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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.

3,224 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,224
Reviews: 852
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 11.69%
Wants: 433
Gots: 1,170 | FT: 57
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: 3,224 | Reviews: 852 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of psycle
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Extremely dark, basically black with a decent brown head. Smells of chocolate and a bit of coffee. Tastes of sweet, roasty chocolate and a bit of interesting hop bitterness with a slight smoky aftertaste. Could this be the gesho? Good mouthfeel.

Very good Russian Imperial Stout to drink. Would definitely have another but have to wait til tomorrow.

psycle, Nov 29, 2010
Photo of JayS2629
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Beautiful deep black motor oil color with a frothy, creamy tan head with thick lacing rings.

S- Roasted malts, coffee, chocolate, caramels, plum and dark honey.

T- Slight booze burn followed by dark honey and coffee with hints of chocolate.

M- Thick and creamy.

D- Very complex. Thickness and booze burn suffers the drinkability a bit. Very delicious, but a definite sipper.

JayS2629, Nov 28, 2010
Photo of WanderingFool
3.88/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bitches Brew pours a flat black into the glass with a small dark tan head on top. The foam fades quickly down to a ring around the surface leaving behind a few spots of lace on the glass.

The aroma is a nice combination of smoke, roasted malt, chocolate and a touch of dark fruit (cherry?).

Each sip of this medium to full bodied beer is smooth, creamy, dry, with a mild carbonated fizz. The flavor is typical for an imperial stout, roasted malt, coffee, and chocolate with a bitter floral hop finish. An earthy nuttiness and hints of lactose finish off each sip. Once gone the chocolate and hop bitterness lingers on the palate.

This is a fairly easy drinking beer that should be allowed to warm in the glass to let the flavors truly develop. I know this beer is blended with honey and other spices, but other than the dry body I did not detect them.

WanderingFool, Nov 28, 2010
Photo of goldbot
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap, served in a goblet. Pitch black - so black it looked purple in the low light. Brown head with nice retention and plenty of lacing. Chocolate, roasted barley and some coffee aromas. A bit earthy or woody, but mostly it smells like your typical imperial stout. Well roasted flavor, malty, plenty of chocolate and coffee up front. This changes to the interesting woody characteristics; earthy with lots of body and medium sweetness. Still quite smooth throughout.

goldbot, Nov 28, 2010
Photo of MikeT77
4.83/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This was a Magnum of the August 2010 release poured into 2 of the DFH signature snifter type glasses. I bought this in early August 2010, before the Brewmasters tv show was announced. Glad I bought it when I did, as I went to the DFH Brewpub & Brewery a week laster and they had none for sale. I love all their products, so I had to buy this one.

A: A very dark black-ish color expected of a brew that is 3 parts imperial stout. A think head quickly dissipated into a thin line of tan bubbles.

S: The first smell that comes across is the boozy alcohol aroma, which then leads to a chocolately, coffee smell.

T: Taste is definitely not as strong of alcohol as I had expected, given the smell. A nice, strong coffee/chocolate roasted flavor that reminded me of Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout. A nice finish that left a delicious roasty taste in my mouth. Very little alcohol aftertaste.

M: Velvety smooth, not too carbonated, but just enough. A nice, roasty flavor rolling across the tongue.

D: Very easy to drink (and easy to overdo it!), as it's smooth and easy on the alcohol taste, surprising for an 9% ABV RIS brew. Very delicious for a cold night!

MikeT77, Nov 28, 2010
Photo of chaz01
3.93/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Magnum poured into a Belgium style goblet glass immediately after watching Sam's documentary about this beer on the Discovery channel.

A: Dark oily black with a very dark brown head.

S: Smoky and roasted malt aromas with some definite cocoa compliments.

T: Beer starts off with chocolate and toasty malt and even marshmallow flavors. Definitely noticed some honey sweetness in the middle. The beer finishes with more of a mellow cocoa flavor.

M: Creamy, milky mouthfeel, low carbonation levels but very full bodied and flavorful.

