29 December 2007

Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale (DE)

It took me a while to figure out that the "Indian" here is a reference to India Pale Ale, and that this is a combination of an IPA and a Brown Ale (as well as a Scotch Ale, according to the brewer).

It's a pretty hefty beer. It pours very dark brown, nearly opaque, and is medium-to-full bodied. Toss in soft carbonation, and you have a nicely creamy brew. The aroma and flavor are quite rich, with aspects of chocolate and brown sugar, mostly. I sensed some nuttiness as well. What I didn't get much of, however, was the IPA style hoppiness. This clocks in at 50 IBUs, but most of it seems to be buried beneath the malts. I am normally wary of how US brewers feel compelled to load Northwestern hops into beers of any style. In this case, however, I think they could have been more aggressive. As is, the beer skews a hair's too much toward the sweet and malty side, but this is a minor criticism of a very tasty beer.

It's over 7% ABV, but doesn't taste it. What might keep me from knocking back a sixer is the general richness of it, as well as the price (I paid $2.50 for one). It's available year-round, but I think now is the best season for it, as it plays out more like a porter or stout than a mild ale.


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