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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.

4,806 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,806
Reviews: 1,862
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 10.98%
Wants: 209
Gots: 383 | 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
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Ratings: 4,806 | Reviews: 1,862 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of barleyman


4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

Finally, DFH is available in GA!! Poured from the brown glass 12 oz. bottle, an inch thick medium white head develops. The appearance is a little dark for a brown ale, perhaps correct for an Indian brown ale. The smell is of malt, raisins, caramel and hops.
the taste is of malt and hops with the caramel and raisins on the finish. Mouthfeel is quite large. Drinkability is good given this a large beer, not so much in alcohol, but in actual flavor. It is quite apparent that this brewery is pushing the envelope, and quite successfully I might add. Bravo.

Just a thought,


03-04-2007 00:39:48 | More by barleyman
Photo of peabody


4.2/5  rDev +2.4%

Pours out a really dark brown clear with a reddish hint. Two fngers of off white suds and lots of lacing around the glass.
Smell is Chocolate/coffee caramel and a fruityness like raisin or plum. Wonderful roasted malts and sharp yeast with no alcohol present.
Taste is coffee and caramel and fruit then the hops dirty the taste buds up and the mouthwatering begins. This is a great mouthfeel beer cause of all the things going on. The sugar is fighting with the hops, the coffee is fighting with the caramel and the alcohol is nowhere to be found.
I would think this beer would be a great session beer but with a 7.2%abv one might be limited to how much time one was partying.

03-02-2007 02:27:27 | More by peabody
Photo of MmmIPA


3.95/5  rDev -3.7%

I got this beer for $ 2.50 and I thought it was a good deal.Now lets see how it taste's.The hops are banging in this one.

The head is a light brown and the body is a dark brown.The head is very froffy.Some lacing on the glass.

Hops are the first smell I notice.I can smell the booze if thats possible.I really cant smell the malts because the hops take over.

The hops are very potent and you can taste them from the first sip.The malt takes a back seat and hits ya on the aftertaste.

Creamy and smooth and very hoppy for a brown ale IMO.Its very tasty and easy on the palate.

I would like to try this on tap.This a very lively brown ale and it has feeling to it.Not watery one bit and the carbonation is pleasant.Another great ale from DFH.

03-01-2007 15:59:53 | More by MmmIPA
Photo of BigJTrucker


3.85/5  rDev -6.1%

12oz bottle purchased from Market of Choice, 29th & Willamette, Eugene, OR.

Pours a deep mahogany color. Very little head. Smells of toasted malt and caramel. Slight fizzy mouthfeel. Tastes of brown sugar and molasses. Very nice & smooth. Quite good, but the drinkability is a bit lower than i might like due to the molassesy taste.

03-01-2007 01:19:40 | More by BigJTrucker
Photo of dgallina


4.3/5  rDev +4.9%

12 ounce brown bottle dated 01/30/2007.

Pours dark ruby with a finger of tan foam that quickly subsides to film and lace. In the nose the beer is a deft mix of pine-like hops, caramel malt, and sweet brown sugar. Alcohol fruitiness lingers in the background as well. The flavor is more linear. Sugary sweet on the tip of the tongue, becoming dry with round pine-needle earthiness in the center. Finishes with a lasting blast of brown sugar and warming alcohol notes. The medium-rich body is nicely balanced between creaminess and carbonation. A very well executed beer.

03-01-2007 01:02:11 | More by dgallina
Photo of nota


2.8/5  rDev -31.7%

No bottle date which could be bad news because brewery said they started dating all bottle two years ago. This beer pours very dark brown. Has a chocolate like smell. The taste is like it smells along with roasted coffee. I can't help notice the alcohol presence. The beer seem lifeless/flat, but it could be due to a very old six pack. I really like brown ales, but this type of brown is not my cup of tea. I hope to find this beer again because I'm sure I purchase an outdated 6-pack which explains my much lower rating.

02-26-2007 21:56:29 | More by nota
Photo of guitarmage


4.33/5  rDev +5.6%

Appearance: Super dark mahogany, or amber, very dark but clear, lots of bubbles if you look closely. Red when held up against the light. Good quarter inch tan lacing, bubbly.

Smell: Light coffee, a little hazelnut, a slight hoppiness, toasty malt, irish cream, lots of aroma, but light.

Taste: Alcoholic, coffee bitterness, toasty malt sweetness, nutty in the finish. Not super alcoholic, but it's present, especially for the style, toasty and dark coffee flavors.

