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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)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

642 Ratings
THE BROS
84
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 642
Reviews: 325
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 13.33%
Wants: 9
Gots: 27 | FT: 3
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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Bitch Creek ESB (Extra Special Brown) Alström Bros
Ratings: 642 | Reviews: 325 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Beernoisseur
Beernoisseur

Utah

4.1/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

How the hell could I resist? Bitch Creek?

A - Poured nicely into my pint glass. Not really much of a head to speak of, but what it was able to muster, it held onto nicely. While it was there, the head was a dusty, off white. Nice lacing. The beer itself is the color of an old penny. Dark copper.

S - There are a lot of hops in this beer. The first thing that hits the nose. There is also some lime like tang on the opening, and other fruits that I coulnd't clearly identify.

T - The taste and smell were very similar. Lots of hops, but balanced. Toasted grains and malt compliment the delicious bitters. once again, I got a lime like flavor right on the intro, which gaave way to dark roasted grains and malt. The hops are the boss on this talented flavor workforce, however, they're not iron fisted.

M - A little waterier than I would prefer for this style, but certainly not a detraction.

D - What a pleasant beer. Great flavors, balanced nicely. I could drink like 18 of these.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2008 04:58:31 | More by Beernoisseur
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

4.03/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a fairly clear brownish amber color with a prodigious head that persists with excellence and sticks webs of lace

Smell: Caramel and some earthy/piney hops

Taste: Shows off the malt backbone at the outset with a burnt caramel and unsweetened chocolate character that adds a fruity, but earthy/piney bitterness by mid-palate; after the swallow, all hell breaks loose as the beer develops a tea-like earthy bitterness that just grows and grows

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Really more of an American take on the ESB style, with a flavor profile is dramatic and interesting

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2008 21:04:31 | More by brentk56
Photo of Dogbrick
Dogbrick

Ohio

3.63/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from Park Lane Liquor in Lancaster, CA. This beer is a dark brown color with ruby around the edges. Medium beige head that dissipates slowly, and spotty lacing. Aroma of bready malt, hops and touches of fruit. Medium-bodied and moderately bitter with flavors of hops, caramel malt and grain. The finish is hoppy with a lindgering bitterness. Not too bad for my first Idaho beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2008 15:49:10 | More by Dogbrick
Photo of nklatt
nklatt

Minnesota

3.45/5  rDev -8%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a gorgeous, deep garnet red - almost burgundy - with a large, rocky, creamy-tan head which dissipates slowly leaving heavy lace on the glass.

Not much for smell - faint floral hops and maybe a touch of sweet yeast.

After the weak nose the taste is almost shocking. Moderate malt with complimentary hops. Nice.

Moderate, chewy body that goes down clean leaving a lingering flowery hop bitterness.

Drinkability is fair - I could go for a second.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2008 23:03:20 | More by nklatt
Photo of jkdrummer
jkdrummer

Washington

4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice head that soon dissipates into a layer of foam. Dark deep red color. Aroma a deeply roasted malts and some hints of alcohol to the nose. Initial taste is subtle but very sweet with some alcohol burn. Not bad, ESBs are kind of malty and this one is a good example of a strong version of an ESB. Recommended.

Jk

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2008 21:18:50 | More by jkdrummer
Photo of jake87
jake87

Texas

4.08/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this one up in laramie WY, at a liquor store
L.Dark translucent red, like looking through plastic wrap. A thin short lived head with minimal lacing
S.toasted wheats, a little maltiness and at first a hint of coffee
T. toasty, malty, a little sweetness, and a little coffee bitterness
F.starts out with good carbonation and changes to a thicker smoother more syrupy feel

A very nice beer and the first I've had from grand teton, definately gonna try more.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2008 04:30:51 | More by jake87
Photo of plaid75
plaid75

New York

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

Poured a medium amber hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was decent retention and lacing.

The smell featured a solid caramel malt with an ever strengthening herbal hop.

The taste was upfront toasted biscuity malts, caramel and a touch of diacytl. An herbal and slightly citrusy hop dried the flvor out a bit.

The mouthfeel was toward the thinner side of the style, but quite enjoyable.

Overall a very tasty and extremely easy to drink ESB, which sports a relatively robust ABV.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2008 23:40:12 | More by plaid75
Photo of RJLarse
RJLarse

Washington

4.03/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I bought a six-pack of Bitch Creek ESB in a grocery store. Poured in to a pint glass.

Appearance is a rich amber/garnet red color, translucent and cloudy. A think foamy beige head forms and is very resilient. Rings of lace stick to the glass.

Smell is not as robust as the appearance, but there are some nice bread aromas, with a roasty scent along side.

