Indian Brown Ale | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

2,041 Reviews
Indian Brown AleIndian Brown Ale

Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Delaware, United States

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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,041 | Ratings: 6,009
Photo of bradco57
4.75/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Got a bottle of the Indian Brown this week from my favorite bottle shop. Have long been a fan of the 90 min and 60 min from Dogfish. I must say, I think the Indian Brown beats them both! Its a smooth perfectly balanced beer that just delights the taste buds. If you are a fan of dark beer and have never tried this one....get one and enjoy .. The 95 rating is on the mark!

 372 characters

Photo of scot_chale
4.75/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A- Two fingers medium brown bubbly brown head. deep dark brown body that's hard to see through, but no signs of carbonation.

S- caramel malty goodness. rather pungent with some hints of dark fruit and fruity esters.

T- clean crisp caramel malt that leaves a slightly bitter taste but not strong. very well balanced and bready.

M- it's silky with a bit of bite of the carbonation. it's quite dry, and medium bodied.

O- I'm giving this my first 5 for the taste. when I talk about brown ales, this is what i mean. many of them are close in some regard or another, but this tastes perfect. everything else is a 4.5 only because i wasn't wowed, but they met my criteria. I'd keep this on hand at all times if my bar needed a brown ale that was true to style. Hell yes.

 768 characters

Photo of msolar
4.75/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The west coast may beat us in quantity of microbreweries but DFH is certainly keeping the title in the east coast for quality.

I'm not an IPA guy so I've never taken a shine to DFH's staple 60/90/120 Minute IPA's but this beer is simply fantastic.

It's very dark with a very slight lacing of head along the pint glass. It smells like it would have a higher ABV than 7.2% but it's very well hidden in the taste and doesn't leave that alcohol flavor lingering on the tongue. It's not quite as carbonated as I would have expected but given it's deep, chewy mouthfeel it feels correct.

Highly drinkable - I could easily foresee putting a keg of this on tap at home.


 674 characters

Photo of fatalbert
4.74/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very dark brown in appearance, almost opaque. With a very nice white head with largish bubbles. Head stayed around for most of the beer leaving a nice lace in the glass.

Great aroma, the hop character comes through first, then is followed by an intense maltiness.

Nicely balanced between the bitter and sweet. The darker crystal malt character is very good, without overpowering the beer. The beer finishes fairly dry so you want to keep drinking it.

Overall a great beer.

 476 characters

Photo of ScottUCF84
4.74/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into a pint glass.

A- Very, very dark brown with ruby and violet hues.Pours with a thick, creamy tan head that fizzles down into a skin, except for where it meets the glass, where it is noticably thicker. Not much lacing at all.

S- Immediately when you pour the beer, it's aroma bursts into your nostrils from a distance. Roasted caramel malt, cocoa, brown sugar, a touch of prunes and coffee.... this smells like a dream!!! Very potent! I didn't pick up much hops in the nose.

T- Indescribably matches the smell dead on. Surprisingly roasty, but not overwhelming... I wouldn't say it's in stout territory. Flavors: roasted caramel malts, brown sugar, coffee, toffee, cocoa powder. There is definitely hop presence throughout; and it blends magnificently. The beer finishes bittersweet from the hops and brown sugar. I have to keep reminding myself this beer has a 7% ABV.... the alcohol is masked completely by the flavor. Delicious.

M- I would say this is a full bodied beer. Very creamy, medium t low carbonation.

D- Goes down with the best of 'em. I kept going back gulp after gulp to discover new flavors... and before I knew it the glass was nearly empty. This is easily one of my favorite beers. I've tried plenty of beers that are ranked higher on this site that are simply blown away by this baby.

 1,321 characters

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.

 475 characters

Photo of jsp2
4.73/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass. Deep, rich brown color that the light barely gets through with a medium sized creamy, lacy brownish head.

Smells of toasted barley, coffee, vanilla, and a little bit of sweetness.

