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Coopers Extra Strong Vintage Ale - Coopers Brewery Limited

Not Rated.
Coopers Extra Strong Vintage AleCoopers Extra Strong Vintage Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

346 Ratings
THE BROS
87
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 346
Reviews: 262
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 13.74%
Wants: 13
Gots: 14 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Coopers Brewery Limited visit their website
Australia

Style | ABV
English Strong Ale |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 05-07-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 346 | Reviews: 262 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of faroutadventure
5/5  rDev +37.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2008 Vintage. Beautiful labeling. Beautiful bottle. Classy looking. Age it.

Appearance: Pours a hazy amber color with a magnificent head that retains and leaves all matter of lace. Almost champagne looking. Bubbles burstiing off the bottom of the glass.

Smell: Vague fruity aroma of bready fresh yeasty goodness and figs.

Taste: Malty flavors up front, with a developing character of figs; after the swallow, there is a boozy element that joins the fruit flavors, along with a bit of earthy bitterness.
Fresh bread comes to mind. Vintage smells of mom bakiing bread.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation; some warmth from the alcohol

Drinkability: The best beer I have tasted from this brewery; has some interesting flavors and I suspect they will become more complex with time
Age it to perfection.

faroutadventure, Oct 05, 2010
Photo of Antonius08
5/5  rDev +37.4%

Antonius08, Jun 18, 2012
Photo of theozag
4.8/5  rDev +31.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Probably poured this one a little fast from the bottle, because I wound up with almost 1.5 inches of thick, foamy, white head atop the beer. Lots of what appear to be either solids or small groups of bubbles tumble and churn through a deep-amber-colored brew. The look itself is rather delicious. The turbulent character of the brew's appearance remains until the last drop. Smells of faint hop bitterness and what I believe to be rye. Also a nearly-imperceptible sweetness to the nose that practically teases you before you drink. The head never really disappears, and in the meantime it adds a bread-like quality to the drink (not unlike the way the head on a pint of Guinness can change your drinking experience). The rest of the taste is quite remarkable. Start is gentle, extremely smooth, and suggestive of a perfectly-baked dinner roll. This beer is most definately full-bodied and tastes a lot like starch, ginger, and silky-smooth caramel. CESVA is one of the few beers I've tasted to date that can truly claim to change in tone depending on where it rests on your tongue. The flavors seem to tumble amongst each other in much the same way the bubbles roll about in the glass. The finish is the shining moment for this beer's hops blend. The bitter notes become more noticable and tend to settle into the tongue as beer dives down your throat. Aftertaste is obvious, but not unappealing. If your significant other is a beer fan, this one might make you more likely to receive smooches. All around a great beer, one of the best I've ever had.

Batch No.: 4-Oct/2002
Approximate duration of aging in bottle: 13.5 to 14 months.

theozag, Feb 12, 2004
Photo of AtrumAnimus
4.63/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This one was a pleasure to get having tried their other brews and really liking them. I had no idea that they had a vintage ale. This is the 2009 Vintage I am trying.

This pours a lovely nutty brown with a frothy, short thick white head. The lacing is nice and evenly distributed and quickly disappears down the sides.

The nose is very sweet and malty with a subtle floral hop tinge with hints of nutmeg, bread and spice.

The flavor is great! There is very dominant sweet malt to the flavor that is fruity, but not too much so. The flavors are complex and rich with a hint of nutmeg as well as caramel and a very pleasant bitter of great hops. This one is exceptionally well balanced and very enjoyable to drink. The mouthfeel is rich and creamy, almost like a Bodington’s but is full of great flavor.

I would highly recommend this one as it is exceptional and is a great treat.

AtrumAnimus, May 31, 2012
Photo of SeanChouffe
4.63/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage: 4, October 2002

This is a unique and very active beer with an attractive golden/amber color. It is very complex with a lot of fizz and a fruity cider smell. It is shameless in its quantity of sediment -- the chunks are just rolling around in the glass. The mouthfeel is smooth yet finishes with a nice bite. This beer is very pleasant, easy to drink and has a lot of great qualities. It is a little pricey, but is worth enduring the sticker shock. In the end, I felt a little disappointed that I really liked a beer with a twist off cap.

SeanChouffe, Jul 09, 2003
Photo of Imbiber
4.5/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From a bottle of the 4th October 2002 purchased at Bierkraft, Brooklyn.

Lots of yeast apparent at the bottom of the bottle, so a careful pour was attempted. Even so, clumps of yeast broke free by what I can only describe as a violent carbonation level - so these were bouncing up and down in the glass like some volcanic hot spring. Bottle conditioning is great so I'll drink this time with my eyes shut. I did though rid the beer of some of the clumps and the excess carbonation by pouring into a second glass and then back again into the original.

