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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.

4,808 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,808
Reviews: 1,862
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 10.98%
Wants: 210
Gots: 384 | 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: 4,808 | Reviews: 1,862 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bluejacket74


4.4/5  rDev +7.3%

The beer poured dark brown, with some orange tints when holding it up to the light. There was about a half inch off-white head. A good amount of lacing remained on the glass as I finished the beer. It smells like roasted malt, coffee and chocolate. It tastes like coffee, caramel, malt and some hops too. There's a nice mix of sweetness and bitterness to this beer. It's medium/full bodied and very well balanced. It's very drinkable, and surprisingly so considering the 7.2 ABV which isn't too noticable. The Indian Brown Ale is another fine Dogfish Head beer, I'll have to pick some more up the next time I see it.

07-29-2006 23:30:55 | More by bluejacket74
Photo of JohnnyM2002


3.88/5  rDev -5.4%

Poured a dark brownish-red with a small head. Smells of burnt coffee and malt - they went well together. Tastes more like caramel and malt...the coffee aroma dissipates once you take a sip. It goes down fairly well..the first one I had was still too cold, but I sampled another for the review around 55 degrees, and it made all the difference.

07-29-2006 13:24:44 | More by JohnnyM2002
Photo of blitz134


4.1/5  rDev 0%

Clear dark caramel with highlights of amber. Basically no head on the pour, only a light tan ring around the glass.

Aroma is interesting. Chocolatey, light toasted malts hinting to some nuttiness, alcohol is evident as well. Some of the aromas remind me of a wee heavy.

Toasted notes come through again, chocolate is evident towards the finish. Alcohol is again noted but it really works well with this and isn't overpowering. Definately the most alcoholic brown I've had to date.

Crisp on the tongue initially. Thinnish mouthfeel, I'd like to see it a bit thicker. Somewhat limited drinkability. Alcohol is evident and warms the stomach on the way down, even though it does work well with the flavor, its hard to have more than one. Good stuff though, and pushes the limit of a brown ale...what I expect from DFH.

07-28-2006 02:28:00 | More by blitz134
Photo of EPICAC


4.85/5  rDev +18.3%

I let this one warm slightly and served it in my NERAX pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a lightly hazy dark brown with ruby hints. A one-finger, beige head tops the beer and thins to a persistent quarter-inch layer leaving patchy lace.

Smell: Deep roasted coffee and chocolate. Just a hint of fruit and alcohol.

Taste: Sweet chocolate, fruit and caramel upfront. The finish is full of roasted coffee and chocolate bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Low carbonation, full-bodied, smooth.

Drinkability: Incredibly flavorful and delicious.

Overall: This is probably the best American Brown Ale that I've tried. The roasted flavors are bold, but are superbly well balanced by fruity and chocolatey sweetness.

07-27-2006 00:57:50 | More by EPICAC
Photo of coldchill


3.95/5  rDev -3.7%

Pours a beautifully clear brown with a thin off-white head. Nice full maltiness with an adequate level of hoppiness. Roasted malt overtones make this a very nice full bodied beer. Good level of sweetness makes this a nice change of pace from the my normal beer choices of IPA's and the like.

07-26-2006 00:02:06 | More by coldchill
Photo of SwillBilly


3.88/5  rDev -5.4%

12 oz bottle

Appearance: Pours a deep rich mahogany with little to almost to head. A small ring of lacing lines the glass. Streams of bubbles make their way to the top.

Smell: Strong smell rubbing alcohol, not sure if this is a bad bottle or not. Also, aromas of caramel and brown sugar and coffee.

Taste: Taste better than it smells. The beginning starts with a hoppy bitterness that transitions to a sweet, roasted malt middle with hints of brown sugar. Finishes with another dose of hops and roasted malt. Very coffee like on the finish as it lingers long on the tongue. Interesting that the 7.2% abv is not noticeable in the flavor profile though its very pronounced in the smell.

Mouthfeel. Medium to thick mouthfeel and somewhat slick. Carbonation is ok.

Drinkability: Glad DFH Indian Brown Ale tastes better than it smells. I was somewhat skeptical after inhaling what seemed to be rubbing alcohol. Anyway, IBA is a hoppy brown ale with plenty roasted malt and brown sugar sweetness. Fairly well balanced with the 7.2% abv not getting in the way.. Not what I would consider a session beer but one I would try again.

