Dirty Penny Ale | The Olde Burnside Brewing Company

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
83
good
56 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
Dirty Penny AleDirty Penny Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
The Olde Burnside Brewing Company
Connecticut, United States | website

Style: Black & Tan

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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!)

Added by BeerAdvocate on 04-02-2004

BEER STATS
Reviews:
56
Ratings:
148
Avg:
3.67
pDev:
25.61%
 
 
Wants:
6
Gots:
13
For Trade:
0
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 56 | Ratings: 148
Photo of davey101
3.63/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at a local restaurant. Poured into a smithwicks stout glass.

A - Dark dark brown with some reddish tints. Mocha head, some lacing.

S - Roasted sweet malts, nuts, light chocolate. Fairly simple.

T - Dark roasted malts and some sweetness towards the end. Nuttiness and some bittersweet chocolate. Almost milk like lactic notes. Very smooth and velvety, yet well carbonated.

O - Not bad. I always pass on this in stores due to the price and sizes. I'm pretty sure its only available in growler or flip top bottle. It was nice on tap though. I was actually shocked to find out it was a black and tan as the taste reminded me of a milk stout.

 649 characters

Photo of philbe311
3.9/5  rDev +6.3%
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...

 1,351 characters

Photo of drabmuh
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

At the time of this review, this is the #3 Black and Tan, growler shared by Thorpe429, thanks served in a snifter.

Beer is copper and mostly clear with a thin off white head of small bubbles, some lacing, moderate carbonation, looks good.

Aroma is toffee and sweet, some butteryness but it is hard to separate from the toffee, caramel and heavy malts.

Beer is medium in body and sweet on the palate, creamy in the mouthfeel, sweet on the leadoff and decent finish. Not a great beer but an interesting one.

A side note, this beer is a 60% blend of the Ten Penny Ale and some stout, and the beer comes across as a Scotch ale to me at least, almost no roast or anything dark about this beer at all. Interesting but I doubt it is a repeat for me.

 746 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
3.41/5  rDev -7.1%
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.

 642 characters

Photo of Amalak
4.2/5  rDev +14.4%
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

 270 characters

Photo of mostpoetsdo
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Murky brown, light tan head. Less than stellar lacing.

S: Dirt and malt, kind of odd. Faint hoppiness. Decent chocolate notes.

T: Very much malt forward. A burly beer, quite flavorful, especially for 5%. Has a strong mineral and metallic taste to it, almost as if a dirty penny was sitting at the bottom.

M: Fairly thin, but surprisingly crisp. Carbonation is pretty good, nothing great.

O/D: Quite a bit of flavor packed in this brew, not something I'd want over and over again, but worth giving it a shot. Light, but a decent offering.

 545 characters

Photo of ryan1788a5
4.45/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Brass Cat, served to me in a 20oz stein.

A: Very dark brown, almost black, at least from what I could tell in the bar lighting. Head is big, rocky, and brown and sports great staying power.

S: Very malty, as expected. Huge hit of French roast coffee, some hazelnut, chewy caramel, light whiffs of milk chocolate, and some dirty, earthy yeast.

T: Taste followed the smell very closely. Lots of coffee up front, a light nuttiness, a bit of toffee, tons of chewy caramel, earthy, gritty yeast, and some slight milk chocolate toward the finish. Hops were not prominent, and played a balancing role only.

M: Medium to medium-thick. Smooth and creamy. Moderate carbonation. Good enough.

O: Very good. A malt lover's darling.

Notes: I have had this beer many times, but mostly out of the growler. This was my first time having it on tap at a respectable beer bar (I had it on tap at Hooters once, don't judge). Normally this is a solid B beer for me, but getting it fresh on tap was a real treat. All the flavors I remembered were there, but dialed up a few notches. Great stuff.

More notes: I understand that this is a blend of their Ten Penny Scotch ale and a house-special stout. I would really like to try that stout.

 1,237 characters

Photo of smcolw
3.48/5  rDev -5.2%
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.

 323 characters

Photo of ams0286
4.05/5  rDev +10.4%
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.

 1,364 characters

Photo of Arenbeer
3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
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!

 586 characters

Photo of donniecuffs
4.32/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just found my notes recently from last summer's Northwest Connecticut Brewfest. I was told that this 'black & tan' brew consisted of 60% Ten Penny; 40% stout. Poured a dark brown hue, with over a finger of beige head, good retention, and good lacing. Detected all of the same essence in the nose from Ten Penny, e.g. coffee and caramel, as well as a big chocolate/mocha presence. Great, great aroma. The taste began with more of a caramel/malty tone, and then eventually progressed to a mocha flavor with a dry coffee/chocolate finish. Thick yet manageably smooth mouthfeel, with low carbonation. Very sessionable, and again, another one of my few repeat table visits during the 'fest.

 685 characters

Photo of uustal
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown pour with a above average tan head. Smells of sweet caramel and toffee. Toffee malt dominates the taste. Also hints of caramel and roasted coffee. Not much hop profile. High carbonation and a lasting sweet after taste. The toffee is the major player in this beer.

