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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

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,372
Reviews: 879
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 11.69%
Wants: 457
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 cosmo4u
4.52/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bitches Brew poured a gorgeous ruby read in color with a thick, billowing tan head. A nice nose of milk chocolate, toffee and honey spills out of the glass. The honey is very present in this beer and may be what helps to mellow out the traditionally stronger flavors of chocolate, roasted malts and toffee. As it warms you do get a bit of cherry on the palate and some roasted coffee beans too. The taste and mouthfeel are exceptional to most beers I have tried lately and really leave me wanting more

Photo of Lucklys
4.73/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sexy, rich, and dark are the very base words I could use to describe such an amazing drink as this, but that's not telling you even the beginning of it. I could write another thousand words about the way this beer warmed me to my very core, about how it swung with my soul and stole a little piece of my heart in a smokey back room filled to the brim with a trio of voices from a saxophone, a piano, and a trumpet. What I could say and what I'm about to say are never going to be able to do justice to what really is. An experience such as this has to be first-hand or you will never be able to fully appreciate just what it is that makes the dresses stretch a little bit tighter, the fingers fidget steadily faster, the hips sway more loosely and the steps trip to the beat of the heart behind them rather than the beat of the drums. Maybe I'm being dramatic, maybe I'm caught up in my own empirical evidence and personal observation, but isn't that how every beer wishes to be savored? Building a story out of a fermented beverage is no easy task; brewing an ale that creates its own story and manages to pass it along to any who will sit and listen for a while is an even more difficult endeavor. Miles Davis does it. Dogfish Head does it. Bitches Brew does it. Listen to the music.

Bitches Brew poured an opaque tar-like jet black into my snifter with a dark chocolate-mahogany aura glowing in just the right light. It built a finger-thick deep mocha head of dense, creamy foam that held on with slightly better than average retention. Thin sheets of continuous lacing clung to the glass with ease, leaving nice rings of dark tan residue. Once the head finally receded, a thin velvety blanket of tiny bubbles was left just on top with two or three minuscule islands of medium bubbles slowly popping their way into the dark oblivion below them.

The nose was full of rich dark toasted barley malts, salted caramel toffee, dark bittersweet chocolate, and covered with a good slathering of burnt brown sugar and vanilla. There was something deliciously herbal that lingered just within the sweetness of a light honey, leaving me at a complete loss of words for how it smelled exactly. Hints of a milky coffee poked through here and there, though not as much as I expected out of an Imperial Stout, especially when the beer is 3/4 stout and 1/4 honey beer with gesho root. Huge roasted aromas smothered everything in a way that kept it warm and inviting, but they were stopped just short of overwhelming by a round smokyness and a rather sharp, sweet aroma - almost a second bite of saccharine honey - that cleared my nose. Near the end of the glass, as the beer became more room temperature, a soft and mildly noticeable alcohol became present, but it was far from off-putting and was actually rather inviting.

I carefully pressed the edge of the glass into my lips and let the rich, dark liquid trickle across my tongue. Right up front, a deliciously rich bittersweet chocolate malt flavor stroked my taste buds while a mellow undertone of grainy, bready malts filled in any gaps. I found it particularly enticing that the one thread of honey beer with gesho root was so prevalent despite the other three threads being Imperial Stout - I also found it interesting that this created an environment that was much sweeter than it was bitter with virtually no coffee flavor. Instead of coffee, I was treated to a caramel sweetened honey, brown sugar, and a dark, earthy molasses all bathed in a rich smoky cedar. Somewhere deep in the murky depths, a hint of dark pitted fruits - plums, black grapes and overripe cherries - accompanied by just the right amount of herbal hops and dark chocolate kept this beer smooth, silky, and easy to drink. Though I'm positive the full body and medium mouthfeel with low carbonation definitely aided the relaxed, yet exciting, drink down. The amalgamation of flavors that erupted from this brew and maintained their ground while joining hands with all of the others during every step of the drink is impeccable. I don't think I've ever tasted another beer that has used such interesting ingredients and had them work as well as this one. There isn't enough I could say about it! Ending on a very clean note, with little bitter aftertaste, each sip leaves me a little bit warmer than when I went in...making me crave more while enticing me to hold back and wait.

