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Indian Brown Ale | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

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Indian Brown AleIndian Brown Ale
6,128 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: 6,128 |  Reviews: 2,071
Photo of Paincane
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown with tan head and moderate lacing. Poured into pint glass.
S: Malt and soy sauce aromas are present.
T: Sweet malt with coffee notes are evident up front. A bit of hoppy bitterness adds to the crisp finish and cleanses the palate.
M: Medium bodied with mild carbonation.
O: Well balanced and enjoyable. Will have another for certain.

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Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.38/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a great beer, super drinkable and very tasty, probably my favorite brown ale and also my favorite year round Dogfish head beer.

The beer pours a hearty brown color with some nice lacing left on the glass once a sip has been taken. A head dies to a tannish ring.

The smell is pretty decent, with some really nice dark malt with a touch of smokiness or roast, lots of fresh water scents as well which is interesting in beer. Some doughy malts as well, maybe just a flutter of hops.

The taste explodes with great grainy malt flavors and some nice resiny hops accenting a bittersweet finish. Some coffee and cocoa in there is really nice to undertone the malts as well. Just a nice overall balanced taste that is very interesting and complex in the malt profile compared to many brown ales, this thing almost reminds me of an american stout or porter in some ways with the roast and bitter sweet.

The mouth is nice, very thick for the ABV and quite creamy, awesome. Overall a great and drinkable beer!

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Photo of devinoconnor
3.32/5  rDev -19%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Really different brown ale, very good. Pours a dark, yet somewhat thin dark brown, almost black color. Would like it to be a little more robust. The color almost looks like an uncarbonated Pepsi.

Smell is delicious. More than the expected hops, sweet caramel and sugar.

Taste is sweet and Scotchy, but pretty well-balanced.

Different, and certainly worth your buck.

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Photo of TheAlamoWrocker
4.07/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle, bottled June 24th of 2011, into a Blue Star Brewery Pint Glass.


While pouring I thought it was just gonna be a really dark brown. When it's in the glass it almost looks like a stout. Bright red highlights are around the edges and that's what makes it look like less of a stout. My head was practically nothing though. Carbonation is rising to top, but it doesn't really add to it's head.


The smell is mostly roasted malts and also possibly a dark chocolate smell as well. Dark fruits are present, raisins and figs. A pretty strong alcohol smell is in here as well.


Roasted malts and also a molasses caramel taste. It ends with a weird bitter taste though, it's like an odd Italian Roast style coffee.


It feels really smooth and slightly creamy. Mild body and mild carbonation.


The only other American Brown Ale I've had was Rogue's Hazelnut Brown Nectar, but this brew feels nothing like it. This beast has so much more to offer. Maybe this just isn't my style of coffee that I enjoy. I like a French Roast, but this is just an Italian Roast to me. They are both coffee, but the style is just different. The taste is definitely good, but not quite for me though.

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Photo of Nachojon
4.07/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From bottle into shaker pint. Dogfish Head is always a go to for me.I love brown ales and I love hops. This is a balanced combination that still fits into the brown ale category for me. Molasses and brown sugar while still giving me some hop kick and great fall spice making this an awesome fall beer.

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Photo of Immortale25
2.09/5  rDev -49%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured into a Corona Extra pint glass. Says bottled on 8/2/11.

A- Pours a borderline opaque black with a 1/4 inch head that drops down to a paper thin head with splotchy bubbles on the surface. Not much lacing.

S- Smells of burnt malts with roasted overtones but not much else. Maybe a little coffee but not enough to be substantial.

T- Eh. More roasty notes but that's all. It's quite overbearing. Like a brown that wants to be a stout. Not sweet like you would expect from a beer made with caramelized sugar. Just a malt bomb with a bit of hops. Not as bad as previous attempts I've made to get into this beer but I still simply can't get down with it.

M- Once again, a stout's flavor with a brown's mouthfeel. Doesn't match up.

O- I've never liked this beer and have always maintained that it's my least favorite Dogfish of all time. This still holds true although I think that reviewing it made me gain a tad bit more respect for it. Still, I'm struggling to not drainpour it.

