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Indian Brown Ale - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Indian Brown AleIndian Brown Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,965 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,965
Hads: 5,678
Avg: 4.1
pDev: 18.54%
Wants: 300
Gots: 900 | FT: 6
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: 1,965 | Hads: 5,678
Photo of DonDirkA
5/5  rDev +22%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Nose is roasty with chocolate, toffee, nutty notes and some coffee. Taste is rich dark chocolate, caramel, toffee, raisins, slight hop bitterness and a little bit of alcohol hidden way in the back. Flavors of caramel and coffee come up on the back end and stick around. I have had this brew a million times and its still one of my favorites. No matter how much my tastes change this one stays delicious.

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Photo of DanielMB
5/5  rDev +22%

This is a stunning brew. Just like they say, Dogfish Head has managed to combine the flavors of a brown ale and scotch ale with the hoppiness of an IPA. The appearance is a medium, copper brown with a tan head. The taste is very caramel, with the bite of hops alongside, and the earthy toastiness of a brown ale as well. A tremendous beer from a tremendous brewery.

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

The Indian Brown is a class above most all Browns out there. The look and feel were on point and the aftertaste delivered better than any Brown I've ever had. You have got to try this beer especially if you like Browns but have not fully committed to craft beer.

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Photo of ckollias
4.97/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Enjoyed this 12oz bottle out of a large snifter glass.

A: Pours a dark brown hue with a thick, tan, 3-finger head that lasts forever, leaves a great trail down the glass, and ends in a fluffy persistent lace.

S: Great malty aroma with alcoholic overtones. It has hints of coffee and cocoa powder in the background.

T: Smooooth dark ale that is slightly sweet and slightly bitter. Nice toasted malt background, with coffee and chocolate overtones. There is a solid alcoholic bite in the end.

M: Strong and boozy. It has a medium body and heavy carbonation.

O: Awesome brown ale. This is a nice sipping beer @ 7.2 % alcohol by volume. This is another winner by Dogfish Head. I can’t believe how smooth this beer is.

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Photo of superswing123
4.97/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Becoming a stand-by in my collection of beverages...this is the Indian Brown Ale to beat all. Drinks like a fine wine - don't have too many due to the high ABV but ...hey,try to resist. I would call this my "go-to" beverage especially in the winter months when we're staring at the thermometer at 20 degrees. Really takes off the edge. Su-perb and highly recommened. Just get some. You'll see.

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Photo of SideOrder
4.95/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Sam Calagione, owner of DFH Brewery, called this beer the "unsung hero" of the DFH lineup. At a brewery widely known for its justly-celebrated IPAs, this is the beer most often chosen by the DFH staff when it comes time for them to grab their monthly free cases.

This beer has something for everyone, without sinking to the lowest common denominator in any category. Very accessible, and like SN Pale Ale a great beer with which to introduce your BMC-swilling friends to craft beers. I've got it in my kegerator at the moment and have yet to offer it to anyone that, upon drinking it, hasn't uttered some version of "Holy crap!"

A: A beautiful dark brown, almost black with ruby highlights. A finger of tan head subsides to a lacy covering that sticks to the glass and follows the beer all the way to the bottom.

S: Lots of freshly roasted coffee, hops, dark fruit and toffee. Wonderful, probably the greatest strength of this beer. I'm not sure whether to drink it or just keep smelling it.

T: Follows the nose to a T, but even more so.

M: Pretty crisp for a brown ale, in a good way. Coats the mouth nicely and sticks around for a bit without being obnoxious.

O: Amazingly well-rounded; definately my desert island beer. As arguably the king of the American Browns, this is New England autumn in a glass, while being enjoyable year-round. Are there more earth-shakingly complex beers out there? Of course, but one wouldn't want to drink a big-ass quad or bourbon barrel-ed double stout every day, much less more than one or two in a sitting. This, on the other hand, is very drinkable (although its 7.2% ABV warrants a bit of caution) and, again, has something for nearly everyone.

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Photo of HeavyKevy
4.94/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Very, Very Good. Just what I like. Beautiful dark brown color, nice compact head. Tastes as good as it looks, I am no expert at rating, but the sweet notes are followed by the aftertaste of a great ale. My only regret is that I only bought one bottle today and will have to trek back across town to get more.

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Photo of SSS
4.92/5  rDev +20%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

This dark brown beer is superb. The caramelized sugar complement the malt exceptionally! I was not expecting such a clean full flavor. Dogfish Head, you have done it yet again, thank you. The aroma is sweet, yet strong. You can taste some of the toasted elements, and it just the right amount of bitter, while letting the sweetness come to the front. Highly recommend.

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Photo of yuenglingfan101
4.92/5  rDev +20%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Poured into a pint glass and it was very dark brown with little head. You can taste caramel and some sugar but overall has a clean finish was was leaving me for more. You can also smell the caramel so overall a delicious treat. This beer worth recommending. Outstanding beer

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.92/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle, served in a pint glass.

