Old Yankee Ale | Cottrell Brewing Co.

very good
147 Reviews
Old Yankee AleOld Yankee Ale

Brewed by:
Cottrell Brewing Co.
Connecticut, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our flagship brew, a medium bodied, American Amber Ale, that has a great up-front malt taste with a refreshing hop finish. Drown yourself in New England with this outstanding session beer.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 08-29-2001

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Reviews: 147 | Ratings: 272
Photo of Jason
4.94/5  rDev +29.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Presentation: 12oz brown bottle. Scored freshness date on a classic old New England style label.

Appearance: Copper liquid with an off-white, creamy, bubbly head.

Smell: Dry grain aroma followed by a citrus hop aroma.

Taste: This brew starts with a crisp carbonation paired with a sharp, grapefruit bitterness (almost steel-like at times). This slowly fades into a malty, chewy, sweet, caramelly profile that blends with a leafy/earthy flavour. Unlike many beers, this beer does not finish out entirely dry. A somewhat chewy caramel is left behind in the sweet aftertaste.

Notes: Ohmibeergod this is a complex and delicious beer! A high quality brew. A BeerAdvocate favourite.

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Photo of Campello_IPA
4.88/5  rDev +28.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Bottle to pint glass

Appearance: Amber color with off white head, minimal lacing.

Aroma: bread, toffee, caramel, some citrus behind it.

Taste: brown bread, toffee sweetness, gives way to citrus and slight bitterness.

Mouthfeel: good body, stays on the tongue in a nice way. Medium carbonation.

Overall: great session beer. I would drink this all day for a cookout or with almost any meal. I had high expectations for this beer and was not let down at all.

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Photo of bradco57
4.85/5  rDev +27.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Our restaurant just tapped Cottrell Old Yankee Ale yesterday. I was anxious to taste it since we already had their Mystic Bridge IPA on tap which I thought was fantastic.. The Old Yankee Ale even surpassed that... It was creamy, fresh, tasty and all I could look for.. This is the kind of beer you can enjoy all year round and has real character.
I had never heard of Cottrell until a few weeks ago but I stand impressed. Our restaurant brings in plenty of craft beers and this one ranks amongst the best we've ever had!

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Photo of MaineBeerMan
4.77/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Light amber colored beer with a nice head of white foam that leaves some sticky lace. Aroma of citrusy hops and toasty malt. Flavor hits the tongue with a nice dose of hops, very grapefruit like, takes a while for the hops to drop back and reveal an underlying malty sweetness that gives a rather creamy finish. Very nice beer and highly drinkable, thanks to Loren (VENOM) for handing me a bottle of this after the Maine Brewer's Fest.

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Photo of currysage1
4.76/5  rDev +24.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I tried this brew at a pub that is new to me, happen to notice they had it on tap. I was pretty excited seeing as though I had lived right by the brewery in CT a few years back.

Anyways, about the beer, when poured from tap the head is much thicker than when poured from the bottle. From tap it tends to be 1 to 1.5 inch, bottle is at most 1. It has a cream color to it, and falls quickly leaving a nice lace.

On the first sip there is a nice citrusy spiciness. This leads into a blend between the intense citrus and a sweeter undertone. Once the sweetness comes out the bitterness of the hops is right on it's tail. I'm not one for too intense of hops and this has a good amount, but not too much for me. Seriously it has a nice balance to the hops and malt.

I have had this brew many times in a bottle, please get this if you can on tap. Totally different experience. It has more body to it and I feel like the mouthfeel is better, almost no film at all, nice and chewy.

Overall a very refreshing beer, I will be ordering this as long as they make it. Hopefully we will see other brews from this brewery.

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Photo of Ineedaride
4.68/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle which came through a beer of the month club membership.

Great appearance in the glass. Average foam, nice color, nice lacing.

A good tasting APA. Just a hint of hops smell, and a nice balance all around. Just a touch of bitterness combined with a smooth flavor and finish.

