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 BlackHaddock
4.17/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2007 Vintage, 375 brown bottle. Poured into one of my Duvel glasses, just to watch how the beer copes. This may be a bit early for an 07 brew, but I was thirsty and wanted to try it out.

Even though I poured slowly, a fair amount of sediment flew into the glass, I had intended to have a clear beer and then half way through add the 'bits and pieces' that remained. Bugger!

I now had a dark orange cloudy beer with black grimbly bits floating around looking for a fight. On top of the body sat an off white thin scum of foam. Luckily anything in a Duvel glass tends to look a Million Dollars to me, although a score of 3 is about fair for this beer.

The aroma was of toffee and Dolly Mixtures (the little sweets). Not your normal Aussie beer smell that's for sure. Thank goodness the sweetness fell away as the beer warmed and some beery aromas arrived later.

My tastebuds picked up a sourness and bitterness that were completely hidden in the original smells. It tasted like a proper beer, even though it had an aroma from a sweet shop. Not bad, not bad at all. Not sure an English Strong Ale is what I tasted, but it was a fine beer whatever bracket you want to label it in.

The alcohol obviously comes through in the mouthfeel, but it isn't OTT and you can tell this is a well crafted beer. Complexed, interesting and contrasting flavours make this a beer to drink slowly and enjoy to the full.

Most likely the best Aussie beer I've ever had (only been once). I wonder what flavours are around if you cellar one for a few years?

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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 Bitterbill
3.48/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2009 Edition, no sign of a bottled on or best by or best after date.

A nice cloudy rust coloured brew, there's a small head of foam, smaller, smaller, now just a ring around the glass and a few islands in the middle. The lacing isn't half bad.

The smell, though lightish, is primarily of dark fruits and a sugar like sweetness with some alcohol poking through. As strong as this is, I expected a more assertive nose.

The taste brings the dark fruits, mostly plums and raisins, and actually very little malt sweetness....lots more of a bitterness of the fruity hop variety. Some slight tart notes as well. The more I drink, the more bitter it seems to get.

Medium bodied with fairly light carbonation...a decent mouth feel.

This is pretty much a sipping brew for me but it's enjoyable.
I've had this a few times over the years but I've never held on to one for more than a year/drank one older than a year and maybe next time, I'll give that a go. At 1 year or less, it's good but may be potentially beter.

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Photo of petermethot
3.25/5  rDev -11%

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 beerthulhu
3.92/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured a dark amberish-brown with a slight creamy off tan capping that faded rather quickly.

S: caramel apple and dry oranges.

T: The flavor starts off with some dark fruit (raisins, dates) some figs, and burnt molassess. There was some light fruitiness from the yeast (apples) combining with alcohol to give this cidery hints.

M: smooth, a bit oily, with soft carbonation providing a decent malt lacing.

D: Good drinkability worthy of a try, pretty tasty and big for an Australian beer.

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Photo of RBorsato
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hazy solid gold color with lots of suspended sediment, a low beige head, and nice active carbonation. All malt aroma and flavor ... very barleywine-like characteristics. Sweet malt flavors dominate but not cloyingly so. Medium bodied with a sweet malty light barleywine finish.

Nice try but not too special.

Per BOM notes: Triple hopped with Hersbrucker, Cascade, and Australian Pride of Ridgewood. 7.5% ABV

Best Before: 10.09.06
Tasted: 04/13/07

(12.7 oz short brown slight hourglass shape with "Coopers" logo embossed around the neck (X4))

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Photo of avalon07
3.45/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This Australian import is something of an odd duck in my view. It has a good smell and appearance and an OK mouthfeel. The taste is odd. It's almost like it starts out with a very flavorful burst and gives up. I was left wanting more in this department. I hope this is somewhat clear. This is one of those beers that's pretty good but far from being transcendental.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.12/5  rDev -14.5%
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.

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Photo of stereosforgeeks
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of harpus
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of wl0307
3.9/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My bottle is 2004 vintage, with a BEST AFTER date of 20/08/04. (suppose that's the bottling date?)

