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Miles Davis' Bitches Brew - Dogfish Head Brewery

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,966 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,966
Reviews: 836
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 11.69%
Wants: 413
Gots: 1,077 | 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:
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 added by: TheFightfan1 on 06-13-2010)
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Ratings: 2,966 | Reviews: 836 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Kendo

New York

4.33/5  rDev +3.3%

OK, so I bought this before the whole Brewmasters thing, but after watching the episode on how they came up with the recipe for this one, I decided I had to drink my lone bottle now rather than cellar it any longer. So here we are on a cold December night. The kids are asleep, I've got Bitches Brew (the CD) playing on my laptop (yeah, it should be on the stereo, but I don't want to wake the kids) - probably the first time I've listened to it in 10, 12 years (maybe more) and Bitches Brew (the beer) ready to go. Let's groove.

A: Mild 'pfft' on cracking the cap. Gunsmoke remains in the neck of the bottle, lingering like cigarettes at a jazz club, circa 1969 (i.e., before the smoking laws). Poured into a Piraat snifter/tulip-sort of glass. Body is black. Light is not getting through at all. Small light-brown head on top settles fast, leaves behind no lace.

S: 'Roasty' is the word that comes to mind as the Pharoah dances through my mind. Roasted barley and a touch of dark chocolate. Not terribly strong in the nose, but I have a feeling that might change a bit as this one warms up. . . . Actually, as it warms I get a waft of alcohol.

T: Follows the nose, more or less. Roasted barley is big here, with a bit of roasted coffee beans too. Chocolatey underneath it all, and as it warms there's some fruitiness to it too. Also some charcoal/char as it warms. . . . Finishes with a battle between sweet and bitter - the roasted malt and chocolatey sweetness ultimately steps back and lets the bitterness take charge. The bitterness here seems more tannic than hoppy. Could that be the gesho root? Who knows. Whatever gives it the bitterness, the result is a nice balance.

M: Body is close to full/heavy but doesn't quite get there. I'm OK with that - many RISes have bigger bodies than this, but this is by no means thin or light for the style. Carbonation is active though fairly fine-bubbled.

D: I dig. For a beer of this strength, it goes down pretty easily. A quality Russian Imperial Stout that I'd be willing to pay for again, though dollar for dollar, I think one gets better value from Old Rasputin or even BBCS, two of my "stand-by" RISes. . . .

12-05-2010 02:39:51 | More by Kendo
Photo of mattpoin

North Carolina

3.88/5  rDev -7.4%

Poured into a snifter glass.

A: Black in color, with a very thin, tan head. It leaves more lacing as it warms after pouring, but overall there's not much on top of this one. I'd like to see more head and lacing, but it's beautiful otherwise.

S: The honey on the front end of it and the roasted malts combine for a sweet, chocolate smell. Pretty much the same as a chocolate stout. It's strong, but standard.

T: A little sweet at first, with the expected roasty malts in the middle. Finishes with a nice anise flavor that I wasn't expecting. I'm not familiar with how gesho tastes, so maybe that was it?

M: Not as heavy-bodied as most big stouts like this feel, but not as crisp either.

D: Easier to drink than expected, given the 9% ABV. I can imagine if you could find this in 8-ounce pours from the tap it'd be fantastic, especially if you took your time and let it warm a bit. The 1 pint 10 oz. bottles they sell in stores right now are a bit too much for one sitting though.

12-04-2010 21:55:09 | More by mattpoin
Photo of Dhren1979


4.7/5  rDev +12.2%

Listening to Miles Davis' Bitches Brew...

Had this bottle in my man-fridge since August and took it out a couple hours before I anticipated making the 1st pour. Poured Bitches Brew into a short, stemmed tulip glass. It pours a deep, dark, black as night color into the glass with roughly 1/8th of an inch head; which quickly fades. All that is left of any evidence of the head is a slight ring around the edge. Swirling the stout around the glass I noticed minimal lacing that quickly dissipates.

Smell: Has a very deep, rich coffee aroma which also adds to the slight bitterness at first; however, it quickly is overrun with a sweetness. Perhaps the honey already making itself noticed?

Taste: Starts off rich and complex and did not disappoint. Tastes of slight coffee, more smokiness than chocolate followed by the sweetness of the honey (a great touch in my opinion). The sweetness of the honey does not hang around for too long as the bitterness of the gesho root introduces itself. The bitterness never got too overpowering and lingered in my mouth just long enough to savor the next sip.

Mouth Feel: Is very smooth and creamy. It felt like silk in my mouth as it danced around my taste buds.

