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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.

4,682 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,682
Reviews: 1,852
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 10.98%
Wants: 198
Gots: 322 | 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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Indian Brown Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,682 | Reviews: 1,852 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Bierguy5


3.85/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a medium to dark brown liquid with a beige foamy head. Try as I might, I could not even manage 1 finger of head. The small amount head that was present, disappeared rather quickly. There is very little lace on the sides of the glass. Ok, not impressive so far. Smells of toasted, almost a roasted malt. Taste is very nice, slightly buttery but a nice toasted malt flavor, with a dry subtle amount of hops. This is a good tasting brew. Mouthfeel was medium, which is nice. A bit higher in alcohol which is slightly noticable. I could drink several of these. Another solid brew from DFH. It can sometimes be hard to get excited about a brown ale, but this is one worth trying.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2004 01:28:11 | More by Bierguy5
Photo of jahred


3.2/5  rDev -22%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Tried this at the Feb. Goose Island "Beer Academy."

Pours a dark brownish red color with a small-sized white head. There's an odd, bitter vinegary scent that I can't quite place. The taste initially is bitter, chalky and stout-like. I definitely couldn't find any sweetness in this beer. There's also a very slight hint of coffee and/or espresso flavors.

The alcohol makes its presence known right away, but otherwise there are no dominating or exciting flavors in this beer, which was kind of disappointing (I was expecting more from DFH).

Serving type: bottle

02-29-2004 16:46:54 | More by jahred
Photo of BierReise


3.35/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Finally DFH is available in Florida! This one poured a deep mahogany brown with a fairly good size head that has some staying power. Aroma is a nutty malty one with a slight roastiness and a bit of yeast as well. Body is medium and very smooth. Flavor is lacking a bit. Some roasted malt but no sign of brown sugar detected. Alcohol is well masked. A tad too bitter also. Overall a fair brew yet not something I'd drink on a regular basis.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2004 12:34:41 | More by BierReise
Photo of Rastacouere

Quebec (Canada)

3.3/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Here's a brown ale that doesn't particularly impress me. Appearance is medium with a sticky head that is thin as a film from the beginning, not quite what I look for in a beer of this type. Aroma is hops and chocolate. The taste is very malty, quite chocolate and toffee sweet, but plenty of balancing hop character keeps it off being cloying. 7.2% ABV is to be found nowhere. The medium body is pretty good and fitting as well. Still, I must say I'd have prefered a more intense aroma. I also found it less and less interesting after each sip, perhaps the balance is not so good after all. It remains stylish and original like any Dogfish, but it's definitely not one of their best. Thank you Egajdzis

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2004 19:57:36 | More by Rastacouere
Photo of UnionMade


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

The beer is a deep, dark, nutty brown, topped with a thick bone white froth. Great head retention, keeping more or less steady through the entire 23oz mug, leaving a think film of belgian lace all the way through. Very impressive. Good clarity, with just a touch of a chill haze. Some bubbles meander their way up, slow and lazy-like.
The aroma is very odd. I'm not sure if I've smelled anything like this before. Perhaps Ipswich's Dark Ale comes close. Smoothly blended aromas, with moderate biscuit and chocolatey malt balanced by an impressively aggressive hopping. Earthy, with a slightly citric aroma. Some british varieties? A bit of apple and pear fruitiness wafts up, along with a vague brown ale nuttiness, adding to the complexity. Distinctly british feeling, with an american twist. Brown ale for hop heads?
The flavor starts with a pleasant chocolate malt, mildly roasty with some caramel sweetness. A hint of coffee flavor, with light floral and apple esters settling on the top of the tongue, adding a pleasant fruity sweetness. Bold hopping takes up the finish, slightly oily and grapefruity, with plenty of citric and herbal flavor. A bit of earthy hopping is accentuated by malty brown ale nuttiness. The chocolate malt flavor continues through, standing up against the hops to present some malt in the finish. Some grapefruity hops and a bit of roasty malt washes into the aftertaste. Impressively smooth, despite the strong hopping. Definitely easy drinking, with no alcohol presence that I could perceive. Medium bodied, with mellow carbonation and a pleasantly smooth mouthfeel.
I had no idea what I was getting into when I ordered this, and it certainly snuck up on me after 46 ounces. A mix of brown ale and IPA? Who'da thunk.