Taste is at first slightly tart and carbonated, then a rich coffee bittersweet flavor follows with a hint of alcohol. Toasty goodness of coffee, vanilla, and barley. The malted barely character is extremely pronounced and exceptional. It is the star of this one. Nice bitterness on the finish contrasts with the malt sweetness.

This beer is somewhat well cabonated but has a silky milk feel quality to it that is pretty unusual but nice. It would be wrong to do other than sip this one, it is one where you could spend a long time enjoying it.

I love barley and this brew puts it out there in a strong and complex way. Other prominent flavors give it an interesting profile and every facet of it seems to be well crafted. This is a beer I will certainly purchase regularly and drink at their pub.

 1,018 characters

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

Indian Brown Ale is a cross between Scotch Ale, an India Pale Ale and an American Brown. The caramel notes from the Scotch Ale blend nicely with the IPA hop flavors. The Brown Ale adds to the richness. It's a very well-balanced dark beer. This is a good winter beer, something I would drink during the Christmas holidays while the wife and kids are drinking hot chocolate. It's very warming and rich with hints of caramel and brown sugar. The buzz I get from it is accompanied with a warming sensation suitable for the holiday season.

 534 characters

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

Drank two of these at the Dogfish Head Eats. Perfect beer after a long hot day at the beach.

Pours a brown cola color. I don't see many this color and I thought it very unique and pleasing. Tannish thin head was poured of about 11/2 fingers. The aroma is a little sweet smelling as is the taste. Carbonation is perfect and the mouthfeel is fabulous. Goes well with lots of food like pizza and dessert, believe it or not.

Very good beer. Highly recommend.

 462 characters

Photo of hobbes2112
4.73/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle.

Finally have this at home where I can properly review it. I have had this on tap many times (in the DC area and in TX) and I really enjoy it.

Pours a deep red mahogony, with thick beige head. Medium retention and low lacing.

Smell is carmel, grain, dark chocolate, coffee and hops. Really good balance of all these elements.

Taste is roasted malts, nuts, chocolate, dark fruit and a nice hop kick. The layering is so seamless that I have a hard time isolating flavors before another one shows up.

Mouthfeel is exactly right for this beer. The flavors are delivered to the right part of the tounge, and the body complements each taste.

This is one of the best beers I have had, sure to be on my favorites list.

 741 characters

Photo of hsfn09
4.73/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is the best bottled beer I have ever had. The balance between malted and hopped flavors is excellent and I am always excited to taste the full Dogfish Head experience 1500 miles from their brewery.

 202 characters

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

Ohhhh i love this beer. Definitely one of my faves.

Beautiful brown appearance. Nice creamy head. Smell is a bit timid, but good.

The taste. Well, this is what craft beer is all about, in my opinion. Just this amazing balance between forward hop spiciness and roasty malt goodness. A great touch of sweetness thrown in. Some nutty flavors. Stuff i can't even describe. This... Is... Beer.

Perfectly balanced. Complex. Drinkable all day and all night. After we get these damn laws fixed in AL, this one will stay in my fridge just about all the time.


 569 characters

Photo of ebby82
4.72/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a very dark brown, nearly black into a pint glass. This is the darkest brown ale I have ever laid eyes upon.

The aroma is of rich, toasted malt. Brown sugar is evident in the undertone. Also a bit of hops.

The taste is of rich, roasted malts. The brown sugar is evident as well, and hops make an appearance. A bitter beginning with a sweet finish.

This is much thicker than a typical brown ale, and a bit higher in alcohol, but its smooth.

Overall, my favorite brown ale I've ever had, and a truly unique and delicious brew.

