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Ten Penny Ale - The Olde Burnside Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Ten Penny AleTen Penny Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

214 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 214
Reviews: 100
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 15.89%
Wants: 1
Gots: 9 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
The Olde Burnside Brewing Company visit their website
Connecticut, United States

Style | ABV
Scottish Ale |  5.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
“Ten Penny Ale,” our flagship brew is a smooth, amber-hued mellow version of a Scottish Ale. It’s a good “session ale” and was awarded “Hartford’s Best Microbrew” for 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2009 by The Hartford Advocate’s Readers Poll. This beer is available year-round at your local bar or favorite beer store.

Why “Ten Penny?” My grandfather used to say “You can get a good beer for a nickel, but a really good beer will cost you ten pennies!” (Motto: Work hard, drink well… Ten Penny Ale!)

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-04-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 214 | Reviews: 100 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of cbutova
3.18/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Copper amber into a pint glass. Small white head has low retention. Small ring leaves no lace.

S- Grainy, buttery, corn and nutty malt. Not big strength overall.

T- Malty all the way. Flavor comprised of nutty malt, caramel, butter, raisin and some dark fruit. Slight roast. Has a somewhat grainy dusty aspect.

MF- Lighter end body with moderate carbonation. Some residual bitterness.

Decent ale and you can tell it is a Scottish Ale.

cbutova, Sep 24, 2011
Photo of GarthDanielson
3.8/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured on-tap and served in a pint glass, the beer is a muddled amber-brown coloring, very cloudy to the point of being opaque. No head on the pour, but a slight ring of bubbling was present. The beer had a very sweet aroma, with some nut and coffee bitterness. I was preparing for a creamy feel, but surprisingly enough this beer is a bit effervescent and bubbly, while still being on the creamy side. The beer's flavors are toasty, with chocolate and coffee characteristics in the forefront. The beer is like Hershey kisses melted in a cup of coffee. The beer is light, and the aftertaste is chocolate sweet, with a slight lingering finish of burnt characteristics.

GarthDanielson, Sep 07, 2011
Photo of philbe311
2.98/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked up on a recent swing through CT...

A - A fairly active pour with cascading carbonation and foam which yields two fingers worth of airy light tan colored foam with a very rocky top... Excellent retention gives way to full rich lacing... The color is a very light caramel with some slight amber highlights within... A slight bit of moderate paced carbonation rises sporadically throughout...

S - Toasted malts and sweet caramel dominate... Some light toffee notes... Perhaps a bit of peat... A slightly metallic tinge...

T - Sour dough bread... Toasted malts... Caramel... Toffee... Earthy... Some metallic notes...

M - Medium bodied... Exceedingly smooth... Sleek... Light and airy... Brisk carbonation... A bit of a bitterness (in a non-hoppy manner)...

D - An average at best Scottish Ale... I'm not quite sure what it is, but there something on the palette that is bit off about this one that I just can't get by... There aren't many Scottish Ales that I've head that I would recommend or reinvest in, but unfortunately this is one of them...

philbe311, Aug 12, 2011
Photo of Nascartailgatefa
4.13/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled at the International Great Beer Expo, Rock Hill, NY.

Pours a cloudy copper with a robust head , good retention and excellent lacing. Full bodied mouthfeel. Smooth start to finish. No aftertaste. Excellent drinkability. Will have to look out for this again.

Nascartailgatefa, Jul 26, 2011
Photo of drabmuh
3.08/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

At the time of this review, this is the #23 Scottish Ale, growler shared by Thorpe, served in a tiny snifter.

Beer is brown and hazy, like dishwater, that forms a wispy little head of small bubbles that leaves no lacing, moderate to low carbonation.

Aroma is papery and sweet with mild roast and some caramel.

Beer is thinner than it should be and has a papery / cardboard flavor to it. This might have been a bad fill of this growler. The toffee notes are present, they are a little harsh, the finish has an unpleasant aftertaste. Perhaps something went wrong with this.

drabmuh, Jul 19, 2011
Photo of Thorpe429
2.45/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

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.

Pours a light copper color with a short light tan head and a spot or two of lacing on the way down. Thin color throughout. The nose brings some light oxiized sherry and cherry character with some caramel and grainy malt. Flavor brings light fruitiness with a lot of grain and light oxidation. Medium body and moderate carbonation. Not a big fan of really anything with this beer, unfortunately.

Thorpe429, Jul 19, 2011
Photo of DirtyPenny
3.73/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First two pours were into a Budweiser mug, for lack of anything better (not at home). Drank the rest straight from the growler, which is pretty much how it was meant to be drunk.

