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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.
very good

665 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 665
Reviews: 327
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 13.33%
Wants: 9
Gots: 32 | 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: 665 | Reviews: 327 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of joe1510


4.03/5  rDev +7.5%

12oz Bottle

Received Bitch Creek as an extra from the excellent trader known as BitterBill, thanks Bill. Bitch Creek pours murky amber with very few carbonation bubbles rising to the surface. A two finger dirty beige head appeared on the pour but fell to a half finger crown leaving some sheet lacing on its way down.

This beer is packed to the gills with toasted grain. There's some of that faint powdered iced tea aroma floating around in there as well but the toastiness takes the cake. With a little warming there's some caramel coming through. Bitch Creek is enjoyable but somewhat one dimensional.

The big toastiness is upfront and leads throughout. Some mild caramel comes along just before a subtle floral hoppiness comes along to create a perfect balance. Some fruity esters are present on the backend. All this comes together to create an enjoyable highly drinkable ESB.

The mouthfeel is spot on. Medium body comes through the mouth with an incredible velvety texture; smooth and creamy all the way. This ESB is a pure pleasure in the mouth.

With the subtle well balanced flavors and the silky smooth mouthfeel this beer goes down incredibly easy.

This beer continues to grow on me as I drink. I don't visit this style too often and truthfully I'm not sure why. This is an excellent beer that would make a great quaffer if the abv wasn't so high. The 6.5% is unnoticeable.

12-29-2007 23:05:38 | More by joe1510
Photo of JohnGalt1


4.08/5  rDev +8.8%

12oz from the Boise Coop for about $1.50... shared with a buddy... my half from a shaker pint... I am not rating this brew as an ESB.

Nice 1" lite tan head... chunky.. drops quickly leaving nice lacing... brown body until its held up to the light.. dark cherry juice red... Definately dark for the style, but very pretty nonetheless.

Aroma is toasted malts and piney hops.. brown malts are in the middle.. clean without a whole bunch of yeasty fruitiness... nose falls slightly short but is vastly different than most ESB's.

Flavor is nothing like an ESB... American Brown through and through... caramel and toasted biscuits.. more brown malts with grassy American hops. Big medium body.. and light carbonation... very lite diacetyl (and I hate butterscotch) mixes very nicely with the brown malts...

Given the style, I would not even put this in the top 20 of ESB's I've enjoyed, but again, this is no ESB. Much more akin to a West Coast take on an English Brown.... "What if Alesmith made a novel New Castle clone?"; that would be Bitch Creek. Drinkable proven by my beer budget.. Bitch Creek is pretty much a staple in the fridge.. even the fiancee loves it.

Edit: As it warms, it is really reminding me of recent tasting of Stone's 8th Anniversary (an aged Imperial Mild?)... simply very good and very balanced.

12-17-2007 09:09:28 | More by JohnGalt1
Photo of BeerTruth


3.78/5  rDev +0.8%

Thanks to younger35 for this one.

12 oz. bottle poured into a nonic.

Pours a dark ruby amber with a nice tan two finger head that slowly dies down. Stickiness is great, very full all over the sides. Smell is a big caramel malt with an earthy hop mix. Great nose for this style, very inviting. Taste is quite bready with good malt flavors of caramel, chocolate, and a bit of licorice. Could use some more hop flavor, but pretty good balance overall. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied for this style, I'm liking it. Carbonation is fairly mild as well. I was very surprised by this brew, I really look forward to trying more from this brewery. I have the waxed flip-top Maibock waiting for a special occasion. Thanks again Dan!

09-09-2007 00:55:50 | More by BeerTruth
Photo of Vancer


4.4/5  rDev +17.3%

Thanks be to unclejedi for a great treat via CEO BIF !

I would’ve popped this one a 5 for presentation, IF the label had some dating or alcohol %. But anyway, what a gorgeous pour of deep mahogany brown. Persistent tan head that left ring laces all the way down.

Classic English PA type aroma, woody and caramel dominated. Taste was superb too, the sweet caramel mixed nicely with the resinous hops – almost barley wine in nature.

Tangy with shades of an oily finish, this was a great way to start off the 2007 NFL season! This would be a great six pack afternoon sipper.

09-07-2007 15:35:40 | More by Vancer
Photo of Halcyondays


4.2/5  rDev +12%

12 oz. bottle,

A: Dark brown, with a thick, white head, looks great in a mug.

S: Very fragrant, very malty, caramely, some butterscotch, and molasses, with a bit of fig, and dark fruits, very complex.

T: Tastes great, a malty bitter, quite robust, with some earthy hops in the balance.

M: Smooth, neat, a very clean mouthfeel, not overbearing.

