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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.

3,005 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,005
Reviews: 836
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 11.69%
Wants: 424
Gots: 1,086 | FT: 55
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,005 | Reviews: 836 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Pencible
3.75/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: This poured pitch black with moderate tan head.
S: It smelled like fresh coffee and roasted barley, with a little brown sugar and dark chocolate.
T: It tasted like bitter dry earthy dark chocolate and brown sugar, with musty roasted barley and day-old coffee. It had a lasting, very dry and bitter aftertaste.
M: It was very thick and viscous with a little carbonation and a bit of alcohol warming.
D: This was good but nothing special. The scent and taste were decent, while the body was excellent. The alcohol was noticeable but not bad, so it wasn't difficult to drink. Age may help mellow it out, but I was generally unimpressed.

Pencible, Dec 16, 2010
Photo of mjw06
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The brew poured darker than I would have imagined, dark brown to black right along the lines of what you would expect from any stout. The head was a frothy milk chocolate color, very spacey, and left little to no lace.

This was an interesting selection for me, as it backed full-bodyness in flavor and feel, yet lacked much complexity. Theres a bit of roasted spiciness on top of a sourdough canvas. The bitterness is very different, which I assume to be attributed to the gesho root that is being used in place of hops in 1/4 of the beer. There's just a bit of sweetness, which tasted to me like a roasted light caramel. The beer had a smooth finish with just a tad bit of alcohol warmth, just enough to remind you of it's imperial character and 9% ABV.

I really enjoyed this beer. And I enjoyed it fast, actually. Definitely looking forward to picking up another bottle to age.

mjw06, Dec 16, 2010
Photo of WhistlingBird
2.63/5  rDev -37.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Stouts are not my type of beer. But I figured I'm brewing beer I should be open to trying different styles. I was really lucky to find a 750ml bottle from the second batch that was released along with Dogfish Head's TV series Brew Masters.

It poured dark brown almost black with a tiny creamy white head that disapated quickly but did leave a lacing as I drank it. It to me had a smokey quality that I have to like in a beer. Again, this it not my first preference in style. Would I try it again? ABsolutely as I am refining and defining my beer tastes..

WhistlingBird, Dec 15, 2010
Photo of goalie33
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 750mL bottle into 13oz tulip glass.
A: Motor oil black with a brown head that quickly dissipates. Not much lacing, but leaves nice legs.
S: Not a very strong smell, but the dominant aroma is espresso with a hint of chocolate and some sweetness (the honey?)
T: Very mild. The honey is more pronounced then it is in the nose. The roasted malts also come through in the finish.
M: Thick, syrupy, full bodied beer. Really coats the mouth. Almost chewy.

Not as flavorful as I like my Imperial Stouts, but a very good beer nonetheless. Not sure if it's worth $10 for 750mL though.

goalie33, Dec 15, 2010
Photo of JoePat
3.95/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours black with a thick brown head that lingers forever.

I get a lot of burnt sugars, roasted malts, coffee and a very light aroma that I cannot say for sure what it is (maybe the gesho).

In the flavor I get that unidentified aroma again and it tastes more tanic/green wood. I get a lot of roasted malts and chocolate and they work well with the woody flavor.

The beer is a little acidic yet still creamy and rich. I think the acidic character helps smooth it out to an easier drinking beer.

JoePat, Dec 15, 2010
Photo of EricHeff
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I found one bottle of this at the local liquor store and I was quite intrigued by it after watching it on Brewmasters.
It poured super black with light brown head that was really thick. This is exactly the kind of look I like in my stouts so this was a great start.
The smell was good, but nothing stood out to me from other Imperial Stouts.
The taste is great. Not nearly as thick as most stouts but its not bad either. It has an incredible smoothness to it as it goes down. I definitely picked up some chocolaty goodness as will as hints of vanilla. The honey barely stands out and I have no idea what gesho root tastes like, but Im sure its in there.
Very easy to drink and extremely enjoyable. I wish I had another to age.
Awesome job Dogfish. As usual.

EricHeff, Dec 14, 2010
Photo of thatsfine
3.93/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Black, somewhat thick pour. Really nice two and half finger, thick head on this one. Rings of lacing left down the pint glass.

S: The nose was roasty, and pretty sweet. Some chocolate malts and honey. I wouldn't be able to identify the honey if I didn't already know it was in the brew. It really wasn't too complex of a smell. In fact, it was quite straightforward.

T: The taste is where the beer is at. It's very roasty and chocolately at the beginning, much like many other Russian Imperial Stouts. But the back of the taste is where this brew differentiates itself. It has a sweet, smooth finish and is quite inviting.

