aroma seems sort of adjuncty from the wheat and rye with very light grassy hops. Very clean, light taste, slightly lemony, with a crisp, tingly and clean finish. A pretty distinct yeasty tang is also quite apparent here and there. It's pleasantly burpy, with light lemony and grassy notes lingering in the aftertaste.

This beer could use some more hop flavors (and I'm no hop head) but is refreshing and makes a good warm weather beer, and when you want something more flavorful than a PBR or Coors Banquet. I'd be more likely to buy this in the can for camping and rafting than to buy another bomber.

 1,091 characters

Photo of GClarkage
4.12/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Consumed in August 2004 from a 22oz purchased from the Bitteroot Brewery in Hamilton, MT. Poured with a small head, a amber darker ale. Decent amount of spices fill the air. Very impressive scent. A very tasty beer. Uses rye in the making of the beer. Adds a nice little kick to it. A different kind of taste than I am used to. Wish I had taken more notes on this beer. Kind of doing it by memory. I just remember that it was a very good beer worthy of seeking out if you are in the Northwestern states area. I've actually had all their beers and have about 4 more different kinds at home ready to drink and review while drinking rather than by memory. Good stuff.

 664 characters

Photo of Murrhey
3.45/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber into a weizen glass in high elevation Libby, Mont. Reviewed live.

A- Two finger white fluffy head. Pretty low retention, spotty, watery lacing. Pale golden color with moderate clarity. Fairly attractive looking beer.

S- Golden, slightly toasty malts and English hops. Slight bit of funk as well, which isn't a good sign. Not bad smell, but not good either.

T- Tasty wheat and light malts. Hop character is minimal and earthy. Very nice flavor for a blonde.

M- Smooth and sticky. Finishes wet and clean. Pretty nice feel.

O- More impressed than I thought I was going to be. This is a very nice blonde.

 628 characters

Photo of loren01
2.82/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Had this beer from a 22 oz bottle purchased at the Man Store in Helena, MT.
A: Pours a light golden color with minimal head. Good amount of carbonation and lacing.
S: Smell is sweet like honey with a slight citrusy smell as well. Also a good amt of spiciness maybe cinnamon??
T: Taste is slightly sweet, not much flavor actually pretty watery.
M: Medium to full bodied, lots of bubbly on the tongue.
D: I don't think I would probably get this one again, taste was pretty bland and watery I thought.

 504 characters

Photo of sporklift87
3.97/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Libeertarian
3.29/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

From notes taken 06/27/16:

Pure, clear, rich golden ale. Fine, even, one finger off-white head of moderate retention. Grainy, grassy smell, not harsh. Grain (apparently malt, wheat, and barley), bread, honey, light fruit, fairly clean hops, dryer finish with hint of crackers. Medium-bodied, smooth (rye and wheat help), soft but plenteous carbonation.

 356 characters

Photo of MrBoz21
2.89/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Pours straw yellow with thick 1/2 inch white head. Very bubbly. Foam does not really lace and color has a slight bit of haze.

Aroma: Pale malt and slight banana. Sort of musty.

Taste: Moderately dry with a bit of tanginess. Wheat sweetness, lemon and mild hop bitterness in the finish. Tastes and finishes watery.

Mouthfeel: Bubbly (but not tingly) and watery.

Overall: Quaffable, probably a good summertime yardwork ale. However, non-descript and lacking of any real character. Watery.

 490 characters

Photo of trytoketchup
5/5  rDev +41.2%

Photo of beer_nibbler
3.5/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.5/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap in a pint glass

Appearance - The beer is served a deep golden color with a one finger head of white foam. The head fades rather rapidly leaving just a trace of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma of the beer is mostly grainy and bready in nature with some hints of a lighter fruit smell mixed within. Along with these aromas comes some light notes of yeast and a hint of grassy hop as well.

Taste – The taste begins with a rather bready flavor mixed with a little bit of caramel and some harvest fruit tastes of apple and pear. Along with these flavors comes some lighter notes of a grape and lemon flavor, which remain in the background throughout. The bready flavors bring with them some flavors of yeast. The bready soon transitions as the taste advances taking on a more grainy flavor. All while this occurs, some yeast and a bit of a herbal and floral flavor come to the tongue, leaving one with a slightly grainy and somewhat sweet flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel- The body of the beer is on the average side in terms of thickness with a carbonation level that is rather average as well. The feel and carbonation are great for the style and make for a more refreshing and easy drinking beer.

Overall – A fairly tasty brew overall, with a bit of a more refreshing style overall. One to try if you get a chance.

 1,379 characters

Photo of RJLarse
2.79/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I bought a bomber of Sawtooth Ale at a beer store. $4.59. Poured in to a pint glass.

Pours a rich gold color and is clear. Fizzy white breaks down quickly, but the last eighth inch or so is fairly resilient.

Smell is a wet grain aroma. No sweetness, no fruit or floral scent.

Taste is an acerbic cereal flavor. A lot of bitterness and not much else going on.

Mouthfeel is light and clean. Moderately carbonated. Dry bitter aftertaste.

Drinkable but average. I think it actually smells and tastes a lot like a macro lager. Pretty good lawnmower beer I guess, but I doubt I'll buy it again.

 593 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Sawtooth Ale from Bitter Root Brewing
3.54 out of 5 based on 37 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

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.