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Indian Brown Ale - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Indian Brown AleIndian Brown Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,701 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,701
Reviews: 1,853
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 10.98%
Wants: 199
Gots: 331 | 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:
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 added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-07-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Indian Brown Ale Alström Bros
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Ratings: 4,701 | Reviews: 1,853 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.53/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Great colour and lace and promising mollasses and alcohol aroma, but taste was initially sour and then more malty after inducing some spicy food. For the latter, its a quencher. Some burnt carmel, appropriate carbonation. Maybe it works on tap or another day, another meal.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2005 03:24:26 | More by Sammy
Photo of t0rin0


3.5/5  rDev -14.6%

09-20-2012 01:02:08 | More by t0rin0
Photo of UCLABrewN84


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

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a 1 inch foamy dark khaki head. Thin foamy rings of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, toasted nuts, and some slight herbal hop aromas. Taste is of toasted malt and nuts, burnt brown sugar, and some herbal hop flavors on the finish. There is a mild roasty bitterness on the palate after each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with some solid aromas and flavors that make this one really easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2012 02:56:15 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of djrn2

New Jersey

4/5  rDev -2.4%

11-14-2011 21:56:35 | More by djrn2
Photo of Thorpe429


4.38/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Very dark brown with a pretty good, long-lasting head.

S: Definitely finding the combination of beers here--plenty of hops as well as sweet, dark malts with chocolate and carmelized sugars. Dark fruit underneath.

T: Much like the smell with a little bit of molasses thrown in. The dark fruits are a little more prominent in the taste.

M: Medium bodied and very smooth. Chewy.

D: Very nice beer. Perhaps my favorite of the year-round, six-pack offerings.

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2009 21:57:34 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of BuckeyeNation


4.47/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Non-opaque dark brown that becomes dark reddish copper when backlit. The largish head is toasted cocoa in color and looks dense enough and tacky enough to result in better than average lace. And it does; I see a near contiguous sheet on the glass opposite as I drink.

Indian Brown smells like a porter to me, maybe even a light stout. It's redolent of chocolate with a generous smattering of hops and perhaps a whiff of coffee. Without a doubt, the best brown ale nose that I've run across yet.

Massive flavor profile for a brown ale. There's plenty of dark, roasted malt that results in a bittersweet chocolate flavor, hops that do not want to be assigned a supporting role and a pleasant underlying smokiness. Coffee percolates through each mouthful as well. Thanks to the full body and the soft, smooth mouthfeel, the finish is long and satisfying. Amazingly complex and hearty for the style.

Dogfish Head and I did not get off to a great start (Immort Ale), but I have since been extremely impressed with the brewery. I had a very good brown ale a while back (Bell's Best Brown), but Indian Brown noses it out of the top spot. The DFH website describes it as a cross between a Scotch Ale, an IPA and an APA. I'm not too sure about that, but however one chooses to categorize it, this is one well-crafted, delicious beer. Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2004 19:30:25 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of metter98

New York

4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer poured very dark amber in color with a finger high creamy beige head that slowly diminishes into lacy patterns. A faint amount of rising bubbles are visible.
S: There is a moderate aroma of dark roasted malts in the nose along with notes of caramel and some hints of brown sugar.
T: The taste is rather complex and has notes of brown sugar, caramel, nuts, roasted malts and toffee. A mild amount of bitterness is present from the hops.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate; there is a little bit of warming from the alcohol.
D: The beer is very easy to drink and the smell or taste of alcohol isn't perceptible. I definitely want to try this again because the combination of flavors is very unique.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2010 22:31:56 | More by metter98
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark chocolate brown color with russet highlights; the rocky head that displays great retention, depositing a touch of lacing with every sip

Smell: A bit indistinct, but primarily brown bread and rich caramel malts

Taste: A whole lot going on here - starts out surprisingly hoppy from the get-go and then builds from there; in the middle, some caramel and burnt sugar flavors develop along with roasted coffee; somewhere, later on, the alcohol makes itself known as the gullet warms; finally it finished with a complex sweet and bitter crescendo

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with lively carbonation

Drinkability: What is this beer? One sip and you think it is a hoppy brown ale and the next it is masquerading as a light bodied stout. Can't tell for sure but it is a worthwhile beer to seek out.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2005 18:37:05 | More by brentk56
Photo of nmann08

District of Columbia

4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

12-05-2011 01:43:36 | More by nmann08
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally splurged on a bottle at Bruisn when I was there today, okay at 2 bucks not really splurged, but got one none the less. Poured a deep dark brown with a huge tan head, lots of lace left over on the sides. Smell was lots of hops, pine, with some sweetness mixed in. A touch of some earthy, grassy flavors as well. The taste was great, good malt back that was hoped to all hell. Very fresh taste, and a sstrong biting finish. Alot of similarity to the Terrapin Brown. Great smooth feel, lots of carbonation made it go down smooth with a nice dry finish. I could easily see myself drinking this on a regular basis. It was really just that good. A very quality session beer for sure. Just a treat to drink, and I will definatly be looking forward to the next time I am around grabbing some of this to bring home!

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2007 03:46:13 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

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

Bottle: Poured a deep brown color ale with a nice foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of nutty caramel malt with some dry hops. Taste is also dominated by some toffee and caramel malt which are well balance by some dry light bitter hops. Good body with some good carbonation. Very well done for a session ale that can still retain some character.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2008 20:52:45 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of BEERchitect


4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

High praise is had all around as Dogfish Head celebrates all of what's brown with a unique dry toasty beer with a heavy hop influence.

With an appearance that looks austerely like porter, the beer lands in that dark bark-brown realm with onyx-like refelection and firm head formation and retention. The medium sand-tan foam laces extremely well and forms the final impressions of a well made ale.

