Indian Brown Ale | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Indian Brown AleIndian Brown Ale
6,193 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 6,193 |  Reviews: 2,086
Photo of BeerCon5
4.22/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

 416 characters

Photo of JWU
4.4/5  rDev +7.6%
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.

 595 characters

Photo of NightINgale
4.7/5  rDev +14.9%
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!

 1,267 characters

Photo of divineaudio
4/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

 694 characters

Photo of AlCaponeJunior
4.08/5  rDev -0.2%
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!

 1,024 characters

Photo of draheim
4.09/5  rDev 0%
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 +7.6%
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 -6.4%
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.

 656 characters

Photo of BobZ
4.42/5  rDev +8.1%
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.

 622 characters

Photo of stephenjmoore
4.8/5  rDev +17.4%
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.

 423 characters

Photo of deaconoflove
3.55/5  rDev -13.2%
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.

 480 characters

Photo of dahlen22
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
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!!

 617 characters

Photo of litheum94
3.72/5  rDev -9%
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.

 749 characters

Photo of kemoarps
3.89/5  rDev -4.9%
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!

 1,190 characters

Photo of vtblackdog
3.93/5  rDev -3.9%
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

 539 characters

Photo of Knapp85
3.7/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Been quite some time since I had one of these. The beer poured out as a brown color with a pretty good looking head on top. The smell of this beer has a good amount of citrusy hops on the nose, with a more subtle aroma of chocolate malt. The taste of this beer is very hoppy, It's along the lines of some Black IPA's that are available these days. The flavors are sweet and bitter all at the same time. Pretty interesting stuff really. The mouthfeel is average I think, the carbonation in good and it is a drinkable brew. Overall it's a nice choice if you're looking for something new to try. It's a pretty enjoyable beer all around.

 633 characters

Photo of STKPICR0720
4.32/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew has a great smell to it that almost tells you get ready for the hops and that is may be a belgian brew. It has the hey is this a brown ale or and belgian ale. Nice hop smell and a great caramel sweet taste. I tasted honey and caramel that was backed by a generous palate touching hop bitterness that was a perfect complete to the sweetness. Great brew and another reason why I need this compnay to distribute in Alabama.


 438 characters

Photo of cbarrett4
4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into Dogfish head rounded pint glass.

Lovely brown/amber hue with lots of persistent white head fading to a very pretty white lace. Very pretty beer.

The nose is complex and fun with noticeable hops framed by brown sugar, iced cafe au lait, wood, spice, and caramel. The nose displays all of this without coming off as being too sweet or cloying.

On the palate you definitely get the hop oil with some caramel, wood, and spice. A little less complex taste than the palate suggests.

Mouthfeel is rather odd but enjoyable. Aggressively hoppy but with a hint of sweetness. It's good but slightly disjointed. Finishes long but the hops seem to kick out the brown ale notes.

A stunning little beer that is enjoyable and interesting but kind of disjointed. I do enjoy it on a regular basis.

 808 characters

Photo of brewskifan55
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to John M. for bringing this one back from Florida.
Poured into a wine goblet

Appearance: Rich, dark brown with bits of reddish hue, 1/2 finger head that quickly dissipates

Smell: Robust; chocolate and malt with brown sugar

Taste: Same as smell with even more complexity. Coffee, malt, chocolate, brown sugar. Ooh, this is a good sipper. Slightly bitter hoppy finish that makes it all worthwhile.

Mouthfeel: medium, with that fine brown sugar coating.

Overall: One of the better brown ales I've had. Wish I had access to more DFH brews. Well deserving of its praise.

 580 characters

Photo of homebrewer88
4.77/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown color hard to see anything through it, small tan colored head. Smells very sweet with a lot of chocolate and maybe some coffee. The taste follows with some great roasted malt flavor and a lot of chocolate. Very enjoyable beer one of my new favorites.

 261 characters

Photo of tvv375ia
3.89/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass

A- veryy dark brown with no light getting through except at the edges where there is a nice dark ruby but not much head or lacing

S-dark chocolate with some carmel and roast coffee

T-Chocolate at the begining and end around some nice malt flavor

M-good carbonation

O-great brown ale unlike any other brown I have had

 362 characters

Photo of Tschnab
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- rich brown with a light brown head and some good lace rings on the glass.

S- smells like a really hoppy porter more than a brown ale. Cofee and semi sweet chocolate, some char, and a lot of hops.

T- just like the smell. I keep forgetting this is a brown ale. It is darker and roastier than I would have expected, but it works nice with the hops.

O- not like most brown ales, but DFH tends to color outside of the lines in terms of flavor any way. Nice offering here from DFH.

 481 characters

Photo of Hoptometrist
4.51/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a nonic glass

A- Poured a very dark brown with ruby hues shining through. Less than a finger of quickly dissipating head that left no lace.

S- Huge roasty coffee notes, butterscotch, caramel, brown sugar and biter chocolate. Great roasty and sweet notes, very balanced and aromatic

T- Lots of big roasty coffee notes, lots of brown sugar, caramel, toffee, and butterscotch notes. Some bitter chocolate taste as well and earthy hop finish

M- Very smooth with nice prickly carbonation and very dry on the finish

O- This a very complex and great beer. Lots of notes reminiscent of a scotch ale, porter, and brown ale. This beer has amazing balance and is very drinkable.

 702 characters

Photo of comfortablynumb1
3.8/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured form a 12oz bottle into a BJ's Father's Day pint glass...

A - Pours a deep brown with mohogany hues, and a one finger tan head. Head dissipates at a fairly quick pace, but there is some lacing to be had...

S - Pick alot of roastiness and nutty notes. Also get some brown sugar, chocolate, caramel and other sweet malt notes in the mix.

T - Roasted malts, chocolate, brown sugar, and a hint of caramel. Ends with some lingering roast and some hop bittereness. Abv is pretty well hidden here...

M - Creamy and smooth. Medium bodied with a decent amount of carbonation...

O - Not a big fan of the browns, but this one is definitely in my top five for the style. Abv is decent, and it is petty smooth. Could see myself putting back a sixer of these sometime...


 780 characters

Photo of depechemode1983
3.59/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown with red hues when held to the light. Pretty solid head. Its tan mediocre retention. Just a single streamer of lacing on the right side of the tulip. Sweet milk coffee up front along with lightly toasted malts. Some burnt caramel in the middle. Raisins as well make an appearance. Not as much hops pulling through as advertised. Very coffee like. Sweet brown sugar with bitter hop balance through the middle. Sweet dark fruits give it some depth. Ends with a burnt coffee finish and a alcohol warmth that lingers for awhile. Feels creamy. Soft and with moderate carbonation. Imperial Brown Ale? This is pretty good stuff right here. Very flavorful. This one is for coffee lovers. Pretty much the strongest American Brown Ale Ive had to date.

 752 characters

Indian Brown Ale from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 4.09 out of 5 with 6,193 ratings