Reminds me of Flying Dog's APA. That's a good thing.

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Photo of Zorro
4.65/5  rDev +22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nod to Brewfan for the sample.

Pours a clear copper colored ale with a light tan head.

Smell is malty and a bit spicy with a mild bit of pine scent from the hops. Additional fainter hop scents of oranges, tea and menthol.

First taste impression is mellow malt and a mild flavor of oak and grapefruit. A small surprise is the prickling of my tongue by the carbonation level, didn't notice it that much in the appearance. As I drink this the flavor changes and becomes sweeter and fruitier. A bit later still the spicy aspects of this beer appear, hard to pick out what except ginger.

Mouthfeel is good if maybe a little stingy.

Super drinkable and a damn tasty beer. A beer without any real defects at all except they don't sell it in California.

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Photo of scootny
4.63/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A huge off white head atop a deep coppery amber liquid. Clear without any carbonation but scads of lace and retention. Smell is of sweet malt and butterscotch. Yeasty fruitiness blends into a light earthy hops. Taste is just superb. Malt and light butterscotch with a perfect hop balance. Lovely caramel sweetness. A soft whole grain breadiness. A touch of grapefruit flows through to the finish. A crisp feel and medium light weight. Refreshing and thirst quenching. Super drinkable as this feels like no more than about 4 percent abv. One of the most sessionable beers I've had. I wish I had a 64 oz growler instead of 32.

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Photo of Morris729
4.53/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a copper amber color with a tremendous mountain of foam that billows up over the top of the glass but is able to hold itself together and avoid even a single drop of spillage. Nose is musty and earthy with a bit of wet wood and leather. Medium in body with a texture that is rather creamy at first that turns crisp in the finish. Taste begins with sweet caramel malts and a bit of a roasted nuttiness that is followed by the same earthy and woody notes that the aroma led you to expect. Some acidic leafy hops are present in the finish. This is some seriously good beer. Thanks to paceyourself for the sample!

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Photo of EkimGram
4.48/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: 12oz bottle poured into a standard pint glass. Colour is a rich roasted brown, amber with a finger-thick head that fades quickly. No visible carbonation.

Smell: Very malty, lots of roasted malts followed by some fruity, hoppy scents.

Taste: Very rich and complex. A lot of deep, rich malts followed by some bitter, fruity hops. Finishes with a sticky carbonated bite.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a fair amount of carbonation. Very syrupy and sticky.

Overall: I love this brew! It is a perfect example of what an APA from New England should be. The only regret I have about this beer is that I bought it while out of state; it isn't available in New York.

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Photo of pbrian
4.47/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

ESB-like fruity aromas. Old ale-like flavors. Very complex yet drinkable ale from a small brewery on the Conn. coast that only brews this one beer and does it right. Will be a new staple in my house.

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Photo of inebrius
4.47/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ultra-tasty Pawcatuck brew! Pours a seedy amber under slight grey foam reminiscent of minor waterfall pools. Aromas of hand-made vanilla ice cream garnished with a sprig of mint and maraschino cherry. Slickery smooth toast triangles dredged in hazelnut butter ooze freely through the pipes complemented by retronasal hints of clover honey and stems. Warm, inviting, a pleasure and welcome to grace my buds anytime. Thanks Loren.

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Photo of gciccarelli
4.45/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle poured into pint glass.

A - Pours a place amber with a fluffy white head. Clear.

S - Sweet and bready malt balanced with light grassy and citrus hops.

T - Hop bitterness followed by biscuity malt. Finishes slightly bitter and very clean.

M - Light body, heavy carbonation. Very crisp.

D - Very tasty and very balanced coupled with a light and crisp feel.

One of the best examples of the style I've run across - a great classic APA.

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Photo of stewart124
4.45/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a brilliant copper color with an inch of white foam on top.

Grapefruit in the nose.

