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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

1,954 Reviews
THE BROS
95
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,954
Hads: 5,634
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 9.02%
Wants: 297
Gots: 871 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Indian Brown Ale Alström Bros
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Reviews: 1,954 | Hads: 5,634
Photo of Krisp09
3.84/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into tulip. Color is dark brown with ruby red hues. Aroma is lots of malt, coffee, and chocolate. Taste is sweetness from brown sugar first, then coffee notes. Hops present in bitterness but not really taste. Overall a really interesting beer but cannot say the IPA portion of it shows through strongly (309 characters)

Photo of Marraybay
3.89/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Actually found/tried this at the beach, when looking for something other than an IPA or a shandy to drink! Interesting beer, which DH pushes as a hybrid Scotch-IP-Brown Ale. The taste really seems to follow suit, with some sweetness, hops, and kick. The sweetness tends to come in at the front and linger, with the finish being pretty boozy. The IPA portion tends to present near the middle--once or twice more than I cared for in all honesty:(not a fan of the style)--but all and all, it remains pretty buried in the mix. Color is a darkish brown, with a decent head development and glass lacing. If there's a critique besides the occasional hop rush, it would be the prevalence of the alcohol in the finish, which to me at least, can come off a little "raw / harsh" at times. (784 characters)

Photo of Ozzylizard
3.38/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 4/03/15 at 42 degrees into snifter
Aroma – weak, slightly malty
Head small (< 1 cm, aggressive pour), light brown, fizzy, rapidly diminishing to one mm ring
Lacing none
Body dark brown, opaque, effervescent
Flavor – slightly sweet, light caramel flavor; no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate medium, watery, soft carbonation

Appearance 3.5, Aroma 3, Flavor 3.5, Palate 3.5, Overall 3.5 (400 characters)

Photo of zander4dawin
4.26/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A dark brown, tastey looking beer with a nice capped head. Chalky dry dark chocolate notes with brown sugar, liquorish under tones. A classic beer a just want to pair with food or enjoy by itself. (198 characters)

Photo of iheartmyTHO
3.62/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I really just didn't particularly care for this bear. Based on the description, it seemed like something that I would have liked. It wasn't particularly awful but not great either. I was expecting more hoppy I guess? But it came off being more malty and sweet than I would have liked. (288 characters)

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

L: Poured from a 12 oz. into a tulip, pours an almost black with a tan head, about a finger's worth of foam

S: Coffee, Sugar, and Chocolate, with some bread-like malt as well

T: Brown Sugar and a slight coffee taste, almost like a porter, fades into a malt flavor with a slight note of hops

M: Medium bodied, chewy and tart, feel a bit of hop oil on my teeth

O: I see people here are rating it like an IPA, but this is not even close to that style, more like a scotch ale in that regard. Honestly, I would have said this is a porter if I was unaware of the brown ale labeling. I bought this on the recommendation of Wine Enthusiast, and other reviews, and like many Dogfish brews, I was not disappointed. Is it earth-shattering, no, but its an excellent brew that I feel many would come to appreciate. Definitely put one in your six-pack next time you visit your local beverage store. (888 characters)

Photo of sjdevel
4.58/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Look:
A decent head that is thick and tan. Decent head retention. Color was deep brown and red, very dark, but you can still see through to the world on the other side. This one was surprisingly clear!

Smell:
Chocolate and caramel and some floral hop notes. It also has a slight smoked malt scent.

Taste:
Instant bittering hops upfront that fades into a deep roasted malt flavor with hints of coffee and chocolate. After the bittering hops subside, there is a slight sweet and caramel flavor. The sweetness is short lived and it finishes quite dry. There is a slight fruitiness with flavors of plums and figs.

Feel:
Full bodied and decent amount of fizz. There is a slight dry pull on the tongue.

Overall:
This is a pretty unique IPA (which I was expecting) that was very dark, rich, and malty. This is something that I would buy again. Dogfish Head makes some unique brews (or is that off-centered?). (917 characters)

Photo of arizcards
4.09/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a single from TW Arrowhead in late June for $2.29. Bottled on 4/3/15.

Beer poured brown a beautiful tan head that has some major hang time.

Nose is sweet, hoppy, and very inviting!

Taste is on the sweet side like a scottish ale but has a decent floral hop bite to balance the taste. Finish is dry like a brown ale.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth.

Overall this is a very interesting beer definitely different but in a good way. Not sure why it took me years to finally have this but i certainly was not disappointed. Do try this if you like the described styles. (587 characters)

Photo of hophead723
4.04/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Look: Clear woody brown like Mahogany, with a nice light tan head. Slow rising bubbles struggle to reach the top of this thick brew. The head is creamy and smooth. Strong lacing.

Smell: Toffee, caramel, grassy hops, a bit of vanilla and sugared dates.

Taste: Very intense and sweet flavors of caramelized sugars, dates, toffee, coco nibs, and a backing of piney hops.

