Indian Brown Ale | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

BA SCORE
92
outstanding
2,042 Reviews
Indian Brown AleIndian Brown Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Delaware, United States
dogfish.com

Style: American Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.20%

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

Added by BeerAdvocate on 08-07-2001

BEER STATS
Reviews:
2,042
Ratings:
6,015
Avg:
4.1
pDev:
10.73%
 
 
Wants:
354
Gots:
1,172
For Trade:
6
User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,042 | Ratings: 6,015
Photo of Vetbidder
3.72/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark red tinged looking beer. Honestly, these all look good to me, but yea this looks nice. Ok. This smells exactly like a brown ale...ehh. Decent flavor but I saw this advertised as a Dark IPA. This is a decent brown ale with some slight hop bitterness in the finish and a bit more carbonation but it's a brown ale.

 316 characters

Photo of Holderness
4.12/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber with a big, boisterous, three finger light tan head that highlights the beer's heavy carbonation. The head sticks around, and is of an on-tap quality. Smells of malts, burnt sugar, cardamom, and floral hops. The taste -- while similar to the aromas -- mostly accentuates the malts, making for a wholesome drink that focuses predominantly on breadiness/nutiness, with a slight spiciness. Reminds me a lot of Shed Mountain Ale, but less rustic.

 461 characters

Photo of matcris
4.56/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown and clear with lots of bubbles rising, ruby up to the light. Finger+ of tan creamy head that stays and leaves a nice lacing down the glass. Aroma is caramel malt, brown sugar, chocolate, a little earthy, and dark bread crust. Flavor....first thing that comes to mind is...Coca-Cola! Dark toasted bread, and chocolate. Feel is a little sticky, full carbonation, medium full body, and drier on the finish. Never had a brown ale that reminded me of Coke right off the bat. Very good stuff.

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Photo of RozzieBoy
4.14/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L - Poured dark brown with a ruby tinge and had a light tan head. No lacing.
S - Malty and somewhat roasty but a real good mix.
T - Nice roasty back-taste to it.
F - Slight bite on the roof of my mouth. Dry after taste. Beer got smoother as it warmed.
O - Really good beer. Tasty.

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

Appearance: brown in color with a 1" head that slowly falls.

Smell: light citrus and some malty tones comes through to the nose.

Taste: caramel, toffee, a hint of lemon zest, some earthiness, and moderate bitterness.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Light crispness from start to finish.

Overall: another enjoyable DFH beer I have had numerous times over the years.

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Photo of cyclonece09
3.94/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Pours copper brown with a fluffy off white head. Smells of nuts and citrus. Tastes of citrus hops with slight pine, and nut aftertaste. Beer is light bodied, not heavily carbonated, easy drinking. Overall, a very good beer.

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Photo of LJSchoppert
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz into a stein
L: Very dark, almost but not quite opaque. Surprisingly resilient tan head
S: Chocolate and herb, with some noticeable alcohol
T: Prominent coffee notes, as is popular with this style. Thankfully, not too sweet
F: Actually a little thin, compared to the forceful flavors
O: A very good classic brown ale. Not as innovative as Dogfish bills it though

 381 characters

Photo of HamdenHector
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: crystal clear if held to a light; cola brown in color with ruby highlights; 1 finger khaki head that receded slowly to a wispy cap; nice lacing;

S: sweet malt, vanilla; a hint of smoke, cinnamon, and nutmeg;

T: hoppy for a moment, then sweet malt; finish follows the nose; finish is a little harsh - like putting cinnamon directly on your tongue;

M: medium bodied; moderate carbonation; moderately dry finish;

O: complex, very interesting; not really my style, but that's my problem;

 491 characters

Photo of DraconusDesanctus666
4.16/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle,into a Cigar City snifter.

Thin khaki head that dissipates quickly.Dark brown in color, with ruby out lacing.Moderate amount of fast paced carbonation.

On the nose I get dark malts,caramel,and brown sugar,with small hints of nuts,and piney hops.

On the palate I get malts,caramel,light roasted coffee,toffee,small hint of scotch (nothing offensive),and some sweet brown sugar,and nuts.Also a slight hint of earthy hop bitterness.

The body is medium,with a slightly carbonated mouth feel.The finish is medium dry.

Overall I would say this is a pretty good brown ale.I like the added hop characteristics.Good beer...flavorful,yet drinkable.

 670 characters

Photo of topofthehops
3.56/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

As an inveterate hop head I've avoided this in the past, but the "dark IPA" descriptor sucked me in to ordering a pint (along with the fact that they had no big IPAs on tap).

It's pleasant but it ain't no IPA, not anywhere close. Tastes like a stout mixed with an ale. Minimal hops. If you're looking for hops, don't look here. I can absolutely understand the high ratings, but my palate has been corrupted by wonderful hops, so this just doesn't do it for me.

