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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.

3,004 Ratings

(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 geryeb624
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into my DFH Signature Glass.

A- Dark brown into black in color, with 2 fingers of tan head with nice lacing.

S-Mainly roasty coffee and chocolate in the aroma. Pretty standard RIS smells.

T- Pretty bitter in a roasted kind of way. Coffee and dark chocolate, with some interesting earthiness, maybe from the gesho root? Pretty good either way.

M/D- Smooth and a a bit chewy. Goes down nice, but pretty rich, so a glass is enough.

An interesting RIS, the gesho adds some earthy qualities I wasn't expecting. Very nice stout from DFH.

geryeb624, Oct 02, 2010
Photo of kmo1030
4.4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours a nice oily looking black with a good sized khaki head that laces well.
the aroma has got lots of roasted chocolate and coffee. some of the more minor noted include smoke, honey, licorice, and distinct earthiness. it maintains a certain lightness about it.
the taste has smooth chocolate and caramel backed up with lesser notes of coffee. the honey shines through the darker flavors with a sweet floral aspect. the licorice/rootbeer follows up with an herbal note, that i can't quite put my finger on, and the smoke sneaking in at the back and aftertaste. the finish is nice and long.
the body is full with a soft delicate carbonation that makes it seem slick. it glides down the throat.
the drinkability is very good for the complexity and abv (which by the way is remarkably well hidden). overall a fantastic beer, one of the best from DFH in quite a while. a shame it's a one-off.

kmo1030, Oct 02, 2010
Photo of codewarrior
4.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

750mL Bomber into an Ithaca Beer Co. Imperial Pint glass.

Haven't seen this in Denver, found several cases of it at the Finger Lakes Beverage Center in Ithaca, NY ... and may I just add ... Jackpot!

L: Black as hell, half finger of creamy head. Thick, thick and super-duper dark.

S: Rich and sweet. Smokey thickness, hint of licorice.

T: Thick and smokey. Hickory and sweet. Finishes into a smoked bacon and hangs there wonderfully.

F: Thick as hell and smooth going down. Tasty, Tasty.

D: Yeah...

codewarrior, Oct 01, 2010
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle shared and pour gratefully into a snifter: From notes.
On track: Miles Davis; Bitches Brew, Side One, Track One( 40th box set ) _*one brew that is needed for musical influence.
A:A deep black body is poured with a tan head atop. The head retreats quickly, but is regrown with a simple swirl. The lacing is left in a blotchy format(just like the album).
S: A very sweet and crisp note on the aroma. Chocolate and coffee is expressed. I sense the unknown, which is what I am associating with the gesho root.
T/M: Sweet notes of honey on the front, while classic stout notes are present. Almost a hint of sour, with a medium mouthfeel.
D: High on flavors and easy drinking, this classic stout shows how different the style can be pushed. The worst part when you are done, is that you are bitchless, damn seek this bitch out.

GDBEERMAN, Oct 01, 2010
Photo of farrago
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Finger plus of very dark brown foam, full mix of bubble sizes but does have adequate retention, minor stick to the lacing. Pitch black liquid, full opacity with nary a trace of color. Thick roast to a nose that is otherwise motor oil thick, dark chocolate, chicory, vanilla powder, café au lait, little bit more orange marmalade than pine or flowers, eventually run down by maraschino cherry and raspberry jam fruit accents, eventually becomes so dense you can't parse much more out. Full-bodied, the carbonation has fluff factor and adds to the overall creamy mouth feel. Coffee, dark chocolate, vanilla, honey and caramel vivid but actually not that sweet. Comes off more as slow roasted than crisp and toasty. The florality struggles to be heard. Hint of clove, cinnamon stick spice. More brioche than bread or yeast. Loses some palate weight at the end but there's sufficient retronasal action to keep it alive. Impressively scaled, curiously could stand to be sweeter.

farrago, Oct 01, 2010
Photo of Brent
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

No holds barred - a nice big beer that at times seems to waver between a RIS and a Baltic porter. Bold roasted malt flavors - unsweetened chocolate and coffee with chicory, some vague charcoal and deeply toasted bread. Mouthfeel was the slightest bit syrupy. Very assertive and smooth.

