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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.

3,296 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,296
Reviews: 864
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 11.69%
Wants: 444
Gots: 1,196 | FT: 58
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: 3,296 | Reviews: 864 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Murchmac
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Drank this beer while listening to the 40th anniversary album.

This beer pours a dark dark black. It definitely runs the voodoo down.

Smells of chocolate, honey sweetness, roasty quality.

Complex taste I did not expect. After watching brewmasters I realize why it has such a rich taste of honey, chocolate, roasted malts,

Mouthfeel is nice, some roasted sweetness on the back in the finish.

Great beer, glad I got to try it.

Photo of EgadBananas
3.78/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Dark and dank, fairly sludge-like. Mark mocha head.

S - There's some honey, roasted malts, slight chocolate.

T - Chocolate, bitterness/bittersweet, some honey sweetness, and theres some spice (actually maybe spicy)

M - Creamy, medium in body, low carbonation.

D - Drinkability is good, and overall it's an easy drinking and pretty good brew.

Photo of Willibomb
3.73/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer hides the 9% well, and I would say it's taste was on par with the chicory stout, yet packs more of a punch. It is a classic Imperial Stout. Now for the downside.

If you remember the episode about this beer, it was a special ethiopian beer cut in with an imperial stout. Unfortunately the stout dominates this beer since it represents a larger portion of the mixture AND the features of a stout will dominate the weaker concoction that it was cut with.

Second, the "special ingredients" are in such small quantity, that it is litterally tasteless in the beer. If you can taste honey, it is from the 5 gallon buckets of generic honey, and not the 1 jar of special honney from ethiopia.

In all, it is a very good imperial stout, that uses honney to kick the ABV to 9% without all of the harsh biproducts from malt fermentation.

Great idea, well done, but I don't think it would be worth the premium price with all of the other great stouts that are out there (rogue, founders, chicory)

Photo of grubas
4.85/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

At first it appeared a bit too viscious and sticky for me, as I tend to not like dark beers. The gesho made a clear presence and what I would call a fantastic aftertaste. Several hops lovers did not enjoy this beer, and I would not recommend it to them.

It has a very coffee/chocolaty taste, and was a very heavy beer, but the alcohol was pretty much completely hidden.

I found it very drinkable, and as a fan of Miles Davis found the funkiness of the mouth taste, which was a bit short, but would have been overpowering had it lasted too long, to be fantastic.

I would consider this to be one of my favourite beers ever, as it was complex, subtle, smooth, and mostly fitting of it's name sake. Although a beer that would fit "Pharoah's Dance" would be a bit too much in my opinion.

Also, considering that I have been awaiting a "Bitches Brew" beer, this was not only something I wanted, but a very pleasant and good beer to take the name.

My only complaint would be that the syrupy appearance of the beer was mildly disconcerting at first, but that faded after tasting it.

Photo of bum732
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

S: Dark, dark cocoa powder, coffee roastiness. Earthy brownie mix, honey is extremely faint.

L: Dark black, dark tan head, 1/4 inch retention, sticky lacing.

T: Semi-sweet caramel and cocoa malt leads to a broad herbal bitterness. Touch of honey notes with an herbal weediness. Smooth earthy dry finish with jusst a touch of cocoa powder roastiness.

M: Medium bodied with medium low carbonation. Alcohol very well hidden.

A fantastic beer. The honey and gesho are fairly well hidden but add some nice subtle notes. More importantly, they keep this beer from being too sweet like most DFH beers.

Photo of beveragesampler
4.7/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into glass a deep opaque dark black color. A frothy two finger head billowed up with an intensely rich chocolate mocha color. A lasting retention strewn lacing inconsistently down the sides of the glass. All of which settled into a mottled thin layer of micro bubbly stillness.

Complex aroma's rise up to meet your nose at the rim of the glass. Dominate chocolate with dark fruit and some cranberries and plum present themselves well balanced and full of character.

A wonderful contrast of stout characteristics. The flavor profile immediately hits the sides and back of the tongue. Initial slight sweetness of honey and brown sugar, gives way to some chocolate covered plum; hints of coffee and roasted malts. On the finish is a subtle spice and a tang from the gesho root.

This is a full bodied beer and very well balanced. 9% ABV well hidden but is noticeable in taste and smell if you are looking for it. Exceptional drinkability with respect to the style. Overall smooth a delicious!


