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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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719 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 719
Reviews: 332
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 13.37%
Wants: 10
Gots: 48 | 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:
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 719 | Reviews: 332 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of whynot44
3.83/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very hazy rust red brew with a substantial light tan head that retains fairly well and leaves some decent lacing.

The aroma is toffee and caramel with hints of pine and citrus.

The taste also starts with toasted caramel malt and coffee, followed quickly by pine resin and hints of citrus. The finish is dry with a bit of lingering pine and burnt toast bitterness.

Medium bodied, smooth and very drinkable.

Photo of seanbhudson
3.78/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear copper color with a large tan head that dissipates quickly. Moderate lacing.
Toasted malt and caramel. I saw another review that mentioned red apples and picked that up too.
Starts off with toasted malt and caramel but then the bitterness kicks in. Earthy and resiny. There is a light bitter / roasted malt that lingers on the tongue for a long time.
Medium body beer that has a slightly creamy mouthfeel but finishes relatively dry. Light carbonation.
A well balanced beer that is has some complex flavors to it. It is really quite good while I am drinking it but when I put it down for more than a minute I get the feeling that it has an astringent aftertaste. As soon as I take another sip, I am happy again.
NOTES: BBCSD-0907-Sean

Photo of Beerbythepool
4.43/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle to Sam Adams tasting glass.

Beautiful 2 finger head of cappaccino color.

Beer is a dark reddish tea color with a slight hazy to it.

Smells of toasted malts and caramel.

Tastes of malts and hops on the front and caramel on the back. Fig and fruits also present. Easy to drink, but not because it is tasteless. There are strong hops, but offset by other flavors.

Each taste reveals more layers of flavor, not all better than the last, but complex to my palette. Lingering head floats around as you drink. Decent lacing.

Thin in the mouth as it warms up.

Overall I like the complexity of this beer and would drink again if I have the chance. Try it out with an open mind.

Photo of CPeterson
3.83/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A -- Big frothy head and a deep brownish/copper color. Almost no lacing.

S -- Smells of fresh floral hops and heavy malt.

T -- Sweet and malty only being halted by the hops, which make a very well balanced brew.

M -- Medium heavy, low carbonation.

D -- Very drinkable, especially in colder weather...a perfect compliment to MN. Overall, a very enjoyable beer with good character. Very much worth trying.

Photo of armock
3.82/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured a hazed brown color with a tan head that leaves lacing behind

S - Is of roasted malts mostly with some hops

T - Starts off with some bitter hops then gets balanced with caramel malt flavors

M - This beer has a medium body with medium carbonation to it

D - Overall this is one easy to drink enjoyable beer if was available around me it would be in my regular rotation of beers worth trying

Photo of beerwolf77
3.92/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass the beer is a rusty brownish red. The head is plentiful and a creamy beige color. A nice ring of lace is left behind after the head slowy recedes. The aroma is a mix of malt and hops. The hops are much more aggresive of the two but, not overdone. There's hint of sweetness in the nose as well. The flavor is slightly piney with a bit of sour fruit and a bread like maltiness in the finish. Seems kind of funny to have bitter in the name when the beer isn't really bitter. Medium body not much carbonation. Overall a decent beer. The style is still a bit of a mystery to me. I will have to try a few more ESB beers to get a handle on them.

Photo of ChopperSmith
3.7/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a chilled pint glass.

Appearance: Hazy dark red/amber in color. Low carbonation and minimal tan head with no retention or lacing. Great color, though...especially in the sunlight.

Smell: Floral hops and dark roasted maltiness, a very pleasing mix. The best of both worlds.

Taste: Very complex and nice. A little sweetness mixed in with grapefruit hops and bready malts. I get a little spice and apples and raisins in the mix as well. Delicious example of the style. Well done Grand Teton brewmasters!

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, lower carbonation (which works with a flavorful beer like this). A slight bitter bite on the finish, but it doesn't linger.

Drinkability: Very drinkable. Could easily do a session with this one, especially in fall or winter. Love the complex flavors in this one. A beautiful example of the ESB style. Easily my favorite of the Grand Teton beers I've tried (but the Sweetgrass IPA is nice, too).

