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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.

4,665 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,665
Reviews: 1,851
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 10.98%
Wants: 195
Gots: 314 | 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: 4,665 | Reviews: 1,851 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of rocketmotor


3.93/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow, what a beer! For a hops lover, me, this is a great malt beer!

Pours very dark, I see black, not brown, very little head and no lacing.

Tastes very good. Very strong malt flavors, very dark toffee with coffee aroma. I don't really smell the hops or taste them, but they must be rather strong to offset the strong malt flavor that I typically dislike. Good mouthfeel, very small bubbles and rather lightly carbonated.

Pretty strong stuff, drinkability is good, but unless you want to catch a buzz, one or two is it.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2005 05:37:05 | More by rocketmotor
Photo of dirtylou


3.85/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

bottles found at whole foods- raleigh

appearance: dark brown with ruby tints, bubbly off white head with slight lacing along the rim

smell: dark fruits, slight caramel, not all that overpowering but slightly sweet

taste: quite malty, similar to a scottish ale really, light caramel tastes

mouthfeel: medium thickness, but kind of thin

drinkability: despite the higher abv, could be a session

overall, this is a good brown but I think the stone 8th anniversary was far superior

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2005 07:05:50 | More by dirtylou
Photo of silver0rlead

North Carolina

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

Pours a very deep brown color with slight ruby highlights and a thin tan head that doesnt really retain well. Aroma is roasted barley, carmelized sugar, floral hops and a light hazelnut scent. Flavor is roasted barley, with a sweet molasses character followed by a floral and herbal hop flavor and a dry, roasted, astringent and slightly bitter finish. There is also a walnut/pecan nutty flavor in there somewhere. Mouthfeel is smooth but slightly prickly with moderate carbonation and a big body. Drinkability is descent. A pretty good brown ale, but frankly i was expecting more from DFH.

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2005 06:06:01 | More by silver0rlead
Photo of Chadbrew


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

Appearance - Deep brown with traces of caramel around the edges. Good carbonation and a finger of head with plenty of lacing.
Aroma - Sweet and roasty... yum!
Taste - Lots of things going on here. There is some sweetness and bitterness up front and a slight roughness near the end that finishes pretty smooth. I like the roasted malt, it's nice but not overwhelming.
Body - Medium to medium-light, could use a touch more.
Drinkability - Pretty drinkable beer overall but watch out for the ABV... it'll getcha drunk.

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2005 23:06:11 | More by Chadbrew
Photo of Bonhoeffer


4.78/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Ohhhh i love this beer. Definitely one of my faves.

Beautiful brown appearance. Nice creamy head. Smell is a bit timid, but good.

The taste. Well, this is what craft beer is all about, in my opinion. Just this amazing balance between forward hop spiciness and roasty malt goodness. A great touch of sweetness thrown in. Some nutty flavors. Stuff i can't even describe. This... Is... Beer.

Perfectly balanced. Complex. Drinkable all day and all night. After we get these damn laws fixed in AL, this one will stay in my fridge just about all the time.


Serving type: bottle

08-29-2005 02:19:08 | More by Bonhoeffer
Photo of Gueuzedude


3.85/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a frothy four-finger thick, amber to light brown colored head. The beer is a brilliantly clear, ruby highlighted deep amber-brown color. The aroma is sweet and fruity up front with notes of caramel, cherries and a bit of sweet herbal hoppiness. The nose finishes with a light roast note that evokes thoughts of toasted bread and milk chocolate. The taste is sweet up front, and is followed quickly by very fruity notes that are reminiscent of cherries, perhaps even a bit like cough-syrup (though only lightly so). The finish is long, though not heavy handed and has an astringent roast malt character to it. This beer is quite smooth up front, but finishes with a prickle of carbonation that helps to balance the overall sweetness of the malt. The body of this is fairly light, this beer is quite quaffable. There are some hop notes here, though perhaps not as much as I was expecting from the label; there is a nice herbal quality in the middle, and the finish has a solid hop bite to it that helps to balance the sweet candied caramel note.

Serving type: bottle

08-27-2005 22:24:26 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of ALESwhatCURESya


4.68/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours out a molasses brown color with a an orange-red hue. Very clear beer even though it is quite dark. The head was thin, but seemed very appropriate for this beer.

