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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.

347 Ratings
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

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 xgabe
2.88/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottle is 12 oz, labeled as having a 10/4/2002 date on it.

Rather disappointingly average brew here.

A: Opaque orange amber; slight CO2. Quickly dissipating head

S: Winey, with hints of woods and alcohol. Some citrus notes. All of these, for being usually favorable, do not seem to combine too well for me.

T: Spice, mild currant, some cloves, and then some caramel.

M: Mild CO2; quite lighter than I'd like.

D: Average. The aging didn't do it any favors one way or another. Maybe I should have had it right away.

xgabe, Jun 20, 2007
Photo of choyhosoi
2.9/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a glass into a bottle and noticed alot of "sediment" (their words) setlling in the glass. The color is a caramel brown with a very thin head. The taste is not what I expected from what the color of the brew was. The taste took some getting used to IMO. The aroma had your usual scents nothing really stood out here. I am going to have to try this one again maybe I got a bad bottle.

choyhosoi, Oct 13, 2007
Photo of DaveFL1976
2.93/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Coopers Extra Strong Vintage Ale comes in a “vintage” looking bottle, and pours a deep mahogany brown, yet cloudy colour with a humongous head that crowns up over the glass without spilling over. The label indicates 7.5% alcohol and that they achieve it from “choice malts and an extended top fermentation.” The smell is a combination of aged, toasted malt and the sharpness of alcohol. The first taste to greet you is the sharpness of the high alcohol content. It’s not particularly well hidden, especially for “only” being 7.5-percent. The second taste is a toasted malty pseudo-sweetness followed, again, by the alcohol dryness. Mouthfeel is quite good, body-wise and carbonation-wise, but post-swallow, the alcohol can get to you. It’s not as easy-drinking beer as you would hope, and the “dryness” becomes a bitterness. To sum up, I won’t buy this beer again. Although it looks pretty nice, and smells pretty good, Coopers makes their Extra Strong Vintage Ale seem like the 12% Belgian that doesn’t balance out the high alcohol content. The only problem is that Coopers Extra Strong is 7.5% alcohol and does a poor job of balancing it out. All the more disappointing. I adore their sparkling ale and stout, but this beer is not one of their best.

DaveFL1976, Sep 14, 2005
Photo of cbl2
2.95/5  rDev -19%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

8/24/2006 $3.00 12.7 oz. 7.50% Best by 10/9/06 stamped on neck.


Pours a murky brown with no head at all, and large soda-like bubbles.


Sickly malty sweet with subtle fruit notes and some adjuncty corn aroma. This is vintage?


Mild malt overtones and a slightly bitter finish, but not a whole lot of character. Insipid mouthfeel that is offputting. Most of this went down the drain.

cbl2, Aug 25, 2006
Photo of pin
3/5  rDev -17.6%

pin, Jul 04, 2012
Photo of jjkatter
3/5  rDev -17.6%

jjkatter, Dec 28, 2011
Photo of probert
3/5  rDev -17.6%

probert, Aug 31, 2014
Photo of OriolesFan1008
3/5  rDev -17.6%

OriolesFan1008, May 31, 2012
Photo of janubio
3/5  rDev -17.6%

Hazy amber colour, big head and big lace. Smell is very faint, apples I think and caramel. Medium body and correct carbonation. Taste of fruits, apples and apricots. Easily drinkable, but I don't feel nothing special in this one.

janubio, Tuesday at 10:16 PM
Photo of MenInVen
3/5  rDev -17.6%

MenInVen, Dec 27, 2011
Photo of djrn2
3/5  rDev -17.6%

djrn2, Nov 22, 2012
Photo of Scoats
3/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This review is of the 2000 version. The label recommends 18 months of cellaring. I let it set for a while and it was 24 by the time I got around to trying my lone bottle.

After such a long conditioning, I was expecting all sorts of interesting tastes with a long tailing aftertaste. However the amazing thing about this beer was the extra-ordinary lack of flavors; no tail, nothing. Or maybe it was all too subtle for me (though my hunch it's the beer as I had it with a totally fresh palette). The beer even lacked a noticable alcohol taste, which isn't a bad thing, but surprising for a beer whose label says to drink with caution.

I was completely underwhelmed, not disgusted just disappointed.

