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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.

346 Ratings
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

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

Batch No 4-Oct/2002 375 ml (2.2 standard drinks) from local supplier. Now well past the recomended 18 months of aging. With a gentle pour the ruddy yeast and spices stay behind leaving a clear brown ale with a modest tan head.
Caramel malt aroma hop not noticable.

Flavor of malt but caramel malt well in balance. crisp and fruity with little hop bittering. Alcohol well hidden by maltiness. Medium body and mouthfeel.
Swirlling up the yeast and other sediments in the last few ounces, I found it to be agreeable to the taste and wonder about the concern others have had re. this issue.

karst, Jul 28, 2005
Photo of AlexJ
4.15/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear mahogany brown with a thick, creamy 1 inch head of khaki. Nice retention with wavy streams of lace.

Aromas are sweet and malty, perfumed with light spices, raisins, dark fruit, leather, and sandlewood. Smells almost like an Old Ale or toned down barleywine.

Flavor is rich and fruity, with plum, raisin, hints of cinnamon, English toffee, caramel, floral hops, and a hint of citrus. Not wildly complex, but seems like it would age fantastically. Again, it really reminds me of an English Old Ale or light barleywine.

Body could use some beef, but is still medium. Mouthfeel is creamy and quite smooth with fine, pin point carbonation.

AlexJ, Jul 24, 2005
Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.1/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 1 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured into the glass chunky and hazy and overall nasty looking medium amber with a very low white head that fell in an instant and tried the lace the glass. The appearance was disgusting!

The aroma was nicely malty with a strong caramel malty presence and a nice English hop bittering component to complement.

The flavor was malty with a low caramel malt impression and well done hop bittering that balanced but was present enough to drive the strong ales' flavor from the malt to a more even stance. The beer was crisp and fruity and very well done.

The finish was just dry with a lasting citrusy hop impression coupled with a nice maltiness. The body was just above medium but seemed a bit less due to the carbonation. Alcohol was barely present in the flavor and only really came into play in the warming after consumption. This beer looks like puke in the glass. The aroma was kinda boring but the beer was spot in the flavor. Seek it out for that reason alone.

12 ounce twist off bottle. 4-OCT/2002. $3 at OUAV in Richmond, VA.

GCBrewingCo, Jun 22, 2005
Photo of clvand0
3.58/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

It pours an amber color with a small head that falls away quickly and doesn't leave any lacing on the glass. The aroma is sweet and spicy with some distant malt character. The flavor has a nice malt base, slightly raisiny and it also has a warming alcohol sinsation. Not really my favorite style. The mouthfeel was moderate and the drinkability was just ok because of the apparent alcohol.

clvand0, May 04, 2005
Photo of orbitalr0x
4.22/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch No. 4-OCT/2002. Pours in my tulip glass a deep dark murky amber brown color with a small bubbly white head. I accidentally got the yeasties in there...damn. Looks nice otherwise. A mix of sweet deep caramel malts along with some fruit and raisin tones. Toffee and mellow spiciness..quite a nice robust nose.

First sip brings a nice mix of caramel, fruits and raisins. A good malty flavor that is somewhat earthy and has a dry woodiness to it as well. Fairly sweet overall with just a hint of bitterness and a dry finish on the way down that leaves a lingering grape flavor. A tasty brew!

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, smooth with a nice punch of carbonation. For a strong ale this is a good drinking brew. I could sit down and enjoy a few of these after a hard days work. Recommended.

orbitalr0x, Apr 27, 2005
Photo of RootedFool
4.2/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This bottle, purchased at the North Coast Co-op in Arcata, California, reads "batch # 4 - OCT / 2002."

Poured into my faithful Maudite goblet, the head rises less than an inch, but dense like creamy cream of wheat, and similar to that in color. No lacing to mention. The body is a honey-infused gold, attractive.


Golden raisins, processed white sugar; the middle is like opening a box of graham crackers, a big waft of it; the finish is a drizzle of honey and a nice twang of citrusy hop freshness.


