Cooper Project Barrel Aged Scotch Ale
Goose Island Beer Co.

Cooper Project Barrel Aged Scotch AleCooper Project Barrel Aged Scotch Ale
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Scotch Ale / Wee Heavy
Ranked #65
Ranked #10,316
3.96 | pDev: 8.84%
Goose Island Beer Co.
Illinois, United States
Very Good
Cooper Project Barrel Aged Scotch AleCooper Project Barrel Aged Scotch Ale
Notes: Formerly Cooper Project No. 1 : Barrel Aged Scotch Ale
Reviews: 59 | Ratings: 184 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.08/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Goose Island Beer Co. "Cooper Project Barrel-Aged Scotch Ale"
12 fl. oz. brown glass bottle, "BOTTLED ON DATE: 02APR18 09:42 8.75% ALC/VOL"
$4.99 @ Total Wine & More, Cherry Hill, NJ

Notes via stream of consciousness: I've had this on tap at the Philadelphia location but I feel that you can never really get to know a beer in 4 ounces so here we go. It's poured a mostly clear, just slightly hazy, reddish chestnut brown body beneath a full head of tight-bubbled and yellowed off-white foam. The aroma clearly expresses oak and Bourbon over a gently caramelish malt base. Just smelling it is pretty nice. The flavor follows, as usual, and the Bourbon and oak are really nicely smooth. They've still got enough strength to be quite clear but they're not brash or bold or too far forward - very nicely balanced; and the maltiness follows as well, bready, caramelish, and even a bit toffee-ish. Sometimes a Scotch ale can be a little too malty and almost syrupy but that's not the case here, nor is it too caramelish; I'm mostly finding golden and medium caramel notes. The bitterness is there but beneath the malt, balancing it, and helping it to finish mostly dry. It's really quite pleasant. Due to the oak I'm finding an occasional note of coconut but I don't expect everyone to find that, it seems some people get it and others don't. The alcohol is nicely balanced, but then again at just 8.75% it should be. I'm really curious now as to what this might taste like prior to barrel aging. In the mouth it's medium bodied with just a bit of a dextrinous edge, and a light, smooth carbonation.
Review# 6,504

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Photo of rudiecantfail
4.26/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 ounce bottle poured into a tulip glass.

L---Medium brown color with orange tinges. Medium, off-white head that faded quickly and left ok lacing.

S---Bourbon barrel is up front. Caramel & other malts are quite noticeable as well. Sweet, dark fruits & vanilla. Really complex & nice.

T---A little boozy. Vanilla & caramel. Some toffee & dark fruit (raisin).

F---Full. Coating. Definitely a sipper, not a gulper. Carbonation is minimal. No boozy burn, smooth.

O---High quality product. I got two, and this was the second. Drank the 1st one in July. I wish I had a ton more. Oh, well.

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Photo of Franziskaner
3.78/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Dark copper to brown and murky in complexion. There’s a fingernail of brown around the rim and covering the vast majority of the top. I smell plenty of sweet, sticky, bready malt. I’m tasting plenty of sweet bready malt with just a hint of vanilla and oak. The mouth is lightly sticky and warm with alcohol.

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Photo of cjgator3
3.98/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Bottled February 1 2017.

Caramel, lots of malt, brown sugar, molasses, and oak on the nose with a sweet malty taste. The finish is smooth and the alcohol well hidden. Overall, solid beer.

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Photo of minterro
3.78/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Gifted to me. Bottled: 04/02/18

A&S: Dark khaki colored beer. Not lively. Head dissipates quickly and leave no lacing. I am getting a lot of maple syrup and vanilla, there are also tones of breadiness and tobacco in the aroma. One thing I am not getting at all from the aroma is bourbon.

T&M: Taste consists of caramel, woodiness, roasted malt. It is pretty sweet. The finish isn't dry. Medium body and carbonation.

Overall: Since it was a gift, I have no clue of cost, but I guessing it would be more than I would be willing to spend to re-buy this beer. For me, there are better and very likely cheaper options for this style.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
3.95/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Dark red-orange color with good clarity. Off-white head settles out after a short time. Tiny spots of lacing.

S: Caramel, bread crust, and toast. Plum and currant. Earthy undertones. Bourbon and toasted oak.

T: Follows the nose. Bread crust, toast, and caramel, raspberry scones and stewed plums. Earthy dimension with hints of bark. Bourbon adds its own sweetness and some alcohol character, with the barrel bringing seasoned, toasty oak. Barrel flavors linger on the finish.

M: Rich, full body. Round, creamy, chewy, and coating. Gentle carbonation. very slight wood tannin and a deep, pleasant warming sensation.

O: Fine all around, and a nice warming sipper to enjoy. Barrel brings a load of bourbon character without hitting too hard or getting hot. Good, but perhaps lacking that extra bit of character that would help it stand out and take it to the next level.

