XX Bitch Creek - Grand Teton Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
XX Bitch CreekXX Bitch Creek

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

138 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 138
Reviews: 56
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 9.8%
Wants: 11
Gots: 8 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Grand Teton Brewing Co. visit their website
Idaho, United States

Style | ABV
Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB) |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Tolnik on 11-02-2008

Bitch Creek ESB was first brewed in 2003, and perfectly balances big malt sweetness and robust hop flavor for a full-bodied mahogany ale. It has quickly become our best-selling beer, as well as our most-critically acclaimed, having won medals-including two golds— at four out of the past five Great American Beer Festivals.

XX Bitch Creek Double ESB is all that and more. We took the Bitch Creek recipe and doubled everything: double the malt, double the hops, twice the flavor.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 138 | Reviews: 56
Reviews by Ivegotmule:
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.22/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

First Grand Teton beer that I have tried and I have come away impressed.Poured into a imperial nonic a murky mahogany brown with a one finger toasted almond colored head atop.A mix of leafy hop and burnt toffee in the nose to go along with fruity malt esters.I love the complexities on the palate,sweet and cakey intertwined with burnt toffee and earth,the alcohol does creep a little.This a great mix of ESB and earthy American Brown amped up,to me more of the ESB.I really like this beer because I like a good American style ESB (I do believe its a style after living in eastern PA),the hops show thru well but dont dominate.

Man thats a big bottle and a bitch to get into!

Photo of RoyalT
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - This poured a deep, rich brown in color with light brownish-orange hues along the edges and held a wonderfully stubborn malty brown-white head.

Smell - There is both a roasty and toasted base to the malt of this nose. There's not a lot of sweetness here but there is a good-sized alcohol scent. It's fine not rough though.

Taste - The alcohol all but disappears at the taste and the strong malt is much smoother than expected. There's still not any sweetness in here, and I'll give them credit for the cohones that that took.

Mouthfeel - There's little carbonation to this medium-bodied ESB. The bitterness is stiff, no question about that, but not rough or uncomfortable.

Drinkability - This was surprisingly drinkable for all the bitterness. It smelled like a difficult beer to get down. I thought the bitterness was going to be excessive and the alcohol harsh, but really this is a fine drinking ESB.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine Vol. II Issue XI:

Dark reddish-brown color; solid stogy head with a meringue-like retention. Hoppy aroma of dried grass, citric zest and mild hemp seed oil. There is some maltiness in the nose of toasted biscuits. Smooth and creamy, full-ish body. Big toasted grain flavor that has a quick push of roasted grain. Hops jump from citric to mild pine to tobacco, dropping a pungent bitterness on the palate. Slight alcohol warmth throws some fruitiness into the mix. Finishes bittersweet, but the bitterness is on top.

We dig this beer a whole lot. The bottle conditioning really works. The 7.5 percent ABV is slightly deceiving as this beer grows on you and does not show its true warmth due to the heavy hand of malt and hops.

Photo of magictrokini
4.2/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured dark brown with a lot of tiny grown bubbles and a massive, rocky tan/off-white head. Thick lacing. Heavy caramel and toffee aromas, some wood, licorice, and hay. Thick, viscous mouthfeel for the style. Borders on the "imperial porter" in terms of mouthfeel and taste. Lots of caramel and earthy hop resins, blended with grain and dark chocolate flavors. Bitter, yes, but not in the expected overly-golding hops way. More of a resiny-wood bite. I liked this a lot, but don't find this to be the ESB it claims it is. More of an American SA.

Photo of MattyG85
4.4/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a Surly Darkness Chalice glass. 2012 Bottle with a date of Aug 23, 2012.

Appearance: Pours a deep, dark, and very cloudy brownish amber with a moderate amount of bubbles. Solid three finger off white head that slowly fades into a thin creamy layer. Lots of lacing is left on the glass.

Smell: A really interesting blend of sweet malts, roast, and bitter smelling hops. Roasted malts with hints of caramel, toffee, chocolate, biscuit, and nuts. Molasses and some brown sugar. Big hop presence with hints of orange peel, grapefruit, pine, and earthy grass. Light hints of syrup and booze. Smells very rich and full. Very good and interesting aroma.