Feel: Full-bodied, smooth, wet, creamy, and a tiny bit dry at the very end. It reminds me of bitter dark chocolate.

Overall: Very satisfying, rich, full, and well executed. I could see myself using this beer in a number of culinary applications as well. (627 characters)

Photo of wmblair
3.96/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pretty silky smooth. It is very dark for an ale. The bottle says it is "hopped liberally and often" but the hops is balanced by the sweetness so it doesn't taste as "hoppy" as an IPA normally does. It is quite sweet. Pleasant. (230 characters)

Photo of Zonk
3.87/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Some good roasty notes, but hops are also featured in this medium-weight brown ale. Moderate carbonation. Light sweetness on the palate but followed by hop bitterness on the tail end. (185 characters)

Photo of infinitebruner
3.93/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

July 27, 2015

12 oz bottle, snifter

A – Deep brown with tones of rich mahogany and ruby red tinting. Quite clear. Maybe a quarter-inch of off-white to light tan foam, made of large bubbles, that fades fairly fast.

S – Caramel and brown sugar, along with light toffee and a touch of chocolate. Woodsy and herbal hops with some minor tropical notes.

T – Brown sugar and mild caramel. Just a minor chocolate note. Hops are woodsy but also fruity, some bitter grapefruit and darker tropical fruits. A moderate oakiness becomes noticeable on the finish.

M – Moderate to medium-high carbonation with a medium body. Some mild sudsiness. Sweet up front from the extra sugar but bitterness increases through the finish, lingering on the aftertaste.

O – More hop-bitter and flavorful than most brown ales, and I like it. The strength is deceptive. Lots of complementary and contrasting flavors. Complex. (920 characters)

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

Finally got around to this. Of course had to run to WI to get it. Currently #6 in am. brown ale category.
Great aroma with soft darker malts and a sweet sugary quality that moves to caramel. Nicely complex for style.
Smallish and dark head with some lacing. Dark brown with reddish highlights.
Again complex, esp. for style. Just enough alcohol to taste and add some complexity. It mingles with the hops nicely as it moves towards soft bittering on the finish. Again soft darker malts that are a bit drying but the sugary sweetness contrasts nicely.
Moderately light feel for style, even seeming a bit on the thin side. But it's not a distraction or problem.
This is good as it gets for style. (701 characters)

Photo of fscottkey
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: [4.75] Looks pretty fantastic in the glass. Dark brown cola colored beer. Forms a dense 1 finger head of off white bubbles. The bubbles look creamy and have some staying power. Really nice lacing on the glass. The bottle lists the ABV (7.2%). There is a date code that means this was made 12/11/14.

S: [4.00] I get coffee initially. Then some whole wheat bread smells.

T: [4.25] Sweet upfront then moves into a really nice malt flavor. The roasty malts are fantastic. I am getting little to no hops - but I am not complaining. The rich roasted malt flavor is great.

M: [4.00] Smooth and creamy feeling with a medium body. Low carbonation and low bitterness.

O: [4.25] Blindfolded I would call this a porter. It has the coffee aroma, it has the great roasted malt flavor... The lable talks a lot about how it is liberally hopped. I am getting no hop bite. Based on the brewed date maybe the hops have faded. I am totally fine without them. This is a really great beer. Nice aroma, excellent taste and a smooth body. I will drink this again. (1,063 characters)

Photo of alexanderplatz
3.26/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Hoppy but not citrus-y. Malty but not fruity. Dry.... very dry. Another reviewer mentions flavor of bread crust. I would add hint of burst toast, which ruins it for me. I think this would go better with some spicy or otherwise strong-flavored foods. It's not a very good brew for just sipping on its own. (304 characters)

Photo of sashavasko
3.7/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Nice beer overall. Unlike many browns you don't just taste the caramel - tastes like a crust of good homemade rye bread. Interestingly the one I had at the Dogfish head pub was better then from the bottle. Better chilled. (221 characters)

Photo of dd43
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What a great brown ale. Love the style anyway, but this might be my favorite dogfish head beer. Nice balance of hops on what is no doubt a toasty caramel forward beer. Very easy to drink because it's on the lower ABV end at just over 5%, and carbonation lifts the malts so they aren't too heavy. Do yourself a favor and try this if you are into brown ales in any way. (367 characters)

Photo of vainosuomi
4.52/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown color, small light brown head. Smell is rich with roasted malts. Taste follows smell and also adds a significant hop bitterness; a great balance of heavy malts and bitter hops. Medium feel and fairly carbonated. Easily one of my favorite beers. (255 characters)

Photo of hopphead31415
3.76/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

My eye spotted this one serendipitously as I meandered down the rows of craft brews and was happy to snag a six pack. It was a tough call though between this one and a variety of other excellent beers such as Ommegang, Founders, and New Belgium. I found a small fridge where they had some 6 packs of this already chilled for me so I grabbed one and headed for the checkout counter. It boasts an 7.2% ABV and 50 IBUs, let’s take a gulp!

