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Miles Davis' Bitches Brew - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Miles Davis' Bitches BrewMiles Davis' Bitches Brew

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3,085 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,085
Reviews: 841
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 11.69%
Wants: 428
Gots: 1,129 | 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: 3,085 | Reviews: 841 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of klewis
4.53/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Black with a bubbly and frothy head. Good sustain with heavy lacing.

S: Strong chocolate smell with honey and a lighter aroma of anise.

T: Light sweetness up front followed by a soft astringency. A taste of coffee with an underlying herbal flavor. Complex and balanced.

M: Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. Silky and smooth.

D: This beer's merit rests on its quality alone, but its uniqueness earns it even more points. Highly recommended.

klewis, Oct 18, 2010
Photo of Tilley4
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Picked this bomber up a couple of weeks ago and cracked it this evening...

Poured into my CCB snifter an expected jet black with a thick tight creamy head.. Globs of lacing throughout...

Dark roasted malts dominate the aroma as I expected but I'm getting an awesome smoky almost rauchbier aspect here that's blowing me away... Its almost like a smoked chocolate aroma with a strong bacon influence... Not sure this is what they were going for but it works for me.. Awesome aroma to this one...

Dark bittersweet chocolate mixed with honey covered bacon? I get all of that from this... Lots of chocolate and coffee present but the honey leaves a lingering sticky sweetness here... The smoky bacon makes its presence known as well and lends an earthiness here... Its dark and delicious...

Way too thin to be classified as an RIS... Almost porter like really... Perhaps its the one part honey ale but it needs more body for sure...

I really enjoyed this one... Had it been more substantial and thicker, it would have been elite in my book due to the unusual smokiness mingled in here... As it, its still a damn terrific brew that I will pick up more of...

Tilley4, Oct 18, 2010
Photo of LiquidBread219
3.98/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A= Dark black nice, nice coca head that hung around for awhile noticed a little bit of lacing.

S= To I smell licorice,coffee and chocolate. I also smell a little bit of spice.

T= I thought that the coffee and spice smell came out in the taste I also think that it hid the alcohol pretty good.

M= To me it was a little thin for a RIS. Good sipping beer though really thought the carbonation was done good.

D= The taste and smell did a good job hiding the alcohol pretty decent RIS need to get a couple for the cellar.

LiquidBread219, Oct 17, 2010
Photo of kels
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fittingly drinking this one out of my DFH glass.

Pours like motor oil - very dark brown, practically black, with zero clarity. It even looks thick. A 1 finger cocoa-brown head floats atop the beer and retains very well, leaving washes of bubbly lace.

The nose isn't terribly bold, but it does possess hints of roasted chocolate malt, nutty honey and nickel-like metallic.

I wasn't sure what to expect from this beer, especially not knowing what gesho was. The taste is really complex. The roast of the malt borders on bitterness, and it is deep, dark chocolatey goodness. It is accompanied by a cherry-like tartness reminiscent of the undertones in a good bourbon. I'm looking for the honey, but I don't get it as much as I get the roast or as I got in the nose. There is a rich and earthy nuttiness that adds a nice dimension. The feel is moderate, but much lighter than expected - not thin, but smooth and clean. It's slightly sticky in the aftertaste with just a hint of film, and the aftertaste itself hangs around deliciously for quite some time.

Definitely great drinkability in this one. It goes down tremendously smooth, leaving only a bit of warming alcohol in the chest to enjoy.

kels, Oct 16, 2010
Photo of aerozeppl
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Pours a deep coal black with a quarter finger of coffee colored head. Great head retention but no lacing.

S: Complex nose.The sweetness from the honey and the roast from the malt really works well together. Little coffee beans. I keep coming back to how well the honey works with the usual imperial stout players.

T: Almost like an imperial milk stout. Almost get a lactose thing going on. Lots of sweetness but never cloying. Lots of roast and chocolate. Not the most broad range of flavors but damn this thing is balanced. Only a little bit of warming at the end.

