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Ten Penny Ale Reserve - The Olde Burnside Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Ten Penny Ale ReserveTen Penny Ale Reserve

Educational use only; do not reuse.

70 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 70
Reviews: 44
rAvg: 3.73
pDev: 16.35%
Wants: 10
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
The Olde Burnside Brewing Company visit their website
Connecticut, United States

Style | ABV
Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy |  9.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: jastack on 04-02-2007

Ten Penny Ale Reserve the much stronger version of our original Ten Penny recipe. This beer is a dark brown ale, topped by a thick, loose tan head. The smells of roasted grain and toffee are the first things you will notice with your nose when you crack open the bottle. The tasting experience begins with a splash of caramel like flavor on the tongue, but quickly melds into a full bodied roasted-malt taste. As you savor this fine ale you will also encounter subtle hints of chocolate and a smoked-malt essence. After you have finished your bottle you will realize this beer is truly a wonderful merging of high alcohol content and rich full body flavor that will make you want another pint to drink.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 70 | Reviews: 44
Reviews by steph1974:
More User Reviews:
Photo of lordofthewiens
3.95/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this beer at a local restaurant, poured from the swing top bottle into a Ten Penny tulip glass. The beer was a dark brown color with a modest size tan head. The aroma was caramel and dark fruit. The tase was similar. The alcohol was well-hidden. I thought the beer was a little bit too sweet, certainly more sweet than I expected.

Photo of tigg924
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: hazy, red/brown in color, minimal head, some sediment

Smell: toasted malt, and earth

Taste: toasted malt, earth, toffee, and some alcohol

Mouthfeel: mostly sweet with some bittering alcohol in the middle, light body for the style, low carbonation, very smooth

Drinkability: A very solid and earthy Scotch ale. I love the maltiness. I will definately pick this up again the next time I am in Connecticut.

Photo of neonsox
4.77/5  rDev +27.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance - Hazy caramel/brown color with a light head that dissipates quickly. Pours smooth and is on the thicker side, so it coats the glass. Chunky sediment at the bottom of the glass can be a little unnerving but the taste is not effected at all.

Smell - Nutty caramel smell with hints of toasted malt and a very slight citrus note. It has what I would consider more of a sweet smell for a beer this heavy.

Taste - Has a strong caramel taste with malty undertones, along with a hint of toffee and a very slight alcohol finish. As with any heavy beer, the taste changes dramatically with temperature. The nut and toffee tones take over more as the glass sits on the table.

Mouthfeel - This brew goes down really smooth with a very slight bite at the end. Aftertaste is really subtle and doesn't linger as it does with other thick beers. Not much carbonation at all and the feel holds as you make your way through the bottle.

Drinkability - Very exceptional and almost too easy to drink leaving you wanting more. It's a mellow experience suitable for sipping, and you should considering the price. The bottle is designed to keep the flavor in and retains what little carbonation this beer has for a while.

This is one of my new favorite beers but the price is a little daunting for what it is. I'd gladly exchange the nicely-done bottle for a price break and more bottle options.

Photo of far333
3.77/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Makes a resounding pop as I unhinge the swingtop. Served in a crystal snifter.

Deep chestnut color with a brown foamy head that rises up a half inch and settles down very quickly.

Aroma of roasted malt and cocoa, some charred bark, tangy cherry and bourbon.

Flavor is similar to the aroma, but understated, with roasty smokey malt, some cocoa and burnt wood. Some brown sugar and molasses comes through. The high ABV doesn't take over, doesn't really warm, it's almost hard to believe that it's really 11%. Finishes a little tannic and powdery, with lingering smokey cherry tang.

Slick and watery mouthfeel, not much carbonation. Would like this to be fuller and richer. Fairly drinkable, but would be better if it were more complex. Also a continuing pet peeve of mine with this brewer - stop giving all your beers the same few names. We already know Ten Penny as another style, so when you make a new style, give it a new name.

Photo of ThreeDimesDown
3.67/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Swing top opened with a nice pop. Upon pour a dark amber/copper color was topped with a two-finger thick, off-white head that dissipated rather quickly, leaving little to none lacing.

