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Indian Brown Ale - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Indian Brown AleIndian Brown Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

5,392 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,392
Reviews: 1,929
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 10.98%
Wants: 267
Gots: 686 | 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: 5,392 | Reviews: 1,929 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bluemoonswoon
3.97/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a nonic pint glass, no freshness date.

A: Deep and dark mahogany amber with a one inch tannish brown head and no lacing whatsoever.

S: Pretty good malty caramel and cane sugar with hints of pepper and nuts.

T/MF: Malts come first of course, bready and sweet with a dark fruitiness coming in as the beer warms in the mouth for bit. The swallow is followed by a very active hop bitterness that leaves the tongue prickly and rather dry.

D: A great beer for a cold autum day in november, a nice well balanced beer and I'd grab it again if it were only a bit cheaper, not a bad choice for a brown ale though.

Photo of maurag10
3.82/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours great with a nice head. Taste has a hint of carmel and is long-lasting, a little dry. Has a nice dark brown look with a perfect creamy head. Fairly smooth, but has some bubbly feel and also a slight sweetness in the beginning. Strong smelling and overall nice full beer perfect for a nice dinner especially chicken.

Photo of stagman
3.76/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark mahogany, looks like Coke, and it's a bit bubbly but the head fades away over time. There's a deep nutty aroma but also hints of caramel and chocolate.

There's lots of carbonation that first hits the tongue, and it's malty & full of flavor. The hops are almost subdued. It tastes like a mixture of roasted malt with citric hops, and you don't have to look for either. Great brew. Better than most brown ales.

Photo of AMURPHY524
4.47/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured into a pint glass. My first reaction was to the aroma, I didn't even have to have it close to my nose smell it. aroma of brown sugar, caramel and bread. The appearance was pretty dark for a brown ale, more the color of a porter. Mouthfeel was more fizzy then I expected in a brown ale, but in a good way, very full bodied. at a little more then 7% abv, it was very drinkable, and I couldn't taste an obvious alcahol sting. Definately could drink this all evening. my second favorite offering from Dogfish Head, first being the chicory stout.

Photo of BeerLover729
3.62/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer is dark brown with a small head that maintains in my wide mouth goblet although thats probobaly not what I should be drinkng it out of. The smell is of toasty biscuits so much that it overpowers anything else but spikes my curiosity. The taste presents the maltyness of the 2-row english barley, used for the 90 minute, followed by a strongly toasted, roasted flavor with a hop bitterness and nutty ale finish. The mouthfeel is medium to heavy, but delightful with crispness from the brown sugar, the toasty maltyness and a medium to sharp carbonation. This beer is definately drinkable but the intense toastyness is overpowering at times. Good beer.

This beer is a blend of a scotch ale and a brown ale never released by Dogfish Head and the 90 minute IPA. I was informed of this at a Dogfish Head tasteing on Long Island at the Kitchen a Bistro. It's definately interesting.

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

12oz. bottle into Troegs Hopback specialty glass on 12/13/07. No date on bottle.

A - Very dense dark brown, almost black, body with some deep ruby hues if you look closely eough. Half-finger beige head shrunk almost immediately and left virtually no lacing. Some tiny bubble in the background.

S - Toasted barley aroma mixed with some grainy malt and sweet caramel. Light earthy hop aroma, but nothing overwhelming. Smells quite balanced.

T - Big malt presence with some tasty noble hop bitterness. Sweetness is reminiscent of molasses, caramel and brown sugar. Sweet and malty taste with a moderate hop profile and toasted barley flavor that all come together in this well-balanced brew. Alcohol (7.2% ABV) is well-hidden.

M - Full body with creamy texture and soft carbonation. Nice, lingering bitterness on the tongue. Pretty dry finish.

D - This is an excellent offering from DFH. I really enjoy dark beers that are hoppy, and this is a great example of a complex brown ale with sweetness, hops and malts that all come together perfectly. Very drinkable indeed. One of my favorite brews from DFH.