Brent, Sep 30, 2010
Photo of stakem
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review from notes taken 9/2/10.

750ml bottle I got a few weeks ago and poured into several sample glasses to share with friends. The brew appears a dark brown to black in color with a finger of dark tan head that receeds fairly fast. A lighter color of clear brown is seen around the edges.

The nose of this brew is the usual dark roasty grain character smelling of chocolate and coffee blended with an almost fruity or winey twinge.

The taste is an unfamiliar bitterness that isn't quite the bitterness usually contributed by hops or a heavily roasted grain bitterness but nonetheless it is enjoyable and somewhat similar. The flavor of roasted grains tastes like coffee, chocolate and a slight bit of dark fruitiness.

A medium to full bodied brew with a moderate level of carbonation. Quite drinkable and a nice lingering aftertaste of roasty malt and alcohol persists. Worth a try.

stakem, Sep 30, 2010
Photo of DovaliHops
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark black with a medium tan head. Scent is very strong in roasted malts and roasted coffee. A bit of black licorice as well with slight honey sweetness. Taste is initially a bit boozy but then I get a very roasted barley-like taste followed by chocolate/coffee sweetness. Definitely has some honey notes with a bit of earthiness as well. It definitely is beginning to taste better and more well-balanced as the beer warms up a bit. This beer has a nice thick feel to it without being chewy or too creamy. Drinkability is fairly high for an IRS. Love Miles Davis, by the way...and this album.

DovaliHops, Sep 30, 2010
Photo of smurder187
3.53/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Great label art, great company, and promises of an extraordinary adventure of a beer. It's a very good imperial stout, but with all the innovation and creativity they cross to Miles' music, I didn't taste the connection. It's a deep brown/ red stout when poured with a heavy cocoa scent. There's a solid stout flavor and smooth current to the way it flows, but it's lacking the "something special" I yearned for from reading about it.

smurder187, Sep 30, 2010
Photo of thebrood1987
4.8/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

It smells very roasted with some sweetness in the background. It almost reminds me of the Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale with the way it smells but this has more sweetness in it. The taste is so smooth and rich its ridiculous. Like I said before it has that taste of the Dogfish Head Indian Brown ale but with less carbonation (if any at all) and less hops. You can tell they not only use the hops but something different to give it that different bitter taste on the back end which would be that gesho root. The honey they use in this doesn't so much give it a honey taste but rounds out the beer by making it smooth, thick and silky in texture. Stouts aren't my very favorite but this to me is the 90 minute IPA of stouts. With that higher alcohol content and richer full body taste. I'm really liking this one and haven't found a limited release or year round release from Dogfish Head that I don't like. I usually wouldn't have many of the flavors and ingredients they use in their beer but whenever I have their crazy recipe beers I always end up liking them because of the blend and the way they use them in the beer. This is strongly recommended to anyone that likes Imperial Stouts or wants a full bodied complex high alcohol content beer.

thebrood1987, Sep 30, 2010
Photo of Pahn
3.15/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750ml bottle into Duvel tulip.

Appearance: Free pour yields a one inch tan head that dissipates steadily leaving a tight lacing ring. Looks viscous and engine-oil-thick leaving the bottle, though ultimately it's translucent brown around the edges (black everywhere else). Leaves small islands of lacing and a walls of legs.

Smell: Coffee, roasted malt. Smells like many other stouts and porters I've had. It's a little smoky. Some booziness if you sniff hard enough.

