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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.

3,238 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,238
Reviews: 855
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 11.69%
Wants: 435
Gots: 1,175 | 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: 3,238 | Reviews: 855 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of AlCaponeJunior
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very black with subtle reddish overtones. One finger brown head subsided into a sheen, with a ring around the outside of the glass. Fine, whispy lacing that sticks all over the glass.

Smells of chocolate, malts, coffee, and honey.

Tastes very nice, not at all over the top, but very well balanced. Coffee, chocolate malts, honey, and an earthy, woody flavor all blend together to make a very nice RIS.

Feel is slick, thick, full bodied, and a bit silky, presumably from the honey. As it warms it becomes smoother and silkier.

Drinks well for the style. I'd certainly like to drink this beer again. It very much grows on you by the time you're done with the bottle.

AlCaponeJunior, Jan 17, 2011
Photo of snaotheus
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle poured into a big goblet shaped glass

Pours dark, tarry black, with almost no head, very slow and very fine carbonation. Totally opaque. Smell is dark fruity, chocolate, coffee, and something burnt (maybe burnt sugar?). Roasty, malty, heavy smell. More and more coffee is coming out.

Taste is quite good -- roasty bitterness in addition to a little coffee, not as much chocolate in the taste. Little bit of black licorice, some sweetness, but nicely balanced rather than overwhelming.

Mouthfeel is surprisingly light, smooth, with a slight hint of effervescence. Also, surprisingly drinkable for a strong, full flavored beer. Very good.

snaotheus, Jan 16, 2011
Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Purchased at Jackson Wines & Spirits in Lafayette, CA, and brought back to Australia to share with @tobeerornottobe and @LaitueGonflable.

Pours a dark and heavy black - it's only with the greatest effort that I can see any hints of even deep brown to it - with a foamy and sticky head of light brown-beige. Lacing is superb, sitting in comical spiderwebs down the side of the glass. Body looks a little thinner than expected, but otherwise, it's a fabulous looking beer.

Nose is rich, roasted and rather sweet, with a lingering rauch character of smoked malts. Some toasted coconut and high-cocoa chocolate characters, but the smoky, bacony characters alway bring it back to a round savoury note. Very pleasant indeed.

Taste is smooth, but a little thin, and the complexities present on the nose don't quite translate to here. Lots of coffee and deep roasted characters, giving a black and ashy back palate, with a decent sweetness to pull it back, even a hint of blackcurrant. More odd notes come through as well, a slight turkish delight rosewater character and a fluffy marshmallow hint to increase the complexity of the sweetness.

Feel is surprisingly light, but it aids the drinkability.

Nice. A really pleasantly bold, but pleasantly leavened Imperial Stout. I'm nonplussed at the additions, I'm not sure they add much, but this is a very good beer nonetheless.

lacqueredmouse, Jan 15, 2011
Photo of JayQue
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Real good drinkable RIS. Pours a dense black color with a good size tan head. Good head retention and lacing. Smell is standard fare "good RIS" - malty, some chocolate and coffee.

Taste is where the honey and spices show up. The sweetness is expertly blended into this beer. The honey sweetness adds another dimension without disturbing the RIS style. Overall very good flavor.

Mouthfeel is smooth, just right carbonation and rich. This is a tasty beer, goes down well. I could have probably finished the bottle myself.

JayQue, Jan 14, 2011
Photo of Jayli
3.73/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 1
Poured in to my Portsmouth snifter

A: This beer pours a thick, deep, dark opaque brown bordering on black. A two finger of thick creamy medium brown head tops this. Nice head retention and leaves spider webbed lacing all over the glass.

S: Nose is an odd blend of burnt sugars, honey, roasted malts, charred notes, minor hints of chocolate, and a touch of smoke.

T: Taste is nothing like the nose - thank god! Taste has tons of roasted malts, and minor milk chocolate up front. A hint of honey comes through, caramelized sugar before a charred note comes through, bitter chocolate, coffee, a mild hop bite, and a nice hint of smokiness in the finish.

M: Fuller side of medium body, mild carbonation, nice and creamy, silky body.

D: Goes down easily, rather tasty, not too filling, well hidden kick, and a nice representation of style. Aside from the nose, this is a fabulous beer... but the nose on this just wasn't pleasant.

