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Indian Brown Ale - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Indian Brown AleIndian Brown Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,955 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,955
Hads: 5,640
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 9.02%
Wants: 297
Gots: 873 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Indian Brown Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,955 | Hads: 5,640
Photo of jsp2
4.73/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass. Deep, rich brown color that the light barely gets through with a medium sized creamy, lacy brownish head.

Smells of toasted barley, coffee, vanilla, and a little bit of sweetness.

Taste is at first slightly tart and carbonated, then a rich coffee bittersweet flavor follows with a hint of alcohol. Toasty goodness of coffee, vanilla, and barley. The malted barely character is extremely pronounced and exceptional. It is the star of this one. Nice bitterness on the finish contrasts with the malt sweetness.

This beer is somewhat well cabonated but has a silky milk feel quality to it that is pretty unusual but nice. It would be wrong to do other than sip this one, it is one where you could spend a long time enjoying it.

I love barley and this brew puts it out there in a strong and complex way. Other prominent flavors give it an interesting profile and every facet of it seems to be well crafted. This is a beer I will certainly purchase regularly and drink at their pub. (1,018 characters)

Photo of DarkBeer
4.73/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Indian Brown Ale is a cross between Scotch Ale, an India Pale Ale and an American Brown. The caramel notes from the Scotch Ale blend nicely with the IPA hop flavors. The Brown Ale adds to the richness. It's a very well-balanced dark beer. This is a good winter beer, something I would drink during the Christmas holidays while the wife and kids are drinking hot chocolate. It's very warming and rich with hints of caramel and brown sugar. The buzz I get from it is accompanied with a warming sensation suitable for the holiday season. (534 characters)

Photo of abcsofbeer
4.73/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Drank two of these at the Dogfish Head Eats. Perfect beer after a long hot day at the beach.

Pours a brown cola color. I don't see many this color and I thought it very unique and pleasing. Tannish thin head was poured of about 11/2 fingers. The aroma is a little sweet smelling as is the taste. Carbonation is perfect and the mouthfeel is fabulous. Goes well with lots of food like pizza and dessert, believe it or not.

Very good beer. Highly recommend. (462 characters)

Photo of hobbes2112
4.73/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle.

Finally have this at home where I can properly review it. I have had this on tap many times (in the DC area and in TX) and I really enjoy it.

Pours a deep red mahogony, with thick beige head. Medium retention and low lacing.

Smell is carmel, grain, dark chocolate, coffee and hops. Really good balance of all these elements.

Taste is roasted malts, nuts, chocolate, dark fruit and a nice hop kick. The layering is so seamless that I have a hard time isolating flavors before another one shows up.

Mouthfeel is exactly right for this beer. The flavors are delivered to the right part of the tounge, and the body complements each taste.

This is one of the best beers I have had, sure to be on my favorites list. (741 characters)

Photo of hsfn09
4.73/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is the best bottled beer I have ever had. The balance between malted and hopped flavors is excellent and I am always excited to taste the full Dogfish Head experience 1500 miles from their brewery. (202 characters)

Photo of Bonhoeffer
4.73/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Ohhhh i love this beer. Definitely one of my faves.

Beautiful brown appearance. Nice creamy head. Smell is a bit timid, but good.

The taste. Well, this is what craft beer is all about, in my opinion. Just this amazing balance between forward hop spiciness and roasty malt goodness. A great touch of sweetness thrown in. Some nutty flavors. Stuff i can't even describe. This... Is... Beer.

Perfectly balanced. Complex. Drinkable all day and all night. After we get these damn laws fixed in AL, this one will stay in my fridge just about all the time.

Heaven. (569 characters)

Photo of ebby82
4.72/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a very dark brown, nearly black into a pint glass. This is the darkest brown ale I have ever laid eyes upon.

The aroma is of rich, toasted malt. Brown sugar is evident in the undertone. Also a bit of hops.

The taste is of rich, roasted malts. The brown sugar is evident as well, and hops make an appearance. A bitter beginning with a sweet finish.