D: A great ESB, came right out of left field, I never had anything from this brewery before, so I continue to look forward to trying more of their brews in the future, thanks to Hi-Times for finally having some of their brews in single bottles, so I can try them. A great find if you are in the West.

08-25-2007 07:54:39 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of SaCkErZ9


4.25/5  rDev +13.3%

Dispensed from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Beer is a dark amber color with a generous, white head that leaves nice lacing and remains on the beer for quite a while after initial consumption.

Aroma is beautifully earthy and buttery and nutty. I would say it is nearly perfect for the style. Fruitiness, nuttiness, plenty of caramel malt with slightly citrusy hops. Right on.

Full flavored ale. Slightly sweet with a great caramel malt backbone and perfect hops to balance out the slight sweetness. This is a great ESB. Nearly full bodied with decent drinkability. This was a pleasant surprise. Glad I picked up a sixer and will be even happier to finish all six.

Reviewed from notes.

08-17-2007 14:16:49 | More by SaCkErZ9
Photo of ChrisA


4.33/5  rDev +15.5%

This is a stellar brew. I always wondered about this style. I used to feel that pale ales and IPA's really covered the necessary requirement for these beers and that ESB's just blended in either way. Boy was I wrong. This ESB is definitely hoppier than a pale ale, and has much better malt background than most IPA's. Furthermore, it pours a dark caramel color with a fluffy two inch head. I had this about a year ago at a friend's house in Denver, but couldn't find it here in the Springs. I finally was able to acquire a handful and will savor each and every one.

08-08-2007 02:03:15 | More by ChrisA
Photo of Imstillthegman


4.03/5  rDev +7.5%

Pours a dark, but clear, brownish amber color. Nice 3/4 inch beige head rises above it all. The head doesn't want to go away. When it does fade, it remains as an almost solid sheet on to of the liquid. Nice lacing.

The aroma is a nice blend of earthy hops and caramel covered nuts. The nuttiness peaking through the green hops and caramel makes me hungry.

Nutty, earthy flavor. Malts come out as dark toffee and caramel. Piney hop flavor. Nice job.

Mouthfeel is a solid medium body with good carbonation. Bitter, slightly drying finish. Thanks to Boolshot for this bottle. I would grab this if it was available in my area. Smooth, easy drinker.

05-15-2007 15:56:24 | More by Imstillthegman
Photo of HoustonTX


4/5  rDev +6.7%

Pours extra dark for the style. Ruby highlights with a fluffy strong white head. Smell is right on for the style. Loads of fruity esters, with a strong crystal/caramel malt presence. Fragrance piney hops in the background solidify the smell.

Taste is solid and has significant bitterness for the style. Tons of malt upfront, solid fruit backings, and piney untamed hops. Perfectly balanced, and toned.

Medium bodied mouthfeel, with a ultra clean finish. Drinkability is exceptional.

A delicious ESB and one that should not be missed.

04-19-2007 01:12:40 | More by HoustonTX
Photo of briman


3.98/5  rDev +6.1%

Served from bottle into standard pint glass.

Pours a dar reddish amber color. Clear, with about a 1/4 inch beige head. Average retention, with some but not a lot of lacing.

Aroma is malty caramel & toffee, with an array of hop components...citrus, pine, grassy notes.

Flavor is malty, with caramel & brown sugar coupled with an equally strong hop component with both grapefruit and grassy characteristics coming out. Finishes with a moderate-to-strong hop bitterness that lingers well into the aftertaste.

Medium-full body, fairly low carbonation. Coats as it goes down, but not syrupy. Balance is good, even though both malt & hops are very prominent, neither overpowers the other. I'd rate drinkability as good, and could easily see downing a few of these in an evening.

04-17-2007 00:43:04 | More by briman
Photo of blackie


4.5/5  rDev +20%

a: Looks great. Pours a rich colored khaki head that slowly falls back and shows nice retention. The beer is a medium-dark nutshell brown with hues of red.

s: I love a great ESB...and this is certainly one of them. Great, earthy hop aroma. Great nutty and slightly sweet malt presence. Great.

m: smooth, medium carbonation and a full medium body

t: Great hop presence over a nutty and slightly roasty toffee malt backbone. Earthy English type hops give just the right level of bitterness in the finish and a nice flavor profile throughout. Moderate sweetness cleans up quickly. Pretty earthy all over and well hopped. Really damn good.

d: definately recommened...a very solid ESB from a relatively unknown brewery. The Sweetgrass IPA was pretty good, too.

from Boolshot for my Anny bombing

04-06-2007 21:27:37 | More by blackie
Photo of xymyl


3.53/5  rDev -5.9%

Deep red in color with a big fluffy tan head, lots of lacing too.