Jayli, Jan 14, 2011
Photo of DIM
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 1 brewed with honey and gesho.

a: This had a black body and it poured with a medium sized, sticky, dark tan colored head.

s: The honey is certainly noticeable and maybe the earthy woodiness is the gesho. I also found some subdued licorice, slightly sour, earthy fruits, and some roasty cocoa. The mild alcohol is well incorporated. This is definitely something different.

t: This isn't a radical departure from a typical imperial stout, but is different enough to make it intriguing. That and its really freakin' tasty. This starts off with strong roasty cocoa cut with some moderate honey sweetness. The roast carries over into the finish where it is joined by earthy wood and light peppermint tingle. This was nicely warm but far from hot.

m: Big, beefy, viscous body and gently fizzy carbonation.

d: DFH 750s have a checkered history with me, but I'm really glad I tried this one. An interesting twist on a big stout without being too twisted.

DIM, Jan 13, 2011
Photo of nataku00
3.95/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap poured into a tulip glass. A dark brown, bordering on black, with just tinges of brown on the edge of the glass. Initial finger of light brown, foamy head slowly dissipated after 5-6 minutes, leaving a little bit of lacing and visible alcohol feet.

Nose was pretty weak initially, but the beer was served a bit cooler than it probably needed. Sweet caramel, milk chocolate initially. After it warmed up a bit more, aroma barely improved, some stronger chocolate notes, and a bit of light roasted malt.

Taking a sip, this is one of the sweeter stouts that I've had. Floral sweetness mingled in a distinctly milk chocolate flavor. Little to no roasted malt until near the finish, where just a hint of darker roasted flavor lingers a bit.

Body was a bit lighter than I expect from an imperial stout, right around medium. Good amount of carbonation helped to keep the taste buds interested, but I would have liked a fuller body.

Immensely drinkable imperial stout as the alcohol is well hidden. Combined with a low-medium body, I had to make sure I slowed down while drinking this as its similar to drinking chocolate milk if you don't pay attention.

nataku00, Jan 13, 2011
Photo of plfahey
4.47/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into a wine glass.

Appearance-Jet black in color. Opaque. Small light tan head with moderate retention and some lacing.

Aroma-My god this smells fantastic. Up front I get a lot of sweetness from the honey-very strong honey aromatics, not like fermented honey aromas, but actual honey-floral, sweet, lemon, and orange-blossom. Underneath the honey are roasted malt smells of chocolate and coffee. Light earthy hops. Wow.

Flavor-Sweet lemon and orange honey flavors blend with the roasty stout characteristics. After the sweet flavors up front, there are big flavors of roasted malt, coffee grounds, and bittersweet chocolate, which carry far into the aftertaste. Some earthy hop flavors emerge in the finish, and hop bitterness is medium low. Not really any alcohol flavor, which is surprising in a beer this high in alcohol. A little on the sweet side, but still good.

Mouthfeel-Moderately full to full in body. Carbonation is medium to medium low. Some alcohol warmth, but surprisingly little for the abv. Exceptionally smooth.

This is very delicious and quite drinkable for a beer with this much flavor and alcohol. Although it was highly hyped, I don't think it's undeserved-another awesome brew from dogfish head.

plfahey, Jan 11, 2011
Photo of jsanford
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark, inky black with ruby highlights and a luscious chocolate mousse head. Retention is great and there's lots of sticky lace on the glass.
S - Tons of dark malt, coffee, chocolate, raisins and, as it warms up, honey. Smells great, the honey adds a nice layer of complexity to what would otherwise be a "standard" RIS.
T - More RIS flavors of dark roast malt, coffee and brown sugar with a generous wallop of honey to add a nice, sweet counterpoint. There's also a very uniquely bitter flavor in the finish that I can't quite put my finger on, I would assume it's from the gesho root.
M - Rich and creamy with a full body and "prickly" carbonation.
D - Split the bottle four ways and had no problem with my glass, could have had a couple more.

Such a great, unique brew. Just when you though everything that could be done to a stout had already been done, DFH comes along and presents something new. Great job!

jsanford, Jan 09, 2011
Photo of pokesbeerdude
3.88/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks goes out to StormKing47 for this in our trade. 750ml bottle into a DFH Signature glass. Batch 2.

A: Pours a very dark brown with a tan colored head. About half an inch thick that recedes to a small island of bubbles. Excellent spots of lacing once the head recedes. Beer is practically black in the glass. Very nice looking beer.

S: Initially not a whole lot, some of the more trademark stout notes of coffee and roasted malts, a few hints of chocolate and some deep earthy notes that I can't recognize must be the gesho root. Has some definitely noticeable notes of booze. Some more notes of cocoa powder really shine as it continues to warm.

