1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Bad Penny Brown Ale - Big Boss Brewing

Not Rated.
Bad Penny Brown AleBad Penny Brown Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

264 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 264
Reviews: 101
rAvg: 3.6
pDev: 13.89%
Wants: 8
Gots: 20 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Big Boss Brewing visit their website
North Carolina, United States

Style | ABV
English Brown Ale |  5.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: atsprings on 04-17-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 264 | Reviews: 101 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by drperm:
Photo of drperm
3.8/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Finally a decent brew from Big Boss. I know it was largely only a name-change situation, but it seems to me that quality suffered QUITE a bit when Edenton Street became Big Boss. I long for the days of Horniblow's Ale. Sigh. This one, however, ain't half bad!

Appearance: like coffee with a head

Aroma: Coffee, nuts, dark chocolate, chicory

Taste: Coffee, toffee

Palate: Very smooth! Bravo!

Overall: A bit watery on the end (what I call the "American curse"), much like a cold Irish Coffee -- rather dark for a brown ale, almost a light porter. Nice work, really.

drperm, Jun 02, 2008
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.68/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the restaurant attached to The Souther Season in Chapel Hill.Poured into a standard pint glass a deep mahogany brown with a thin almond colored head atop,muted aromas of dark roast coffee and bitter chocolate mainly.Pretty standard for the style on the palate,somwehat sweet up front with bitter chocolate flavors with pretty hefty roasted coffee-like base underneath thru to the finish.Not bad but like I said pretty basic stuff here.

oberon, Jul 03, 2008
Photo of SIRIUS2
3.7/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a medium to dark brown in color, mostly clear, with a thin layer of light brown bubbles. Bubbles reduce rather quickly to a thin ring. Light lacing.

Slightly sweet roasted malt aromas, not too dark, but a touch more than basic caramel with a little toffee thrown in.

Smooth flavors drench the taste buds a great balance of moderate malts with a slightly nutty flavor up against a earthy hop. The malts are more prevalent but you can definitely taste the balance. The finish is fun, a little misleading, starting with what you think is going to be on the sweet side, but sliding to a relatively quick clean finish.

The lighter carbonation on this helps add to an already smooth mouthfeel and aids in making this brew incredibly easy to drink. Very nice and flavorful without going overboard with any of the individual components. Very nice.

SIRIUS2, Sep 14, 2009
Photo of avitallo
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%

avitallo, Aug 09, 2014
Photo of dankjohn
2.5/5  rDev -30.6%

dankjohn, Aug 19, 2013
Photo of mte1972
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%

mte1972, Feb 15, 2014
Photo of Mantooth
3/5  rDev -16.7%

Mantooth, Jan 27, 2012
Photo of kris10michele
3.93/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer is what turned me over to stouts. While it isn't a stout, it's just dark enough to get you interested in darker beers. At least, that was the case with me. I have found that this is a good middle ground beer for my friends and me. They like light beer, while I drink stouts now. Bad Penny is so yummy, I don't see why anyone wouldn't like it.

kris10michele, Feb 01, 2014
Photo of glid02
4.2/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle purchased from Bruisin Ales in Asheville, NC.

Pours a chestnut brown color with a one-finger tan head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells very good. Smooth caramel, toffee, and mild toasted malt aromas all hit the nose at once.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Toasted malt flavors hit first with underlying hints of caramel and toffee that are not overly sweet. Midway through the sip a very small amount of earthy hop flavors enter into things before receding for a sweet and crisp ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's a bit on the thin side but with solid carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished my bottle fairly quickly and could have a few more.

Overall this is one of the more flavorful English browns - or any brown for that matter - I can remember having. Definitely worth a shot.

glid02, Aug 27, 2009
Photo of apbarwood
3.7/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A dark brown color with mahogany highlighting around the edges. A thin cap of lace and a rim around the top but not much head retention. A pleasantly strong aroma with some roasted grains jumping out first and a hint of chocolate. The taste doesn't really seem to deliver what the aroma promised. Granted the roasted flavors are there and in particular a flavor of bittersweet chocolate but it seems a little one-dimensional. Not a whole lot of complexity. The feel is surprisingly more carbonated than I expected. It had a decent scrubbing bubbles thing going on but I would have liked it to be softer and more coating than cleansing. Perhaps that would have allowed some more flavors to come out. A decent beer that is worth a try if you're in the Raleigh area. It's certainly drinkable and makes a decent session beer but there are certainly nicer brown ales on the market.

apbarwood, Oct 08, 2009
Photo of jbphoto88
4.13/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The bad penny is the color of dark worn leather. A soft sand colored head rises and falls quickly just to leave an island meandering around the glass. Light passing through the beer shows it to be clear yet dark enough to be almost opaque. Nice ruby copper highlights bleed through on the edges. Very pretty.

The smell is warm sweet and malty but not very big. The nose is subtle but when you get a whiff it's very pleasant.

Taste is where this beer really shines. Sweet yet robust malt dominate this brew. Behind the malts are some great flavors that linger down the path of caramelized pecans, creamed chocolate and even a pinch of coffee. I could drink this all day.

The mouthfeel has a drop of metallic coppery taste to it. Smooth and slightly creamy starting off only to dry out in the finish, altogether this brew is sweet and polished. Easy to drink and easy to want another. A damn fine beer.

jbphoto88, May 07, 2009
Photo of Brenden
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Beer #3 in an NC beers only tasting, thanks to Benny (styleisking).

