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 LiquidBread219
4.3/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A= Really dark brown some amber hues in it. Nice foamy head that provided some nice lacing.

S= Slight hops, roasted malt, hints of coffee

T= Bittersweet chocolate in the front of this beer then you get some espresso then you get the roasted malts very good flavor.

M= Medium in body, good carbonation for this beer nice mixture of malt with hops very nicely done.

D= Very drinkable IMO really enjoyed it and really easy to drink.

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Photo of suspect
3.73/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a shaped pint glass.

Pour was very dark with creamy white head that laced nicely and stuck around for the entire drink.

Very prominent malt smell backed by hops and some caramel undertones. Not all that powerful smelling but at the same time, does not smell weak.

Tastes very nice. As with the smell, the malt hits you first, backed by the bitterness of the hops - the aftertaste is very smooth and not bitter. It continually makes me want to go back for another taste in order to explore the complexities.

Very creamy mouthfeel. Carbonated nicely, little bubbles that tend to die off quickly in your mouth.

Extremely drinkable beer. I really like it...could knock off a six-pack if I wasn't careful but at 7.20%, I really need to make a conscious effort to tread lightly.

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

appearance: Dark hazy brown with tan lacing

smell: sweet malt smell, slight hops

taste: sweet at first followed by hops. a little carmel and raisin. Hop aftertaste lingers for quite some time.

mouthfeel: just the right amount of carbonation

drinkability: would have 2 or 3 more

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Photo of paulozanello
3.99/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown color with red hues when looked against the light. Head is light brown and goes down quickly. Lacing was below average.
Smell is strong of roasted malts, caramel, brown sugar and mollasses.
Taste starts with malt and mollasses, burnt brown sugar and caramel. It also has a mild earthy and citric hop presence towards the middle. Aftertaste is mildly bitter with a lingering toasted malt flavor.
Body is medium to heavy with moderate carbonation. Alcohol is well hidden by the sweet and burnt sugar.
Overall a big sipping beer from DFH, very sweet and full bodied and with low drinkability.

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Photo of philosobeer
3.02/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A // Dark brown and good clarity. Nearly white head (if it can be called that, I get no head retention from this foam)

S // Roasted barley and chocolate and coffee like roasted flavors strongly present, and a malty sweetness joined with caramel and maybe brown sugar or maple. A bit of citrus hops present, counterbalancing an otherwise malty nose.

T // Barley and maple syrup provide an adequate sweetness with a drier, roasted and burnt flavor. High dose of hops, and alcohol is very hot, along with some solvent flavor.

M // Syrup seems to be a trend with this beer, because this feels rather viscous going down. That's helped a little by the plentiful hop bitterness.

D // This is pretty hard to finish. Kinda wish the pint was already over.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.62/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz Bottle

Appearance - The beer pours a clear brown colour with a small to average size frothy and fizzy light brown coloured head. There is a low amount of carbonation showing and there is some average lacing. The head lasted for only a few minutes before it was gone.

Smell - malts, hops, roasted/toasted nuts, coffee, chocolate

Taste & Mouth - The beer actually has quite a bit of carbonation which is surprising considering its appearance. The beer has a very sweet taste made up of lots of brown sugar and malts. There are also notes of coffee and chocolate mixed with light hops. The beer finishes with a burnt and bittersweet aftertaste.

Drink - This is a fairly decent brew that really got better as I drank it. The flavour seemed to peak when it hit room temperature. It has a very full bodied taste and it makes a terrific winter warmer. I don't think I could drink more than 1 of these at a sitting.

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

Bottle dated 12/8/10 poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint.

Nice dense coffee ice cream colored head onto of a sienna colored and red clay body beer with bright clarity.

A nice herbal minty nose some touches of fir tree needles and espresso with mocha. Some wafts of alcohol but it melds with the malt body and rock candy/sugar aromatics.

Roasty upfront with bittersweet chocolate and espresso in the middle, finish is roasty malt, cocoa powder and crushed dark roast coffee beans. Nice amount of bitterness in the semi sweet finish. A tiny buzz of alcohol warmth and moderate carbonation.

Medium bodied no astringency, well balanced, nice and malty but with good touches of hop flavor and bitterness.

Extremely drinkable, has long been a favorite of mine from the brewery.

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Photo of Hollybee
4.02/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - warm amber brown color, retains it's cream color head with no real lacing lingering on the glass.

Smell- sweet at first, chocolate/cream to finish

Taste/Mouth - Sweet, creamy vanilla to start malty underpinning with little bitterness. finishes cleanly leaving vanilla behind. The alcohol is present but certainly not overpowering.

Drinkability. Very drinkable, especially for a 7%abv. Enjoy one, maybe two at the most in a sitting.

