Coopers Extra Strong Vintage Ale | Coopers Brewery Limited

376 Ratings
Coopers Extra Strong Vintage AleCoopers Extra Strong Vintage Ale

Brewed by:
Coopers Brewery Limited

Style: English Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 05-07-2002

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Ratings: 376 |  Reviews: 265
Photo of SmashPants
4.12/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Format: a stumpy 475mL solid brown bottle with that stylish Coopers Extra Strong Vintage Ale label.

Appearance: pours out an orange-copper colour with a good cloud. A finger of thick off-white head that drops to a solid and creamy half-finger with decent lacing. Looks good.

Aroma: a fairly mild aroma of fruit esters, caramel malts, spices and that familiar Coopers yeast.

Taste: a complex profile of those Coopers yeasts, heavy fruits, toasted bread malts and caramels. Very smooth, and very delicious. Better with age, as this one does cellar for quite some few years.

Aftertaste: plenty of those yeasts as well as a touch of hop bitterness and some malt sweetness. All rounde pretty damn good.

Mouth feel: medium to fuller in body with a moderate carbonation. Silky smooth and quite chewy - in a good way. Lovely.

Overall: this is definitely the best of Coopers' beers, with their Best Extra Stout taking a close second. A complex and easy-drinking beer for either a session, or chilling with for a half-hour. They cellar for a number of years too, and can improve with age. Well worth the AU$83 for a case of 24 x 375mL.

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Photo of jdhilt
4.11/5  rDev +12.6%
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.

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Photo of sloejams
4.1/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A friend has long told me that this is his favorite beer in the world. This friend travels to Australia a bit and is not necessarily a beer connoisseur, but has pretty good taste. So when I finally saw a place selling singles of this (6 packs are always very expensive) I decided to give it a try.

It pours a dark and murky brown with a well pronounce in pinky finger head. Lovely lacing lines my inner glass. The aroma is not that different from a Belgian Dark (think Delirium Noctornum with less alcohol) - I smell raisins and sweet malt. The taste is more subtle than a Belgian Dark, the alcohol is well hidden. The finish is crisp. I'm amazed that this is 7.5% ABV.

Tasty beer.

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Photo of ypsifly
4.1/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Undated 12oz purchased at Merchant's in Dearborn and poured into a nonick.

Dark hazed amber with floaters under less than a finger of white that settles to a veiled ring that leaves rings of wispy lace.

Fruity with apples, melons and cherries. Some suggestion of bitter hops and wet oak.

The fruits are there upfront. Especially noticable is the melon flavor. There is also a slightly tannic flavor that works well with the bitterness of the hops into a dry finish with some lingering flavors of toasted malts. I like how this all comes together.

Medium mouth is right in line with the style. It has a little more carbonation than most offerings in this style, but this is not a problem at all when paired with the range of flavors. One of the more drinkable ESAs.

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Photo of Dukeofearl
4.09/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I may be reviwing this in the wrong place, because mine was "Coopers Vintage Ale", which I don't see in this list. But the descriptions sounds about right, so here it goes.

Pours a pretty copper color until a huge dollop of brown-black yeast snuck past my less-than-watchful eye. Made this a muddy mess. OOPS!

The aroma is flowery sweet and fruity- the best part of this beer.
The flavor profile was something I didn't record in my notes (damn!) besides that it was very tasty- now that's descriptive! It was a very balanced beer, with a moderate fruit character that made easy to drink. I enjoyed this, although if it's truly a strong ale, it may not really fit the style too well. So what- it's a good beer.

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Photo of Tone
4.08/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark golden/amber color. Lots of suspended yeast in this brew. 1/4 inch head with slight retention and slight lacing. Smells strongly of alcohol and some strong malt. Fits the style of an English Strong Ale (My first example of this style and if this is any indication of what other's will taste like, I'm a big fan.) Has a thick and slighty crisp mouth feel. There is a bitterness and tartness associated with an average carbonation level. Tastes of roasted malts, strong malts, slight hops, and noticeable alcohol content. Overall, this is a really good sipping beer. Worth a try!

