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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.

903 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 903
Hads: 3,609
Avg: 4.13
pDev: 11.62%
Wants: 485
Gots: 1,393 | FT: 57
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 903 | Hads: 3,609
Photo of Beerisheaven
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I must say that I have not been a big fan of DFH brewery with very few hits and more misses of the beers I have tried from them.

A - OK, let's start with the bottle. An absoultely cool bottle, one that I will share. Cool concept paying tribute to the great Miles Davis. Pours very dark with a nice tan head.

S - Very nice. RIS that is toned down a bit. Coffee/Chocolate/Fruits all come through.

T - Really good. Has some of the typical RIS with dark fruits,coffee, chocolate, and then just enough of a change up in the sweetness profile to make you take notice. Great job.

M - Very rich and satisfying.

D - Very nice. Hides the ABV and is very pleasant.

All in all, my favorite beer from Dogfish. I am going to go out and pick up some more of these. Very nice.

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

Looking forward to this one, served in my favorite snifter...This might be my favorite bottle art ever...Miles Davis in the house!

A--Dark opaque brew, nothing unusual.

S--Oh yeah, I smell the honey, enjoy the sweet aroma off of this one.

T--This is a nice RIS. Malt and barley for sure, but in typical DFH fashion, unique. You can taste the honey in the finish, it is a different flavor. Definitely dark coffee flavor in this one, it IS an RIS.

M--Good silky MF

D--I am glad I grabbed a couple of bottles of this, I want to age this one and see how it develops. I recommend this one if you enjoy the RIS and edgy beers DFH is never afraid to brew!

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Photo of Gobzilla
3.65/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: poured black like motor oil with barely any head that was brown and left very little lacing sticking to the glass.

S: off the bat I got dark fruit notes with a minty smokey character, black licorice , chocolate malts, slight lacto notes, and faint underlying booze aromas; pretty complex.

T: Upfront the licorice, chocolate malts, and slight coffee notes come together with slight smokey character but had raisins, brown sugar, and dark fruit accents.

M: The brew was medium to full body with a moderate amount of carbonation which had a sweet, silky, and slight bitter finish.

D: It drank decent but was a bit too smokey for my liking when it comes to RIS's. Still a decent offering from DFH but it really didn't tickle my pickle.

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Photo of steve8robin
3.86/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Glad to come across this one in my local beer store. 750ml bottle...

A: Super pitch black with no light shining through. A thick 1 and 1/2 inch dark mocha colored head that fades at a decent pace. Perfect!

S: Bitter roasty coffee upfront followed by some faint hints of dark fruit. Chocolate in the middle with hints of raisin. Faint vanilla. Good.

T: Bitter roasty hops upfront quickly followed by sweet vanilla malts with hints of eathiness on the backend. Very burnt coffee bitter brew. Decent.

M: Leaves a nice syrupy stout feel on your palate. Heavy body with decent carbonation. Good.

D: Once you get past the bitter roast, this goes down very easy. Good.

All in all, this is a decent brew. Not great, not bad, but decent. I wouldn't bother hunting it, but if you have access, it's a good one tim try.

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Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.66/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance -- Pours nearly black with one finger of brown head that seems to stay constant. No lacing, but coats the glass well.

Smell -- Dark chocolate, mild honey, butterscotch, roast malt, earthy hops, and a vegetal note that I can only assume to be the gesho.

Taste -- Dark chocolate, honey, toffee, burnt breadcrust, anise, and licorice. prominent earthy and herbal hop notes in the finish. Over time an herbal/vegetal flavor starts to eek out, which I can only assume is the gesho - definitely not hops, though still similar in a pungent and mildly bitter sense

Mouthfeel -- Medium in body, a bit thin, with ample carbonation. Somehow this works with the flavor profile.

Drinkability -- Wow, quite good. Not the most interesting RIS, but it's incredibly drinkable. It goes down quite easily with just enough hop/roast bitterness to moderate the rich honey and chocolate notes. I can only assume as to whether or not I am detecting the gesho, but it's interesting. Might not knock your socks of, but is absolutely worth a shot.

