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Indian Brown Ale | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
92
outstanding
2,021 Reviews
Indian Brown AleIndian Brown Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Delaware, United States | website

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:
2,021
Ratings:
5,937
Avg:
4.1
pDev:
18.54%
 
 
Wants:
338
Gots:
1,109
For Trade:
6
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,021 | Ratings: 5,937
Photo of blackcompg
3.8/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours 2 quick fingers of light mocha head, color is a transparent deep dark copper brown with reddish maroon highlights. Active carb rises from the bottom, and each quaff leaves a nice foamy ring of lace.

Smell - Roasted malt, brown sugar, light molasses, lite soy sauce, lightly toasted wheat bread, and a light grassiness.

Taste - Begins roasted malts and toast with a dusting of brown sugar, even a hint of dark unsweetened bakers chocolate - this is almost immediately followed with a good dose of grassy and herbal hops, with hints of basil, mint and pine on the back of the tongue. The finish is dried lightly burnt toast, some dried fruit stones, bakers chocolate, and dried brown grass. This is probably the most hops I've tasted in a brown ale.

Mouthfeel - Nearly medium and very smooth, with some slight astringency and dryness at the back. Carb is on the lighter side, with a few light edges at the back of the tongue, but no scrub whatsoever - allowing the hops to "sink in" and assert during each quaff.

Overall - A very flavorful brown ale, and very interesting to me, not your typical brown ale with the stronger presence of hops here. Not a bad thing at all, as it clearly says this on the label - and they mean it. Throw a few ounces of your favorite IPA into a brown ale and that's what you have here.

 1,337 characters

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

12 ounce bottle into signature tulip glass, bottled on 10/15/2014. Pours crystal clear dark reddish brown color with a 1 finger dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, brown sugar, toast, dark bread, molasses, light dark fruit, herbal, grass, light pine, and roast/toasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/roasted/bready malt and moderate earthy hop notes; with great strength. Taste of big dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, caramel, brown sugar, toast, dark bread, molasses, light dark fruit, herbal, grass, pine, and roast/toasted earthiness. Fair amount of herbal/pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, coffee, toast, dark bread, molasses, herbal, grass, light pine, and roast/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roasted/bready malt and earthy hop flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, moderately creamy, and lightly sticky/chalky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is an awesome hoppy brown ale style. All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/roasted/bready malt and earthy hop flavors; and very smooth to drink. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of FullRW
4.43/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from bottle into pint glass.

L- Brown with a bit of red when held to the light. Perfect head came right to the top of the pint glass.

S- Smells kind of like a porter with a bit of a sweeter brown sugar aroma.

T- It taste like a scotch ale (which I admittedly haven't tried very many of). It really reminds me of the taste of Oskar Blues Old Chubb, except this Dogfish Head tastes a little more hoppy, and a little more sweet, but only just a little.

F- Carbonation is just a tad weak. It seems like they wanted to create the illusion that it has more body by slightly under carbonating it, but this beer is a little to thin to pull this off. If it was carbonated just a tiny bit more it would be perfect.

Overall, this is a very solid beer that I will definitely pick up again. This would really hit the spot if you're craving a darker beer during the warm summer months.

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Photo of claytong25
4.85/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I really got started into the whole craft beer market by some tasty brown ales and porters. I've continued onto IPA's , but not to much of a stout fan.

Anyway, this is by far the best high alcohol brown ale I have ever had. Its just so perfect in every way. Absolutely smooth and so enjoyable to sip and swirl.. I plan on using this beer to introduce craft beer virgins into this exciting market. I love the idea of giving these small breweries my money that the giant commercial beer makers out there.

Cheers to Dogfish on making me a so very happy customer with this WONDERFUL BROWN ALE!!!!

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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 VirginiaBeerMan
3.92/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've tried many Dogfish Head beers and frankly, I don't find many of them very good. I appreciate pushing the limits and trying non-mainstream ingredients, but every experiment doesn't need bottling.

This one, however, is one of the few that I find very, very good and would recommend.

Nice dark brown color with tan head that slowly dissipates. Good lacing. Good malty caramel aroma that is not overpowering. Slight hop and bitter blends well with the malt.

The beer as is advertised.

 492 characters

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

A very tasty beer. Almost as dark as a porter and similar in taste to one but sweeter and with some hoppiness. Very full flavor and very smooth. One of my favorite beers. yb

 173 characters

Photo of bluehende
4.19/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is a great brown. A lot of very heavy roasted malts along with a lot of hop flavor. Very rich and nicely balanced brown. Deserves it's reputation as one of the best browns out there.

 191 characters

Photo of ClavisAurea
4.39/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Fresh 12oz bottle served in a pint glass. Bottle was dated 1/30/15.

Appearance: ruddy brown with a thick and billowy head.

Nose: roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, toffee,

Taste: chocolate, roasted flavor, caramel, toffee, brown sugar.

Overall: love it. I need more in my life. Potentially a cellar candidate.

 315 characters

Photo of Cuttlephish
3.71/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

While I feel like it combined IPA and brown Ale well in aroma, the taste did not live up to my expectations. Smell was caramel, floral, piney, roasty, and of alcohol. Body was a bit lacking, a little too carbonated. Taste was hoppy, cedar, and bitter malt flavors with almost, but not quite, too much alcohol.

 309 characters

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

Pours a dark brown with a coffee colored head that laces the glass. The smell is full of heavy flavors such as dark chocolate and coffee scents. The taste was nice as well with those heavy notes being well paired with some nuttiness as well as some light pine from the hops. Well balanced and a very delicious brown ale.

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Photo of eddiechilton
4.05/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Brown, I'd guess an SRM of about 25, nice cream colored head
S: Caramel, Spicy/Grassy hops, toffee, and a hint of raisin
T: Toffee, Herbal hops, Brown sugar.
M: Medium-light body, really drinkable
O: Really enjoyable beer in a style I am not generally fond of. With a name like Indian Brown ale, and the mention of "well-hopped" on the front, I expected more hops, but I'm actually glad there was less; there's a good ratio of IBUs/SG here.

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Photo of Schimms
4.78/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

L: Pours dark brown with reddish tint. Nice sustained one-finger creamy head. Great lacing on the pint glass.

S: Smells very caramel up front with some hop.

T: Wonderful caramel with that delicate coffee flav at the end.

F: Creamy mouth feel with light carbonation - perfect balance.

O: One of the best browns I've ever had.

 330 characters

Photo of stephenipa
4.17/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dogfish hit a home run with this brown ale. Solid malt flavor with good balance of hops. Brown ales don't stack up against IPA but a great beer - I enjoy it for a good change of pace.

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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 GOBLIN
4.17/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

As far as brown ales go this is fantastic ! A brown ale that is firing on all cylinders for sure. Beautiful color, aroma, taste and feel. A real treat. I wouldn't have believed it myself till I tried it. Might be better than Bells Best Brown in my book.

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

Pours dark, but somewhat clear with a small creamy head. Mild brown sugar smell with a malt background. Burnt coffee taste with brown sugar background. Nice mouthfeel, mild carbonation with a nice finish. Very interesting blend of three beers!

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Photo of MemphisSooner
4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Brown with reddish hues, cream colored head. Good looking brew!

S: Burnt sugar, hops, malty sweetness, roasted nuts

T: Whoa! This one packs a lot of flavor in. Brown sugar, toasted bread, roasted malts. There is a lot to appreciate here. Dogfish head delivers the goods on this one.

M: Medium bodied, drinkable and smooth.

O: I am not crazy about brown ales, but this one is top notch. The hops and the burnt sugar set this apart from the pack of boring masses in this style. Well done Dogfish Head!

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

I admit I'm not a fan of brown ales. While there are several notable exceptions, if I walk into a new brewery and sample a range of their beers, the chances are pretty good that I will find their brown ale boring.

DFH's Indian Brown Ale is anything but boring. It's an excellent balance of malty goodness, a little sweetness and caramel, and just the right amount of pizazz from the hops. It's a great beer for drinking with a meal, but has plenty enough character to stand on its own.

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Photo of Jeffreysan
4.7/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

12 ounce bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a gorgeous, deep, dark, mahogany color, with a quarter of a finger of white head that quickly dissolved away into a thin lacing of foam that almost completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Lots of toasted and roasted malt up front, imparting some subtle notes of smoke, freshly baked bread, dark chocolate, brown sugar and some subtle hops.

Taste: Damn, that’s good! Massive malt bomb up front, giving off flavors of freshly baked dark bread, roasted chestnuts or walnuts, dark chocolate, and brown sugar-like sweetness, all beautifully balanced with some assertive, but not overpowering hops.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied to slightly chewy, and pretty smooth, as there is practically not carbonation what-so-ever. With an ABV of 7.2%, there is just a touch of alcohol on the palate.

Overall: Jesus, this is an outstanding beer! Strong, beautifully balanced flavors of malt, sweet and hops, wrapped up in a smooth quaff! Delicious! Another awesome beer from Dogfish Head, one of my favorite breweries.

 1,080 characters

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

Dark brown, a tuby shine when held towards the light, small beige head quick to a small lace.
Smell of roasted grain, caramel, faint nut, used coffee filter, some cocoa, light fruitiness underneath.
Rich caramel up front, with toasted grain, light hazelnut and some raisin and date too, and quite a lot of crisp citrus. Malts start to cover up, with some cocoa powder and rich toasted bread. Light coffee in the finish and a bit of bitter hop.
Aftertaste has roasted grain and bread, with a bit of nut and cocoa powder. Hops seem to disappear. Medium body, light carbonation, easy to drink.
Can't say it blew my mind. Rich, really tasty, with a bit of extra hop, a bit complex, but quite quaffable, and still, no real "wow!" factor.

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

12 oz bottle poured into a standard pint glass. If I am interpreting the coding correctly, this was bottled on 11/17/14.

A- Dark brown with slight amber and black highlights. Half finger head that moves a fairly thick lace. Decent retention on the side of the glass.

S - Grains, slight hops, dark fruit, cocoa, smoke, wood

T - Some caramel, cocoa, mild citrus, burnt grains. The description on the bottle seems spot on. Very clean and you can tell it was dry hopped.

M - Carbonation is medium light, things get chewy and a little sticky as it warms.

O - A well put together brown hybrid. Still looking for that brown ale that will stop me from reminiscing about the original Pete's Wicked.

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Photo of everythingiszen
4.24/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark, dark brown, with a subtle red tinge. Almost no head, what there is is very fine. Lightly carbonated, heavier body. Smells of sweet and dark malt. Leads with brown sugar malt, balanced caramel sweetness and a fair amount of hoppy bitterness, lingering finish of coffee and subtle smoke. Small amount of alc bite on some finishes. An interesting, while not outlandish, brown. Not bad at all. I’m nota huge brown fan, but if I’ll order one, it’ll be this.

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Photo of tekstr1der
4.59/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours the darkest brown, this smells of carmelized goodness. So malty and smooth with rich flavors of roast and molasses. Not usually a fan of Dogfish brews, but this is one of the finest ales.

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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

Indian Brown Ale from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 2,021 ratings.
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