Grand Teton Brewing Company
Victor, ID (USA)
Last week I received this sample bottle of Grand Teton Brewing Company XX Bitch Creek Double ESB. It arrived well packaged and was refrigerated as soon as it was unwrapped.
The promotional material that came with the beer informed me that “Twenty years ago Charlie Otto began making beer in Wyoming’s first modern brewery, a 210 square foot cabin in Jackson Hole. Since then, Grand Teton Brewing Company has grown into its present 11,000 square foot facility in Victor, Idaho…”
Regarding this particular brew… “Bitch Creek ESB was first brewed in 2003… “We took the Bitch Creek recipe and doubled everything: double the malt, double the hops, twice the flavor. This is a huge beer at 7.5% abv, which should be paired with only the most flavorful of foods.”
This brew is a deep cherry red, almost Garnet, colored brew. There is a slight bit of chill haze but it is almost impossible to perceive unless you shine a light through this beer. The head is a rocky light tan frothy foam-like construction. There are a lot of large bubbles rather than fine small bubbles. When pouring the beer the Belgian lace is immediately evident.
The first aromatic impression is of rich caramel malt this is followed up by a prominent hop presence and finally, that moment between lip and sip reveals a continuation of intense hop sensation.
The initial mouth feel is relatively light for such an intense beer. There is no sweet cloying sensation, rather a distraction created by what I perceive to be well roasted malt, kicked along by a very intense hop sensation resembling newly mowed hay.
The initial impression of intensely roasted malt intensifies as the flavor profile develops. There is quite a contest between the intense flavors of the malt in the intense fresh just picked flavors of the hops. At the very end there is a light almost molasses like flavor that lingers on the palate.
Again, there is remarkably little cloying sweetness to this beer. As this brew gets warmer, naturally there is an increase in the different levels of flavor perceived. A slightly phenol taste remains in the background while the intensity of the roasted malt remains on the front.
The flavors of this brew are very powerful. Once this beer reaches cellar temperature they are easier to discern. Served chilled, they are easy to miss.
I have no idea what the original pitch Creek double ESB tasted like, this double ESB however is certainly an exercise in extreme beer. Although the alcohol content doesn’t up production saw the hire alcohol beers, the intensity of flavors certainly makes us a beer that would go well with food. Drinking it unescorted, would add to the challenge of finishing a 33 ounce bottle of this brew.
Grand Teton Brewing Company: http://www.grandtetonbrewing.com/
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