The aroma is of heavy caramel and maltiness with toffee sweetness and a hint of dark fruit meandering in the background.

The caramel theme continues with the first taste, and lingers with toffee sweetness. This unpasteurized brew has a medium to full, creamy, sticky soda feel.

A very nice beer that doesn't let the high ABV% hinder taste.

Photo of BranfordBound
3.56/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a brown swing-top bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a clear amber color with a small white head that doesn't really leave any lacing.

Very mild aroma of some sweet malts, fruit, and a touch of caramel.

The nose was a bit misleading as this beer has some flavor. Intertwined notes of sweet fruit, caramel malts, brown sugar, peat, and a slight wood in the back.

Very light body for the ABV, wet mouthfeel.

Surprisingly light body keeps this one an easy drinker. I expected a more potent and less sweet flavor, although I won't complain. Overall a good beer to try and a world apart from the regular ten penny.

Photo of stevemcqueenjr
4.32/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

first off, wow. i had been told of this beer but did not expect this, exceeded my expectations.

a: pours a foamy head, dissipates after a little bit. dark, not even the word describe it. are we sure this is an ale? not ambrosia?

s: good god. coffee, caramel, cocoa, malt, cherries, smells like im in a chocolate bake shop. fantastic.

t: firstly, i am shocked that the alcohol is that high, dont even notice it. also get some molasses notes, some woodiness, and some dark cherry.

m: somewhat light and smooth, didnt expect that. finishes a little dry. not a lot of carbonation.

d: be careful with this one, i could see going through a few of these fairly quickly and not realizing it.

Please help. The only way they sold this at yankee spirits was in the cooler. in fact they said it should be kept refrigerated. does anyone think this would be ok if i cellared it at around 50? please email me.

Photo of DirtybeerguyRI
4.08/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

APPEARANCE: Deep golden amber with a fizzy tan head that dissipates quickly. Attractive, warm looking beer.

SMELL: Spicy and bready. Lots of roasted malts hit the nose immediately. Also, at a 9.2% ABV this is a pretty boozy smelling brew.

MOUTHFEEL: Full-bodied and sticky. There's a moderate amount of carbonation that keeps this Scotch ale from being oily.

TASTE: This brew starts with dark fruits followed by a boozy warmth and a mix of coffee and toffee. The finish hints at a nice, smooth whiskey. It's a complex beer but not overwhelming in any particular regard.

DRINKABILITY: Considering the high ABV, this beer is so drinkable it's a bit dangerous. While complex, it's also well balanced and smooth.

VERDICT: I'd love to try this beer with a thick cut of steak or duck. I've liked several other Old Burnside beers, but this one is one of their best. It's a very warm, luxurious ale.

John Harvey

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
2.51/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

One Pint Swing-top bottle > Dimpled mug

This is a deep, darl mahogony brown color with a rather impressive 3" towering khaki colored head that is pillowy with huge clumpiness, very slow retention with plenety of foam everywhere.

The aroma right off, was not that of a "wee heavy" at all, there is sour fruits, fermented grapes, slight roastiness, sour dough bread scented malt, and a crazy sour-wild ale yeastie scent that is way too strong. The alcohol seems weak on the nose for 11%.

O.k, I recently had a Russian River supplication, and that puppy was tart and yeastie, but so is this Wee heavy....say what??

The malt is strangely thin witha big time sour-fruity edge that dominates. Fermented grapes and wild yeast is what I'm getting....this would have a great score if the lable said "sour ale"! There is some smokey, mossy hints that edges toward the correct flavor for the style, but it's all gone crazy. I can't really detect much hops or the 11% alcohol. Very strange.

The feel is way too thin for this style or any other beer style for thah matter. The long-term foamy head adds some smoothness but it's futile at this point.

I'm puzzled and pissed odd that I paid $7 for this !!

