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Indian Brown Ale - Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

Not Rated.
Indian Brown AleIndian Brown Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,998 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,998
Hads: 5,822
Avg: 4.1
pDev: 18.54%
Wants: 317
Gots: 1,013 | FT: 7
Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Delaware, United States | website

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: 1,998 | Hads: 5,822
Photo of Jacobob10
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with a red wine tint to it. The aroma is pleasant but not overwhelming. The hops really have a strong aroma but the roasted malts balance them nicely. Complex flavor that contains some coffee, chocolate, nuts, and currant. The alcohol in this beer is extremely noticable, especially towards the end of the beer. It is very smooth drinking, but can be hard to finish near the end of the beer at times. Overall, this is a nice beer, but not shy by any means. Very alcoholic and reminded me of a red wine at times.

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

poured a reddish brown with a light tan head. aroma malt, dark brown sugar dark fruits, caramel. flavor nice and smooth , chocolate. malts, alcohol, plums. and other dark fruits.another good beer from the fish.I sure hope they send more up here. will buy more

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Photo of JISurfer
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow, this one has abunch going on at once. The smell has a smokey, roasted malty, hoppy, with a alcohol tinge to it. The taste was just the same. The only difference, was that the alcohol was lighter in the taste. This left for more room for the different tastes going on. It went from one taste to another, right quickly. Very tastey, as well as crisp and refreshing. Definately a beer I'll have in my glass again.

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Photo of AlexJ
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Draft at Delaneys New haven, CT, leftover from a DFH dinner. pours a very dark, somewhat cloudy brown with a thick head of brown. Inticing aromas offer porter-like malt toastiness, chocolate, caramel malt, and sweet floral hops. Mmmm, tastes even better! Far richer and more stout-like than the bottled version. Thick, chewy mouthfeel, very toasty, very fresh. Excellent floral/pine hops finish. This is too good, unfortunately it's not usually offered on draft in CT. Why oh why?

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Photo of Billolick
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
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!

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Photo of kbub6f
4.17/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A small, capuccino head dies fairly fast, leaving a couple of small spots of lacing. The beer is a dark, caramel-brown color. Nose is sweet, sugary, nutty, caramely. The beer starts syrupy with nutty chocolate. A little smoke. The middle is dark and malty; just a little buttery. Finish is bitter, smoky with chocolate. There's a little vegetable in the aftertaste, but not in a really bad way. It's a flavorful, rich, brown.

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Photo of canucklehead
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is bursting with flavour and lots of class. The malts are at the front but this beer balances very nicely with a long drawn out finish. These guys seem to be able to handle any style that comes their way. Would go well with BBQ. A true new world brown ale.

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

Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale (“10” notched on label):

Initially a minimal head on a rather vigorous pour that slowly builds to a very nice one inch head with big bubbles…dissipates just as quickly to a consistent thin film. Dark crystal clear brown color. Aroma is malts, no holding back here on the sweetness…smell alone might suggest a doppelbock. OK, lets see what this ale is all about. Big malty palate kept in check by the hops. Some molasses going on here as well. Not your garden variety brown. A big bold brown ale with a hop bite that’s just damn fun to drink.


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Photo of xgrigorix
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap, presented in a shaker pint.

Deep ruddy brown in colour. Topped by the thinnest of tan coloured heads. Once a bit of the liquid has been enjoyed, its easy to give the glass a swirl and see a proper head on this beer.

Roasty malt aromas, mix with the big American hop notes, and the brown sugar palyfully darts around in the background.

Truly a big tasting beer. Plenty of sweet, nutty, caramely malt flavours to start it off right. A sublte almost sort of smokey flavour dances around with the brown sugar. Juicy hop flavours bring it back together for a dry finish. Medium bodied, brisk carbonation.

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Photo of proc
3.6/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours out to a dark brown in the glass with an average size head. The aroma is that of malt and fruit, specifically raisins and plums. The taste starts off very good with a nice blast of malt goodness that lets you know its a brown ale. However, unlike others, I noticed the alcohol on the swallow. It had a warming effect, much like a barleywine, but unexpected in a brown ale. Granted, at 7%+ ABV, its not a low ABV beer by any stretch, but I've had 12% beers that masked that alcohol better. I will try this one again in the near future.