M: Medium for a stout. Could be a little thicker. The smoothness makes up for the lack of thickness.

D: Quite a drinkable RIS. The 9% alcohol is hidden particularly well.

Honestly, a good beer. Pretty much what I expected. It is a nice change of pace from the boozy, in your face bourbon stouts (which I absolutely love by the way). In terms of buying it again, if there is another release... depends on if I'm in the mood. I enjoyed by bottle a lot but wasn't super excited about it as I am about other RIS. Definitely worth a try

thatsfine, Dec 14, 2010
Photo of dubinsky
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 750ml bottle into my Bruges snifter.

A - Pours an amazingly dark brownish black with a dark tan almost brown head two finger creamy head. Good lacing formed on side of glass. The head dissipated pretty quickly leaving me questioning if there is any carbonation.

S - Amazing coffee smell. Possibly the best coffee aroma i have ever smelled in a beer. Dark Chocolate, molasses, honey dark malts. Slight smokiness and mild alcohol burn on the back-end of the sniff.

T - Coffee, licorice and honey come out strong in the beginning. Toasty roasted malt in the middle. Finishes off with a nice bitterness.

M - Smooth, creamy feel with slight carbonation. Not exactly chewy, but not medium bodied. Somewhere in between. Well balanced hearty feel

D - I enjoyed this beer a lot. Its very smooth and well balanced and surprising drank very well. I'm glad i had the opportunity to try this limited release beer and will buy again if i see it.

dubinsky, Dec 14, 2010
Photo of mjsheehan08
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle into a snifter glass.

Pours what appears to be a dark as dark can be black that built up a finger and a half head. Head is tannish with hints of ruby in the lacing. The lace stays with the beer all the way down, and it is sticky as hell. It wasn't until the end of my glass, as I was looking down at it, could I see a honey yellow tint that surrounded the lace as it stared back at me. A absolutely beautiful looking beer.

I don't listen to alot of Jazz, but I watched a live performance of Bitches Brew before I drank this, and I see why Sam and the crew from DFH made this into a jazzy beer. There was flavors from everywhere, and I couln't get a constant pattern to things. At first, the beginning was really sweet, and finished with a roasty vanilla chocolaty malt feel, but about halfway through, the flavors changed up on my, and I was hit with the roast first and finished with the sweetness. I could detect the honey, chocolate, expresso, vanillia, caramel and some serious hop bitterness in the finish. Overall, a really great beer, and I am even more excited to revisit with some age attached.

mjsheehan08, Dec 14, 2010
Photo of turnstile
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Opaque and pitch black in appearance; pours rich and forms a thick, one-inch brown head. Great lacing and spotty head retention.

Smell: Sweet, roasty, and slightly smoky. Strong notes of dark-roasted coffee, chocolate, and burnt sugar. Faint sweet scent of dark fruit and mild aroma of alcohol.

Taste: Sweet and chocolaty up front with a roasty and moderately bitter finish. Dark chocolate notes linger in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and mildly carbonated; slick and somewhat syrupy.

Drinkability: Very drinkable; while it's a little weak in body for an imperial stout, it's approachable for an otherwise intimidating style.

turnstile, Dec 13, 2010
Photo of Wisconsinality
3.03/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottle poured into Duvel tulip.

A- Pours a good looking deep brown with a little light let in around the edges. A big 1.5 fingered mocha colored head leaves some good lacing on the side of the glass all the way down.

S- Roasted malts, seems to me like some wheat and honey. There is a little bit of graininess to go along with some black licorice.

T- The roasted malts are a little more mellow and the bready, grainy taste is a little more prevalent. There is a touch of honey to round out the taste.

M- Medium bodied and feels a bit thin for the style. Good carbonation and just a tad dry on the finish.

D- An interesting beer but nothing really stand out about it. I didn't buy the beer for the hype, heck I didn't buy this beer at all, the lady did, but it was alright at best.

Wisconsinality, Dec 13, 2010
Photo of russwbeck
3.95/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is from the first batch, just getting around to reviewing it.

A: Dark pour with a nice tan head, doesn't stick around for long but laces nicely.

S: Smell is very sweet. Cocoa and roasted malts take a back seat to a honey scent from the tej used in the brewing process.

T: The Taste starts off sweet, which gives way to coffee and a nice dry aftertaste. Very balanced, not too sweet.

MF: Smooth and creamy, not as thick as I would have expected.