Drinkability: This stout is very drinkable. Never would have thought that of RIS, although, at 9% ABV its not one the strongest in this category. I would have to say that it is the honey that was brewed in this that really makes this a very drinkable stout. Be careful because you could easily go though a bottle within 40 minutes. I would suggest you pick up the album and listen to it while you sip this stout. That way you will make it last.

I am glad I was able to to pick this up back in August before I had any idea the Brew Masters was coming out in November along with most of America, because otherwise I am not sure if I would have been lucky enough to get my hands on this bottle. I am sure you have noticed other Dogfish Head brews flying off the shelf since the 1st show aired.

12-04-2010 04:06:38 | More by Dhren1979
Photo of Jimmys


4.22/5  rDev +0.7%

Purchased a 750mL after watching the premiere of Brewmasters on Discovery and now drinking it while watching a taped version. Im original!
Pours pitch black with a solid latte colored creamy head. Smells sweet, roasty malt and dark, dark chocolate. Incredibly smooth mouthfeel, would love to try this through an engine. Rich, creamy dark chocolate with a lingering sweetness. Definitely getting alcohol. Looking hard for the gesho, but cant seem to find it (or I dont know what it tastes like). Im a sucker for this style, but this is super drinkable.
Great example and really fun to drink alongside such a cool show. Props.

12-04-2010 02:25:59 | More by Jimmys
Photo of CoastieSimon


4.75/5  rDev +13.4%

This is my first beeradvocate review. I picked it up at Sheps Deli in St. Petersburg. Was a bit expensive but I thought oh well. Poured it into a Guinness Pint Glass. The Color was unbelievable a dark dark black, with a dark two to three finger head that disappeared slowly. The smell was very mochay with a hint of honey at the end, very nice smelling and stimulated the taste glands. Now to the best part the taste. It is serioulsy one of my favorite beer to dates. Tastes of mocha, coffee, and a bit of honey lingering at the very end. You can def. taste the ABV up front, but it is in no way overwhelming. The drinkability is good to very smooth and creamy/coats the stomach thats for sure! I drank the whole pint and felt good afterward.

My first review and it was a great one. I wish DFH would make it year round as it is one of there best brews.

12-03-2010 23:44:04 | More by CoastieSimon
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

4.15/5  rDev -1%

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.

12-03-2010 21:30:33 | More by oberon
Photo of ferrari29


3.95/5  rDev -5.7%

On-tap at Dogfish Fish Alehouse in Fairfax, VA, served in snifter.

A - Dark in appearance, dark brown/black; good lacing formed on side of glass; nice dark beige foam on top, that dissipated pretty quickly; didn't see much carbonation in the drink

S - Smells of coffee; malts; chocolate smokiness; alcohol and honey sweetness comes out at the back-end of the sniff (you can smell the high ABV); almost kind of root beer in scent

T - Coffee & licorice toasty starts at the middle of the tongue and finishes off with a light bitterness; kind of tastes almost like a root beer; its got complex flavors with a hint of sweetness

M - Smooth, slightly effervescent feel over tongue; creamy feel and well-balanced hearty feel

D - I was actually impressed with this drink; surprisingly smooth; for a dark stout this actually drank very well and I could definitely have a few more of these

12-03-2010 17:15:14 | More by ferrari29
Photo of JohnnyChicago


4.1/5  rDev -2.1%

Split the big bottle three ways.

A: Near black with a thin tan head. Pretty standard RIS material here.

S: A bit more interesting. The honey is definitely present in the nose. The spice comes through as well.

T: The honey pops in for a second, but other than that, its a pretty standard RIS. Chocolate, coffee, dark malts and a bit of alcohol heat.

D: Drinkability is pretty average for a beer of this style. There is a solid alcohol presence, but the flavors do balance it out somwhat.

Overall: A good and original brew. I like the slight spice and honey presence and I think DFH could learn a lot from this beer. Extra ingredients are cool, but you don't need 300 of them taking up 20% of the mash. Good beer DFH, make more like this!

12-03-2010 06:18:27 | More by JohnnyChicago
Photo of KickInTheChalice


3.88/5  rDev -7.4%

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Very black, with a decent size coffee color head that forms on pouring. No lace.

Smell: Chocolate and roasted malt, coffee, and a place where honey used to be.

Taste: There is a an interesting wild card here, maybe it is the gesho - I have never had it. Other than that, a nice blend of dark roasted malt, chocolate malt, and a touch of molasses. The shell of a honey flavor is there, and I think the gesho steps in here - I will have to go find out what that tastes like on its own. Finishes a bit rough, but sweet at the same time.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and smooth, like I would expect a 9% RIS to be. A bit of heat at the end, leading me to think a bit of age could do it good.

