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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Reviews: 265 | Ratings: 376
Photo of philphilphil
3.85/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance was cloudy brown with half an inch of head which stayed the whole time.
Smell was a mix of many fruits with malts and a touch of hops.
Taste was great but a little murky, fruits and malts and intense too.
Drinkabiity isnt bad and it is bolstered by its lowish price.

This beer is probably the best australia has to offer beerwise. Coopers is a brewery which I've ways felt was a tad not right, maybe it's those 50's labels on the sparkling and pale ales. I think if they gave their labels a makeover they could be an australian unibroue.

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Photo of davidfoley
3.66/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2007 Vintage

Appearance - Caramel orange colour, cloudy due to bottle conditioning, light carbonation and very little head retention. Sediment is relatively dark in colour.

Smell - Oranges, Dried Apple, Very mild Christmas spice, and malty background. Reminiscent of Grand Mariner

Taste - Well balanced, fruity with sweet malt and some tang. Hints of apple, apricot, banana and raisin. Dry, mild bitterness with some tart fruity malt in the after taste. Quite sweet and fruity for the style.

Mouthfeel - Smooth very slightly syrup with a light crisp carbonation.

Drinkability - Nice beer, would definitely have another. Quite heavy and fruity so not a session beer. Might suit a cider drinker better. Also quite potent in terms of alcohol.

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Photo of jmdrpi
3.95/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2008 vintage
12.7 oz bottle, stamped "best after 6.19.08"

cloudy deep amber color. thin white head. rich sweet malty aroma. as it warms, some fruity aromas.

following the taste, very malt forward, some toffee flavor, maybe some raisin. fairly complex. full bodied, medium carbonation.

nice to slowly sip and let it warm and expand.

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Photo of greygooose
3.82/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - poured a slightly hazy burnt amber color with a 2-finger cream colored head. the head persists to be fluffy throughout the

S - greeted with a familiar rich malty, bready, yeasty aroma. hints of sweetness, figs, and orange rinds as well.

T - full of sweetness, malt, caramel, and lingering spices on the finish. an almost complete absence of any hop bite.

M - smooth, silky, slightly warming, low carbonation

D - i'm not gonna lie, this brew goes down nice and easy but it feels filling so i'm not sure i'd want to drink more than a few at a time. would not seek this out in the future.

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Photo of shambeano
3.78/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

this is the 2009 vintage, got a few more to age and see how they go. so lets see how the 09 is after 1 year!

A- pours with about 4cm of head, which pretty slowly subsides to a whisper but never leaves, a lbit of lacing. Color is a murky amber.

S- a little bit of fruit, and bit like chirstmas pudding but very nice. a little bit of bitterness.

T- whoah, raisiny sweetness, a bit of alcohol, general flavour is malty sweet with a tiny bit of piney bitterness to finish, but thers not much there. I am a fan of the coopers vintage generally, and i think the 09 is one of the best straight off the bat. nice work.

M- thick, full, fills every part of the mouth, pretty damn smooth though. i like it.

D- not the most drinable style, but i could have a couple in an evening though.

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Photo of Evil_Pidde
3.68/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours murky dark orange/brown with an airy tan medium-large head that dissipates into only thin lacings.

S: Sweet malt and dark dried fruits, apricots and figs. Some spices - white pepper. A little weak in smell though.

T: Sweet malt dominates. Then there's faint fruit and some floral notes. Hints of black coffee.

M: Aftertaste is dry and bitter, last for a long time - really nice. Body is full and carbonation is moderatly balanced.

D: Not bad, but a little to week in smell.

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Photo of faroutadventure
5/5  rDev +37%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2008 Vintage. Beautiful labeling. Beautiful bottle. Classy looking. Age it.

Appearance: Pours a hazy amber color with a magnificent head that retains and leaves all matter of lace. Almost champagne looking. Bubbles burstiing off the bottom of the glass.

Smell: Vague fruity aroma of bready fresh yeasty goodness and figs.

Taste: Malty flavors up front, with a developing character of figs; after the swallow, there is a boozy element that joins the fruit flavors, along with a bit of earthy bitterness.
Fresh bread comes to mind. Vintage smells of mom bakiing bread.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation; some warmth from the alcohol

Drinkability: The best beer I have tasted from this brewery; has some interesting flavors and I suspect they will become more complex with time
Age it to perfection.

