Coopers Extra Strong Vintage Ale | Coopers Brewery Limited

BA SCORE
83
good
376 Ratings
Coopers Extra Strong Vintage AleCoopers Extra Strong Vintage Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Coopers Brewery Limited
Australia
coopers.com.au

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
376
Reviews:
265
Avg:
3.65
pDev:
13.42%
 
 
Wants:
13
Gots:
26
For Trade:
0
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 376 |  Reviews: 265
Photo of rickyleepotts
3.92/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I am not sure if I have had anything from this brewery, but my recent obsession with cellaring beers has me excited. The picture in the book shows a 2007, and while we didn't find that one at Total Wine & More, we grabbed a bottle from 2008. I can't imagine there is a huge difference. It was also interesting to learn that they have people tasting, expert tasters as it were, making sure that Coopers beers taste the same over time for consistency. This beer doesn't go through that, but I have a lot of hopes for this one. Let's start drinking, shall we?

In the Glass: It looks like syrup in the glass. That is exactly what I had expected, too. For the ABV and the price on a beer like this, most will light up a cigar and take his or her time enjoying this one. It's not a chugging beer, rather a beer you can sit back and relax with. There is practically no head, and a very thin, boring lace. Perfect!

Nose: This is right out of the fridge, but there is a malty sweetness to it that I love. It reminds me, from the look in the glass to the powerful aroma, of the Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA. Not the same by any means, but something you will take your time to appreciate and the experience will be worth every second. Let's see what this beer tastes like!

Flavor: Oh yeah, buddy. That's what I'm talking about! Again, super cold. And I will let it sit here for a little bit before I take another drink, but there is a smoothness to it, then you are hit with those malty flavors and you can almost taste the word "vintage" in the beer. You have to remember, this beer was brewed and bottled back in 2008. Each bottle has a "best after" date on it, and this one has been sitting in the bottle so long, the "best after" date has rubbed off. But according to what it said in the book, 2-3 years before you should even consider drinking this.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is boring at first, but as you take a second and third sip, you start to appreciate the flatness of the beer, and focus on the flavors and the overall complexity of the beer. Even when I tried swooshing it around in my mouth, there are hardly any bubbles. Looking at the website, and seeing Thomas Cooper's face makes me realize just how much work goes into making a good craft beer. This is a good craft beer.

Aftertaste: The aftertaste is sweet and malty, just as I expected. Maybe I drink too much, but I could tell you what the entire experience was going to be like before I even took my first sip! That's OK, it was fun proving myself right! I am sure there will be beers along the way that will surprise me. I hope so, or this will be a boring ride.

I was a little worried that the bottle/label didn't say "extra strong" on it. But upon further research, I found that it is in fact the same beer. I have this obsession with finding the exact bottle in the book, from the size to the label. I know we won't be able to do that the entire way, but when we can, I like to match the list. Big fan of the Coopers Extra Strong Vintage Ale. I might buy another one tonight at work! Bottoms up, people!

Coopers Extra Strong Vintage Ale - The bottle says: "Coopers Vintage has been brewed with choice malts and extended top fermentation to provide a strong flavorsome ale. Stored under cellar conditions the rig and full flavor of Coopers Vintage will become more complex over an extended period."

"Coopers Ales and Stout are brewed using the centuries old top fermentation method and natural bottle conditioning, resulting in a characteristic fine sediment forming on the base of the bottle. This sediment is completely natural and can be gently mixed before stinking or poured carefully leaving the sediment in the bottle."

 3,698 characters

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

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.

 750 characters

Photo of JohnK17
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of schopenhauerale
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of mungus
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of allforbetterbeer
4.12/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 vintage, poured into a snifter. Reviwed the first time in 2010. Below is the first review, followed by updates 2 years later for the same beer bought at the same time.

The body is rusty orange and full of bubbles. The clarity isn't the best, as a slight haze keeps this from being very clear. The sediment in the bottle didn't end up in the pour but it was very easily roused. The pour is crowned with two fingers of off-white head that rises in the middle to form a little mountain rising out of my glass- very picturesque. Very good lacing and retention.

The nose is much more interesting than I expected from other reviews. Full of a surprisingly strong alcoholic fruit, mainly figs and over-ripe plums, but some currants and raisins show up as well. The remnants of some English hops show as well in a very "vintage" type smell. This is obviously 2 years old. A little malt is also present but is very mellow.

As opposed to the nose, roasted malts form the bulk of the flavor. Sweet and soft malty dark fruits show up first and are quite nice in the mouth. Then the flavor experience takes and interesting turn. A much sharper than expected bitterness rushes in and shows that the hops are far from gone. A little astringent but still quite balancing and nice. The hops no longer are crisp but still do their job well. Alcohol and a little burnt caramel also make an appearance.

The mouthfeel is medium and not heavy or thick. Carbonation is still quite good and serves to keep this from sticking on the palate. Nice. Drinkability is slightly off set by the surprising bitterness, but is still good because of the dark fruit sweetness that is infused in the flavor.

Conclusion: Wow! I wasn't expecting much from this beer from the other reviews but I am surprised at the grace with which this has aged. I think it could go longer in the bottle and I am now wishing I had bought more than two. I found it at a local store but have never seen it there before, which makes me wonder how they got a hold of some 2008? Maybe it got lost in their storeroom and they found it and put it in the cooler at a cheap price. Anyway, this is a nice example of the style, though not the best I have tried. My guess is that it would be nice fresh as well.

2012 review:
Still pours with carbonation; enough to form a half finger of off-white head that shows nice retention. The body is a slightly muddier version of the rusty bold orange I saw two years ago. Mostly unchanged.