This is much thicker than a typical brown ale, and a bit higher in alcohol, but its smooth.

Overall, my favorite brown ale I've ever had, and a truly unique and delicious brew. (535 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 DaBrewsNIU
4.72/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Great graphics on bottle, I love how Dogfish Head displays their product! Great head on the initial "down the middle" pour which dissipates after a minute or so (in an imperial glass). Dark brown or burned carmel color with moderate carbonation.

Smell:The aromatics are strong, yet sweet. Reminiscent of a traditional scotch ale. The malt is noticeable at first with some hops but, the alcohol smell lingers faintly. Not bad at all

Taste: Spicy, malty, sweet with mild hop notes. This is very challenging to analyze because of it's complexity. It is sweet up front with a mild alcohol flavor which slowly fades to a dark chocolate then hop finish.

Mouthfeel: I love the mouthfeel! It's thick and creamy but not super filling. The creaminess allows for the drinker to pick up all of the flavors.

Drinkability: Surprisingly drinkable despite it's high ABV. I could see myself enjoying a 6 pack through the course of an evening, however, be careful! They are so drinkable that they sneak up on you. OVERALL WONDERFUL BEER! (1,035 characters)

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

Enjoyed his Dogfish brew at The World of Beer in Westchase in Tampa, FL where they had it on draft. Served in a Dogfish small pint glass, it was dark in color with a cream colored head. Smelled of molasses and coffee. Has a smooth mouthfeel and is very drinkable (as a matter of fact after I tried it, it is all I drank the rest of the evening.) I found it to have a very complex taste, hints of chocolate, raisins, and typical brown ale flavors. All around, a great beer. (472 characters)

Photo of JasonCoop
4.72/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours a dark brown with hints of ruby and black. very dark, nice off-white, beige head. looks excellent.

smells like brown sugar and maltiness. smells awesome. hops are there, but dominated by brown sugary sweet caramel malt smell. great.

taste - how to sum it up? sweet and malty up front. brown sugar, caramel and almost chocolatey like taste. everything i want in a good brown ale. sweet, malty and awesome. almost a stout like quality to it, but not quite. finishes fairly hoppy, but sweet malts dominate throughout as they should. nicely balanced and just awesome. very impressed.

mouthfeel is nice and full, very creamy and pleasant. just great. drinkability is pretty good. fairly high abv is nicely masked. i am blown away by this brown ale. don't drink them too often, but after trying this one maybe i will. a nice full malty ale. (849 characters)

Photo of bonsreeb85
4.72/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - black w/ large tan head and crazy nice lacing

S - very sweet. caramel toffee and roasted malts. smells like maple syrup. w/ notes of coffee, and a bit of hops as it warms

T - insanely rich. very sweet and malty taste. but a balancing hop bitterness is not to be overlooked. along with the earlier metioned aromas, i also taste brown sugar, raisins, chocolate and a lingering coffee flavor. very complex this one. delic-i-o-so!

MF - low- medium carbonation gives this one and even bigger fuller body. really heavey, but it tastes so good, it goes down easy.

D - this is definately not a session beer, too rich and high in abv. but i could have 2 or 3 with ease.

side note ...Best brown i've ever had! (709 characters)

Photo of mattsdenney
4.72/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Now that DFH is pulling out of TN I decide to give this a try.

A: Pours a dark reddish brown w/ a thick light brown head.

S: Smells of chocolate at first, then heavy maltiness, scotch, and coffee beans.

T: Malty like a scotch ale with sweet nuttiness like a brown. Strong grassy hops underneath with a chocolatey backbone. This is amazing.

M: Creamy but not thick. Lightly coats the mouth.

D: It's more of a hoppy scotch ale than a brown but either way its great. Really disappointed that I waited this long to try it. (524 characters)

Photo of cdkrenz
4.72/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark, dark brown body with about a half inch of medium tan colored head with some serious stamina.

S - Coffee and brown sugar.

