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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

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

A- Dark reddish brown color, one finger head. looks tasty.

S- Smells grainy, sweet and malty, with some hoppy bitterness.

T- Tastes bitter up front, with a nice fruity, sweet malt finish. dried fruit aftertaste.

M- Great mouthfeel, medium carbonation. very refreshing.

D- Quite tasty, very drinkable, well balanced. I'd drink it more often if it was available here.

thanks donkeyrunner!

Photo of donkeyrunner
4.38/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a crystal clear dark brown color with ruby highlights. Large tan head that leaves a lace storm from the glass top to liquid. Great foam retention doesn't allow beer to peek through. I don't think a ESB can look much better.

Smells of nutty earl gray tea spice, fruit and fresh hop oil. Apple fruit aroma intensifies as it warms.

Tastes of tea, chestnuts, orange citrus and chocolate with heavy spice and hop bitter in back. Great bitter and spice vs. sweet balance. Full mouthfeel with satiating chocolate spice aftertaste. Good use of subtle carbonation to push forth flavor.

Plain and simple, the best ESB I've ever had. Very complex and flavorful but still retains subtlety that is characteristic of style.

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

Got this in a trade with Wasatch, thanks John!

A: pours a hazy tawny ruby with a quickly receding tan head that leaves some sticky lacing, darker than most ESBs

S: smells good, really hoppy a mix of spicy and earthy hops with some citrus, a little bit of malt to back things up

T: toasty sweetness balanced by mildly bitter citrus hops, a hint of roastiness that adds an interesting astringency in the finish

M: kinda waifish with moderate carbonation

D: not quite a session beer, however the alcohol is very well camoflauged, very very tasty

Photo of MSchae1017
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Wasatch for this one.

This beer was tasted from the 12 oz bottle in a pint glass.

The beer pours a deep amber with a 1 finger head that holds a nice ring, but does not leave much lace.

The aroma is full of caramel malts along with some citrusy/piney hops.

The taste displays a good amount of bitterness up front. This is following by an interesting mix of caramel malts and subtle citrusy hops that give way to a more floral hop characteristic.

The body is medium along with a slightly sharp carbonation.

Overall, a nicely drinkable ESB. After having Fuller's ESB last night, I have to say this one lies between that and an American IPA/Pale Ale. Still a nice beer that shows off some caramel malts, and a nice mixture of bitter and flavorful hops. Certainly more aggressive in the bitterness department than its English counterparts.

Photo of BeerBelcher
3.23/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

I ordered this because it was on-cask at Roman's. I've seen it before in bottles and passed it up, as ESBs are not the most exciting style in the world to me. But being on the beer engine upped the interesting factor to me enough to order. And it was OK, but hardly the daunting flavor challenge in the commercial description of the beer.

Body was a dark but brilliant copper. Off the beer engine, head was silky and perfect. Aroma was pretty faint; I got some English style hoppiness (East Kent Golding? Fuggles?). Flavor was a heavy shot of maltiness, not tremendously balanced with hops. Some mettalic, coppery flavor. OK, but not the high point of my beer drinking day.

This was OK, but at a place like Roman's, it wouldn't be in the first 5 beers I'd recommend.

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

Highly hazed and bronze/dark amber color...cream-toned head, long lasting...

Grassy hops and caramel malt shine through the nose. Spicy, sweet, yet dry.

Taste: Crsip,bright, lightly sweet, then dry. Nutty, caramel and toffee, with a bit of tart apple.

Medium bodied, lightly lingering finish, ...tasty stuff. I'd drink one again,for sure.

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

A: Deep, dark caramel color. Poured a 3 finger light burnt caramel head with good retention. Thick, clinging lacing.

S: Light sweet roasted caramel malt and intensly bitter hops.

T: Very consistent with smell. Big bready caramel malts and bitter hops in a very good balance. Slight buttery taste as it warmed.

M: Light side of medium body; a little thin for the taste. Nicely balanced carbonation. Clean, bitter finsh.

D: Drinks really easy with malts, hops and carbonation in pleasing balance. Might be a bit stronger than al lot of ESB's, but very tasty.

Photo of Hojaminbag
3.93/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks go out to Wasatch for another beer here. It occurred to me that this box of beer is going to add a lot of states to my reviews, which is good even though it isn't my intent.

I would say this is a little bit of an uncommon appearance as far as ESBs go, but it is a very nice looking beer. The body is a dark amber body that is close to a mahogany color. The tan head is about a finger and a half with a slightly creamy, lumpy appearance and some good retention. Leaves pretty good, thick, sticky, lacing behind. Definitely a good looking beer.

The smell of hops hit me right away. It has a fruity type of hop aroma, reminding me of pineapple and other juicy fruits. The more familiar grapefruit aroma is there also, but it is definitely in the background. This burst of hop aroma is short and not especially deep. It gives way to some sweet, biscuity malts. The malts aren't extremely strong, but it seems to put an end to the hop aroma.

This is a pumped up ESB. The fruity, slightly earthy hop aroma along with the slightly caramel/biscuity malt aromas are also present in the taste, but a good deal more powerful. I have trouble deciding which one I taste first or second or last. I taste them at about the same time, but I would say the malt starts things off with some caramel sweetness. Next I notice the fruity flavored hops backed up by some biscuit flavored malt. Finishes with a bitter, grapefuit flavor. Pretty good ESB.

Very oily mouthfeel for an ESB, but positive. Medium bodied with a pretty big amount of carbonation.

Fairly drinkable beer, something I enjoyed trying for sure.