The aroma is more watery, with the same ripe fruit/alcohol smell with even more of the life drained out of it. The overall character has mellowed, but there is a nice dried fruit aroma which seems to be a reincarnated and more balanced version of the previous aroma. I also think I smell shortbread cookies.

The flavor has become very mellow. The bold malts and bitter hop remains are not to be found. What is left is a slightly watery dried fruit and lightl malt flavor, with just a hint of savory burnt nuts at the end. The oxidation is almost not apparent. Once again, this beer has surprised me.

The mouthfeel still has life in it, but the body is gone. Without carbonation this would be a chore, but there is ample carbonation to keep this very much alive on the palate. It is interesting how little body there is left.

Conclusion: Very nice at 2 years and at 4. Could it go longer? Yes I think it could, but not past 5 or so years, and not without good cellar conditions. I really enjoyed seeing this evolve into something good but different. Now I want to taste it fresh.

 3,557 characters

Photo of greybeardloon
3.36/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Best after June 16, 2009. 2009 vintage.

A: Not much head and minimal lacing.

S: Raisins, not very sweet dried fruit, sherry.

T: Dried fruit and sherry again. Leafy, woodsy hops and a dry finish. Not too sweet or cloying, and hoppier than I had expected. alcohol is well hidden.

M: Surprisingly bubbly and thinner than expected.

O: An interesting beer to have tried...

 377 characters

Photo of danthehopslamman
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of dansmcd
3.18/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours a lively amber crested by a finger of dense foamy off white head and sticky lacing.

S - Bready english malt, sugar, yeast, some sweet grain.

T - Grain, sweet corn, alcohol, salt, metal, faint grassy hops.

M - Highly carbonated, thin light watery body, alcoholic heat evident.

O - Somewhat disappointed in this. Too hot and spritzy for what it offers in terms of flavour and complexity.

 399 characters

Photo of TheBigBoy
1.5/5  rDev -58.9%

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.

 597 characters

Photo of pin
3/5  rDev -17.8%

Photo of laxer8811
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of dtivp
3.58/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dark cloudy, chunky amber with a finger and a half thick dark white head that fades slowly with moderate lacing.

Aroma of sweet bready malts, brown sugar and dark fruits.

Taste followed the nose with strong bready malts, with sweet toffee, brown sugar in the background and a very slight hint of spice.

Mouth Feel was medium body, light carbonation, very smooth and not overly sweet as I was expecting from the nose.

Over all this is a nice vintage ale well cellar-ed, leans towards a barley wine style. I would be interested in trying other beers in the Cooper's fleet of beer.

 591 characters

Photo of Antonius08
5/5  rDev +37%

Photo of Tribis
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of OriolesFan1008
3/5  rDev -17.8%

Photo of AtrumAnimus
4.58/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This one was a pleasure to get having tried their other brews and really liking them. I had no idea that they had a vintage ale. This is the 2009 Vintage I am trying.

This pours a lovely nutty brown with a frothy, short thick white head. The lacing is nice and evenly distributed and quickly disappears down the sides.

The nose is very sweet and malty with a subtle floral hop tinge with hints of nutmeg, bread and spice.

The flavor is great! There is very dominant sweet malt to the flavor that is fruity, but not too much so. The flavors are complex and rich with a hint of nutmeg as well as caramel and a very pleasant bitter of great hops. This one is exceptionally well balanced and very enjoyable to drink. The mouthfeel is rich and creamy, almost like a Bodington’s but is full of great flavor.

I would highly recommend this one as it is exceptional and is a great treat.

 884 characters

Photo of Chopman50
2/5  rDev -45.2%

Photo of olbubba
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

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

2009 vintage poured into a brandy snifter. Best after June 26, 2009.

Looks phenomenal with two inches of buttermilk-colored head that laces down slowly. The body is a hazy auburn/caramel color. It even looks a little antiquated. 5.0

Picking up some oxidation notes of firm caramel, fig, schnapps, mint, dates, and some vinous notes. Smells fantastic. 4.0

Papery oxidation on the taste buds. Time has really thinned out the taste. Faint notes of dried fruits, toffee, upfront woodiness, and crisped rice. Boisterous alcohol presence shines over a thinned malt backbone. Much drier than you could imagine. Slight eucalyptus note that charges the beer with medicinal flavors and ruins the finish. 3.0

Rather thin-bodied to style. Snappy bite from the effervescence. The carbonation has certainly held up well, at least. 3.5

I didn't age this one, these '09 bottles were purchased yesterday. A letdown six-pack purchase. Never having had it fresh, I have nothing to compare them to. And, considering what's here now, there's no reason to let these sit any longer. 3.5

 1,068 characters

Photo of Horbar
2.5/5  rDev -31.5%

Photo of imbibehour
3.48/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle, into a nonic pint glass. Vintage 2009.

A real cloudy and chunky looking beer, with lots of cola sticking carbonation on the bottle. Lots of floating flecks, through a cinnamon brown to red body. Head is light caramel barley manages a finger but settles slowly into huge swiss cheese puck.

Nice smelling nose. Sweet malts, honey rich, dark muted brown sugars with figs and dark fruits. Smells nearly barleywine, more into dark Belgian quad territory. Feels like something big is coming.

Mouthfeel is incredible wet and fleeting, even a bit sense of tight carbonation. Palate though can't quite make the niceness sensed on the nose. Muted malts, even a little grainy after taste.

Overall, interesting, but can't say I am desiring this again.

 768 characters

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