Saturday, January 09, 2010


While it’s fantastic that DOGFISH HEAD started distributing beer within California about a year ago, the lineup of ales that they allow into my state is only a subset of their overall lineup. We get the 60- and 90 Minute IPAs; the Festina Peche; the Midas Touch, Palo Santo Marron and the Aprihop, and maybe one other that I’m forgetting. No bombers, and none of the stuff I’ve been drooling about for years. So I’m in Las Vegas this week for work, and what do I see at Mandalay Bay’s excellent beer oasis BURGER BAR but a solid selection of draft & bottled DOGFISH HEAD specialties, many of which I’ve never had before? That’s what I decided to have them pull me first, starting with the INDIAN BROWN ALE. And yeah, those are my fries.

The shtick with this one – and with these guys, there’s always a shtick – is that INDIAN BROWN ALE is an IPA crossed with a traditional English brown ale. Hence the name!! And it truly does have the hoppiness of a very well-hopped IPA, no question about it. It’s a 7.2% ABV beer, and to me it tastes much like a strong ale loaded with hops a la ARROGANT BASTARD. A little jarring, actually. Medium carbonation, slight roasted flavor, and a “finish” that had me reconsidering my initial love for this one. Yeah, they had me at “hello” for sure but start losing me right before “goodbye”. Perhaps a little too bitter, but still an ale of class and distinction as you’d expect. 6.5/10.

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