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

12-oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

A = Dark brown oak color, very small head which quickly dissipated.

S = Bitter coffee, chocolate.

T = Lots of chocolate, oak, bitters, roasted mate tea. Bitter, long finish.

M = Relatively thin body, good foamy carbonation, coats mouth well for a long finish.

D = Not sure I would want two of these in a sitting, but a nice way to relax and wrap up the day.

Photo of SargeC
4.52/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark brown with red notes. Hearty, tan head.

Smell: Very aromatic brew. Intense malt, sherry and alcohol.

Taste: Sweet and smoky malt fight for position. Compacted fruit flavors and the power of hops balance the malt. Hints of molasses and alcohol finish the flavor.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Good hop dryness counteracts the sweetness the malt provides. Oily finish.

Drinkability: Well crafted brew. Excellent and complex taste.

Photo of jdg204
4.6/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

After a few tastings of DFH down at their home in Rehoboth, I decided it was time to get a 6'r and try some of the legandary ale. I chose this wonderful brown ale and was not disappointed.

Appearance - Dark, dark mahogany color with a creamy mocha colored head that stayed around for most of the drink.

Smell - Wonderful sweet, mocha aroma; love the roasted/ camamelized balance.

Taste - Amazing! This brew has some strength, but the balance between the roasted malts, the carmalized sugars, and the hoppy undertone is so unique for a brown!

Mouthfeel - All the flavors mix so well together and leave a wonderful aftertaste. Nice sipping beer which goes down incredibely smooth for a beer this big.

Drinkability - Honestly, I'm not a huge brown ale fan, usually find the roasted flavors overwhelm, but this was not the case here. This beer was amazing, the balance was incredible and as the name says it was like an IPA/Brown Ale mixture. An incredibely creative brew and one that is always welcome in my mini-fridge. Officially a DFH fan and very excited for more!

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

This beer poured a dark brown with a slight tan head. It smells a little malty with hints of caramel and chocolate. The taste starts off pleasantly sweet with brown sugar, caramel, and chocolate and finishes with a layer of hops that is a little piney and spicy. The mouthfeel is very crisp and refreshing, and I would consider this beer to fairly drinkable, even though I couldn't imagine having more than a couple.

Photo of spiffysamurai
4.35/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a 22oz Liberal Cup

A: The beer came out in a dark brown almost black. The beer was a very asthetic brown ale.

S: The beer smelled of strong brown sugar. There was a little carmelized but dominated by the brown sugar.

T: The beer tasted a little bit of brown sugar but the hops were what standed out and were perfect.

M: The mouthfeel was nice. IT was not the best I have ever had, but it was nice.

D: For 7.2% ABV, the beer went down easy. Though it is not beer that one can just drink in a quick sit down. This is the perfect beer for sitting down, chilling and shooting the old times.

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

A 12 oz. bottle poured into a 16 oz. pint glass.

Appearance: Poured a deep opaque brown with ruby highlights around the edges. A one finger tan head faded fairly quickly.

Smell: Sweet malt and caramel with a touch of chocolate with a hop presence as a sweet earthiness, perhaps a touch resiny.

Taste: Strong coffee flavours dominate, roasted coffee even, with strong malt and hop flavours perfectly balanced. Taste is almost stoutlike to me with a somewhat bitter aftertaste and a medium alcohol warmth that doesn't overpower.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, silky smooth even, medium body and nice carbonation.

Drinkability: At 7.2 ABV probably not the greatest session beer but man does it go down smooth. I could easily down several of these and probably will as the oppurtunity presents itself. A very interesting and delicious brown with stoutlike qualities, as my wife says "Awesome!".

Photo of BradLikesBrew
4.24/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Obtained through a trade with Dertbert, thanks man.

"Bottled on 09/20/07"
12 oz brown bottle.