 274 characters

Photo of MikeBrandman
3.78/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My first growler!

A - Pours into a pint glass with 4 fingers of head (gotta love growlers). Completely opaque with a deep brown body with slight ruby tones around the edges. Little visible carbonation near the bottom of the glass. Good amount of head and slowly receding head, delightful.

S - Smell is good mix of hops and malts. Coffee, burnt caramel, and bready smell. Overall good, just a little watered down.

T - Taste a little disappointing. All of the same characteristics of the smell are there, except the watered down feeling is a little more apparent. Also, there's a slight metallic taste that is rather off putting. Rather balanced overall, with lingering coffee taste.

MF - Great feel on this. Smooth and creamy. Full bodied and satisfying.

D - This is greatly drinkable. It's so easy to keep sipping this. Not sure if you want to, depending on how metallic the taste gets, but it's smooth and heavy and just goes down so easy.

Notes - On the last glass I noticed a LOT of dead yeast at the bottom of the glass. Usually I just drink it down, but it was unusual to drink it in anything besides an unfiltered wheat beer. I had a little before pouring the rest down the drain. The next day I woke up with a bit of a stomach ache. Not sure if the two are related, but I advice always keeping the growler standing up so the yeast stays on the bottom and then trying to avoid pouring the yeast in the end into your glass.

 1,434 characters

Photo of DNICE555
4.33/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had this on tap at flatbread with small twink, soupedup, and andrea.

A - Dark brown, tan head.

S - Roasted to the point of burnt burnt coffe, which I quite enjoy. A very distinct take from the brewery. They hit it very nice.

T - Again that pleasant burnt coffee with a caramel sweetness that really lingers.

M - Nice and smooth. Looks very heavy but is actually pretty light.

D - Goes down so easy. Very refreshing. I could have multiple pints of this. I've never really had a beer like this one before. The only other beer I've tried from this brewery is the ten penny ale. Can't wait to seek some more out.

 617 characters

Photo of Thads324
3.93/5  rDev +7.1%
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!

 997 characters

Photo of humanbeer
2.91/5  rDev -20.7%
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

 797 characters

Photo of Duhast500
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the tap into a tasting glass.

The color is a dark burnt brown with some brownish head and some slight lacing.

The smell is pretty malty, mostly dark malty flavor with a hint of a roasty nut flavor.

The taste is biscuty with a nice robust malt finish. Some coffee flavor and a bit of a bitter hop flavor does come out to counteract the sweet feel.

The feel of this beer was a bit of a medium feel. It was pleasing but not too exciting. It did go down pretty smooth and would make a good beer for food pairing.

 525 characters

Photo of bum732
3.28/5  rDev -10.6%
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.

 511 characters

Photo of stakem
3.35/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Review from notes taken on 11/21/09

Growler care of my frend Dan who was paying a visit from CT. Pours a dark brown with more than two fingers of tanned creamy head. Lacing about the glass from a slow and steady recession of the thick head of foam. Nose is hoppy with citrus and some malt. Also includes some sweetness and burnt grain akin to chocolate. Taste is minorly bitter upfront. Little bit of the chocolate character comes through as well. Med feel and low carb. Finish is quite crisp. Overall not bad and one of the more flavorful "stock" black and tans.

 564 characters

Photo of ShogoKawada
3.35/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

64oz Growler @ 1776, $11. Always a sucker for the growlers. Poured into my 1L Lowenbrau seidel. Hell yeah! Bought this one without knowing what style it was... expecting an amber, but it's a black + tan.

A- A huge but weak dirty head that lacks any staying power. Beer itself is a nice, roasted brown, like brownie batter. Head is active but dissipates fast.

S- Rich, sweet malts, not much else. Fairly standard, not bland, but on the border of bland.

T- Better. A smoky, robusto supremo coffee malt goodness takes center stage. Hopped enough to provide some good counterbalance. Not the best B+T, hell, tastes more like a standard stout, but it's tasty nevertheless.

M- Too thin.

D- Fairly high, would have liked a better, fuller mouthfeel, although I'll have no problem finishing off this growler. I can't say I'd buy it again, though, @ 11$ I can get many better growlers for a few bucks cheaper.

 907 characters

Photo of Ezone024
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

 345 characters

Photo of thekevlarkid
3.92/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Off the tap at the Bluebird Tavern this beer was an opaque, burned-caramel color with a skim of mocha-like head. The retention was pretty good and the lacing in sliding curtains. The aroma was of mocha, roasted malt, toffee and chocolate. The flavors were equally complex and tawdry. I tasted dark caramel, rich molasses, coffee, chocolate, hints of wood, roasted malt and caramel. Yum. The mouthfeel was creamy, the body full and the carbonation perfect. Sweet and satisfying.

 477 characters

Photo of dbmcrorie
4.27/5  rDev +16.3%
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!

 1,785 characters

Photo of ChugsMugs
3.86/5  rDev +5.2%
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!

 1,054 characters

Photo of bgjohnston
3.76/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

 447 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Dirty Penny Ale from The Olde Burnside Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 56 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe