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Coopers Extra Strong Vintage Ale - Coopers Brewery Limited

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

355 Ratings
very good

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Ratings: 355
Reviews: 265
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 13.46%
Wants: 11
Gots: 17 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Coopers Brewery Limited visit their website

Style | ABV
English Strong Ale |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 05-07-2002

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (15) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 355 | Reviews: 265
Photo of Sammy
3.7/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Barleywine barley and sweet malt aroma. Nut brown colour with white head, lace. Not all that strong, and a middling body and mouthfeel. Fairly simple old ale taste with drying finish. Wood and roasted barley and licorice notes, nut brown, carmel, slightly on sweet side.

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev +9.9%

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev +9.9%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.65/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared at GRG1313’s tasting.

2008 vintage.

Pours a clear copper with a foamy bone head that settles to a film on top of the beer. A foamy curtain of lace coats the glass on the drink down. Smell is malt, caramel, and fruity aromas. Taste is much the same with caramel and hop flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that smells better than it tastes in my opinion.

Photo of djrn2
3/5  rDev -17.6%

Photo of zestar
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of GRG1313
2.87/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 2 | smell: 5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

2008 Vintage. Pours a dark copper color with a nice white head.

Stunning rich and assertive peach and banana nose. Unfortunately, flavor, character and body do not follow.

Simple malt and an upleasantly bitter hop flavor does not leave one wanting more. Short mouthfeel with turpentine unpleasant pine tar flavors. Short (thankfully) finish.

This vintage ale calls for aging. However, nothing in body, flavors or character could lead one to conclude that aging will help this dull, simple and short flavored beer with a fantastic nose. Smell it; don't drink it. Just one guys opinion.

Photo of brentk56
3.17/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a murky ice tea brown with nary a head and very little lacing

Smell: Rich caramel malt nose with undertones of tropical fruit

Taste: Immediate domination by the malt accompanied by a quick transition of apples and orange; the finish is marred by an unbalanced blend of alcohol and phenolic band aids

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied but a bit slick (diacetyl?) with modest carbonation

Drinkability: Just a few too many flaws here and there to be very good; I'm disappointed as I had high hopes for this Aussie; is this supposed to be a malt liquor?

Photo of jaydoc
3.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of BEERchitect
4.08/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

One of those great finds while in Atlanta, GA a couple months ago. Although the 'best by' date says 10-09-06, I beg to differ. This beer shows a lot of talent and character. A bottle-conditioned pour delivers a strong copper, chesnut hue with a haze due to the yeast (among other particles) within the beer. Aromas are soft, yet firm with serious notes of barley malt, over-rippened peaches and pears, with a subtle English hop character (Fuggles?). All blends so well... The taste gives a well-matured, softly textured, and seriously complex blend of Marris Otter-tasting malts that bring out the soft fruity esters while contributing a spicy, fermented edgy, yeasty flavor. Again, well-rippened peaches and pears all over the place, leaving a mouth watering sensation after every sip. Each drink follows with a soft ride with aged hops and a pleasant (albeit light) hop flavor and mild sherry (oxidized) notes that complemented the beer well. A mild metalic taste is the only deterant. The feel is a soft, creamy, malty fullness that never shows agression or fusal alcohols. Finishes with the same fruity flavors experienced in the taste with intermingling notes of hops and alcohol dryness. Turned out to hold a 1/4" head all the way to the bottom of the glass with superior lacing. This is how I expect the Fuller's Vintage Ales to perform into their prime. This beer is that good. Probably should have waited to share this beer with a few local BA's (sorry guys), but this one is all mine!

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.83/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a amber color ale with a medium foamy head with good retention and some good lacing. Aroma of sugar and light subtle fruity ester with nice dry caramel malt balance. Taste is a well balanced mix between some caramelized sugar with great note light dry raisins. Body is about average with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Well done though additional complexity could have benefited this beer.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.8/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark orange with quite a few flecks and flakes floating within. I broke off the pour before some of the larger, nastier stuff had a chance to escape. The buff colored cap is small and isn't the least bit sticky. It's deflating relatively slowly, but doesn't look wonderful on the way down. There's very little lace in the beginning and a few stray splotches in the end.

The nose is reminiscent of musty orchard fruit (apples mostly) and caramel. The aroma isn't all that compelling. It doesn't smell 'strong', either in terms of how much actually reaches my nose or in terms of its character. I guess the 7.5% ABV is the sole justification for the name.

