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 July2Nov
4.53/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a darker brown with a lighter brown-red around the edges. Really nice two-finger foamy head that gradually gives way to 1/2 an inch. Beautiful to look at.

Smell: Sweet caramel, toffee and buttered biscuit. Slight licorice at the end.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Yummy goodness right there! Very smooth and velvety. Taste a bit like a scotch ale with that buttery flavor to it. A tad bit of roasted flavors on the tell end, along with ever so subtle hops and some nice brown sugar flavors. This is one amazing and drinkable beer.

Drinkability: Did I mention this was an amazingly drinkable beer? Wish this was distributed in my area, because I would drink this one more often. Another great offering from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery.

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Photo of RedSpecial1
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a nice dark brown with minimal off white head. A nice hoppy bitterness precedes a strong malty character in the nose. The taste mirrors the smell leading with a mild hoppy bitterness which fades into a malty roast barley flavor, and finishes with a touch of bitterness from the hops. This beer has a nice mouthfeel, not too heavy, not too light which also makes this beer pretty drinkable.

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

On tap at DFH poured into pint glass. Dark brown and hazy. Small white head. Nuts and roastedness in aroma. Medium bodied palate with medium carbonation. Roastedeness, nuts, chocolate, hops, bitterness and sweetness in taste. Malty and bitter aftertaste. Nice beer but a bit far away from brown ale.

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Photo of brystmar
4.09/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: dark brown with a solid finger of tan head. Minimal lace, looks appetizing!

S: big roasted malts, coffee, hints of sweetness, hops, more delicious malts.

T: nearly identical to the nose; plenty of roasty malts everywhere, nicely balanced with hops. Considerably more flavorful than most brown ales.

M/D: about as creamy as it gets for the style, and perfectly carbonated. I can see why this particular brew comes in a 6-pack -- I'm gonna grab another!

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

Poured into a pint glass. Nice foam that slowly dissipated it a light film. Very nice dark burgundy color. The smell is sweet malt with some hops. Very nice mouthfeel. Not too light. A slight hops taste upfront followed by sweet malt finish. A little bitterness at the end. Easy drinking. Not a session beer but I could drink several. Very nice.

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

Poured from bottle into darkness tulip. Dark dark brown body with ruby edges, off white one finger head that settles to a collar. Smells of lightly roasted malts, earthy hops, some pine, a bit of coffee. Taste is much hoppier then the smell. Lots of piney hops, some citrus and earthy, roasted malts, nice toasted malt finish. Body is medium with a medium carbonation. A standby for me, this beer is one of the best American brown ales around.

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Photo of YuenglingMan1987
4.37/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

There is a lot going on in this beer, at first taste you get all three sensations of an IPA, Scotch Ale, and Brown Ale. It has a coffee taste to it in there that I find very tasty. I really like this beer but I can't see myself drinking too many in one sitting. Great beer tho, def suggest it. Cheers.

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Photo of ferrari29
4.45/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beer poured from a bottle into Pint glass

A - Beer pours with a one finger beige foam; bubbly and full the head of the beer holds well and leaves a nice amount of lacing; the body of the beer has a chocolate/brown look with plenty of carbonation stemming from the bottom of the glass

S - My nose immediately picks up roasted scents of coffee, caramel sweetness and toffee (probably from caramelized brown sugar); very good blend of complex scents & ingredients; I'm getting excited just smelling this beer; three overwhelming scents are followed up with what appears to be a malt backdrop, almost grassy

T - First sip is roasted coffee beans and slight amount of caramel; hits the tip of the tongue and really takes over your palate; leaves behind a coffee roasted taste (kind of like ordering a bold at Starbucks); aftertaste and retro-olfaction brings up mucus tasting of nothing but coffee; lots of roasted flavors in this brew; sweet taste of sugars on the sides of the lips and mouth; has some nuttiness on the back-end too

M - Very creamy and effervescent; oily in consistency a bit; well-built beer and unique blend of coffee, toffee and caramel flavoring for an American Brown Ale (ABA)

D - For an American Brown Ale, I was really impressed; this beer hits your mouth and finishes with an explosion of flavor; I would definitely have a few of these in one sitting

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

12 oz bottle. Proved very fresh by bottled-on date on neck.

Pours a very dark, translucent brown. Tan, micro-bubbled head sticks around the glass. Smell is sweet and brown-sugary, almost delicate. Taste starts out with a dash of hops and smooth molasses and transitions into nice dark chocolate, ultimately melding into very roasted coffee. Nice complexity here, very good for a brown ale. Ends bitter all around, and finishes dry and a bit sweet. An easy drinker, and a hell of a good brown that I've enjoyed for years.

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Photo of patriot76
4.32/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A_ Deep brown in color, almost black like a stout with a red hue in direct light. Very nice creamy yellow head. Nice lacing.