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Photo of Harrison8
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a dark plum-brown with a thick layer of fog rendering it almost pitch-black. A finger of khaki foam foams up and retains well. Aroma is light bourbon up front. Caramel, toffee, and chewy biscuit and caramel malts give it a thick, but not dark nose. It smells smooth and inviting. Flavor profile is caramel, toffee, molasses, and herbal hops. Residual sweetness from the sugary notes and the herbal hops play extremely well together. Bourbon is present as well, and remains refrained and balanced in the profile. It doesn't impart any heat, and doesn't contain any charring. Mouth feel is semi-chewy, with a velvety texture deriving its texture via a fine fizz mixed with fine grains. It has a medium thickness, which makes each sip easier. Overall, a fine scotch ale with a light addition of bourbon. Bourbon is sweet and smooth, and melded seamlessly into the beer. Across the board, good, but not a standout on the shelves.

Served in a 12oz snifter from a 12oz bottle.

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Photo of Vixie
3.87/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a light red to an almost amber color, with a good sized tan head. The retention is good, finally dissipating leaving some think lacing on the sides of the glass.

The smell seems a little sweet at first, there's hints of fruit, toffee, caramel, and vanilla.

Bit sweet up front, hints of vanilla and toffee, maybe some caramel. There is a hint of booze at the finish, along with some warming from the alcohol.

The feel is pretty solid, has a nice full big beer feel.

Overall a good beer, but nothing overly outstanding about it sticks out. It is nice and flavorful, and well worth a try, but it did fall short of what I would call an exceptional beer.

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Photo of oberon
4.14/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Came in a stemmed glass an Auburn/tawny color with a thinner light beige head atop,a nice rich color.Aromas of the vanilla tinged bourbon and caramel in the nose,a slight toastiness was detected as well.Very easy to drink for the style and size but that doesn't mean it doesn't pack flavor,vanilla,roasted nuts,caramel,and earth all come together well but it never gets heavy and/or cloying.A nice bourbon barrel aged Heavy but I would give it to novice'ss to try as well.

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Photo of Bouleboubier
3.82/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

(12 oz bottle, 2018 release, bottled on 02APR18... poured into a snifter)

L: virtually-clear, deep crimson colored liquid; foam appeared to be dissolving on pour, but it actually did form a tight, spongy pad of off-white foam... the pad later recedes into a thin, broken collar; some broad drapes of lace stick

S: initial aromas are more the base beer than the barrel aging - dark fruits (prune), brown bread - but hints of vanilla and spicy booze soon emerge... even as the glass becomes barely cool to the touch, the aromas don't intensify - vanilla/cinnamon/caramel-scented candle is about it

T: though not aggressive, the char and booze of the barrel leap out right away, with the candy sugar-ish malts rushing up behind to push everything through the finish... delicate essence of dark fruit and an almost cinnamon-like (or red-hot candy) phenolic note pervade the aftertaste... flavors do balance out over a few sips, though the malty underbelly remains for awhile a little on the dry side with not much unique character to give it depth/dimension... some cookie and caramel do slowly poke though, but there is no edge, no warts to this at all

F: very clean and subtly smooth viscosity, with a latent swell of restrained warmth in the finish... while there is a slight oily drag to it, it's almost without contour/curves - could use a little more chewiness and/or raw heat

O: solid but rather textbook take on a Scotch ale - the barrel aging adds some color (while likely eliminating other subtle shades) without dominating... haven't come across one American-made, barrel-aged Scotch ale that exceeds the quality and character of a non-barrel-aged interpretation - maybe some brewery ought to try an Ola Dubh approach and barrel age a Scotch ale in some old Scotch barrels - I'd pay a lil more to try that

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.18/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Well, a computer crash fried the review. So, hmm... let's keep it extra short -- this one didn't annoy me, I found it to have a nice, round, rich maltiness but, while sweet, wasn't obnoxiously so. Same with its bourbony nature, it was warming, fragrant and flavorful without feeling like I was huffing paint fumes.

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Photo of beersampler6
4.11/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Outstanding scotch ale, very surprisingly smooth and easy-to-drink. Nice dark brown color with some tan head and spotty lingering lacing. Smells of bourbon, malt and some dark cherries. Tastes of great bourbon and wood, caramel, malt, dark stone fruit and a hint of vanilla. Goes down extremely smooth, very little alcohol burn and no lingering bitterness or sour aftertaste. Smooth creamy mouthfeel with just the right amount of restrained carbonation. Alcohol taste is very well hidden. Will have to try their other projects!

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
4.14/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle purchased from Total Wine in Daytona Beach, FL.

Pours a chestnut-caramel brown with a thin head of eggfoam yellow.

Aromas of cherries and sweat socks, old wood, caramel, and tobacco.

Flavor is nutty, with hints of caramel and slight alcohol burn. No detectable bourbon presence.

Feel is very crisp, carbonated, surprisingly clean.

Overall, far from what I'd expect from a Bourbon Barrel Scotch Ale, but overall it's one of the better beers I've had in recent memory.

