Olde Johnnie Ale | Cold Spring Brewing Co.

22 Reviews
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Olde Johnnie AleOlde Johnnie Ale

Brewed by:
Cold Spring Brewing Co.
Minnesota, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.70%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Chaz on 08-02-2007

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Reviews: 22 | Ratings: 42
Photo of Mike_Aguirre
2.91/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Very sweet beer I didn´t like it at all. Pours more like a brown ale. Aroma is mild, sweet malt notes and almost no hops. Taste is overwhelmingly sweet.

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Photo of HalfFull
3.25/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Screw top aluminum pint can poured into a shaker pint glass. Pour is fairly clear and more of a reddish brown than what I'd call amber in color. A light cap of off white foam doesn't stick around very long.

Aroma of muddled caramel notes with some dark fruits with some warming. No notable hop presence or complex malt structure particularly given the 'Abbey Amber' moniker on the label. Does offer some interesting mint like spice notes with continued warming.

Taste follows expectations with a light carbonation, some sweet caramel cherry apple in the middle and a touch of coarse brown sugar on the finish. The brown sugar and a touch of cocoa on the finish yields a better feel than the light carbonation might oterwise imply.

Overall better than my expectations had in store. And rated a bit higher than true experience given the can is just over a year old and presumably better fresh. Still a decent inexpensive offering.

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Photo of patre_tim
3.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Medium to dark brown, clear filtered, huge whopping 4 finger beige head with large and small bubbles, chunky lacing. No visible carbonation.

S: Much like their ‘Moonlight Ale,’ probably from which this is derived. Phenols, coconut, lemon peel, dark fruits, somewhat sweet, a little like a Belgian dubbel but much lighter. Some light fruitiness.

T: I get some of their ‘John Henry 3 L’ck Spiker Ale’
in this, resembles some of their ‘Moonlight Ale’ possibly from which its derived, a metallic aftertaste. Some toffee, banana, coffee bitterness near the end, some sweet margerine.

M: Medium body, medium low fine bubbled carbonation.

O: What else can I say. A well crafted beer, more pure than ‘Moonlight Ale’ therefore perhaps exposing some of the beer’s purer, original qualities. Nice though, great style design on the can. Will pair well with steak.

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Photo of chinchill
3.37/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle from Sicilianos (MI) served in a snifter.

Despite a rather vigorous pour, I didn't get enough head to completely cover the clear amber body. Moments later, even this is gone with only a bubbly ring left.

Light and simple but pleasant bready aroma has a hint of hops.
Light flavor more clearly reveals some herbal/floral hops in addition to the malts.

Body: light a bit watery; semi-dry finish.

O: An amber "lawnmower beer" that improved with warming.

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Photo of dhannes
3.76/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

I let the can warm up to about 45 degrees and poured into a standard pint.

A=Nice, rich brownish red, with creamy, eggshell head...first pour was mostly head, hopefully capturing aroma and flavor.

S=Molasses, hint of brown sugar...also fresh baked bread.

T=Rather sweet, with some malt and a bit of hops. Seems a bit sweeter than most other amber ales, and probably not as much hops as others.

M=A bit lighter in body than other red ales, but rich/full enough to make it hard to consider as a session beer.

O=I forgot the price, but I recall it was only about $3 per 32 oz. can, making it a decent value for students, etc.... I would buy this if I wanted a richer beer for tailgaiting and space was limited in the cooler. A better alternative than most AAL's.

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Photo of biggred1
2.73/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Clear, dark amber with ruby highlights when backlit and a sudsy tan head. The aroma reminds me of Extract beers I made fifteen years ago with caramel, mild floral hops and a kind of "scorched kettle" kind of smell I had forgotten about until now. Caramel with a touch of diacetyl buttery popcorn flavor and dimethyl sulfide canned vegetable off flavor with some Euro bittering hops in the finish. Thin bodied with mild carbonation. This beer is not very good, I wil avoid it in the future, hopefully I just got a bad can, but the date on the bottom of the can is less than sixty days out.

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Photo of Offa
3.18/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Copper amber, big pale tan head steadily shrinks.

