Indian Brown Ale | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

BA SCORE
92
outstanding
6,056 Ratings
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
Ratings:
6,056
Reviews:
2,053
Avg:
4.1
pDev:
10.73%
 
 
Wants:
359
Gots:
1,189
For Trade:
7
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 6,056 |  Reviews: 2,053
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.

 1,246 characters

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!

 439 characters

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.

 1,354 characters

Photo of drewone
3.5/5  rDev -14.6%

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.

 990 characters

Photo of Ciocanelu
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of duceswild
4/5  rDev -2.4%

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.

 416 characters

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

Finally splurged on a bottle at Bruisn when I was there today, okay at 2 bucks not really splurged, but got one none the less. Poured a deep dark brown with a huge tan head, lots of lace left over on the sides. Smell was lots of hops, pine, with some sweetness mixed in. A touch of some earthy, grassy flavors as well. The taste was great, good malt back that was hoped to all hell. Very fresh taste, and a sstrong biting finish. Alot of similarity to the Terrapin Brown. Great smooth feel, lots of carbonation made it go down smooth with a nice dry finish. I could easily see myself drinking this on a regular basis. It was really just that good. A very quality session beer for sure. Just a treat to drink, and I will definatly be looking forward to the next time I am around grabbing some of this to bring home!

 814 characters

Photo of Slatetank
3.73/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to tenderbranson69 for this bottle. poured cool into a nonic.
A - Cola brown w/ a light tan head of approx 3 fingers. Rings of lace halo the glass.

S - Malty, nutty caramel and wooday aromas w/ sugary scents and a slightly boozy hoppy odor.

M - Dry gently roasty w/ a bit of boozy brown malted feel. A residually sweet biscuity toasted texture in the sweet finish.

T - Rich nutty sweet malt w/ roasted barley flavors an a taste of light brown sugar w/ gentle fig like flavors. A boozy sugary rum quality is apparent w/ a slight tinge of belgian yeast in the taste. The hops are there but not obtrusive, very mild and slightly spicy.

D - A fine brown ale w/ candy sugar and rich maltiness w/ a nice touch of alcohol int the flavor. A nice hop accent adds a bit of spice. I consider this to be a nice brown, but not highly drinkable w/ the noticeable abv and sweetness.

 878 characters

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.

 1,291 characters

Photo of atrocity
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of Gagnonsux
3.97/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The color is dark chestnut brown with a small head that has weak retention. The aroma is of sweet, rich dark chocolate malt. The taste is of strong malt flavors, chocolate flavors dominate, but caramel and roasted flavors add layers of complexity. A touch of nutty flavor separates this stylistically away from porters. Indian Brown is a very good beer, however given Dogfish's reputation I was expecting a little more. If this beer weren't around $8 a sixer, it would show up in my fridge with regularity.

 506 characters

Photo of smithj4
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

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.

 645 characters

Photo of womencantsail
3.76/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Matt for this tick.

A: Pours a very dark brown color with some reddish highlights and a thin tan head.

S: Smells really roasty with some nice chocolate and earthy hop notes. There is a strange aroma that seems to be chlorine, but it's sort of in the background. Some pretty decent coffee notes too.

T: Lots of roasted malt, dark chocolate, and a bit of coffee. Pretty bitter with a nice earthy hop profile. A nice toffee flavor and some toasted malt notes.

M: The body is medium with a moderate level of carbonation.

D: The strange chlorine thing was a bit of a black mark on this beer, but otherwise, this is damn good.

 635 characters

Photo of vfgccp
4.36/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A - Deep, cranberry ruby body. Fine, light khaki head with great retention and ok lace.

S - Big nose. Huge roast grain note. Dark late, hazelnut, brown sugar.

T - Hazelnut, soft roast grains, burnt brown sugar, toffee, cola.

M - Light, drinkable frame. Nice carbonation. Great smoothness.

O - Huge flavor with great balance.

 330 characters

Photo of orangesol
4/5  rDev -2.4%

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.

 1,019 characters

Photo of MarkyMOD
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of TMoney2591
4.42/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Chicago Bears shaker pint glass.

We mourn the passing of the Devil's Backbone willibecher. *sniffle* Moving on, this brew pours a clear deep amber-garnet topped by nearly a finger of off-white foam. The nose conprises maple syrup, caramel, brown sugar, molasses, walnuts, and a touch of flowery oak. The taste brings in an additional bit of mandarin orange syrup, while also maintaining a decently powerful nuttiness. The body is a light medium, with a light carbonation and a very smooth feel. Overall, a very tasty brew, one of the best normal-ish browns readily available.

 588 characters

Photo of millerbuffoon
4/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of ZEB89
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of thatoneguymike
3.5/5  rDev -14.6%

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

A: dark amber hue with a decent sized head that leaves a nice sheet of lacing on the glass.

S: roasted / burnt malts, slightly sweet

T: A good beer. It's slightly sweet with pleasant smoky flavors. Mostly malt flavors with a hint of bitterness in the finish. It's definitely a scotch ale / brown ale hybrid. I don't really detect much of an IPA or hop presence.

M: medium body with plenty of carbonation. Good feel.

D: a good offering from DFH. Not my favorite brown ale, but enjoyable nonetheless.

 503 characters

Indian Brown Ale from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
4.1 out of 5 based on 6,056 ratings.
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