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Indian Brown Ale - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Indian Brown AleIndian Brown Ale

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1,954 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,954
Hads: 5,638
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 9.02%
Wants: 296
Gots: 872 | FT: 5
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: 1,954 | Hads: 5,638
Photo of malprep
3.89/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Dogfish Head is paving the way for craft beers. Another great beer and being a fan of coffee beers they have done a great job with this one. Great appearance and awesome aroma. Taste is great. Very good smooth taste for a coffee beer. If you like a coffee beer get this one. (275 characters)

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

A - brown body, nice one finger head stays, spotty lace.

S - malts, brown sugar, caramels.

T - very complex, with dry treacle to the fore to start with. The palate then sweetens out somewhat but still leaving a lingering dry aftertaste. Not really too hoppy this example, but no BB.

M - medium weight good carbonation.

O - nice to have such a complex beer. Only real downside is the treacle taste. Not to this palate. (421 characters)

Photo of Boggdogg
3.55/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A- pours a deep brown color with a hint of burgundy. Nice cream colored head that sticks to the glass and has good lacing
S- I smell coffee or bitter beans like coffee or coco. I don't smell much but I never do.
T- coffee taste. Bitter but not hoppy. I really have no idea. It is good not terrific but very drinkable.
M- medium bodied with clean aftertaste.
O- I enjoyed this beer. Not my favorite but well brewed as usual by Dogfish Head. (442 characters)

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

Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale has a very thick, crackly-sounding, beige head, a dark brown (with lighter, ruby-brown highlights), and heavy lacing left behind. The aroma is of sweet, dark bread crust, nuts, and malt. Taste is of a noticeable charred roastiness, sweet brown bread crust, some nut, licorice, and dark-roasted malt. Bitterness is there, and it increases. Mouthfeel is medium, and Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale finishes semi-dry, not very alcoholic, and easy drinking.

RJT (487 characters)

Photo of NickHalden
4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The first thing I smell is malty goodness with hints of brown sugar in this brownish beer. The head last for a few seconds. The first taste that hits my mouth is a smooth sweet malt followed by mild hop and slight aftertaste of brown sugar. Very smooth and flavorful for a brown ale as the bitterness balances the malt perfectly. I've found my new go-to brown ale. (364 characters)

Photo of Tsar_Riga
4.46/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A - Very dark brown, basically opaque, with tan head that fades some, but persists and laces hugely.

S - Roast malt comes through in coffee and toasted multigrain bread, with a hint of grass.

T - The start is pretty typical brown ale, following the malts and roast of the nose, suggesting coffee and rich, delicious breads. The middle brings some of the sweetness, but this fades quickly to a slight but notable hop bitterness.

M - Fresh, bright, and lush, with subtle carbonation. There is some drying, but it does not grow too heavy.

O - A brown ale that suggests black IPAs with its hopping, but keeps true enough to its style to satisfy my brown ale itch. Love the sweet caramel and bread flavors, and the bitterness keeps the brew from getting cloying. One of my favorite brown ales and a top-notch beer period. (824 characters)

Photo of seedyone
4.41/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

10/11/14 On tap at Rattlr n Hum, NYC.Just like I remember. Rich & robust.

02/21/12 On Tap. Hello old friend. This great concoction deserves fanfare. Trumpets. Garlands. The whole nine yards. Whenever it comes to town I wanna' know. Chocolate, coffee but all well under control. Nothing frat boy here. Very sophisto. Thanks Dogfish Head.

2010 I'm a fan of black & tan & this comes very close all-in-one. Cold weather treat (423 characters)

Photo of landfill
4.52/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An OUTSTANDING brown ale.

Chocolatey, caramel, smokey smooth flavor. EXTREMELY drinkable beer. Appearance is a dark brown, almost bark color. Finished pouring with a beautiful medium head. I love brown ales and this is a fantastic beer for the craft brew beginner or expert. I LOVE THIS BEER. (293 characters)

Photo of KYGunner
4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very chocolatey, almost brownie like color yields a creamy frothy head.

The aroma is malty, mostly chocolate malts, dry with a bit of smokiness. The malt trends to toast, biscuit and brownie batter.

The flavor is luscious chocolate malt, biscuit and toasty malts with a hint of smoke or ember. The flavors tend dry but some sweetness exists like a five or brownie.

The feel is quite smooth and relatively smooth with a moderate carbonation.