Aroma is slightly musty grain, apple, hint of dust, pine, leaves. It's light and simple.

Taste is light & simple, light hint of caramelly grain and bread, hint of leaves and peppery spicy bitterness, very vague fruitiness. It's pretty well balanced but it's thin in character and feel, all is rather vague, feel is flat, it seems a bit crude & simple, but pleasant. It's slightly on the sweet side.

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Photo of jimmah120
3.65/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

32oz 'biggun' can into mason jar

Look is a nice mahogany amber, clear with a small white film covering the surface. Smell is light malt, slightly woody, with a light earthy hop smell. Taste starts out bready and malty before fading into an earthy bitterness. There is also a pervading oak flavor throughout. Also light wood and nut flavors, subtle. It is crisp, full feeling, light-medium body, and well carbonated.

Very enjoyable, especially at the low price point.

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Photo of BretSikkink
3.16/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Amber reddish color with a fairly tight and nice looking head. Good retention but no lacing at all. In between on this look. The aroma has a woody character, a little fruit, diacetyl and brew salts on the back end.

Malty flavor, with butterscotch diacetyl and a pale malt sweetness. Nutty as well, with a fruitiness that's hard to place…and palate. Not bad overall, a little thin and over-attenuated. Lots of flavor for being light on alcohol, could probably bump that up as well. In the end, I would get it again under the right circumstances, but I won't seek it out.

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Photo of mactrail
3.36/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

In the economy size quart can, or as Cold Spring likes to call it, Double Pints™. Says 4.7 % ABV on the label.

Not bad at all, rather malty with an interesting spicy hint. Alright, it smells sort of like linseed oil, but in a nice way. Big foamy head when splashed into the giant Duvel tulip. Bold coppery dark amber color. Not much in the way of hops but a pleasant touch of bitterness in the aftertaste. The roast malt is the main flavor, sort of a chestnut sweet, nutty taste.

Not exactly a medal winner, but for a big can to keep in the fridge for serious thirst aid, this would do the job.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another 32 ounce "Double Pints" can here.

Pours a clear amber with a 2 inch beige head that fades to a small cap. Chunky splotches of lace form on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, bread, and caramel aromas. Taste is exactly like the smell with a slight coconut flavor, which is kind of odd. A lower level of carbonation makes for a smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer for what it is and it's bettter than the Moonlight Ale but I wouldn't get this one again.

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Photo of flavoursaviour
3.81/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

At home. From the bottle, into a pint, and then into my mouth.

Pours a rich amber with pillowy cream-colored head that could float a dime.

Aroma of wood-roasted nuts, licorice and candied fruit.

Tastes of creamy malt with notes of butterscotch, toast, and nuts.

Mouth feels full-bodied and malty with only a slight bitterness.

Overall the look of this ale matches its malt character, but the hops never offset the richness of that very same malt. Great for malt fanatics, not so much for hop heads.

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Photo of GeezLynn
3.48/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Slight hazed amber with a surprisingly good white head.

S: Pretty aromatic, heavy on the light malts. Sweet and fruity with sort of a strawberry-like quality, and just a little buttery scent in there.

T: Pale and blonde malts give it a nice toasty biscuit flavor. There's also a unique fruityness I'd describe as faint apple and strawberry along with a light sweetness. Finishes dry with a slight hop bitterness.

M: Medium/light body with sharp carbonation.

Obviously a sweet can, but this is actually a pretty respectable beer in its own right.

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Photo of xnicknj
3.16/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

massive 32 oz can poured into pint glass. thanks to mrmiles for this during the Nice Cans II BIF

Pours a nice copper orange with a fluffy head, leaving plenty of patchy lacing. Retains well with a thick film over the beer.

Toasted bread crust, a bit of caramel, malted sweetness, and a hint of citrus in the nose.

Some slightly caramel sweetness towards the beginning with biscuit breadyness. Tangy hops bite through alongside lemongrass and zest. Finishes crisp with a bit of malt sweetness and little lingering flavor.