Scoats, Nov 19, 2002
Photo of xShoWTeKx
3/5  rDev -17.6%

xShoWTeKx, Dec 25, 2013
Photo of ashleyshalyn
3/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I tried this at a barley wine tasting for some reason… I’m guessing b/c the ABV is high. As a barley wine I named it “the Budweiser of barleywine.” Described as strong ale, however, I feel it deserves a little more credit.

A: No head wnad a foggy burnt amber color, thin.

S: Coppery/metallic (like after playing a guitar with old strings or handling a bunch of pennies) with a light pecan and fruit aroma

T: A mellow light alcohol with sweet malty tones and a light hop finish… really not too exciting at all.

M: Medium high body w/ low carbonation

D: I would drink it again if someone else paid for it, but for my $ I wouldn't get it again.

I don’t recommend this one too much… not bad… but just not really doing it for me. I drank this alongside a few really really awesome barleywines so I’ll review again when I am tasting it on its own.

ashleyshalyn, Feb 16, 2006
Photo of norwichboy
3.03/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2006 vintage tasted. Careful not to disturb quite a bit of sediment, it pours a clear copper. There is little head which dissipates quickly. Smell dominated by synthetic fruit aromas: fruit jellies, apple peel, banana milkshake, and toffee. Quite sweet to taste with alcohol coming through very strong. Nice fine bubbles with a creamy mouthfeel. Overall, okay I suppose, but overly sweet and I was expecting more intensity with this beer.

norwichboy, Nov 12, 2006
Photo of dqrull
3.03/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5


Pours a great looking copper with a creamy, but rather small head. The head dies off pretty fast but leaves a quite robust lid.

First thing that hits me in the nose is the very prominent alcohol, along with a hint of raisin bread and hair spray, rather pungent.

Surprisingly thin and uninteresting taste to be honest. A light breadiness followed by some apple(and banana)-ishy yeast notes and some very reserved fruitiness from the malts.. But as mentioned, very weak overall...

Mouthfeel is quite nice, with a soft and sympathetic carbonation, and the body is lighter than you would expect from 7.5 ABV.

This beer should probably be cellared for a few years, but as it is now I have a hard time seing that it would have any chance to become more than average.

dqrull, Sep 15, 2010
Photo of crookedhalo
3.03/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I let this one sit in the fridge for a while because I noticed it looked a little sedimenty/murky. Well, that was a bust cause it poured a muddy amber to copper color with no real head other that some beige-like floating bubbles. Lightly fruity in aroma with some dull honeyed breadiness and some odd mineral notes. Tastes like the same strain of yeast is utilized from the Sparkling Ale, leaving a dry, distictive metallic twang. Lightly cidery, without being appley, almost seltzery. Too much play on carbonation and not enough emphasis on ale-like qualities. The only suggestion of its strength is a slight lingering caramel maltiness. Off-balanced and strange, but I am intrigued by it's dryness and accent on carbonation without making a good pour (twist-off?) I'll have to revisit this one again.

crookedhalo, May 06, 2006
Photo of amatuerbeerguy
3.03/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This one poured out a hazy, copper color. No distinguishable head to speak of. It also has a egg white like look in it.

Aroma is of caramel, yeasty.

Flavors of alcohol, with some caramel, slight roastiness.

Mouthfeel is a medium high body, with little to no carbonation.

This is an almost no flavor, aroma brew. It may be too cold, or old. But it is worth a try for the try.

amatuerbeerguy, Dec 09, 2006
Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.08/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a lovely, slightly cloudy amber colour, with an initially full head of white foam which disippates slightly to a thin an perhaps a little insipid ring of film. Minimal lacing. Colour is nice, but it looks a little too static and flaccid in the glass.

Nice notes on the nose - lots of toffee and caramel with a pleasant citric fruit character piping through, perhaps a little pineapple which stops the rich malt and caramel from becoming overpowering. Perhaps a slight boozy note too, but that's subtle, if it's really there at all. Nice.

Despite the rather static look of the body, there's a glut of tiny, overzealous carbonation on the palate, which leaves the tongue exhausted by the time it actually starts picking up the other characters. What's there is quite boozy, with some strong acetone characters - very little of the sweetness present on the nose. It feels as though it's a strong ale that hasn't managed to cover its alcohol content. It ends up rather harsh.

