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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: 487
Gots: 1,315 | 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 TommyW
4.62/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Enjoyed this one while listening to the Miles Davis album that inspired the beer. Great music and great beer.

A- Stout-like appearance; black with a thin tan head.

S- Smell of roasted malts, dark chocolate, honey and a light earthiness.

T- Follows the nose pretty well; light roasted malts with notes of dark chocolate and honey. Towards the finish a espresso and earthy flavor comes in. The finish brings some balanced; providing a bitterness
that is unique from the use of the gesho root. Not too hop-like and also not a burnt bitterness; bitterness is very smooth in nature.

M- Silky, smooth medium body.

D- Really interesting beer with some fun ingredients and a great inspiration; basically what I've come to expect from DFH, and again they haven't disappointed.

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Photo of techcommdood
4.27/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: The beer pours pitch black with a thick, dark tan head. This beer looks thick on pour, but develops a solid head of foam, unlike what you usually find with a thicker, stronger beer.

Smell: There's a nice thick meaty aroma of burnt sugars, charred wood, honey, carob, and molasses going on here.

Taste: Slight booze, toasted grain, lots of sugars, mainly caramels, and some bready-tasting spice (sensation of rye, though not the flavor).

Mouthfeel: This beer feels thinner than expected. It comes in smooth but leaves a slightly tacky soda-like finish. There's a slight alcohol bite at the end.

Drinkability: Moderate; some sweetness there that keeps the pint tipping but intensity of flavors and a slight boozy bite makes it a sipping beer.

Overall: This was a quite enjoyable beer, and not nearly as thick as it looked on pour. I'm going to try to grab a couple to stash away, as they should age well.

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Photo of nrbw23
3.63/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a black color with a nice tan head. Head has pretty good retention, turns into a layer of bubbles and leaves some alright lacing.

S- Nothing really over the top. Roasted malts, chocolate, darker fruits and a bit of sweetness.

T- Again nothing dominant here. A bit of dark fruits, roasted malts, and chocolate. A bit sweeter than most.

M- Medium in body and carbonation was a touch on the higher side.

D- I guess I was expecting something more over the top coming from DFH. I thought this one was pretty weak for the style. Not here to drink just think there are much better out there.

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Photo of pants678
3.85/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a Gulden Draak snifter and it has a jet black body with a brown head with better than decent retention. Little daunting.

Smells of raisins, licorice, mahogany and certainly a bit of coffee.

Not quite as harsh as i expected. The dark chocolate leaves a sweet lingering of honey while not abandoning it's darker, fig-like resonance. Enough chocolate to give it distinction from anything Belgian. While complexity is welcomed, what it needs though is some clear cut definition, it's tangled between raisin and coffee, some that screams at mean to keep picking up this bottle.

Carbonation is maybe just a little sharp, does not weigh on me and is damn near sessionable.

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Photo of AdamBear
4.68/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've been anticipating another imperial stout from DFH, i love the world wide stout but they needed to come out with something much more drinkable and this is exactly what imperial stout and DFH lovers have been waiting for

A-black, thin tan head, doesn't last through drinking

S-smells like dark chocolate, really builds anticipation!

T-tastes of a strong semi-sweet chocolate, slight bitter after taste with good chocolate notes. (must mention there is a slight metallic taste in mine...not sure if thats common in all bottles or if mine wasn't stored properly, tho it didn't take away joy from the experience)

M-smooth with medium carbonation, very dense

D-goes down very easy for the 9%ABV, its great til the last drop! taste never dies!

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Photo of Axic10
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Capone's in 5.5oz snifter.

Appearance: Pitch black with a thin layer of mocha head.

Smell: Roasted malt, coffee and chocolate (actually picking up a bit of both dark and milk chocolate).

Taste: Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, roasted malt, coffee.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and creamy.

Drinkability: An enjoyable RIS from Dogfish. Picked up 4 bottles over the weekend, so I will definitely be having again.

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Photo of BranfordBound
4.23/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL bomber bottle made in 2010 poured into a DFH Tumbler (?) Pint glass.

