Indian Brown Ale | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

6,065 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

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 6,065 |  Reviews: 2,054
Photo of woodychandler
4.65/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I found this last night in the singles cooler at my local bottle shop and since the stamp on the neck read "Bottled on 12/08/10", it did not set off any flags and so I decided to shoot the works. I am awaiting the arrival of my local trader and this may help me to pass the time.

My pour initially created a finger of deep-tan head with limited retention. Nose was heavy with chocolate, like putting my sniffer into a can of Hershey's Cocoa Powder as I did when I was a kid. Color was a deep brown with ruby highlights. Beautiful! Mouthfeel was medium-to-full with a melange of cocoa, coffee, charcoal roastiness and some alcohol heat. Zounds! This was like a jolt of coffee to restart my evening accompanied with enough alcohol to send me to slumberland. Mymymy. Finish reminded me of my morning coffee, personally blended by yours truly to mimic the coffee I was weaned on in the Navy. My students often remark on how its odor fills the room. This was filling me nicely. I am really glad that I stumbled on this one.

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Photo of dmfrench
4.27/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Creamy, hoppy, spicy, dry, cocoa... almost Porter

A: Very dark ruby, in low light appears black, with a somewhat persistent two finger creamy taupe head.

S: Loads of highly roasted malt with coffee and cocoa notes, brown sugar, and vibrant earthy spicy hops. If it weren't for a certain nutty fruitiness, I'd swear I was smelling a Porter. Warming brings out more hops and makes thing a bit more brown-like.

T: Again, I'd swear I was drinking a Porter except for the slight toasted nut flavor... earthy, spicy and dry hops dominate the palate, with roasty cocoa and coffee in the background. Sugar is another big component, and there's a slight metallic taste. Reminds me of a fulller bodied but not as great tasting Edmund Fitzgerald Porter. Quite a stretch for the Brown style, but that's DFH.

M: Creamy and full with pleasantly high carbonation and a good grainy texture that sticks to the tongue well.

O: Not neceesarily what I'd reach for when looking for a Thanksgiving Dinner Brown or something, but still, an interesting if not stretched interpretation... tickles my Porter bone much more.

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Photo of ChugginOil
4.45/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

When poured, deep mahogany welcoming liquid shows off and settles black. An ample amount of off white head fluffs atop the dark brew.

Within the noseI pick up on subtle sweet and toasty malt blended with chocolate, oak, and a bit of vanilla.

Chocolate, molasses, oak, and vanilla up to bat first with some nice sweet malts on deck. I like the balance between these flavors. As it warms, these flavors become bolder and bolder.

The mouthfeel is pretty creamy but isn't "sludge" at all. It is smooth and works my palate very gently.

Overall, this is very drinkable and with a great blended balance, this one rubs me the right way and will be a regular for me from this point on.

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

Served on-tap in a pint glass. Deep brown body with a slight red hue. Small tan head that laces nicely.

The aroma begins with a roasted malt smell and finishes with brown sugar. In between I get a touch of toffee and chocolate.

Very interesting mix of flavors for an Indian Brown and they are very well blended. Roasted malt, molasses, slighlty bitter hops, chocolate, coffee, caramel. Complex and very tasty.

Thin to medium mouthfeel and fairly high carbonation. A very good brew that is the best brown ale I've had. Hard to categorize this one except to say it's very good.

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

Tried this one at the Yard House near Boston, MA. Dark brown color and nutty, coffee like flavors. Too much alcohol to have very many of these or to get all that often but some great sweet flavors are achieved with the alcohol content. I would like to have this one with a lower alcohol content because I would like to have more of them in one sitting, but the warmth is just too much.

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Photo of horshack7
4.35/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: From a twelve ounce bottle then into a pint glass. On top is a solid one and a half fingers of head that is beige in color. Underneath is a dark brown nearly black beer.

Aroma: Roasted malts out of the gate. A little bit of cocao or even some bakers chocolate. Caramelized sugar with burnt notes. The hops are roasted quite dark giving off a floral as well as citrus hop notes.