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Photo of LtCracker20
3.81/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an old school Dogfish Head snifter (the 25 OZer)

A-Pours a black body with a coffee/chocolate colored head of about 1/2 an inch. Lacing is pretty good for a 9% beer. Recedes to a pretty full cap that stays the whole way down.

S- Dark fruits up front, some molasses. Not too much of an Imperial Stout aroma to it, but to their credit, I'm not sure what style this should be judged to. Roasted malt smell comes out towards the end.

T- Sweet up front, like a honey flavor, followed immediatly by a burnt coffee flavor that supplies the bitterness. Again, not getting too many of the usual RIS flavors.

MF/D- Nice full body, which is most likely the best part of this beer. Drinkable in the sense that I can finish this, but won't seek out another. May be better with some age on this one, and I usually don't say that too often.

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Photo of thespaceman
4.52/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Any new DFH bomber is a friend of mine! Lets give it a go!

Poured from a 22oz bottle into my DFH signature glass.

Appearance: Poured a deep motor oil black with a beautiful tan head. Excellent lacing around the glass, almost like soap. Head retention is perfect, sticking to nearly every ounce of the glass. Perfect.

Smell: Up front I get alot of ripe esters and dark fruit, followed by some traditional stout properties like coffee and some darker chocolate. A real pungent espresso bean aroma comes through as well, with a bit of residual nut like aromas. Alot going on in this nose but it all seems to flow nicely.

Taste: Wow, what an excellent stout! First I get a huge dose of coffee and some toasted nut from the malt. Malt spice is evident, and evens out nicely by a big layer of honey in the middle. This is almost like drinking a Worther's caramel candy doused in Gevalia coffee, strong and sweet. The finish consists of a very odd flavoring (might be the gheso root?) and some toffee.

Mouthfeel: Thick and viscous on the tongue, this one sits firmly without getting wet. Carbonation is minimal but spot on for this beer. A tiny bit of bittering leaves the mouth wanting more.

Drinkability: If DFH was smart, they'd throw this recipe into some 12oz bottles, stick it in a 4 pack and make this their flagship stout. Alcohol is nicely hidden in this stout, the flavors blend perfectly in the taste, with the hint of honey really showing off some juice against the strong espresso/coffee flavors. Another home run for the DFH family, and a stout I will be seeking out again and again!

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Photo of Spider889
4.21/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Well, glad to have found this relatively easily in Columbus seeing as it's getting to be pretty rare in other parts of the country. FYI - worth every bit of hype!

The appearance is by far one of the nicest features of this brew. Black as night, no light is gonna get through. A tall two finger head of mocha/coffee brown rests atop this wonderful beer. Very pillowy and with some of the best head retention I've seen in a long time, possibly the best you'll get in such a dark beer.

The smell is full of lots of sweet coffee and chocolate. There are some roasted malt notes, and some alcohol bite in the nose.

The flavor is up front sweet, just as it smelled. There are dark ripe cherries and ripe red plums. Honey starts to flow through, then malt. Yes, I tasted at least three or four things in this beer BEFORE I even tasted the malt. There's a burnt aftertaste, and more chocolaty/fruity sweetness.

Medium bodied, well carbonated, silky, and semi-dry. There's a very silky sweet aftertaste that lingers and sticks to the palate.

I'm not sure exactly what gesho root is, but it is the biggest limiting factor in the drinkability of the beer. Throughout the whole experience with this bottle there is an underlying flavor, or perhaps to put it more finely, there is a certain indescribable "essence." You don't exactly taste it, but it's there. Sort of like a spice, sort of like a tea. Almost as if the beer was infused with ginger or ginkgo for an ever so short a period of time. This isn't a bad thing, and it's certainly different, but it's also a little funky and though I could drink a whole 750ml myself, I might refrain from popping a second (even with company) due to the above mentioned "essence."

If I find more I will certainly pick some up though!

