Coopers Extra Strong Vintage Ale | Coopers Brewery Limited

265 Reviews
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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Reviews: 265 | Ratings: 375
Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
2.12/5  rDev -41.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

From notes:
Bottle states, "Vintage 2008."
Look:Orange/brown with a small, quick to disappate head. Large chunks of yeast float throughout like a snowstorm. I know that it's bottle conditioned but these chunks are too much.
Smell:Banana, booze and dust.
Taste: Copper, slight banana, dust. Didn't age very well, very bland. Tastes and feels like its falling apart.
Drink: On the bottle they talk about how ageable and delicious this beer is, and honestly, I wish it was. After two years it hasn't held up at all, maybe it's a shipping thing or it wasn't properly stored, but for $16 a six pack, I feel ripped off.

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Photo of skee1080
2.16/5  rDev -40.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

A: Dark copper with a slightly off-white head that lingers leaving a beautiful lacing on the glass. There is some haze, but that's probably cause the beer was bottle-conditioned and I accidentally just dumped all the sediment in (long day at work and I was rushing to pour my evening beer).

S: Sweet malt with hints of honey and raisin. There is a slight alcoholic note on the nose. No hop aroma. The aroma finishes with some caramel and toffee.

T: Some biscuity malt, but the beer is fairly well-attenuated, finishing dry. There are some intense solvent-like alcohols, which are a bit overwhelming. Mild bitterness. These higher alcohols are really masking much of the flavor--there's not much else I'm picking up.

M: Medium bodied with medium-high carbonation, lending a slight carbonic bite. The alcohols coat my mouth and provide an intense warming sensation.

D: This was a vintage-dated bottle dated 2008, so I probably drank it a bit too soon. Overall, those higher alcohols were the dominating flavor in this beer and were harsh at best. I'm thinking of buying a few more bottles and seeing how it ages over time, as this beer definitely needs some years to mellow out. I'll try to come back and re-review this beer once I had the chance to age a bottle for awhile.

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Photo of Mitchster
2.18/5  rDev -40.3%
look: 1 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Batch No.Oct 04-2002. 2.2 standard drinks, 7.5% ABV, 375 ml.

"The sediment is completely natural and can be gently mixed before drinking". Tell you what, sediment perhaps, but not coagulated chunks of fish food flakes (i.e.-Kwak and Abbaye des Rocs). Pours out to a lumpy and brazenly stewed medium amber, forming a poofy and soapy off yellow head with very good retention and one solid sheet of lace. Carbonation is moderate. The aroma is very odd....lots of pale malt husk mixed with butterscotch, red apples and green herbal hops, white grape juice, honey and rooibos. Mouthfeel is zippy with brisker carbonation than visualized, and medium bodied (deceptively light for an extra strong vintage ale!). The taste starts with green herbs, but not really hops, butterscotch, cardboard Fuggles and East Kent hops, a minutely brief wash of caramel in the middle, acrid and astringent isopropyl (imagine pouring a tablespoon of isopropyl into your beer and there you have it), followed by weaker suggestions of leather in the finish. Bitterness is moderate, but not good.

This is a complete mess-up. I can't think of anything positive about this brew. Riddled with off-flavors, looks horrible, acrid mouthfeel, bad's all there. Definitely pass on this one, it totally sucks.

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Photo of bylerteck
2.26/5  rDev -38.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Bottle from Local Provisions in Melbourne. From notes.

A - Poured a medium brown colour with a big fluffy three finger white head. Strong carbonation and decent lace with half a finger of retention.

S - Booze, lager-y, caramel, some gentle English/earthy hops.

T - Sweet malt, some off putting hop notes. Lager-y. Lot's of sweet grain. Not exactly good.

M - Strong carbonation, medium and slightly water-like body. Really cloying with a lingering oily/vegetal/medicinal slickness in the finish.

O/D - Not good. Maybe infected. Weird cloying and offensive flavours in the finish. Sad to have bought this with such high expectations.

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Photo of Offa
2.32/5  rDev -36.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

This disappointing beer was not what I was expecting. Perhaps it was a bad bottle, but I don't think so.

It's brownish amber and faintly murky with a smallish off-white head that soon dissipates to a wispy ring and top.

The aroma is old apples, stewed prunes, bread crust, and leaves, all a bit muted and muddled but not bad.