T: Some strong flavors cocoa and coffee as well, this is definitely an odd stout though. Earthy woody tones of bark and raw honey really start to shine the more it warms but not to the level of overpowering the stout flavors. Finishes with a decently strong note of booze. The bitterness is mostly subdued and unlike any hop profile that I've experienced before, very earthy and woody as well. Definitely odd, and not your everyday stout. Enjoyable nonetheless.

M: The body is just about right but this beer is completely overcarbonated, for a big stout I don't like carbonation at this level. Fairly warm but not overwhelmingly boozey. Dial the carbonation down a bit and this would be a lot better.

D: I split this 750ml with my girlfriend, and we thoroughly enjoyed it but would definitely not tackle a second bottle. Very interesting beer. Is it a fair branding of Miles' album? No, not even close, but I'm not offended. This is a nice beer and a cool concept. Knock back the carbonation and it would be a winner. Definitely glad to try it.

pokesbeerdude, Jan 08, 2011
Photo of RossCain
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750ml bottle into a tulip

A: Dark, jet black with a viscosity of motor oil as it poured. As the brew settled in the glass, a fluffy cocoa colored head of about 1" settled in with it. Good head retention which left splotchy patches and rings around the glass after each sip.

S: 75% sweet cocoa, 20% honey, and 5% faint aromas of dark fruit (prunes/raisins). Inviting

T: Upon sipping, there is a very pronounced rush of roastiness accentuated by notes of semi-sweet dark chocolate and an ensuing bitterness of dark roast coffee. Slightly smokey. However, before the bitterness of the typical Imperial Stout flavor profile overwhelms the palate, a sweet influx of honey dulls the bitter edge. Overall, the honey is present but by no means the dominant tasting note; it really eases the palate taxing nature of the typical Imperial Stout finish.

M: Smooth texture, medium-full body with good carbonation lively enough to keep the beer drinkable. A sweet, mouth coating aftertaste was definitely present which well masked the 9% abv bite. However, it was not a creamy as I was expecting it to be.

D: A very smooth drinking experience which by no means stressed my palate to the extent that other rich stouts have. Some might be turned off by the sweetness but to me, this was an added complexity to the experience which really brought the beer to a new level of drinkable. Dangerous considering the abv.

RossCain, Jan 07, 2011
Photo of tozz8
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1 Pint 9.4 fl. oz. (25.4 oz.) bottle served with a schooner glass.

A--Black with a ruby-brown hue when held to the light. Small bits of mocha-colored foam formed when poured into the small glass

S--I smell chocolate. as it warms up some honey comes through. Alcohol is present but its warming, not offensive

T--Chocolate and Honey! but it was too sweet. They blended together nicely to give some subtle yet powerful flavors.

M--Thick and warming. Just a touch of carbonation.

D--a Fantastic beer. DFH hits this one out of the park

The place I went had "3 new Dogfish Head beers this week" on their reader board. I asked what they were and the young waitress informed me that they were:

1. Burt batten(Burton Baton)
2. 'Panega or something--It has an ingredient from every continent!' she tells me(Pangea)
3. The other one is 'a bottle'. (Miles Davis' Bitches Brew)

I asked what the one in 'a bottle' was. She said 'I guess I can check.' Me--"Would you please?" She comes back and tells me "Its like 3 different beers in one . . ." I interjected "Whats the name of it?" She came back and said "Its Birches brew or Breaches brew???" I ordered the one in 'a bottle.' It turned out that she didn't want to say the name because of the word 'Bitches'. Although she didn't get all the names right, I was still impressed that she knew about the Pangea. She gave great service all night and I tipped her well for it.

I know this story may not belong in the review but it was part of my experience with this beer and I wanted to record for anyone that might find it interesting or amusing.

tozz8, Jan 07, 2011
Photo of asabreed
3.8/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

25.6 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass and shared with my brother. I waited until we were able to watch the first Brewmasters episode until cracking this.

Appearance: Darker than I'd anticipated, as I thought the Tej brew would lighten this up a bit. Not so. Opaque, with an extremely dense and coffee-colored head. Lots of good retention and lacing too.

Smell: The base of this is certainly a RIS, as there's a ton of burnt sugar, mild coffee, dark and roasted malts, and some sweetness coming in. As it warms, the honey seems to impart some nice toasted or slightly burned caramel and brown sugar flavors, almost like a syrup was poured in.

