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Coopers Extra Strong Vintage Ale | Coopers Brewery Limited

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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: 374
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 bodied....sharp carbonation...finishes dryer than expected..

D-Enjoyable ale. Solid beer

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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 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 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 Brenden
3.87/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The color is a deep amber. It pours a medium head that's decently sustained with light lacing. Carbonation is light. There is an taste with a slight citrus; almost woody, with a very tame and pleasant underlying sweetness. It is medium-bodied, and a fairly thick, malty mouthfeel. The malt and hops are very well-balanced and I thought the taste was very good. I will try this again.

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Photo of KarlHungus
3.57/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a murky light amber color. The head is small, and vanishes into almost no lacing within seconds. The aroma is burnt caramel, brown sugar, alcohol, and a hint of wood as if it had some barrel aging to it (although I don't think it does). The taste is very malty. The toffee and caramel flavors come up first with the brown sugar and alcohol rounding out the finish. There is no hint of wood like in the aroma. The mouthfeel is medium-full bodied with carbonation that is too high for the style, and really gets in the way of the taste. Overall, this is an alright beer. I could drink it again without any complaints, but there are a lot of strong ales out there with more complexity.

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

Pours a deep brown color with golden and reddish hues. Thin off-white head that dissipates to a film quickly. Spotty lacing on the glass. Light nuts and malt in the nose with hints of peppery alcohol. Medium-bodied and well-carbonated with flavors of nuts, figs and malt. Touches of spicy hops and alcohol as well. The finish is chewy and sweet with a light astringency in the background. Above average overall.

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Photo of popery
3.31/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The beer pours a dark amber color with a nice head. There are floaties throughout when held up to the light. It's a fairly murky beer. The smell is strong with some sweetness and ethanol. It's somewhat reminiscent of maple syrup with a bit of fruit. Despite this sweetness, the taste carries a fair amount of bitterness, as well. The flavor doesn't quite balance out ultimately, and the alcohol also shows up a bit much. It's a strong beer that drinks even less smoothly than it's abv of 7.5% would suggest. There is a good deal of carbonation, a bit bracing when paired with the bitter notes. I enjoyed the beer but probably wouldn't buy it again. Admittedly, this is not my favorite style.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a murky copper/ amber color, with an off white head. In the aroma, green apple sweetness, yet not that fruity and hints of alcohol. In the taste, malty alcohol and a small sweetness. A malty smoothness, medium to lagre bodied mouthfeel, and a dry and somewhat fruity aftertaste. A nice sipping beer, and a nice alcohol presence.

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Photo of RoyalT
3.53/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – The body was a thick, dark orange sediment-filled pool of ale. I wasn’t able to get the head that other BAs got, but it was decent.

Smell – The malt base is filled with fruity overtones. I’m picking up especially oranges, cherries, and melons. It’s a tad spicy as well, maybe cinnamon.

Taste – The taste is good but rather clumsy. The malt backbone is hard to find. The fruits are big but kind of shallow. The alcohol is almost overpowering and well beyond what I’d expect from a “strong” ale that only has a 7.5% ABV.

Mouthfeel – The mouth is kind of watery. The ale itself is medium-bodied.

Drinkability – This wasn’t bad, but rates low on my English Strong Ale scale.

Update – I had a 2002 in 2005 and really enjoyed this beer “opened up”. There’s a yeasty background to the nose (less so at the taste) with some leafy bitterness just for good measure. It’s “malted up” after three years of storage and isn’t bad. I raised a few ratings that upped the Overall score by 0.30.

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

Pours a dark reddish colour with very nice thick beige head. Cloudy appearance, typical of a Coopers. Great, though.

Nose is quite hoppy with a slight glazed edge. Hints of a raisin character. Nice but subdued.

Very nice taste, rich and malty with a hoppy finish. Alcohol is mostly well hidden but there is a bit of a jolt in the middle, it's well masked by the hops. Finds its way a bit slowly through the mouth, a bit clunky somehow. This is a very good beer, really, impressive yet pleasant and very fine drinking.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.17/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch No. 4 - OCTOBER 2002.

Presentation: Screw cap 375ml brown glass bottle. Has quite a classy appearance and certainly would not lend you to think that this comes from down under. Listed as 7.5% Alc/Vol.

Appearance: In the goblet it has a golden amber color, with some light orange hints when backlit. The off-white head that forms is solid, and uniform, but settles to a consistent, 1/8” covering. Some nice thin wall lacing. Good levels of conditioning. Some funky looking yeasty tuna-chunks sneak into the last glass but do not affect the beers appearance.

Nose: Breaded yeast with some warm sweet malts percolating amidst a medium alcoholic base that has a little hop tickle in the back end.

Taste: Light malts with freshly baked dough on the tongue. I like the way that the dry ending is supported with a spritzy carbonation. Slight warming on the gullet as this one goes down. Astringent rasp at the death with some lingering bitterness. Tasty.

Mouthfeel: Above average with a clean feel. Some dryness on the cheeks puckers a little just before the conditioning pulls through the finish and balances the mouth.

Drinkability: Easily taken down, the 7.5% is there, but never overpowering, it supports this Strong Pale Ale and lends some nice body to it. I found this to be a very decent quaffer.

Overall: This one has clearly aged well and according to those in the now, is ideally at its best after 18 months. Judging by how good this was, I cannot disagree with them. Quite simply, the best Aussie beer that I have yet had.