The smell was full of caramel and dark fruit. There was a small dose of dog smell that I couldn't get out of my head.

The taste and mouthfeel was awesome. A sweetness from the malt makes you feel like you are having desert. The rich brown sugar and syrupy body is wonderfully balanced with the heavy raison taste. The smoothness of this beer is extremely impressive and the semi-high abv is hidden well but hits like a bulldozer.

This beer is lethally smooth and easy to drink. This has easily become one of my favorite new discoveries.

Great Brew!

Serving type: bottle

08-15-2005 22:58:43 | More by ALESwhatCURESya
Photo of tastybeer

North Carolina

3.85/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew has a pleasant woody brown color with a small, creamy, tan colored fleeting head. Smell is of toast and burnt roasty malts, with subtle dark chocolate. There is also a hint of fruit. This beer tastes just how you would expect from its smell; Toasted + roasted malts, a small side of chocolate, and some sort of faint fruit followed by more malty goodness and a slight bitter bite at the end. Mouthfeel is smooth. I will get this again when looking for a good, solid brown ale.

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2005 04:03:52 | More by tastybeer
Photo of Morris729


4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brownish color with a short and creamy tan head. Nose is dark chocolate along with more subdued aromas of fresh coffee and floral hops. Taste begins with sweet caramelized malts and brown sugar balanced nicely with notes of unsweetened chocolate. A good deal of spicy hops come across towards the finish. The 7.2% ABV is well hidden. A bit unique when compared to other brown ales and highly enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2005 04:03:11 | More by Morris729
Photo of kaszeta

New Hampshire

4.83/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Sampled at the 2005 Vermont Brewers Festival

Pours with a very pleasing deep red body and a thick off-white head and light lacing, looking just like a good brown ale. The aroma is primarily caramel and grain, but with noticeably more floral notes from hops than a typical brown.

I was pleasantly pleased by the taste, since like most of the Dogfish products this has a solid (and well rounded) hops kick, but there's still a nice roasted malt flavor, rounded out with some nuttiness. I usually don't expect much from unusual combination beers like this, but they really make this work: the hops combine with the softer malt notes without overwhelming them. Is this one continuously hopped like their IPAs?
Seriously, this is one of the best, broadest-spectrum brown ales I've had, it hits all the major tastes (hops, grains, sugars, fruit notes) without any of them overpowering the whole. Mouthfeel also is spot-on, spreading the flavor around, being heavy enough to give the flavor some backing, but light enough to be pleasantly drinkable. An excellent beer, even a session beer, and one I'll look forward to trying again

Serving type: on-tap

07-21-2005 17:50:31 | More by kaszeta
Photo of BEERchitect


4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

High praise is had all around as Dogfish Head celebrates all of what's brown with a unique dry toasty beer with a heavy hop influence.

With an appearance that looks austerely like porter, the beer lands in that dark bark-brown realm with onyx-like refelection and firm head formation and retention. The medium sand-tan foam laces extremely well and forms the final impressions of a well made ale.

Heavy toast, roasted nuts, rich cold-press coffee, cocoa, and starchy malt begin the aromatic dialogue as the balance of pine, citrus, and grass emit in their hoppy form to counter the dry malt influence.

Burnt molasses, bold roast coffee, bittersweet chocolate, walnuts and malted milkshakes start to form the taste just as the citrusy build up from hops begin. Soon, the sweetness is supplanted by dry bitterness both from char and hops and seem like saw dust, grapefruit, and burnt embers carry the beer into its semi-dry bitter finish.

Medium bodies, the beer's early creaminess is quickly shed and makes way for the lighter mid palate of toast, powder, hops to easily develop with an even fade into dryness, warmth, and quickly closing dark malts.

The American influence on this beer is undeniable- it's much more toasty (almost roasty), it's drier, and much more hoppy (American citrus hops)- all making it easily agreeable for a pairing of medium-well cheeseburgers with sharp cheddar!

