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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.

335 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 335
Reviews: 261
rAvg: 3.64
pDev: 13.74%
Wants: 12
Gots: 12 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Coopers Brewery Limited visit their website

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: 335 | Reviews: 261 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Rochefort10nh

New Hampshire

4/5  rDev +9.9%

11-28-2011 17:18:13 | More by Rochefort10nh
Photo of dbrauneis

North Carolina

3.75/5  rDev +3%

11-28-2011 12:04:52 | More by dbrauneis
Photo of woodychandler


3.75/5  rDev +3%

From the bottle, first: "Coopers Vintage has been brewed with choice malts and an extended top fermentation to provide a strong flavoursome ale. Stored under cellar conditions the rich and full flavour of Coopers Vintage will become more complex over an extended period."; "Coopers Ale and Stout are brewed using the centuries old top fermentation method and natural bottle conditioning, resulting in a characteristic fine sediment forming on the base of the bottle. This sediment is completely natural and can be gently mixed before drinking or poured carefully leaving the sediment in the bottle."

Vintage 2008: "Best After [smeared].19.2008" I went with a gentle pour, hoping to leave as much of the lees (sediment) in the bottle as possible. I had barely a finger of light-tan head with decent retention as a result. Color was a muddy brown, like the nearby Conestoga River after a heavy rain. Man, but this smelled syrupy malty and given its ABV, I could see myself splitting my skull on this evening. The first sip struck me as more watery than I might have expected, but the maltiness lived up (or down) to my expectations. You had best be into sugary sweetness before opening one of these. I was getting a lot of chewy malt initially, followed by an anise wash of licorice bitterness, especially on the back end. The finish was very anise/licorice-like and frankly, it was a refreshing break from the unrelenting sweetness. I would not want a steady diet of this, but on a snowy evening, it hit the spot.

Vintage 2009: "Best After 25.June.2009 19:58". I'm solid on Hallowistmas (29 Oct 11, when it snowed!).

Again, a gentle pour, but this time with just wisps for head and a deep-amber color with just the hint of haze. Nose had a more pronounced caramel sweetness. Mouthfeel was fuller and more carbonated, suggesting that fresher may be better, especially in this case. The taste was more pronounced, as opposed to aged, and I really caught the interaction between the hops and the malt. Toffee was prevalent, but not overwhelming, on the tongue. This was actually quite pleasant, where the previous vintage was more of a challenge. Finish was very caramel, very fitting for Christmasween.

10-29-2011 23:32:18 | More by woodychandler
Photo of vancurly


3.43/5  rDev -5.8%

On tap at the Coopers bar in Adelaide airport. $9 for a South Australian pint (i.e. NSW schooner).

a) Pours a pale caramel brown, hazy. Served in a tall fluted glass mroe suitable to pilsner than English ale. Head disappears almost immediately.

s) Banana-like esters. Wild vegetation and maybe some tropical fruit.

t) Toffee, fleshy/yeasty. Touch of warmth, with banana note again.

m) Medium weight, slightly creamy, long palate.

o) A very drinkable ale with enough complexity to keep interest. I think the bottled version is slightly better.

10-06-2011 22:39:04 | More by vancurly
Photo of bucklemyshoe


4.03/5  rDev +10.7%

375 mL bottle into a snifter. Bottled: 05/17/2008.

A: It pours a cloudy dark red with two fingers of frothy off-white head with great lacing.

S:Berries, melon, banana, nutmeg, and caramel.

T: Lots of fruitiness, mild malty flavors, and a touch of booze.

M: Medium-thick with surprisingly strong carbonation.

O: This is not as strong as I had hoped but the fruitiness is very pleasant.

09-20-2011 15:34:11 | More by bucklemyshoe
Photo of Hachiman


3.38/5  rDev -7.1%

I had the 2008 vintage.

Poured an almost clear medium brown with almost no head. Decent lacing though.

Smelled of medium roasted sweet malt and raisins, prunes.

Tasted zesty for a three-year old beer. Aged in the bottle, so nothing from the container. Taste didn't rise to the level of the aroma: a little sweetness on the front end and bitterness on the back.

Mouth feel was slick and medium heavy.

08-30-2011 02:16:59 | More by Hachiman
Photo of Stew41


2.83/5  rDev -22.3%

2010 Vintage (consumed August 2011). Hard to get excited on this tasting. Flavours seem hard and unforgiving with bitter stone fruits. Some malt sweetness tries to get going but never really takes hold. Dumb phase? Have seen much better examples from previous vintages.