Photo of champ103
4.32/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a very cloudy reddish brown color. Almost to much yeast floating around. A two finger beige head forms and leaves good lace behind.
S: Toasted caramel and toffee malts. Some wonderful fruity esters. Apples, pears, and plums. Some floral hops to balance everything out perfectly.
T: Follows the nose. Toasted malts of caramel and toffee. Fruit esters, and a great hop balance. Freakin' awesome.
M/D: A medium body that is creamy and rich. Just enough carbonation to give this a nice snap. Very easy and smooth to drink. I can drink this all day and be happy.

This is a great ESB. One of my favorite styles, and Grand Teton did it right. I enjoyed this with lunch at Yelloystone National Park. Highly recommended.

Photo of Wheelinb
3.96/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bitter indeed but there is a lot more going on here.

Poured a nice copper color with a creme colored foam that left nice lacing in concentric rings all the way down the glass. Can't say I got much in the way of distinct aroma from this.

My first sip was all bitter tasting. It grabbed my tongue and held tight, but as I sipped more, the more flavors came out. There is actually a lot of completxity and big flavors to be had here once you get past the initial bitter shock.

Photo of Tolnik
4.17/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was poured into a pint glass. When first poured the head of the beer was decent, not to ambitious. Sedimentation is present when pouring the last of the beer out of the bottle. The aroma of this beer is great floweral, hoppy and coriander is present. The taste of the beer good bitterness, a hoppy sweetness to the tastebuds. Overall a really great beer.

Photo of beertunes
2.91/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in straight pint glass. Poured a very dark brown with a 1/2 inch of deep tan head that had very good retention and left just slight lacing.

A very malty aroma has just a slight hop spicieness in the nose. The flavor was mostly biscuity type malts with a slightly bitter finish. The finish was also on the dry side and had a sharpness that made me wonder if they used Rye in this brew.

The body was good, typical for the style. The drinkability was good as well. Overall, a solidly decent beer that if it were more regularly available to me, I'd mix into my regular rotation.

Photo of OlRasputin989
4.15/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: a dark and cloudy brown with a decent tan head.

S: cocoa dusted orange peel, pie crust, and brown sugar.

T: fruity upfront, an almost tart cocoa-grapefruit flavor. finishes with orange peel, wheat toast, and spice.

M: medium to full body. lively carbonation up front with an off-dry finish.

Overall, this is a really good beer and the first ESB I've reviewed. You get the best of both worlds if you're a maltlover or hophead.

Photo of CHSLBrew
4.1/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a pint glass.

A-Hazy, nearly opaque brown beer with copper highlights. Frothy dark-tan head rose 2-fingers off the pour. Head sustains nicely, remaining as a thick, consistent bubble layer throught the drink.

S-Grapefruit hoppiness is very prominent. Something sweet and nutty is under there, too, trying to get out.

T-Grapefruity hops resting atop a nutty, toasty malt foundation. What am I saying, "resting"; the hops are actively pursuing each tastebud, luring them in with citrus hoppiness, then smacking them with an assertive 54 IBU bitterness. Finishes dry, nutty.

M-Moderate body is filling and comforting, but not overwhelming. Lower-level carbonation is smooth and rather subtle.

D-I love this beer. I'll have to reach for it more frequently. Smooth and easy, whle also a little bit different.

Photo of ZAP
4.17/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-Pours a deep scarlet/brown color...fizzy tan head of about 1/8 inch on top.

S-Toffee, caramel, biscuits combine for the malt along with a piney hop aroma

T-The toffee/caramel backbone is strong....but the hops really add a west coast bite....pine and grapefruit on the hops....

M-Medium to full bodied...creamy...bigger than expected...

D-This is a pretty big ESB...I was surprised with the color and the profile overall. An ESB to savor and enjoy rather than to session with...

Photo of jacobseyb
4.07/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A=Deep dark brown in color with little clarity, light brown head, one finger

S=nice malty caramel aromas with bitter hops very evident

T=good bitter flavors with the caramel/coffee malts nicely present, overall a nice balance of flavors but each very evident

M=very light on the tongue, small tight carbonation,

D=good beer, sessionable, and enjoyable.

Photo of bort11
3.86/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a Sam Adams shaped pint glass. Tall khaki head jumps to the edge of the glass. Recedes quickly, but leaves chunky bits of lace on the glass. Color is a dark caramel brown with a dense clarity.

Smell is a mild orange peel bitterness with some caramel malt sweetness in the background. Taste is a strong mash up of citrusy sweet marmalade and caramel malts. Keeps everything in balance.

Mouthfeel is pretty light, even though the taste is pretty bold. Very easy drinking and a nice session beer.

