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Indian Brown Ale - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Indian Brown AleIndian Brown Ale

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5,395 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,395
Reviews: 1,929
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 10.98%
Wants: 267
Gots: 688 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-07-2001

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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,395 | Reviews: 1,929 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jjboesen
4.45/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This was sampled - well, not sampled since I had a pint - at Dogfish Head Alehouse in Gaithersburg, Maryland. (See BeerFly Reveiw).

This is a wonderful expression of the style; it offers an opaque body with a thin beady head that quickly dissapates. There is little lacing and any clingage is minimal.

There are subtle molasses notes in combo with a malty chocolate balance, all supplemented with a sweet aftertaste. Nice. The Indian Brown possesses a smooth mouthfeel when served, but I would recommend letting it attain room temperature for an even better quaff.

A highly recommended beer for dinner or afterwards. Always something good from Sam, the Madman of Milton (Delaware).

Photo of gabe23
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Deep brown with ruby red highlights. Tan head fades slowly and laces nicely.

S - A nice balance of roasted malt and hops sharpness. A surprising hint of chocolate is present as well.

T - Sweet malt and brown sugar fades into a very slight hops bitterness with a tinge of metallic taste. The finish smooths out with equal parts coffee, chocolate, and alcohol.

M - Rich on the tongue and slightly thick, but the carbonation balances things out and keeps things from getting too heavy.

D - Very drinkable from a flavor perspective, but the ABV and richness keeps it from being a true session ale. Very nice beer that I'll be having again soon.

Photo of rye726
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Indian brown is one of my favorite session beers from Dogfish. Pours an earthy brown with a tan head. The nose has sweet candy malts and piney hops. More of the same in the taste. Great balance, body matches style perfectly. A good drinker from our friend Sam at DFH.

Photo of HeroJH
4.12/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A good one! I like this a lot. Interesting crossover to me. It's a Brown ale, but it seems to have such a vast profile that it tastes similar to some porters and some scotch ales I've had. Plus a great boost of full hoppy-ness like an IPA. Almost hard to place the style. A great quote on their site "It can't be a brown ale, there is too much going on. All this, dark fruit, caramelized brown sugar... Maybe this is a triple brown? It's so delicious, you just have to drink it and forget about style." Agreed...

A - nice mohogany red/brown. Dark. Foamy light tan head.

S - Toasty, roasty and Rich! Slightly sweet. The faintest hint of hop aroma. Oak. Chocolate.

T - Very very full toasty and roasty, but not bitter as some toasty-ness can be. Probably more roasty than toasty. A little bit of hop , both bittering and flavor. Treacle like tartness in the sweet. Finish of chocolate and wheat sourdough bread. Surprisingly smooth for how much is going on. Coating and delicious.

M - nice and coating. The flavor lasts and is enjoyable. Slight dryness.

D - Great, it's very flavorful but not excessive in any way. It's like each feature of flavor is as high as it can go without being overpowering. So I can very easily have a few of these. I drank this one awfully fast.

**Nerd Notes**
7.2% ABF
50 IBU's
Liberty and Goldings Hops

Photo of thain709
3.88/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - A deep brown body with ruby highlights...one finger tan head that slowly settles into a nice cap...laces with every sip

S - Sweet smelling from the malts...faint hops...and some alcohol

T - Once again...very sweet up front with the roasted malts...caramel, coffee, and chocolate flavors throughout...the hops are well blended into the background...slight alcohol warming as it goes down

M - Creamy and smooth

D - This is a very good brown ale...you get all sorts of flavors...it's a part on your palate

Photo of hophead247
3.85/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle... a very deep dark mahogony with notes of ruby. A nice crowning egg-shell colored head. Nice aroma of hops, chocolate and coffee. The first sip confirms the coffee and nice creamy rich chocolatey malt. It's a sweet combo that really works well with the hops. This is the only brown with any real hop flavor that I have had to date. This beer has a thickness not normally associated with a brown that isn't a nut-brown. That thickness however does not stop this from being a very easy drinking brown.

Photo of angelmonster
4.14/5  rDev +1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a small 1 finger chocolate head. Dark brown in color with medium carbonation. Head retention and lacing fade to being non existant

First smell is of roasted coffee malts, some chocolate, and a faint smell of alcohol

Sweet malt is tasted, with some smoky coffee, and light hops.

