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Miles Davis' Bitches Brew - Dogfish Head Brewery

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Miles Davis' Bitches BrewMiles Davis' Bitches Brew

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3,372 Ratings

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Ratings: 3,372
Reviews: 879
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 11.69%
Wants: 456
Gots: 1,259 | 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:
Beer added by: TheFightfan1 on 06-13-2010

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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,372 | Reviews: 879 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of keanex
4.02/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a tulip, this is from the 3rd batch in fall of 2011.

A: Almost completely opaque, only the slightest amount of light pushes through. Thick caramel colored head.

S: Very sweet with honey and fruity aromas. Neither me nor 8 other people smelled anything hinting at chocolate or coffee. We all loved the smell though.

T: Not indicative of the smell for us. Very roasty with a chocolate overtone and a sweeter slightly fruity and honey undertone. Left a very long aftertaste of alcohol and roast on the palate.

M: Very thick, almost chocolate syrup like with almost no carbonation. Left a slightly slimey coating on the tongue.

O: This was an okay beer, but it could never live up to the hype. I would buy it again, but only to age and see what happened.

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

A: Pours an opaque black (tested with pocket flashlight) with one finger of deep tan head (in a 14-oz snifter). The head quickly fades to virtually nothing and leaves no lacing.

S: Chocolate malt, cocoa, and light roast coffee.

T: Imagine a cannoli made of a thin layer of extra-dark (80% cocoa) chocolate, filled with a velvety-smooth chocolate mousse, and served on a plate drizzled with prune-raisin puree. Now, imagine that as a beer, and that's what you have here.

M: Smooth and rich, but without any hint of ethanol.

O: My reaction to DFH beers is that they are either a complete home-run, or they miss by a mile (120 Minute, I'm looking at you). Fortunately for me, this one was a base-clearing home run. I would love to have been able to try this side-by-side with Brooklyn Chocolate Stout, because I do find similarities. Well done Sam!

Photo of ShanePB
3.78/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle from the late 2011 batch. Shared with my girlfriend and served into two snifters glasses.

A: Pours with a motor oil look and consistency. Deep black body with a deep tan colored fluffy, bubbly head. The retention was really nice leaving a full cap and some initial sticky lacing. As it dissipated and worked towards the bottom, the bubbles were tight and small, falling right off the glass.

S: Dry bakers dark chocolate, roasted coffee beans, chocolate and caramel malts. Touches of sweet honey and a floral note come out, but this is definitely all about the dark rich profile.

T: Coffee beans immediately coat the palate, along with bitter dark chocolate and a touch of booze. The back end has some very faint sweet notes, perhaps honey but it's not entirely discernible. Finishes with dry cocoa powder and leaves a fresh brewed bitter coffee flavor in the linger.

M: Bubbly, perhaps a bit too much carbonation for the style. The body could use a thicker feel but aside from that it's fairly nice. Room for improvement in this area.

I've had the first installment of Bitches Brew, though I can't recall specifics. In fact, I still have a bottle from then and will compare that soon to a fresh one. Overall, this is a really nice beer but to add that additional layer of dimension and complexity; I wish the gesho root and honey would come out a lot more in the aroma and flavor.

Photo of scout
3.86/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is the (second?) batch that was released in Nov. 2011. Served cool, not cold, which somewhere I read to do by DFH.

Great looking beer. Pours jet black with a thick toffee colored head and good lacing. Smell is molasses, dark malt, chocolate and alcohol. I expected some honey on the nose based on the writeup on the side of the bottle but didn't pick it up.

Taste is two phases for me: toasted dark malts and chocolate first, with maybe a hint of honey followed by a dry, bitter finish. The second phase is interesting because it's both the hops and the gesho root, which--I'm speculating here because I've never actually tasted it outside this beer--has a very bitter, earthy and almost licorice-like flavor.

Mouthfeel is pretty good too. Smooth, light carbonation but a tad thin. Still, very drinkable and not much trace of the 9%.

Overall, a solid beer. Interesting take on a RIS. I'd like to try this after it's aged for a while to see how the flavors blend and mellow.

Photo of OtherShoe2
4.23/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours oily jet black with a foamy brown head. Great retention of the ring of foam, and it sloshes foamy lace up on every sip.

Dark roasted malt nose, alcohol, molasses, and a woody note.

Charred malt has a rich sweetness initially, which is replaced by a dried and bitter note. A little tart (again bounced by the bitter) in the end. Long bitter coffee/charred finish with a hint of vanilla. Well made, rich, and drinakable. Alcohol is present, as is a wood-like note.

Full bodied, but very clean.

Great RIS. Very drinkable. Glad they did another incarnation of this. A very clean, well balanced version of the style.