Drinkability: I liked the flavor, but there was just an absence of anything that really put it over the top for me.

12-03-2010 05:57:21 | More by KickInTheChalice
Photo of superdedooperboy


4.03/5  rDev -3.8%

25.4-ounce brown bottle poured into a Dogfish Head Signature Glass. Served around cellar temperature, approximately 50 degrees F.

Pours an inky opaque black hue with a thick, frothy two fingered head of tan foam that falls away gracefully, settling into a dense capping that clings to the walls of the glass mightily and leaves behind a fat webbing of lace.

Fairly typical Imperial Stout in the nose, with dark roasted malt, with a touch of cinnamon-like spice and rich, dark chocolate truffle.

A full-bodied brew, but with a fairly light mouthfeel that keeps it from becoming heavy and helps drinkability immensely. Up front, a sweet maltiness delivers itself, followed soon by a delightful interplay of espresso, anise, allspice, nutmeg, and cocoa notes. The finish is spicy, roasty, dry and long, with a lingering hint of mocha.

Delicious, this is one mightily drinkable Imperial Stout. The "fusion" characteristics that were put into the brew show themselves subtly, though; perhaps a ratio nearer to half-and-half Imperial Stout and Tej would have made it a bit more interesting. Undoubtedly the honey serves to lighten the body and raise alcohol content which certainly adds to the beer's character, and the gesho may be what adds that extra spice-like character, but overall the impression is more of a slightly-tweaked Imperial Stout than anything else. Can't fault it much overall, though, as this is most definitely one bitchin' brew.

12-03-2010 05:20:41 | More by superdedooperboy
Photo of jpmclaug

South Carolina

4.08/5  rDev -2.6%

Poured from the bottle into my Founder's snifter. Splitting this one with the girlfriend after watching the first episode of Brewmaster's last night.

A - Black body with a nice sized brown head that pops back up whenever I twirl my glass.

S - Picking up some roast, coffee and chocolate typical in RIS's but I'm also picking up some nice fruit and spiced notes. No honey in the aroma but definitely a little oft centered from your usual RIS.

T - Follows the aroma with the roasted and coffee/chocolate notes present in most RIS. The other thread in the beer really starts to make its appearance in the flavor though. A bit of a spice that I can't place that you can really taste in the finish before the roast takes back over

M - heavy to medium bodied, a bit more carbonated than I'd like.

D - Pretty easy drinking considering the style/ABV. A nice twist on the RIS style. Certainly worth trying and I would drink another again anytime. That said I wouldn't go crazy trying to obtain it.

12-03-2010 00:50:50 | More by jpmclaug
Photo of Minkybut


3.48/5  rDev -16.9%

I poured this brew into my sample glass at 45 degrees. The beer got much tastier the warmer it got. The beer was black and poured a thin head that was tan colored and it had decent lacing. The taste was chocolaty and had a slight smoke flavor to it. I liked the expensive beer and would buy it again.

12-02-2010 16:29:23 | More by Minkybut
Photo of OneDropSoup


4/5  rDev -4.5%

<JEREMY2002 = bad trader> Thanks to bstaffor for hooking me up with this after JEREMY2002 bailed on the RIS Round 2 BIF.

Poured into a stemmed tulip, consumed while watching (dun-dun-dunnn) the first episode of Brew Masters: Beautiful, shiny black body with a ring of foamy mocha head. No real lacing.

Smells of roast, semi-sweet chocolate, sharply fruity, with dark fruit notes. There's a kind of spicy character like ginger or even mild chiles. A candied orange smell builds as it warms.

Very fruit-forward taste: Prunes, dried apricots & dark cherries. Remains fruity for a while until a mild roast character slides in without a lot of malt flavor. Good, just a little thrown for a loop here. There's a dryness there toward the finish, like a lot of honeyed brews. Surprisingly little booze noticeable, nice mild roast aftertaste.

Medium-full bodied, with a little fruity acidity, but smooth, almost slick. Not sharp at any point, no notable heat, either.

Save the light roast at the end, this says BSDA to me all the way. Enjoyable, no heat, very drinkable, & I liked the second half of the bottle as much as the first.

12-01-2010 16:46:17 | More by OneDropSoup
Photo of avalon07

South Carolina

4.13/5  rDev -1.4%

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a black color and thick consistency. There was a big, foamy/creamy, long-lasting, tan-colored head. Very good lacing.