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Photo of BeerDawgs
4.04/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

L - Amber red, no clarity, cloudy, and 1 full finger of head and some lacing

S - Toffee, sweet, roasted malts

T - Toffee, brown sugar, malty. Very tasty

F - Well carbonated, medium body

O - Good brew, worth picking up

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Photo of SawDog505
3.99/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a 12 oz Snulip glass bottled on April 2 and just above room temperature. Pours a very attractive mahogany with a 2 finger khaki head that leaves thin trails of lace behind.

Smell is bubblegum, toffee, caramel, biscuit, bourbon, peat, and dates.

Taste follows biscuit, peat, caramel, toffee, dark fruit, and Oaky vanilla bourbon.

Mouthfeel is about medium, plenty of life, maybe a tad dry, and at 8.7% a sipper that drinks very easy because of its complexity.

Overall this is a very nice beer and I would love to sip it more often, thanks jzeilinger for this bottle.

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Photo of jzeilinger
3.9/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Deep burgundy color with thin off-white lacing and very delicate carbonation.

S - Toasted caramelized toffee aroma with slightly acidic dark fruit aroma. Sweet toasted malt aroma and plum, and delicate dark fruit.

T - Light oak, alcohol, plum, and delicate dark fruit.

M - Heavy and thick body with alcohol booziness.

O - This is a balanced, boozy, and tame Bourbon Barrel Scotch Ale. That's not a bad "ting". Don't expect an extreme Bourbon County rendition of this style.

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Photo of Phoodcritic
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This beer is a traditional and very good Scotch ale. However, it doesn't compare favorably in body and flavor with the best ones, like Wulver, Backwoods Bastard, and Traquair. Actually, I don't think it is as good as Dirty Bastard, which is one-third the price. Thus, there’s no good reason for its existence.

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Photo of Buck89
3.77/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap at the source. A clear and brilliant copper color with a very small off-white head. It took a few deep sniffs to coax out the aroma: caramel, some toffee, some vanilla and oak. The taste was very malty and somewhat sweet. Burnt caramel, toffee, vanilla, and a faint bitter coffee presence on the finish. Slightly less than full bodied with a clean finish. Seemed a tad thin.

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Photo of Sabtos
3.91/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Semi-hazy dark amber-copper with minimal wisps of light tan carbonation on top, forming a ring around the edge.

Smell is caramel, zucchini bread, red licorice and vanilla, but all are somewhat muted aromas. Although, at times, I actually get a barrel-aged coffee Stout sort of essence.

Taste is caramel, toffee, and minimal bourbon that does exhibit more charred wood than expected with a little nougat essence.

The body is big, round and medium-full, with a soft but minimal fizz, finishing semi-wet.

Quite drinkable for the heft and style.

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Photo of stortore
3.81/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce bottle into a snifter. Bottled 2/1/17, had 5/19/17.

Pours a mostly clear medium amber, not much of a head, some spotty lacing. Aromas of malt, caramel, light bourbon, oak, toffee, raisins. The taste is malt, caramel, butterscotch, vanilla, light bourbon, some oak, a light bitterness. Smooth, a fairly light body for the style, appropriately carbonated.

It’s not bad, and it will probably age well, but it’s kind of disappointing. I’m okay with the light bourbon, but it’s just not a very good wee heavy. Three bottles to go, crossing my fingers.

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Photo of andrewh995
3.32/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a copper with a white head. Smells of caramel, toffee, and oak. Tastes of light bourbon, oak, caramel, toffee, light fruits, and malt. Medium creamy body and medium carbonation. Overall it’s a pretty mediocre scotch ale, nothing I would get again.

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Photo of MonDak_Joe1953
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into glass. Bottled on date of '01FEB17'.
Somewhat cloudy, brown colored body. Any head settles to thin ring and very scattered island. No lacing.
Toffee, butterscotch, oak barrel, and bourbon are the aromas.
Tastes are toffee, butterscotch, dark fruit, oak barrel, and bourbon.
Medium mouth feel, with mild burn tongue, somewhat smooth.
Tasty beer with barrel notes and sweetness.

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Photo of dcotom
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12-ounce bottle into a thistle glass. Pretty, deep copper color, with ruby highlights and a three-finger off-white head that left a bit of lacing as it settled. Bourbon forward on the nose and palate, but not overpowering. The beer is very smooth, with no harsh edge. The barrel character balances nicely with the roasty malts, caramel, and toffee flavors. Surprisingly little alcohol heat, with a dry and slightly astringent finish. Very easy drinking for such a big beer. Overall, an outstanding beer, and well worth seeking out.

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Photo of 5toutman75
4.52/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Nice color, look and feel to the beer. Faint bourbon smell. Don't think of it as a barrel aged beer as it is subtle. A great scotch ale and I'm curious to see how it will age as well.

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Photo of Ciocanelu
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Almost clear copper color with beige head. Aroma has nice butterscotch, brown sugar, bourbon, toffee and some light earthy notes. Taste has sweet toffee, brown sugar, caramel with some earthy bitterness on the finish balancing out the beer really nicely. Medium body, low carbonation, a bit sticky. Really good one, balanced, tasty, easy drinking.

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Cooper Project Barrel Aged Scotch Ale from Goose Island Beer Co.
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 184 ratings