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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.

3,014 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,014
Reviews: 837
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 11.69%
Wants: 421
Gots: 1,091 | FT: 56
Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Brewery visit their website
Delaware, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
In honor of the 40th anniversary of the original release of Bitches Brew, Miles Davis' 1970 paradigm-shifting landmark fusion breakthrough, we've created our own Bitches Brew -- a bold, dark beer that's a fusion of three threads of imperial stout and one thread of honey beer with gesho root. It's a gustatory analog to Miles' masterpiece.

38 IBU

(Beer added by: TheFightfan1 on 06-13-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,014 | Reviews: 837 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of thehbchemistry
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pitch black with a thin layer of mocha head. Definitely can't see through this one.

S - Smells of chocolate and heavy spice/honey combination. Never tried gesho before but it smells really strong.

T - Tastes really good surprisingly, as I am not a huge fan of spices. The honey brings together the chocolate and spice flavor with a subtle hint of alcohol at the end.

M - Mouthfeel is great, the alcohol is not over powering whatsoever and it feels silky as I continue to sip on this. The carbonation is spot on and makes this a good sipper.

D - Another great job by the guys at DFH. They are definitely raising the bar by brewing with abnormal ingredients. Bought an extra bottle to cellar :)

thehbchemistry, Oct 07, 2010
Photo of larryi86
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter

A- Black with a one finger dark tan/brown head

S- Different and good. Mainly roasted coffee and chocolate with hint of honey, fruit/grapes, and earthy leafs. It mixes together very well.

T- Very close to the smell. Coffee taste is dominant front, but the honey and gesho do come out and give the beer a nice balance and unique flavor.

M- Medium body and smooth. I was really thinking that it was going to be thicker and creamier like most Imperial Stout I have had.

D- Really a great, easy to drink 9% ABV beer. The taste really makes it worth trying. I feel the only down fall is the mouthful is too light. I may try to get another bottle or two for aging. Definitely worth trying, just another unique beer from DFH.

larryi86, Oct 07, 2010
Photo of Onenote81
3.73/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Had this beer on-tap at the Flying Saucer in Charlotte on 9/23/10. Reviewed from notes.

Pretty excited to see this on-tap, but it came with a bit of a price tag. $10 for a pint of this. Yikes. Hope it's worth it. Came out an uber-thick pitch black. No light penetrance at all. Half-inch dark mocha head on top. Good lace left behind after each sip. Very rich nose on this one. Light herbal notes, alcohol, wine, chocolate, dark roasted coffee.

The flavor was a bit different. Sort of an herbal, medicinal taste, with an odd aftertaste. Pretty sweet for what it was. Some milk chocolate, nutty flavors noted, but the finish was just odd. Creamy, thick mouth. Luscious. Drinkability was hindered due to the depth, ABV and odd flavored-finish. I enjoyed it, but I wouldn't pay this price again for it.

Onenote81, Oct 06, 2010
Photo of headbucket
3.8/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: black with a very nice dark mocha color head that rises maybe half inch with a good pour,then recedes and maintains a slight head throughout. Color of head lightens a bit as it sits, small patches of lace left on glass.

Smell: more subdued than most RIS I have had. Dark roasty smell with a bit of sweetness.

Taste: follows the smell. Dark,malty,roasted taste,a bit of chocolate. A different kind of sweetnes than is usual in other RIS, probably due to the honey which I think adds more than just sweetness, but its hard to describe.tastes a bit like a dark toffee.

Mouthfeel: smooth and slick, goes down pretty easy.

Drinkability/Overall: a different and interesting RIS. I would like to try this beer without the "honey thread" that is in it. I think I might like that a bit more without the added sweetness and flavor of the honey. A bit sweeter than I would care to drink a full bottle o n my own of. Not too much alcohol heat for being 9% though.

2nd time drinking Bitches Brew:
I am drinking a bottle from the second release, so it has been a few months since I bought this.

I am enjoying this more the second time having this, after drinking a Hellhound on My Ale earlier in the night. I would bump the taste and overall up to 4's. The dark/sweet/honey flavor seems a little more subdued and well integrated this time around and I am enjoying it much more now. It has a nice chocolate, dark coffee, leather flavor with minor honey presence, mostly in the aftertaste. This time around I would give this beer a solid B/B+(not sure if that is what it work out to with the improved scores) but I am enjoying this a good deal more the second time, and would pick it up another time.
Screw it, I'm changing my numbers to reflect how I would rate this beer this time.

headbucket, Oct 06, 2010
Photo of Huhzubendah
3.68/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by durwoodx. Thanks Darrell!

Label art paying hommage to some of the most amazing jazz ever recorded.