 461 characters

Photo of BDabbler
3.34/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I'm not sure why the reviews for this are so high. For a brown ale, and I love brown ales, this should not be rated so highly. It looks super dark brown, bubbly over carbonated head, smells great like coffee and caramel. The taste doesn't live up to the smell. The first few sips are bitter and you can taste the alcohol in it. As you continue to drink it, the bitterness settles down and it;s a bit more enjoyable. However, this is not up there with the likes of an Old Brown Dog. Some may call this complex, but I'd say it's a bit off the mark.

 547 characters

Photo of Sabtos
4.01/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Dark brown with clear ruby edges and a light tan frothy half finger blanket leaving some wavy lace.

Smell is coffee, brown sugar, pine, cedar, toffee, toast, milk and something a little sticky and acidic like maple and wine barrel.

Taste is not quite as complex as the nose but still good, with creamy toffee, milk, sharp pine, tangy malt and caramel.

Frothy and full-bodied.

 378 characters

Photo of IvoryFoxhole
4.09/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into Belgian ale glass. Not sure how I managed to never try this before, living in DH country.

L: Beer is dark-brown, with cordovan highlights when held up to the light. 1F head, not much retention, little to no lacing, a thin cap and ring.

S: roasted and burnt toasty malts, caramel, brown sugar

T: Lots of toast and malt, barley, caramel, and a bit of pineyness from the hops, but this is more of a malt show.

F: Medium bodied, light to medium carbonation. Good balance and construction.

O: A nice brown ale, something you could drink any and every day.

 580 characters

Photo of SawDog505
4.04/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into a 13 oz Weyerbacher tulip glass bottled on 9/30/16. Pours a beautiful mahogany with a two inch off white head that leaves plenty of lace behind.

Smell is caramel, brown sugar, toffee, vanilla, biscuit, and pine.

Taste follows caramel, toffee, brown sugar, and vanilla upfront with biscuit, pine, and a hint of grapefruit in the long lingering finish.

Mouthfeel is above medium, plenty of carbonation, a not really dry, and excellent drinkability.

Overall why I never got this beer over the years is strange. A very nice beer that can warm you on a cool evening, but is very drinkable and goes down easy.

 622 characters

Photo of Duckcommander493
5/5  rDev +22%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I just got into craft brews and have been trying different ones each week. Not a big fan of bitter beers such as IPAs so I wasn't sure how I'd like this one... I was amazed to say the least. This beer is definitely BURSTING with flavor, the coffee note is a strong after taste that complements the body of the beer amazingly, definitely has some floral notes and a quick bitter hoppy punch that quickly recedes, the brown sugar and toffee undertones help this one out and by far this is my favorite beer to date and I HIGHLY recommend!

 535 characters

Photo of cjgiant
4.04/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Bottle dated 8/31:
Now listed as a "dark IPA" - huh?
Pours a mahogany brown, though getting past the darkness you can tell it's likely a clear beer (like many of DFH beers). The head builds up a light brown, and remains in a thick rim around the glass throughout the pour, with continents of thin film across the surface.

Nose has a little more roasted nut and even a little darker malt in it. I actually think I get the brown sugar, and a little bitter hops also comes through.

Taste starts off with a little sweetness to a dark bready malt flavor. The bitterness catches up fairly quickly, though, to bring the flavor back into balance. One of the classic brown ale flavors, a light nuttiness comes in to lean this a little more brown than a darker porter, in my opinion. The woodsy hops actually play nicely here, but do seem to add an American hoppiness to this beer (taste and power).

The beer is a little thin rolling over my tongue, but with the bold flavors, this actually helps keep it fairly easy to drink in more than sips.

I expected to rate this beer decently having had it many years ago and enjoying it. But this beer is even better than I recall. The balance of the brown with a little extra hop notes that don't overtake the beer hits the spot.

 1,272 characters

Photo of rodbeermunch
3.39/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Hey look, a brown ale I'm a fan of. This one is a deep brown, and is replete with minimal light tan head in the 1/3" range. Aroma is interesting, English brown malt, some hopping, a fractional amount of smoke/roast/charred matter.

Taste hits more of the brown and scotch ale notes than it does ipa. Even though 50ibu it seems less than that with everything else going on malt wise.

A pretty cool beer even though I probably go years at a time between having one. Its one of the more respectable offerings from DFH.

 522 characters

Photo of 911CROFT
3.55/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

355ml bottle into a glass tankard. Paid £3.50 for a single.

Pours a shiny, dark-mahogany body that when held to the light displays some crimson tones and allows small amounts of fine carbonation to be observed. A thick, foamy, one-finger in height, light-tan coloured head with excellent retention slowly reduces to a thin cap, leaving plenty of sticky, soapy lace.

