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Miles Davis' Bitches Brew | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

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Miles Davis' Bitches BrewMiles Davis' Bitches Brew

Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Delaware, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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

Added by TheFightfan1 on 06-13-2010

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Reviews: 918 | Ratings: 3,713
Photo of BloodSoakedAleMug
4.36/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Look: Black with a two finger, light brown head.

Aroma: Dates, bourbon, black licorice, vanilla beans, raisins, chocolate, toasted malt.

Taste: Smooth, woody, fruity and chocolaty. Bitter upfront with gentle flavors of smoky roasted malt, hazelnut and black chocolate. Ever so slightly sweet midpalate with deep notes of dark red fruit like plums, raisins and tamarind. A silky milk chocolate, wafer cookie and vanilla bean taste encompasses the finish with floral notes from the gesho in the background, similar to a star anise taste but it's very mild. Not getting any honey, but maybe that's because I'm drinking this cold.

Feel: Mid-heavy with low carbonation. Creamy. Alcohol is noticeable but not distracting.

Overall Comments: I was expecting the gesho root and honey flavor to be more pronounced. On the tail end of the finish you can kind of pick it out but it's very subtle. If you gave me this blind I would just think this is an average (albiet an exceptionally tasty) stout with no specialty ingredients used. This just tastes like a very well made, albeit simple, imperial stout to me. Still a very good beer, notes of red fruits and decadent chocolate and roasted malt save it from falling below a 4 but I'm not sure I would buy this again though. Happy I tried it once.

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Photo of majorbase2
4.27/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark brown color with a big foamy brown, chocolatey head. Decent retention leaving a very small amount of lacing.

Aroma of coffee and chocolate malts, with a touch of molasses and espresso.

Taste starts like your typical stout, but has a much sweeter finish. Hints of honey and a bit of dark fruit, possibly cherry and raisin. Very complex flavor profile, typical of DFH. Very little alcohol presence for its ABV.

Medium-heavy bodied. As light as you'll find for a stout this size. No bite from the alcohol and finishes bitter and sweet. Very drinkable for a stout.

Another excellent entry by DFH. A stout with some unique properties, definitely worth a try.

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Photo of Nightmare1972
3.96/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with khaki colored head. Roasted malt and dark chocolate notes on the nose; follows onto the palate. Finishes with sweetness. Bottle was about a year old so next time I would like to try more fresh.

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Photo of colts9016
3.99/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A few years back I was watching a program on some educational show and it showed a commercial about beer brewed by Dogfish Head. I was hooked, I sat and watched that program. The details are fuzzy now about what the program was called or when it aired. Sam from Dogfish Head wanted to create a brew for Miles Davis, and this is the said brew. Okay enough blabbering, I acquired this beer a year or two after the programmed aired and now I am drinking it. Poured into my Stone RIS at about 50 degrees. The beer created a nice one and half finger dark tan head with really good retention, after a vigorous pour. The beer is as dark as night.

A very rich roasted malt, honey, molasses, espresso, earthy, woody, bready, caramel, toffee, vanilla, and a hint of floral.

A very pleasant roasted malt, honey, dark roasted coffee, earth, herbal, toffee, vanilla, yeast, floral, and some wood.

The mouthfeel is coating, a little thin, little carbonation, and the finish last.

I don't know what gesho is, but I will be finding out soon. The beer is fairly balanced, with a medium body. The beer is rich with flavors, yet seems so simple, with some sweetness. The more I drink this beer the more I am seeing seeing things that could be better. The body is really thin, better stouts are thicker. the beer is good not great.

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Photo of Dragginballs76
4.18/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours - Jet black nice thin mocha colored head, decent lacing.

Smell - Nice rich chocolate some coffee, vanilla and honey. Roasted malts and an earthy smell I assume from the gesho root.

Taste - roasted malts and dark chocolate dominate, little bit of sweet from the honey and again the earthy flavor from the gesho root.

Feel - Full feel coats the mouth good carbonation.

Overall - Very nice flavor and well balanced taste and smell.

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Photo of HockeyBrewmeister
3.56/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

LOOK: pitch black, no light coming through. Really nice mocha head.

SMELL: typical imperial stout.. roasted malts, bitter chocolate, but with some sweetness from the honey. Not sure I detected any gesho root, but not like i know what the hell gesho root smells like.

TASTE: a lot of roasted malts, dark bitter chocolate, and only a touch of sugary sweetness from the honey. Pretty smooth actually. Finishes with an interesting dry bitterness, I'm assuming from the gesho root??

FEEL: very thin and carbonated for an imperial stout. Feels more like a black ipa rather than a velvety stout. I personally downgraded this brew for its mouthfeel for sure, not a fan.

OVERALL: well crafted brew but not spectacular. The taste is actually well-balanced and pleasant, but the mouthfeel just doesn't do it for me here. Worth a try but nothing more.

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Photo of damndirtyape
4.19/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750mL bottle, split with the Mrs., served in a snifter. No date on the bottle so I'm not sure when it was produced.

Appearance: Pitch black with a dense dark tan head. Thick stands and fine strands of persistent lacing.