 535 characters

Photo of milwaukee512
4.72/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Another fantastically unique beer from Dogfish Head. Like Namaste or Aprihop, Indian Brown Ale makes a strong case for DFH's "other" beers that aren't really as well known as their 60 or 90-minute IPAs, at least not in WI. Like the aforementioned "other" beers, Indian Brown Ale is a superior and unique take compared to the standard for it's category. Too hoppy to be a true brown ale, but too malty to be even an English-style IPA. The hops take the edge off of the big coffee and caramel flavors, and this beer feels light for its style. I don't drink brown ales often, but this will be my go-to from now on.

 616 characters

Photo of Wiffler27
4.72/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

pours a dark mahogany with a thick white head.

smells sweet like a milk/oatmeal stout but gives off a nice hop aroma as well. smells like a stout though.

this is a unique taste. it tastes like a hoppy stout/porter/brown ale but is very sweet. i like the taste of this a lot actually. goes down very smooth, finishes creamy with some sweetness.

this is a pretty damn good beer, Dogfish Head can make some funky experimental beers taste like a dream. 1/3 IPA, 1/3 Brown Ale, and a 1/3 Scotch Ale? very interesting combination and i like it. smells like a stout, tastes like a hoppy stout or sweet black IPA. very good beer, one of my favorites. would love to have this on draft.

update 9/23/16
toured the DFH brewery and got a growler of Indian Brown Ale. so fucking good, i love this stuff. my favorite beer from them. one of the best beers i've ever had, every time. amazing fall/winter beer.

 896 characters

Photo of DaBrewsNIU
4.72/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Great graphics on bottle, I love how Dogfish Head displays their product! Great head on the initial "down the middle" pour which dissipates after a minute or so (in an imperial glass). Dark brown or burned carmel color with moderate carbonation.

Smell:The aromatics are strong, yet sweet. Reminiscent of a traditional scotch ale. The malt is noticeable at first with some hops but, the alcohol smell lingers faintly. Not bad at all

Taste: Spicy, malty, sweet with mild hop notes. This is very challenging to analyze because of it's complexity. It is sweet up front with a mild alcohol flavor which slowly fades to a dark chocolate then hop finish.

Mouthfeel: I love the mouthfeel! It's thick and creamy but not super filling. The creaminess allows for the drinker to pick up all of the flavors.

Drinkability: Surprisingly drinkable despite it's high ABV. I could see myself enjoying a 6 pack through the course of an evening, however, be careful! They are so drinkable that they sneak up on you. OVERALL WONDERFUL BEER!

 1,035 characters

Photo of smellody
4.72/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Enjoyed his Dogfish brew at The World of Beer in Westchase in Tampa, FL where they had it on draft. Served in a Dogfish small pint glass, it was dark in color with a cream colored head. Smelled of molasses and coffee. Has a smooth mouthfeel and is very drinkable (as a matter of fact after I tried it, it is all I drank the rest of the evening.) I found it to have a very complex taste, hints of chocolate, raisins, and typical brown ale flavors. All around, a great beer.

 472 characters

Photo of JasonCoop
4.72/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours a dark brown with hints of ruby and black. very dark, nice off-white, beige head. looks excellent.

smells like brown sugar and maltiness. smells awesome. hops are there, but dominated by brown sugary sweet caramel malt smell. great.

taste - how to sum it up? sweet and malty up front. brown sugar, caramel and almost chocolatey like taste. everything i want in a good brown ale. sweet, malty and awesome. almost a stout like quality to it, but not quite. finishes fairly hoppy, but sweet malts dominate throughout as they should. nicely balanced and just awesome. very impressed.

mouthfeel is nice and full, very creamy and pleasant. just great. drinkability is pretty good. fairly high abv is nicely masked. i am blown away by this brown ale. don't drink them too often, but after trying this one maybe i will. a nice full malty ale.

 849 characters

Photo of bonsreeb85
4.72/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - black w/ large tan head and crazy nice lacing

S - very sweet. caramel toffee and roasted malts. smells like maple syrup. w/ notes of coffee, and a bit of hops as it warms

T - insanely rich. very sweet and malty taste. but a balancing hop bitterness is not to be overlooked. along with the earlier metioned aromas, i also taste brown sugar, raisins, chocolate and a lingering coffee flavor. very complex this one. delic-i-o-so!