Faint malty aroma. Taste is rich, malty, very slightly warming from alcohol. Richness comes out, this is a smooth brew that has lots of character. I could drink this all day, this is a classic living beer with nothing taken out. But it needs preparation like a cask, after this experience (and I thought I was prepared as I knew it's bottle conditioned!) I recommend opening at least a couple of hours before pouring so excess condition can dissipate, then pour very gently in one motion - don't upright the bottle until it's 90-95% poured. Dump the rest as it will be mainly yeast. It's worth it to drink this in good condition, especially as most of the people who try it as just another bottled beer probably won't.

Treat with care and you'll enjoy...

Imbiber, Mar 14, 2005
Photo of likeemdark
4.5/5  rDev +23.6%

likeemdark, Jan 27, 2012
Photo of TwiggyCZ
4.5/5  rDev +23.6%

TwiggyCZ, Apr 01, 2014
Photo of Franck
4.5/5  rDev +23.6%

2009 vintage. Aged 4 years

Franck, Wednesday at 11:56 PM
Photo of chucksburritos
4.5/5  rDev +23.6%

chucksburritos, Feb 29, 2012
Photo of WilliamPhilaPa
4.47/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly cloudy bronze color; the head is solid. Pretty dominate caramel aroma with a touch of red apple tones. On the palate big caramel malt flavor upfront, red apple tones in the background which creates a tiny sweetness / sourness (very light), and maybe slightly toasted light bread. The mouth feel is extremely smooth. Overall I thought this was balanced to perfection, excellent sweetness, and the 7.1% abv. is hardly detectable. Just overall enjoyable, easy to drink, smooth, and refreshing…but a bit high in price, but I assure you it is worth a try.

WilliamPhilaPa, Jun 09, 2002
Photo of asabreed
4.45/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz shorty bottle, Oct 2002 is the batch and bottle date, so I guess this guy's already 4 years old? Here goes.

Appearance: Because of the shitload of sediment that was poured into the glass, it's made the beer a weird hazy brown. Slightly unattractive in that sense, but also very much like something I've never seen. Odd pieces of sediment are floating around and are stirred up as I sip on it. Also, it's got a great head that's still above the beer, and decent lacing.

Smell: An odd mix of vinous grape-like qualities and sweet, dark, chocolate. Yes, odd indeed, but somehow it works very well. Some yeast, dark bread, maple, caramel, and slight toffee too. I've never really smelled a beer like this before.

Taste: Malt sweetness up front, with the vinous characteristics coming back later and right before the swallow. Some hints of sweeter chocolate are there too, along with some, brown sugar, some fruit: plum, apricot? Tons of stuff going on, and though it's slightly odd it's working very well for me, one because of the singular nature of the beer, and how quality the balance and ingredients seem. And where's the alcohol for 7.5%? Hidden, and hardly there in my opinion.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation levels are those that seem absent, then they spritz the mouth upon the swallow. This may be because the seemingly higher sugar levels, but I don't know. Either way, it ends up being a bit creamy and velvety by the end. Medium body but not cloying or anything. Satisfyingly coating, if you will.

Drinkability: I'm more than impressed by this brew, especially for the seemingly lower end reviews (meaning many significantly lower than a total of 4), but I think this is complex, satisfying, original, tasty, and altogether a great drinking experience. Make sure you decant properly if you're not a big sediment fan, though, because like Smuttynose IPA, there's tons, and it'll make its way into the glass if you're not careful. Then I ask: what did the four years do? I guess it has to be good things. Either way, I'll be getting more of this, and even if you're a bit wary, you should try it for sure.

asabreed, Nov 14, 2005
Photo of puboflyons
4.43/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009 batch. Sampled on May 6, 2010. It pours a handsome but somewhat hazy dark amber with a long lasting luscious looking fluffy head and excellent clinging lacing. But the most noticeable aspect is all of the sedimentary deposits swimming around the glass. It is significant as a home brew. Caramel malts is the first sensation in the aroma followed quickly by a pine tree, raisiny background and a crisp, fresh quality. The mouthfeel is fairly bold with the bits of sediments tickling the tongue. The overall impression of the taste is a kind of biterness with a dose of hard liquor. But the sweet malts and dry hoppy finish are also notable. It is complex but delightful. I can happily announce that this is the first Austrailian beer I actually really enjoyed and would actively look for again.

puboflyons, May 07, 2010
Photo of PorterLambic
4.4/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured out a cloudy medium brown with very little head, just a ring really, and less lace. Smell is smoke, malt, wood, green apples, raisins and hops. Taste is smoke, malt, green apple, raisins, peat, hops and alcohol (late to the party and not a bloom so much as just a presence). Mouthfeel is very rich, smooth, full bodied with an effervescence all over the mouth and tongue but biased to the tip. Warms the throat nicely. Drinkability is very high. The flavor is very complex and well balanced both to the nose and the tongue. I will be drinking this again.

