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Miles Davis' Bitches Brew - Dogfish Head Brewery

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

3,382 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,382
Reviews: 880
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 11.69%
Wants: 461
Gots: 1,261 | 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: 3,382 | Reviews: 880 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of joefuzz
4.62/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750ml bottle into my cigar city snifter

Pours jet black with a nice sized tan head

Smells that come to mind are some earthy floral notes some honey

Tastes of toasty malts chocolate honey come

Mouthfeel is nice thick like a stout should be with a good amount of carbonation

spipper for sure but very drinkable overall great beer

Photo of jmdrpi
3.93/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

750 mL capped bottle. stamped bottled 2010.

appears jet black, with mocha colored head. good retention of a thin covering, decent lacing. aroma improves as it warms. strong roasty aroma typical of imperial stouts, but with a little sweetness and chilli pepper at the same time.

taste is dry roasted flavor, plus the honey that is in there somewhere. body could be thicker, as it's a little thinner than some of the better imperial stouts. lower carbonation.

overall a good beer, glad I could try it.

Photo of DrinkingDrake
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from some notes.
An inch of creamy brown head on top of a black body. The nose is a large amount of roasted malts and dark chocolate. A spicy sweetness blends in as well. Large amount of flavor. Bitter dark chocolate with some toasty malts. Some fruity/tangy sweetness raisins and honey. It finishes with a coffee bitterness and a spice I don't recognize, but like. Lighter than expected body but smooth and a balanced bitter end.

Photo of Jaycase
3.3/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

a: pitch black. dense dark tan head.

s: Sweetness is the most immediate smell. Some coffee, malts and a bit of chocolate

t: tastes just like it smells really. Sweet toasted malts, coffee and chocolate. Honey there too.

m: cream. average carbonation.

o: In the end I think it's a bit too sweet. Seemed to take a turn for the worse as it warmed too. Glad I tried it but not something I would seek again. Other RISs I'd much rather have.

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

Appearance:
Dark, black, not seeing through it any time soon. Not much head, but it leaves a nice lacing behind.

Smell:
Coffee is at the forefront, with sweet roasted malts, a hint of cacao, and... What is that? Licorice? Probably not really, but there's something in there I can't quite place.

Taste:
Toasted malts and coffee really take center stage here, with the odd licorice flavor coming in behind it. It's a bit sweeter than a dry stout, but not sugary or definitively "sweet." It tastes really interesting. There's a certain amount of hoppy flavor to it, with just a touch of bitterness which feels mostly like cacao.

Mouthfeel:
Unlike any other stout I've ever had. High carbonation. If I ignore the taste, it feels like I'm drinking a well-carbed pale ale. It's not nearly as thick or chewy feeling as other stouts I frequently drink.

Overall:
This is pretty solid. I can drink it during the summer without feeling weird, which is a huge plus for me. I kind of wish it was going to be available more often.

Photo of rfgetz
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a rich dark brown with cap of dense khaki head, almost looking like a nitro pour. Scent is earthy, milk chocolate, charred and smoked grain, leather, damp mud, light touches of a powerful spice. Taste brings smooth cocoa before it dives into dark roasted coffee beans, char and smoke, warms to a very earthy and muddy brew. Strong amounts of spice stick out and lingering sweetness sticks to the palate. Full bodied, creamy and smooth with a faint touch of grainyness, no lingering notes on the palate, stradles the line between dry and sweet perfectly. To be honest, i was affraid this beer would be more hype then substance, but to my suprise, it was a great beer. Very earthy, very smooth.

Photo of homebrew311
3.9/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: pitch black, opaque, thick appearance, dark brown head, lots of lacing, looks nice

S: dark chocolate, lots of anise, not really sure what geshoo root smells like, but I'm guessing that it is what smells like anise. a bit of woodiness comes through at the end. Very unique aroma for the style, but I like it!

T: the taste is similar to the nose, but not nearly as robust, chocolate and coffee comes through first and then a considerable amount of sweetness with notes of honey and anise. The flavor thins out quite a bit and has an underwhelming finish.

MF: the appearance is very thick, but it feels a bit lighter on the palate than I would expect. Carbonation is low.

O: well the aroma is awesome, the taste doesn't deliver how I had hoped for

Photo of Bendurgin
2.86/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a tulip. This one is from the first batch. This one pours oily looking black with about an inch of creamy light tan head. Good retention here, this one keeps a solid cap throughout with sticky lace.