07-23-2006 00:07:53 | More by SwillBilly
Photo of SethB2


4.35/5  rDev +6.1%

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A - Deep chocolate color with ruby highlights. Also, a nice creamy head with great retention. Good looking beer

S - Cherries, a bit of chocolate, and some roasted malts. Smells a lot like a porter.

T - Sweet fruits and smokey grain dominate. Also, there is a nice hop presense, but not enough to push this beer out of it's style. Bits of caramel and toffee are also present, making this a complex Brown that gets a little different with every taste.

M - Medium bodied, yet nearly chewy. And yes, I know that is an oxymoron. Good stuff.

D - This is my favorite American Brown to date. No problem in the drinkablity department. Great beer.

07-17-2006 03:38:58 | More by SethB2
Photo of TheBungyo


3.9/5  rDev -4.9%

Poured very dark with a nice half inch head. Nose is sour like skittles and brown sugar. Taste is espresso, caramel, and hops all of which are pleasing and mild. Mouth is nice and smooth. I can't believe it's taken me this long to buy this. I really enjoy it.

07-16-2006 08:49:04 | More by TheBungyo
Photo of jettjon


3.98/5  rDev -2.9%

Highs: Well balanced flavor, mouthfeel
Lows: Appearance

Pours a walnut brown color beneath an anemic head despite a vigorous pour. Head fades quickly to a think sheet that lingers; moderate lacing. Nose of charred barley, hops and coriander/tea. Taste is well balanced between toasted barley malt and hops. Finishes on a mild hopsy bitter note—otherwise quite clean. Mouth is quite thick, nearing syrupy viscosity, very smooth and very good. Drinkability is very good. This is a smooth, satisfying beer.

Overall: A good brown ale, strongly recommended.

07-12-2006 01:23:28 | More by jettjon
Photo of briman


4.22/5  rDev +2.9%

Served from bottle into standard pint glass.

Pours dark brown, with ruby hues when held up to the light. Thin tan head, average retention. Some lacing.

Aroma is malty...lots of caramel, some chocolate, maybe a hint of alcohol.

Taste is malty as well. Sweet caramel in the front, moving toward some roasted malts and chocolate through the middle and towards the back. Some coffee notes come through in the finish, along with a bit of alcohol.

Medium body, low carbonation. Pretty well balanced, though there is no really obvious hop presence. Probably not a session beer due to the ABV, but certainly one to have again.

07-11-2006 01:48:16 | More by briman
Photo of sinstaineddemon


4/5  rDev -2.4%

A - this ale pours a dark brown that looks crimson when held up to light, the pours results in a thin tan head and there is moderate carbonation swimming throughout the glass

S - what a rich smell! the typical hoppiness of an American ale, coupled with a rich coffee aroma that one would expect to find in a RIS or a porter, a swirl reveals a slight sweetness that is barely discernible

T - a sour note up front melts away to a masterful blend of hoppy bitterness and rich coffee flavors, a very persistent coffee flavor that inhabits the aftertaste for several minutes

M - smooth and savory, with a bit of sharpness

D - a great ale, very tasty and well balanced, a bit sharp at moments, otherwise very easy back

07-07-2006 01:25:17 | More by sinstaineddemon
Photo of swhitt


4.4/5  rDev +7.3%

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Very dark brown, approaching black in color. I've had this one a few times but never really looked at it closely. The head is short but persistant - still there by the time I reach the bottom of the glass.

Its smell is its weakest point in my opinion. Definitely smells a little like chocolate and molasses and a little bit of alcohol. Don't get me wrong - it still makes my mouth water. I'd still choose its smell as its weakpoint.

Taste is very... brown. Roasted and malty with a little bit of hops. A little bitter but just perfectly so. Definitely some chocolate in there too. This one's tasty. The alcohol's a little high at 7.2% abv but this was surprising given its taste. I could session with this but I'd probably end up on the floor.

07-05-2006 22:34:04 | More by swhitt
Photo of MuenchenerKindl


4.53/5  rDev +10.5%

Poured from a tap at the DFH Ale house into into a pint glass. The liquid is dark brown, close to a porter, lots of red highlights medium carbonation. Nice looking tan head creamy and foamy, a little small as a result of the professional pour. It fades leaving just a little lace.

