Indian Brown Ale | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

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Indian Brown AleIndian Brown Ale
6,178 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: 6,178 |  Reviews: 2,080
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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Photo of rtepiak
3.72/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

a bombastic brown with a higher abv then most that has a whiskey friendly quality to it. a clear mahogany with a head of about 2 fingers with some lace. nose is malty apple with a bit of toastiness. palate is malty that with a warmth of whiskey malt and a finish of charcoal that gives the finish a bitter grit mineral. this has a appeal of a malt liquor more so that a brown ale. smokey brings out the abv. well done but hard to have more than one. great along with whiskey and great for whiskey fans.

i don't get the perspective of best of the scotch, ipa and brown world of beers. sort of an over doing if anything.

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Photo of philmorepunk87
4.8/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- dark brown in the glass that has a small head which quickly faded and left nice lacing

S- mostly has a coffee scent, the hops are present too

T- a nice chocolate flavor with a good coffee present, on the end you get a nice hop flavor

M- medium thickness with medium carbonation

D- this is an excellent beer, I could drink several of these at one time. I feel that this one is more of a scotch ale and I think it is a wonderful representation of the style.

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

Poured out of a 12 oz bottle into one of my pint glasses. This beer pours a medium to dark brown color with deep ruby highlights when held up to the light. Nice tan head is about 1/2 inch thick when poured, but settles very quickly to a nice foamy surface layer with a good thick ring lining the inside of the glass. Very good lace. Aromas of roasted malt and chocolate, along with some coffee that gives way to a bit of hops. Flavor wise it has a good roasted and chocolate and malt sweetness upfront, followed by a nice black coffee bitterness, before being rounded out with some earthy hops. The perfect blend of these flavors. Has a slightly crisp, mainly smooth and frothy medium bodied mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. I do with the mouth feel was a bit thicker, but otherwise this was a very good beer! I can't believe it took me such a long time to finally pick one of these up. I would certainly drink this again.


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

A- A nice dark tan brown, with an off tan head but only about one finger on the pour. Lacing is present down the glass

S- Toffee and nuts for some reason hit my nose, then the malts, and then the booze. It just smells boozy to me

T- Maybe the reason it smells boozy is because it also tastes boozy. The brown ale aspects of this style are muted and dumbed down because of it. I have trouble distinguishing flavors.

M- Medium bodied and carbonated ok

D- One and done here. Moving on. Sticking with 60 min from dfh

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Photo of Anchorage42
3.86/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a- 2 fingers of tan head decent retention and lacing, dark brown, hint of amber color, a good looking beer

s- malty, sweet nose, hint of chocolate and coffee, not an overwhelming smell, but not absent either

t- coffee, malty, nice balance of hop bitterness with a smooth finish. Hops are a little aggressive but not by much. Mellowed out as the glass progressed.

m- fairly carbonated with some bite initially, smooth, nice sized mouthfeel. A little sharp.

d- I would have maybe 2 and then move on.

Overall, an enjoyable beer but one that doesn't stand out to me as something to move to the top of my list. That being said, I'll definitely have it again as it's a nice mix of flavors

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Photo of Arithmeticus
4.13/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: nearly black (hint of purple), good head, good carb; moderate amt of lacing at the end
S: very malty, hops emerge in 2nd wave of smell
T: very hoppy brown ale; semi-bitter, semi-sweet, very complex; carmelized character comes through, bordering on a smoked beer
M: thick, lively in the mouth

Another fine offering from Dogfish Head. I must admit, though, that my second, the day after, wasn't as exciting an experience.

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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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Indian Brown Ale from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Beer rating: 4.09 out of 5 with 6,178 ratings