This is a brown ale of the highest order and if some one tells me they don't like Brown's I will push them to this and I bet they change their minds. (594 characters)

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. (308 characters)

Photo of Bone53
4.48/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a snifter at around 45° F

Appearance: Dark brown with a red hue when put up to the light along with a huge three finger tan head

Smell: Roasted malts, chocolate, citrusy hops, caramel, and hints of brown sugar and molasses. Fairly complex

Taste: Starts off with roasted and toasted malts and brown sugar, then hops that carry into the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy with a slight hop bite.

Overall: I haven't had many brown ales, but this to me could be considered a hoppy porter. Heavier on the roasted malts and a considerable amount of hops that linger on the palate. Probaby why this is now my favorite brown ale to date. This is something i will grab again when I want a hoppy dark beer. (733 characters)

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.62/5  rDev -11.7%
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. (930 characters)

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

A - Very dark brown, essentially black but when held up to the light you can make out some brown. Small vanilla head.

S - Smells like a stout with bits of chocolate, vanilla and coffee. Really gets me excited to taste.

T - Yeah that's good. Could be a porter or some lesser breweries stout. Coffee throughout but most on the aftertaste which is pleasant as hell. Some dark chocolate sweet roasted caramel in there as well and surprisingly the hops work very well with all this going on.

M - Medium body with a good amount of carbonation. Very high drinkability with the all the flavor and respectable 7.2% alcohol.

O - Really great. (639 characters)

Photo of redearth329
4.06/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A - An aggressive pour gives three fingers of tight, medium brown head on a very dark brown beer. The head is sticky and lingers. Very little light shines through the beer when held to a lamp, but enough to see that it is clear. not cloudy.

S - Roasted malt, molasses. Not especially forthcoming on the nose.

T - Nice roasty bitterness; honey, molasses, burnt toast... alcohol can be found, but you have to be looking for it. Hops are buried; could easily be mistaken for a porter.

M - Medium to full bodied. Creamy. Low carbonation.

O - I'm not sure what an "indian brown ale" is supposed to taste like. This tastes like a pretty good porter to me. Maybe a little lighter bodied than I would look for in a porter, but definitely bigger than I would look for in my usual brown ale... (788 characters)

Photo of donmonkey1
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours dark brown like Coke. I really can't see through the beer to see the carbonation, but it has a nice whitish/tan head that lingers pretty well and laces nicely.

Smell: Roasted nuts, hint of molasses, brown sugar, caramel, raisins.

Taste: Tastes like the smell but in addition I taste a sugar hit and a tree bark taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium/creamy body, good carbonation.

This is the best brown beer I've ever had. (431 characters)

Photo of watermelon
4.53/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle. Bottled on 12/12/13. Poured into a tulip glass.

A: Deep brown body with a ruby glow when held up to the light. Three finger light brown head. Massive amounts of lacing.

S: Chocolate and dank hops.

T: Similar to the nose with some bitterness, along with toasted carmel.

M: Medium bodied and crispy. Its easy drinking, yet not to easy drinking.

O: Favorite beer that I've had so far. Its co unique, full bodied and drinkable. I would choose this over 90 minute any day. (490 characters)

Photo of MightyMonk
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Why did I wait so long to try this brown ale. It looked to me like your average brown on the shelf. Wow, was I wrong.
This creation is all about NOT the average brown ale.
Starts with it's higher abv and ends with the hoppy nature in the finish.
Deep dark and redish glimmer with small head that laces well.
Coffee aroma some chocolate notes and malty goodness. Ditto in the taste.
Finish with a hop ending and this ale is a winner! (434 characters)

Photo of Flounder57
4.02/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle was poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: A one finger head was poured that reduced to a thin layer. It is an amber brown color with a little clarity and vision of bubbles coming up through the glass. Spotty lacing on the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: Roasted coffee, chocolate, hazelnut, caramel, brown sugar sweetness, and some earthy notes.

Taste: Same as above with light bitterness in the rear.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, a little chewy, light bodied, and medium carbonation.

Overall: Pretty nice brown ale. I just enjoyed a couple of these. (562 characters)

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

12oz bottle, bottling date 2/15/2014, poured into a Toppling Goliath snifter today, 4/3/2014.

App- Very dark ruby brown body. In lower lighting, looks nearly black. Comes with a one finger tan head, very good retention, splotches of lacing.

Smell- This honestly smells more like a porter than a typical sweet brown ale. Earthy and sort of herbal, roast malts, dominant caramel and toffee, brown sugar sweetness. Hint of coffee beans. Pretty pungent stuff.

Flavour- Caramel, toffee up front, a bit less brown sugary sweetness than typical browns I've had in the past. Tastes very nutty as well; this nutty aspect is what I love about brown ales. A bit of coffee, and a fair earthy bitterness near the end. No roast malt notes here. This is a very enjoyable flavour profile.