Mouthfeel: Fairly full bodied, medium carbonation hits the palate and backs off, crisp, a little cold and cool, not really creamy.

Drinkability: Great flavors going on in this brew. It doesn't scream session brew to me. It's medium in it's intensity, and tasty. Good to have 2 or 3 with a complimentary meal. How about some teriyaki chicken wings, or pulled pork.

02-23-2007 11:04:43 | More by guitarmage
Photo of Schwarzbart


4.03/5  rDev -1.7%

Appearance: Not much head at all when poured, but has a big bubbly ring around the glass. Brown with dark red mahogany tones.
Smell: A big malty nose of grain, chocolate and nuts. Some earthy hop notes as well. Powdery chocolate and caramel aromas with a sweetness I can't pinpoint.
Taste: A mild chocolate maltiness with tastes of nuts and alcohol twang. I've had this beer for about 5 months, so I hope it hasn't changed its qualities. With that said it does seem to have more alcohol taste than I remember, when I had it on tap. It also fills the mouth with a subtle grassy hop flavor.
Mouthfeel: Medium.
Drinkability: I will have to try this one again, since the alcohol seems to be a bit much. Hopefully, they have it on tap the next time I stop into Dogfish after a round of Disc Golf at Seneca Creek.

02-22-2007 01:57:24 | More by Schwarzbart


3.75/5  rDev -8.5%

A - Nice brown - garnet color. 1 1/2" tan head. Head fades to a cap in a few minutes. Nice lacing.

S - Rich malty aroma. Chocolate and roasted malt.

T - Burnt brown sugar. Burnt malt character. Earthy. Smoky. A bit of a grassy hop. Flavor is powerful and stays that way through the finish.

M - Medium bodied with lively carbonation. Lingering sweetness in the finish.

D - Good drinkability -- will drink again.

02-17-2007 21:26:01 | More by MUSHROOMCLOUD
Photo of velo343


4.22/5  rDev +2.9%

Appearance - A very dark, coffee colored brown with a decent sized light tan head.

Smell - Lots of toastiness, like deeply roasted walnuts. Some coffee and chocolate aromas as well.

Taste - Lots of dark, roasted malts, chocolate and caramel. A bit of tartness and smokiness as well. Typical to the style, a nuttiness can be found as well, like eating roasted walnuts or pecans. Medium bodied with a dry finish and slight bitterness.

Drinkabilty - A good beer from DFH, more in keeping with traditional styles than many of their other beers. Great roasted, nutty flavors make this one I'll be sure to visit again.

02-15-2007 06:58:24 | More by velo343
Photo of Kudashov


3.68/5  rDev -10.2%

12 .oz single poured in a pint glass . Dark brown with reddish hues through it as I hold it up to light . Small off white head the lacing is there . Smell sorts of burnt coffee & chocolate . After my first gulp there is really nice lacing on glass . Smooth and nice flavor on the back end . This is what I like . Not like that watery rubbish I downed this afternoon . Wonderful . Maybe this brew will be the beer that gets my friends to drink "good beer " . Nice

02-14-2007 20:52:02 | More by Kudashov
Photo of Chuggnutt


4.65/5  rDev +13.4%

Appearance: Nice clear brown—ruby when held to the light. Head is thick and tan. Totally subjective, but it looks like what I'd expect a brown ale to look like.

Smell: Light chocolate-coffee-caramelized sugar, brown sugar. Roast grain.

Taste: Yum! Sweet roasty malt, licorice, caramel, chocolate, roasted coffee beans. Sweet. Hops are oily yet clean and complement the malt nicely.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and very drinkable... creamy thickness.

Overall: Being a total fanboy tool here, but simply unbelievably good. I will be going back for more.

02-13-2007 07:03:36 | More by Chuggnutt
Photo of Luchman


4.05/5  rDev -1.2%

A: A very dark, barley visible, chocolate brown color with a small off white head on the top. The head fades after a little bit leaving only a faint white surface on the top. Leaves some light lacing around the pint glass.

S: Chocolate, roasted malts, earthy hops, some hint of sweet toffee or sugar, and some slight smokiness to it. This smells like a brown ale im gonna enjoy.

T: Roasted, smoky malts dominate. Chocolate is there, but not as much as what the nose entails. Those earthy hops are there as well.Toffee, brown sugar, and slight molasses comes in as it warms. Ends semi dry with a taste of smokiness and roasted malts in the mouth. Pretty tasty.

M: Medium/full body with medium carbonation that goes down soft and smooth.

