Indian Brown Ale | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

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Indian Brown AleIndian Brown Ale
6,194 Ratings
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:
Also known as Indian Brown Dark IPA

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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,194 |  Reviews: 2,086
Photo of KyleVick4
2.57/5  rDev -37.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

12 oz

A: A very nice deep dark ruby color with good head. Not enough lacing though. But, nonetheless, is a very good looking beer

S: Wow there is a lot of coffee in this one. Reeks of coffee. Cant get past this overpowering aroma to distinguish any others. Maybe? a hint of spicy hops? Maybe? My opinion I want complexity, and I dont think a heavy coffee aroma should be present in a typical brown ale...

T: Coffee. Tastes to me what a mild russian impy stout would taste like. Does have some chocolate tastes from Im assuming chocolate malt. Not that impressed here especially that its supposed to be a blend of brown ale and IPA. Seems like the hop presence is lacking, or overpowered by the coffee/roast/chocolate malt. The sweetness found in the taste is kinda bittersweetness due to the amounts of coffee/roastedness in the grain. Oh well.

M: Nicely carbonated. I am a fan of the smoothness of the body. Its medium bodied but carries a good taste (just one that doesnt suit me). But not syrupy and the high alcohol is very nicely blended to the point where you dont know it packs a 7.2% punch.

D: I am an advocate of sweet tasting brown ales, so I didnt much approve of this type of style. But it was a tasty brew. I did find myself repeatedly sipping the coffee/chocolateness of this brew. Couldnt see my self having another tonight though.

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Photo of bucko
2.58/5  rDev -36.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

This beer pours a translucent dark brown color, not unlike the color of a beer bottle. The head is thin and tan. The aroma of the beer brings out some roasty notes and carmel. The taste reminds me more of a Scotch ale than a brown and is heavy on the sweet, toasty malts which overshadow any hop presence. The mouthfeel is slightly heavy, again not unlike a Scotch ale. Overall, I would have expected more balance, perhaps a more notable hop presence. Not exactly what I would have expected from DFH.

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Photo of sellmeagod
2.63/5  rDev -35.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A decent brown ale that doesn't quite do enough uniquely to recommend from a usually exceptional brewery.

A brown river look from a standard Dogfish bottle. Nice enough.

A nutty, roasted smell hits the nose, and you get a fairly intense nutty taste along with the alcohol. Nothing to complain about at 7.2 abv, but nothing to recommend it over so many others of its type.

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Photo of jdhilt
2.66/5  rDev -35%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours with light brown, two-fingered bubbly head, fades slowly and leaves a good lace. Light-medium carbonation. Light bodied. Deep amber color. Nose has a hint of hoppiness. Starts hoppy finishes like burnt coffee totally different from the usual browns (Brooklyn etc.) $2.00 for a 12oz bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, MA.

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Photo of belgiumbud
2.7/5  rDev -34%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

I purchased this particular brew at a beer store in Bend, OR. in the bottle. After getting it to my place of consumption I allowed it to stay out at room temperature for about an hour. Then upon pouring my first bottle into a room temperature pint glass I was greeted with citrusy-floral nodes, a pleasant tobacco fragrance and considerable alcohol scents. As I collected my thoughts, I soaked in the color and noticed the head disappeared so quickly that I did not have time to mentally record what I saw. The color of the beer was medium-dark chocolate to dark brown. My interest was peaking, so I took the first sip. First thing I noticed was that the warm alcohol mouth feel defenitly overshadowed any flavor complexities that might exist. As the beer settles longer on the palate I noticed subtle caramel and roasted espresso bean, while the dry hop finish rounds everything out. While I do appreciate a beer that finishes dry, I also appreciate a beer that allows my senses to appreciate all the complexities the brew has to offer. I was not given that opportunity here. Being that I purchased a six-pack I looked forward to trying another one to see if I was wrong in my first assessment. I was not. I did find, as with many beers, that when I allowed the brew warm up, my palate were able to pick up on some small complexties. The hop character was appealing. Flavor profile was masked by the alcohol mouth-feel and over-carbonation. I am still looking forward to finding this brew available cask-conditioned.

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Photo of shbobdb
2.71/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Well, if it isn't WWS's disabled younger cousin!

While I wasn't much impressed by WWS, I figured maybe this little guy'd be different, plus there was some recent fanfare in beertalk about it,

Not my style at all. The mouthfeel is 'creamy', which I really don't care for.

The taste is brash. The brown malts mix with too much brown sugar. I'm getting dried out and getting a cavity while I drink this beer. The hops try to balance out the malt, but the flavours are too roasted for the hops to really compliment.

Yeah, not my style. I can see a lot of BA's really liking it, but this one sure doesn't.

