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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.

4,692 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,692
Reviews: 1,853
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 11.22%
Wants: 198
Gots: 327 | 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
Ratings: 4,692 | Reviews: 1,853 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of smcolw


3.95/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Some scattered lace; tight single-bubble head. The color is a mahogany brown where light will not shine through.

First impression of the smell is chaulky--not what I was expecting. Creamy cocoa aroma. No discernible hop.

Refreshing, light-bodied but very flavorful brown ale--certainly more complex than most Browns. This would be a very good beer to have on a hot day if you wanted more of a dark malt flavor.

Serving type: on-tap

08-10-2006 21:15:18 | More by smcolw
Photo of Halcyondays


4.65/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12 oz. bottle, bought by my sister at AJ's Fine Foods, in Glendale, AZ,

A: Pours a dark brown, with a thick tan head, with good retention, not much lacing though.

S: Nice full smell of caramel malt, with a distinct French roast coffee smell, and a bit of floral hops, interesting.

T: Caramel malt and brown sugar/Rapadura hit the tongue first, which is then balanced by a spicy hop character, leaving a sense of grass on the tongue. Even though this isn't a porter or a stout, there is a distinct coffee element to this beer as well, very tasty, the malt flavours in this beer are just beautiful.

M: Full-bodied, smooth and creamy, a little bit of resin is carried on the tongue as the beer finishes as well.

D: This is a very good beer, possibly the best Brown Ale made in America, or the best that I have had. I wish I had another bottle of this, but I guess as Miles says in Sideways, I'll just have to live bottle to bottle, until Dogfish moves back to CA.

Edit - Had another bottle of this 8/1/10 in AZ, still as good as I remember it, my cousin raved as well.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2007 03:35:15 | More by Halcyondays
Photo of BlackHaddock

United Kingdom (England)

3.85/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On-tap in the Rogue Pub on Union St San Fransisco: 3rd Feb 2013.

Thought it looked like a Stout, dark brown with a good foaming head.

Malty molasses hit the nose and mouth, this has a sweet front: plenty of malty flavours as you dig into the brew. I got coffee and dark chocolate along with some dried candid fruit notes.

Good body thickness and feel to the beer, a pleasant and easy to drink brew.

Serving type: on-tap

06-19-2013 08:57:58 | More by BlackHaddock
Photo of mendvicdog


4/5  rDev -2.4%

09-16-2012 04:34:13 | More by mendvicdog
Photo of kojevergas


2.85/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a conical Guinness pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are high given its current ratings. Paired with cheese & crackers and pretzel rods.

Served straight from the refrigerator. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a 1.5 finger head of khaki colour, nice cream, nice thickness, and good retention considering the 7.2% ABV. Colour is an extremely dark caramel-brown. Appealing for the style. Not particularly predictable, but not unique or special. Nontransparent. No yeast particles are visible. Non-opaque.

Sm: Cream, nice caramelization (very Scotch ale-esque), dark malts, milk, a hint of roast, nuts, and some light toasted malt character. Resembles the crappy American Guinness from the nitro-can. In a way, that's a compliment. A moderate strength aroma.

T: Caramel, cream, milk, roasted barley, dark malts, pleasant almond and nuts notes, and light toasted character. It's surprisingly simple, but I do like it for what it is. A bit of a tea note rounds out the flavour profile. Hop character is a muted floral. Balanced, but underwhelming. Lacks the subtlety it needs to truly be great. No yeast or alcohol comes through. Too bitter on the climax.

Mf: Smooth and wet, suiting the flavours generally well. The creamy quality it has is nice, but needs to be upped. Nice thickness. Good carbonation.

Dr: A nice offering from Dogfish Head for what it is. I like the experimentation but it honestly feels pretty tame. I might try it on draught (or nitro), but I'm not horribly impressed - par for the course for Dogfish Head. Drinkable. Hides its ABV nicely.


Probably closest to a Scotch Ale in my book.

Serving type: bottle

08-15-2012 07:45:19 | More by kojevergas
Photo of GClarkage


4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

04/18/05- Received via trade from connecticuitpoet and steinlifter.

Presentation- 12oz bottle with a bottled in November 2004 on the side label. Poured into my Dead Guy pint glass.

Appearance- Dark brown pour (almost black) with an inch head that partially hangs around until the end of the brew. Great lacing along the sides of my glass.

Smell- Heavy on the roasted malt and a tad sniff of coffee beans.

Taste- This is one heavy bown ale! Massive burnt malt flavor, coffee on the back of my tongue. A bit bitter on the finish.

Mouthfeel- This one is almost thick and sryupy. Very sweet and sticks to the roof of your mouth. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability- This dude is pretty potent. I think I'm happy with one of these at a time. Maybe because of the sweetness and extreme dark flavor. Very good though.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2005 19:57:07 | More by GClarkage
Photo of XmnwildX12


3.25/5  rDev -20.7%

11-25-2013 00:26:54 | More by XmnwildX12
Photo of imperialking


4/5  rDev -2.4%

12-19-2011 05:22:24 | More by imperialking
Photo of corby112


4/5  rDev -2.4%

11-22-2011 03:30:57 | More by corby112
Photo of MarkyMOD


4/5  rDev -2.4%

06-14-2012 23:29:12 | More by MarkyMOD
Photo of yourefragile

District of Columbia

3.75/5  rDev -8.5%

01-18-2013 01:48:13 | More by yourefragile
Photo of lacqueredmouse


3.6/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tried on-tap at Open Baladin in Rome.

