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Coopers Extra Strong Vintage Ale - Coopers Brewery Limited

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

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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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 355 | Reviews: 265
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 JackTheRipper
4.22/5  rDev +15.9%
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.

Photo of Shiredave
4.02/5  rDev +10.4%
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.

Photo of Boilermaker88
3.29/5  rDev -9.6%
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.

Photo of ark57
3.38/5  rDev -7.1%
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.

Photo of watermelonman
2.8/5  rDev -23.1%
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.

Photo of jdhilt
4.11/5  rDev +12.9%
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.

Photo of koolk
4.32/5  rDev +18.7%
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)

Photo of theozag
4.76/5  rDev +30.8%
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.

Photo of ybnorml
3.67/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was an October 2002 vintage bottle. I poured it moderatly briskly. I do this to try to generate so head. I was not expecting any extra stuff (bottle conditioning ?) . Silly me I should have read earlier reviews. I did manage to generate a nice head but it dissapated quickly. I has a light fruit/ raisin aroma with a hint of alcohol. The flavor was a light malt at the begining, Quickly to the fruity not to strong raisin and finishing with a bump of alcohol and a hint of hops. A flavorful beer if you can get around the appearance.
Also in hind sight I should of been more careful pouring this. Because expeariance should have warned me. My very first Coopers was a Stout MANY years ago and it had about 3 tablespoons of sediment on the bottom of that bottle.

Photo of diablo14
3.81/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

this is a review of the 2002 batch only. ill review the others in other paragraphs. this one isnt as good as a couple of their other batches, but hasnt ended up as ordinary as i thought it was going to.

the 2002 was very good as a young beer, that basically remained too fruity and got overly sweet as it aged. however the one i had last week had totally mellowed and rounded out very nicely. always a spectacular color to this beer, bursting orange color with tinges of brown, and i foamy head that isnt huge but holds form. lots of stone fruit on the nose and some hints of toffee and floral hops. quite malty, with zesty fruits, a little peachy, a little plummy, but has a great balance and a dryish bitter finish. has a nice level of sweetness after 18 or so months of ageing.

always good when coopers put this out. its a very nice strong ale and while the 2002 isnt necessarily the best it definately improves with age.

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.17/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch No. 4 - OCTOBER 2002.

Presentation: Screw cap 375ml brown glass bottle. Has quite a classy appearance and certainly would not lend you to think that this comes from down under. Listed as 7.5% Alc/Vol.

Appearance: In the goblet it has a golden amber color, with some light orange hints when backlit. The off-white head that forms is solid, and uniform, but settles to a consistent, 1/8” covering. Some nice thin wall lacing. Good levels of conditioning. Some funky looking yeasty tuna-chunks sneak into the last glass but do not affect the beers appearance.

Nose: Breaded yeast with some warm sweet malts percolating amidst a medium alcoholic base that has a little hop tickle in the back end.

Taste: Light malts with freshly baked dough on the tongue. I like the way that the dry ending is supported with a spritzy carbonation. Slight warming on the gullet as this one goes down. Astringent rasp at the death with some lingering bitterness. Tasty.

Mouthfeel: Above average with a clean feel. Some dryness on the cheeks puckers a little just before the conditioning pulls through the finish and balances the mouth.

Drinkability: Easily taken down, the 7.5% is there, but never overpowering, it supports this Strong Pale Ale and lends some nice body to it. I found this to be a very decent quaffer.

Overall: This one has clearly aged well and according to those in the now, is ideally at its best after 18 months. Judging by how good this was, I cannot disagree with them. Quite simply, the best Aussie beer that I have yet had.

Photo of Gusler
4.17/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Batch # 4 October 2002)
My most favorite beer from this great brewery, as it spews from the bottle the color a bemused copper color, the head portly in size, creamy in texture, and a winsome light tan in color and loaded with dross, both in suspension and caked to the bottom of the bottle and the lace a nice sealing sheet to conceal the glass. Nose is sweet malt, light hints of fusel alcohol, fresh and clean with the start sweet, nicely malted and the top moderate in feel. Finish is benignly carbonated and the hops spicy and delightful, dry aftertaste, a great beer.

Cooper’s Vintage Ale Batch #1 October 1998
The beer pours somewhat hazy deep amber, the head small and semi-creamy and the color a winsome light tan with the lace forming a thin veil to conceal the glass. The aroma of ripe plums, sweet malt and a bit of musk also seems present; start is quite sweet, rich in malt with the top middling in its feel to the palate. Mildly acidic finish with a nice hop spiciness, very dry like the Australian Outback.

(Batch # 3 October 2000) – 4.05
A nice translucent golden amber color on the pour, the head modest in size, light tan in color, the lace fine sheets that cover the glass. The aroma of malt dominates the nose, a tad brandy like, fresh, crisp and somewhat sweet, pleasing in its own right. Sweet malt start, top middling in feel, finish pleasantly acidic, hops purposeful in their spiciness, dry linger aftertaste, and a "Damn" good drinking beer.

Photo of rkhaze
4.03/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Oct 3/ 2000 batch. Poured a slightly hazy light copper. Small but dense off white head. Excellent lace. Noticeable carbonation. Aromas of sweet malt, honey, caramel and a tart yeastiness.
Tasted of sweet malt, brown sugar and buttery caramel. A little empty in the middle but had a pleasant aftertaste that reminded me of a slightly tart vanilla creme soda. Not much of a hop presence.
Rich and creamy yet with a thin to medium body for the style. Tingly carbonation.

Photo of RoyalT
3.53/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – The body was a thick, dark orange sediment-filled pool of ale. I wasn’t able to get the head that other BAs got, but it was decent.

