Bitches Brew, the Brew

Today, in celebration of Miles Davis’s seminal album Bitches Brew, Delaware brewery, Dogfish Head, will release a limited edition Bitches Brew ale.  So what does a Miles Davis album taste like?  Well, for starters the brew is an imperial stout and honey wine infusion (tej, an African mead to be precise).

NPR has a taste test: “It feels like honey in the way that it sits on your tongue. Many imperial stouts will have some roast elements because the dark color of stouts comes from the roasting of the barley before it’s used. The level of toasting determines the color of the beer. A stout can be very heavily roasted — that’s why you get these coffee flavors, chocolate flavors. This one really sits on your tongue and one minute afterward, I can still taste it. The mead wine lingers longer, it doesn’t have that bitterness to clip off the finish. To me it tastes like old-timey Cola.”

But the real question is how does pay homage to Mile Davis’s album?  Do the taste testers feel like they are drinking the jazz album as beer?  Not quite.

“This beer is one of the least aggressive beers I’ve ever had. I mean that in a good way. It’s very rounded, exceedingly mellow, and you’d never get that it was 9 percent alcohol. It’s a very nice introduction, actually, to the imperial stout style,” writes Orr Shtuhl.  “It’s one of the tamer, more accessible ones I’ve had recently. If I had to draw a musical analogy, I’d be more inclined to pick Billie Holiday — it’s a mellow mood that anyone can get into. If I had to give a Budweiser-only drinker an imperial stout, this is probably one of the easier ones for them to try.”

So it sounds like Dogfish Head succeeding in making a highly drinkable imperial stout, with unusual characteristics, but ultimately failed to bottle Miles Davis in a brew.

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