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

Dark, mahogany body—the light barely gets through. Medium-sized, light tan head. Good lacing.
Aromas of cola/brown sugar sweetness, and gingerbread without the spice. Not much hop activity that I can detect.
Taste starts off with soapy clean, brown sugar sweetness, and caramel. Notes of tobacco come through in the middle, and then gets bitter. It’s a sharp bitterness that’s much needed due to the sweet, opening malts. Finish is bitter with some roasty syrup as well. Big-bodied, almost cloyingly thick in the finish. A tad less carbonation might be better. All in all, [another] solid, unique beer from DFH. Recommended.

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Photo of mobyfann
3.94/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Paid $1.79 or so for a single...

The beer poured a nice dark brown base, with a light tan and large head, excellant head retention and very nice lacing effects, one of the best looking beers out there. The aroma was quite lax, nothing really going on in the nose, it smelled a little spicey and nutty, but that's all I got??? (subject to be changed).

The taste is solid; nice mix of unique spices and a grea tmalt taste with a sweet tone as well, I found it hard to grasp what exactly was in here but it was dispersed throughout very well. The mouthfeel is very gentle in my mouth, and the aftertaste is incredible. The drinkability is way up there, could be a session beer, but I would disclaimer it b/c of it's 7.2% abv. which I didn't even slightly notice.

Final Thought: This one stands out clearly, the unique taste and beautiful attributes place this beer on a mantle.

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Photo of 57andcounting
3.92/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice tan head that sticks around and laces nicely. Deep amber color. Complex smell that includes fruit, grain and chocolate. Taste is also complex, a new flavor every sip as it warms. At first, you think it is an English style porter, then it backs off to a flavor all its own. The flavor is chocolate, malt, fruit, and no alcohol, which will sneak up on you, as there is no warning of the high content.
This is enough of a drinking experience that I keep a couple around for that end of the day when you're only having one.

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Photo of Suds
3.78/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This deep and reddish brown colored liquid is a fine looking brew. Topped with a thin, cream-colored head. The aroma is sweet and reminds me of maple breakfast syrup. Mix into the smells are also toasted, nearly burnt-smelling malts, caramel, and chocolate. The mouthfeel is sort-of heavy and full-bodied. It’s got big flavors and is a substantial beer. There seems to be something missing, maybe a more solid hop balance. Still, this is a terrifically interesting and fun brew.

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

Pours an extremely dark brown (molasses?). The scents eminating from the off-white head range from fruity, to spicy, to carmel, molasses, rum, chocolate. Smooth and decieving. Sticky sweet, but not terribly out of place for a brown ale. Mildly bitter, with more spice coming from the hops here (saaz? Who knows?) Finishes strong with no indication of alcohol hit. It's too late. I could probably handle this all day, except for the 7.2 ABV.

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Photo of pheurton
4.35/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

extremely dark brown with blood red highlights when held to the light. chocolate milk colored head of foam and miniscule bubbles that sticks around. nice roasted barley/semi-sweet chocolate aroma. somewhat spicy too. medium to full bodied, exceptionally smooth...feels just right. complex malt flavors go from darkly sweet to nutty to almost bread like. spicy floral hops balance nicely while getting out of the way of the malt flavor. not a hint of alcohol despite its size. a big and beefy brown ale, crafted well with all kinds of flavors coming together coherently. probably one of my favorite DFH beers.

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Photo of DFN
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I bought a sixpack of this based mostly on the basis of the good reviews on this site. I was not disappointed! Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale has a rich, almost nutty flavor, and it's more "substantial" or "hefty" than most beers. Also, with an alcohol content of 7.2%, it will kick your butt if you're not careful! Two 12-ounce bottles will definitely give you a buzz! This is not a beer I'd buy every day -- partly 'cause it costs $10/sixpack -- but it's a great beer for special occasions, and makes a nice gift for any beer-loving friends.

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Photo of nbanman
3.43/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is my first review, so take with a grain of salt.

Beer served at cellar temp into a pint glass. Beer pours a very dark amber, creating a vigorous head, but not unmanagable. Poured into the glass without too much babying. Head of tiny, pure white bubbles. First whiff has slight hints of raisins and grass. Tastes of raisins, coffee and molasses. It's a spicy beer, though not overly so. Tastes quite alcoholic for 7.2% ABV; I would guess it was more around 8-9%. Initially, other tastes obscured the hops but after a few sips they make themselves apparent. Carbonation is on the high side; I would have preferred it a little less so.

