Dirty Penny Ale - The Olde Burnside Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Dirty Penny AleDirty Penny Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
81
good

134 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 134
Reviews: 56
rAvg: 3.57
pDev: 15.97%
Wants: 5
Gots: 11 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
The Olde Burnside Brewing Company visit their website
Connecticut, United States

Style | ABV
Black & Tan |  5.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 04-02-2004

Our popular “Dirty Penny Ale” is a hearty, but never heavy “black’n’tan” style* which is mixture of 60% Ten Penny/40% our own signature stout. This beer is also available year-round at your local bar or favorite beer store.

(Motto: Dirty Penny Ale …Polish One Off!)
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Ratings: 134 | Reviews: 56
Reviews by Theniz:
More User Reviews:
Photo of tigg924
3.77/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass

Appearance: dark brown in color, 1 inch head, opaque, moderate carbonation

Smell: deep sweet caramel and chocolate-smalls amazing

Taste: unfortunately not nearly as good as the smell. dark chocolate, light caramel, and earthiness

Mouthfeel: light bodied, moderate carbonation, sweet with a bitter backbone

Overall: This drinks almost like a good Euro dark lager or schwarzbier. For a black and tan, this is fairly good and would be one of the first black an tans I would reach for. For an overall beer this is ok. I much prefer Olde Burnside's Scotch ales more.

Photo of far333
3.92/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Root beer colored with a light brown/beige foamy head that rises up to a thick half-inch that longers long, and leaves spotty lace down the sides of the glass as I drink. The aroma is a rich, roasted malt. Mouthfeel is just a bit watery, not overly carbonated, but enjoyable. Flavor is a little smokey upfront, perhaps a bit chalky, with dark malts swirling in with brown sugar and dark chocolate. An understated hoppy undercurrent flows beneath and lingers a bit in the aftertaste. Yeast flavors seem under control on this one, and a pint is able to be poured without it foaming over. If this is truly the next incarnation of the Tartan Ale, it's a vast improvement.

Photo of Ezone024
3.75/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Growler poured
dark brown color, with thick creamy butterscotch head.

smells of roasted carmel and toffee with bready english malts

tastes like chocolate butter.
and drinks smooth as that sounds!

great beer to drink by your fire place with your dog. throw your sweater on throw on some football and indulge in a growler of TPA's Dirty Penny.

Photo of ams0286
4.05/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Drink local is my motto! I picked this growler up off the shelf at the local package store. The growler had no freshness indicators which worries me slightly. In the growler format the shelf life on this beer might not be very long.

The appearance is darker than i would expect from a black & tan but in my opinion it looks very appetizing. The head is a little much for me. I prefer not to have to wait for it to settle but it could have been my pouring method. Nice tan color with not very much lacing.

The smell primarily consists of toffee. There are also notes of coffee and chocolate. The hop profile is lacking, even for this style.

The taste again mirrors the aroma, tons of toffee and caramel notes, with a slight background of roasted coffee and milk chocolate. Again not very much hop profile comes through, but the beer is not cloying.

The mouth feel of the beer is lighter than I would expect from it's appearance. Of course carbonation is on the lighter end, not only because of the style but also the packaging method. This is not terribly far off style.

Dirty penny is absolutely a sessionable beer. I like this because it isn't light in color, it is full flavored, and local! Despite the fact that I wish my local beers offered better taste qualities and more variety, I will always support them. I will be picking this growler up again soon.

Photo of bum732
3.28/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown, decent bubbly head, good retention. Smells of sweet chocolate and coffee malt, caramel, hint of smokiness. Tastes of chocolatey and caramel like malt. Caramel sweetness dominates with just a hint of smoke. Moderate earthy bitterness giving way to a fairly neutral finish, touch of roasty dryness. Fairly high carbonation for the style, moderate mouthfeel.

An ok beer, way too highly carbonated, luckily this faded with some time. Fairly sweet and pretty one noted, but definitely drinkable.

Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS
4.02/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Growler from Ryan & Casey in Greenfield. Seems to be a fair amount of promotion going on by this brewery. Bottle came with a descriptive card, giving a brief history of the brewery and the beer.

Deep, deep red, almost black appearance. No head or retention for that matter. So few B&T's on BA, it's hard to know what "typical" characteristics are.

Smokey, toffee, and candy cane, a very complex mixture. Taste leans a bit to the burnt side of caramel; the stout seems to be more porter than stout. The sweetness is from the ale, which I have also had.