The flavor is a definite improvement. I won't go so far as to agree with the brewers that it's the beer equivalent of fine wine, but it does have a concentrated fruitiness that justifies the comparison on some level. There's a modest toasted bread flavor, some light caramel and an unsweetened tea-like quality that I associate with some English ales. Bruised apples are still uppermost, with a faint oranginess trailing along in their wake.

There's a fair amount of hoppiness (Tettang? Kent Goldings?) that easily counters whatever sweetness might be present. The middle is firm and the finish is crisp and dry. I can't really taste the alcohol, but I'm pretty sure that I would have come close to guessing the ABV if blinded.

Although the amount of carbonation is on the low end, the beer is far from underbubbled. A bigger body would have worked much better. I like my old ales to have some amount of chewiness and mouth linger. This is a lighter version of the style for sure.

Coopers Extra Strong Vintage Ale reminds me of a higher alcohol English pale. It could use a tad more depth and assertiveness, but it's still a worthwhile beer that I found appealing. This is my favorite Coopers Brewery offering to date and has to be included in my top handful of Aussie beers as well.

Photo of biboergosum
3.55/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

375ml bottle, 2009 vintage. I'm guessing that the dude on the label is the founder of the brewery, or something in-kind?

This beer pours a dark, sort of murky bronzed amber colour, with a fair bit of fine sediment, and two fingers of weakly puffy, loosely foamy, and fizzy dirty beige head, which leaves a sole vertical peninsula of lace around the glass as it rashly settles.

It smells of semi-sweet caramel malt, buttery toffee, soused sultana raisins, dried tropical fruit, spicy, earthy hops, and a threatening booze warming. The taste is fruity bready and softly biscuity malt, dry raisins and dusty figs, earthy yeast, a bit of sour ethereal citrus, and soft leafy, musty hops.

The carbonation is quite low-key, and hardly noticeable at times, the body a strong medium weight, and pretty smooth overall. It finishes off-dry, the biscuit malt and mixed old fruit character predominating, tempered somewhat by a murmouring astringent alcohol warming.

A somewhat plain vintage ale - kind of flabby all around. The well-integrated ABV helps in making this easy enough to drink, but it just doesn't grab my attention, the staid essence of English heritage perhaps my bias to bear.

Photo of zeff80
3.97/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 Bottle at Bailey's in STL.

A - Poured out a clear, burgundy color with a one-finger, tan head of foam. It left sticky rings of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of raisin, plum and other dried dark fruits. There was some malty presence, too.

T - Good plum and raisin flavor with a subtle tartness. It had some sweet caramel maltiness with a mild spice bite.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium to full bodied ale with a dry finish.

O - This was really quite tasty with 3 years of age on it. I'd love to try a fresh bottle for comparison sake.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.22/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Depending upon how you've stored it, and how carefully you pour it, Coopers Vintage Ale can be a clear amber or a murky chestnut brown. I personally feel the yeast gives it a bit more of the house yeast character, and I like that. And I also feel that this beer isn't really big enough or complex enough to benefit from aging, so I drink it fresh and go right ahead and pour the yeast in with a swirl of the bottle to dislodge it all. The head rises up but quickly settles down, fading to a whispy surface covering and thin but creamy white collar. Some nice rings of lacing are left behind, but they slide shortly back into the glass.

The nose is malty with a cereal character and lots of soft caramel. The Cooper's yeast comes into play as well, lending it a delicately fruity, apple and berry-like edge. Softly grassy and spicy hops with a mineralish edge (Fuggles and Saaz perhaps?) appear in the background like stars in the sky at dusk.

The flavor is as the aroma suggests, and the caramel character is full and rich. It hints at cocoa as well, but never really gets there, although the cereal-like graininess is solidly present. A wash of alcohol appears mid-palate, along with the yeasty fruitiness, and the two follow smoothly through into the finish. Some minor leafy and grassy hops appear, but it's mainly about malt and yeast. It lingers delicately with a bit of swirling spiciness and sublime mineralish character.

It's an interesting beer, and fairly drinkable for its strength, but it lacks the character and depth of its superior rivals. It's lighter and refreshing, and quite unique in that way. Taken for what it is, and simply enjoyed hedonistically without reference, it's quite enjoyable. Worth trying!

Photo of Jason
3.84/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12.7 oz stubby brown bottle with batch # of 4-OCT/2002. Some yeast slurry is noticeable on the bottom of the bottle after a careful decantation.

Appearance: Hazed amber gold with a thin bubbly yet sticky lace.

Smell: Dried apple skin, spicy peppery alcohol and a mild maltiness.