Heavy toast, roasted nuts, rich cold-press coffee, cocoa, and starchy malt begin the aromatic dialogue as the balance of pine, citrus, and grass emit in their hoppy form to counter the dry malt influence.

Burnt molasses, bold roast coffee, bittersweet chocolate, walnuts and malted milkshakes start to form the taste just as the citrusy build up from hops begin. Soon, the sweetness is supplanted by dry bitterness both from char and hops and seem like saw dust, grapefruit, and burnt embers carry the beer into its semi-dry bitter finish.

Medium bodies, the beer's early creaminess is quickly shed and makes way for the lighter mid palate of toast, powder, hops to easily develop with an even fade into dryness, warmth, and quickly closing dark malts.

The American influence on this beer is undeniable- it's much more toasty (almost roasty), it's drier, and much more hoppy (American citrus hops)- all making it easily agreeable for a pairing of medium-well cheeseburgers with sharp cheddar!

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2005 12:34:32 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of acurtis

New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev -14.6%

01-19-2012 23:20:11 | More by acurtis
Photo of womencantsail


3.8/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Matt for this tick.

A: Pours a very dark brown color with some reddish highlights and a thin tan head.

S: Smells really roasty with some nice chocolate and earthy hop notes. There is a strange aroma that seems to be chlorine, but it's sort of in the background. Some pretty decent coffee notes too.

T: Lots of roasted malt, dark chocolate, and a bit of coffee. Pretty bitter with a nice earthy hop profile. A nice toffee flavor and some toasted malt notes.

M: The body is medium with a moderate level of carbonation.

D: The strange chlorine thing was a bit of a black mark on this beer, but otherwise, this is damn good.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2011 06:39:00 | More by womencantsail
Photo of ygtbsm94


3.75/5  rDev -8.5%

11-30-2013 05:49:35 | More by ygtbsm94
Photo of kjkinsey


4/5  rDev -2.4%

12-02-2011 18:05:58 | More by kjkinsey
Photo of ChainGangGuy


4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

There I was, last weekend, talking about beer, and bemoaning the fact that I can't find a decent brown ale back home in Atlanta.

And BAM, what shows up in the cooler at Once Upon a Vine during my roadtrip to Richmond, but Dogfish Head's Indian Brown Ale!

Appearance: Poured out a crystal clear dark-reddish brown color with a khaki-colored head recedes to a thin band around the glass.

Smell: Chockablock scent full of sweet satisfaction - hazlenut coffee, brown sugar, and candied dark fruits.

Taste: The flavor of this brown ale is so far superior that it barely warrants mentioning, but I'll do my best. A rich, assertive malt base charges the tongue. Fiendishly sweet flavor suggesting coffee, toasted nuts, and cooked caramel (which carries with it a delicate smokiness). A restrained herbal hop bitterness allows the malts to really shine through. Finishes with a lasting roastiness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Light on the carbonation, keeping this brew singularly smooth and creamy.

Drinkability: Yeah, to sum up: Dogfish Head's Indian Brown Ale is strikingly drinkable and incredibly tasty! For me, that was enough, but the beer is unique and clever and well done enough that any fans of the style should check it out.

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2006 02:59:04 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of Texasfan549


4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

11-17-2011 03:58:47 | More by Texasfan549
Photo of jaydoc


4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

08-31-2013 04:15:00 | More by jaydoc
Photo of kylehay2004


3.88/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: single finger head on a deep amber brown body.

S: toasted and chocolate malts. Hops are light and mostly earthy.

T: excellent toasted and chocolate malt base. Hops provide mostly earthy and light pine notes

M: medium body and moderate to high carbonation.

Overall: this is a very nice brown. Easy to drink and very flavorful.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2012 06:39:41 | More by kylehay2004
Photo of spycow


3.25/5  rDev -20.7%

01-10-2013 02:22:17 | More by spycow
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

3.7/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Wow this is no brown mild!This pours a nice deep brown with light had that stuck a little to the sides of the glass,the aroma was pretty nutty and a little bitter sweet.Taste was well unexpected,it had the nutty,earthy qualities of a brown ale but it also had a very alcoholic note to it as well.A real good beer but I couldnt have more than one or two.

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2003 20:09:42 | More by oberon
Photo of GRG1313


4/5  rDev -2.4%

11-27-2011 02:23:01 | More by GRG1313
Photo of Knapp85


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

Been quite some time since I had one of these. The beer poured out as a brown color with a pretty good looking head on top. The smell of this beer has a good amount of citrusy hops on the nose, with a more subtle aroma of chocolate malt. The taste of this beer is very hoppy, It's along the lines of some Black IPA's that are available these days. The flavors are sweet and bitter all at the same time. Pretty interesting stuff really. The mouthfeel is average I think, the carbonation in good and it is a drinkable brew. Overall it's a nice choice if you're looking for something new to try. It's a pretty enjoyable beer all around.

Serving type: bottle

09-01-2011 20:05:31 | More by Knapp85
Photo of TMoney2591


4.43/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Chicago Bears shaker pint glass.

We mourn the passing of the Devil's Backbone willibecher. *sniffle* Moving on, this brew pours a clear deep amber-garnet topped by nearly a finger of off-white foam. The nose conprises maple syrup, caramel, brown sugar, molasses, walnuts, and a touch of flowery oak. The taste brings in an additional bit of mandarin orange syrup, while also maintaining a decently powerful nuttiness. The body is a light medium, with a light carbonation and a very smooth feel. Overall, a very tasty brew, one of the best normal-ish browns readily available.

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2010 01:29:33 | More by TMoney2591
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Indian Brown Ale from Dogfish Head Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 4,701 ratings.