Rick Fenwick Rick@fenwickkoller.com
I found a 12-pack Mountain Mixer Variety Pack brewed by Left Hand Brewing in Longmont, CO. Their logo is a graphic of a left hand that appears on all of their products. They also use the word “balanced” in describing a lot of their beers and this was a good description. There are no overwhelming tastes with any of these beers.
Included in the 12 pack was 4 different types of beer: Sawtooth Ale Nitro, 400 Pound Monkey IPA, Milk Stout, and Milk Stout Nitro. Left Hand Brewing offers a Sawtooth Ale and a Sawtooth Ale Nitro. I’m not sure why there are two types with a similar name but they are actually different beers. The Sawtooth Ale Nitro was a good tasting American Ale. There was nothing unusual about it and it is a good choice when you are looking for an American Ale.
(Editors Note: The only difference in the nitro versions of Left Hand’s beers from their CO2 counterparts is Nitrogen being used to carbonate the beers. Nitrogen, aside from looking really neat, will smooth the beer out and give the beer more of a creamy mouth feel and beers carbonated with CO2 will have more standard carbonation with larger bubbles and a little more bite to them. For more information on Nitro compared to CO2 check out Left Hand’s page about the subject, they’ll even teach you how to pour these beers!)
Left Hand Brewing Co. Sawtooth Nitro American Ale:
The 400 Pound Monkey IPA was one of the better IPAs I have tried. I think some some IPAs overdo the hops to the point of “death by hops.” The 400 Pound Monkey IPA is another example of a balanced beer. It is an English Style IPA with not too much on the hops. You can see there was more carbonation with this one, but just about the right amount. I think the result was a great taste. I would purchase more of this.
Left Hand Brewing Co. 400 Pound Monkey IPA:
IBUs “A polite monkey never tells” was from the brewery; 35 was reported by other sites
The stouts were interesting. I don’t like stouts that are too heavy or with too much of the chocolate flavor. The first stout I tried was the Milk Stout. It was borderline for me with the coffee and chocolate flavors being too much. It is advertised as a Sweet Stout, but I did not sense any hint of sweetness. There was also not much carbonation with this beer.
Left Hand Brewing Co. Milk Stout:
My favorite of the stouts was the Milk Stout Nitro. It was a better-balanced beer with a better taste blending the flavors with none being overwhelming. It also had more carbonation, which I also liked.
Left Hand Brewing Co. Nitro Milk Stout:
(Editor’s Note: for more info on Milk Stout Nitro check out our full review here)
Overall, this Mountain Mixer Variety Pack has been a fun experience. If you see it, I recommend it. I like the approach Left Hand Brewing has with their “balanced” beers. I will be looking for more of the 400 Pound Monkey IPA. I would also like to try some other beers by Left Hand Brewing Co. In particular, I am looking for their Introvert Session IPA, which is their new release.
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Rick Fenwick, Ph.D.
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