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2005 12:34:32 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of allengarvin


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

Pours out a dark reddish-tinted brown with an off-white head of lusciously creamy foam. Aroma is very roasted and nutty, with some hops but not nearly as much as, say, the 60-minute. Malts make up the main components of the flavor: an almost burnt caramel with dark bitter chocolate. Moderately high bitterness but not as much as I'd expect from a Dogfishhead beer with "Indian" in the name. Hop flavor is somewhat resinous. Finishes malty and nutty. Creamy texture, like a stout, with a good deal of body.

Very good, but I was hoping for more hop flavor and aroma.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2005 02:22:35 | More by allengarvin
Photo of hobbes2112


4.78/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle.

Finally have this at home where I can properly review it. I have had this on tap many times (in the DC area and in TX) and I really enjoy it.

Pours a deep red mahogony, with thick beige head. Medium retention and low lacing.

Smell is carmel, grain, dark chocolate, coffee and hops. Really good balance of all these elements.

Taste is roasted malts, nuts, chocolate, dark fruit and a nice hop kick. The layering is so seamless that I have a hard time isolating flavors before another one shows up.

Mouthfeel is exactly right for this beer. The flavors are delivered to the right part of the tounge, and the body complements each taste.

This is one of the best beers I have had, sure to be on my favorites list.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2005 21:17:43 | More by hobbes2112
Photo of jamesclark


4.47/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It appears dark ruby in my glass. Slightly cloudy inside, but it's hard to tell. The head is thick, it spilled over my glass and left a lacy coating as it shrank to a thin layer of bubbles.

It has a malty smell, with small amounts of fruit, hops, and a sweetness, maybe caramel. This smells like good food.

The carbonation is medium, and the beer has a medium-bodied feel. There is a rich malty flavor, balanced with plenty of bitterness. A little flavor remains after swallowing. This beer is refreshing - it drinks easily, with great flavor.

Dogfish Head is an amazing brewery, and at the moment this is my favorite of their brews. Personally, I can't keep enough of it in my fridge.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2005 00:59:13 | More by jamesclark
Photo of rhoadsrage


3.1/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

(Served in an American pint glass)

A-This beer pours a deep brown clear body with a good carbonation and a nice rocky tan head.

S- The beer smells pretty clean with notes of light toasted malt

T- This beer has a nice medium toasted malt flavor with some slight sour chocolate notes. There is a very gentle citrus hop flavor with very little bitterness.

M- This beer has a nice medium mouthfeel with some creaminess.

D- This doesn't really have the hop qualities I would expect and the depth of malt is not that interesting by itself.

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2005 02:27:54 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of kpantz


3.8/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Executive Summary: Brown Ales aren't really my favorite, but I just might come back to this one.

Appearance: Clean but DARK – almost stout-like. Slight deep-orange hue. Thick head (3 fingers thick) that’s not too quick to quit.

Smell: Slightly sweet, but malty.

Taste: Good balance of malt and hops. Can kinda catch the caramelized brown sugar. Slightly bitter finish (in a good way, of course), but nothing like a pale ale.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth…not too much carbonation (which is surprising given the head appearance). Feels great on the back taste buds!

Drinkability: Took a test chug and found that while it tastes great, this one goes down much better when consumed slowly. Not a session brew; rather, a great one to sit back with and watch the tube. 7.2% ABV doesn’t really show through – a couple of these and you’ll feel it!

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2005 19:59:50 | More by kpantz
Photo of battlekow


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

Appearance: Pours a deep, rich brown, pretty much opaque. Head is thick and persistent.

Smell: Smells old and venerable, something to be respected. All the right roasty/toasty aromas are there.

Taste: The first couple sips I swear I got an aftertaste of blood (so strong that I thought I bit my lip). Aside from that, though, this beer is wonderful. A little sweeter than I expected to go along with the roasted nuttiness, with some lingering bitterness that's just perfect.

Mouthfeel: Thick and creamy. Carbonation is perfect.

Drinkability: Exceedingly high. The other five of his friends won't last long.

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2005 05:48:09 | More by battlekow
Photo of santoslhalper


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

Appearence: Pours a nice dark brown with a creamy beige head.

Smell: The smell is a strong mix of coffee, nuts and strong sugar. The roasted notes are brilliant, and the hops add nice complexity.

