Bitch Creek ESB (Extra Special Brown) | Grand Teton Brewing Co.

very good
348 Reviews
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Bitch Creek ESB (Extra Special Brown)Bitch Creek ESB (Extra Special Brown)

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

Style: English Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

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

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-04-2003

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Reviews: 348 | Ratings: 812
Photo of russpowell
4.89/5  rDev +29%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours deep copper/brown with a rocky 3 fingers+ tan head. Average lacing and good head retention

Smell: Big maltiness, fruitty & then nutty, with chocolate notes

Taste: Huge maltiness& good nuttyness up front. Some Fruitty character followed up with strong piney hops. Finishes fruitty & malty

MF: Rich with great balance. Good carbonation levels

A super quaffable, I think this leans towards an English style ESB with American style. No matter how you slice it, one of the best ESBs I've had!

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Photo of RBorsato
4.89/5  rDev +29%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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

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Photo of allenhoof
4.76/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I am not well-enough qualified to make a detailed review of this (or any other) beer, involving specific commentary on taste, mouth feel, etc., but I really like this beer. It's supposedly a brown, and in color, it is, with a nice creamy head. However, I think it's closer to what I've had in "a pint of bitter" in the UK.

I tried Bitch Creek on a trip last year--in South Dakota, I think--liked it, and brought some back to my son in Portland. He liked it as well.

By chance, I also found it on tap in Dunsmuir, CA, on a trip earlier this year.

Later in the same trip, I adjusted my itinerary in order to visit the brewery in Victor, Idaho, just to pick up a couple of six packs to take back to Oregon for my son and me. We fully enjoyed them.

I wish we could get Bitch Creek ESB without first taking a trip of several hundred miles.

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Photo of beveritt
4.65/5  rDev +22.7%
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.

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Photo of IntriqKen
4.62/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is an amazingly complex ESB.
Pours a dark reddish amber to brown with a smallish cream colored head that dissipates to a very sticky lacing covering the top of the brew and sticking all the way down the drink.
Aroma is hoppy, but a sweet hops, followed by a grapefruit citrus aroma and a touch of caramel.
Not much carbonation, so mouthfeel becomes a little weak for me.
Taste is hops, grapefruit, finishing with hop bitterness and then a toasted malt sweetness .... sensing caramel and maybe a touch of chocolate...with a gentle alcohol warming as it goes down. A slightly 'burnt' taste to the malt .
May be my favorite of ESBs...very bright and clean tasting with great drinkability and some incredible complexity for this style. Revisiting this one after several months just makes it better.

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Photo of Spineypanda
4.59/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is a strange color and consistency. I have had ESB's in the past but had not expected the cloudy dark amber... almost brown... color that came with this one.
The beer smells of a lot of citrus and hops but a lot lighter on the nose.
Great taste, light and refreshing but nicely bittered. Not easy to drink more than a couple however.

A good beer with the perfect taste in my opinion for its style.

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Photo of vacax
4.55/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a deep caramel brown with a generous and thick reddish tan head. On the dark side for an ESB, but love the red tones and luxuriously thick head and lacing.

Aroma is an appetizing blend of earthy grassy hops that are complemented by crisp and rich caramel malts and brown sugar. The taste is quite similar, with the focus on the earthy grassy hops with just a hint of pineapple, balanced out with a caramel malt backbone that almost adds the more traditional ESB balance back to the hop proflie. A delicious beer, a bit hop forward. Medium to full bodied with low-medium carbonation.

A great take on an ESB from Grand Teton. At first I was concerned this beer was just a mediocre brew with a catchy name... but then I tasted it. This is my favorite ESB right now.

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Photo of centbeerfest
4.53/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.
Great looking beer. This pours big and bold with a hearty strong head. Nice deep brown color with a hoppy aroma.

Taste begins in the front of the tounge and finishes with a stong bitter toasted nut on the back. Just a bit heavy on the hops, but an extraordinary pleasant long finish.

On the take home scale a six paxk on hand for all occasions.

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.52/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12oz bottle served in a standard pint glass.

L - clear, mahogany color with a tan head that thinned to a light ring.

S - sweet malts and plenty of citrus hops in the aroma.

T - well balanced brew, sweetness of malts is kicked in the pants with a fantastic hop bitterness.

F - medium bodied with a clean carbonation feel.

D - exceptional... that is if 51 IBU's does as much for you as it does for me.

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Photo of tjd112
4.51/5  rDev +19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Presentation - Poured into River Horse pint glass

Appearance - Very dark brown, head is off white, not great retention, and it is well laced.

Smell - I detect notes of caramel and tea in this beer

Taste - Some citrus-y hops mixed with some fruitiness, figs, cherries, balanced with a bit of caramel, brown sugar, and biscuits

Mouthfeel - Medium to heavy, creamy

Drinkability - Very good for the style

Overall - A solid effort from Idaho!!

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Photo of blackie
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

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Photo of Foyle
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle into pint glass.
A 1" cream colored head falls slowly with plenty of lacing. Color is deep coppery-brown. Aroma of pine, citrus, caramel and rich roasted malt. Flavors of caramel, molasses, toasted bread, ripe fruit, citrus. A very well balanced brew with the hops and malt both making their presence felt. Delicious.

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Photo of Dukeofearl
4.47/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Alright, first things first. I bought this beer beacuse of the name. I'm big enough to admit that. It's a great name. It's not De Dulle Teve, but it got a rise out of my wife ("It's a geographic place name, honey!!!"). I love it.

