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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.

5,162 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,162
Reviews: 1,887
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 11.22%
Wants: 234
Gots: 527 | 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
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Ratings: 5,162 | Reviews: 1,887 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of LordHammer
3.9/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Northern Brewer glass.

A: Pours a clear deep mahogany with about a inch of tan head that fades to a thin layer and leaves lacing all the way down the glass.

S: Hops, roasted grain, and a touch of something smoky. Hop notes are more spicy/resinous, rather than citrus.

T: Very similar to the smell. Assertive bitterness from the hops and grains, but with a solid slightly sweet malt backbone.

M: Feels heavy and sticky on the tongue, which seems fitting. Carbonation is low.

D: Certainly would enjoy one, but more than that would probably destroy my palate. A bit more balance between the bitter and sweet would help here.

LordHammer, Jan 26, 2009
Photo of biggred1
4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep dark ruby brown with a fine mocha collar of foam that leaves fine lacing on the glass. Smells of the caramelized brown sugar on the label and nice roasty malts, coffee, mint and a nice herbal hop aroma blend nicely. Tastes hoppier and more intense than most brown ales. Nice sweet roasty malt with a floral hop flavor that follows, finishes with a good coffee/chicory mild bitterness. Medium silky mouthfeel with fine crisp carbonation. One of my faves, never disappoints. A gem.

biggred1, Jan 25, 2009
Photo of drifter29
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

After getting stiffed by several distributors I finally got my hands on a sixtel of the Indian Brown.

A - dark brown with amber highlights, head quickly dissipates but light froth remains throughout

S - Chocolate coffee with light citrus

T - I think this is an awesome tasting ale. It tantalizes the tastebuds from the front to the back of your tongue with a slight bitter finish

M - smooth baby, I can't say enough

D - while the 7.2 certainly can be a factor, as soon as I finish one I crave another. Not really a session beer but I have a hard time telling my stomach that.

Another great beer from the boys in Dover. Well worth the wait.

drifter29, Jan 24, 2009
Photo of spointon
4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this one on tap at the FFF brewpub, poured into a half-pint glass.

A= This ale poured a deep mahogany brown color with a 1/2" off white head. The head settled slowly and left decent webs of lace down my glass.

S= Sort of a hoppy brown ale with lots of brown sugar smell. I detected dark and/or brown malts, coffee, brown sugar, bitter chocolate, and strong hints of aromatic hops.

T= All biscuity sweet and bitter-roasty malt up front followed closely by an unexpected but balanced blast of hop bitterness. Aside from the malt and hops, there was a sweetness that ran through the entirety of each sip that really pulled things together. I found it to be reminiscent of molasses, treacle, brown sugar, etc.

MF= Heavy side of medium bodied with a solid carbonation feel that lifts this one considerably.

D= Very interesting blend of styles here, the result of which is dangerously drinkable for the ABV. Highly recommended!

spointon, Jan 24, 2009
Photo of cvfish
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Poured a rich brown that produced an off white head that retained well and left great lacing

S - Burning oak, hops, smoky malts and vanilla

T - Sweet molasses, burnt malts, moderate hops, alcohol kick, and cinnamon gingerbread

M - Smooth, medium to heavy body, light carbonation

D - Crowned my new favorite Brown Ale, this beer is great. I can't wait for the day DFH is distributed in La.

cvfish, Jan 23, 2009
Photo of howielong
3.4/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Had this through my work beer exchange. Definitely a strong beer that's not very sessionable. It had a bit of a Scotch Ale feel to it. It reminded me of a cross between Newcastle and McEwan's Scotch Ale. Nice sweet start with a smooth malty finish. Great winter beer.

howielong, Jan 22, 2009
Photo of cdrummer
4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Rich Ron Burgundy's apartment mahogany with bone hued foam that step laced beautifully down the glass.

S: Brown sugar, wood, baker's chocolate, vanilla, and hints of chicory and coffee. Oh yeah!

T & M: Complex, thick, viscous molasses and maltiness wash over my tongue bringing with them the flavors of deep woody chocolate and what can only be described as a caramelized graham cracker crust. Oddly, there are some not-too-subtle hops that also come into play. While on first sip I only noticed them in the finish, upon subsequent draughts I find the hops come more to the forefront and end up swirling all over my palette. The mouthfeel is big, thick and perfectly carbonated.