Taste: As big and complex as it smells. Starts with a sharp hop bitterness from a mix of citrus and earthy hops. Notes of grapefruit, orange, pine resin, and grass. The malty sweetness asserts itself midway. Taste of roasty malts with notes of caramel, chocolate, toffee, biscuit, and nuts along with some molasses and brown sugar. The roast lingers and dries things out towards the finish. A very good balance here. The hops and malts play off each other really well. Very tasty.

Mouthfeel: Medium to heavy body with a moderate amount of carbonation. Very creamy and rich. Slightly syrupy but has a drying finish.

Overall: A pretty impressive brew. Very rich and balanced. Glad I got this recommended to me.

Photo of Blackwolf
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle to oversized wine glass.

A- Poured a deep dark rich oxblood-mahogany color, with a caramel toned head about a fingers width. The head settled after a minute and left some nice sticky lacing to the side of the glass. Really beautiful to admire before it hits your nose and palate!

S- Unique! I can't quite put my finger on it, but I smell roasted malt/barley, I want to say a pinch of cinnamon, a mild pine hoppiness, and dark coffee. It is a great aroma.

T- Bittersweet. The combination of roasted malts and the centennial hops take you from the sweet barley start, to a nice mild bitter hop backbone with a lick of pine/citrus-peel. The finish transitions again into a dark coffee flavor that hangs around the palate for a bit... The taste is just as complex as the smell.

MF- Light-Medium body, with medium carbonation. Smooth! A thin syrup feel coats the palate, helping the flavor to hang around for a bit. Very balanced.

O- Different. And different is good in my book. This is a solid ESB with unique characteristics you can truly enjoy if you want a deep taste. Price range should be moderate on this, so expect to pay for quality! Not a must try, but a VERY considerable one. If it's available and in your budget grab a bottle. Enjoy!

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 Aug.02 12
(Served in a nonic)

A- This beer pours a jet black body with a dense thick tan creamy head that bubbles on top. The head sticks to the sides with each sip.

S- The earthy mint aroma leads to green hops with a mellow toasted malt finish that blends nicely with the hops.

T- The mellow roasted malt notes have some darker caramel malt notes that come out as the beer opens and a soft cream flavor to them. The pine hops flavor in the finish take on some nice woody hops qualities as the beer opens. The hops flavor lingers for a bit after the finish.

M- The medium mouthfeel has a creamy texture with the alcohol heat growing as the beer opens up.

O- The nice blend of malts add some good depth with a hop support that comes through in the finish. The alcohol grows as it warms and compliments the hops and malt flavors nicely.

Photo of Sammy
3.35/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Kuhnhenn Solstice BA/RB party. Wicked beer, taste like wild yeast.Sugar and toffee. Sourish come through, which is not what I expect from an ESB. Average mouthfeel. No head.
Alcohol was felt in the taste and in the smell. Not a bad one, but a bit overrated.

Photo of russpowell
3.56/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

bottled 24 Sep 08

Pours chestnut with flecks of orange when held to the light; plus 3 fingers of fluffy tan head. Superior head retention & lacing

S; Big fat toffee as the swing top whooshes open, plus leafy hops, apricot & plums

T: Leafy hops, coca-cola, brown bread, & dryness up front. Brown sugar, leafy hops, & a bit of booze burn as this warms. Finishes with more fruiityness & leafy hops

MF: Slick, a bit too much carbonation, light/medium bodied

Drinks okay, expected more from this one, give me the regular bitch creek any day. Hope this gets better with age. We sure about the abv on this one? Seems a bit sturdier than 7.5% ABV, although necessarily done with finesse...

Photo of GRG1313
4.15/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very dark brown/black color in the glass with a light tan head.

Lovely chocolate dried candied fruit nose with hints of espresso and figs and dark plums.

Nice complex chocolate, madera, fig and coffee flavors. A complex big beer with nice subtle hops that turns to a nice coffee, bitter chocolate hop finish.

A bit light on carbonation. One of the most complex and interesting beers for degrees of flavor and layers of character.

A nice drink and experience.

Photo of Tolnik
3.82/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Really dark robust Brown ale when poured into a pint glass it gives a good finger width foam that reduces to a good lingering lacing. There is a distinct coffee malt smell to it that has a wonderful cooking chocolate taste. The after taste is quite a pleasent flavorful chocolate taste.

