Bad Penny Brown Ale - Big Boss Brewing

Not Rated.
Bad Penny Brown AleBad Penny Brown Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

318 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 318
Reviews: 106
rAvg: 3.61
pDev: 13.3%
Wants: 12
Gots: 53 | 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:
Beer added by: atsprings on 04-17-2007

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 318 | Reviews: 106
Reviews by smerkinb:
Photo of smerkinb
2.8/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

From notes on 4/19/09.

Pours a deep mahogany with a 1/2" tan head that looks smooth and creamy. The head quickly collapses into a thin collar.

Wow, this smells great. Sweet malty, rich earthy scent smacks me across the face. Deeper is a chocolate roast. Hints at complex flavors, is inviting, even tantalizing. As it warms, caramel scent enters the scene. Can't wait to taste this...

Alas, the taste doesn't live up to all the nose promises. Flat, slightly burntish malt. No sweetness and I can't detect any balancing hops. The finish is a late metallic note.

The mouthfeel is good on this beer right up until you swallow. All that's left after that is a chalky, too dry feel. Almost like I would imagine my mouth would feel after sucking on a dry sponge for 5 minutes. I assume this is the hops trying to let me know they're under there somewhere.

I am super, uber disappointed. I have had this beer twice before and have looked forward to this chance to finally review it. I feel like it was reduced to potential for me. It's got a creaminess that doesn't quite hold up, a complexity that never equals the sum of it's parts and the finish is strike 3. The roastiness becomes burnt and the alcohol becomes prominent.

I will definitely have another go at this one to give it a fair shake--my bottle is less than amonth old but maybe one of us is having an off night.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.68/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

Photo of SIRIUS2
3.7/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

Photo of hotpauko
3.74/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Not a "bad" brown at all. Not the best I've had but enjoyable if you want an easy drinking brown with decent flavor. Flavors work well without being too overbearing. Not too sweet. Finishes mild in the mouth, I guess a little more stronger finish would be good.

Photo of kris10michele
3.89/5  rDev +7.8%
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.

Photo of glid02
4.22/5  rDev +16.9%
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.

Photo of apbarwood
3.72/5  rDev +3%
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.

Photo of jbphoto88
4.13/5  rDev +14.4%
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.

Photo of Brenden
3.75/5  rDev +3.9%

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.

Photo of NJpadreFan
3.53/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

Photo of Metalmonk
4.05/5  rDev +12.2%
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.

Photo of tdm168
3.28/5  rDev -9.1%
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.

Photo of Kegatron
3.48/5  rDev -3.6%
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.

Photo of ewright
3.51/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

Photo of thagr81us
3.77/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

Photo of Bung
2.93/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. Real nice dark brown pour, white bubbly head. Aroma is of heavy malt with some yellow raisin. Taste has some malt, brown sugar, raisin, but is then overwhelmed by a cardboard like flavor. Not sure if this is supposed to be some woody characteristic but it is not good. Like if you let your McDonalds soda sit for a day then try and drink it. Mouthfeel is ok with some carbonation. Might be drinkable if not for this large problem also.

Photo of akorsak
3.88/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 12 oz bottle purchased at Chip's.

A: The ale is a dark ebony color, black from afar but deep cola brown up close. A two plus finger head on pour has settled down to a thin pool.

S: The nose is mostly toffee with a sprinkling of nuts thrown in. Very sweet with a sugary note that strikes me as Belgian.

T: The flavor is a little thin upfront, all nondescript grains before the toffee kicks in. The darker malts are toffee sweet and nut dry, a nice mix that coats the tastebuds over the last half of a sip. Grassy hops add a nice bitterness that penetrates the sweetness.

M: The mouthfeel is sweet with a pleasingly mild finish that makes me want another sip.

D: I'm glad I grabbed a bottle of this. The ale is a solid brown ale that packs a nice flavor.

Photo of Dodo2step
3.69/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks skeeordye

A- a root beer type of look to it. a cloudy dark chestnut brown color. A somewhat skimpy head that is carbonated white.

S- smell is hard to gather at first but i get caramel, figs and raisins. It also has a ginger root type of hint to it as well.

T- roasted coffee flavor with hints of chocolate. Nutty type of taste as well. Quite malty as well. Very strong on the malts. Taste is nothing like the smell.

M- carbonated and fizzy. Coats themouth nice but too much going on. Coffee carbonation type of feel.

D-a nice beer to pound back. A lil overcarbonation to havemore than 3 because they will fill you up. Smooth, crisp and nice to have as a choice on tap.

Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.33/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a nonic.
5.2% ABV, Bottled on notch space empty.

Thanks to Onenote81 for another local!