Really, this isn't a bad brew, but there's certainly something a bit too raw about it. Perhaps it mellows with age, perhaps is becomes slightly sweeter, and the harsher notes become blunted. Maybe. Hopefully.

lacqueredmouse, Jan 23, 2010
Photo of chinchill
3.09/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

2013 355ml bottle purchased in Dunedin NZ and comsumed the same day.

Pours dark reddish amber with poor clarity and a fizzy, short-lived head. No lacing is left on the wine glass.

Aroma: sweet and pleasant with a suggestion of cordial. Higher ABV evident here as well as in the taste and feel.

Fruity flavor with a battle between sweet and bitter.

Feel: light body; mildly astringent with some alcohol heat; low carbonation leaves this ale rather lifeless.

O: cannot recommend this old style ale despite its fine aroma.

chinchill, Dec 31, 2013
Photo of Dizzy
3.1/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

No date on bottle, poured into pint glass leaving dregs in bottle. Hazy brown with not much head. Aroma is sweet malts and alcohol. This beer is very sweet and the alcohol is very obvious, I also notice caramel notes. The alcohol burn lingers. Hops not prominant in this one. Somewhere between medium and full bodied with little carbonation. I was expecting a lot more from this one. I don't like this one very much, but it does match the style well.

Dizzy, Jul 31, 2006
Photo of vacax
3.1/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours an unfiltered copper with a thick cap of off-white and attractive head, clearly bottle conditioned, though with a bit of chunkiness to the yeast. Aromas of caramel, alcohol, grapes, honey and maple predominate with a touch of hops in there somewhere. Flavor has lots of syrupy malt, quite estery, some floral malts, some solvent alcohol, finish is very dry with some maple malt and grassy hops. Feel is nicely thick, but carbonation seems over the top, which is the norm from Coopers it would seem. This is a fair strong ale without much standout character.

vacax, Jun 21, 2010
Photo of Nesued
3.1/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Hazy light tan/brown in color. Two-finger head formed after a robust pour from a chilled bottle. Thin head remained after a few minutes of "resting" after the pour. Lively fine carbonation feeding the remaining head. Yeast remaining in the bottle after a careful decant on the pour. Lacing followed the level as it was consumed.

Smell - Strong yeast presence. Fresh malty aroma as well. A bit of the alcohol comes thru, but not much. A roasty nose is also there

Taste - Sweet malty taste. Seems a unbalanced as the finish is more driven by the carbonation and alcohol presence. I held this for a bit to get a warmer feeling expecting a bit of a change. Didn't get it. I also tasted a bit of a spice/peppery presence as well.

Mouthfeel - Did feel a bit deeper upon another sip, but the overall density was more due to the carbonation that the "fullness" of the beer. Felt a bit overcarbonated to me. Didn't really feel a hop presence or "bite" contributing.

Drinkability - ok, this is a new style for me and since this is my first English Strong Ale I have nothing to put up as a comparison. I think this is an interesting style with a fine sweet/malty taste. I have several more and will hold on to them.

Nesued, Jun 16, 2007
Photo of Bighuge
3.1/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The amber colored brew throws out a nice head, albeit fizzy. Carbonation is evident in the glass, with CO2 surfacing rapidly in the form of tiny bubbles. A sour/fruity mix on the nose. This beer is really lacking for any distinguishible qualities on the taste buds. Surprising for a Strong/Vintage ale. There are some light nuances of fruity character. A little herbal tea like character. sIf something good can be said about this beer, it's that the alcohol taste is absent in a 7.1 a/v brew. Very drinkable for that level of alcohol.

Bighuge, Jun 21, 2002
Photo of BierFan
3.15/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12.7 ounce bottle into a tulip glass. 2008 vintage.

Appearance: Off-white head, hazy ruby red body.

Smell: Musty, cherry syrup, almonds.

Taste: Quite a disappointment. I think perhaps it didn't have a malty enough body to stand up to 2 years of aging. Earthy herbal hops and a decent bitterness in the finish.

BierFan, May 21, 2010
Coopers Extra Strong Vintage Ale from Coopers Brewery Limited
83 out of 100 based on 347 ratings.