Medium body, higher carbonation, a little dry and sticky feel. Smooth drinking and pretty refreshing, although it's not exactly thrilling. Still, it's pretty fun to crack open a can of beer this huge.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.38/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Duvel tulip glass.

Beer #3 or 4 during our latest brewing session. It pours a clear straight amber topped by over a finger of ecru foam. The nose comprises some mild hoppy florals mixed with an equally mild dose of caramel and biscuits. The taste is almost identical, though the florals are joined by some (yet again) mild notes of orange peel. It helps, but not too much. The body is light, with a light moderate carbonation and a relatively smooth-ish feel. Overall, an OK amber, nothing close to special, but it's fine enough (and there's enough of it in the huge cans) to provide some decent drinking during brewing sessions.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.58/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I have to say that no matter how bad the beer may be, Cold Spring's Double Pints in a CAN have to be one of the more amusing aspects of The CANQuest (TM) to date. I mean, 2 Pints = 1 Quart = 32 Fl. Oz. = 946 ml. Really?!? In a CAN, no less! Fantastiche!

The Crack & Glug is always a mess with these CANs because the mouth is set further back than on a more reasonably sized CAN. Napkins at the ready and sure enough, beer running down the side of the CAN. Meanwhile, I got two rocky fingers' worth of thick, medium-tan head with good retention. Color was a coppery reddish amber with NE-quality clarity. Nose was very malty sweet with a biscuity quality underlying the sweetness. Mouthfeel was medium with a biscuity maltiness on the tongue. The nose was much sweeter than the taste. As it warmed, it took on a pleasant nuttiness. Finish was quite pleasant, on the dry side, again with the same biscuit nuttiness noted on the tongue. This really had to have been one of the more approachable Double Pints that I have had from Cold Spring. The only problem with it, for me, is its volume. I CAN't really see committing that much space in the cooler to a single CAN. It would not be bad at home, but not out at the beach or camping.

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Photo of emerge077
3.4/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Saw this decorating the back bar at the Trempealeau Hotel in WI. It looked like an antique steel can, one that was no longer made. With no further info, I went to seek it out for sentimental reasons. It instantly reminded me of the deceased proprietor of Johnnie's Tavern in Chicago, who we used to refer to as "Ol' Johnnie". Apparently it was made for St. John's College in MN, and proceeds go to the school. Regardless, here's to you John.

Large 32 oz. can, glugs into a half liter mug a distinct burnt copper color. An inch of tawny foam tops it off, and it presents rings of lacing as it is drank. The foam never dies out completely, maintaining a skim across the surface.

Sweet toasted malt and apple notes from the yeast. Multigrain bread. Fairly faint, it helped to give it a vigorous swirl.

Flavor is similarly sweet from the malt and residual sugars, slightly bitter in the middle through the finish. Tangy apple. A tinny note keeps it from being fully pleasant. Feel is fairly light and a bit flabby. Bready toasted malt flavors dominate with an understated hop bitterness.

It's not bad, certainly good for a budget beer. I'll certainly finish the can, which is more than I can say for other Cold Spring/Gluek beers.

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Photo of BeardedBoffin
3.65/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The 32 ounce can of Olde Johnnie Ale is advertised as a "double pint" can. Two pints, a quart as it were, in a single can. This is a huge can of beer. Given the size gimmick and the ornate "old english" design on can, I didn't have high expectations.

The beer flowed out of the can into a pint glass a solid amber color with a lively rocky head above it. The large can didn't pour all that well, drops continued flow down the side of the can as I poured. A little annoying.

The aroma is appealing with a mixture of toasted malt and spicy hops. On the palate, this beer is light to medium. A caramel malt backbone permeates the flavor profile. Through the center it is a tad hollow, but still good flavors are present. It finishes with some grainy malts and a dash of spice, which serves it well.

Certainly not a bad beer. I enjoyed the entire 32 ounces.

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Photo of fizzy
3.51/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Cold Spring Brewery has finally hit a "home run"(well maybe a triple) with this item. It is now in a bottle, which when compared to the 16oz can of the past seems to be pretty much the same thing. I looked more closely for some good flavor in this Gluek offering and found it. The hops seem to shine through in this beer, and at a higher than "lite" pouring temperature the whole flavor is rather nice. The head stays with the pour, and especially in the new bottom etched Cold Spring glass.

