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Indian Brown Ale | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

2,015 Reviews
For Trade:
Indian Brown AleIndian Brown Ale

Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Delaware, United States | website

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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

Added by BeerAdvocate on 08-07-2001

User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,015 | Ratings: 5,908
Photo of OldSwampy
4.28/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Amazing dark cream head on a rich dark brown ale, nearly cola-colored.Lacing lingers on glass. Aroma promises caramel and roasted grain and the taste delivers, and then some. BIG taste of caramel malts, roasted meat, brown sugar, molasses, and, trying to fight their way through, some tingly hops. Rich and rewarding, sweet, but not too much so. Bottled 04/06/16, consumed 20 May '16.

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Photo of Shippy
4.01/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep, ruby brown with a tan head. Great nose with lots of roasty, malty notes: brown sugar, coffee, etc. Taste is similar, but a little lighter and less intense than the nose. Feel is somewhat light with a creaminess on the end just before the carbonation becomes more noticeable. Overall this is very tasty, roasty, and malty. Definitely fits the brown billing extremely well - not a stout or porter, not an IPA or pale ale, but very nicely in the middle.

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Photo of Whey2Hoppy
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a blackish brown color with a slightly tan one finger head, with slight lacing down the glass. Aromas of caramel and burnt sugar primarily, with some dark fruits. The flavor follows the nose, with the brown sugar sweetness taking hold followed by some roasty malt bitterness. This is a medium bodied beer with a surprising amount of carbonation that gives this beer a foamy feel. Overall, this is probably one of the best brown ales out there, and definitely a beer for those who love that taste of roasted malts and caramel.

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Photo of KLHBB
4.24/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Took a chance on a never-before-tasted sixpack and we were greatly rewarded. Wonderful beer. Pours a dark brown, the smell is of toasted nuts. More nuts in the taste along with oats and brown sugar. Delicious,

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

L -- Dark caramel color with a thick, just slightly off-white head that recedes quickly to a thin layer and a ring.

S -- Nice roasted malts, a bit of caramel. Some raisiny sweetness as well.

T -- Roasted malts at the front with a caramel/molasses sweetness. I also get some light coffee notes out of it as well. Warmth brought out a very little bit of a hop bitterness, but I only noticed it because I went looking for it after reading the BJCP guidelines for an ABA mid-way through my review.

F -- Medium-to-full body. It's just thick enough that I don't want to go chugging it. It also has a nice carbonation that plays across the tongue.

O -- Very solid. A very enjoyable beer to drink -- the flavors mesh well together and create something tasty.

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Photo of johnnyd10vt
4.45/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Holy crap that is good!
Darker in color than most Browns. Almost a Porter. Light tan head that laces nicely down the glass. Subtle nose, yet super complex taste with both the malt and hops coming through clearly. I LOVE this beer!

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Photo of GuitarIPA
3.87/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Plan B, Glatonbury, CT
L - thick creamy head, dark brown and red
A/T - Caramel, roasted malt, nutty
F - medium body, good carbonation
Best Brown Ale I've jade, but at the end of the day id rather have a porter or heavy stout. Glad to try this Beer of Famer.

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Photo of portwood
4.02/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Smell: caramel, roasted malt, brown sugar, raisins.Taste: sweet brown sugar, prickly alcohol, low carbonation, nutty toffee. Finish: bitter chocolate, malty, burnt sugars, slightly dry and some hop bitterness. (bottled 01/29/16)

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Photo of GreatStoutman
4.19/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From 12oz. Bottle, about 4 months from bottling.

Look is dark brown and somewhat thin. Not much head, dissipates to light khaki ring.

Smell is subtle and mostly malts, with some sweeter notes... Maybe raisins or other dark fruits? Maybe a fresher bottle would showcase the hops better.

Taste is tremendous, excellent brown ale with sweet maltiness, mild bitterness and enough complexity to be interesting. Not waste this style in my experience.

Feel is medium bodied with a dry finish.

Overall this is better than expected, and the expectations were high. Super easy to drink and very complex yet balanced layers of flavor. Top notch!