A fine tasting beer seems a bit confused as to what it is. A little too heavy for what it is.

Photo of puboflyons
3.16/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Sampled on October 6, 2011 from an over-the-counter growler available in a local beer store. The pour is a nicely dark brown color with bubbles collecting at the bottom and slowly sneaking up top to the tan, silky head. The aroma brings out malts, earth, and a dark fruit like plum. The body was thinner than I would have liked considering 40% of this black and tan is from a stout. The taste had this sickly sweet flavor which might have been more from yeast that hadn't quite matured. Connecticut recently allowed growler sales outside of pubs and I wonder if the trip to New Hampshire via a distributor might have tainted it. I bet it is bette on tap at the brewpub.

Photo of philbe311
3.9/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up on a recent trip to CT... Any black and tan that is 60% Scotch Ale has to be pretty good, right?

A - A very active cascading pour... Audibly fizzy... Starts to settle a bit at around four fingers worth of light brown colored with a very rocky top reminiscent of a very thick batter... Impressive retention... The color is a deep dark brown with a faint reddish hue that lets a bit of light leak in around the bottom of the glass... A bit of lacing clings to the glass...

S - Roasted marshmallows... Some chocolate notes... Some faint coffee notes... A bit of graham crackers... Caramel... Faint roasted malts... Candied pecans... A slight nutty character... A very inviting malt forward sweetness...

T - A bit of coffee... A bit of roasted malt... Some sugary caramel... Some chocolate notes... A hint of hazelnut... A very very subtle smokiness... A nice bit of depth and complexity...

M - On the lighter side of medium bodied... Muted carbonation... Quite quaffable... A bit of sleekness... Rather smooth... Consistent with each sip...

D - A very nice brew... Lots of flavor and character... Super sessionable given it's 5% ABV... This one blurs many a style guideline, but there's no denying it's a rather good brew... I can easily recommend picking this one up and will gladly do so if I'm every passing through CT again...

Photo of bgjohnston
3.76/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

I have enjoyed several growlers of this beer. It pours dark, with a nice head and good carbonation at first, but it goes flat if you don't finish the growler in 1 night. Probably normal, but too bad since I can't buy it in smaller containers.

Taste is smooth, with roasted chocolate flavor, and very drinkable. Not so drinkable that I can pound away the whole growler in one sitting, but very enjoyable as a refreshing beverage in warmer weather.

Photo of Amalak
4.2/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this at whistling willies in cold spring.
a--very dark red and brown with limited head. Can barely see through.
S- slight nut scent.
t- nice nutty and toffee taste. Crisp and malty. Has a nice smooth and balanced very. Very easy to drink. Very good on a spring day

Photo of dbmcrorie
4.27/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation:
64 oz. growler poured into an American pint glass. No freshness date or inclination to the style.

Visual:
Wow. Pours thick into a pitch black body with slight brown hues when held to the light. Massive 3 finger head surprised me, khaki-brown with nice retention. Average lacing and a nice bubbly cap stays on top of the pint till the end.

Aroma:
Buttery diacetyl and rich biscuity malt punches the nose. Soft cocoa and espresso beans in the middle with hop earthiness around the edges. A slight smokiness piques, but doesn't linger. Slightly boozy in the finish. I'm curious to try the two ales on their own and compare which notes come from which brew.

Taste:
Porter-like chocolate and caramel malts create coffee, toffee, roasted almond, vanilla, caramel, and biscuit/bready flavors. Plenty of sweet flavors, but not overly sweet/sugary. Hops provide a decent balance with earthy peat flavors along the back of the tongue. Slight astringency between the hops and darkly roasted malt. There is a faint flash of dark berries somewhere in the middle, but has a hard time being distinguishable with all of that roasted malt. Full bodied with a creamy/oily mouthfeel. Rich chocolatey finish with a boozy cocoa aftertaste.

Overall:
Great version of the bottled Black & Tan style. Normally I can enjoy this style bottled, but am never impressed. However, this definitely took me by surprise; worth buying again. Rich body and a great aroma. Despite it's heaviness, it's extremely drinkable and easy to put back a few pints - glad it came in 64 oz's.
Would pair greatly with any savory or hearty dish, such as corned beef hash, clam chowder, shepherd's pie, etc. Would also stand up to rich chocolate/coffee based desserts such as chocolate cheesecake or tiramisu.

Cheers!

Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.22/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Found this for the first time in Maine and was pleasantly surprised, I've been wanting to try something from Olde Burnside for a while now.

Pours a dark brown, almost black color, a little light shines through for some dark ruby hues, great sized head that fades slowly to leave some decent lacing.

Smell has a weird metallic aroma to it, not all that pleasant, slight caramel aroma.

Taste is rather bland, has that metallic feeling that the smell had, good carbonation, seems to me that they might have soaked some dirty pennies in this beer for its signature flavor.

Bit disappointed but hopefully I'll get a chance to try some of their other offerings in the future.

Photo of ChugsMugs
3.86/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

bought as a growler and poured into standard chilled pint glass.

A- massive head, solid inch and a half of thick dirty white foam. Almost black in color, charcoal/black licorice, hardly affected by light when held up. Some bubbles collected along the bottom of the glass but none racing up the edges.

S- faint sweetness, molasses maybe. Hard to fully describe the scent other than it definitely had some sweet tones to it.

T- pretty sweet in taste. not rich or bitter. most tastes are faint and subtle of molasses or chocolate. Complex blending of subtle tastes with no single one overpowering the rest.

M- not creamy but not thin either. A perfect balance. mild dryness left on tongue. Faint leftover taste in mouth made me take sips quicker than usual to get it back on my tongue for identification.

D- bought the growler hoping to split it between two nights, but enjoyed it too much to put down. Just subtle and not overpowering enough to pour glass after glass, but not weak enough to mistake for poor quality. I will gladly get it another one!

Photo of humanbeer
2.91/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is my first review here on BA, how exciting

Last night I ran into the beer store with only 5 minutes left to buy, I knew I had to act fast so I limited myself only to the selection nearest to the registers. In the first cooler was a wide variety of 8 dollar bombers of Rogue and a few different half gallon jugs. Ive heard of Olde Burnside and since their local I figured I'd give it a chance.

It just wasn't my cup of beer. It poured nicely, very dark; couldnt see through it. Decent head, a little creamy tan color. Smelled roasty; with hints of caramel.

The taste just felt empty. I was expecting a fuller bodied beer. Smooth to drink with a little bit of chocolate. Very dry aftertaste to me. Slightly bitter

My buddy loved it, so it must hit the spot for some people. Just not for me

Photo of erosier
3.61/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown/black from the growler with a light airy caramel colored head that is huge - something like 3 fingers. It smells of dark malted grains and some light hoppiness, almost a homebrew smell to it. The taste is pretty good. Mostly a roasted grain taste to it with a hint of chocolate aftertaste. Not much hop flavor to it, but it seems to be there. The mouthfeel is nice and velvety and it is a decently drinkable beer. Definately worth a try.

Photo of geexploitation
3.47/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Pours the color of motor oil, with a thick, big bubbled tan head that sinks into the beer to form a thin dusting on top of the body. Some soy sauce smells in the nose, along with heavily roasted, coffeeish malts and freshly innocculated dough. On the palate, heavily bitter malts and fruity bittering hops hit first off, then doughiness comes in at the mid-palate before the beer finishes long and dry. Mouthfeel is quite thin and just a bit watery; I could have used more body in this beer. Overall, this is a drinkable beer that is only OK in the taste department.

Photo of Arenbeer
3.95/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Growler Into a Pint Glass

A- Pours a really dark brown with a decently large tan head that sticks around but doesn't leave to much lacing.

S- Burnt coffee and a good amount of sweet caramel and toffee.

T- Tastes just like it smells. Roasted burnt coffee with a nice toffee sweetness in the background from the ten penny ale that comes through like a champ. Really great tasting Black and Tan, probably one of the best I've had.

M- Medium body with a good amount of carbonation, almost too much. Not to much bitterness in the finish either, a very wet stout you could say.

SkÅL!

Photo of connecticutpoet
3.85/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was sampled at the Connecticut River Brewer's Festival 2005 in Holyoke, MA.

This was a clear, dark brown offering with a half finger head. Looked OK for the style.

Aroma was of dark malts, with some nuttiness and fruitiness thrown in for good measure. Pretty good, a good lead into the taste.

Taste... dark roasted malts, bitter chocolate, coffee, with a roasted malt aftertase. This is all about roastiness.

However, the mouthfeel was pretty smooth and creamy... kept the taste from being too overpowering. Very well balanced indeed.