D: I'm very partial to brown ales and although this is a tad different, with its porter-like qualities, its one of my favorites from the style. Another win for dogfish head..

02-13-2007 04:34:33 | More by Luchman


4.33/5  rDev +5.6%

It is hardly "brown", actually it is more like a blackest brown with a hint of ruby red on the edges when held to light. Head is a deep tan at about two fingers tall that fades to just a skim after it settles for about a minute. Nose is very dark with hints of anise, clove, dark burnt malt and overly ripe fruit. Rich tongue coating burnt malt is evident at first sip. Palate presents black fruit and a slight mineral, nutty zing on the tale end leading to the mouthfeel. Very good beer for the style. Unique and tasty.

02-11-2007 18:03:02 | More by SPLITGRIN
Photo of foureyedgeek


3.9/5  rDev -4.9%

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a dark brown, almost like a porter, but more opaque. Some red/mahogany highlighting. Tan head, two fingers tall falls to a nice cap of foam. Good lacing, too.

Smells of a hint of coffee, dark fruits and a prominent nuttiness, backed by a decent hoppiness. Not a huge aroma though.

Taste is a somewhat astringent combination of dark malts, a little coffee, brown sugar sweetness and piney hops. Only hints of the alcohol presence. Definitely a twist on the brown ale.

Mouthfeel is medium in body, with a slightly astringent character, slight warming.

Drinkability is good, this is no session brown, but its a taste take on the style.

02-05-2007 23:53:24 | More by foureyedgeek
Photo of jcdiflorio

West Virginia

4.18/5  rDev +2%

served into a pint glass on tap at The Hop House.

Clear,mahagony with a reddish hue with a 1/2" tan/mocha head,decent retention turning to a good coating of foam.

Malty nose,clean,inticing very roasty,carmelly,very fruity,citrus aromas intensifys as the beer warms.A good moderate aroma that's very pleasing.

A very complex,robust taste, very roasty and carmelly with a hint of smoke,also fruitty.Finishes with a crisp, sharp, citrus bitterness.
Syrupy with a very good balance and great taste.

A medium mouthfeel that's rich and creamy.The great taste makes me want more, just a bit on the filling side or I could drink this beer all night long. Very impressive beer one of my favorites from DFH.

02-04-2007 18:12:21 | More by jcdiflorio
Photo of umustdrink


3.98/5  rDev -2.9%

A - Deep red color when held to light, otherwise almost completely dark brown opaque. Head is a very light brown that sits nicely at about an eighth of an inch. Okay lacing.

S - Pungent darker raisin grape-y fruit smells with a nice bready roasted coffee bean background.

T - Malts and hops in harmony. Everything nicely complimented by a dark roast coffee. Hints of green raisins and cherries.

M - Consistency is chewy and the hops or carbonation, I don't know which, provides a good bite.

D - Nicely crafted beer with a good dark taste to it. Alcohol is elevated but you'd never know it.

02-01-2007 03:53:10 | More by umustdrink
Photo of Cresant


3/5  rDev -26.8%

Poured this 12 oz. brown bottle into my brand-new DFH shaped pint glass. Bottled on: 8/22/06. Small, one finger of beige head sat atop a milky brown/purple body.

Smell was sweet fruits. Nice grainy malts flavor. Brown sugar aroma came on later.

Taste was ripe stone-fruits. Caramel sweetness and bright hops. Drying finish.

Mouthfeel was medium bodied with high carbonation. Smooth.

01-28-2007 16:13:55 | More by Cresant
Photo of srrn

North Carolina

4/5  rDev -2.4%

Pours a great looking deep mahogony in the glass with a quickley diminishing one finger head that's a light tan. Not much smell, a bit of toast and hops is all I can detect. Taste is really good though, a nice coffe/ toasted taste with pleasant bitterness afterwards. This is not the worlds most complex brew but I seem to buy it a lot. Very pleasant just about anytime and easy to find here. Drinkability is a 4 to me and with the alcohol so well hidden that can be dangerous with this beer.

01-20-2007 21:34:38 | More by srrn
Photo of ahking


3.78/5  rDev -7.8%

Hmmm, beer from Delaware, eh? Wow, very nice chocolately aroma. Quite nice and a little smokey! Pours a deep brown with reddish highlights. Flavor is decent. Not as well hopped as the bottle states, but it does have some nice hop flavor. Notes of berries, black cherry, apple peal, slightly smokey. Well balanced and medium bodied. Deceivingly high 7.2% ABV....