Taste: There is a bit of a hop bite at the start but it mellows out to a smoother more chocolaty mouthfeel it does this well. Citrus hops are in the front in the middle is a roasted maltiness with a cocoa flavour to it. At the end is a smooth finish with a nice hint of dryness.

Notes: This one has a robustness to it that sets it apart from alot of other American brown ales. Very tasty. Cheers.

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Photo of rawfish
3.65/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours mahogany with a sand colored head as tall as you want it. Frothy bubbles with good retention, leaves spots of lacing in the glass.

Aroma is of earthy and herbal hops backed by molasses and candied dark fruit. Deep roasted malt, bittersweet chocolate and slight coffee. Rather strong.

Taste backs the nose, herbal hops throughout the drink, drying and bitter with a lactic sourness on the finish from the roasted malts. Rather sweet with caramelized brown sugar and more deep cocoa richness. Reminds me more of a hoppy porter than that of a typical brown ale, roasted malt character is very strong. Smooth on the drink but burning alcohol after.

Creamy smooth mouthfeel, though the hops aren't so much crisp as they are balanced. Rather heavy slightly syrupy sweet with decent carbonation.

This beer has DFH trademark stamp of bringing out the ABVs but with all the flavor that comes with it. Tries to act as a hybrid scotch ale, IPA and American Brown and does it well enough but lets call it a hoppy porter and drop the act.

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Photo of mattsdenney
4.72/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Now that DFH is pulling out of TN I decide to give this a try.

A: Pours a dark reddish brown w/ a thick light brown head.

S: Smells of chocolate at first, then heavy maltiness, scotch, and coffee beans.

T: Malty like a scotch ale with sweet nuttiness like a brown. Strong grassy hops underneath with a chocolatey backbone. This is amazing.

M: Creamy but not thick. Lightly coats the mouth.

D: It's more of a hoppy scotch ale than a brown but either way its great. Really disappointed that I waited this long to try it.

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Photo of jgreenearrow
4.12/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a deep brown with some reddish hues. Sufficient 1/4" head on the top with very little lacing.

S: This is a good smelling beer. Brown sugar and raisins dominate the nose. Also present are some malty scents and a slight alcohol smell.

T: The sip begins with the sweetness of caramelized brown sugar. Hearty malt and some hop flavor overtake the sweetness in the middle enveloped by a thin plume of smokey flavor. The sip ends with slight alcohol.

M: The beer feel is thick, almost a little syrupy in the mouth accompanied by prickly carbonation.

Overall, this is a good beer. I believe Dogfish Head accomplishes what they set out to do with this beer, as the first though after the initial sip is "interesting". But, with this beer it is a good interesting. The flavors are very complex and blend nicely. This may be the best offering from Dogfish Head that I have had to date.

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Photo of PicoPapa
3.97/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewpub. Pours a dark mahogany brown with ruby hues. Thin layer of head. Aroma is of caramel and slightly boozey. A bit of a coffee smell also. Flavor is mostly of coffee and caramel. Warming alcohol aftertaste. This beer certainly has Scotch Ale qualities to it. Overall this is a pretty good beer. Tastes like a Wee Heavy and a Stout had a baby. Worth grabbing again.

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Photo of tbern007
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ruby brown, clear. Very nice to look into. Thick light brown head. Lacing is pretty light.
S - crisp, clean, earth, hoppy.
T - caramel malt, nutty, hazelnut, light coffee, very light smoke, bittern chocolate. Light hop. Well balanced.
M & D - pretty well balanced. Good overall brown. Almost like a light stout. Nice coloration. Crisp, smooth. I like it!

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Photo of JesteR14
3.43/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A- Darnk maroon red. Put it up to the light and it has a fantastic color with its brown head. The head is very lite but stays at the top like whipped cream. Very nice.

S- Yum. I smell nice toasted malts, caramel and some brown sugar hints. Very nice fresh malts which should be a really nice mellow taste.

T- Wow, defiantly a unique drink here. Coffee is what i get right off the bat, with some nice malts and brown sugar sweetness. The nice toasted malts set in that leaves this a flavorful smooth brew.