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Photo of perrymarcus
3.83/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle served in an oversized wineglass. "bottled in 2010" imprinted on bottle.

pours a velvety, inky black with a solid finger of tan/mocha head; moderate to slightly below average retention which dissipates into a collar around the sides of the glass, but which leaves nice golden lacing.

aroma is of chocolate, roasted malt, molasses, a bit of coffee; a touch of honey, maybe even a little smoke. pretty nice nose, though it doesn't quite distiguish itself the way i'd hoped it might.

flavor follows the nose: roasted malts, dark chocolate, molasses... as it warms the honey becomes a bit more evident. good balance and quite tasty, but again, doesn't necessarily set itself apart from the many RIS's out there, going by what i've come to anticipate based on DFH's M.O. also, i'm picking up on a very slight but perceptible metallic taste.

medium-plus bodied with a bit of chew, but at the same time has some thinness to it. that may be a condradictory statement, but, well, there it is. carbonation seems about average.

in the final analysis this is a fine take on the style, tasty and enjoyable, but in a style chalked full of fierce competitors, i guess i was just expecting more.

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Photo of woosterbill
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Prime 16 into an Old English Oil tulip. Huge thanks to John for alerting me to its presence.

A: As black as a steer's tuchus on a moonless prairie night, with an inch of tight, dark brown head. Strong retention and spotty lace. Beautifully intimidating.

S: Opens with tons of coffee, then shows some sweet caramel and chocolate malt, and finishes with a pronounced herbal bitterness. Different and wonderful.

T: Follows the nose precisely - big espresso right away, then a rich malt middle that's more than counterbalanced by the dry bitterness of the root. The aftertaste is complexly herbal - I don't really know what to say about something so foreign to my experience. It's crazy, unique, and extremely enjoyable.

M: Nice full body with carbonation that begins sharply and finishes smoothly. Pretty good.

D: The intense bitterness keeps the malt and alcohol from getting out of hand, but it's a handful in its own right.

Notes: What an interesting beer. I didn't realize until I was halfway through my glass how it was bittered, but once I was told about the gesho root it made perfect sense. It kind of reminded me of root beer or Dr. Pepper in its slightly sweet but uniquely herbal bitterness. Very cool.


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

Had this on 2010-09-07 at Capone's in Norristown, PA

A - Dark tan, billowy head floating over an inky black liquid.

S - Coffee, chocolate, Nutella, mild yeast.

T - Dark chocolate, coffee, dried bing cherries, mild caramel, dairy, herbal, no licorice (which is nice by me). The bitterness is balanced with some honey sweetness. There's also a tartness in the aftertase. I assume the bitterness and tartness is due to the gesho?

M - Rich, creamy with a heavy body and light carbonation.

D - Excellent sipping beer. Let it warm a bit to get all the flavors.

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Photo of NittanyBeerFan
3.91/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a 11-oz tulip at Teresa's Next Door in Wayne, PA. When I saw it, my initial reaction was one of skepticism, as I half expected it to be brewed with olives, newts, frog legs, or something else crazy. Well, if honey is crazy, then I was right, but I think that this is just about as close to a regular imperial stout with no ill-advised surprises as we are going to come with DFH...

The pour yields a thick dark and murky black liquid that looks almost syrupy coming out of the tap. The head is about a half centimeter in height and is the color of milk chocolate. It produces a nice foam when swirled, and leaves a great laced pattern. Right now, it reminds me of Old Rasputin, which can't be a bad thing.

The aroma is surprisingly thin for such a bear of a beer. There are raisins, bitter dark chocolate, coffee, and roastiness, but none in big enough proportions for my taste. Even when let to warm a bit and then swirled, I still can't pull enough out to get me really excited about the beer. The taste, however, is more substantial. The nice bitter dark chocolate balances well with the coffee and instantly more prominent roasted malts. Dates also make an appearance and add a nice fruity depth to the beer, as they compliment the raisin notes perfectly.

Creamy and full-bodied, I am not used to something so bold from DFH being so drinkable so shortly after it is brewed. A very solid RIS, and I would look forward to having another glass or two of this in a couple years, to see how it ages.

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Photo of popery
4.32/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tap at City Beer Store. Very good imperial stout. Fine looking impy stout with a black body, brown along the edges, and a thin light brown cap. The aroma has a lot of roasted malt with some honey and sweet caramel. It's more normal than I expected. Some chocolate and coffee notes in the malt. The flavor is rich and pretty big but not too overpowering. It's a bit sweet, not necessarily from the honey, but it works well and possibly speaks to cellaring potential. The flavor has an interesting herbal/earthy tone, presumably from the gesho. Some licorice and a fair bit of tobacco are also present. Mouthfeel is smooth and fairly thick. I thought this one was going to be an overhyped, sweet, crazy mess, but it's actually a quite good, relatively normal imperial stout.

