A lot of folks out there know Delaware’s Dogfish Head for their selection of impressive IPAs, and that’s perfectly reasonable, as those beers are damn good. But the company’s year-round lineup of brews also includes a sleeper hit that doesn’t get anywhere near as much attention as it deserves: Indian Brown Ale. It’s a cross between a Scotch ale, an American brown ale, and an India Pale Ale, and though I’m a pretty devout hop fan, I’m going to go out on a limb and say it may be my favorite thing they produce. Go figure.
As expected, it pours out an opaque, deep brown hue, with a light tan head. That first sniff is all dark malts and just a bit of coffee, but once you get past that there’s some sweetness and a touch of hops and alcohol. The taste is fantastic and complex. Very malty, with a little caramel (the Scotch ale influence coming to bear), but rounded out nicely by a bitter hop bite that keeps things balanced. A medium body means I could drink this stuff all night, but the 7.2% ABV suggests I should be ready to deal with the consequences if I do.