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Beer Review #256 Indian Brown Ale

12-28-03The year is quickly coming to a close and I have yet another Dogfish Head beer to add to my list for the year. It’s been a long time since I had Indian Brown Ale as it’s not a super common one to see at the stores compared to some of their other beers, but a friend recently brought over a few to try (he’s new into craft beer!). This beer was actually one of my first Dogfish beers and my first introduction into high alcohol beers. It comes in at 7.2% which isn’t much compared to some other beers that I have on a regular basis, but when I first tried this on out, it was a real ass kicker.

Indian Brown Ale pours a nice clear brown and has a thin off-white head. It doesn’t leave any lacing while being consumed. The nose is nice and malty. There is a good helping a caramel and roasted malt. I didn’t really get any hops which leads me to believe that this bottle was a bit older. The label says, “a clean, well-hopped brown ale brewed with caramelized sugar and hopped liberally and often.” The hops from the nose of this beer did not match the description. FYI: Hop aroma is one of the first things to break down in a beer as it ages. If you have two of the same IPAs, one old and one new, the newer one will taste and smell hoppier.

On the first taste the roasted malt flavor was on full show. Some sweetness then clicks in and gets cleaned up by bits of coffee bitterness. The hops make their presence shown as the caramel sweetness amps up, but both the sweetness and hops and cleaned away by the roastiness in the beer.

This is a very nice beer. It is full of flavor and well balanced. I’m glad that this was one of my first introductions to Dogfish Head beer. I think it is a prefect representation of what they do. If you have never had it before I suggest that you go back and try it and if you are like me and haven’t had it in awhile, it’s worth redrinking.