Miles Davis' Bitches Brew - Dogfish Head Brewery

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Miles Davis' Bitches BrewMiles Davis' Bitches Brew

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3,450 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,450
Reviews: 893
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 11.46%
Wants: 475
Gots: 1,292 | 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: 3,450 | Reviews: 893
Photo of Lemke10
3.75/5  rDev -10.5%

This pours a dark black color with a foamy brown head. The aroma is bold and sweet with hints of honey. The taste is big, bold, and complex. It finishes with an unique spice after taste.

Photo of ttroha
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Tap from Lazy Dog Macon. Pours dark black with tan head. Aroma of chocolate, caramel and coffee. Tastes of chocolate and coffee. Delicious!

Photo of Radome
4.27/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a snifter.

A - Color is deepest mahogany brown, almost black. It is totally opaque. The head is a rich brown color, made of minute bubbles. It is creamy, thick and long-lasting, as are the sheets of lacing on the glass.

S - All the aromas common to an imperial stout are here: coffee, roasted barley, mocha, Ovaltine chocolate milk mix. I also get hints of oak and smoke and just a whiff of rummy alcohol. I don't detect anything reminiscent of the honey beer described as being blended in with the stout.

T - The flavors follow the aromas. Mocha, espresso, chocolate milk and a slight burnt note are prevalent. There is a moderate hops bitterness and some light grassy hops flavors. No yeast notes. Light rum-like alcohol. The flavors do seem lighter and less densely packed than you might expect from an Imperial Stout of this strength.

M - Thick body. Smooth, silky mouthfeel that reminds me of an oatmeal stout. Low carbonation. Moderate hops bitterness that combines with a slightly acrid burnt note to seem more bitter.Low alcohol presence.

O - Make no mistake, this is a big, strong, intense Imperial Stout. But it does seem as though the lighter beer that's blended with it lightens the body and opens up the flavors a bit. A very nice beer.

Photo of Officer_Nasty
3/5  rDev -28.4%

This beer was just ok to me.

Photo of ILMbrew
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

A good stout. Some nice coffee/roasted malt flavors coming through but not getting a lot of anything else. Just a solid stout.

Photo of AndyAvalanche
4.16/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

750 ML Bottle, first release, poured into a Duvel Tulip Style Glass. Liquid coming out of the bottle is Dr Pepper brown as it streams out, but as it collects and rises in the glass it becomes an opaque black. There's a dark khaki brown head with more small than large bubbles. Pretty forthy and sticks around pretty much the whole time. Nice lacing and glass retention.

Smells great, when I cracked it open I was mad at myself for thinking I wanted anything different tonight, hit the spot here. Nice dark roasted grains with a few dark charred grains rolled in there as well. Swirl it around and you get lots of additional sweet aromas of slightly charred caramel, molasses, some dehydrated cherries, and a few other dark dehydrated fruits. Slightly warming sensation from the alcohol, not overbearing at all.

Taste is good, but somewhat lacking in comparison to the smell in my opinion. You get the roasted grains, hints of bitter chocolate and even some slight hints of coffee. Flavors of plump dark cherries and not quite fully dehydrated cranberries. All of this tastes as it might have a modest amount of some type of melted sugar or honey glaze on it. Nothing overly potent.

Mouthfeel is ok, much lighter than anticipated. Has a strong carbonation level without being over carbonated. Levels of complexity come out in the mouthfeel. It's light, smooth, and dry all at the same time. Since there are so many sweet flavors it's nice then it balances out with some bitterness then ends with a very dry finish like a red wine would. Very drinkable though, the 9% isn't overbearing, this could be consumed by a beer enthusiast over dinner if they wanted. Overall a very good beer, not a very great beer, but very good. I've had it a few times and am impressed with how well this beer (approximately 3-4 years aged) has held up. Might be slightly past it's prime but still very good.

Photo of ThomasAWilson2
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

Aged 2 years.. MUCH better than fresh! Not as much of a boozy burn and tastes sweeter with age.

Photo of draheim
4.21/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Re-reviewing this one, it's been about 3 years.