The taste is interesting, a caramel flavor at first, immediately overpowered by a hop bitterness, and then a sort of dark coffee aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is smooth and full bodied, but not cloying.

All in all this is a very drinkable very sessionable ESB. A little more hop presence than one might expect, but a very nice brew just the same. I'd have it again.

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2008 23:07:21 | More by RJLarse
Photo of zeff80
zeff80

Missouri

4.3/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a copper/amber color with a tan, bubbly/foamy, one-finger head. It left some sticky lace.

S - It smelled of roasted malt and burnt toast. Also, some grassy notes.

T - It tasted of roasted malt with a nicely balanced bitter hop kick. Overall, a good bittersweet taste.

M - It was smooth and sharp. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a very good ESB. A little hoppier than most.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2008 23:58:46 | More by zeff80
Photo of kmeves
kmeves

Wisconsin

3.58/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear deep amber with a rocky beige head. Aroma is lightly sweet with caramel, earthy hops, dark chocolate and light nut. The flavor is medium sweet chocolate, earthy, caramel, floral and toffee. Medium body, chewy texture. Finishes long and nicely bitter.

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2008 02:53:31 | More by kmeves
Photo of homebrewhawk
homebrewhawk

Kansas

4.03/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle served in a shaker pint glass. Poured a dark amber with a finger of tan head. Nice malty aroma with caramel/molasses and some hops. Medium bodied with a rich malt profile. More caramel and a lingering chocolate malt flavor. Dry finish from both malt and hops. Fair amount of hop bitterness for the style. Very drinkable. Great beer for malt lovers.

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2008 02:34:57 | More by homebrewhawk
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
JoeyBeerBelly

New York

4.53/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12oz bottle served in a standard pint glass.

L - clear, mahogany color with a tan head that thinned to a light ring.

S - sweet malts and plenty of citrus hops in the aroma.

T - well balanced brew, sweetness of malts is kicked in the pants with a fantastic hop bitterness.

F - medium bodied with a clean carbonation feel.

D - exceptional... that is if 51 IBU's does as much for you as it does for me.

Serving type: bottle

08-25-2008 22:25:12 | More by JoeyBeerBelly
Photo of julian
julian

Washington

3.78/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up from Whole Foods in Bellevue, WA

A: beautiful brown/cherry in color with very good clarity. Head is decent but disappears pretty quickly leaving bubble mountains in random places.

S: can definitely smell the hops up front, but it's not overwhelming as there is an equal aromatic supply of malt. smells somewhat fruity also.

T: considering this has bitter in the name, it definitely does not disappoint. smooth drinking but there is a definite resiny bitterness here on the front of the tongue...moving back there is brown sugar sweetening the palate and on the aftertaste a roasted nuttiness.

M: smooth and creamy, but definitely a bitter kick up front...this does smooth out however and after a few gulps you can't even notice.

D: slightly higher than average ABV, but overall a good tasting ESB with a nice nutty aftertaste.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2008 23:02:17 | More by julian
Photo of Winter
Winter

Wisconsin

4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark auburn with a creamy tan head. Malty nose consists of plums, caramel and piney hops. The mouthfeel is full-bodied. The front has flavors of dark fruit and malt. Actually very malty. Caramel follows as does a piney hop bitterness which arrives midway. There's a nuttiness that emerges toward the back. Then... hop burps. Slight alcohol lingers in the finish.

Wow, it's been awhile since I've had an ESB. This was really good. It's a style I've have to look into revisiting more often.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2008 02:15:22 | More by Winter
Photo of Gueuzedude
Gueuzedude

Arizona

3.48/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottled June 2008; Sample August 2008
Pours with a frothy, four finger thick, amber tinged, tan colored head into my 25cl tulip glass. Thick aromas of ample crystal malt usage and citrus-hops are noticeable as I inspect the beer. It has a dark amber, concentrated red color that shows an absolutely brilliantly clear, ruby - cranberry hue when held up to the light. There is definitely a lot of crystal malt in this beer; toasty malt aromatics and thick caramelized sugars are quite noticeable, though the hop notes are perhaps a bit more prominent. Hop aromas of candied citrus peel, grapefruit, concentrated berry notes, some caramelized & reduced tangelo notes as well as a supporting herbal note that has pine-needle leanings to it. A good aroma, even if the crystal malt plays a bit too much of a heavy handed role here.

