Indian Brown Ale | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

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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
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Ratings: 6,193 |  Reviews: 2,086
Photo of SandstormPaul
4/5  rDev -2.2%
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 +2%
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 -5.9%
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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Photo of Brooks44
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A. From the bottle pours a semi dark brown with a decent light tan head that retians good. Has a decent amount of lacing.

S. Smell is of sweet roasted malts with the hops coming towards the back end of the wiff.

T. Taste follows the smell with a caramel malt tone with a slight roastiness not that of a stout though. Hop bitterness comes at the end to well round this offering after the sweet caramel malt. No booze in the taste or the nose although the relative high abv of 7+.

M. Nice carbonation really brings this together with a moderate body and the sweetness is never cloying.

D. Drinkability was quite good. With the moderate sweetness at the front and the hop bitterness at the end allowing you to never be overpowered by either. One of the tastier and more complex brown ales ive had. The fact of sweetness at the beginning and bitterness at the end balances this beer extremley well and makes you want to do it all over again. Highly Recommended for anyone that loves strong ales and pale ales, almost a mixture in a bottle two thumbs up

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Photo of n2185
4.22/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark brown with about a finger of light tan head that fades into a ring with a very thin film cap and decent lacing.

S: There is some roasted malt up front followed by a sweet chocolate and nutty aroma. Behind it all lies a citrusy hop aroma similar to grapefruit. The description sounds weird, but the aromas combine to make an overall very good nose.

T: Tastes of nuts, chocolate, and some roasted malts up front. The hops kick in afterward, providing a nice pine flavor and some light bitterness. The finish is slightly sweet and warming.

M: Medium body and carbonation, but an overall creamy feel which goes well with the chocolate flavors.

D: This beer goes down smoothly with its creamy body and good balance between the hops and malt.

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Photo of Dave128
4.22/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Wasn't ready for this beer to be so thick. Visually heavy bodied when pouring and a lot darker than I thought. A very dark amber.. darker than some porters I've had.

S - roasty goodness. Can smell a little hop zest similar to that of other Dogfish beers.

T - A perfect combination of a darker beer and an IPA. Its almost as if I can choose which one I want it to be when I drink it. It has both flavors in full. Very sweet up front. Can pick up hints of the brown sugar in the flavor but its hard to separate it from the dark malts.

M - pretty heavy body. smooth and caramely. Adequate carbonation.

D - A delicious beer that packs a ton of flavor! I could have one of these a night and have both my dark beer urge and pale ale urge satisfied. Great beer.

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Photo of Swedes21
4.12/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a chilled glass

Appearance - really dark red beer, with the little light it looks dark. beer has a slight brown head, about 2 fingers with some good lacing. Hard to tell carbonation levels.

Smell - i can smell roasted malts, caramel, sweetness. really good smelling beer.

taste - very smooth beer, just like the smell, roasted malts and caramel come through. There is a tough of sweetness near the beginning and bitterness near the end.

mouthfeel - lotta of added carbonation, this is a great added bonus! The beer comes to life, velvety feel in the mouth, really good.

drinkability - fantastic beer, what a good find and purchase.

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Photo of Hopfenpeter
4.47/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A very rich red colored beer with a nice three quarter inch head, beige in color. Leaves good lacing on the glass.
The smell hints sweetness of fruit and malt with a rich roasted background.
The taste? Wow!! What a great surprise. Nice sweet caramel and brown sugar notes up front, laced with some fruity undertones, like the middle changing into nutty, earthy roasted flavors, being perfectly balanced by a great selection of hops, leaving a kind bittersweet lingering in the mouth.
Very drinkable medium bodied beer, which reminds me of several beer types.
What a fantastic beer! I certainly will buy this one several times.

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Photo of camp0474
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Review from 12/10/10

A: Dark ruby red purple with tan frothy head. Great color with some lacing.

S: Sweet caramel malt with light toasted smell. Faint traces of noble hops in back. Also picking up tart barley smell, semi smokey.

T: Roasted malt flavors first, then sweet flavors of caramel and brown sugar join in. Picking up the same tart barley flavor from the nose. Adds great balanced and depth of flavor. Faint aroma hops.

M: Very smooth and creamy. Medium body with good carbonation. Slight bite on the tongue.

D: Very drinkable with tons of flavor. Goes down real easy. This could easily be a staple beer, too bad we can't get it in MN.

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

Had on tap on 2/18/11

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

S: A lot of roasted malt up front with a faint hint of hops in the background.

T: Just like the nose, there's a big taste of roasted malt right off the bat, which is soon followed by the bitterness of the hops. There's a faint sweetness from the brown sugar as well. All of the flavors meld together beautifully. The alcohol is pretty well hidden in this one.

M: Decent amount of carbonation, but very smooth overall.

D: I could easily put a few of these back with no problem. With an ABV of 7.2%, it will creep up on you quickly though. All in all, a very well done beer by a great brewery.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.76/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Matt for this tick.

A: Pours a very dark brown color with some reddish highlights and a thin tan head.

