Miles Davis' Bitches Brew - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Miles Davis' Bitches BrewMiles Davis' Bitches Brew

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3,446 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,446
Reviews: 892
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 11.69%
Wants: 473
Gots: 1,292 | FT: 56
Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Brewery visit their website
Delaware, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: TheFightfan1 on 06-13-2010

In honor of the 40th anniversary of the original release of Bitches Brew, Miles Davis' 1970 paradigm-shifting landmark fusion breakthrough, we've created our own Bitches Brew -- a bold, dark beer that's a fusion of three threads of imperial stout and one thread of honey beer with gesho root. It's a gustatory analog to Miles' masterpiece.

38 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,446 | Reviews: 892
Reviews by speter:
Photo of speter
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours an opaque black (tested with pocket flashlight) with one finger of deep tan head (in a 14-oz snifter). The head quickly fades to virtually nothing and leaves no lacing.

S: Chocolate malt, cocoa, and light roast coffee.

T: Imagine a cannoli made of a thin layer of extra-dark (80% cocoa) chocolate, filled with a velvety-smooth chocolate mousse, and served on a plate drizzled with prune-raisin puree. Now, imagine that as a beer, and that's what you have here.

M: Smooth and rich, but without any hint of ethanol.

O: My reaction to DFH beers is that they are either a complete home-run, or they miss by a mile (120 Minute, I'm looking at you). Fortunately for me, this one was a base-clearing home run. I would love to have been able to try this side-by-side with Brooklyn Chocolate Stout, because I do find similarities. Well done Sam!

More User Reviews:
Photo of Sammy
3.93/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A rich RIS on the sweet side. Pours a deep brown body that looks very thick. It is a thick chocolate malted milk consistency, with a retained bubbly head. Milky roasted aroma. Very drinkable and chocolately, with some wierd tastes in addition to the anise.Aged more than a year.

Photo of ThomasAWilson2
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

Aged 2 years.. MUCH better than fresh! Not as much of a boozy burn and tastes sweeter with age.

Photo of Radome
4.27/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a snifter.

A - Color is deepest mahogany brown, almost black. It is totally opaque. The head is a rich brown color, made of minute bubbles. It is creamy, thick and long-lasting, as are the sheets of lacing on the glass.

S - All the aromas common to an imperial stout are here: coffee, roasted barley, mocha, Ovaltine chocolate milk mix. I also get hints of oak and smoke and just a whiff of rummy alcohol. I don't detect anything reminiscent of the honey beer described as being blended in with the stout.

T - The flavors follow the aromas. Mocha, espresso, chocolate milk and a slight burnt note are prevalent. There is a moderate hops bitterness and some light grassy hops flavors. No yeast notes. Light rum-like alcohol. The flavors do seem lighter and less densely packed than you might expect from an Imperial Stout of this strength.

M - Thick body. Smooth, silky mouthfeel that reminds me of an oatmeal stout. Low carbonation. Moderate hops bitterness that combines with a slightly acrid burnt note to seem more bitter.Low alcohol presence.

O - Make no mistake, this is a big, strong, intense Imperial Stout. But it does seem as though the lighter beer that's blended with it lightens the body and opens up the flavors a bit. A very nice beer.

Photo of oberon
4.11/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great to see a new shipment of this into Bestway,I thought I had missed out!Poured into a Guiness pint glass jet black with an impressive large mocha colored crown that left broken chunks of lace as it settled into a creamy mass.Mainly bitter chocolate and earth in the nose letting you know this has substantial hops going on here.What a balanced beer,the honey imparts nice sweetness at first sip but its not overly sweet,a big roast/earthy finish.This is hella nice,sweet and roasted,just great balanced,this is impressive Sam.

Photo of don1481
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

750 ml bottle poured into glass.

Appearance: Pours almost pitch black with a mocha head that lingers a little and leaves a nice lacing around the side of the glass.

Smell: Heavy coffee smell with a little bit of honey and something I can't quite pinpoint.