A - Deep chestnut brown in color Bad Penny is, despite her dark color, clear. A fizzy, loose afro of light khaki head deflates after mere moments, leaving the glass blank; not a trace of lacing.

S - Bad Penny has a very low aroma right from the get-go, softly introducing minor chocolate and coffee aromatics into the air. Light earthy cardboard notes suggest some oxidation, perhaps, but nothing aggressive or unwelcome.

T - Subtle nutty undertones emerge around the faint bittersweet chocolate and thin coffee notes for a low but tasty flavor. Hops are all but forgotten in Bad Penny seemingly leaving the roasted qualities to balance out the sweetness.

M - Smooth and drinkable but highly carbonated, it doesn't quite remind me of an English brown in this regard. The finish lingers on the tongue with faint presence.

O - Bad Penny isn't outstanding by any stretch of the word, but damn if it isn't sessionable and smooth! This beer is, unlike the label, a rather plain Jane which will definitely satisfy in the autumn months.

Photo of smakawhat
3.25/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass. Bottled April 2011 I think, so off we go!

Out of the bottle this head can't form at all. Never gets bigger than an off light brown one finger head. I'll admit it sits for a bit but that's it. Color is a classic dark walnut brown for the body, leaving a simple small but solid puck but no lacing while drinking. Other than that slightly better than average.

Malt roast of mild chocolate. Simple, muted, there... but a kind of strange malt bent. Hard to describe, it's just a tad off putting.

Taste is weak sauce. Extremely wet bodied, like very watered down coffee without a sense of coffee strangely. Malt presence lacking and unknown. Virtually no chocolate taste coming from the nose as thought to be expected.

Overall a drinkable beverage you could do a lot worse. This isn't even a particular favorite style of mine, but I would have many others over this thing "in this style" by a country mile.

Photo of wedge
3.83/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very dark brown with caramel and crimson highlights. The beige head drops quickly but its got one of those creamy, bubbly caps that I love. Freshly crushed maltiness in the aroma - hints of creamy chocolate and nuts with a certain earthiness all around. The flavor is malty in a creamy sort of way. Nutty, lightly sweet, and chocolaty. Easy going medium body makes it nice and drinkable. This is nothing over-the-top, its a well constructed session beer.

Photo of wcudwight
3.39/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown with some read hues. No head with just some carbonation lacing. Looks thin. Honestly if this was side by side with a Pepsi I don't know if I could tell the two apart.
Smells of dark chocolate and vanilla but neither really stands out enough. Not a bad smelling beer but nothing really stands out in the aroma.
Given the appearance and aroma there's a lot going on in the flavor. Kind of a grainy pale caramel malt backbone with hints of dark chocolate and vanilla. Very well balanced and the blend of flavors work well together.
Mouthfeel is a bit to thin and watery for my liking.
Nice drinkable session ale that I'd have again but there are better brown ales available.

Photo of buschbeer
3.77/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle
Served in a pint glass

A - It pours a ruddy brown with an inch of beige head that quickly disappears.

S - I get some cocoa, some nutty aromas, and chocolate.

T - The cocoa and nutty flavors combine really nicely. There is some bitter chocolate on the finish.

M - Moderate to thin

O - I was surprised at how flavorful this beer was. I came in expecting boring, and I got a pretty good beer.

Photo of rallison
3.83/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks limesmut with this one!

Pours a nice very dark brown with a 1/2 finger off-white head. Smells slightly of molasses and raisin. Actually, not a bad smell for a brown. I wonder how this will taste.

First sip is of molasses and a touch of raisins - fruity esters I suppose. A touch of astringency. This is actually relatively interesting as a brown ale, and I'll be curious to see how this is after it warms some more. Chocolate comes out a bit as it warms. Some nuttiness is present as well as a touch of hops.

Mouthfeel is relatively rich given the abv. Medium carbonation with a slightly fizzy quality.

Drinkability is good.

Recommended. A good, pretty interesting brown. Wouldn't mind trying some more from them. Thanks again limesmut!

Photo of blackie
3.65/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a: Subdued but decent tan head recedes quickly to a ring. The beer is a deep mahogany brown in color with some deep red hues.

s: Big blast of nutty toasted malts upfront with a nice, earthy hop aroma. Dry cocoa. A little spicy. Nothing groundbreaking, but well made.

m: Carbonation medium or just under and comes off a little rough/prickly...the body is pretty nice, smooth and on the full side of medium.

t: Big, dry nutty character with plenty of toasted malt. Earthy hops. Moderate bitterness in the finish with lingering dark toasted grains.

d: enjoyable

single bottle from Whole Foods Raleigh...notched as bottled in December 2007

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Bad Penny Brown Ale from Big Boss Brewing
82 out of 100 based on 318 ratings.