Pours a very dark brown, deep with colour but also very clear. Head is frothy on the pour and quite light, finessing down to a fine lace on the glass and a small, persistent cap. Light body. Fine carbonation. Looks very good.

Nose is dark and spicy. Liquorice comes out strongly along with a slight hint of kirsch. Herbal rosemary-laced hop characters, but mostly it's spicy, sweet notes that makes it up. Malt is on the toasty end of things with a hint of brown sugar. It's certainly interesting.

Taste is lighter, but still rather spicy on the front- and mid-palate. Liquorice is still strong, with a fresher anise character to it, underpinned by some toasty malt. Only towards the back do we get some bitterness. Finish has overtones of molasses. Feel is smooth, but light, belying its weight.

Overall, it's solid enough stuff. It's not a superb beer, but it's still a pretty good one.

Serving type: on-tap

05-04-2014 17:07:55 | More by lacqueredmouse
Photo of barleywinefiend


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

A: This is my second go at this. My first revieww was based upon a randall cascade infused version and it was very green and hoppy, while not bad not true for an accurate judging
Poured from the growler a dark brown, lots of carbonation leaving a tannish head

S: Grains, cocoa

T: Cocoa upfront, toasted barley, some toffee and perhaps caramel

M: Nice, good feel, booze well hidden

D: Not a susual brown ale and the drink is good

Serving type: growler

12-25-2010 01:13:10 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of tempest


3.5/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Kelly Cole's in Syracuse.

Looks nice, but there isn't much lacing or head. The smell comes and goes. Sometimes there's rich chocolate and roasted grains, other times it's just mellow sweetness. It's not too thick, and its alright, but the flavor is a little too mixed. There's a harsh bitterness and not much from the hops. Worth a try though.

Serving type: on-tap

04-22-2007 01:05:38 | More by tempest
Photo of wl0307

United Kingdom (England)

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

Purchased from the BSF bar, GBBF 2008; BB 12/08, served faintly-chilled to cool in Hapkin's bulb-shaped bowl sniffer.

A: super dark brown in colour, coming with restrained carbonation and a light tan frothy head, settling slowly to a thin blanket to last throughout the drink.
S: the aroma is as deeply malty as lively hoppy, showing an assertive presence of chocolaty brown malts, sweet walnuts, treacle-ish sweet notes and dried red dates, while the hops are pronounced on the flowery and lightly longan-fruity sides. Not much fruitiness is detected even after a swirl, apart from random notes of raisin-like sour-sweetness. Overall, attractive, but not quite complex as I'd imagined from Dogfish Head.
T: like the aroma, the flavour is immediately sweet pecan-nutty, with random touches of coffee-flavoured milk and toffee, rather light semi-sour cold filtered coffee and date-ish fruitiness, while the whole weight is lifted skilfully by the hop presence that turns more expressed in the latter half of the tasting. The aftertaste continues with the lightly sour yet also bitter-sweet flavour, with an interesting bite of herbal hops where the flowery bouquet also mixes well with everything else lingering in the finish.
M&D: the flavour is not that different from a porter ale, if you ask me, but the body is much lighter and focused on nutty malts like a brown ale, truly. The finishing touch is slightly more sour/lactic than my palate prefers, though. I'd rate it higher if the carbonation was softer and the hoppiness could somehow outshine the present balance for the flavour profile. But, all in all, this ale is not bad at all.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2009 21:07:57 | More by wl0307
Photo of oriolesfan4


4.34/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Always saw this at the package store and never tried it so I finally did (not sure why it took me so long).

This is a fantastic beer. I always loved the flavor of brown ales but found them a little boring and too little CO2 action going on. DFH fixes that by hopping it up and making it more carbonated making for a delicious beer. I drank the whole glass in under 5 minutes, not even on purpose it just tastes too good to savor. I can't wait to drink the other 5.. three thumbs up.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2008 20:47:16 | More by oriolesfan4
Photo of akorsak


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

Surprisingly, I've never reviewed this beer. Purchased from Liquid Solutions (even though I live 4 hours from the brewery).

A: The ale is a dark maroon color, so deep red that appears black from afar. Let's call it a black cherry color.

S: The nose is malty, thick with a smoky undertone that drips with peat. Caramel malts add further heft to the body.

T: A smoky brown hop bomb, all rolled into one. Darker malts, toasted with chocolate, coffee and caramel, lead the way. They are followed almost immediately with a palpable smoky flavor. The result is thick and almost as full as an honest-to-goodness wee heavy. A citrusy hop flavor manages to peak through the malts and smoke but just barely. A very enjoyable drink.

M: The mouthfeel is full, smoky and thick, but not so heavy that it is burdensome. I was edxpecting a run of the mill brown ale but, knowing DFH, I should have known otherwise.

