Miles Davis' Bitches Brew

  • (Original Post)

    Listen up: if you’ve still got a bottle and are waiting to try this, make damn sure you have Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew album at the ready, because a brew this fine can only be made finer with the soulful moans of a sultry jazz-line (why yes, I did win a free album thanks to Discovery Channel and Sony Records back when the beer was first presented).  Sexy, rich, and dark are the very base words I could use to describe such an amazing drink as this, but that’s not telling you even the beginning of it.  I could write another thousand words about the way this beer warmed me to my very core, about how it swung with my soul and stole a little piece of my heart in a smokey back room filled to the brim with a trio of voices from a saxophone,  a piano, and a trumpet.  What I could say and what I’m about to say are never going to be able to do justice to what really is.  An experience such as this has to be first-hand or you will never be able to fully appreciate just what it is that makes the dresses stretch a little bit tighter, the fingers fidget steadily faster, the hips sway more loosely and the steps trip to the beat of the heart behind them rather than the beat of the drums.  Maybe I’m being dramatic, maybe I’m caught up in my own empirical evidence and personal observation, but isn’t that how every beer wishes to be savored?  Building a story out of a fermented beverage is no easy task; brewing an ale that creates its own story and manages to pass it along to any who will sit and listen for a while is an even more difficult endeavor.  Miles Davis does it.  Dogfish Head does it.  Bitches Brew does it.  Listen to the music.

     

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    Bitches Brew poured an opaque tar-like jet black into my snifter with a dark chocolate-mahogany aura glowing in just the right light.  It built a finger-thick deep mocha head of dense, creamy foam that held on with slightly better than average retention.  Thin sheets of continuous lacing clung to the glass with ease, leaving nice rings of dark tan residue.  Once the head finally receded, a thin velvety blanket of tiny bubbles was left just on top with two or three minuscule islands of medium bubbles slowly popping their way into the dark oblivion below them.

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    The nose was full of rich dark toasted barley malts, salted caramel toffee, dark bittersweet chocolate, and covered with a good slathering of burnt brown sugar and vanilla.  There was something deliciously herbal that lingered just within the sweetness of a light honey, leaving me at a complete loss of words for how it smelled exactly.  Hints of a milky coffee poked through here and there, though not as much as I expected out of an Imperial Stout, especially when the beer is 3/4 stout and 1/4 honey beer with gesho root.  Huge roasted aromas smothered everything in a way that kept it warm and inviting, but they were stopped just short of overwhelming by a round smokyness and a rather sharp, sweet aroma – almost a second bite of saccharine honey – that cleared my nose.  Near the end of the glass, as the beer became more room temperature, a soft and mildly noticeable alcohol became present, but it was far from off-putting and was actually rather inviting.

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    Not able to wait much longer after I started picking apart the different scents, I carefully pressed the edge of the glass into my lips and let the rich, dark liquid trickle across my tongue.  Right up front, a deliciously rich bittersweet chocolate malt flavor stroked my taste buds while a mellow undertone of grainy, bready malts filled in any gaps.  I found it particularly enticing that the one thread of honey beer with gesho root was so prevalent despite the other three threads being Imperial Stout – I also found it interesting that this created an environment that was much sweeter than it was bitter with virtually no coffee flavor.  Instead of coffee, I was treated to a caramel sweetened honey, brown sugar, and a dark, earthy molasses all bathed in a rich smoky cedar.  Somewhere deep in the murky depths, a hint of dark pitted fruits – plums, black grapes and overripe cherries – accompanied by just the right amount of herbal hops and dark chocolate kept this beer smooth, silky, and easy to drink.  Though I’m positive the full body and medium mouthfeel with low carbonation definitely aided the relaxed, yet exciting, drink down.  The amalgamation of flavors that erupted from this brew and maintained their ground while joining hands with all of the others during every step of the drink is impeccable.  I don’t think I’ve ever tasted another beer that has used such interesting ingredients and had them work as well as this one.  There isn’t enough I could say about it!  Ending on a very clean note, with little bitter aftertaste, each sip leaves me a little bit warmer than when I went in…making me crave more while enticing me to hold back and wait.

    I apologize if it feels like I rushed through this, but a relationship of this distinction can’t last and needs to be taken to bed quickly, if you know what I mean.  It will be gone in the morning and all you’ll have left to hold on to is a memory of a night in a smoky room, being serenaded by a saxophone, a piano, and a trumpet; you’ll have a story you can tell to anyone who’ll listen.

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    BIG thanks to @daknole for GIVING me this bottle…for free.  The craft beer world and the people in it never cease to amaze me.

2 comments
  • Mark
    Mark Very nice. Never saw this out here and I feel left out!
    February 7, 2011
  • Lucklys
    Lucklys If I could get another one of these, I would be so happy...
    July 28, 2011