Bad Penny Brown Ale | Big Boss Brewing

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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

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Reviews: 109 | Ratings: 355
Photo of soulfly1492
3.57/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Aroma: Bold, raw worty malt. Chocolate, brown and crystal. Some floral hop notes. Overall very sweet.

Appearance: Dark brown. Holding up to a bright light shows a dark ruby color. High clarity. Some bubbles rising. Small light brown head, decent retention and moderate lacing.

Taste: No surprises, raw worty malt. Lots of bready toasty brown malt, mild cocoa, the bitterness shows up in the aftertaste and is mostly floral hops and mildly bitter malt, maybe Munich.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body. Mild carbonation. The finish is very dry. Chalky.

Overall: I like worty, so it's ok by me, but certainly not the classic example of a brown ale. Nice balance. Easy to drink, and savory enough to enjoy one or more.

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Photo of buschbeer
3.77/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

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Photo of JayQue
3.2/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A so-so brown ale. Purchased on a recent trip to Asheville NC. Pours a dark brown color with a lot of ruby highlights when held to a light. Almost no head and minimal lacing.

Smell is faint roasted malt and a little chocolate.

Taste is fairly good. Roasted malt, a hint of chocolate. Pretty simple.

Mouthfeel is a hair too thin but it is crisp and refreshing.

Overall a pretty average brown ale.

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Photo of badbilly30
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours clear, bold brown-cola color; very thin off-white head. Some cocoa and toffee in the aroma; one-dimensional malts. Medium mouthfeel: slightly watery at the edges; cocoa, caramel, toasted malts; a light, inoffensive brown ale; some roasted character coming through mid-palate. Medium finish showing cocoa and roasted malts and breadiness.

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

Pours a dark, semi-transparent chocolaty brown with a fairly thick, if not too persistent, light tan head. Malty aroma has tones of molasses and caramel and a sweet hint plus a touch of hops. Flavor has malty and molasses notes plus hints of caramel, hops and honey. Smooth texture has above-average body and a little fizz. Bad penny? Not too shabby!

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Photo of thagr81us
3.77/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

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Photo of unknownlamer
4.25/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Fresh bottle, served in a snifter.

Pours a very dark brown, almost opaque, but clear upon further inspection with a bright light. Very small head, fades immediately to the usual ring of foam around the edges. Doesn't leave anything behind on the glass.

Smells like chocolate, roasted coffee. No hop aroma that I can discern.

Taste is initially a tad bit alcoholic with a strong roasty flavor (no surprises here given the aroma). Smooths out after a few sips. Near the end of the swallow the sweetness comes through and a lightly roasty/sweet flavor lingers for a while after swallowing.

Body is fairly thick for a brown ale. Silky smooth!

Bolder than most other brown ales I've had without taking on the qualities of a porter or stout.

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Photo of TheDinger
3.83/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pilsner glass. My last beer of 2011! A little disappointing with the pour- Very small off white/tan head that faded quick and left no traces. Smell was very underwhelming, some nutty malts and a small bit of chocolate. Taste is where this picked up a bit. Something about the coffee/chocolate stout characteristics mixed with the nutty/carmel brown hit the spot on this one. A pretty complex taste which made it hard to sit down. Not too schooled on the EBA's and perhaps that is where the stout qualities come in, but this was very smooth and full flavored. Feel was decent with a good bit of carbonation and stout like silk. Overall- An interesting beer that tastes better than it looks and smells. Complex and rich- I will be hitting another one soon-

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Photo of Amalak
3.6/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It's dark, almost black in color, with very little head and lacing. There's a nutty, but mild, scent to it. Has the look of being a bit flat.

There's a solid chocolate undertone to it with a nutty overall taste. Definitely a stout. The taste is mild, but there's something refreshing about it. It has a carbonated, tingly feel. There's a zestyness there that some stouts lack. It's good, if not forgettable.

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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.

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Photo of Luigi
3.47/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours our about a half finger head but retains well with decent lacing. Dark brown with amber highlights in color.

The aroma has hints caramel, bittersweet chocolate, and leafy hop. Nothing over powering.

The flavor pretty much emulates the aroma with some hints of toasted malt and toffee. No problem on my side.

The body is medium to full with a mildly hopped finish. Very easy to drink.

Over all this is a great example of a local brewery doing a great job, and it may change until they feel the brew is right. But, right now big boss is doing just fine.

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Photo of ccrida
3/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark brown with a thin off-white collar that leaves very light lace.

Smell is light, sweet, brown sugar, directly opens as it warms.

Taste is light roasted malts, iced coffee and molasses / over caramelized sugar. A hint of diacetyl, the butter gives it a sugar cookie note.

Mouthfeel is crisp, medium bodied. Seems a little heavy.

Drinkability is ok, it's a pretty full flavored brown ale, a bit heavy for my taste in the style, especially when the ABV doesn't really match.

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Photo of goatsgo2hell
4.39/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bad Penny's one of my go-to favorites. The beer pours dark chocolate brown with very little head, and has a malty aroma that smells like chocolate with a slightly nutty undertone. The taste yields the same, and it proves to be a very malty beer -- which is exactly what I like in my browns. All in all, a great beer to try on tap or from the bottle. It's my favorite of the Big Boss offerings.