Photo of jmz62565
3.68/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with no light shinning thru and a large tan foamy head. The smell is roasted malt with alcohol and some "woodiness". The taste is very porter like with a real dark fruit flavor. Raisins,plums,and prunes dominate the palate here. Roasted and sweet malt are also present,but with less prominence. The m/f is light with the flavors mixing and hiding the alcohol well. Not a bad beer. You really have to like the dark fruit flavors though.

Photo of hoppymcgee
3.52/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 1 pint swing-top bottle that I've been cellaring since last winter into a Bruery tulip.

A: Dark, dark brown like the color of it's bottle and almost as dark as a stout (but the white head is the big giveaway). A ring of foam sits around the top of the beer the whole way through.

S: Surprisingly funky. When I opened the bottle and smelled "horse blanket" (as you guys like to call it) I was actually excited that this beer was similar to a sour. I also get notes of cherries.

T: Average. After taking a few good inhales of this beer I thought the taste would follow. It was very underwhelming comparatively - a little sour, a little woody, and has a sour cherry finish.

M: Pretty nice. Foamy "large bubble" carbonation that lasts inside your mouth. Has a dry finish.

D: Meh. After taking a few sips I thought I could drink the whole bottle easily but it's a little filling because of it's creaminess.

Overall, an okay beer. It has great components separately but they don't mesh together (i.e. the nose and the appearance do not mirror the taste) and is unlike any other Wee Heavy I've had.

Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.79/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a nice looking pint flip-top bottle.

Pours a dark dark amber with some floaties, good sized head but fades very fast like a cola, some weird chunky good near the flip-top which is kinda weird and gross.

Smell has some caramel malt in there but also some weird funkiness going on, even some dark fruits, interesting but not to style.

Taste has some funk and caramel malt, strong carbonation tickles the tongue, a fair amount of dark fruit, really weird for what is supposed to be a wee heavy, supposedly 11% but it's not noticeable at all.

Photo of LittleBreeze
2.95/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

One Penny Ale Reserve

Sample poured from a 1 pint flip top bottle

This beer has a pleasant aroma. Roasted malt and nut meat. Bite is to bitter for my taste. Mouthfeel is on the watery side. Overall this one is just there. It doesn't stand out in any way and doesn't feel true to the listed style.

Photo of geexploitation
3.65/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours very dark brown, almost black, with only a collar of head. The nose is very similar to the non-reserve version of this beer, with lots of roasted malt and other scorchy smells. On the palate, thick and rich, with lots of roasted malt notes and some nuttiness. Very little in the way of fruits. Mouthfeel is thick but still a bit astringent, or maybe just hard, from the roasted malts. Overall, this is a nice little beer. Not as flavorful as the price or the "reserve" tag would dictate, but tasty.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.11/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 500ml swing-top bottle into an imperial tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color with a thin off-white head that fades very slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramel, chocolate, coffee, some spice and a weird smoky wood smell.

T: The taste is smoky and malty, with flavors of coffee, chocolate, spice and dark fruit, but it all ties together oddly with a strange background flavor that I can’t quite place. Normally I embrace beers that are different but in this case everything is thrown off. The after-taste is tangy and slightly sweet.

M: Smooth with a little crispness, medium-to-heavy body, light carbonation, slightly sticky finish.

D: Not as tasty as most beers in the style, goes down ok, not too filling, not the best representation of style. I didn’t really like the original Ten Penny Ale and I thought that the “reserve” might be a lot better, but it really wasn’t.

Photo of jwc215
4.29/5  rDev +15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cool flip-top bottle - gold lettering with a sword...

Pours almost black with dark brown hues. A thin tan head leaves minimal trailing lace.

The smell is of chocolate and rye bread with dark fruit. Intense, yet soft. Appealing.

The taste is of dark maltiness, towards chocolate with dark fruitiness. Slight licorice with earthy notes in the back. Oak-like woody finish. Sweet, but balanced.

It's feel is on the fuller side of medium. Smooth, a tad slick, with mild carbonation.

A tasty, malty treat!

Thanks to jcwattsrugger for this one!

Photo of ppoitras
2.75/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

500ml swing-top bottle purchased at Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA. Fancy swingtag elastic-tied to neck as well as gold lettering on bottle.

