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Indian Brown Ale - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Indian Brown AleIndian Brown Ale

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5,331 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,331
Reviews: 1,917
rAvg: 4.1
pDev: 10.98%
Wants: 260
Gots: 633 | 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: 5,331 | Reviews: 1,917 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MrHungryMonkey
4.42/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark rich chocolate brown / clear / mild carbonation / moderate head

Sweet sugary roasted chocolate / floral fruity herbal hops

Thick full bodied flavor / sweet roasted malt chocolate sugary toffee / hop is floral and herbal Euro-style hop nicely balancing / good warmth and thickness nice bitterness

Thick medium-full bodied mouthfeel / alcohol notable

Very nice American Brown Ale. Thick rich quite good. Lots of crisp floral goodness and deep sweet malt. Hands down, one of my favorite ABAles.

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

Pours a deep brown with a dense beige head that lasts as a nice even cap. Aroma is all sorts of resiny hop, caramel, coffee, burnt toast.

In the mouth, hops make a strong showing initially, bringing lots of spice and piney notes, some dark-fruit-like sweetness, caramel, brown sugar, lots of woody/leafy notes. Medium-light mouthfeel, a little slick, with pretty limited, light carbonation.

Very tasty, very enjoyable; alcohol isn't really noticeable, but you can feel it pretty quickly, so I'd handle this one with care.

Photo of shadow1961
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale pours a stiff tan head over a
deep dark coffee colored brew. The nose is toasty dark malts.
Carbonation is hard to guage, but steady enough to maintain
a finger of foam. It has a deep molasses flavor up front with
a grassy hop finish. There are dark fruit and bitter chocolate
notes as well. This is no boring old brown ale- I've tasted a
few porters and even stouts with less depth and flavor than
this brew. The mouthfeel is round, yet fairly light and clean
as well. All those toasty flavors do a good job moderating the
7.2% alcohol by volume. Outstanding!

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

A- dark brown body with a thin cream colored head. Leaves behind plenty of lacing in the glass.

S- dark robust smell of toasted malt and coffee.

T- strong initial taste of coffee and toasted malt. This is followed by hop bitterness. Hop bitterness and a roasted coffee taste linger.

M- High carbonation and a very thick, full body.

D- This is a pretty drinkable and very interesting brew. Its quite complex and is definately worth a try.

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

Ontap @Home Grown Cafe.

A- Dark with a burnt red tint. The oatmeal colored, small head did not last thru the sample.

S- A burnt coffee smell that has light traces of hops.

T- The burnt coffee feel continues, but now has the strong (for me) taste of alcohol. It is almost like a brown ale with a light wiskey chaser dropped in.

M- Full body and strong in your mouth.

D- This is a great beer from DFH. I remember having it in the past, but not really understanding it. Now I can appreicate the charm of this beer.

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

A nice offering from DFH. Pours a dark brown almost like wood varnish. Thick, tightly knit head, khaki in colour, stays around for a good two minutes. This is a really nice looking beer.
Smell is lightly burnt cereals and sort of a combination of floral and earthy hops; Seems well balanced. Taste is sweet malts up front, followed by the hoppy profiles through to the finish. There is also a detectable note of alcohol in this, as well. I find this rather odd since this is only 7,2%, but it is there. (weak, but there all the same)

Photo of Oxymoron
3.63/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

The lazy brown dog jumps over the quick sly fox. Pour was a chestnut brown color with tan highlights. A nice head with a good pour. Limited lacing but good head retention.

The nose has an English malty profile. A sweeter almost molasses like aroma with a lighter chocolate undertones. Some astringency but limited overall. Also some toffee touches but not much on the hops side.

The taste has the malty and smooth presence of an English brown. A nice complexity on the malt side with noticeable chocolate flavors. Some bready and astringent notes but some off higher alcohol tastes that act as a deterrent. The hops are more noticeable with some earthy and citrus but still remain second to the malt bill.

The body is full as should be. Some sweeter notes rather limits the mouthfeel that could use more chocolate notes but balances well. Good carbonation for style. Overall a very nice drinking brown.

Photo of bobhits
3.62/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A. Thick light tan head. Almost black, but a very dark amber when held up to the light. Nice lacing down the glass.

S. The hops are over powering. I knew it was an "indian" brown ale but that was a surprise. Caramel and maybe some coffee in the smell.

T. This is a good brown ale that just is over whelmed by hops. The caramel and coffee are faint but they are there. Maybe some chocolate but not sweet enough to really pick it up.

It's warming up and it's actually getting a bit sweeter which is working well for me. The hops actually balance once warmer and as a few others mentioned it's starting to remind me more of a stout, or just a really rich brown ale.

M. A bit thicker than most ales, but what you'd expect from a brown ale. A good bit of carbonation. It sticks to your mouth a bit on the way down.

