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Ten Penny Ale | The Olde Burnside Brewing Company

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Ten Penny AleTen Penny Ale

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

Style: Scottish Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

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!)

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-04-2002

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Reviews: 103 | Ratings: 246
Photo of sharkheadlasers
1.55/5  rDev -57.8%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

This beer poured a clean brown with a thin head. I was quite impressed. The aroma smelled of cigarettes, butter, coffee along with something that was rather funky, possibly an infection. There was an earthy, still funky, cigarettes, butter and infection flavor. I couldn't get past the funky and infected flavor enough to get further in the taste evaluation. There is a medium to full body, but again, I couldn't get past the flavor. The growler may not have been clean. I found it too funky to be enjoyable. Maybe I can review it again and be more positive.

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Photo of aahynick
1.86/5  rDev -49.3%
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.

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Photo of scotorum
2.38/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.25

Had been looking forward to this because it was reviewed well in "Beer Lovers New England," is this brewery's "flagship brew," and is supposed to have been inspired by an old time recipe.

No visible bottling or best by dates or codes. Purchased a couple of weeks ago.

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into a Harpoon IPA glass

a: Nearly clear copper with a ton of flakey floaties, inch tall white head with dense bubbles receded to even surface foam and spotty lacing.

s: Overripe fruit. Later, vinegar.

t: Bitter spoiled fruit. Ugh. Something wrong here.

m: Moderate.

o: A brewing disaster. Dunno what fouled this but it is nasty. Drain pour city. "Taste a bit of history" it says on the bottle label. I love history, but I'll have to pass on this part of it. Nevertheless, will probably risk buying more at some point, since I like Scottish ales and this is supposed to be a good one.

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Photo of Thorpe429
2.46/5  rDev -33%
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.

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Photo of jwc215
2.66/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours dark hazed ruby copper with a creamy off-white head that soon thins.

The smell is musty. Some caramel and fruitiness, but something reminiscent of an amateur home-brew whose yeast is out-of-control.

The taste is chalky. A bland yeast strain comes through. Watery with tea-leaf bitterness. Some vague fruitiness. As it progresses, it does get better, but not enough to catch-up. Caramel with too much hop presence for the style comes through the chalkiness. Astringently dry.

The feel is watery, though some flavor does try to hang on.

This one almost has potential, and I would like to try again, as I think this might be a bad batch. I remember having it at a beer festival in New York City and liking it more (though I do remember it being a bit out of style). This one was brought to me by friends who bought it cold, put it in a cooler, then a fridge and given to me only a couple days later. The chalky character was relentless.

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Photo of sailorastro
2.68/5  rDev -27%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Overall: Ten Penny has a rustic, unpolished character that may not be for all palates. A little balance in the harsh sour and bitter flavors would go a long way.

Appearance: Amber brown color with a two-finger, cream soda head and less than moderate lacing.

Smell: Medicinal; floor wax; copper piping; soil; walnuts.

Taste: Sour notes of lemonade clash with the bittness of grounded black pepper. Sometimes you can't have the best of both worlds.

Mouthfeel: Light and crisp.

Sampled from a pint glass.

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Photo of johnnnniee
2.81/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.75

Bottle from Bert's
Slightly hazy golden amber color with a decent sized long lasting off white head. Rich caramel notes with plenty of apple-y berry fruitiness. Sweet, kind of thin, a bit bubbly, not horrible, but probably not something I'd seek out again.

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Photo of BeefyMee
2.83/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was OK. I saw the Scotsman on the tap handle and thought "Oh, a Scottish ale, I like those," but it was a different variation on the style, or at least not what I was used to.

Hops dominated this beer even though they weren't that strong. There was hardy any flavor upfront and then a hop flavor on the way down followed by a hop aftertaste.

What's going on with this beer? Practically nothing. Booor-ing. I did not order another.

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Photo of philbe311
3.03/5  rDev -17.4%
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...

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Photo of woosterbill
3.03/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

My flight out of the Hartford airport was delayed, so I stopped in to the concourse bar for a libation; this was the only craft offering, and luckily enough I'd never reviewed it. On-tap into in a Ten Penny pint glass.

A: Tough to tell from the frosted glass (frosted in its manufacture, not from being chilled), but I'm guessing it's a slightly cloudy orange-brown body; the ecru head is thin but persistent. Ok.

