This is the second time I have written about Left Hand Brewing out of Longmont, Colorado. Before it was a write-up on their Chainsaw Ale; which is the “connoisseur version” of their flagship brew, and the one I happen to be speaking about in this post, Sawtooth Ale.
As I mentioned above, Sawtooth Ale is Left Hand’s flagship brew. And by “flagship” I mean the brew that started it all. Like Sierra Nevada’s Pale Ale, or Oskar Blues Dale’s Pale Ale a brewery’s flagship beer can say a lot about the people or person who started the brewery. It can give the consumer some insight into why the brewer started to brew beer in the first place and it provides one with a launching pad from which to start an exploration of everything a particular brewery has to offer.
Sawtooth Ale is an American ESB, or extra special bitter, which features a light mouthfeel and despite its name has a mild hop bitterness. In fact an ESB’s shining characteristic is its balance and it’s flavor profile is never dominated by a particular element; i.e. hops or alcohol. Sawtooth’s golden-orange color is accentuated by both a fruity aroma and the slight smell of fresh pastry – both of which are side effects of the malty character of the style. An off white head which leaves a slight bit of lacing on the sides of the glass as it dissipates, is a nice contrast to the aforementioned color of the body.
Though this offering by Left Hand may be touted by some as mediocre, like I stated before I feel it’s best to start with a brewery’s original brew. Yes Left Hand has some pretty off the wall stuff, and by contrast Sawtooth can seem a little mild but if I don’t start at the beginning I will have a harder time deciphering my way through a brewers repertoire.
You need to understand where you’ve been before you can get to where you want to be.