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Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
4.29/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Clear brown-amber body, steady stream of bubbles, rich creamy light tan head with polkadot lace. Smell encompasses warm chocolate and toffee malt and formidable, but balanced, piney hop bitterness. The flavor- MMM- the flavor, it is warm and rich with moderately dark chocolate, caramel, nutty toffee, brown sugar, as well as hops with all their acidity and bitterness. Perfect balance betwixt everything. Body is, you guessed it, rich and warm, slightly sticky with sugar, delicate carbonation.
This really does blend it all- a delicious malty chocolate caramel base with a counterpunch of bitter hops. This is, perhaps, DFH's greatest beer. A crazy experiment, not flashy, but well executed, enjoyable, and appealing to many.

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Photo of jcantella
4.06/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Why do we always forget about IBA?

This dry-hopped American brown has been around for more than fifteen years and is one of only five beers on DFH’s current year-round slate, where it’s been a long-time standby. Yet ask a casual fan to name the first DFH brew that comes to mind and it’s rather unlikely “IBA” will pass their lips.

Like many DFH fans, I fear I’ve taken IBA for granted. With an open mind and a fresh palette, I revisited the classic by way of a recent batch.

Poured into a tulip glass from a 12-oz bottle with a 12/30/15 bottled-on date. Allowed to warm out of fridge for about 20 minutes before pouring.

Appearance: Dark brown, with about a 1/2 inch of off-white head that mostly dissipated within a few minutes. Lacing was minimal.

Smell: After pouring, the empty bottle gave off notes of bittersweet chocolate, roasted malt, pie crust, and roasted nuts. From the full glass, a slightly herbal bitterness from the hops. As it warmed, I got faint notes of raisin and anise seed.

Taste: Things lead off with a light malt sweetness, followed by a rather assertive two-fold bitterness. Some bitter notes come from the herbal, slightly piney hops, others pounce with the bite of black coffee. It finishes slightly sweet, with a bit of burnt brown sugar. The alcohol lingers, but the bitterness lingers longer.

Mouthfeel: There’s more carbonation on the tongue than you can see in the glass, with a solid body that’s again more complex than its appearance. I don’t know what people are talking about when they say they can’t detect the alcohol here—it’s here.

Notes: Dogfish beers always have a lot going on –the question is whether everybody plays well together. In IBA, we have harmony, an enjoyably complex brown that shows you don’t need to pack a 10+ ABV to work as a sipper.

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Photo of stevoj
3.79/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Cask pour at the brewery. Creamy texture, smooth slick, roast chocolate with an underlying bitter bite. Nice to see a brown ale with some snap to it.

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Photo of MichaelProcton
4.29/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark, dark brown with some ruby coming through under light that makes it look a bit like red wine. Still, pretty clear. Nice nut brown head with good retention. Smell is deep and malty, with a hint of creaminess. Taste and mouthfeel are fantastic. Could almost be a porter, but lighter. Sweet malt, creaminess, and just enough hop bitterness to balance everything out. Delicious and drinkable, a dangerous combination.

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Photo of moofthedog
3.88/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle date of 12/2/15. Poured extremely cold. 1 finger head, but I don't particularly care for head size/retention anyway. Right away, fuggle and williamette hops jump at out at me. The proper words used to describe them are "spicy, earthy, woody". Not my preferred hops but oh well. They use caramelized sugar so I was expecting the aftertaste to be a bit dry but it was not so. Look was dark, almost like a porter. Bitterness was manageable, didn't stick in the mouth like regular IPA's. Mouthfeel was alright, you kind of get a blast of the earthy-woody hops on the way down. Alright beer, neat concept. Much of the malt character unfortunately gets lost in the bitterness of the hops. I got some dark caramel and crystal malts mostly via smell.
Wouldn't get again though.

