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 Knapp85
3.38/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this as part of a sampler at the Spinnerstown Hotel last night. I hadn't tried this beer before so I figured I'd give it a shot. The beer poured out as a hazy yellowish gold color with a thin fizzy white head on top. The lacing was thin and scattered about. The smell of the beer was light, had some grains on the nose and a slight amount of hops but very minimal. The taste follows the same path, not a lot of hops flavors here. The mouthfeel of the beer was creamy and light feeling. This had a decent carbonation but nothing too impressive. Overall it's an average beer in my opinion, I would drink it if it was offers to me but I won't seek it out to buy again.

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Photo of metter98
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is hazy light amber in color and poured with a thin white head that quickly faded away, leaving lacy patterns of bubbles floating on the surface.
S: There are faint aromas of toasted malts and caramel in the smell.
T: There's a perfect balance between the malts and hops in the flavors, neither of which quite stands out in particular. There are some hints of malty sweetness and mild bitterness, but as soon as you taste one of these it is canceled out by the other.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied, creamy and smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
D: I could drink this beer all night long--it's very sessionable.

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Photo of brentk56
3.26/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color; while the head is not particularly large, it displays great retention

Smell: Caramel, with just a hint of earthy hops

Taste: Opens with the caramel and closes with the same; in the middle, there is just a bit of earthy hop balance

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Well, this is an amber beer from the old days - it is Old Yankee, after all; easy to drink but just not much going on

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Photo of emerge077
3.06/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Newer arrival to Illinois, "Best By: Feb." notched on the label.

Deep saturated peachy orange. Frothy lace adheres to the glass, spotty seafoam on the opposite side. Retention is good, it maintains a healthy skim on top the whole time.

Aroma of English malt, peanut butter, wheat bread. Ringwood yeast possibly, seems very British.

Malty, bready, light dried fruit, golden raisin and toffee. Very malt forward, little to no hop character. Easygoing feel, light carbonation. Not bad, an east coast session ale that comes across as fairly mild. Again more UK than US style-wise.

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Photo of Thorpe429
2.78/5  rDev -27%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes.

Poured into a tulip. Body is a light orange-apricot color with a white head that does not leave behind much of any lacing. The nose is really light with just a touch of malt and the faintest of hops in the background. Hops are nearly gone from the flavor other than a touch of bitterness. Slightly-sweet doughy malt is all that exists. Mouthfeel is okay. This drinks well enough but there's really nothing going on and not much to say about it.

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Photo of nickfl
3.33/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - poured with two fingers of off-white foam on a hazy, copper colored body. The head collapses slowly and leaves average lace.

S - bread and caramel with some musty, spicy hops.

T - bready malt up front. Some caramel and toffee in the middle and a thick malty finish with some red apple yeast.

M - medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.

D - malty and drinkable, minimal hop presence for the style but an enjoyable entry level brew.

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Photo of oberon
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard pint glass a clear copper/bronze with a thinner wispy white head.Aromas of leafy hops andbiscuit malt mainly.Pretty dry on the palate,a bit of hard water in there with a big leafy herbal finish wich is nice.Reminds me a little of Geary's APA in its dryness,a pretty solid quaffing pale.

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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 TheManiacalOne
3.26/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a bright amber color with a short foamy white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is slightly pungent with smoked malts, pale hops, some spice and a little citrus.

T: The taste is well-balanced with flavors of caramel, tea, some smokiness and a decent amount of hops. The malt character is pretty hearty. The after-taste is slightly bitter.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium-to-heavy carbonation, finish is dry.

D: A little tasty, goes does easy, not too filling, I could drink a few of these, however I normally would prefer something a little more flavorful. This one seems to lean toward the English Pale Ale style, but still a decent beer.

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Photo of Rifugium
2.8/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

First had: on tap at Standings, NYC, NY

A none-too-impressive pale ale. Poured copper-brown with a bit of a whitish head. Grains in the nose, with citrusy hops in the background. Grains and light citrus tasting, fading to a bitter, somewhat metallic, sweet maltiness. A bit thin. Medium-light mouthfeel, and below average drinkability.

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Photo of billab914
3.86/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Dogfish shaped pint glass. Poured a clear, deep amber color with a huge frothy white head. Pretty good head retention and very good lacing as I drank it.

The aroma has a malty and toasty flavor with some caramel and nutty flavors coming through. Not overly hoppy, definitely seems as if it's going to be a malt focused APA.

The taste has caramel, toasty, bready, malt sweetness to it along with a bit of nutty, brown flavor. A little bit of some floral hoppiness comes through with a moderate bitterness. Pretty nicely balanced.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinkability is good, it's a nicely flavored and balanced beer. It had some very nice malty flavors to it and went down pretty easy.

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Photo of smcolw
3.77/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy dark amber. Small head that retains a thin layer of bubbles. Very light spotty lace.

Good blend of hops and malt in the smell. Slight cream.

Astringent flavor of a very dry beer. Nice hop finish. The body is better than I expected: full with generous carbonation.

This went down far easier than my score might indicate. This is a refreshing, unflawed beer. Nothing special, but easily consumed.

