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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

347 Ratings
THE BROS
87
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 347
Reviews: 263
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Coopers Extra Strong Vintage Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 347 | Reviews: 263 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of schopenhauerale
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

schopenhauerale, Oct 09, 2012
Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev +9.9%

t0rin0, Sep 16, 2012
Photo of mungus
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

mungus, Sep 04, 2012
Photo of allforbetterbeer
4.1/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 vintage, poured into a snifter. Reviwed the first time in 2010. Below is the first review, followed by updates 2 years later for the same beer bought at the same time.

The body is rusty orange and full of bubbles. The clarity isn't the best, as a slight haze keeps this from being very clear. The sediment in the bottle didn't end up in the pour but it was very easily roused. The pour is crowned with two fingers of off-white head that rises in the middle to form a little mountain rising out of my glass- very picturesque. Very good lacing and retention.

The nose is much more interesting than I expected from other reviews. Full of a surprisingly strong alcoholic fruit, mainly figs and over-ripe plums, but some currants and raisins show up as well. The remnants of some English hops show as well in a very "vintage" type smell. This is obviously 2 years old. A little malt is also present but is very mellow.

As opposed to the nose, roasted malts form the bulk of the flavor. Sweet and soft malty dark fruits show up first and are quite nice in the mouth. Then the flavor experience takes and interesting turn. A much sharper than expected bitterness rushes in and shows that the hops are far from gone. A little astringent but still quite balancing and nice. The hops no longer are crisp but still do their job well. Alcohol and a little burnt caramel also make an appearance.

The mouthfeel is medium and not heavy or thick. Carbonation is still quite good and serves to keep this from sticking on the palate. Nice. Drinkability is slightly off set by the surprising bitterness, but is still good because of the dark fruit sweetness that is infused in the flavor.

Conclusion: Wow! I wasn't expecting much from this beer from the other reviews but I am surprised at the grace with which this has aged. I think it could go longer in the bottle and I am now wishing I had bought more than two. I found it at a local store but have never seen it there before, which makes me wonder how they got a hold of some 2008? Maybe it got lost in their storeroom and they found it and put it in the cooler at a cheap price. Anyway, this is a nice example of the style, though not the best I have tried. My guess is that it would be nice fresh as well.

2012 review:
Still pours with carbonation; enough to form a half finger of off-white head that shows nice retention. The body is a slightly muddier version of the rusty bold orange I saw two years ago. Mostly unchanged.

The aroma is more watery, with the same ripe fruit/alcohol smell with even more of the life drained out of it. The overall character has mellowed, but there is a nice dried fruit aroma which seems to be a reincarnated and more balanced version of the previous aroma. I also think I smell shortbread cookies.

The flavor has become very mellow. The bold malts and bitter hop remains are not to be found. What is left is a slightly watery dried fruit and lightl malt flavor, with just a hint of savory burnt nuts at the end. The oxidation is almost not apparent. Once again, this beer has surprised me.

The mouthfeel still has life in it, but the body is gone. Without carbonation this would be a chore, but there is ample carbonation to keep this very much alive on the palate. It is interesting how little body there is left.

Conclusion: Very nice at 2 years and at 4. Could it go longer? Yes I think it could, but not past 5 or so years, and not without good cellar conditions. I really enjoyed seeing this evolve into something good but different. Now I want to taste it fresh.

allforbetterbeer, Sep 04, 2012
Photo of greybeardloon
3.38/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Best after June 16, 2009. 2009 vintage.

A: Not much head and minimal lacing.

S: Raisins, not very sweet dried fruit, sherry.

T: Dried fruit and sherry again. Leafy, woodsy hops and a dry finish. Not too sweet or cloying, and hoppier than I had expected. alcohol is well hidden.

M: Surprisingly bubbly and thinner than expected.

O: An interesting beer to have tried...

greybeardloon, Aug 23, 2012
Photo of danthehopslamman
3.75/5  rDev +3%

danthehopslamman, Aug 15, 2012
Photo of dansmcd
3.15/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours a lively amber crested by a finger of dense foamy off white head and sticky lacing.

S - Bready english malt, sugar, yeast, some sweet grain.

T - Grain, sweet corn, alcohol, salt, metal, faint grassy hops.

M - Highly carbonated, thin light watery body, alcoholic heat evident.

O - Somewhat disappointed in this. Too hot and spritzy for what it offers in terms of flavour and complexity.

dansmcd, Aug 13, 2012
Photo of TheBigBoy
1.5/5  rDev -58.8%

TheBigBoy, Aug 12, 2012
Photo of StJamesGate
3.38/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Loose taupe froth that's gone in a flash over a bright oxblood body.
Rum, golden raisin, butterscotch and whiskey barrel on the nose.
Butter and Madeira cake malts with peaches in syrup and thick honey then mild dried orange rind and cedar chip hops.
Toffee finish and dry linger. Light hinting at medium, slight cling, dead in the glass.

I knew I should be suspicious of a 5-year-old beer in a twist top. There are the whiskey notes of a mature strong ale, yes, but the whole thing is thin, flat and one dimensional, without even worrying if it's a bit stale. Not the best from Coopers or Oz.

StJamesGate, Jul 18, 2012
Photo of pin
3/5  rDev -17.6%

pin, Jul 04, 2012
Photo of laxer8811
4/5  rDev +9.9%

laxer8811, Jun 25, 2012
Photo of dtivp
3.58/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dark cloudy, chunky amber with a finger and a half thick dark white head that fades slowly with moderate lacing.

