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Bitch Creek ESB (Extra Special Brown) - Grand Teton Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Bitch Creek ESB (Extra Special Brown)Bitch Creek ESB (Extra Special Brown)

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BA SCORE
85
very good

708 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 708
Reviews: 329
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 13.6%
Wants: 10
Gots: 45 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Grand Teton Brewing Co. visit their website
Idaho, United States

Style | ABV
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB) |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Bitch Creek perfectly balances big malt sweetness and robust hop flavor for a full bodied, satisfying mahogany ale. Like the stream for which it is named, our Bitch Creek ESB is full of character... not for the timid.

54 IBU

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-04-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 708 | Reviews: 329 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by rsdaugherty:
Photo of rsdaugherty
3.78/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle into pint glass
A – Clear deep brown brew with some crimson hues, dense 2 finger head had good retention with lots of nice lacing all around the glass 4
S – Very nice nose. Nutty, caramel, brown sugar, some similarities to Capt. Morgan spiced rum, a strong 4
T – Nutty, caramel, darker malts to a mildly spicy mildly bitter hop/herbal finish, notes of cocoa & toffee 3.5
M – Smooth drinking, light moderate body with a light syrup mouth feel, a light moderate carbonation 4
O – A good beer with nice balance, one on which I enjoyed the smell more than the taste, good drinkability 4

More User Reviews:
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.03/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Lucent bloody brown, at least as dark as the bottle it came in and much darker than any ESB in existence. The dark tan head displays a compact creaminess, furious surface pits and cheese cloth-like lace in the form of thin rings up top and thicker rings down near the receding surface of the beer.

Moderately hoppy nose whose intensity, unfortunately, levels off after the initial nasal rush, causing it to never really hit its stride. Something seems to be blunting it... must be that infernal malt. There's very little maltiness in the aroma though, must be some of that stealth malt that I've been hearing so much about. Fruity, earthy English-style hops (Fuggles?) are dominant with grapefruit peel playing a subservient role.

Bitter Creek is a big beer lover's ESB; Grand Teton most certainly did not skimp on ingredients. It isn't quite a bitch slap of an experience, but is more intense than your garden variety ESB. Plenty o' malt gives it a sweet caramel flavor that is beaten into submission by a few well-timed, solid, bitter hoppy thumps akin to candied white grapefruit coated with caramelized sugar and pine sap. The medium-firm, resinous body/mouthfeel leaves a pleasant bitter scum on the tongue.

I've been impressed by Grand Teton. Sweetgrass IPA was a good one and I still have Teton Ale (APA) to sample. If things hold true to form, it'll be a keeper as well. Many thanks to Ragsdale for a trio (I'm hoping) of wonderful Idaho beers.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.73/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine Vol. II Issue XI:

An ESB brewed with American malt and hops is another way of saying this is a hoppy American Brown Ale. Deep reddish-brown color, darker than anticipated. Thick latte tan head with good retention and lacing that sticks on the glass. There's rich toasted biscuit and caramel flavors from the malt along with a mildly pungent herbal and citric rind hop in the aroma. Smooth, slick and semi-creamy medium body. Toasted bread, dried hay, hint of unsweetened chocolate and burnt caramel coming from the malt. Sturdy hop character with a slightly heavy hand of bitterness to begin with, then the flavor moves more toward a light citric rind and herbal tone. Fruity, with suggestions of ripe plum and raisins. Finishes bittersweet as the malt stays around and the hops just don't want to let go.

Bitch Creek ends up being a quite tasty, old-school microbrew style, which we really dig. If you are looking for a full-flavored, bigger-bodied session beer, here it is.

Photo of blitz134
3.6/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up randomly in Colorad several months back. Again one of those I've had for a bit and want to drink before it gets too old...

Dark amber caramel color, hazy. Small off white head, quickly reduced to a thin layer with larger bubbles clumped around the edge.

Lots of sweetness when I inhale this, more than I would expect. Hops are somewhat floral over a bed of sweet roll type malts. Alcohol is evident as well. This seems to be quite kicked up over typical ESB's.

Flavor seems to be based on sweet biscuit and medium crystal malts. Forms a pretty nice backbone for this one. Hops are somewhat muted but still have that herbal, earthiness to them and even some pine, but again not as strong as I usually expect. Finishes with a bit of the typical ESB soapiness I'm used to. Overall this one is okay in the flavor department.

Mouthfeel is medium or so, maybe a little thinner than others of the style. Carbonation levels are good though adding just a bit of crispness to finish it off.

Good drinkability really. Nothing turns me off about this beer. Its pretty straightforward and easy to put down.

Photo of bulldogg915
4.25/5  rDev +13.3%

Photo of NWer
3.98/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a brandy snifter.

Appearance is dark brown with no light at all - even around the edges. Some stuff (yeast?) floating around.

Taste and smell are pretty good. I'm not terribly familiar with this style but it makes me want to learn more about it. I wish I had brought more home with me from my road trip.

Mouthfeel is pleasant and I definitely would have had another if I had one.

Photo of Beaver13
3.93/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Pours a dark tea brown with a creamy light tan head that retains well and leaves some lacing.

The aroma is toasty caramel and grapefruity citrus hops. It kind of reminds me of some of the hoppy American barleywines.

The flavor is sweet toasty caramel/toffee with some resiny grapefruity hops leading to a decent bitter aftertaste. It mellows some as it warms. The mouthfeel is medium and slightly watery with some sharp carbonation.

