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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 secondtooth
3.88/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep, dark amber (almost black) with a rich tan head. Attractive dense lace.

Nose says brown sugar - definitely malty.

Taste is sweet but with a tanginess, possibly due to some hopping? Definitely a sweet ale, but hopped enough to balance it out. Finishes slightly bitter. A unique brown ale, and worthy of a look, for sure.

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

Dogfish Head Indian Brown is a very nice brown ale. It is tasty but doesn't deviate that far from the expected style (unlike most other DFH beers).

A: Dark brown colour and a 1 cm head that fades to decent lacing. 4.

S: It has the malty base that you expect from a brown ale. There is some nice toastiness to. 4

T: Roasty chocolate and slightly burnt grains. There is some hop balance too. 4

M: Foamy. 4

O Very nice brown ale. 4

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Photo of DavidST
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle -- Bottled on 3/29/11

This pours a nice porter dark brown like color, two finger thick light brown head which has good retention and nice lazing when it dissolves.

Nice caramel / chocolate sugar smell.

Mouth feel is great, hints of the caramelized sugar are present, smooth creamy body, nice light carbonation.

The taste is beautiful, roasted malts, caramelized sugar, with a nice hoppy profile on the way down. Everything about this beer is great.

Overall a dark porter like taste with IPA like hoppy after taste, this combines some of my favorite beer flavors and it works. Excellent beer, I'll add this to my anytime purchase list. This is my second favorite DFH brew I've tried (right after the perfect Palo Santo Marron). I completely love it.

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle...

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown with a red hue within the body. Minimal head, lacing, and retention.

Smell: It carries floral / earthy hop aromas transfused with a chocolate, caramel malt sweetness. Unique balance presented here.

Taste: The hops give way to earthy elements carried within a bready, sugary burnt quality that also incorporates a nutty / oily characteristic. Complexly put together.

Mouthfeel: This medium body comes across smooth and balanced. Easily underestimated by the initial appearance.

Overall: Definitely a brown ale I can see myself going to quite often. If only I could find this one in town!

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Photo of axfelix
4.47/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This really impressed me last time I tried it -- Dogfish Head tends to go weird for weird's sake, and I typically find most brown ales to be way too smooth, but the hop body works some magic here -- it's almost like a proto-CDA, with the body of a red. Great stuff.

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

Dark rum colored bottle pour. Sweet molasses, maple syrup and rock candy smell. Burnt caramel taste with a bitter finish. Not sure of the aroma/taste hop content. Do I need it? Do I miss it? No and no. This beers reminds me of an IRS "light" without the motor oil thickness and finish. This beer is a classic. And after 4-years of drinking it as my go-to beer, I don't see my opinions changing.

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Photo of JayS2629
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown with a creamy tan head that recedes slowly and leaves sea foam lacing.

The smell is of toasted malts, chocolate, roasted coffee, toasted nuts, freshly baked pumpernickle and earthy tones with some floral hops escaping.

The taste is sweet and malty, full of toasted flavors, nuts, pumpernickle, rich caramel, chocolate and bitter coffee to balance the sweetness. Floral and earthy hops escape to compliment the finish.

Medium bodied, slightly creamy, smooth and easy to drink.

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Photo of Yagman3000
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a growler in rehoboth beach and served in a DFH goblet.

Appears a dark chocolatey brown with a thin head remaining after the fact.

Smells of coffee and dark chocolate. A lot of malt but hard to pick up hops.

Tastes similar to nose with a dark flavor. Mocha aplenty.

Mouthfeel is dark and heavy up front but dissipates pretty quickly.

Overall a beer I've had a bunch but don't actively seek out. If it's an "iba" there should be more hops here. It's like a cross between a brown ale and a stout.

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

The beer is drak brown with red hints, a tan head with little lacing, good curtains.

The smell is dominated by roasted bread, a bit of burnt wood, some dark roasted coffee beans.

The taste starts sweet, brown sugar, toast, dark espresso, dried fruits.

Medium carbonation, soft and smooth, a big body, a dry finish.

A nice ... imperial porter? ... wonder what a few years storing would do to it?

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Photo of AgentMunky
3.73/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce into a Gouden Carolus chalice. Bottled on 4 May 2011.

A: Tight mocha head tops a brilliantly brown ale that turns wine-dark red in direct light. Good initial lacing.

S: Nutty milk chocolate. Faint coffee beans. Not strong, but oh-so-enticing.

T/M: Sweet, smooth, and creamy. The maintaste is, as the smell suggested, full of nutty malts. Brief and sweetish. The relative mediocrity of the main flavour is redeemed by an aftertaste with a distinctive coffee bitterness, almost like a stout.

