XX Bitch Creek | Grand Teton Brewing Co.

very good
56 Reviews
XX Bitch CreekXX Bitch Creek

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

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

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Reviews: 56 | Ratings: 143
Photo of TheDoctor
4.14/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Vintage: 2012

Pours a bright hazelnut brown that looks to be a little hazy with an enormous three+ fingers of creamy tan head that slowly and gloppily (the profile of the head looks like a bubbly honeycomb) settles to a finger and a half. Good retention; tons of goopy, cobweb-like lacing.

Nutty, soft, and sweet. Hazelnuts, brown sugar, bubblegum, dried figs; really dark and earthy. Very nice.

Sweet and nutty, similar to nose. Very nutty, with some caramel flavors and dark fruits. Very dry and a little musty with a very subtle varnish-like alcohol note at the end.

Creamy, silky, and medium bodied (if a little thin). Carbonation is pretty subdued and the finish is nice and sticky but brief. Very drinkable.

Pretty solid ESB (if a touch gimmicky in its creation--they just doubled the recipe).
This is a nice, mellow beer that is quite strong in flavors and aroma, but which remains very drinkable, filling, and warm.
It is beautiful to look at (with a lovely, creamy head) and is quite complex-smelling. The taste is nutty and delicious and it is a smooth drinker. I feel as though it is a bit thin-feeling for as big and complex as the rest of it is, but that does make it quite drinkable so that is good.
Would certainly have again; worth seeking out.

Fucked around and braised some zucchini in the last little bit in the bottle. They turned out delicious!

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Photo of JamesMN
3.4/5  rDev -13.9%
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.

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Photo of MrBoz21
3.92/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured rich, dark mahogany with ruby hue. Thick foamy tan head that settles into peaks. Thick lacing, light carbonation.
Malty peat and vanilla bean aroma.
Taste is chocolate, raison, vanilla bean and mild hops. Smoke and roast overtones. Malty, yet bitter finish. Lots of complexity.
Mouthfeel: Substantive mouthfeel but not sticky.
Overall: This may be one of the most complex beers I’ve tasted. Like wine, this beer is best enjoyed through deliberate and contemplative swallows.

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Photo of JuicesFlowing
4.29/5  rDev +8.6%
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.

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Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.06/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a imperial pint glass from a 750ml bottle.

Pours a nice rich and dark mahogany brown with some cocoa brown notes. Pretty dark with little light coming through some amber edges. There is a nice light tan colored head that is pretty dense. Nice and sticky as well as it recedes.

Aroma starts off with some nice grassy hopy notes. Some nice citrus notes are present but mostly there is some resinous and piney hop. The aroma also has some nice awesome malty and bready notes. There is a slightly sweet and caramel note that is mixed in with some slight cocoa powdery sweetness. Pretty good malt backbone on this brew. Almost more like a brown ale which I guess makes sense.

The taste is pretty nice. Flavor starts off with some nice sharp and piney hop notes. Its pretty grassy and spicy. There is also some nice slight citrus notes in the front end mixed in with the other great hops notes. Then comes the nice hearty and slightly sweet malt backbone. Awesome bready and grainy notes with some nice caramel mixed in there. There is also a nice cocoa-like sweetness that mixes so well with the resinous sweet piney hop notes and helps the brew finish with a nice spice note to it. THe flavor is pretty full and rich with the malt notes really shinning on their own. The bread notes compliment the bready notes and the hoppy and grassy finish is delicious. Body is very god. Nice and creamy but also clean and with a nice dry and slightly bitter and spicy finish.

The original ESB is pretty good and doubling everything just makes it better. Great interplay of flavors. Well crafted brew.

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Photo of beergoot
4.35/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

August 23, 2012 Cellar Reserve

A very cloudy, brownish-orange body exuded rich caramel, nougat, figs, brown sugar, and other wonderfully rich smelling scents. The head was very thick and clingy. The hops were there, too, buried beneath the malts, but giving an earthy hint to their presence. Strong malt flavors with touches of dark, dried fruits (i.e., raisins) and lots of hop bitterness combine with a bold underpinning of alcohol make for an eye-popping taste explosion. The rich, creamy body lets all these flavors coat your tongue and palate for a long time.

Wow! Grand Teton didn't lie about doubling up on everything based on what I'm tasting. Bold, vinous, and robust through and through.