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.32/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1 qt 1.8 oz bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada Imperial Pint. 2008 Cellar Reserve - Sept 26, 2009. Happy Birthday Beer, now I shall consume you.

A - This beer pours a clear dark, deep mahogany red color. Even with the nucleation point, not a lot of bubbles are rising up. The head was instantly large and dark khaki in color. Great retention kept it around for a while before it dropped to a thin layer.

S - The potent aroma sprayed into the air with the mist of carbonation when the impossible-to-open bottle finally cracked. The alcohol is immediately evident but not overpowering or hot. There is a light hint of brown sugar and molasses within the seriously toasted malts. Biscuity and partially sweet too. The hops also play a good part in the aroma of this beer. They balance the huge maltiness out (a bit) and give it a light floral aroma. As it warms the molasses and brown sugar become more evident. There is a dark prune hint to it as well I can now pick up.

T - The aroma is a bit deceiving. This is definitely malty. It's got a strong backbone of toasted malt that gives it a real burnt feel. A bit of coffee grounds combine with a sweet alcoholic booziness and a touch on the molasses. The deceiving part of this comes out where the hops are. Stronger than the aroma lets on, that's for certain, they impart a little bit of floral and herbal flavors but mainly give it a strikingly bitter finish. The hops plus the roasted malts make the finish very dry and pretty bitter.

M - Like I said, very dry and pretty bitter. It starts creamy though and quickly changes. The sweetness carries though the whole mouthfeel and adds a great feel.

D - The alcohol is a bit warming but it's a really solid beer overall and, had I not had 4 beers before this today I'd finish the whole thing by myself. Instead I think i'll be sharing it with my friend tonight.

As a side note, HOLY SHIT is that wax sealed swing top impossible to open! Who's idea was it? It looks fantastic but is awful at functionality. I had to chisel at the wax with the wine cork-screw to open it.

Photo of TexIndy
2.71/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Got from ummagum - many thanks! Poured from 1000ml wax sealed swing top bottle into a pint glass. Really poor judgment on waxing a swing top. A real bitch to open then blue wax everywhere. Dark reddish brown in color. Good lacing. It had a huge tan head that very, very slowly settled to a constant foam.

The aroma was caramel, resin/pine and a lot of sweet malt. The balance seemed off to me with the sweet being too present. The taste followed the aroma. Good base flavor at first then the sweet kicks in and kinda spoils it.

Overall, an OK beer that could be better if the sweet was toned down somewhat. As is, the sweet becomes too much especially in a bottle this large. For me, one is enough but would like to try the regular/non-tricked out Bitch Creek.


Photo of JohnGalt1
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

1ltr waxed flip top picked up today at the COOP for about $13... sharing with Brenda.. mine from my Chimay goblet.

Edit: I am not reviewing this as an ESB... waaaay to large for an ESB.

2 finger head is impressive... sorta a yellowy lite tan.... descent amount of lace... the brew is very brown.

Nose is big and hoppy and still very malty... caramel and toffee with citric and piney hops... yeasty fruity esters too... smell is very complex.

big bitterness out of the gate.. melts into caramel with sorta a cigar flavor... not the smoke.. but rough tobacco... piney hops with a blast of fruitiness... some cocoa throughout... but it tends to be drowned out by the massive flavor of this brew. Body is fairly thick and the lite carbonation accentuates that you are drinking a huge brew.

I like this... I am trying to think of something over the years that sorta comes close to describing it... it actually sorta reminds me of a fruity English BW...

I will definitely be picking up some more of these... NOW.... if the damn XX Au Naturale would show up in Boise. :-)


Photo of scottoale
3.98/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

20th Anniversary - 2008 Cellar Reserve - Double ESB. This big brew comes in a brown 1 Litre swing-top that's dipped in blue wax, has a neck leaflet with all the info attatched and a great looking foil label that gleams. What a nice presentation on the packaging...very handsome. There is a date of SEP 25 2008 stamped on the back of the neck hanger.

It pours a very dark mahogany with about 1/2" of khaki-tan head. Good carbonation with decent head retention.

Earthy spicy hops first smack the nose then back off to let the massive malt backbone creep through briefly. Piney and floral it lingers with hop authority.