Poured into a heavy glass chalice, formed a few short-lived bubbles, but nothing to be misconstrued as a head, over the cloudy dark reddish chestnut brew. Lacing is non-existent. Aroma is malty and lightly tart. Taste does start nicely, with a rich peaty maltiness, but quickless is overcome by tartness that dominates the rest of the experience. Mouthfeel is thin and flst, and drinkability is just not on. I want to like Olde Burnside, but the beers of theirs I buy just don't turn me on. Maybe I'll try again another time.

And no way this is 11%abv. I don't know who does their testing, but they need to recalibrate or something.

Photo of PicoPapa
4.12/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Badass 16oz swing-top bottle. Pours a deep, dark caramel color with a good-sized head. Minimal lacing. Great aroma. Smells buttery, with caramel and alcohol aromas. Tastes just like it smells. Caramel and butter upfront with a boozey aftertaste. Some toffee flavor as well. A bit pricey, especially with the $1.50 deposit, but this is a great tasting beer worth picking up again and again.

Photo of jlindros
3.92/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'll really have to come back to review this again, after reading the desription on the website, I know this is a contaminated one, but with the soured funky taste I really enjoyed it.

I'm a fan of the regular ten penny ale, a decent growler to pick up. Now their "reserve" suddenly showed up in the little snap down topped pint bottle. I hope it doesn't disappoint.

A: Top pops off with a nice thwop, and I can see a bunch of yeast sediment on the sides, so it must have continued to ferment in the bottle. Pours into my Chouffe tulip (thanks to Ineedabeerhere) with a light creamy looking head that just covers the top of the beer. Its super dark color with touches of light finding its way through the maze, and leaving little hints of yeast sediment on the bottom of the glass.

N: Hmm, it's somewhat sweet on the nose, almost like a soda. A little bit of funk, fruity yeast aromas. I wonder if it's supposed to be like that, or if it's contaminated. I wouldn't necessarily assume their reserve would be fruity and funky, but it could be. Some hints of dark malts and sugar almost. I get slight cherry and slight Belgian yeast aromas. Pretty nice actually, if that is what it's supposed to smell like.

T: Starts tangy but somewhat creamy. It's got a nice tangy sweet sour cherry flavor. Hints of vanilla and perhaps oak. A little high on the acidity as well. The sour fruits stay pretty strong throughout the sip even as I hold it in my mouth. It's very succulent and juicy, almost like having delicious juice that was fermented. Some light funky yeast flavors also come through, but are light and pleasant. It also carries some dark malt flavors, with hints of syrup and heavy malt feels. I can see why they say keep refrigerated.

M: Lower carbonation than I wanted, slightly creamy and medium body.

F: A little dry on the finish, but mostly more fruit lingering. The sour cherry flavor seems to stick to the tongue for a few minutes after the sip is gone, which is not bad by any means. There's also a slight chalkiness with some roasted flavors that come through shortly after the swallow, but seems to not stay long as it gvies way back to the great fruit.

Photo of Thads324
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a sniffer from a pint swing top...

A : a slightly hazy amber color with a good
solid white head, disipates quickly

S : a whiff of caramel and a very minimal
amount of citrus hop. There is a hint of
whiskey also.

T : a sweet caramel flavor with a hop
flavor, without bitterness. It's very smooth
with some alcohol present.

M : real smooth, short though.

D : despite the high alcohol it's really
drinkable, although it seems like it wants
to be sipped.

Overall a pretty good beer. Not quaffable but
its smooth and slightly warming... Pricey but solid

Photo of jdhilt
3.68/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a four finger cream head that fades slowly but leaves no lace. Cloudy dark brown color. Sour apple nose. Light-medium carbonation and medium-heavy bodied. Flavor fortunately much better than nose - sweet, burnt caramel, higher ABV is hidden. Clean finish. I think I'll get one for 10-10-10 at 10% ABV it should mellow well. $8.25 for a flip top 1 pint bottle from Tully's Beer & Wine Wells, Me.