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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 chugalug06
4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4


Amazingly large five-finger thick foamy match colored head that lingers for a long time... Brew is dark deep caramel color. Lacing is also well done.

Tons of malt and caramel. Nothing is off or weird. Solid.

Not heavy or syrup-y. I kinda expected it to be a big heavier for being an Imperial, but it's still very nice, well-rounded, caramely, malty, and nicely bitter. Nothing is sweet or off flavor. A bit off style which is for the reduction of points, it's very malty and bitterly hopped. Mouthfeel is great.

An awesome brew! Very under rated and flies under the radar to my benefit. Drinks a bit too much like a DIPA, but it's still very good. Highly recommend.

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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 TheRealBigC
4.03/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a thick brown body with creamy tan head. Lacing is very clingy. Smell is of dark, roasted malts and some sort of woody fragrance. Malts work in balance with a bitterness not too different from something like Arrogant Bastard. It just slaps your tongue right away. It will give way to a bittersweet quality. The alcohol is masked well, though 7.5% really isn't all that much anyway. I would still call this more of a sipper compared to the standard Bitch Creek, which I also really like. You choose which one you want depending on your mood. Another good showing from Grand Teton.

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

Ornate looking capped 750ml bottle, 2012 offering, split into tulips...

A: Dark brown/amber with a creamy light tan head...body is nearly opaque...lacing is good.

S: Roasted malts...burnt caramel and woody notes...brown malt maybe? Molasses, faint mocha. Hints of a fruity note, light earthy hop notes and peat...

T: Interwoven flavor profile...equals parts dark caramel, dark fruit (cherry?), mocha, smoke/peat, brown malt, roasted malt, earthiness, with hints of molasses and birch.

MF: Creamy medium body and decent carbonation...lingering flavors with a light dry finish.

O: Decent ESB but only marginally better than regular Bitch Creek IMO. Still a pretty good offering from the Grand Teton Cellar Reserve.

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Photo of MacQ32
4.28/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - A fantastic looking beer; pours a deep dark chestnut color with a very nice creamy finger of caramel colored head, absolutely excellent lacing and very good retention as well.

S - Lots of sweet chocolate, sweet mocha, slightly bitter/burnt chocolatey malts, molasses, and a mild but very present floral hop aroma.

T - Sooo tasty! Lots of sweet mocha/chocolate and roasted chocolate flavors, a bit nutty/oatsy. A pretty considerable herbal/citrusy hop bitterness mixes with the sweet and roasty malts for a very very nicely balanced and delicious brew. Slight alcohol burn and fruity(berry) qualities.

M - Medium bodied+, still quite drinkable, minimally but appropriately carbonated.

O - Definitely the best brew I've had from Grand Teton (all of which I've enjoyed). Highly recommend this!

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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 Hex92
4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I let this one sit for awhile and just popped in open tonight (aug 2011). This is a tasty beer and I would guess the alcohol content has increased with time.

Nice dark color, good lacing on the glass....and that smell you know its going to be good. Lots of chocolate flavor, hops balanced out nicely with plenty of malt. Coats the mouth nicely, but not so much that it feels sticky. And it just gets better as it warms up.

I am not a big hops fan. I think the extra aging has mellowed the hops (based on other reviews). I am glad I let it sit for a couple of years. Good things come to those who wait....

Its a shame that this is a retired beer because it would be nice to get my hands on this one again.

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Photo of metter98
3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

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Photo of harrymel
4.09/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12/26/10 - bottled 2009.
$15 for one liter bottle @ Enoteca in Post Falls, ID.

Poured to tulip.

A: Pours a brown, deep, chestnut color with 1 finger of latte head which dissipates quickly - not unusual for a beer of age and ABV. The head can be reinstated with a quick agitation stir. Little to no lacing.

S: Great nose! Molasses, brown sugar, chocolate malt, sweet mocha dance about with a hint of herbal hops and just a faint whiff of licorice. Could smell this for hours. Gorgeous.

T: Nuts, bitterness, anise; a nice full oatey flavor with backgrounds nuances of coffee adding to the enjoyment of this one.

M: Medium bodied with low carb feel allows good appreciation of aromas and palate interpretations. Well thought out.