08-13-2011 23:11:44 | More by Stew41
Photo of LXIXME

New Mexico

4.22/5  rDev +15.9%

Poured from an inch and a half or so above the glass leaves a big light tan head floating above a particle / sediment filled beer that is a light caramel golden color.

Initial whiff is mostly alcohol with a dark fruits and molasses background, as it sits a little the dark fruits such as dates, prunes, or plums come through with still the alcohol and molasses adding to the aroma.

A light alcohol highlights a caramel to molasses taste with accents of dark fruits, maybe mostly plums (not really to sure), anyway it is a nice mixture of tastes here.

Aftertaste is not wet and not dry but leans towards the latter.

It's up around 100 degrees outside, and I think I'd like this beer even more if the weather was on the cooler to cold side, since it kind of reminded me the way it looks like spiced apple cider with a Cinnamon stick in it with a taste that Rogue or Stone seem to aim for.

If your into beers that really don't fit into stout, IPA, Belgian or whatever style but have a pretty good and different taste you will want to try this and the price isn't to bad either.

08-11-2011 22:28:58 | More by LXIXME
Photo of zeff80


3.98/5  rDev +9.3%

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.

07-18-2011 02:01:43 | More by zeff80
Photo of MrKennedy


3.53/5  rDev -3%

2011 Edition, 375ml bottle purchased from Dan Murphy's Top Ryde and poured into a Mikkeller tulip style glass.

An amber appearance with orange highlights when held up to light, it has a very cloudy look to it and pours with a two and a half finger head of white foam with very tiny bubbles. Plenty of tiny bits of sediment that mostly sink to the bottom of the glass.

The smell is of pear, apple, banana and caramel with a touch of booze.

Tastes of toffee with a touch of burnt flavour, caramel with the booze coming through as well.

Mouthfeel is good, but not what i recall of previous vintages where this was one of the highlights. This is a little thin early, while morphing into the creaminess that was felt with past vintages back around a decade.

Overall, this seems a little bit young or green, maybe best to sit on for a little while.

07-17-2011 10:06:42 | More by MrKennedy
Photo of doktorhops


3.8/5  rDev +4.4%

This is one I've been saving in my fridge for about 8 months - 2010 vintage. I had a fresh one when I got the 6 pack and put the other 5 to rest in the cooler and have gradually been picking them off over time.

Poured from a 375ml "stubbie" into a tulip pint glass.

A: The most immediate thing that strikes me is how murky and brown the body is, certainly would be difficult to shine a flashlight through it. The 1cm beige head slowly settled down to 0.5cm.

S: An interesting combination of tart and sweet aromas - a touch of port and fig pudding with rhubarb. The alcohol is detectable in the smell and there is a hint of Diacetyl butteriness as well.

T: Sitting in the fridge for 8 months certainly hasn't changed the kick of flavour this brew has! There is a strong toffee malt front, followed by almost overbearing candied-plum flavour (which is where the ABV really kicks in), and ending with a tart dryness that compliments the overall experience quite well.

M: Heavy, almost honey-like viscosity which makes it the last thing you should be drinking on a menu as it entirely dominates nearly any other competing flavours & textures. The carbonation is mid-low.

D: It's a big ale, and it doesn't bandy about the subject. There is quite a bit of alcohol in this drop and considering that fact it's hidden rather well (tastes on strength par with Leffe Blonde). I would recommend it as a decent after dinner beer or with a heavy meal, but as far as sessioning goes this one should be the finale rather than something to start and continue with. One last thing to note: expect a fair bit of yeast at the bottom of the glass/bottle - if you're not a fan of this (personally I think it adds character) you may want to decant it.

Food match: Rich game meats like Venison or Kangaroo... in fact a grilled "roo" steak with roasted vegetables and a dark chocolate sauce would go down a treat with this.

06-18-2011 08:44:38 | More by doktorhops
Photo of EgadBananas


3.18/5  rDev -12.6%

Vintage 2008.

Poured an amber/copper color, very light tan head, but it doesn't stay long. Aroma is slightly fruity, malty and caramel. That carries over well into the taste, though it has a slight bitter edge and more nuttiness. Feels pretty good...medium bodied, a tad creamy and sick. Low carbonation. No real booziness to it, so it drinks easy enough, but it's just nothing too spectacular. Decent enough though....may sit on a bottle for a while

06-17-2011 00:32:58 | More by EgadBananas
Photo of heygeebee


4.33/5  rDev +19%

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.

