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 | website

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: 3,710
Photo of paco1029384756
3.97/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle thanks to ericwo.

Pours black with one half finger of tan head with an underwhelming retention.

Scent of roasted malts, chocolate, dark fruit, molasses, and a very light spice. The scent is not too roasty and has a nice sweetness with no presence of alcohol.

Taste of sweet dark fruit, bitter roasted malts, chocolate, molasses, honey, oatmeal, oak, and cinnamon. A tasty Imperial Stout, I would really like to see how this tastes with some age.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and oily with a fairly strong carbonation.

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Photo of hdofu
4.58/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well you know I get excited about Russian Imperial Stouts, and the idea of one based on a jazz Great Like Miles Davis (Imperial Stouts seem to like doing that as I recall another one based on a Frank Zappa Album). This beer pours motor oiled color with almost no trace of a tan head which didnt hang around. It smells like burnt coffee and it tastes bitter sweet, with alot of complicated shades to the bitter such as berries, chocolate, coffees. It is very thick too and hot from the alcohol. Overall I think its pretty drinkable although being as strong as it is it might not be great to down too much of it

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Photo of IdrinkGas
3.4/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bomber into a snifter.
It pours the typical pitch black but looks much thinner. Not much lacing from the head. It smells of honey, molasses, roasted malts. Taste it fairly similar to its smell. Not much depth here The after taste was slightly metallic. .
Lots of carbonation and a very light body. This one was pretty one dimensional with the honey. Its boring and just didn't have much flavor overall. I was looking forward to this one but ended up getting disappointed.

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Photo of DKter
4.3/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dogfish Head has done Miles Davis' legacy proud. Like a little cousin to DFH's Worldwide Stout, the flavor big but not overwhelming, and it's not quite as sweet or bubbly. But it's smoother and very tasty, and drinkable enough that if you split a 750ml, you'll be fighting for the bigger glass.

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Photo of Brew33
4.18/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bitches Brew 2010

Pours a very solid black with a 1 finger, bubbly, brown head. The aroma is dark malts, some sweetness. No hops to be found. Light aroma.
The flavor was really good. The integration of flavors in this beer is exceptional. Everything is integrated perfectly. Really nice balance. Sweet but never too sweet. Very little grain or hop bitterness. Butter smooth. Little evidence of the alcohol. Sticky on the lips. Medium bodied. The drinkability is very high considering the style and abv. A really nice beer at a reasonable price. Well done DFH!

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Photo of bierguru
4.85/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - up there with the darkest of dark chocolate color lace keeps fairly well looks like a typical russian imperial stout

S - im guessing that the first smell i get that i cant pin point is the gesho very interesting very odd but not in a bad way you also get a slight roast coffee smell

T - awesome!!!! flavors pop more as well as change as the beer warms up Ive never had gesho before but im thinking there is a strong taste of it as well as honey and as it warms up the gesho fades and a flavor of cuban coffee takes over

M - smooth cuban coffee like

D - i would literally drink this all day its that good

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Photo of flannelman808
4.37/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Very dark midnight black and has a rather thin light brown/purple head. poor retention with ok lacing.

S: Nice smell to this one! Interesting herbal component (Im assuming a result of the Gesho). Dark roast coffee bean with maybe a hint of honey and clove in the follow through.

T: This stuff is really effing good. Extremely unique flavor combination. French roast coffee bean bitterness as expected what isn't is what must be the effect of the gesho. Its a really nice spicy compliment to the coffee... kind of like chicory but part something else I cant put my finger on... GOOD for sure.

M: prickly

D: very high for me even higher given the abv

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

Found this at McScrooge's in Knoxville, TN of all places, in a 22oz bomber with red bottle cap. They got it in the day before.

As it comes out of the bottle it seems looks like a porter, dark with a thin mocha foam and not much carbonation. After it settles it takes on the appearance of flat cola.

Maybe it was the way it looked, but I also got cola in the nose, but not as the dominating scent. Buckwheat honey was the primary player and coffee made a showing as well. Some herbal presence stalked around in the background.

The taste was interesting and took a while to get a good handle on. This is definitely sweet and the cola theme continued onto the tongue, but more dominantly. The honey contributed and the herbal presence added a bitterness to the taste. There was also an iron-like astringency after the beer warmed. The iron tang you get from the blood that enters your mouth if you split your lip. Distracting, but not a total deal breaker.

Your first sip gives an immediate tingle on your lips so although the beer looked like flat cola, it has quite a lot of carbonation to it. This gives it a lighter than expected body.

Overall, not a bad beer and one of the better ones DFH has yielded outside of more standard styles. It still seems to be muddied concoction that could use resting for a little bit.

UPDATE: I've since had another bottle and wonder what was in the first one I had. The second one showed much better head along with retention and lacing. The carbonation level was much better and the mouthfeel was thick, but not overly so. The cola flavor was still there but not n early as strong and may be a matter of tongue-memory from the last one. LOL The stout showed through more clearly with more assertive bitterness than I remembered and the honey supplied some nice balance with its earthy sweetness.