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Photo of bbeane
4.1/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

*Really let this one warm up. I've been sitting here drinking slowly sipping it for over an hour and the flavors keep getting better more defined and the honey becoming more and more evident...

A- Poured into a DFH snifter... starts with a nice brown head sitting on top of a black liquid. Just ok retention with some lacing left behind

S- Not as malty sweet as I had expected. Little there along with some coffee and chocolate as well as some nutty aromas

T- A little more malty sweetness comes through in the taste than the smell leads you to expect. I taste more coffee than chocolate accompanying the malts as well as that nutty backbone

M- Little carbonation with a heavy body

D- Good score in the drinkability department IMO... wasn't horribly expensive for the 25oz bottle, great taste with somewhat high but not ridiculous ABV. A shame it'll only be around this one time. Might need to try and find a few more bottles to cellar


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Photo of dcx10music
4.76/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Pitch black with minimal mocha-colored head. I held it up to light and couldn't see through it at all.

S - A very nice roasted chocolate smell. Highly pleasing, but doesn't last as long as I would like it to.

T - Superb. The 9% ABV is invisible amidst the strong coffee and roasted chocolate flavors. The more I drink, the more the honey makes itself present.

M - Thick and creamy, very smooth and easy on the palate - perfect for this style of brew.

D - Goes down just as smooth as the initial mouthfeel. Even at 9% ABV I could drink this all night long.

Notes - As a jazz trumpet player I've been looking forward to this ever since I first heard about it. It was absolutely worth the wait. Bravo to DFH for yet another stellar brew.

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Photo of gregmoscetti
3.7/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Is it a victim of name? brewery? expectation? The DFH Bitches Brew falls down but its still not clear to me as to why. The idea behind the beer as being "off-centered" ala DFH and the Miles record for which its named is lost somewhere in the extremely standard RIS that's sitting in my glass. Now don't take this as dislike, its an OK example of the style... but where is the experimentation?

My palate is lost in its status quo use of dark chocolate, burnt coffee and dark roasty malt undertones. The honey is only tasted at a very specific temperature... probably somewhere colder than cellar... about 15 minutes out of the fridge. 15 minutes after that the carbonation which was too present in the beginning almost packs its bags and leaves all at once... Its at that point where this beer just tastes like flat RC cola and the aforementioned burnt coffee. No bueno, nor even a little bueno.

Now this is a very fresh RIS and I am sure it will mellow but there is a little tinge on the back end of this and JUST before it goes flat that tastes a little to cherry for my liking. If this baby goes sour in 9 months, let me just say now I callled it.

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Photo of hosehead83
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a "bomber" bottle into a wine goblet, while listening to "Miles Runs the Voodoo Down" from the album "Bitches Brew"(spooky tune!) Dark black pour with garnet highlights. Short, stout head of tan foam.
Aroma-Roasted coffee, honey notes.
Taste-Dark roasted coffee, honey/milk chocolate sweetness. Creamy and smooth. Alchohol well-hidden.
Overall, complex and full of character, yet more "approachable" than most Russian imperials in that it is a bit more drinkable and not as thick and boozy as some I've had. Nicely done, and certainly worth a try.

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

was excited to pop one of these bottles!

poured into a delerium tulip. pours a dark black with some dark brown shades around the edges. the head is think, smooth chocolate head. Retention is great.

the aroma is smooth roasted coffee followed by a mixture of dark and milk chocolate. Not as much honey or sweetness as I was expecting.

the taste is similar to the nose. roasted malt, medium roast coffee and and mixed chocolate. drinks like an amazing IRS that has already been sitting in a cellar for several years and has time to mellow out.

over all a great beer. glad I got a couple of bottles that I plan on sitting on for a while.

a world class beer in IMO.

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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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Miles Davis' Bitches Brew from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 903 ratings.