D: Very drinkable for a RIS. I enjoyed this one.

russwbeck, Dec 13, 2010
Photo of KeefD
3.58/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Having this while listening to the album! Thanks to Detral for hooking me up with this as an extra. Pitch black with some dark orange/ruby highlights, no head or lacing. Nose is an interesting mix of licorice, roast, some kind of floral sweetness that might be from the honey and maybe a touch of chocolate. No real hop aroma. Taste is a decent mix of roasted barley, although light, with chocolate, light honey, and some herbal ,earthy bitterness in the background. Kind of reminds me of a Toblerone candy bar. Could use a little more body and fullness, carbonation is tight. Booze is well integrated but comes out more as it warms. Nice beer, but not really what I look for in an imperial stout. I think them thick and heavy with a well masked alcohol character, which this has none of.

KeefD, Dec 13, 2010
Photo of SuperNova777
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Notes from 11/24/10

A:Pours a black color with a fluffy tan head that falls nice and slowly, very good lacing
is left hanging around on the glass.

S:Nose picks up your usual RIS flavors including roasted malts and chocolate as
well, the only thing different would be the slight honey aroma that I' am picking up.

T:Just as the nose goes roastiness up front and in the middle, on the backend there is
a slight hint of honey sweetness with some chocolate as well that pretty much covers
the palate.

M:Fairly nice body with the palate left coated by chocolate and stickiness.

D:All in all I would say was a pretty good drink, nothing too crazy or over the top
but still a good beer. I enjoyed drinking it and have another bottle to give a go
a few moths down the road but what I have been hearing I might as well drink
it now before it goes down hill

SuperNova777, Dec 12, 2010
Photo of ToAzwethinkweizm
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Date: 12 December 2010
Glass: Standard 10oz snifter
Type: 750ml bottle

Temperature 50ºF, poured into 2 standard snifters and shared with my father. Poured gently to give a 2-finger head with excellent retention, lacing that covers 80% of the glass, carbonation is quite nice and fluffy, color is pure black, head is caramel-brown. After letting this sit to release some carbonation, the aroma consists of fantastic dark malts, chocolate, and a unique bitterness that I've never tasted...could it be the gesho in the brew? There is an aroma in this beer from the malt, like a pale malt that I smell in pale ales, just very slight -- but I've been wrong many times before. It could be the crystal malt. Overall, the aroma is dark, earthy/woody, ending with chocolate. Taste is described similarly, with very smooth chocolate malts, coffee, and raisins. Excellent body with bitterness that doesn't linger. I think I'd love spicy food to pair with this beer, even though I'm not sure what the general consensus would be on pairing.

This beer is not as wild and "off-centered" as typical DFH beers, but I believe it was done just right as a great beer collaboration with Sony. I recommend letting this beer sit for a few minutes to release carbonation....it is much better with less. I hope to cellar a bottle for a while, and that will be an easy thing to do if I am positive that Dogfish decides never to make this special brew again. Time to listen to some Miles Davis Bitches Brew.

ToAzwethinkweizm, Dec 12, 2010
Photo of far333
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

For my 1,000th review:

Served in a crystal snifter, pours dark brown and opaque, nearly black, with a cocoa brown frothy head that rises up thickly and settles out to a low cap with wispy legs of lace up the sides of the glass.

Rich aroma of cocoa and sweet fruit, hints of ripe berries, some coffee and brown bread.

Flavors of cocoa and roasty malt, hints of toasted nuts, subtle leather and marshmallow, caramel, mild bitterness, honey emerges in the finish. Anise emerges at the end and lingers in the cheeks. Rich and complex and ever-changing.

Full and rich mouthfeel, but slightly powdery, finishes a bit tannic. Delicious beer and highly drinkable, proud to have this one for a milestone review.

far333, Dec 12, 2010
Photo of JoeBloe
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours a real nice opaque dark brown and puts up a thick 2 finger head - this stuff is thick -coats the glass and leavessome spotty lacing - smells like a nice roasty stout with a bit of sweetness - and WoW! this tastes really good! - a lot of subtle notes of chocolate, coffee,cocoa and maybe that gesho root, if i had any idea what that tastes like - and i can taste the honey in the finish - mouthfeel is right on, thick bodied without being syrup-ey - alcohol is dangerously well hidden - drinks very easily - great stuff

JoeBloe, Dec 12, 2010
Photo of bucklemyshoe
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Notes from 12/03/2010:

750 mL bottle at 45* into a Stone IRS tulip.

A: This pours pitch black with two fingers of thick, dark-khaki colored, nitro-looking head that laces exceptionally well (super-thick Guinness in disguise?).