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

Appearance: Very dark, almost burnt look to it. Head is about one finger of a chocolately brown color. Some red seems to shine through.

Aroma: Cherries and chocolate and a spicy root... excellent.

Taste: Sweet with cherries (my favorite part), chocolately, but a good roasty coffee taste to complement the root influence. Very rich.

Mouthfeel: Good mouthfeel, but heavy.

Drinkability: Love the taste of the beer, but not as drinkable as I had hoped.

Still a great tasting, unique beer!

Photo of scriabin
4.63/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bitches Brew pours with the color and consistency not unlike motor oil and immediately caught my attention. It's complex flavor was lively and morphed throughout the drink. Unlike too many beers with similar complexity, this one is incredibly smooth and subtle. Think gentle, deep tissue massage rather than hand chops. This one lived up to it's reputation for me.

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

121st review on BA
Bottle to snifter
Batch 1

App- Poured almost a midnight black with a one finger light brown head that just sat in the glass like a pancake mix in a mixing bowl. The lacing is pretty good as well and left a nice webbing to it.

Smell- A lot lighter smelling than I would have thought for a stout. Smells like a stout but with a big lemon thrown in to bring out some other flavors.

Mouth- A unique taste of a stout with a nice after taste to mellow it out. A very pleasant taste that warms you up on a cold rainy day.

Drink- Like I said a unique beer that I was very glad I was able to grab a Batch 1 of. I recommend to try if if you have not done so yet.

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

After hesitating for a special day to try this beer. I thought to heck with it. It's time to crack this one open and give it a taste.I think the appearance has a classic dark black color.With the tan lacing sticking to the side of my snifter. TASTE is well very enjoyable,very imperial.Its rich dark chocolate and roasted.I can't really taste honey or tej.I could enjoy this one often. If they decide to make more,but thats all folks enjoy while its around.Its just here to celebrate a really great Miles Davis record.Then its gone...

Photo of DrinkinBoy
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Dogfish Head Bitches Brews has a very fluffy and creamy head, the color of heavily creamed coffee. Its retention is average. The bodies color is extremely dark brown and opaque.

Its aromas include honey, coffee, and some small spice notes. Also noticeable is a little heat from the alcohol.

The taste starts off slightly sweet but quickly goes into the classic yet more powerful stout standards of coffee, roasted nuts and dark chocolate on the mid palate. Its finish leads into honey and floral notes. The taste is very sweet comparable to powder sugar. Bitches Brew leaves an even longer lingering finish beyond the sweet aspect, which last for a minute plus, and is focused on the coffee-like bitterness.

Its mouthfeel is very thick with little carbonation.

This beer was surprisingly sessionable considering the high ABV and the darker style.

Overall I felt this beer was very good, yet somewhat of a letdown. The beer by itself was well made and a palate pleaser, but it was a little overhyped in my head by watching Brewmasters. Still, all things aside, it is a great brew that fills an open area in Dogfish Head's diverse portfolio, and would definitely be a beer I would consume more than once.

Photo of elgiacomo
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle, batch 2010 3E (2nd Batch). Served cool cellar temp into a DFH Signature Glass.

Pours thick black with a two finger brown head that leaves rings of lacing and holds a great cap.

Aroma is espresso, coffee, milk chocolate, roasted malts, earthy and herbal, moderate to good strength.

Flavor is rich milk chocolate, smooth coffee, roasted malts, some raisins and dark fruits, honey sweetness, lingering sweet/roasted finish with a bit of citrus hops and an herbal note, perhaps the gesho and Tej at work. No noticeable alcohol bite.

Mouthfeel is foamy, creamy, velvety, medium bodied, low to medium carbonation.

An incredibly drinkable Imperial Stout, very, very smooth, this is going down way too fast! Got a bottle of Batch 1 aging in the cellar, but after having this I'm not sure it really needs any age.

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.4/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured black with a cola colored head, good carbonation

S: Traditonal RIS, cocoa, charred malt, some spice and berry

T: Taste is roasted malt, cocoa, some spice but pretty boring to me.

M: Full body, ok carbonation, some booze but 9ABV is well hidden

D: Average for the style.

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

Pours a syrupy brownish black with a very dark head.

Dark malts and coffee notes dominate the bouquet.