Taste: it's like a nice imperial stout, but with a twist. Not picking up the honey so much as whatever else was on the nose. Either way, it's pretty nice.

Mouthfeel: Lingering coffee aftertaste.

Overall: it's different, for sure. I like the different twist on a stout.

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours into my glass a deep charcoal black with a light tan cap of foam sitting atop the brew. Looks good in the glass. Aromas start with bold, vibrant roasted malts. Hints of cocoa and coffee meld with a nice honey sweetness. Floral touches along with earthy, herbal accents. Quite nice.

First sip brings smooth, dark roasted malts with cocoa transitioning into some honey sweetness. Floral and earthy with a bit of coffee as well. Flows down with a kick of herbal bitterness to counteract the sweetness. Smooth, chewy finish. Well played.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a nice creamy accent and good carbonation. Goes down smooth and is not overly heavy or syrupy in any way. This ranks up there as one of my fave DFH brews and I hope they continue to brew this one!

Photo of Aaron420
4.23/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Popped this one open for a good buddy that was visiting who loves Miles Davis.

A: Poured a deep black, with a mid sized tan head.

S: It smelled of Chocolate, rich malts and fruity sweetness.

T: The taste is rich with malts and chocolate with a nice warming sensation of the high abv. The honey adds a nice sweetness to the mix.

M: A think texture as it slides down the throat.

D: Hard to finish more than a small glass, defiantly share this one with your buddies.

Photo of gregmoscetti
3.7/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Is it a victim of name? brewery? expectation? The DFH Bitches Brew falls down but its still not clear to me as to why. The idea behind the beer as being "off-centered" ala DFH and the Miles record for which its named is lost somewhere in the extremely standard RIS that's sitting in my glass. Now don't take this as dislike, its an OK example of the style... but where is the experimentation?

My palate is lost in its status quo use of dark chocolate, burnt coffee and dark roasty malt undertones. The honey is only tasted at a very specific temperature... probably somewhere colder than cellar... about 15 minutes out of the fridge. 15 minutes after that the carbonation which was too present in the beginning almost packs its bags and leaves all at once... Its at that point where this beer just tastes like flat RC cola and the aforementioned burnt coffee. No bueno, nor even a little bueno.

Now this is a very fresh RIS and I am sure it will mellow but there is a little tinge on the back end of this and JUST before it goes flat that tastes a little to cherry for my liking. If this baby goes sour in 9 months, let me just say now I callled it.

Photo of NWer
4.68/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

What a way to start out Thanksgiving! Been saving this one for the right occasion and that is now.
Pulled from the beer fridge yesterday and allowed to rise to pantry temperature - about 55 degrees. Served in a brandy snifter.
Aroma fills the glass. Smooth for a RIS. Must be the honey.
Mouthfeel is pleasantly sweet. Not at all too much so. Just a great experience.

Photo of warnerry
4.26/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into CBS snifter.

A - Pours inky black with almost two fingers of creamy brown head. Head has very nice retention before fading to a thin cap. Leaves a nice amount of lacing. Can't really ask for more.

S - Huge coffee aroma to start off, with bittersweet chocolate. Also get some nice roasted malt, a bit charred, and some sweetness.

T - As with the smell, chocolate and coffee. Nice balance of bitter and roasty and sweet. Actually finishes dry and bitter with a bit touch of mill chocolate. There is definitely some sweetness in the middle, but it seems to complement everything else that is going on instead of getting in the way. There are a couple flavors I can't identify. Assume one of them is gesho root, but I have no idea. Pretty tasty overall. A nice twist on the traditional RIS.

M - Full mouthfeel that starts a bit sweet snd finishes dry and slightly bitter.

O - Very enjoyable. Halfway into my glass I noticed a bit of chalkiness, but this is still an interesting and tasty stout.

Photo of Beaver13
3.32/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle. Pours black-brown with a big creamy brown head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is lots of roast with sweet malts.

The flavor is lots of roast with black licorice and a little sweetness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and a pretty watery.