M: Very dry for the style. Well attenuated. It really drinks like a dream and I keep reaching for my glass. This is the best new Dogfish beer I have had in a while. This should be a seasonal. Love the MD album too.

aerozeppl, Oct 15, 2010
Photo of TaekwonDylan
4.8/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Wow! This craft is exceptional. I loved this one as soon as I poured it into my glass. The appearance is of rich dark chocolate, with a beautiful tan head to cap. A pleasant nose of chocolatey molasses and espresso with hints of crystalized brown sugar, make your eyes roll back into your head. The taste is perfectly balanced with roasted malts and an undertone of honey, but very silky and luscious on the palate-Not sticky sweet. The carbonation dances in the glass, and tickles the tongue- just enough. Extremely drinkable for a 9% ABV stout. Somewhere Miles Davis is grinning.Mmmm Yummy.

TaekwonDylan, Oct 15, 2010
Photo of Khazadum
3.45/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to whoever brought this particular bottle to the GI BA meet-up. This allowed me to review and keep my bottles capped :D

A- Darkness! No hues, pure darkness. Minor carbonation streams up the side of the glass, crayola brown cap, good collar and skin residue that never full left me. Looked amazing for what I was expecting. the lacing was intricate, and crystallized on my glass.

S- Iconic roasted and bu rnt grains, very alcoholic, plums, dark fruits faint, and a hint of musky sourness.

T- The dark fruits come forward on the opening, there are burnt grains that stomp out the sweet flavors, and this is overun by an overwhelming alcholic flavor. There is coffee, but I feel this actually detracts from the whole picture here. It is almost like someone threw instant coffee grounds into my beer.

M- Full bodied, distracting amount of carbonation, and the alcohol does not play well at all. Its a monster for being 9%.

D- Not hard to drink if you can get past the antisceptic qualities. It wasn't awful, but there was definitely something off about this offering. Very unfortunate for me to consume and would not drink again. Glad to tick it though!

Khazadum, Oct 15, 2010
Photo of Docer
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Grabbed a bottle of this some time ago at Belmont Station... sat on it maybe for a couple of months...

- Big thick 2 fingers of dark mocha head in my tulip... settled down to a nice ring, and bit in the center.. over a jet brown brew that can't be seen through.

- Sweet honey and mad grain... oats, high alpha bitter hops.. syrup... light maple...

- Roasty grain.... charred husks... honey sweet, oats, bitter hop.... very dry, balanced, and smooth. Not at all too sweet.

- Medium to creamy/hi bodied.... certainly drying... and really not too sticky from it's sweetness.

- Very nice brew, dry, not to sticky syrupy sweet at all... like a really well blended imperial stout. Certainly a must have. Wish I had another to sit on for about 8 years.

Docer, Oct 14, 2010
Photo of nickfl
3.8/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours with a big, two and a half finger head of dark brown foam on top of an opaque, black body. The foam settles slowly and leaves thick lace in its wake.

S - A distinct aroma of molasses and caramel with notes of cola and spices. A hint of smoke and some earthy brown sugar.

T - Dark caramel malt with some mocha character up front. The sugary complexity continues in the middle with more caramel and some molasses. It finishes with a light, bittersweet chocolate flavor and a bit of chicory and allspice. Lingering malty sweetness with a hint of smoke and earthy spice complexity.

M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a somewhat dry finish.

D - This is a strange one, it looks extraordinarily dark, but doesn't have the sort of intense roast character that I would have expected. There is a lot of dark, sugary malt and spice in this beer. Molasses and dark caramel dominates the aroma and flavor with some earthy spice thrown in to keep things interesting. It is relatively dry, especially considerign the sugar character, but a bit more bitterness, either from grain or hops would have made this a more drinkable beer. This might improve with age, but it leans more toward sweetness than roast, and to me that argues against it being a beer that will really benefit from time in the cellar.

nickfl, Oct 13, 2010
Photo of berkey
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle split with a friend 10/11/10. My half in a Duvel tulip.

A smallish brown head forms and promptly settles down to a thin crown which actually manages to stick around for longer than I thought it might.

Imperial stout elements rule with some big coffee-like roasted malt notes out front on the nose. A spicy almost ginger character is also hiding in there along with a small amount of straight up sugar aroma.