As Borat would say, "I like"!

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Photo of Dotcubed
2.23/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

The four pack can in a box caught my attention.

Not too crazy about the overtly elegant can design. From my experience usually that means the product falls short.

Dark amber color. The foam disappeared not looking too good.

Smells average, unmemorable.

Watery. Some residual bitterness but the impression I got was a dusty session beer that has little drinkability.

I think of this as a cooking beer.
But there's nothing I'd make with it.
Beer Cheese Soup? Worth experimenting with just keep some PBR handy to make it work.

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Photo of demcorhip
3.15/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to chonyr for bringing this north.

Decent enough in terms of apprearance. A deep and slightly ruddy amber in colour. One finger pale tan head quickly left, despite a fairly active level of carbonation. Does not really leave any lacings.

Malty aromas of caramel and an underlying toastiness present. Some DMS type aromas (creamed corn) despite being an ale. Some leafiness also present.

Not a bad brew. Toast and caramel with some inherent nuttiness from the malts. Slightly sweet, then a slightly metallic, woodsy bitterness appears to almost clean things up for the finish.

Almost medium bodied. More clean hop flavour and bitterness would be appreciated to help cut the residual malt sweetness. Has a full and almost creamy feel to it, despite the tingly carbonation.

Pretty drinkable, and could almost be sessionable, although in the end it would be somewhat bland and boring to do so with. There just isnt really anything here to challenge the drinker, or hold their attention. Would be a good brew to give a blindfolded IBMC drinker to. I suspect they would probably enjoy it until the blinders were removed. Glad i was able to try this brew.

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Photo of Chaz
2.96/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a brilliant golden-amber in color. An even pour produces a pale tan head with good duration and lacing, as small tightly-packed bubbles ring the glass throughout. Well-carbonated. Nose is sweet, slightly tangy, and with an agreeable malt quality; darker, roasted malts balance the sweet pale and biscuit-dry malts nicely. There are just enough nutty, bready characteristics here to mitigate the less-pleasant metallic, fusel, and diacetyl notes, and those of you who are familiar with products manufactured by Gluek will detect what I’ll describe as the "Gluek base malt": a grainy, vegetal blend with a hint of diet root beer. If that sounds bad don't worry, it's well-hidden.

On the first sip it's sweet and tangy in even proportions. There is a ‘citric tang’ in the mid-palate which evinces a bitter, metallic quality. This bitter quality lingers until the reward at the end of the palate: the same nutty, lightly-roasted malt character evident in the nose.

This is just-about medium bodied, and as the carbonation subsides and the glass warms a bit, both the flavor and body improve. Here the flavor strikes an even balance between an amber and a brown ale in style, and there’s a touch of (welcomed) diacetyl. There's still the matter of the lingering bitterness from the mid-palate that I mentioned above, and I am unsure of its cause, as I certainly didn't note any real hop presence until this point. Maybe there is a 'Gluek base hop' extract which is used in certain degrees to temper the sweeter, more full bodied styles produced at the Cold Spring facility? All I know is that this same degree of bitterness is present throughout, and detracts rather than adds to the drinkability. The ‘citric tang’ I mentioned earlier is reminiscent of both lemon oil and quinine - make of that what you will. There is some dextrin-like sweetness here in addition to the more lightly-sweet characters of the malt mentioned earlier, but this is rather dry, and more bitter than sweet overall.

Session-able in the vein of the brown ale offered as part of the Colonial Pub Pints series, and a decent enough brew in all fairness. I wouldn't turn it down if offered one, yet it's not one that will see repeat visits to my 'fridge. I'm glad I tried it, but there are many ambers which are both more flavorful and more well-balanced.

Note: this was originally conceived to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the founding of Saint John's Abbey in Collegeville, MN.

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Olde Johnnie Ale from Cold Spring Brewing Co.
3.26 out of 5 based on 42 ratings.
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