D: I'd disappointed that I never tapped into this one before. The complexity is remarkable, a nice scotch ale (screw the brown ale appelation).

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2009 03:37:06 | More by akorsak
Photo of Billolick

New York

4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 ouncer with "packaged in" date notched on the label. Pours a rich dark honey, clear, mahogany amber, not much head elucidated, wispy lacing left behind. nose is sweet and raisiny. This is a lovley full throtle brown ale, bursting with malty sweetness, notes of rum, caramel, maple sugar, vanilla and toffee. Subtle hops come in late and in the finish to pave the way for a long slightly dry finish. Got to love a brown ale thats over 7%! Thanks for all that you do DFH!

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2004 22:34:21 | More by Billolick
Photo of woodychandler


4.68/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I found this last night in the singles cooler at my local bottle shop and since the stamp on the neck read "Bottled on 12/08/10", it did not set off any flags and so I decided to shoot the works. I am awaiting the arrival of my local trader and this may help me to pass the time.

My pour initially created a finger of deep-tan head with limited retention. Nose was heavy with chocolate, like putting my sniffer into a can of Hershey's Cocoa Powder as I did when I was a kid. Color was a deep brown with ruby highlights. Beautiful! Mouthfeel was medium-to-full with a melange of cocoa, coffee, charcoal roastiness and some alcohol heat. Zounds! This was like a jolt of coffee to restart my evening accompanied with enough alcohol to send me to slumberland. Mymymy. Finish reminded me of my morning coffee, personally blended by yours truly to mimic the coffee I was weaned on in the Navy. My students often remark on how its odor fills the room. This was filling me nicely. I am really glad that I stumbled on this one.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2011 01:19:53 | More by woodychandler
Photo of orangesol


4/5  rDev -2.4%

11-15-2011 01:12:06 | More by orangesol
Photo of InspectorBob

New Jersey

5/5  rDev +22%

11-29-2011 21:14:13 | More by InspectorBob
Photo of rhoadsrage


3.1/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

(Served in an American pint glass)

A-This beer pours a deep brown clear body with a good carbonation and a nice rocky tan head.

S- The beer smells pretty clean with notes of light toasted malt

T- This beer has a nice medium toasted malt flavor with some slight sour chocolate notes. There is a very gentle citrus hop flavor with very little bitterness.

M- This beer has a nice medium mouthfeel with some creaminess.

D- This doesn't really have the hop qualities I would expect and the depth of malt is not that interesting by itself.

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2005 02:27:54 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of stakem


4.4/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Standard 12oz brown bottle with a bottle on date of 8/12/10.

Poured into a pint, IBA appears a clear brownish-amber color. A finger of tan head appears and receeds fairly fast leaving spotty amounts of lace on the glassware.

The aroma of this brew is very enticing and is quite perplexing as it encompasses a broad array of different styles of beer. Initially it smells of dark toasty grains that come across with notes of chocolate and dark sugar like caramel or molasses that also has a note of coffee about it as well in the background. However, once it opens up there is a bright citrus hop character to it that smells both herbal and piney. Also included is a bit of dark fruitiness and a bit of alcohol is evident as well.

The taste of this brew is enjoyable and equally as complex as the aroma. If I was given this brew to consume without a label on it, I have no idea what category I would place it in. There is a solid malt profile throughout the experience tasting of roasty malt with some dark sugars that smelled more like caramel or molasses but taste like a dark belgian sugar candy and coffee before the flavor of the herbal and tangy citrus hops come into play. There is a flavor of estery alcohol evident that also provides a bit of warmth in the back of the throat.

A flavor of toasty grain mingled with hops resides in the mouth long after each sip. This is a medium bodied and modestly carbonated brew. Very high on the drinkability scale despite the 7+% abv.

This is a brew that I have previously not given much respect to. I guess it took a weekend getaway secluded with not many options to pick this fresh six pack up and thoroughly enjoy it. This is really a well balanced and well rounded brew. There is so much going on it in that it could easily be an all inclusive selection for pairing with a broad array of foods. Well done.

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2010 22:10:32 | More by stakem
Photo of zestar


4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

06-13-2013 03:49:07 | More by zestar
Photo of dbrauneis

North Carolina

4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a very dark amber in color with some garnet red highlights and light amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a half finger tall tan head that reduces to a patch of extremely thin film in the center of the beer and a thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate lacing is observed.

S: This beer has fairly strong aromas of dark roasted malts with tons of sweetness - there is caramel, molasses, and brown sugar. Very light hints of alcohol.

T: The taste follows the smell quite closely and has quite a bit of complexity. There is a strong presence of dark roasted malts along with quite a bit of sweetness - caramel, brown sugar, nuttiness, and toffee. There is some light amount of bitterness in the finish.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Slight amounts of alcohol heat.

O: There is a lot more presence of alcohol in this beer than I was expecting, especially with the not too high ABV. There is a nice amount of complexity in the smell and the taste. I enjoyed the flavors of this beer and would likely try it again.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2012 01:24:08 | More by dbrauneis
Indian Brown Ale from Dogfish Head Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 4,692 ratings.