D: Very drinkable and smooth stout -- the honey and cocoa flavors mellow the traditional roastiness and coffee flavors of what you might expect with a RIS, making this a bit more sessionable beer that what you would expect from a RIS.

chaz01, Nov 28, 2010
Photo of WeedKing4
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark black brown with a good amount of caramal coloured head, poured in a brandy snifter glass. Tastes roasty with that creamy smooth finish that the honey ingredients brings to the table. I'm not picking up any heat in this at all and it drinks down very smooth. Incredibly easy to drink for an imperial stout.

WeedKing4, Nov 28, 2010
Photo of John_M
3.73/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On tap at Max's today.

The beer pours a blackish brown color with very good head retention and lacing. The beer looks viscuous and impressive, which is a good start. The nose is also pretty attractive, though it could be better. I get some pretty noticeable licorise, along with some coffee. On the palate, the coffee flavor seems to dominate, though I also continue to pick up considerable licorise and vanilla. The finish showcases some significant hoppy bitterness, which helps to counter the richness and sweetness. Still, the sweetness and licorise combination is just not terribly to my liking, though I think this is otherwise a pretty solid beer. Mouthfeel is medium bodied at the most (the beer actually has a rather thin mouthfeel), with a fairly long, licorise dominated finish. Drinkabilty is OK, but the relatively high alcohol, sweetness and licorise just aren't working for me.

Just don't really see the appeal with this one. It's a good beer, but really nothing to get too excited about (IMHO).

John_M, Nov 27, 2010
Photo of orangesol
3.95/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap into a Bell's Tulip at Al's of Hampden.

A - Pours motor oil black with a small, dark brown, that dissipates quickly leaving no lace at all down the glass.

S - Plenty of roasty aroma's in this one. Coffee, chocolate, and a bit of spices? A little bit of booze comes thru, not too strong, but it is noticeable.

T - Lots, and I do mean lots, of roast. Strong coffee flavor up front giving way to a faint sweetness similar to chocolate and a bit of hop bitterness. Finish is strong roast but it fades quickly. Booze is fairly noticeable but not overpowering.

M - Medium body with a heavy flavor and moderate carbonation. Fairly smooth feel with a strong roasted finish.

D - Nowhere near the best RIS I have had but still a very enjoyable one none the less. Very nicely done.

orangesol, Nov 27, 2010
Photo of spointon
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I poured this one from a 750ml crown capped brown bottle into a couple of stemmed snifters.

A= At cellar temp, this ale poured a deep dark black with brown highlights near the edges. With an aggressive pour down the center of the glass the chocolate brown head rose to a full rocky 1.5" and retained very well. Eventually the head settled to a thin cap, and left behind a fair bit of wab lace. Outstanding to behold.

S= The aroma was rich and roasty like a typical RIS, but there was also s note in there telling me this was something different. Slight papery aroma kept disappearing just as I thought I could detect it clearly...

T= Wow. Started off rich and complex and stayed that way. Sweet malts formed a base of caramel, toffee, chocolate, and hints of dark fruit and honey. This progressed into a roasted malt bitterness that approached but never crossed the line of "too roasty". The alcohol stayed well hidden and the hops were only evident as a leafy/earthy bitterness that played well with the roast. Finished modestly sweet and left a lingering rich aftertaste.

MF= Heavy bodied with a moderate carbonation level and slick mouthfeel. Sort of reminiscent of a milk stout on the tongue.

D= At 9% abv this beer was scary drinkable. I think the honey used in the brewing process fermented out almost completely so there isn't much flavor from that. All in all this is a great beer that I will be buying more of given the chance.

spointon, Nov 27, 2010
Photo of alleykatking
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750ml bottle.

A- Pours a black color with some light brownish hues on the sides of the glass when held to the light. Two finger brown head shows light retention. Light streaky lacing on the sides of the glass.

S- There is a good roasted malty base to this beer. Light bready tones mix with a licorice like aroma. Some light coffee notes mix with a honey like nose as well. The alcohol has died down a lot that use to overtake the aroma a couple months ago.