A: in a goblet it pours a very (Coopers-trademark) cloudy, dark and rusty-copper colour, with an off-white, foamy head settling fast to a thin layer of tiny bubbles lasting very well, against a constantly fine fizzy body.
S: quite refreshing malty nose plus mild aroma of candyish-orange, preserved-peach and a touch of light caramel; fruitcake's lightly buttery and dried-fruit (raisins) aroma sustains firmly at the back, along with a tinge of yeast, but not too much. In a sense it resembles the kind of very deep and flat raisiny aroma of a glass of semi-sweet Medeira wine left in the air for a while, yet I like it~~
T&M: first approaching is an overwhelmingly raisiny, almost madeira-wine like warm, alcoholic texture!!...the obviously creamy texture of malts is underlined by a quite floating dark-fruity and lively alcoholic, yeasty plus a bit woody feel lingering in the mouth, which turns increasingly dry and leaves a rounded but restrained palate of malts and more dark-fruits in the warm finish. The mouthfeel is very balanced, turning from a bit stimulating initially to soft towards the end, while in the aftertaste it becomes settled and dryish.
D: a quite strong beer, it somehow is quite restrained and simplistic in terms of overall flavour. Still, this is a nice beer to savour once in a while.

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Photo of ADTaber
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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 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 Brad007
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy amber color with a two-finger head into my glass that quickly fades down.

Aroma is full of sweet malt with a good hint of raisin in the nose. Not much else can be detected past that.

Taste is full of sweet, grainy malt as well with a caramel bent to it. Also notice hops and raisin as well. Alcohol warmth is quite strong though.

Mouthfeel is full of lingering raisin and alcohol warmth. Seems a bit too strong for my tastes but lives up to the style name.

Not bad. Definitely a strong ale of sorts. Not as strong as the american cousin and slightly closer to an english barleywine, albeit not quite.

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Photo of StJamesGate
3.39/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Loose taupe froth that's gone in a flash over a bright oxblood body.
Rum, golden raisin, butterscotch and whiskey barrel on the nose.
Butter and Madeira cake malts with peaches in syrup and thick honey then mild dried orange rind and cedar chip hops.
Toffee finish and dry linger. Light hinting at medium, slight cling, dead in the glass.

I knew I should be suspicious of a 5-year-old beer in a twist top. There are the whiskey notes of a mature strong ale, yes, but the whole thing is thin, flat and one dimensional, without even worrying if it's a bit stale. Not the best from Coopers or Oz.

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Photo of DrJay
3.55/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

2008. Poured a fairly clear tawny amber with an eggshell cap of fine bubbles. Thick, chunky lacing with good head retention. The sediment was quite loose, meaning that it was suspended in the last 2oz or so of beer, even with a careful pour. Fruity aroma, toffee, bready, ripe apple and pear skin. Malty texture, a little coarse, medium bodied with lowish carbonation. The body fell away a little bit towards the end, leaving it a bit thin. Medium to low bitterness that was more pronounced in the finish. Hops were a bit grassy and herbal, perhaps minty, and lingered on the palate. It was a bit earthy and there was a hint of anise mid-palate and in the finish. Fruity character was less prominent and seemed to be tied to a light alcohol flavour. There seemed to be a hint of oak/wood as well, contributing a light astringency. Overall, pretty good other than the issue I had with the body.

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Photo of Suds
3.72/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This mahogany brown-with-orange colored brew has a bulbous, sticky tan head. The head quickly fades to a thin film of bubbles, but actually produces nice lace. There’s a lot of sediment, including large, free-floating clumps of yeast. Also, I’d say there’s a large amount of carbonation, which is (at times) audible. The aroma is intensely fruity (pear, banana, apple), with a little malt. The mouthfeel is dominated by the carbonation…the beer has potential for a nice, creamy texture, but the fizz keeps getting in the way. Taste is sweet and malty, but lacks depth and complexity. You can detect the alcohol, but it doesn’t seem to play that big a roll in the flavor. All in all, it’s really not what I look for in a barleywine.

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Photo of Bighuge
3.15/5  rDev -13.7%
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.

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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 ZAP
3.7/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Amber colored....light head

S-Fruity..a big sweet apple aroma....sweet, ripe pears, toffee, and an earthy hop feel.

T-English feel...almost like an ESB....toffeeish malt backing with a fruity underbelly...fruits are not as pronounced as on the aroma.

M-Medium to full carbonation...finishes dryer than expected..

D-Enjoyable ale. Solid beer

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Photo of drpimento
3.37/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Interesting beer. Got this at Sam's in Chicago last week. Poured with a tan head and a few drops of dark sediment. Color is a very hazy dark amber to brown. Nose is some malt, caramel, toffee, nougat, and varnish. No lace and head mostly subsides quickly. Flavor is malty, toffee, a bit bitter from yeastoids, Thinner than I would have supposed. Think it'll get much better with some time. Do pick up the alcohol. Good carbonation. Finish is ok.

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