Indian Brown Ale | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

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Indian Brown AleIndian Brown Ale
6,171 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:
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: 6,171 |  Reviews: 2,078
Photo of billab914
4.09/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a perfect pint glass. Pours a dark ruby brown color with a small tan head that didn't last very long. Not much lacing on the glass as I drank it.

Aroma smells a lot like a RIS, lots of coffee chocolate and roasted grain. Taste is similar, coffee and chocolate with a lot of roasty flavors going on with a lot of sweetness as well.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and moderate carbonation. Drinkability is average. I can enjoy the one I have but it's a not something I want to drink all night. Overall this tasted a lot like some of the better stouts I've had. Not what I expected by the name but very good none the less.

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

First had: ?

Not really sure when or where I first had this, but being a staple of the area, I've had it several times in bottles and on tap.

Pours dark brown, rusty around the edges, with a tan head of varying size. Roasty aroma with touches of chocolate and caramel; some earthy hops come through as well. Taste follows the smell, imbued with flavors of caramel, malt, chocolate, a little bit of coffee bitterness, brown sugar, mild notes of dark fruits and earthy hops. Pretty nice. Medium-bodied and a bit chewy, and quite nice overall, and I'm not big on brown ales.

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Photo of ygtbsm94
3.8/5  rDev -7.3%

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

Some scattered lace; tight single-bubble head. The color is a mahogany brown where light will not shine through.

First impression of the smell is chaulky--not what I was expecting. Creamy cocoa aroma. No discernible hop.

Refreshing, light-bodied but very flavorful brown ale--certainly more complex than most Browns. This would be a very good beer to have on a hot day if you wanted more of a dark malt flavor.

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Photo of REVZEB
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%

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

Photo of atrocity
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of jgunther71
3/5  rDev -26.8%

Photo of russpowell
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours brown/light red with a 2" light tan fluffy head. Average lacing and head retention

Smell: Caramel sweetness and slight toasty notes

Taste: Rich toasty notes, caramel, super fruitty & a slight nutiness. Fruitty crisp finish

MF: Rich and well balanced, perfect carbonation levels

Extremelydrinkable, I'd guessed this was about 5%abv. Very quaffable fot the abv. Expensive, but a really tasty brown. Another winner from DFH!

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Photo of woodychandler
4.65/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I found this last night in the singles cooler at my local bottle shop and since the stamp on the neck read "Bottled on 12/08/10", it did not set off any flags and so I decided to shoot the works. I am awaiting the arrival of my local trader and this may help me to pass the time.

My pour initially created a finger of deep-tan head with limited retention. Nose was heavy with chocolate, like putting my sniffer into a can of Hershey's Cocoa Powder as I did when I was a kid. Color was a deep brown with ruby highlights. Beautiful! Mouthfeel was medium-to-full with a melange of cocoa, coffee, charcoal roastiness and some alcohol heat. Zounds! This was like a jolt of coffee to restart my evening accompanied with enough alcohol to send me to slumberland. Mymymy. Finish reminded me of my morning coffee, personally blended by yours truly to mimic the coffee I was weaned on in the Navy. My students often remark on how its odor fills the room. This was filling me nicely. I am really glad that I stumbled on this one.

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

Photo of XmnwildX12
3.25/5  rDev -20.7%

Photo of mendvicdog
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

There I was, last weekend, talking about beer, and bemoaning the fact that I can't find a decent brown ale back home in Atlanta.

And BAM, what shows up in the cooler at Once Upon a Vine during my roadtrip to Richmond, but Dogfish Head's Indian Brown Ale!

Appearance: Poured out a crystal clear dark-reddish brown color with a khaki-colored head recedes to a thin band around the glass.

Smell: Chockablock scent full of sweet satisfaction - hazlenut coffee, brown sugar, and candied dark fruits.

Taste: The flavor of this brown ale is so far superior that it barely warrants mentioning, but I'll do my best. A rich, assertive malt base charges the tongue. Fiendishly sweet flavor suggesting coffee, toasted nuts, and cooked caramel (which carries with it a delicate smokiness). A restrained herbal hop bitterness allows the malts to really shine through. Finishes with a lasting roastiness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Light on the carbonation, keeping this brew singularly smooth and creamy.

Drinkability: Yeah, to sum up: Dogfish Head's Indian Brown Ale is strikingly drinkable and incredibly tasty! For me, that was enough, but the beer is unique and clever and well done enough that any fans of the style should check it out.