A - deep, deep brown, almost black in color with a tan head that thinned to a light layer/ring, leaving some trails of lacing on the glass.

S - sweet molases and roasted malt aromas, a 'Porter-like' scent.

T - delicious brew, sweet caramel malt taste upfront, hop bitterness gives a swift kick, balanced out with a roasted coffee bittersweetness on the finish. Excellence!

M - medium/full bodied with crisp carbonation.

D - extremely easy drinking beer, watch out for the abv, and enjoy this brew in moderation or over several hours.

Final Note: Almost Perfect.

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Photo of mweso2000
4.9/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown to black coloring with tan head. Smells of choclate, malt and caramel. Very sweet smell. One of the most complex beers I have ever had. All at once you will get the sweetness of chocolate, a hint of coffee and caramel. Malt flavors enter you mouth followed by the bitterness of hops. I love the hoppiness of this beer. Many brown ales do not have this hop characteristic, and while this is a personal preference it is one that is welcome. Sweet and bitter all at once.

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Photo of jsed14
4.9/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 5

I just tried this for the first time the other night and it was incredible. From the first smell of caramel, you know you're in for something good. It's one of the most well-balanced beers I've ever had the pleasure of tasting. It tasted much closer to a stout than I was expecting it too, with strong coffee flavors aromas and flavors. If you haven't had it yet, buy it immediately.

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Photo of unibrew
4.88/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Let me first say that I'm a BIG beer lover and I have long been searching for a session beer. At 7.2%, it's a bit much perhaps, but, it's so drinkable I WANT to have a few of these in a night, along with a Chocolate Yeti or something truly big. That's good drinking! It's been a long time since I bought a case of any beers, but, I did for this one. To me, it has a near perfect combination of flavors. The malts and hops just blend so perfectly well. Have you ever walked into a brewery and smelled it, and realized you wanted a beer that tastes like THAT smell. Well, here it is! Excellent brew Sam. Excellent.

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Photo of TwinCreator
4.88/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I first tried this beer several years ago and have since turned many people on to it. I was looking for a good flavorful beer that wasn't too dark, too bitter, etc - this brown was just perfect. It's one of those beers where the hops/malt ratio is just right. There's definitely a sweet caramel flavor - maybe molasses sort of - but not too strong. It's a dark amber but not overly heavy. It's one of my favorite beers - it's sweet but not overdone and you're left with a great flavor. I can't say enough about what a great job Dogfish Head did on this Ale. Bravo!

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Photo of jcwenzel1
4.87/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer blew me away from the first site of it. The name Indian Brown Ale lead me to believe I was going to enjoy a solid original Brown Ale, yet I should have known different coming from Dogfish Head. This brew pours beautifully with a decent, reasonably long lasting, thick, cream coloured, head. The head lingers slightly along the sides giving a minor cascading effect. The initial colour is deep, deep, brown then as more is added it becomes an almost black colour.

The aroma is tantalizing... roasted malts with a large hint of chocolate, and small hints of coffee. (I felt like I had walked into a coffee/chocolate shop in France.) The aroma is not sweet however. It is more thick and robust.

The taste is exceptional. This is by far my favorite Dogfish Head Brew. Grabbing the font tastebuds with a burst of rustic nuts, then hitting the back of my mouth with lingering malt, slight alcohol taste. The taste is exceptional for a beer with a decent kick to it. Never would have guessed the alcohol level of this one.

It is thick and packs a bit of a punch which takes away a little from it's drinkability, but for me I could easily find room for one more! This is a must have!

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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!!!!

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Photo of McNealc31
4.85/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A deep brown, nearly black color. The head isn't huge, but it's certainly there. The aroma and flavor both have a roasted nuttiness and almost fruitiness to it. There's almost a cooked brown sugar lingering flavor that is a little bitter. It's pretty complex, but the mouth feel is surprisingly light. The alcohol is well hidden, too. Seems pretty similar to a porter and I'm really enjoying it!

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

I have this currently on my home draft system for the first time. I absolutely love this beer. What a perfect example of what a Brown Ale should be.

Smell is incredible; most reviewers have already noted the chocolate/molasses/cocoa smell. I get something entirely different. I get a strong smell of wine & plum. This borders on Porter territory. Taste is not as sweet as it might sound, which I believe the hops balance this out perfectly. The ABV will sneak up on you, gotta be careful with this one.

I have had this in bottle many times and thought this was a pretty good beer, but draft brings a whole other dimension to it. Probably the best Brown Ale hands down!