Light aromas of milk chocolate come through right away with an acidic coffee aroma. A little bit of a smokey character to this with big roasted barely aromas. Certainly earthy flavors here, lots of char and smoke. Roasty flavors with a bit of fresh roasted coffee and a little bit of cocoa. A little bit of sweetness, pressumably from the honey, rounds out the flavor. I'd love a little bit more of a roasty flavor here. I think this is alittle bit too acidic.

Medium to light feel on this one, decent carbonation. Overall, with everything Dogfish Head put into this beer I'd love to see a little more complexity.

Photo of andrewinski1
2.46/5  rDev -41.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Batch one generously shaed by Bendurgin. Poured into a tulip. The head is tan and leaves some nice sticky lacing. The body is black.

The aroma is sweet, with leather and char smells.

The taste is bitter char with a long tannIc malty finish. This is a bit of a letdown.

The body is full and the carbonation average.

I'm not keen on this considering the myriad other options out there.

Photo of BarrytheBear
2.68/5  rDev -36%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle split with the classic and steepH20 on the continuation of lazy dog danglin afternoon.

Pours dark brown with red highlights while a few smatterings of bubbles along the surface.

Smells very sweet and the honey is evident, though I'm not sure if it's the power of suggestion. Some smokey char battles the sweetness, but cannot overcome the near cloying base.

Too sweet and thin. Honey sweetness and perhaps the Gesho root don't allow the best qualities of a stout to shine. Hops don't seem to register and the body doesn't provide the necessary structure. Some acrid coffee and smoke on the back end provide the evidence of what this beer may have been trying to be.

Overall, this just do it for me. Thankful I split this bottle.

Photo of mikul93
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a deep black with a nice brownish head.

Smell of roast and coffee.

Definitely get the coffee and chocolate notes in the taste. A little bit of sweetness from the honey. Not your typical imperial stout, but still very enjoyable. Overall a great beer.

Photo of Elendinn
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in my New Belgium globe.

Pours the ritualistic "pitch black" with two fingers of frothy, thick, milk chocolate head that retains surprisingly well. A latticework of lace sticks to the glass. Beautiful -- every stout should aspire to look like this.

Smells sweet up front: honey, a bit of apple, and milk chocolate. Roasted malt rounds out the nose; only a faint hop presence and practically no discernable bitterness. Rich and smooth.

Tastes sweet, as well. Lots of chocolate, honey, and malt hit the tongue immediately; there are some fruity esters in there, as well. Finishes semi-sweet, with subdued flavors of oatmeal and roasted coffee. Ultimately, the flavors are more reminiscent of a milk stout than an imperial stout -- light and sweet, though undeniably more complex than many of its lactose-based bretheren. Delightfully enjoyable, though not as potent as I'd like. It seems to bitter as it warms, and not necessarily in a good way.

Medium-to-full bodied and carbonated with restraint, this beer is smooth and creamy. Suits the flavors well.

I drank this upon its release at Venti's, on tap, while the bartenders played Bitches Brew all night. That's the ideal way to drink this beer, but, atmosphere aside, a little age has improved the actual flavor immensely. It's not as thick or as powerful as I've come to expect from the alleged style (I say "alleged" because its similarities to a milk stout are still prominent), but, while initially sweet, it's still nuanced, well-balanced, and a novel hybrid of cross-cultural styles. Very drinkable -- the alcohol's not very apparent at all. My only qualm is that the beer became noticeably more tart as it warmed. Nevertheless, its one of my favorite stouts.

Photo of biegaman
4.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Whoa daddy-o! This is one bad lookin' beer (which in jazz slang means it's a good looking beer!) This cool, resolutely black stout just sits there so blasé, defying me to give it the perfect score. And I just might, provided this brown cow-coloured head sticks around long enough (note: some of it did, but the glass was left insufficiently bare).

These malts are smokin' and, man, can this aroma wail! (OK, enough with the bad, gratuitous jazz puns.) Singed and smoky malts, heavily roasted but not without a treacle of caramelly sweetness and splash of cream, tower high above where the foam demarcates the content from the glass and fill the air with a potent, ambrosial, chocolaty richness.

All I know about gesho is what Wikipedia tells me: it's an African shrub that is used for a variety of things including, in Ethiopia, as an integral ingredient in beer and mead making. Hell if I know what it tastes like, or how Dogfish Head got their hands on some, but I think it's cool they used it. And, I speculate, the beer is probably better off for it...