S: A warm aroma of roasted malt, coffee and chocolate.

T: Tasted of coffee, roasted malt, a little chocolate and honey in the finish. An interesting flavor that never deviates too radically from the RIS style.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a slick finish. Full-bodied.

D: While this isn't a beer I would drink a whole lot of, it is very, very drinkable.

12-01-2010 13:03:50 | More by avalon07
Photo of GoSpeedGo108


4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Appearance: Wonderful deep coffee color with an almost latte colored head. Excellent head retention but minimal lacing.

Aroma: Very roast-y coffee smell, with hints of chocolate. A smooth honey aroma at the very end.

Flavor: I had a hard time figuring out the beginning flavors (a mild sweetness, perhaps?), but it quickly transitioned to a very roasted flavor, almost as if drinking freshly roasted coffee Finished with a bitter chocolate flavor, almost like baker's chocolate.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth and pleasant, not aggressive or passive.

Drinkability: Certainly not something I would have as a session drink, but I had no trouble finishing the bottle in one sitting with a friend.

11-30-2010 05:41:15 | More by GoSpeedGo108
Photo of yesyouam

New York

4.58/5  rDev +9.3%

Dogfish Head Bitches Brew is a dense, opaque, brown-black beer with a thick, foamy, brown head that has outstanding retention and leaves thick sheets of lacing on the glass. It has a huge, boozy, roasted aroma with notes of chocolate and smoke. It's full bodied and very smooth and soft. The finish is quick, dry and tidy. The flavors are bound very tightly. Smoke seems to be the most prominent. There is a slight flash of sweetness and a tanginess throughout the taste. It seems almost salty right before the finish. The aftertaste is bitter and kind of sharp. A dark, grainy flavor lingers. I can taste the tej up in my nose. This is a really solid imperial stout and the addition of tej gives it a unique signature. I bet it would go well with some injera.

11-29-2010 14:28:32 | More by yesyouam
Photo of mattgreger


4.4/5  rDev +5%

This brew poured a wonderful deep black color. Its had a nice creamy tan head that has some beautiful lacing the followed through the glass.

The aroma on this brew was also great. The first aroma that you pick up in the wondeful roasted coffee flavor. This is followed by a great push from roasted malts, caramels, little bit of a woody flavor, and a nice punch of a sweet honey at the end of the brew that just gives it a nice robust aroma.

In following the aroma, this brews flavors make the palate go crazy with such an intense and creamy flavor package. The first sip is a little boozy, but its a nice burn that follows with thick honey and coffee flavor that gives this brew a nice complex balance. It follows with some nice chocolate nodes as well.

The mouthful is very thick and creamy. It has a nice alcohol burn at the front, that is just a nice warming feeling as you let the wonderful flavors tingle in your mouth.

Very complex brew. The thickness and boozy front, might hurt the drink a bit, especially one who doesn't normally drink stouts or craft beers at that.

Overall amazing brew. I loved it. I was trying to get my hands on this one before the Brew Masters first episode. Now its hard, and im afraid some drinkers will waste this brew, when they discover its just not there style. For those out there looking for a great pick up and another hit by Dogfish Head Craft Brewery...this is the one.

11-29-2010 06:17:54 | More by mattgreger
Photo of psycle

New York

4.2/5  rDev +0.2%

Extremely dark, basically black with a decent brown head. Smells of chocolate and a bit of coffee. Tastes of sweet, roasty chocolate and a bit of interesting hop bitterness with a slight smoky aftertaste. Could this be the gesho? Good mouthfeel.

Very good Russian Imperial Stout to drink. Would definitely have another but have to wait til tomorrow.

11-29-2010 04:19:17 | More by psycle
Photo of JayS2629


4.08/5  rDev -2.6%

A- Beautiful deep black motor oil color with a frothy, creamy tan head with thick lacing rings.

S- Roasted malts, coffee, chocolate, caramels, plum and dark honey.

T- Slight booze burn followed by dark honey and coffee with hints of chocolate.

M- Thick and creamy.

D- Very complex. Thickness and booze burn suffers the drinkability a bit. Very delicious, but a definite sipper.

11-28-2010 22:20:14 | More by JayS2629
Photo of WanderingFool


3.88/5  rDev -7.4%

Bitches Brew pours a flat black into the glass with a small dark tan head on top. The foam fades quickly down to a ring around the surface leaving behind a few spots of lace on the glass.

The aroma is a nice combination of smoke, roasted malt, chocolate and a touch of dark fruit (cherry?).

