Indian Brown Ale | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

2,041 Reviews
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

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Reviews: 2,041 | Ratings: 6,009
Photo of Kubishark
4.32/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had on tap. What a beautiful beer, dark brown with a bit of amber/red shining through. Smells like roasted malts and caramel, tastes wonderfully nutty and malty and sweet, with enough hops to even things out. Hardly any taste of alcohol for its ABV. Highly, highly recommended.

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Photo of StoutElk_92
4.24/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a nice maroon with a frothy khaki colored foam head. Smells very malty, with somewhat dark roasty caramel and mild chocolate, caramelized brown sugar and light grassy citrusy pine. Taste is bitter grassy pine, mild citrus fruits, roasty caramelized brown sugar and molasses, with mild chocolate and earthy wood notes to balance it out. Feels light and creamy with medium carbonation. Overall a balanced and well made hoppy brown ale.

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Photo of Benjo87
3.93/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - A lot darker than I expected. It looks like a stout or a porter in the glass. Little bits of light coming through the glass from the corners. 2 finger head that dissipates quickly.

Smell - was expecting a bit more on the nose. Bottle is fairly fresh at 2 months old, but I'm only getting faint smells. Caramelised sugar is there, roasted malt, hops, and a touch of alcohol.

Taste - Very very smooth. Caramelised sugar up front, with a fair bit of hops on the back end. Has a nice bitterness to finish.It's almost a mix between an IPA and a porter. Very well balanced beer.

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

Poured on tap, the beer is a vibrant, deep, dark brown coloring with a filmy, clingy, off white head. Aromas of heavily roasted nut sweetness, hints of coffee, and a solid bolt of bitter hops. Flavors are heavy nut and coffee, both bitter and rich, with a hippy backbone. Smooth and big in mouth, with a dry edge. The aftertaste is roasted and sweet, with a solid nutty and toffee linger. Smooth, dry finish. Great beer.

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Photo of Andrewharemza
4.35/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From bottle, Pours a deep clear brown with a white head. Aroma of roasted malts and slight citrus hop, caramel, coffee. Taste caramel pretty much the aroma and roasted notes and the hop. Well worth a try, I really enjoying this.

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Photo of NateDyk47
3.72/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

L- dark brown; red hue when held to light. Very thin white head.
S- burnt sugar, hint of caramel
T- caramel, not to sweet, just the right amount of bitterness
F- medium thin, medium to heavy carbonation

I was skeptical, but better than I was expecting. Pretty good.

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Photo of Evilyak
4.19/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

like usual, there's not much i'm going to add to almost 2,000 reviews.

dark brown with a hint of red to it. smells roasty, with a ton of sugar. taste is the same - beginning has some burnt notes and more floral hops, but finishes very sweet. feel is well carbonated and a bit oily.

a really nice brown ale. hides the 7.2% wonderfully.

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Photo of thebeers
3.77/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Dark brown with large foamy tan head that's quick to dissipate. Smells of black bread, a hint of roastedcoffee and hops. Taste follows the nose with malty sweetness and hop bitterness lazily competing for the aftertaste. Fairly heavy bodied with just enough carbonation. Fine beer.

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Photo of Fatehunter
4.07/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.25

Pours a half finger of head on a clear brown body.
The aroma is toast (almost burnt), wood, brown sugar, caramel and raisins.
The taste roasted malt, then some pine bitterness, big dose of caramel sweet and a bite of grapefruit to finish.
The texture is crisper.
It's pretty good.

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Photo of DenisKolkin
4.16/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle served at cellar temperature into a pint glass. Sadly the last of 6 bottles to be enjoyed over the past week weeks following a visit to New York State.

Appearance - an aggressive pour yielded a dark mahogany coloured beer, with gat clarity and topped by a finger and a half of tan head. Pretty good head extension and some sparse lacing lingers around the edges of the glass.

Smell - big aroma of coarse grain, some dark fruit, a hint of wood and smoke. A little caramel mixed in for good measure. A very aromatic beer for the style.

Taste - grain flavours, followed by some mild bitterness, slightly earthy hops, a smoked or burnt flavor, and a touch of caramel at the end. Complex and nice complementary profile. The roasted and slightly smokey flavor is the star, which may or may not appeal to everyone.