An aggressively hoppy flavor with ample citrus notes tastes a bit tart at first. Lots of sharp pine flavors as well as a biting bitterness that takes an astringent turn in the finish. The malt character seems a bit murky here; it is definitely from the crystal malt and is a mix of toasted malt notes, caramel flavors and a bit of astringent grain husk notes. The hop character has an almost mint like quality to it at times . This has a definite fullness to it, perhaps a bit more body than one would expect in your average beer of this strength, but nothing outlandish. Lots of sweet, caramelized malt notes serve more to support the ample hop character than being overly noticed on their own (though they definitely are noticeable).

Not a bad beer, but clearly a bit too heavy handed with the caramel malts. The hop character, though fairly aggressive, just can't quite balance out the sticky crystal malt flavors.

Purchased: Plaza Liquors, Tucson AZ

Serving type: bottle

08-15-2008 22:49:22 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of ralree
ralree

Maryland

3.58/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tried at the Brewer's Fest in Portland.

A: Dark tan, decent head, decent lacing. Pretty opaque.

S: Dark fruit dominant, caramel malt backing.

T: Dark fruit, good northwest hops, caramel malt, wheat in background and aftertaste. A bit of barley and brown sugar. Alcohol noticeable.

M: Medium-bodied, non-astringent, decent carbonation.

D: Drinks good. You must not crave extreme hops for hate dark fruit, though.

Serving type: on-tap

08-03-2008 18:34:06 | More by ralree
Photo of SurlyDuff
SurlyDuff

Oregon

3.5/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an orange copper with a huge rocky tan head. Sticky lacing grabs onto the sides of my glass.

Hops and an unrefined malt that reminds me of wort/homebrew. Earthy and some spicy hops.

It's a big ESB, almost along the lines of an IPA. Big malt backbone makes it almost sticky and overly bready and thick. The hops are crisp, sharp, and spicy. Somewhat of a noble twang in there. A rather odd cooked veggie taste in the background, me thinks this beer might be past its prime.

An okay ESB, certainly an american frankenstein on the style. A good enough drinker, though its so full and thick that it goes down slow.

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2008 02:37:35 | More by SurlyDuff
Photo of msubulldog25
msubulldog25

Oregon

3.4/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This, and a couple others from Grand Teton, hit shelves in the Portland market within the last month. I had this beer on one other occasion, a couple years ago when a friend had a leftover bottle from a beer-of-the-month club. Why do I remember that? Who knows...the word 'Bitch' maybe... anyhow, this is a 12 oz. bottle poured to a pint glass, enjoyed in the backyard. Bottled on printed: 06/04/08.

After as many reviews as I've done, it amazes me that this is my first of a beer from Idaho...

A: Nice clarity, this one is a perfectly transparent ruby/amber that glows with a bright cherry redness in the waning sunlight. Decent carbonation rising to about 1.5-fingers of frothy, crackling head. This sandy tan crowns drops over a couple minutes to a creamy, rather dense film, leaves excellent wide bands of lace.

S: Toasted malty cereal grain and a generous dose of grassy, (rather pungently) herbal hops.

T: Not surprising that this takes a decidedly Northwest approach to the hopping; it does have a decidedly grassy/earthy hop feel throughout, becoming more of an acerbic lemon or grapefruit toward the finish. There are sweet grain notes squeezing through, but most of the 'Bitter' in this ESB seems to emanate from the hops.

M: Seems a little thin. Goes down smoothly enough and vanishes rather cleanly, but does build to anything. Carbonation seems mundane (despite plenty that's visible). That sharp bitter twang holds for a while on the roof of the roof before drifting away.

D: Didn't really care for this one so much. I'm not hop-averse by any means, but I do like more balance in an ESB than this one offered. Also, its 6.5% ABV raises it above being 'sessionable' (i.e. even if I really liked this one, I couldn't go for more than a couple at a sitting). May give it another try somewhere down the road.

Serving type: bottle

07-07-2008 03:19:28 | More by msubulldog25
Photo of shadow1961
shadow1961

Minnesota

3.15/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Grand Teton Bitch Creek ESB pours a big stiff head over an almost opaque
amber/ruby brew. There doesn't seem to be a whole lot of carbonation, but
the head seems to stand up for a pretty long time. The nose is bready and
fruity with a tang of grapefruit rind from West coast hops. The flavor is a bit
of sweetish malt quickly overtaken by an assertive herbal/grapefruit rind hop
presence. Mouthfeel is crisp with a long dry finish. This brew is an American
take on an English style that is characterised by it's sessionability and a delicate,
flavorful complexity. I have the sense (though the alcohol by volume isn't on the
label) that this brew is sessionable, it's a step or two overhopped for the style.
Since we are in a hop shortage, why not dial it back, or dry hop it for aroma?
Still and all, not a bad brew (I had one for breakfast)- it's just a bit unbalanced.
If you love the hop though, you'll be well satisfied. And you gotta love the name...