Smell is fantastic, coffee and chocolate coming out over rich malt base.

Taste is way better then I expected or remember for a bottle. Fresh beer is great! This beer had the kinds of flavors I would expect from a chocolate stout. Lots of chocolate & coffee flavor notes of some dark fruit and toasted bread. The finish was superb, bitter semi sweet chocolate. This brew seems to be over looked at times, as it is quite outstanding in its flavor profile.

Mouth feel also way over the top, better then most porters done right. It has a smooth and creamy full body, with a perfect amount of carbonation. This is the kind of beer you just want to hold a mouth full and work it around.

Drinkability is outstanding I would have a had more if I could but they were closing.. Too Bad. Dang they close early. Good thing however, I had to bluff my way through a police sobriety check point. Good thing I drank lots of water and had mussels and a very fat burger. Wow what a great brew. Prosit und Zum Wohl! MK

07-05-2006 05:16:30 | More by MuenchenerKindl
Photo of orfeu

New Mexico

4.18/5  rDev +2%

Profound chestnut-burgundy with tightly-packed khaki foam. Biscuity malt and leafy-piney-floral hop aromas. Sort of peppery as well. Round brown sugar malt sweetness begins the sip, then yields to a piney hop bite and a bitter, clean composted earth finish, almost medicinal -- like dandelion root. Sweet, fruity and bitter pine sap burps. Smooth yet lively mouthfeel, moderate carbonation and a medium body. 7.2% abv is hidden well enough with bitterness of the hops at the finish. I'm not a huge fan of brown ales, but the adventurousness of this offering from Dogfish Head has me curious.

06-30-2006 23:46:31 | More by orfeu
Photo of dreadnatty08

District of Columbia

3.93/5  rDev -4.1%

Pours a highly bubbly dark caramel amber color. Lucious off white head appears quickly and sticks around a bit. Aromas are floral hoppy, brown sugar, some tobacco, and a bit of Belgianness. Flavors are well balanced. A rich chocolatey flavor blends well with the spicy, fruity hops. Slightly more bitter for a brown, but a good stab at a different style. Body is light, alcohol warming and carbonation right on. A slick coating of caramel laced with resin sticks around in the mouth. Brown ales seem to be a dying breed in the craft beer world, but this one goes to show you can make one intesting and rather tasty.

06-27-2006 19:08:23 | More by dreadnatty08
Photo of arguemaniac


4.22/5  rDev +2.9%

Pours a nearly opaque dark brown with a brief but robust head which leaves a slight but sustaining lace. The rich, roasty flavor features a heavy, but rounded note of coffee (not too bitter, not too mellow) along with some brown sugar sweetness, caramel, and tasty hints of molasses. Hop flavor is there but I always having trouble separating it from the bitter burnt flavors in these kinds of beers. The lingering finish is dominated by a mellow burnt coffee bitterness. A fairly thick mouthfeel with moderately active carbonation.

A rich, satisfying and fairly distinctive American brown ale. It’s heavier and roastier than most of it’s kind. However, I remember it being even richer and a lot hoppier when I first tried it a few years back. Has Dogfish Head slipping!? Nah, probably not, or at least not a whole lot, seeing as this beer is still fantastic. Highly recommended.

06-27-2006 04:40:01 | More by arguemaniac
Photo of JBStith

North Carolina

4.22/5  rDev +2.9%

Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale is quite a good example of the American Brown Ale style.

A: Great deep brown and ruby. A bit disapointed in the lack of head, but that could have been the way I poured. No head to speak of.

S: Very malty and hints of dark fuit and chocolate. No hop bitterness present in the aroma.

T: Taste was very malty at first and then moves toward chocolate bitterness, and nuts. All flavors stand up to each other and finish together. Well balanced.

M&D: Moderate body with full flavors. A very drinakable beer

I enjoyed this a great deal and I believe it is one of the better brown ales I've ever had.

06-23-2006 23:31:00 | More by JBStith
Photo of Dithyramb


4.22/5  rDev +2.9%

Sampled on tap last night at the 9:30 Club. Pours a slightly reddish mahogany with a light brown head. Great lacing for a plastic cup. Bready and candied fruit aroma.