T - This is a unique flavor that everyone should have the chance to enjoy. There's caramel, subtle coffee, malt, and robust hops.

M - The feel is slightly coarse throughout which assists in bringing out the multitude of flavors.

~ This is the best brown ale I've ever had. I wish I had more than just the one. Thanks Krista, I love you baby! (477 characters)

Photo of beersheppard
4.72/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: dark almost opaque brown, tan head with a few big bubbles that lingers for a few minutes, great lacing.

Smell: caramel, molasses, chocolate, brown sugar, toasty malts.

Taste: caramel, molasses, chocolate, brown sugar, raisins, toasty malts, and a smatering of hops in the finish.

Mouthfeel: substantial, good tingle, a little alcohol lingers in the palate-which is fine in my book.

Drinkability: Do you like robust and delicous brown ales that are full flavored? If you do this is a beer for you. This is one of my all time favorites in the brown ale category and overall. I really think this is the unsung hero of the Dogfish line. (649 characters)

Photo of The_Ox_Man_Cometh
4.72/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This is one of the best beers I've ever had. I made an account just to review it!

That being said, I can't give you that in depth a review, but I'll do my best.

Looks: Nice deep brown. Very appetizing.

Smell:It smells good. Maybe a little underwhelming, but also appetizing.

Taste: This is where it really shines. Fantastic caramel malt start with a wonderful hoppy finish. Maybe even a little chocolate at the end, but my palette is not that developed. Really excellent, I can't swoon enough.

Feel: Very smooth in the mouth, and going down. I took off half a point because I felt it should be a little more carbonated.

Overall: Stellar on all counts. I bought this because I was worried the 60 minute IPA would be too hoppy for my friends, and figured this would be more balanced. I was right, and won big on the gamble. Everyone loved it. Get yourself some. (865 characters)

Photo of steinlifter
4.72/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I had this one at the "Connecticut River Brewfest" on-tap, was friggin awesome!...my favorite brew there.
The pour was cola-colored,rich tan head with lots of retention.
smell was sweet, chocolate & molasses.
taste was incredibly delicious, chocolate/coffee, and sweet molasses, balanced out nicely with mild hopping.
drinkability is off the chart!...this stuff is "All that!"...plus a bag O' chips!...highly recommended. (425 characters)

Photo of BradMacMullin
4.72/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Had at Public House in Vegas. Served in a bottle and poured into small tulip glass. Very dark color of course with a head that didn't last long but didn't matter . Nice faint smell of hops. Such a smooth taste. Great malt and caramel balance with mild hop mix. This is such a great beer. The surprise is that it is 7%. Don't get that at all. Will have again soon (362 characters)

Photo of TastyTaste
4.71/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Very dark brown color, but still lets light through, nice creamy off white head (which fades fairly fast). Sweet musty brown sugar smell, with coffee, and roasted malt. Taste has large hops for the style, just what you would think of an India Brown Ale to taste like. Approaches a stout in the coffee and hops, with a lighter body like a brown ale. A very drinkable, unique beer, I would say this is almost a dessert beer, or a nightcap. Excellent. (448 characters)

Photo of Jeffreysan
4.7/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

12 ounce bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a gorgeous, deep, dark, mahogany color, with a quarter of a finger of white head that quickly dissolved away into a thin lacing of foam that almost completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Lots of toasted and roasted malt up front, imparting some subtle notes of smoke, freshly baked bread, dark chocolate, brown sugar and some subtle hops.

Taste: Damn, that’s good! Massive malt bomb up front, giving off flavors of freshly baked dark bread, roasted chestnuts or walnuts, dark chocolate, and brown sugar-like sweetness, all beautifully balanced with some assertive, but not overpowering hops.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied to slightly chewy, and pretty smooth, as there is practically not carbonation what-so-ever. With an ABV of 7.2%, there is just a touch of alcohol on the palate.

