Indian Brown Ale | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

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Indian Brown AleIndian Brown Ale
6,162 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: 6,162 |  Reviews: 2,076
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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Photo of SWMeyer4141
4.35/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tumbler...

Appearance-Very dark brown. Head is about a two finger foamy head that leaves some decent spotty lacing and retention is pretty good as well.

Smell-Nuts and Malt predomenantly. Some floral hops along with some spice.

Taste-For a brown Ale, doesn't get much better. Starts off with some roasted nutty malts and then get some dark fruits and finishes with a hoppy coffee stoutish like finish.

Mouthfeel-Creamy, Smooth, drinkable. Perfectly carbonation and alot of tasty body.

Overall-Awesome beer, one of my favorites. Wish it was a little more sessionable. Brown Ale, Black IPA, American Stout, Scotch Ale. Great hybrid beer. Not all of dogfish beers work in my opinion, but this one does.

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Photo of DUBinMIA
3.9/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

served in a pint glass from a bottle. looks very dark brown but light enough to tell that it is very clear and medium to high carbonation. pours about 1/2 in. head that dissipates to about 1/4 in.

smell is hoppy floral with hints of malt grain and sugar.

taste is good. clean and crisp hop flavor followed by malt finish that mellows out. some alcohol flavor towards the end as well.

medium body that fits well with the beer.

overall a very good beer.

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Photo of Ruger
3.75/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a dark brown with a tan head with moderate lacing around the glass.

S - Bread, malts, coffee and caramel.

T - Brown sugar, caramel, coffee and a slight bitter hop aftertaste.

M - Medium bodied with light carbonation which makes it really smooth.

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Photo of ebby82
4.72/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a very dark brown, nearly black into a pint glass. This is the darkest brown ale I have ever laid eyes upon.

The aroma is of rich, toasted malt. Brown sugar is evident in the undertone. Also a bit of hops.

The taste is of rich, roasted malts. The brown sugar is evident as well, and hops make an appearance. A bitter beginning with a sweet finish.

This is much thicker than a typical brown ale, and a bit higher in alcohol, but its smooth.

Overall, my favorite brown ale I've ever had, and a truly unique and delicious brew.

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Photo of rodney45
4.35/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A Very dark crimson, like a stout. The sand colored head only hangs around for a short amount of time.

S Smells like a sweet espresso. fin.

T The intense malt character is the first taste i recieve from this beer. The wonderful gentelmen and ladies must have blended some fine crystal and toasted malts into this beer. Hop character is a secondary note but extremely well balanced. The main hop characteristic i detect is a light peach or apricot swosh of hop floral. Its kind of like the ale is fighting over my palate, Which should i pay attention to hops or malt.

M: Dangerously smooth and easy drinking. A little on the heavy side, and i would recomend for a fall or winter drink. But thats characteristic of the style.

O: Im going to keep it short, I really like the guys at DFH. I want to make it perfectly clear that the beers they make are extrodinary, and they dont skimp on anything. Im glad they recently upgraded their facilities, and increased distribution area. Its crazy to me that they only have like a 00.1% of the total beer market in america. These guys should be everywhere, and even if they were, you know they would keep producing those hard to find beers, and wonderful limited creations they are so good at doing because you can tell this is what they love doing.

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Photo of Krakistophales
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a very dark brown with a tan colored head

S: Smokiness, a wood/oak chip sort of scent comes to me first, with hints of brown sugar, caramel, and a touch of hops

T: This one tastes to me exactly like a smoked porter. Huge smokiness, lots of wooden/oaky character, plenty of dry smoke and roast.

O: This is a pretty good smoked porter, but I'm not getting the IPA/brown ale/scotch ale hybrid that this is supposed to be. Still, a fine brew.

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

12 oz. bottle with bottling date of 04/05/11, poured into a nonic. Single for $2.49 bought at Ozzy's in Waverly, OH.

Appearance: Dude, this almost looks like a porter! Incredibly dark brown body with hints of garnet and ruby barely coming through, topped by a sticky, long-lasting head of khaki foam, which never totally fades away. Some carbonation was evident, though hard to see. Gobs and webs of sticky lacing all over the glass. A great looking brew.

Smell: Ohh, momma. A high class brown ale. The smell only gets better as the beer warms. I first pick up the roasted malt, which is then followed by big notes of bittersweet chocolate, coffee, and lingering in the back, ever so slight, some smokiness and caramel/sugar smells. There is some hop presence detectable in the form of some grassy/herbal notes, just enough to balance the sweetness and malt in the nose.

Taste: I pick up some herbal/piney hops on the forefront of the tongue, which quickly gives way to roasty malt flavors, followed by dark chocolate, and just a hint of nutty caramel (from the brown sugar, I guess?), coffee, and dry smoke. Some roasted flavors and more grassy bitterness lingers into the clean finish. There's just enough hops to balance the ridiculous amount of flavor from the malt, and this comes off as a very complex but balanced beer. Great stuff, very complex.

Mouthfeel: For an ale of this complexity and flavor, this beer is actually medium bodied with some crisp carbonation, especially in the finish. Fairly dry finish from the hops, but done very cleanly.