D. This style of beer is one you'd drink slowly imo. I'd like it to be a bit easier to drink.

This is a very enjoyable beer, but perhaps it's just not for me. I really respect what they're doing and they did a good job. I enjoy the flavor but it's too much of a mix between a great dark beer and a refreshing IPA and it leaves my mouth confused. Highly recommend everyone try this.

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

Pours a dark mahogany brown producing a one-finger off-white head that reduces pretty quickly, leaving a ring with some lacing. A more aggressive pour would have probably produced more of a head. We'll see. I've got 5 more of these.

The smell is a pretty good balance of hops and malt. The malts seem dark-roasted, nutty and coffee-like with hints of bittersweet chocolate.

It's a very nice-tasting beer -- a great balance between malty sweetness and hoppiness, though the malt dominates. Stoutlike espresso and chocolate qualities come to the fore, with a real molasses or brown sugar sweetness as well. It's nicely alanced by a hoppy bite, but not to the point of bitterness I find do find that with DFH, even their hoppier stuff like the 60 and 90 Minute IPAs are more characterized by sweetness than anything else -- which I generally find a little bit offputting -- so I wasn't surprised. This one -- like all of their offerings I've had -- finishes very smoothly.

Feels thick and full-bodied in the mouth. A little heavy and sweet to have more than one or two at a clip, but definitely enjoyable and goes down nicely. Of course the alcohol can really sneak up on you at more than 7 ABV.

Overall, a very good offering from DFH -- definitely my favorite after the 90-Minute IPA. I agree with others that say it seems more like a stout than an IPA (in my opinion, it seems like a breakfast stout). And it's very misplaced for a warm evening like tonight, but that's my doing, and it's definitely nice to relax with.

Photo of Minkybut
3.4/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I poured this beer from the bottle to a 50 degree tumbler. The beer was a pretty dark mohogany color with a tan thivck big head. The beer had decent lacing also. A hoppy smell foole me because the beer I thought was well hop balanced. I don't want a hop bomb in a brown ale and it was not. Toasted nuttyness aftertaste was good. I will buy again

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

12 oz. Bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Dark brown in color. Dense tan head pours two fingers thick. Good retention. Nice sticky lacing.

S: Dark chocolate. Nutty. Floral hops. Bread. Dark fruit.

T: Soft roasted malt flavors give way to tastes of dark chocolate and roasted nuts. Floral hops give off a pleasent bitter bite. Dark fruit chimes in and is followed by a biscut taste and the bitterness of more roasted malts.

M: Smooth and creamy. Moderate carbonation. Slightly dry.

D: One of the better brown ales that I have sampled. Quite complex for the style. I love the hopped up effect in this brew. Recommended.

Photo of cjgator3
3.7/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Beer pours a dark reddish brown color with a light tan head. The aroma is much like the smell of a dry stout. There is some dark unsweetened chocolate, coffee, and hops in the nose. The taste start out with a nice dark roasted malt flavor. Then the hops quickly hit you for a nice lingering hoppy finish. Overall, this is a very nice brew that will surely make a repeat apperance in my fridge. Recommended.

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

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a deep brown with some amber edges. Nice tan colored head that leaves nice lacing.

Smells of caramel, toffee, slight alcohol.

Taste is toffee, wood, and quite noticable alcohol. Almost tastes like a stout to me. Certainly bolder than any brown ale I've had, but then again what DFH brew isn't?

A very tasty brown ale. Noticed the alcohol more than I wanted to, but then again it is 7.2%!

Photo of Brad007
3.5/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a dark brown color. Decent amount of foam that leaves some lacing. Aroma is highly complex. Reminds me of raisins for for some reason (not even the Raison D'Etre) with some other fruit flavors and a slighty malty backbone with hints of alcohol. Taste is simple and straightforward with the same fruity flavors. I do however taste a dullness in the background that kind of ruins the overall finish. What I mean is that it goes down good but I don't like the aftertaste. Starts out promising but unless the bottle itself has been sitting for too long, doesn't quite impress me as much as I'd hope.

Photo of Redwood21
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this beer was great
the appearance was a dark brown almost red color with a great tan head that lasts the whole beer.
the smell is beautiful and fragrant of hops and a few other aromas i couldnt begin to pick out.
the tatse really picks out the styles. there is some herbal deliciousness ( i know thats not a word) and some hops and some brown ale flavors.
according to DFH this is a mix between an ipa, scotch ale, brown ale. i would say if you can imagine this? its perfect and great.
i must try beer. yuuum

Photo of stammmc
4.55/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

... on tap at Durty Nellie's. Appears very deep dark brown, with little head. Aromas reminded me of a porter. Taste is the highlight - rich coffee, chocolate and malt with a nicely balanced hoppiness. Very mouth-filling feel. My friend ordered this serval times - a testament to drinkability.