Look: This one pours a clear dark cola color with plenty of carbonation trails running up to the surface. The head is medium and about one to two fingers thick with a decent pour and has lingering thick lacing on the glass. The blackness gives way to orange copper hues in light, very beautiful and clear.

Smell: The aroma is thick caramel and oak. I get a strong sense of smoky oaks and toasted butter and brown sugar.

Taste: This beer is a rare and amazing mixture of Scotch Ale, an India Pale Ale and an American Brown which is one of the main reasons I wanted to try it. It really does exhibit the subtle hops of an IPA, the caramel backbone and rich smooth flavor of a Scotch Ale, and the color exhibited by an American Brown. Quite the trio here and well worth a try.

Mouthfeel: This beer drinks so smooth and lacy at first and then the fizzle that comes from the plentiful carbonation makes this one mildly reminiscent of a coca-cola.

Overall: I’d say that this is an excellent beer for anyone to try. It really packs a unique variety of smells, flavors, and attributes making a refreshing experience outside of the norm. (1,576 characters)

Photo of TH28
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle. Appearance: Deep brown, clear, with a thick mousse like khaki head. Aroma: Roasty, molasses, and dark fruit overpower any hop aromas. Taste: Roasted malt and bread crust up front, leading into a strong resinous, grassy, citric hop flavor and bitterness. Mouthfeel: Medium body with a moderate carbonation. Finish: Hop bitterness is prominent in the swallow, but quickly disappears leaving a roastiness that lingers. Overall: a very well made beer, that definitely has a cross of ABA and IPA (498 characters)

Photo of Myotus
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12oz bottle (bottled on 03Mar15) into a pint glass. Pours with a half finger's worth of khaki foam that dissipates into a line within 15 seconds. Dark brown in color with a ruby tint. Bubbles are scarce. Has mild aromas of roasted malts, sweet chocolate, and molasses with a hint of raisin and bitter hops. Intial taste is of strong molasses, and mild chocolate and bitter, earthy hop flavors. Mild roasted malt flavors along with a hint of raisin sweetness and ginger (that comes from nowhere) are next to enter the palate as all flavors persist into the aftertaste. Light-bodied, mildly carbonated, smooth, with a crisp finish. This is yet another unique tasting brew from DFH. Definitely not what I expected from an American Brown So, but I loved it.
NOTE: As beer warms, aromas and flavors change drastically, as in the case of most all brown ales. I would love to try this again, but at room temperature. (923 characters)

Photo of Gear54
4.27/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From a bottle into a pint glass

Color is dark mahogany with 1 finger of thin kaki head that fades slowly leaving tight lace rings on the glass

Smell is molasses and roasted malts. No real hop aroma. The hops must be hidden under the strong roasted nuttiness. I know this is a brown ale with extra hops so I'll be looking for that in the taste.

Taste is fantastic! Solid classic brown ale flavored of nutty malts and molasses with a bright hoppy dryness that lingers a while on the tung.

Overall maybe the best brown I've had. I love the addition of the lasting bitterness that comes with the nut and molasses flavors. (623 characters)

Photo of UPMD_Bill
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This was one of my gateways to craft and is still a great go-to all season beer.

Tastes of sweet molasses up front, balanced by a dry, bitter hop finish. They got the balance just right - it's substantial but doesn't feel heavy, and sweet but not sticky. (256 characters)

Photo of dbl_delta
4.37/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Didn't know what to expect (DFH makes some strange stuff), but this is a really good brown ale! Very smooth - almost slick. A lot of different things going on simultaneously - a little hops, raisins, malty sweetness, perhaps some chocolate, probably other stuff that's too subtle for my IPA-jaded taste buds.
Like I said, I never know what to expect from DFH. Having struggled through some of their more imaginative offerings, I can say that I like 60-Minute, I like 120-Minute, and now I like Indian Brown Ale. Period. (525 characters)

Photo of SaltofOH
3.73/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 3-15-15. Pokal glass.

Appearance: Pours a dark, dark brown, with two fingers foamy tan head. Amazing retention. Nice lacing.

Aroma: Minerally, roasty. Quite mild on the nose. Sweeter as it warms. Raisin and molasses come out as it approaches room temp.

Taste: Dry, hoppy arrival. Light, and slightly sour and roasty across mid-palate. Surprisingly clean, highly bitter finish. Slight lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Heavier side of mid-weight. High carbonation, higher than typical for the style, I think. Ever so slight slickness.


Overall: Wow; this is not at all what I expected. This does not really taste like a brown ale; but whatever it is, I like. Too malty to be a black IPA, but too hoppy to be a brown ale, and too light to be a stout. If I'm in a mood for a brown ale, this would not be a go-to. But there is a mood that suits this beer perfectly. It and Brown Shugga and Seventh Son's American Strong Ale are bunched together for me. A wintertime hoppy alternative to the typical stout. (1,032 characters)

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Indian Brown Ale from Dogfish Head Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 1,954 ratings.