Brew Review: Bitches Brew

11 Oct

Brew: Bitches Brew

Brewed by: Dogfish Head Craft Brewed Ales (Milton, DE)

Style: Imperial Stout with Gesha Root (9.0% ABV)

 

This brew is a tribute to the Miles Davis album by the same name, in 2010 it was the 40th anniversary of this historic album and Dogfish Head decided to commemorate as such.  Originally released in 2010 this bottle I have is from 2011 and I believe that Dogfish will release this one once or twice a year at this point because it was greeted with such high praise on the original release.  Their website says that this brew was a fusion of 3 threads imperial stout and 1 thread of honey beer with gesho root.  I have had this brew before once at an amazing beer tasting in WI and loved it but it went fast so I didn’t get to really savor much of it. 

The Bitches Brew poured out a deep thick black.  This was a dark and deep beer.  There was a little, not very impressive, brown head that rose up about a half inch.  Overall looked like an imperial stout, which I guess makes sense if 75% of it is actually an imperial stout.  The honey ale, which I would assume would be a lighter color didn’t have much effect on the look of the beer.

The aroma of the beer is overwhelming imperial stout.  There are big roast smells along with some faint hops.  There is a sweet funk to it as well which I can only imagine would be the honey and gesho root.  The honey, gesho and some chocolate wrap up this pretty complex aroma which translates also to a really good and exciting aroma.  I really want to dive right into this beer after the first whiff.

The taste doesn’t disappoint.  It comes off very smooth with a sweet tang.  There are the obligatory rich robust roast flavors hinting of coffee, chocolate and bitterness.  There was also a little tart off-flavor that I picked up on but it wasn’t really off-putting kind of enjoyable.  It added to the bitter, tart, sweet complexities of the brew.  As I said, the gesho and hops are present.  Actually gesho is used in the same way hops are in Africa for a mead-like beverage so that really doesn’t surprise me at all.  I don’t really know how to describe the gesho, I can only guess that it is what I am experiencing when I think of the tang and tart that I found within the depths. 

This is an excellent beer, I really enjoy how this is a blend of beers, sort of like how Firestone Walker out in CA really excels.  The addition of the gesho is nice, it adds more than what you would except from some gimmicky addition like juniper berries or something.  It drinks like a really good imperial stout with some added characteristics that really push it to great.

 

Final Grade: A

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