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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.

3,240 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,240
Reviews: 856
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 11.69%
Wants: 436
Gots: 1,176 | FT: 58
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: 3,240 | Reviews: 856 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of litheum94
4.58/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed 2/14/2011.

To quote Spinal Tap, the body is 'none more black.' Brown head that settles to a thin cover. Good lacing.

Aromas of baker's chocolate. Very nutty. Roasted coffee. 'Dry' smelling, so to speak. Aromas are fairly typical of the style.

Dry, dark malt flavors up front, with a honey sweetness. Sweet, dark chocolate flavors mid-palate. Creamy mouthfeel. Hazelnut tones and a drying, coffee-ground finish. There's a pervasive sweetness throughout the whole session. Mouthfeel shifts from a full thickness to a light dryness.

The flavors here are just great, it almost drinks itself. This is just a well made RIS, and I'm definitely aging my other bottle.

litheum94, Apr 20, 2011
Photo of azdback
4.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my favorite Surly pint glass. Deep dark black not much highlight at all. Head is two fingers and an espresso crema color. Lace is looking great and it's

Smell is dark roasted coffee with a hint of vanilla and chocolate. Not a whiff of alcohol at all.

Taste is sweet. Coffee, molasses the finish has a bit of a charred taste. I am getting a bit of vanilla and some tartness. My tasting partner is getting a bit of cinnamon. All said I really like this one.

The mouth is a little light for the style. Maybe more Gesho than RIS. Not much carbonation and a bit dry.

Overall I was so happy to get a chance to try this. I like the way Dogfish Head does crazy blends like this one. Definitely a one of a kind.

azdback, Apr 17, 2011
Photo of gdfullwv
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Don't make the mistake like I did and start to drink this beer anywhere close to chilled. I would recommend 55 degrees or warmer. Chilled this beer really taste like any other cold stout or plain guiness for that matter. As it warms, you can start to taste the complexity in flavor of the root and honey that is in this beer. Not my favorite Imperial Stout, but is very unique and definitely a must try.

gdfullwv, Apr 16, 2011
Photo of vfgccp
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2010 bottle, drank April 2011

A: Black body with a mocha head. Nice retention and lace. An inch more head and this would have been a 5.

S: Raisins, spicy chocolate. Dark caramel. Brown sugar.

T: Dark roasted coffee. Espresso. Oak. Strong chocolate character throughout the back end with very little sweetness; bitter, 70% cocoa.

M: Medium body. Finish is almost a little too dry for my liking. Smooth tingly carbonation.

O: The dryness is a little much for me by itself, but it pairs fantastic with a sweet chocolate desert. We had it with a chocolate moose cake and fresh raspberries, and it absolutely transformed both the beer and the dessert.

vfgccp, Apr 11, 2011
Photo of bigfnjoe
3.5/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass

A- pours jet black with a three finger dark brown head. Head is very puffy, fades pretty quickly. Lacing is minimal, but the color and size of the head is very impressive.

S- mainly getting an aroma of chocolate from this one. Nice, albeit a little weak

T- it's...different. Instead of the pounding roastiness I normally expect from a stout, I get a little bit of sweetness from the tej that this is brewed with. There are hints of chocolate in there, but no coffee at all. A little bizarre for the style

M- it's actually pretty thin, which is a real letdown. I like my stouts with some chewiness to it. There isn't much chewiness here.

O- this is different. Not necessarily bad, but different. I've had much better RISes before, and didn't think this one really lived up to the hype

bigfnjoe, Apr 06, 2011
Photo of UMNbeerhunter
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Cigar City snifter on 4/5/11.

Pours a beautiful black with a chocolate head that dissipears quickly to leave little lacing on the glass.

Smells of tons of malt and chocolate and coffee, I like the balance to bad it was a one off. I hate you DFH!

Taste is the same. Very nice chocolate notes as well as a nice coffee hit. Goes down fairly smoothly.

Mouth feel is heavy. Not a lot of bite on the front and a decent resin to keep the coffee present through the sip.

Drinkability is high. Tasty, smooth, and the ABV is not the outward bound.

UMNbeerhunter, Apr 05, 2011
Photo of TheJollyHop
3.93/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

First batch, poured into a tulip.

