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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 147 | Ratings: 272
Photo of DirtyPenny
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle in my Patriots pint glass while watching the Cowboys shoot themselves in the foot over and over again against the Lions.

A: Pours with 1 finger of eggshell white head. Old Yankee is a hazy, opaque honey amber. Little blobs of lacing dot the glass but sink away rather quickly.

S: Caramel and pale malts with a piny, resiny hop finish. Gets a bit of a potpourri scent as it warms.

T: As nose. The malty backbone mingles with a fainty spicy piny hop afterbite.

M: Medium with moderate carbonation.

O: The Cowboys suck, but not as much as you'll want to suck down an Old Yankee. No, wait, that's wrong. The Cowboys suck more. But Old Yankee Ale is good. Just a really solid ale and one I'd gladly have again.

 723 characters

Photo of Tschnab
3.87/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a copper color with a thin film of foam.

S- very malty, biscuity, some hops, citrus, herbs.

T- the biscuity and bready malts really come through, carmel and toffee, grain, and some juicy orange and hops.

O- a really solid, malt forward apa. Very drinkable.

 268 characters

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.

 309 characters

Photo of DaveHack
3.87/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in standard pint glass at Starfish Brasserie in Bethlehem, PA.

Dark coppery color, think Yuengling Lager. Very small head with nice sticky lacing in the glass. Smells very bready and malty with a hint of hops. Taste is a sweet bread up front with a bitter finish. Great carbonation and a nice sticky feel. Not my usual style, but I enjoyed it very much.

 361 characters

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.

 270 characters

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.

 541 characters

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.

 672 characters

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.

 669 characters

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

 449 characters

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.


 771 characters

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.

 336 characters

Photo of ngeunit1
4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a hazy orange-red color with a finger of frothy white head. The head fades down to a ring around the glass leaving behind some nice lacing.

S - Aroma is a mix of sweet toasted caramel malts and a touch of grassy hops. Not overly complex, but it is decently present.

T - Starts off with a nice blend of sweet roasted caramel malts and some grassy/floral hops in the background. Very nicely balanced. Through the middle some sweeter caramel flavors come through. The finish adds a touch of bread flavor alongside some hop bitterness with lingers nicely.

M - Medium-light bodied with moderate tingly carbonation. Smooth and crisp with a nice semi-dry finish.

D - Very drinkable. Nicely balanced smooth flavors and really crisp feeling. Also, the flavor is not overly powerful, but there is plenty there to enjoy.

 824 characters

Photo of rdilauro
3.58/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Light pouring, a tannish gold with little or no head. Not much in terms of any hops or mail aroma.
Taste was very crsip and dry and very refreshing. Not a very special beer, but it is a very easy drinking beer during warmer weather.
It had a very good fisnish

 259 characters

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.

 634 characters

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

Best before June, listed as an Amber Ale on their website.

A- Pours out and fills the glass with a clear red bodied ale. The head builds to a nice size but retains only decently leaving behind a frothy ring and cloud. Spotty lace.

S- Not much going on here for me. What I do notice is a decent presence of grain (like a bag full, dry, ready to brew) and slight dark fruit. Citrus as well.

T- Better here. This beer contains a nice balance of flavors including caramel toasted malt, juicy fruit, citrus hops, herbal and floral hops, nutty malt, general grain and pine. Some residual sweetness.

MF- Smooth with silky carbonation at levels that work well with the flavor. Slight hop bitterness in the finish.

DB- I find a nice balance of flavor in a beer that drinks easily. Nothing really jumps out but it is just a solid, enjoyable ale.

 840 characters

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

Had this beer at standing in nyc little white head with very nice citrus hop aromaes amber red color with good lacing good full mouthfeel overall not a bad beer worth trying with a good overall balance this is definitely worth the try overal a good ale

 252 characters

Photo of Franz4
4.13/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Best by April notched on bottle

A- poured a nice clear auburn color with a good 3 finger head that settled to a decent cap leaving lace on the way down, continuous bubbles rise from the bottom.
S- smell is crisp, fresh, and clean, nicely balanced between malts and subtle pine hops.