Overall, a decent sweet and roasty imperial stout. Almost tastes like a nitro. I don't really notice the honey other than a little residual sweetness.

Photo of generallee
4.53/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 1pint 9.6oz bottle into a tulip glass. The label has a nice description and abv (9%) but no freshness date.

Appearance: The pour is slow and thick like the darkest used motor oil. Its body is a very dark brown to black color and opaque. Up top a tall brown head sits and slowly settles to small cap of dark tan foam that makes tons of lacing all the way down the glass.

Smell: In the nose I pick up its sweet and roasty malt lots of chocolaty cocoa notes. Deep in the background are very light earthy herbal hints of hops or maybe the gesho root.

Taste/Palate: There is a mellow honey like character just coming through but the sweetness seems to come more from the dark roasty and chocolaty malt. Its not all sweet and do get some coffee notes and mellow herbal bitterness with a slight side of earthy/woody tannic bitterness. This gives some balance to the finish and rounds everything out nicely. Its palate is full bodied, very smooth and creamy on the tongue with mellow carbonation.

Notes: In my opinion this beer lives up to hype and delivers a symphonic or harmonious and Blues like interpretation of a stout beer. Well done!!!

Photo of bishopdc0
4.01/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Black with a big dark tank head
Malt with a subtle. Sweetness of weak honey

Start smooth with a sweet maltyness finishes roasted and sweet like real milk chocolate and leaves an alcohol feel, but not taste on the tongue.

I had this with a honey bbq steak and it was great

Photo of Guden
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pure black with a deep brown head that fades slowly.

S- Lots of chocolate, some interesting floral notes from the honey. Not the typical "waxy" character I expect from honey, more tropical.

T- Sweet honey with floral and berry notes blends with dark chocolate and light coffee in a very unexpected way. The balance here is right on.

M- Moderately thick with low carb. I would like it to be a touch chewier for an imperial stout but the mead part probably makes that a bit difficult.

O- A very good beer. Sweet with enough roasty bitterness to balance. Not as nuanced as some imperial stouts but a very unique and well made beer none the less.

Photo of BuckeyeSlim
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%

Bottled in November, 2012.

Pours dark and oily. Corduroy-brown milk chocolate head of loose foam.

Sweet milk chocolate cocoa powder. Moderately light roasted coffee. Notes of melting milk chocolate. Hints of dark, almost burnt caramel in the background riding on the well-cloaked ABV. Well-toasted, rich malts come forward as it warms.

Somewhat roasted malts with a touch of bitterness on the tongue is followed by silky dark chocolate. Honey with suggestions of a lemon-drop appears in the center of the finish, which is followed by a sense of dry cocoa powder.

Wonderfully smooth and subtle. Well-integrated, luxurious components. A delicious, complex imperial stout without any burnt roast bitterness that's easy to savor and sip.

Photo of jmshulk
4.41/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look: DARK! Everything about the appearance is dark, jet black liquid with a dark chocolate head that piles up high and slowly glides down the glass leaving a solid trail of lace. A imperial stout that asserts it's authority right out of the bottle.

Aroma: Nice tobacco, with hints of chocolate and burnt toast. There is even an occasional whiff of honey. There's also an earthy quality which I assume is the gesho root.

Taste: Almost a perfect mirror of the aroma. There is a great earthy flavor, subtle warming alcohol and sweet little honey flavors. As the brew warms there are more subtle cherry like flavors.

Feel: Smooth as silk but robust enough to cling to the inside of your mouth right until your next sip, no matter when that may be.

Overall: I love this beer. It was awesome the first time I had it and I was very sad that it was only supposed to be a one off beer for the anniversary of the album. Needless to say, when it was re-brewed, I jumped at the opportunity to grab it. The one being reviewed here is not too old, but I have another aging and I can't wait to crack it open.

