Coopers Extra Strong Vintage Ale | Coopers Brewery Limited

Coopers Extra Strong Vintage AleCoopers Extra Strong Vintage Ale
377 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

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 377 |  Reviews: 265
Photo of madvoice
4.17/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a cloudy brown colour with some chunks of yeast and a semi thick head which dissipated quite quickly. It smelled very sweet and yeasty and had a fruity yeasty flavour that filled the mouth. Something that I probably couldn't drink a lot of in one sitting but would be good every so often to appreciate it for what it is.

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Photo of willjansen
3.62/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This review discusses a vertical tasting of the 2006 and 2007 vintages. The notes are primarily for the 2006, with notes for the 2007 specified.

Appearance: Dark burnt-orange, amber with strong carbonation. Medium head on average pour with good head rentention - 3.5. 2007 has slightly more agressive carbonation 3.5.

Smell: Deep, complex spiced aroma of sweet malts and yeast. Dark fruits and pear discernable - 4.0. 2007 has a rougher (more industrial?) alcohol in the nose which sets it apart distinctly from the 2006 - 3.5.

Taste: Raisiny malts with bready notes and caramel coming through. 2006 is considerably more smooth and mellow - 4.0, where as the 2007 has a much harsher character where ingredients appear not to have blended and taken the edge off - 3.0. 2007 is aggressively boozier, and both are a bit too boozy for the ABV.

Mouthfeel: The higher level of carbonation does a good job spreading the flavor in this one and the body is appropriate for the style - 3.5. 2007 is slightly thinner, though with the same explostion of bubbles on the tongue - 3.5.

Drinkability: 2006 - great drinkability, much improved over the one year I've cellared it, but still slightly too boozy, but not bad - 4.0. 2007 - overall a bit too harsh and aggressive; time should hopefully round out the flavours and blend them more harmoniously, but overall too boozy and harsh - 3.0.

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Photo of WilliamLious
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into wine glass at room temperature. Was orange brown colour, but had no head, some sedimentation. Good bitterness with sherry undertones. Subdued odour which is slightly floral. Slight heaviness but well carbonated in the mouth. Well pleasing beer.

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Photo of choyhosoi
2.9/5  rDev -20.3%
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 Kulrak
4.3/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly cloudy orange/light brown color with a decent amount of creamy tan head that fades to a thin layer. Smells fruity and malty, and a little roasty. Very pleasant. The taste is very sweet as well, some chocolate, a tiny bit of roast coffee and a lot of malt. There's also a hint of hop flavor there as well, and not a lot of bitterness, but it works. Mouthfeel is very heavy and creamy. Overall, it's a very drinkable 'real ale' style beer. I'll definitely be getting more of this. Haven't met any Coopers ales that I haven't liked, and this is no exception.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.08/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

One of those great finds while in Atlanta, GA a couple months ago. Although the 'best by' date says 10-09-06, I beg to differ. This beer shows a lot of talent and character. A bottle-conditioned pour delivers a strong copper, chesnut hue with a haze due to the yeast (among other particles) within the beer. Aromas are soft, yet firm with serious notes of barley malt, over-rippened peaches and pears, with a subtle English hop character (Fuggles?). All blends so well... The taste gives a well-matured, softly textured, and seriously complex blend of Marris Otter-tasting malts that bring out the soft fruity esters while contributing a spicy, fermented edgy, yeasty flavor. Again, well-rippened peaches and pears all over the place, leaving a mouth watering sensation after every sip. Each drink follows with a soft ride with aged hops and a pleasant (albeit light) hop flavor and mild sherry (oxidized) notes that complemented the beer well. A mild metalic taste is the only deterant. The feel is a soft, creamy, malty fullness that never shows agression or fusal alcohols. Finishes with the same fruity flavors experienced in the taste with intermingling notes of hops and alcohol dryness. Turned out to hold a 1/4" head all the way to the bottom of the glass with superior lacing. This is how I expect the Fuller's Vintage Ales to perform into their prime. This beer is that good. Probably should have waited to share this beer with a few local BA's (sorry guys), but this one is all mine!

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Photo of taez555
4.22/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured an opaque brownish/tan body with a small off-white head.

Nose is dominated by a beautiful rich sugary caramel malt smell. Sweet new england apples, almost like sugary apple cider with brown sugar, molasses, tons of white sugar and even notes of brown bread. Love it.