Photo of azorie
3.66/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Disclaimer for myself: Hype you got too much of it on this 1.

notes: missed this in bottle, due to my not paying attention to Total wine having it behind the counter so to speak. Anyway I read on beerjunto about a bar having this on draft, I had to have it, so we made a special trip.

the review.

A: Since is draft and 9% its going to be served in a .3L sniffer. Its a RIS in theory so guess what it is nearly black! Surprise NOT. No head as well its too cold and its in a fucking sniffer glass, god how I hate this half pour BS. So really no way to "judge" this aspect of this beer. Many be unfair but hey bars doing this hurt the brewers.

S: Some Honey comes out as it warmed, smells very sweet heavy malt wise to me, not much hops, some alcohol. No bad, waited 20 minutes for it to get above 45F! heavy earthy yeast comes out near 50F.

T: First sip was very sweet flavor with tons of caramel and roast dark semi sweet chocolate. There is a some mild roast malt flavors. Its not as boozy at 50F as it is early in the pour so to speak. Somewhat oily and has that medicine taste, not sure how to describe it. Still its comes together was its near room temp. Not a bad beer, one can not rate this one off to style of course. Or at least I cannot. Lots of chalky bitterness. for a RIS I thought it was too weak in malt backbone and alcohol level.
No hops detected but one assumes they are there. ;.)

M: The body is medium rich, with a moderate level of carbonation. Semi thick in viscosity.

O: I wish I had asked for a extra tumbler or shaker glass to pour this in. Ok I tasted it and while I hate to rate on .3L of beer, (over the line filled sniffer glass). I will anyway as I see no need to get another one. its decent beer, but nothing world class about it. I not compare Jazz to beer as that is well stupid, it does not live up to the name.

more notes for me: the rates system is well too far apart, I wanted to rate taste near a 4, but to round up would leave me to think it was better than it was. While I did not rate it to RIS style one cannot help but think it fell short of the RIS mark.

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

Poured from a bomber bottle into a tulip glass

A - black vivaciously carbonated body with a small medium brown head (about the color of milk at the bottom of a bowl of coco krispies). fades quickly with decent lacing streaking the glass

S - rich roasted malts with bits of chocolate, but a fruitiness toward the end.

T/M - the taste and mouth-feel is sticky sweet with the honey sweetness lasting from start to long lasting aftertaste. roast malts are masked for most of the draft except for the very end. bits of sweetened coffee toward the middle.

O - a little too sweet for my taste, but a nice beer, more of an after dinner beer.

Photo of pburland23
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 25.4 ounce bottle into my Great Divide tulip glass.

I was happy to get my hands on Bitches Brew this time around. It sold out so quickly in the post-Brewmasters frenzy.

Dark as night with a finger of thick, dense, khaki colored head. Totally opaque even when held up to the light. Strong head retention and lacing.

Smell - Coffee, lots of dark, roasted malts, some bittersweet chocolate. Also picking up some piney hops and a touch of sweetness, probably from the honey beer.

Taste - Delicious. Big, roast, full-bodied Imperial Stout. The roasted malt is the star. Tastes really great. There's just a hint of hops bitterness and the sweetness from the honey beer creeps in at the end of each sip providing an interesting foil to power of the imperial stout.

This is a thick, heavy beer. It poured with a decided glug. It drinks thick and heavy, but I like it. The 9.0% abv is totally hidden which makes this a dangerous beer.

Overall, I'm really digging Bitches Brew. It's a tasty RIS, for certain. The honey beer side of the equation could perhaps be a little more pronounced, but I can't really complain. A tasty sipper. I should have picked up more bottles.

Photo of rpardon7
4.23/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer poured from the bottle a dark brownish black with a slight reddish hue, very soft dark brown/tan head lingered for just a bit before receding into tan lacing. Smell was hard to pin down, roast and coffee with an odd spiciness and sweetness. Taste was similar to the nose, roast and chocolate up front with an odd spicy smooth finish atypical of stouts ESP ris. Mouthfeel was smooth and silky with just the right carbonation. Overall a very solid beer one I look forward to again!

Photo of Rifugium
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First had: bottle - present from the wife (then fianceé) (not sure from whence she procured it)

This review is for the on-tap batch I had at Pinocchio's, Media, PA

Poured into a stem glass, jet black with an amazing, rocky, mocha-brown head. Aroma of dark roasted malts, cocoa, dark sugar. Rich, full taste, chocolate and dark malts, licorice, honey and molasses in the background, and a subtle fruitiness even further behind that. Nothing out of the ordinary or extreme as far as taste goes, just a satisfying and finely crafted beer. Full body, smooth, and easily drinkable.