M- Not my favorite mouthfeel but very nice non the less. The flavors are not over powered at all.

D- Not the most drinkable beer, but the quality and the freshness make this a very nice beer. Perfect fit for a dessert meal.

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Photo of BeerPhan86
4.07/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a nearly opaque dark ruby brown with a one finger tan head. Sticky lacing but the head dissipates quickly.

S - Dry, earthy hops and barley with tons of malt and hints of coffee and chocolate.

T - Wow, more than I expected going on here. Coffee, chocolate, and toasted malt up front followed by a bitter, hoppy finish. Definitely lots of dark malt, the finish is slightly spicy as well. Very complex but well balanced with a variety of flavors happening.

M - Carbonation level is just right and it has a very creamy, smooth mouthfeel.

D - Very tasty but a little too sweet for me to session. Some noticeable alcohol in the finish too.

Overall I was pretty impressed by this one. I would definitely buy a sixer of it next time instead of the single I picked up.

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Photo of Chriscrundwell12
3.73/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a snifter

A- Very dark amber body. Excellent lacing, 1 finger tan head.
S- The malts and barley are very present. An earthy aroma to this brew, slight sweetness overtaken by the bitterness.
T- A unique bitterness to this, sour with coffee under tones.
M- Medium bodied, slight bitterness on the palate leaves a bitter aftertaste as well.
D- Easy drink, well carbonated, nothing really stands out with this brew. Can't see this as a go to beer. Good to try it once.

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Photo of OldRaysputin
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Excited to get into this domestic as I usually enjoy what they have to offer.

A: Pours a dark muddy brown. Like the look of this.

S: wow...getting what could be described as chocolate covered espresso bean.

T: Complex. Nice balance of the bitterness from the hops against the sweetness of the caramelized brown sugar. Getting dates, coffee, roasted malts, and those wonderful goldings hops.

M/D: Medium bodied and very drinkable..I believe i will have another. Well done Dogfish Head!!

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Photo of bens0n
4.41/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer pours a very dark brown, with a dark amber tinge that shows up around the edges of the glass. There is a ton of creamy, light tan head that lasts for a while and leaves a pretty substantial amount of lacing on the glass.

Smell wise, I pick up on some molasses and earthy notes and a little bit of malt and finishes with a hoppy smell. Not too much going on here I am actually pretty surprised at how bland this smells.

Flavor wise it really starts to pick up, you get the thick, viscous and creamy character from the malts and then there is some hops bite that comes in at the end. A very well blended brew, the hoppy bite at the end makes for a nice finish, otherwise this would be much more like a stout.

This beer is extremely smooth and creamy, almost no carbonation at all, which is a huge plus in my book. The smoothness makes this beer extremely easy to down, esp given the ABV.

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Photo of KajII
3.9/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

[Best served in a Dimpled Mug]

The pour was a deep dark brown in color with an average size light brown frothy head that lasted only a short while but produced some good lacing.

The aroma was heavy of a toasted caramel malt, a mild resin hop and a moderate scent of a leathery yeast with a nice rich roasted coffee note.

It tasted mildly sweet, malty and slightly bitter with just a hint of caramel and coffee at first and finished with a nice dark bitter coffee flavor that lasted a nice long time.

Mouthfeel was very creamy in texture and full in body with a very soft carbonation.

Overall this Brown Ale was robust and loaded with lots of flavor, as well as being very smooth and creamy.

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Photo of JednoPivoProsim
3.28/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 fl oz bottle into an Ommegang tulip. Bottled on 01/24/11.

Appearance: Dark cola color with a moderate coffee colored head that ultimately disappears.

Smell: Not too much in the nose. Slight malty, molasses smell.

Taste: Tastes like a malty, boozy porter to me. I do not get much in the way of hops from this "well-hopped" brown ale. Definitely taste the caramel and dark malts. A bit of a spicy coffee flavor.

Mouthfeel: Spicy and syrupy would sum this up. Again, very boozy, this would work well in the winter warmer category.

Drinkability: I am going to say limited. The 7.2% listed ABV is too noticeable for my tastes.