Nice bitter bite on the intro, lots of pine and citrus dominating any malt sweetness with ease. You've got big citrus notes with pine-o-plenty, black tea, tobacco and earth...and lot's of it. A very robust flavorful brew with all the bitter you could ever want. The sizable 7.5% ABV is completely drowned out by the sheer massive flavor. A very hearty brew that leaves pine sap clinging to your tongue.

Big body and bold flavor that leave an impression like no other ESB and a classy Anniversary Ale of distinction, Cheers!

Photo of metter98
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is very dark brown in color and poured with a finger high tan head that never completely faded away.
S: The nose has aromas of dark roasted malts, chocolate and toffee.
T: A mild amount of bitterness stands out in the overall taste, which is also similar to the smell and has flavors of dark roasted malts. There are some hints of sweetness in the initial taste.
M: It feels medium-bodied and quite smooth on the palate and has a low to moderate amount of carbonation. There is some dryness in the finish.
D: Despite all of the bitterness, the beer isn't that difficult to drink.

Photo of mwilbur
3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 1 L bottle into shaker pint glass. 2008 vintage.
A: Pours a very dark brown with nice 1 1/2 inch frothy tan head. Good lacing. Very nice for style.
S: Wonderfully aromatic. Definite bitter notes, but nicely controlled. Pine and citrus hop notes. Background caramel malt. Again, very nice for style. A bit astringent.
T: Bitter pine hops are a bit too dominant here. I understand they are trying to go big, but perhaps they went a tad too far. Faint hint of caramel malt in the background. Not the best balance.
M: Soft and clean initially. An astringent and acidic finish. Bitter aftertaste.
D: After a promising start, a bit of a disappointing finish. Decent drinkablitiy. I have one more of these, so will be interesting to see how this softens with time. Worth a try, but "double" doesn't always mean "better".

11/19/10: Aged this one a bit and had my second this evening. Appearance and aroma almost the exact same as before. The taste has mellowed nicely with age. Soft pine hops are nicely balanced with smooth caramel malt. Perfect balance now...much better than before. This one has aged beautifully...drink now if you still have this one. Score now would be 4.5/4/4/4/4.

Photo of mdwalsh
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

We picked this bottle up on our honeymoon in Yellowstone in September. The bottle was dated October 23, 2008, and it stood up to aging nicely.

A: Pours a BIG, dark tan head with lots of falling bubbles that takes just the right amount of time to go away and keeps a decent texture. The beer is darker than I would have expected even for a "double" ESB. After drinking it for a while I'll point out the head on this beer has nice dexterity. (4/5)

S: Immediately on pouring I can smell this one. There is a strong sweet malty smell not dissimilar to their dopplebock. What used to be hops I'm sure are also evident in sort of a sweet piney (but mostly sweet) smell. It's interesting, it's not caramel smelling, but similar, I can't quite put my finger on it. Similar to a caramel malt, but more fruity. (4/5)

T: I like this beer, I don't love it. Absolutely nothing wrong with it, that's for sure, but nothing is really wowing me. The taste has more of that not-quite-caramel that the smell had, though there is also a touch of roasty sweetness. The hops manifest themselves in a more bittering way, though still way long gone from their peak. Still, the beer is very clean with no off flavors. (4/5)

M: Bitch Creek XX is a good demonstration of a beer that is relatively dark but also fairly light on the mouthfeel. Which is nice. Again, nothing wrong, just nothing to wow me. (4/5)

D: This is a pretty drinkable beer, the wife and I finished off the oversized bottle (34 or so oz.) in a sitting no problem. But like I said, it's not quite perfect, there are various things that could be improved upon. (4/5)

Photo of Grabbin2nd
3.88/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From Notes: 1/13/09
Grand Teton Brewing Co.
XX Bitch Creek
7.5% Alc.
1qt. bottle
Sep. 26th 2008 code date

Appearance= Very cool looking bottle, wax dipped flip top. Vigorous pour into Lost Coast pint glass yields a fat 2 finger brownish head. Great retention. I would call the beer very dark brown almost black. Nice cascading lace.

Smell= Extra ESB? I dunno about that. A little chocolate to it.

Taste= Very nice. An extra ESB? I'm not sure. Very interesting taste though. I like it. It's like a big ESB with chocolate to it.

Mouthfeel= I was expecting a thicker mouthfell the way the beer poured and looked. It is thin, but not bad.

