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Indian Brown Ale - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Indian Brown AleIndian Brown Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

5,523 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,523
Reviews: 1,957
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 10.98%
Wants: 284
Gots: 781 | FT: 5
Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Brewery visit their website
Delaware, United States

Style | ABV
American Brown Ale |  7.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-07-2001

Forget about the car companies, this is the original hybrid. A cross between a Scotch Ale, an India Pale Ale and an American Brown, Indian Brown Ale is well-hopped and malty at the same time (It's magical!).

The beer has characteristics of each style that inspired it: the color of an American Brown, the caramel notes of a Scotch Ale, and the hopping regiment of an India Pale Ale. We dry-hop the Indian Brown Ale in a similar fashion to our 60 Minute IPA and 90 Minute IPA. This beer is brewed with Aromatic barley and organic brown sugar.

50 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view more.
Ratings: 5,523 | Reviews: 1,957
Photo of Andresa
4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Had it on draft, would like to try it in bottle

Photo of ravisingh
4.6/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: I would say this about a 19 on the SRM chart. The color is like really dark root beer. The head is thick and tan and about two and three quarters inches that goes to about two in 30 seconds and dissipates slowly overall.

S: Chocolate aroma present with some floral notes. I picked up a piny presence plus a little cedar bark underneath it.

T: Definite roasted hops bitterness present roughly medium to medium high - it's there though. There is a mild sweetness and even some coffee and dark chocolate notes. It is a very subtle and complex flavor, IMO. The bitterness lasts and stays on the tongue but not in a bad way.

F: Medium body, and mild fizz as far as carbonation.

O: The aromas are nice and interesting, especially for me as it has been a lot of IPA's recently. The flavors are very interesting and are very subtle and complex. The balance in the flavors is deep and has layers to it. They took their time with this one and it shows. I would definitely drink this again. The ABV is actually beyond the standards @ 7.2% but that just makes things more interesting. Cheers.

Photo of captainkrad
3.92/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Hoppy approach. Chocolate, brown sugar, and caramel. Bitterness lingers.

Photo of Bis4beer70
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A cross between a Scotch Ale, an India Pale Ale and an American Brown.

In 1929, while he was attending France’s prestigious École Normale Supérieure, Jean-Paul Sartre decided to try mescaline, a hallucinogenic drug similar to LSD . And unlike your pathetic “bad” trip, Sartre’s went to a whole new level. Crabs started following him. Literally, everywhere he went, all the time. He also was born under the Cancer zodiac sign.

This of course,has nothing to do with this fantastic beer but it was an interesting story...just sayin'.

Photo of 1Sundown2C
3.28/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Boozy, more black than brown with a poor aroma

Photo of mchegash
3.98/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance - 4/5
A deep dark red with hints of brown. A couple fingers of dark beige head. It's clear, but because of the darkness of the color, not much can be seen through.

Smell - 4/5
Sweet malts, spice and caramel, brown roastiness, some earthy hops. Overall the flavor is very nice and complex and there are additional nuances to it that I can't describe

Taste - 4/5
Roasty, rich malts, some spice, hops. An interesting blend been dark malt roastiness, with some sweeter sugary flavors, and subtle hop notes.

Mouthfeel - 3.75/5
Medium-full in body. A light amount of medium intensity carbonation. Very crisp.

Overall - 4/5
Overall, a great beer.

Photo of Griffin2
4.12/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a really good brown ale. I would definitely drink it again.

Photo of NickSMpls
4.11/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured nice but the thin head dissapated quickly with little lacing. Otherwise, quite tasty and well done.

Photo of meganrosso
4.02/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I like dark beers. It is very bitter and smooth. If you are into light beers then this is not for you

Photo of ACD
3.7/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I like the smoother traditional brown ale but if u like Scotch Ale IPAs and Brown Ale this is the beer for you

Photo of aleigator
3.99/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brown, coarsely foam, with an almost black, ember color.

Bitter chocolate, burned malts, toffee, almost stout like aromas.

Malty beginning, hints of sweet toffee, soon overwhelmed by a more breadish taste of malt going along with a sligthly sweetened chocolate. Hoppy bitterness brings in even more complexity, goes well along with the upcoming coffee flavor. Kicks in late, gives the malt aromas much time to develop. Bitterness adds a floral taste to the beer, which pairs up well with the malty body which dominates throughout. Coffee aftertaste is very present, staying long on the tongue. Surprisingly it isn’t very bitter, but leaving a smooth dry mouthfeel.

This is a very interesting and enjoyable beer, reminds me somehow of the "Schumacher 1838er", while being a little more aggressive on the hops.

Photo of jasonpeckins32
4.64/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Looks nearly like cola in a glass. The color, thickness (or thinness) and its bubbly carbonation all remind of the appearance of cola. Maybe a point darker than cola, it is not transparent... but its close.

Aroma is wonderfully hoppy in the beginning. The more that it warms in the glass, the more the malty aromas stick through.

Oh man, its taste is beautiful. Absolute bliss. The perfect blend of malt character followed by hoppy notes. Some sips I get the hops first and the wonderful roasted malts second, other times it seems to taste the other way around. Either way, this is an excellent balance of the two. Very nicely done.

Exactly medium-bodied. If anyone ever asks me what a medium-bodied beer should be iike, I will show them this one, it is spot-on.

I'm impressed with this one.

Photo of blackcompg
3.8/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours 2 quick fingers of light mocha head, color is a transparent deep dark copper brown with reddish maroon highlights. Active carb rises from the bottom, and each quaff leaves a nice foamy ring of lace.

