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Beer #64 – March 6, 2010: Left Hand Sawtooth Ale

March 12, 2010

Beer: Left Hand Sawtooth Ale

Brewery: Left Hand Brewing Company, Longmont, Colorado

Style: ESB (Extra Special Bitter)

Serving Type: 12 oz bottle

Price: $8.99 / 6-pack

Availability: Year-round

Glassware: Glass Mug

Strength: 4.5% ABV (alcohol by volume)

Drinkability: Nice hop / malt balance, with a flavor that is warm and comforting

Tasting Notes

Appearance: A copper-colored brew with a big creamy, foamy, off-white head

Aroma: Caramel, buttery, toasted, with some herbal-hop notes

Mouthfeel: Medium body, with a slightly creamy impression from the tiny bubbles of carbonation.

Taste: An array of malt flavors right up front: caramel, chewy, slightly roasted, a little toasted.  The middle becomes a bit dryer, oaky, woody, and grassy.  It becomes a bit more tangy, with the very familiar and classic flavors of tried-and-true British hops (East Kent Golding and Fuggles).  A slightly buttery flavor smooths over a moderately bitter, but refreshingly bitter, finish.  Overall, an incredibly British-tasting ale hailing from the peaks of Colorado.

Pairing: Scotch Egg, Cornish Pasty, Sausage Roll, or Shepherd’s Pie… and a cozy booth at a pub on a rainy night.

Trivia: Left Hand’s Sawtooth Ale was ranked as the favorite Bitter of a New York Times tasting panel, beating out many worthy British counterparts.  I’ll have to sample a few more this year before I concur, but I’m sure this one will be at least near the top of my list too.

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