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

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

338 Reviews

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Reviews: 338
Hads: 766
Avg: 3.79
pDev: 19.79%
Wants: 12
Gots: 66 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Grand Teton Brewing Co. visit their website
Idaho, United States

Style | ABV
English Brown Ale |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-04-2003

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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 338 | Hads: 766
Photo of Dukeofearl
4.47/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Alright, first things first. I bought this beer beacuse of the name. I'm big enough to admit that. It's a great name. It's not De Dulle Teve, but it got a rise out of my wife ("It's a geographic place name, honey!!!"). I love it.

I don't know this brewer, although I've seen several offerings at BevMo. But, you know what? This is one of the better ESB's I've ever had. A nice cloudy red-clay brown with a small but decent head, with aromas of slightly sweet roasty caramel malts, and a hint of bitter. But the flavor retains these nice aromas with a solid but not overwhelming hop bite that really brings it all together. I really like this one. Glad I got a sixer- I may need to get some more!

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Photo of Lnedrive14
4.16/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Looks like flat coke with a hint of red when it pours. not very appetizing. taste, on the other hand, is quite good. perfect amount of hop bitterness and some nice fruity sweetness to balance it out. mouthfeel is a bit too thin, but that only detracts the slightest bit. a very quaffable esb, that i would enjoy having the pleasure to sip throughout the day.

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Photo of allengarvin
4.22/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light mahogany color with a good two-finger's depth of foam atop. Smell is a nice mix of very aromatic, citrusy hops and a lightly toasted, caramel malt. More like an IPA in flavor than an ESB! There's malt in here, but the dominant flavor is hops, citrusy and grassy. Bitterness is high but not outrageous. Finish is very dry. Typical body, neutral texture.

Doesn't fit the style guidelines strictly, but it is very good.

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Photo of dfried
3.86/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep brown in color, but with some attactive ruby highlights. Large frothy cream colored head forms, drops a bit, but sits on top pretty well. Caramel malty aroma with resinous,earthy hops. In the taste the hops are quite resinous as well, piney and flora, with just a little lingering citrus. There is a crisp sweetness from the malt, crystal and/or red malt flavors, some apple like sweetness as well. Pretty darn good ESB.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acquired via trade from IntriqKen, so a big "thank you" goes out to him.
Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a dark copper color, with a thin off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: There’s a good hops aroma, better than some IPA’s that I’ve had, in fact. There’s also a good caramelized malt background along with hints of tea and nuts.

T: The caramelized malt flavor comes out first in the taste. Although the hops don’t taste as strong as they smell, they’re definitely there to transition into a pale bitterness that is characteristic of the style and lingers in a mild after-taste. As the beer warms a bit, the balance is more apparent.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean and dry.

D: Tasty, easy-to-drink, not very filling, I could drink a few of these in a row. This style isn’t one of my favorites, but this particular beer is one of the better ESB’s that I’ve had.

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Photo of IntriqKen
4.62/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is an amazingly complex ESB.
Pours a dark reddish amber to brown with a smallish cream colored head that dissipates to a very sticky lacing covering the top of the brew and sticking all the way down the drink.
Aroma is hoppy, but a sweet hops, followed by a grapefruit citrus aroma and a touch of caramel.
Not much carbonation, so mouthfeel becomes a little weak for me.
Taste is hops, grapefruit, finishing with hop bitterness and then a toasted malt sweetness .... sensing caramel and maybe a touch of chocolate...with a gentle alcohol warming as it goes down. A slightly 'burnt' taste to the malt .
May be my favorite of ESBs...very bright and clean tasting with great drinkability and some incredible complexity for this style. Revisiting this one after several months just makes it better.

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Photo of jwc215
3.45/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark reddish/amber with an off-white head that quickly descends to a wisp, but leaves some lacing.

The smell was of citrusy, floral hops. As the drink progresses, a touch of caramel is hinted at.

The taste is of crisp hops upfront. As the drink progresses, some caramel tries to emerge, but is held back, for the most part, by the hops. A sugary sweetness peeks out towards the finish. Slight alcohol notes emerge. The taste is on the hoppy side for the style.

It thins out just a tad in the mouth. The lingering bitterness gives it quite a dry finish.

Overall, not bad, especially if you are looking for a hoppier interpretation of the style. IMO - it could be a bit more balanced throughout and a touch smoother, but worth trying.

Thanks to bitterbill for this one!

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Photo of dherling
3.71/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Mom & dad for bringing this back from a trip last June.

Dark reddish brown with a really nice thick creamy tan head. the nose has lots of floral, bitter hops, but a good amount of malt too. I pick up a litle caramel as well on a last sniff. There is plenty of those hops when I take my first taste. There's some balance provided by some nicely roasted maly, again, a little caramel. The beer itslef is a little mouth heavy, along with the bitterness of the hops and the alcohol, makes this too big for an all night type of beer, but it is otherwise really enjoyable.