Smell: Roasted malt, hint of smokiness, and a woody/licorice-like aroma which I'm guessing is the Gesho root.

Taste: Roasted malt, dark chocolate, licorice, honey, and a lightly herbal bitter finish. Very unique tasting stout.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth with just right carbonation. Creamy mouthfeel.

Overall / Drinkability: A very unique stout and I'm enjoying having a stout which isn't a chocolate/coffee/bitter wallop of flavor. Don't get me wrong - I like all of those things in a stout, but this stout hits the style but brings along some other complementary flavors which are not dessert-like. A fine sipping beer and easily drinkable - went well with food as well (Mac & Cheese Lorraine - Gruyere/Bacon base). I would not mind trying this again even with the high cost.

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Photo of datalager
4.16/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Nice dark dessert beer. Smooth, chocolate, fruit, molasses, esters, and a touch of bitterness. Overall and excellent beer if you take your time with it. The sweetness increases as it warms.

 189 characters

Photo of barczar
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Aroma is floral and lightly medicinal, likely from the gesho. Thankfully, roasty, chocolatey malt takes over, with tar and licorice adding depth. Honey offers perceivable sweetness.

Flavor is roasty, with a floral character throughout, and an initial honey sweetness that fade to coffee like roast at the moderately bitter, dry finish. Light sour notes emerge. Could be malt acidity, which is unpleasant.

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Photo of KYGunner
4.02/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This looks and tastes like what a stout should. Strong coffee Flavors of roast, bean and brew. Light chocolate undertones with some char. Some earthy root or bark adds a nice character.

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Photo of sandsonik
4.44/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

L - black beer, large sloppy mocha head that fades to nothing
S - bittersweet chocolate predominates then coffee
T - wonderful. Incredibly snooth, the honey only takes the bitterness edge off the coffee and bittersweet chocolate without tasting sweet. I was worried that honey would make this beer too sweet. No discernable heat from the alcohol at all, incredibly smooth. I like my stout to taste more like stout than bourbon. I appreciate that this isn't some 15% alcohol bomb; 9% is hefty without being overwhelming
F - silky, nice

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Photo of q33jeff
4.36/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Large Bottle to Goblet.

LOOK: Beautiful beer. Jet Black color, no light coming through. HUGE Creamy tan head. Fades to a cappuccino-like appearance.

AROMA: Roasted barley, coffee, cardamom, nutmeg? or maybe pepper. Very strong smells from the start even though this was poured at refrigerator temperature.

TASTE: Coffee, for sure. A little bit of milk sugars and/or honey. Finish has more coffee and hints of blackberry.

FEEL: Carbonation is strong, but does not get to fizzy because the beer is thick. There is a certain lightness to it as well and goes down easy.

OVERALL: I've had this (empty) bottle in my collection for about 5 years as someone had given it to me, but I'd never tried the beer. Not sure why I didn't think it was a stout until I recently read the description and couldn't figure out why I never tried this. Anyway, the mystery is over. It is a very good beer. By the way, I've added the album to my Spotify to maybe get into appreciating jazz a little more. It's amazing all the different things that beer can lead us to experience.

 1,123 characters

Photo of ordybill
5/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 25 OZ bottle into a pint glass. The appearance is pitch black with a large thick brown head. The aroma is sweet malt. The taste is chocolate malt and honey. A world class beer.

 193 characters

Photo of Bonkinishwa
4.34/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dogfish Head Craft Brewery - Miles Davis' Bitches Brew. 9% ABV. 750ml bottle poured into snifter.

Look: Pitch black body which retains a one finger sized dark mocha colored head from aggressive pour, which settles as a ring of lacing.

Smell: Roasty coffee, honey, caramel, dark malts, and bitter gesho.

Feel: Medium to full bodied with lively carbonation, but also very smooth.

Taste: Roasty coffee, sweet caramel and honey blend together throughout, and balanced by dark malts and gesho root. Finishes bittersweet.

Overall: I'm not really into Miles Davis, but this a pretty cool beer idea, so I've been looking for it. This is a beautifully complex and enjoyable stout; both sweet and roasty.

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Photo of stevoj
4.03/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

On tap at brewery. Incredibly smooth, creamy, dark rich roast stout. Black and smooth, just like Miles. Incredible tasty and bitter finish. Chocolate, burnt toast and some coffee, all rolled up into a nice little package.

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Photo of pbass0
3.78/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Very interesting beer. Blacker than night. Strong coffee flavor and aroma, yet it is kind of subdued by the honey and gesho root (whatever that is hahaha). Even my girlfriend kind of liked it! hahaha I am not sure if I would buy it if it was available all year round. Might buy it next year, we shall see.

It also doesn't taste as syrupy like some beers do, which is nice.

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Photo of BWood
3.17/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

L: dark with big chocolate color head. The head boils down to nothing.

S: I'm not getting much here. Very low smell.

T: typical stout taste. Nice roast.

F: nothing special going on.

O: average beer.