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

A: Rich black body with a finger of frothy tan head.

S: Killer aroma. Rich chocolate, graham cracker-like grains, molasses, toffee and a touch of earth in the nose.

T: Fantastic flavor. Chocolate sweetness and roasted nuts hit the palette right out of the gate. Toffee and brown sugar are also prominent with a nice underlying floral spicing. Earthy finish with some soft notes of honey and sweetbread. Coffee is a little more prominent as it warms.

M: Mouthfeel is rich and creamy. Almost chewy and slightly coats the palette. Has a nice full body with good amount of carbonation.

D: I'm loving this beer. Dessert in a bottle. ABV is very well hidden. Maybe a little cloying but well put together with some great chocolate and herbaceous spicing.

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Photo of Brad007
4.5/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is actually the second bottle I've bought of this beer. The first was savored as part of a celebration. This bottle will be reviewed.

Pours a pitch black color with a one-finger brown head into my glass. Good as always.

Aroma is full of coffee with a slight hint of chocolate. Just a bit of cream on the nose as well.

Taste is full of coffee and cocoa with a creamy texture. Alcohol is kept well-hidden at the back. Enjoyable.

Mouthfeel has lingering chocolate, coffee and cream. Nothing unusual. Very much what I had expected out of the style.

It's certainly a good example of the style. People expecting something off the wall may be disappointed. Otherwise, if you want another great example of a RIS, try this.

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

I loved the deep black color of this beer and it's huge, foamy coffee colored head. The head lingered forever and left a great lacing down the glass.

The dark malt aromas mingled with toffee, coffee, licorice and a touch of sweetness really beckoned my first sip, which did not disappoint. The roasted malt flavor was beautifully accented by bitter coffee and complex dark caramel sweetness with underlying flavored of chocolate, raisins, and plums.

I loved the fine carbonation and surprisingly light body. The slight syrupiness was well balanced by the bitterness and alcohol warmth. This was a big beer that was far too drinkable for it's strength, and I was both glad and sad to have only bought one bottle. Great job, and I hope I can find more before it's gone.

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Photo of foogerd
4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- black as night with bubbles from carbonation surrounding the glass. Huge coffee colored head after an aggressive pour plenty of lacing
S- you got all the typical aromas of a RIS roasted malts expresso coffee light vanilla theres a slight twinge of honey then theres some floral quality that surrounds these typical smells
T- for an RIS it feels really light on the palette nothing unique and unexpected of a stout of this style , there is a slight sweetness from the honey which balances out the bitterness typical of a RIS. Whatever this gesho is i cant find it.
M- a little bit on the thin side of the spectrum for the style
D- very very drinkable watch out!

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Photo of ryan1788a5
4.15/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my New Belgium globe.

A: Opaque black with a two finger tan head.

S: Very strong smell of fresh coffee beans and dark chocolate. Some sugary sweetness and faint alcohol is also apparent.

T: A mildly spicy earthiness (I assume this is the gesho root) gives way to sweet sugars, then dark chocolate and a very pleasant and slightly woody roastiness dominate the finish. Honey also pops up again slightly in the finish, and even after I finish the last sip, I can still taste the sweetness when I lick my lips.

M: Moderately heavy. A bit thinner than I expected though.

D: It was a bit sweet, but I didn't have much of a problem finishing the 750ml bottle.

This beer is just what I have come to expect from Dogfish Head. A very creative brew and a solid offering. Definitely recommended.

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

A: Deep brown as it pours, black in the glass. Deep, rich, dark, brown head on this. It looks creamy and delicious.

S: Sweet chocolate, some light coffee and a slight bit of tang in an almost lactose way. Something in there, that I can't define.. perhaps a little salty?

T: Roasted malts right away. Then it fades to a bit sweeter flavor, perhaps this is the honey coming out. I am still picking up a hint of lactose... but that seems to fit pretty well in this brew. Don't know if I can pick out the Gesho, but it is certainly an interesting brew. The finish is nice and roasty, and the booze is well hidden. As it warms it does seem to become a bit more herbal, or perhaps spicy.

M: Medium bodied, and fairly high carbonation. Overall it is nice, and the flavor lingers on your tongue for a while.

D: Very good and tasty, the mouthfeel is good, but this doesn't really impress me in the flavor category. Very nice, though it does not really stand out from a lot of other stouts, interesting yes. Amazing.. no.

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

The brew pours a deep black with a small ring of foam. The nose has a faint smell of alcohol and a strong malt presence. The first sip delivers a strong taste of a roasted malty stout, which is followed by the higher alcohol sweetness of a mead. It has the bitterness of coffee, but balanced out by the sweetness of dark fruit and finishes smoothly. Great beer to get a taste of.

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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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Miles Davis' Bitches Brew from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
4.13 out of 5 based on 3,710 ratings.
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