Mouth feel is very good, medium carbonation , not too high. Medium bodied, not too heavy but still a good syrup feel to it

Over all , very drinkable, highly flavorful beer. Great balance of malts, hops, and smoky, coffee flavors. My favorite brown ale.

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Northern Brewer glass.

A: Pours a clear deep mahogany with about a inch of tan head that fades to a thin layer and leaves lacing all the way down the glass.

S: Hops, roasted grain, and a touch of something smoky. Hop notes are more spicy/resinous, rather than citrus.

T: Very similar to the smell. Assertive bitterness from the hops and grains, but with a solid slightly sweet malt backbone.

M: Feels heavy and sticky on the tongue, which seems fitting. Carbonation is low.

D: Certainly would enjoy one, but more than that would probably destroy my palate. A bit more balance between the bitter and sweet would help here.

Photo of biggred1
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep dark ruby brown with a fine mocha collar of foam that leaves fine lacing on the glass. Smells of the caramelized brown sugar on the label and nice roasty malts, coffee, mint and a nice herbal hop aroma blend nicely. Tastes hoppier and more intense than most brown ales. Nice sweet roasty malt with a floral hop flavor that follows, finishes with a good coffee/chicory mild bitterness. Medium silky mouthfeel with fine crisp carbonation. One of my faves, never disappoints. A gem.

Photo of drifter29
4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

After getting stiffed by several distributors I finally got my hands on a sixtel of the Indian Brown.

A - dark brown with amber highlights, head quickly dissipates but light froth remains throughout

S - Chocolate coffee with light citrus

T - I think this is an awesome tasting ale. It tantalizes the tastebuds from the front to the back of your tongue with a slight bitter finish

M - smooth baby, I can't say enough

D - while the 7.2 certainly can be a factor, as soon as I finish one I crave another. Not really a session beer but I have a hard time telling my stomach that.

Another great beer from the boys in Dover. Well worth the wait.

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

Had this one on tap at the FFF brewpub, poured into a half-pint glass.

A= This ale poured a deep mahogany brown color with a 1/2" off white head. The head settled slowly and left decent webs of lace down my glass.

S= Sort of a hoppy brown ale with lots of brown sugar smell. I detected dark and/or brown malts, coffee, brown sugar, bitter chocolate, and strong hints of aromatic hops.

T= All biscuity sweet and bitter-roasty malt up front followed closely by an unexpected but balanced blast of hop bitterness. Aside from the malt and hops, there was a sweetness that ran through the entirety of each sip that really pulled things together. I found it to be reminiscent of molasses, treacle, brown sugar, etc.

MF= Heavy side of medium bodied with a solid carbonation feel that lifts this one considerably.

D= Very interesting blend of styles here, the result of which is dangerously drinkable for the ABV. Highly recommended!

Photo of cvfish
4.48/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Poured a rich brown that produced an off white head that retained well and left great lacing

S - Burning oak, hops, smoky malts and vanilla

T - Sweet molasses, burnt malts, moderate hops, alcohol kick, and cinnamon gingerbread

M - Smooth, medium to heavy body, light carbonation

D - Crowned my new favorite Brown Ale, this beer is great. I can't wait for the day DFH is distributed in La.

Photo of howielong
3.36/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Had this through my work beer exchange. Definitely a strong beer that's not very sessionable. It had a bit of a Scotch Ale feel to it. It reminded me of a cross between Newcastle and McEwan's Scotch Ale. Nice sweet start with a smooth malty finish. Great winter beer.

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

A: Rich Ron Burgundy's apartment mahogany with bone hued foam that step laced beautifully down the glass.

S: Brown sugar, wood, baker's chocolate, vanilla, and hints of chicory and coffee. Oh yeah!

T & M: Complex, thick, viscous molasses and maltiness wash over my tongue bringing with them the flavors of deep woody chocolate and what can only be described as a caramelized graham cracker crust. Oddly, there are some not-too-subtle hops that also come into play. While on first sip I only noticed them in the finish, upon subsequent draughts I find the hops come more to the forefront and end up swirling all over my palette. The mouthfeel is big, thick and perfectly carbonated.

D: So the seemingly simple rich brown sugary qualities of the brown ale have been very well fused with the bite of a more hoppy brew. I like this very much and even though this is a dense beer, I confess being able to put away a fare few quite easily on a cool winter day.