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2008 18:18:28 | More by shadow1961
Photo of cswhitehorse
cswhitehorse

Oregon

3.53/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The Bitch Creek ESB is a nice looking amber with a good 2 finger foam head that leaves some real nice lacing around the sides.

The aroma is toasty malts similar to some porters just not as toasty. It is fruity as well.

The taste is malty up front and has some good caramel tones to it. You get a very slight bitterness on the back end but not much. In the mouth it is light and carbonation is pretty low. Overall a nice beer but I will have to stick with the brutal.

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2008 03:48:55 | More by cswhitehorse
Photo of bitterthebetter
bitterthebetter

Oregon

3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours a really dark brown with amber highlights and light white head

rich, bready aroma with subtle hops and slight fruit

rich, roasty malt upfront with slight apple and lemon citrus with the piney hops and breadiness kicking in later.

starts light and the hops just continue to persist to make for a slighty dry yet fruity finish. very long for a esb and a 6er

very nice and smooth, yet with more character than most esb's I've had and much more memorable. a very tasty and different ale

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2008 05:24:35 | More by bitterthebetter
Photo of prototypic
prototypic

Ohio

4.08/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of abankovich. Thanks man.

Appearance: The look of Bitch Creek is nothing short of a stunning surprise. I wasn't expecting this. It's relatively clear, but dark brown in color with a ruby-esque look to it. Sitting atop is a caramel colored two finger head that had good retention and left a nice lacing on the glass. Great looking beer.

Smell: Given the high expectations created by the look, the nose is weak and very disappointing. There's an initial, light citrus grapefruit and mango aroma. Hops are strong up front and are more floral in character. It's a little grainy with very faint caramel malt coming through. A little biscuity on the tail.

Taste: It's primarily malty in character. Loads more caramel malt comes through in flavor and provides a sweet, very stable backbone. There's some citrus flavors lingering, mostly grapefruit and mango. Hops are floral and give it an earthy taste. Slightly grainy. There's a nice piney, hoppy bite in there that's surprising considering it eluded the nose. It's a nice touch here and really livens up the flavor quite a bit. It finishes sweet, bitter, and a little biscuity.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's light and has a very smooth, unimposing feel. I like it. Carbonation is good and it's very drinkable. Just light enough and strong enough for sessionabilty.

This is my first Grand Teton experience and it's been a good one. I honestly didn't know what to expect from an ESB crafted in Idaho. But, it's good. The nose could stand some work. Other than that, it's a fine effort. It's a little left of center from most ESBs out there and I'm a fan.

Serving type: bottle

06-05-2008 02:05:33 | More by prototypic
Photo of Rayek
Rayek

Colorado

3.7/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Deep red amber color with decent clarity. Firm pale tan head has good retention. Tiny bubbles from carbonation. Leaves a small amount of lace.

S: Heavy citrus aromas of grapefruit and lemon. Wood scents of pine and spruce.

T: Toasted grain notes up front. Followed by citrus hops that have a strong grapefruit component. Finishes somewhat dry with a mild lingering bitterness.

M: Medium body has a little too much carbonation.

D: Nice as a session beer or with food.

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2008 04:54:02 | More by Rayek
Photo of paulthebeerguru
paulthebeerguru

Florida

3.55/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter, nice amber color with some ruby hints. Tan head on top with a nice retention level. Bitch Creek has a bitter hoppy aroma, which smells like Kent Goldings. Along with this is slightly sweet apple aroma from the malts. As for taste, very nice malt backbone, followed by some great mild bitters from the hops. Some apple flavors, but mostly just a well-balance of English hops and crystal malts. Mouthfeel is very smooth and damn near perfect for this style. In my opinion, it is a very nice drinking ESB and a good representation of the style.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2008 18:01:36 | More by paulthebeerguru
Photo of BradLikesBrew
BradLikesBrew

Missouri

4.03/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a: Chestnut body, thick light tan head is quickly reduced to just a thin layer. Nice patches of lacing.

s: Toasted caramel malt and hops.

t: Earthy hops rest atop a toasted sweet caramel malt base. Hop bitterness creeps in at the finish. Hoppier than most ESBs.

m: Nice resiny chew from the hop oils, medium bodied, smoother than many ESBs.

d: I like it. I would say its growing on me. My initial impression was just another ESB. But I now feel it is solidly above average. Nice hop kick, the malt and hops pair well together. Highly drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2008 01:13:50 | More by BradLikesBrew
Bitch Creek ESB (Extra Special Brown) from Grand Teton Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 642 ratings.