"A clean, well-hopped brown ale with aromatic barley, caramelized brown sugar, and whole-leaf Liberty & Golding hops."

a: Pours a dark brown with hints of red around the edges and a tan head.
Zero lacing.

s: Enticing aroma of chocolate, caramel, coffee and a hint of hops.

t: Sweet caramel, brown sugar, and chocolate reach the tongue first, but a nice layer of spicy hops provide the finish, giving this brown ale a unique balance.

m: Smooth, creamy and as the bottle says, "clean."

d: Love the chocolate/hops combo in this one, another unique offering from DFH.
My Tigers are #1 for the first time in 47 years and they're playing Oklahoma for the Big 12 Championship in 6 hours so this will likely be the first of many reviews today. This brew was a great start.

Photo of fitzy84
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at the Moan and Dove. The drink had a very dark appearance with a medium head. Aromas of caramel, small amounts of chocolate and little malt lifted from this beverage beautifully. The taste was great: a creamy, sweet drink in general. This ale had a low-medium body which made it thick but light-tasting in texture. Overall, this was a delicious brown ale from Dogfish Head.

Photo of Halcyondays
4.6/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12 oz. bottle, bought by my sister at AJ's Fine Foods, in Glendale, AZ,

A: Pours a dark brown, with a thick tan head, with good retention, not much lacing though.

S: Nice full smell of caramel malt, with a distinct French roast coffee smell, and a bit of floral hops, interesting.

T: Caramel malt and brown sugar/Rapadura hit the tongue first, which is then balanced by a spicy hop character, leaving a sense of grass on the tongue. Even though this isn't a porter or a stout, there is a distinct coffee element to this beer as well, very tasty, the malt flavours in this beer are just beautiful.

M: Full-bodied, smooth and creamy, a little bit of resin is carried on the tongue as the beer finishes as well.

D: This is a very good beer, possibly the best Brown Ale made in America, or the best that I have had. I wish I had another bottle of this, but I guess as Miles says in Sideways, I'll just have to live bottle to bottle, until Dogfish moves back to CA.

Edit - Had another bottle of this 8/1/10 in AZ, still as good as I remember it, my cousin raved as well.

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

A- Pours a reddish brown hue with a 1.5 finger light brown head which fades fairly quickly leaving little to no lacing.

S- Smell is faint but coffee is distinct as well as roasted barley, perhaps a bit of chocolate.

T- Taste is much hoppier than expected. Starts off with piney hops and ends with bitterness but also a deep roasted flavor.

M- A bit thick and sticky with quite a bit of carbonation.

D- Decent tasting but for a brown it’s definitely extremely hop forward and that coupled with the thickness lowers the drinkability in my book.

Photo of Beerbuddha
3.53/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a nice brown color with ruby highlights and a fluffy off white head. The smell was very sweet with hints of hop. The taste was also of malty sweetness with an iron taste to it. The mouthfeel was heavy with low carbonation. Overall drinkability was ok. The iron taste I'm not too fond of.

Photo of Metalmonk
4.26/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a thick tan head that lasts a long while. Color is a beautiful, glistening, ruby-hued deep brown. Plenty of lace left on the sides of the glass...one very good-looking beer.

Aroma brings up toffee, brown sugar, coffee grounds and sweet baking chocolate. As with most browns, it's too faint to wildly shake the nostrils. Just...kinda...decent.

Flavors are rich and round, animating what the nose picks up, also offering big dark fruits for even more flavor. As it warms, a light anise and burnt grain nuttiness arrive, sitting in the back but politely raising their hands for attention. Letting it warm a little also reveals a flare of alcohol warmth. Juicy hold in the mouth and a clean finish with more sweet baking chocolate coming through.

This comes real close to a porter in feel and flavor...whatever you call it, it's really good, superbly balanced on all fronts. If I'm going to go with a brown ale, I'd probably make it this one over the multitudes of ho-hum browns out there. Best American Brown Ever? Could Be.

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

A well hopped brown ale? Sounds interesting..

Pour is a dark brown with a 2 finger light tan head that recedes to a nice lacing.