S: Toasted malt, slight caramel, faint herbal hops, and that's about it. Simple and a little boring, but nothing off.

T: Follows the nose: toasty, slightly sweet malt dominates, with some light herbal hops providing balance on the bittersweet finish. Pretty clean, but very boring.

M: Hugely lively medium body. Very prickly. Ok.

O: This one is drinkable, but thoroughly uninteresting. Kind of the definition of an average beer.


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Photo of WesWes
3.05/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The beer pours a dark golden color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a fruity yeast scent along with a mild pale and light crystal malt aroma. There are some hops in there as well. The taste is average. It has a weak and watery malt flavor. There appears to be some peated malt in there, but it's faint. The hops add some bitterness, but not enough to make it interesting. The mouthfeel is average as well. It is a low bodied beer with a little too much carbonation. This is a forgettable brew. I wanted to like it, but it's just not very good.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.08/5  rDev -16.1%
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.

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Photo of PhillyMonk
3.15/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 5

I found this beer to be extremely drinkable, but pretty bland otherwise for a Scottish Ale. The growler I had was about a week old, but had been refrigerated the entire time before opening.

This beer pours a light amber color with a thin white head that quickly faded into my pint glass. The smell was malty and sweet. The taste was mild without too much carbonation, and finished with a lot of sweetness that faded rather quickly with very little aftertaste at all.

This is a beer you could easily drink all night and is great for a group who may not like more full-flavored ales.

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Photo of cbutova
3.18/5  rDev -13.4%
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.

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Photo of LeftyBWS
3.18/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

"On tap" from the side of an Olde Burnside Brewing Co. van at the Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival in Northampton, MA today.
A: Nice reddish color with orangey tinges. Pretty good head that looks creamy. Admittedly hard to see (and smell/taste) as it was served in a plastic festival mug.
S: Smells like alcohol with a backing of beer. Good malty scents, in addition to some whiffs of more earthy, floral stuff that I couldn't quite identify. An overall interesting effect, and identifiably Scottish in character.
T: Very much like its smell. Nice maltiness at first, but it fades out to a somewhat subdued alcohol taste that's a lot like watered-down whiskey. I haven't had too many Scotch ales before, but this is a little less agreeable than the others, from what I remember.
D: One of these is interesting enough to drink, but that's probably enough for me.

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Photo of jlindros
3.33/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Could have sworn I reviewed this before. Again attempted date that is so smudged it's illegible.

Pours a thin looking fizzy head that hits 1.5 fingers and fades semi slowly, mostly clear honey orange copper amber color.

Nose not bad, toasty amber malts, some reddish Munich like malt, mild grassy slight herbal hops, faint yeast. Hops gets a bit herbal bitter esb like. Faint tangy yeast thing again.

Taste brings sweet malts, candy little syrupy, amber toasty reddish malts, like the bad dirty penny a mild under attenuated over carbonated slight tangy yeasty old beer taste. Mild gassy herbal hops, light bitterness. The slight tangy malt thing gets more and more.

Mouth is med bod, over carbonated, little syrupy still.

Overall another poorly done beer. Under attenuated and left to continue bottle conditioning for way too long. I admit it's probably too old but still doesn't seem well done. I'll def have to try this again.

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Photo of PopeJonPaul
3.33/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Smells of hops and weeds with a tiny smell of carmel-corn in the nose. Poured a deep copper hue with a load of lacing. Grassy heather taste with sweet and spicy hops, not enough malt for me (which is typical of heather ales I guess,) the taste was not particularly exciting, middle-of-the-road. Dry mouthfeel with plenty of carbonation, drinkable but a bit too average for me to have more than one. Came in a cool blue 750ml bottle that I'll hang on to though.

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Photo of ksbrainard
3.37/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: It is a slightly hazy orange-brown color, with a nice thick head comprised of little bubbles. The head sticks around until the end.

Smell: It is rich and malty. There is deep caramel aroma in there. Something smells perhaps of raisins? As it warms a bit, a more biscuity aroma appears, enhancing the overall profile.

