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Indian Brown Ale - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Indian Brown AleIndian Brown Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,979 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,979
Hads: 5,739
Avg: 4.1
pDev: 18.54%
Wants: 308
Gots: 957 | 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: 1,979 | Hads: 5,739
Photo of leantom
4.26/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Easily one of the better brown ales out there. Had it on tap. Here goes:

A: Dark brown with a large head that leaves adequate lacing. Looks nice.

S: Actually quite good. Mild NW hops with a strong malt backbone. Loaded with caramel, toffee and raisins.

T; Very good. Initial taste is one of sweet caramel malt, brown sugar, toffee, some chocolate followed by a smattering of piney hops. Overall, this is a very well-made beer.

F: Excellent. Plenty of carbonation and ample thickness.

O: A very good Brown ale. Will enjoy this one again.

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Photo of Belichick36
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Burnt chocolate notes with a fantastic malt/hop balance. Medium bodied mouthfeel with a slightly (but pleasant and unique) burning feel on the palate. Very consistent quality as usual from Dogfish: Indian Brown seems to have the same flavor and certainly has the same impact it had on me as when I first enjoyed it in 2007.

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Photo of Jonoesh5
4.48/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big ol' brown body with minimal khaki head. Sweet caramel in the nose. I get Java chip ice cream in the front, caramel and brown sugar follow, and toasty malts in the back. Hop bitterness is present, but without the citrus bite. Mouthfeel is frothy and creamy. Overall, this is my favorite brown! Not super drinkable, but not a sipping beer either like some scotch ales or IPAs. Indian Brown strikes a wonderful hop/malt balance and is truly an amazing scotch/IPA/brown combo. If you've never experienced Dogfish Head, let this be your introduction.

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Photo of RyanK252
4.4/5  rDev +7.3%

On tap at Eureka Burger

A: Pours deep dark brown with frothy khaki head that laces nicely.

S: Roasted malt with a little coffee and chocolate.

T: Sweet roasted malt, some dark fruit, bittersweet chocolate, some light citrus hops, and a little coffee on the finish.

M: Medium body, moderate carbonation, very smooth.

O: Maybe not as hoppy as I expected, but a very tasty brew.

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Photo of burnerfinger
4/5  rDev -2.4%

poured from teh 12 oz bottle into my new belgium goblet:

Apours dark like a cola - nearly opaque - full finger of head settles to a thin film with NO lacing to speak of

S IDK what to say, not getting much to the nose at all

T hmmm again not too much here, a solid hit of bitter that's hard to define

M faomy

D not bad - the bitterness remains after the swallow

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Photo of Das_Reh
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tulip, bottled 8/6/2014.

Tasting and reviewing on 10/11/2014.

A = Dark brown with hints of mahogany and ruby red, tan head is small and creamy

S = Chocolate, coffee, hints of dark fruits, sweet molasses and earthy hops.

T = Taste follows the aroma with big notes of bittersweet chocolate and coffee, molasses, dark fruits and faint citrus, earthy hops and a lingering spiciness on the back end. Alcohol is virtually unnoticeable.

M = Mouthfeel is medium bodied and well carbonated, but not spritzy, although there is a tingling on the tongue upon each new sip.

O = A delicious and complex beer, the earthiness of the hops and bitter chocolate/coffee notes really help cut down the sweetness and bring balance. Bordering on porter territory, this hopped up brown ale is robust, complex, and at 7.2% abv, not a brew to be taken lightly.

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Photo of Blueowl
4.85/5  rDev +18.3%

Tried a Dogfish Head Brown Ale at a restaurant last evening.
Very dark for a brown ale in my experience. Similar to a stout or porter in appearance.
Head development was reasonable and depended on how it was poured. Dissipated quickly.
Ah the taste! A touch sweet with just the right amount of bitterness.
Alcohol content 7.5% was appropriate for this time of year in my humble opinion.
Me like for this time of year.

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Photo of Kgoldsbe
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Well done toasted marshmallow without the bitterness of any char that may accidentally have resulted from the campfire. Really well balanced between its malty character and its dry hops.

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Photo of Qbdoo
4/5  rDev -2.4%

So hoppy for a brown that at first it just seemed weird. But as I adjusted my expectations, and as I let it warm, the beer really grew on me. It's astonishingly dark (I could see the brown only by holding it up to the light) but r gorgeous. Looks more like a scotch ale than a brown. The nose mixes caramel and a bit of citrus and pine. The taste feels unbalanced when really cold but as it warmed the caramel and nutty qualities evened out the hoppiness. A true hybrid and a great fall beer.

