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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
94
outstanding

3,301 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,301
Reviews: 865
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 11.69%
Wants: 444
Gots: 1,200 | FT: 59
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: 3,301 | Reviews: 865 | Display Reviews Only:
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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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"!

Photo of SQUIDPORT
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Found this at a local Liquor store, I frequently visit. $19.99 though, the price is right for a fan of Miles Davis. Nice collectors bottle.

A: Pours a dark rich black with 1 inch head, tan brown.

S: Light sweet smelling malts, more chocolate scent as it warms up. You get a bit of the alcohol smell with a deep sniff.

T: Smooth a bit of chocolate with notes of coffee. A little bitter with slight honey after taste.

M: Very smooth, a bit thin for my palate but overall it is pleasant.

D: Very drinkable but I wouldn't pay another $20 for a bottle. If you can find one it would make a great gift for someone who enjoys stouts or is a Miles Davis fan. Worth trying but split the cost with a friend & sample together.

Photo of GregSVT
4.47/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml capped bottle into a snifter

A: Pours a deep black with a nice dark brown head that fades to a ring leaving some lacing on the glass.

S: Big aromas of cocoa, dark fruits, and honey. Smells very rich and super tasty.

T: The taste confirms the nose with big flavors of dark fruits, cocoa, vanilla, and a touch of honey.

M: The feel is thick and chewy with a great amount of creamy carbonation.

D: One of the better non-barrel aged stouts I've had. I'm a fan of sweeter stouts so this one hit me just right.

Photo of smakawhat
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Regathering notes from tasting on this one, I thought I already put this up. Bottled 2010, consumed Sept 2010 back in the day. Poured into my Dogfish Head snifter.

Very dark black stout looking of course on the pour, good cocoa like bubbles of brown on the head. Good sticking lace too.

Muted nose with some honey, unfortunately I can't say much more about it than that. It was a small nose that I do know.

Taste improves dramatically. Chocolate notes, and honey stickyness on the lips. Very milkshake like in feel and palate. Sweet honey finish on the lips, but also a little chalky in the mouth and palate. Some soda like carbonation on the back end of the after-taste.

Really solid one here for the fish!

Photo of emagana
3.73/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured in a tulip glass.
developes a brown tanish head with great lacing as it drops.
dark brownish almost black.
has a mint like aroma and a refreshing cold pepermint tone. those aromas over power any roast that the beer may contain. sort of medicinal now that i think about it.
The flavors come and mirror the aromas. refreshing and mint like. i wish this one had more raost back bone. not a bad beer by any means. different at that which calls for attention after a few sips.
thin mouthfeel but balance.
this beer is deserving of mint chocolate.

Photo of BeerCon5
4.4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown, almost black with almost two fingers of coffee colored fluffy head that remains throughout the beer.

The scent is of chocolate, roasted malt, some coffee notes.

The taste is of roasted malts, dark fruit, cocoa, some burnt coffee.

Full bodied, thick and creamy, low carbonation.

This was a good RIS, lots of balanced flavor, thick and filling so its tough to finish a whole bottle.

Photo of Ryan011235
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter on 2/15/11

Bottled in 2010 D

Dark, scorched brown color; settles much darker. One finger of porous, toasted brown head holds for a minute before dropping to a patch bubbles & skimmed foam. Some drippy lace.

In the bottle the smell was sweet with a strong honey note. Once in the glass the honey is relegated to the peripheries leaving space that is filled by an herbal aroma - presumably the Gesho root. Dry, roasted undertones with some tangy aspects. Coffee & some unsweetened cocoa.

Similarly dry & roasted, the stout aspect of the beer is definitely the dominant feature; this is a good thing. Lots of roasted, burnt coffee & some chocolate; simple but well-crafted. This is accented by a nice bitter kick (again, probably the Gesho). Honey is at a minimum; nothing is too sweet here.

A full, smooth feel is melded with something of a gritty, resiny aspect. Moderate carbonation adds a bit of fizzle on the back half; not at all out of place. Dry, earthy, roasted finish.

After having a sample on tap a few months ago, I was skeptical going into this (I found it thin & too herbal). I've really enjoyed my half of the bottle; even more so as it warms up. Good stuff.

Photo of Avagadro
4.55/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Bitches Brew's ebony body is marked by a creamy chocolate head, and oily demeanor, and an odd bubbling, almost as if it is fermenting in my goblet.

S: Aroma is upfront and intriguing. I don't know what this root is supposed to be like, but I presume that it is it that I am smelling. It reminds me slightly of a mild mint, maybe with a touch of ginger.

T: Slightly sweet, with heavy notes of chocolate, and more of the intriguing ginger/mint flavor. I know my description doesn't sound appealing, but it truly is tasty.

M: The body is gigantic, oily, and devoid of carbonation.

D: This is easily one of the most unique brews I have ever tasted. Not only is it impressive in its originality, but it is delicious through-and-through. I am happy that I was lucky enough to find a bottle of this before it faded out. I am a gigantic fan of Miles davis, and I am delighted to see him remembered in such a delicious manner.