Taste is medium to medium full bodied. Initial taste is dominated by nice sugar apple fruit flavors with sugary caramel malts. Very little in the way of hop taste but a nice bitterness backbone that is just barely noticeable but balances well. Ends with a strong cider type taste that then mysteriously morph's back into a nice bock type maltiness.

This is a hard beer to describe as it's so simple yet so complex at the same time. A perfect simple big malty vintage/old ale with waves of big malt flavors. Just so well done

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Photo of sloejams
4.1/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A friend has long told me that this is his favorite beer in the world. This friend travels to Australia a bit and is not necessarily a beer connoisseur, but has pretty good taste. So when I finally saw a place selling singles of this (6 packs are always very expensive) I decided to give it a try.

It pours a dark and murky brown with a well pronounce in pinky finger head. Lovely lacing lines my inner glass. The aroma is not that different from a Belgian Dark (think Delirium Noctornum with less alcohol) - I smell raisins and sweet malt. The taste is more subtle than a Belgian Dark, the alcohol is well hidden. The finish is crisp. I'm amazed that this is 7.5% ABV.

Tasty beer.

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Photo of belgbeerdrinker
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: mahogany color, hazy, lots of sediment pours out and lots of carbonation around the edges, small head that settles to thin veil
s: sweet malt with bits of yeast, not much else easily discernable
t: roasted, mildly sweet malts with a quick bitter hoppy finish
m: pretty smooth, good carbonation throughout, medium/creamy body
d: pretty easy to drink at 7+% and a pretty good balance between malts & hops, only missing ingredient is more flavor

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Photo of Lukie
3.88/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Small head which dissipitates quickly to a small outer ring of lacing. Rich bronze with still sediments, very appealing.

Smell: Strong sweet malts, raisins, apples, hint of sweet grape.

Taste: Sweet malt, little bit tarty in the finish. Caramel, Coffee, little bit of sweet green apple.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, good carbonation which lingers.

Drinkability: Great to drink on a cold winters night. Full flavoured, full of life. Strong tastes with warming alcohol.

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Photo of saintwarrick
3.43/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is one funky looking beer. because of the sediment left in this bottle-conditioned ale, the beer pours a briney dark reddish/brown with a lot of sediment floating around. That gives it a very malty, bready aroma. Also lots of apples, bananas, dates and sugar. The taste reminds me a lot of a traditional English pale ale, but this one is a bit thin. There's a nice bitterness, reminiscent of a barley wine, but this one is a little thin on the palate. Not a bad brew despite its scary looks, but I'll try something else for my English ale fix.

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Photo of russpowell
3.68/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Date of 10 09 06, not sure if that's a born on or BBD?

Pours an effervescent murked (tried to pour it careful) up amber with 1" of sand-colored head, disappears fast. No head retention or lacing

S: Dates, breadyness raisins & apple skins & a hint of booze

T: Fruitty & jammy up front with big cakeyness. A little brown sugar & apple (think apple pie) follows as this warms. Fruityness (dates, apples & persimmons) persist throughout the finish, with a hint of dryness

MF: Medium-bodied with low/low carbonation

Drank alright, alcohol starts to show up at the end. I'd loved to found this back when I was in OZ, I know all the other coopers I've had were better fresh. If priced right, I'd revisit, no problem

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.22/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Depending upon how you've stored it, and how carefully you pour it, Coopers Vintage Ale can be a clear amber or a murky chestnut brown. I personally feel the yeast gives it a bit more of the house yeast character, and I like that. And I also feel that this beer isn't really big enough or complex enough to benefit from aging, so I drink it fresh and go right ahead and pour the yeast in with a swirl of the bottle to dislodge it all. The head rises up but quickly settles down, fading to a whispy surface covering and thin but creamy white collar. Some nice rings of lacing are left behind, but they slide shortly back into the glass.

The nose is malty with a cereal character and lots of soft caramel. The Cooper's yeast comes into play as well, lending it a delicately fruity, apple and berry-like edge. Softly grassy and spicy hops with a mineralish edge (Fuggles and Saaz perhaps?) appear in the background like stars in the sky at dusk.

