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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)

Educational use only; do not reuse.

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 tpd975
4.11/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Foamy mess of a beer. I started to pour this one and in a split second it was on the floor. 9/10 of the glass was full of foam. Insane retention (not a good thing) with nice lace. Had I not poured it all over the floor I would have been a bit more forgiving.

S: Wonderful malty aroma. Tons of sweet malt with hints of caramel apple. Hints of brown sugar and a dash of green hops.

T: Wow this is a damn good ESB, I may go as far as great. Tons of rich crystal malt sweetness. Tons of brown sugar and rich caramel. Wonderful hints of summer fruit, nuts, and toffee. Hints of fresh orange hops in the finish.

M: Medium body, tons of carbonation.

D: Good and tasty, still pissed about the pour though, it was an absolute mess.

Photo of MisterClean
3.97/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the west coast beer festival

A - Poured mahogany with 2 fingers of cappuccino colored head. Dissipated slow and left nice lacing.

S/T - Caramel, grass, and light citrus.

M - Full-bodied and well-balanced. Could have been a bit creamier.

D - Good, but needs to be creamier. The color is a little dark and the alcohol content is high for the style.

Photo of spointon
4.05/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I poured this one from a 12oz brown bottle into a shaker pint glass.

A= This ale poured a mostly clear, rich dark amber brown color with a big 2" off-white head. The head eventually settled to a creamy cap and left some sticky lacing behind.

S= The aroma could only be described as rich. Lots of sweet malts, caramel, treacle, and a hint of earthy, spicy hops.

T= A heavy dose of caramelly sweet malts started things off followed by a citrusy hop character. Some dark fruity esters in there too. The finish dried a bit, but still retained some sweetness.

MF= Heavy side of medium bodied with a soft, slick, almost oily mouthfeel.

D= This was my first Grand Teton and though it was heavy for an ESB, it was a damn good ale. I would now like to try many other Grand Teton beers as well as have some more of this one!

Photo of beveritt
4.65/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into a standard pint glass. Thanks to Wasatch for setting me up with this in a selection of brews from out West. Label is a background of river rocks with a white banner superimposed. No clear freshness date.

Appearance: Initially pours with a massive 4 finger head, enough that I have to pause during the pour. Eventually settles to a still substantial coating, leaving behind amazingly thick and sticky lacing, literally looks like some kind of glue or resin. The beer itself is dark mahogany, bordering on opaque. Some sediment remains in the bottle.

Smell: Strong aroma of caramel malt with notes of dark fruit and bubblegum.

Taste: Smokey caramel malt upfront, with a distinct sugary sweetness. Mild lingering bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Lower than average carbonation level. Body is excellent.

Drinkability: My first beer from Grand Teton and I am thoroughly impressed. I can honestly say that I have never seen a beer with such a resinous, sticky head and lacing.

Photo of riversider76
3.63/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours amber brown with a thin tan head. Some retention and very nice laceing. Aroma is bready with hints of carmel. Body is lighter than I expected with a good amount of carbonation. Taste is bready,and malty with some hops in the finish. Very good stuff.

Photo of WesWes
3.87/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark amber color with a 1/2" offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great! It has a complex malt scent that screams burnt toffee and bisquits. The taste is decent. It has a smooth crystal malt and hops taste that's mildly bitter and a bit thin in the finish. The aroma suggests a heavier, warmer beer, but it doesn't carry over to the taste. The mouthfeel is decent as well. It is a low/medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a good drinker. It's complex, yet thin and easily quaffable.

Photo of maximum12
4.45/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to ThirstyHopHead for sending a couple of these my way.

BC ESB is dark amber, bit o' foam, looks purty with the light shining behind it. My wife approves of the smell but has to work tonight, so no sippee cup for her! Smells like someone bred a hereweizen with an IPA late at night during a thunderstorm. Whilst cackling.

Wow, cool beans. Taste is very bitter, which surprised me, due to my evident reading deficiency (you know, extra special BITTER). More so that I expected, however. Plenty of earthy, grainy, & nutty tones lurking under the surface bitterness. There's a lot of depth here that I wasn't really expecting. Guess my expectations were all wrong here, but I'm happy to say they've been exceeded warmly.

If it didn't peel the skin off the top of my mouth, I can see sessioning up on this one. It's smooth & easy to drink, but has a very appealing taste profile.

Excellent brew! I haven't had an ESB yet that could hold a candle to it, but now I'm going to have to start looking harder.

Photo of kbnooshay
2.59/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a weird orange-brown red with a non existent head. Aroma is of strong of hay and rabbit pellets. Im glad this doesn't taste how it smells. Flavor is of earthy bitter hops and weirdness. feel is tingly from the carbonation. The oddness of this beer will prevent me from ever buying another. There are much better ESBs out there.

Photo of bakeller
3.74/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a stella artois glass

A: Deep red copper color, crystal clear without any sediment. Pours with a 1 finger tan head that dies down to a nice ring that hugs the side of the glass. There is a fantastic thick lace that graces the side of the glass as you drink.

S: Nose is predominantly subtle hops. Some grassy, citrus, and pine tones

T: Taste follows the smell. There is a clear earthy/grassy taste. Some caramel malts also mingled in. The hops are in the forefront. Drink finishes with a slightly bitter piney taste

M: Smooth, crisp, and clean. Carbonation is mild.

D: Goes down really easy, would love this on a summer night, very crisp and refreshing. I enjoyed this beer.

Photo of Proteus93
3.92/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle comes courtesy dkachur

A: Quite a deep red... Dark for an ESB. Short head, decent retention, spotty lacing.

S: Toasty malts, a bit of creamed corn, caramel and a soft kiss of chocolate. Pleasant and easy going.

T: Some soft fruity flavours, a modest maltiness and caramel / chocolate sweetness.

M + D: Soft carbonation with a bit of tingling carbonation noted later in the mouth. Medium body, easier drinking. Not bad at all, and I'd be happy to try it again.

4.18/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I got this as a bonus from colts9016. This was one of the best ESB's I ever had, so I decided to start reviewing.

A- Pours a dark ruby brown with a thick tan head leaving behind a noticeable lacing.

S- Very nice nose with a nutty sweetness with citrus overtones.

T- Bitter hops up front followed by chestnut and sweet molasses. The bitterness stays through the finish and becomes more prominent as it warms.

M- Medium body with a refreshing carbonation which works well with the bitterness.

D- very drinkable ESB. Well balanced with the right amount of bitterness. One of the nicest ESB's out there.

Photo of duffextracold
4/5  rDev +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 +17.1%
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
4.07/5  rDev +8.8%
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
3.83/5  rDev +2.4%
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
3.24/5  rDev -13.4%
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
3.83/5  rDev +2.4%
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
3.8/5  rDev +1.6%
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 +7.8%
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
3.91/5  rDev +4.5%
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 -3.7%
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 -5.6%
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 -5.6%
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
3.83/5  rDev +2.4%
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
3.77/5  rDev +0.8%
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!

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