Even though, assuming I knew what it tasted like, it'd have a heck of a time being noticed over all this roasty, decadent, dark Imperial Stout flavour. The beer tastes like premium espresso coffee beans that are coated in chocolate and whose bitterness is balanced by the local apiary's finest. A slight lactose-like tang is perceived, giving the beer a milky kind of mouthfeel. Once again, I feel I'm being defied to award the perfect score.

The gesho we covered, but it's hard too to assess the impact of the honey given such overbearingly rich, malty flavours. I can say, however, that it has nullified a lot of the bitterness and is likely what's responsible for that slightly nectarous element that might explain how such a strong, big, dark beer can be this approachable and agreeable.

Bitches Brew is one bitchin' brew - that may sound like something a jive turkey would say, but it's true. (I couldn't resist one more!) I'm now drinking it at room temperature and that doesn't affect things one bit. This is exactly the kind of sensual, gratifying, pacifying beer I could put my feet up, put some jazz on and relax alongside all evening.

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

A Christmas gift from Jan, thanks biegaman. One of my favourite musicians immortalized in a beer, thanks Dogfish Head.

Poured a midnight black, no hint of softer colours at the edges, this is black as a witches cauldron. The mocha tan head spread to about a half finger in my Leffe goblet, small and large bubbles motionless in my glass. The lacing is thin but viscous, it leaves a coating anywhere it touches glass.

Smell is initially a soft malted milk chocolate but takes on more bitter espresso aromas with air and motion, bakers' chocolate. The bitter chocolate carries through to the taste but that is contrasted by dryer cocoa notes, some smoke and leather. The very dry texture and long, lingering after taste feature prominently, the ABV is well handled in my estimation. I'd love to try some of this after a few years in the beer cellar, it can only get better.

Full rich body and dense in the mouth, this is substantial stuff. My only disappointment is that I didn't get a glimpse of honey anywhere down the line. Overall, I think Myles would approve. and I will make it a point of playing Kind of Blue next time I'm lucky enough to have a bottle of this stuff.

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

Second Batch

A - Powerful dark body, big dark brown head. That's the point. GOod look.

S - Chocolate, smoky heat. Still got some hops going on in here. Nice complexity and balance.

T - Dry rawhide, smoke, bitter chocolate. Nice stuff, Be nice to even out a bit. Glad to have another bottle.

M - Quite smooth, viscous mouthfeel. Actually a very good mouthfeel.

O (D) - Yeah, this is a good beer. Tastes good and interesting, nothing crazy, Just fine.

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

Poured out of a bomber into my Duvel tulip.

A – Poured pitch black with a 3 finger mocha brown head. Sticky lacing.

S – Mocha, bittersweet chocolate, coffee, vanilla and cocoa. Malty as well. Powerfully good smeller.

T - Sweet taste to start. Excellent bittersweet chocolate notes which feels like it switches to a sweeter cocoa taste as it goes. A nice black coffee flavor comes in that also finishes with a bit of bitterness. Nice roasty flavor. Also has some licorice type taste. You get a nice warming run down your throat from the ABV.

M – Thick almost heavy mouthfeel as it warms up. Coats the palate.

O – Very strong RIS. It’s not the best but it is way up there on the list. Drink and be merry.

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to djrn2 for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a dark brown to black color with a tan head. The aroma is very heavy on the chocolate and roasted malt. The flavor is more of the same. I get a lot of chocolate and roasted malt with some light bitterness. Thick mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Not as complex as I would have liked it to be, but still a very nice strong stout.

Photo of litheum94
4.51/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed 2/14/2011.

To quote Spinal Tap, the body is 'none more black.' Brown head that settles to a thin cover. Good lacing.

Aromas of baker's chocolate. Very nutty. Roasted coffee. 'Dry' smelling, so to speak. Aromas are fairly typical of the style.

Dry, dark malt flavors up front, with a honey sweetness. Sweet, dark chocolate flavors mid-palate. Creamy mouthfeel. Hazelnut tones and a drying, coffee-ground finish. There's a pervasive sweetness throughout the whole session. Mouthfeel shifts from a full thickness to a light dryness.

The flavors here are just great, it almost drinks itself. This is just a well made RIS, and I'm definitely aging my other bottle.