T- Nice roasted malts in the front mix with a bready malt in the ending front. Light coffee notes with a blast of bitter baker's chocolate in the middle of the beer. Some light caramel like bready malts mix with some sweet alcohol notes brought forth from the honey. Even the tail end of the beer has a sweet honey like flavor.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation was a little low I thought for the style. Lots of roasted malts left on the palate. Light honey notes and alcohol left in the aftertaste. Flavors were actually very well blended for this Dogfish Head beer. Light to medium alcohol drying on the palate. Clean and crisp flavors overall.

D- The ABV was well hidden in this beer. I think a little extra time in the bottle did this beer well. Dogfish Head did well with this beer and I didn't think that was going to happen to be honest. Good job Dogfish...good job.

alleykatking, Nov 27, 2010
Photo of Dixonian
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Was ecstatic to catch this one on tap at the Addison Flying Saucer. Its gotten to the point where I search out and try every Dogfish brew I can.

Pours the usual RIS pitch black with a nice tan head that didn't stick around long. Decent lacing.
Incredible sweet malty aroma one expects from the style but there's something more here. Slight honey aroma. One of those great smelling beers that just draws you in.
I was hooked from the first sip - deep roasted malts and an intruiging mellow sweetness in the after taste. Alcohol content is well hidden making this quite drinkable for 9%. I wanted another immediately.
Another world class offering from Dogfish Head made even cooler by being brewed for the seminal Miles Davis album of the same name.

Dixonian, Nov 27, 2010
Photo of Reagan1984
3.3/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I figured I would pull a bottle of this out after Thanksgiving dinner and share this with the family. While there were not up for watching the full hour episode of Brewmaster, I did show them about 10 minutes of the show when they were discussion the recipe and how they blended the beer. Several enjoyed it and others tried to convince me they did despite me knowing the truth. The eyes can't lie.

Very little head forms atop this dull deep brown colored beer. No lacing at all.. Sometimes I comment that a beer is beautiful. This one is not.

A whiff of ash in the aroma and not much else.

My first..last and middle thoughts here are that this could have stood a little more sweetness. I've read so much that the sugar in honey ferments all the way out. I believe it after drinking this beer. Lots of charcoal and ash with a touch of unsweetened chocolate. Obviously roasted malt flavors but with a bit of a flat finish.

Lighter in body vs most Imperial Stouts and again I think it's due to a lack of residual sweetness. Finishes very dry.

It's pretty good and I admit I did wind up buying it because of the show. I'll commit heresy and say that I went to listen to the album a bit. Terrible. Sorry.

Reagan1984, Nov 27, 2010
Photo of CheapHysterics
3.58/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark, almost completely black with a nice tan head. Smells roasty, sweet, with whiffs of chocolate and spice. Tastes like someone took a really nice imperial stout and poured a sweet amber ale brewed with honey and tree bark into it, which is exactly what DFH did. It's good, but not great. Leaves me wondering if both beers blended to make this one would have been better off on their own. Rather drinkable, it goes down pretty smoothly, especially considering the ABV.

CheapHysterics, Nov 26, 2010
Photo of Gmann
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a jet black color with a large milk chocolate colored head that slowly settled into a puffy cap and left some nice chunk lacing on the glass. The odd thing, the head changed color. It started off dark brown then finished a brownish beige. The aroma has nice chocolatey notes to go along with the roasted malt aromas. Some charred wood as well. The taste starts off roasty with milk and bitter chocolate flavors. There is a vinous character that pops through. Some rust like flavors as well. Not much from the honey unless it added to the overall sweetness of the brew. The beer has a full body, a touch chewy, with soft-ish carbonation. Fairly sweet brew but it does have a roasty bitterness. This is a very smooth imperial stout. The honey beer smooths out the roasted stout which makes it damn drinkable. Don't pick up much from the other ingrediants but who cares, good stuff.

Gmann, Nov 26, 2010
Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Super black like a starless night in the desert. Almost no head, except for a white brownish rim that lingers. Beautiful lacing and retention.

Smell: Intense, oily smoke. English toffee, like a Heath bar. Some distant bourbon and oak and a very present roastiness.