Taste and Mouthfeel: The flavor is incredible roasted tasting, with extreme porter notes. It's almost like they took a tame Brown Ale and mixed it with a ridiculously robust Porter. The burned chocolate and nut notes are really extreme and almost confusing for a brown ale. It just taste so strong and creamy.

Drinkability and Overall: What a crazy beer!! I don't know if I'd call this a Brown Ale, but whatever the hell you call it, it's quite tasty. The complexity is out of this world, but makes it one hell of a drinkable beer. Definitly a DFH to try.

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2005 06:11:30 | More by santoslhalper
Photo of palma

New York

3.73/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark rich looking brown with an amber hue. Not much of a head but a good lace does develop.
Wonderful aroma consisting of black malt, coffee and molasses.
A smooth nutty flavor at the start. Roasted malt flavor. Though not as rich as the aroma would lead you to believe. Coffee notes and a slight grassiness can be found. A good solid bitterness in the end. A slightly astringent mouthfeel.
Overall, this is a good brown ale sporting a hefty ABV.

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2005 15:13:23 | More by palma
Photo of TripelJ


3.48/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Now Quaffing: DFH Indian Brown

I remembered really enjoying this beer the first time that I had it, but now that I revisit it, I find it to be a little less memorable. Pours an unclouded ruddy brown with a minimal white head. As the head settles it looks like a glass of cola sitting on my desk. The smell is sweet and slightly grassy. The taste was full compared to other american brown ales, bigger hop presence and more of a burnt roasted bitterness which was nice, but the mouthfeel was a little too thin which made the whole thing seem unbalanced. Worth a try, and something I will revisit every once in a while, but not when there are other, better browns available.

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2005 01:28:00 | More by TripelJ
Photo of lackenhauser


3.8/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep,coppery red color. No real head to speak of. Low aroma-sweet malt for the most part. Malty flavor upfront. Fair amount of hoppiness to it. Caramel and raisen like sweetness in the finish. Velvety smooth. Nice body to it. A very drinkable brew-another fine product from DFH. Well worth enjoying on a regular basis.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2005 20:03:20 | More by lackenhauser
Photo of fizzyfred


4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The color is a rich, dark brown. Looks more like a porter than a brown ale. Little to no head. The aroma is dominated by smell of roasted malt, seems to be a slight floral hop aroma as well. It tastes pretty balanced and heavy. It could almost use some more hop bitterness to take the edge off. It's medium high carbonation is too much, but it is from a bottle. The carbonation may be contributing to the perceived heaviness. Slight alcohol warmness reminds me of a robust porter or imperial stout.

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2005 23:05:14 | More by fizzyfred
Photo of Brian700


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

This one pours a dark brown color and has a brown head that sticks around for the whole session. It smells of roasty malts, bread, and coffee. It tastes of roasted malt, coffee, and chocolate with a little bitter to it. It has a good mouthfeel with medium carbonation. I think this is a great beer. I can't wait to try another one from Dogfish Head. I've been impressed with every one of there brews so far.

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2005 17:06:27 | More by Brian700
Photo of GClarkage


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

04/18/05- Received via trade from connecticuitpoet and steinlifter.

Presentation- 12oz bottle with a bottled in November 2004 on the side label. Poured into my Dead Guy pint glass.

Appearance- Dark brown pour (almost black) with an inch head that partially hangs around until the end of the brew. Great lacing along the sides of my glass.

Smell- Heavy on the roasted malt and a tad sniff of coffee beans.

Taste- This is one heavy bown ale! Massive burnt malt flavor, coffee on the back of my tongue. A bit bitter on the finish.

Mouthfeel- This one is almost thick and sryupy. Very sweet and sticks to the roof of your mouth. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability- This dude is pretty potent. I think I'm happy with one of these at a time. Maybe because of the sweetness and extreme dark flavor. Very good though.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2005 19:57:07 | More by GClarkage
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.53/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Great colour and lace and promising mollasses and alcohol aroma, but taste was initially sour and then more malty after inducing some spicy food. For the latter, its a quencher. Some burnt carmel, appropriate carbonation. Maybe it works on tap or another day, another meal.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2005 03:24:26 | More by Sammy
Indian Brown Ale from Dogfish Head Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 4,665 ratings.