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Indian Brown Ale - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Indian Brown AleIndian Brown Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

5,398 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,398
Reviews: 1,931
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 10.98%
Wants: 267
Gots: 690 | 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: 5,398 | Reviews: 1,931 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TubaManJack
3.26/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A/S- Beautiful Reddish Brown Hue. Carbonation quickly dissipated as well as the head. Coffee Notes in the smell.

M/D- The moderately high alcohol blends in well with the full body of the Ale. However it has a bitter black coffee taste before the hops begins to take hold.

In summary, its like a Chuck Norris roundhouse kick to the face.

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

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle that I got as part of a mix-pack from Total Wine.

Very dark brown - almost can't see through it at all, with a monstrous head that just won't die. Smells of coffee and malt.

Initial taste is sticky sweet, then the longer time passes the more coffee aftertaste comes out. Malty, but not very hoppy.

Carbonation is on the light side, but it's so dark I don't know that I'd want to drink more than 1 - I'm not a huge coffee fan.

Photo of Bugsey
4.32/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Refreshing and full flavored, kind of like a "lite" stout.

Smell and taste of coffee with a bit of dark chocolate. A hint of carmel. Maybe something more imposing, like burned bread. Strong tastes but in a fascinating respect.

Carbonization is moderate and the alcohol is muted, not warming, not medicinal.

Enjoyable, but I don't think I'll drink two in a row.

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

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle that I picked up as a single at my local beer store. It's over a year and a half old, bottled on 03/12/07. Not sure how well this one holds up, but we shall see.

Appears a dark brown, sort of reddish orange when held up to the light. One inch pillowy tan head that refuses to recede. Leaves nice lacing on the side of the glass.

Aroma is brown sugary sweet up front with some light spicy tones and a bit of molasses.

Taste begins with some sweetness and a bit of dark fruit, raisins seem to stick out. It finishes with some spicy hop flavors and a very slight residual sweetness.

Mouthfeel is medium, easy drinking for the relatively high ABV.

Well at this age it is still pretty damn good. Wish I had a fresh one to compare but I haven't seen it around in ages. It's been almost a year since I had this stuff and I remember it being sweeter, but who knows since my palate wasn't really well trained and I was still drinking directly from the bottle.

Photo of champ103
3.66/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a dark brown, almost black color. A small tan head forms, but leaves some nice sticky lace.
S: At fist some black licorice, but that gives way to some roasted malt, coffee, and chocolate.
T: No black licorice, but tons of coffee and a hint of chocolate. A tasty and malty beer, though not a lot of depth.
M/D: A medium body with a crisp snap of carbonation. That gives way to a nice creaminess. The high ABV shows for the style. This is not a session beer for me.

A decent brown ale, and very unique. Dogfish Head does some nice things. This is one of them. Though it is not my favorite of the style. Though this is something I would recommend if you want something different.

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

12oz Bottle
Brewery- Dogfish Head
Beer -Name Indian Brown Ale
Style- American Brown Ale

Look- Color is dark brown with dark amber hue. Creamy light mocha head that stays. Lacing all the way down the glass this brewery seem to have that down to a science.

Smell- Dark roasted malt, sweet, and estery with a hint of coffee. Reminds me of bitter chocolate.

Taste- Full mouth feel is smooth almost creamy. Sweet slight alcohol taste with roasted caramel flavors balanced nicely by hops for the perfect bitterness. This is a big complex bier that I can't wait to drink again.

Photo of jwinship83
4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- dark brown with a modest sized head with minimal lacing.

S- sweet toffee and caramelly malt with a nice bit of hops.

T-the sweet malt flavors i can smell with a bitter hop aftertaste is wonderful.

M- medium feel with good carbonation. smooth as well

D- a great brown ale. i couldnt decide if i wanted to drink a brown, or an IPA. this one gave me both. very easy to drink several. recommended.

Photo of johnd513
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours dark brown with a nice offwhite head that quickly disappears and leaves some nice lacing on the glass. The smell is sweet, chocolate and malts. The taste is nicely balanced with chocolate and malts, the higher alcohol content is well hidden. The mouthfeel is medium/heavy body and a little syrupy. Drinkability is hindered a bit by the higher abv and syrupy taste. Overall an exellent beer that I will purchase again.

Photo of pinotboy007
3.83/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Dark brown, nearly opaque with a nice fluffy head and some modest lace.

S - Molasses, leather, hops.

T - Molasses, espresso, leather and a nice hop swing. Delicious!

M - Looks denser than it feels which means the mouthfeel is complex and soft, but has a refreshing component to it that's quite enjoyable.