Blipped "Life's a Bitch" by Motorhead

Photo of Gavage
4.01/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: clear copper color with a thick 2" head that slowly falls to a spotty surface covering.

Smell: bread, caramel, and some light fruit sweetness is mild but pleasant.

Taste: caramel, brown sugar, ripe red apples, and a mellow bitterness is wrapped in a bready malt base.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Smooth from start to finish. Very short aftertaste.

Drinkability: easy to quaff. Definite session beer. Nice ESB that is worth trying.

Photo of BeerisfoodLLC
4.2/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Suprisingly good beer! I had it on tap in West Yellowstone, MT and bought a 6pk to take with me.

A - Reddish Brown coloring, creamy head that lingers.

S - All kinds on good things going on here. Complex with toasty malty scents battling with strong floral & citris hops.

T - Bitter sweet. This beer has very bitter undertones that battle with the bold malt infusions.

M - Creamy smooth.

D - The extremes of this beer make it less drinkable for the average beer drinker...but extreme beer lovers with love it.

Photo of Shaw
4.13/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I bought a bottle of this in the Tower-Roosevelt area of Yellowstone National Park and saved it to drink while in Salt Lake City.

It's a deep mahogany in color with and off-white head.

It has an aroma of hops, which surprises me. It also smells of toasted malt. Good stuff.

The taste is very nice. Rich flavors of coffee, toffee and caramel mix with citrus hops and finish with a nice bitterness.

The body is smooth and creamy.

Overall, this is a very good beer and one of the best on my Yellowstone/Grand Teton/SLC trip.

Photo of vacax
4.55/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a deep caramel brown with a generous and thick reddish tan head. On the dark side for an ESB, but love the red tones and luxuriously thick head and lacing.

Aroma is an appetizing blend of earthy grassy hops that are complemented by crisp and rich caramel malts and brown sugar. The taste is quite similar, with the focus on the earthy grassy hops with just a hint of pineapple, balanced out with a caramel malt backbone that almost adds the more traditional ESB balance back to the hop proflie. A delicious beer, a bit hop forward. Medium to full bodied with low-medium carbonation.

A great take on an ESB from Grand Teton. At first I was concerned this beer was just a mediocre brew with a catchy name... but then I tasted it. This is my favorite ESB right now.

Photo of flexabull
3.7/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a clear and dark amber color with a small white head. Looks pretty good.

Aromas are quite malty, brewed tea like, with some earthy pine like hops.

Taste is mild, with general maltiness. Brewed tea like flavors, some caramel sweetness, crisp and clean with a light hop finish.

Mouthfeel is ok, but definitely feels too thin to my.

All in all, a good drinkable ESP. This could use a little more body though... still a beer worth trying, and quite sessionable.

Photo of JBogan
3.96/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a very good looking dark amber color with a large creamy slightly off white head which leaves plenty of lacing clinging to the glass.

Smells of sweet malt with roasted nuts.

Tastes very much as it smells. No real sign of alcohol in there. Nicely balanced by a small amount of hops.

Mouthfeel was thick and smooth, but could have used a hint more carbonation. A little on the flat side.

This beer was a nice surprise and one I'd have again.

Photo of AgingWarrior
4.12/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep reddish brown into my Sam Adams beer glass. Aggressive pour produced a nice thick two finger head. Plenty of retention and lacing.

Smells like sweet malts with a hint of the hops underneath.

Tastes like it smells. It hits the tongue with rich sweetness and then the hops kick in on the back side.

Medium body and carbonation, but rich and pleasing.

This brew went down ever so easily....

This beer was a gift from a friend who had been to Idaho. I'm don't have a lot of experience with ESB's, but I know what I like, and I liked this beer a lot!

Photo of tjkurz
3.18/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark brown with nice creamy head bottle poured into imperial pint glass - excellent lacing. Smells malty, earthy. Taste reminds me of a brown but with somewhat of a bitter finish - really not what I expected from an ESB. Mouthfeel was heavy - again not what I was expecting from an ESB. Drinkability diminished because it is very heavy. Can't see finishing two.

Photo of bmcclure
3.36/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear red with a nice foamy medium beige head. Aroma is light malt with a little orange hop. Flavor is initially quite malty followed by a blast of bitter hops, the finish is long and kind of bready. Quite drinkable and a decent example of an ESB..

Bitch Creek ESB (Extra Special Brown) from Grand Teton Brewing Co.
84 out of 100 based on 719 ratings.