Appearance: Semi-viscous black body with very little, rich mocha hued head.
Nose: Wisps of smoke interlacing fine dark chocolate, and faint scents of oak, possibly tart cherry.
Taste: Plum and cherry upfront followed by a mocha latte middle, cocoa powder, leading to a supple honey finish. A toasted wood quality (smoky) is noticeable towards the finish. Finishes with a brief lingering of black-coffee bitterness. Taste doesn't linger very long. A slight up-tick of heat at the swallow signifying the alcohol, but all in very integrated.
Mouthfeel: Smooth, medium-bodied, and rich (very sweet) on the palate; medium carbonation.
Drinkability: Well balanced, not overly sweet, and the relatively lighter body further increases the ease of sipping, however at the expense of the length of the aftertaste.

TheJollyHop, Apr 03, 2011
Photo of MightyCasey
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this at the Myrtle Beach Brew festival poured from a champagne bottle into sample glass.
A: Dark viscous black with a thin dark tan head.
S: There is a deep malty smell and bit of alcohol tinge to it.
T: It tastes absolutely fantastic. Wonderfully balanced.
M: Good mouthfeel and carbonation.
Overall, this is a fantastic beer. One I really liked. Don't think I could ever drink a whole bottle at one sitting. But, it was great as a sampler.

MightyCasey, Mar 26, 2011
Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

8 oz tap-pour into a snifter at Stubby's in Milwaukee.

Thanks to John for the hook-up on this one!

A - The pitch black pour is topped by a dense tan head. Fantastic retention and sticky lace rings cover the inside of the snifter.

S - Dark chocolate, roasted malt, and molasses notes with some light coffee and a touch of dark tobacco.

T - Mild honey sweetness rounds out the roasted bitter, chocolaty, coffee flavor of Bitches Brew.

M - Thick and rich with a smooth feel and a faint dry finish, this is a creamy brew with a nice texture.

O - While thick in feel and rich in flavor, this drinks very well for a big, higher ABV stout. The album playing in the background made it even better!

BeerFMAndy, Mar 20, 2011
Photo of RockyTopHeel
4.72/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Felt like the right time to crack this open for the afternoon slate of NCAA games.

Pours the darkest brown with a creamy, rocky brown head after an aggressive pour that quickly dissipates into a hazy lace of bubbles.

Aroma of charcoal - clean, but dark and roasted. Taste follows suit, with an ever-so-slight hint of honey in the finish. The two elements work together very, very well - the honey keeps the charcoal from being oppressive, and the honey is kept from being cloying itself. The "charcoal" must be the gesho, and I have to say I really enjoy the different character of bitterness it brings. As it warms, the imperial stout elements emerge - muscovado sugar adds another layer of syrupy sweetness, and hints of espresso join the charcoal.

Imminently complex and extremely interesting. A well-done tribute to my favorite jazz album of all time.

Bonus points for a terrific label.

RockyTopHeel, Mar 18, 2011
Photo of BrewCrew2010
4.4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a brown/black body crowned with a thick & creamy tan head that lasts throughout the drink.

S: A nice earthy & roasted malt aroma with notes of brown sugar, dark chocolate, molasses, coffee, & honey.

T: An explosion of complex flavors: coffee, roasted malts, booze, honey, dark chocolate, sweet vanilla, and dark fruits.

M: Full body, medium carbonation, and a thick and creamy texture.

D: I truly enjoy this one, but the high ABV makes this a one time beer.

BrewCrew2010, Mar 12, 2011
Photo of sulldaddy
3.83/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampling a 750 ml bottle split with my brothers and Stopper at my daughter's 1st birthday party. I am pouring at cellar temp into a sample glass from the Real Ale Fest.
The beer pours super black with a tan dense head fomaing up and fading to a sturdy surface layer.
Aroma is roast malt, molasses, some brown sugar and a bit of chocolate bar.
No hop presence or ABV on the nose, I also dont get any sweet notes from the honey used in the brewing process.
The first sip reveals a thick body with fine tingly carbonation, slightly sticky texture on each sip. No thinning from the honey, maybe only a very small amount was used?

Flavor is as expected big roasted malt notes and dark chocolate mix with a bit of molasses for a fairly robust flavor profile. I dont get any hops and there isnt any heat for a fairly large ABV brew.
This is a solid Imp Stout, not necessarily the best our most outstanding but certainly worth a sampling. I didnt know it was some sort of rarity but Im glad I drank it now with good beer folks at a great event!

sulldaddy, Mar 11, 2011
Photo of chefelf
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I purchased this a while ago only because it was rare and I stumbled upon it so I figured it would be my only shot to get it. It almost seems moot to review it since they're purportedly never going to make it again and if you have it you already have it and won't be using a review to inform your purchasing decision.