Smell - Roasted malt, brown sugar, light molasses, lite soy sauce, lightly toasted wheat bread, and a light grassiness.

Taste - Begins roasted malts and toast with a dusting of brown sugar, even a hint of dark unsweetened bakers chocolate - this is almost immediately followed with a good dose of grassy and herbal hops, with hints of basil, mint and pine on the back of the tongue. The finish is dried lightly burnt toast, some dried fruit stones, bakers chocolate, and dried brown grass. This is probably the most hops I've tasted in a brown ale.

Mouthfeel - Nearly medium and very smooth, with some slight astringency and dryness at the back. Carb is on the lighter side, with a few light edges at the back of the tongue, but no scrub whatsoever - allowing the hops to "sink in" and assert during each quaff.

Overall - A very flavorful brown ale, and very interesting to me, not your typical brown ale with the stronger presence of hops here. Not a bad thing at all, as it clearly says this on the label - and they mean it. Throw a few ounces of your favorite IPA into a brown ale and that's what you have here.

Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into signature tulip glass, bottled on 10/15/2014. Pours crystal clear dark reddish brown color with a 1 finger dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, brown sugar, toast, dark bread, molasses, light dark fruit, herbal, grass, light pine, and roast/toasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/roasted/bready malt and moderate earthy hop notes; with great strength. Taste of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, brown sugar, toast, dark bread, molasses, light dark fruit, herbal, grass, pine, and roast/toasted earthiness. Fair amount of herbal/pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, toast, dark bread, molasses, herbal, grass, light pine, and roast/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roasted/bready malt and earthy hop flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, moderately creamy, and lightly sticky/chalky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is an awesome hoppy brown ale style. All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roasted/bready malt and earthy hop flavors; and very smooth to drink. A highly enjoyable offering.

Photo of FullRW
4.43/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from bottle into pint glass.

L- Brown with a bit of red when held to the light. Perfect head came right to the top of the pint glass.

S- Smells kind of like a porter with a bit of a sweeter brown sugar aroma.

T- It taste like a scotch ale (which I admittedly haven't tried very many of). It really reminds me of the taste of Oskar Blues Old Chubb, except this Dogfish Head tastes a little more hoppy, and a little more sweet, but only just a little.

F- Carbonation is just a tad weak. It seems like they wanted to create the illusion that it has more body by slightly under carbonating it, but this beer is a little to thin to pull this off. If it was carbonated just a tiny bit more it would be perfect.

Overall, this is a very solid beer that I will definitely pick up again. This would really hit the spot if you're craving a darker beer during the warm summer months.

Photo of Urk1127
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

based off of memory I remember I did not like this. It was maybe my second craft beer ever. wouldn't revisit though.

Photo of claytong25
4.85/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I really got started into the whole craft beer market by some tasty brown ales and porters. I've continued onto IPA's , but not to much of a stout fan.

Anyway, this is by far the best high alcohol brown ale I have ever had. Its just so perfect in every way. Absolutely smooth and so enjoyable to sip and swirl.. I plan on using this beer to introduce craft beer virgins into this exciting market. I love the idea of giving these small breweries my money that the giant commercial beer makers out there.

Cheers to Dogfish on making me a so very happy customer with this WONDERFUL BROWN ALE!!!!

Photo of milwaukee512
4.72/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Another fantastically unique beer from Dogfish Head. Like Namaste or Aprihop, Indian Brown Ale makes a strong case for DFH's "other" beers that aren't really as well known as their 60 or 90-minute IPAs, at least not in WI. Like the aforementioned "other" beers, Indian Brown Ale is a superior and unique take compared to the standard for it's category. Too hoppy to be a true brown ale, but too malty to be even an English-style IPA. The hops take the edge off of the big coffee and caramel flavors, and this beer feels light for its style. I don't drink brown ales often, but this will be my go-to from now on.

Photo of VirginiaBeerMan
3.92/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've tried many Dogfish Head beers and frankly, I don't find many of them very good. I appreciate pushing the limits and trying non-mainstream ingredients, but every experiment doesn't need bottling.

This one, however, is one of the few that I find very, very good and would recommend.

Nice dark brown color with tan head that slowly dissipates. Good lacing. Good malty caramel aroma that is not overpowering. Slight hop and bitter blends well with the malt.

The beer as is advertised.

Photo of SmashAdams
4.75/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A very tasty beer. Almost as dark as a porter and similar in taste to one but sweeter and with some hoppiness. Very full flavor and very smooth.

Photo of DerekCarruth
2.93/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

I don't really like brown ales too much, and this one wasn't great either.

Photo of Indydoc
3.21/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

This is the DFH offering that I like the least (so far). Exceptional, in the wrong direction...

Photo of TBCE
3.23/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Good, but not Dogfish' best.

Photo of bluehende
4.19/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is a great brown. A lot of very heavy roasted malts along with a lot of hop flavor. Very rich and nicely balanced brown. Deserves it's reputation as one of the best browns out there.

Photo of ClavisAurea
4.39/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Fresh 12oz bottle served in a pint glass. Bottle was dated 1/30/15.

Appearance: ruddy brown with a thick and billowy head.

Nose: roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, toffee,

Taste: chocolate, roasted flavor, caramel, toffee, brown sugar.

Overall: love it. I need more in my life. Potentially a cellar candidate.

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Indian Brown Ale from Dogfish Head Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 5,523 ratings.