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Photo of pat61
4.75/5  rDev +15.9%

Rich brown malt nose with a suspicion of celery, hint of cardamom.
Brilliant walnut, 1” tan fluffy head, finely bubbled, lacy.
Palate: medium roast malt, creamy chocolate, a hint of caramel, a light sweetness upfront but dries out on the finish with a light handed bitter finish that complements the chocolate. Well rounded.
Medium to medium full body, medium high carbonation.

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Photo of CrazyDavros
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%

Pours dark brown with a massive head.
Nose shows chocolate, toasty and nutty malt with a bit of brown sugar and treacle too. Some soft spicy hops.
Similar flavours, mainly focusing on the nutty and toasty malt. Again there's note all that much in terms of hops, just some spicy and earthy notes. A fairly aggressive bitterness though.
Nice creamy carbonation.

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Photo of kkleu357
3.9/5  rDev -4.9%

From notes on 12/10/13

Very dark reddish color. Malty hop caramel smell. Bitter taste. Little citrusy on the back end. Malted caramel on the front. This is my first Dogfish Head. So far good.

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Photo of dacrza1
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%

DATE REVIEWED: August 8, 2014... GLASSWARE: Barley Creek pint... OCCASION: Watching Return of the King with a worthy beer... APPEARANCE: Wow--allows a look through its body only when held to light--glass is black as a Wraith; the head is two-fingered, off-white and thick.. AROMA: wonderfully balanced: hoppy and citric, with raisin and plum, yet toasted with biscuit... the malts predominate, with a hint of roasted nuts and caramel--intense and robust ... PALATE: thick, creamy, and rather soft in ts carbonation--that classic cola mouth feel; slightly bitter at its end ... TASTE: the aroma sets this beer’s flavor, as dense, blanketed hops give way to unsweetened chocolate and toasted rye bread--a wondrously stout yet drinkable brown, that only hints at the alcohol it wields... OVERALL: what a drink with which to welcome crisp fall nights--strong, stern and warming, yet balanced, complex and highly drinkable...another victory for Sam and the guys at DFH...

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Photo of PA-hunter
4.6/5  rDev +12.2%

Poured bottle into glass. 7.2% abv

Appearance- Pours a deep caramel brown color, almost black. Has a lasting brown head.

Smell- Sweet malty aroma like caramelized sugar. Citrus like as well.

Taste- Roasted dark chocolate brings about a sweet richness in the pronounced taste. Caramel is evident as well just as it was in the smell. Towards the end the hops shine, as the bitterness lingers.

Mouthfeel- Medium-heavy in body. Good carbonation.

Overall- A beer that is impressive. Full of taste. The chocolate taste played well with the hoppy bitterness. A great brown all and one to try!

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Photo of beerfootfreak
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

delicious. just roasted enough to not quite taste burned. the caramelized sugar works well to ease the edge and hide any boozy flavors without being classically sweet.

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Photo of beergoot
4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

The pour exposed a deep reddish-brown body with a rich, thick, frothy light tan head (4.25). Aroma features nuts and chicory; brown sugar and cocoa (4.0). Bitterly sweet malt flavors; chocolate; noticeable alcohol heat; smooth bitterness rises from the back and lingers on the palate at the finish (4.25). Medium bodied; rich, silky, and dry finish (4.5).

This beer exudes a robust malt sweetness and hop bitterness, well-balanced with excellent flavor depth and complexity (4.25).

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Photo of ArchimedesSox
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Pours a dark almost black color with a nice 2 finger beige colored head that dissipates slowly leaving really nice lacing on the 20 oz pub glass.

Smell is of roasted malts, coffee, chocolate and molasses. Really nice smell to it, I really smells world class.

Taste lets the nose tell the story for it. Really nice sweetness to it with the coffee, and chocolate taking center stage. There is some hop bitterness that comes in in the middle to really balance this one out nicely. The end of the taste is really clean for such a sweet caramely taste at the beginning. The hops really clean it up.

Mouthfeel is really nice with it being really velvety smooth but with enough carbonation to make it really drinkable.

They say this is a mixture of a scotch ale and an IPA and to make it a brown ale. That really tells the tale for me. It is really nice and caramely and sweet but it also has the hop bite that really balances it out well. Another really nice beer from Dog Fish.

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Photo of logicalparadox
4/5  rDev -2.4%

A: They call this a brown ale, but it pours coffee-black. Nice head to start, with OK retention. The initial sight is one to behold. Head looks creamy and caramel-colored atop a dark, brooding abyss beneath. By the bottom half of my beer, the head was gone with little to no lacing.