Photo of Billolick
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Large capped bottle from DeCicco's in Ardsley, NY. Bottled in 2010 etched onto the glass. Pours black, very dark mocha head, dense, staying, sheeting, lacing, quality look to this one. Earthy, more mocha, lightly herbal in the nose. This is a super smooth and easy drinking RIS, showing NO signs of 9%. Notes of dark chocolate, cafe au lait, and stouty goodness. Love the smooth mouthfeel here. High quality and highly tasty. Nice night capper or with a rich dessert.

Photo of warriorsoul
4.12/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cracked open 15 minutes before the premier of Sam's new show, Brew Masters.
Pours a murky black w/ a think tan head that dissipated pretty fast, leaving some delicate lacing behind.
Very inviting aroma...some molasses, chocolate, and fruity hops (b/c of the blossam honey?).
Taste is just as enjoyable. Excellent balance between the roasty chocolate flavor and sweetening addition of honey.
Carbonation is perfect for the style with a velvet mouthfeel. The chocolate would be the only remaining flavor in the aftertaste, and the beer itself is not cloying at all.
Very drinkable for 9% and the alcohol is well masked.
A fine beer, fitting of the tribute. Well received.

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to djrn2 for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a dark brown to black color with a tan head. The aroma is very heavy on the chocolate and roasted malt. The flavor is more of the same. I get a lot of chocolate and roasted malt with some light bitterness. Thick mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Not as complex as I would have liked it to be, but still a very nice strong stout.

Photo of kingcrowing
4.23/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml Champagne bottle poured into a Dogfish Head Signature glass, bottled in 2010.

Picked this up yesterday, and I recently got the album as well, so I'm pairing these two together. Both the album and the brew are totally new to me, so this should be a fairly cool experiment.

This pours a nice fairly thick dark brown with some light ruby tones, it looks a bit like a brown ale more than an Imperial Stout by color alone anyways. Very little head on the pour, but slowly some really nice cool deep dark brown/orange foam comes from nowhere. After sitting for a second the foam forms a nice small rim around the edge of the glass and a nice thick oval begins to form in the center of the glass due to the Dogfish Head logo etching. It starts to slowly branch out towards the edges, very cool.

Nose is a bit different too, you've got some sweet rich malty chocolate notes, along with some syrup that reminds me a bit of Karo that my grandma uses on pancakes. It's got a roasted bitter feel to it as well, somewhat like coffee or burnt bead. There is a bit of pineapple fruitiness to the nose as well that's reminiscent to Kate the Great, very light fruitiness that's quite pleasant.

First sip is a bit cold, but this is actually a quite tasty Imperial Stout to have slightly chilled. First thing I'm noticing is that it's a bit watery and light especially compared to something like World Wide Stout. The carbonation is the next thing I notice, and it's really fantastic. It's got a very fine light bite to it that's refreshing and crisp. It finishes off very creamy and rich and thick but with very fine bubbles. It easily makes up for the slightly watery body, makes for a beer that's more refreshing and easily drinkable given the high abv.

Now lets think about the taste a bit more, just like this crazy album, the flavor is the craziest part of this beer. It's got a lot of your very standard solid Russian Imperial Stout flavors, the chocolate, the coffee, the toffee, and roasted barley. But as always with Dogfish Head (and Miles Davis) there's more to it than that. There's a nice light honey sweetness to it that's really different, it's also got almost a bit of a rum barrel character to it, but I'm not sure where that's coming from. It's very fresh and there is that light fresh fruitiness to it that I picked up on the nose but it's more played down than in Kate the Great for sure. it is a bit of pineapple and lime at first, but on the finish you get almost a bit of old apricots to it that's fairly unique.

It's a bit hard to score this to style as it is different, but for Dogfish Heads large bottle limited edition brews this one is I'd say surprisingly tame. Although I come to expect crazy stuff from Dogfish head this sometimes leads to some beers that although are cool in concept and perhaps are tasty to drink, they aren't beers that I'd want to either A) drink a whole bottle by myself in one sitting, or B) buy very often. This beer however defies both of those. This is really quite damn drinkable and if this was converted to 12oz bottles (perhaps along the lines of Immort or Burton Baton as far as seasonality and price), this is something that I'd pick up fairly often. I think I'd compare this to Old Rasputin, it's strong, complex and yet still highly drinkable.