Pours slow and pitch black, like used motor oil. Forms a light brown two finger head. Head retention is pretty good and it leaves fantastic lacing.

Smells fill the room as I pour. I get strong notes of roasted coffee and a thick toffee like honey. Roasted malts as well.

Wow, I'm surprised at how good this is. Strong malts and a sweet toffee and honey comprise the beginning. Some sweet notes in the middle, like cocoa or chocolate. This melts away into the coffee with a burnt and roasted aftertaste, slightly earthy. So much flavors get unlocked as it warms up.

Soft mouthfeel. Leaves a little tingling as it goes down, but it's pleasant. Not thick or overly boozy.

Actually, this is extremely drinkable for a 9% RIS. I'm not a DFH fanboy, and some of their stuff is, well, ehh. However, I was pleasantly surprised how flavorful and drinkable this beer is and will happily pick up another bottle, if I can.

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Photo of cbutova
3.68/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up in NYC a few days ago, cool bottle, reviewed from notes.

A- Pitch black. An extremely dark head builds up with good retention. A solid cloud and creamy ring stay behind leaving a pretty good amount of fine lace.

S- Lots of roast malt and cocoa. Some raisin and dark fruit as well, slight alcohol.

T- Dark fruit like cherry flavor over a solid roast cocoa-malt backbone. Some earthy hops. Not very sweet.

MF- Drinks like a regular stout. Moderate body and smooth carbonation. Slight warming and somewhat oily.

DB- A solid stout but it just isn't amazingly flavorful or outstanding at all to me. It drinks very well for 9% but the flavor is what matters most and it doesn't impress. Very laid back for DFH and not sweet either. Hard to compare the two exactly but the Espresso Yeti tasted after this just topped it in all ways.

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Photo of koopa
4.08/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this one on tap at Capone's this past Saturday.

Appearance: Pours very dark with a 1 finger brown crown that displayed good retention.

Smell: Chocolate, caramel,and a hint of honey. A tiny hint of alcohol mixes nicely with a roast malt tinge.

Taste: Same as nose with a hint of smoke.

Mouthfeel: A touch thick (heavy side of medium bodied) but in a satifying way....almost rib sticking!

Drinkability: Not bad considering its a bit heavy.

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Photo of Chico1985
3.63/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml split 3 ways.

Pours black with a small coffee ice cream colored head. Turns to a thick ring and cap, leaves some lacing.

Smell is hard to pinpoint. Mostly just roasted malt, some chocolate, and a tiny bit of sweetness (probably the honey.)

Taste is a little plain but good. Drinks like a non-imperial but in a good way. Just lacking in the flavor department, like the smell just roasted malt, chocolate/cocoa, and a tiny bit of sweetness. Most impressive part is the lack of usual DFH-sweetness, nice balance overall, good job guys!

Booze is nowhere to be found, carbonation is medium, smooth and oily. Very thin for 9% though, Espresso Yeti at 9.5% was drank after this and trumped this, especially in terms of mouthfeel.

Very drinkable.

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Photo of SeanRedd
4.28/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chocolate covered goldfish crackers, deep in black, dry waters. Refreshing bod, faint aroma of chalkboard. Cookies and cream up front, smokey cocoa in back; alcohol no where. One of the best Dogfish beers ever...yes. Creamy yet crispy, sweet and dry...contrasts create perfection. Number one RIS. Thats it.

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Photo of JRed
4.03/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours opaque in color topped by coffee head that leaves some nice lacing. A sweet, slightly earthy subtle aroma of bitter chocolate, hops, charcoal, and some cigar ash. Tastes of tobacco, dark chocolate, bitter chocolate, hop bitterness towards the finish, burnt bread, slight sour coffee. Thick in body with light carbonation. A wild ash tray of an RIS.

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Photo of dborginis
4.83/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bitches brew.  Thick pour into a brandy snifter, very black.  Cocoa powder colored puff of head.  Smells of rich toasty malts and a bit of booze.  Listening to Pharoah's Dance, track 1 of the Bitches Brew album.  Used to be really into this era/style of jazz, but missed this one.  Great beer, great album...thanks Dogfish!