Overall: Jesus, this is an outstanding beer! Strong, beautifully balanced flavors of malt, sweet and hops, wrapped up in a smooth quaff! Delicious! Another awesome beer from Dogfish Head, one of my favorite breweries. (1,080 characters)

Photo of Murph
4.7/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a nice brown color with a thick, creamy off white head that fades too quickly. The smell is of caramel malt, light hop bitterness and slight alcohol. This is by far the most flavorful and complex brown I have ever had. The first tastes to arrive on the scene are the caramel and chocolate sweetness which are quickly subdued into perfect balance by earthy hop flavors. The beer is incredibly smooth and goes down exceptionally easy, especially when you consider that it is 7.2 %. There is only the slightest hint of alcohol in the taste of this beer. Not so much even a taste as just feeling the warming effects. Yet another amazing brew from Dogfish Head. This would be the perfect beer for a cool autumn night. (726 characters)

Photo of Zorro
4.7/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled through dnrobert24 and 2MBBIF.

Pours a clear dark brown ale with a nice light brown head. Nice red highlights to this one when held up to the light.

Sweet and fruity smelling ale with a good amount of chocolate aroma. Pleasant toasted grain scents along with caramelized sugars. Some aromas of figs and fainter coffee smell. Quite nutty in aroma this is one ale that is not one dimensional or basic.

Taste is sweet and fruity at the start with a wonderful toasted grain flavor to start. Chocolate and coffee and smoky flavors kick in next and they compliment the other flavors nicely. Nuttiness shows up after a bit and is similar to toasted wheat berries in flavor. Bitterness is very subdued here for the style and that is a good thing, the dark roasted malts bring a fair amount of it that doesn't need a lot of hops. Damn tasty beer here.

Mouthfeel is very good.

What we have here is a really great beer that I have avoided for a long time just because I don't like badly executed versions of the style. A super drinkable beer that you must try even if you don't normally care that much for Brown Ales. The only thing that excludes this from being a session ale is the alcohol hit it provides. This is the only Brown Ale that I really LOVE. Very very close to perfect. (1,295 characters)

Photo of TeamSeabass
4.7/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown, barely transparent with nice thick toffee head. Leaves some strong lacing.

Smells of strong malted barley with a nice caramelized smell. Good level of hops to match the maltiness. Its very appealing.

The caramel malt & hops are combined so well in this brew. The flavor is strong but in a very good way. The alcohol is there but its very acceptable. Delicious.

It has a good body to go along with the flavors. Carbonation is right on.

I really like this beer. It reminds me a lot of Scottish style ale, which I am a big fan of.

I think it takes a lot to make a very flavorful beer be good all around and this beer does it for me. (646 characters)

Photo of Rickythejeweler
4.7/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I love Dogfish Head and I do believe this is my favourite DFH beer to drink on the regular.

A - Looks like Coca-Cola, thin mocha head, little to no lacing, overall a nice brown ale appearance.

S - Not too heavy on the smell, light smell of chocolate and some earth notes come through.

T - When I first poured this bottle it was in my opinion too chilled for its style, the first tastes were dark, carbonated, bitter, somehow olive tasting. As the beer warmed to room temperature the smoothness and taste definately became better, and by the end of the glass I was thirsty for more!

M - I want this taste on my tongue at all times. Bitter and dark chocolate aftertaste.

D - For me I could drink this everyday, very drinkable and very filling. I think for the Bud, Millers and Coors drinker out there, this would be difficult to put down, but for craft beer and brown ale drinkers I think you will find this to be one of your favourites as I feel. (950 characters)

Photo of abstractpablo
4.7/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was excited to find this beer available in my local Whole Foods. I'd seen several ads in BA.

A: Deep brown with very little head.

S: I get a whole lot of Tootsie Roll in the aroma.

T: Mainly an acidic sweetness. A hint of vanilla and coffee with some brown sugar. There's an earth tone finish that helps balance out the sweetness.

M: Slightly viscous, but overall very smooth

D: This is a great Brown Ale. Highly recommended. It doesn't get overly sweet as you continue to drink as other Brown Ales. (507 characters)

Indian Brown Ale from Dogfish Head Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 1,955 ratings.