I apologize if it feels like I rushed through this, but a relationship of this distinction can't last and needs to be taken to bed quickly, if you know what I mean. It will be gone in the morning and all you'll have left to hold on to is a memory of a night in a smoky room, being serenaded by a saxophone, a piano, and a trumpet; you'll have a story you can tell to anyone who'll listen.

Photo of zoolzoo
3.12/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: "Motor oil", aggressive pour revealing a half finger khaki head. Not much activity, just globby black stuff.

S: Syrupy milk chocolate. Sweet, but no sign of honey. Some roasted coffee beans.

T: Bitter coffee, roasted malts, suggestion of chocolate. The honey and the uh, gesho root, are totally lost on me here. I think something was lost in translation with beer, I guess I'm not sure what I was expecting, just something a little different. A decent stout as it stands, though.

M/D: Carbonation was right on, body was a little thin. Drinkability is average.

Photo of MrDanno96
3.46/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours pitch black with more than a finger of foamy tan head that dissipates to about half a finger after a few minutes. Lots of foamy lacing coats the sides of the glass.

S: Lots of dark roasted malt, reminiscent of very strong, maybe even burnt coffee. A little sweetness from the honey comes through as well.

T: The honey flavor really comes through in the flavor with a bold sweetness. The roastiness of the brew prevents the sweetness form becoming overly cloying, but I'm not sold on the combination of coffee-like roast and honey. Interesting for sure, but I'm not crazy about it. The honey sweetness really lingers for a long time in the finish. EDIT: I originally gave taste a 3.0, but the flavors balanced out more as the brew warmed. The honey sweetness and the roasted malt began to work better together closer to room temperature.

M: Right on the boarder between medium and full body. Subtle carbonation in the finish.

D: A decent brew, but not worthy of the hype - the score is definitely inflated IMHO. The best part of this for me was the art on the label.

Photo of nanertak
4.47/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - pours a dark, dark black. Shockingly dark head, 2 fingers, that just lasts forever. Looks intimidating.

Smell - dark chocolate, mild booziness, somewhat floral like dark caramelized sugar.

Taste - silky maltiness up front, fading to a mild coffee bitterness. Finish of prunes, dried fruit, and maybe molasses. Some alcohol heat on the tail end that seems to increase. Very nice.

Mouthfeel - low carbonation, silky, very round. I think the feeling of dryness comes from the roasted malts and bitterness, not from a lack of residual sugar.

Drinkability - yes. If they brew it again, I'll be ready. Fantastic beer, would age very well.

Photo of Suds
4.27/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark, black, thick, and solid...this beer has some presence. The aroma is interesting...there's a touch of honey, some chocolate character, a hint of wood, and caramel malt scents. It's an intriguing and very enticing scent that I originally found quite good, but that also continued to grow on me...I couldn't get enough of the aroma. The taste is equally interesting...dark malts, roasted barley, more wood character, less honey than in the smell, and an unexpected dryness. The dryness has a touch of chalk to it, but it doesn't become astringent, and seems to keep the beer in balance, since it's not overly bitter. Alcohol is well hidden, but is evident after half a glass (more from effect than from taste). The beer is very full in body, but the dryness still makes it easy to drink. Long finish...lots of complexity in the lingering flavor. This is a wonderfully enriching beer...worth the experience.

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

750mL bottle poured into a tulip. Thank to cjacobsen for sharing this one!

(A)- Pours a pitch black color and produced a good frothy tan head with good retention and lace.

(S)- A dry roasted profile with molasses. Finishes in a sweet honey aspect.