Photo of SpruceFish
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pored from a bottle into a snifter i like the snifter because it allows me get a better nose feel as well as taste it better

A: nice dark color almost opaque but not quite reminds me of like a strong porter

S: sweet aroma some hints of carmel and coffee

T: strong tastes of coffee, roasted malt, and some chocolate with a boozy finish

M: medium to heavy body kinda dry finish

D: really drinkable boozy finish great for a colder day

Photo of farrago
3.46/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very dark brown in color but not black, an orange tinge at the rims underscores the clarity of the liquid, average to thin depth of head yet leaves a full, attractive lacing behind. Brown sugar, toffee, black raisin, plum, licorice, chocolate in the nose, obviously more malts than hops, fat enough to settle in fully and stay until closing time. Full-bodied, all roasty and toasty with sweet malt segueing into dark chocolate powder, coffee, brown sugar. Offers golden and black raisins, figs and dates more than any fresh fruit flavors, however, not saccharine. Carbonation and hops ride in just in time to lead into a cleaner finish than expected. Arguably trying to do too much, still, tasty enough.

Photo of MrHurmateeowish
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle purchased at the local Hannaford. Pours a translucent dark brown body with a thin film of light tan head. Aroma consists equally of caramel and chocolate malts and citrussy hops. Tastes like chocolate and caramel, with a good portion of citrussy hops to balance it out better than many browns. No alcohol flavor, but a hint of viscosity and warming, along with moderate carbonation. Somewhat of a sipper, though goes down easier than some beers with this abv and flavor... Wow, this is a lot better than I remember it being. A new favorite American brown!

Photo of beertunes
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into bubble pint glass. Poured with almost no head. What head there was had very good retention. Below average lacing for a brew this type. A rich, deep mahogany that allows just a little light to poke through. A very sweet aroma greets you immediately. Not just the usual malt sweetness that would be expected, but a sugary blast that caught me off-guard. The flavor was not as sweet as the aroma led me to expect. Very nice roasty flavors, although the slight coffee flavor put me off a little. The flavors stick to the tongue but fade before becoming annoying, thus letting you be ready for the next sip. The body is a little thin, a fuller, more well-rounded mouthfeel would be welcome. Very drinkable, although a bit much for a session. A very nice take on the style.

Photo of Riccymon
3.94/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured a deep, lifeless brown from the bottle with just barely enough coffee-colored head to cover the surface of the beer. I found the smell to be this brew's low point--the slightly malty, nutty brown ale aromas accompanied by a strange mustiness. The taste and mouthfeel, however, especially as the beer warmed, was everything I've been seeking in a brown ale. Again, the typical brown ale flavors of malt and nuttiness were up-front, while a solid hoppiness came through alongside a little brown sugar in the back-end to create a delicious balance. Immediately following was this beer's other high point, its silky-smooth mouthfeel. At last, a brown ale that doesn't finish disappointingly thin. Given the balance and great mouthfeel, drinkability was quite good. Overall, this is a tremendous take on the style.

Photo of TheDoorman
3.6/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Deep brown with a big dose of carbonation creating a large tan head. Aroma of caramel, cofee, brown sugar and a hint of hops. Rich candy sugar and molases dominate the palate. Creamy mouthfeel. This is probably an excellent example of a style of which I am just not a big fan. Very rich, sweet and filling. No amount of hops can make it through the sugary body. This could probably be matched very with with certain specific foods, but this isn't a beer I would consider drinking with much frequency.

Photo of dolemite77
4.23/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is always a hit with me... complex, yet drinkable, dark, yet light enough to have a couple of them. Pours a rich brown, with a thin, cappuccino-like head that lingers and laces throughout. Aroma is sweet and fruity, with a hint of coffee. I taste a lot of coffee in this, and blind tasted it might be guessed to contain a bit of coffee. Burnt sugar and lightly roasted malt. Interesting for a brown ale, because it is not overly roasted, and the added sugars for the higher alcohol stand out a bit more. The hops here are more character hops, rather than up front type.

Photo of Quej
3.87/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Very dark brown, a little head but not visible carbonation.
S - Smells of hops, chocolate and toasty malts, mixed with a bit of fluorine and booze.
T - Very hoppy tasting at first, and quite bitter. It moves to a sweet chocolate and finishes with a harsh boozy dry after taste.
M - nice and zingy medium bodied and quite drying.
D - It's a little strong and boozy, but still quite refreshing.

Photo of donkeyrunner
4.11/5  rDev +0.2%
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
3.82/5  rDev -6.8%
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!!

Indian Brown Ale from Dogfish Head Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 5,395 ratings.