Indian Brown Ale | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

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Indian Brown AleIndian Brown Ale
6,179 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: 6,179 |  Reviews: 2,080
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

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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.

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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.


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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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...


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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.

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Photo of output01x
4.27/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle (Bottled On 06/24/11) into a pint glass.

A strong pour yields a 2-finger creamy tan colored head that fades after a good few minutes to a thick dusting and thick foam ring. The body is a deep mahogany brown with traces of blood red when held to light. Light lacing can be seen clinging to the glass sides, but is a little heavy for good amounts to cling indefinitely.

The nose is absolutely delicious. Bold and rich, it has aromas of dark roasted malts, molasses, caramel, espresso, and toasted nuts. Undoubtedly, there is more in there, but I can't just sit here smelling this beer all day.

Dark roasted malts give a slight creamy sweetness to the beer. Notes of Columbian coffee, milk chocolate, and roasted nuts give a very rich and dark flavor. A slight alcohol warmth develops in the far reaches of the throat though it is almost unnoticeable.

Full bodied with great carbonation, this beer has an almost creamy quality. The body is a bit thick and sticky for the style, but is fitting for the bold flavors. The carbonation is a little fizzy when held on the tongue, but is not strong enough to hinder the flavors.

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Photo of rowingbrewer
4.45/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

this beer pours a medium brown color with about one finger of tan head that dissipates rather quickly. the smell is deep rich, slightly roasty and chocolatey. the taste is slightly roasty semi sweet chocolate flavors as well as a little bit of hops. the mouthfeel is medium bodied with decent carbonation. overall this is one of the better brown ales out there.

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Photo of Hoagie1973
3.57/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours almost opaque dark brown with a moderate tan head. Retention is fair with good strings of lacing.
Smells rich and roasty. Alcohol is very apparent in the nose.
Full flavored rich roasted malt and brown sugar with a pretty hefty hop character that lends balance, but there's just a bit too much of everything for a Brown Ale in my opinion. Alcohol gets overly boozy halfway through, seriously hurting the drinkability.
Full bodied.
It's a nice sipper, but not generally what I look for in a Brown Ale.
Also definitely more of a Winter beer than an August beer.

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Photo of Jishguy
3.2/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Poured a dark brown body with a creamy, two finger mocha-colored head that dissipates quickly. Leaves almost no lacing on the glass.

S- Sweet malts, molasses, dark fruits, chocolate, and a roasted coffee character. Quite complex. Less prevalent are toffee, and citrus-like hop aromas.

T- Very sweet up front, almost cola-like. The brown sugar(as mentioned on the bottle) is very present. Sweet caramel malts with a roasted coffee and chocolate flavor on the backbone. The finish is dry and full of hops.

M-Creamy, to some extent could be a little more full bodied.

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Photo of Thads324
4.22/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

bottled 6/24/11
Pours a ruby hued dark brown with a very small tan head that disappears very very quickly. just a ring of lacing where the initial pour was. smells like some burnt toffee and caramel. A tiny bit of roasted mild coffee. The coffee aroma is cut by a subtle mix of booze and a slight hop that almost smells like a spring morning, fresh and vibrant, earthly and alive yet young. starts a bit sweet, but then an overwhelming hop bitterness follows. The hop is earthy and slightly citrusy. The bitterness carries almost to the end, where you get a bit of the malt found in the aroma. there is a tiny bit of heat at the end, but the hops keep it in check. The roasted coffee is more apparent here than anything else. Finishes smooth and with a second wave of the same hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is pleasant and full bodied. Super easy to drink. A very fine brown ale, and one that still stands as original. Definite must try!

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Photo of Retail1LO
4.13/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

For all the DFH beers I've had, it's hard to believe this is the first time I've had this. Poured on draft with a minimal head. Very dark brown. This could almost pass as a stout. It's remniscent of one in every way. Mouthfeel, a nice bourbon profile, vanilla... This is real smooth. An easy drinker. The alcohol is well hidden until the last moment. I definitely will return to this.

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Photo of SolipsismalCat
4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Clear dark brown. Two-finger, off-white creamy head that was mostly lasting. Very good lacing.