Coffee and dark chocolate dominate this beer. Very slight sweetness but it pretty much gets swallowed up by the bitter charactor of the beer.

Thick thick thick...probably due to the high alc content.

Very drinkable the alc is not readily apparent at all.

Photo of GarrettMD
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pitch black, no light comes through anywhere on this beer. 2 fingers of thick dark mocha head. Head retention is amazing. Lacing is perfect.

S - Aroma is a lot of chocolate. I tasted Southern Tier's Chocolat tonight as well and this has an almost identical aroma. Slight hint of honey and an equally slight hint of alcohol.

T - Taste is much different than Southern Tier's Chocolat, and I'm glad. Chocolate takes a back-seat to the roasted malts. Slight coffee taste compliments the chocolate. This tastes mostly like a stout, I am having a hard time finding a honey-like taste or those gesho roots.

M - Thick, creamy, heavy body. Good amount of carbonation, maybe just a little too much. Finish is creamy, bitter from roasted malts, with a slight alcohol burn. Honey flavors come through well past the finish of the taste, when all the roasted malts have left the pallete.

D - Great drinkability, as thick and creamy as it is, this is very easy to drink. I'm splitting the bottle 3 ways, but

I may have rated this beer a little lower if I was rating based on what the company advertised rather than the style is is listed as. As a RIS, this is fantastic, however, as a RIS blended with a honey/gesho ale, this doesn't measure up. There is next to no honey/gesho aspect to this beer.

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

A hand full of medium brown head with lace cling from out of this world. Color matches a 40 on the SRM Beer color chart, and I didn't even have to look, this beer is black. Only direct sunlight will pierce the darkness and show a deep red hue. Smells of honey, chocolate, chicory, lime, wheat, and malt. Taste is very bold to the point of harshness, flavors that come through are honey, coffee, coco, anise, hops and malt. A bit too much wallop for every day drinking, and also, it is rare to find. I at least can say I have sampled one.

Photo of Pencible
3.75/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: This poured pitch black with moderate tan head.
S: It smelled like fresh coffee and roasted barley, with a little brown sugar and dark chocolate.
T: It tasted like bitter dry earthy dark chocolate and brown sugar, with musty roasted barley and day-old coffee. It had a lasting, very dry and bitter aftertaste.
M: It was very thick and viscous with a little carbonation and a bit of alcohol warming.
D: This was good but nothing special. The scent and taste were decent, while the body was excellent. The alcohol was noticeable but not bad, so it wasn't difficult to drink. Age may help mellow it out, but I was generally unimpressed.

Photo of mjw06
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The brew poured darker than I would have imagined, dark brown to black right along the lines of what you would expect from any stout. The head was a frothy milk chocolate color, very spacey, and left little to no lace.

This was an interesting selection for me, as it backed full-bodyness in flavor and feel, yet lacked much complexity. Theres a bit of roasted spiciness on top of a sourdough canvas. The bitterness is very different, which I assume to be attributed to the gesho root that is being used in place of hops in 1/4 of the beer. There's just a bit of sweetness, which tasted to me like a roasted light caramel. The beer had a smooth finish with just a tad bit of alcohol warmth, just enough to remind you of it's imperial character and 9% ABV.

I really enjoyed this beer. And I enjoyed it fast, actually. Definitely looking forward to picking up another bottle to age.

Photo of WhistlingBird
2.63/5  rDev -37.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Stouts are not my type of beer. But I figured I'm brewing beer I should be open to trying different styles. I was really lucky to find a 750ml bottle from the second batch that was released along with Dogfish Head's TV series Brew Masters.

It poured dark brown almost black with a tiny creamy white head that disapated quickly but did leave a lacing as I drank it. It to me had a smokey quality that I have to like in a beer. Again, this it not my first preference in style. Would I try it again? ABsolutely as I am refining and defining my beer tastes..

Photo of goalie33
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 750mL bottle into 13oz tulip glass.
A: Motor oil black with a brown head that quickly dissipates. Not much lacing, but leaves nice legs.
S: Not a very strong smell, but the dominant aroma is espresso with a hint of chocolate and some sweetness (the honey?)
T: Very mild. The honey is more pronounced then it is in the nose. The roasted malts also come through in the finish.
M: Thick, syrupy, full bodied beer. Really coats the mouth. Almost chewy.