S- Caramel, chocolate malt and barley. A nice smell of coffee, toffee as well. I'm also getting slightly roasted hops. Alcohol is strong in the nose. The first sip is with decent expectations considering the strong flavors in the nose. h

T- The caramel/chocolate malt + barley are very present along with the brown sugar they speak of on the outside of the bottle. It almost has the taste of a barley wine or a Scotch Ale mixed with elements of a traditional brown ale. Easily the most flavorful and complex brown ale I have ever had.

M- Very smooth and creamy each and every sip with moderate carbonation. Nice hop bitterness that lingers slightly.

D- The first sip I took I was struck by the complexity of the brew, and the fact that all these strong elements come together so nicely. A thoroughly enjoyable and drinkable beer, especially considering that it's 7.2 ABV. I'll take another.

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

Consume in pint glass from bottle

A: Clear, reddish-brown, 1/2 inch head (appropriate carbonation)

S: Roasty, slight malt, highly hopped with American hops

T: Plenty of chocolate malt, balanced by resinous hops

M: Thinner than expected from the malty aroma, but now that I see the ABV of 7.2%, it makes sense that it is isn't too heavy of viscous

D: I really enjoy the balance of malt, roast, and hops in this beer, I'll take another.

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Photo of CLBizzle
4.37/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer has a lot going on. Lots of bold flavors and aroma. The malts used really adds to the complexity of the beer. Taste of Carmel balances well with the hop additions. Drinkablity is rich but smooth. Another solid beer from Dogfish Head. Happy drinking.

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

This bottle came in a gift pack of microbrews and I saved it for last. I poured it into an Imperial pint glass and here's what I found:

Pours a deep reddish-brown with a coffee and cream-colored head which starts frothy and retreats to a thin layer with lacing. An inviting-looking pint.

The burnt sugar is easily noticed in the initial aroma -- some caramel, maybe toffee, sort of like a Tootsie Roll? (it's been a long time since I ate one of those.) But the dominant aroma that follows is coffee -- not espresso or really dark coffee, more like a really good automatic brew.

Mouthfeel is smooth, but not overly so, with a decent amount of fizz at the back end. The hops doing their work. An interesting ride.

Taste -- the aroma doesn't lie one bit. The sugars are there. So's the coffee -- so much so that this could easily be a dessert pairing. While there's a heaping helping of hops in here, it's balanced more towards the sweetness.

Drinkability: Very. I had this beer with dinner -- a few slices of pork roast, vegetables and a home-baked bread. Not the precise pairing I'd imagine, but I could see downing a few of these all by their lonesomes, too. I'd like to try it again with some dessrt and see if my hunch is correct.

Overall: Deserves the high grades that it gets, like most of DH's offerings. A first-class brew.

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

A- Pours brown with a tan head that looks nice and foamy. Retention is decent. Frothy ring leaves a nice coat of webbed lace.

S- Nice roasty caramel malt feel right off the top. A bit of raisin in there as well as a somewhat grainy feel. Buttery scotch ale hints.

T- An overly roasty brown ale with heavy nutty malt and caramel is what I get most. Certainly some dark fruit and buttery hints. Hops come into play with earthy notes.

MF- Highly carbonated moderately thick body. Somewhat of a creamy feel with a fairly bitter finish.

DB- A drinkable brown with a smooth, balanced flavor.

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Photo of udchemist
3.21/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tasted side by side w/ palo santa (much much better!)
Not a big hop fan, and this was quite a hoppy brown ale :(
Appearance - pretty burgandy brown color, decent head retention
Smell - not too exciting, fairly boring in all honesty. Maybe some hops, not quite sure what to say it is.
Taste - hops. Not much else, on the first and finish as well. Light mouthfeel overall.
Drinkability - not gonna get again

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Photo of brew3crew
3.97/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had during a dog fish head tasting
A-Reddish brown with light lacing
S-sweet and toasty, very malty
T- tastes like is smells. Very malty,
M-Medium bodied and very smooth
D-very drinkable.

Dont know if nastalga is kicking in, but I really like this

Thanks cam!

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Photo of Urbancaver
3.63/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours reddish brown with some head. The head dissipates fairly quickly but hangs around the corners of the glass. Smells roasty and malty. Lots of roasted smells on the nose. Tastes a bit burnt and overly roasty. Tons of malt with a hint of hops. Not one of my favorite beers and a bit over carbonated in my opinion. Overall, not something i would drink again

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Photo of zoso493
4.23/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle from 12/07/10 into a Guiness tuliped pint glass.

Appearance: India Brown Ale pours a deep but not at all opaque cola brown color. When held up the light, some brilliant ruby shades emerge. A mild pour can only generate a half-finger head that dissipates quickly, leaving just a few tinges of lacing on the glass.

Smell: Maybe it's the lack of a head, but I'm struggling to get a good grasp of the scents in this one. There some to be some typical light malts but also the nice scent of coffee that some brewers choose to put in the brown ales.

Taste: One sip lets me know that this is a very nice example of an American brown ale, and definitely a unique one. The lighter malts are there, but the coffee and hops take center stage. This is kind of an odd combination on paper but they work together very well in this brew. Despite all the bitterness by the mostly grassy hops and coffee, this brew remains pretty nicely balanced as well.