Seek this beer out, it's very good and I'd say to Dogfish Head, don't make this a one time release. The album is pretty damn cool and I really thank Dogfish Head for introducing me to this, it's some great music for work. As far as music goes, I can't think of any other artist that pairs as well with Dogfish Head as Miles Davis.

Photo of mjtiernan
3.76/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2011 batch 1 - 750ml bottle poured into a CBS snifter

A: Black as night. Gorgeous finger-and-a-half dark brown head that leaves a nice full cap throughout consumption.

S: Roasted barley, earthy tabacco and root beer. Faint root beer...thankfully not very strong.

T: A good dose of dark chocolate nicely balanced with the gesho root. Alcohol is pretty well hidden. Toffee/caramel quickly pops in to say hello. The finish has a somewhat acrid bitterness.

M: Carbonation is right where I like it for my stouts...very creamy. The beer finishes quite dry and astringent. The dryness combined with the ashy bitterness concerns me a bit in terms of overall drinkability.

O: I have been wanting to try this since I saw it on the first episode of Brewmasters. Overall I thought it was good and I’ll refill my glass again, but I don’t know if I’ll seek more of these bottles out. Maybe it's more enjoyable paired with the right food.

Photo of Franziskaner
3.86/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black in color and impenetrable to light. There's a fingernail of dark brown head on top. I smell the honey, and sweet, dark malt. The flavor is a blend of sweet dark malt and bitter gesho that are cut by the sweet honey. The mouth is thick and creamy.

Photo of dogfishandi
4.01/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

1 pint 9.4 fl oz bottle pulled from my fridge and allowed to warm up for a bit. i take this to be batch #2 as it says BOTTLED IN: 2010 2B on the side. poured into my SA perfect pint glass.

pours out a pitch black, reveals just a slight rubiness in the light. big frothy dark mocha/ caramel colored head. really nice retention, and a good sticky sparadic lace.

not as big as an aroma as i might of expected, typical of the style. some big heavily roasted malt, dark chocolate, some toffee and roasted coffee. a touch of smoke and dark fruits and maybe a touch of some sort of sweet herbalness, but you really gotta dig deep.

big heavy full body. mouthfeel is pretty spot on for the style, smooth and creamy. lots of big chocolatey dark roasted/ burnt malts. a hint of roasted coffee. some dark dried fruits, raisons, figs. a bit of smoke and toffee. alcohol is definatly in the taste, exspecially as it warms. carbonation is fine and minimal which compliments the beer nicely. decent amount of bitterness which is most likely a result of the roasted malt and maybe the gesho root. some honey and maybe a touch of an herbal flavor are just barely noticable in the aftertaste.

this is a really nice RIS, the special ingredients are not as noticable as i might have expected however. one of the better beers from DFH and definatly worth a try. also very nice to see exactly how this was made and the story behind miles davis' "bitches brew". to me it just adds something to the brew and makes it that much more enjoyable.

Photo of ehammond1
3.83/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle (2011)

Liquor Stop
San Marcos, CA

Thick, black, shiny, and substantial appearance, with very minimal head but substantial lacing left down the glass. Thick, black, and gorgeous.

Rich, complex aroma of roasted malts, roasted coffee beans, a mild chocolate presence, and a bit of honey-like sweetness.

Rich flavor combining roasted malt, mild coffee, and some sweet chocolate and honey flavors. There's also a bit of alcohol presence. While there's nothing at all detracting from this beer's flavor, I don't think the sweet honey-like flavors play very well with the coffee ones. I've put honey in my coffee before, and it's an awful combination. This beer's flavor reminds me of that concoction. That being said, it's only a minor fault.

Medium to full bodied with low carbonation.

A very good RIS, but I think there's a bit too much sweetness to truly be great.

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Miles Davis' Bitches Brew from Dogfish Head Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 3,446 ratings.