On the flavor this beer is essentially all stout, but a very nice one. The brewer didn't make the non-traditional ingredients the star on this beer and in this case I think it was the right decision. The spiciness from the aroma is still buried in there adding an interesting element but the honey doesn't seem to be a major player in my opinion.

Have to say this beer is nothing mind blowing but a very solid offering and miles (no pun intended, seriously) ahead of any other DFH stout I've tried to date. I'll wait on my other bottle for a year or two and see how it develops.

berkey, Oct 12, 2010
Photo of ThreeWiseMen
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

JustinA1 (my roommate) picked this up at the local BevMo. Thanks for sharing dude!

Split amongst a couple of Stone IRS tulips.

Appearance: Sits pitch black in the tulip. A dense, brown ring sits atop and drags significant lacing. A quick swirl brings the head to life: a creamy, brown cap.

Smell: Rich, dark, flowery, and gummy/sappy. I kind of want to call it rubbery, but that's such a negative connotation. Certainly unique. Dark chocolate, Tootsie roll, and coffee are also in there. Wait... is that... it is! Gesho! That's what I smell! I knew I recognized it! Fresh gesho too! That brings me back. Just fucking kidding

Taste: Somewhat in sync with the smell, but much different at the same time. Roasty, floral, earthy, and bitter. Very interesting. There are a lot of exotic flavors in here that I'm unfamiliar with. I dig it.

Mouthfeel: Rich and creamy with delicate, soft carbonation. Impressive mouth-coating with a moderate lingering aftertaste. Alcohol barely peeks through at the end; even when warm, it's hidden well. Very nice.

Drinkability: A very fun experience. I can't wait to see what this tastes like a few years down the line. Nicely done!

ThreeWiseMen, Oct 12, 2010
Photo of AgentZero
3.68/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Jet black, huge tan head that had some decent retentio, no real stick on the sides. An appropriate looking beer.

S - Some roasted malts and a lot of milk chocolate and cocoa. Little bit of coffee, but the sweetness of this really stands out more than anything.

T - Very much a sweet stout, I like this more as a desert beer than anything. Chocolaty and milky, there is an interesting something going on here, maybe it's the gesho, not exactly sure. Honey adds to the sweetness. Fairly tastey, but I like my stouts more roasty and less sweet.

M - A little too creamy and milky for my liking. Full bodied.

D - Pretty decently drinkable for an impy stout.

AgentZero, Oct 12, 2010
Photo of LordAdmNelson
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pretty good beer here from DFH, enjoyed it with a buddy while listening to Bitches Brew. Pours jet black with some dark brown head, a really nice looking stout. Smell is good, but somewhat run of the mill actually--roasted malts, coffee, chocolate. Taste is a bit different--a nice sturdy stout base with some interesting spicing to it. Can't quite pin what the spices are, but I'm imagining it's the gesho root. MF was full and creamy (though this doesn't seem to be the consensus opinion--it wasn't especially thick, though, just pleasantly creamy). Decent drink. Good beer overall, just not exactly what I was expecting. Maybe some time will do this beer good.

LordAdmNelson, Oct 12, 2010
Photo of ryanonline
3.9/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

deep black with a huge dark tan head. great sheet like lacing.

cocoa and espresso, malty too. a bit of alcohol scent as well.

dry but delicious, sweet cocoa flavor. a nice hoppy backbone.

prickly and a bit thin, not nearly as syrupy as most ris's. a light spritz too.

ok, but not great.

not a bad beer, but whatever. more could have been done to honor miles davis. meh.

ryanonline, Oct 12, 2010
Photo of Dreadnaught33
3.38/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had today out of a bottle to a snifter.

A: Bubbly carbonation with a jet black body, mocha colored head with bubbles left behind. Looks good, though it appears like it'll be thinner than I hoped.

S: Lots of roasted barley in the smell maybe with a flutter of the honey promised by the recipe. Very metallic in strange way. Weak aroma also.

T: Roast, Baking Chocolate bitters, some interesting sweetenss laced into it. Not a huge flavor. Not an excellent stout, but good. Almost seems like indian brown with less flavor?

