1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Indian Brown Ale - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Indian Brown AleIndian Brown Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,898 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,898
Reviews: 1,870
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 11.22%
Wants: 219
Gots: 431 | FT: 7
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:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Indian Brown Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,898 | Reviews: 1,870 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of younger35
3.95/5  rDev -3.7%

My buddy from Colorado sent me this brew along with a four pack of Ten Fidy. Dogfish head has been hit or miss with me but I really love Brown Ales. Drank from my Squatters nonic pint glass while watching UCF vs. Mississippi State.

Appearance- Pours fairly thick and dark brown with amber highlights and a small tan head. Leaves a lingering thick collar but almost no cap or lacing.
Smell- Big roasty toasty malts that lend a rather sweet scent with hints of chocolate, burnt sugar, molasses and maybe even a hint of smokiness. A light fruity hoppiness is detectable but hidden pretty well by the malts.
Taste- Not as sweet as I was expecting from the nose which is a big plus. Starts with a slightly burnt malt sweetness that is nutty and deceitfully chocolaty. A bit of over roasted French roast sweetened with brown sugar also joins the party. The hops borderline on being citrusy but more realistically are lightly floral and add a bit of lingering bitterness. Finishes with a swift kick of alcohol and a bitter nuttiness.
Mouthfeel- Medium smooth body with an oily finish and medium prickly carbonation.
Drinkability- This is definitely the best brew I’ve had by Dogfish Head (maybe tied with 90 minute). It’s there “extreme” interpretation of a Brown Ale and this one works. Really solid, tasty brew. Thanks Derick!

younger35, Dec 29, 2007
Photo of jeffmonarch
3.85/5  rDev -6.1%

12 oz. bottle in a pint glass.

A - Nice dark brown with a tan head that stays for a while.

S - Sweet, Roasted smell.

T - Great beer. Nice malt flavor up front followed by the hops with a nice slightly bitter finish.

M - Medium to full bodied with good carbonation.

D - Great beer, again. This is one of my favorite from DFH.

jeffmonarch, Dec 29, 2007
Photo of Dalem
3.85/5  rDev -6.1%

The Indian Brown IS brown in color but a very dark one. It let's a little bit of light through but I've seen stouts lighter than this. Decent one inch head that faded moderately fast. Earthy and nutty along with coffee and hops in the aroma. There's a roasty malt and chocolate flavors at first taste. A good bodied, creamy feeling in the mouth and on the back of the throat with a hops and alcohol kick in the finish to warm you up. It does the trick right on these wintry days.

Dalem, Dec 27, 2007
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.93/5  rDev +20.2%

12oz bottle, served in a pint glass.

A - deep, deep brown, almost black in color with a tan head that thinned to a light layer/ring, leaving some trails of lacing on the glass.

S - sweet molases and roasted malt aromas, a 'Porter-like' scent.

T - delicious brew, sweet caramel malt taste upfront, hop bitterness gives a swift kick, balanced out with a roasted coffee bittersweetness on the finish. Excellence!

M - medium/full bodied with crisp carbonation.

D - extremely easy drinking beer, watch out for the abv, and enjoy this brew in moderation or over several hours.

Final Note: Almost Perfect.

JoeyBeerBelly, Dec 23, 2007
Photo of gory4d
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%

My first review; here's nuthin'.

Pours into my pint glass almost black, with a thin tan head that leaves fine lacing down the side. Held up to the light, it's a deep russet color. The smell is very woody, none too strong. Taste is where this one gets me: perhaps a tad on the sweet side, it has undertones of the burnt caramel they put into it, again with those woody, now almost piney notes, which give way to a very mild and earthy taste of malt. Hops come up high in the aftertaste, with mellow and pleasant bitterness; the alcohol really kicks in at the end, too. Mouthfeel is chewy, but not excessively so; it's a lot of fun to sip away at it. Its drinkability is a bit above average for a beer so dark, but I can't see putting away more than a few in a session.

