Monday, August 8, 2011

Day 14 (8/7/2011): Indian Brown Ale by Dogfish Head

(Sorry folks; no pictures today. Got too preoccupied and drank the bottle without snapping a shot!)

When you get a Dogfish Head beer, you can pretty much guarantee you're not going to get a traditional, beer following typical style qualities. Though sometimes this is a disaster, often it leads to a great beer that you never would have thought was possible. If nothing else, you certainly can't say they lack innovation or ingenuity. Dogfish Head's Indian Brown Ale shows this innovative approach, but does it lead to a good beer?

This brown ale pours very, very dark; almost black. You get a couple fingers of sand-colored head, which dissipates quickly. The smell is of espresso, a nice roastiness, caramel sweetness, and a slight hint of hops. It should be noted that this bottle was three months old, so the hops may have faded some during that time. The smell isn't much different than most other brown ales I've tried before, other than the bit of hops.

The taste is delicious. Definitely more of a fall/winter beer than a 90+ degree day beer, but delicious nonetheless. The roasted malts is the first thing you taste, followed by a bit of coffee and chocolate. There is a malty sweetness that is perfectly balanced by an undertone of floral hops. The fact that this beer manages to stay balanced despite the plethora of flavors is astounding. There is a lot going on here, but it never seems unmanaged or overwhelming.

The mouthfeel is pretty full and robust with carbonation a bit higher than usual for a brown ale, but it is a Dogfish Head beer, after all. The body never seems thick or syrupy, but 'thin' would never enter your mind when you're drinking it.

This is a great beer. I have no idea how I haven't tried this before, especially considering how widely available it is. It's tasty, pretty affordable, and at 7%, both sessionable or a night-ender, depending on your motives and pace. I can't wait to drink this guy more once the weather cools down. I give Indian Brown Ale by Dogfish Head an A-.

Style: American Brown Ale
ABV: 7.2%
IBU: 50
Beer Advocate: A-/A
Ratebeer: 98/99

Purchased from Party Source for $2.05 a single. Six packs are also available for just over $10. This is a pretty commonly year-round brew, so you should have no problem buying it if you can get any other Dogfish Head beers.

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