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Photo of FightingEntropy
4.37/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours with a tannish, yellow head that is fluffy, thick, like the top of clouds, and fell with a solid lace. This a clear American interpretation of the British style, seemingly doubling up on the malt and hops. Very solid hop smell, but balance by an equally strong malt presence full of fruity esters-raison and caramel along with the citrusy hop character. Thick mouthfeel makes is very fun to drink, though clearly overhopped for an ESB--don't try to turn a macro drinker on this one (give him a Redhook).

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Photo of SethB2
3.93/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A - Brilliant amberish red. Clean and transparent. Head is a big rocky creation that sticks to glass like glue.

S - Lighter than I was expecting, but still nice. Toasted malts and bittering hops are the stars. Not much sweetness to be found.

T - Beer starts bitter, but not overbearing. After that, it lightens up a bit and mellows out. Finishes with the same bitterness, but not as stong as the initial hit. Burned grain provides an excellent vessel to carry it down.

M - Creamy and full. Smooth as hell.

D - Good stuff.

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Photo of rgrace99
3.98/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass from bottle. Color was a deep copper with a one-finger head. Fine streams of small bubbles and some lacing. Aroma was mild caramel and toffee and a barely noticible hop aroma. Taste was primarily caramel malt with some hop flavor. It was very drinkable and a nice representation of the style.

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Photo of GeoffFromSJ
4.08/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This could have been an excellent ESB, but it falls tragically short. Not due to lack of skill, mind you. But due to choice. More on that later.

My first impression of a beer is based on the color. A darker copper color usually tells you whether you have an ESB or a glorified amber. This one had a beautiful dark copper color.

The aroma is one of hops. The hops character seems to be dominated by Cascade, which given the West Coast origin of this beer seems right.

Now, the disappointment. I could detect the biscuity malt complexity that the excellent color pointed too. But they buried this under too much hops. ESB's are about balance. Let them be balanced. Too much hops.

Is it a very good beer? Yes. Is it a very good ESB? Almost. Could have been. Very much a missed opportunity.

Thanks to blitheringidiot for picking this up for me while on his travels.

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Photo of poluti
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep dark brown to reddish hue with a good yellowish tan head. The head is short-lived as a thin but nice lacing covers the beer.
The aroma is of caramel malt balanced with piney hops and some fruit overtones.
Initially the caramel malt stood out with a sweet follow-through. The hops are present in quantity for the style, unleashing a subtle but pleasant balance of bitterness.
It feels good and coats the palate well.
I found it to be a pleasurable experience and will refer to it the next time I pick up an ESB.

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Photo of RedHaze
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy coppery brown with a very creamy one finger head that settles slowly to a thick cap, leaving behind a solid sheet of lace.

Smell; there's a very nice piney hop aroma, with some light touches of citrus, and other fruits. A solid caramel malt is definitely there in the aroma.

Taste; this is definitely on the bitter side, but I don't find it to be overwhelming. The hops lean towards the piney side wih only some hints of citrus. There's a very nice biscuit and caramel malt backbone that off sets the bitterness very well. Mouthfeel is very rich and smooth, and very drinkable.

Thanks to bditty187 for this one, it's just as good as you said it was.

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Photo of patrick16o
4.05/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice copper red hue with medium crown. It is a little bit hazy with a few rising streams of bubbles. Head retention is average. A nice hoppy aroma. The taste is good, with a bit of malt at the front and a nice hoppy finish to balance it out quite nicely. This also gives the beer a nice layering effect. It's easy to drink and refreshing, I would definately drink more but unfortunately I only have one.

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Photo of russpowell
4.89/5  rDev +29%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours deep copper/brown with a rocky 3 fingers+ tan head. Average lacing and good head retention

Smell: Big maltiness, fruitty & then nutty, with chocolate notes

Taste: Huge maltiness& good nuttyness up front. Some Fruitty character followed up with strong piney hops. Finishes fruitty & malty

MF: Rich with great balance. Good carbonation levels

A super quaffable, I think this leans towards an English style ESB with American style. No matter how you slice it, one of the best ESBs I've had!

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Photo of bditty187
4.36/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear, bronze-coppery gold in hue, what a lovely color! Creamy beige head, at the apex the foam was over two fingers tall. Excellent head retention, it took a few moments before a tight cap formed. Lacing started before I took a sip – awesome! The subsequent lacing was widespread and organized. What a great looking beer. Lovely hue, big head, and lots of lacing equals a perfect looking beer!

The first sniff was grapefruit rinds. Okay, this sets the tone, IMO. ESB, Americanized no doubt. After the grapefruit comes a hoppy fruitiness with some faint earthy undertones. I really like the caramel maltiness with kisses of cracker and biscuit. Moderate potency, inviting from start to finish… sure, at the beginning it comes across fairly Americanized but the middle and end does offer some agreeable, true ESB aromas. I’m pleased with what I am smell, no matter the style. It is drinking time!