Beautiful blend of malt sweetness, bready notes and just the right amount of hops. Apple and pear esters come through. This is truly a treat and drinks so easily. It seems like such a basic APA but it comes across so well.

Medium mouthfeel and silky smooth.

Light citrus in the finish with a nice caramel sweetness while finishing dry.

I am lucky that a friend passed this on to me because is a great APA. I'll have to keep my eye out for this one in the future.

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Photo of FatSean
4.42/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Picked this up on a whim. Amber ales have always been 'meh' for me, but this one was made in my home state so I figured I'd give it a shot.

Not what I expected! Sweet malts on the nose but a strong hop presence on first taste followed by the caramel malts. Well carbonated and possesses a forceful mouthfeel. The malty tastes linger after each sip reminding me of how good the last sip was.

Definitely not the bland and inoffensive experience I usually have with this style. I would definitely seek this out if in an Amber ale mood.

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Photo of BierBliss
4.38/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

served from a 12 oz bottle cold into a pilsner glass.

aroma: crisp, fruity

appearance: poured into a pilsner glass. a thumb width of foam head. a deep amber in color. light lacing that falls to stick to the side.

flavor: crisp, fruity, some citrus or grapefruit. very little hops

mouthfeel: notice of carbonation, slight booziness when allowed to rest on the tongue

overall impression: a crisp refreshing beer. worth a try. a beer that you could enjoy a few of over an evening.

certainly something I would be willing to purchase again.

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Photo of Thrasher
4.36/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Indeed this is a delicious beer. Absolutely perfect head, initially quite bitter with fruity hop bite, warm malt undercoat. Very versatile with all kinds of food, fish and seafood, as well as heartier fare, and even salad. Basic, sturdy american ale, functional and pleasurable, good for both summer and winter. With this and Hammer & Nail, CT turns out to have some of the best brews in the country. We don't need no crazy hop heavy experimental super-ale, just basic homegrown classic drink-'em-up BEER.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.35/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A rough pour brings up a medium-sized, frothy off-white head atop a hazy copper body. The head retention is good and it maintains a thin, creamy surface covering throughout most of the glass. Some nice (but transient) lace adds to the appearance. The nose displays a toasty caramelish malt and some gentle citric-like fruitiness (that's probably from a combination of yeast and floral/citrusy hops). The body is medium and couples with a gentle, exceptionally-fine, and natural carbonation from bottle conditioning that leaves it smooth and creamy across the palate. Lightly toasted malts follow the aroma into the flavor along with an interesting nuttiness that's possibly due to a low-level diacetyl. A mild fruitiness from the yeast, and a subtle touch of floral/citrusy/grassy hop flavor rounds things out and gives it a decent amount of complexity. It's very well-balanced with a bitterness that makes it's presence known and anchors the malt, but stays far enough back to allow the subtle complexities of the yeast's character come through. It finishes dry with some lingering nutty malt, light fruit, and a dull bitterness. A really nice beer that's very English in character. Quite quaffable!

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Photo of LiamStLiam
4.35/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Moving to the Boston area has done wonderful things for my beer-drinking activities. I have had so many more beers, been to some many more great places and met great people like BAs.

But . . . I left Cottrell's behind.

When I am back home, especially at CC O'Brien's on Mechanic, just up the river from the brewery, this is my No. 1 beer. A gorgeous copper color, fruit in the right places, and a beer I can down pint after pint of.

I am reviewing the draft after visiting recently, but I have had more than enough bottles as well. This is a beer I bring with me when I travel to show people what great microbrews are all about.

I am not sure what it is that attracts me to this beer. Part of it is hype. It is brewed across the river from my hometown, and I actually worked in the factory where it is now brewed.

If this wanders into your package store, get it. You won't regret it. If you see it on tap, drink it .

Great beer.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
4.32/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Amber color with a thin white head. Head never really diminishes but slides down the glass and leaves several lace rings. I'm giving Yankee Ale an extra .5 appearance points due to holding its own despite what I suspect to be a shoddy restaurant pour.