Taste: Resiny roasted hops that coat the roof of the mouth, and some oily hops all around as well. Coffee aftertaste. Hints of licorice and just that great smoky taste that feels like drinking a beer right next to a grill or smoker with some good burgers cooking on.

Mouthfeel: Full body, great flavor, balanced carbonation. Beautiful all around.

Drinkability: Pretty high, despite the 9%. Smooth, flavorful, delicious. Alcohol is well played. A winner, and a different RIS, very Dogfish-y, not what you expect.

But! I did not taste any of the honey this brew is supposedly made with...

DoubleSimcoe, Nov 26, 2010
Photo of taez555
3.9/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a pitch black body with an almost non existent head.

Nose has a dark malt smell. Touches of chocolate, mix of milk and a powdery smell. Somewhat sweet smelling with a heavy malt smell.

Taste is very unique. Strong chocolate dry imperial stout flavor at first with a dry flavor. There's something very unique in the mouth feel of this beer. Very viscous and powdery. I'm not sure what gesho is, but whatever it is combined with the honey really set the flavor and mouth feel apart. There's a very organic, rooty, natural earth sort of spice/hop flavor and there's a solid bitterness just enough to keep some backbone against the malt.

Cool beer. Love Miles Davis and love the attempt at making a hybrid imperial and middle eastern sort of flavor.

taez555, Nov 25, 2010
Photo of BeTheBall
3.95/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a thick dark brown with a rich pillow-like head of three to four fingers in a snifter. Smelled like dark choclate, maybe a little smokey. Taste was largely similar, roasted chocolate up front, some dryness, followed by a slightly bitter darker chocolate taste, with a first what seems like a weird, indescribable aftertaste, which must be the Gesho sticks and leaves. Very smooth and easy to drink, which is dangerous. Mouthfeel is excellent, thick and rich surrounding your mouth with goodness. Drinakbility, I would say one and done, but enjoyed it.

BeTheBall, Nov 25, 2010
Photo of TheBrewo
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

We pour a thick and syrupy looking brew of pitch black. It holds a medium brown colored head of roughly one finger that remains for some time. A nice, thin lacing appears around the glass. The aroma is strong, primarily composed of bitter cocoa, sweet honey, deep roasted malts, and a myriad of earthy spice. The taste kicks off with a bang!! We have, on the very front, sweet grainy malts. These then fall to a huge roasted flavor throughout the middle, which peaks with a curiously biting spice, that is simultaneously sweet and spicy (chili pepper spicy). We can also palpate, on the back end, the slightest hint of alcohol clinging to the other flavors. The aftertaste is clean, with remnants of malts and a coffee flavor lingering. Despite the thick body and creamy characteristics of the brew, the mouth is left significantly dry. Throughout each sip the carbonation is evenly medium, and fairly noncontributory. At 9.00% abv this thick brew, while smooth, is a sipper.

Overall, the best thing about this brew was how strong the flavor takes off right from the start. The first sip is like a punch to the tongue, and it doesn't let up. Essentially everything from the hefty aroma comes through doubly so in flavor, all with the brew remaining extremely smooth, creamy, and otherwise delightful.

TheBrewo, Nov 25, 2010
Photo of maximum12
4.47/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to wisconsinbeer1 for setting a side a bottle of this in your better local bottle shop, Casanova's, in Hudson, WI. After watching the first installment of Brewmaster's on Discovery, my wife wanted to try this right away.

Pours black. Looks lovely, but really, that's the snifters talking. Smells more truly chocolate than any beer I've had to date, very sweet, with a baseboard of roast. The roast really roars forward as the beer warms.

This beer flies the flag of Dogfish Head unusuality high & proud. There's a big stout in here that's been dropped on its head, chewed up, & shuffled back together. Big roast notes up front, then a hard flash of bitterness that might be hops or might be gesho (or the gesho might be the sweetness, how the heck would I know?). The bright lights vanish quickly, & it's a cool downhill slide of malts, sweetness (the honey?), mild chocolates, black licorice & dying roast. Wow. Lots going on here. The complexities & layers keep me sipping far more rapidly than befits a 9% stout & a man of my advanced age.