D - Good for year 'round consumption and would be tasty with grilled ribs, burgers or on its own.

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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tumbler glass.

Appearance: The beer poured a dark brown-black. It had a big head that was brownish-white in color. It looked more like a porter than a brown ale.

Smell: It had the smell of sweet chocolatey malts and hops.

Taste: The beer tasted of coffee, toffee, and chocolate. The hops weren't as strong as I was expecting from a beer with "India" in the name of it.

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

Not your standard mild brown ale. This one pours a dark brown with a large amount of ruby highlights when held to the light. Medium size cream color head with good retention.

Good aroma. Some chocolate, some malt.

Taste is very good. Rich chocolate and malts, I detected some dark fruit taste as well. The finish is dramatic with some alcohol and hops bitterness.

Mouthfeel is very rich. Drinkability is good for a beer of this abv level.

This is a very drinkable beer. Good bold taste and rich mouthfeel. The abv is the only limiting factor. A nice Brown Ale (or Imperial Porter)

Photo of GatorBeerNerd
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz single purchased at Total Wine in Kennesaw and poured into a standard pint glass

A: Pours a beautiful garnet red tinted dark brown with an inch thick frothy tan head. It has relatively good head retention and decent lacing. If these were slightly better I would have given it a 5 here. A beautiful beer.

S: A nutty chocolate coffee aroma is very pleasing to the nose. An extremely rich aroma that is seen more often in stouts than in browns. Another pleasing aspect of this beer. I would have liked a bit more malt aroma though.

T: The taste follows the nose closely. There is a bit of sweetness from the malt and hints of molasses and caramel that helps balance the bitterness of the coffee and chocolate.

M: A medium thickness in body. The carbonation made it have a creamy mouthfeel.

D: The bitterness drops the drinkability of this one for me.

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

Dark cloudy brown color. Pours a thick tan head. Smells of crazy malts. Tastes like coffee, lots of coffee. Huge caramel flavor, and a nice blend of malts brings it together. It finishes with a small hop spice but is smoothed out and doesn't do any harm. A nice thick smooth brown ale that goes down easy and leaves you wanting more. Try it.

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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A - Nearly opaque brown with garnet highlights. A finger or two of light brown head rises with decent retention. Decent lacing.

S - A lot of chocolate and nutty aromas with a touch of coffee. Herbal, grassy/piney hops come through as well.

T - The chocolate coffee flavor hits initially with a moderate sweetness. Brew begins to dry out with some bitter roasted malt character and segues into a decent bit of herbal/grassy hop flavor. Finish is burnt bread and hops.

M - Moderate to high carbonation with medium to full bodied mouthfeel. The carbonation was off for me, I could've used a bit less with such intense flavors.

D - Decent enough, but not quite what I'm looking for. A quality brew for sure, but the sweetness is overrun by roasted malt and the hops don't mesh as well with the brown ale flavors as I would prefer. A good beer nonetheless.

Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
4.65/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

What a great example of the potential of Dogfish to mutate a brown ale

A- Deep brown with a nice 2-finger head and some decent lacing. More opaque than most brown ales

S- Smells like roasted chocolate malts with a decent punch of hops, yeast, and alcohol all blending to make a smell that screams beer

T- Taste is impressive. Covers the 7.2%abv pretty well but sometimes alcohol is present in a medicinal quality. Other than the alcohol taste, the flavor of roasted malts and hops really shine through in this beer. A great balance and just about the perfect balance for my palate.

M- Feels medium-heavy bodied and slightly syrupy but still very refreshing

D- Way easy to get drunk. I can drink these without food and be pleased

Photo of toweringpoo
4.32/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep dark chocolate brown, lots of big bubbled carbonation and quickly disappating head. Kinda reminded of of root beer. Dry roasted malts, coffee and chocolate on the nose. Hints of hops manage to make themselves known of the malt bonanza. Taste is all malt up front, all bitter hops on the back end. Mostly resin and piney hop flavors are present and they don't coat the mouth so much. They mingle for a while with the roasted malt which is really pleasant. A beer to savor.
Mouthfeel is surprisingly light and refreshing in a way. Drinkability is is good, however lots of big flavors and relatively high alc. content make this less than suitable for a session.

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

Always a staple, the Indian Brown Ale pours a dark brown with a nice light brown head that retains well. Smells of sweet roastiness, coffee, caramel, grassy hops, earthiness. Taste follows suit with more roasty flavors, coffee, molasses, balanced out with grassy hops, and good hop bitterness in the finish. Very earthy beer. Mouthfeel has a good body, lots of carbonation, and a moderately dry yet crisp finish. Highly drinkable but will kick your ass if you dont watch out.