05-12-2011 04:46:17 | More by heygeebee
Photo of xylophonica


3.93/5  rDev +8%

A - Light caramel brown colour. Minimal head.

S - Sweet sugary syrup. Mild cheese & bread.

T - Very light and sweet at first. Heaps of sugary caramel flavours. Mild carbonation offsets sweeter tastes.

M - Carbonation as above is quite soft but couples well with a more bitter aftertaste.

O - So clearly this is the pick of the Coopers stable.. although it has a price to match. Very pleasant and easy to drink. Proof that Australians can make a decent beer when we try!!

03-25-2011 07:37:10 | More by xylophonica
Photo of steven9000

Alberta (Canada)

4/5  rDev +9.9%

375ml bottle, 2009 vintage.

appearance- So we got a copper gold clear color with a 2 and a half finger Kacy frothy head

Smell- Smells like an English barley wine. I get lots of pears and caramel. Seems if someone took a pear and dipped it into caramel. I also get some clove and fig and some raisin notes. Just a slight bit of alcohol.

taste-The taste i get lots of caramel. The alcohol is definitely noticeable. some sweet radians and a slight bitter finish

Mouthfeel is definitely medium to full mouthfeel with perfect carbonation.

Overall this tastes very much like a English barley wine. It was very good and at a real good price. 11 bucks Canadian for a 6 pack. Coors light 6 packs cost around the same amount so i fought it a awesome deal.

03-25-2011 01:47:02 | More by steven9000
Photo of Nerudamann


3.53/5  rDev -3%

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Look - cloudy and floating with the sediment. Copper/caramel in color with about 2 fingers of slightly dark off-white colored foam that dissipates slowly.

Smell - malty smelling, but maybe with hints of hops.

Taste and Mouthfeel - malty and sweet at the beginning, but the hops kick in in the middle, toward the finish there's a burnt chocolaty type of taste, which stays in the aftertaste. Texture is fairly well-balanced but leans more toward the creamier side.

Drinkability - a little too bitter for me in general, but still good-tasting and complex/intriguing. Very decent brew.

02-04-2011 03:42:42 | More by Nerudamann
Photo of biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

3.55/5  rDev -2.5%

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.

01-21-2011 02:07:07 | More by biboergosum
Photo of burnheartsMKE


4.2/5  rDev +15.4%

I hastily pour this bottle into my glass overlooking the bottle's warning to be "poured carefully leaving the sediment in the bottle". So, naturally I get a tulip bowl full of deep amber-brown liquid with millions of floating particles swimming slowly around. A bit of yeast catches a carbonation bubble and rises fast before once again diving deep into the murky bottom. But I ain't scared of a little yeast and it all slowly settles 'round the basin waiting for my last sip of enjoyment.

The smell is fantastic; dry autumn leaves, a waft of fresh damp earth and a grape-kool-aid like essence all seem to bypass my nose and head straight to my tongue because I begin salivating.

First sip confirms my suspicion; this smell & tastes a lot like an American-style Scotch Ale/Wee Heavy, which is good because I am currently in love with the style (namely,Lake Louie's Warped Speed) and it's kinda turned into my go-to beer this winter. A rustic sweetness characterized by roasted caramel with a chilled out bitterness gives my mouth a full flavored yet super easy drinking experience. My only complaint is that I drank it too fast.

01-12-2011 02:12:53 | More by burnheartsMKE
Photo of Bitterbill


3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

2009 Edition, no sign of a bottled on or best by or best after date.

A nice cloudy rust coloured brew, there's a small head of foam, smaller, smaller, now just a ring around the glass and a few islands in the middle. The lacing isn't half bad.

The smell, though lightish, is primarily of dark fruits and a sugar like sweetness with some alcohol poking through. As strong as this is, I expected a more assertive nose.

The taste brings the dark fruits, mostly plums and raisins, and actually very little malt sweetness....lots more of a bitterness of the fruity hop variety. Some slight tart notes as well. The more I drink, the more bitter it seems to get.

Medium bodied with fairly light carbonation...a decent mouth feel.