MF - low- medium carbonation gives this one and even bigger fuller body. really heavey, but it tastes so good, it goes down easy.

D - this is definately not a session beer, too rich and high in abv. but i could have 2 or 3 with ease.

side note ...Best brown i've ever had!

 709 characters

Photo of mattsdenney
4.72/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Now that DFH is pulling out of TN I decide to give this a try.

A: Pours a dark reddish brown w/ a thick light brown head.

S: Smells of chocolate at first, then heavy maltiness, scotch, and coffee beans.

T: Malty like a scotch ale with sweet nuttiness like a brown. Strong grassy hops underneath with a chocolatey backbone. This is amazing.

M: Creamy but not thick. Lightly coats the mouth.

D: It's more of a hoppy scotch ale than a brown but either way its great. Really disappointed that I waited this long to try it.

 524 characters

Photo of cdkrenz
4.72/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark, dark brown body with about a half inch of medium tan colored head with some serious stamina.

S - Coffee and brown sugar.

T - This is a unique flavor that everyone should have the chance to enjoy. There's caramel, subtle coffee, malt, and robust hops.

M - The feel is slightly coarse throughout which assists in bringing out the multitude of flavors.

~ This is the best brown ale I've ever had. I wish I had more than just the one. Thanks Krista, I love you baby!

 477 characters

Photo of beersheppard
4.72/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: dark almost opaque brown, tan head with a few big bubbles that lingers for a few minutes, great lacing.

Smell: caramel, molasses, chocolate, brown sugar, toasty malts.

Taste: caramel, molasses, chocolate, brown sugar, raisins, toasty malts, and a smatering of hops in the finish.

Mouthfeel: substantial, good tingle, a little alcohol lingers in the palate-which is fine in my book.

Drinkability: Do you like robust and delicous brown ales that are full flavored? If you do this is a beer for you. This is one of my all time favorites in the brown ale category and overall. I really think this is the unsung hero of the Dogfish line.

 649 characters

Photo of The_Ox_Man_Cometh
4.72/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This is one of the best beers I've ever had. I made an account just to review it!

That being said, I can't give you that in depth a review, but I'll do my best.

Looks: Nice deep brown. Very appetizing.

Smell:It smells good. Maybe a little underwhelming, but also appetizing.

Taste: This is where it really shines. Fantastic caramel malt start with a wonderful hoppy finish. Maybe even a little chocolate at the end, but my palette is not that developed. Really excellent, I can't swoon enough.

Feel: Very smooth in the mouth, and going down. I took off half a point because I felt it should be a little more carbonated.

Overall: Stellar on all counts. I bought this because I was worried the 60 minute IPA would be too hoppy for my friends, and figured this would be more balanced. I was right, and won big on the gamble. Everyone loved it. Get yourself some.

 865 characters

Photo of steinlifter
4.72/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I had this one at the "Connecticut River Brewfest" on-tap, was friggin awesome! favorite brew there.
The pour was cola-colored,rich tan head with lots of retention.
smell was sweet, chocolate & molasses.
taste was incredibly delicious, chocolate/coffee, and sweet molasses, balanced out nicely with mild hopping.
drinkability is off the chart!...this stuff is "All that!" a bag O' chips!...highly recommended.

 425 characters

Photo of BradMacMullin
4.72/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Had at Public House in Vegas. Served in a bottle and poured into small tulip glass. Very dark color of course with a head that didn't last long but didn't matter . Nice faint smell of hops. Such a smooth taste. Great malt and caramel balance with mild hop mix. This is such a great beer. The surprise is that it is 7%. Don't get that at all. Will have again soon

 362 characters

Indian Brown Ale from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
4.1 out of 5 based on 6,009 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.