Taste: From a colder temperature all the way until it warms, I just can't get over the sweetness from the Tej beer. There are some great initial burnt and toasted flavors: caramel and brown sugar, some vanilla, cream, and some coffee acridity. But as soon as those dissipate, the honey kind of overtakes everything. You can tell it's a good quality and rich honey here, but I feel like maybe they used a little too much to create the brew. I imagine because of the sweetness, this actually may be fantastic to those who like their stouts a little sweeter, and less charred. It's interesting and certainly way above average, but for me that element takes it down ever-so-slightly in the end. Finishes with honey, burnt caramel, and roasted malts, with, again, the sweetness being the dominant factor here.

Mouthfeel: Rich and velvety, and bigger bodied without being cloying, thankfully, especially because of the prominent taste of the Tej.

Drinkability: Certainly worth picking up just for the label, and that's not even discussing the contents inside. That said, I do think this was a great idea, and it was executed well. I think they achieved what they set out to do, and though it's not 100% my thing, I enjoyed it, and I hope they keep up the trend with these anniversary releases speaking to great pieces of art.

asabreed, Jan 07, 2011
Photo of RankRefugee88
4.55/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into over-sized wine glass.

A - Very dark, almost opaque in the body. Very dark looking head.

S - Smells great. Honey and chocolate. The honey is one of the first things I smell, it's very prevalent.

T - Delicious. Wasn't expecting it to be this good. One of the most dynamic tastes in a stout that I have ever had. A lot going on, and in this case it is a very good thing. Has a sweet honey and chocolate taste upfront and has a bit of the bitter bourbon and coffee bean taste at the end. I wouldn't call it a bittersweet taste, I would call it a sweetbitter taste. Very good.

M - Creamy, extremely dry on the finish. Surprisingly not heavy at all for being a 9% stout.

D - Extremely easy to consume. For a 9% stout it's pretty damn light and smooth.

This is probably the best beer I've ever experienced from Dogfish head. I have to give them real credit for this one and I hope it gets brewed again at some point. Just an all around amazing stout, one of the best I've ever had.

RankRefugee88, Jan 05, 2011
Photo of harrymel
3.48/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

1/3/11 - on tap @ Jones Radiator Shop, Spokane, WA

A: Dark brown, red cherry with great clarity for a stout. Dark tan 2 finger head lingers with meringue viscosity. Laces throughout glass.

S: Honey, straw, soil, rye bread, cocoa, coffee, more cocoa and espresso.

T: Bitter up front, this ale presents cocoa, honey, light florals, espresso and again, rye bread. Finish is unusual with a slight, hint of citrus.

M: Slick, creamy, heavy body with low carbonation. The surprise here is that the gesho root leaves the palate dry at finish - unusual for the style.

D: Good beer. Worth a try. Good to drink. Worth the hype? Not nearly. That being said, I have several bottles I plan to age...

harrymel, Jan 04, 2011
Photo of letsgopens
3.83/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled on-tap at the Wexford Ale House in Wexford, PA. Pours a palpable ink black with a thick, frothy, mocha brown head that holds its shape well. A thick cap of foam holds its ground as the majority of the head recedes.

Lots of coffee and very sweet molasses in the nose. Hints of raw honey and toffee. Dutch baking cocoa as well. A hint of anis and sugary char. Sticky, sweet dark fruit is present also.

Pungent but very palatable. Lots of roasted black malt. Espresso and dark/bitter chocolate. A great deal of dark fruit: fig, black current and burnt raisin. The honey sticks out a great deal, raw with some initial mild astringency but then becomes smoother and more mellow as you drink and the palate adjusts. Soft floral notes; clover and freshly scraped vanilla pods. A hint of booze sits at the end along with a lingering and slightly burdening sweetness.

Matted and mellow on the palate. Creamy and slick throughout but ends with a semidry finish. Fluffier after a few warmed sips. Decidedly drinkable, especially for the complexity and, for lack of a better term, harsh components. A very enjoyable beer experience to be sure. Did not disappoint.

letsgopens, Jan 04, 2011
Photo of clarkm04
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

From notes on a 12/30 bottle tasting.

Appearance- Very dark almost midnight with slight rubby red appearance. Medium dark tan head retention

Smell- Hiints of roasted barley and faint alcohol note.

Taste- Very chocolate, roasty, coffee notes up front. Slides into a nice sweet/bittersweet chocolate finish Very creamy throughout. Not dry. No real taste of honey but very well balanced between the flavor notes and the bittering hops. So creamy and balanced. Very easy to drink and highly enjoyable.

Mouthfeel- Very unique for a stout. Incredibly creamy and light. Sits delicately on the tongue which is unusal for a 9% ABV stout.