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Photo of THECPJ
3.82/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 3/6/2011

Appearance: dark brown with orange hue and a 2 finger tan head

smell: caramel, sweet malts, toffee

taste: very similar to smell, little oxidation

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, smooth, roasty

Drinkability: very nice full body brown ale, just wish it didn't have this oxidation after taste.



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Photo of stercomm
4.32/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle.

A- From the side a dark brown, looking down inthe glass a brown reddish color, on the pour a small head formed, disappeared quickly, slight lacing.

S- Malty, carmely, toasty

T - Very nice, smokey coffee like taste with just a touch of carmel sweetness, finishes dry with a lingering smokiness.

M - Medium bodied, medium carbonation, tingles the taste buds in a good way, slight sweetness

D - This is a really good beer, lots going on with an amazingly long finish that seems to coat the palate and not go away. Going to pour another one very shortly.

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

a: in dim lighting it's as dark as a stout. hold it up to a light and a dark red going-on-purple hue is revealed. head disappears faster than a stout, but lacing lingers on the glass as it fades away.

s: I've got a stuffy nose but again it's like a stout. the hops don't jump out much and it's mostly malt. I might be able to smell hops if my sinuses were clearer.

t: this is where the similarities to a stout are a bit less pronounced. the malt isn't nearly as strong as the appearance or smell would suggest, although that is the first taste recognizable on a sip. in all honesty I was expecting a wider extreme of flavors, but I think the subtlety of tones was a wise decision. the 7.2% ABV is very well masked - tastes like 5% or less. flavors detectable are nuts/malt and chocolate/hops in that order.

m: medium-low carbonation, creamy, and even milky if it lingers for a while. mouthfeel is similar to a stout though slightly more carbonated from what I've tasted.

d: pleasantly surprised by how easy this was going down. I was excited to try this brew, but thought I would be more overwhelmed by the taste and ABV. neither was overwhelming and I finished a glass before the end of this review without any hesitation, though I was both thirsty and eager.

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Photo of valdesd1
3.43/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark brown with a reddish hue. Once poured, half finger head appeared but disappeared pretty quickly. Lively little carbonation off the sides.

S: This is my first brown ale, but aroma wise it seems comparable to a stout. Definitely the sweetness from the barely sticks out. Doesn't smell as alcoholic as it actually is, but you definitely notice it.

T: I think it's well balanced where neither the malt or hops overpower each other. It's just a nice balance of the two from start to finish.

M: I'm gonna say it tends to have a medium body and as I stated before, nicely balanced on the bitterness and malt.

D: Personally, I don't consider this a session beer for me. Maybe it's just brown ales in general, but I don't see this as a go to for me. I can see where Dogfish was going with this though.

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

All around really nice bear interesting blend that comes through. Poured rather dark with light brown head, red coming through when held to light. Smell is roasted malts, caramel, brown sugar, and hoppy, pretty complex. Taste is sweet and caramel balanced with good amount of bitterness. Full feel in mouth, smooth and a bit creamy. Very nice and easily drinkable.

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Photo of JunkYardJake
4.17/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Annie Bailey's in Lancaster.
This is a a very interesting brew. More IPA than anything, but still has some of the good flavors of a brown ale. Lots of hop aroma and flavor up front. Floral, earthy, and piney. Brown sugar, toffee, caramel and roasted grains make up the malt profile. Very nice smelling brew and quite delicious. I only had one but I imagine drinking a few of these would not be toilsome. Highly recomended.

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Photo of MrMcGibblets
3.85/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: dark brown/mahogany w/reddish highlights, light tan head diminishes to decent lacing.
S: nuts, dark bread, molasses, cocoa, vague spice, some herbal hops. a little bit like dr. pepper.
t: medium sweet, dark caramelly/toffeeish malts balanced out by a prominent hop bitterness and a light roastiness.
m: seemed a touch thin for this abv, would also have liked a bit more frothiness.
d: lots going on here but the relatively high abv is a little limiting.

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Indian Brown Ale from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
4.1 out of 5 based on 6,065 ratings.
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