O: Not my favourite Dogfish Head, but it's a darn good brown ale. Very drinkable for the ABV, and increasingly drinkable as time and beer passes. Recommended, and expect it to find wide appeal, but it's not something I would choose to seek out.

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Photo of justinjj1280
4.47/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark brown, almost stout-like in appearance but with a smaller, off-white head.

I picked up roasted malt and coffee-like aromas.

Really good flavor. Some sweetness and a "toasty" flavor up front with a nice hop kick at the end and a smooth, medium body.

Dogfish Head just set a new personal standard for brown ales for me. Excellent. A must try.

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

Poured a dark brown/mahogany color from a 12 oz bottle, with date of bottling clearly marked. Ruby red hues along the edge of the glass, not completely opaque.
One finger frothy tan head that dissipates fairly slowly.
Aroma upfront was predominantly sweet; with notes of caramel and molasses. There was an intermittent floral hop aroma coming through in between the dominant caramel aroma.
Smooth, surprisingly very smooth. Silky mouthfeel, coats the palate beautifully. Upfront the taste is sweet and malty with a nice bitter, almost dry finish. This is one delicious brew.
Excellent lacing all along the insides of the glass.
I was having a ben & jerry's, "maple blondie" ice-cream, and surprisingly it paired really well with this ale.
In spite of being 7.2% ABV, the alcohol is masked really well, and is easy to drink.
All in all, this is one of the best brown ale's around. Another winner from Dogfish Head, and is absolutely worth a try.
Highly recommended.

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

This beer pours a dark brown with a trace of tan head that doesn't retain well or lace. The aroma has hints of coffee and chocolate. The taste is similar with some added bitterness at the end. The mouthfeel is nicely balanced, but if you're picky you can find some overcarbonation. Overall my favorite brown.

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

Been awhile since I've sat down for a beer review, and it feels good. This tasty beer poured a nice tan head floatin atop' of an almost opate dark color. Very appealing withe sheets of lace.

Roasted Coffee and sharp chocolate hit the nose wrapped together wonderfully with a shell of fresh hops and brown suger.

Tastes of the roasted coffee with a hint of the brown suger, finishes nicely with the hops and sweet chocolate pushin' eachother around. I really like this beer, especially when I'm drinkin' it 7 days after its bottled.

This beer is medium bodied IMO and has a slight creamy consistincy, with a nice carbonation bite.

Very impressive beer especially so fresh, glad I bought the case and it has served me well.

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Photo of EricCioe
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours a deep, dark brown with a two finger khaki head that settles into a nice film with a little bit of lace. On the nose there is a mixture of nuttiness riding atop some chocolate and a bit of bitterness buried a bit further down. In the mouth there is roasted malt, chocolate, nuttiness, and some pine hanging out below it all. There might be some coffee here, too. It's almost like a porter with the coffee and chocolate. Whatever it is, it's very good. The finish is medium with everything but the pine dying away pretty quickly.

Overall, I'm a big fan of this beer. It's really pretty and it smells great. Everything else is very good about it, too. I can see myself buying this with regularity, and now I'm more keen to seek out good browns.

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

Poured on tap into a nonic pint glass, bottle is dated March 4th 2011.

A soapy three finger very light brown head is poured that sits on a classic dark walnut black/brown body. This really is almost black very impressive and can't say more than that. Looks incredibly inky.

Bouquet is a giant malt roasty, small coffee and nut. Aromatics get bigger over time after first pour. Sense of grain chew to come. It's been sometime since I had this brew and reflected on it, but this just feels like great things are coming.

Simple straight forward coffee and roast. Aromatics all come through in the palate, but more so a taste of roasted coffee on the finish with a lingering bitter. A much bigger and bitter feeling on the finish than most brown ales in its category, but extremely drinkable. Feels like a fantastic Foreign Export Stout but with just a little bigger body.

Overall, just more win for the fish as always!

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Photo of MikeM40
4.45/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An aggressive pour into a DFH Signature glass yields a large light tan head with a very deep brown body. Carbonation is medium and the head leaves a fair amount of lacing on the glass. This beer looks and smells delicious,aromas of sweet milk and cocoa mix with notes of roasted malt. Hints of coffee also appear as the beer warms. The flavor is nice and complex for a brown ale,sweet chocolate and a wonderful malt are up front,with notes of anise/licorice in the middle. An underlying bitterness balances the sweet chocolate and malt perfectly. The licorice lingers and is joined by deep expresso and burnt coffee grinds at the finish. The mouthfeel is medium and there is a nice creamy texture and the taste of alcohol is completely masked.

 743 characters

Photo of megahurts4
3.8/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale

Appearance: brown, small head, and some lacing.