Not as flavorful as I like my Imperial Stouts, but a very good beer nonetheless. Not sure if it's worth $10 for 750mL though.

Photo of JoePat
3.95/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours black with a thick brown head that lingers forever.

I get a lot of burnt sugars, roasted malts, coffee and a very light aroma that I cannot say for sure what it is (maybe the gesho).

In the flavor I get that unidentified aroma again and it tastes more tanic/green wood. I get a lot of roasted malts and chocolate and they work well with the woody flavor.

The beer is a little acidic yet still creamy and rich. I think the acidic character helps smooth it out to an easier drinking beer.

Photo of EricHeff
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I found one bottle of this at the local liquor store and I was quite intrigued by it after watching it on Brewmasters.
It poured super black with light brown head that was really thick. This is exactly the kind of look I like in my stouts so this was a great start.
The smell was good, but nothing stood out to me from other Imperial Stouts.
The taste is great. Not nearly as thick as most stouts but its not bad either. It has an incredible smoothness to it as it goes down. I definitely picked up some chocolaty goodness as will as hints of vanilla. The honey barely stands out and I have no idea what gesho root tastes like, but Im sure its in there.
Very easy to drink and extremely enjoyable. I wish I had another to age.
Awesome job Dogfish. As usual.

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

A: Black, somewhat thick pour. Really nice two and half finger, thick head on this one. Rings of lacing left down the pint glass.

S: The nose was roasty, and pretty sweet. Some chocolate malts and honey. I wouldn't be able to identify the honey if I didn't already know it was in the brew. It really wasn't too complex of a smell. In fact, it was quite straightforward.

T: The taste is where the beer is at. It's very roasty and chocolately at the beginning, much like many other Russian Imperial Stouts. But the back of the taste is where this brew differentiates itself. It has a sweet, smooth finish and is quite inviting.

M: Medium for a stout. Could be a little thicker. The smoothness makes up for the lack of thickness.

D: Quite a drinkable RIS. The 9% alcohol is hidden particularly well.

Honestly, a good beer. Pretty much what I expected. It is a nice change of pace from the boozy, in your face bourbon stouts (which I absolutely love by the way). In terms of buying it again, if there is another release... depends on if I'm in the mood. I enjoyed by bottle a lot but wasn't super excited about it as I am about other RIS. Definitely worth a try

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

Poured from 750ml bottle into my Bruges snifter.

A - Pours an amazingly dark brownish black with a dark tan almost brown head two finger creamy head. Good lacing formed on side of glass. The head dissipated pretty quickly leaving me questioning if there is any carbonation.

S - Amazing coffee smell. Possibly the best coffee aroma i have ever smelled in a beer. Dark Chocolate, molasses, honey dark malts. Slight smokiness and mild alcohol burn on the back-end of the sniff.

T - Coffee, licorice and honey come out strong in the beginning. Toasty roasted malt in the middle. Finishes off with a nice bitterness.

M - Smooth, creamy feel with slight carbonation. Not exactly chewy, but not medium bodied. Somewhere in between. Well balanced hearty feel

D - I enjoyed this beer a lot. Its very smooth and well balanced and surprising drank very well. I'm glad i had the opportunity to try this limited release beer and will buy again if i see it.

Photo of mjsheehan08
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle into a snifter glass.

Pours what appears to be a dark as dark can be black that built up a finger and a half head. Head is tannish with hints of ruby in the lacing. The lace stays with the beer all the way down, and it is sticky as hell. It wasn't until the end of my glass, as I was looking down at it, could I see a honey yellow tint that surrounded the lace as it stared back at me. A absolutely beautiful looking beer.

I don't listen to alot of Jazz, but I watched a live performance of Bitches Brew before I drank this, and I see why Sam and the crew from DFH made this into a jazzy beer. There was flavors from everywhere, and I couln't get a constant pattern to things. At first, the beginning was really sweet, and finished with a roasty vanilla chocolaty malt feel, but about halfway through, the flavors changed up on my, and I was hit with the roast first and finished with the sweetness. I could detect the honey, chocolate, expresso, vanillia, caramel and some serious hop bitterness in the finish. Overall, a really great beer, and I am even more excited to revisit with some age attached.

Miles Davis' Bitches Brew from Dogfish Head Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 3,296 ratings.