1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Indian Brown Ale - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Indian Brown AleIndian Brown Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

4,910 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,910
Reviews: 1,869
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 11.22%
Wants: 218
Gots: 435 | 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:
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:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Indian Brown Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,910 | Reviews: 1,869 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

AudioGilz, Oct 31, 2003
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.

Gusler, Oct 26, 2003
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.

drewbage, Oct 25, 2003
Photo of KingSpank
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.

KingSpank, Oct 25, 2003
Photo of silks636
3.88/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. brown bottle. Bottled on date notched on label.

Deep brown hue, reddish highlights. Thick beige head with tenacious retention. Aroma starts out surprisingly floral but evolves into a caramelized sugar and toasted malt scent. Hits the tongue with a wash of sweet malt, brown sugar, molasses, and chocolate. Delicate hops join in to keep them in check. Tastes warm into a more roasted malt flavor and leave you with a fantastic toasted bread and slightly fruity aftertaste. A few sips in and the alcohol esters seem to become more pronounced. Mouthfeel is smooth but substantial.

A high powered brown at 7.2%, this offering is an interesting take on the style. Probably one of my favorites from DFH.

silks636, Oct 03, 2003
Photo of Ianhockey91
3.9/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very interesting. Pours out a deep brown, almost stout like until held up to the light, which reveals a deep ruby red. Nice light tan head, sticks around for a minute or so, then leaves with almost no lace at all. The bottle mentions brown sugar being used, and this stuff is very noticable in the taste. A fairly sweet set of malts are balanced out well wiht a hop bite in the mid to end. A good beer altogether, much like a Sammy Smiths nutbrown ale but with less of a metallic twang to it.

Ianhockey91, Oct 02, 2003
Photo of cokes
4.28/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Shadow-draped auburn under a sandy khaki heading that moves slowly to the edges and stays there.
Chocolate, torched grain, and caramel nougat nose.
Begins roasty and nearly stout-like with its dry coffee expressions. Begins to sweeten, especially as it warms. The brown sugar DFH uses is very evident. Huge swells of it, in fact. Not overly sweet, however, as this maintains enough of a roasty, toasty parchedness to keep things on the even keel. The liberal Golding herbal bitterness helps too. More chocolate later on, with some dulce de leche flavorings to boot. Ends with the aforementioned Golding burst, with a minor grape/brandy alcohol flourish.
Full and feathered through the mouth and through the pipe. This is a brown ale taken to the next level. And not just because it is stronger.

cokes, Sep 22, 2003
Photo of mydeadguy
4.88/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours an auburn brown with a tinge of orange with virtually no head. Smell is a sweet earthy malt/hop balance. Taste is sweet and smoky sticking to the back of the palate, with virtually no hint of the (relatively high) alcohol content. mouthfeel is middle bodied, slightly oily with light carbonation very smooth going down. This highly drinkable brown ale is maybe the best of the best, and I am a huge fan of brown ales.

This past May my girlfriend and I visited DFH in DE, and, after sampling just about everthing on tap, I left with a growler of the Indian Brown Ale (and a bottle of 120 Minute). This beer is one of the many reasons that DFH is IMO in the top ten breweries on the east coast.

mydeadguy, Sep 19, 2003
Photo of pio
3.8/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a light cream colored head was very nice floating confidantly atop a brown body that was clear (not cloudy). i got a lotta lace too. sheets of white lace. scent of (portugese sweet) bread and toffee with sugar and chocolate hinting. a tasty toasty nuttiness of walnut and almond gets crisp with hops and an ever so slight sweet molasses and toffee/caramel after palate. leaves crisply inviting the next sip. mouthfeel is velvety and full nice on the carbonation (tiny bubbles) and i found it very drinkable (but i didn't notice its adv until it was too late) overall a very nice brown ale, i'll do it again as i have.

pio, Sep 18, 2003
Photo of mzwolinski
4.18/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

"Pleasantly Modest"
Dogfish head does big beers. Sometimes, as is the case with their World Wide Stout, it works. Sometimes, as with their Chicory Stout, it doesn't. But one thing you can usually count on from DFH is a big-tasting beer. Well, this beer was a surprise. It ain't wimpy, mind you. But it's not the mammoth, over-the-top flavor that I'm used to from the guys at DFH. Pours very dark brown, just this side of opaque, with a very thin top. The first scent to hit you is a roasty, just slightly nutty malt aroma, but as the beer warms this quickly develops into an herbal, leafy hop boquet. The flavor is very well-rounded -- sweet and malty, a bit reminiscent of hazelnut in the main body, with a assertively hopped finish that lends a nice balance to the beer and leaves a tingly aftertaste on your tongue. Very nice indeed. Unusually restrained for DFH, but none the worse for it!

mzwolinski, Sep 16, 2003
Photo of jtfest
4.38/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours nearly black, a very deep copper and reddish hues, with a small to medium creamy tan head.

