Dismiss Notice
Extreme Beer Fest:Los Angeles

Join us December 9th in Los Angeles for the ultimate throwdown of craft beer creativity!

Learn more...
Dismiss Notice
Introducing: Project Extreme Brewing (a Dogfish Head + BeerAdvocate project)

Bad Penny Brown Ale | Big Boss Brewing

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Bad Penny Brown AleBad Penny Brown Ale
358 Ratings
Bad Penny Brown AleBad Penny Brown Ale

Brewed by:
Big Boss Brewing
North Carolina, United States

Style: English Brown Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by atsprings on 04-17-2007

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 358 |  Reviews: 110
Photo of Knapp85
3.45/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This poured out as a nice looking deep brown color with a cream colored head on top. The retention and lacing were moderate, but nothing too exciting. The smell of the beer gives of some nice roasted malt aromas with a hint of hops on the nose as well. There is a touch of chocolate and nuts on the nose also. The taste of the beer is toasted, it's got a decent dry bitterness to it in the finish also. There are subtle elements of coffee and chocolate in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel of the beer is pretty standard, nothing too crazy going on. Overall it's a good drinkable beer.

 581 characters

Photo of nmann08
3.28/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of metter98
3.48/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Big Boss Brewing, Raleigh, NC

A: The beer is dark brownish amber in color and poured with a thin white head.
S: The smell isn't very strong but has some hints of caramel malts.
T: The taste is nutty and has some hints of sweetness along with flavors of caramel and chocolate malts.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and a bit smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
D: The beer isn't that difficult to drink.

 441 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of oline73
4/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of zeff80
3.95/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a dark, dark brown color with a two-finger head of off-white foam. It left minimal lacing.

S - It smelled very nutty with strong malty notes and hints of caramel.

T - Good nutty flavor like you'd expect in an English Brown. Nice roasted malt flavor with toffee and caramel notes.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied brown ale that is very easy drinking.

D - This is one of the better tasting brown ales out there. I'm glad I grabbed it at Bruisin' Ales in Asheville.

 501 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.48/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

From a bottle.
Lightly sweet with a mild but lingering flavor.
Medium-light body may be slightly over carbonated and thin.

Overall: A good, mainstream brown ale.

 162 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
3.51/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a slightly opaque but clear dark brownish amber in color with some significant garnet red highlights and a light to moderate amount of visible carbonation. The beer has a finger tall creamy light tan head that slowly reduces to a thin film covering the majority of the surface of the beer with a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Overall the aroma for this beer is quite light with some very light notes of caramel malts and just a hint of nuttiness.

T: Upfront there is a moderate amount of malts - some caramel and some chocolate malts and just a touch of sweetness. There is a light amount of nuttiness to the brew. Light amounts of bitterness towards the finish but it does not linger.

M: Light to medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth.

O: Pretty easy to drink and enjoyable but not really anything special - I would have appreciated a little more aroma to the beer.

 968 characters

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.

 445 characters

Photo of nickfl
3.33/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Kegatron
3.48/5  rDev -3.3%
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.

 625 characters

Photo of mendvicdog
4/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of russpowell
4/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of ZEB89
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of duceswild
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.1/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

"Pennies do not come from heaven. They have to be earned here on earth."

--Margaret Thatcher

Walnut brown with radiant orange highlights when on the coaster... dark cranberry when backlit with sunshine. Approximately two fingers of khaki colored foam was created on the pour, which allowed the entire bottle to enter the glass in one fell swoop. A thick collar of lace eventually becomes thick rings and scattered sheets.

The nose is classic for the style and is wonderfully aromatic to boot. Three different malts combine to produce a melange of cocoa, dark caramel and baked nuts. No negatives here.

There are no chinks in the armor when it comes to the flavor profile either. Way too many browns are wimpy and don't show off their malts enough. Bad Penny isn't shy at all, which makes sense when you consider the look she's giving from well-done, informative label. It would be great if all breweries included style, ABV and bottled-on date.

BPBA is delicious beer that is exiting the glass almost as fast as it entered. Each sip delivers chocolate-dipped English toffee, sugared pecans, ripe fruits and enough earthy hoppiness to take the edge off the sweetness. Big Boss Brewing has done themselves proud with this well-constructed ale.

Keeping style and ABV in mind, the mouthfeel easily keeps pace. It's no bigger than light-medium, but is aided by an ideal amount of carbonation that inflates the beer to a fluffy, creamy state on contact.

Bad Penny (the woman) may have a tarnished reputation, but purchasing Bad Penny (the beer) makes a lot of cents for those who appreciate a finely crafted English brown. For my money, Bad Penny is definitely Good Beer.

 1,672 characters

Photo of WoodBrew
2.99/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.41/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer is reddish brown with a thin beige cap. The aroma is pretty weak, offering subtle hints of bready malts, biscuits, fruit. Light bodied, with moderately low carbonation. A decent beer, but generally unexciting. Some toffee and caramel notes. Probably won't have this one again.

 285 characters

Photo of BeerForMuscle
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of tdm168
3.28/5  rDev -8.9%
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.

 259 characters

Photo of imbibehour
3.25/5  rDev -9.7%
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.

 952 characters

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.71/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a shaker pint, the beer is a very dark, ruby-highlighted, hazelnut coloring with a thin, bubbly, light tan head. Aromas of roasted nut sweetness, woody characteristics, and some light, sweet cream highlights. The nose is subtle, and it takes some getting in there deep to pick up characteristics. Flavors are very sweet forward, with an overall roasted character giving way to a blend of nut, chocolate, and subtle toffee notes. Very sweet characteristics, but remains light and drinkable. Roast characteristics build towards the end of the palate into the aftertaste, and are joined by a subtle, mild bitterness. The body is light, and slightly effervesced by the carbonation. The finish has a sweet linger, with a subtle bitterness that provides a clean and dry finale. Very easy to drink.

 817 characters

Photo of beernads
3.25/5  rDev -9.7%

Photo of lupercmda
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Bad Penny Brown Ale from Big Boss Brewing
Beer rating: 3.6 out of 5 with 358 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.