(T)- Same as the smell. A good roasted component with a sweet honey like finish.

(M)- A good carbonation level and balance. Roasty and sweet at the same time; minimal bitterness. Very smooth for a stout.

(D)- A good RIS for sure. A nice mix of dry roasted components and sweet honey-like finish.

Photo of marquinoftroy
3.76/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this on-tap at Neighborhood in SD. I had to try it, never seen it on-tap anywhere in San Diego and a brew blended with Tej could be amazing.
It looks like an Imperial Stout and smells like one (roasty, chocolate, etc). The taste is very unique, pretty tart for a imperial stout, not what I was expecting.
This brew is not for me, but for those who like sour, you'll probably love it.

Photo of CuriousMonk
3.88/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 750ml bottle into snifter glass. Pours out super dark brown, almost black, with a brown head that sticks around and leaves good lace. Smell is odd yet playful. I'm getting all kinds of aromas like chocolate, wood, grain-seed, earth, and honeymustard. Intriguing nose, in a good way. Taste is super unique. Of course there's the obvious chocolate stoutiness, with roasted smokey malts with a touch of booziness. But then there's this flavor profile in the middle of sweet wood and earth that's hard to put words to. But it is very delightful. Maybe it's damp firewood and mild herbs. Anyhow, it's super unique and a fantastic twist to the tired formula of imperial stout.

Photo of iRoy
4.54/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Great brew, I had to pick it up as it was the last bottle and all the hype around it. Very dark and sweet smelling. The taste is awesome with hints of honey here and there. A bit bitter aftertaste. Worth the hype I would say as well as the high cost. I would definitely buy 2 if they decide to brew it again.

Photo of oline73
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a Chimay goblet.

Appearance: Pours black with hardly any light coming through at all. There is one finger of thick dark tan head.

Smell: Quite sweet and very roasty. I'm picking up some dark chocolate and sweet dark fruit notes.

Taste: Initially I pick up the sweet roast. There are hints of dark chocolate, dark fruit, honey, and a bit of alcohol. This beer is very well balanced.

Mouthfeel: Body is on the thicker side. The carbonation is delicate and very smooth.

Drinkability: This one is quite good. I think it's very well balanced and would definitely search this one out again.

Photo of jdb8507
4.83/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I am normally not a coffee/stout drinker. I do not drink coffee, although I enjoy the smell.

However, if I had to choose a beer to drink for the rest of my life, this would be in my top 3. It has a great flavor, strong, but not overwhelming. It has a coffee nose, a mead body, and a coffee finish. As you drink it, it gets sweeter, but not in a bad way.

I highly enjoyed it, and braved a blizzard to drive over an hour just to try this. If you get the chance to even get a sip, do it.

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

taste- sweet roasted malt backbone, milk chocolate notes, cocoa, green apple

color- cherry chestnut

clarity- clear

smell- sweet porter aroma, toasted wood

body- smooth on the palate

appearance- looks like a light-bodied stout with nice lace, active carbonation when agitated, effervescent

overall impression- a light bodied stout, not as unique as i anticipated, fits well into the library of stouts now being served

notes and comments- could have been fuller-bodied, lean for an imperial stout

glassware: tulip

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

750 ml bottle, poured into an oversized snifter. Near black body with a thick cap of tan foam that retains quite nicely. Patchy lacing is left behind.

Smells much like a nice big RIS- roast and chocolate aplenty- but with the addition of a rosy/berry combo that I assume can be attributed to the gesho. This berryish presence becomes a distinct aspect of the flavor profile as the beer warms. It blends very nicely with sweet milk and dark chocolates and vanilla. The underlying dry roasted and toasted malts and a hefty dose of bitterness keep the sweetness in check (vastly superior to WWS in that regard). Medium/thick, with a prickliness that also aids in keeping the sweetness from clogging up the palate.

Overall impression: Very nice brew, and the best stout I've tried from DFH to date.