The flavor is as the aroma suggests, and the caramel character is full and rich. It hints at cocoa as well, but never really gets there, although the cereal-like graininess is solidly present. A wash of alcohol appears mid-palate, along with the yeasty fruitiness, and the two follow smoothly through into the finish. Some minor leafy and grassy hops appear, but it's mainly about malt and yeast. It lingers delicately with a bit of swirling spiciness and sublime mineralish character.

It's an interesting beer, and fairly drinkable for its strength, but it lacks the character and depth of its superior rivals. It's lighter and refreshing, and quite unique in that way. Taken for what it is, and simply enjoyed hedonistically without reference, it's quite enjoyable. Worth trying!

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Photo of dirtylou
3.68/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottle purchased at the Australian Hotel in Sydney, on the Rocks...reviewed from memory

I saw this on the beer list, new nothing about it, but figured it was worth a try

appearance: pours into a small glass from the 2006 bottle...hazy mahogany body, moderate sediment, light beige head with little lacing

smell: strong roasted malts, caramel, apple, yeasty, a touch of sweet alcohol

taste: a pretty nice beer from Coopers and certainly worth the try after a long day of hiking in the Blue Mountains...boozy caramel dominates, roasted malt, sweet currant, red apple, woody

mouthfeel: smooth and chewy

drinkability: just fine

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Photo of xgabe
2.86/5  rDev -21.4%
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 jp32
3.24/5  rDev -11%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours with sediment from the bottle. No head. Extremely cloudy. Dark, looks like apple cider. Does not look like beer whatsoever, this is a strange one here.

It has a sweet, malty aroma with underlying hints of alcohol, also similar to hard cider.

The taste department is malty and a touch on the simple side I cant detect any hops in this no matter how much i try.

It has a silky feel on the palate after the swallow. Easily drinkable but almost scared by the appearance the heavy sediment. Almost looks like there is something wrong with it.

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Photo of Nesued
3.1/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Hazy light tan/brown in color. Two-finger head formed after a robust pour from a chilled bottle. Thin head remained after a few minutes of "resting" after the pour. Lively fine carbonation feeding the remaining head. Yeast remaining in the bottle after a careful decant on the pour. Lacing followed the level as it was consumed.

Smell - Strong yeast presence. Fresh malty aroma as well. A bit of the alcohol comes thru, but not much. A roasty nose is also there

Taste - Sweet malty taste. Seems a unbalanced as the finish is more driven by the carbonation and alcohol presence. I held this for a bit to get a warmer feeling expecting a bit of a change. Didn't get it. I also tasted a bit of a spice/peppery presence as well.

Mouthfeel - Did feel a bit deeper upon another sip, but the overall density was more due to the carbonation that the "fullness" of the beer. Felt a bit overcarbonated to me. Didn't really feel a hop presence or "bite" contributing.

Drinkability - ok, this is a new style for me and since this is my first English Strong Ale I have nothing to put up as a comparison. I think this is an interesting style with a fine sweet/malty taste. I have several more and will hold on to them.

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Photo of brendan13
3.32/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours a hazy dark amber colour. A couple of centimetres of head.
S - Some malty aromas & some faint dark fruit esters.
T - Sweet malt flavours pretty much dominate the taste. The alcohol is there but not too full on.
M - A little bit light bodied for the style.
D - A nice enough beer but nothing special.

I would rather drink other beers that are tastier & smaller ABV%.

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Photo of LittleCreature
3.6/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - 3.0
Very dark amber in colour, about one finger of rocky head that disappeared quickly. Slightly cloudy with a few large bubbles clinging to the side. Sediment made a brown patch in the head.

Smell - 3.5
Even with my blocked nose, I could smell the banana from 40cm away from the glass while pouring. There is a slighty malty smell, and a definite, but slight alcohol whiff.

Taste - 2.5
You can tell straight away that this one has a high alcohol volume. The immediate taste is quite boozy, followed by banana-lolly, ending with hoppy bitterness. It noticeably gets more bitter towards the bottom of the glass, which is not entirely pleasant.

Mouthfeel - 2.5
Surprisingly fizzy and light for an ale.

Drinkability - 1.5
I struggled to get through the one bottle, and this is not entirely because of the alcohol, because I have enjoyed beers with a higher ABV before.

This was a big disappointment to me, because I really rate Cooper's Pale Ale. The smell is interesting, and the initial taste is pretty decent, and the burps afterwards are actually quite tasty too! However, for this drinker, the boozy, overly bitter secondary taste spoilt the experience. I will not be trying it again.

