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XX Bitch Creek | Grand Teton Brewing Co.

very good
56 Reviews
For Trade:
XX Bitch CreekXX Bitch Creek

Brewed by:
Grand Teton Brewing Co.
Idaho, United States | website

Style: Extra Special / Strong Bitter (ESB)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by Tolnik on 11-02-2008

User Reviews
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Reviews: 56 | Ratings: 140
Reviews by Patrick999:
Photo of Patrick999
3.93/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Seemed like a good day to open this up. This bottle has some age on it, though I'm not sure how long.

Pours a deep brown with a thick creamy head. These Grand Teton beers usually present pretty well, no exception here.

Nice aroma of fruit and bitter chocolate. A tad smoky too.

Wow, this is a little complicated. A lot of bitter chocolate and smoky toffee and burnt caramel. Some fruity esters and slight earthy hop bite. The idea of a Double ESB doesn't sound so silly to me now after trying this. In fact, it's kind of encroaching on strong brown ale/Old Ale territory, I feel. Some oxidation, but I feel it works well with this beer at this time.

Good thick creamy mouthfeel. Feels like a substantial beer.

A lot of beer muscle for your buck here.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
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!

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Photo of RoyalT
4.03/5  rDev +2%
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.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

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Photo of magictrokini
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

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Photo of NilocRellim
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Photo of MattyG85
4.4/5  rDev +11.4%
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.

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Photo of TKEbeerman
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Photo of tlacott1
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of Blackwolf
3.95/5  rDev 0%
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!

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.03/5  rDev +2%
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.

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Photo of ste5venla
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Photo of Sammy
3.35/5  rDev -15.2%
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.

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Photo of Damian74Shensky
4/5  rDev +1.3%

Photo of jheezee
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of LuceScrew
5/5  rDev +26.6%

Photo of russpowell
3.56/5  rDev -9.9%
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...

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Photo of Glibber
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%

Photo of JamLand
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of GRG1313
4.15/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

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Photo of KevinGordon
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%

Photo of Tolnik
3.82/5  rDev -3.3%
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.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.32/5  rDev +9.4%
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.

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Photo of BeerBuzzGuy
3/5  rDev -24.1%

Photo of TexIndy
2.71/5  rDev -31.4%
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.


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XX Bitch Creek from Grand Teton Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 56 ratings.