I don't know this brewer, although I've seen several offerings at BevMo. But, you know what? This is one of the better ESB's I've ever had. A nice cloudy red-clay brown with a small but decent head, with aromas of slightly sweet roasty caramel malts, and a hint of bitter. But the flavor retains these nice aromas with a solid but not overwhelming hop bite that really brings it all together. I really like this one. Glad I got a sixer- I may need to get some more!

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Photo of maximum12
4.45/5  rDev +17.4%
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.

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Photo of MrVonzipper
4.44/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a brown with a slight amber tint to it and solid brown in the the glass. Head is a very light tan with no retention or lacing.

Nose is exceptional. Very nice hits of dark malt, dark rum, bourbon, roasted peanut, toffee, caramel, chocolate.

I was really hoping the flavor was as bold and delicious as the nose. That being said the flavor is still good, just not as rich as complex as the nose. Hints of dark malt, toffee, bourbon and a hint of almost a cracker jack flavored aftertaste. Balanced very well with the defining slightly bitterness.

Light to medium bodied with low to medium carbonation. Very smooth.

Overall this a Great beer. Very easy to drink. I could crush a six pack easy. This is an everyday beer that should be at every bar.

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Photo of Machelle
4.44/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed the beer and the company. Staff was knowledgable and helpful, look forward to another visit. I loved the dark rich flavor, the apperance was beautiful, felt great on the mouth, the smell made me want more. Wish I could get to the point of brewing a beer like this.

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Photo of Beerbythepool
4.43/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle to Sam Adams tasting glass.

Beautiful 2 finger head of cappaccino color.

Beer is a dark reddish tea color with a slight hazy to it.

Smells of toasted malts and caramel.

Tastes of malts and hops on the front and caramel on the back. Fig and fruits also present. Easy to drink, but not because it is tasteless. There are strong hops, but offset by other flavors.

Each taste reveals more layers of flavor, not all better than the last, but complex to my palette. Lingering head floats around as you drink. Decent lacing.

Thin in the mouth as it warms up.

Overall I like the complexity of this beer and would drink again if I have the chance. Try it out with an open mind.

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Photo of saintwarrick
4.42/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hazy, dark and brown pour. Solid tan head that builds strong then sticks around. Aroma is thick and hoppy, like an IPA or APA. Lots of citrus, pine and cocoa in the nose. Taste is smooth and malty like an English brown ale, but the hops and bitterness come on strong and fast. Definitely a hophead's brown ale. It gives Dogfish Head;s Indian Brown a run for its money as hoppiest American brown ale. A great and tasty brew.

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Photo of dogfishandi
4.4/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle at firdge temp into a pint glass. bottled on 10-27-2009.

pours a dark dark opaque brown with quite a bit of yeast floating around. a thick light tan colored head with pretty good retention. tons of sticky lace caovering every possible spot.

aroma is that of chocolate and caramel malts. citrusy sprucey woody hops as well as a little pungent pine in the background. some what perfumey. smells nice.

the taste is very nice. tastes like it was brewed to be a really good brown ale with an english style esb in mind. chocolate, toffee, and caramel malts. perfumey, sprucy ,piney hops. decent amount of bitterness. a touch of bready yeastiness in there.

medium bodied, maybe feels a touch heavy at times. the hops are felt a little on the palate after drinking.

drinks pretty good, i might be done after 4 or so of these. a decent session beer, but it might lay a little heavy in the stomach after awhile. a great tasteing beer non the less and if it wasnt so hard to get a hold of for me, i might drink it more. not really distributed in my region(well not that i know of).

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Photo of JamnesCameron
4.4/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle, poured into a New Holland pint glass. This one was bottled 9/9/10.

Pours a deep mahogany with a big fluffy tan head. The head is here to stay and the beer leaves nice lacing down the glass.

Aromas of citrusy hops, on the grapefruit side from the centennial hops. Some malt in the backbone, but the hops dominate.

First sip is of grapefruit, nice balancing of the bitterness with the malt.

Mouthfeel is on the thin side, but not watery. The centennial hops coat the entire inside of your mouth.

Highly drinkable beer, but a little heavy for a session beer. A little over the edge for what I would consider sessionable.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
4.4/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A nice dark color; brown/black. Good head, foaming and lacing. Would have liked a bit more, though.
Smell of roasted malt, chocolate and citrus.
Taste was similar, nice balance. The citrus cuts the chocolate apart so that the thickness is clean. Remains a bit thin, however that adds to the drinkability. One of my favorites in the region.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
4.39/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. Bottled 3/21/12.

4.0 A: Well hazed deep amber mahogany color. Two fingers of thick, creamy beige head. Retention is very good and lots of lacing is left. Small, grain-like yeasties throughout.

5.0 S: Nose on this is awesome. Caramel with even more toffee. Grainy toastiness. Strong plum and an almost vinous grape.

4.5 T: Graininess and toastiness assume the lead role. Caramel and toffee next. Plum and grape after that. A bit drier than the nose suggests, but still quite nice. Light to moderate yeastiness to round things out.

3.5 M: Medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Not very creamy, but otherwise fine here.

4.0 D: Really tasty beer. This mixes the flavors I listed in a near perfect harmony.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
4.38/5  rDev +15.6%
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.

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Photo of tgbljb
4.38/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Selection of the Beer-of-the-Month Club.
Poured an attractive ruby-red color with minute head.
Smell is a combination of roaasted malt with as light background of grassy hops.
Taste is excellent with a strong malt taste, some toffee and caramel, and the light hop note at the end.
Nice and full in the mouth with perfect taste retention.
Great drinkability. Excellent example of the style.

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Photo of Vancer
4.38/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

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Bitch Creek ESB (Extra Special Brown) from Grand Teton Brewing Co.
3.79 out of 5 based on 812 ratings.
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