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

Edited 2/14/09

Buddy was coming over for the night. I told him to surprise me. I hinted at a variety pack and he came back with a Grand Teton Variety Pack. I wasn't expecting it but was pleasantly surprised. That was back in December, I'm trying this again after the beer sat for 2 months.

Pours a dark amber color, with an light brown head. There is decent lacing going on, but very little carbonation.

Grains, malts and a spicey scent. Definite hop bitterness present on the nose.

Starts very malty, biscuity even. Ends with a strong dry hop bitterness. I wasn't expecting such a strong malt flavor.

No visual carbonation, and a medium body.

For the style, I consider it very drinkable. This is the second ESB I've tried this week. I wasn't expecting much in the way of drinkability but I was surprised on both accounts. Craft beer from Idaho, why not?

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

A - Lots of head! A hard pour gave me more then 4 fingers of head before I had to stop pouring. After it shrank and I was able to pour the rest, I was left with a good layer of tan colored head on top of the ruby liquid.

S - A blend of toasted malts and and citrusy hops.

T - The malts are there and the hops have a very fruity taste. Another reviewer compared it to apple peels and he/she is dead on. The hops linger a little in the back of the throat but are not overpowering.

M - Light and crisp with some carbonation.

D - Goes down smooth for being as hoppy as it is. Very drinkable.

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

Reviewed on 8/20/08. Bottle. Pours a ruby red with a small white head. Aroma of toasted malts, yum! Flavor of the same toasted malts, light fruits (apple skins) with a bitter finish. Pretty fruity/sweet for an ESB but still good. I've been a little wary of trying Grand Teton beers, but this one was actually pretty solid and tasty. Worth a try.
7/4/7/4/14 (3.6/5)

Photo of brewcrew76
3.8/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Clear mahogany with a thin tan head that leaves rings of lace around the glass.

S - Caramel and bready malts with an herbal hoppiness.

T - Toasty, bready malts, sweet caramel, biscuit, herbal hops with maybe some citrus and pine also. Lingering nuttiness with a touch of chalk I am guessing is coming from the hops.

M - Medium bodied with lingering dry bitterness.

D - On the hoppy side. Tasty. Goes down easy.

Photo of CrellMoset
3.75/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of dkachur - thanks!!! Split three ways w/ dkachur and proteus93, w/ my portion poured into a brandy snifter.

Appearance: Pours an alarmingly dark ruby amber with a fast-fading quarter-finger dull, off-white head which leaves a few flourishes of lacing and a thin ring of lace. Lacing is solid, but really, the most noticeable thing about this one is the depth of color this one presents, given its style.

Aroma: Very malty, grainy, biscuity, with a definite spicy note and ... wait for it ... wait for it ... parmesan cheese. I don't know if that's a combination old hop/salty note or something else, but it's truly not as unpleasant as it sounds. I really like parmesan cheese. The spiciness is rather neutral, though I do get faint notes of ginger, too. Odd but intriguing - smells like almost winter warmer-esque.

Taste: Dry and toasty - waffles, maple syrup, but mostly a lot of heavy sugars, residual without being sweet. There's a faint hop bitterness and a significant deal of yeasty spiciness, perhaps a few leafy, spicy hop notes. Interesting.

Mouthfeel: Medium to perhaps even thick bodied, sugary, faintly cloying, and well carbonated.

Drinkability: A solid ESB, a little strange in places, but interesting nonetheless. Alcohol may be a little high for the style, but it doesn't really matter - the spiciness of this one gives it a unique twist that's worth it. Give this one a shot. Idaho - done!

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

A: poured a dark red/brown with an off white head about half an inch thick. Excellent lacing, clumpy and surrounds the snifter nicely. A little on the dark side.

S: initially there are a lot of hop smells, but a nice roasted dark bread malt comes through after it warms. Hops are clean and piney.
T: a lot of the nose comes through in the taste. Very noticeable hop presence, but it balances nicely with a good amber ale malt flavor. Somewhat sweet too. Faint hints of chocolate. Hops really dominate thi though.

M: pretty thin but not too thin. Excellent carbonation. Relatively clean finish. Fairly dry.

D: this one goes down easy and makes for an okay session. A little stronger than most esb's but still tasty and easy drinking. This is a revist to a beer I used to hate. Still not crazy about it but it is growing on me.

Photo of colts9016
4/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am doing this review over. Now that I am developing a sense for beer and there styles. I realized my error in giving this beer a lower grade. Poured into a pint glass at 37

Appearance: A light tan head that is foamy and creamy with good retention. The color of the beer is a dark brown color with mahogany hues. The clarity of the beer is opaque. There is carbonation in the beer. The head leaves some lacing on the glass.

Nose: A rich hop aroma that is floral esters, wood, grapefruit. The malt is nicely toasted with hints of roasting. There are also notes of biscuit and yeast.

Taste: A well developed hop profile, that has pine, grapefruit, floral esters. The malt creates a solid backbone with toasty and some roasted notes. There are also characters of yeast and biscuit.

The mouth feel is carbonated, dry, and astringent.

Overall: The body of the beer is medium and the finish is medium full. This is a very good ESB. It is one of my favorite daily sippers. I am glad I have access to this beer.

Photo of Beernoisseur
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.

Photo of brentk56
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

Photo of Dogbrick
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.

Photo of nklatt
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.

Photo of jkdrummer
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

Photo of jake87
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.

Photo of plaid75
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.

Photo of RJLarse
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.

Photo of zeff80
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.

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