Smell – The malt base is filled with fruity overtones. I’m picking up especially oranges, cherries, and melons. It’s a tad spicy as well, maybe cinnamon.

Taste – The taste is good but rather clumsy. The malt backbone is hard to find. The fruits are big but kind of shallow. The alcohol is almost overpowering and well beyond what I’d expect from a “strong” ale that only has a 7.5% ABV.

Mouthfeel – The mouth is kind of watery. The ale itself is medium-bodied.

Drinkability – This wasn’t bad, but rates low on my English Strong Ale scale.

Update – I had a 2002 in 2005 and really enjoyed this beer “opened up”. There’s a yeasty background to the nose (less so at the taste) with some leafy bitterness just for good measure. It’s “malted up” after three years of storage and isn’t bad. I raised a few ratings that upped the Overall score by 0.30.

Photo of BeerResearcher
3.87/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is a bit weak for an Extra Strong "Vintage" Ale, although it's not bad if it had been named Coopers Fairly Good Ale. It pours a mud puddle brown with a thin beige head. The aroma is balanced between sweet malt and fruit, with a mild alcohol fuminess. The full sweet malt is slightly nutty with a faint taste of butterscotch. A lime-like citrusy bitterness is mellowed by apple, pear and hint of banana flavors. The alcohol is noticeable throughout, though never overpowering. Nice little bits of yeasty goodness float around like snow globes.

Photo of beerguy101
3.76/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Medium brown gold color, medium head. Full bodied ale. Malty and fairly hoppy. Somewhat fruity, with a very strong dry finish. Very nice balance. Mouthfeel is full. Finish is very dry. Aftertaste is slightly malty. Finish is more champagne like than beer. Interesting beer. Some alcohol bite at 7.1%

Photo of SeanChouffe
4.58/5  rDev +25.8%
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.

Photo of Quaffer
3.17/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch No. 4, October of 2002. Bottle lists the abv at 7.5 %.

Appearance: This beer pours a very murky, very hazy amber-orange color. There was a ton of yeast floating around in the brew. A rough, almost white head rose up to two fingers with some coaxing and settled back quickly, leaving a thin cap of foam. This, too, has disappeared well before the beer was gone. There was no lace left to speak of.

Smell: This brew had an interesting aroma of alcohol, water, wine, green apples, and yeast. All of this was very faint and not easily detectable. But as the beer really started to warm up, an almost overpowering alcohol smell became very evident.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and very smooth, with practically no carbonation feel at all.

Taste: The taste is even more interesting than the smell. Interesting and a little bit strange to boot. Upfront there is not much at all, just a mild sweetness. But after the beer had lingered in the mouth for awhile and I had swallowed, an odd myriad of flavors arose: caramel, toffee, caramel apple, and green apple bubble gum. Along with these was the wine-like quality that I picked up in the aroma. On the finish was a burst of alcohol and a yeasty flavor that continued on as a lingering aftertaste. The alcohol flavor, like the alcohol aroma, became increasingly dominant as the beer warmed up.

An intersting, but not captivating, beer. It became much less enjoyable as the alcohol smell and taste took over. I have one of these set aside for aging that I will try in a year or two to see how it has changed. However, I don't think that this brew is big enough to age well for very long.

Photo of JohnnyDuvel
3.11/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

If this is Cooper's "top of the line", I'm unimpressed. All of thier ales have a sour skunkiness that doesn't appeal to me. It's unfortunate, because the fruity taste underneath is pleasant enough. This one looks like swamp water, with the color and floaties. Has a weird smell, and unusual taste. The overall effect isn't bad, but for what is supposed to be a vintage beer, certainly nothing special.

Photo of Suds
3.72/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This mahogany brown-with-orange colored brew has a bulbous, sticky tan head. The head quickly fades to a thin film of bubbles, but actually produces nice lace. There’s a lot of sediment, including large, free-floating clumps of yeast. Also, I’d say there’s a large amount of carbonation, which is (at times) audible. The aroma is intensely fruity (pear, banana, apple), with a little malt. The mouthfeel is dominated by the carbonation…the beer has potential for a nice, creamy texture, but the fizz keeps getting in the way. Taste is sweet and malty, but lacks depth and complexity. You can detect the alcohol, but it doesn’t seem to play that big a roll in the flavor. All in all, it’s really not what I look for in a barleywine.

Photo of IrishRedRock
3.45/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I was kind of disappointed in this, but I think I set my hopes about it a little too high before I tried it. Pours a reddish brown, with no head and little carbonation. Dark malts in the aroma, but very little trace of hops, which surprised me. Has a somewhat nutty flavor mingling with a warming alcohol, but the mouthfeel is really really thin. Warming and not bad drinker, but not worth seeking out.

Photo of yen157
3.89/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Coarse, fizzy head that had little staying power beyond a tiny bit of sticky lace. The body itself was cloudy amber with orange highlights. Chewy, toasted malt and toffee abounds in the nose, and those were mirrored in the taste. While there was no sign of hops aroma, there was a palate cleansing bitterness up front with the malt. The body was a little too thin and the finish cut short by seltzer flavor. It was a shame because it had so much potential. The 7.1% ABV did little besides warm the throat, so this beer would possibly get my vote for heavy hitting session beer of the month.

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 ADR
3.92/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Batch from Oct. 4, 2002...

Swampy ice tea appearance, with small chunks of yeasties. Head is minimal and lasts about 25 seconds. Aroma is of a Heath Bar, toffee-ish. Very candy-like flavors, some chocolate and buttery diacetyls, a touch of shortbread as it approaches the back of the mouth.. Hops do a good job countering any tendency toward over-sweetness. Well done, Coopers...not a killer but a fine and satisfying brew here.

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