All in all, a very nice beer. If you're fond of the richness of a porter, as I am, but prefer the taste and the liveliness of an IPA, this beer makes for a nice compromise, while being entirely its own creature.

gory4d, Dec 22, 2007
Photo of bruachan
4.33/5  rDev +5.6%

nice lookin head. nice color, too: mahogany (dark cherrywood?)

heavy aroma of hops belies a mostly malty experience. the flavor profile is fairly robust and sports a heat atypical to brown ales. chicory, brown sugar, dates. there's even a spice to it that seems to piggyback on the heat NW hop flavor

it's a strong beverage--a brown on steroids--and flavorful

2nd tasting: 1/1/11
this really is a brown porter in disguise

highly malty nose: plenty of sweetness edged with a good roast. a touch of leafy, minty hop. a touch of alcohol

hop flavors couldn't be anticipated, given the beer's bouquet. their calm and earthy but bitterness is pronounced. dry with more good roast and and a touch of booze

bruachan, Dec 19, 2007
Photo of NitroGen
4.28/5  rDev +4.4%

P: 12 oz. Brown Longneck 7.2 % Alc. by Vol. no date

A: Pours a deep reddish mahogany pour with a half a inger of light tan foam head that quickly settles to a scant cover with lacing.

S: Roasted nuts and hint of sweetness and lightly roasted grains.

T: Tart, but no bitter, hops hits the tongue and roasted grains in the mouth with a dry and slightly sweet aftertaste.

M: Minimal carbonation, full-bodied and well balanced from beginning to end.

D: Great one to introduce friends who are wary of ‘dark’ beers as it is subtle but full of great flavor. Would need to watch the ABV if having more than a couple.
I really like this as it is a really well crafted beer.

NitroGen, Dec 18, 2007
Photo of bluemoonswoon
3.98/5  rDev -2.9%

12oz bottle poured into a nonic pint glass, no freshness date.

A: Deep and dark mahogany amber with a one inch tannish brown head and no lacing whatsoever.

S: Pretty good malty caramel and cane sugar with hints of pepper and nuts.

T/MF: Malts come first of course, bready and sweet with a dark fruitiness coming in as the beer warms in the mouth for bit. The swallow is followed by a very active hop bitterness that leaves the tongue prickly and rather dry.

D: A great beer for a cold autum day in november, a nice well balanced beer and I'd grab it again if it were only a bit cheaper, not a bad choice for a brown ale though.

bluemoonswoon, Dec 17, 2007
Photo of maurag10
3.78/5  rDev -7.8%

Pours great with a nice head. Taste has a hint of carmel and is long-lasting, a little dry. Has a nice dark brown look with a perfect creamy head. Fairly smooth, but has some bubbly feel and also a slight sweetness in the beginning. Strong smelling and overall nice full beer perfect for a nice dinner especially chicken.

maurag10, Dec 17, 2007
Photo of stagman
3.78/5  rDev -7.8%

Pours a dark mahogany, looks like Coke, and it's a bit bubbly but the head fades away over time. There's a deep nutty aroma but also hints of caramel and chocolate.

There's lots of carbonation that first hits the tongue, and it's malty & full of flavor. The hops are almost subdued. It tastes like a mixture of roasted malt with citric hops, and you don't have to look for either. Great brew. Better than most brown ales.

stagman, Dec 17, 2007
Photo of AMURPHY524
4.47/5  rDev +9%

poured into a pint glass. My first reaction was to the aroma, I didn't even have to have it close to my nose smell it. aroma of brown sugar, caramel and bread. The appearance was pretty dark for a brown ale, more the color of a porter. Mouthfeel was more fizzy then I expected in a brown ale, but in a good way, very full bodied. at a little more then 7% abv, it was very drinkable, and I couldn't taste an obvious alcahol sting. Definately could drink this all evening. my second favorite offering from Dogfish Head, first being the chicory stout.

AMURPHY524, Dec 14, 2007
Photo of BeerLover729
3.6/5  rDev -12.2%

The beer is dark brown with a small head that maintains in my wide mouth goblet although thats probobaly not what I should be drinkng it out of. The smell is of toasty biscuits so much that it overpowers anything else but spikes my curiosity. The taste presents the maltyness of the 2-row english barley, used for the 90 minute, followed by a strongly toasted, roasted flavor with a hop bitterness and nutty ale finish. The mouthfeel is medium to heavy, but delightful with crispness from the brown sugar, the toasty maltyness and a medium to sharp carbonation. This beer is definately drinkable but the intense toastyness is overpowering at times. Good beer.

This beer is a blend of a scotch ale and a brown ale never released by Dogfish Head and the 90 minute IPA. I was informed of this at a Dogfish Head tasteing on Long Island at the Kitchen a Bistro. It's definately interesting.

