Review of Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale

04 Sep
For today’s craft beer review I’m going to spotlight the Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale produced by the Dogfish Head Craft Brewery located in Milton, Delaware.

As most of you know, Dogfish Head is known for putting unique twists on traditional styles, so I would be led to believe that this brew should follow suit.

Let’s go ahead and get to the description from the website,

Forget about the car companies, this is the original hybrid, a cross between a Scotch Ale, an India Pale Ale, and an American Brown.  Our Indian Brown Ale is well-hopped and malty at the same time (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 as our 60 Minute IPA and 90 Minute IPAs.  This beer is brewed with Aromatic barley and organic brown sugar.

Let’s see how it looks, smells and tastes.

This brew has an ABV of 7.2% and comes in a 12 oz. bottle.

It poured a very nice, clear, dark brown to ruby red color.  More of the ruby was shown at the bottom and around the edges.  A super sized, khaki, smooth, creamy and fluffy crown was formed from a medium aggressive pour.  It had outstanding retention time with consistent, thick lacing clinging to the sides of the glass.  A thick film of foam seemed to hang on forever.  This beer looked very good in the nonic.

The aroma presented a pleasant waft of roasted malt.  Coffee beans with hints of chocolate and a deep, “earthy” tone set the stage.  I also got a hickory nut type of fragrance combined with only the most faint tone of alcohol lying underneath.  After the brew warmed considerably I began to recognized notes of the caramelized brown sugar (which is mentioned on the bottle).  The nose was balanced well and rather complex. 

As I took my first sip, I was greeted with a very sharp, robust, malty backbone.  More hints of coffee bean stood out.  The chocolate was kept low in the taste, but I definitely got a worthwhile bitterness along with a significant “hoppy” tinge.  I never detected any considerable caramelized brown sugar or sweetness however.  Toward the very end I also started to discern an almost burnt wheat bread flavor.  Very nice.

The mouthfeel was medium to medium/full.  Very smooth, chewy, thick and super dry.  After the swallow I found that it left a “chalky” feel full of flavors.  The palate is left with a wash of characteristics.  Great mouthfeel and carbonation with this one.

Overall, I thought that this was a very, very nice Brown Ale.  It seemed to be a bit more malty, rich and robust than some of the others I’ve had.  It’s an easy drink for 7.2% and it’s most definitely worth a try if you have not had it.  This brew would match perfectly with the Fall season and the cooler evenings that it brings.  Without a doubt, the Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale is one of the top Brown Ales on the market in my opinion.

Have you guys tried the Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale?  What did you think of it?

Thanks for taking a few minutes to read this review guys.  It’s greatly appreciated.


Score:  4.2 out of 5
Grade:  A- 

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Posted by on September 4, 2011 in Country: USA, Dogfish Head


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