Taste: First sip: coffee and chocolate up front, light and well balanced. Transitions to a nice honey note, then a weird cooked veggie taste (DMS?) that puts me off. The chocolate and coffee flavors are interesting, and more delicate than you'd expect. The honey in the middle stays thick and is sort of weird, but actually works pretty well. There's a nice bitterness in the end as well. Veggie aftertaste is bad.

Like a lot of jazz, the overall flavor of this beer is kind of "challenging," but unlike good jazz, it's neither complex nor particularly palatable behind the confusion. It seems to be like the worst kind of fusion music; a standard, boring pop song underneath some unhelpful, superfluous and distracting affectation. If that's too pompous for you, another way to phrase it would be: this doesn't taste that great. Some beers are hard to get into, but reward your attention. This is an unremarkable stout with a weird mouthfeel and an odd aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. A bit slick and watery. The bitterness helps a little.

Drinkability: Tastes like a simple porter with honey and some random off flavors. Its high ABV guarantees that I'll get buzzed and be able to finish the bottle, but I won't rush out to buy another. Speaking of high ABV, while it's relatively well hidden, I generally like to get a lot of flavor out of a beer if it's so alcoholic that I'm going to be one-and-done for the night. This one falls way short on that front.

Bitches Brew is a good idea on many levels, but ultimately the beer is pretty unimpressive.

Pahn, Sep 29, 2010
Photo of telecomz
3.38/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Dark espresso. This dark coffee head. In some light there is almost a dark purple hue.

S- Some coffee notes. Some fleeting fruit esther?

T- Expected coffee and chocolate. Sweetness. Final bitterness of the gesho. The ending is drying - astringent. Not unpleasant.

M- medium bodied, but creamy mouthfeel.

D- Very drinkable.

telecomz, Sep 29, 2010
Photo of ocelot2500
3.98/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown, almost black with a tight brown head that leaves a good amount of lacing.

Smells of brown sugar, chocolate and coffee.

Tastes of solid roasted notes throughout. Bitter-sweet chocolate, coffee, and brown sugar. Not much in terms of bitterness, but there is a good balance between sweet and bitter. Alcohol is barely noticeable on the palate, but leaves some warmth. Some fruitiness and herbal notes come through as well.

Mouthfeel is medium-full with a smooth amount of carbonation.

ocelot2500, Sep 29, 2010
Photo of Kbogac
4.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Drank this while listening to Miles Davis on September 28th. If I have to explain...

Pours pitch black. No light getting through this bitch. Foam dissipates quickly to a light brown ring. Sweet malt and coffee scent. Very nice. Maybe it has something to do with the honey? The first thing I get is sweet coffee and malt. The sweetness fades but the coffee taste lingers with some smokiness at the finish. Has a lighter mouth feel than I expected but nice. This is an easy drinking Russian Imperial Stout. Goes down pretty quickly. I could probably drink a few or at least the whole 24.

Kbogac, Sep 29, 2010
Photo of chrisgn
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into a DFH Signature glass

A- Opaque with a small coffee colored, dissipating head and not much lacing.

S- some coffee notes from the glass and a strong alcohol smell.

T- Alcohol is not as present as the smell would suggest. Coffee and chocolate are predominate with alcohol in the backround.

M- medium bodied, but creamy mouthfeel.

D- Very drinkable RIS style. 9% is kept in check. Share this with a friend as it only comes in a limited 750ml bottle.

The bottle is a keeper, by the way. The art work is from the classic Miles Davis album "bitches brew" as this beer celebrates the 40th anniversary of the album.

chrisgn, Sep 29, 2010
Photo of Flounder57
4.65/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I enjoyed this beer with a buddy up in NH who had the week off. The owner of his bar gave him a vacation box of rare and hard to get beers. One of the beers was Dogfish's Miles Davis.

The body of the beer was full and smooth. The color of the beer was also black and creamy like a porter.

Aroma brought out hints of cocoa and was a little earthy too.

It tasted very delicious at first and got better as it got closer to room temparature. We also tasted cocoa and it was earthy and oaky as well.