Photo of kbuzz
3.83/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber stamped " bottle in: 2011" then followed by "1021". So 10/21/2011??

A: Thick black motor oil colored beer. No light getting through this whatsoever. Produces a one finger khaki head that dissipates fairly quickly. The bubbles pull the beer up to sit in between them, creating a two-toned masterpiece of a head. A fantastic looking RIS.

S: Coffee, bittersweet chocolate. Definitely a ton of roasted malt...some earthy hops. I also get this underlying agave or honey sweetness.

T: A somewhat subtle version of the nose. Still get the coffee, but not as roasty as in the nose. Still get the chocolate, but it's not the bittersweet variety, rather more of a milk chocolate. There is definitely a somewhat high hop bitterness though which helps to balance both flavors. Alcohol is there, but you don't taste it so much, you feel it.

M: Big, full bodied beer. Creamy on the palate, coats the mouth. Carbonation might be just a tad bit higher than you'd expect, but doesn't hurt the beer at all.

O: Definitely a solid, solid RIS...good balance as is, but would be interested to see if some of the bitterness fades and rounds out those chocolate and roasted notes some more.

Photo of Blanco
4.39/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is from the original first batch.

Pours black, with decent head, that hardly holds. less carbonated than normal. smell is potently chocolate and dark malt. taste is very similar, definitely on the sweet side with chocolate that has no bitterness. Very mellow flavor. Still has some of that metallic flavor it originally had. I cannot quite put my finger on it. thick mouthfeel with great drinkability.

Photo of omnigrits
4.8/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at the Alamo Drafthouse, year-old keg.

A. Jet black and with one of the darkest brown heads I've seen on a beer. The head subsides quickly but there's plenty of lace.

S. Intense aromas of chocolate, coffee and bitter malts. Some sweet fruitiness. Slightly earthy.

T. All of the above and more. The honey comes out more in the flavour than in the smell. There's a smokiness, almost a smoked meat flavour. Umami in a beer? There's a good amount of (not cloying) sweetness up front but the finish is definitely bitter.

M. Full and creamy.

O. I never got a bottle of this, not even sure if we got them in Texas, but I'm very glad to have been able to taste it twice, a year apart. Without a doubt one of the best stouts I've tasted.

Photo of thedoubler55
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 bottle I have aged since last October poured into a tulip

A - Black as night, with a nice amount of head at the top that really never goes away, a great lacing coat around the glass.

S - Bits of chocolate, blended notes of coffee, very pleasant in the nose, nice balance of malts, a slight note of peppermint.

T - Same as nose, a nice balance of alcohol, chocolate and coffee notes

M - Sticky, creamy mouthfeel, low carbonation

O - Great beer from Dogfish, definitely buying another if it is rereleased, Nice perfect stout, with its own uniqueness.

Photo of Sammy
3.93/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A rich RIS on the sweet side. Pours a deep brown body that looks very thick. It is a thick chocolate malted milk consistency, with a retained bubbly head. Milky roasted aroma. Very drinkable and chocolately, with some wierd tastes in addition to the anise.Aged more than a year.

Photo of aherstein
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter.

Pours jet black with a thick dark brown head that gradually dissipates.

Honey, dark chocolate and a hint of roasted coffee.

Sweet honey up front with a distinct roasted finish. Slight hint of hoppiness.

Fairly think, almost a light syrup consistency. Light carbonation.

Great beer. I highly recommend it. A great Russian Imperial Stout.

Photo of jculler82
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml that I've had in the fridge for almost a year to New Belgium tulip.

Pours absolutely pitch black with a big foamy dark tan head. Head is larger than most higher ABV stouts and stays around a while.

Aroma is fruity, a bit tropical and I think it is probably coming from the alcohol. Some faint bakers chocolate, with a very mild light roast coffee in the back ground.

Mild roast in the flavor, big peppermint mixed with some alcohol fruit, finishes pretty bitter. More dark grain bitter than hop bitterness I believe. When you swish the beer in your mouth, the bitterness lingers well after the swallow. Almost like a really big dry stout. It's good, but I'm on my second pour and it's starting to get a bit abrasive.

Nice mouthfeel for the style, smooth across the palet with medium carbonation.

Overall, nice beer, but I wish I would have shared this 750 with someone. One glass in a sitting was enough, the peppermint flavors begin to get old.

Photo of alohaspicoli
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Black with a frothy, light brown head. Not much lacing.

S: Very roasty and malty. More coffee than chocolate. A little sweetness.

T: There is a lot more earthiness than I thought there would be. Not saying that's a bad thing but it kind of caught me off guard. Definitely picking up the honey. I thought there may have been more of a unique bitterness from the gesho root but I wasn't able to pick anything up.

