Friday, August 24, 2012

Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale

A few days after I closed out my quest to try the beers on Zymurgy's 2011 Best Beers in America list, I found Dogfish Head's Indian Brown Ale in my local liquor store. Indian Brown Ale was tied for 34th on the list. Even though I had already moved on to the 2012 list (which did not include Indian Brown), I decided to grab the six pack and blog about it.

It is my blog. I can do this if I want.

Dogfish Head's Indian Brown Ale is a year-round beer. The Dogfish Head website calls it "a cross between a Scotch Ale, an India Pale Ale and an American Brown". It is meant to be a magic blend of hoppy and malty. Its IBU are listed at 50 and its ABV is 7.2%.

If you are familiar with my beer preferences, you can probably imagine that I was really excited to try this beer. I love well hopped beers with more complex malt characters than the typical American IPA. 

You might remember that I absolutely loved Boulder Beer Company's Flashback India Brown Ale. I have mentioned over and over how much I like Hoppy American Red Ales and Black IPAs. I just love these IPA-like-but-not-really-IPA-beers.

This beer was no exception. It is fantastic. Sam and his crew do great work.

The India Brown poured dark brown with a nice substantial creamy off-white head.

The malt aroma has lots of rich caramel and chocolate. The dry-hopped citrus hops come through, although not as much as I remember in Flashback.

The flavor is very nicely balanced. Again, there is caramel and chocolate. It is a very rich malt backbone. The citrus hops are there. I didn't think they were as pronounced as in the aroma and certain not nearly as much as in Flashback. The malt sweetness and hop bitterness almost completely balance each other out.

It is so delicious.

I think it drinks more like a 5 or 6 ABV beer than 7.2% (that is a compliment).

It is a medium to full bodied beer and the head retention is excellent.

Did I mention that I like this beer. It is a great one.

Personally, I think it deserves to be higher than #34 on the 2011 list and I am very surprised that it did not make it on the 2012 list. If I remember to vote again this year, Indian Brown Ale will almost certainly be on my list.

Here ... listen to Sam talk about his beer:

This puts my new 2011 total at 43 of the 52 beers ... not too shabby IMHO.

In case you are interested (and at least one of you are ... I got a question on facebook), here are the ones still left on my 2011 "not tried list":

T16. Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA ... year round beer. Should be able to find in CO.
19. Bell’s Expedition Stout ... doesn't distribute to CO. Should have had my sister look for this.
T20. Troegs Nugget Nectar ... PA brewery. Can't get in CO.
T29. Three Floyds Alpha King ... A Chicago-land beer. Can't get in CO
T29. Three Floyds Dark Lord ... available one day a year in April at the brewery
T34. Three Floyds Gumballhead ... don't even see this beer on their website.
T43. Russian River Blind Pig ... not sure if I will be able to get this in CO.
T48. Dark Horse Crooked Tree ... Midwest distribution only.
T48. Summit EPA ... Another MN beer I should have had my sister look for.

You can look at the entire list here:

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