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Photo of bishopdc0
4.02/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown with a good head formation. The head laces well but doesn't remain. The color is slightly transparent but a dark brown.

A pleasent mix of malts and alcohol fill the nose, roasted toffee a nice earthy woodyness with a slight almost vanilla finish.

The taste starts with a carbonation on the tongue. This is mellow it builds to reveal a woody middle taste along with toasted malts. The taste of almost floral hops hits the end while no alcohol is preasent in the mouth. This brown has many layers to the taste that continue to reval themselves as it is consumed

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Photo of jims4210
3.82/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Just finished one of these while watching the Eagles and Cowboys game...

A: Dark, darker than I thought it would be, with a tan head that receded fairly quickly, leaving nice lacing on a pint glass.

S: A lot going on here. Hints of toffee and caramel, smells really appealing.

T: Again, a lot going on here. Pretty complex. Maple Syrup seemed to dominate, for me anyway. Alcohol was muted, considering the ABV.

M: Seemed a bit syrupy to me, and a bit thick. Good, though.

D: Went down pretty easy, but not sure if I would want more than one.

I did like this, but it seemed like a weird cross between a Porter and an IPA. Might have to try another...

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Photo of rdub
3.5/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

After reading reviews and info on this I wasn't sure what to expect. Definite combination of flavors going on. Copper color liquid into my pint glass showed a nice clarity and a light tan/copper head. Smell was more malt than hops but then again maybe more hops. This is an enigma. Taste was malty, hoppy then malty then hoppy. Very interesting.

Mouthfeel was medium-heavy and drinkability was also down the middle.

This was weird for me.

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Photo of patreely12
4/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - very dark brown. ruby tint if held in the light. thin, creamy, tan head. dissolves pretty quickly.

S - hops, roasted barley, coffee and some brown sugar. also you can smell the alcohol a bit.

T/M - you can really taste the roasted barley up front, that and the bitterness of the hops. cleans out with a creamy coffee taste. dry after taste.

D - drys my mouth out a bit more than expected. other than that this a great brown ale.

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

pours a dark cola with only deep reds coming through when held to light. nice 2-finger head that dissipates rather quickly

one of the best brown ales I've smelled. the depth blows away most browns. roasted nuts, chocolate, espresso, toffee & alcohol on the nose.

u-n-b-e-l-i-e-v-a-b-l-e! this beer tastes like a Heath bar. perfect mix of toffee/chocolate/caramel. hops seep through on the end with a warming alcohol taste that lingers long after the sip.

medium-full body with good level of carbonation. thick and velvety on the tongue. again, better than any brown I've tasted.

not a brown ale fan but I really like this beer. great winter warmer that has a depth and richness that sets it apart. nice.

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Photo of hopsolutely
4.17/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow! An excellent beer!

No idea how to classify this ale - way more flavourful than the traditaional brown ale, but not hoppy enough for an Imperial and not malty enough for a Stout. Fantastic nose, lovely taste - completely across the flavour palette, from start to finish - and overall a fantastic winter sessional.

Thank-you Dogfish Head!

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Photo of Shrews629
4.5/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Very dark brown color with raspberry and ruby highlights. Gorgeous off white/tan colored head that was very frothy and creamy. The head stuck around for several minutes and had very nice lacing to go along with it. Looks great.

Smell - Very aromatic toffee and caramel. Getting both chocolate and brown sugar hints. Almost like chocolate milk. Vague hints of coffee also. No real nuttiness to speak of, but no problem with me there. This beer smells wonderful.

Taste - This brew has a toffee/caramel/chocolate type of flavor followed by the bits of coffee. Some alcohol warmth comes forth, but in a stifled kind of way and it makes me want another sip.

Mouthfeel - Medium/full mouthfeel. Creamy goodness. Smooth. Dry. Coats the palate very well. Really well.

Drinkability - This beer is super easy to drink at 7.2% ABV. Really smooth and dry. This is a great beer. One of the best I've had. Perfect for cool evenings and worth a try if available. I, most certainly, will pick this up again.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.11/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This is my second go at this. My first revieww was based upon a randall cascade infused version and it was very green and hoppy, while not bad not true for an accurate judging
Poured from the growler a dark brown, lots of carbonation leaving a tannish head

S: Grains, cocoa

T: Cocoa upfront, toasted barley, some toffee and perhaps caramel

M: Nice, good feel, booze well hidden

D: Not a susual brown ale and the drink is good

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Photo of DeadGuyRyan
3.8/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I poured this bottle into a dogfish head pint glass. Poured a very dark brown with hints of red. Dark tan head which was pretty small decent lacing over all.

Inviting smell Hoppy, woody coffee and roasted notes as well I also got a lot of spices through the smell. I also smelled slight hints of caramel not too prominent though.