With every sip, the beer clings to the glass for a good minute.  Thick!  The richness of the roasted malts hits first and hits hard.  A tasty bitterness arts in the mouth, and coats the mouth and lingers.  A sweetness linger as well.  Earthy taste and caramel are a bit more subtle.  Carbonation is perfect.  

Top notch imperial stout, and maybe the most drinkable.  Given that Dogfish's other bottled imperial stout, and other beers tend to be on the extreme side of abv, the 9% abv was appreciated.  Had it on tap on release day and it was excellent as well! Will have to get a few more if I can!!

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.5/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750 mL into chalice.

A - Poured a silky black with a light brown chocolatey head. Looks milky and creamy. Looks really great!

S - Roasted malts. Vanilla, milk, cream. chocolate/cocoa, and a bit coffee like. Smells really inviting.

T - Awesome. Taste follows the nose. Malty and creamy. Cocoa and nut like. A bit of caramel and a nice mix of vanilla.

M - Very balanced and smooth. Rich and thick but not overly so.

D - Super drinkable. Alc is REALLY well hidden. Fantastic brew. Was really surprised at how good this one was.

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Photo of kingcrowing
4.23/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml Champagne bottle poured into a Dogfish Head Signature glass, bottled in 2010.

Picked this up yesterday, and I recently got the album as well, so I'm pairing these two together. Both the album and the brew are totally new to me, so this should be a fairly cool experiment.

This pours a nice fairly thick dark brown with some light ruby tones, it looks a bit like a brown ale more than an Imperial Stout by color alone anyways. Very little head on the pour, but slowly some really nice cool deep dark brown/orange foam comes from nowhere. After sitting for a second the foam forms a nice small rim around the edge of the glass and a nice thick oval begins to form in the center of the glass due to the Dogfish Head logo etching. It starts to slowly branch out towards the edges, very cool.

Nose is a bit different too, you've got some sweet rich malty chocolate notes, along with some syrup that reminds me a bit of Karo that my grandma uses on pancakes. It's got a roasted bitter feel to it as well, somewhat like coffee or burnt bead. There is a bit of pineapple fruitiness to the nose as well that's reminiscent to Kate the Great, very light fruitiness that's quite pleasant.

First sip is a bit cold, but this is actually a quite tasty Imperial Stout to have slightly chilled. First thing I'm noticing is that it's a bit watery and light especially compared to something like World Wide Stout. The carbonation is the next thing I notice, and it's really fantastic. It's got a very fine light bite to it that's refreshing and crisp. It finishes off very creamy and rich and thick but with very fine bubbles. It easily makes up for the slightly watery body, makes for a beer that's more refreshing and easily drinkable given the high abv.

Now lets think about the taste a bit more, just like this crazy album, the flavor is the craziest part of this beer. It's got a lot of your very standard solid Russian Imperial Stout flavors, the chocolate, the coffee, the toffee, and roasted barley. But as always with Dogfish Head (and Miles Davis) there's more to it than that. There's a nice light honey sweetness to it that's really different, it's also got almost a bit of a rum barrel character to it, but I'm not sure where that's coming from. It's very fresh and there is that light fresh fruitiness to it that I picked up on the nose but it's more played down than in Kate the Great for sure. it is a bit of pineapple and lime at first, but on the finish you get almost a bit of old apricots to it that's fairly unique.

It's a bit hard to score this to style as it is different, but for Dogfish Heads large bottle limited edition brews this one is I'd say surprisingly tame. Although I come to expect crazy stuff from Dogfish head this sometimes leads to some beers that although are cool in concept and perhaps are tasty to drink, they aren't beers that I'd want to either A) drink a whole bottle by myself in one sitting, or B) buy very often. This beer however defies both of those. This is really quite damn drinkable and if this was converted to 12oz bottles (perhaps along the lines of Immort or Burton Baton as far as seasonality and price), this is something that I'd pick up fairly often. I think I'd compare this to Old Rasputin, it's strong, complex and yet still highly drinkable.