Overall, this was a very nice surprise! I usually don't like ESBs, but this is a lot fruitier with the west coast hops. It's more like a weak barleywine or Arrogant Bastard.

Photo of henryclay_
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of tigg924
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: dark reddish-brown in color, 1/3 inch head, cloudy, high carbonation, lots of sediment

Smell: citrus hops, caramel, and wood

Taste: burnt caramel, citrus hops, and bark

Mouthfeel: medium bodied, high carbonation, sweet start with a big bitter middle and a less bitter end

Overall:This one drinks like an imperial red. Not a bad brew, especially if you like burnt caramel, but I have had better from the brewery.

Photo of Torey
3.2/5  rDev -14.7%

Photo of mattster
3.78/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Opened 12 Fl Oz bottle(bottled 10/16/08), poured into Nonic glass.

Pours a light tan head that dies quickly leaving scattered but sexy lace atop a clear, cola brown brew.

Smell is strong of roasted malts and very strong hops. Taste is very hoppy, not as intense on flavor as aroma, but very nice taste. Some earthiness and pine forest.

Flows well with mild bubbles and nice finish. I could probably drink another 2 or 5 of these because it has a nice refreshing quality to it. All in all, a decent brew.

Photo of bsp77
3.8/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Nonic Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Very cloudy dark brownish orange with thick tan head.

Smell: Complex at first with chocolate, caramel, citrus and spicy English hops, but then fades to a simple dry malt aroma.

Taste: Mostly dried-out chocolate and caramel malt balanced by a fairly aggressive dose of sharp floral English hops and maybe a touch of citrus and pine.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, medium body, very dry finish.

Drinkability: Not a true ESB as it is called an Extra Special Brown. It really is a cross between an English Brown Ale and some kind of bitter American beer - I would call it an American Brown Ale. Quite good, but the mixture is just slightly off-putting.

Photo of NilocRellim
3.25/5  rDev -13.3%

Photo of mkrass
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of Franziskaner
3.73/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Dark brown color and yet still somewhat penetrable to light. A quarter inch of tightly knit beige head sits on top. Brussels lacing. I smell dark malt and just a faint whiff of caramel. The flavor is dark malt, toffee,and caramel. The mouth is slightly creamy and smooth.

Photo of bpfrush
4/5  rDev +6.7%

Photo of dogfishandi
4.4/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle at firdge temp into a pint glass. bottled on 10-27-2009.

pours a dark dark opaque brown with quite a bit of yeast floating around. a thick light tan colored head with pretty good retention. tons of sticky lace caovering every possible spot.

aroma is that of chocolate and caramel malts. citrusy sprucey woody hops as well as a little pungent pine in the background. some what perfumey. smells nice.

the taste is very nice. tastes like it was brewed to be a really good brown ale with an english style esb in mind. chocolate, toffee, and caramel malts. perfumey, sprucy ,piney hops. decent amount of bitterness. a touch of bready yeastiness in there.

medium bodied, maybe feels a touch heavy at times. the hops are felt a little on the palate after drinking.

drinks pretty good, i might be done after 4 or so of these. a decent session beer, but it might lay a little heavy in the stomach after awhile. a great tasteing beer non the less and if it wasnt so hard to get a hold of for me, i might drink it more. not really distributed in my region(well not that i know of).

Photo of juicebox
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of Cynic-ale
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of moundbz
4.75/5  rDev +26.7%

smooth and tasty, good balanced malt taste

Photo of Jill_kellum
3/5  rDev -20%

Photo of centbeerfest
4.53/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.
Great looking beer. This pours big and bold with a hearty strong head. Nice deep brown color with a hoppy aroma.

Taste begins in the front of the tounge and finishes with a stong bitter toasted nut on the back. Just a bit heavy on the hops, but an extraordinary pleasant long finish.

On the take home scale a six paxk on hand for all occasions.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.4/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Copper pour, average head, minimal lacing, lacking enough ooomph on the sweet aroma.

It makes a greater appearance on the taste buds, a little bit of alcohol too, which seems odd for the style, and not as dry and bitter as I would like to see. This is one of the least like esb's I've had, is like an amber, brown, pale & bitter combined. Which is at least unique.

Mouthfeel, I liked the beer more as I got used to it, settled down, picked up more bitter feel, but still a little heavier than I like my esb. Decent price, just kind of one of those middle of the road beers.

Photo of OStrungT
4.1/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a brownish red with a tan head. The head fades slowly, leaving thick laces. This beer smells piney. The hop aroma is strong, but not overwhelming. Behind the piney, slightly floral aroma, I detect some caramel malty aromas. This beer does not taste as hoppy as the aroma leads you to believe. It is actually rather malty. The hop flavor is there, but just not the strongest. The blend of hops and malts balance quite nicely. It has slight caramel and toasted malt flavors also. This beer is carbonated quite nicely. It goes down smooth, leaving a sweet, but also hoppy aftertaste. I think this beer would make a great session beer. It is not too high in alcohol, and the flavor is smooth and mild. I am glad that this beer has recently been made available to my area. I will more than likely buy this one again. Try it if you can find it.

Photo of timontheroad
3.75/5  rDev 0%

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Bitch Creek ESB (Extra Special Brown) from Grand Teton Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 708 ratings.