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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 notchucknorris
3.47/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark brown and hazy color with barely any head.

S: Caramel, vanilla and some prune. Subtle hints of oak.

T: Big and malty flavor with some dark fruit notes. Prune and some raisin are the biggest flavors. Mouthfeel is a bit thin despite the big flavors.

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Photo of Reidrover
3.69/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I think this is the 2004 vintage.
Very attractive looking ale semi-hazed chesnut brown with a nice looking creamy eggshell white head.
Aroma is a puzzle though..its sweet and malty but weak..weird.
Taste is certainlly better than the smell. very malt dominated and caramel sweet to start though it tones down a bit some fruitiness too in their a little plum?. Demerara sugar sweetness at the end..longer lasting weak bitterness.
Good on the palate..pretty nice and thick, low carbonation, which i prefer.
Over all a good beer but there seems to be something missing. Maybe need an older vintage?

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Photo of EgadBananas
3.18/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Vintage 2008.

Poured an amber/copper color, very light tan head, but it doesn't stay long. Aroma is slightly fruity, malty and caramel. That carries over well into the taste, though it has a slight bitter edge and more nuttiness. Feels pretty good...medium bodied, a tad creamy and sick. Low carbonation. No real booziness to it, so it drinks easy enough, but it's just nothing too spectacular. Decent enough though....may sit on a bottle for a while

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Photo of pkalix
4.35/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

beautiful color- dark amber... what to expect?
small topping of foam on top with sediment resting comfortably...
smells are of dark fruit, fig? but with the 'english' twist(?). malts....
taste is thickererer... than most other english brews. i like it. a tad bitter. very malty. but bitter.
overall, a decent thicker english brew. definitely one which you need to 'step back' and re-evaluate before making a decision... i'm intrigued by the sediment sitting on top of the thin film of white; by the thick feel on the tongue and the bitter, yet malty sweet taste on the palate afterward....

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Photo of canucklehead
4.15/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 vintage and a real pleasure to drink. The beer pours the colour of boot polish and the nose is redolent of plums and dark fruits. This is a big beer with lots of complexity but with the typical Coopers fruitiness and soft finish. This is a great example of an Old Ale with all the complexities that go with the style

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Photo of tpd975
3.2/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a very murky creamy brown hue with lots of floaters. Average head with avg retention.

S: Aroma has notes of sweet apple cider, toasted malt, brown sugar, grapes, and thanksgiving spices.

T: Very similar to the nose. Lots of apple and brown sugar. This is one malty brew with slight hints of spice. Some booze can be noted.

M: Medium to full bodied. Smooth.

D: One bottle is enough. Not great, just good.

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

This is there 2009 vintage and it pours a deep mahogany,honeyish hue with nice carbonation that leaves a nice one finger head,it has aromas of freshly baked bread,yeasty malty notes and suprisingly some fruity notes too quite impressive for Coopers,it has an above average mouthfeel and from my first sip i know i have just found my favourite Coopers beer in their range without a doubt it has a strong malty yeast note first up followed by some light spicy,fruity hops and it finishes ever so smooth,i honestly cant believe its taken me this long to discover a true australian beauty.

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Photo of PorterLambic
4.39/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured out a cloudy medium brown with very little head, just a ring really, and less lace. Smell is smoke, malt, wood, green apples, raisins and hops. Taste is smoke, malt, green apple, raisins, peat, hops and alcohol (late to the party and not a bloom so much as just a presence). Mouthfeel is very rich, smooth, full bodied with an effervescence all over the mouth and tongue but biased to the tip. Warms the throat nicely. Drinkability is very high. The flavor is very complex and well balanced both to the nose and the tongue. I will be drinking this again.

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Photo of sulldaddy
3.77/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

10/2002 bottle.

Chilled sample in a pint glass. The brew pours a hazy chestnut with tons of yeast sediment. The color actually reminds me of a cider. Aroma is of molasses and brown sugar some chocolate and ripe fruitiness too. First sip, much thinner body than expected, almost no carbonation. Maybe let it age just a bit long. The body is actually a little watery.
Flavor is sweet ripe fruit and brown sugar with some toffee too. No real alcohol presence. Beer goes down very easy and smooth, but the finish is a little empty. Not the best brew for aging I think, even with the hype on the label.

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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 brewdlyhooked13
3.26/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

4-Oct-2002 bottling.

Appearance - pours a deep golden, honeyed color into a 10-ounce drinking glass, saving the rest for a little bit. A quick frothy head gets nowhere and is gone in seconds. Patchy bubbles on the surface and that's it. Pouring the rest in after sampling some, what the hell is all that gunk?!?! There's quite a load of chum sitting in the bottom of this. I will pour some of it in to get the beer and wait a bit for that goo to settle out.

Aroma - quick breath of grain on the pour, a touch of sweetness, both going nearly invisible after a few moments.

Taste - husky grain flavor up front enhanced by alcohol. The swallow brings on some good balancing bitterness, again intensified by the abv. Fairly simple flavors, but fairly good, too. Slightly boozy in a non-harsh, mellow way. Not all that inspiring but it's tasty.

Mouthfeel - solid bodied beer, the carbonation is still zippy, crisp and inviting.

Drinkability - no show-stopper but certainly easy to drink.

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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 drinkability...it's all there. Definitely pass on this one, it totally sucks.

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Coopers Extra Strong Vintage Ale from Coopers Brewery Limited
3.65 out of 5 based on 374 ratings.
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