01-20-2007 01:12:20 | More by ahking
Photo of Absumaster


3.88/5  rDev -5.4%

Got this from a trade with dogfooddog.

A dark brown beer, which is hard to look through and with a thin head. Looks like a stout. After pouring some more into the glass, suddenly there is a big head, that disappears very quickly.

Smell is 'dark', molasses, slightly smokey and has a very dextrinous smell. It all smells pretty full and especially the molasses are a bit too much.

Taste of molasses, slightly roasted and pretty mild, so no sharp burn-taste. The dark malts give the beer a good maltbitterness and it reminds me of dark, unsweetened chocolate. There is also an earthy taste to it, probably the combination of the hops and dark malts. Body is medium and alcohol is not noticable. Aftertaste is roasted and dry and leaves a lingering (malt)bitterness.

01-19-2007 20:52:42 | More by Absumaster
Photo of kenito799

New York

4.33/5  rDev +5.6%

On-tap at Dogfish Head brewpub, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

Verk dark, chocolate brown brew with 1 inch light brown head, leave nice lacing.

Really luscious aromatic mix of piney hops and roasted malt. Delicious to inhale.

This is a really successful uniquely American effort--an aggressively hopped dark roasted ale. Floral, pine, bitter tea notes in the beginning and lingering finish, with a warm, rich, roasted coffee, chocolate malty sweetness in the middle...but the beer is dry, not sweet. This makes it very drinkable. Great winter beer, hopheads should enjoy it too. Brought bottles home---don't serve them ice cold, the beer tastes metallic at first but mellows with some warming and is nearly as good as on tap.

01-15-2007 21:03:51 | More by kenito799
Photo of ClassicBrad


3.25/5  rDev -20.7%

After an impressive line of brew at the Great American Brews of America festival, I decided it was time to pick up a case from this brewery. From what I hear, taking a trip to one of their brewpub/restaurant in the Maryland/Delaware beach area is a very worthwhile trip. When it comes to choices, there was hardly a shortage and far from a regrettable one. I opted for the Indian Brown Ale.

Appearance consists of a cola brown body and a healthy finger and a half head that is reluctant to dissipate. Minutes later, the darker tan, frothy head lingers over the entire top of the beverage.

Smell of this beer is overridden by a blast of coffee— reminiscent of a coffee cola by scent.

Taste follows the lead of the smell. Very coffee flavored— maybe too coffee flavored. The taste resides within the back of your throat for a good while. With the right drinker in the right mood, this drink could really find an audience… some may find it a little overpowering.

Mouthfeel is average and, again, reminiscent of a cola or soda pop. Does not lack in body or carbonation or a reasonable balance of the two.

Drinkability is one of very few downfalls for this brew. I could probably drink one or two in a sitting. After that, I would find it hard to desire another one.

01-15-2007 01:25:55 | More by ClassicBrad
Photo of adams82


4.2/5  rDev +2.4%

Bottled in May of 2006? Uh-oh! Not to worry... this beer was awsome and really held up well! Poured a dark brown color with a slight head that didn't last too long. Stout? Porter? Brown? Who cares, it smells good!

Dark malts and sweet sugar dominate the nose on this one. Not overly sweet and not too sublte either, it is what it is and it is good.

The first sip had me floored, so many flavors hit me. Slight roasted malt, some coffee, sweet brown sugar and a light hop finish. Wow. It got better as I made my way towards the bottom of the glass. Exceptional flavors!

Full bodied, nicely carbonated and easy to drink. For such a bold beer, it has a plesent mouthfeel.

I was slightly shocked to see this was a 7.2% offering! I didn't notice much of an alcoholic note to this and it was sooo easy to consume.

I am very happy with this blind buy and I can certianly state that this is a solid offering from DFH. One of the better Brown Ales I've ever had and it makes me want to try more examples of the style.

01-14-2007 17:26:52 | More by adams82
Photo of bort11


4.3/5  rDev +4.9%

Thanks to SkinnyElvis for this one.
12 oz bottle poured into an Imperial pint glass. Dark reddish brown color. Not a lot of head with this one.
Smell is sweet and malty. Roasted coffee and toffee and sweet molasses. Taste is very smooth and bold. It fills the pallet and rolls back down the tongue. More brown sugar and a mild bitter hops finish.
Very full mouthfeel, much more than I expected for a brown ale.
This is very good. My wife kept trying to steal it from me.

01-14-2007 07:00:35 | More by bort11
Indian Brown Ale from Dogfish Head Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 4,806 ratings.