Serving type: on-tap

02-15-2004 06:47:37 | More by UnionMade
Photo of necoadam


4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dogfish Heads' label for some reason feels like it's on resume paper. Hey, at least they tell you what's in it right? Well anyway, this beer poured out a deep brown color with a nice head that went away quickly. In a way, it almost looks like a light porter. Smell consists of hops at first and some bitter chocolate. Taste is really nice. Some hops hit you at first then some caramel and bitter chocolate finishes the brew. Even some roasted flavors filter in the aftertaste. Gotta becareful with this brew, 7.2% is to laugh at and could probably down a few of these, but it might get to you. A very solid brew from Dogfish Head. Go get a few of these.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2004 01:27:10 | More by necoadam
Photo of ngandhi


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

This one's a tear-jerker. The 50 IBUs come off as more intense than they actually are and I don't know if that's because they are or because you wouldn't expect so much bitterness in a brown ale. The Liberty and Goldings contribute an aggressive but very clean bittering that goes well with the malt and added sugars.

This is a pale ale with dark malts added to it (instead of a hoppy dark beer) on the palette, a robust brown ale on the mouthfeel, and a clean British mild on the nose. Though quite complex, the alcohol shines through a little too loudly on this beer and lends a metallic note to the nose and palette. The flavors fail to develop into anything past the alcohols, but the rich cocoa, molasses, and British hops up front are gorgeous. Muted yeast on the finish.

Characteristically a brown ale and a pale at the same time, Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale leaves me with but one recurring thought in my head:

"Damn it feels good to be a gangsta . . ."

Relax, relax.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2004 01:14:24 | More by ngandhi
Photo of Lupe

New York

4.38/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep brown in color with a thin beige head that leaves some lacing. Roasted chocolate aroma with some floral hops. Creamy and smooth on the tounge with light carbonation. Flavor is of bittersweet chocolate, brown sugar, and rounds out with a sharp hop kick. Much better then the usual bland browns. Alcohol hides itself well but warms the belly a bit toward the end. A very different, and tasty brown ale.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2004 22:26:12 | More by Lupe
Photo of GreatPondBrewer


3.63/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

$5 pitchers at MacGregor's. Poured a deep brown hue with garnet splashes towards the bottom. There were huge notes of bannana and clove which was a very odd surprise. The taste had more subdued notes of this with a more smokey, oaky notes and dry fruits and a more substantial espresso profile. The hops could be detected only in the good burp afterwards. The alcohol was easier to detect in the nose than in the taste. Except for the more complex profile of an ale yeast this beer reminded me of a decent doppelbock. Very odd, but it gets high drinkability ratings because it is so cheap.

Serving type: on-tap

01-23-2004 17:56:59 | More by GreatPondBrewer
Photo of GreenWBush


3.35/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle, $1.79. Singled out at #1 Big Red Liquors in Bloomington, Indiana.

This beer pours out a classic English brown-ale brown and has a small 1/8" dirty white head. There is a mildly hoppy nose here, but more than hops I am encountered by maple syrup, carmel, and roasted malts.

This beer tastes like a well-balanced brown ale taken up in scale about 25%. It isn't overwhelmingly hoppy or malty, but has an "averagely large" profile. I am amazed by the magically-hidden ABV. Still, it isn't anything impressinging coming from the shockers at Dogfish Head.

I also couldn't shake a strange garbage-water flavor somewhere in there. This beer also has a watery mouthfeel that left me bummed.