This was quite a drinkable black & tan, and I wouldn't mind picking up a growler (if I found a place around that carried this one).

Photo of ppoitras
4.1/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pre-packaged growler from Spirit Haus, Amherst, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a frothy 1/2" tan head above the barely translucent dark caramel-hued brew. Head hangs on at 1/4", with nice lacing. Aroma is creamy dark malts. The taste is upfront dark malts, coupled with the lighter body character of the "tan" portion of the brew. Closes with an almost slight citrus crisp hops bite. Mouthfeel and drinkability are both great, an obvious result of the creaminess of the overall package. Nice one here.

Photo of TangTKE402
3.63/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from a growler into a pint glass. Dark-Chocolate in color with a milk chocolate mousse, 2-finger head. Very inviting and rich-looking. The head dissipates, and leaves a thin, off-white ring around the edge. No discernible lacing.

S: The aroma is light and airy, like fresh-baked bread, with the distinct notes of chocolate milk, coffee and chocolate malts, vanilla, and sweet cream.

T: A breezy, mild flavor with malt notes on the front, and smoky burnt flavors on the swallow. Oat and bread notes come through in the middle with some roasted mocha, white pepper, and earth. Slightly timid in flavor profile, but what's there is fairly tasty and drinkable.

M: Mild and milky, this beer doesn't leave a big impact in the mouth. It's silky, with a light bubble and a thin texture. A light musk is left in the afterfeel.

O: Drinkable, but not the first beer I'd reach to in the taproom. Definitely a good session beer, however, and I find Black and Tans notoriously hard to pin down as a style, so all things considered, give it a try!

Photo of Thorpe429
3.41/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up this growler in Norwalk, Connecticut while there for bmanning's wedding. Consumed at our Christmas in July party last weekend. Served in a Mikasa tulip.

Currently the #3 Black & Tan.

Pours dark brown with a good light tan head and some spotty lacing along the sides of the tulip. Thin cap throughout and a bit of a collar. The nose brings some light diacetyl and toffee. Mostly the latter, though I think the former was present was well. Roasted malt there as well. The flavor is better with a nice combination of roast and some light caramel and toffee. Medium body and light carbonation. Good roast in finish. Pretty nice beer.

Photo of founddrama
3.84/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Tastes ... red!? Big, bold, malty.

Photo of jlindros
2.66/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

They attempted to put the date but it's too smudged and illegible.

Pours a huge huge fizzy over carbonated possibly infected or under attenuated like head, fades pretty quickly spotty lacing, dark mahogany brown color.

Nose big dark brown malts, little porter like dark almost black malt, mild roasty slight burnt like notes, caramel and toffee, char, burnt molasses rich yeasty and faint herbal hops.

Taste is loaded with carbonation, almost undrinkable, slight tangy sour malts, little metallic, sweet little syrupy, burnt caramel and molasses, little roast and char, brown malts. Faint grassy hop thing, mild bitterness, slimy tangy metallic yeasty old under attenuated and over carbonated unhappy beer.

Mouth is med mod, syrupy and slimy and way way way over carbonated.

Overall bad. I'll have to try this again sometime since it's obviously not at its prime, but just a bad beer.

Photo of Thads324
3.93/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark black into a pint glass...

A : black, unable to see through it. thin tan head dissipated quickly.

S : immediate roasted coffee with a hint of chocolate near the end. A slight aroma of toasted oats and what I think is hops but are blended and overwhelmed by the roastiness.

T : A hint of toffee and then a full on roasted coffee flavor. Not heavy like you would think. It is very smooth, and has almost a burnt caramel flavor that holds on the palate after a few sips.

M : lightly carbonated and lingers slightly.

D : despite the ABV and the hefty looking color, this stuff goes down real easy.

Another winner by Olde Burnside. A nice roasted coffee flavor and extremely drinkable. Unlike any other bottled black and tan I have ever had, but I like it enough to buy it again. As with the last growler of theirs that I bought, this one is super fresh, and my buddy and I had no time polishing it off. I really want to eat this with some steak and potatoes. Highly recommended!

Photo of smcolw
3.48/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Excellent domed head. The brew is a solid brown; light shines through. It appears clear. Very little long term lace.

There's a mild sourness to the otherwise toasty malt nose.

Acidic flavor and quite thin. The darker, bisuity flavors are present but muted. Light hop throughout the taste, but the finish sour and citrusy.

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Dirty Penny Ale from The Olde Burnside Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 134 ratings.