Old Yankee Ale | Cottrell Brewing Co.

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Old Yankee AleOld Yankee Ale
Very Good
273 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 273 |  Reviews: 147
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 BeerMasterD
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 OZ. bottle with June notched on the label.

Poured a darker amber/copper color, a soft orange in the light. A big off-white fluffy, somewhat creamy head that left little lacing and a super thin layer on top all the way down. Smells sweet and hoppy, with a very sugary/caramel like aroma. Tastes of hops at first but not intense, goes malty and caramel. With moderate carbonation and a slight bitter, but overall very smooth and balanced, this beer is super drinkable. Not amazing, but not just any ale, either. I'm glad i finally got to try this brew that's made so close to home, and i was pleased. Will buy again, and i recommend as a starter beer for new craft-drinkers.

I picked this up as a single, but now wishing i had just gotten a 6'er, as it was better than i had expected. Now off to try the IPA.

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Photo of david18
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I bought a growler of this at Whole Foods on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, which was on tap along with their IPA. Never heard of the brewery and was impressed to see them carrying a small local brewery

The beer itself was great. Classic east coast pale ale, not too hoppy but very drinkable. Golden amber color, good aroma, great balance of hops, malt and alcohol. Not sure how available this is but worth getting if you can find it.

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Photo of woosterbill
3.98/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

On-tap at Prime 16 into a shaker pint.

A: Clear bright amber body underneath an inch of frothy tan foam. Decent retention and some sticky, feathery lace. Not bad at all.

S: Toasty caramel malt up front with some understated floral hops providing bittering balance.

T: Big round malty flavors of toastiness, toffee, and butterscotch, all offset with a pleasantly crisp, bitter hop finish. Very clean and tasty, if a little boring.

M: Fairly thin with solid carbonation. Middle of the road at best.

D: Unquestionably a quintessential session beer, this goes down extremely easily.

Notes: I was blown away by this when I first had it in bottles a couple years ago, but this is just solid - by no means great. Ill have to grab a sixer and rereview, or see if my tastes have just changed. Still, one of the best beers brewed in CT.


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Photo of bgjohnston
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I am probably the first person to seek this beer out after trying one of their other beers first. Evidently, this is their flagship brew, although I hadn't even heard of them before last month.

Beer pours a dark copper color with a large off-white head that quickly simmers down. Smell is subtle, sweet, and with little indication of what to expect. Taste leads off with a sweet, biscuity flavor that moves over for an oily, hoppy bite, finishing bitter and dry.

Very smooth and drinkable, and an enjoyable brew. I have definitely paid more for less.

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Photo of aquatonex
4.2/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pounded several of these back at Azu in Mystic. Woo!

Pours medium copper with a light, foamy head that swirls into nothingness. Nose is a good balance of floral hoppiness and sweet malts. Taste follows with a very palatable balance of hops and malts, slight sweetness and bitterness that is very good. I'm not usually pounding beers, but this one was good AND drinkable!

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Photo of JMD
4.23/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Pours an amber/copper color with nice frothy head. Heavy lacing down the glass, and leaves a nice cap at the bottom.

S: Sweet and malty, with a nice kick of citrus and floral hops.

T: Sweetbread, bisquity malt and some carmel. Followed up with citrusy hops, and lemon grass. Incredibly balanced beer.

M: Ample carbonation and smooth.

D: This is dangerously drinkable, it's the ultimate session beer. Great flavor, great balance, this is a well crafted brew, to say the least. Old Yankee Ale is great "anytime" beer, and will definitely be a staple in my fridge from now on.

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Photo of jeffthecheff
3.67/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I've never seen this beer before, but I saw it on tap while on vacation local to the brewery. It's nice to find some new, good local ales. The beer pours a dark amber with a good head. Aroma has a nice hoppy character to it, a bit of pine, and the malt aromas resemble cocoa powder. Interesting. This brew has both some strong bitterness and thick maltiness. Dark, carmelly malt and herbal tasting hops make a nice blend. Although this one is bitter, the finish focuses more on the sweet malt. Mouthfeel is a bit too heavy for my tastes. I had two with dinner, and it worked pretty well with my dish but I can't really see this as a session beer even for its weight, but that's just my preference.

Edit: I had this beer again on tap a few days after reviewing it, and it was much better. I'm guessing it was fresher because it had a very nice hop presence, citrusy hop aroma and more hop flavor. I bumped up aroma from 3.5 to 4, and mouthfeel and drinkability from 2.5 to 3.

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Photo of KTCamm
4.07/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass. Orange copper hue, slightly dark, with medium size foamy head.

Smell is slightly sweet, some citrus, some hop pushing through.

Taste opens as a caramel amber, but deviates into a pale when the oily hop makes an appearance. The hop holds its own throughout, but never in an oppressive way. The finish is full in the mouth - almost chewy. Very tasty.

Not always easy to find this CT classic, but well worth it if you do. They make one beer and they do a great job.

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Photo of BeerIsland
4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a very nice ale, first time I've ever tried it.This bottle was lovingly provided by a wonderful lady friend of mine who summers in CT. Looks good in the glass, head took off pretty quick. Pleasant malt smells are present. Very good flavor, not aggressive but full and flavorful. maybe just a tad sweet for session drinking but tasty nonetheless. Nice soft mouthfeel makes you want to have another sip! Good balance right through the finish. This is an outfit that knows what it can do and sticks to its knitting. Great job!