Lots of green hop aroma up front along with some spicy notes, then some doughy and caramel notes, a burnt note comes out that seems

Tastes good and a bit more dark malt shows up, nothing too complex is going on but it is nice. Not as balanced as you would expect an ESB to come across. I think it would be better with much less aroma and flavor hops, or better yet, more sweetness and more alcohol.

Other notes: Nothing wrong with it really, I am having it again as I write this review, and I shall have it again. It has a body that is toward the medium side of things.

03-17-2007 04:38:51 | More by xymyl
Photo of Bobikel


3.25/5  rDev -13.3%

Appearance - Poured aggressively into a .5 liter goblet, only a small clunky head formed which receds into a whispy ring around the edges within a few swconds. The deep red, toffee colored, slightly hazy body makes up for the lack of head. Quite fun to gaze through.

Smell - Malty bread pudding is formost, with hints of caramel and toffee. A slight citric hopiness evens things out, quite good for an ESB.

Taste - Bitter grapefruit fills the mouth but is quickly over powered by a wave of malt goodness, which in turn, settles into a pleasant bitterness at the back of the throat. Maybe a little to bitter for an ESB, more alongn the lines of a pale ale. Still... quite complex.

Mouthfeel - Quite thick for this style, but a little higher carbonation makes things a little creamier, and more enjoyable.

Drinkability - Very quaffable and highly refreshing, but after a couple I'm ready for something different.

02-27-2007 23:24:05 | More by Bobikel
Photo of younger35


4.28/5  rDev +14.1%

Drank out of a Nonic Pint glass.

Appearance- Very deep cherry brownish color with a creamy dirty tan head. Very fine bubbles surround the beers head with bigger bubbles holding strong in the middle. Pretty decent lacing.
Smell- Nice bread crust roasted caramel malts jump out first followed by a low key alcohol aroma. Nice fruity floral pear like hoppyness shows nicely.
Taste- A very bitter roasted malt bites the tongue first followed by a very pleasing sweetness. Gentle citrus hop notes mellow the sweetness before it can overtake. Slight alcohol warming sensation. Leaves a very nutty/burnt flavor in the mouth. Different but welcome.
Mouthfeel- Good carbonation. Feels bigger on the tongue than expected. Medium body with slight alcohol warming.
Drinkability- Very good. A very ABV to give you the opportunity to drink more normal. Got a very pleasent taste and a lightness to it. Really enjoyed this beer.

02-24-2007 20:53:07 | More by younger35
Photo of Beaver13


3.93/5  rDev +4.8%

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.

02-21-2007 04:16:52 | More by Beaver13
Photo of NeroFiddled


4.33/5  rDev +15.5%

Bright, citrusy, floral, leafy, grassy, piney, and metallic hops leap out at you in Bitch Creek's ESB, almost challenging you to take a sip! There's also some berry-like yeasty fruitiness, and some mild chocolate and dark caramel malt underneath, giving it quite a round and welcoming nose. The body is medium; and it's delicate, median carbonation caresses the tastebuds. The deep chestnut body has a crimson and ruby cast that's reminiscent of old, polished leather furniture; and the creamy tan head holds long enough to make an impression, and then continues to leave walls of spotty lace once it's dropped. Rich, caramelized sugars and a bit of nuttiness dominate the malty side of the flavor; juicy yeasty fruitiness livens it (apples, red berries, prunes, pear); and citrusy, leafy, grassy, mineralish, floral and subtly piney/minty hops round it out with a raspy edge. A bold bitterness anchors it, but there's enough girth to the maltiness that it doesn't appear as "bitter!". It finishes drying as the sweetish and distinctly caramelish maltiness fades, and the piney and resinous hops rise - both softened along the way by a soft, smooth cushion of underlying orange-like citrus. Nice!

02-14-2007 01:56:16 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of blitz134


3.6/5  rDev -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.

01-27-2007 20:24:40 | More by blitz134
Photo of JohnnyM2002


4.05/5  rDev +8%

Sampled from a 12 oz bottle, poured into a white wine glass at 50 degrees. Picked up in a trade from JohnGalt1 - thanks!!

A - Pours a brownish red with a creamy tan head that left sticky remnants on the glass. The more I look at it, appears to be a dark cherry-wood color. Good amount of carbonation.

S - Wonderful - but difficult to pinpoint - aroma hit me at first. Pine and nuts come through the strongest. Mild hops were a nice addition, rather than being a frontrunner-scent. Grassy notes rose as it got warmer.

T - Nutty flavors up front...tasted most like pecans and walnuts; all on a piney backbone. Honey and tea leaves came through, which added to the underlying complexities of this beer. Finishes with a smooth caramel and bitterness. I was expecting more bitter flavors throughout the tasting, but it didn't come through right away. Still, very pleasing tastes.