Taste & Mouth Feel: Full bodied with a smooth crispness. Malty twang, ripe fruit of apples and tangerine peels. Faint hops with a warming peppery alcohol. Hp bitterness still has a firm bite. Fruity finish with some toasted malt and nutty yeast in the back.

Drinkability & Notes: Wow, very tasty … nice bite from the hops with the lingering spicy alcohol to complement. Went great with a plate of lamb & veal ragu over fusilli.

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.75/5  rDev +3%

Photo of WVbeergeek
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Hazy amber with big floating chunks suspended, awesome cream colored head nice size leaves specks of lacing. Aroma: Big malty layer of fruity undertones semicitrusy hop notes bready yeast and raisin sweetness along with an alcohol tone that just creeps in. Taste: Rich fruity ale with bready notes nice spicy layer excellent beer especially when compared to Coopers other ales. Mouthfeel: Medium body nice mild carbonation semi syrupy texture coats the palate. Drinkability: Excellent with my smoked BBQ chicken, but an all around solid strong old ale, can't have too many but this one was a treat.

Photo of Slatetank
4.24/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

"Much thanks to gottajiboo2 for bringing this beer over and shring it with me. What a treat." I will echo Phatz's sentiments here.

A - Quickly dissipating head, cascading caramel collered ale

S - Sweet Vinous sugary scents, underpinnings of wood and spice

T - The taste of sweet white grapes greet the tonque, fruity esters and subtle wood are apparent. Grainy and ice wine-like alcoholic finish.

M - Effervescent, light with subtle waves of yeasty sweetness. Medium bodied, lasting feel of sugar remains.

D - Great drinkability, this ale is welcome in doses of a pint or less. It leaves you wanting more with relatively low bitterness and mature maltiness.

Photo of russpowell
3.68/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Date of 10 09 06, not sure if that's a born on or BBD?

Pours an effervescent murked (tried to pour it careful) up amber with 1" of sand-colored head, disappears fast. No head retention or lacing

S: Dates, breadyness raisins & apple skins & a hint of booze

T: Fruitty & jammy up front with big cakeyness. A little brown sugar & apple (think apple pie) follows as this warms. Fruityness (dates, apples & persimmons) persist throughout the finish, with a hint of dryness

MF: Medium-bodied with low/low carbonation

Drank alright, alcohol starts to show up at the end. I'd loved to found this back when I was in OZ, I know all the other coopers I've had were better fresh. If priced right, I'd revisit, no problem

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.82/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Color is a dark orange, with "floaties" running amok. It can't be an old bottle, for it's labeled as being bottled in October of '02, and promises to improve into 18 months. Perhaps I should have waited that long to see.
Head is fine, and white. Aroma is fresh and fruity, peach, apricot, melon, etc., and just a little bit floral.
Hops are very light, and malt is just sufficient. Taste is fully fruity and smooth. Sweet, tasty, rich, warm, with a lasting finish.
However, for something touted as EXTRA, and SPECIAL, and STRONG, I was disappointed. Perhaps, as they pledge, this "vintage" will improve with time. It was just "okay" for now, though.

Photo of beernads
4/5  rDev +9.9%

Photo of jwc215
3.72/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12.7 oz bottle - 2008 vintage - "Best after" date unclear...

Pours hazed orange amber with a thin off-white head that descends to a thin lasting cover. Nice color - not much lacing sticks.

The smell is of musty-ish earthy spicing with a orange-accented fruitiness. It has woody notes and some caramel.

The taste is malty, but not too sweet. A earthy hop touch held up well to give it a nice balance. Orange fruitiness (with a hint of anise?) and sweet caramel/toffee maltiness lead to an herbal/woody dryness in the finish.

It's slightly more carbonated than expected, but body certainly holds up to medium. It is very smooth.

This is easy to drink with enough going on to keep interest, a nice smoothness, and abv very well-covered.

Photo of WesWes
3.48/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a dark amber color with loads of floaties and a thick frothy offwhite head that fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a traditional English ale scent, which is sweet, but with a bisquity aroma. It's bitter with a slight warmth and some burnt toffee character. The taste is decent. It has a smooth toffee flavor with a slight warmth and residual sweetness. The mouthfeel is average. It is a medium/full bodied beer with less than adequate carbonation. This is a pretty good beer. I haven't had any exceptional beers from these guys, but they all drink pretty well.

Photo of Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev +9.9%

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Coopers Extra Strong Vintage Ale from Coopers Brewery Limited
82 out of 100 based on 355 ratings.