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Photo of vladdswrath
4.02/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Dark chocolate brown with an explosion of bubbles off the pour, this foams up nice and leaves a wonderful lace. Smell is typical for a brown, sweet malt with brown sugar and coffee undertones. Taste is a complex blend of carmel, malt, and coffee with big smack of bitterness crashing in at the end. Mouthfeel is surprisingly much thinner than it looks and smells, but on the bright side, that makes it easier to drink more than one.

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Photo of AngryDutchman
3.12/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Revisiting an old friend at the Towne Tavern.

Lovely brown color, a bit to the sweet side of things. Less coffee/toffee than I was remembering, a decent session brew from DFH but overall left wanting.

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Photo of MJSFS
4.23/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a DFH chalice L: rich dark brown with a thin tan head that quickly dissipated while leaving a thin bubbly lacing A: roasted malts and slight coffee notes T: sweet malts, red wine, and cola M: medium and bubbly O: probably my favorite beer of this style

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Photo of twosheds
3.89/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown with a tan head

Smells strongly of dark bread and dried fruit with some hop bitterness coming through.

Has a sweet nutty flavor with a decent amount of hops to balance it out. Dark bread flavor is not as prominent as in the smell, but still present.

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Photo of bradco57
4.75/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Got a bottle of the Indian Brown this week from my favorite bottle shop. Have long been a fan of the 90 min and 60 min from Dogfish. I must say, I think the Indian Brown beats them both! Its a smooth perfectly balanced beer that just delights the taste buds. If you are a fan of dark beer and have never tried this one....get one and enjoy .. The 95 rating is on the mark!

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Photo of GinDC
4.55/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Very dark but also sweet and full-bodied. Kind of like a smooth cup of Jagermeister, but as a beer, and not really even. If you're in the mood for something dark and complex it's hard to beat.

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Photo of vickersspitfire
3.79/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle
Appearance: Dark brown in color with reddish hues when the light hits it, slightly hazy and filled with carbonation, the head is fluffy, thick and an off white color. Medium Lacing.
Smell: fruity, herby and mild floral aromas come out, a little caramel and brown sugar too!
Taste: roasted malts, bready yeast and mild dark fruits make for a great tasting. It’s a little nutty and woody towards its aftertaste and sweet after overall.
Mouthfeel: light to medium bodied with mild carbonation.
Overall: Smooth, great tasting and lovely to drink.

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Photo of Kubishark
4.32/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had on tap. What a beautiful beer, dark brown with a bit of amber/red shining through. Smells like roasted malts and caramel, tastes wonderfully nutty and malty and sweet, with enough hops to even things out. Hardly any taste of alcohol for its ABV. Highly, highly recommended.

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Photo of StoutElk_92
4.24/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a nice maroon with a frothy khaki colored head. Smells very malty, with somewhat dark roasty caramel and mild chocolate, caramelized brown sugar and light grassy citrus pine. Taste is bitter grassy pine, mild citrus fruits, roasty caramelized brown sugar and molasses, with mild chocolate and earthy wood notes to balance it out. Feels light and creamy with medium carbonation. Overall a balanced and well made hoppy brown ale.

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Photo of Benjo87
3.93/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - A lot darker than I expected. It looks like a stout or a porter in the glass. Little bits of light coming through the glass from the corners. 2 finger head that dissipates quickly.

Smell - was expecting a bit more on the nose. Bottle is fairly fresh at 2 months old, but I'm only getting faint smells. Caramelised sugar is there, roasted malt, hops, and a touch of alcohol.

Taste - Very very smooth. Caramelised sugar up front, with a fair bit of hops on the back end. Has a nice bitterness to finish.It's almost a mix between an IPA and a porter. Very well balanced beer.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured on tap, the beer is a vibrant, deep, dark brown coloring with a filmy, clingy, off white head. Aromas of heavily roasted nut sweetness, hints of coffee, and a solid bolt of bitter hops. Flavors are heavy nut and coffee, both bitter and rich, with a hippy backbone. Smooth and big in mouth, with a dry edge. The aftertaste is roasted and sweet, with a solid nutty and toffee linger. Smooth, dry finish. Great beer.

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Indian Brown Ale from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 2,015 ratings.