Opens with a deep whip of sugary grapefruit bitterness at the base of my palate, elevating into a sharper bitterness that takes the upper-regions of my palate, while a dense fruit-cake sweetness spreads out below. Alcohol warmth is very evident toward the close, and maybe peeks into the flavor, a little. The finish is that crisp, rich bitterness thinning out over a landscape of rich, candied fruits, a hint of baked green apple too. Finish is moderately dry.


Bitey carbonation. The body's a little sticky on the roof of my mouth, but nothing to complain about. Full-figured.

A stand-up brew. Would go great with a heaping serving of heavily spiced apple cobbler and a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

RootedFool, Apr 25, 2005
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 GClarkage
4.08/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

04/13/05- Purchased at a wine and beer shop in Sonoma, CA

Presentation- 375ml bottle with a batch # of 4-OCT/2002. Poured into my Maredsous chalice.

Appearance- Well, unlike most of the other reviews, this seemed to be one of the strong points of this beer. I received a large dirty white pock marked head that remained at least partly almost the whole glass. It also gave me very nice lacing and a nice golden-amber color. There were a small amount of yeast chunks, but nothing out of the ordinary.

Smell- Nice sweet spicy smell. Maybe even some apple and cinnimon in the mix.

Taste- Big sweet malty taste with a tiny bit of a hop twang to it. Mild spices are throughout.

Mouthfeel- Medium to lower carbonation.

Drinkability- This one was very tasty and went down super easy. At $2.79 per, this one was worth it for sure.

GClarkage, Apr 14, 2005
Photo of Jason
3.85/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

Jason, Mar 16, 2005
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 Gueuzedude
3.65/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Batch # 14 October 2002, Sampled January 2005
Pours a hazy amber orange color that is topped by a thin tan colored head, with a medium level of carbonation. The aroma is malty with some weird almost vegetal notes, as well as notes of alcohol, cleaning solution, caramel. The beer is sweet, quite well carbonated and has subtle oxidation notes of sherry. In some ways it is quite light on the palate. The taste is much more agreeable than the aroma hinted at. This is definitely slanted on toward the malty side of the spectrum, in some ways it even reminds me of diluted malt extract. Certainly interesting, and I am glad that I picked this up, but I think that it might be a bit more malty and fresh tasting if it was a bit younger.

Gueuzedude, Jan 30, 2005
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 freed
3.7/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Damn - only $2.79? For a 10/2002 beer? Nice...

Poured like egg drop soup - clumpy flecks and shavings of things I really wouldn't expect in my beer. The body is a thinish, flatish, hazy bronze, and has no foam.

The aroma is a subtle blend of pale malt, spice, and wild yeast. Nothing outstanding, but nice.

The taste is pretty nice - gentle, warming, slight spice, and a nice tartness that suggests that it belongs on your tongue. Despite the rather thin looking body, it fills the mouth quite well.

Sadly, the nasty looking crap at the bottom of the glass makes you not want to finish it, which really affects drinkability.

freed, Oct 15, 2004
Photo of sulldaddy
3.78/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

10/2002 bottle.

Chilled sample in a pint glass. The brew pours a hazy chestnut with tons of yeast sediment. The color actually reminds me of a cider. Aroma is of molasses and brown sugar some chocolate and ripe fruitiness too. First sip, much thinner body than expected, almost no carbonation. Maybe let it age just a bit long. The body is actually a little watery.
Flavor is sweet ripe fruit and brown sugar with some toffee too. No real alcohol presence. Beer goes down very easy and smooth, but the finish is a little empty. Not the best brew for aging I think, even with the hype on the label.

sulldaddy, Aug 26, 2004
Photo of maxpower
3.98/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375 ml bottle batch # 4-OCT/2002 pours hazy with chunks of yeast floating around, orange amber color with a fluffy white head that lasts. Spicy, fruity, yeasty aroma. Spicy and peppery pear and oak flavor. Medium body with a crisp and snappy mouthfeel, finishes with some dryness.