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Photo of rarbring
3.68/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The beer is hazy amber with an orange tone, the off-white head settles slowly, leaves little lacing, but there are curtains.

The smell is mostly in the earthy area, some sour milk, leather, old wood and baking soda.

Starting sweet, brown sugar, ripe dark fruits, vinous and then vinegar, then a bit sharp bitterness, like crushed grape seeds.

Medium carbonation, rather sharp small bubbles, a dry finish

Not bad, but honing the sharpness and increase the earthiness would improve it, IMHO.

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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 Mjoepp
3.58/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Dark amber, small head that leaves lacing on the glass as the head quickly dissolve

S: Sweet and a some dried fruits as raisins and apricots. Little spicy from the alcohol.

T: Same as the taste and the alcohol is present but is well covered by the other flavors. Occasionally I get some liquorice notes as well. Little bitterness in the aftertaste along with some toffee. Body is quite thinner than expected.

O: Quite easy to drink, but doesn't deliver something special. A bottle left on the shelf will maybe change my opinion later years.

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Photo of dqrull
3.06/5  rDev -16.2%
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.

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Photo of dgilks
3.85/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 Vintage

There is a nice spicy note to the aroma with a light toffee background. Unfortunately, there is also a strange vegetal note underneath it all.

Deep chestnut brown, murky with a big fluffy, light tan head.Good head retention but there are some floaties which are unattractive.

Big, sweet malty flavour with a nice fruity and spicy yeast character. This has held up well.

Medium-full body with moderate carbonation. Good.

A decent Strong Ale. I think I prefer it fresh but this isn't bad.

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Photo of mulder1010
3.2/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

375 ML poured into a Globe glass 2010 Vintage

A-- Poured a dark sludgy looking orange color. Had a little bit of sediment at the end of the pour. Short lived off white head that only got to half a finger in height, then just film. A little bit of head retention with a swirl or two.

S-- A lot of dark fruits with this. Plumb and raisin. Has a bit biscuit sweetness to this as and a little bit of an alcohol nose.

T-- A lot of dark fruit and sweet bread off the bat. Big dose of carbonation as well.

M-- Really carbonated. Masks a lot of the flavors in this. Really thought this was closer to a Belgian Strong Dark Ale but seriously over carbonated. Plum, fig, and orange come out more and the sweet bread is in the feel also. Quite an earthy feel to this.

D-- Carbonation hurt the drinkability of this. Really over carbonated. Flavors and the texture are pretty good though. This could develop into a really good beer in time. Have an 09 in my cellar and should have reviewed that one. Will hold off on trying a 10 again for at least a year.

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Photo of Macca
3.4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This review is for the 2008 vintage.

It pours a murky dark golden colour with a centimetre of head.

The nose is dominated by yeasty spiciness, mostly pepper. Alcohol comes through quite clearly too.

A little bit of malt on the palate but not getting a lot of hops. A little sweetness. Definite alcohol warmth.

I keep trying to appreciate this beer more but it just doesn't work for me. I do appreciate that it's well made though.

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Photo of vacax
3.11/5  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.

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Photo of BierFan
3.18/5  rDev -12.9%
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.

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Photo of puboflyons
4.42/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009 batch. Sampled on May 6, 2010. It pours a handsome but somewhat hazy dark amber with a long lasting luscious looking fluffy head and excellent clinging lacing. But the most noticeable aspect is all of the sedimentary deposits swimming around the glass. It is significant as a home brew. Caramel malts is the first sensation in the aroma followed quickly by a pine tree, raisiny background and a crisp, fresh quality. The mouthfeel is fairly bold with the bits of sediments tickling the tongue. The overall impression of the taste is a kind of biterness with a dose of hard liquor. But the sweet malts and dry hoppy finish are also notable. It is complex but delightful. I can happily announce that this is the first Austrailian beer I actually really enjoyed and would actively look for again.

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Photo of kiddynamite920
3.25/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2008 Vintage into a large snifter.

A: Pours a dark caramel brown. Large particle floating around the brew. White head that stands about a half finger tall. Tried to pour this one light after reading there was large floaters in no avail. Other than the floaters this beer looks pretty solid. Small bubbles on the head.