I don't generally love stout but this beer was quite good. It's maybe the darkest beer I've ever seen and the tiny amount of foam on the top was a deep brown color.

The beer tasted chocolatey to me. It had the bitterness of fresh cacao nibs and had a thick mouthfeel almost like drinking hot cocoa -- except cold, and carbonated. And more like beer.

Okay, so it's nothing like hot cocoa. Move along. Nothing to see here.

chefelf, Mar 09, 2011
Photo of Cyberkedi
3.7/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally got to sample this at the H.M.O.G. at the Brick Store Pub in Decatur. It comes out of the bottle a deep sable with a buttery tan head. Aroma has tones of roast coffee and semi-sweet chocolate. Rich flavor has firm coffee and chocolate tones as well as a hint of fruit, either apple or pear. Texture is smooth and a little tingly.

Cyberkedi, Mar 06, 2011
Photo of schoolboy
4.43/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black is beautiful. I bought this a while back and told myself to let it age. I am now in purge mode (drinking out the aged stuff). I didn't even refresh my memory before I started on it (or read the label or anything).

My first reaction was it's appropriately black (for the name). Then, it smelled and tasted like a thick sweet imperial stout. It turns out that's what it is, and it tastes just right. It probably is a bit smoother for having been aged a little and could sit a while longer, but I am enjoying it. I'm not sharing.

There isn't anything that jumps out rudely other than it's black power. As a jazz fan (and Dogfish Head fan) I would buy it again just for the name (if they ever make it again). Cool!

schoolboy, Mar 05, 2011
Photo of mikeyv35
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Date: 09/02/2010
Type: 750ml. Bottle
Vintage: 2010
Glassware: Portsmouth Tulip

Poured a dark black in color w/ a tan skim coat head that left a medium amount of lacing. Nose was of dark chocolate malts, roasted notes, and char. The taste reminded me almost of Abyss w/ a twist. Big roasted/chocolate notes, licorice, and char up front, followed by a smooth herbal finish that was almost numbing. I suppose that was from the Gesho root. Full bodied and easy to drink for 9%.

I enjoyed this interesting brew, glad I bought a few bottles for the cellar as I want to see how it ages.

mikeyv35, Mar 05, 2011
Photo of Bfarr
4.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Very dark with red highlights on the edges and big umber frothy foam with good retention and lacing. Chocolate, roasted, and earthy herbal aroma. Chocolate and roasted malt balance with herbal notes. Light alcohol and honey sweetness with a light bitter linger. Smooth, not sticky but slick coating rather than fuzzy.

Very interesting aroma. There's a great balance among flavors, nothing is overpowering. Alcohol is well blended. It's certainly more about what it's not. It's not your average imperial stout flavor and feel but it's there. It did become slightly acidic and was not the easiest drinking but it was a pleasure to selfishly finish. I usually view DFH head beer as good, curious tasting beers but this one is outstanding all the way around. Woven in with listening to "Bitches Brew" makes for a wonderful experience.

Bfarr, Mar 05, 2011
Photo of gskitt
3.6/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours an ink black, I can tell its thick. Very dark brown head, dissipates quickly. Smell is not too strong, roasted malts and some coffee, there is something else there as well, the honey? Taste has two levels, coffee and bitter chocolate on the front and a heady sweetness of something very earthy at the end. But this is not a sweet stout, its almost savory. As a fan of DFH I so wanted to like this beer, its just not doing it for me. Mouthfeel and drinkability are good only for fans.

gskitt, Mar 03, 2011
Photo of CampusCrew
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

appearance: deep dark black, nearly ebony, lackig had retention

smell: weird... typical chocolate coffee notes, but has some earthy, mineral maybe smell.

taste: not a heavy, robust RIS by any means. subtle sweetness from the honey, well balanced, decent bitterness from the gesho. totally different flavor than hops. atealst I think Im pickign it out. (earth, dirty)

mouthfeel: medium to full bodied stout

drinkability: somewhat woth the hype. But this beer is for RIS fans, not Miles Davis fans. Think that's where they hype is.

CampusCrew, Mar 02, 2011
Photo of RDHerm
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, dark brown with no light transmittance. Has a thin, chocolate colored head that dissipates quickly, but leaves a nice ring that holds throughout and has excellent lacing.

Strong smells of coffee and dark chocolate. Notes of roasted malts, dark fruits, and honey, with a hint of caramel.

Taste is pretty much exactly what one would expect from the smell. Solid flavors of coffee and bitter chocolate. A bit of a sweet finish, with notes of honey, dark fruits, and malt. The aftertaste is on the bitter side, and the coffee flavors linger.

