Miles Davis' Bitches Brew - Dogfish Head Brewery

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Miles Davis' Bitches BrewMiles Davis' Bitches Brew

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3,448 Ratings

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Ratings: 3,448
Reviews: 893
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 11.69%
Wants: 473
Gots: 1,292 | FT: 56
Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Brewery visit their website
Delaware, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: TheFightfan1 on 06-13-2010

In honor of the 40th anniversary of the original release of Bitches Brew, Miles Davis' 1970 paradigm-shifting landmark fusion breakthrough, we've created our own Bitches Brew -- a bold, dark beer that's a fusion of three threads of imperial stout and one thread of honey beer with gesho root. It's a gustatory analog to Miles' masterpiece.

38 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,448 | Reviews: 893
Photo of Tucquan
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

Photo of NittanyBeerFan
3.91/5  rDev -6.7%
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.

Photo of popery
4.32/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

Photo of bbeane
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
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


Photo of dcx10music
4.76/5  rDev +13.6%
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.

Photo of gregmoscetti
3.7/5  rDev -11.7%
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.

Photo of hosehead83
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

Photo of pastradul
4.68/5  rDev +11.7%
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.

Photo of TommyW
4.62/5  rDev +10.3%
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.

Photo of techcommdood
4.27/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

Photo of nrbw23
3.63/5  rDev -13.4%
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.

Photo of pants678
3.85/5  rDev -8.1%
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.

Photo of AdamBear
4.68/5  rDev +11.7%
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!

Photo of Axic10
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

Photo of BranfordBound
4.23/5  rDev +1%
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.

Photo of cbutova
3.68/5  rDev -12.2%
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.

Photo of koopa
4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

Photo of Chico1985
3.63/5  rDev -13.4%
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.

Photo of SeanRedd
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

Photo of JRed
4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

Photo of dborginis
4.83/5  rDev +15.3%
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!!

Photo of cosmicevan
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
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.

Photo of kingcrowing
4.23/5  rDev +1%
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.

Photo of dspoonrt
3.64/5  rDev -13.1%
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.

Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.43/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

Miles Davis' Bitches Brew from Dogfish Head Brewery
93 out of 100 based on 3,448 ratings.