Smell: minerals from water, spices, and a slight maltiness.

Taste: cocoa, chocolate, malts, and a faint hop.

Mouthfeel: medium-light.

The cocoa flavor is very prominent in taste, but not aroma. This is a nicely flavored brew that isn't watery.

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Photo of Eriktheipaman
3.95/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark brown with slightly tan head.

The smell is of roasted marshmallows and dark fruits.

The taste is a nice roast with a sticky molasses front and more of the dark fruit taste on the back.

This pretty close to a standard Brown Ale but is just a tad different. Pretty good brew and I cold easily drink a 6er of it but I'm not sure I'd go for it over some other browns.

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

12 oz bottle poured into mug

A: Dark brown liquid with ruby highlights when held to the light. Off-white to light tan head that dissipates leaving some lacing.

S: Coffee and roasted notes, slight alcohol.

T: coffee chocolate and some lingering brownsugar notes. Mild fruityness and lingering hop bitterness.

M: medium full.

O: Quite drinkable, another good offering from DFH.

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Photo of BeerForMuscle
4.14/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A -

S - Dark malty nose with hops present. Brown sugar and caramelized sugar. Bready grains.

T - Molasses and brown sugar on the palate. A smooth and balanced hoppiness. Malt sweetness and roasted malts and grains. Mild apple skin.

M - Crisp yet smooth with a touch of syrup character. Slightly dry finish.

O - Very well balanced and very flavorful. Tons of notes coming together. Excellent beer.

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Photo of bbeerman
4.11/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A..Very nice dark brown. Somewhat looked like a stout but without the strong head retention.

S..Smelled more or less like a brown ale to me. Not bad at all, but not an extraordinary scent.

T..Excellent taste. Complex with strong roasted chocolate or coffee flavors; lots of malt (yummy) which at times seemed to outshine the hints of hops present in the background.

M..Very good and easy to drink. A little lighter-bodied than I had hoped for, but not so light it really impacted the experience. A slight adjustment to make this a stronger medium-bodied beer and I would give it a perfect five in this category.

O..Great beer and easy to drink for one that is 7%+ ABV. I had three on tap and felt like I could have easily had another couple, though they were filling once I walked away from the bar. Definitely something to experience and enjoy more than once.

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Photo of Pete0714
4.38/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A--Poured into a pint glass, and had a creamy foam and dark brown color.

S--smelled reminiscent of roasted coffee/ even a slght bread undertone.

T- Definitely coffee with an almost vanilla sweetness in there.

M- creamy and smooth in the mouth. Had some retention in the mouth

O- Not what I was expecting in an Indian Brown Ale, much sweeter, not bitter, but I can see that is due to the brown sugar added. Definitely a treat (dessert/after dinner coffee, anyone?)

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Photo of Damian
3.88/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Drank from a 12 fl. oz. bottle purchased at Julio's Liquors, Westboro, MA
Bottled on 01/05/11
Served in a pint glass

The liquid poured a nearly clear, copper-tinged mahogany color with a two-plus finger tall head of saddle brown froth. Fantastic retention. A thin film stayed around until the beer was nearly finished. Large drippy blocks of thick lacing stuck all down the glass.

Lots of sweet caramel malts came through in the nose. Some brown bread too. A bit of coffee. Possibly some brown sugar. Semi-sweet for the style. Slightly fruity. As the beer warmed, the aroma became even more robust. The coffee presence really came forth.

The flavor profile was crisper and drier than the aroma. Malty up front. The malts had a very European (possibly German) sort of taste to them. Nutty and slightly fruity in the center. Coffee was again noticeable. Lots of earthy, herbal hops came through in the surprisingly bitter finish. The quantity of hops seemed very American but the style of hops seemed very European. A touch of smoke was detectible as well. As for drinkability, the 7.2% ABV was incredibly well hidden.

As much as I enjoyed this beer, I was disappointed by the mouthfeel. It was thinner than I anticipated with a prickly, large bubbled effervescence.

Dogfish Head's American Brown Ale was one of the first craft beers I ever tried. Even though I may not have the same affinity for it that I once did, it still holds a special place in my heart.

 1,463 characters

Photo of rlee1390
4.23/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally getting around to reviewing this beer, one of the first craft beers I had.

A-Dark brown when held up to the light, looks black if you don't. Great lacing on this beer.

S-Coffee and roasted malts.

T-Starts with coffee, caramel and roasted malt. Ends bitter. Perfect balance.

M-Light to medium bodied, smooth.

O-A great beer that I'm glad I decided to go back and have again. DFH doesn't make many Top notch beers IMO but what they do is make 5-6 great beers. And IBA is one of them.

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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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