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Miles Davis' Bitches Brew - Dogfish Head Brewery

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

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

3,004 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,004
Reviews: 836
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 11.69%
Wants: 425
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: 3,004 | Reviews: 836 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of albertjr21
4.88/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Into a small red wine glass, this sits the darkest shade of brown, characteristic to the style, and could be called black. There is a well sustained dark beige head that resembles that of a chocolate milk color.

S: Wondrous aroma of dark chocolate, sweet malt and roasted nut. A very alluring blend that shines through.

M/T: Opens up with a sweet, creamy and just lightly sour feel into a smooth, sweet and earthy dark roasted malt center. A pleasant smokey noted cocoa bean aftertaste. A complex multi-level feel throughout in general.

D: Paired fairly well with rotisserie chicken but I'd love to try this again with a good basic hamburger or even a bowl of vanilla ice cream. Great session ability for a Russian Imperial!

albertjr21, Dec 08, 2010
Photo of jeffthecheff
4.72/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drank during the series premiere of Brewmasters. Poured into my DFH Signature Glass with a pitch black color and a medium-brown head. Consistency is creamy with great lacing and good retention.

The aroma is very fruity and mellow, with dark malt aromas contributing gentle chocolate and roast notes. An earthy, dirt-like aroma is there as well. The overall character is not very aggressive, and reminds me of a well aged RIS.

The flavor is sweet, with very little perceived bitterness. The dark fruit, dark chocolate interaction is great here. I'm easily picking up blueberry, pomegranate, and cranberry flavors that integrate really well with chocolate notes. A mid palate sweetness is here that I don't find in a lot of stouts, which really brings the beer into another level. The ABV level for this style of beer is ideal for me, it has a big, robust profile but is easily drinkable.

jeffthecheff, Dec 08, 2010
Photo of beersensei305
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours pitch black, with tannish brown head nice lacing. The aroma is not particularlly strong, but I can twise out roasted malt, dark chocolate, some toffee and roasted coffee. The flavor is strong dark fruits, choclate, some roasted malts, some sweetiness. This is a smooth ber with a bold tasting beer, Great beer!!! It gets even better and more compex as it warms.

beersensei305, Dec 08, 2010
Photo of BigPlay1824
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a samuel smiths pint glass

A: pours a deep black with a nice amount of creamy light brown head, leaves nice lacing

S: nice deep malty tones, slight chocolatey notes, also a very slight caramel note

T: deep maltiness, nice dark chocolate finish

D/M: smooth drinking yet incredible depth, great deep finish, leaves a nice lingering maltiness on the pallet

BigPlay1824, Dec 07, 2010
Photo of russpowell
3.93/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this one from LarryG, cheers Larry! Review based on notes, wish I'd known about the Brewmasters show I would've saved it for then.
Had it about 4-5 weeks ago.

Pours ebony with 3 fingers of cocoa colored head. Nice lacing & average head retention

S: Dark chcolate, cherries, plums, smokeyness & booze

T: Smokeyness, molasses, dark cherries up front, plus dark chcolate. Chocolate, dryness, plummyness & cordial cherries as this warms. finishes fruitty dry & oaky, but doesn't quite pull together for greatness

MF: All over the place medium bodied, with sharp carbonation up front, then smooths out once warms & becomes fairly warming

I appreciate what DFH was reaching for here, but I consider this another example of the hit or miss nature of this brewery when it comes to their special releases. I think this one one would improve with age by a bunch

russpowell, Dec 07, 2010
Photo of StevenBilodeau
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured this one right into a Snifter, the aroma was intense and strong. A strong toasty malt elevated from its creamy head. The beer was dark, almost pitch black, with some ruby hints when held to the light... Miles Davis all over man...

The aromas carried on like I said a roasted coffee, chocolate smell, and of dark goodness. Dark fruits, burnt leather, and herbal hickory.

The flavors were intense and explosive. My palate was almost overwhelmed at first, but then it finishes smooth and creamy... sweet malt, but not at all a sugar bomb. The subtlety of the sweet malt backdrop makes the abv level approachable. A taste of roasted coffee beans, dark chocolate, mocha, dry fig, and earthy.

Overall, this was a very intense and complex brew, and it is understandable for it's cannon in the beer community. I believe that this beer was a phenomenal accomplishment.