D: Great beer. For $15/liter, can't go wrong. Could drink this all night long. Of their reserve series, however, I would argue the Double Vision Doppelbock gives this one a run for its money and is actually my favorite of the limited series.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.37/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer pours nice and flat. It does have a nice, deep amber color that shows a bright red, almost clear hue when held up to the light. The beer smells of berries and oxidation; despite the swing top dipped in wax bottle, this clearly wasn't closed properly, actually the metal wire contraption completely popped off the bottle after I removed enough of the wax to free it.

Quite still tasting, it is somewhat light bodied but does have some heft to it. The beer has a herbal and berry like hop character to it up front that melds with sherry notes of nutty oxidation in the finish. The ample bitterness pairs interestingly with the oxidation in the finish, it is not objectionable, but definitely interesting. The oxidation has added some richness to the caramelized malt character that forms the backbone of this beer and there is even some light toasty / roasted character to this beer that may be accentuated / contributed by the oxidation.

I wasn't expecting much from this beer, and the lack of a seal certainly made for a flat experience. Still it is not half bad, the oxidation has paired somewhat interestingly with the hop character. The lack of carbonation has certainly hurt this beer, and if it had been carbonated the oxidation would not have been a problem.

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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 CMW
3.95/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a deep brown color with a tan fluffy head. The head has some good retention and leaves a nice lacing on the glass.

S - Sweet caramel malts with a touch of maple syrup.

T - Caramel malt is very present upfront and provides sweetness but this mellows and adds some toasted flavor. There is a nice hop bite in the finish and ends very clean.

M - Carbonation is medium and there is a nice coating feeling to this beer.

D - At 7.5%, this is very drinkable. Solid and strong flavors with a mild alcohol content, perfect combination.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
4.18/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a fine beer, and Grand Teton is finding a place in my liver.
Found this at Anglers in Lawrence for retail price.
Pours a dirty brown, dark and somewhat turbid. Small yet dense off white head, looks rich and flavorful.
And the aroma follows this. Caramel, toffee, sweet coffee, lightly burnt toast and malt.
Tastes like a double Bitch Creek. More malt, more hops, more flavor. Toffee takes over for the caramel. Soft overripe banana comes in but is quickly overcome by a nice bite from the hops. They bring in some brightness as it seems to a beer that would otherwise be a malt bomb. Complex and delicious. Very nice, and strong, ESB...probably too much kick for the style, but still damn fine.

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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 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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Photo of colts9016
3.94/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this bottle from the GTB, I have been very excited to try this beer. The bottle was dunked into blue wax, it was a pain to get it all off. Poured into a pint glass at 40 degrees. Bitch Creek is one of my favorite ESB, I am really excited to dig into this beer.

Appearance: A one finger light tan head that is creamy with some retention. The color of the beer is dark brown with dark garnet hues. The clarity of the beer is almost opaque. There is some carbonation bubble visible on the bottom of the glass.

Nose: A very deep rich malt that has toasty, yeasty, and bread crust notes. The hops is pine, grapefruit, lemon, and floral esters. There are notes of phenols, solvent, and dark dried cherries.

Taste: A very deep rich toasted malt, bread crust, yeast, toffee, caramel, pine, grapefruit, lemon, floral esters, solvent and dried cherries. There are notes of phenols, lemon, molasses, and chocolate.

The mouth feel is creamy, astringent, dry, and carbonated.

Overall: The body of the beer is medium, with a medium full finish. This is a descent ESB, the flavors are not well rounded. I think that if this has some age on it, it would be fabulous.

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Photo of emmasdad
3.65/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a flip top 1 liter bottle. Never tried the regular Bitch Creek, so I have no idea what to expect. Pours a somewhat murky reddish brown color, with a little bit of off white head. Aromas of milk chocolate, pine and hints of citrus zest. A nicely balanced beer, a little oxidized, but a very drinkable blend of citrusy hops and sweet malt.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
2.91/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours murky brown with a fine head that sticks around as a creamy cap. Smells somewhat oxidized, and that overwhelms the other notes. The taste also has some oxidation, but not as overwhelmingly so. Notes of earthy hops, a bit of bitter chocolate, and some herbal woodiness. Fairly smooth, but with a late drying characteristic. Not terrible, but hasn't held up well.

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XX Bitch Creek from Grand Teton Brewing Co.
3.95 out of 5 based on 143 ratings.
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