S: Smells really roasty with some nice chocolate and earthy hop notes. There is a strange aroma that seems to be chlorine, but it's sort of in the background. Some pretty decent coffee notes too.

T: Lots of roasted malt, dark chocolate, and a bit of coffee. Pretty bitter with a nice earthy hop profile. A nice toffee flavor and some toasted malt notes.

M: The body is medium with a moderate level of carbonation.

D: The strange chlorine thing was a bit of a black mark on this beer, but otherwise, this is damn good.

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

A - pours a dark reddish brown with two fingers of tan head; decent persistence - took a minute or so to settle to a slightly craggy finger, then dissipated to a scant covering of fine beaded head; some nice lacing, but not very sticky

S - rich malty aromas - chocolate-y and nutty with lots of sweet malt in the middle; there is a pine and earth hop presence that seems just a bit out of place; hints of cafe au lait

T - appealing array of malt notes - again, nuts, chocolate, cocoa, brown malt, some sweetness; again, the hops seem a bit out of place; sweet attack followed by a slightly astringent alcohol heat as the hops become more noticeable; good length, but a bit muted on the finish

M - really nice, clean and smooth; CO2 is moderate and lets the malt have its way

D - easy drinking; quite good

the only thing that detracts from this beer is the disjointed hop presence and the slightly off-putting obviousness of the alcohol
otherwise it is really quite good

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Photo of Jinholic
4.7/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got a bottle tonight poured into pint glass.

Appearance is a dark brown with a bit of red.

Smell is mostly Caramel with hops and malts(was somewhat mild till it warmed a bit).

Taste is great Caramel up front with hops and coffee in the middle while still finishing clean, great after taste as well.

Mouthfeel is smooth all the way I could drink it all day.

Drinkability is nice again I could down this back to back you can't even tell it's 7.2 abv till it starts to warm up due to it going down as smooth as it does 1 up for Dogfish Head on an awesome brew can't wait till next month for seasonals to start.

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Photo of philbe311
4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of my favorite go to everyday craft offerings... Have had 100+ bottles, but this is my first time trying on tap...

A - A fingers worthy of creamy inviting light to medium tan colored head... Impressive retention... A deep rich medium brown color... A slight cranberry colored hue... Some slight carbonation can be seen within... A bit of lacing clings to the glass as the session proceeds...

S - More mild than from the bottle... Roasted malts... Caramel... Faint coffee... Earthy hops... Perhaps some fruity notes... A hint of nuttines...

T - Brown sugar... Caramel... Assertive earthy hops... Raisins... Some cocoa notes...

M - Medium bodied... Sturdy... Rich... Moderately creamy... Balanced carbonation...

D - An awesome hybrid of a brown ale, indian pale ale, and scotch ale that remains one of my favorite brews... I could drink this year round with ease... I slightly prefer the bottled version once the hops fade a bit, but this is still quite solid on tap...

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

The appearance is superb. Its a very dark brown that looks very crisp and clean. The head sticks to the side nicely. You can tell it was taken well care of...

The smell is excellent. I smelled roasted malts, faint hops, and a very small amount of coffee.

The taste is very nice. The upfront flavor is roast and coffee, maybe even "roasted coffee." The middle flavor is quite reminiscent of IPAs, a very nice alcohol and hops flavor. The last flavor is definitely the roasted coffee flavor meets IPA. The alcohol in this ale is very clean and quite nice tasting.

The mouthfeel is solid. Its smooth and crisp.

I would give this an insanely high drinkability. I love ales that are around 7-8% and very clean and not heavy on the stomach. This meets those requirements. To me, I would consider this one of my favorite session beers.

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Photo of victory4me
4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a stemless wine glass.

Pours a very dark brown, almost porter-like black until held to the light. This is a brown ale. One finger of tan head dissipates quickly. Leaves a light to moderate amount of lacing on the glass, more than typical of a brown ale. Smell is an initial blast of dark malts evolved into an oatmeal-raisin cookie and finished with a bitter bite at the end.

Taste is complex and well rounded. Sweet upfront flavors of brown bread with a hint of candy dates and prunes. Followed by a bitter, citrus hop kick that dries the palate and readies you for another sip. Mouthfeel is slightly sticky and viscous. An easy drinker for such a high ABV within the style. My glass went empty rather quickly, but not something I would want to drink back to back.

One of the most complex brown ales I've ever had and my favorite in an extremely underrated style. My favorite beer for a fall BBQ, pairs exceptionally well with a wide variety of foods. Aged it takes on the qualities of a porter. A well crafted beer and tremendous value at $7.99 a sixer.

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Photo of jrenihan
4.15/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a VERY dark brown (almost black), with two full fingers of tan head. Head shrinks to some small frothy bubbles quickly.

Smells include coffee, chocolate, sugar

The taste is of toffee, lightly roasted nuts, and is very well balanced. A nice amount of bitterness at the beginning present alongside a rather sweet finish, giving way to more bitterness in the aftertaste. The taste is reminiscent of dark chocolate.