Aroma of sweet bready malts, brown sugar and dark fruits.

Taste followed the nose with strong bready malts, with sweet toffee, brown sugar in the background and a very slight hint of spice.

Mouth Feel was medium body, light carbonation, very smooth and not overly sweet as I was expecting from the nose.

Over all this is a nice vintage ale well cellar-ed, leans towards a barley wine style. I would be interested in trying other beers in the Cooper's fleet of beer.

dtivp, Jun 24, 2012
Photo of Antonius08
5/5  rDev +37.4%

Antonius08, Jun 18, 2012
Photo of Tribis
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

Tribis, Jun 10, 2012
Photo of OriolesFan1008
3/5  rDev -17.6%

OriolesFan1008, May 31, 2012
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 Chopman50
2/5  rDev -45.1%

Chopman50, May 27, 2012
Photo of olbubba
3.75/5  rDev +3%

olbubba, May 25, 2012
Photo of thecheapies
3.65/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2009 vintage poured into a brandy snifter. Best after June 26, 2009.

Looks phenomenal with two inches of buttermilk-colored head that laces down slowly. The body is a hazy auburn/caramel color. It even looks a little antiquated. 5.0

Picking up some oxidation notes of firm caramel, fig, schnapps, mint, dates, and some vinous notes. Smells fantastic. 4.0

Papery oxidation on the taste buds. Time has really thinned out the taste. Faint notes of dried fruits, toffee, upfront woodiness, and crisped rice. Boisterous alcohol presence shines over a thinned malt backbone. Much drier than you could imagine. Slight eucalyptus note that charges the beer with medicinal flavors and ruins the finish. 3.0

Rather thin-bodied to style. Snappy bite from the effervescence. The carbonation has certainly held up well, at least. 3.5

I didn't age this one, these '09 bottles were purchased yesterday. A letdown six-pack purchase. Never having had it fresh, I have nothing to compare them to. And, considering what's here now, there's no reason to let these sit any longer. 3.5

thecheapies, May 22, 2012
Photo of Horbar
2.5/5  rDev -31.3%

Horbar, May 21, 2012
Photo of smakawhat
3.45/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle, into a nonic pint glass. Vintage 2009.

A real cloudy and chunky looking beer, with lots of cola sticking carbonation on the bottle. Lots of floating flecks, through a cinnamon brown to red body. Head is light caramel barley manages a finger but settles slowly into huge swiss cheese puck.

Nice smelling nose. Sweet malts, honey rich, dark muted brown sugars with figs and dark fruits. Smells nearly barleywine, more into dark Belgian quad territory. Feels like something big is coming.

Mouthfeel is incredible wet and fleeting, even a bit sense of tight carbonation. Palate though can't quite make the niceness sensed on the nose. Muted malts, even a little grainy after taste.

Overall, interesting, but can't say I am desiring this again.

smakawhat, Apr 26, 2012
Photo of coreyfmcdonald
3.48/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12.7oz bottle into a snifter

A: Pours a hazy dark amber with a finger of dense white head. Retention is great.

S: Bready malts, dark fruits, and nutty English yeast.

T: Similar to the smell, but not as sweet. Strong bready malts with a lot of mustiness and some toffee sweetness. A hint of dark fruit in the background.

M: Moderate to thick with creamy carbonation.

O: Not bad, but not overly interesting. Very well balanced, though.

coreyfmcdonald, Apr 05, 2012
Photo of kc44
3.88/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 vintage, so something like two or three years old at this point. Great burnt orange hue, nice head that settles down into a thin layer of foamy bubbles that never go all the way away. Lots of malty sweetness on the nose, some wood, some dark fruit. The taste follows the smell fairly closely, but the good news is that the wood and fruit flavors come on strong and it is not just a simple malt bomb - well crafted and well cellared beer here. The only hint at the strength of this beer is the association of the flavors with high gravity brews; I'm not really picking up any alcohol heat. Maintains surprisingly good carbonation, unsure if the liveliness is appropriate here or not but I for one appreciate it, definitely adds another dimension to the beer. Nice and full bodied without being viscous or too sticky. Altogether, not a beer I was sure I would like, and certainly one that exceeded my expectations. Australians keeping it real here.

kc44, Apr 01, 2012
Photo of GONZALOYANNA
3.48/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle.Tulip glass.Enjoyed on nov´11.Orangish cooper. Close froth,yellowish in color.Large bubbled quickly dissipated head. Yeast, sugar,slightly toasted malt aroma & hints of candies to the nose.Gentle malty flavor at first sip.Notes of spices & brandy.Orange zest & sugar. Kind warming alcohol & bitter underneath.Fruity finish.Full body,soft carbonation.Woody aged aftertaste.Pleasant & paused drink in the evening.Well balanced beer.

GONZALOYANNA, Mar 21, 2012
Photo of harrymel
2.55/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Vintage 2008

Pours a maduro brown with some creamy foam accenting the top. Spot lace. Smells like malt and a hint of molasses with a solid point of oxidation. Maybe some tea like aromas. Flavor is surprisingly oxidized and fruity for the nose. Lots of wood, yeast and cherry flavor. Medium bodied with hi carb and a semi slick finish. Not a particularly impressive offering.

harrymel, Mar 11, 2012
Coopers Extra Strong Vintage Ale from Coopers Brewery Limited
83 out of 100 based on 347 ratings.