This one is decent but unspectacular. If you love brown ales, it is a must try. If you are a huge-beer fan, or love Dogfish Head's over-the-top nature, you'll probably like this one. But it ain't world-shaking.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2004 04:24:05 | More by GreenWBush
Photo of longpondbeerman


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

A very pretty pour. The color is deep amber with a touch a red and a very thin light head. The malts are most noticeable in the aroma, but I can smell the hops lurking around back there. I swear they tossed in some coffee and chocolate for good measure. Let me taste. They did. This is like a light porter, with a touch of smoky nuts and some espresso. It takes a while for the hops to become evident; they are definately in the background. Very balanced mouthfeel. A good choice.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2004 23:34:24 | More by longpondbeerman
Photo of WesWes

New York

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

The beer pours a deep brown color with a thick tan head. The aroma is of sweet crystal malts and roasted barley. The taste is good. It has a decent amount of flavoring hops which balances nicely with the crystal malts and brown sugar. The mouthfeel is good. It is a full bodied brown ale with adequate carbonation. This is one of the best brown ales going.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2003 19:24:23 | More by WesWes
Photo of dmarch


3.58/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark chestnut in appearance with a thin white lace. Aroma is of molassass and caramel. The taste is a bit chocolatey with the same caramel and molassass flavors. Hops are apparent, but very mild. Not a bad brown ale, but isn't as interesting as some of dogfish head's other beers.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2003 22:01:53 | More by dmarch
Photo of Boilermaker88


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

Thanks to frank4sail who sent this 12oz. bottle to me as part of our holiday beer exchange. Indian Brown Ale had a clear, dark chocolate brown color and a frothy ¾” beige head that quickly dwindled to a bubbly skim and left virtually no lace.
This brew has a hefty malt nose, with a touch of caramelized sugar, some aromatic hops and a hint of alcohol. It started with a big malt presence; lots of roasted malt. Backing the malts were flavors of dark fruit and brown sugar. As it hit the back of the tongue, a spicy hops bite rose up and a light alcohol taste coated the palate as the beer went down. The hops were nicely assertive and complemented the robust malt taste. The feel was medium-bodied, smooth and dry.
Indian Brown Ale certainly packs a strong and diverse flavor profile, each doing its part to blend well with the other. There’s no animosity between the malt and hops here, just a nice balance as I’ve come to expect from DFH. Worth a try if you can get it.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2003 18:21:21 | More by Boilermaker88
Photo of DagFishHead

New York

4.38/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Clear, but very deep brown body with mahogany highlights. Large, tan espresso milkshake head with generous lace.
Smell: Sweet and toasted malts, molasses, earthy and cocoa notes and a whiff of alcohol.
Taste: Sweet roasted malt and ripe stone fruits at the start, full and lightly carbonated at the top. Bitter hops, burnt spice, and a grain huskiness dries the finish. A brown on the sweeter side, not to mention a nice alcohol glow.
Mouthfeel: Full bodied (almost chewy for a brown), lightly carbonated and warming.
Drinkability: A nice brown with the characteristic DFH ABV kick. Could do a couple of these easily.

Serving type: on-tap

12-19-2003 03:29:56 | More by DagFishHead
Photo of RoyalT


3.7/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – Very dark in color with a beautiful reddish hue. The head was awesome as it foamed up nicely and dropped slowly down to “shallow pond” level. This big 7.2 ABV Brown Ale left a film on the inside of my glass, too.

Smell – This smells like a stout. The big coffee and chocolate aroma is laced with brown sugar, roasted malts, and a bit of caramel.

Taste – Again, the giant coffee and chocolate tastes dominate. There’s a nice hop balance in there as well.

Mouthfeel – Quite creamy and smooth for such a big ale. It’s on the fuller side of medium-bodied and hides the high ABV well.

Drinkability – I don’t know if I’d call it a Brown Ale, but this was good and went down nicely.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2003 02:26:36 | More by RoyalT
Photo of AtLagerHeads


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

A dark bronze look is topped by a decent white head. Plenty of lacing, bt not very sticky on the glass. The nose is full of caramel malt and there also lots of hop notes. The flavor is sweet, but balanced by the nice hops. The feel is medium and gives a nice creamy finish. Good drinkability.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2003 01:54:52 | More by AtLagerHeads
Photo of Naerhu


3.45/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Black, cola color, tan head
oily cofe aroma, slightly charred wood.
roasted barley tea, light body, dark mellow sweet bread.
light bittersweet chocolate and espresso, but less intense.
Dry with a touch of brown sugar.