This is pretty much a sipping brew for me but it's enjoyable.
I've had this a few times over the years but I've never held on to one for more than a year/drank one older than a year and maybe next time, I'll give that a go. At 1 year or less, it's good but may be potentially beter.

12-25-2010 16:00:37 | More by Bitterbill
Photo of philphilphil


3.88/5  rDev +6.6%

appearance was cloudy brown with half an inch of head which stayed the whole time.
Smell was a mix of many fruits with malts and a touch of hops.
Taste was great but a little murky, fruits and malts and intense too.
Drinkabiity isnt bad and it is bolstered by its lowish price.

This beer is probably the best australia has to offer beerwise. Coopers is a brewery which I've ways felt was a tad not right, maybe it's those 50's labels on the sparkling and pale ales. I think if they gave their labels a makeover they could be an australian unibroue.

12-12-2010 23:32:14 | More by philphilphil
Photo of davidfoley

New York

3.7/5  rDev +1.6%

2007 Vintage

Appearance - Caramel orange colour, cloudy due to bottle conditioning, light carbonation and very little head retention. Sediment is relatively dark in colour.

Smell - Oranges, Dried Apple, Very mild Christmas spice, and malty background. Reminiscent of Grand Mariner

Taste - Well balanced, fruity with sweet malt and some tang. Hints of apple, apricot, banana and raisin. Dry, mild bitterness with some tart fruity malt in the after taste. Quite sweet and fruity for the style.

Mouthfeel - Smooth very slightly syrup with a light crisp carbonation.

Drinkability - Nice beer, would definitely have another. Quite heavy and fruity so not a session beer. Might suit a cider drinker better. Also quite potent in terms of alcohol.

12-07-2010 20:00:22 | More by davidfoley
Photo of jmdrpi


3.95/5  rDev +8.5%

2008 vintage
12.7 oz bottle, stamped "best after 6.19.08"

cloudy deep amber color. thin white head. rich sweet malty aroma. as it warms, some fruity aromas.

following the taste, very malt forward, some toffee flavor, maybe some raisin. fairly complex. full bodied, medium carbonation.

nice to slowly sip and let it warm and expand.

12-01-2010 03:39:51 | More by jmdrpi
Photo of greygooose


3.8/5  rDev +4.4%

A - poured a slightly hazy burnt amber color with a 2-finger cream colored head. the head persists to be fluffy throughout the

S - greeted with a familiar rich malty, bready, yeasty aroma. hints of sweetness, figs, and orange rinds as well.

T - full of sweetness, malt, caramel, and lingering spices on the finish. an almost complete absence of any hop bite.

M - smooth, silky, slightly warming, low carbonation

D - i'm not gonna lie, this brew goes down nice and easy but it feels filling so i'm not sure i'd want to drink more than a few at a time. would not seek this out in the future.

11-29-2010 02:39:55 | More by greygooose
Photo of shambeano


3.8/5  rDev +4.4%

this is the 2009 vintage, got a few more to age and see how they go. so lets see how the 09 is after 1 year!

A- pours with about 4cm of head, which pretty slowly subsides to a whisper but never leaves, a lbit of lacing. Color is a murky amber.

S- a little bit of fruit, and bit like chirstmas pudding but very nice. a little bit of bitterness.

T- whoah, raisiny sweetness, a bit of alcohol, general flavour is malty sweet with a tiny bit of piney bitterness to finish, but thers not much there. I am a fan of the coopers vintage generally, and i think the 09 is one of the best straight off the bat. nice work.

M- thick, full, fills every part of the mouth, pretty damn smooth though. i like it.

D- not the most drinable style, but i could have a couple in an evening though.

10-22-2010 13:45:28 | More by shambeano
Photo of Evil_Pidde


3.73/5  rDev +2.5%

A: Pours murky dark orange/brown with an airy tan medium-large head that dissipates into only thin lacings.

S: Sweet malt and dark dried fruits, apricots and figs. Some spices - white pepper. A little weak in smell though.

T: Sweet malt dominates. Then there's faint fruit and some floral notes. Hints of black coffee.

M: Aftertaste is dry and bitter, last for a long time - really nice. Body is full and carbonation is moderatly balanced.

D: Not bad, but a little to week in smell.

10-08-2010 17:54:00 | More by Evil_Pidde
Coopers Extra Strong Vintage Ale from Coopers Brewery Limited
82 out of 100 based on 335 ratings.