M: Sticky/mouth coating. Mildly carbonated.

O: This was my 2nd of 3 bottles. Drank the first in Oct. of 2010. I remember drinking the first and had notes to compare this bottle to... but there wasn't much change after a year of aging, IMO. Overall it's an enjoyable beer. I'd buy it again if they re-released it, but wouldn't pay ebay prices for another bottle.

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

A - Black, baby, that is for sure! Tan head, quick to leave, floats atop. Some cling lace remains.

S - Roasted coffee, slight metallic undersmell. Powdered cocoa.

T - Stout it is. Burnt coffee, chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt. Alcohol burn on the way down.

M - Creamy, medium body, decent balance.

D - If what bitters is the root, it was interesting. No honey taste. Seems to me honey ferments and leaves not much taste. Better to use Honey malt. Good beer.

Photo of ChanChan
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer had been sitting in my fridge for about 7 months. I came home tonight and my roommate surprised me by telling me he had opened one of my black beers. It was three quarters full. I couldn't let it go to waste.

Poured aggressively into a tulip glass.
Appearance: Stout dark with a two finger head. The head becomes pillowy when it is swirled around. It also generates tiny bubbles, I like how this beer is looking!

Aroma: Typical Imperial stout aroma dark chocolate, burnt malt and some coffee notes, the ABV is certainly present in the nose.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied in the mouth.

Taste: Chocolate, malt, coffee. I can not detect the honey in this beer but the gesho is experienced in the finish. The alcohol feels stronger than 9% not a bad thing though.

Overall: Good beer. I wish I had another bottle to age longer.

Photo of Tone
4.41/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a black color. 1/3 inch head of a tan color. Great retention and decent lacing. Smells of dark citrus, sweet malt, slight roasted malt, slight alcohol, slight liquor, hint of yeast, mustiness, and a hint of hops. Fits the style of a Russian Imperial Stout. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with a low carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, slight roasted malt, dark citrus, slight hops, hint of chocolate, and a hint of alcohol. Overall, good appearance, aroma, body, feel, blend, and complexity.

Photo of wadecats
2.9/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The best part is the label, already accomplished when the record was released.

Poured heavy and thick with a lovely light brown head. The malts come through in good viciousness but the taste is overpowered by the sweet honey which is cloying at the least. Hops are unmemorable and mild - another kitschy and high abv product from dogfish.

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

poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance: medium black bodied beer with a medium tan colored head. Nice lacing and fairly decent head retention. Nice looking stout.

Smell: Roasty coffee and cocoa. Hints of honey.

Taste: Mildly sweet stout to start on the palate hinting some honey sweetness. Midtaste the coffee shows up and is a medium light roasty note. Very mild sourness in the finish, that does not seem to distract much. Aftertaste more coffee, but more tamed down. No booze to speak of, its well hidden.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied stout with moderate carbonation. Easy drinking and fairly flavorful.

Overall: Really enjoyed this beer from DFH. Almost borders a session stout vs. an imperial stout, but it still has some solid flavors going on.

Photo of mmurphy525
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass

Pours completely black with a thin tan head that dissipates quickly.

Scents of cocoa, cola, and roasted malts are the main contributors to the aroma of this beer. There may be a little coffee mixed in.

This beer is very sweet but somehow not too sweet. Dominating flavours are cocoa, a grape cola like flavour, and some anise. There is also a nice roasted malt backbone that finishes off the flavour profile. TheI also noticed the occasional bubble gum flavor. I imagine that when you here beer taste and grape cola together you may feel the need to run for the hills, but that is definitely not the case. The taste is fantastic. Everything works well together.

Has a very creamy, medium-full body, with medium-high carbonation.

Overall this is an excellent stout. Very drinkable and there is no hint of the 9% alcohol in this beer. Would highly recommend.

Photo of MVotter
4.8/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - The Dogfish Head, Bitches Brew RIS pours into a chalice a deep, dark coffee color. The head is tan, about an inch thick.

S - Licorice, coffee, maple sugar, malts.

T - Actually, it's sweetish malts up front (the beer is brewed with honey) and there's a quick transition to coffee. The back has just a perfect amount of hop tang...wow!

M - Moderate to heavy body, with moderate effervescence.

O - Outstanding. I love this brew. I wish that DFH would celebrate Miles' birthday, or the re-release of his albums, or something, with a re-release of this recipe...at LEAST once a year. One of my fave RIS. Celebrate the "Birth Of Cool" ... celebrate the "Birth Of The Blues" ... celebrate the "Birth Of This Brew!"

Miles Davis' Bitches Brew from Dogfish Head Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 3,372 ratings.