Seek this beer out, it's very good and I'd say to Dogfish Head, don't make this a one time release. The album is pretty damn cool and I really thank Dogfish Head for introducing me to this, it's some great music for work. As far as music goes, I can't think of any other artist that pairs as well with Dogfish Head as Miles Davis.

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Photo of dspoonrt
3.64/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

As is the trend, I'm sure, I'm enjoying this beer while listening to Miles' Bitches Brew album. The music is vibrant and varied, creating a nice atmosphere to sample the brew at hand.

The beer pours a beautiful pitch black with an attractive layer of brown head. Like some others, I didn't get much of a nose from it. There are subtle malty notes and a definite burntness to the aroma, but it doesn't overwhelm the senses.

While stouts aren't my favorite style of beer, I do enjoy one every now and then. This one tastes like a pretty standard stout - lots of toasted malt, some bitterness. The mouthfeel is nice and smooth, but I might have liked it to be a bit thicker considering it is a fairly strong blend of stouts.

Overall, this is a very drinkable beer, but it does not differentiate itself from its style the way that many Dogfish Head beers do.

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Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.43/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

appearance: Jet black with a creamy tan head.
smell: Dark chocolate, honey.
taste: Very interesting. Smooth as silk. starts sweet with a slightly bitter finish. A different kind of bitter, guess that's the gesho.
mouthfeel: Hmmm, decadent silky.
drinkability: Very smooth. Hard to believe this is a 9%'er.
Great beer, great musician. Listening and Miles and downing a DFH work of art. Doesn't get much better than this.

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Photo of Haybeerman
4.03/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Black color; no kight. Poured a 1 finger chocolate head that settled to a thick skim. Lacing washed down the glass.

S: Toasted malts; chocolate, dark fruit and burnt toast. Sweet honey flavors and a variety of spices.

T: Just like the smell; very complex. Beer changes character in big swings as it warms. Honey and spice in the middle linger through an earthy bitter finish.

M: Light body. Moderate carbonation. Very dry. Masls the alcohol pretty well.

D: Interestingly complex. Definitely a sipper.

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Photo of IronCitySteve
3.96/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark black color, no light coming through. Provides a 2 finger thick dark brown foam head. There is some spotty lacing.

S: A decent amount of malty sweetness. Chocolate, honey, burnt coffee and alcohol.

T: There is a nice malt presence. The flavors combine nicely, but the alochol is more prevalent than I would have expected. Overall, the taste is quite sweet.

M: Leaves a sweet creamy taste on the palate with a hint of alcohol.

D: A really nice RIS. A nice ABV makes this a perfect beer for the fall or winter.

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Photo of MbpBugeye
4.03/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Im not familiar with Miles Davis' music, but always up for something new, I have Bitches Brew playing on Youtube in the next tab. I would say what I am hearing goes quite well with what I am seeing, smelling, tasting and feeling with this beer. The music itself has tons to discover, much like this stout.

A- Solid and soulful right out of the bottle with a larger than life coffee cream colored head. Its leaving lots of jazzy lacing all over the glass. A frothy collar rests around the edge of my snifter. The ebony body stands strong and opposes any light.

S- As the beer warms, so does the jazz fusion playing in the background. I smell a sweet and sassy beer. Honey, roasted malts, chocolate, dark fruits, bizarre spices and juxtapositions. A little bit of creaminess, a touch of earthiness and a lot improvisation.

T- This beer is every bit as unpredictable, vivid and off kilter as the music it pays homage to. Sweetness and roasty bitterness battle back and forth. Unconventional spiciness weaves in and out. A ginger like snappiness, roasted nuts, honey sweetness, earthy hops, charcoal, and African American culture.

M- Very very dry, the body is splashy and not quite full. Carbonation dances about the mouth.

This beer, paired with Miles Davis' album is an enveloping experience to be had.

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Photo of jlindros
3.93/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A big 2 finger thick dark and fluffy head fades slowly nice and long. The beer is essentially pitch black.

The nose comes on with interesting and strange aromas, very malty, roasty, a little smoke, some chocolate, a little honey and caramel, light aromatic flower like scents with some strange spices, a little light bitterness too.