PorterLambic, Dec 03, 2004
Photo of kmpitz2
4.38/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I first had this beer at a bar in North Adelaide, Australia. Was a very special brew, as it was "expensive" and therfore really good back then. I've seen it around and have been looking for a single, which I finally found. It pours an oranged light brown color with a small coat of head over top. The nose is slightly raisiney, almost woody/oaky, with a tea-like tanniny quality to it. The flavor is slightly spicey, very slightly raisiney, with hints of tanniney wood. I like it. I was right to enjoy it back in the birthplace of this brew. The feel is moderate to thick with a moderate carbonation. I really don't get any of the 7.5% alcohol. This is a mighty fine beer. Really brings back some memories to this young beer drinker.

kmpitz2, Apr 19, 2005
Photo of pkalix
4.36/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

beautiful color- dark amber... what to expect?
small topping of foam on top with sediment resting comfortably...
smells are of dark fruit, fig? but with the 'english' twist(?). malts....
taste is thickererer... than most other english brews. i like it. a tad bitter. very malty. but bitter.
mouthfeel...hmmmm....
overall, a decent thicker english brew. definitely one which you need to 'step back' and re-evaluate before making a decision... i'm intrigued by the sediment sitting on top of the thin film of white; by the thick feel on the tongue and the bitter, yet malty sweet taste on the palate afterward....

pkalix, Feb 22, 2013
Photo of CaptainPascoe
4.35/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Amber brown, slight cloudiness

S: Fruity, baked apple and sweet Grapefruit

T: Hoppier than expected, I really enjoyed the flavours. A citrus hoppiness, and a nice balanced maltiness. subtle notes of baked fruit build onto the palate

M: Great! really enjoyable. despite the strength (7.5%) it felt lighter in the mouth than I expected

D: Easy to drink too many of these. The alcohol is well integrated into the flavour and does not detract from this well balanced beer

CaptainPascoe, Aug 12, 2008
Photo of Kulrak
4.33/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly cloudy orange/light brown color with a decent amount of creamy tan head that fades to a thin layer. Smells fruity and malty, and a little roasty. Very pleasant. The taste is very sweet as well, some chocolate, a tiny bit of roast coffee and a lot of malt. There's also a hint of hop flavor there as well, and not a lot of bitterness, but it works. Mouthfeel is very heavy and creamy. Overall, it's a very drinkable 'real ale' style beer. I'll definitely be getting more of this. Haven't met any Coopers ales that I haven't liked, and this is no exception.

Kulrak, Sep 09, 2007
Photo of koolk
4.33/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

***Vintage 2002*** (consumed Feb 2004)

A honey orange colour with slight darker tinges. Thick head and nice carb. (4)

Nose is yeasty, fruity and sweet caramel malt. Decent nose, seemingly complex but I think that's my brain playing tricks. (4)

Thick and creamy palate that has more caramel flavours backed up by a slight bitterness. Kind of spicy, kind of hot. Feels better than it tastes. (3.5) & (4)

Nice stuff from Coopers and look forward to aging a few of these to see what happens. (4)

***Vintage 2006*** (consumed 2009 Apr)

An orange/dark amber in colour, it has a a small white head that laces well. Fine carbonation. (4)

Great nose that is full of complexities. Golden syrup, chocolate nuts and some intriguing aged notes that border on medicina (peaty like!). Really like it. (4.5)

Similar flavours on the palate - perhaps more dried fruit (raisins etc) than the maltier flavours. More chocolate as well, with a strong sherry like aftertaste, again showing its age, but in a very pleasant way. Slight sweet malt kick on the end with a strong spicy aftertaste. (4.5)

Mouthfeel is strong and full. A tight acidic finish to help balance out the malty sweetness. (4)

Really impressed with how this has aged. At 3 it is looking strong and should have a few more years to go...thankfully this is the first of 6! A great winter beer that seems to get a lot more going on a it starts to warm up. (4)

koolk, Feb 21, 2004
Photo of heygeebee
4.33/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Where do you start to review? I have five vintages in my cellar, and all are 'similar but different', and all change with time, and all are subject to bottle variation in terms of carbonation or just plain past-it-ness when the years go by.

2010 Vintage (drunk 05/2011) - pours a deep amber / copper, with a small head which fades quickly. Carbonation is good.

Aromas of toffee, caramel malt and some yeast

Taste consists of toffee, more caramel, with warm alcohol coming through, and then some bitterenes. Quite complex and it changes as it warms.