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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 chinabeergeek
4.13/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle. notched label indicates best by july, but no year is indicated. tasted in early april, 2009

classic coppery amber. clear despite bottle conditioning - nice! decent off-white head fades to wispy layer and ring, constantly replenished by each sip. great consistent rings of lace.

aroma: lightly caramelized malts give toffee and bready character, with yeasty apple esters in the background, punctuated by light grassy hopping.

taste: foundation of more lightly caramelized malt, with notes of esters again, balanced by grassy english hops. they give a mild to moderate, crisp bitterness. metallic and mineral notes in the background of the finish.

medium body, smooth with crisp astringency in the finish. refreshing, moderate light carbonation gives lift and can even provide additional body.

this is really more of an english pale ale, and thus i am scoring it as such. other than the word "yankee" there is nothing on the bottle to indicate they're actually aiming for that citrusy/piney american hop character more typical of APA.

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Photo of bbeerman
4.13/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Served at the 3rd Annual Great International Spring Beer Festival, Providence, RI.

A..A medium copper color with above average head. Nice presentation.

S..Malts and hops are equally present in the opening scents.

T..A crisp pale ale. There is a great malt taste that is bready with earth tones and flavors. I think I noticed a hint of caramel too. Very nice aftertaste.

M..Medium body.

D..Easy to drink, but not a beer that should be consumed frivolously; this has a lot of taste that one should savor and enjoy.

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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 Reiksguard
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Rated from a 12 oz bottle picked up from a local store.

A: A deep straw, bordering on amber color. Thick white head that subsided quickly.

S: A good malt character with a spice of hops that jumps up quickly.

T/M: Strong Hops flavor on the first sip, which complements the malt flavor. As it goes on, the hops dimish and fade to a clean finish. No overly bitter aftertaste.

D: A good beer with a great character. However, I don't think I would drink more than one or two a night.

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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 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 JMBSH
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Slightly orange in appearence. Pours a creamy head that shrank to a nice coating on top. The scent of hops is very light. Also present is a bit of a malty scent. At first, I can't taste much for the flavor. ut after the fourth sip, I can get a bit of sharp earthy hops in the back of my throat. It is very subtle. But then when my pint glass is half full, I notice that the hopiness has increased. I is not rather pungent. The lace on top is stil just covering the top with very little noticable bubbles rising to the top. The beer is freshingly light and crisp with more carbonation noticed in the mouth. But the lingering bitterness has me thinking piney. A good beer to try but not what I really like.

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Photo of far333
3.97/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

No exclamation from the bottle as the top came off, expected a whoosh of some sort. Honey-apricot colred with a thin white head that rises up minimally and settles back down to a thin film of foam.

Aroma of bready malts, ripe fruit, cinnamon and lemon.

Flavor is similar to the aroma, intially light malt, some ripe fruit and citrus, finishing with a piney bitter, some grapefruit rind as well.

Mouthfeel is even and smooth, borderline slick. Pretty drinkable, good sessionable pale ale.

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Photo of albern
3.97/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a nice beer and a pleasant surprise. I picked this up at Julio's in MA, without any knowledge of the brewery which isn't far away in CT. The beer pours a touch cloudy, orangish amber color with some off white head, and not much retention. The aroma is very interesting. There are your big malts, florals, but also an interesting cream soda type sweet whiff that is hard to pin down. This is a medium bodied beer, with enough carbonation to keep you burping. The taste is a bit complex. There is a sweet malty base, with some spices, slightly musty chewy grains, some sweetish caramels, but well balanced against dryish hops in the finish that leave the mouth puckerish into the aftertaste. As the beer settles I'm detecting some orangish florals popping through as well. This beer is quite good, but I think I prefer Cisco Brewers for a regional micro making a slightly better APA.

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Photo of leif86
3.53/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Forms two fingers worth of off-white head above an amazing looking dark orange body. You can see clear through the other side of the glass despite the dark color, very impressive. The head does not linger very long and soon becomes thin off-white lacing. This brew has a nice grain smell to it, almost cereal like. The taste beings very bitter which lingers while the flavor of citrus and malts make their appearance. This beer doesn't finish very dry and the tastes stay around in your mouth but without killing your taste buds.

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Photo of Jwale73
4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a standard pint glass. Poured translucent copper-brown. Three quarters of an inch off-white head dissipated almost immediately into a thin inconsistent skim of foam. Narrow band of lacing near the rim of the glass followed by some spotty, watery lacing as the brew was consumed. Mild scent, mostly hops, with a touch of caramel. Taste similar to nose, with hops more pronounced. Finish was somewhat astringent with floral undertones. Very lively mouthfeel with ample carbonation. Very sessionable APA. Not particularly my style choice, but very enjoyable nonetheless.

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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 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 Gambrinus1184
3.93/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a 12-ounce SA pint glass at GW Tavern, Washington, Conn.

A: Pours a clear, copper orange with a nice, fluffy white head of two-finger foam.

S: Smells of a steel-rain pale ale; (mentioned without copyright infringement) nice, sweet malts and a floral hop bitterness to balance it out.

T: Taste is complex, like drinking a sweet, bready malt lager, with a nice compliment of herbal hop bitterness, served in a smooth enough pint to keep coming back for more.

M: Mouthfeel is light bodied and refreshing. These, combined with the taste, make this brew a real treat.

D: I could drink quite a few of these on tap, and since the ABV doesn't feel jacked up, this would make a great session beer almost anywhere it's offered.

The APA style is quite broad, generally speaking, but this brew is distinct enough to stand apart from many of the others. I'd recommend it for sure.

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Old Yankee Ale from Cottrell Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.81 out of 5 with 273 ratings