Spicey, bready and dark malt. Great mix of flavors coming through. Had a nice mix that several other browns I've had have been showing. Not even close to several boring brew pub browns dotting the country. This one is interesting and useful. Doesn't have the obnoxious hops or overwhelming ETOH/sugar one could get with a DFH brew. Save this one to win over nonbelievers.

Washes away pretty quick, making you want several. High ABV is silent.

06-23-2006 12:43:41 | More by Dithyramb
Photo of rtratzlaff

North Carolina

4.18/5  rDev +2%

Darker brown, copper colored beer with a small head.
Smells of sweet malt, slight hoppiness, and caramel.
Taste is pretty sweet, but balanced by a coffee type bitterness. Different from any brown ale I've had. It was rather complex. Much thicker mouthfeel than expected. The drinkability was pretty good. Enjoy this beer as a good desert.

06-17-2006 18:35:11 | More by rtratzlaff
Photo of mattpetti

New Jersey

4/5  rDev -2.4%

This a very drinkable brown ale that encompases, coffee, roasted malts, burnt brown sugar, molasses, and a nice crisp hop bitterness in the nose and taste. Its thicker than many brown ales, slighly cloying, but very smooth. Not too acidic and the 7.2 percent alcohol goes down very easily. This beer has many porter qualities to it which make it unique and enjoyable. Everything is well balanced. An excellent beer for session and food parings. Glad i bought a sixer.

06-16-2006 22:20:07 | More by mattpetti
Photo of Drew966


4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Indian Brown Ale pours a dark mahogany color with ruby highlights and an off white head from a brown twelve ounce bottle. Aroma is a cocoa/toffee and coffee smell. Taste also reflects the same. Aftertaste is on the bitter side, but not too extreme. This is a very tasty beer. Has a lot of porter or stout like qualities but definitely is not one. Highly recommended.

06-13-2006 23:00:25 | More by Drew966
Photo of bennetj17


3.38/5  rDev -17.6%

Dark, clear coffee/amber color. Light 3/4 inch head with decent retention. Smell is a bit weak, with toasty/roasted coffee aroma and a touch of chocolate and light grassy hops. The taste is semi-sweet with a coffee malt and hop blend. Finish is clean, dry and roasty, carrying a medium bitterness. Mouthfeel is a bit thin, and carbonation could be a little stronger. The constant light tangy bitterness of this brew is not really that intriguing and loses its staying power after awhile, worth a try though...

06-09-2006 04:20:54 | More by bennetj17
Photo of RedHaze


3.9/5  rDev -4.9%

Pours a very dark brown with some reddish highlights around the edges. There's a half inch tan head that fades slowly to a thin cap, leaving behind a tattered lacing.

Smell; dark chocolate with roasted, almost smoky malts. There's a bit of coffee, and a touch of hops.

Taste; the chocolate and coffee come out nicely along with a slightly nutty flavor. The sweetness from the malts are there, as well as th smokiness I picked up in the aroma. Finishes with a bit of a hop bitterness that balances out the sweet. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied, and very easy to drink.

06-08-2006 01:11:15 | More by RedHaze
Photo of bignick


4.15/5  rDev +1.2%

I have had this at the Kinsale in an imperial pint glass and, more recently, at TPH on 5/24/06 out of a DFH glass.

It pouts a luscious, viscous brown. The smell is malty, with overtones of dried fruit. The mouthfeel is a but sludge-like at first, but as it warms it becomes more drinkable. The high alcohol content is undectable, and this is a very drinkable beer over the course of the night.

05-30-2006 06:05:34 | More by bignick
Photo of MSchae1017


4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

This beer was tasted in a pint glass from a bottle.

The beer pours a dark mahogany with a creamy off white head. The head laces nicely and sticks around all day. The smell is full of nutty roasted aromas along with some faint hop and vanilla aromas. The taste hits you with those roasted nutty flavors right off the bat then hits you with the hops and follows with almost an oak aged wiskey flavor. This is quite good. The mouthfeel is good, nice carbonation, good thickness. Overall a highly drinkable brown. Easily one of the best out there.

05-27-2006 00:05:37 | More by MSchae1017
Indian Brown Ale from Dogfish Head Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 4,808 ratings.