Despite its relatively modest ABV, it's definitely not a session beer. I wouldn't want more than one in a particular evening. Still a pretty good beer. Dogfishhead is one of my favorite breweries, but I've never had this beer before. I'll certainly have it again, though it's not one of my favorites.

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Photo of trumick
4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a light brown with a thin head that dissapated slowly.
Scent is lightly roasted malt, hops and burned coffee.
Taste is of sweet roasted malts, burned coffee and hops. Finishes with a very nice slight hop and burned coffee bitterness and leaves palate dry.
Mouthfeel is light with appropriate carbination.
Drinkability is good. I could sit and drink a lot of these.

Brown ales are one of my favorite styles. I like the roasted sweetness as long as it is balanced. This one has a nice hop bite to it that I really enjoy. I would put this one at the top of my list of brown ales. I like goose islands, but this one is better. The hop bite puts it at the top for me.

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Photo of kmpitz2
4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a nice rich brown color that lets enough light through to let you know its not black, but still dark enough to keep me from seeing much more than shapes through it. The head is a finger and a half and light tan that falls to just cover the beer. The nose is caramel and a bit of light mocha. Smells very good. This is a nice tasting beer. There is a good balance between the sweet caramel and chocolate notes in the flavor and the hop that sticks on my tongue. This is immediately my favorite brown ale to date. The beer is thick with just a small carb that makes it drink very easy. This is one that I will keep in mind for later this coming fall and winter.

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Photo of jdhilt
2.66/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours with light brown, two-fingered bubbly head, fades slowly and leaves a good lace. Light-medium carbonation. Light bodied. Deep amber color. Nose has a hint of hoppiness. Starts hoppy finishes like burnt coffee totally different from the usual browns (Brooklyn etc.) $2.00 for a 12oz bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, MA.

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

Pours a brownish color with amber highlights; lighter than it could have been. When held to light, much lighter orange/amber. Small head, doesn't last.
Smells wonderful. I can't wait to try this beer. Bittersweet chocolate, caramel malt, and overwhelmingly roasted coffee, almost burnt. There is a bitterness, but it's not clear whether it is bitter hops or bitter burnt malt; I think both. Major roasted malt. Strong smell, unlike most beers. Tastes much like it smells. Roasted coffee is up front; malt sweetness takes over and is almost too much. Caramel, chocolate as before. I love it. Hops certainly come in at the finish. Finish is hoppy but not mouth puckering; rather dry and comes to an end, leaving your mouth happy but asking for more. Very light bodied. I wish it were just a little heavier. This is just the kind of beer for me, except a little lighter in the body than I prefer.

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

Poured from a bottle packaged in April 2004. Ruby brown in color and very clear with a small but thick, light tan head that remained in some capacity to the end of the glass. The aroma up front was sweet and spicy, with a solid candy-like brown sugar thing happening. I also detected a mild coffee and chocolate thing every now and then. The taste was really interesting... it was very sweet and spicy up front, with a sour fruit tang in the middle and a nice, bitter coffee finish. With a medium to heavy mouthfeel, it was really smooth and almost creamy (whatever that means) with lots of nice carbonation. A really interesting offering from Dogfish Head and definitely unlike any other brown ale I've ever had.

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Photo of benmiliron
3.27/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Paid $1.50 for a single 12 oz bottle.

Burnt caramel in color and taste. Good head and a rush of carbonation to start. Bitter hops very present, but dominated by the malt. A sticky sweetness prevails, with a very sour aftertaste that I did not enjoy.

A decent beer from DFH, but I'll stick with their other brews.

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

Pours a full milk chocolate color with a tight white head. Smell is mix of light chocolate, slight coffee roast and aromatic hop. Taste is delicious, with very wonderful chocolate and coffee flavors mixing, and then a good floral hop finish that dries nicely and doesn't cloy at all. Easy on the mouth and highly drinkable considering the ABV and all the flavors going on. I've enjoyed this during happy hour as well as dessert and it stands up for both. One to keep around all the time.

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Indian Brown Ale from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 1,998 ratings.