Photo of beergod1
4.23/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This Imperial Stout pours an eclipse black color from a 750ml bottle. Medium sized tan foamy head with nice retention and good lacing. The aroma is chocolate, coffee, honey and earthy. Medium to full bodied Imperial Stout. The malts are chocolate, coffee, roasted malts and honey. The hops are herbal and earthy. Nice carbonation. Nice smooth taste. The chocolate aroma fades a little as it warms. A touch of honey sweetness at the finish. Nice sipping beer. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly sweet.

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

1 pint. Bottled 2010.

Pours a dark black with a three finger foamy tan head. Slowly dissipates leaving incredible lacing all the way down. Nose is roasted malts, sweet toasty notes of cocoa and coffee. Auromas of honey and spices. Taste is outstanding. Huge upfront roasted stout flavour profile with a sweet honey middle and a long dry bitter finish. The ABV is perfect for this at 9 and is hardly noticeable. I appreciate this not being a boozy mess. Crafted with a lot of thought and special ingrediants. Amazing job Dogfish Head.

Photo of notchucknorris
4.97/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Purchased at Beverages 4 Less

A: Impossibly dark in color. Almost as dark as The Abyss (but not quite). Impressive.

S: A lot of honey with some coffee and molasses. I picked up a deep earthy smell in this that I loved.

T: Unbelievable. A little milk chocolate sweetness, then some coffee, dark chocolate, a wonderful earthiness and some roasted malt. Leaves a velvety coating in your mouth that makes you never want to drink another beer in your life. One of the best beers I've ever had.

Photo of wikk3d
4.83/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

My first review on my phone since my laptop died so bare with me.

Appearance: Very dark body pours with a very thin brown head that fades quickly. Not see through.

Aroma: Chocolate, very prevalent, hint of honey. Very strong bitter smell.

Taste: Very strong cocoa flavor, bitter but not overpowering. There's some sweetness that comes through at the end. Vert heavy.

Mouth: Again, this is an extremely heavy beer so the taste lasts for quite some time. It's not bitter to the point that it's unbearable.

Drinkability: I'm glad I got ahold of this beer. It's not too filling, it's just the right amount of chocolate character, and an entire bottle is easily drinkable in one sitting. I'd definitely recommend picking one up.

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

1 pint, 9.4 fl oz bottle; bottled December 2010

A: Heavy, early black body with great dark brown, foamy head, thickly laced, lingers long
S: Toasted malt, chocolate, coffee, touch of diacetyl
T: Coffee, stewed dark fruit, honey, chocolate, some alcohol
M: Lighter-than-expected body, but still well-rounded, smooth, silky almost
D: One glass is a meal; the bottle is gluttonous. Delicious, but I need a nap afterwards

Photo of Jeffo
3.42/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

In a trade with STEG. Thanks man!

From a 750 into a snifter.
Batch no.1

APPEARANCE: Black and thicker looking, opaque pour produces a very small, medium-thin looking mocha colored head that quickly vanishes. Jet black body with zero carbonation evident. A slight ring remains but leaves no lacing. Thick dark beer, but lackluster head.

SMELL: Some roasted malts with notes of chocolate and honey. The gesho has imported some minty bubblegum notes, like mint flavored Hubba Bubba. Some light, faint roasted coffee beans play a part as well. Very nice indeed, though not quite bold enough to really make a statement.

TASTE: Roasted and caramel malts with some obvious honey in there. Hints of cocoa and espresso, but the honey is still in the leading role. A touch of bubble gum is still there, but the roasted malt and honey more prevalent. Medium strength and lingering aftertaste is roasted, smoky, with some sweet honey to balance out the mild bitterness. Interesting and enjoyable.

PALATE: Medium body and medium carbonation. A little light on the palate as well. Mildly creamy, goes down with some prickly carbonation and finishes slightly dry on the palate. Fine, but a little more body would help out for sure.