The taste is also weird and interesting, some spices, creamy chocolate milk, malted milk ball big time, some honey and caramel, nutty, seems a little spicy too, chewy malts, dark chocolate, roasty, a little toffee, so many flavors.

A medium body, somewhat thick, and decent carbonation.

It finishes semi sweet with lingering spicy and chocolate malted milk ball, sweet, light spices still, a little nutty, a little honey as well, and some weird malt flavor that I can't really get, almost like a rye but not quite.

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Photo of oglmcdgl
4.18/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A bottle split with sourbatchkid and pour into my trusty duvel tulip.

A- a stiff pour produces two fingers of coffee and cream tightly packed head that settles rather quickly leaving a few spots of lace and a solid ring. Deep dark brown black in color with just a touch of light making it through at the very edges giving it a warm mohogany glow.

S- dark roasted malts and coffee with chickory and blackstrap molasses. There's a earthiness buried in there.

T- this is all about the malts with this one as it should be. Complex, dark, and roasty, with coffee and burnt brown sugar. Some anise and a light cocoa powder hit. Not getting much of the honey but there is a sweetness that balances out the deep roast character. Dark fruits come with some warming. Hops are buried by the malts but do come off a bit with a earthy vegetative glimmer. Long but clean linger.

M- on the fuller side of body but not thick or syrupy. Nice active carb that goes a long way to lighten things up and keep it all moving. Small touch of heat as it warms.

D- this is a straight forward ris that show cases the malts beautifully. Very drinkable and enjoyable. One of the best for this brewery in my opinion, not to mention one of my favorite albums ever made, truly a work of art. Its awesome this was brewed in celebration of Miles. If peeing your pants is cool consider me miles davis.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.42/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Dogfish Alehouse in Falls Church - 09.04.2010.

Pours a deep brown-chestnut with a nice tan head that leaves around a good amount of lacing. Smells very nice with some roasted malt, anise, good amount of sweetness, honey, and a touch of fruitiness. Taste is much the same, with the honey coming out a bit more. Mouthfeel is fairly full, although not entirely viscous. Great drinkability. A very unique brew, and I'll be picking up quite a few for the cellar.

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Photo of djmichaelk
4.49/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the always-wonderful City Beer Store. Served in 6oz snifters.

A - Coffee-black, with a thin one-finger head the color of a good mocha. Solid retention, with some thin lacing.

S - Very nice -- some dark roast coffee, maybe french roast. A hint of licorice, then lots of dark chocolate and cocao. Spicy hops, and finally some vanilla. Absolutely outstanding.

T - Almost as good as the nose. The chocolate is front-and-center, and the coffee moves more to the back. There's an earthiness somewhere in there, and maybe some oatmeal or Cheerio hanging out. Love it.

M - Thick and creamy. Very much as I would like to have any stout. Sweet in the beginning with a somewhat dry finish, which is not unwelcome.

D - The alcohol is nowhere to be found. Although the glasses were not huge (6oz or so), I went through a few.

O - When I went in, I thought, "well, I've heard about this, maybe I'll try a glass and then move on to some others." Before I knew it I had finished my fourth, and could've had another few if time (and my poor, poor wallet) had allowed. This is absolutely the best beer I've ever had from DFH, and I hope they make more of it.

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Photo of chefkevlar
4.55/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 750 bottle into a Dogfish snifter

A: Pours a think dark black liquid with an inch or so of tan head. The head settles to a thin layer but leaves nice lacing.

S: Smells of toasted grains and some sweetness jump from the glass. I'm also picking up some herbal notes (something like basil ). There are notes of chocolate and coffee as well. Only the slightest hint of alcohol shows through after the beer warms a bit

T: There is a interesting blend of flavors here...with sweetness from the honey portion of the beer and some roasted bitterness from the stout component. There's also a very complex combination of herbal and spice flavors running throughout.

M: Rich full mouthfell with a light tingling carbonation. The beer leaves a coating in the mouth which lasts a while after drinking it.

D: Dangerously drinkable for a 9% beer that comes in 750 bottles. The blend of sweet vs sour with herbal notes is very tasty.

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