maxpower, Aug 15, 2004
Photo of genaro
2.73/5  rDev -25%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Extra Strong Vintage Ale: batch no. 4-Oct/2002. This beer poured a cloudy, transluscent amber/gold. The head was small and ephemeral and there was no lace. The subdued aroma contained traces of citrus, toffee and a wisp of alcohol. Other than a strong hop bite there was little to the taste except some toffee and a little sweetness. The finish was plain, just a bit sweet and dry. I guess I was expecting more and so I was disappointed with this Coopers' offering.

genaro, Apr 06, 2004
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.

WVbeergeek, Mar 28, 2004
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
Photo of Shiredave
4.03/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

4-Oct.-2002 Bottling
Hazy, deep amber color - firm off white head w/ good lacing. Floculant clumps of yeast slipped by as I poured..
Sweet, sugary aroma, notes of honey, hay and canned pears.
Lush, fruity flavors up front w/ hints of banana and melon. Light, Boddingtons sort of mouth feel; creamy but light, but not too light ( like Boddy's). Ultra sweet aroma makes me expect a fuller bodied ale.
Finish is dry and grainy w/ caramel and fruit lingering.
Very drinkable and quietly complex in its own way. Alcohol is very well hidden.

Shiredave, Mar 18, 2004
Photo of Boilermaker88
3.28/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Found this at a local store for three bucks. Presented in a stubby brown 12oz. bottle. On the bottom of the label the batch is noted, in this case 4 October 2002. Poured into my tasting glass, this strong ale had a cloudy orangey-amber hue with a lot of clumpy yeasty sediment and a small whitish head that quickly dwindled down to a ring. I had to be careful drinking this one so as to not disturb the sediment. That stuff took a long time to settle and was very easily aggitated.
The nose was sweet and fruity, with a floral aroma and some sweet caramel malt notes. Just a mild hint as to the alcohol. The taste was predominantly sweet as well, with little hops bitterness. Lightly flavored of caramel and honey, some moderate malts, and tropical fruits, I found this brew's taste profile to too mundane and pedestrian. Even the alcohol, at 7.5% ABV, seemed muted. The feel was medium-bodied and smooth with a bit of a watery edge to it.
I guess I was expecting more from a "vintage" ale, one that was advertised as able to age well. The label recommended this beer be consumed within 18 months so I was catching it right near the end of that time limit. Still, it appeared to not have held up all that well. Word of advice: if you don't want a mass of sediment in your beer, pour this one very carefully.

Boilermaker88, Mar 11, 2004
Photo of ark57
3.4/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2000 Vintage - It is a copper/amber color with a thin wisp of a head. The aroma was weak with some fruit notes. I have not tasted this beer when it was fresh so I have no frame of reference to compare it. It is malty and creamy, but it seems that any hop character has all but disappeared. It is a mellow beer that goes smooth and easy, but is just average in taste.

ark57, Mar 11, 2004
Photo of watermelonman
2.78/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

After pouring without much fanfare, it looks fine but it doesn't appear to be anything special. It smells like strong and alcoholic honey.

It's got a soft watery taste, and it goes down like a mixed drink. I think it's too bubbly and not hearty enough for a strong ale.

I won't be buying this again, unless I have reason to believe that I got a bunk bottle or they move to another recipe.

watermelonman, Mar 08, 2004
Photo of jdhilt
4.15/5  rDev +14%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a off-white two-fingered head that stays and leaves a good lace. Cloudy amber color and loaded with chunky bits. Pour this slowly. Batch No. 4-Oct/2002. It has aged well. Starts sweet and finishes sweet with just a hint of hops. $16.99 for a 6-pack of 375ml bottles. $2.99 for one 375ml bottle from Liquorama Upland, Ca.

jdhilt, Feb 23, 2004
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 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
Coopers Extra Strong Vintage Ale from Coopers Brewery Limited
83 out of 100 based on 346 ratings.