Smell: Malty and sweet.

Taste: Pretty much like it smells, malty and sweet with a nicely blended bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied, very creamy and softly carbonated.

Drinkability: For the style, very high. It wouldn’t get old after the first pint.

Comments: This is a very enjoyable Brown Ale that you could have more than one of without getting bored.

jtfest, Sep 15, 2003
Photo of chaduvel
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Redbones in Somerville. A dark dark brown with a creamy light tan head that stay around for the ride. Smells of bitter chocolate, and roasted nuts. Lots of malts start out, sugary sweet and roasted malts at the same time, then when your not looking the hops really pull through. There is a significant hop presence in the middle and end. The title makes sense, a real hoppy brown ale. Dry roasted finish. Not bad, pretty good actually.

chaduvel, Sep 12, 2003
Photo of aracauna
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I was surprised at the reserved nature of this beer. Don't get me wrong, it's an excellent brown ale, but I was expecting something over the top from Dogfish Head. Actually, I guess a 7.2% brown ale is over the top, but you can't taste it. Alcohol is nowhere to be found in the aroma or flavor. The body is a nice clear rubied leather. The cream-colored head is thick and slow to subside. Nice texture. The aroma has a bit of chocolate and toffee, really malty with a slight hop bite underneath. The flavor is the same way, smooth creamy malts, a bit sweet, but the hops are present just enough to cut through the sweetness and leave this a very drinkable but still flavorful brown. The body is surprisingly thin given the alcohol content and huge maltiness of the flavor. Must be the brown sugar.

aracauna, Sep 09, 2003
Photo of cretemixer
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep auburn in color with an ivory head. Frothy, but fast fading and it leaves a spotty lace.
Sweet roasted malt aroma. Aromas of caramel, dark fruits and a bit of nuttiness.
Taste is clean and sweet with a pleasant roastiness and a hop bitterness. Very well balanced & slightly nutty. Hop notes and alcohol become more apparent towards mid-glass and the finish is lingering and a bit astringent.
Medium-full body and tingling carbonation make for a nice combonation.
A well made beer that pushes style envelopes like DFH usually does, but who cares? Buy it, drink it, love it.

cretemixer, Sep 05, 2003
Photo of MediocreatBest
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

for starters i rank jsut about all beers average smell just cause i have little ability to discern scents, i guess i jsut suck at life....as for the beer, it was fantastic, pours dark red as the abse of the pilsner glass where the light shines through and a dark brown top, with a amber head that dispaes quick but leaves a thick lace....taste of espresso then chocloate after taste, most dlecious....i dont really get a feel for the hops that it says exists in this IPA?Brown ale/ SCotish ale(i tihnk this was the third it listed, but i may be worng and already discarded teh bottle....) a good beer ranks in my top 5....edited note: drinkability not so high only bcause they are thick rich and have high abv, not that i wouldn't want to drink bunch but it might be rough on the stomach, but a great rist two beers of teh night for sure...

MediocreatBest, Aug 31, 2003
Photo of moulefrite
4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep brown coffee/cola color with very little head and minimal carbonation. I'd guess this to be desired of the style? Aromas are of fresh roasted coffee bean and some bittersweet chocolate. Ditto in the mouth. Reminds me of visiting the Valhrona chocolate factory. Lot's of dusty dark chocolate undertones-nicely bittersweet, with espresso notes on the finish. This is really an enjoyable beer with nice richess, yet not a highly "drinkable" brew. I think more than two of these would be a chore. I'll revisit it every few months and especially when the temps chill down though.

moulefrite, Aug 27, 2003
Photo of beergeek279
4.47/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in the 12 oz. bottle. The color was a dark ruby-brown, with good head. The smell was sweet malt. The taste was mostly brown sugar sweet, with a good backbone of hops, and they blend together well. Mouthfeel was very smooth and creamy. Drinkability-wise, this is another high level drinkability!

