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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.

5,243 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,243
Reviews: 1,895
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 11.22%
Wants: 242
Gots: 556 | 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: 5,243 | Reviews: 1,895 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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....

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Photo of hckyfn9999
4.38/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown with some ruby and golden hues when held to light. A small off-white head is present and it lasts for a good while. There is also some lacing present in the glass.

Smell is pretty sweet. With some brown sugar, caramel, chocolate, roasted malt, alcohol, and hops all in there. Very pleasant smell.

Taste is sweet and nutty with brown sugar noticeable on the palate along with some roasted bitterness and caramel. Very good.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth with a great carbonation level.

A very drinkable beer despite the high alcohol level. I really dig this beer. I will definitely repeat my purchase even though I have to go out of my way to do so since DFH isn't available in St. Louis.

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

Pours a nice brown color, head is a bit light.

Smells are sweet... with a caramel like note to it.

Tastes a very good. Right along the line of what you'd expect from a well done brown ale. A lot of malty sweetness with a hint of a toasted quality.

Mouthfeel is well done, rounded and full.

This is a very drinkable brew. This could be an easy session beer for me, even with the 7.2% abv... I really enjoyed this one.

Another DFH courtesy of MuenchenerKindl.

Photo of gmfessen
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, beer is a very dark amber brown with a creamy one finger head. Smell is of darker toasted malt, almost chocolaty and slightly of hops. Taste is bitter throughout, with the sweet roasted notes coming out only ever-so-slightly. The alcohol is pretty apparent. The mouthfeel is full bodied with quite a bit of carbonation. Overall, this beer is pretty drinkable but I don't think I would go out of my way for another.

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

This smooth beer poured a dark brown with an inche of brown tinged head. The receding head left a nice lace around the glass. Stronger than usual hop aroma from a brown, sweet yet nutty taste with hints of chocolate malt. Tangy mouthfeel, starting sweet and ending bitter hop character comes out during aftertaste.

Photo of BeerBelcher
3.55/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I didn't examine the bottle closely, but from its name I figured this beer would be a very hoppy brown ale, and I was a bit mistaken in this expectation.

The beer poured a dark color with an abundant fluffy tan head. It definitely resembled a porter more to me than a brown ale, but was still a handsome thing to behold.

Odor was of caramel with some coffee notes, with just a whiff more hops than I would expect from a stout or porter.

Flavor mirrored aroma, as the product tasted very good with abundant caramel malt character and coffee taste notes, with some hops evident at the finish.

Mouthfeel was pleasant. Drinkability was not hugely high...I had a several beers prior to this one, and after this one my evening was over.

This product was very good, however given my previous experience with Dogfish Head beers, I expected something different, bolder, or more unusual. I thought this beer would be super-hoppy, and it wasn't. A fine beer, but not what I expected.

Photo of Sycodrummer
4.63/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from the 12oz. brown bottle into a shaker pint the beer was a dark brown color with ruby highlights near the edges. A big billowing two-finger tan head formed and retained very well. Thick rings of lace lined the entire glass.

The nose has a huge chocolate flavors with lots of sweet malt, carmel, and a pronounced toffee aroma. Freshly baked bread and dough come through nicely and some traces of brown sugar and molassess.

The innitial taste is semi-sweet malt with a stronge milk chocolate like flavors and a carmal sweetness in the finish. A toasted malt flavors adds some depth and body to the beer that is at first very malt dominated. Toasted bread and toffee and brown sugar flavors are all prominant. The hop character sneaks into the taste slightly and does not linging. A quick zip of bitterness on the back of the tounge and the taste finishes as malty as it began. A rounded creamy finish and hits of alcohol.

Medium body with moderate carbonation. Slightly creamy in the finish and slightly heavier as it warms.

A very enjoyable and drinkable beer. A unique malt, hop, malt sandwich of flavors. Very complex and slightly robust as the beer sits for a bit. I thought this almost boardered on a brown porter in terms of depth and toasted malt flavors.

Photo of Flashy
4.45/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Brown ale is probably my least favorite "real" beer. Always found them to be so middle of the road I would always think "why did I bother ordering this", chug it down and order something else.
Not DFH Indian Brown Ale brother. Poured from a tap, dark brown (my wife looked at it and said "I don't like stout").
Deep malt smell, no hops anywhere I can tell. Rich and smooth with just a bit of a bite. The thing that amazes me the most is the mouthfeel. which is present like I've rarely seen.
The alcohol content is a bit high for drinking on a night out, a little more kick in flavor and I would add this to my top ten of all time. As is I put it in my top 20.
Bartender another beer here!!!

Indian Brown Ale from Dogfish Head Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 5,243 ratings.