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.08/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

One of those great finds while in Atlanta, GA a couple months ago. Although the 'best by' date says 10-09-06, I beg to differ. This beer shows a lot of talent and character. A bottle-conditioned pour delivers a strong copper, chesnut hue with a haze due to the yeast (among other particles) within the beer. Aromas are soft, yet firm with serious notes of barley malt, over-rippened peaches and pears, with a subtle English hop character (Fuggles?). All blends so well... The taste gives a well-matured, softly textured, and seriously complex blend of Marris Otter-tasting malts that bring out the soft fruity esters while contributing a spicy, fermented edgy, yeasty flavor. Again, well-rippened peaches and pears all over the place, leaving a mouth watering sensation after every sip. Each drink follows with a soft ride with aged hops and a pleasant (albeit light) hop flavor and mild sherry (oxidized) notes that complemented the beer well. A mild metalic taste is the only deterant. The feel is a soft, creamy, malty fullness that never shows agression or fusal alcohols. Finishes with the same fruity flavors experienced in the taste with intermingling notes of hops and alcohol dryness. Turned out to hold a 1/4" head all the way to the bottom of the glass with superior lacing. This is how I expect the Fuller's Vintage Ales to perform into their prime. This beer is that good. Probably should have waited to share this beer with a few local BA's (sorry guys), but this one is all mine!

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Photo of GClarkage
4.08/5  rDev +11.8%
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.

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Photo of IntriqKen
4.07/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a cloudy golden orange with a smallish white head.
Aroma is a little ciderish with definite English malt and yeast tones.
Flavor is a unique British toasted malt with a bitter cidery type of hops in the end. Very nicely balanced and a unique flavor.
Aftertaste is comfortable drying with a hint of the cider left on the tongue.

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Photo of FLima
4.07/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2010 conditioned. Amber brownish color. It made a thin head with low retention. Last poured gave a few floating particles.
Pleasant fruity and woody aroma, notes of caramel and earthy and floral hops.
Nice malty and flavorful taste with a spicy and refreshing sensation. Hints of tangerines, apple, pepper, and brandy. Nice hoppiness on the background. Dry and hoppy and condimented aftertaste.
Medium body and low to medium carbonation. 7.5% abv is harmonic.
I did like this beer, not too heavy, still flavorful and hoppy. I wonder how it would be if I drank it in another couple of years or younger. Though after 3 years it showed up as a great beer, maybe at its peak.

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Photo of phishgator
4.06/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This pours into a pint glass. The tan thick, murky, yeast-filled, liquid is non-transparent. The head is big large bubbles that slowly dissipate with some time. The aroma is not overpowering any way it just has some earthy hops and a little stale bread. The flavor is what is also nice. There is a lot of bitterness in there, but the strong backbone of old malt that kind of a little on the stale side also shows through. The mouthfeel is medium with a drying bitter aftertaste. One is enough. Great brew to switch it up!

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Photo of joemcgrath27
4.05/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 vintage
A - fully hazy swamp brown, multi coloured head held at a thin cover
S - dark fruits, grapes, phenols, bubble gum, all enticing
T - butterscotch mixes with dark fruits, light phenols, and light leafy hops
M - light and well carbonated, mine rally and dry finish
O - very tasty and easy dinking, leaves me thirsty after each sip

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Photo of Phatz
4.05/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Much thanks to gottajiboo2 for bringing this beer over and shring it with me. What a treat.

I did not locate a specific batch number but there is a 26 on the bottom of the bottle that is either relevant or not. there is a date of 10/9/06 which claims "best before date" but that would makes little sense on a beer *so* cellar worthy. Even on the label it boasts about the benefits of cellaring this beer. so a few moths past is hardly worth mentioning on this beer.

Presentation: A very cool 12.7 fl oz bottle wrapped in foil but with a twist off cap (like all Coopers, I should have guessed).

Appearance: A careful pour leaves the sediment at the bottom and the golden copper orange/brown body has a decent clarity. A final pour after the review show a lot of "goodies" in the bottom. Small pours yielded small thick head receding to an off white cap.

Smell: Vinous grape and sweet plum, caramel, toffee and musty baked apple faintly reaches the nose and a touch of wine like alcohol.

Taste: Lots of sharply sweet sugars and fruits (this one will improve with age). There is a bread dough and thick dark fruit smoothy flavor. A bit of toasted caramel, licorice, yeasty funk, and a nice little nibble from the warming alcohol that is not quite obtrusive enough to consider a bite.

