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Miles Davis' Bitches Brew - Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

Not Rated.
Miles Davis' Bitches BrewMiles Davis' Bitches Brew

Educational use only; do not reuse.

901 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 901
Hads: 3,597
Avg: 4.13
pDev: 23.49%
Wants: 487
Gots: 1,383 | FT: 55
Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Delaware, United States | website

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
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Reviews: 901 | Hads: 3,597
Photo of titty_mcbitty
4/5  rDev -3.1%

Usual black stout color with a creamy tan head.

A bit of chocolate and honey on the nose. Big maltiness but not super powerful.

Nice cream and clean taste. This has got chocolate (sweet), honey suckle, wood notes, char, nuts, and ginger root.

Thick feel and very creamy. Goes down smooth and velvety.

Awesome beer! I got this on tap so I'm not sure how different the feel is compared to the bottle. But this is excellent.

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Photo of UncleDankins
4.5/5  rDev +9%

Poured from a 750 ml into a Dogfish Head Snifter

Appearance: Color is a very dark brown, almost black, with an mocha colored head. Looks absolutely delicious sitting in my snifter.

Smell: Very sweet smell of chocolate, and strong smell of roasted barley.

Taste: Sweet chocolate and mocha with a bit of a burnt note thrown in. Not sure if the honey is what's adding to the sweet taste/aroma. Very mild bitterness. Lots of roasted malts towards the finish which adds some dry flavor.. A very light taste of alcohol which is reminiscent to brown liquors.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth, silky texture. Very slight bitterness followed up by a dry taste.

Overall: A very good beer. Will most definitely be picking up another bottle for aging!

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Photo of SomethingClever
3.85/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This is only a review of an aged Bottle 2013

750 ml bottle poured into sniffer

A: beautiful dark rich blackness with a mocha head 

S: heavy licorice burnt roast chocolate 

T: licorice aged beers it goes that way usually.  It's not bad but I've had this beer fresh and its amazing 

M: fantastically thick mouth but with that added licorice taste that aging adds its cloying 

O: just ok aged I think fresh this beer is a contender the geisha root and honey is very hidden aged 

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Photo of ClavisAurea
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

Bottle dated 08/2014. Served in a chalice at cellar temps.

Appearance: poured kind of thin with a thick brown head that rode the glass to the bottom, not quite black but more brownish with some turbidity.

Nose: chocolate, herbal, light coffee, honey, toffee, butterscotch

Taste: coffee, herbal, sweet coaco, honey, smooth, alcohol numbing sensation, menthol or mint

Dogfish says this can be aged with the best of 'em.. I'm going to acquire a few more bottles before they are gone for this year and see how they do over time.

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Photo of don1481
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%

750 ml bottle poured into glass.

Appearance: Pours almost pitch black with a mocha head that lingers a little and leaves a nice lacing around the side of the glass.

Smell: Heavy coffee smell with a little bit of honey and something I can't quite pinpoint.

Taste: it's like a nice imperial stout, but with a twist. Not picking up the honey so much as whatever else was on the nose. Either way, it's pretty nice.

Mouthfeel: Lingering coffee aftertaste.

Overall: it's different, for sure. I like the different twist on a stout.

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Photo of BuckeyeSlim
4.3/5  rDev +4.1%

Bottled in November, 2012.

Pours dark and oily. Corduroy-brown milk chocolate head of loose foam.

Sweet milk chocolate cocoa powder. Moderately light roasted coffee. Notes of melting milk chocolate. Hints of dark, almost burnt caramel in the background riding on the well-cloaked ABV. Well-toasted, rich malts come forward as it warms.

Somewhat roasted malts with a touch of bitterness on the tongue is followed by silky dark chocolate. Honey with suggestions of a lemon-drop appears in the center of the finish, which is followed by a sense of dry cocoa powder.

Wonderfully smooth and subtle. Well-integrated, luxurious components. A delicious, complex imperial stout without any burnt roast bitterness that's easy to savor and sip.