Smells of molasses and caramel with some roasted notes.

Taste is altogether good for a brown ale. While often a very boring style in the US, this helps provide some substance to the style. Molasses and some breadiness in the flavor with a nice dose of hops after the initial sweetness. Roasted qualities. The flavors don't linger that long. I'm liking the use of hops here.

Mouthfeel has medium to full carbonation, ending pretty cleanly. Drinkability is good on this - despite being an over 7% brown.

Recommended. Nice to see some attention to a style that is often overlooked. Not the best beer around, but a good one overall.

Photo of ksbrainard
4.17/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep ruby red and caramel brown. It is clear as can be. The head is very thin, and exists only at the sides of the glass as the glass empties.

Smell: Immediately chocolate and caramel aromas hit me. Then my nose is flooded and I can't smell anything. As it warms, a more direct dark roasted malted grain smell is in there, like a bag of crushed specialty grains. I can't smell any hops.

Taste: The first impression is an assault of hops, alcohol, and dark malt. There are dark fruit-like flavors in there, but it is not overdone. I suspect a relatively restrained fermentation temperature, which is to its advantage. There is a nice balance of roast, fruit, alcohol, and hops. Even though this is not a Belgian, it is Belgian-esque in its sublime balance in all directions coupled with deep complexity. And it just gets more full and delicious as it warms up throughout the glass. The alcohol edge even softens as it warms. A bit of a smoked quality even emerges in the middle of the glass.

Mouthfeel: Full and rich all around, but not too sticky. It ends bitter from hops and alcohol, which dries it out a little, but not too much. Again, as it warms it gets softer, fuller, and more satisfying.

Drinkability: This is very enjoyable, but not a session beer. I can see pairing this with a big hearty beef stew, or maybe a spicy rack of ribs.

Photo of jsimon816
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on date 9/11/07. 2 months, 6 days at review.

A - deep brown with nice head that slowly dissipated

S - sweet caramel with strong malt character

T - rich and pleasant with a sweet roasted aftertaste

M - like most brown ales's, little to no carbonation

D - great beer to kickoff those crisp fall days. Alcohol content of 7.2% will definetly do the trick.

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

This bottle was a year and a half old.

a: This appears black unless held up to the light to reveal dark brown/ruby highlights. Pours witha half inch light tan head.

s: Malty dark chocolate dominates. Some hops are still noticeable, along with a hint of alcohol.

t: At a year and a half this beer drinks more like a stout. Very dry dark chocolate is dominant. The hops are almost completely gone. A relatively short time in the cellar changed this beer quite a bit. Not an improvement, but not a step back either.

m: Dry and sticky. The malts linger for quite a while.

d: 7.2? Really? This beer is dangerous.

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

Pours a clear chestnut brown/red, very thick beige head, nice lacing, settles to a thick layer, looks nice. Smell is neat, grainy malts, chocolate, toffee, bread, light roast/coffee, pine and floral hops, some fruit, very nice. Taste is great, mocha, toffee, some chocolate roast, bread, floral hops, strawberry finish, almost a lacto finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, low carbonation, some heat in the finish, very smooth though. Pretty good, I think I want to brew something kind of like this.

Photo of kimcgolf
3.25/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice chocolate brown with thin off-white head that lingers wewll and leaves okay lacing. Aroma is a sweet mix of caramel, toffee and roasted nuts, but the mouthfeel of this fairly thin bodied beer is somewhat watery. Flavor is a continuation of the sweet caramel and nuts, with a finish that is warming, but somewhat on the sweet and watery side for my liking.

Not a bad beer, but DFH makes better.

Photo of mdm4584
4.64/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up at AJ's in Scottsdale, AZ.

Roasted malts, coffee, dark chocolate, and a nutty complexity dominate the nose. Taste is top notch... coffee and chocolate linger.

The complexity and alcohol of the brew could exhaust the drinker. After a few I would go to something lighter.

Indian Brown Ale from Dogfish Head Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 5,392 ratings.