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Photo of justinp444
4.54/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter it has a black body and a inch thick 2 tone beige head. Smell of honey, citrus, milk chocolate, slight spice, licorice, coffee, roasted malt, charred wood, earth, vanilla, and caramel. Taste is chocolate, charred wood, honey, roasted malt, licorice, coffee, caramel, earth, vanilla, and that odd flavor that must be gesho. A full mouth feel and body with a good amount of carbonation. A bitter just slightly sweet and dry stout, nice and complex but very roasty and earthy.

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Photo of Ri0
4.02/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured 750ml into snifter. Bottled on 8/2014. It is black with some dark brown highlights and a nice 2.5 finger brown head. Retention is terrific and it leaves behind think webbed lacing. Roasted malts and sweet caramel make the aroma. Some coffee, honey, and a bit of wood (presumably the root aroma) round it off. Flavor starts off with a quick sweetness, but quickly turns more bitter and roasty, almost an imperial brown ale flavor. Notes of some coffee, honey, leather, wood, and caramel give it a unique flavor among stouts. Feel is creamy and thick. A unique stout that could be too bitter for some, but I think letting it age a bit can help it out.

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Photo of buschbeer
3.68/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

1 Pint 9.4 fl. oz. bottle
Served in a snifter
Bottled 2010

This beer pours black. My meek pour yields barely a skim of mocha head that leaves some lacing.

There isn't a whole lot of aroma. I get a little anise and cocoa.

The taste has some mellow roasted malt flavor and the anise carries into the taste. There is a little chocolate as it warms, but I think the five plus years on this beer has mellowed most of the flavor.

Full, thick, syrupy

I bought this beer back in 2010 or '11 after I watched an episode of Brew Masters about it. I thought it was going to be a one time bottling for the 40th anniversary of the Miles Davis album. I was wrong. I have never had a fresh version. This is my first taste.

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Photo of jopezu
4/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a dark, opaque oil slick with a large head that hangs around. nose; ash, leather, baker's chocolate & hops. taste; roasted dark malt, burnt wood, earthy hops/gesho, molasses, bitter coffee, anise, light tobacco & honey. odd "rooty" ginger-like aftertaste along with the cola'd honey. extremely carbonated (thick frothing everywhere on the glass) & heavy, velvety mouthfeel. the tej, an african honey beer, threaded into the stout certainly lends a wealth of earthen character, but it's a touch sweet for me. there's also no escaping the almost artificially bittersweet root flavor that permeates the entire beer. another roll of the dice from dfh - different, but decidedly only decent.

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Photo of enrique_m
3.84/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

This is one good looking brew, poured it in a snifter and it poured black as night with a caramel colored head. The smell has a dark chocolate smell and the taste is light and you can taste a bit of the honey, chocolate, and it finishes off with a light bitter taste. Overall this is a lightweight stout that is good after a hike.

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Photo of dd43
4.02/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Three parts imperial stout, one part honey beer, all parts awesome. What's not to like, Miles Davis isn't on the bottle because this beer sucks, they had to represent. Pours super dark, opaque, khaki head, and tons of lacing. Big roast in the aroma, like shoving your nose in a can of coffee beans. Some chocolate as well, but really more bittersweet than fudgy or milk chocolate. This is not a dessert beer, don't let the honey fool you. Malts are felt and tasted, there's almost a malted milk ball candy quality but again without the sugary aspect. This is a beer made for cold weather sipping and couch lock.

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Photo of Sir_Whats-his-face
3.41/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

I love Miles Davis and I'm a fan of DFH's bigger beers, so I was excited to try this. Unfortunately, I ended up being disappointed. Contrary to some people's complaints, I've never found their really big beers like the 120 Minute IPA to be very boozy at all, but this was. You'd think that if a brewery could convincingly hide the alcohol in a beer that's 18% ABV, they could do the same with a beer that has half the alcohol content. Not terrible, but not something I'm dying to try again.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.55/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a chalice. Bottled on 11/18/15.

Appearance: Pours midnight black with a moderate amount of bubbles. Solid finger of tan head that settles into a thin creamy layer.

Smell: A roasty and fairly sweet dark malt driven aroma with a scent of chocolate, coffee, and honey. Dark roasted barley malt with a scent of cocoa, chocolate, coffee, smoke, toast, biscuit, caramel, and yeast. Sweet hints of honey, vanilla, and molasses. Solid hop presence with some earthy hints. Also some hints of leather, anise, and tobacco. A really good roasty aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a roasty and sweet dark malt driven taste with notes of chocolate, coffee, and honey. Dark roasted barley malt with notes of cocoa, dark chocolate, coffee, smoke, biscuit, toast, caramel, and yeast. Sweet notes of honey along with some vanilla and molasses. Subtle notes of anise, leather, and tobacco. Considerable hop bitterness as this was bottled about a month ago. A really good taste.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with a carbonation level on the heavier side of medium. Creamy, silky, and pretty drying on the finish. Alcohol is masked well.

Overall: A really good Imperial Stout. Good dark malt flavors with a nice touch from the honey. Doesn't really have the dark fruit presence you often find in big stouts but perhaps some will show with some age. Overall a pretty good beer named after a legendary album.

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Miles Davis' Bitches Brew from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
4.13 out of 5 based on 3,713 ratings.
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