Overall, I would recommend there beer for anybody and enjoyed for special occasions since this is a rare breed of beers. I can't wait to get my hands on another one of these if possible.

Flounder57, Sep 29, 2010
Photo of ffejherb
3.98/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle shared at a recent tasting on 9/27/10. Thanks Chris (not sure if you are on BA)!

A - Emerged from the bottle as a slick, black liquid with a thin burnt mocha head that reduced to a patchy, bubbly head that left some spotty lace around the glass.

S - First whiff reveals a smokey character reminiscent of a campfire. After a few sing-alongs, I noticed a slight coffee presence and some earthy hops joining the fold. Is that peat moss? The malt character seems almost burnt or charred.

T - Smokey and earthy with an underlying honey sweetness. Interesting. There's that peat moss again. OK maybe not moss, but definitely peat.

M - Very smooth and silky, almost viscous. Bordering full-bodied status. Finishes rather sweet on the palate with very little bitterness overall.

D - Very good RIS that's smokey and sweet. Bring this one on the next camping trip. Probably goes well with smores.

ffejherb, Sep 28, 2010
Photo of SamuelJackson45
4.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Black like coffee look.

S- Smell of coffee and hint chocolate.

T- Chocolate bittersweet taste with coffee all mix in together.

M- Very smooth and creamy flavor of coffee linger through out the sip.

D- This is a good beer listening to Miles Davis is a must for the mood. chill out beer for sure.


SamuelJackson45, Sep 28, 2010
Photo of brystmar
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber into a pint glass. Pours opaque with a finger of brownish, frothy head that lacks the staying power of Miles Davis. Zero lacing. Hard to make out more than the roasted malts, a touch of sweet caramel, and some booze in the aroma.

Starts with a big rush of roasty malts and coffee beans. A touch of sweetness in the middle before the roastyness returns to wrap up the drink. Alcoholic warmth hits as i swallow, but this dissipates as it warms.

Smooth and heavy in the mouth. Finished the bottle myself and was craving more as the final sip went down. As a casual/passive Davis fan, I've never heard the entire album in question but will give it a listen ASAP!

brystmar, Sep 28, 2010
Photo of alpinebryant
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into Tulip from 750 ml bottle.

A: Pours a dark chocolate with a nice mocha head at first later just lacing the glass with tan bubbles.

S: Cocoa, chocolate , some specialty malts of caramel similarity

T: Taste of strong cocoa, delicious caramelized sugars present in here with some vanilla, honey and some sweet dark fruit. Finish is slightly wet as I like a stout, not dry and ashy. Relatively thin I thought for the style although quite flavorful and very smooth. I can definitely appreciate the smooth body of this beer especially for a RIS. One of the thinner but smoother stouts I have had and with a nice slightly belgian feel to it. Well done DFH, my favorite large format bottle from them...

alpinebryant, Sep 28, 2010
Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter from a cool 750ml bottle. Listened to Miles Davis Porgy and Bess since I don't have the Bitches Brew Album.

A - Very nice looking jet black, no light shall pass. Thin light tan head that disappears quickly. Slightly viscous.

S - Delicious aroma! woe Im quite impressed. Starts off with some nice slightly roasted coffee beans. Good strong roasted malt backbone that also hints at some chocolate. Slight sweet honey hints is nicely and promptly followed by some slight berry almost cherry like sweetness and tartness with some raisins as well. Very nice aroma.

T & M - Flavors starts off with some nice fluffy roasted coffee flavors. The sweetness is there yet not as sharp as other RIS, still very delicious. Honey sweetness is present and mixes well with the same berry like flavor that was perceived in the nose. As it finishes there is a nice tart favor that mixes with some nice slight hop. There is a good dry character at the end that also accompanies a slight salty flavor that isn't as bad as it sounds. It slightly oily in the mouth with nice complexity and good strong carbonation that doesn't necessarily hit you too quick.