Photo of generallee
4.53/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 1pint 9.6oz bottle into a tulip glass. The label has a nice description and abv (9%) but no freshness date.

Appearance: The pour is slow and thick like the darkest used motor oil. Its body is a very dark brown to black color and opaque. Up top a tall brown head sits and slowly settles to small cap of dark tan foam that makes tons of lacing all the way down the glass.

Smell: In the nose I pick up its sweet and roasty malt lots of chocolaty cocoa notes. Deep in the background are very light earthy herbal hints of hops or maybe the gesho root.

Taste/Palate: There is a mellow honey like character just coming through but the sweetness seems to come more from the dark roasty and chocolaty malt. Its not all sweet and do get some coffee notes and mellow herbal bitterness with a slight side of earthy/woody tannic bitterness. This gives some balance to the finish and rounds everything out nicely. Its palate is full bodied, very smooth and creamy on the tongue with mellow carbonation.

Notes: In my opinion this beer lives up to hype and delivers a symphonic or harmonious and Blues like interpretation of a stout beer. Well done!!!

Photo of coachdonovan
3.03/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

According to the stamp, bottled in 2010, but that goes without saying since it was only made once. Really wanted to drink this while watching an episode of Brewmasters, but I guess I cellared this beyond the show's shelf life.

After a hard pour from the big bottle, it looks obviously like a stout - jet black - and the color of the head is a dark tan. At first glance it looks like a Guinness, but the head doesn't have the same staying power. It doesn't stick around like a Guinness draft, just a soapy trail on the glass.

Aroma is overwhelmingly chocolately, and it reminds me a lot of Rogue Chocolate Stout. Taste is similar except there's a little funky fruitiiness added. Maybe that's the gesho; I can't say that's a flavor that I can readily identify. It's certainly a different take, and on the plus side I can say that the ABV is hidden, but I'm not crazy about the taste. It wears me out pretty quickly.

Photo of jdhilt
3.9/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a three finger brown head that fades slowly to a thin layer leaving a good lace. Black color - no highlights. Good carbonation and heavy bodied. Nose is earthy and roasted coffee, flavor is same - earthy and roasted to burnt coffee. Not finding the honey. The higher ABV is hidden. $11.00 for a 750ml bottle from Tully's Beer & Wine Wells, ME.

Photo of IronDjinn
3.35/5  rDev -20%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Okay, so I broke down and got a bottle of this stuff, especially considering DFH will be scarce in my neck of the woods for a while. And I do adore Miles Davis and this album....

From a 750 ml brown bottle. Pours out pitch black, tall dense creamy tan head with great retention. Can't fault the appearance of this stout, it covers all the bases.

Sharp rich floral sweetness on the nose, some dark and roasted malt beneath it, a hint of spice.

Spicy and floral cloying sweetness up front in the flavour, coffee-like dark malt in the middle, with a spicy and eecalyptus-like bitter astringency on the finish. Bitter roast joins it in the aftertaste.

Medium-bodied mouthfeel, silky slick texture, with some mild carbonation.

The quality isn't lacking in this beer, but a sense of cohesion is. There's no harmony with the key elements/characteristics within this beer, it's just a wham, and a bam, but there's no thank you ma'am. The palate eventually gets used to what is going on, however it still only remains an interesting experiment, but still a cacophany on the tastebuds. The jazz element doesn't translate as well across the palate.

Photo of MadBeerX
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It was much different, it held up to the uproar and delivered Dogfish level quality. Of course there was the honey drizzled chocolate bar, but the "geshu" was hard to identify; solely because I've never experienced it before.

I am more interested to see how it tastes in exactly 2 years, although I wouldn't let this one go for to long.

Hope you find some.

Photo of charlzm
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Consumed February 16th, 2011.

Pours black into my Triple Petrus tulip with a two-finger dark brown head. In a couple of minutes, that head has reduced to a thin but sticky sheeting.

Several aromas mingle: dark roasted malts, cocoa, powdered sugar and honey. This beer smells very sweet.

The flavor is interesting. It has the base character of an oatmeal stout: smooth and oaty. There is a dark, sweet fruit component (dates? red grapes?) and lasting bitterness on the finish. Somewhere in the midtaste is a fleeting glimpse of citrus (like lemon) and maybe some honey, though I can't be sure. It may be wishful thinking because I know it was an ingredient. There's also a subtle ashy flavor.

Mouthfeel is well-carbonated: sharp, almost burning tingling and a fairly clean finish save for aforementioned and mild bitterness.

It's not mind-blowing, but it's a good, solid ten dollar bottle of RIS. I'll be aging a few of these and will see what happens with time.

Photo of jsh420
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours dark black with a 1 finger dark tan head that left some spotted lacing

smells of strong milk chocolate, little vanilla, and a tiny bit of fruit

taste - first thing that hits my buds is a tangy fruit malt some honey then on the back end is the chocolate and dark roasted malts

mouthfeel is a medium body beer with good carbonation

drinkability is great - a very easy drinking impy stout with big flavors and a lighter body - i would like to see this brewed once a year

Miles Davis' Bitches Brew from Dogfish Head Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 3,301 ratings.