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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 mdfb79
3.11/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into my New Belgium tulip. Received as part of my Beer of the Month club for December.

a - Pours a copper-amber color with one finger of off white head and moderate carbonation evident. Little bit of lacing on the glass.

s - Smells of caramel malts, bready malts, toasted malts, fruit, and light citrus.

t - Tastes of bready malts, toasted malts, caramel malts, and light fruit. A step down from the nose.

m - Medium body and moderate to high 'carbonation.

d - A pretty good APA, but nothing special. Easy to drink and going down, but ntohing really standing out in the smell or nose; not bad, just average. Wouldn't seek out but have no problem finishing the three bottles I received.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.92/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a slightly ruddy copper hue with a nice sized light tan off white head leaves behind generous sized rings of lacing. Aroma: Wonderful mix of pine cone, and citrus scented hops with a wonderfully malty caramel tone going down. Taste: Neither hops or malt overpower the flavor very well balanced the hops have a piney edge that blends very nicely with the pale malts used here, very well made APA. Mouthfeel: Medium body some slightly sticky textures with incredibly smooth carbonation. Drinkability: Nice session pale ale well balanced with nice flavors thanks to beergeek279 and cupbeerman for the sample.

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Photo of smakawhat
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A nice pour delivers a blood orange to red body, and fairly opaque. Head is off white and makes even bubbles with large clumps and some soapy like retention, capping off at about 3 fingers tall.

Nose is a bit biscuity, with some caramel sweetness. Lots of dough and cookie like sensations. Not particularly hoppy either.

Palate comes with a mild grapefruit aroma, and an interesting finish. Front forward palate hot with a nice grapefruit bitterness. A bit of a wet body but some good caramel malt sweetness seems to easily get through. Weird finish though as the beer almost feels stuck in my throat. Nice mix of juiced grapefruit on this which really gets quite stuck in the mouth a bit. Slightly dry and grainy finish after some time passes.

A very interesting but odd tasting brew, certainly worth trying.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another Yankee done fooled me! I mean, what should one expect from a bottle merely marked "Old Yankee Ale", anyway?
Appearance: dark, rich amber/ brown color, beneath a tawny tan head.
Aroma: sweet and malty, toffeeish, and distinctly nutty.
Light hoppiness, medium body, excellent texture, delightful play on the tongue.
Fruitiness comes forward in the middle, and rides out to the end. Very smooth and easy, quite nice overall. Felt like a fuller bodied brown ale, than a "pale ale."
Big thanks to Bierman 9!

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Photo of Gavage
3.98/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark amber in color with a big bubbly 1.5" head. Light lacing develops. The aroma was of mild citrus and malt. The flavor was a nice balance of malt, and caramel, with some lite bitterness and a touch of nuttiness.

This was slightly thinner in body than expected. The mouthfeel was smooth with a nice malty / citrus finish. Very drinkable and a lovely simple session beer.

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Photo of tone77
3.31/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a cloudy copper color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is rather mild, some hops are present. Taste is hops up front, some malts, good tasting but not overly flavorful. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a pretty good beer.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
2.84/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours with a bright, orangish ruby-tinted body that is topped by a frothy, initially two-finger thick, large bubbled head. The beer is quite well carbonated, perhaps even a bit overly so. The aroma is lightly tart with notes of green apples and even a bit of citrus character. I get a touch of sweet malt character and some toasted grain notes towards the end. There seems to be some light funky mushroom notes, as well as some characteristically Brett like overtones.

The beer is definitely well carbonated, it foams up as it hits the tongue and makes it hard to see the flavors. What is apparent though is that this beer is lightly tart, with a green apple note. I go to swirl my tulip glass a bit, and the beer practically jumps out of my glass. Notes of sweet fruit are found up front after some of the carbonation has been released; I get notes of plums, some raisin notes and a bit of berry action. The finish is lightly bitter, but not much in the way of hop character is really evident. There is a light astringency, but I am not sure that this is hop derived. The funky note that was found in the aroma is only lightly noticeable in the flavor, even the tartness begins to fade as my palate gets used to it. As the beer warms up the malt character begins to become a bit more evident; notes of toffee and a nice malty sweet note come to the fore. Not a bad beer, but it is just a bit off.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.81/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle. I do like the label. Sampled on March 22, 2014.

It pours medium caramel amber with a smallish off-white head that does tend to linger. It really looks like it should.

The aroma is fairly typical for the style with a whole lot of caramel malts and sweetness and little to no hops.

Mainly body mainly.

The flavor emits a humongous caramel or toffee malt character which is very typical for the style but something I was not necessarily in the mood for at the time. But as far as the style goes this is right on. Beyond that it is nothing that blows me away.

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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 clayrock81
3.84/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a copper red body with one-finger head and a little bit of lace. Minimal malts and hops in aroma. Easy drinking beer that has minimal sweetness that balances with a mild, hoppy dryness and is an easy to drink amber ale.

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Photo of jdhilt
3/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a three-finger light cream head that fades slowly to a ring leaving some lace. Hazy amber color. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied. Nose is light hops and flavor is bready, some hops with hints of caramel. $2.09 for a 12oz bottle from Julio's Liquors Westborough, Ma.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
3.13/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

From 12oz bottle to stemmed wine glass on 6/13/11
*From notes

A: Earthy sand with a off-pink hue. A careful pour yields a two finger head and passable lacing.

S: Like a German Pils. Über toasty grain and late harvest barley. If the bouquet was a season, it'd most certainly be Autumn.

T: Bitter grain and malt. It's like pumpernickel that's been left in the toaster too long. This is most certainly an olde-timey New England APA.

M: Creamy and spot-on carbonation. Far and away the standout of the brew.

O: Cottrell's Old Yankee Ale may very well be a good beer, but when I think APA, this ain't it. It just doesn't fit the bill in most any category - nose, taste, etc. I respect it, but I also won't reach for it the next time I want an American Pale.


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