This is what Newcastle should be. Another crazy Dogfish creation, the Indian Brown Ale is an excellent part of the DFH portfolio, and one I'll certainly have again!

beergeek279, Aug 15, 2003
Photo of Delirium
4.45/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Small frothy mound forms at the point of impact with the galss and rising dark pool of light absorbing brew. Indian Brown ale refuses to be transparent, rather absorbing light from every angle, like a black hole. What it loses in head it makes up for in ominous crimson darkeness.
Smells distinctly of apples and strawberries, with a distinct malt. Tastes immediately of black licorice and currents, full cherry tones complete harmonic fruity chords building up to the finish of this symphonic combination of fruits, nuts, barley, and malts, with a crescendo of very dry oak and pine.

Delirium, Aug 13, 2003
Photo of beerguy101
3.55/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown/black color, medium head. Heavily hopped, medium malts. Roasted malts with "caramelized brown sugars". Heavily hopped, intense malt flavor. A cross between an IPA and a brown ale (Scotch Ale). It has the maltyness of a scotch ale with the hop kick of an IPA. Interesting beer. Finish is clean. Aftertaste is bitter, somewhat malty.

beerguy101, Aug 11, 2003
Photo of Rumrunner
3/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz.bottle
Pours a deep brown color. Hold it up to the light and it is barely transparent. The beige head is nice and does not want to leave. Great lacing. The smell is weak. Nutty with a slight chocolate. A weak coffee scent as well. I swirled many times to try to get some scent it just was not forthcoming.

The flavors are big burnt toast at first. Heavy nuts and a mild fruit finish. I would give the flavor more points if they flavor took me somewhere. It is just all over the place.

The mouthfeel is oily. It goes down as if to say where have I been? Nothing wants to stand out. It is just peaking through.

I do not think this a bad Brown but I can think of Browns I like alot better.

Rumrunner, Jul 25, 2003
Photo of taez555
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a very small tan head with a dark reddish/brown body.

The nose was a sweet malty smell, with very light hints of smoke. Hinting almost at a very subdued scotch ale.

The taste was pure brown sugar, caramel and even some molases. Firm up front malt flavor. Chewy and medium bodied. Slight hints of smoke lingered in the background.

The hops are present in this beer but deffiantly take a back seat to the malt. Very even bitterness and a very interesting use of the hops as flavoring. They never once step on any of the other flavors. It's as if they put a filter on all the bitterness and just left the hop flavor. Very interesting indeed.

Overall it's a very interesting hybrid of styles. Not quite a Brown Ale, not quite a scotch ale, and only hinting at an IPA. But deffinatly a unique beer worth trying.

taez555, Jul 19, 2003
Photo of oberon
3.7/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Wow this is no brown mild!This pours a nice deep brown with light had that stuck a little to the sides of the glass,the aroma was pretty nutty and a little bitter sweet.Taste was well unexpected,it had the nutty,earthy qualities of a brown ale but it also had a very alcoholic note to it as well.A real good beer but I couldnt have more than one or two.

oberon, Jun 30, 2003
Photo of marburg
4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark brown with slight hints of red in the light. The aroma is fairly strong and reminded me of walnut brownies -- both nutty and chocolatey at once. Far more cocoa in the nose than I would have ever expected, but it was quite nice. The chocolate is briefly buried in the sweet taste but re-emerges prior to a hoppy, roasted finish. A real treat.

marburg, Jun 30, 2003
Photo of Boto
4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was suprised that I didn't rate this, as I have had it in the fridge for awhile now. The beer pours brown in color with a tinge of red to it. Fairly decent head on it. The aroma is a wonderful mix of hops and the malts. Taste has a bit of chocolate to it. A very interesting brown ale, but a most welcome one!

Boto, Jun 30, 2003
Photo of francisweizen
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice Brown Ale/IPA/Scotch Ale hybrid. This beer pours a dark, reddish copper colout with a small white head. The aromas are of alcohol, sctoch, malts, and some hops. The flavors are very reminiscent of a scotch ale infused with some extra hops. The mouthfeel is pretty thick and chewy and the drinkability is decent.

A very *interesting* brew from DFH!

francisweizen, Jun 25, 2003
Indian Brown Ale from Dogfish Head Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 4,910 ratings.