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Photo of WoodBrew
4.06/5  rDev -1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sunday's chores are doen and looking to rest up for the start of the week...decided to tap into the Dogfish IBA....and it is quite nice! The color is supurb with a deep dark rich amber...basrley can see light through it. The head is about a half finger in thickness...and is lacing well. The smell is touched with hints of malt and roast. The taste explores with caramel/molassis and roasty/coffee. The mouthfeel is a bit tough due to the high ABV....but I could certainly try and SESSION this beer!!

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Photo of BEER88
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of duceswild
4/5  rDev -2.4%

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

Poured from a bottle into a DFH pint glass

A: Pours a dark brown, almost black, with a thick two finger head that dissipates very slowly. Some really nice lacing down the glass that doesn't go anywhere.

S: An great smell of toasted malt as well as and chocolate and coffee. There is a hint of molasses and some dark fruits, possibly black cherry.

T: The hops play a bigger role on the taste than in the aroma. The toasted aroma comes through nicely on the taste. In some ways tastes more like a stout/porter than a brown. It is creamy upfront with the chocolate and then transitions into a more bitter finish with notes of roasted malt. You can taste a little bit of the alcohol on the back end, but not really in a bad way.

M/D: Medium to full bodied, very creamy. Leaves a nice aftertaste on the tongue. This beer is very good and extremely well balanced. Has a higher ABV than the taste would indicate, if I am not in the mood for an IPA, its what I order when at the DFH brewpub.

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Photo of atlbravsrno1
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of krome
3/5  rDev -26.8%

Photo of Zaphog
4/5  rDev -2.4%

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

Non-opaque dark brown that becomes dark reddish copper when backlit. The largish head is toasted cocoa in color and looks dense enough and tacky enough to result in better than average lace. And it does; I see a near contiguous sheet on the glass opposite as I drink.

Indian Brown smells like a porter to me, maybe even a light stout. It's redolent of chocolate with a generous smattering of hops and perhaps a whiff of coffee. Without a doubt, the best brown ale nose that I've run across yet.

Massive flavor profile for a brown ale. There's plenty of dark, roasted malt that results in a bittersweet chocolate flavor, hops that do not want to be assigned a supporting role and a pleasant underlying smokiness. Coffee percolates through each mouthful as well. Thanks to the full body and the soft, smooth mouthfeel, the finish is long and satisfying. Amazingly complex and hearty for the style.

Dogfish Head and I did not get off to a great start (Immort Ale), but I have since been extremely impressed with the brewery. I had a very good brown ale a while back (Bell's Best Brown), but Indian Brown noses it out of the top spot. The DFH website describes it as a cross between a Scotch Ale, an IPA and an APA. I'm not too sure about that, but however one chooses to categorize it, this is one well-crafted, delicious beer. Highly recommended.

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Photo of dfhhead25
3.5/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of mdfb79
3.95/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From 10/29/11 notes. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle
into a tulip. Bottled on 08/02/11.

a - Pours a very dark brown color with two inches of light tan head and moderate carbonation evident. Some light lacing left on the glass.

s - Smells of roasted malts, caramel malts, burnt malts, sugar, and some light fruity hops. Very nice and malty.

t - Tastes of roasted malts, caramel malts, toasted malts, coffee, sweet fruits and sugar. Again, pretty nice.

m - Medium body and moderate to high carbonation. Seems a touch too carbonated.

o - Overall a very nice brown ale. Very malty and some nice flavors here. Easy to drink, and would have it again.

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Photo of Jason
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz brown long neck bottle with “Packaged In” date on the side of the label.

Appearance: Deep brown bordering black, tiny bubbled but foamy head that stays strong and does not want to go anywhere.

Smell: Herbal and floral hop aroma on top of an unsweetened chocolate and caramelized sugar that some close to a light molasses. Touch of alcoholic esters and dark fruity undertones are detected.

Taste: Fiercely smooth with a layer and complex mouth feel of the medium body. Intricate within the malt flavours ranging from burnt sugar to light roasted malt, nutty almost chocolate to dark bread. Hops are well within the threshold and wield an oily bitterness, flavours tag right along with herbal and floral to the point of being nearly sweet. Mild alcoholic esters with a light mix berry and currant fruitiness. Unsweetened chocolate flavour unfolds slowly on to the taste buds middle to end, close to a carob flavour. Veggie hop finish with remnants of the toasted and roasted malts in the after taste.

Notes: A big yet somewhat humble brown ale, all the flavours and complexities are there but none really want to be dominant. This could be considered a stock or strong ale due to its 7.2% abv, look at it as a sizeable brown ale. An impressive brew.

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Indian Brown Ale from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 4.1 out of 5 with 6,171 ratings