S: Alcohol is still very strong for a 2 year old brew. Picking up raisins and bourbon aromas. Some vanilla. Hard to get past this alcohol burn. Has a grassy, earthy hop character behind the alcohol. Not an overwhelming malt profile.

T: Taste almost hits a high mark, but falls off very short. A good deal of flavor hits the tongue but it falls extra flat around the palate. Sweet malts hit the tip of the tongue and roof of the mouth, but nothing is there on the rest of the tongue. Almost has a watered down taste. Raisins and figs are present from the malts, no alcohol burn and no crispness. Just fell flat for me.

M: Almost feels like it will be a big strong ale, but it really feels watery.

D: Good flavor, but not an enjoyable mouthfeel. And no one really wants to watch floating bits sliding into their mouth from a beer. I understand drinking sediment but this is large particles.

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Photo of juju7
4.2/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 Vintage. Rusty orange with a thick billowy head. Lookin good. Nice fruity esters and some hints of raisin and dried fruits. A wonderful hit of rich bitterness and warming alcohol in perfect balance. Very much Eglish in style like most things Coopers does. Quite moreish. This is possibly the best vintage yet.

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Photo of joemeister
3.39/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2008. The first thing I noticed about this beer was the sizeable flakes floating around. I don't know what they are, so I won't hold that against the beer. Otherwise, the beer is a murky brown color that isn't really inviting. The head was average in all respects except for a few curious specks of brown. Not the greatest start, but hey, I don't buy beer for its looks.

The smell is strong malt. I can't decipher any other items in the midst of an otherwise pungent, bread-like / yeast-like smell.

Taste: here the experience took a turn for the better. The flavors are not nearly as overpowering and overbearing as the aroma might suggest. Significant carbonation unfolds into a lasting spicy bitterness. There is a faint pine aftertaste. The body is somewhat thin at first but it does grow into a more healthy, full feel the longer the sip stays on the tongue.

Overall, this is pretty average. The appearance risks being off-putting and the smell is unbalanced. The taste is redeeming, but not enough so that I would seek this out in the future.

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Photo of kegger22
3.93/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2008 Vintage

Coopers Vintage Ale was a deep copper color with tons of large, suspended particles. The head was about a half inch, beige with little retention.

The aroma was only vaguely apple. I got very little scent, which unfortunately, happens to me quite often.

The taste did have some caramel sweetness, but only after it warmed. My first impression of taste was hoppy bitterness, though I wouldn't describe the hops as citrus or pine.

The mouth feel was full bodied, I would almost say "heavily" bodied, and lightly carbonated.

Drinkability was fairly good. Respectable taste and 7.50 ABV, but I'd have another.

I enjoyed it, but believe it to be over-priced in my area of the country.

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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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Photo of Jeffo
3.9/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Got this at Bert's Bierhuis in Utrecht.

From a bottle into a snifter
Note: Bottle is 2008 vintage

APPEARANCE: Pours a two finger thicker looking off-white head with good retention. Partially clear with some carbonation evident. Dark burgundy red in color. A film remains until the end and leaves some nice lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Sweet caramel malt up front with raisins and other sweet red berries; some raspberries perhaps. Some floral hop elements in the background as well. Nice.

TASTE: Quite a malty beer on first impression with some caramel malt up front and then some butterscotch, raisin, and woody notes follow up. Nice floral hops near the end with some good hop bitterness to finish. Aftertaste is strong and long lasting with caramel sweetness and a good dose of hop bitterness. Quite nice indeed.

PALATE: Medium body with prickly carbonation. Not very creamy, but quite smooth. Goes down smooth and finishes slightly dry on the palate. Alcohol well hidden. A more impressive palate would be useful, as well as move the taste up a notch.

OVERALL: A tasty brew for sure. Another good offering from Coopers to go beside their fine Export Stout. Very enjoyable and drinkable, though the palate needs a little beefing up to really get it over the hump. One to try if you can find it.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.83/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a amber color ale with a medium foamy head with good retention and some good lacing. Aroma of sugar and light subtle fruity ester with nice dry caramel malt balance. Taste is a well balanced mix between some caramelized sugar with great note light dry raisins. Body is about average with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Well done though additional complexity could have benefited this beer.

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