S: Toasted and nutty aroma with an earthy fruitiness. Hints of caramel and chocolate.

T: Moderate sweetness and a solid hop bitterness. Roasted and nutty with hints of coffee and chocolate. The finish was long.

M: Medium to full body that was dry and creamy. The carbonation was soft.

O: A very solid hoppier brown ale.

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Photo of DrinkingDrake
3.97/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown pour with a thin layer of thick, off white head. Nose is toasty malts with hints of chocolate and dark roasted coffee. Vanilla and some woody notes as well. Flavor is thick and sweet. Molasses and oaky chocolate. The vanilla from the nose is subdued in the flavor. Malty sweetness and woody flavors are dominant in this beer. Hops are in the finish but covered but the big malt character. The hops are earthy and blend well with the woody flavors of the malts. Finishes sweet with only a subtle dry bitterness similar to coffee.

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Photo of tetu
4.17/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Very dark with nice head and decent lacing.

S- Roasted coffee with some hops

T- Like it smells, coffee with hints of chocolate and a good amount of pine hops with semisweet chocolate aftertaste.

M- Sticky, good carbonation. Couples well with the taste.

O- Great beer that covers the alcohol well. This could be a great fall/winter go-to beer.

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

A-dark brown color with a light tan creamy head and good lacing

S-malt and caramel with slight sweetness and hoppy overtones

T-rich malt and caramel flavors with a nice bitter hoppy finish

M-medium body with moderate carbonation

O-an excellent brown ale with good balance and rich flavors

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Photo of jondeelee
4.62/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Has a nutty, brown sugary aroma, with hazelnut and deeply-toasted grain notes, as well as a promise of hops.

On the tongue, there's a simultaneous assault of hops and malts, with waves of bitterness and sugary goodness coming at you from all fronts. On the bitter side, there's the pronounced grapefruity buzz of hops, which come in with the strength of a lighter IPA, as well as the more subtle rosewater tastes that come with addition of the whole leaf. On the malty side, there are definite caramelized brown sugar threads in the tapestry, along with caramels, vanilla, fruit esters, and deeply-toasted (almost chocolate) grains. The sugariness of the brew lasts for quite a while, dropping off precipitously near the end to reveal a deep belly of almost-burnt malts. Then, right at the end of the aftertaste, the sugars kick back in for one more sweet blat of the trumpet.

Overall, this is a fantastic ale, and it's obvious that the brewers have put in far more time and care--as well as ingredients--than most other breweries would dream of. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Jerone
4.23/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours a dark brown with a few bubbles and a thick cream colored head, great lacing too.

The smell is of slightly roasted malts, caramel, brown sugar and a little bit of hops.

Great beer, sweet malts, caramel and brown sugar that are balanced out very nicely by a slight bitter hop bite. You get a touch of alcohol and a nice bitter finish. The mouthfeel is medium body with low to medium carbonation.

Nothing to complain about with this beer, big flavors that are all artfully balanced and exactly what you want out of a brown ale.

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Photo of cr0ckett
4.05/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a deep red-brown caramel color with a head that dissipates rather quickly, ok lacing though. Color is very nice when held up to light, but not much light gets through otherwise.
S: Sweet like caramel, maybe a little maple syrup.
T: Roasted and nutty taste. One previous reviewer (Butzen) notes that it "smells like a good dark malt extract (the kind used for home brewing)." I don't usually quote other's reviews in mine, but he got it right with that; credit goes to him. I can't say it any better than it smells and tastes just like liquid malt extract.
M: Medium to light body with higher carbonation. Expecting a little more viscosity.
O: Well balanced sweet malts with some hops to back it up. A very good beer and best Brown Ale I've had.

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Photo of bootlegger1929
4.42/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This has been a favorite of mine since the first time it passed my lips. I can't believe I've never tried it.

Looks great. Nice tan head. Good caramel color.

Smells like earthy hops and caramel and lots of brown sugar.

The brown sugar in the taste is the reason this is a winner in my book. I love it. A nice bitterness comes out to keep it balanced.

Medium bodied. Nice carbonation.

Overall again, one of my go to beers.

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Indian Brown Ale from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 4.09 out of 5 with 6,179 ratings