Each sip of this medium to full bodied beer is smooth, creamy, dry, with a mild carbonated fizz. The flavor is typical for an imperial stout, roasted malt, coffee, and chocolate with a bitter floral hop finish. An earthy nuttiness and hints of lactose finish off each sip. Once gone the chocolate and hop bitterness lingers on the palate.

This is a fairly easy drinking beer that should be allowed to warm in the glass to let the flavors truly develop. I know this beer is blended with honey and other spices, but other than the dry body I did not detect them.

11-28-2010 22:09:02 | More by WanderingFool
Photo of goldbot

District of Columbia

4.1/5  rDev -2.1%

Had on tap, served in a goblet. Pitch black - so black it looked purple in the low light. Brown head with nice retention and plenty of lacing. Chocolate, roasted barley and some coffee aromas. A bit earthy or woody, but mostly it smells like your typical imperial stout. Well roasted flavor, malty, plenty of chocolate and coffee up front. This changes to the interesting woody characteristics; earthy with lots of body and medium sweetness. Still quite smooth throughout.

11-28-2010 18:22:03 | More by goldbot
Photo of MikeT77

New York

4.83/5  rDev +15.3%

This was a Magnum of the August 2010 release poured into 2 of the DFH signature snifter type glasses. I bought this in early August 2010, before the Brewmasters tv show was announced. Glad I bought it when I did, as I went to the DFH Brewpub & Brewery a week laster and they had none for sale. I love all their products, so I had to buy this one.

A: A very dark black-ish color expected of a brew that is 3 parts imperial stout. A think head quickly dissipated into a thin line of tan bubbles.

S: The first smell that comes across is the boozy alcohol aroma, which then leads to a chocolately, coffee smell.

T: Taste is definitely not as strong of alcohol as I had expected, given the smell. A nice, strong coffee/chocolate roasted flavor that reminded me of Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout. A nice finish that left a delicious roasty taste in my mouth. Very little alcohol aftertaste.

M: Velvety smooth, not too carbonated, but just enough. A nice, roasty flavor rolling across the tongue.

D: Very easy to drink (and easy to overdo it!), as it's smooth and easy on the alcohol taste, surprising for an 9% ABV RIS brew. Very delicious for a cold night!

11-28-2010 17:00:09 | More by MikeT77
Photo of chaz01


3.93/5  rDev -6.2%

Magnum poured into a Belgium style goblet glass immediately after watching Sam's documentary about this beer on the Discovery channel.

A: Dark oily black with a very dark brown head.

S: Smoky and roasted malt aromas with some definite cocoa compliments.

T: Beer starts off with chocolate and toasty malt and even marshmallow flavors. Definitely noticed some honey sweetness in the middle. The beer finishes with more of a mellow cocoa flavor.

M: Creamy, milky mouthfeel, low carbonation levels but very full bodied and flavorful.

D: Very drinkable and smooth stout -- the honey and cocoa flavors mellow the traditional roastiness and coffee flavors of what you might expect with a RIS, making this a bit more sessionable beer that what you would expect from a RIS.

11-28-2010 04:21:37 | More by chaz01
Photo of WeedKing4

Ontario (Canada)

4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Pours a dark black brown with a good amount of caramal coloured head, poured in a brandy snifter glass. Tastes roasty with that creamy smooth finish that the honey ingredients brings to the table. I'm not picking up any heat in this at all and it drinks down very smooth. Incredibly easy to drink for an imperial stout.

11-28-2010 01:01:01 | More by WeedKing4
Photo of John_M


3.73/5  rDev -11%

On tap at Max's today.

The beer pours a blackish brown color with very good head retention and lacing. The beer looks viscuous and impressive, which is a good start. The nose is also pretty attractive, though it could be better. I get some pretty noticeable licorise, along with some coffee. On the palate, the coffee flavor seems to dominate, though I also continue to pick up considerable licorise and vanilla. The finish showcases some significant hoppy bitterness, which helps to counter the richness and sweetness. Still, the sweetness and licorise combination is just not terribly to my liking, though I think this is otherwise a pretty solid beer. Mouthfeel is medium bodied at the most (the beer actually has a rather thin mouthfeel), with a fairly long, licorise dominated finish. Drinkabilty is OK, but the relatively high alcohol, sweetness and licorise just aren't working for me.

Just don't really see the appeal with this one. It's a good beer, but really nothing to get too excited about (IMHO).

11-27-2010 22:31:01 | More by John_M
Miles Davis' Bitches Brew from Dogfish Head Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 2,966 ratings.