Wow. Impressive palate. Damn bitter for the style, IMO. I don’t get much in the way of hop flavors, a tickle of grapefruit and some earthy fruitiness but not much else. It’s bitter though. Caramel malts in the middle, slightly woody and earthy towards the back with some biscuits and juicy malt at the finish. I get hints of alcohol, this is a beefy ESB. The finish is bitter, slightly harsh with only a hint of maltiness. Overall, this is a damn fine ESB… but not in a traditional sense. I am not reviewing this beer based on style. Based on taste, this beer is very agreeable and damn tasty! It is just a tad harsh, IMO.

Medium in body, low but natural carbonation, the mouthfeel fits the flavor profile very well. I must say, the aftertaste is really agreeable, it is long and lingering with more maltiness then I first tasted.

This is extremely drinkable. Again, screw the style… I could buy a six-pack and go to town. I bet this would be great with burgers or any grilled meat. Oh my, I just thought how great this would be on cask! Lordy! Anyway, I sought out this beer because I wanted to cross-off Idaho from my “must try a beer from all 50 states list.” I did. But this beer is more memorable than that. This is really good! Thank you Bitterbill!

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Photo of Mebuzzard
4.65/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A nice dark color; brown/black. Good head, foaming and lacing. Would have liked a bit more, though.
Smell of roasted malt, chocolate and citrus.
Taste was similar, nice balance. The citrus cuts the chocolate apart so that the thickness is clean. Remains a bit thin, however that adds to the drinkability. One of my favorites in the region.

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Photo of mynie
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Prettu pour. Chocolate nutbrown with a large tan head.

Smells of harsh hops. Surprising. Grapefruit. Very, very dry. Burny. Nice.

A very slight note of caramel and chocolate leads into wet hops, then grapefruit hops, then dry hops, and then it ends on a sweet candy malt. This is more like a nice and balanced APA than an ESB.

Good beer, great with Italian food.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.2/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle a deep brown colour with a medium sized head that dissipated quickly leaving only a fine lacing around the edge of the glass.

The smell is a nice mix of hops and malt with a sweeting caramel smell that was probably the dominant note for me.

The taste is very well balanced and hits my taste buds just right. Sweet caramel tones in the malt with just a touch of bitterness with the hops. Good stuff!!

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Photo of Oxymoron
3.53/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Did they name the creek after a female dog? Pours a dark brown to amber color with stronger red hues that are noticeable in the light. A decent head which stays until then end and limited lace that doesn't.

The smell is mostly malty. A good caramel sent is very noticeable but blended well with the hop scent. A stronger earthy tone is noticeable but overall I would say the malt is a stronger aroma.

The taste is good. A limited bite with stronger English hops but smooth. First thing I really notice is a good backing from the malt. Kind of basic in flavors but a strong caramel taste comes out quickly. Limited roasted characteristics are there as well. I can taste hops on both sides with a slight bitter and a slight aroma hint. A good combo nonetheless.

The carbonation is light, which is expected. Also there was a medium body that blended well. Good beer. I should make a clone of this beer and call it Son of a Bitch.

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Photo of beersarang
3.9/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a nice brownish auburn with a tan head that holds fairly well overall. Foamy.

Nice sweet smell with some grapefruit AND floral hop aromas.

The nose was a good indicator of the flavor. A good caramel malt presence held on for a long time but then a peculiar mix of what seemed like citric and floral hops show themselves. Bitterness is well in balance, but the hop flavor comes through in the end. American British fusion, I like it.

The shortfall of this beer is definitely the mouthfeel. Just a tiny bit too watery, unfortunately. An ESB is supposed to be more medium to full bodied.

Otherwise a good standby beer, with an interesting hop character. Go try it at least once.

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Photo of kbub6f
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One inch of dense, tan head leaves lots of small sticky spots. The beer is clear, dark red. Nice. Sweet pruney aroma: tangy, with dark malt. Almost a little barleywine-ish. Tangy and chocolatey in front. Rich, thick, big chocolate malt in the middle with a fruity, bitter chocolate finish. Overall: tasty, with very dark malt and bitter chocolate. But I don't really get the "ESB" out of this (more like a chocolate brown ale).

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Photo of hero27
4.33/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Just got this brewery's offerings at my local beer store, so figured I'd pick up a sixer of "Bitch Creek".. gotta say, that's quite the name. I thought that might be all it had going for it when I bought it, but I was proved wrong..

Pours dark..real dark for an ESB. I guess you'd say it's a really dark amber color..nearly brown, really. Has a fairly respectable, tan, pitted head. Leaves random patches of lacing down the sides of the glass.

Gorgeous hop that cascade? I thought there was some amarillo or crystal mixed in as well, and I wouldn't be surprised. They certainly didn't shy off the hop additions with this one. Taste is well-balanced and much more complex than I thought. I'm still blown away by this one.. I'll have to update my review on my last beer of the sixer.

Very drinkable...may rival HotShot as my favorite session ESB.

I gotta admit, I didn't expect a brew quite this good. I'd never sampled anything from this brewery before tonight, and I just had the Sweetgrass IPA followed by this impressive brew. They've left quite the good impression.. Glad my local store is going to have this on stock from now on. Well worth trying if you find it.

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Photo of OStrungT
4.1/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

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Bitch Creek ESB (Extra Special Brown) from Grand Teton Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 338 ratings.