The taste is much worse and seems just old, acrid, and flat. It is mostly just old leaves and apples with a sharp, rough alcoholic quality. The overall character is very flat.

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Photo of joecast
2.49/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

version 2006. 375ml bottle. 7.5% abv

well, looks a disappointment in the glass. fairly light in color, deep amber and clear but with chunks of yeast sediment falling to the bottom of the glass. not the good, natural looking sediment you find in other coopers brews, but sort of not quite right stuff you dont want in your beer sediment.
not only that, no head. pours really lightly into the glass and only musters up a 1cm head that quickly faded to just a ring around the edge of the glass. not what i was hoping for.

ok, close the eyes and just smell. eh, a bit better. sweet fruit cake aroma with a bit of warming alcohol behind. the alcohol becomes more prominent as it warms which leaves it kind of one dimensional. not being a big fan of that acetone alcohol aspect to the smell of beer, this isnt all that appealing so far.

the worst part of all this is that for a beer of this style and strength, it really needs/should be enjoyed at not so cold temps. unfortunately, the aroma, for me at least, makes that difficult.

smooth flavor. strong malt presence with a bit of yeast accompaniment. some warming as it goes down. little noticeable hops but not sure if they would fit in much here. mouthfeel is ok. little carbonation keeps it from being too lively which wouldnt go well with the strong alcohol.

what a disappointment. dont know if age will help tame this beast. not that i need to worry as this is the only bottle i got, and dont plan on going back for more.

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Photo of WeeObese
2.5/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

2008 Vintage. I only know this after looking at my cellar spreadsheet. What type of vintage ale doesn't have a year on the label?

A: Pours a deep chestnut color, with a small but lasting head and huge chunks of yeast sediment.

S: Sweet carmel malts and some slight toffee aroma and a faint hoppy bitterness.

T: Sweet malt and biscuit-like breadiness. Followed quickly with a unpleasent bitterness.

M: Thinnish body with a overly dry astringent aftertaste.

D: Not the best beer. Kind of a weaker attempt at an English ale. For a strong vintage ale I was expecting much more. I also don't see thi sbeer aging very well at all.

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Photo of harrymel
2.62/5  rDev -28.2%
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.

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Photo of DogFood11
2.67/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Cooper's Vintage poured into a snifter forms a controlled 2 finger hea that leaves stringy lacing. Hazy body that looks meaty. Yeast particles evident, never bothered me a bit yet so no big deal.

Light fruitiness to this brew is the savior....lemon zest, toast, combine with a light fruitiness and molds together rather abrubt. Enough bitter hops to keep this thing in check, maybe the bitterness is from a lemon peel as well. Its a nice beer but its between Average and never purchase again....oh the dilema.

Notes: not a brew I'd want to drink more than one of in a night, and it has nothing to do with the abv%. Zesty lemon, thin body, with a weaker toasted starter. Stick with the stout from this brewer.

Mouthfeel is spiced, dry and lingering. Highly reccomended.

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Photo of charlzm
2.71/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

2007 bottle, consumed 03/17/08.

Pours a clear medium gold... until I hit the sediment I didn't realize was at the bottom of the bottle. D'oh! Beer is now thick with lots of suspended particles, though bubbles march up regularly to keep the thin foam head replenished. Still, this beer looks particularly unappetizing with all that junk suspended in it.

Aroma is boozy and a little metallic with some sweet honey notes.

Mouthfeel is thick, chewy. Carbonated more than expected as well. Some parching.

Flavor is quite yeasty and not as sweet as the aroma led me to expect. A little more on the spicy side. Some bitter orange peel in there as well as a mild metallic note. A little hot from the alcohol as well.

I think I drank this too young. Another year might have mellowed it out a bit. Still, I need to rate it as I drank it, not as I think it might turn out someday.

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Photo of jrallen34
2.72/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I drank this from a 12oz bottle into a generic chalice.

The beer is an ugly murky brown with a light tan. Not much retention or lacing.

The aroma is light with a little malts.

The taste is bad, thankfully we were splitting this and I didn't have much to drink. It was bitter with bad hops. The feel was ok, but not drinkable at all.