M - This was a tough call...a very creamy mouthfeel, but misleading; actually thinner than it appeared at first. Just finishes on the thin side...doesn't start out that way. Other than that, a smooth bubbly finish with a slightly sweet aftertaste.

D - Not what I expected from an ESB, but the bitterness showed after I drank more. Most enjoyable one I've had from Grand Teton, and it would make for an excellent session beer.

01-24-2007 02:44:55 | More by JohnnyM2002
Photo of Wasatch


4/5  rDev +6.7%

Pours a nice clear dark amber color, nice carbonation, nice little creamy tan head that lasts awhile, nice islands and sticky lacing throughout the brew. The scent is malty, hoppy, and lots of caramel. The taste is sweet/malty, with a very nice bitter/caramel finish. Medium body. Very drinkable, a very nice ESB, one of the best I've had. Highly recommended.

01-23-2007 01:46:13 | More by Wasatch
Photo of Alkey


2.95/5  rDev -21.3%

12oz. bottle poured a very dark amber with a large off white head that stuck to the glass. Big caramel malt aroma. Lots of malt in the taste some caramel and burnt/roasted flavors also with a bit of a watery taste and old stale hop presence in the back ground. Mouth feel like the taste seems thin and watery. This one is so thin it goes down easy but the stale hop taste is not pleasing and kills the drink ability.

01-15-2007 17:14:00 | More by Alkey
Photo of GooberMcNutly


2.42/5  rDev -35.5%

ESB means Extra Special Bitter. And Bitter is what Bitch Creek is all about. Nice coppery color and a subtle aroma waft up from the glass. Low head and moderate carbonation are to style. The bitterness is a little pronounced, even a little astringent. The brewers may want to spend a week in London putting back a few real pints of the Bitter to see what the taste is all about.

01-15-2007 15:01:15 | More by GooberMcNutly
Photo of arizcards


4.3/5  rDev +14.7%

Received as part of my MicroBeerClub November shipment received in late November. I had the pleasure of enjoying this in August while visiting my brother in Idaho Falls!

Beer poured a nice looking deep ruby red but had no head. Nose is nice, of citrus and floral hops. Taste is a wonderful balance between the malts and the citrusy hops. Mouthfeel is lively on the palate with a medium to full body. Overall drinkability is very good. This is a fine example of the American ESB style!

01-13-2007 01:25:08 | More by arizcards
Photo of Mdog


3.35/5  rDev -10.7%

Appearance: Dark reddish brown, with a fast fading head.

Smell: A little citrus note from the hops.

Taste: Not bad, smooth caramel then some tea-like bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Smooth stuff.

Drinkability: I could have a few of these in a sitting.

A friend gave me this, I was wary since he said it tasted metallic and I dislike metallic tasting beers. I was pleasantly surprised by this one though, the bitterness came through more like tea than metal so it was pretty good.

01-07-2007 03:00:24 | More by Mdog
Photo of aquatonex

New York

3.18/5  rDev -15.2%

More BOTM... And, actually my first ESB.

Pours dark translucent mahogany, reminds me of Coke. No head, not lacing, lightly carbonated, almost looks flat. Smell consists of slightly sweet caramel malts but is overpowered by stinky hops and alcohols. Taste isn't as gross as I would have expected from the smell, surprisingly balanced compared to the nose. Again, light caramels, not very malty with a fair amount of hops and some alcohol peeking through. Reminds me of a cross between an IPA and a watered down stout. Overall, not as bad as I would have thought.

01-06-2007 00:44:29 | More by aquatonex
Photo of RBorsato


4.9/5  rDev +30.7%

Deep mahogany hues with a decent light brown head at first. Poured a bit flat but had slow light carbonation. Big piney hop aroma hits right up front ! Some nutty malt aromas underneath. Same piney hop flavor smacks you in the mouth. Robust resinous hops and malts are balanced nicely with a touch of chocolate. Medium-full bodied with a big dry nice bitter resiny hop finih.

Very nice robust ESB ... possibly more of an AAA or IPA.

Per GTBC website: OG = 15.5P (1.062); 51 IBU
Malts: Idaho 2-Row Pale, German Melanoidin, CaraAmber, CaraAroma, British Crystal 60
Hops: Galena, Chinook, Centennial (Dry Hopped with Centennial)

2005 GABF - Gold - American Brown Ale
2004 GABF - Gold - American Brown Ale

12-26-2006 21:45:39 | More by RBorsato
Bitch Creek ESB (Extra Special Brown) from Grand Teton Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 665 ratings.