Mouthfeel - smooth, medium bodied with good carbonation and a fairly dry finish.

Overall - one of the best brown ales out there, it's a hybrid in that the significant hop presence and the woodsy aromas and flavours with the smokey elements gives you a different beer than many browns, but it works very well here. Top notch stuff that will grow on you more, the more you enjoy.

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Photo of gmoneyproductions
4.31/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass
look is amber to brown mahogany with a moderate tan head
smell is malty hoppy and boozy
taste is chocolate, slightly smoky, nutty hoppy and boozy slightly dry and bitter aftertaste
feel is medium body warming somewhat effervescent
a more bitter and hopped up take on a brown ale
very good

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Photo of MacMalt
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on draught at a restaurant, thus It was colder than I would drink it at home. It poured a dark brown with reddish hues and a creamy tan head and lacing. Because of the temperature it was hard to really appreciate the smell but I definitely discerned chocolate and nutty caramel. This is a very tasty brown ale with a base of roasted malt with chocolate, coffee, and nuts. There is also some vanilla/caramel sweetness and it finishes with more than a hint of hoppy bitterness. In sum, it is an extremely well-balanced ale. At 7.20% ABV, it is very drinkable; you can easily have a second. Overall, this is a very well crafted brown ale that blends different flavors extremely well. It is a pleasure to drink.

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Photo of bmeehan
3.38/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I love the smell of coffee and hate the taste of it. This beer is a pint of cold coffee in smell and in taste, and because it's so strong on the coffee notes, it's not palatable to someone like me. I can appreciate the craft here, but I can't drink this beer.

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Photo of VDJ104
4.88/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

The best way I can describe this beer is it's somewhere between an IPA and a porter and I think it might be a new favorite of mine. When I poured it I was surprised because I didn't expect it to be this dark. IPA's have never been my favorite style but when mixed with malts and sugar it creates one of the more balanced yet at the same time flavorful beers I've ever had.

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

L: Pours a very dark burgundyish brown with a light tan head.

A: Complex mixture of caramel and nuttiness. The nutty maltiness you expect from a brown ale. Some faint hop aroma as well.

T: Bisquity, toasted malt flavor and caramelized wort. Significant hop bitterness with a pretty clean flavor profile overall. Finishes fairly sweet; you can really taste the brown sugar.

F: Medium body, medium carbonation: appropriate.

O: Quite a nice beer. A very unorthodox brown ale and one I expected to be more like an IPA, but a nice, sweet sipper nonetheless. Strikes me as a cross between a brown ale, an IPA and a Scotch ale.

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

A great tried and true from DFH. Pours a redish/brown with a nice lingering creamy head. Lots of stout and porter characteristics. Great smell of chocolate, coffee and of course the caramelized sugar with a slight hint of hops. Nice medium feel with little to no carbonation bitting your tongue. Hope they keep this in their lineup for a good while.

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Photo of l_volky
4.35/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dogfish Head is a brewery that puts out a lot of nonsense that I don't care about. However, they do have some great standards. I say this both in the meaning of the level of quality the Dogfish brewers accept and in the sense of a song that has established and lasting popularity. Their 90 minute IPA and their Palo Santo beer are some great examples of this, but the list wouldn't be complete without the Indian Brown Ale. The name suggests an overzealous and directionless blend of styles but on the contrary the beer itself is exemplary. This beer should pique the interest of IPA lovers just as much as those more inclined to amber and browns. I drank it from the conical pint glass that I poured the 12 oz bottle into.

Look: Beautiful dark brown that inspires images of the other fine brown things in life. Think leather bicycle seats, old and well loved copies of Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman, and trees.

Smell: Caramel raisin sweetness blended with a hoppy bouquet of leather samples. The type of adult candy that most children just can't seem to understand with their stupid child minds.

Taste: Here's where the fireworks of this beer are at. Each flavor of the beer's concept (IPA, American Brown, and Scotch Ale) gets a spotlight without overshadowing any other. The piney hops compliment the sweeter candy sides of the scotch ale side keeping the beer mellow throughout. There's some chocolate and dark fruit tastes without the unrelenting sweet and boozy characteristics of a full blown, big scotch ale.