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Photo of SHODriver
4.5/5  rDev +9%

A: poured into a DFH snifter to a deep black with a two finger dense tan head that retains well and leaves good lacing
S: smells of roasted malts, chocolate, coffee and a little something extra that's like molasses.
T: taste is roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, gesho root, and some honey sweetness. swallow brings more roasted malt and coffee
M: smooth and velety on the palate with a decent amount of heft. carbonation is soft and adequate. the finish on this beer is a little drying.
O: Just as good as I remember the first run being. Great flavors, great complexity and just an all around fantastic beer.

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Photo of kkleu357
4.01/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.75

Dark black pour with a very big head. Lots of carbonation. Sweet honey aroma. Light mouthfeel. Fairly light in flavor. Fairly bitter with a hint of molasses. Easy drinking.

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Photo of WesMantooth
3.92/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

$12, 25.4 oz bottle poured into Dogfish Head Snifter paired with the "Kind of Blue" album.

Appearance - Pitch black. Fairly foamy, dark brown head that stays as a solid 1/4 to 3/8" ring all the way down the glass.

Aroma - Smells like a typical imperial stout. Coffee, especially cold, deep roasted malt/ barley, cocoa powder, alcohol, and a slight musty smell.

Taste - Slightly sweet initially from honey. Surprising amount of hops in the middle. Bitter, with chocolate, just the slightest alcohol burn, and an ashy bitter aftertaste. there is a somewhat odd, aspirin? like taste in there that is a little distracting.

Feel - For a Miles Davis themed beer, not as smooth as I would expect. Not much above medium bodied. Looks more viscous than it is. Not as carbonated as the pour might lead you to believe.

Overall - Not the quality of Palo, but another quality beer from Dogfish. The hops combined with the normal bitterness of this style might be a little too much, and there are some things about the flavor that I don't care for, but it is unique as usual.

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Photo of spacebear09
3.75/5  rDev -9.2%

Appearance- Deep brown with a huge foamy tan head.

Smell- Root beer, leather, nutmeg.

Taste- Root beer, licorice, marhmallows, walnuts, earth? There is a very odd medicinal bitterness to this beer too.

Mouthfeel- Oily and fairly thick with low carbonation. Chalky aftertaste that is kinda gross.

Overall- Another strange beer from Dogfish. Not bad, but not something I would ever buy again. They are one of the most popular breweries in my area, but a time goes on I find myself liking their stuff less and less. I appreciate that they try to be innovators, but some of their ingredients and flavor combinations are downright weird.

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Photo of BeerForMuscle
3.91/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Black as night with with a rich brown crayon head.

S - Burent grains, hint of coffee, some hop bitterness.

T - A bitter brew. Definitely roasted and toasted, slightly burnt, with some dry woody notes. Hop accents, touches of sweetness when you let it it in your mouth. Not as much warmth, sweetness or boozy character as I hoped from the description.

M - Easy drinking for an AIS, with a smooth mouthfeel.

O - A nice version of an imperial stout. To me, more of a drinkable stout with less intense flavors and body than others.

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Photo of cjgiant
4.12/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap:
Pours nice and dark. The bar is too dark to get a gods description of how dark. Head is a rich brown side of tan, and is lined up to get its chance to lace the glass. A spotty film covers the middle, fairly well. The nose is hard to tell also, especially cold. What I do get early is normal roasted notes, more dark coffee than chocolate, but I also get a honey sweetness (maybe the mead actually comes through). I can't make out another sweeter scent, but my initial thoughts are vanilla-usga.

Even at 9%, this beer has a bit of a dry Irish stout feel. The dark roasted nut and unsweetened dark roast coffee are the main flavors, but all are on top of a leafy dryness. As the beer warms, the initial roast bitterness fades a bit, and a nutty flavor comes in. I get a hint of pecan specifically for some reason. I am also getting a honey-roasted peanut type flavor. The feel is very nice also, especially with a warming beer. The beer has a bit of roughness (drying) behind what could be a quite silky feel otherwise. The body is medium, and the carbonation is maybe just a tad more than would be best.

A very nice beer. This one has grown on me a bit. It's not as bitter as I recall it being back when I was first exploring stouts. Nice to grab one or two when it's available.

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Photo of Lemke10
3.75/5  rDev -9.2%

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.

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Photo of Radome
4.27/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

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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.

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Photo of draheim
4.21/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

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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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Miles Davis' Bitches Brew from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 901 ratings.