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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.

885 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 885
Hads: 3,500
Avg: 4.13
pDev: 23.49%
Wants: 486
Gots: 1,314 | FT: 52
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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 885 | Hads: 3,500
Photo of humuloner22
4.03/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

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Photo of Avool1960
3.46/5  rDev -16.2%
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.

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Photo of WhiteHillsStore
4.79/5  rDev +16%
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.

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Photo of fgmiele
4.09/5  rDev -1%
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.

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Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

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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.

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Photo of barnzy78
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

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Photo of tmbgnicu
4.63/5  rDev +12.1%
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.

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Photo of Damian
3.69/5  rDev -10.7%
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.

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Photo of Furlinator
4.17/5  rDev +1%
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.

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Photo of WyethBednar
4.91/5  rDev +18.9%
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.

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Photo of BeerandWhiskeyHQ
4.63/5  rDev +12.1%
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.


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Photo of BierJager89
4.5/5  rDev +9%
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.

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Photo of Tony49er
4.65/5  rDev +12.6%
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

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Photo of shacawgo24
4.5/5  rDev +9%
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.

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Photo of MannyBats
4.45/5  rDev +7.7%
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

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.27/5  rDev -20.8%
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.

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Photo of MattSweatshirt
3.71/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Pour down the middle yields a big thick brown head and a black body. Plenty of lace left and good retention.

The aroma brings some lightly roasted coffee and chocolate.

The roasted malt dominates the flavor. Light sweetness and bitterness.

Super smooth and silky mouth feel that is softly carbonated and medium bodied.

Was wanting so much more from this. The Miles tie-in and the mix of stout and honey beer was intriguing. A little too expensive for what you get.

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Photo of drpimento
4.45/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured at a good temp with a vast, frothy, textured, light brown, settles after a while, and a bit o lace. Color is an opaque brown black. Aroma is fresh and on the mild side & mellow- cocoa, roast malt, old leather. Flavor's like nose, understated, esp for an imp stout tang & very easy bitterness up front, fairly dry with sweet being residual. Body/carbonation are perfect, a tad chewy, a bit soft, yet not too. Finish is like flavor, longish, and super drinkable. Only the barest suggestion of alcohol. Solid beer

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Photo of drewsif22
4.21/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a craft bottle into a pint glass.

A - Impressive. I poured this thing and stopped the pour 3/4 of the way up, and the head almost overflowed the glass. Nice and dark, and excellent lacing.

S - Fruity; smells like berry to me. Not terribly strong, that's my only complaint.

T - Again, not as strong as I would like. It's still very good. I can sense the complexity, I just can't quite pinpoint some of the notes since it's not strong enough tasting. Definitely get the sense of berry. I'm not used to this in a stout; usually the malt makes it taste caramelly, but this is very different.

M - Very well balanced. Medium bodied. Feels very good going down.

O - I would definitely recommend trying this beer. Taste is the most important aspect to me, and I just wish it was stronger. Overall though, I'd give it a shot, especially if you're interested in it after watching the episode of Brew Masters (as I was).

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Photo of Beaver13
3.32/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle. Pours black-brown with a big creamy brown head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is lots of roast with sweet malts.

The flavor is lots of roast with black licorice and a little sweetness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and a pretty watery.

Overall, a decent sweet and roasty imperial stout. Almost tastes like a nitro. I don't really notice the honey other than a little residual sweetness.

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Photo of JohnG190
4.18/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours inky black with a thick, mocha head. Aroma of chocolate and dark roast coffee. Lots of chocolate sweetness at the front of the tongue giving way to the dark roast coffee. Finishes dry. Full mouthfeel with little carbonation. Overall, this is a very well crafted ale. The honey ale component gives this thick as motor oil stout a nice dry mouthfeel preventing it from getting cloyingly sweet.

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Photo of Tonmeister
4.24/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle poured on Snifter

Appearance: Dark black

Aroma: Coffee, Chocolate, Dark roasted malts

Taste: dark coffee, chocolate. It's fairly sweet.

Mouthfeel: thick syrupy, moderate carbonation and dry finish.

Overall: this is a great stout I will re-write my review.

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Photo of pkalix
3.92/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

delicious-looking milk chocolate head with nice medium-sized bubbles... and super-nice soapy lacing...
smell is rather generic, not getting anything special from it. vague chocolate... roasted malts....
taste is bitter with some sweet chocolate. aint got a clue what gesho root is but I aint getting any honey, for sure... is the bitterness from the root or the hops? some interesting flavors in there, for sure, but I cannot discern them....
very much a "stout-like" brew but with a funky after taste (and mid-taste!). not sure what to think of this... nice-looking lacing, nice chocolate flavor, not a genuine stout (in my opinion) and has a funky taste. but decent, and interesting. but definitely not a great brew, for what I think....

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Photo of Samuel906
3.96/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I think this is the first time I've given a perfect for appearance. Appearance is usually the least important factor for me, but this time it hit a home run for me! Absolutely pitch black like a stout should be, but what stood out was the head. it was not the usual khaki or off white; it was a dark, chocolaty brown... Gorgeous! For the smell: bakers chocolate, toffee and espresso, a bit more bitter than stouts usually smell. Taste is similar, not the most complex stout, but there are a lot of good flavors! Tons of dark chocolate, i don't know what "gesho" tastes like but there are some earthy notes that are uncommon. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, mild carbonation. Overall, solid beer, and I can't get over how great a pour it is!

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Miles Davis' Bitches Brew from Dogfish Head Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 885 ratings.