Mouthfeel: IBA is a creamy medium-bodied brown ale that is definitely right on in terms of thickness. The bittering hops at the end serve to wick away enough residual flavor to make this very drinkable, but also allow just enough of the taste to linger around for a little while.

Drinkability: This is a really nice drinking beer. I would have guessed from drinking it that it was around 5-5.5% in ABV, but see now that it is deceptively high in alcohol content at 7.2%. Still, though might not be a true session beer, IBA is one you could enjoy a few of for sure.

Overall, I am really impressed by this beer. I shouldn't expect anything less from the good folks at DFH. This is a tasty and highly individualized version of a style that I don't particularly enjoy. On this account, however, I am savoring every drop, as this is a very good beer.

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

I poured this 12 oz. bottle into a nonic pint glass, the bottle was dated 9-16-2010.

A: clear, dark mahogany color, the thick, tan head slowly falls into a thick cap with good lacing.

S: sweet, toasted caramel, raw sugar, vanilla, pecans, hint of coffee, hint of cheese/milk.

T: up front there is sweet caramel malt, buffered by an oak/vanilla backbone, there is a definite roasted, nutty character to the middle, and the finish is gently bitter with a hint of smokiness and coffee, and a bit of grassy hops lingers after everything else has faded away.

M: medium-weight, lightly creamy, moderate carbonation, there is a syrupy character to the middle.

D: This is an easy drinking brown ale, and quite tasty to boot. I would seek this out again.

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Photo of ToAzwethinkweizm
3.94/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Date: 20 January 2011
Glass: Standard nonic
Type: 12fl oz bottle

Bottle stamp: 09/16/10 B

Poured aggressively for 1.5-finger head, reduces to thin film, lacing is heavier-than-average, color is clear deep brown. Aroma of coffee (or possibly chicory, much like their Chicory Stout), lots of bittersweet chocolate, some caramel and slight molasses. Taste is same, with heavily roasted malts. Reminds me a lot of their Chicory Stout. I sure hope this was fresh enough to taste. No taste of hops present as stated on the bottle. Deep coffee taste left on the palate, moderately drinkable. Not my favorite DFH beer. I was expecting this to be a little more off-centered, but I suppose they need some basic beers in their arsenal.

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

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass

A-Deep mahogany with limited visibility, a thick tan head sits like a worthy crown on this magnificent looking beer, head looks almost like that of a stout. Surprisingly there was minimal lacing.

S-A lot like coffee with hints of hops and chocolate.

T-Sweet molasses, hops, brown sugar, coffee, chocolate, and malts. Overall an incredible taste that left me wanting more with each sip.

M-A little lighter than the smell and look would indicate, medium body with low carbonation

D-Very, very drinkable, all night kind of drinkable. Will definitely have again.

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

Bottle to DFH shaped pint glass...

A: Pours a deep brown, with some red highlights when held to a source of illumination; the buttery, hazelnut head exhibits some nice retention a leaves a few specks and rings of lace.

S: Roasted malts; chocolate; some underlying resinous hops.

T: Much hoppier than the nose would imply... quite piney and resiny, and perhaps a smidge minty; roasted malts are nice and rich; sweet, with some hints of chocolate and nuttiness; maybe a touch of smoke on the finish; kind of like a really resinous junior mint.

M: Full bodied, but with a higher, almost prickly carbonation.

D: Relatively smooth, considering the bold flavors present... the hops are a bit of a doozy; an interesting beer, for sure - probably not something I'd prefer to have more than 2 of in one sitting, though.

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

A: Deep brown color with an inch of thick tan head with good retention and lacing.

S: Nice full toasted malt aroma, biscuity and molassesy. There is a floral hoppiness in the background and maybe a hint of coffee or chocolate.

T: It does taste like a mixture of styles, with a nice deep chocolate malty residence and a red ale citrusy finish.

M: Medium body and a good carbonation, this could have been a little heavier in my opinion.

D: Good quality beer, would prefer it unfiltered, but still a stand up for a common six pack.

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Photo of Neecee513
4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured: bottle to pint glass

A: Thick, moderately dark head, w/ good retention. Deep ruby brown color.

S: Very initially after the pour, citrusy. Once settled, chocolate espresso aroma.

T: Slightly sweet quickly mellows into a nutty, chocolate finish. Some bitterness comes through.

M: Moderate carbonation, medium body.

D: I really enjoyed this beer. The subtleties all around came together nicely, from the nutty, chocolate notes to the hop aroma and bitterness that came through in a very pleasing manner.

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

Poured a 355-ml bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance - dark brown colour with a light brown foam head. The head doesn't last long but reduces down to a thin surface sheen.

Smell - a nice bouquet of roasted barley, leather, liquorice and tobacco with a faint wisp of hops.

Taste - dense heavy flavour comes forward right away with a long-lasting taste. Roasted malts and coffee are throughout.

Mouthfeel - very heavy and gets to be a little waxy on the tongue and cheeks. A very rich product.

Drinkability - no problem with a couple of these to start off a great night, best enjoyed with some salted cashew nuts.

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