BeerLover729, Dec 14, 2007
Photo of ffejherb
4.47/5  rDev +9%

12oz. bottle into Troegs Hopback specialty glass on 12/13/07. No date on bottle.

A - Very dense dark brown, almost black, body with some deep ruby hues if you look closely eough. Half-finger beige head shrunk almost immediately and left virtually no lacing. Some tiny bubble in the background.

S - Toasted barley aroma mixed with some grainy malt and sweet caramel. Light earthy hop aroma, but nothing overwhelming. Smells quite balanced.

T - Big malt presence with some tasty noble hop bitterness. Sweetness is reminiscent of molasses, caramel and brown sugar. Sweet and malty taste with a moderate hop profile and toasted barley flavor that all come together in this well-balanced brew. Alcohol (7.2% ABV) is well-hidden.

M - Full body with creamy texture and soft carbonation. Nice, lingering bitterness on the tongue. Pretty dry finish.

D - This is an excellent offering from DFH. I really enjoy dark beers that are hoppy, and this is a great example of a complex brown ale with sweetness, hops and malts that all come together perfectly. Very drinkable indeed. One of my favorite brews from DFH.

ffejherb, Dec 13, 2007
Photo of Traquairlover
4/5  rDev -2.4%

12-oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

A = Dark brown oak color, very small head which quickly dissipated.

S = Bitter coffee, chocolate.

T = Lots of chocolate, oak, bitters, roasted mate tea. Bitter, long finish.

M = Relatively thin body, good foamy carbonation, coats mouth well for a long finish.

D = Not sure I would want two of these in a sitting, but a nice way to relax and wrap up the day.

Traquairlover, Dec 13, 2007
Photo of SargeC
4.55/5  rDev +11%

Appearance: Dark brown with red notes. Hearty, tan head.

Smell: Very aromatic brew. Intense malt, sherry and alcohol.

Taste: Sweet and smoky malt fight for position. Compacted fruit flavors and the power of hops balance the malt. Hints of molasses and alcohol finish the flavor.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Good hop dryness counteracts the sweetness the malt provides. Oily finish.

Drinkability: Well crafted brew. Excellent and complex taste.

SargeC, Dec 09, 2007
Photo of jdg204
4.6/5  rDev +12.2%

After a few tastings of DFH down at their home in Rehoboth, I decided it was time to get a 6'r and try some of the legandary ale. I chose this wonderful brown ale and was not disappointed.

Appearance - Dark, dark mahogany color with a creamy mocha colored head that stayed around for most of the drink.

Smell - Wonderful sweet, mocha aroma; love the roasted/ camamelized balance.

Taste - Amazing! This brew has some strength, but the balance between the roasted malts, the carmalized sugars, and the hoppy undertone is so unique for a brown!

Mouthfeel - All the flavors mix so well together and leave a wonderful aftertaste. Nice sipping beer which goes down incredibely smooth for a beer this big.

Drinkability - Honestly, I'm not a huge brown ale fan, usually find the roasted flavors overwhelm, but this was not the case here. This beer was amazing, the balance was incredible and as the name says it was like an IPA/Brown Ale mixture. An incredibely creative brew and one that is always welcome in my mini-fridge. Officially a DFH fan and very excited for more!

jdg204, Dec 08, 2007
Photo of TheTrevor
3.63/5  rDev -11.5%

This beer poured a dark brown with a slight tan head. It smells a little malty with hints of caramel and chocolate. The taste starts off pleasantly sweet with brown sugar, caramel, and chocolate and finishes with a layer of hops that is a little piney and spicy. The mouthfeel is very crisp and refreshing, and I would consider this beer to fairly drinkable, even though I couldn't imagine having more than a couple.

TheTrevor, Dec 06, 2007
Photo of spiffysamurai
4.35/5  rDev +6.1%

Served in a 22oz Liberal Cup

A: The beer came out in a dark brown almost black. The beer was a very asthetic brown ale.

S: The beer smelled of strong brown sugar. There was a little carmelized but dominated by the brown sugar.

T: The beer tasted a little bit of brown sugar but the hops were what standed out and were perfect.

M: The mouthfeel was nice. IT was not the best I have ever had, but it was nice.

D: For 7.2% ABV, the beer went down easy. Though it is not beer that one can just drink in a quick sit down. This is the perfect beer for sitting down, chilling and shooting the old times.

spiffysamurai, Dec 02, 2007
Photo of BlackBearForge
4.4/5  rDev +7.3%

A 12 oz. bottle poured into a 16 oz. pint glass.