Medium body, with a low carbonation level. Incredibly smooth and creamy, and doesn't dry out the palate as much as one would expect for a beer of this style.

Incredibly tasty and smooth, but with such strong flavors and a higher alcohol content, one or two is enough.

RDHerm, Feb 28, 2011
Photo of Westsidebuddha
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought at Lone Hill Liquor, Glendora, Calif.

Poured a black color into a shot glass. Smell of roasted hops. Taste of a good stout. Not too harsh. Good mouthfeel,not overwhelming. Good drinkability with an interesting backend. Overall, a good stout to try.

Westsidebuddha, Feb 27, 2011
Photo of uustal
3.93/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a really dark midnight black with a big, fluffy light brown head. Really good lacing and retention. Aroma a little lacking. Some dark chocolate and coffee notes. Flavor follows. A little bittering, roasted coffee and unsweetened chocolate notes. A little bit of hops. Finish is sweeter with the honey coming through as well as some sweeter malts. Nice blend, but noting spectacular.

uustal, Feb 26, 2011
Photo of SirRuss
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - How black is black anyway? Answer: This black. Ridiculously black It's like staring into a black hole with blindfolded eyes tightly shut. The head shade is also an object of awe - probably the darkest I have seen to date. It has smooth concupiscent colour of a Moroccan coquette, and a weightiness that exudes equal sex appeal. The retention is good, and lacing superb, but it is still the residual tone that steals the eye.

S - Wonderful array of coffee, cream, caramel, licorice and honey. Some earthy and herbal notes are also detectable on the backdrop, but provide more atmosphere than explicit charisma.

T - An elaborate expression of dark chocolate with a complex line-up of nuances, even if they are all, ultimately, spin-offs. Coffee plays its part in equal proportion to the hedonistic honey that weaves throughout the profile like a sticky-sweet centre. A tea-like element compliments the sweetness, while the bitterness of roasted malts - and presumably the Gesho root - struggle to provide equilibrium to the thick stickiness. A distinctive folic spine is woefully reminiscent of Ghanaian cacao and Sumatran dark chocolates, as both comparisons seem to suffer from the same unbalancing astringency - perhaps it's just a personal thing?

M - A little hot, and a little thin. That's not to say that there's no weight; the weight just fails to support the complexity, and consequently falls short of expectations. Also slightly watery on the mid, until it gets a chance to warm up...a lot.

D - Although the mouthfeel alludes to this being a more quaffable than usual RIS, it isn't. The folic nature is too distracting to entice me to hold onto this one longer than I feel obliged to pay my respects.

O - It's hard to rate this one: DFH have definitely achieved another interesting, well crafted, and undeniably off-centered brew; yet as much as I respect it, I can't help but suspect that Bitches Brew was driven into existence through a need to be different for the sake of being different, and not because it was the right thing to do. All I can say for sure is this: 'A' for effort.

SirRuss, Feb 26, 2011
Photo of mdfb79
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a snifter. Shared this bottle with my brother tonight.

a - Pours a jet black color with one finger of dark tan head and light carbonation evident. Head lasts for two minutes or so and than disappears. No lacing.

s - Smells of coffee, roasted malts, bitter chocolate, burnt malts, light fruit and maybe citrus? Bitter coffe dominates the smell.

t - Tastes of bitter coffee, bitter chocolate, roasted malts, dark fruits, burnt malts, and light vanilla. I thought the taste was a small step up from the nose, and didn't find the coffee quite as dominating as it was in the nose.

m - Full body and moderate carbonation, thick and chewy body. Very nice for a big RIS.

d - Overall this is a really nice RIS. Lots of coffee in the smell and bitter chocolate/roasted malts in the taste. Has a nice thick body and is a sipper for sure. Glad I have another bottle of this one.

mdfb79, Feb 26, 2011
Photo of Durge
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A deep dark black brown color with a solid light brown head and great lacing. The aroma is an alluring chocolate licorice and maybe a touch of juniper. Subtle but nice. The flavor is a super smooth coffee and juniper licorice. The chocolate comes out a bit like a mocha smoke in the back of the palate. This is a medium-full bodied brew with a silky feel and very, very fine carboanation. I find this pretty darn drinkable even though I expect it would catch up with you pretty quick. It's a beautiful brew, an easy "A"!

Durge, Feb 26, 2011
Miles Davis' Bitches Brew from Dogfish Head Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 3,240 ratings.