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Photo of Radome
4.35/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tasted on tap at DFH Alehouse in Falls Church, VA.

A - Deep brown but very clear and lets light through. Red highlights. Tan head fades but keeps a ring around the glass. Some lacing.

S - Nutty malt dominates, but some American hops add complexity.

T - Rich chocolate and coffee notes on top of nutty malt. Molasses. Some hops flavor, but muted. The focus is on malt and specialty malt over hops, but the malt has many complex layers.

M - Smooth and creamy with medium body. Some lingering sweetness like chocolate milk. Alcohol well-hidden.

D - Drinks like a session beer but with oh-so-much flavor. Wow, that's drinkable! I don't remember being this impressed with the bottled version, but it is truly outstanding on tap.

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

Appearance DARK--YEA. Smell is strong with carmel and coffee. This beer leaves your mouth quick, great mouthfeel. Taste, complex, coffee, caramel and some slight hint (small) of brown sugar. Nicely hopped, for a dark beer we like this. Overall we can live with this beer to be with our blue cheese burger, but better yet we will use this in our stew.. Oh yea. Great winter beer, sit by the fire and enjoy.

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Photo of Crundy
4.63/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

appearance: dark cherry red and brown appearance, pours with a beige head about 1 finger, dissipates slowly, good lacing

Smell: slight alcohol, citrus smell, roasted malt smell, sweet fruity smell

taste: roasted malts, sweet caramel and toffee flavor, some fruit as well. hardly taste the alcohol for the abv, bitter on the finish.

Mouth feel:,creamy and smooth up front, medium body beer, leaving a dry feeling at the end.

Overall: I really enjoyed this beer. It has a nice balance between sweet and bitter. The sweetness hits you right up front and lingers and then the bitterness is tasted on the finish and it leaves a pleasant mix of the two in the after taste. I will definitely buy this beer again. Very delicious beer.

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Photo of BeerdedEric
4.09/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark body with some ruby highlights. Off white -- almost khaki color head. Soap-like lacing on the glass.

Dark chocalate, caramel, toffee and coffee. Smells really nice! It's quite in your face!

Big time roasted malt, bitterness, chocalate, toffee, caramel, coffee, dark fruits and a hint of a booze in the background.

Creamy, smooth, silky -- yet medium carbonation. It leaves the mouth feeling a little dry.

This is a tasty brew for sure. A mixture of a IPA and a Brown Ale making this a tasty mixture. Bitterness and sweet roasted malts are very well balanced -- it kind of reminds me of a "Black IPA".

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Photo of BeerCon5
4.22/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown color with less than one finger of off white foamy head.

The scent was of toasty malts and some notes of fruit.

The taste was of toasty malts, some chocolate, notes of coffee and molasses. Really no alcohol presence from the higher abv.

Medium body, smooth, moderate carbonation.

This was a very good brown ale, very flavorful and incredibly easy to drink. I wouldn't mind drinking this again.

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Photo of JWU
4.4/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into a curved pint glass

A- dark, deep brown, with a tight, almost stout like caramel head. decent lacing down the glass

S- brown ale/brown sugar sweetness with some earthy hops. Hints at the fact that this isn't your everyday brown ale.

T- Wow. It's malty, sweet, chocolaty, caramelly, and just downright brown ale perfection. A little more hops than your average craft brown ale offering, and it's oh so welcome.

M- Medium bodied, light to medium carbonation, and just a slight drying effect which begs you to take another sip.

O- Bravo Dogfish Head, Bravo. Delicious.

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

I've had this on tap before, but this was my first bottle of Indian Brown...

A - Rich brown body, with a nice fluffy caramel head. Lots of lacing and pretty good head retention, as it never completely dissipated on me. Looks stunning for a brown ale.

S - I was pleasantly surprised with the amount of hoppiness in the aroma. Citrus, a little pine, as well as a rich roasted malt profile (with hints of dark chocolate, caramel, bread) and a bit of dark fruits.