M: Medium feel at most, pretty light to what I hoped for. Pretty carbonated too.

D: Ok. Will not seek again though. Perhaps this will taste better with years in the cellar, but I'm not overly hopeful.

Dreadnaught33, Oct 10, 2010
Photo of awalk1227
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Consumed 10/9/10 UGA Bulldogs finally pull out a win with a horrible start to the season!

A: Poured into a Duck Rabbit snifter. Pours very dark brown, with a light brown head that dissipates fairly quickly.

S: Nuts, chocolate, malts. A little bit of herbs and earthiness, slight grassiness, maybe from the gesho root?

T: More nuts and chocolate, I like that a lingering sweetness dances on the front of my tongue after swallowing. Finishes slightly bitter and earthy with a dark chocolate aftertaste. I like this.

F: Light, I can feel a moderately high amount of carbonation on my tongue for a stout. Wish it had a more viscous coating of the mouth.

D: Awesome for 9.00% ABV. Balanced to the point where I drank it down while watching TV with no heed to alcohol, even after it warmed. Glad I have another one to age!

awalk1227, Oct 10, 2010
Photo of garuda
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Black with a thin brown head that has good retention and little lacing.

S - Smooth roasted coffee and dark chocolate.

T - Dark chocolate up front, with some sweetness from the honey mid-palate, then roasted coffee in the finish. Not very bitter at all, just extremely smooth.

M - A little on the thin side for a RIS, but has a nice low carbonation level, and super smooth going down, with a bit of heat in the finish.

D - Delicious, easy drinker. Wish I had more bottles.

garuda, Oct 10, 2010
Photo of boomer31
3.28/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Taken from notes 10-8-10

A - Viscous black with no transparancy and a full tan head. Looks like a great RIS.

S - Licorice, chocolate and a hint of coffee. There is a definite sweetness in the nose of roasted and chocolate malts. I'm missing any hint of hops.

T - The sweetness is almost a shocker. Sweet, chewy malt with chocolate and a hint of bite from maybe the gesho but I'm not certain. Perhaps the honey is adding additional sweetness which I could have done without. I'm not getting much coffee/roast as I did in the nose

M - Chewy chocolate and great carbonation. Perhaps the best part of this brew.

D - This is a heavy, sweet RIS bomb which needs to be parceled out to many friends. A tough brew to have more than a few ounces.

Overall I'm not terribly impressed with this brew. Overly sweet and rich with little roast just mostly chocolate and licorice. Just alright.

boomer31, Oct 09, 2010
Photo of DrDemento456
4.4/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Finally cracked my 750ml that I kept for two weeks.

A - Man what a nice start to a great beer! Looks vicious and dark with an inch of coca head that lingers for a while! Lovely!

S - First hint - licorice and man do I hate licorice! But I can smell some chocolate and coffee so it can't be too bad. Also slight hoppy and spicy. wierd.

T - Well it tastes like most mass produced Russian Imperials but it has a hint of grass, some slight spice and some weird smoothness that really distracts you from the 9 percent ABV. Well done!

M - Kind of rough at first but gets awkwardly watery at second pour which is good but weird.

D - Well I really didn't expect too much out of this brew. Yes at least an A rating and it wasn't too terrible for being a weird brew from Dogfish but to complain I didn't get too much honey or coffee which is hard to bitch about in this brew (pun intended) but I don't see myself having it again because of its nostalgia. A good brew to try though!

DrDemento456, Oct 08, 2010
Photo of compass40204
3.88/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Black with a head similar to that on an espresso- thin layer of very fine brown bubbles. Head has very short lifespan and lacing is minimal. Cocoa aroma with hint of sasparilla. Root beer character probably comes from gesho root, whatever that is. Sweet, very rich. Body thin for the style. It has an unusual wintergreen flavor in the finish. It also has something of a chicory flavor. Quite enjoyable by its own oddness, but lacks viscosity for RIS.

compass40204, Oct 08, 2010
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
Miles Davis' Bitches Brew from Dogfish Head Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 3,085 ratings.