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied. Seems to have the right amount of carbonation for the style. Neither fizzy nor flat. Fairly bitter aftertaste that is more earthy and herbal than anything else. My guess is that Sam is using English-style hops here. Dry, bitter finish.

Overall- Very good brown ale, the amount of hops used here definitely spruces up an otherwise boring style. I also enjoy the roast malt notes in the nose that reminds me a lot of a good porter, which is one of my favorite styles. (1,270 characters)

Photo of dar482
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

The beer comes in a dark reddish copper.

The aroma has burst of toffee and caramel sweetness along with robust heavily toasted, almost roasted malt, sweet chocolate, a bit of roasted coffee. Almost an herbal quality in there.

The flavor follows of punch of medium sweetness in the front, then onto a roasted coffee, sweet cocoa chocolate, heavy nuttiness, a substantial toasted bread. There’s a wonderful melding of complexities then onto a earthy/herbal bitterness on the finish.

Big robust flavors here for the style. A medium to medium plus mouthfeel. It beat both Avery Ellie’s and Smuttynose Old Dog Brown in a blind taste test. (641 characters)

Photo of Act25
4.19/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

sweet as a scotch ale, hoppy, and as they write - it's a triple hybrid. One of their best beers.
Original without being cloying or cute.

A: Porter, with long deep head, long lasting and lacing.
S: Caramel spread on burnt toast, roast nuts, coffee, cocoa, dark church wood, salt grass, hay.
T: Follows smell, but ironically sweet up front and dry finished. Very enjoyable, roasty arc with plenty of cleansing bitters. Again wood, char, tar, marsh, salt water, sand flats, clams, and salt grass. Complex.
MF: also complex: starts creamy, but follows through long and powdery and dry.

Great strong and slow food beer. A best in class. (639 characters)

Photo of EvoRich
4.31/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I never knew about Indian Brown Ale. I discovered by looking into a cooler at individual bottles at a restaurant and mistaking the very similar label to World Wide Stout. Turned out it was "just" Indian Brown Ale. I should have know by the cap difference.I say "just " in quotes as I didn't expect much from it, and was a bit let down that it wasn't WWS. But I was wrong

Appearance: Nothing amazing here. Looks like a stout, not quite as dark

Smell: Sweet, caramel, coffee (which was a delightful surprise).

Taste: Coffee, hops, nutty, caramel, chocolate

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, and easy drinking.

Overall: While I was let down that I thought it was WWS at first glance, I was pleasantly surprised. Very nice flavor and was delighted by the coffee finish this beer had. (777 characters)

Photo of Ri0
3.87/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

poured 12oz bottle into snifter. Bottled 1/10/14

A - Pours dark brown with red highlights when held to the light with a tan 2 finger head. Retention is forever leaving some lacing on the glass.

S - Aromas of roasted malt, molasses, hint of brown sugar and some piney citrus hops..

T - Tastes of sweet caramel malt, brown sugar, some coffee and a mild citrus pine flavor from the hops.

M - Medium body, smooth creamy texture, nice,soft carbonation, mild hop bitterness and dry finish.

O - This is a good one from DFH, but I'm not sure what to think of a hoppy brown I enjoy IPAs, and Browns, but I think I prefer browns with big malt and sometimes aged in barrels. (670 characters)

Photo of DenverHopHead
4.06/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle with a bottled on date of 2/5/14; into a pint glass.
Appearance - dark brown, mahogany against the light. A huge, creamy, mocha head!
Lacing is superb!
Smell - a mix of dark malts, caramel, chocolate and fruity hops; smells very much like some black ales (black IPA's)!
Taste - uh oh...there is a bit of copper in the first few sips. This eventually fades to a fairly interesting blend of brown sugar, caramel candy and some fruity hops.
Feel - once the initial "sucking on a penny" goes away; a flavorful, balanced ale comes through and finishes off nicely.
Overall - this reminds me of a local brew that I enjoy, Odell's Mountain Standard; just a few notches below. (688 characters)

Photo of bnes09
4.34/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Translucent chocolate colored ale. Creamy, egg shell-white head with plenty of sticky, patchy lacing.

Toasty and cocoa aroma. Malty and sweet.

Lots of cocoa upfront. Toasted oats. Hint of brown sugar and molasses. Assertive, earthy hop bitterness. Great balance.

Medium bodied. Well carbonated. Malty texture.

It's been a while since I've had a really good brown ale. This really hit the spot. (397 characters)

Indian Brown Ale from Dogfish Head Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 1,954 ratings.