Overall: Probably one of the best - if not the best - American brown ale I've had so far. The hop schedule and malt profile builds an incredible amount of complexity and enjoyable flavors into this beer. Definitely try it out - Sam Calagione said that this beer was sort of the "underdog" of DFH's year-round offerings, and I agree; this is just as much worth trying as 60 Minute or 90 Minute.

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Photo of TOOSE
4.78/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I love this beer!! I don't review many beers, but this one I had to share. Beautiful dark brown color, nice lacing around my glass. The smell is just a wonderful array of molasses, brown sugar, unsweetened chocolate and a bit of coffee. The taste is amazing...very smooth, a little sweet, chocolaty, roasted malts, perfectly balanced...just great!! This is by far my favorite brown ale and at over 7%, very big and very impressive.

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Photo of chefhatt
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

When i poured this beer, it has a very dark brown color body with a nice tan foamy head to it. The smell is of roasted malts with a hint of caramel. The taste is like the smell, roasted malts, then a little coffee flavor, and a little bit of hops at end. The mouth feel is smooth but has a little bit of a after taste. Overall i think this is a excellent beer.

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Photo of tdm168
4.05/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a deep, dark brown with a mountain of foamy, brown-hued head with great retention. Smells of caramel and roasted malts. Taste is caramel malt with decent hop bitterness up front and a smooth, roasty finish. All the dominating flavors in this one are very well blended. Mouthfeel is full bodied and robust.

This is definitely a quality brown ale. In a market with weak watered down browns everywhere, this is a great, full flavored offering from a great brewery.

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Photo of BeerDawgs
4.3/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Very dark for a brown. Almostly chocolate color. Nice foamy tan head that sticks around for the duration

S - Citrusy hops and the carmalized sugar are very prevalent. Aroma is fantiastic.

T - Wow, alot going on here for a brown. Hops, roasted malts, and unsweetened sugar at the end. And yet, with everything going on, still smooth.

M - Medium carbonation. Well balanced. The higer abv is well hidden.

O - A damn good brown. Full of different flavors, yet still well balanced, with the higer abv hidden. Well done! Will be buying this great brew again!

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Photo of chinchill
3.88/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - very dark brown, near black, with mahogany highlights. Large tan head with good duration.

Aroma: medium and dark roasted malts; perhaps a slight hop spiciness. ABV well hidden but with a floral note.

T: rich malt flavor leading to a lasting malty finish and aftertaste. Hops make their presence known mainly in the clear bitterness of the finish. Higher ABV becomes evident after warming.

M - full body; medium-light carbonation.

O - a rich and malty brew, with well hidden higher ABV and a lasting dark malt aftertaste. An East Coast lower-hop Rogue.

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Photo of metal850
3.96/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on date of 9 May 2011 poured 12 oz. into a Crystal Mug

A: 1/2 inch of white head with large bubbles that drops quickly to a ring with thing film of bubbles on top. Color is dark brown with nice highlights around the edges.

S: Complex nose, lots of roasty caramel flavors coming through, reminds me of a caramel mocha coffee. Not a lot of hop aroma.

T: Taste like it smells plus hops, nice bitterness balance the caramel sweetness. Hop flavor is also there complimenting the malt. Roasty flavor lasts into the long finish. Great balance!

M: Lightly carbonated with a medium mouthfeel.

O: A great complex beer with a good balance although lacking a good head.

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Photo of SeveOllllO
4.53/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'm far from a professional beer rater. But I'm learning. I thoroughly enjoyed this beer as i have most of the dogfish heads.

It poured a nice dark copper/brown into a snifter. Slight redish tinge when held up to the light.. Medium amount of creamy brown head with large bubbles.

Smells included: Roasted Malts, Brown sugar, Coffee & a balanced hoppiness.

Bold & malty up front with a slight bitter hoppy Finnish.

Overall a well rounded brown ale..

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Photo of SkitzIrish3
4.5/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours almost black in the glass with three fingers of thick, light brown head.

Smell is of roasted coffee and roasted chocolate with a slightly fruity/boozy burn in the nostrils.

The smooth, medium body tastes like it smells (except alcohol is prickly, not boozy). I’ll be honest, the complexity is above me.

This is one of my favorite craft beers I’ve had so far and can’t wait to try more from Dogfish Head.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.42/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a dark brown color with an off-white head. The aroma is full of roasted malt, chocolate and coffee. An outstanding smelling beer. The flavor has a lot of coffee in it as well as some nice bitterness from the piney hops. I also get some roasted malt and some chocolate in the flavor. Overall, the mouthfeel is a little bit creamy and the carbonation is low to medium. A great brown ale.

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Photo of J0E
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a: Poured into a snifter with minimal tannish khaki head. Very dark brown, but kind of copper when held to the light.

S: Sweet and roasted malts. Some smoke, and a little bit of herby hops.

T: Similar to the nose. The malt is in the forefront here. Some licorice and caramel. There's some dark fruit coming though, something like fig. A little bit of coffee and hop bitterness at the end.

m: Smooth with a good amount of carbonation.

O: I picked this up as a single bottle for just 1.70. It was definitely worth it. When I'm looking for something with a serious malt character, but not as heavy as a stout, I'll reach for one of these again. Complex and delicious.

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Indian Brown Ale from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 4.09 out of 5 with 6,162 ratings