A: Pours ended in enormous soap sud heads. Beer's color is somewhere between maple syrup and honey. Faint orange highlights.

S: Pungent and bready. Sort of a sourdough scent.

T: As nose. Roasty malt dominates with a hint of sourness and a sweet finish. Flavor is a little cloying when cold, but mellows out as it warms.

M: Medium bodies with a modest amount of carbonation.

O: Goes tremendously well with smoky food right from the grill. This has been my go-to BBQ beer for years now. Looking forward to the bottle of TPA Reserve I bought with this today.

DirtyPenny, Jul 17, 2011
Photo of 9InchNails
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my Wormtown Brewery pint glass from a prepackaged growler.

Light copper color with a white head slowly turning into a film. Looks very carbonated. Not a bad looking beer at all.

Sweet brown sugar and burnt caramel, toffee and bready malt. Smells real nice.

Very interesting taste -- much like the aroma. Caramelized burnt sugar, toffee, bread, molasses; not much bitterness, if any. I like the taste a lot.

Crisp, light to medium body, dry feeling on the tongue. It starts to get a little heavy in the belly.

Not bad at all. One of the best tasting prepackaged growlers I have had. Sealed very well, unlike some I have purchased. Definitely, worth a shot if you find it.

9InchNails, Jul 13, 2011
Photo of PicoPapa
3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap. Pours a dark semi translucent dark mahogany color with a half inch of head. Minimal lacing. Aroma is boozey, pepppery, bready, and malty. Flavor is malt, boozey with a slight bit of pepper. Some breadiness as well as some caramel. A bit of an overall sourness to this one. This is a solid choice for a drinkable beer which is helpful because I usually only see growlers of it. Overall, its a good local beer. Worth having again.

PicoPapa, May 03, 2011
Photo of cutlaz
4.08/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I tried this beer on a whim when I saw it at the local liquor store. Very impressed. This beer doesn't look like much, but has a very unique and very nice, powerful taste. The smell is almost off-putting, as it smells very pungent, almost flowery. The taste however, is amazing, strong and smooth. Absolutely worth trying.

cutlaz, Mar 23, 2011
Photo of orsulacp
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at a bar in Waterbury, it poured a very nice ruby brown with a decent off white head that disappeared quickly. The smell is nice, real caramel malts, a hint of pepper, and a bit of yeasty bready in the background. The taste is more of the same, the caramel malt really stands out, and that is a good thing, there is enough hop in there to just hold the malts in check. The body is nice and creamy with low carbonation, very smooth. Overall a malty treat.

orsulacp, Mar 09, 2011
Photo of smcolw
3.95/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Good initial head that settles well and slowly leaving some streaky foam lines on the glass. The color is a neutral amber--lighter than other Scotch ales I've had. There's a small amount of haze.

Semi-sweet caramel malt aroma. There's enough hop to give it balance to the nose. Blindfolded, I would guess that this is a American amber or British mild.

Far more hoppy than a typical Scotch Ale; still, this is a mostly malt brew. There's a yeast bite similar to a well-made homebrew. The swallow has a touch of pepper from the hop. The rich body is cut by the high level of carbonation. I note some earthiness to the finish.

This is not true to style, but is a very good beer.

smcolw, Feb 15, 2011
Photo of BranfordBound
3.9/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the True Blue Tavern at the Nathan Hale Inn across from the UConn South Dorms.

Pours a muddy amber color with a nice head and some lacing. Fairly cloudy so carbonation is hard to see.

Smells of malts with a touch of smokiness to them.

Very malt forward beer. Lots of malty goodness with touches of dark fruit and some smokiness. A bit of earthiness in the background, but other than that, not too much hops.

Mouthfeel is a little wet, this is fairly medium bodied.

Good drinkability if you're in the mood for a rich malty beer.

Note: I detect some resemblance to Penny Weiz Ale, perhaps they use the same yeast?

BranfordBound, Nov 11, 2010
Photo of Jayli
3.95/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had at Adams Mill in Manchester, CT on 11/2
Served in a pint glass

A: This beer pours a deep amber color with a one finger of pristine white, creamy head. Head recedes at a moderate pace and leaves nice splotches of lacing on the glass.

S: Nose is caramel malts, earthy hops, and a hint of smoke.

T: Taste starts with a burst of earthy, piney hops. The middle fills with a sweet caramel and toffee flavoring with just a touch of nuttiness as well and a hint of smokiness that really carries through in to the finish.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation, clean and crisp bodied with a bit of an oily finish.

D: Nice kick, nice representation of style, not too filling, this is a nice beer to have a few pints for an evening.