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Photo of genaro
2.73/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Extra Strong Vintage Ale: batch no. 4-Oct/2002. This beer poured a cloudy, transluscent amber/gold. The head was small and ephemeral and there was no lace. The subdued aroma contained traces of citrus, toffee and a wisp of alcohol. Other than a strong hop bite there was little to the taste except some toffee and a little sweetness. The finish was plain, just a bit sweet and dry. I guess I was expecting more and so I was disappointed with this Coopers' offering.

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Photo of jarmby1711
2.74/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This is my second try of an Australian brewed English Strong Ale, and I an conclude I probably dont like the style .
This looks inviting in the glass semi hazy burnt mahogany with a persistent smal bead.
It smells pleasnatly yeasty
The first few sips are sharp with a passionfruit flavour but it becomes astringent and harsh , It is like drinking a dull rum and water.
Is it a good beer .? I dont think it is

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Photo of watermelonman
2.8/5  rDev -23.3%
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.

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Photo of teromous
2.83/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

My review is for the same beer, under the alias "Coopers Vintage Ale" with a gold foil top and a picture of a man with a beard on the label. I'm not sure if that matters, but my review might be more relevant to a person drinking the same beer.

A: The beer is a dark rosewood color, with a thin white cap. The beer allows light through, showing lots of sediment in the beer. It is too dark to see through completely.

S: I get a faint but rich scent of malt. I get light notes of vanilla and I smell some alcohol.

T: I pick up notes of coffee, definite malt flavor, and I can taste the alcohol in the beer. The coffee flavor and some light oak comes out in the aftertaste. It would be a 4 but the alcohol flavor drops it off. I taste some esters.

M: The mouthfeel is good on most accounts. The beer is smooth which is nice, it coats the mouth well. The problem is that the beer has more of a stronger flavor than the body can support. It has a rather light body.

O: Overall it is a decent beer. I give it an average because I'm on the fence overall with this beer, which is how I feel about most average beers.

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Photo of Stew41
2.86/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2010 Vintage (consumed August 2011). Hard to get excited on this tasting. Flavours seem hard and unforgiving with bitter stone fruits. Some malt sweetness tries to get going but never really takes hold. Dumb phase? Have seen much better examples from previous vintages.

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Photo of xgabe
2.86/5  rDev -21.6%
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.

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Photo of GRG1313
2.87/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 2 | smell: 5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

2008 Vintage. Pours a dark copper color with a nice white head.

Stunning rich and assertive peach and banana nose. Unfortunately, flavor, character and body do not follow.

Simple malt and an upleasantly bitter hop flavor does not leave one wanting more. Short mouthfeel with turpentine unpleasant pine tar flavors. Short (thankfully) finish.

This vintage ale calls for aging. However, nothing in body, flavors or character could lead one to conclude that aging will help this dull, simple and short flavored beer with a fantastic nose. Smell it; don't drink it. Just one guys opinion.

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Photo of choyhosoi
2.9/5  rDev -20.5%
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.

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Photo of DoubleJ
2.9/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

2008 Vintage. As usual, I like these 375 ml bottles for an obvious reason. On to the beer:

Into a snifter it goes, the beer is unfiltered on the pour. Dark red color with hues of brown and orange, solid bubbly and patchy head retention on this one. Some chunks of sediment floating in the glass. Aroma...sweet caramel and a kick of booze. Notes of banana.

Strong peppery flavor throughout the beer with a chalky burnt grain astringency. Not a lot of flavor here. The alcohol character is spicy, but more peppery, like ground pepper. Faint hint of apple. Burnt toast aftertaste.

This has to get better with age, right? As of now, it is not very flavorful.

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Photo of rebel1771
2.93/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a beautiful cloudy dark brown with tons of sediment. This is a very nice looking brew.

Decent aroma with caramel and candied fruit notes.

The flavor is really a let down. I expected some bold malty flavors but this beers' flavor is just weak. Very subtle candied fruit flavors make an appearance, they're nice but I was expecting something a little more.

This beers' bark is worse than it's bite, still not a bad brew worth a try.

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Photo of DaveFL1976
2.95/5  rDev -19.2%
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.

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Photo of cbl2
2.95/5  rDev -19.2%
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.

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Photo of janubio
3/5  rDev -17.8%

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.

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Photo of Scoats
3/5  rDev -17.8%
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.

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Coopers Extra Strong Vintage Ale from Coopers Brewery Limited
3.65 out of 5 based on 375 ratings.
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