Drinkability= At the price and the size of the bottle it's not something that I would constantly search for. It's a very nice beer though.

Photo of jwc215
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Bitterbill for this one!

1 litre bottle - waxed flip-top bottle (always "fun" to open) - Brewed September 24, 2008, according to attached tag -

Pours a hazed brown with mahogany hues. A tan head holds, leaving uneven lines of lacing.

The smell is of a very "Americanized" version of an "ESB" (if an "ESB" at all - well...doesn't fit said style - still very nice, though). Resin and pine with caramel and fruity esters quite strong/pungent.

The taste is of pine/resin with perfumy and citric notes. It has a roasted (slightly burnt) chocolate-y backing. A bit odd, but nice - bitter, sweet and a touch of roast balance each other well.

This disappears "too" quick, with the help of a certain oily slickness. It is on the fuller side of things, though with a certain thinness.

I like it - I like to review "in-style" when possible - this one can't do that with so easily - not an ESB ("imperial" or not), and as a beer on it's own - very good, in a quirky/odd way. Drinks well-enough - though with something of a "raw" aftertaste, but glad to have shared it with a friend.

Photo of JuicesFlowing
4.29/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a balloon glass.

The beer is the murkiest brown I've ever seen. The cream colored head on top dissipates to a light wisp while very light splotchy lacing clings to the glass initially.

The aroma is rich in toasty, roasted malt flavor. Almost a meaty aroma to this, then a faint vanilla-like bourbon barrel sweetness touches the nose.

The taste is equally as rich and complex as the nose. A very decadent molasses infused malt note comes first, with faint toffee after, then a surprisingly bitter finish.

The mouthfeel is a tad heavy.

Overall, a wonderful chilly weather sipper, and one if the richer beers I've had.

Photo of Bobbydigi
3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Tulip giving a very nice 3 finger head with good retention and lacing. Color is a dark red/brown. Smell is nice, you get both citrus hops and the roasted malt. This a good tasting beer the hops and malt combine well for a nice taste overall. The hops are subtle and the malt comes through well with a nice caramel taste. It's nicely carbonated and goes down well. Overall i would definitely drink this one again, the 7.5 alcohol doesn't really seam to hit you until the end of the mammoth 33.8 oz bottle

Photo of JamesMN
3.4/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2012 Vintage.

Appearance: Dark copper and murky. Thin light tan head.

Aroma: Rich brown malts, molasses.

Taste: Starts with robust sweet malt that matches the aroma. Finish releases about 40 IBUs with a very earthy/dirty hop character. Aftertaste is lingering bitterness mixed with burnt caramel sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Between medium and full in body with smooth carbonation. Average drinkability for a 7.5% ABV beer.

Final Thoughts: Not super impressed but possibly past its prime. Sticks to the style guidelines and would probably be delicious fresh. The hop flavor is a tad faded at this point. Would I drink it again? Maybe.

Photo of jdklks
4.16/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

a little over 6 months old. after having strained my thumbs to the point of snapping the tendons in my wrist, this is what i came up with:

wow. this one pours a fantastically dark, impenetrable amber, on the verge of black, with disgusting amount of sediment and a menacing amber/tan head. looks like a mix between an imperial porter and a barleywine. the smell is almost equally interesting, and is again reminiscent of a barleywine. lots of fruit and sweet malts, balanced by a hoppiness characteristic of the style.

lots of sweet fruitiness throughout the flavor. a nice hoppy characteristic about halfway through that gives way to burnt malts (perhaps a little too much) and dried apricots. up front is pure sweetness. the flavor takes on many faces and progresses well on the palate. this is a very big beer, both in terms sheer quantity (the bottle is over a quart) and flavor.

amazing mouthfeel. super smooth and perfectly carbonated. Drinkability is high enough to get through the whole thing (remarkably).

Photo of hopdog
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1 liter, flip top bottle, shared courtesy of Josh.

Poured a deeper amber, almost brown, color with an averaged sized off white head. Aromas of toffee, citrus, caramel, floral, and some nuttiness. Tastes of toffee, citrus, earthy, and I was getting some chocolate. Nice. My only beef is these 1 liter bottles!

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XX Bitch Creek from Grand Teton Brewing Co.
89 out of 100 based on 138 ratings.