[Appearance: 3.25] This brown's got a paleness to it that lends itself to more of a dark orange color, maybe copper, overall. The head is a thin cap eggshell in color that holds up a film and deposits spotting in moderation.
[Aroma: 3.75] The nose has some heft to it, showing off a strong malty base. It's got toffee and caramel with an expected toastiness, but seems to lean in an interestingly American direction with a bit more roast than expected before it gets strongly nutty.
[Taste: 4.0] This one is a good addition to a market in which it seems some brewers think an English Brown is weak and can't appreciate the delicacy or subtlety that makes the great ones deep. This one dials up the flavor without losing sight of what it is. It's got lots of toast, a nice sweetness from caramel and toffee notes, just a bit of leafy hops for balance, a lot of nut, and just a bit of cocoa.
[Mouthfeel: 3.75] While on the light side of medium, the body shows texture and depth while remaining clean, giving just a bit of dryness to counter the sweet while maintaining a firm crispness and being quite smooth.

Brenden, Aug 30, 2014
Photo of NJpadreFan
3.53/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big Boss- Bad Penny

Thanks to Limesmut for this 1.

A- Dark reddish brown with a good frothy head. Little to no lacing though.
S- Chocolate and earthy hops.
T- Chocolate malt with a touch of vanilla bean. Decent dose of creamy light roasted coffee bean and a hazelnut/ almond touch.
M- Big malt with a touch of dry earthy mossy hops in the end.

Overall- A nice session beer that I wouldn't mind drinking again.

NJpadreFan, Jan 13, 2008
Photo of Metalmonk
4.05/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Well, this label is great. The 14 figures seem to be Bad Penny's bedpost notches--even a skirt in there! Ooh, Penny, you are bad. Hopefully this brown ale is not bad. Or maybe it's deliciously bad like the vixen herself. Enough silliness...

Pours a deep brown with a murky dark red tint, and the head is modest, light brown and creamy-looking.

Aroma is nutty, mostly hazelnut, with some fresh cream and even a little coffee coming in.

Flavor mirrors the nose, with excellent nutty notes, caramel/toffee, fresh cream; good roasted qualities without having the over-husky and over-dry elements of other lesser browns.

Slick and round, medium-bodied, good stick, and though I prefer an even bigger, creamier brown, the carbonation isn't too overpowering on this one.

I always say I don't like brown ales and then I realize I've had a lot of really good ones...Bad Penny included. Oddly enough, I got this inside a six-pack of Hell's Belle--someone had either mixed it up or done an opposite switcheroo with a 6 of Bad Penny. Turns out I like Bad Penny better than Hell's Belle. A cool surprise. Definitely check it out if your down with the brown.

Metalmonk, May 09, 2009
Photo of twowheelssoar
4/5  rDev +11.1%

twowheelssoar, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of tdm168
3.25/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the brewery's tasting room

Pours a pure brown with no head. Smells of caramel and faint roast malt. Taste is caramel and sweet malt. Thin, a little watered down, and very little carbonation.

Not bad, but could use a little more body in my opinion.

tdm168, Jul 22, 2011
Photo of auwade03
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%

auwade03, Aug 10, 2014
Photo of HuntDaddy540
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%

HuntDaddy540, Jul 21, 2014
Photo of woodchip
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%

woodchip, May 08, 2014
Photo of tabascosigned
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%

tabascosigned, Jul 01, 2014
Photo of russpowell
4/5  rDev +11.1%

russpowell, Dec 05, 2011
Photo of Kegatron
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Horniblow's Tavern (Raleigh, NC).

Pours a dark brown with a think wispy off-white head that retained into a thin ring around the edge of the glass that some minimal lacing. The aroma is generally sweet with some light toasted notes and nuttiness. Nothing too special.

The taste is more of the same, with chocolate sweetness, toasted malts, some nutty character and a little hop bitterness. The mouthfeel is a light medium with a creamy feel. Overall, the flavor profile feels pretty mild.

This wasn't a bad Brown Ale form Big Boss but nothing seemed to really jump out at you. It went down easy enough though.

Kegatron, Feb 07, 2008
Photo of beerFool28607
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%

beerFool28607, Mar 08, 2012
Photo of ewright
3.53/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Vigorous pour from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass produced a small amount of khaki head that dissipated quickly. The beer is clear, dark brown, with red tones when held up to the light.

S: A bit underwhelming. Slight notes of crushed malt and raisin.

T: Forward maltiness balance by just a hint of hops on the tongue. When refrigerator-cold, there is not much other than some light malt sweetness. As the beer warms, notes of cocoa and nuts start to appear.

M: Straightforward and unassuming, good balance between malt and hop background. Light carbonation that is appropriate for a brown ale.

D: This is an easy drinking beer. Not the best brown ale out there, but when in the Triangle, drink local beers! Alcohol is slightly too high (5.5%) to be a session beer, but I could easily have several with a pizza.

ewright, Jan 20, 2008
Photo of thagr81us
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from tap into a sampler tumbler. Poured a reddish brown with a half finger off-white head that subsided to a minimal amount slowly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, nutty, and powdered chocolate. The flavor was of sweet malt, powdered chocolate, dark chocolate, and nutty. It had a light feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a fairly good brew. I really liked the chocolate aspect to this one that came across in both the flavor AND aroma. The aroma was quite pleasant on this one, but the flavor just fell a little short. A solid brew that I would drink again and if you haven't I suggest you do.

thagr81us, Jan 22, 2012
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Bad Penny Brown Ale from Big Boss Brewing
82 out of 100 based on 264 ratings.