Mouthfeel is on the chewy side, very pleasant..

Overall, this stuff is excellent, and a wonderful example of Australian Brewing at its best.

2008 Vintage (drunk vertically with the above-noted 2010 on 05/2011) - pours a deep amber / copper, with no head. Carbonation almost gone.

Diluted aromas of toffee, caramel malt, sherry/port

Taste is somewhat sweeter with more malt, still the alcohol warmth coming through, but no bitterness. Good.

Mouthfeel is thinner.

This bottle wasn't a good example of cellaring - but the 2008 wasn't my favourite when it came out. Funnily enough there was little difference betwen the two years in the vertical taste.

As a comparison I had a 2007 around six months ago that I almost though of as 'a perfect beer', and would have almost gone 5s or 4.5s across the scoreboard board on. Such an integrated Christmas cake sweetness to the flavour that was to die for.

heygeebee, May 12, 2011
Photo of ohitsbrad
4.3/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

27 September 2006, 2006 Vintage

Bottle reads best after Jun 06 and, typical of Coopers, it's a twist off. Cloudy brown colour. Poured so as to force a large white stable head. Some lacing left on the glass. Banana yeast aroma. Fresh, grainy sweet malt and vanilla too. Flavour is fruity (banana, apple), yeasty, toffeeish and caramel like. Alcohol is hidden fairly well but some nice warmth is provided. Chewy mouthfeel and medium bodied. A very good brew from Coopers and better than what I remember of the 2004.

ohitsbrad, Nov 12, 2006
Photo of UnionMade
4.3/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sleek 12 oz bottle stamped "BEST BEFORE 10/??/06".
Rusty red-brown, turbid, with a dense, cream colored head. Great head retention. Full, malty aroma. A bit of english styled hops here and there, mostly herbal and floral and that goldings sort of way, lots of caramel sweetness, reminding me of my babci's babka bread. Estery fruit, apple and pear. Alcohol heat is concealed until it warms to room temperature, where it displays itself with some boozy phenols. The flavor starts out sweetish and malty. Lots of caramel, dominating the flavor throughout. A bit of doughy yeast. Big flavors for a 7.5% brew. So smooth feeling, creamy textured, fine carbonation keeping things easy and very drinkable. Full bodied, not really syrupy, but rich on the tongue. Pear fruitiness. Fruit infused vanilla ice cream, moving seamlessly into a modestly hopped, floral finish. Slight plastic phenols, with that higher alcohol whiff in the finish, like a belgian dubbel. Lingering sweetness, leaving off with a fruity, brown pear aftertaste. Mmmm. Not a lick of alcohol. Just the way I like it.
An exceptional brew from the otherwise barren land of VB and Foster's. Strong in the english sense, I don't imagine this keeping too much past a couple years, but it's one easy drinking strong ale. So creamy and smooth. I like it a lot.

UnionMade, Jun 02, 2006
Photo of stephendr
4.28/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy brown color- thick lasting head- nose brown sugar roasted malts – taste brown sugar, caramel, malts, smoke, figs- medium body- aftertaste figs, malt Hazy brown color- thick lasting head- nose brown sugar roasted malts – taste brown sugar, caramel, malts, smoke, figs- medium body- aftertaste figs, malt

stephendr, Jul 30, 2006
Photo of Thrasher
4.25/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brewed in 2000 and released after an extended maturation period. The 375ml bottle states: "Contains approximately 2.1 standard drinks." Muddy brown ale with soft, sticky head, with lager-like sparkling qualities that is trademark for Coopers. Surprisingly refreshing with an apple-y tartness in the middle, spritzy malty finish. Still some nice hop presence; not bitter or licorice-y like some older beers, but nicely buttery. Very tasty, seems slightly watered-down - a testament to its drinkability, but is that appropriate for the style? Otherwise superb.

Thrasher, May 07, 2002
Photo of JackTheRipper
4.25/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Hazy brown in color. Heavy sedimentation is noticed. Small off white head with just a bit of lacing.

Smell: Sweet raisins, hints of a bready/yeasty smell. Alcohol smell is very pronounced.

Taste: Complex fruity taste. Some hints of bread in there. Hop bitterness is almost absent.

Mouthfeel: Smooth as can be. Carbonation level is good. Alcohol is very warming and feels stronger than the stated 7.5%.

D&N: Batch no. 04Oct2002. Smooth drinking, very complex, a real pleasure to drink, but I wouldn't want to have more than one or two at a time, this is a pretty strong beer. Very nicely done, and I'm glad I had it. Yum.

JackTheRipper, Mar 25, 2004
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Coopers Extra Strong Vintage Ale from Coopers Brewery Limited
83 out of 100 based on 346 ratings.