Feel: The beer remains effervescent while being smooth and full feeling. It's just another testament to the brewer's masterful standard for this hybrid.

Overall: Most hybrids suck. Fusion food is bad, hybrid crossover fruits like pluots would be better off thinking for themselves, and beer hybrids often seem like ill attempts for non-creative brewers to sound interesting at whatever shitty dinner parties they go to. This beer is a strong exception to this rule. The standard to which it's held sets a high bar for beers of each style it takes from without sacrificing in any way. I think Dogfish Head's Indian Brown Ale is a completely worthwhile beer.

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Photo of Elkdog
4.75/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

They've carried this one at the convenience store around the corner from me for years, I buy it several times a year. Always a good one. Not really any point for me to describe it when so many already have.

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Photo of the_awesometeer
4.48/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Great dark brown color with a tan foamy head that laces the glass. The beer has a nice chocolaty, toasty, sweet malt smell to it. A great thick beer, with a nice sweet malt taste with hints of chocolate and a toasty flavoring. The beer finishes with a nice spike of hops. Overall this a great beer.

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Photo of Machoo
3.93/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Caramel sugar and hop mix was interesting. Received bottle super cold and perhaps it would have gone down better if I had let it sit to lower a few degrees.

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Photo of tfsimpkins
5/5  rDev +22%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Raisins, plums, tobacco, leather. Nice aggressive hop characters (for the style) Piney, earthy floral tones. Not your typical brown ale but definitely an interesting take on it. This is a must try and go back for more often.

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Photo of Nickholland
4.02/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is very similar to a good dopplebock (Celebrator comes to mind). The smell is fantastic, definitely get the carmelized/brown sugar and cocoa in the nose, but the generous hop bitterness really takes over the flavor. All that being said it's definitely a great beer.

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Photo of SitkaSteve
4.4/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks Ted. Time to conquer a personal whale.
This was poured into a nonic pint glass.
The appearance was a dark brown color with a thick tan foamy head that had wonderful sticky lacing around the glass.
The smell started off with cocoa, bread, caramel and a light earthy and semi-citrusy hoppiness rolling in underneath.
The taste was basically the same but with a slight bitter floral hoppy quality in underneath. Breadiness comes back in the aftertaste and roams into a dry semi-citric finish.
The mouthfeel was moderately light to medium bodied with an okay sessionable dark feel to it. There's some heaviness coming in like Flynn to bring the roast and dry somewhat puckering bitterness laying down on my tongue.
Overall, this is what I hoped the greatest of American Brown ales could be. In like Flynn, of course I'd have this again.

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Photo of BodiesLexus
3.91/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful, robust dark brown ale with thick, longlasting head. Nearly too dark, but why complain, this is a beautiful beer.
Nose is lots of cocoa, dark bread, charred caramel ..... wow, this smells like heaven for a brown ale, and I do not get much hop in the nose, and I don't want much hop, despite the warning on the label and the rep of the brewer for super-hopping. Nose wins.
Taste is not the same. I taste a florally-hopped black IPA, where all the cocoa and caramel are completely overwhelmed by puckering floral hops. A bready thickness remains beyond the hop dryness and carries into the finish, reminding me however faintly that I'm still drinking a dark ale.
Feel is full and heavy (nice), with too much tingly carb and puckering dryness for what I wish was a strong, mellow brown. Can't win 'em all.
Overall, great nose, full body shows it's packed with a great blend of dark and amber malts. For my taste (and I lovelovelove me some hoppy pales), this has too much hop infusion for a good brown. I know DFH was and is in front of the curve on many craft-brew "things", and in this case, they pre-figured the black IPA by a decade or so. Still a super-quality offering. The nose makes me wish they would brew an updated brown that doesn't try to win the hop wars. It would be heavenly.

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Photo of Hellopeople4304
4.82/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Great beet, my personal favorite from Dogfish Head. Its high enough alcohol percentage that I can drink one and be good for relaxing night at home. With that said for a 7% alcohol content it not harsh at all. also has a great coffee after taste that I very much enjoy. Smells of caramel, chocolate and raisins. Tastes like more of a malty caramel and raisins. Great beet overall and definitely will enjoy it while i am on the east coast.

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Indian Brown Ale from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
4.1 out of 5 based on 6,009 ratings.
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