D: So the seemingly simple rich brown sugary qualities of the brown ale have been very well fused with the bite of a more hoppy brew. I like this very much and even though this is a dense beer, I confess being able to put away a fare few quite easily on a cool winter day.

cdrummer, Jan 20, 2009
Photo of SpruceFish
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pored from a bottle into a snifter i like the snifter because it allows me get a better nose feel as well as taste it better

A: nice dark color almost opaque but not quite reminds me of like a strong porter

S: sweet aroma some hints of carmel and coffee

T: strong tastes of coffee, roasted malt, and some chocolate with a boozy finish

M: medium to heavy body kinda dry finish

D: really drinkable boozy finish great for a colder day

SpruceFish, Jan 20, 2009
Photo of farrago
3.48/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very dark brown in color but not black, an orange tinge at the rims underscores the clarity of the liquid, average to thin depth of head yet leaves a full, attractive lacing behind. Brown sugar, toffee, black raisin, plum, licorice, chocolate in the nose, obviously more malts than hops, fat enough to settle in fully and stay until closing time. Full-bodied, all roasty and toasty with sweet malt segueing into dark chocolate powder, coffee, brown sugar. Offers golden and black raisins, figs and dates more than any fresh fruit flavors, however, not saccharine. Carbonation and hops ride in just in time to lead into a cleaner finish than expected. Arguably trying to do too much, still, tasty enough.

farrago, Jan 17, 2009
Photo of MrHurmateeowish
4.35/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle purchased at the local Hannaford. Pours a translucent dark brown body with a thin film of light tan head. Aroma consists equally of caramel and chocolate malts and citrussy hops. Tastes like chocolate and caramel, with a good portion of citrussy hops to balance it out better than many browns. No alcohol flavor, but a hint of viscosity and warming, along with moderate carbonation. Somewhat of a sipper, though goes down easier than some beers with this abv and flavor... Wow, this is a lot better than I remember it being. A new favorite American brown!

MrHurmateeowish, Jan 17, 2009
Photo of beertunes
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into bubble pint glass. Poured with almost no head. What head there was had very good retention. Below average lacing for a brew this type. A rich, deep mahogany that allows just a little light to poke through. A very sweet aroma greets you immediately. Not just the usual malt sweetness that would be expected, but a sugary blast that caught me off-guard. The flavor was not as sweet as the aroma led me to expect. Very nice roasty flavors, although the slight coffee flavor put me off a little. The flavors stick to the tongue but fade before becoming annoying, thus letting you be ready for the next sip. The body is a little thin, a fuller, more well-rounded mouthfeel would be welcome. Very drinkable, although a bit much for a session. A very nice take on the style.

beertunes, Jan 16, 2009
Photo of Riccymon
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured a deep, lifeless brown from the bottle with just barely enough coffee-colored head to cover the surface of the beer. I found the smell to be this brew's low point--the slightly malty, nutty brown ale aromas accompanied by a strange mustiness. The taste and mouthfeel, however, especially as the beer warmed, was everything I've been seeking in a brown ale. Again, the typical brown ale flavors of malt and nuttiness were up-front, while a solid hoppiness came through alongside a little brown sugar in the back-end to create a delicious balance. Immediately following was this beer's other high point, its silky-smooth mouthfeel. At last, a brown ale that doesn't finish disappointingly thin. Given the balance and great mouthfeel, drinkability was quite good. Overall, this is a tremendous take on the style.

Riccymon, Jan 14, 2009
Photo of TheDoorman
3.58/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Deep brown with a big dose of carbonation creating a large tan head. Aroma of caramel, cofee, brown sugar and a hint of hops. Rich candy sugar and molases dominate the palate. Creamy mouthfeel. This is probably an excellent example of a style of which I am just not a big fan. Very rich, sweet and filling. No amount of hops can make it through the sugary body. This could probably be matched very with with certain specific foods, but this isn't a beer I would consider drinking with much frequency.

TheDoorman, Jan 12, 2009
Photo of dolemite77
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is always a hit with me... complex, yet drinkable, dark, yet light enough to have a couple of them. Pours a rich brown, with a thin, cappuccino-like head that lingers and laces throughout. Aroma is sweet and fruity, with a hint of coffee. I taste a lot of coffee in this, and blind tasted it might be guessed to contain a bit of coffee. Burnt sugar and lightly roasted malt. Interesting for a brown ale, because it is not overly roasted, and the added sugars for the higher alcohol stand out a bit more. The hops here are more character hops, rather than up front type.

dolemite77, Jan 07, 2009
Photo of Quej
3.88/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Very dark brown, a little head but not visible carbonation.
S - Smells of hops, chocolate and toasty malts, mixed with a bit of fluorine and booze.
T - Very hoppy tasting at first, and quite bitter. It moves to a sweet chocolate and finishes with a harsh boozy dry after taste.
M - nice and zingy medium bodied and quite drying.
D - It's a little strong and boozy, but still quite refreshing.

Quej, Jan 07, 2009
Photo of donkeyrunner
4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown/black colored. Nice beige head leaves snowfall lacing and swirly retention. Smells like nutmeg and booze.

Very complex and fullfilling for a brown. Tastes like brown sugar, chocolate, chickory and molasses. Evident, but subtle hop backup. Good mix of a variety of flavors that blend together well. Creamy mouthfeel with some alcoholic warming.

My best brown to date.

donkeyrunner, Jan 06, 2009
Photo of alovesupreme
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark beer for style with a nice head and good retention.