Photo of gabeerfan
4.32/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark mahogany brown with reddish-brown highlights and a nice tan head than never fully went away.
Aromas of dark chocolate, coffee, caramel/molasses, dried dark fruits and hints of grassy hops.
Flavors mirror the aroma pretty closely but the coffee flavor seems to come through more. Lots of good sweetness in the caramel/molasses and dark fruits to balance the bitter coffee and dark chocolate.
Somewhat thick mouthfeel. Carbonation almost felt like a nitro beer. Very creamy.
Quite drinkable. The flavors are strong, but pleasant enough to have another one of these.
Very good beer. I wanted to have this side by side with Terrapin's IBA, but it wasn't available at that bar.

Photo of mullenite
3.89/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

(Reviewed 9/5/08 from a 6-pack that was bottled 11/29/07)

Poured a deep mahogany brown with a very thin tan head that dissipated to a ring quickly but leaves an ok lacing.

Smells nutty with a little chocolate and coffee mixed in.

Initial taste is a mix of a dark chocolate like bitterness and alcohol. Finishes with those same tastes plus the coffee that appeared in the nose.

Mouthfeel is excellent, medium bodies with just the right amount of carbonation to clean the mouth. Aftertaste is not dissimilar to a good quality dark chocolate.

Drinkability suffers a little from the bittersweet taste, I could drink 1 or 2 easily but more than that and I start to get afraid of a stomach ache (just like eating too much candy.)

Photo of nrbw23
4.12/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a dark reddish brown color not too much head here just a nice thin layer of tannish colored bubbles.

S- Very nice here molasses, coffee, raisins and chocolate.

T- A slight bitterness balances out the overall sweetness. This beer followed the nose really well.

M- Medium in body and very smooth.

D- I really enjoyed this one. Pretty interesting combo of several styles of brew.

Photo of bv74550p
3.86/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a regular pint glass. I love this brewery, so I expected nothing less than awesome.

Strong malty smell with a very dark color. There is a very strong taste which leads to the prjected abv. The best thing about this beer is the smells.

Not a great session beer in my mind due to its very dark and chewy character. I do like this beer a lot, just not my favorite brown ale.

Photo of TexIndy
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle (best by date on neck) into a pint glass. It was a deep dark brown with reddish highlights. It had a thick tan head that slowly settled into a foam and collar. Good lacing and some carb.

The aroma was sweet malt with roasted undertones. Good caramel smell as well. Pretty good for a brown as I tend to like spicier aromas better. The taste was also really good. Good roasted taste with a pleasing aftertaste. Nice malt bite. The high ABV doesn't show up which is a bonus.

Overall, a really solid beer from DFH. I find most of their beers to be overhyped but this one lives up to it. Highly recommend. Could see getting this even once in awhile as a good change-up or on tap if I can find it.

Photo of adamette
3.71/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured from standard sized brown bottle (just like the one pictured here at BA) into a clear glass.

A 1 to 2 finger light brown head made up of small bubbles, dissipated slowly over 2 to 3 minutes. Body is a deep crimson, red.

S Like Dark, Dark chocolate, heavy, full smell. Very inviting. Reminds me of a porter or stout as far as the smell. Intriguing. I smelled it several times indeed.

T Strong, full taste, reminded even more about porters or stouts that I have had.

M Grainy, residue like mouthfeel. Certainly very full.

D Fair since it is heavy, full like a porter. A good session beer, could only have about 2 of these.

Notes: I am suprised. Based on the title of the beer alone I thought that it would either be a moderate brown ale or possibly even have a hoppy taste. It really just tastes like a porter or stout. A good porter, or stout, though.

Photo of EddieSTL
4.28/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A= Deep reddish brown, slightly tan head w/ good retention.

S= Deep caramel, malt; no hops - which I expected some

T = deep caramel/molasses soft malt with some roasty-ness; some hop flavor w/ smooth, moderate bitterness lingers;

M= Very good, full body

D= Good. A little high in ABV, and heavy mouthfeel.

Photo of changeup45
3.58/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

7/28/2005. Something I've been thinking about trying for a while, finally bought a sixer. Pours a deep amber color with a moderate tan head and a decent amount of lacing. The aroma is smoky, malty, nutty but nothing too exciting. This is a very drinkable beer. Slightly sweet with a roasted malt flavor and some coffee. Very little bitterness. I'm not really sure why they call it "India" and advertise it as "hoppy" because I really didn't taste a whole lot of hops. Still it's a solid beer and they hide the 7.2% abv quite well.

Indian Brown Ale from Dogfish Head Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 5,398 ratings.