Jayli, Nov 07, 2010
Photo of socon67
3.7/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tried on tap during lunch;

A - Pours a copper hue. Settles very quickly. Not particularly clear.

S - Smells earthy. Not much else to make of this.

T - Has the traditional scottish ale taste; the bitterness comes out very pronounced. A little sourness in the finish. Very noticeable hoppy flavor.

M - Relatively light, not much carbonation.

D - It is drinkable, but the style gets kinda tired after one. What is kinda cool is that there are no preservatives in this guy, so if you try one it pretty much has to be fresh. Worth trying but not a "must find".

socon67, Oct 25, 2010
Photo of begforme4484
3.55/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Bidwell Tavern in Coventry.

Pours a somewhat copper color with decent nice off-white head, good retention, and leaves some good lacing.

There isn't much of a nose on the beer. It has some caramel sweetness, and a bit of sourness.

A lot of mild sweetness, that seems to be subdued with the yeast. Honestly, it tastes like a spicier version of Kix. Yes, the cereal. There's a hint of grassy hops on the finish, but I couldn't detect any sort of bitterness.

Medium bodied, good carbonation. Very smooth and easy to drink. Went well with the wings.

begforme4484, Oct 19, 2010
Photo of donniecuffs
4.33/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Just found my notes recently from last summer's Northwest Connecticut Brewfest. Poured dark copper, with a finger of off-white head, good retention, and good lacing. Very pleasant and pronounced blend of coffee, caramel, and cocoa powder in the nose. Tasted of caramel and coffee, dissolving to more maltiness midpalate and finishing on a smoky note. Nicely smooth, not overly carbonated medium body. Very sessionable, and one of my few repeat table visits during the 'fest.

donniecuffs, Aug 03, 2010
Photo of aahynick
1.8/5  rDev -50.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

40F in a pint glass on tap

A- pale copper, lots of bubbles but no head

S- nearly no aroma

T- soapy and mildly peaty

M - thin and watery

D- at first I said forget about this. But after talking with other folks later, I think the poor performance was all the fault of the serving method. Got it at Red Robin and the tender put it in a frosted glass. I'm betting that the glass was poorly rinsed and gained a lot of condensation when pulled out of the cooler. I wanted to do a retest before leaving New England but it just wasn't meant to be. So take my review with a grain of salt.

aahynick, Jul 20, 2010
Photo of layapandora
3.78/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

While returning home from a family function, where the drink of choice was white wine, we passed a newly opened so-called "liquor warehouse" and decided it was worth a peek. With less than twenty minutes until closing to explore the massive space, we were pleasantly surprised when we walked into the refrigerated section and immediately saw Olde Burnside's Ten Penny Ale (growler) perched upon a shelf.

From what we heard, we knew this would be the perfect beer to enjoy on a beautiful summer night - perhaps while overlooking nearby Lake Zoar. Thanks to a broken GPS, we ended up in the wrong direction but enjoying this gorgeous beer on our back porch was still the perfect end to a perfect day. In fact, we couldn't wait to twist the cap back off the growler and pour some out for lunch. I am still drinking it as I type this.

Appearance: This is a truly beautiful beer. A rich amber color, when holding my glass toward the light I spy the delicate frothy white head being assaulted by an army of bubbles from below as they cut through the thick expanse of yeast and liquid. Peering from below, there are dark patches of yeast settled upon the bottom and (no matter how much is left in the glass) the light comes through more prominently only about a 1/2 to 1 inch from the top.

Smell: Caramel is the first thing I pick up when breathing in over the glass, as well as hints of other earthy scents that I can't really describe. There is a hint of spice, but as I've just begun to really pay attention to distinctions in beer I am not quite sure what it this scent is.

Taste: The taste is as heavy as this beer looks/feels. While I do prefer fruitier beers, I recognize the taste is of a decent quality. Again, the caramel surfaces at the top, as well as a bit of a nutty flavor. It is thick and tingly on my tongue, and I can feel the bubbles as it slips down my throat. The heaviness does sit a bit in my stomach, but the aftertaste is quite pleasant.

Mouthfeel: I do love how this beer feels! Again, the thickness and the carbonation do battle upon my tongue and throughout my mouth. Although, toward the bottom of the glass (where everything has settled) it does get thicker yet seemingly watered down. I really don't know how else to describe it. Fresh out of the growler, however, was the best feeling - especially while it was still ice cold.