Photo of crwills
3.98/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased a bottle of this at Beers of the World in Rochester, NY (I think?). Drank it sitting out on my deck on the nicest day we've had this Spring (20C!) A solid brown ale with a good dose of American hoppyness that made it very refreshing on such a warm day. Very drinkable, although a little high on the ABV (not apparent from flavour). Carbonation was just right. Aroma a little on the weak side, but could have been the environment. Would go great with some mildly spiced grilled chicken or steaks.

Photo of billybob
4.73/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

pours very dark brown with a two finger tan head that holds for a while then settles to just cover the beer with some nice sticky lace to the finish. aromas of coffee and caramel are there but not very strong. taste is what makes this beer, rich strong coffee flavor, not bitter just strong mixed with dark caramel and brown sugar and some warmth from the alcohol make for a great taste. mouthfeel light and smooth with good carbonation. so far the best brown ale i have had.

Photo of khiasmus
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Beautiful, almost flawless in appearance. Ruby/mahogany color with light tan head that settles to a thin layer/ring within seconds. Leaves some legs on the side... 7.2%?!!?! seems to be higher from these legs...

S- Dark roasted grain, plum, molasses, currants, alcohol, some biscuity notes... and my fellow reviewer insists that he detects some golding hops, though I can't seem to :-)

T- Mmmm. Sweet caramellized malt up front, then nutty and roasty, with a long, black finish... meaning burnt toast. Some faint hops to almost balance, but the prevailing bitterness at the end is more roasty/burnt than hoppy in character.

M- Smooth and velvety with low to moderate carbonation and a clean finish with some slight dryness.

D- Too rich too drink five, but four, perhaps...

EDIT: just tasted again, from same sixer, six months later. Holds up very well. This review is still quite descriptive of the beer, even after sitting in the SC heat here courtesy of Matthew's poor handling... :-)

Photo of joeysmokedporter
3.55/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass on draft at DFH alehouse in Gaithersburg, MD.

A: Black with red/ruby highlights, clear, little head but some lacing.

S: Had a very hard time detecting an aroma with this beer but slightly malty.

T: Chocolate, caramel, with a slight coffee/roasted flavor. Begins with the very robust malty flavors above, with a hop bitterness throughout. Ends with bitter flavor that lingers for only a short time in the aftertaste. This is a very rich version of traditional brown ale with much more malt character than typically experienced. The best part of the beer.

M: a little heavy on the palate but proportionate to the malt character. carbonation on the light side, perhaps contributing to lack of aroma, but seems right for this beer.

D: Very drinkable, heavy and somewhat filling, but very enjoyable. Would complement a chocolate dessert well.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.95/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Track 84 in Warwick, RI, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a dark brown color, with a short dense beige head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is malty and nutty with maple, caramel and a good amount of hops.

T: The taste starts with flavors of nuts, maple & chocolate followed by a strong hops burst for the style. The malt character is hearty but there’s very little sweetness unlike other beers in the style. The after-taste is bitter.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, sticky and dry finish.

D: Tasty, goes down easy, not too filling, good kick as most DFH beer have, good representation of style while being a bit different in keeping with the DFH hallmark, it’s a good beer to stick with for an evening.

Photo of tempest
3.5/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Kelly Cole's in Syracuse.

Looks nice, but there isn't much lacing or head. The smell comes and goes. Sometimes there's rich chocolate and roasted grains, other times it's just mellow sweetness. It's not too thick, and its alright, but the flavor is a little too mixed. There's a harsh bitterness and not much from the hops. Worth a try though.

Photo of jaxon53
3.7/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served slightly chilled in a pint glass from a twelve ounce bottle. Poured a dark copper brown color. About one good finger of thin off-white head formed , and quickly dissapeared. Not much in the way of lace. Smell: Somewhat thick nutty, caramel aromas. Nice smokey notes in the background. A rather pleasant nose on this one. Taste: Smokey roasty/toasty tones up front. Sweet caramel, nut flavor. Moderate carbonation. No alcohol present. Somewhat of a full thick flavor to it. Very drinkable in my opinion.

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

The beer poured a crisp dark brown with a decent head that slowly diminished. The aroma was of chocolate and brown malts uniquely balanced with citrus hops. The taste leans a little heavy toward the hops, but a good chocolate malt backbone provides a truly unique taste. The beer is light bodied for one at 7.2% alcohol. This is a very enjoyable beer, easily my favorite brown ale.

Photo of cktison
4.42/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark, heavy, a black-brown, I expected it to be lighter. Appears almost like a stout.
S: Wow! Malty, complex - what kind of beer is this? Brown and hops combine, excellent.
T: Expected a hoppy version of Newcastle - but got burned sugars, malts, and complex flavors. Excellent. Spicy, nutty, need a few more to think about it..
M: Smooth, cream - looks heavy, but doesn't feel it.
D: Great. I will enjoy this more in the future. Surprised to find this one on tap, and it exceeded expectations.

Indian Brown Ale from Dogfish Head Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 5,331 ratings.