A: Deep black with a beige head that leaves a bit of lacing on the glass.

S: Honey and spices that I don't recognize. Roasted malt in the background.

T: Another odd beer from Dogfish Head. I am all for exploration and creativity, but in this case, I would much rather have a traditional RIS without any esoteric ingredients. This is certainly a unique beer, which I suppose was the brewery's intention, though I much prefer simple beer that tastes great over oddities such as this.

M: Notwithstanding the flavor, the feel itself is pretty decent, and typical of what one might expect from a 9% imperial stout.

D: This was ok, but there's no way I would buy this expensive, weird beer again. It was fun to try.

Huhzubendah, Oct 05, 2010
Photo of DNICE555
4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the B with Larsonstyle

Free from the bartender that Zapps got a number from but didn't call him because she has a boyfriend.

Thin black look with a khaki head

Chocolate, Coffee, Smoke, Honey. Nothing too overpowering. A nice mixture.

Chocolate, Caramel, Honey, Licorice. The honey is reall nice and adds to the depth of the flavor. Nice lasting aftertaste as well. Much thicker than the look and aroma.

Full bodied stout that is very balanced despite all the components. Very nice feel to it.

9 percent??? I would not have guessed it. Slightly warming at worst. Very well hidden. I actually really enjoyed this one. Hopefully they may bring this one back in the future.

DNICE555, Oct 05, 2010
Photo of joepais
3.93/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle split three ways among friends. Poured into pint glasses. It produced a three finger tan head sitting on top of a pitch black colored brew.

The honey gave me a lasting impression in the nose. It was almost dominant. I did get some slight roast or, was it my mind trying to find it there. The flavor was reminiscent of a sweet chocolate bar with a light coffee flavor. There was no trace of the alcohol present in the flavors or the nose. It had a strong medium feel to it with good carbonation.

It was a easy to drink stout I could have grabbed a second glass if available. I will grab a second bottle to age some and see how things settle out

joepais, Oct 03, 2010
Photo of gregshead
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured this with a friend last weekend. Took the notes.

A: Thick dark black with a finger of head. Not as dark/brown of a head as some RISs but still good looking

S: Roasted grain and sweet honey seem to be the ones I can pick out. There isn't a ton of smell to it.

T: Wow, very interesting taste. There are the typical roasted grains, vanilla tastes. But then, there are some really unique flavors. There is a bitter taste that seems to come from something other than the hops. Either the roasted grains or maybe the gesha root.

M: Smooth. I don't think I would describe this one as creamy. There is some good carbonation. Typically I might find this amount of carbonation for a RIS over the top. But with the flavors of this beer, it fits.

D: A very enjoyable and unique RIS. I think DFH did create a beer very much in the theme of the album they named it after. The only upsetting thing about this beer is I might not be able to try this one again. Hope they consider brewing this one again.

gregshead, Oct 03, 2010
Photo of Vdubb86
4.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a pint glass

Big thanks to my homeboi TMoney2591 for sharing this tasty lick with us.

This brew looks like one tasty bitch. It pours a nice viscous darkness that is topped by a finger of light brown foam. The aromas are similar to cocoa nibs and bit of coffee. Other smells I detect range from oak to woodsy characters like maple. I believe that I detect a hint of orange zest as well on the nose trailed by the alcohol vapor. The taste is unbelievably good. The flavors I believe exist are cocoa powder, the hint of coffee, marshmallow, what seems to be the smooth spiciness of root beer, some either molasses or brown sugar as well as some honey mixed it to smooth it all together. Damn, this thing is smooth as silk for being this high of gravity. If it weren't for the alcohol, which you can barely taste in my opinion, I could seriously drink this all night long. This is a fantastic beer one of my favorites all time.

Vdubb86, Oct 03, 2010
Photo of TMoney2591
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Dirty John's tulip pint glass.

I was more than pleased with the test batch o' this, so the real thing has me jazzed indeed. It pours a deadly black topped by over a finger of darkish tan foam. The nose comprises molasses, roasted malts, brown sugar, toasted marshmallow, and a touch of orange peel. The taste is nearly identical, though the honey lends a decent amount of unique sweetness in there as well. Strangely, the finish is rather abrupt, as though the flavors were flash evaporated (remember all that science-y crap we learned from Armageddon and History Channel shows about the end of the world?). Weird. The body is a stolid medium, with a light carbonation and a very smooth feel (almost nitro-tap smooth). Overall, this beat out the test batch. Man, am I glad I got to sup from this fount!

TMoney2591, Oct 03, 2010
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
Miles Davis' Bitches Brew from Dogfish Head Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 3,014 ratings.