Drinkability- Very high for a stout/imperial stout

Overall- Very good and highly recommended. Very stunning and I hope DFH produces more than just two batches of this beer. I wish I had another bottle for aging to see how the beer changes over time. I loved the twist on the stout and it was a blast to drink after rewatching the Brewmasters episode featuring Bitches Brew.

clarkm04, Jan 04, 2011
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Boom, boo, boom, boo, boom, boo...booom, whaa, whaaa, wha...wha-aaaa

Fusion of African and American styles, (if you call Imperial Stout American, which you should), much as jazz was born of African rhythm and American innovation, and that Bitches Brew is the cornerstone of jazz-rock fusion.

baddup, baddup, baddup, baddup, badd-yup, bree-dow...

baddup, baddup, baddup, baddup, beyyoup, breedown, dow, dow, booom...

it's dark as a witch's cauldron, yep, kettle-black, with a rich, roasty brown head, somewhat slim, long-lasting, looking the perfect part of a stout.

and now the bass, then the sticks, and here comes Chick (or is it Joe?), and Miles walks back in, strutting with some horn, Lenny lays it down, Dave keeps it tight, Miles runs it down, lets it flow, blows it out...echo, echo, reverb, reverb, backbeat, funky flow...it's grooving...

You couldn't ask for a better nose, nice and roasty, rich and toasty, bittersweet, cocoa, some hops, but mostly malt, little sweet, creamy, just a touch of bitter...

for some sweet, here comes Wayne Shorter, blasting his soprano saxophone, ...beautiful...funky keyboard riffs, Lenny gets it rocking, bass is bumping...

And McLaughlin is ripping now, keeps it funky, keeps it rocking, ...some space, some room for riffing, mellow ripples on the musical pond, keys keep a funky feel, Chick and Joe going at it, accents from John, while Lenny kicks it, it's all percolating, it's bubble, bubble, boil, and trouble, and Miles pops out of the cauldron again, twisting new flavors from this murky morass, this mystic blend.

eye of newt, leg of crow...pinch of crumbled spider web...

Taste: bittersweet roasted malt flavor comes first, with a mellow undertow. Sweetness and honey, then comes the chocolate, and the roast. Grainy, earthy,
Trumpet blasts, and suddenly we get reeds, along comes Wayne on soprano, slinking like some black medium, a serpent come along to guile the innocents the witches will pray upon....It's a bit like tasting a stew and trying to guess the ingredients without looking. I know what comprises this fusion, how are they contributing to what I taste? What part of the tej plays into the stout, how much imperial is left? All good questions...expertly matched sweetness, matches with hops and roasted malt.

and spasmodic displays of keyboard dexterity, shadows of major and minor chords, strike out to convey a mood of menace, while the guitars trace a plot of intrigue, and the trumpet comes along to spell it out.

buddup, buddup, buddup, buddup., buddup, budd-yaa, yaddattatttaa, ta- da....

I can feel a lighter part of what should be a very thick, heavy stout, a lessening of spirit, here, some sweeter part carves a hole in a dark, wicked greater sum. Bitterness remains minor, but the dark, twisted, wretched, sinister strumming prevails. Corea is still hanging on to those dark, minor chords, while Davis drops in , and sends his bombs, hitting the terrain, with rhythmic aplomb, Lenny keeps the groove, Dave and Harvey hold it down, Joe adds his particular spices, all the while Miles keeps popping in his own sauce.

The brew itself is a brilliant blend of menace and delight, with the tej deftly folding and contouring the larger and louder parts of the imperial stout that comprise 2/3 of this mix. You don't so much taste the honey, but it's influence is there, much as Miles' bebop origins creep into and interweave these rock rhythms and create something incredibly new.

Drumbeats keep everything rocking, keyboards add their licks, bass tosses in some grooves, and here and there our trumpet man sends out his signals. It's a wicked witchcraft thrown down here, alarms sent out to warn all, far and wide, of the crones doing deeds foul and offensive, ..this ale, though, ...we can taste and survive. The bitches brew will not do us in, this time.

feloniousmonk, Jan 03, 2011
Photo of loren01
3.78/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark black color, nice frothy brown head with great lacing down the glass
S: Chocolate, honey and woody scents
T: Much the same as smell, chocolate, roasted malts. Slight woody/earthy flavor. Also slight bit of honey.
M: Medium to full bodied beer, thick and viscous going down
D: Pretty good beer, i'm glad I tried it but there are better Russian Imperials out there for a lot less money.

loren01, Jan 03, 2011
Photo of nukem5
4.72/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a rich thick crude oil black with a solid mocha cap of foam which last a good bit of the beer.