Smells of caramel, molasses, hops and coffee.

I get lots of coffee out of this, very malty sweet beer but surprisingly hopped. Bitterness comes from both roasted malts and hops.

Pleasant mouth feel; viscosity is about where I would expect it to be for the style as well as carbonation.

Very solid beer, I look forward to more of this.

alovesupreme, Jan 05, 2009
Photo of matty
3.85/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown colored beer with a rich creamy head with good staying power.Aroma is coffee.Taste is coffee,sugar and dark fruit.Very creamy and smooth.Alcohol is well hidden although I doubt I could drink more than three at a sitting.Overall very good.Highly recommended and i will purchase again!!

matty, Jan 05, 2009
Photo of superswing123
4.97/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Becoming a stand-by in my collection of beverages...this is the Indian Brown Ale to beat all. Drinks like a fine wine - don't have too many due to the high ABV but ...hey,try to resist. I would call this my "go-to" beverage especially in the winter months when we're staring at the thermometer at 20 degrees. Really takes off the edge. Su-perb and highly recommened. Just get some. You'll see.

superswing123, Jan 04, 2009
Photo of ncstateplaya
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: A great looking dark brown with garnet like fringes. The head poured about a finger thick and had a soothing tannish color. Its too dark to fully see through at the widest portion of the glass. Lacing was subtle, and a little disappointing after seeing the head.

Smell: The nose of this ale is pretty complex, full of dark brown sugars and a nutty aroma accentuate the malts. There are plenty of hops to be smelled and somewhat spicy.

Taste: The bitterness from the hops blend very well with the malts. A semisweet almost caramel taste initially follows the swallow. As the beer warms, a creamy nuttiness develops.

Mouthfeel: The body of this beer is thin and crispy. The carbonation has been contained very well - can take several swallows without blowing up like a balloon (+1 drinkability). The hops can defintely be felt in the cheeks.

Drinkability: Drinks much easier than the 7.2% would suggest. The tiniest bite from the hops totally adds to the character of this brew. This is one of my favored brown ales, its not as sweet as some of the others I have tried.

ncstateplaya, Dec 30, 2008
Photo of KeefD
4.38/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a single bottle of this. Pours a dark mahogany brown color with a huge light tan head that stays around for a long while leaving behind some nice lacing. Aroma has a nice mixture of hoppiness and some brown sugar mixed with some sweet toasty malts. Flavor is very lovely mix of coffee and bitter hops. Coffee is the most prominent flavor, light chocolate in the middle, and a nice bitter hoppiness at the finish. Very nicely balanced, medium bodied, average carbonation. I really enjoyed this beer. The roasted coffee flavor mixed with the bright hops is a nice twist on the style.

KeefD, Dec 30, 2008
Photo of Lexluthor33
4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown with some red high lights. Foamy,beige, thin head with a thin lace.

The aroma of chocolate,hops and malts.
The taste started with rich caramel sugar sweetness followed by a mild bitterness. Malts were abundant and dark fruits peeped in and out.

The feel was smooth,creamy with medium carbonation and really good balance. This beer is really a good choice to buy as a sixer. You really do not feel the ABV at all.

Lexluthor33, Dec 29, 2008
Photo of AlcahueteJ
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Dark brown with a red tint at the bottom. Half-inch tan head with tons od lace that dissipates quickly with a few sips.

S - Hops are upfront with tons of malty sweetness coming through after. Well-balanced.

T/M - Tons of carbonation in the mouthfeel. Extrememly balanced, hops come through followed by dark fruits and caramel malts. Quite tasty, alcohol is well-hidden.

D - Feels like I could drink a ton of these but I know I shouldn't. Highly recommended for brown ale lovers, well-crafted.

AlcahueteJ, Dec 27, 2008
Photo of Dodo2step
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

P- Market Cross Pub in Carlisle.

A- beautiful dark black but looks like its a dark deep red almost. A tasty spiderweb lacing on the pint. Head is about half a finger and hangs around for a bit. Also quite opaque.

S- caramel and coffee dominates. burnt brown sugar as well. Very nice nose and quite nice to inhale. Chocolate rounds it off.

T- A strong caramelized coffee and brown sugar taste. Nice bittersweet flavor with a sweet malt finish.

M- Sweet and malty. A very creamy and juicy feel in the mouth as well. A very filling beer.

D- A nice creamy beer but fills you up. This is one to have with dinner. This would be a good beer to get a sixer of and to drink throught the weekend.

Dodo2step, Dec 27, 2008
Photo of hoplover82
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is the best brown ale I've had, because of the hop content and the carmalized brown sugar. That makes it vey unique. It's vey sweet in the aroma but very hoppy in the flavor with strong notes of molasses and chocolate. A little boozy though. A very good, unique Brown Ale indeed.

hoplover82, Dec 27, 2008
Indian Brown Ale from Dogfish Head Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 5,162 ratings.