S: The nose features notes of chocolate, mild coffee roastiness, honey (from tej) and dark fruits but also shows unexpected notes of sour berries.

T: It is of sweet and sour berries, honey, caramel, medium-roast coffee, and a touch of milk-chocolate.

M: It is oily with a medium-thick body and a creamy finish.

D: This is a very intersting blend (as expected from Dogfish Head) that provides for a more enjoyable experience after seeing how it was produced on t.v.

bucklemyshoe, Dec 12, 2010
Photo of jabel9
4.47/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Dogfish Head's Bitches brew is the liquid equivilant to the Miles Davis masterpiece. It represents the complexity and fusion of the musical piece as well as the creativeness. The appearance is dark and robust. The mouth feel is exceptional. This is a roasty, malty brew. Stout like in appearance but with an english strong ale feel. Dogfish Head has once again expanded the pallet of the educated brewer. Cheers!

jabel9, Dec 12, 2010
Photo of sirnosed
4.58/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had it at POPe -Pub on Passyunk. I'm a HUGE fan of Dogfishhead, especially their 90-minute IPA. We saw it on the menu after having another IPA and went on the adventure.Bottle pour a lovely dark complexion into a wine glass, the serious appearance gave way to a damn good taste with knock-out affect. I can't wait to get me another.

sirnosed, Dec 11, 2010
Photo of Richardberg
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - dark mahogany, moderate head, not much retention or lacing, but stays ringed with bubbles. Ruby/espresso fringing.

S - toasty malts, mocha, honey, notes of sweeter/lighter Malta (esp caramel) too

T - pretty standard sweet stout at first. But the lasting impression is how nicely balanced it is. The light honey ale that's blended in is easy to notice, but never gets in the way of the RIS; certainly never cloying.

M - plenty slick, but not thick; medium bodied at best for a RIS. Overall effect quite pleasant.

D - crazy drinkable for the style. The dual nature of the brew really shines here. Could easily consume dangerous amounts of this stuff...

Richardberg, Dec 11, 2010
Photo of atsprings
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Flying Saucer served in a tulip glass a deep opaque black with a thin diminishing head. Aroma is a nice blend of roasted malts, baker's cocoa and mild dried fruit. The taste is a smooth complex blend of roasted malts, dried fruit, cocoa, mild coffee and molasses. The beer is medium bodied with well hidden alcohol and nice mild carbonation. This is a truly delicious beer, I hope they make this at least an annual release.

atsprings, Dec 10, 2010
Photo of Genuine
4.72/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2nd Batch brewed, poured from the Bomber into my Sam's perfect pint glass. Poured as dark as night, with a deep sand on the beach khaki head, which lingered for quite a while and left beautiful lacing down the sides of the glass.

Smell - Coffee and chocolate notes is what I first picked up, some booze but not much.

Taste - WOW, immediately picked up on the very nice heavy roasted grains, espresso and dark chocolate. The honey was noticable, but worked with the flavors instead of against it. The finish was coffee, with a bit of lingering sweetness, just to remind you that it's there. I'm sure the gesha root was there, Just didn't know what flavors it gives off.

Mouthfeel - medium to full body, velvety smooth.

Drinkability - This one is very drinkable. I could have another glass of this without any problem whatsoever. Very tasty and delicious beer from DFH. Glad I was able to try such a brew. Well done, Sam and Company!

Genuine, Dec 10, 2010
Photo of MEsquandoles
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Half pint at DraughtHouse in Austin.

Love the espresso crema colored head. It's dark.

Smells of espresso and leather.

All the imperial stout flavours, honey finish, but not too sweet.
I don't know if I taste the gesho. Very roasty. Reminds me of their Palo Santo, at several points.

I'd guess most people would think it's just an imperial stout.

Not as thick and oily as some of my favorite ISs but still great. This is my second of the evening, after two in between.

Over-hyped, but definitely worth trying.

MEsquandoles, Dec 10, 2010
Photo of stewart124
4.8/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pitch black! Huge frothy head on top of this.

The nose seems very complex. Large amounts of chocolate and something of a cinnamon note in the nose.

Whoa this is complex. Loads and loads of burnt roasted character with some spice. The taste is amazing with a finish of dark chocolate and molasses. The lingering aftertaste is of currants and a smooth velvety chocolate.

It's hard to get enough of this beer. One of my favorites from Dogfish Head so far.

stewart124, Dec 09, 2010
Miles Davis' Bitches Brew from Dogfish Head Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 3,005 ratings.