Indian Brown Ale - Dogfish Head Brewery

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Indian Brown AleIndian Brown Ale

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5,248 Ratings

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Ratings: 5,248
Reviews: 1,897
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 11.22%
Wants: 244
Gots: 567 | 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: 5,248 | Reviews: 1,897 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

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.

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!!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Photo of smedley
4.45/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Deep dark brown, thick tan head which stays around and produces some nice lacing

S - Chocolate, coffee, toasted malts, hops

T - Coffee, dark chocolate, bitter finish

M - Full bodied, highly carbonated, smooth with a dry finish

D - I thought this was fantastic. Sadly, I only have a single bottle.

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

a: deep barely translucent brown q/ light tan head and light white bubbles coming out of the drk brown depths

s: coffee; toasted malts; dark chocolatel some spiciness; burnt toffee;

t: butter; coffee; toasted malts; dark chocolatel some spiciness; burnt toffee;

m: smooth w/ medium carb (maybe a little aggressive) and med weight

d: a decent brown

Photo of NoahSYGG
3.9/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is a great brown ale. It had tons of malt and caramel on the flavor with a good hop kick. the aroma is loaded with hops and malt. This is a very good beer to drink on a cold day and with food. the color is a dark rich brown. nice head with great lacing. enjoy this one by the fire. mouthfeel was a little sweet, but very enjoyable.

Photo of froghop
3.93/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours a dark ruby with a small beige head, and good lacing.

smell is caramel, dark fruit, just a small touch of cocoa, and some spice.

taste is bitter-sweet chocolate, caramel apples, coffee, and roasted nuts, leaves the mouth dry and bitter, also ends a little sour too.

Photo of TeamSeabass
4.72/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown, barely transparent with nice thick toffee head. Leaves some strong lacing.

Smells of strong malted barley with a nice caramelized smell. Good level of hops to match the maltiness. Its very appealing.

The caramel malt & hops are combined so well in this brew. The flavor is strong but in a very good way. The alcohol is there but its very acceptable. Delicious.

It has a good body to go along with the flavors. Carbonation is right on.

I really like this beer. It reminds me a lot of Scottish style ale, which I am a big fan of.

I think it takes a lot to make a very flavorful beer be good all around and this beer does it for me.

Photo of oriolesfan4
4.34/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Always saw this at the package store and never tried it so I finally did (not sure why it took me so long).

This is a fantastic beer. I always loved the flavor of brown ales but found them a little boring and too little CO2 action going on. DFH fixes that by hopping it up and making it more carbonated making for a delicious beer. I drank the whole glass in under 5 minutes, not even on purpose it just tastes too good to savor. I can't wait to drink the other 5.. three thumbs up.

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

Bottled on 10/12/08.

Pours into a pint glass a dark redish brown color with good clarity and nice creamy head. There's good retention and nice lacing as well.

Aroma is hoppy and roasty with more hops than any other brown ale I can remember.

Flavor is well balanced with lots of hops to counter the abundant dark malts. The hops are earthy, the malts are roasty, and the whole thing works (unsurprisingly) well.

Mouthfeel is full bodied, well-carbonated, and smooth. Sweet upon first sip but finishing dry.

Nicely done and it makes me think it's surprising more breweries don't do similar styles. It has the feel of a hybid between two popular styles: IPA and imperial stout.

One of the best American browns out there.

Photo of bataround
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was my first ever Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale and it did not disappoint.

It poured very dark brown. I was expecting a little lighter in color. It has a nice tan head when poured properly.

Smell was good. Plenty of coffee and chocolate hints.

Taste was what I expected from the smell. Very nice, and the alcohol content did not overpower the tasting experience.

I would be happy to drink this beer again!

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

A: A deep, dark brown with some ruby highlights. A massive, foamy tan head springs forth and makes itself at home. Lacing is very nice.

S: Burnt caramel malt and brown sugar is prevalent, with herbal and earthy hops in the background. Some molasses, oak, and alcohol also detectable.

T: A smooth burnt caramel sweetness is dominant, with a nice kiss of earthy hops to go with the roasted flavors. Again, some woody/oaken notes and perhaps some bittersweet chocolate. Alcohol as well.

M: This is incredibly velvety smooth - wonderful. Medium to slightly heavy body for the style. Carbonation is somewhat muted. Finish is a bit dry and sticks awhile.

D: This is the best brown ale I've tasted - it's big, balanced, and very appealing. I'll definitely seek this out again in the future.

Photo of Rayek
3.98/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Deep mahogany colored brew with good clarity and minimal carbonation. Big and foamy tan head has great retention and leaves an intense amount of lace. A great looking beer overall.

S: Heavy doses of caramelized sugars and burnt oak great the nose. There is a slight citrus aroma in the background.

T; Starts out with a burnt sugar sweetness that's followed by a pleasant earthy and burnt bitterness. Finishes a bit tart and dry.

M: Medium body is a little slick and has the right amount of fizz.

D: I wasn't that impressed with this right out of the gate. But it grew on me as I drank it. The end result for me was an very nice experience. Definitely worth a revisit down the road.

Photo of RickKrumenacker
3.95/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a Dark brown with some ruby highlights. Two-finger off-white head. Tight carbonation. Lacing stays until the beer is done.

S: Coffee dominates the smell. The longer I have the beer, the more roasty smells come out. Alcohol smell increases as it warms. I picked up caramel hints near the end of the beer.

T: Coffee and chocolate malts up front. The hops hit as I swallow. It seems to sweeten the more I drink it. Alcohol taste gradually increases.

M: A little chewy with some hop bitterness. Carbonation coats the tongue to keep each of the different flavors around. Very nice.

D: Pretty heavy and robust. Somewhat complex, but still goes down really easy.

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

Original Rating Date:
July 5, 2008

Smells sweet, sugary. Strong, chocolate, toasted coffee, brown sugar malt taste with a background of hops. Extremely complex ale here, lots of taste, well balanced. I'm not usually a fan of brown ales because they tend to be watery, but this was actually pretty thick. This is what all other brown ales should aspire to.

Photo of yossarian14
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown, opaque beer. Little light getting through, with a good inch of light tan head that lasts and leave lots of lace. Smells sweet like molasses and chocolate and a little coffee. A sweet malty start with a litle bit of hop and cholocolate bitterness towards the finish. This is a Big Brown weighing in at 7.20%, but the alcohol ishidden well. This is my favorite brown to date. Full-Bodied and creamy for the style, but that only adds to my pleasure.

Photo of oberscrc
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a very dark brown body with a beige two figure head. Leaves a long lasting lace.

S: Combines some of my favorite smells: chocolate, coffee, and alcohol. The chocolate is dominant with bittersweet mollasses undertones. Alcohol scent is present throughout.

T: Sweet chocolate favor along with sweet malts start this beer off. Finishes with a bitterness that is a result of a combonation of the coffee notes and the hops. Can easily detect alcohol.

M: Nice amount of carbonation which does not stand out and hide the complex favors. Coats the tongue. Alcohol hits you in the back of the throat, but is not overpowering.

D: Not a beer for everyone. If you like imperial stouts you will love this one. It is a heavier beer so not one for mass consumption. One of the best beers I have had in the last year.

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.55/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed on 2/29/08. Bottle. Poured a dark brown with a slight white head. Aroma of coffee and chocolate. Taste of coffee (primarily), chocolate, molasses. There were a lot of complex tastes in here and I don't think I got all I could out of this. An interesting beer.
7/3/8/3/15 (3.6/5)

Indian Brown Ale from Dogfish Head Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 5,248 ratings.