T- very crisp taste, hops come through with pine resin dominant balanced by a little toasty malt.

M- slight carbonation that is really just what the beer needs. Light-medium bodied helps this go down smoothly.

D- This is a very drinkable beer, I feel like it could go with anything, it'd be a good choice for the patio this summer.

 618 characters

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

SMELL: On the bright side. Somewhat piney with strong citrus notes - particularly effervescent lemon. There's an interesting aroma I've not smelled before. Ah! One of the other reviewers nailed. A light mushroom aroma. Which is not at all un-appealing.

TASTE: Overwhelming fullness of body, yet refreshingly bright and quick. Prevailing nutty smokiness that pairs perfectly with mild hoppy bitterness. Spritzy carbonation adds additional layers. Overall, unique, rounded, balanced, and easy to drink. Perhaps a bit lacking in the flavor department, but not too detrimentally.

 576 characters

Photo of OtherShoe2
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear dark copper with a cream-colored foamy head. Some lace, good clarity, some bubbles rising.

Some caramel and light citric hop aromas. Malt forward.

Nice surprise of complexity. Some brown bread crust in the bitterness and some nice caramel malt, a punch of fruit, and some bitterness to balance it all out. Bready and toasted grain in the finish.

A little mushy, but medium body still works.

Very drinkable. Has nice fruit, caramel sweetness, with a good balance of bitterness and malt. Decent brew.

 516 characters

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.

 579 characters

Photo of tigg924
3.6/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: 1/3 inch head, lightl brown in color, clear, medium carbonation

Smell: toasted malt and slight hops

Taste: big toasted malt, caramel, and light hops

Mouthfeel: light bodied, sweet with a slightly bitter backbone, medium carbonation

Drinkability: An enjoyable malty treat that drinks more like an amber. Not an overly complex brew, but one I could easily session.

 378 characters

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.15/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A nice healthy light amber color with a very nice, head full of life, decent lace and slow to dissipate.

A good balance in the aroma, light and dark malts, herbal with some earthy, subtle hops underneath that.

The flavor goes a long way, there's a bunch of complexity for this style, more layers than usual with a robust malt, dark wheat and amber malts pop out and then the herbal, earthy hops kicks in for another level and wonderful balance. The feel is medium and delightful until the end!

This beer gets the most flavor and quality from this style!

 559 characters

Photo of micmillon18
2.98/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Got this one out of a beer of the month club. Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A - Deep amber color with some orange hues. Head is good with lots of lacing. Nice to look at.

S - Hops with a slight bit of maltiness. Not overly strong.

T - Taste is similar to the smell but fainter. I taste hops but thats practically it. The malt shows up at the end. Not a lot going on in this one.

M - Light and the carbonation is in check. I noticed a poor after taste which sticks around rather long.

O - Drinkable but not overly flavorful. I guess its refreshing but if your looking for flavor, you'll want to spend your money elsewhere. There are better ones out there

 677 characters

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.

 718 characters

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

Had at Not Your Average Joe's in Watertown Sq 12/30
Served in a pint glass

A: This beer pours a murky copper, amber color with a 1/2 inch of white head that recedes immediately. Laced sheets on the glass with minor ringlets.

S: Nose is caramel, toffee, somewhat fruity - apples.

T: Taste starts with caramel and toffee notes. Middle has pale malts, and a bit of a fruity flavoring. Finish has a bit of grapefruit hop bitterness.

M: Lighter side of medium body, medium carbonation, crisp and clean.

D: Goes down easily, pretty tasty, not too filling, mild kick, nice representation of style. This is a simple beer worth having a few pints of.

 648 characters

Old Yankee Ale from Cottrell Brewing Co.
3.81 out of 5 based on 272 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.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.