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Photo of zdauber
2.75/5  rDev -32.8%

Photo of Leavittbeerguy
2.75/5  rDev -32.8%

Photo of NonicPanic
2.75/5  rDev -32.8%

Photo of dokupe
2.75/5  rDev -32.8%

Photo of RobertColianni
2.75/5  rDev -32.8%

Photo of clfrost
2.75/5  rDev -32.8%

Photo of helios7
2.75/5  rDev -32.8%

Photo of CaptJackHarkness
2.77/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a translucent brown with beige thin head. Slight spotting of the glass. Smells of chestnuts, dark malt.Taste is sour, bitter. Horrid backbite on palate and tounge; this is another brew I am not going to finish! This is my first try of this style, I hope it is not typical!

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Photo of MikeMcCl
2.78/5  rDev -32%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Reminds me of the DFH ipa I tried to brew. Not bad, pretty heavy.

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Photo of shawnchong
2.8/5  rDev -31.5%

Photo of Beaver13
2.85/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle. Pours a dark ruby brown with a thin light tan head that quickly diminishes.

The aroma is doughy caramel and toffee with some chocolate, some spiciness comes out as it warms.

The flavor is sweet and sugary cola, some nutty malts, with a tame spicy hop finish. The alcohol is well hidden, but warming. The mouthfeel is medium bodied but very watery.

Overall, I didn't much care for this. I wasn't too impressed with the flavor or mouthfeel.

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Photo of winomark
2.85/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Medium to darkish brown with a small, bone-white head.

Aroma: Lots of malt; sweet and toasty. Slight hop spiciness.

Taste: Sweet malt, with a slight sugar sweetness. Hop flavors present in the finish. Interesting.

Mouthfeel: Somewhat light due to ample carbonation. Quite light and unimpressive finish.

Drinkability: Lacking the character of a DFH brew, IMO. Somewhat bland. Try other DFH offerings before this one.

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Photo of nota
2.85/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

No bottle date which could be bad news because brewery said they started dating all bottle two years ago. This beer pours very dark brown. Has a chocolate like smell. The taste is like it smells along with roasted coffee. I can't help notice the alcohol presence. The beer seem lifeless/flat, but it could be due to a very old six pack. I really like brown ales, but this type of brown is not my cup of tea. I hope to find this beer again because I'm sure I purchase an outdated 6-pack which explains my much lower rating.

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Photo of schematix
2.88/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tastes like a brown ale minus the IPA part.

OK only.

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Photo of Carl1776
2.88/5  rDev -29.6%

Photo of DaveFL1976
2.89/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

What I like about this beer is that it breaks barriers. Lots more malt than your average brown ale would ever dream about having. Lots more alcohol, too.

But I don't find it particularly enjoyable. There's something in the middle palate of this beer that just doesn't work for me. A sort of medicinal, soury sort of taste. And the alcohol is not well hidden, either. This is the third time I've had this beer (different batches, too) and it just doesn't suit me, unfortunately. I find that sort of sad and suprising, because I love most of DFH's beers. Well, at least they have plenty of other flavors for me to drink!

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Photo of kojevergas
2.9/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a conical Guinness pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are high given its current ratings. Paired with cheese & crackers and pretzel rods.

Served straight from the refrigerator. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a 1.5 finger head of khaki colour, nice cream, nice thickness, and good retention considering the 7.2% ABV. Colour is an extremely dark caramel-brown. Appealing for the style. Not particularly predictable, but not unique or special. Nontransparent. No yeast particles are visible. Non-opaque.

Sm: Cream, nice caramelization (very Scotch ale-esque), dark malts, milk, a hint of roast, nuts, and some light toasted malt character. Resembles the crappy American Guinness from the nitro-can. In a way, that's a compliment. A moderate strength aroma.

T: Caramel, cream, milk, roasted barley, dark malts, pleasant almond and nuts notes, and light toasted character. It's surprisingly simple, but I do like it for what it is. A bit of a tea note rounds out the flavour profile. Hop character is a muted floral. Balanced, but underwhelming. Lacks the subtlety it needs to truly be great. No yeast or alcohol comes through. Too bitter on the climax.

Mf: Smooth and wet, suiting the flavours generally well. The creamy quality it has is nice, but needs to be upped. Nice thickness. Good carbonation.

Dr: A nice offering from Dogfish Head for what it is. I like the experimentation but it honestly feels pretty tame. I might try it on draught (or nitro), but I'm not horribly impressed - par for the course for Dogfish Head. Drinkable. Hides its ABV nicely.


Probably closest to a Scotch Ale in my book.

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Photo of denver10
2.9/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Dark brown with some ruby hues and a decent enough beige head that was a thumbs width. A roasty and earthy aroma, definitely get the IPA inflluence in this. That influence is quite prevalent in the flavor too, this is like no other brown I have ever had. To me this tastes like an IPA that a brown ale fell into. Very earthy and floral flavor with the roasted malt mixed in there as well as some coffee. Mouthfeel was very carbonated and active. Personally, not a fan of what is going on here. Executed well, I think, but I just did not like it. To me, I like my brown ales to be creamy, on the rich, sweeter side of things and this beer offer none of that.

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Photo of Keith27614
2.91/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Indian Brown Ale from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 4.09 out of 5 with 6,194 ratings