S: Warm chocolate and honey.

T: Chocolate malts and warm roasty flavors dont really taste the honey so much as a molasses taste in there, a bit on the salty aftertaste.

M: Medium to full bodied with a slightly chewy thickness about it, warming but very slight, with a nice amount of carbonation.

D: Drinkable , yes to say the very least, smooth and creamy was in one word Dogfish. Always a pleasant time drinking something new from Sam and his awesome crew there in DE. See you all in the spring.

nukem5, Jan 02, 2011
Photo of Aaron420
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Popped this one open for a good buddy that was visiting who loves Miles Davis.

A: Poured a deep black, with a mid sized tan head.

S: It smelled of Chocolate, rich malts and fruity sweetness.

T: The taste is rich with malts and chocolate with a nice warming sensation of the high abv. The honey adds a nice sweetness to the mix.

M: A think texture as it slides down the throat.

D: Hard to finish more than a small glass, defiantly share this one with your buddies.

Aaron420, Jan 02, 2011
Photo of magnj
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Deep brown, touch of red. No head, yet some lacing.

S - Complex, chocolate, a touch of sweet, vague wood/spice?

T - Chocolate and roasted malts, honey is evident and sweet but not sticky. Surprisingly low residual sugar from this brewer.

M/D - Thick oily body, yet easy to drink.

magnj, Jan 01, 2011
Photo of callmemickey
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Jet black body. Thin mocha colored head. Moderate lacing.

S: Dark roasted malts, coffee, bittersweet chocolate, and some residual honey sweetness.

T: The nose was a good indicator of things to come. All together, a rather mellow display of coffee, chocolate, honey, some spicing, and roasted malts.

M: Smooth, medium-full bodied. Good carbonation. Mellow finish.

D: Solid, but nothing to indicate that this beer can hang with the big boys in this style... with the hype and price associated with it, I'll look elsewhere next time.

callmemickey, Jan 01, 2011
Photo of donkeyrunner
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I can't wait for Sam's "Reign in Blood" amber ale to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Slayer's landmark album.

Pours dark chestnut brown and sits opaque black in my glass. Huge dark cocoa colored foamy cap slowly settles down into a solid foamy layer and deposits lace along he journey. Good stuff.

Smells...stouty? Brown sugar, and soft espresso with wet tree bark earthyness. Has an almost Belgian stout quality to the aroma be it from yeast phenols or adjunct honey sugar.

Braggot-like honeyed sweetness followed up by a complimentary roasted malt in back. Rich cocoa and espresso. Mouthfeel is a little light, I'm assuming because of the honey. I don't taste any gesho root, nor am I sure I'd recognize it if I did. No need to age this one as it betrays no sign of alcoholic heat and is wildly quaffable.

I tend to be hit or miss with DFH and after a bunch of misses I had given up. This is a hit and DFH has once again gained my curiosity.

donkeyrunner, Jan 01, 2011
Photo of Bouleboubier
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4


This has nothing to do with Russia or Imperialism. The spirit of this beer surely lies elsewhere - search the web in case you don't already know the tale behind this brew.

Bottom line - I was anticipating a RIS with a unique twist (having to do with honey?). What I wasn't expecting (naively) was a stifling of what I crave in a strong stout (see below) in favor of a somewhat unique, interesting marriage of dark malty stouty ale and honey.

Looks like a powerful stout alright - BLACK, medium-thick frothy foam, collar n' swirl. Laces in sheets and sticks in streaks. First impression was that it smells like their Chicory Stout. More boozy than hoppy - both light - with a faint roast emerging as it warms. The taste is quite startling right from the get-go. No significant or bold roasty or booze qualities. What's there is a pleasing blend of anise(?), fruity esters, and mild powdery baker's chocolate - approx. in that order. Lightly sweet, smooth, and moderately malty for the first half it sips, giving way a little more than halfway through to a mellow surge of honey, which rolls a bit off the tongue, accompanied with a tiny carb tingle, as it finishes rather abruptly.

I got over the fact that much of what I enjoy about RIS' (strong roast, strong booze) was largely subdued, if not absent. The sum of its parts are quite nice, however. This was a good one off, and I'm satisfied with having it just once. If you can get a hold of it, though, I think every (dark) beer lover should experience this.

Bouleboubier, Dec 31, 2010
Miles Davis' Bitches Brew from Dogfish Head Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 3,238 ratings.