T - De-li-cious. The "well hopped" part really shines in this beer. I felt a pretty strong earthy hop punch at the first sip, then the roasted malts treated me to some sweet, slightly bitter, even burnt flavours. Hints of chocolate and caramel were present at all times. The finish is slightly dry and bitter, both from the hops and the roasted malts. Lingering chocolate and caramelised sugar notes. So much for a brown ale...

M - Medium body to it. Just enough carbonation to make it smooth yet not flat. The alcohol is not really present, as far as taste goes, but then it gives you a nice warming sensation, which I didn't mind at all. Very pleasant and soft on the palate.

O - I've yet to find a better American Brown ale. I loved it on tap, and now I'm loving it from the bottle equally as much!

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Photo of divineaudio
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

bottled on 6/24/11
pint glass.

a - pours a deep mahogany shade and gives me a thin cap of tan head that slowly fades into a ring around the top. very little in the way of lacing.

s - carmel, molasses, raisin, slightest note of grassy hops.

t - sweet carmel malt up front balanced by generous hop character that fades into a nice mellow bitterness. notes of brown sugar, dark fruits and a hint of spice. the extra hops add a layer of complexity that most brown ales lack.

m - heavier side of medium, slightly chewy, enough carbonation to feel prickly on the tongue.

o - a damn fine beer and one of my favorites for the style. 2 of these in a night is just about right. worth seeking out.

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Photo of AlCaponeJunior
4.08/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer is very darn good looking. Brown, almost black, but with an auburn clarity when held up to the light. Monster head that doesn't go away, leaving great lacing.

Malty, roasted and toasted malts come through first, with nice light coffee, nuts and molasses accents.

Taste is much along the lines of the smell. Ever so slight smoke starts it off, followed by ever growing elements of coffee and chocolate, growing further still with great roasted malt flavors, with a touch of nuttiness for dessert. Hops balance is light but present.

Body is pretty full and creamy with nicely done carbonation.

It has a lot of the properties of a stout, reminds me somewhat of Guinness export stout, especially with the mouthfeel. Also has some of the qualities of a great porter, with the roasty malts and slight smokiness. Very interesting and complex!

Overall even though it's not even a style that I typically much care for, this beer really comes out on top no matter what the style. DFH strikes again with deliciousness!

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Photo of draheim
4.09/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle (bottled 8/12/10) poured into a tulip.

Dark reddish-brown color with mahogany edges and a 1-finger tan head. Aroma is malty and bready, with some chocolate, vanilla, and toffee.

Taste is super smooth and moderately rich, but not overpowering. Caramel malt with a hoppy bitter finish that's just right. Some dark fruit flavors too.

Overall this is just a really good brown ale, a style I'm not very familiar with but I'm really enjoying this and I'll be revisiting it again.

 490 characters

Photo of monkey911
4.4/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is a great brown ale period. Has all of the complex deep flavor and aroma that i want in a brown. Nutty and deep the finis is med to long. in my top ten of brown ales. More recent browns include clown shoes brown angel. Also a huge fan of Rogue hazelnut brown nectar and prob the best brown ever Founders chashew mtn brown.

 328 characters

Photo of goatsgo2hell
3.83/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I love brown ales, and this was recently gifted to me from someone who knows my taste in beer. Overall, I was very pleased with it even though it might be slightly outside of my normal fare of browns.

The beer pours beautifully, a rich dark chocolate color that was very appealing to look at. It smelled a lot like it looked - malty, chocolate-like, but with a bit of a bite that the hops provided. The taste was deep and rich, but with a little bite to confirm to me what the smell forewarned. While I don't know if I'm in love with the marriage of an IPA and Brown, I do have to say that I enjoyed the beer and it's something I'll revisit in the future.

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

12 oz. Bottle poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance: Medium brown with a very nice frothy tan head that builds quickly and stays around. Lacing is very good.

Smell: Roasted malt aromas with hints of peppery spice nice complexity as beneath the spicy malt there are some hints of coffee and chocolate.

Taste: Wow, like a spicy porter. Big on the roasted malt coupled with spice and followed by subtle notes of chocolate and coffee.
Mouthfeel: Very smooth, well carbonated.