Photo of abuliarose
3.99/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter. Not much head at all and it fades fast. Earthy brown-red tones and fairly clear, this beer smells amazingly sweet with some dried fruit notes. It reminds me of toasted cinnamon raisin bread. The taste is not at all what I expect given the smell! It comes off as earthy with a very fine carbonation that initially prevents me from detecting much else. Otherwise, a slight roast, spice and undertones of vegetable are detected. It doesn't taste as sweet as it smells by far, but the bitterness is mellow.

As it warms, the earthy flavor takes on a little more sweetness. The beer feels medium-bodied, but remains light enough to be drinkable over sip-able. This is my first Olde Burnside offering and they have my attention.

Photo of Sam21
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16oz cobalt blue swing-top bottle into a snifter.

Appearance - Pours with a murky amber body with a healthy looking khaki head that recedes quickly leaving small patches of wet lace here and there.

Smell - I notice rum soaked dark fruits first and foremost. Layers of rich toffee malt sweetness lie beneath. The nose is not in your face, but rather composed and balanced.

Taste - Dark fruits up front and loads of sweet malt depth. There is a mellow boozy bite in the back that works well with the fruit. The finish is sweet with some countering earthiness. There is also a strong smoky note that hands in the balance. The dark fruit linger nicely into the next sip.

Mouthfeel - Full-bodied with silky smooth carbonation. A tad oily. The soft carbonation accentuates the fullness of this beer's body while keeping it from feeling too thick.

Drinkability - True to style, Ten Penny Reserve is a malt-emphasized treat with some nice subtle complexities to entice your taste buds. It is smooth going down and is not a challenge to drink. A great local option for me and an enjoyable one at that.

Photo of Naugros
3.42/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This comes in an attractive cobalt blue swing top bottle that will be saved for the collection.

It pours with evident carbonation and raises a very short-lived, sizzling head, kind of like the one you get when you pour a cola. The beer is amber with some orange tones in the glow. Carbonation remains evident despite the absence of any appreciable head.

The nose and the flavor are both pretty sweet. The nose has a very distinct odor of burnt sugar, as if someone were making caramel and had to walk away for a minute or two and got back too late. I've done this making caramel sauce and this is exactly what it smelled like. The taste is similar, burnt caramel, but there is an added bitterness that does not seem to come from hops. What hops presence there is comes off as floral...honeysuckle maybe. The expected peaty smoke of a wee heavy is barely there and shows up as more of a sweetened tobacco, but before being burned in the pipe. There are also hints of vanilla and rum...presumably from the barrel.

It's a little light in body for my taste, but that is not inappropriate to the style, so no points lost there. What IS bothering me is the stickiness left on my lips and trying to wrap my mind around a beer that is both thin-bodied and syrupy at the same time. It's got the consistency of generic brand light maple-flavored syrup.

The shame of this beer is that I think I would have liked it a ton if more of the sugars had been converted to alcohol. Okay yes, it still is a 9.3% beer so I am astonished that it remains this sweet after the yeast have done such a fine job on helping me get my revenge on my liver. And yes, wee heavys do have a sweetness to them, but not this much. The flavors are so complex and perhaps a 1 or 2% bump in ABV could have allowed more of the underlying flavors to break free of the cloying mass of sugars.

Photo of DirtyPenny
4.13/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into rather a large mug. I need more glassware.

A: Poured with over an inch of head which slowly departed over a few minutes. Mahogany colored with slight cherry and amber highlights.

S: Dark fruits and flowers. Malt dominates the nose.

T: Fruit, toffee and caramelt malts. Somewhat sweet and woody, with alcohol and brandy tones at the finish. Hops are present but subdued.

M: Medium-bodied with a slight liquerlike viscosity. Moderate carbonation. Evaporating spirits haunt the tongue. (boo)

O: Damn fine beer, though I feel like it has almost nothing in common with its common cousin. I wouldn't call something with a 9.3 ABV sessionable but it is eminently drinkable. If availability weren't an issue it'd be easy to throw back two or three of these in a sitting, then just relax and let the happy feelings in.

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Ten Penny Ale Reserve from The Olde Burnside Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 70 ratings.