Photo of azdback
4.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my favorite Surly pint glass. Deep dark black not much highlight at all. Head is two fingers and an espresso crema color. Lace is looking great and it's

Smell is dark roasted coffee with a hint of vanilla and chocolate. Not a whiff of alcohol at all.

Taste is sweet. Coffee, molasses the finish has a bit of a charred taste. I am getting a bit of vanilla and some tartness. My tasting partner is getting a bit of cinnamon. All said I really like this one.

The mouth is a little light for the style. Maybe more Gesho than RIS. Not much carbonation and a bit dry.

Overall I was so happy to get a chance to try this. I like the way Dogfish Head does crazy blends like this one. Definitely a one of a kind.

Photo of gdfullwv
4.12/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Don't make the mistake like I did and start to drink this beer anywhere close to chilled. I would recommend 55 degrees or warmer. Chilled this beer really taste like any other cold stout or plain guiness for that matter. As it warms, you can start to taste the complexity in flavor of the root and honey that is in this beer. Not my favorite Imperial Stout, but is very unique and definitely a must try.

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

2010 bottle, drank April 2011

A: Black body with a mocha head. Nice retention and lace. An inch more head and this would have been a 5.

S: Raisins, spicy chocolate. Dark caramel. Brown sugar.

T: Dark roasted coffee. Espresso. Oak. Strong chocolate character throughout the back end with very little sweetness; bitter, 70% cocoa.

M: Medium body. Finish is almost a little too dry for my liking. Smooth tingly carbonation.

O: The dryness is a little much for me by itself, but it pairs fantastic with a sweet chocolate desert. We had it with a chocolate moose cake and fresh raspberries, and it absolutely transformed both the beer and the dessert.

Photo of bigfnjoe
3.51/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass

A- pours jet black with a three finger dark brown head. Head is very puffy, fades pretty quickly. Lacing is minimal, but the color and size of the head is very impressive.

S- mainly getting an aroma of chocolate from this one. Nice, albeit a little weak

T- it's...different. Instead of the pounding roastiness I normally expect from a stout, I get a little bit of sweetness from the tej that this is brewed with. There are hints of chocolate in there, but no coffee at all. A little bizarre for the style

M- it's actually pretty thin, which is a real letdown. I like my stouts with some chewiness to it. There isn't much chewiness here.

O- this is different. Not necessarily bad, but different. I've had much better RISes before, and didn't think this one really lived up to the hype

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

Poured into a Cigar City snifter on 4/5/11.

Pours a beautiful black with a chocolate head that dissipears quickly to leave little lacing on the glass.

Smells of tons of malt and chocolate and coffee, I like the balance to bad it was a one off. I hate you DFH!

Taste is the same. Very nice chocolate notes as well as a nice coffee hit. Goes down fairly smoothly.

Mouth feel is heavy. Not a lot of bite on the front and a decent resin to keep the coffee present through the sip.

Drinkability is high. Tasty, smooth, and the ABV is not the outward bound.

Photo of TheJollyHop
3.9/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

First batch, poured into a tulip.

Appearance: Semi-viscous black body with very little, rich mocha hued head.
Nose: Wisps of smoke interlacing fine dark chocolate, and faint scents of oak, possibly tart cherry.
Taste: Plum and cherry upfront followed by a mocha latte middle, cocoa powder, leading to a supple honey finish. A toasted wood quality (smoky) is noticeable towards the finish. Finishes with a brief lingering of black-coffee bitterness. Taste doesn't linger very long. A slight up-tick of heat at the swallow signifying the alcohol, but all in very integrated.
Mouthfeel: Smooth, medium-bodied, and rich (very sweet) on the palate; medium carbonation.
Drinkability: Well balanced, not overly sweet, and the relatively lighter body further increases the ease of sipping, however at the expense of the length of the aftertaste.

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

Had this at the Myrtle Beach Brew festival poured from a champagne bottle into sample glass.
A: Dark viscous black with a thin dark tan head.
S: There is a deep malty smell and bit of alcohol tinge to it.
T: It tastes absolutely fantastic. Wonderfully balanced.
M: Good mouthfeel and carbonation.
Overall, this is a fantastic beer. One I really liked. Don't think I could ever drink a whole bottle at one sitting. But, it was great as a sampler.

Miles Davis' Bitches Brew from Dogfish Head Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 3,382 ratings.