StevenBilodeau, Dec 07, 2010
Photo of dogfishandi
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
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.

dogfishandi, Dec 07, 2010
Photo of TheLVBeerGuy
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I poured it cold into a goblet

A-Dark, DARK brown. creamy brown head that runs away quickly

S- herby, chocolate notes, hard to explain, but the nose is very WET

T-starts sweet and herbal. Honey comes in sweet and smooth through the middle and it finishes chocolaty

M-very full yet surprisingly smooth. its a mouthful!

D- very nice. not mind blowing but pretty dang good!

TheLVBeerGuy, Dec 06, 2010
Photo of pzrhsau
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Nice dirty coffee colored head over a deep rich black/brown body.
S: Roasted dark malt, coffee, and some leafy stick aroma that has some smooth hints of honey.
T: Nice deep coffee chocolate stout flavor with soem slight earthiness from the gesho root. The honey gives the beer some good sweetness to hide that alcohol.
D/M: The honey makes the beer very silky smooth and it really coats the palate with a rich flavor. Great sipping beer.

pzrhsau, Dec 05, 2010
Photo of orbitalr0x
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
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!

orbitalr0x, Dec 05, 2010
Photo of BruceWineworks
3.8/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch 2 bomber poured into a snifter.

A: very dark brown, with a reddish lacing.

S: oats, coffee and malt fragrance.

T: taste of a creamy coffee stout. No trace of the honey or gesho comes out. The stout overpowers it.

M: light and watery with some fizz and creaminess.

D: its a very decent stout but I don't think the blend of the african style honey and gesho worked mixed with a stout. All I tasted was a typical american stout. Good but not worth the hype.

BruceWineworks, Dec 05, 2010
Photo of scootny
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

So I pour and to no surprise a thick rich multicolored head that stays for quite some time rises up and parks itself on top of an almost black brew. Tons of khaki colored lace. Light does not penetrate. Aromas of the usual RIS suspects. Coffee, chocolate, faint vanilla. Charcoal and burnt toffee. There are a bunch of layers here and only patience and will reveal them. Taste is smooth and full flavored. Burnt and charred sweet sugars and toffee. Nice big caramel malt core. Some firm earthy hops in the finish. Finish is clean and hoppy. Feel is thick and mildly carbonated. There is some creaminess which has you slowing down to savor each sip. Drinkability is super for a beer made this strong. There is no trace of alcohol the feel is warm and inviting.

scootny, Dec 05, 2010
Photo of ZeroSignal
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From batch #2

A - Pours dark as night with a one inch dark mocha head. Great retention and nice lacing

S - Roasted malts, breakfast blend coffee, chocolate and cocoa; a bit of alcohol

T&M - Probably as close in flavor to the nose as any beer I've ever had. Lot's of roasted and chocolate malts, cocoa nibs, a bit of coffee bean and espresso. Some feint hint of spice that I can't identify (this seems to be a theme for me lately). Creamy, smooth with just a hint of alcohol, full bodied. Smooth and velvety in the finish with a pleasant warmth

D - Very tasty, and a good take on a RIS. ABV within normal for the style; smooth and creamy feel lends to drinkability

ZeroSignal, Dec 05, 2010
Photo of Kendo
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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. . . .

Kendo, Dec 05, 2010
Photo of mattpoin
3.88/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 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.

mattpoin, Dec 04, 2010
Photo of Dhren1979
4.7/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Dhren1979, Dec 04, 2010
Photo of Jimmys
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Jimmys, Dec 04, 2010
Photo of CoastieSimon
4.75/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

CoastieSimon, Dec 03, 2010
Photo of oberon
4.15/5  rDev -1%
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.

oberon, Dec 03, 2010
Photo of ferrari29
3.95/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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

ferrari29, Dec 03, 2010
Photo of JohnnyChicago
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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!

JohnnyChicago, Dec 03, 2010
Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.88/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 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.

KickInTheChalice, Dec 03, 2010
Photo of superdedooperboy
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

superdedooperboy, Dec 03, 2010
Photo of jpmclaug
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

jpmclaug, Dec 03, 2010
Photo of Minkybut
3.48/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Minkybut, Dec 02, 2010
Miles Davis' Bitches Brew from Dogfish Head Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 3,004 ratings.