907: Left Hand Sawtooth Ale

Name: Left Hand Sawtooth Ale
Brewery: Left Hand Brewing
Country of Origin: United States
City & State: Longmont, Colorado
Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)
Alcohol Content (ABV): 4.8%
First Brewed: 1994

Tasting Notes
Pours bright amber with an off-white head. Lively floral nose includes sweet caramel notes. Caramel also blends with apple fruitiness on the palate, the flavors enhanced by a creamy mouthfeel. Hop bitterness is restrained but persistent and balancing.

Ricky’s Thoughts
I am not a big fan of Left Hand. Until we sat down to drink this one, I had no idea where the name came from. That is a pretty cool story. Anyway, their Milk Stout is what they are pretty much known for. At least for me. I am not a big fan of that one. Jake has a bottle of the nitro… and he likes that style. But this one is known as their “flagship beer”, so I hope this has more flavor and complexity than the Milk Stout. If nothing else, I like their logo! The Milk Stout is on our list, and is in our fridge. Let’s get to it…

In the Glass: It looks like an ale. Sheryl didn’t think so. She thought it looked like a pale ale. (Edit from Sheryl: that is NOT what I said.) Yep… still an ale! Anyway, it looks good in the glass. I am not too excited about the ABV here. Coming in under 5% I am not sure what the hype is. I guess I need to stop writing

Nose: I am picking up a TON of malt on this one. It smells like a barleywine. I am telling you… I am on a HUGE barleywine kick right now. Not sure why. Maybe because of how sweet they are. But this one is loaded with malts, and it is obvious from the nose. Let’s see what she tastes like.

Flavor: The sweetness I was picking up on the nose is there, but only for a second. Then it settles down, and slides across the palate leaving a velvety mouthfeel that just hangs around. Then the swallow is very balanced and the hops are never more than just there. Because this has such a low ABV, I can see this beer being something I could/would chug if the price was right.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is great. It is silky smooth, and almost buttery. The burp is nice too, bringing back those malts that you could smell and briefly taste. The beer is extremely smooth, and leads to a smooth and balanced finish.

Aftertaste: There isn’t much going on here, but that’s OK. I didn’t really expect it nor want it. The beer is so smooth, I want another drink! For not being a big fan of Left Hand, I am pretty impressed with this. There are a lot of things going on, but the flavor just equals a good, quality brew. Bottoms up, people!

Left Hand Sawtooth Ale – The bottle says: “Brewed with clean energy powered by SimpleSolar electric systems. Brewed on the banked of the mighty St. Vrain.”

Rating: 3/5

Sheryl’s Thoughts
So I guess I don’t really know much about beer.  The beer that I picked out tonight is an ale, and when I think of an ale, I guess I think of a pale ale, which to me is usually pretty light in color not really that thick.  But when Ricky poured tonight’s beer in the glass, it looks thick, opaque, and is kind of a medium brown-orange color.  Not what I expected from a pale ale.  But Ricky pointed out what we have on our refrigerator – a magnet that describes the differences between lagers and ales, as well as the differences between the different types of common beers.  It’s basically what I knew, I guess, but I just think of a pale ale as being more… well, pale.

The beer smells kind of fruity, almost kind of sour.  When it’s in the light, it’s actually a bit lighter than it looked in our kitchen (maybe we just have crappy lighting in our kitchen).  There’s also not much head on it.  It looks and smells like it should be pretty tasty, but looks can be deceiving.  Let’s find out.

This beer has an interesting flavor.  It tastes lighter than it looks in the glass.  It also taste more carbonated than I expected, but it’s not overly carbonated.  It does taste slightly fruity and slightly sour, but neither one of those is overpowering at all.  It also leaves a little bit of aftertaste… not hoppy, just some of a reminder of what you just drank.  To me this would be a good summer or even fall beer.  It’s very flavorful while not being too heavy or over-the-top.  This is one I’d pick up again, I think… seems like a good one to grab for a casual get-together at a friend’s house.  Impress them with you taste in beer.  Unless you live in Indiana – then you’ll want to bring Sun King.  Just please don’t if you’re coming to my house.

Rating: 3/5

906 bottles of beer on the wall…

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