Appearance: Poured a deep opaque brown with ruby highlights around the edges. A one finger tan head faded fairly quickly.

Smell: Sweet malt and caramel with a touch of chocolate with a hop presence as a sweet earthiness, perhaps a touch resiny.

Taste: Strong coffee flavours dominate, roasted coffee even, with strong malt and hop flavours perfectly balanced. Taste is almost stoutlike to me with a somewhat bitter aftertaste and a medium alcohol warmth that doesn't overpower.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, silky smooth even, medium body and nice carbonation.

Drinkability: At 7.2 ABV probably not the greatest session beer but man does it go down smooth. I could easily down several of these and probably will as the oppurtunity presents itself. A very interesting and delicious brown with stoutlike qualities, as my wife says "Awesome!".

BlackBearForge, Dec 01, 2007
Photo of BradLikesBrew
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Obtained through a trade with Dertbert, thanks man.

"Bottled on 09/20/07"
12 oz brown bottle.

"A clean, well-hopped brown ale with aromatic barley, caramelized brown sugar, and whole-leaf Liberty & Golding hops."

a: Pours a dark brown with hints of red around the edges and a tan head.
Zero lacing.

s: Enticing aroma of chocolate, caramel, coffee and a hint of hops.

t: Sweet caramel, brown sugar, and chocolate reach the tongue first, but a nice layer of spicy hops provide the finish, giving this brown ale a unique balance.

m: Smooth, creamy and as the bottle says, "clean."

d: Love the chocolate/hops combo in this one, another unique offering from DFH.
My Tigers are #1 for the first time in 47 years and they're playing Oklahoma for the Big 12 Championship in 6 hours so this will likely be the first of many reviews today. This brew was a great start.

BradLikesBrew, Dec 01, 2007
Photo of fitzy84
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Had this on tap at the Moan and Dove. The drink had a very dark appearance with a medium head. Aromas of caramel, small amounts of chocolate and little malt lifted from this beverage beautifully. The taste was great: a creamy, sweet drink in general. This ale had a low-medium body which made it thick but light-tasting in texture. Overall, this was a delicious brown ale from Dogfish Head.

fitzy84, Nov 29, 2007
Photo of Halcyondays
4.65/5  rDev +13.4%

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.

Halcyondays, Nov 29, 2007
Photo of Lothore
3.58/5  rDev -12.7%

A- Pours a reddish brown hue with a 1.5 finger light brown head which fades fairly quickly leaving little to no lacing.

S- Smell is faint but coffee is distinct as well as roasted barley, perhaps a bit of chocolate.

T- Taste is much hoppier than expected. Starts off with piney hops and ends with bitterness but also a deep roasted flavor.

M- A bit thick and sticky with quite a bit of carbonation.

D- Decent tasting but for a brown it’s definitely extremely hop forward and that coupled with the thickness lowers the drinkability in my book.

Lothore, Nov 29, 2007
Photo of Beerbuddha
3.53/5  rDev -13.9%

This beer poured a nice brown color with ruby highlights and a fluffy off white head. The smell was very sweet with hints of hop. The taste was also of malty sweetness with an iron taste to it. The mouthfeel was heavy with low carbonation. Overall drinkability was ok. The iron taste I'm not too fond of.

Beerbuddha, Nov 22, 2007
Photo of Metalmonk
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%

Pours a thick tan head that lasts a long while. Color is a beautiful, glistening, ruby-hued deep brown. Plenty of lace left on the sides of the glass...one very good-looking beer.

Aroma brings up toffee, brown sugar, coffee grounds and sweet baking chocolate. As with most browns, it's too faint to wildly shake the nostrils. Just...kinda...decent.

Flavors are rich and round, animating what the nose picks up, also offering big dark fruits for even more flavor. As it warms, a light anise and burnt grain nuttiness arrive, sitting in the back but politely raising their hands for attention. Letting it warm a little also reveals a flare of alcohol warmth. Juicy hold in the mouth and a clean finish with more sweet baking chocolate coming through.

This comes real close to a porter in feel and flavor...whatever you call it, it's really good, superbly balanced on all fronts. If I'm going to go with a brown ale, I'd probably make it this one over the multitudes of ho-hum browns out there. Best American Brown Ever? Could Be.

Metalmonk, Nov 21, 2007
Indian Brown Ale from Dogfish Head Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 4,898 ratings.