Excellent beer. Recently I had my first revelation of a stout mixed with honey, & now I must try them all. Bitches Brew not only delivered in that respect, but it would take a better palate than mine to peel back all of its layers.

maximum12, Nov 25, 2010
Photo of phishgator
3.95/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought at local Total Wine & More and poured into a Dogfish Head pint glass. Dark black with a thinner bubbly head. Not much lacing of the glass. The notes are of honey and roasted coffee beans. The taste is much the same as the aroma. There is a touch more of the honey that comes through. The spice reminds me of a mild spruce leaf. The carbonation is slight and the body is full. An interesting brew and one of their better experiments.

phishgator, Nov 24, 2010
Photo of cetherid
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured into a tulip


pours pretty much black. Some light showing through during the pour but very black once in the glass. A huge amount of brown frothy head.


first smell is dark malts with some earthy floral aromas. Definitely smells like raw ingredients.

**HOWEVER...after the glass is finished, the aroma is more of the floral aroma than the standard stout aroma...just like someone threw in real raw ingredients. Very unique and very beautiful smelling!**


bitter chocolate with a hint of roasted coffee. Not much sweetness I'm getting, considering it has honey in it, however getting some bitter earthy flavor and a little citrusy flavor. I'm guessing the taj? A decent amount of bitterness in the finish which makes it slightly dry, but in a good way. No funky aftertaste. Overall a great stout. very unique!


medium bodied. huge amounts of carbonation with lots of lacing that slides down the glass. A little dry finish but nothing too bad. Goes down smooth and the alcohol is hidden very well.


very high. The ABV is kinda high but you can't taste the alcohol at all. Finding this beer is a bit tough, but I could easily finish a whole bottle myself. Luckily I have 1 more bottle. Hopefully they make more than 2 batches of this!

cetherid, Nov 24, 2010
Photo of TheHoppiest
3.75/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into an oversized snifter. the cover art from the Miles Davis album beautifully rendered on the label.

Pours a deep, deep dark brown, with an ochre colored creamy head that settles into a thin skin on top. Excellent swirling retention.

Malty, even bready smelling, with molasses, black licorice, mocha, and honey. Smells like dessert in a glass!

Taste is much more bitter than it smells. Bitter, like baker's chocolate, with a bit of copper on the tongue and breadybmalt toward the end. The taste is in some ways backwards from shat you'd expect from an imperial stout; bitter first, malty later and no real bitter aftertaste.

Mouhfeel is full, and dry.

Relatively drinkable, I look forward to finishing this bottle throughout the evening.

TheHoppiest, Nov 24, 2010
Photo of Arinthos
5/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Pours out black , with a two finger mocha head. The head fades off quickly and leaves some spotty lacing.

S - malt and smokiness i can also smell the seetness of honey.

T - Wow what a suprise it looks like a stout but the first thing that comes to the taste buds is honey and malt it reminds me almost of mead ( because of the honey ) the abv is misleading as its 9% but the alcohol is really not present at all.

M - Smooth is all I can say very drinkable.

D - overall a extremely enjoyable beer I would put this easily in my top 5 but that is my taste. not a everyday beer but maybe for the holidays or a wedding etc. Dogfish head has def outdone themselves on this one kudos.

Arinthos, Nov 23, 2010
Photo of cjacobsen
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured dark, really dark, but came out thinner than stouts do.

It smelled lightly sweet and floral. Had the stout/coffee hints to it but this was definitely a different type of beer.

The taste was light, sweet, and malty. Had a defined earthy tone to it. You could sip this many times and still be working through the mainly flavors going on. The Gesho root really plays a role in this.

Almost a citrus feel on the tongue. It wasn't bad but you get thrown for a small loop since its 3/4 stout but doesn't drink like one.

This beer was fantastic and well worth the try. It's one of those that you can enjoy and not get totally filled up on.

cjacobsen, Nov 23, 2010
Miles Davis' Bitches Brew from Dogfish Head Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 3,224 ratings.