750mL bottle (bottled 2011) poured into a snifter. Pours an opaque oily black with a rich, dense mocha head. Gorgeous.

Aroma is dark roasted malt, bitter chocolate/cocoa, black licorice, and dark fruit.

Tastes rich, bitter, and chocolatey w/ some molasses and dark fruit.

Really smooth, full-bodied mouthfeel, with a very dry finish.

As good as I remember it. Despite some of the unconventiona ingredients, this is a pretty straightforward, traditional RIS and a pretty good one at that.

Photo of humuloner22
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer says it was bottled in 2012, I haven't really paid that much attention to the release of these beers, but they may do it every year now. I was under the impression it was for a commemoration of the album. Upon looking the album came out in 1970, so that would indicate to me that they made batches beyond the commemorative 40 year anniversary. I digress...

Appearance: I just love the way stouts look, it is what drew me to the style to begin with. This one is dark, like the album, pulling in every drop of the universe to combine various spectrum's of light frequency to form this amalgamation of darkness which is pure jazz in its truest of forms.

Smell: Dried fruits, molasses, charred oak, caramel

Taste: dark dried fruits, caramel, molasses, something else going on that I am not familiar with. Maybe its the gesho, I have not had that much experience with this plant. Maybe some burned latte flavors on the back end.

Overall, pretty much what you expect from an imperial stout. I would preferred that this beer came in a smaller container. Its pricey for what it is, and I am the only stout drinker around here.

Photo of Avool1960
3.46/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

This beer was oil black in color. Very rich and flavorful. Too much so in my opinion. I enjoyed it, but could only drink a half pint before feeling full. I mean like I just ate a meal. Very bready, with a chew to it. Coffee, carmel, burnt toast, flavors. Good experience, just not an all the time choice for me.

Photo of WhiteHillsStore
4.79/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A simply amazing beer. Cracked after letting age for about six months. The appearance was a dark brown with a coffee colored head. The smell was chocolate and malt with hints of fruit sweetness. The taste was amazing with coffee and dark chocolate flavors starting and finishing with flavors of dates and banana in the middle to even out the heavy flavors. The mouthfeel was nice and thick without becoming syrupy. Overall one of my personal favorite beers.

Photo of fgmiele
4.09/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours pitch black with a caramel roasted head..minimal to no lacing. Aroma is deep and coffee like with a hint of sweetness..Flavor is deep dark cocoa..reminds me of chocolate so bitter it's sweet..honey tartness it up a bit towards the finish..mouthfeel not boozy but warm and refreshing. Overall an enjoyable experience.

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

750 ml bottle into signature tulip glass, bottled in 2012. Pours dense pitch black color with a 1-2 finger fairly dense dark brown head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation retaining the lacing cap. Aromas of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, roasted malt, toast, dark bread, light char, molasses, honey, herbal, light anise, and roasted earthiness. Damn nice complexity and balance of dark/roasted malt and moderate honey/herbal spice notes; with great strength. Taste of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, roasted malt, toast, dark bread, light char, molasses, light anise, honey, herbal, and roasted earthiness. Fair amount of roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, roasted malt, toast, dark bread, light char, molasses, light anise, herbal, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity and robustness of big roasted/bready malt and moderate honey/herbal spice flavors; with a great roasted bitterness/sweetness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a very creamy, smooth, and lightly slick/chalky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is an awesome imperial stout. All around great complexity of robust roasted/bready malt and moderate honey/herbal spice flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.

Photo of polloenfuego
4.16/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Updated review: November 28, 2014

2013 Bottle.

I think the year of age has helped this beer, in that I can really taste the honey and sweetness now. The coarseness of the roast has mellowed and the beer is smooth and very enjoyable. It looks great and smells fantastic. Quick review I know, but hey, I got beer to drink.

Photo of barnzy78
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

L - black body, tan colored head
S - roasted barley, fruity, chocolate
T - cream, chocolate, roasted barley, modest piny bitterness, toasty grain
F - full body, very creamy and smooth
O - definitely different, which I always appreciate from DFH. This was a fun one to try; got to learn about Ethiopian beer and gesho while drinking it.