Mouthfeel is great. Very well carbonated and a much heavier than I would expect a brown ale to be. The excellent mouthfeel combined with a very nice taste make for one very drinkable beer. Can barely notice the 7.2%.

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Photo of drtacks37
3.88/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark, with a reddish hue in the light.

Smell: Carmelly, alcoholly,roasty.

Taste: Quite a bit of sweetness, sometimes I pick up bitterness and a strong hop bite.

M: Tasty and full in the mouth.

D: Would it be a good idea to drink a couple of these. Probably not, but it sure would taste good.

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Photo of AEK
4.26/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

355ml brown bottle poured into a Delirium Tremens snifter.

A. Extremely dark red coloured ale with a slightly yellowish-brown head.

S. Leathery, damp rooms, hints of toasted banana.

T. Black coffee, dark chocolate, burnt fruit cake, brown sugar and a smoke aftertaste.

M. Medium bodied.

D. Quite good. Aromas and taste complexities were not what I was expecting.

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Photo of brewmudgeon
3.53/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

indian brown

a 4 clear dark brown with burgandy highlights. very short head leaves a ring and some lace.

s 3-3.5 smells like a freakin porter.

t 3-3.5 tart and sweet take turns. the tartness is almost citrus-like. all the while roast hangs around. tangy, roasty finish. seems to lack complexity despite there being a number of elements going on--I guess it's because each element itself is so simple and they don't interact in particularly interesting ways.

m 3.5 not nearly as full-bodied as i remembered. a full body is actually one of the main things i recall. but this is more med.

d 3-3.5 something has changed. ah well. hopefully the palo will make things right.
on a positive note, drinkability seems to be improving as it warms. has taken about 25 min for the first half to go down--may have to update in another 25 min...

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Photo of bradlemay
4.5/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: very dark, when I looked through the glass at the light it had a reddish tint.

S: the smell was very nice you can surely smell the strong coffee smell.

T: had very rich toasted taste with a clean after taste.

M: very nice feel in the mouth a low to medium carbonation which I seem to prefer.

D: This beer is very drinkable, it is an awesome beer to sit down and watch a movie while drinking a few of these, or even better this may be my new poker night brew.

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Photo of ms11781
3.9/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled on 12/20/2011. 12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a deep brown color with some reddish hues on the sides and bottom of the glass. A small 1/2 finger, tan head dissipates quickly and leaves a very thin, foamy off white cap that leaves decent lacing.

The nose is pretty strong here. Heavy roasted malts and some coffee aromas are present, as is some sweetness and an earthy hop aroma. The first two dominate but the second two are in the mix as well.

The taste has the same roasted malt and coffee flavors leading the way. The is less sweetness and it is hoppier than in the nose. Also pick up some black licorice towards the finish.

Medium body with a medium carbonation yet it still has a smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Pretty big for a brown ale.

Quite drinkable. Very sneaky 7.2% ABV. Feels like a beer that you could drink all night but I suspect it would catch up with you sooner than later. That being said, a couple pints would be very enjoyable.

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Photo of theo871
4.62/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a perfect pint glass.

A - Dark brown with a small head that quickly dissipates.

S - This smells amazing. I smell coffee, licorice and malt. The coffee really stood out, which I love.

T - It has a smoky taste up front, similar to a scotch ale. There is a nice hop bite that smooths out to a classic brown ale malt finish. There is a lot going on here.

M - Medium carbonation, very smooth. Not too thick, not to watery. It's just right.

D - I promised myself I would only have two tonight, but here I am on number three. Borderline sessionable, a little high on the ABV though.

This beer has been a revelation for me. I can't believe I waited this long to try this beer. This takes the classic brown ale and reinvents it with incredible success. I will be coming back for more.

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

From a bottle poured into a pint glass:

Appearance- Looks very dark brown but by a light the reddish amber quality can be seen. Poured a small, creamy looking dark tan head which dissipated quickly.

Smell- Coffee jumps out at me in a big way and overshadows everything else. Little bit of hop aroma and a hint of something sweet too.

Taste- Again, first impression for me is coffee. But here you get to pick up on some things that the smell only hints at: some hops, molasses, and brown sugar going on. It starts dark and strong and sweetens a bit as you go.

Mouthfeel- Medium thickness, pretty steady carbonation that lasts.

Drinkability- A very solid beer, and one you'll probably be able to drink a couple if you want. It took me a few tries to get into it, but it has grown on me. At 7.2 ABV maybe not a session beer, but it goes down fairly easy although I might have gotten used to it after repeated samplings.

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Photo of thebierbrewery
4.07/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served out of a 12oz bottle

A- Nice dark mahogany brown, brilliantly clear. Slight head retention, no lacing.

S- Chocolate, caramel, slight roast, some hops

T- Nice balance between dark malts and high alpha hops. Leans toward the malt side but has a hoppiness that cuts through the maltiness in the finish.

M- On the sweeter side with medium high carbonation.. Nice hop bitterness that lingers for a hot second.

D- Very drinkable, as a result of balance and last Saturday night/Sunday morning.

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