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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.

5,024 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,024
Reviews: 1,879
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 11.22%
Wants: 225
Gots: 480 | 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: 5,024 | Reviews: 1,879 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of guitarmage
4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

guitarmage, Feb 23, 2007
Photo of Schwarzbart
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Schwarzbart, Feb 22, 2007
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of velo343
4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

velo343, Feb 15, 2007
Photo of Kudashov
3.68/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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

Kudashov, Feb 14, 2007
Photo of Chuggnutt
4.65/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Chuggnutt, Feb 13, 2007
Photo of Luchman
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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..

Luchman, Feb 13, 2007
4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

SPLITGRIN, Feb 11, 2007
Photo of foureyedgeek
3.9/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

foureyedgeek, Feb 05, 2007
Photo of jcdiflorio
4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

jcdiflorio, Feb 04, 2007
Photo of umustdrink
3.98/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

umustdrink, Feb 01, 2007
Photo of Cresant
3/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

Cresant, Jan 28, 2007
Photo of srrn
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 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.

srrn, Jan 20, 2007
Photo of ahking
3.78/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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....

ahking, Jan 20, 2007
Photo of Absumaster
3.88/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 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.

Absumaster, Jan 19, 2007
Photo of kenito799
4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

kenito799, Jan 15, 2007
Photo of ClassicBrad
3.25/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

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.

ClassicBrad, Jan 15, 2007
Photo of adams82
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 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.

adams82, Jan 14, 2007
Photo of bort11
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

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.

bort11, Jan 14, 2007
Photo of Gatch
4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My favorite Brown Ale so far. It was dark like a porter until held up to light, where it was a deep blood red.

A nice light roasted scent as well as taste. The brown sugar comes through a little on the palate and so does some coffee.

The alcohol is a little present but it's very quick and the malt takes over. It's pretty sweet all the way through and finish very smooth. The drinkability is great and I would recommend this to anyone.

Gatch, Jan 12, 2007
Photo of Mebuzzard
3.85/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Saw this at an Old Chicago in Denver, had to try it.
Poured a nice caramel brown color with a stubborn head that just wouldn't go away.
Smell of light coffee and caramel. Sweetness of molasses and malt are more present. I sense some hops as well, more earthy than pine/citrus. Hints of raisin and doughy yeast.
Not quite sure this fits in the ABA, a little too dry. It is good, yet I thought the finish was a bit weak.

Mebuzzard, Jan 11, 2007
Photo of uconnalum2
4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

At first glance, this beer appears black as a stout. However when held up to the light, it is a dark ruby-brown. A slight tan head dissolves to a ring around the glass after a few minutes. This is an attractive looking beer. The smell has a pleasant roasted and caramel aroma. The taste is delicious. The brown sugar is evident in the sweetness but there is also roasted malt, caramel and some hops bitterness. Nicely balanced. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with some noticeable carbonation. This is very drinkable for a 7.2% ABV. Overall, this is a very enjoyable beer. It has a nice combination of flavors that work well together.

uconnalum2, Jan 06, 2007
Photo of treedoctor5002
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Scored this one from my father-in-laws beer cooler for the holiday's. I was suprised to see it there since he's a consistent BMC drinker, maybe he's starting to listen a little. Anyway...
This beer poors a nice dark amber color with a beautiful head. Smell is wonderful with hints of caramel, molasses and a nice roasted(almost smokey) malt smell. Plenty of hops are in this one thus the "Indian" designation on the bottle. They really go well with the darker malt in this one. Mouthfeel is medium and drinkability is excellent. Goes well with a sharp cheese or even chocolate. I really like this effort from DFH. Will drink again if I come across it.

treedoctor5002, Dec 31, 2006
Photo of riversider76
3.2/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice brown,with a redish hue. Thin tan head. Not much retention, decent lacing. Aroma is of nut and malt. Nice,but I thought it was on the week side. Body is medium,with some carbionation. Taste was too sugary. I felt the malt/hop balance was off a bit creating a unbalanced flavor. Not awful, but a disapointing.

riversider76, Dec 28, 2006
Photo of pmatz2
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've had this before and after the recipe change

Pours a clear reddish brown, with a thich head light tan in color. For a Brown ale the lacing is pretty impressive .

Nutty aroma with a hint of hops. Not as strong a hop aroma as I remember

taste - I like this better than the early versions. There's a less pronounced hoppines than I remember. The hops balance well now. Before I thought the hops were out of place.

Mouthfeel is great Smooth and velvety. This beer has a great balance from beginning to end. This is definitely not a session beer.

I'll say it again I like this version better than the old recicpe.

pmatz2, Dec 18, 2006
Indian Brown Ale from Dogfish Head Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 5,024 ratings.