This would be great with food, but does not stand on its own.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2003 09:15:59 | More by Naerhu
Photo of winomark


2.85/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Medium to darkish brown with a small, bone-white head.

Aroma: Lots of malt; sweet and toasty. Slight hop spiciness.

Taste: Sweet malt, with a slight sugar sweetness. Hop flavors present in the finish. Interesting.

Mouthfeel: Somewhat light due to ample carbonation. Quite light and unimpressive finish.

Drinkability: Lacking the character of a DFH brew, IMO. Somewhat bland. Try other DFH offerings before this one.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2003 15:40:52 | More by winomark
Photo of RockyTopHeel

North Carolina

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

Poured a dark, warm chestnut brown with a thin, foamy beige head that laces the glass nicely. Pungeant aroma is a bit nutty, a bit hoppy, and very pleasant. Wow--first taste reveals a complex, brilliant brew. DFH somehow managed to combine malty, rich, nutty depth with a clean, hoppy finish and a dry, espresso beans and bitter chocolate aftertaste, all with a touch of soft brown sugar sweetness throughout.

I don't know how they did it, but I'm awfully impressed. Great stuff.

Spoils of the 10/11/03 Knoxville Raid.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2003 02:57:38 | More by RockyTopHeel
Photo of dweideman

New Hampshire

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

On Tap at Anam Cara 11/4/03

Frothy off-white head with decent lacing that dimished quickly. Luckily, the candle in front of me allowed the red-black hue to be revealed. Light malt and hop aroma combined with toasted/roasted toffee/butter. Initial flavor was lightly sweet and moderate-heavy bittet with a toasted/roasted coffee hopped finish. Medium body with lively carbonation.

Serving type: on-tap

11-05-2003 05:08:17 | More by dweideman
Photo of AudioGilz


4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Very dark brown in color, almost porterlike. I can't get much of an aroma, but that's just my horrible nose. I sense some caramel malts and that's about it. Very smooth on the palate....malts take over immediately, buttery and nutty...it's wonderful. And to top off the awesome sweetness is a crisp hoppy finish. Not a hint of 7.2% alcohol is to be sensed. One heluva brown ale here. I can only take so much of the sweet malts though, so drinkability limits this to a "one or two" type of beer. Not a bad thing to me, but definitely not a beer to be used for a full session.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2003 01:28:20 | More by AudioGilz
Photo of Gusler


4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep, I mean when I say deep boy, I mean deep brown color on the pour with a full sized tan head and oodles of fine lace to seal off the glass. Nut like sweet malt nose, crisp and clean a treat to be sure with the start malt sweet and the top middling in feel. Finish has a prickly acidity, the hops mighty in their spiciness, dry and lingering somewhat bitter aftertaste, and a real fine example of a brown ale in my book.

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2003 17:26:51 | More by Gusler
Photo of drewbage


3.43/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dampled from a 12oz bottle at the Falcons Christmas in July Tasting.

Deep dark brown brown with minimal head and a slight cloudiness.

Aroma starts with a sweet desert apple and deep dusty malt with a strong nutty component to the end of the aroma.

Flavor is a sandy and dusty brown malt followed by a sharp hop hop bite that rises as the malt fades into the background.

Finish is surprisngly sour lending the final impression of the beer to be close to that of of a Oud Bruin.

Serving type: bottle

10-25-2003 08:22:23 | More by drewbage
Photo of KingSpank

New Jersey

4.43/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I kind of see this beer as a Storm King light, and I mean that in all the best ways. This brown ale is very rich with many of the espresso and floral flavors that Storm King provides, but at the same time it is a bit frostier and it doesn't overwhelm you with its heaviness as its ability to make you feel full as Storm King does. All in all, Dogfish Head's Indian Brown Ale is an excellent strong ale, and as good as any other ale I've had. All in all, an excellent, rich, complex and very drinkable beer.

Serving type: on-tap

10-25-2003 07:21:09 | More by KingSpank
Indian Brown Ale from Dogfish Head Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 4,682 ratings.