Mouthfeel: Thick and chewy malts and sugars hit the palate up front. It thins through the cent ina end with a dry warming sensation.

Drinkability: This is a sipping beer. Don't try it in the beer bong or you'll get a stomachache. That aside, I would consider it drinkable enough for a 7.5% ABV sipping beer. I would want to go to bed after the second one though.

Hope this is helpful.

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Photo of tgbljb
4.05/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a cloudy coopper copper coler with only modest slightly off-white head. Quickly fell to only thing ring.Has a nice fruity smell with the promise of great things to follow. The taste is truly extraordinary. Nice maltiness with a very strong fruitn character (dates, plums). Finish is very smooth, and although there is a distinct lack of carbonation, it ends nice and creamy. For a 7.5% beer, this is a suprisingly easy drinker.

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Photo of Naerhu
4.05/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to theSilverhand for this brew.

A - Hazy brown body with off white head and stubborn lacing.
S - Brown sugar and yeasty aroma.
T - Sweetish half baked bread malt with nice big yeasty aroma. Very light hoppyness. This is a beauty.
M - Nice light carbonation, on a body that is a bit too small.
D - This is a joy to drink. The maltyness and yeastyness play off each other.

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Photo of morebeergood
4.05/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is the 2008 vintage that I have been aging in my cellar for a few years now. Poured into a Brooklyn Brewery snifter. I was extremely careful to not pour the thick sediment into the glass. Great amount of carbonation, with excellent lacing. Garnet ruby red body with orange highlights. Very nice looking beer. Smell was earthy and yeasty. Taste was very pleasurable. Malt, raisins, toffee, and fresh bread were highlights. Mouthfeel was the biggest surprise, so extra points here. It held up well over the time in the cellar, and it was mighty smooth. If I could go back, I would definitely buy a few more for a mere $3 each and age some for 5 years and beyond just to see if it can get better. But it's pretty great tasting at 4 years, no doubt.

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Photo of bucklemyshoe
4.03/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375 mL bottle into a snifter. Bottled: 05/17/2008.

A: It pours a cloudy dark red with two fingers of frothy off-white head with great lacing.

S:Berries, melon, banana, nutmeg, and caramel.

T: Lots of fruitiness, mild malty flavors, and a touch of booze.

M: Medium-thick with surprisingly strong carbonation.

O: This is not as strong as I had hoped but the fruitiness is very pleasant.

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Photo of rkhaze
4.03/5  rDev +10.4%
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.

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Photo of CrazyDavros
4.02/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2007 bottle.
Very little head, but massive amounts of yeast floating around that just doesn't settle. Earthy red/brown.
Malts dominated aroma, toffee and toasty, some golden syrup. Very sweet, hints of apples.
Aroma carries through to the taste, losts of toffee and toasty malt, with a slightly vinuous character. Hints of alcohol, and some mild hops.
Some heat on the palate, lovely and creamy, very mild carbonation.
Loved this. Exceptional.

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Photo of Shiredave
4.02/5  rDev +10.1%
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.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4/5  rDev +9.6%
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.

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Photo of WilliamLious
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into wine glass at room temperature. Was orange brown colour, but had no head, some sedimentation. Good bitterness with sherry undertones. Subdued odour which is slightly floral. Slight heaviness but well carbonated in the mouth. Well pleasing beer.

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Photo of Igormatos
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of lilsmizzul1225
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of crossovert
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 vintage. 12.7 oz bottle with twist off :-( cap.

Pours with a nice foamy off white head that leaves very nice lacing and has nice retention. The beer is a murky brownish/red orange color.

Smell is reminiscent of English barleywine mixed with a belgian dark ale, the deep perfumey scent of malts mixed with the hops that once were is very noticeable. Pears, bananas, dark fruits also stand out along with caramel from the malt.

It is fruity and bready, with a hint of bitterness. The finish is quite dry and bitter. The alcohol melds with the fruitiness well.

This is a damn fine brew, it still is a bit hot even 2 years old, it could get better with age, though it has the twist off which is more prone to oxygenation.

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Coopers Extra Strong Vintage Ale from Coopers Brewery Limited
3.65 out of 5 based on 376 ratings.
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