Tasted like a light porter almost it reminded me of a pale ale at times but with coffee and roasted notes. I could taste the alcohol but the roasted/coffee notes hid it well.

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Photo of Thanby
3.83/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, dark garnet/mahogany with a bit of tan head that leaves tons of sticky lacing.

Smells of a nutty roasted brown malt, some mild hopping, complex malt full of nice sweet aroma.

Tastes like a big mouthful of malty goodness. A little nutty, toasted malt leaves a smoky note amidst the caramel and toffee flavors that roll around on the palate. The hops aren't very forward, but definitely present.

Medium-full body with good carbonation, a sweet and slightly sticky malt aftertaste, very smooth and creamy and easy to drink. ABV is well-hidden.

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Photo of thatsfine
4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Dark brown color with a smoky brown colored head. The head is huge and sticky and leaves layers of lacing down the glass. Awesome looking brown ale.

S: Mild chocolate on the nose. Definitely some hops that smell delicious but also a sweet malt scent that must be the brown sugar. I can tell right off the bat this is not a normal brown ale. Smells complex.

T: Hoppy and slightly chocolatey up front and a sweet, malty finish. This is awesome. The roasted malts almost make this seem like a porter.

M: Creamy mouthfeel with some carbonation. Doesn't contribute nor take away from the quality and experience of the ale.

D: One was plenty. Couldn't see myself sitting down with a six pack.

This was an awesome brew. I have been very impressed with all the DFH offerings I have tried but I have not ventured into the ancient, crazy beers yet. Seek this one out for sure.

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Photo of beersensei305
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From Notes:

A: pours a dark brown with nice redish hues. Nice foamy tan head.

S: Malty, hoppy and sweet from the brown sugar

T: Malty front with nice sweetness, good charatcer from the barely, nice slight bitter aftertone from the hops

M: Smooth and creamy

D: Very tasty beer, well balanced and delicisous.

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Photo of BEERMILER12
4.13/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a sort of cranberry red (a little on the browner side) with little head

S: Malty with notes of brown sugar and hops

T: Same as the smell, the alcohol is also barely noticeable, if at all. A hint of nutty flavor as well in the follow-through

M: Well carbonated and gets creamier towards the back end

D: As sessionable as a 7.2% brown ale can get! I also enjoyed their Palo Santo, but that beer is definitely far from sessionable. This one is much better (session wise), and has some different flavors going for it as well

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

A- A nice dark brown with some hints of red when held up to the light. The pour created a nice foamy tan head which dissipated after a few sips.

S- A very roasted barley scent with hints of toffee.

T- sweet and malty initially. The roasted barley really stands out. Then the hops bitterness kicks in and creates a very balanced ale that has a great finish.

M- Just the right amount of carbonation. Very creamy mouth feel almost stout-like.

D- Very drinkable. Overall a well done beer by Dogfish Head. I'm typically not a brown ale fan but this is probably my favorite brown ale.

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Photo of ramseye4
4.22/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A=Pours an incredibly dark brown color, 1 finger head that dissipates, superb lacing, the color is remarkable, and the defining aspect of the appearance.

s=Aroma is... very sweet, lots of dark roasted malt, some subdued hops providing a good balance, some faint nuts

T= Sweet dark roasted malts, the brown sugar definitely adds some distinctiveness to this, and more hops than usually appear the style, which adds a great bittering complement in the aftertaste

M=Full bodied, very smooth and creamy

D=the low point. The sweetness kills the drinkability, but this is definitely stellar for one or two in a sitting.

I was impressed with this. Very very good offering from Dogfish Head

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Photo of danronian
4.15/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A - Dark brown with some head left after a couple minutes. Some lacing from the bottom but it's hard to see in how dark the beer is.

S - Smells like a dark brown ale with a bit more malt, almost like a porter but sweeter.

T - Has a sweet taste (of brown sugar) at first but the lingering taste is of a dark, burnt, malty taste. A lot like a brown ale but more of a malty taste.

M - For such a dark beer the carbonation is moderate and you can taste the strong ABV, but the maltiness along with the brown sugar makes it go down fast.

D - It is a thick beer but one that has a great taste that lingers.

Overall I'd prefer this over the Dogfish Head IPA. The maltiness makes this go down smoother and the lingering taste more enjoyable. Very enjoyable.

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Photo of Rschis16
3.86/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Good beer, I can definitely taste the brown sugar which is my new favorite flavor in beer apparently. Small, nice little hoppy bite to the finish. I think the smell wasn't quite there for me but who the hell knows maybe my my nose doesn't work right. Good all around beer, I can see myself throwing these back despite the somewhat high ABV

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