Indian Brown Ale - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Indian Brown AleIndian Brown Ale

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

1,939 Reviews
THE BROS
95
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,939
Hads: 5,597
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 9.02%
Wants: 290
Gots: 840 | 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
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Reviews: 1,939 | Hads: 5,597
Reviews by gpogo:
Photo of gpogo
4.07/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Clear dark brown. Held up to the light there is ruby tint. Small tan head that dissipated almost immediately.

A- Notes of chocolate. Caramel malt aromas. Upon opening I got this brief smell reminding me of IPAs, but I'm having trouble smelling anything too hoppy over the malt aroma.

T- Very interesting flavor. Very clean and smooth and then along comes a strong coffee flavor. No noticeable alcohol flavor. Nice hoppy bitter finish.

M- Medium body. Rather smooth with a dry more resiny finish. Moderate carbonation. Slight alcohol warmth.

D- Wonderful brown ale. Almost a mixture of an IPA and a brown ale, but not overly hopped. With a smooth malty coffee taste of a brown ale. The alcohol is a bit high to drink a few of these at a time, and it's hard to notice. (773 characters)

More User Reviews:
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'. (544 characters)

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!!!! (598 characters)

Photo of Jason
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz brown long neck bottle with “Packaged In” date on the side of the label.

Appearance: Deep brown bordering black, tiny bubbled but foamy head that stays strong and does not want to go anywhere.

Smell: Herbal and floral hop aroma on top of an unsweetened chocolate and caramelized sugar that some close to a light molasses. Touch of alcoholic esters and dark fruity undertones are detected.

Taste: Fiercely smooth with a layer and complex mouth feel of the medium body. Intricate within the malt flavours ranging from burnt sugar to light roasted malt, nutty almost chocolate to dark bread. Hops are well within the threshold and wield an oily bitterness, flavours tag right along with herbal and floral to the point of being nearly sweet. Mild alcoholic esters with a light mix berry and currant fruitiness. Unsweetened chocolate flavour unfolds slowly on to the taste buds middle to end, close to a carob flavour. Veggie hop finish with remnants of the toasted and roasted malts in the after taste.

Notes: A big yet somewhat humble brown ale, all the flavours and complexities are there but none really want to be dominant. This could be considered a stock or strong ale due to its 7.2% abv, look at it as a sizeable brown ale. An impressive brew. (1,291 characters)

Photo of GOBLIN
4.17/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

As far as brown ales go this is fantastic ! A brown ale that is firing on all cylinders for sure. Beautiful color, aroma, taste and feel. A real treat. I wouldn't have believed it myself till I tried it. Might be better than Bells Best Brown in my book. (254 characters)

Photo of Jasonkyeager
4.88/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I liked every thing about this. (31 characters)

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. (74 characters)

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. (492 characters)

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. (616 characters)

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. (883 characters)

Photo of Cuttlephish
3.71/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

While I feel like it combined IPA and brown Ale well in aroma, the taste did not live up to my expectations. Smell was caramel, floral, piney, roasty, and of alcohol. Body was a bit lacking, a little too carbonated. Taste was hoppy, cedar, and bitter malt flavors with almost, but not quite, too much alcohol. (309 characters)

Photo of jbraico
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%

Great brown color. Very little carbonation. Thick head when poured, but disappeared shortly afterward. Nice caramel smell. Very drinkable, not a lot of bite at all. Smooth going down as well, not heavy. (204 characters)

Photo of Guiltybyproxy
5/5  rDev +22%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Excellent overall beer. Must try for anyone (43 characters)

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. (67 characters)

Photo of Pepper7
3.85/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great beer from a great brewery (31 characters)

Photo of Schimms
4.78/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

L: Pours dark brown with reddish tint. Nice sustained one-finger creamy head. Great lacing on the pint glass.

S: Smells very caramel up front with some hop.

T: Wonderful caramel with that delicate coffee flav at the end.

F: Creamy mouth feel with light carbonation - perfect balance.

O: One of the best browns I've ever had. (330 characters)

Photo of MarkLinton1
4.4/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Exceptional and unique. In a class by itself. Don't pass this one by. Enough said. (82 characters)

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. (1,594 characters)

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. (74 characters)

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. (191 characters)

Photo of pwlong19
3.07/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Too sour. Reminds me of Bell's Oarsman. Is this beer supposed to be sour? Bottled on 11/21/14. (94 characters)

Photo of Chuck6860
4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Sweet malty beverage. Dogfish does not disappoint (49 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 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... (95 characters)

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. (1,337 characters)

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Indian Brown Ale from Dogfish Head Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 1,939 ratings.