OVERALL: Interesting and enjoyable imperial stout. The palate could be bigger, which would give the intriguing flavor profile a push, and the head a more persistent, but regardless, this is one of the more unique interpretations of the style. Probably the most enjoyable brew I've had from Dogfish Head to date, but not something I'd need to seek out again. Thanks again for sending one my way STEG.

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

750mL ~ consumed by my selfish self.
Batch 2 ~ Into an oversized snifter.

Appearance- The pour is damn near jet black with a large creamy tan head. No light is entering the glass. Great retention and laceing.

Smell- Dark roasted malts. Notes of coffee and chocolate. An earthyness and a hint of smoke. A dab of honey. The aroma is very inviting.

Taste- Very well banlanced. An intermingeling of smoke, roasted malt, bitter coffee, and sweet milk chocolate. A subtle earthy hop presence and a hint of the honey tej is noticed. I am going to assume that is what is giving this its final sweetness, before the ultimate lingering roasted malt finish.

Mouthfeel- Medium body and carbonation. Looks thicker than it is. ABV's are hid well.

Overall- Finally got around to trying more than just a little sample pour of this. Not a world changer, but it does not dissapoint. Very drinkable for a 9% stout, the honey addition does wonders in smoothing this out. (3 more in the cellar for ageing/sharing :))

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

Purchased at the DFH Brewery in November 2010 and was purchased just after the first "Brewmasters" show premiered. There was a limited amount available, even at the brewery, and there was a two bottle limit on the BB so I bought two.

Purchase price: $12-750ml bottle.

Shared and enjoyed with fellow BA member "BeerConnoiseur". Cheers, Pat!

Enjoyed in a DFH Signature Glass.

A - Pours a pitch black, totally opaque color. Creamy, tan colored, two finger head that lasts a good 4-5 minutes. Slowly dissipates to a thin, beige color layer on top of the beer. If you tilt the glass, a syrupy film slides down the sides of the glass. Good amount of lacing left on the side of the glass during the tasting.

S - A burnt malt, smoky and chocolaty aroma is noticeable. A faint smell of alcohol is also present.

T - A very distinct burnt wood taste is the overwhelming taste. A coffee or mocha flavor is also present. The alcohol is well disguised but is present.

M - A very thick feel to the beer. There is a bitter aftertaste after each sip but nothing off putting. Moderate carbonation.

D - A very good stout. This is a bold, in your face stout that offers great taste but it is on the heavy side. Not an everyday beer and I recommend having someone to share the 750ml bottle with.

Overall: I really enjoyed this beer. A great offering from the folks at DFH.


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

Thanks goes out to Bartrash for this brew.


Poured into a chalice a very nice black color, very nice carbonation, with a nice little fizzy dark tan head, with lots of sticky lacing left behind, and small islands in the glass. The nose is malty, with lots of chocolate/toffee, and caramel. The taste is really nice, malty, sweet, chocolate/toffee notes, some vanilla, slightly roasted. Medium body, a nice creamy, slightly bitter finish. Very Drinkable, finally got a chance to try this one out, Thanks Pete.

Photo of weeare138
4.12/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a deep, dense black with a small tan head that quickly fades into a gentle cap. Scattered bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of roasted malts, honey smacks cereal, cut grass, mollasses, maple syrup, brown sugar, and earthy aromas.
Taste is of the aromas with a citrusy, lime zest, earthy vitamin flavor that takes a back seat to roastiness, and cocoa powder.
Mouthfeel is full bodied, sweet, sticky, with an herbal kick at the end.

Photo of Urbancaver
3.91/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 2

Pours dark black with a good amount of brown head. Well carbonated and pretty. Smells roasted with a hint of honey on the nose. A great malt profile on the nose and tongue. Tastes sweet but dry. A solid roasted flavor that carries the beer. Very good mouthfeel despite the bitterness of the dark roasts.

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