D - Very solid RIS. I enjoy other better but still its interesting to have the honey and the Gesho in there. Drinkability is higher because the booze isn't as perceivable in the flavor.

JoEBoBpr, Sep 28, 2010
Photo of RedChrome
3.95/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thick black liquid fills the glass. A half an inch of dark brown head floats for a while without sign of receding. Opaque body prohibits any sight of carbonation bubbling. Lacing in large webs down the glass.

A nice blend of roasted malt with a light sweetness that reminds me of the honey. A light caramel scent in the back of the nose. Overall a nice aroma, but not strong enough.

Great flavors of malt are reminiscent of toasted pumpernickel. Sweetness of the honey and a nice bitter finish. A light finish of fruit hints at dark cherry flavors.

Large burst of carbonation on the tongue. Flavors shift as the beer clings on the sides of the mouth.

A good brew. Perfect without pairing but rather as a dessert beer by itself. Only drawback from being great is the general weakness of the aroma. Definitely worth checking out for yourself.

RedChrome, Sep 27, 2010
Photo of pmlondrigan
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to my gf for this. Pours deep drown/black with a dense chestnut head. Fades to a chestnut ring. Smells like milk chocolate, vanilla, and light aroma of coffee some roasty malts. Could be more aromatic, but nice. Flavor makes up for aroma. Strong chocolate flavors, vanilla, slightly oaty, nice malt charecter with very light bitterness, finishes with a clear coffee note and then clean. Drinks real well for a ris. Clean finish, not cloying, a pleasure to drink. One main complaint, less dense and rich then a ris should be.

pmlondrigan, Sep 27, 2010
Photo of TKEbeerman
3.75/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my SNXXX glass, this bitch pours an impressive deep ebony black with a mocha colored head. More then what I expected.

S:The aroma is lacking what a good RIS should. Coffee is slightly present, with the usual roasted malt, but nothing stands out, nothing strikes you.

T: The flavor is smooth, but again nothing impressive. Roasted malt, dominate notes of chocolate with a little coffee in the background. Honey kind of throws off the flavor and really doesn't belong. I never had an Ethiopian beer, so I;m not familiar with gesho, but it doesn't seem like it's doing this bitch any good.

MF/D: The mouthfeel and drink are this beers savior. Mouthfeel is pleasantly bubbly and therefor creamy. Drinkability is great for an RIS, but then again this brew is no where near the intensity that an RIS should be.

Overall, DFH really is not one of my favorite breweries. Seems like they can brew a few good beers, but the rest of them are either overpriced, too much of an experiment, or just bland.

TKEbeerman, Sep 26, 2010
Photo of JamnesCameron
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this from Cuzco (Nate) in the blind bombers BIF. Thanks Nate!

Poured this into a snifter. Pours black as night, no light what so ever gets through, even at the thinner spots on the glass. A dark tan head, about one finger, does not last. Very little whisp of foam left on top and a little lacing.

Aromas of mocha coffee, a little vanilla. Nice roasty flavor without coming across as harsh. This is just chocolate and coffee in your face. No hop aroma at all.

First sip is chocolate, then chocolate, then chocolate...and did I mention chocolate? Some sweet coffee hides in there, too. No hop bitterness, all the bitterness is from the roasted malts. Very strong impression of a dark chocolate bar.

Mouthfeel is very thin for what I was expecting from an Impy stout. Not chewy at all. This I would call watery on first impressions. Though after a few sips, it feels more silky and creamy on my tongue. As it warms, it develops a better body, like a college freshman (can't mention anything younger for fear of being labelled a perv).

Drinkability is very good. This would make a nice night cap. Not feeling the alcohol at all, can finish the whole bottle solo in one sitting. I wish I had one (or ten) to cellar.

JamnesCameron, Sep 26, 2010
Miles Davis' Bitches Brew from Dogfish Head Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 3,004 ratings.