S: The nose is full of fresh roasted coffee, brown sugar, dried plums, molasses, big malts, and a hint of... pine. Yes, pine. But just a touch.

T: Coffee, caramel, gingerbread cookies. The brown sugar comes through nicely, with a touch of sweetness, but not cloying. The hops are noticeable, but bitterness is low; leaving the piney-herbaceous notes in focus. The finish is a long dance between espresso, and the grassy-piney. Caramel notes come out to play from time to time, as do the warming esters of the alcohol (but not too much, at 7.2% ABV).

M: Lighter-bodied than the color suggests. Fairly fine carbonation makes for a soft, sturdy mouth-feel that still manages to not come off as heavy or domineering. A big beer in a small package. A hefty contender that has a certain amount of style and grace.

Hmm. This was a surprise. It's a little of a lot of things. I like it. Not my favorite profile, to be sure, but interesting. Challenging enough to induce contemplation, but quite easy to drink. The bitterness is moderate, a culmination of the interplay hops and roast. I like this and already recommended it to someone looking for something different.

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Photo of DanielMB
5/5  rDev +22%

This is a stunning brew. Just like they say, Dogfish Head has managed to combine the flavors of a brown ale and scotch ale with the hoppiness of an IPA. The appearance is a medium, copper brown with a tan head. The taste is very caramel, with the bite of hops alongside, and the earthy toastiness of a brown ale as well. A tremendous beer from a tremendous brewery.

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Photo of jbraico
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%

Great brown color. Very little carbonation. Thick head when poured, but disappeared shortly afterward. Nice caramel smell. Very drinkable, not a lot of bite at all. Smooth going down as well, not heavy.

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Photo of Tuck_leepulin
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

12oz brown bottle with pry-off cap poured into a becker pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear, deep copper brown with 1 finger of head and slight lacing

Smell: Chocolate and roasted malts

Taste: Upfront the roasted malts hit the palate, quickly followed by the hop bitterness that melds with malt producing a bitter dark chocolate note; the finish is a clean mix of peat and hops

Mouthfeel: Moderate carbonation and finishes quite dry

Overall: This is a great mix hop bitterness and roasted malt. Echoing others, this is a great hybrid of a scotch ale, IPA, and a brown ale. It may not do each of these perfectly, but the sum of the parts produces something quite unique and memorable.

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Photo of SmashPants
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle: a thick dark brown embossed 355mL bottle with a decent label.

Appearance: pours a rich brown with ruby highlights throughout. Limited fine carbonation across the profile. A great finger-thick head pops up and drops to a creamy half-finger with excellent, thick lacing.

Aroma: quite a demure aroma, but what is there is roasted sweet malts and brown sugars.

Taste: roasted malts and nuts up front with some earth, woody resin and a pleasant earth bitterness. Quite nice, and some tartness.

Aftertaste: roasted coffee and bitterness comes through even more strongly in the aftertaste. Very nice.

Mouth feel: quite full in body with a sharp but not over-powering fine carbonation. Fantastic.

Overall: this would have to be hands down one of the best brown ales I have ever had. Dogfish Head has only recently come into my life, but I have to say I am quite taken with them. Very, very likeable, even though it is AU$120 a case of 24 x 355mL bottles. Better value and a better beer than the already decent 60 Minute IPA.

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Photo of mthomp081
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - thick creamy head, very dark brown

S - sweet hops, cocoa, coffee undertones

T - bitter dark chocolate/cocoa, very nutty, really balanced hop bitterness, roasted malt

M - pretty high carbonation, creamy, balanced between sweet and bitter on the palette

O - Awesome beer. The bitterness of the hops meshes perfectly with the cocoa and coffee undertones.

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Photo of hophugger
2.92/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Ok, I disagree with the hype over this beer. I am a fan of Dogfish and they brew awesome beers but...Aroma and color were ok. The taste was a little different from your usual brown ales. This one was slightly bitter like burnt coffee and left a taste in my mouth that was not pleasant. Don't get me wrong, it is a good job, but just was a little much. I know the abv is high but other beers that I have had with the same or more abv have not had the very noticeable alcohol biy=tterness like this one. Overall, ok but not one of my favorites

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Photo of JohnLasher92
4.57/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured this into my large frozen beer glass. Color is a rich caramel. Smells like a mix of chocolate nut toffee. This beer has an intense taste to it all the way through. The alcohol isn't hidden but is complimented well by the complex mix of styles that make up this brew. All blend perfectly together to make a beer that you will always want to have again. Honestly, this is my second time having this and I'm going to say it tasted even better this time.

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Indian Brown Ale from Dogfish Head Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 1,979 ratings.