Photo of tmbgnicu
4.63/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Split a 25oz bottle with another dinner guest at a dinner party. Beef bourguignon was on the menu and of all of the beers served, bitches brew was the best pairing. It is truly a unique beer and a bit of a departure from other beers I've had from dogfish head. It has become a favorite, and I picked up another one to have at a later date.

Photo of Damian
3.69/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Drank from a 1 pint 9.4 fl. oz. bottle purchased at Cambridge Wine & Spirits, Cambridge, MA
Bottled on: 09/16/2013
Served in a snifter

The super thick and viscous, jet black liquid was topped by a three-finger tall, creamy and dense, cappuccino colored crown. Very solid lacing. Large, drippy patches coated much of the glass. The head eventually faded to a bubbly cap.

The aroma was very unique and dynamic. Roasty and robust stout-like notes paired well with an interesting floral/perfume-y character. Not sure if this could have been from the gesho root and/or the (perhaps lavender?) honey. Touch of milkiness. As the beer sat, the nose began to take on some of the characteristics found in the flavor profile. Notes of char and ash were detectible. Some heavily roasted grains. Dry with slight metallic notes. The roastiness later died down and the smooth, chocolatey malt sweetness and floral notes reappeared.

Deeply roasted malts dominated the flavor profile. The malts displayed a charred, almost burnt quality. Espresso was detectible in the center. Touch of dark chocolate on the back end. The bitter, ashy finish contained some metallic notes initially, but they faded with time. At 9% ABV, the alcohol was very well buried. As the beer warmed, some floral notes also came through. Hints of powdered cocoa appeared as well.

The beer seemed lighter bodied for the style and contained a spritzy, somewhat aggressive carbonation. On the palate, however, the liquid settled to become surprisingly creamy and smooth. Almost fluffy.

Miles Davis' Bitches Brew is an an interesting beer, and the gesho root and honey added some interesting elements. Overall, however, the roast and char presence was a bit much for my liking.

Photo of Furlinator
4.17/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottled on 10/14/2013.

Pours opaque black with a 1/2 light-brown head that fades to a thin ring on top and leaves nice spots of lace.

Smell is of bitter dark chocolate, vanilla, flowers and a hint of booze.

Taste is black coffee, herbal honey, faint dark chocolate and accents of plum.

Texture is medium bodied with medium carbonation.

Subtle flavors impressively playing off one another to create a solid imperial stout.

Photo of WyethBednar
4.91/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A really amazing stout. Takes a while to open up, but it's well worth it. One of the best stouts I've ever had, and probably one of my Top 5 beers overall.

Appearance: Really, really black. Completely opaque, which got me super excited right off the bat. The head pours a rich cocoa brown and slowly dies off to more of a cream color. The only reason I deducted a couple points was because there was basically no lacing as I drank it, which I don't really care about honestly but some people might.

Smell: Basic stouty smell. Can't really pick out the honey at all, chocolates pretty obvious.

Taste: Amazing. Especially when it opens up a bit. This beer really evolves throughout the bottle. I recommend drinking the whole bomber yourself because that should give you time to experience the whole palette that the beer has to offer. For me, it took about 75% of the way through the beer before I could get the honey, but once I did it was incredible! A roasty, chocolate stout in general and an incredible hint of super sweet honey. Really complex and really awesome.

Mouthfeel: Great. Just the right amount of carbonation for a stout, kinda thick feeling. You'll feel the alcohol in the back of your throat. The beer is really pretty heavy.

Overall, I can't recommend this beer enough. It's expensive, but it's absolutely worth it. One of the most complex, rich and just generally good stouts I've ever had.

Photo of BeerandWhiskeyHQ
4.63/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Deliciously black with a small/medium mocha colored head
Smells strong of dark coffee, chocolate and a slight hint of alcohol
Packs a strong punch of coffee and chocolate, slightly bitter and roasted malt. Tastes fantastic!
This is an awesome beer I will be buying again no doubt. I couldn’t help but drink it fast because I couldn’t get enough of this. Worth it, totally worth it.

