Friday, February 14, 2014

Left Hand Sawtooth Nitro (7/10)

Longmont, Colorado’s Left Hand Brewing Company produces a number of really great beers.  Their Milk Stout Nitro is probably my favorite stout.  Their St. Vrain Tripel is a great example of the style.  When I saw Sawtooth Nitro on tap at the 101 Beer Kitchen, I had to try it.  It’s an English style bitter ale.

Sawtooth pours a medium brown with a definite coppery read tint to it.  The head is finger-thick and dissipates slowly.  It leaves behind a spider-web-like lacing on the glass.

The aroma is mildly hoppy, but the flavor is very well balanced.  The nitrogen "carbonation” makes it a bit smoother than it might normally be.   On balance it’s slightly sweet and finishes just a little on the hoppy side.

Reviewers on Beer Advocate are split on this one.  “The Bros” give it 94/100 while the user ratings give it only an 84.  RateBeer is tougher on Sawtooth, rating it only 68/100.  My own rating is 7/10, somewhere in the middle of all that.  I think if the finish wasn’t quite as hoppy I’d have rated it 8 or 9.  Even at 7/10, this is a high rating from me on a bitter ale.

This was on draft at the 101 Beer Kitchen when I had it, but you can find it in bottled (non-nitro) form at a number of Columbus area retailers.  I’ve seen it on the shelves at Ale Wine and Spirits in Powell, the Giant Eagle at Bethel and Sawmill, Grandview Carryout, Northwest Wine and Spirits, Savor Growl, Weiland’s Gourmet Market, and Whole Foods Market in Dublin.

ABV: 5.3%
IBU: 27
My Rating: 7/10

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