The nose is led predominantly by a combination of warm toasted malts and a darker, more heavily roasted profile. Burnt sugars and roasted coffee beans are noticeable underneath, along with some citric hop bitterness towards the back end. Taste roughly follows suit, leading initially with a faintly sweet mixture of toasted malts, brown sugar, molasses, and lightly burnt caramel. Mid palate, hints of tart cranberry and dried dark stone fruit join lingering semi-sweet malts, before roasted bitterness begins to build. Burnt grains, roasted barley, charred espresso, cocoa and dark baking chocolate become much more prominent towards the latter half, combining with assertive citric and pine hop profiles to finish with increasing bitterness. In the mouth a medium body paired with moderately lively carbonation give a feel that starts slick and smooth before quickly drying as roast profiles intensify. After the swallow, bitter, oily grapefruit rinds, pith and resinous pine hop profiles linger momentarily on the palate, while hints of alcohol warmth give the only indication of the otherwise well-hidden 7.2% ABV.

Overall this is a decent beer. Sweet and bitter, malty and hoppy, complex but easy drinking, it starts as the label promises: a hybrid between a Scotch Ale, IPA and American Brown. The beers latter half however is dominated by a roast profile that’s a little too dark, intense and burnt, which ultimately detracts from balance and drinkability.

 1,835 characters

Photo of ManapuaMan
4.29/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

One of the best brown ales I've had. Some occupy the space between a stout and a pale ale without much merit to stand out on their own. Not the case here. Tons of reviews here better than mine so I'll just go ahead and sum it up - roasted malt, bitter hops, slightly floral, chocolatey, nutty, burnt caramel, brown sugar. Not too sweet or too bitter. Great balance. Smooth with the perfect amount of carbonation.

 413 characters

Photo of akolb
4.28/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This is a beer that I've been wanting to try for several years, but have never been able to find it anywhere near fresh. I finally snagged a 6 pack about 1 month old. Pours dark brown with a coffee head. The aroma is great: dark malts, caramel, and brown sugar. Sweet caramel notes dominate the taste with hints of chocolate, molasses, complex toasty maltiness, herbal hops and a pleasant bitter aftertaste. The taste is rich, complex, and wonderful. This is almost more of a Scotch IPA - strong caramel with some hoppiness. Creamy mouthfeel with a mild bodied. This beer is utterly unique and a true standout. Highly recommended.

 630 characters

Photo of 88caprice
4.29/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a pint tumbler.

The bottle would lead you to believe that this is a pseudo-brown ale that has been hopped to pieces, like an American Black Ale. WRONG! While somewhat hoppy, this brew is more closely related to a Scotch Ale with it's caramelized sugars, color, and sweetness/mouthfeel.

It's quite good and very well done.

Look: Deep dark mahogany brown. A creamy head of fine bubbles that persists to the very end. Lacing for everyone.
Smell: A lot like a Scotch Ale. Rich, creamy smell of caramelized sugars, pipe tobacco, and a hint of something floral.
Taste: A char tang, somewhat astringent at first. Then the sweetness of caramelized sugars and low-note hop bitterness, with a coffee grounds finish.
Mouthfeel: So smooth, a little bit thick and creamy.

 787 characters

Photo of Pankenstein
3.49/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.25

L: Opaque dark brown, head which doesn't dissipate all that quickly.
S: Strong maltiness, with brown sugar.
T: Brown sugar, bitter afterbite
F: Doesn't overstay its welcome, despite a distinct presence at first.
O: Not a bad beer... it wouldn't be my first choice, but I wouldn't turn it down either.

 301 characters

Photo of Franziskaner
3.81/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Dark brown in color with minimal light penetration. A fingernail of beige is present with light lacing. I smell brown sugar, molasses, and dark malt. I taste brown sugar and piney hops at the back of the palate. The mouth is slightly syrupy and chewy.

 255 characters

Photo of Im4jojo
4.83/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Taste: Malty and toasty right at the front. The smell mirrors the taste. The caramel notes chime in beautifully. Very little carbonation with a thick two finger head when poured into a straight glass. The color is a deep, amber brown. A very enjoyable brew.

 258 characters

Photo of schoolboy
3.78/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I had this beer at the brew pub 9 years ago, and I know I've had it a few times since, but this time it is following a Founders Porter on an empty stomach, and not working.

This brew looks great. All dark and foaming. There is little aroma.

That taste is out there. It mixes up so much and it's too early. I have to imagine that I ate a bunch of food (I'm sitting at the bar of a great restaurant, just not hungry). That helps tolerate the amalgam of hops and yeasty and nastiness.

I do remember now that this brew had this big nasty taste. Stay away, Bob, stay away.

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Indian Brown Ale from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
4.1 out of 5 based on 6,015 ratings.
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