Drinkability: This is a bit of a heavy beer for me, but my boyfriend quite enjoys it and we both feel it may be a better fit for winter. Last night was quite humid, as is today, and as the beer tends to just "sit" in your stomach it does fill you up quite quickly. I have spent the past half hour working on this pint glass, and last night it took me about the same time. (sadly, I couldn't finish it fresh out of the bottle on first open last night... as a moth decided it apparently wanted to take a nose dive into my glass). It is really a good beer for a summer night once the sun goes down, but the humidity did make it somewhat hard to enjoy. If I was sitting by a fire, curled up with my dog and holding a glass of this while it snowed outside, I believe the thickness and heaviness of it would lend well to a quiet Winter evening. Also, if the temperature can be kept cold enough, bringing a growler (or two) on a camping trip to share with friends around the fire would be an excellent way to end a day after a long hike.

All in all, I do recommend this beer - if you can get it. As it says on the company's website, it doesn't travel well since it is unfiltered and contains no preservatives. Those of us lucky enough to live close to the brewery (how I wish we could have gone to their festival yesterday that ended in an overnight camping experience!) can enjoy the flavor of this truly wonderful treat.

layapandora, Jun 13, 2010
Photo of Sam21
4.1/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler into pint glass.

Appearance - Deep copper body with great head retention. Big soda-like bubbles in the head. Some lace.

Smell - Caramel malt with a smoky charred character. Nice earthiness.

Taste - Interesting stuff. Sweet caramel up front. Leads into a really unique smoky earthiness. Little bitterness to the finish.

Mouthfeel - Real smooth medium-light bodied ale. Nice carbonation.

Drinkability - Very drinkable ale. I really like the smoky and earthy flavors and the balancing caramel sweetness. Great beer.

Sam21, Jun 10, 2010
Photo of donkeyrunner
4.6/5  rDev +26%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A local legend around these here parts.

Clear, copper color. Cascading white head leaves a thick crust of rocky foam. Dissolves into a frothy miasma that throws up some lacey splashes.

Light, sweet toffee, and nutty hickory kettle corn and earthy hop tea aroma. Velvety smooth mouthfeel although I could see it leaning towards tea-like and watery for some. Regardless, great for a 5.5% abv.. Taste is kettle corn, caramel and earthy hop spice.

Sweet and earthen and has that perfect balance of complexity and accessibility that mark my favorite beers. Great stuff.

donkeyrunner, May 24, 2010
Photo of DNICE555
4.28/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at flatbread with Larsonstyle. The bartender told me they kicked a hooker tap off because they wanted to put micro brew on... I had seen this one at the brass city brewfest but didn't get the opportunity to try it. No idea what to expect here. Nice dark brown color with some serious head on this beer. Smells grainy and malty. Tasted kinda smokey. Rough at first but I eased into it. It has a very nice mouthfeel, strong but pronounced. I really like how this one goes down. I wanted to try the Dirty penny next but it seemed there was a problem with the keg as the head was unbelievable. I thought it was a very solid offering and I am anxious to try more from this brewery.

DNICE555, Apr 01, 2010
Photo of Pabs311
3.68/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pours a deep copper color with a nice off-white head, settling slowly to leave some good lacing but never fully settling.

S- light nose, with caramel malt and some earthy sourness.

T- alot more of the caramel sweetness here, less of the earthy tones but finishes with a quick snap of grassy hops.

M/D- medium bodied, good carbonation. easy drinking. could easily polish of a growler of this in the course of an evening.

Pabs311, Mar 30, 2010
Photo of Thads324
4.75/5  rDev +30.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Picked up a growler today...poured into a pint glass

A : nice copper color with a solid head, dissipated slowly but left a bit on top throughout the pint. Lots of lacing.

S : A little bit flaky or smokey, I can't decide, with a hint of caramel.

T : A nice cara flavor up front transitions smoothly into a quick hop before mellowing out with a good Scottish ale malt towards the end. Smooth. Delicious!

M : The blend of malt and hop make the beer very smooth yet full on the palate, with a carbonation that carries the flavor for a while after the beer has left the mouth.

D : very drinkable. smooth, refreshing, easy to drink.

I am very impressed. Different from most scotch ales I have had. This beer has it all. I must have bought a fresh growler because a small ring of head stayed throughout the entire pint. The mouthfeel was excellent, lingering for a while after. After the first pint I had to have another. The mixture of caramel, a slight smokiness and tinge of hop lingering was just too good. I can't wait to try another style from this brewery soon!

Thads324, Mar 10, 2010
Photo of travduke
3.98/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark brown, 1 finger head that fades quickly, minimal lacing.

Smell: Sweet, a little citrus hops.

Taste: Very sweet and malty. A little bitter at the start.

Drinkability: I usually pick up a growler every couple of weeks of this. Goes down easy, its enjoyable.

travduke, Jan 31, 2010
Ten Penny Ale from The Olde Burnside Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 214 ratings.