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Photo of DeltaGolfSierra
3.56/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Kudos to Big Boss Brewing for marking the bottled date. A vigorous poor from the bottle straight down the middle of the glass yielded a pitiful half-finger wide head atop a dark brown liquid. The large bubbles that composed the head faded within a minute and left no lacing. Not a very appealing start. The smell was an improvement over the appearance, with a pleasant combination of caramel, nuts, and citrus. The taste is well-balanced between malt and hops - I'm picking up some chocolate, nuts, and some fruity earthiness. Hops are noticeable but not overpowering. A good tasting beer - just close your eyes when drinking.

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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.

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Photo of smakawhat
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.

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Photo of dookieball11
3.97/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

I had a pint of Bad Penny (Big Boss)(ABV 5.2) that was on-tap at a local pub down the street in South Charlotte. When the beer was shuffled over to me at the bar I noticed that Bad Penny's appearance showed that the head of the beer was very small. Swishing the beer around showed that the lacing was sparse. The beer is dark brownish amber in color with a muddy body and the particles/ sediments was non-existent.
The Aroma is not very strong but has some light hints of caramel malts. This is not a hoppy beer ( sorry "hop heads") so the hops presence seemed minimal as well as the yeast.
It feels light- to medium-bodied and a bit smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. The texture seemed slick, not being too thin or thick.
The overall drinkability and experience of the Bad Penny was a good one. It not a difficult beer to drink. Although the only complaint I have is not picking the more spring/summer Big Boss relative known as Blanco Diablo. Stay tuned for my next review! King Kobra...
Aka. Dookieball

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Photo of jsprain1
4.2/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Very dark brown, with a one and a half finger frothy head that sticks around pretty well and leaves a couple rings of lacing.
S- Smell is simple but enjoyable toasted bread and cocoa.
T- The cocoa really bursts here, partciularly out front. It finishes more nutty than chocolatey but some milk chocolate is also noted. Just a bit of earthy hoppiness.
M- A bit light for the style but I liked the general smoothness of the carbonation.
O- A good example of the style and one worth seeking out. Easy going down and has all the requirement for a good brown.

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

[Best served in a Dimpled Mug]

The pour was a clear dark brown with a small (less than 1 finger) tan foamy head which dissipated soon after the pour and had fair lacing.

The aroma was of a roasted caramel malt and a sweet yeast with a hint of chocolate, a mild roasted coffee and had a slight sweet nutty presence.

The taste had a nice rich maltiness to it and was a bit sweet in the beginning and pretty much the same throughout with a hint of chocolate, coffee and a mild nuttiness at the end with the flavor lasting quite a while after the swallow letting the Chocó-coffee flavor linger for a decent while.

Mouthfeel was smooth and creamy in texture with the body being about medium and had a mild carbonation.

Overall definitely a good tasting brew, easy to drink and had a nice lingering aftertaste. Just right for the Brown Ale category!!

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Photo of BeerBeatnik
3.4/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had this at Fuel Pizza in Charlotte. A brown color obviously. Not a great head on the pour. I was actually tilting the bottle straight up in down to try and get one. Not much of a smell. From what I could get out of it carmel-ly. It does have the taste of coffee and chocolate. Probably the combination from a chocolate malt with a bit of nuttiness. The carbonation was fine and so the mouthfeel. Nothing specatular. Nothing bad just average. The best thing was the drinkability. It could have more of these. If I had my choice of brown beers at the store, I would probably choose something else. But, this does well in a pinch when there isn't much of a selection.

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Photo of devilben02
3.33/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a deep, nearly opaque reddish-chestnut brown, with a foamy off-white head that quickly dissipates. The aroma is light and sweet, with notes of brown sugar, milk chocolate, and a mild graininess coming through. The flavor is likewise light and sweet, but not overly so. The same brown sugar and milk chocolate are again found, but a dull, earthy, musty hop character also seems apparent. The body is a bit thin, but this is overall a nice, well-constructed brown.

I should note that this bottle was dated July 2010, so I will be interested to try a fresher sample to see if my impression changes at all.

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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.

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Photo of thegodfather2701
3.23/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

A-Pours an amber brown with an off white head that dissipates quickly.

S-Very, very malty with hints of toffee and some caramel.

T-Toffee and chocolate stand out the most. It is incredibly malty and kind of chalky.

M-Thick and somewhat gritty.

D-I couldn't finish the bottle because I just didn't like the beer. Its not a bad beer, its just not for me.

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Photo of Boto
3.61/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Draught @ Mellow Mushroom in Raleigh: This one poured an opaque brown with a small tan head. It left a little bit of lacing. The aroma is a bit lighter. Some caramel, roastiness and earthiness. The taste is good. Faint caramel malt sweetness in the background. Some roastiness. Hints of chocolate and nuttiness. Not bad.

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Photo of bmanflyer
4.65/5  rDev +29.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

I had this beer 1st on draft and then found it in a bottle at HT. I can't understand anyone grading this beer below an A The smell and the taste is just threw the roof. I have already hooked 4 other people on this beer. One of the few beers that I have had on tap and then found in a bottle that was even close to its draft flavor. This has become my new favorite. The only issue so far is I can't drink less than 3 of these in a session AND THIS IS TRULEY A SESSION BEER

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Bad Penny Brown Ale from Big Boss Brewing
3.6 out of 5 based on 355 ratings.
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