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

Pours an auburn brown with a tinge of orange with virtually no head. Smell is a sweet earthy malt/hop balance. Taste is sweet and smoky sticking to the back of the palate, with virtually no hint of the (relatively high) alcohol content. mouthfeel is middle bodied, slightly oily with light carbonation very smooth going down. This highly drinkable brown ale is maybe the best of the best, and I am a huge fan of brown ales.

This past May my girlfriend and I visited DFH in DE, and, after sampling just about everthing on tap, I left with a growler of the Indian Brown Ale (and a bottle of 120 Minute). This beer is one of the many reasons that DFH is IMO in the top ten breweries on the east coast.

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

Seriously one of the best beers that I've had that gets the perfect balance of hops, alcohol, and flavor that I look for in a beer. It has a strong flavor that is not overwhelming, yet it has a nice kick without that dry alcohol kick afterwords, honestly I feel it is the perfect blend of the two, Only problem is that it's a little hard to come by. I live in the DC area which is relatively close to Delaware, and I've only seen it in a few places. Overall grade from me is an A.

Perfect for the true beer lover, and can go with almost any occasion.

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Photo of Blueowl
4.85/5  rDev +18.3%

Tried a Dogfish Head Brown Ale at a restaurant last evening.
Very dark for a brown ale in my experience. Similar to a stout or porter in appearance.
Head development was reasonable and depended on how it was poured. Dissipated quickly.
Ah the taste! A touch sweet with just the right amount of bitterness.
Alcohol content 7.5% was appropriate for this time of year in my humble opinion.
Me like for this time of year.

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Photo of EPICAC
4.84/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I let this one warm slightly and served it in my NERAX pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a lightly hazy dark brown with ruby hints. A one-finger, beige head tops the beer and thins to a persistent quarter-inch layer leaving patchy lace.

Smell: Deep roasted coffee and chocolate. Just a hint of fruit and alcohol.

Taste: Sweet chocolate, fruit and caramel upfront. The finish is full of roasted coffee and chocolate bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Low carbonation, full-bodied, smooth.

Drinkability: Incredibly flavorful and delicious.

Overall: This is probably the best American Brown Ale that I've tried. The roasted flavors are bold, but are superbly well balanced by fruity and chocolatey sweetness.

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Photo of yesyouam
4.83/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale is a clear, dark, sparkling brown with a dense, bubbly khaki head that has outstanding retention and lacing. It has a roasty aroma with notes of coffee, chocolate, caramel, grass and herbs. It's medium bodied, soft and smooth, with a crisp, dry finish. It has a full roasted flavor; a touch of syrupy sweetness and an herbal, grassy bitterness. There is coffee and dark chocolate at the finish. It's superbly balanced. This is flawless and delicious!

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Photo of damndirtyape
4.82/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle (bottled on 08/13/10) poured into a shaker pint glass.

Appearance: Very dark brown on the table, dark ruby red when held up to the light. Poured a decently thick tan foam, but this died down to a skin across the top with a denser ring around the edge of the glass. Nice strands and islands of lacing all over the glass.

Smell: Strong roasted malts, molasses, bittersweet dark chocolate, coffee, and some aromatic hops all in there. Maybe even a little boozy. Outstanding!

Taste: Rich flavor profile. Deep roasted malts with bittersweet chocolate and coffee flavors up front, then some caramel and more rich malt merging in with some pine-like hops. The finish is part bitter hops, part bitter coffee, and part roasted/burnt grain. Quite enjoyable.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation on the tongue, with a nice thickness. Not creamy thick, but maybe a bit chewy.

Drinkability: Really a great stand alone beer that I feel in love with the first time I had it and I keep coming back to it as a treat. And that's what it still is - a great treat. I think I could handle a larger glass in one sitting, or maybe two of these with a hearty meal, but it's sooo rich I hesitate to call it really drinkable that I could have more and more. I'd need a break between bottles or glasses. But it's a fantastic beer and I keep coming back to it so I can rate it high, just not the highest. If you've never had it, you should definitely give it a try - it's a very unique brew and very well put together.

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Photo of legatovibrato24
4.82/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This brew poured a dark brown/amber and developed a creamy tan head that stuck around for a respectable period of time. Its dissipation was only caused by my desire to taste this great concoction. After smelling the roasty, caramelly, chocolately, coffee like aroma, I couldn't help but to turn it up.

On the front of the tongue, you catch the barley and roasted bitter, and on the backslide, the sweetness, caramel and brown sugar come in to play.

Even though it comes in at 7.2% ABV, there is no alcohol taste present and the balance of flavors, carbonation and body come together to create an incredible mouthfeel.

I can't say enough good about this beer, even the price was reasonable, at $10.19 for a six pack. I will gladly pay this for an ale I can enjoy, and feel good about drinking, knowing that I'm supporting a brewery that knows how to and cares about getting things right.

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Indian Brown Ale from Dogfish Head Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 1,965 ratings.