Yankee ale smells exactly like what I think of when I think of an East Coast amber ale. Floral and citrus (noble) over a beautifully toasty malt. Tastes like it smells albeit with an earthy bitter in back. Fruit, whole wheat bread and spicy hop complexity. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy and a pleasant suprise.

A perfect example of the balanced East Coast amber style. I'm a fan.

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Photo of daliandragon
4.3/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought last week for my buddy John's back yard brewfest and brought the extras back to NC with me to drink here. This pours well with a ruddy brown body and cloudy interior. A dense white foam and malt-centric nose follow. This beer is above standard for the style in all respects.

The taste favors the hops with a gentle, earthy tone and notes of bread and citrus bring the finish to a nice balance. This is light and refreshing but complicated enough to satisfy at a higher level. This is a really good light New England ale and barely known.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.3/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle received as an extra in a trade from SteveO1231 (thanks Steve). The beer is medium copper color with an off-white wet head that left all kinds of lace. The main aromas are malty, sweet and grainy, what little hops I could smell were of the citrus variety. The taste was all malty sweetness, not so much bitterness or anything else I'd associate with hops, kind of a richer version of a German Helles. Good body, not too thick but that's perfect for this beer. I enjoyed this beer so much more than I expected, definitely will look for it again in the future.

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Photo of PubliusII
4.26/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cottrell "Old Yankee Ale"
Bottle Pour into a pint glass.

Appearance- Cloudy brown pour with a thick two-finger head. Fantastic head retention. Little visible carbonation and the translucency.
Smell- Not especially strong but you can really smell tones of malt, with a roasted, nutty flavor as a pleasant after taste.
Taste- The taste is my favorite part of this beer. The medium body allows you appreciate the balanced malty taste that finishes with a well proportioned, hoppy bite.
Drinkability- I would definitely buy this beer again. The well balanced taste combined with medium carbonation and body create a delicious experience that you can see traced down your glass the entire time you drink it thanks to a think, sticky lace.

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Photo of erosier
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

L: Pours a nice darker amber color with a medium sized and medium bodied off-white colored head that laced the glass nicely on the way down.
S: Smells of nice roasted malts, some citrisy hops, and a bit of sweet fruityness.
T: Tastes like the nose but the sweet fruity flavors are present at the end even moreso. Very nice balance of the malts and the hops.
M: Very smooth and fresh tasting. Nice amount of carbonation.
D: Very drinkable. Nice balance of the flavors and the sweetness at the end made it even more drinkable.

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Photo of mitch3114
4.25/5  rDev +11.5%

12 oz. from bottle poured into clear plastic cup at an Eric Church concert at Mohegan Sun

A-Dark reddish Amber color with an off white head, just like the taste I had no idea what to expect. I didn't even know what kind of beer it was

S- smell was a bit muted due to the atmosphere of the concert, the various smells and aromas of arena food, smoke, and the plastic cup... However, I could pick up some hops and the fact that this was going to be a malty brew... Perhaps a brown ale?

T- Nope, the taste right away revealed that it was more of an amber or red ale than a brown. The taste was quite "different" but it was good. It was malty of front and finished with a "musty" hoppy ness. It had this earthy dirty flavor with a slight fruity taste that really seemed to make the beer pop. It was very memerable.

M- carbonation was nice and prickly but not over the top. The beer was rich and had a nice crisp, almost creamy finish.

O- overall a nice offering from New England. A beer I never heard of but was surprised to see that the bros gave it such high regards after sampling (100%). This has everything a great Amber ale should have and more and it gets style points. Good look (cool bottle) decent smell (although it was held back due to the setting of the event) excellent taste. I would recommend this brew and next time I'm in New England I would love to try it on draught.

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Old Yankee Ale from Cottrell Brewing Co.
3.81 out of 5 based on 272 ratings.
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