Taste: Not as full as the aroma, but still decent. Definitely serve warmer than fridge temperature, you'll find it much more satisfactory even after just fifteen minutes out of the fridge. Cold, it is weak and without structure. Cellar temp, and there is more of a backbone there (although still could be more). This complements well the moderate hop bitterness. Mine sort of tastes a little sour, which I expect is a packaging issue or caused by handling by the distributor or retailer (but it was in the fridge case).

Mouthfeel: It is quite watery. I would expect it to be thick and heavy. There is a tiny hint of that, but really not. The hops and fizz leave a long lasting biting feeling, that a dose of residual sweetness could go a long way towards balancing.

Drinkability: Flaws aside, I find this quite drinkable. Its watery mouthfeel may actually help one polish off the whole growler in one sitting. While at the same time, the malty aroma and multifaceted taste keep you interested.

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Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS
3.38/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I was a little surprised to find a growler of this stuff in BBC country-but nonetheless I decided to give it a try. The bottle description was not very informative, only after I looked it up on BA did I find out what specific type ale it was. Reminds me a little of Belhaven, but fresher. Dirty cooper color, with hints of Raspberry, you can taste the alcohol. Overall a very plesant beer.

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Photo of JMD
3.43/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Rich copper color with small pillowy head that dissipates quickly.

S: Sweet toasted malt, some carmel and molasses.

T: Sweet and malty upfront. Carmel and some bread. A faint underlying smokiness as well. Finishes with a light touch of hops.

M: Medium bodied with light carbonation.

D: This is an easy drinking ale. Goes down easy but nothing really exciting about it to make me want to go back for another one.

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Photo of ColForbinBC
3.45/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at a hotel bar I was at recently, served in a pint

A light brown with a chill haze that falls over the body. A tight, off-white cap didn't leave much of an impression.

Very muted nose. Aromas of nuts and caramel. Rather dry.

There is a noticable layer of smoke along with the caramel malt and roasted nuts. Better than I was expecting.

Crisp and dry with a medium body.

This could be a good go to beer if the selection isn't that great, which in this case it wasn't. Drinkable, didn't seem to have a high abv at all.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.48/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Pitcher’s Pub in Cumberland, RI, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light brown, with a short off-white head that fades at an average rate and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The smell isn’t very strong, but has notes of nuts and caramelized malt.

T: The taste is very nutty and malty, along with a hint of smokiness.

M: Smooth & crisp with a medium-to-full body, medium-to-high carbonation (a bit too high for my liking in this particular style) and a clean finish.

D: This beer is tasty, but it’s a bit filling. It’s worth drinking, but personally, I might look for something else.

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Photo of Flashy
3.48/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Growler, purchased in a MA Liquor store..

A: Lighter then I expected. Light brown. Nice head that stayed for the entire beer.

S: Smells like a Scots Ale. Smokey, malty with a faint touch of hops.

T: Smoked malt. Very drinkable, but not all impressive. Not much there there.

M: A bit to much carbonation and no mouth. To watery.

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Photo of jeffthecheff
3.51/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tall mug. It's color is a hazy murky brown with only a wisp of a white head that eventually fades to nothing.

Aroma is fruity with a subtle malt nose of caramel and grainy malts. There is also a touch of herbal hop. Not very strong in the nose, but the fruitiness is noticed the most.

The taste has some light fruitiness along with sweet grain and a very light caramel finish. Light brown sugar and a very slight toast are found in the finish. The mouthfeel is light with high carbonation, which takes away from the flavor of the beer. In the end this dulls the beer down a bit. It tastes good, but it's nothing really exciting. It's not at the top of my list as something to grab, but I enjoy it.

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Photo of Gmann
3.53/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a golden brown color with a big dense off-white head. Left a wall of lacing on the glass as the head disipated.

The aroma was overall metallic. Some rust notes to go along with a steely caramel malt base. Some tea like scents as well.

The taste is of a lightly bready malt with some caramel flavor. Big metal flavor along with hard water and minerals. Seemed to nail the "burton-on-trent" pale ale flavor. Solid but not exciting.

Light bodied with active carbonation. Its balanced and finishes slightly dry.

Wasn't sure of the style when I tried. I thought it was a solid english amber ale. Worth a try if nothing better around.

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Ten Penny Ale from The Olde Burnside Brewing Company
3.67 out of 5 based on 246 ratings.
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