Overall: Delicious, a very rich and complex beer, that delivers a massive amount of flavor while masking it’s ABV. My favorite Dogfish beer.

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Photo of stephenjmoore
4.8/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Very dark brown with a light tan head. Some lacing.

S - Dark malts, notes of chocolate, coffee, possibly some dried fruit.

T - Just as it smells; dark malts off the bat, hints of chocolate coffee and some sweetness. Everything is in perfect balance.

M - Thick, but extremely drinkable. Slight carbonation.

O - One of my all-time favorites. Not your typical brown ale by any means, but great complexity and balance.

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Photo of deaconoflove
3.55/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

ap. Deep brown w/ a good brown head. Some lacing, too.
sm. Is that raison or alcohol? Some roasted malts.
ta. Alcohol up front, malt and a hidden strong coffee flavor comes through and disappears, followed by more alcohol near the finish. Nice mild bitterness.
mf. Full, good carbonation level.
dr. Very flavorful and substantial beer. The alcohol taste is a little too strong for me. I'd rather taste other flavors. Overall, it's good stuff...I prefer beer w/ flavor to beer w/o.

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Photo of dahlen22
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark brown with a good amount of head.

Aroma: Burnt sugar, cocoa, malt, dark fruit, and some citrus hops.

Taste: This beer is big, yet smooth, and complex. There is a LOT going on here, but nothing is overbearing. Burnt sugar, chocolate, malts, dark fruits like figs and raisins, and then balanced with a clean array of citrus hops.

Overall: This is a quality and complex brew. None of the flavors really stand out, and somehow they blend together to make a symphany of malty and hoppy pleasure. Easy to drink considering the 7.2% ABV and perfect for the cooler nights that are on the horizon. Cheers!!

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Photo of litheum94
3.72/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 6/24/11.

P: Deep brown body with garnet tones when held to the light. Slow forming tan head that organizes into a tiny head and then scatters, leaving traces of foam and some lacing.

A: Lots of sweet caramel candy aromas. Figs and milk chocolate. Light hop notes, mostly floral. Hazelnuts.

T: Sweet at first, like a hazelnut with a caramel drizzle and then dipped in chocolate. Subtle coffee tones. Over ripe fig flavors mid palate. The hops start to make the prescence known on the backend, with a creeping bitterness, again mostly floral. The bitterness is bolstered a bit by more coffee tones. Warming alcohols wraps it all up in a nice package.

A pretty good brown ale. Wasn't the best, but I wouldn't mind drinking more of this.

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Photo of kemoarps
3.89/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

pours a deep dark somewhere between black dark brown and like mahogany. No head to speak of

I don't really get much of anything off the nose, to be honest. The little I get is a fresh dark chocolate, with almost a rosy underpinning, and a subtle biscuit hint.

Luckily, the flavour does not follow in the footsteps of the smell. There is flavour there, and I'm glad for that, because it tastes damn good. It has a burnt character, with hints of bakers chocolate and raw espresso. The malt is expertly balanced by a not-overwhelming amount of hoppy bitterness. This is a complex, and very well made beer.

This beer belies it's 7% abv, and is not overly... well overly anything really. it's a well balanced brew that you can sip on easily (I wouldn't want to pound this one, for multiple reasons). The carbonation compliments the hop bite well, and it ultimately goes down well. Dogfish Head has a reputation of crafting exceptionally well made brews (one I feel they have absolutely earned), and this IBA is no exception. If they have this in your local area, pick it up. It has something for everyone. whether you prefer IPAs or darker maltier brews, I think you'll like this one. DO IT!

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Photo of vtblackdog
3.93/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pour from the bottle into a pint glass.

Reasonable head forms and falls back into the brew. The color goes right with the style, brown.

Aroma is a malt upfront and slight hop in the background. The aroma is very subtle and my first nose gave me very little ... I had to work to get something.

Taste is a well balanced brown with some Scottish tones to it. I get some booziness to it which is just fine with me.

Mouth is full of carbonation and on the heavy body side.

Overall a nice twist on a traditional brown ale style. I like it.I

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Indian Brown Ale from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 4.1 out of 5 with 6,128 ratings
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