Photo of BierJager89
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Black with a mocha head.

S: Earthy (gesho root?) nose with dark, roasty coffee notes and dark chocolate.

T: Dark roast coffee, dark chocolate and some earthy notes.

M: Full bodied and smoothish.

O: One of my favorites from Dogfish Head. Highly recommended. That said, I must admit, I listened to In a Silent Way instead of the album after which this was named, while drinking it.

Fun Fact! Gesho root is used in an ethiopian type of mead (honeywine), called Tej, so this beer contains two ingredients used in Tej.

Photo of Tony49er
4.65/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Serving Type- On draft into a 16oz Tulip Glass

Appearance- Dark chocolate in color, brown sugar colored head, almoste a roasted coffee appearance

Smell- every 5-7 minutes this beer changes which I liked a lot, tons of dark fruit, honey, roasted notes very stout like, sweet smell form the honey

Taste- Once again the taste of the beer changes every 5-7 min, tons of dark fruit, bark, roasted notes coffee, chocolate, honey very smooth taste and nice and sweet on the finish which I liked a lot on this beer

Mouth feel- Smooth, silky not too viscous which I like when it comes to this beer alot

Overall- One of the best beers I have had in a long time if not one of my TOP BEER of all time...a great beer once again by Dogfish Head this beer to me lives up to the hype and I am glad to have had the chance to have this beer....CHEERS

Photo of shacawgo24
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A-Pitch black. Dark brown head. Average head size. Quick retention. Not too much lacing. Honey's viscosity may account for the lubrication of glass, in which every drop drops down and doesn't stick.

S-Fresh milk. Vanilla. Cream. Cocoa. When warmed a stronger lactose smell, like powdered milk. Too few smells for my taste, or, smelling.

T-Dark chocolate. Dark fruits like blueberry. Sour plum in the middle. Resin. Woodsy finish. Swimming around the dark roasted chocolate you find the honey. More spiced and herbal tea in taste than a stout. Interesting.

M-Medium-heavy body. Thought it'd be creamier. But wait! With time warmth gives a great texture. The honey imparts a creamy, yet gelatinous and fluid feel. Thick but slick. Tongue is left lubricated from honey. A thin oily veneer. I would rub my tongue against the roof of my mouth. This touch of honey is important. With a touch it feels like a nitro. Oh and wow. The gesho root I'm assuming, gives a comfortable spicy feel. Cinnamon, ginger and cayenne pepper in feel. Gets very, very sticky. So much going on here. And it all works. If the initial first sip feels were better, it would get a classic 5 feel rating.

O-Great for those who want a unique straightforward bold stout, with a touch of sweet. One of the best transformative beers I've had. Every 6-8 minutes or so the whole experience changes. The taste blossomed when warmed. More nuanced than a standard chocolate-coffee stout. I suggest drinking a whole bomber to yourself. Drink it like food. Make your senses the fork, knife and spoon to indulge in this treat.

Photo of MannyBats
4.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark only black with a thin tan crown great lacing to glass

Smells of toasty malts coffee chocolate licorice and earthy sweet

Taste of malts chocolate and sweet due to honey and gesho

Mouthful is medium and bold but smooth

Overall great beer

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.27/5  rDev -22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

750ml bottle - $13.99 at Bullock's Wine & Spirits in Marietta, Georgia.

Bottled on: 09/16/2013.

Appearance: Pours a charcoal black body with a firm, creamyish, dark tan-hued head. Near nil lacing.

Smell: Ground up roast, predominately, with supporting notes of aromatic anise, a middling fruitiness, and unsweetened cocoa, tied up with a ribbon of alcohol.

Taste: Deep roast maltiness interplayed with a trace of warm alcohol. Faint, ineffusive baker's chocolate. Light honey taste. Anise. Understated, subtle fruitiness. Roasty, spicy, with an encroaching warming alcohol presence until the drying, smooth finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium, fluffed carbonation.

Overall: It was fine, that was about it.

Miles Davis' Bitches Brew from Dogfish Head Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 3,450 ratings.