Turns out I did try it again after all! This was one of my first reviews and as with most - I largely disagree with it. My new scores for Coopers Extra Strong Vintage Ale:

Appearance - 4.0

Smell - 4.0

Taste - 3.0

Mouthfeel - 4.0

Drinkability - 4.0

As with most Coopers beers, this is yeastier than I like, but still a nice drop. Reminiscent of many a strong, yeasty Belgian ale. Good head retention and lace, quite sweet overall and not bitter as I earlier implied. Very drinkable for 7.5%abv.

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Photo of RBorsato
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%
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 Weizenmensch
3.68/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Date of purchase: January 2005 - Date of review: April 2007

I bought two cases of the 2004 vintage, thinking it would be unmissable due to only 5000 cases being made, of which 3000 would go to America, and a few more to other countries. However, I wasn't particularly fond of the beer when I bought it - it's a good one to have on a cold winter's night, as it's warming and Christmas-in-July-like. I felt like a beer tonight and the shops are shut, so I looked in the cupboard and found this old chestnut (ale). It pleases me more now than when it was fresh from the brewer, but it's still not the best strong ale I've ever had. Definitely worth a try though.

A: Dark amber, flecks of yeast sediment, thin but ever-present off-white head, lots of lacing.

S: Date, something resembling candied sugar (there are a few Tripel elements to this ale), sweet red grapes. Heavy malt notes too. Wait up! When I opened it, a waft of egg odour hit me in the nose - where did that come from? Now that it's settled though, it's ok.

T: Almost like a cross between a nut-brown ale, a Tripel and a Scotch ale. Sweet and strong, but nutty and malty, and velvety smooth. The alcohol is nowhere near as evident as it was before I'd cellared this. It has improved immensely, but still retains its christmas pudding/brandy/oatmeal charm.

M: Low carbonation, very smooth. However, it feels a little bit flat. I suppose that's the cellaring, I remember it being a bit more vibrant last time I reviewed this vintage.

D: Well, this is all I've got, so I'll be having a few tonight. And it's a cold night, so that's appropriate. But after I knock a few of these back I'll definitely feel the effects.

Notes: I was much more generous rating this beer in the past. Enthusiasm affects my rating system, but it may have actually been better six months after purchase rather than two years. I might just store a six-pack for next winter, and see if it has changed from what I think of it now...

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Photo of rec
3.8/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This bottle is 2006, If the number on the bottom of the bottle is the batch, this is batch 43.

The caramel coloured body with obvious sediment quickly generates a creamy white head, that unfortunately also dissipates very quickly but laces relatively well.

The aroma isn't too complex, but is nice enough with sweet scents and spice coming through strongest. A touch of light fruit and alchohol are evident too.

The taste is sweet and sharp with yeast, apricot and alchohol presenting themselves clearly on my palette. Toasted malt balances the combination of other flavours - it's really quite complex and rather delicious - I'd go as far to say it's remnant of Belgian inspiration; far better than all English Ales I've tried.

The aftertaste and overall mouthfeel is smooth and pleasant with alchohol warmth, sugar and spice dominating the dry yet kind finish. It's a unique sipper, and a delightful one at that.

I'll happily endorse this as Coopers best ever product, and quite possibly Australia's best ever brew. I'll also have to note that batches and years have varied greatly. I've tasted older batches that are far worse.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.24/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

"Much thanks to gottajiboo2 for bringing this beer over and shring it with me. What a treat." I will echo Phatz's sentiments here.

A - Quickly dissipating head, cascading caramel collered ale

S - Sweet Vinous sugary scents, underpinnings of wood and spice

T - The taste of sweet white grapes greet the tonque, fruity esters and subtle wood are apparent. Grainy and ice wine-like alcoholic finish.

M - Effervescent, light with subtle waves of yeasty sweetness. Medium bodied, lasting feel of sugar remains.

D - Great drinkability, this ale is welcome in doses of a pint or less. It leaves you wanting more with relatively low bitterness and mature maltiness.

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Photo of Phatz
4.05/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Much thanks to gottajiboo2 for bringing this beer over and shring it with me. What a treat.

I did not locate a specific batch number but there is a 26 on the bottom of the bottle that is either relevant or not. there is a date of 10/9/06 which claims "best before date" but that would makes little sense on a beer *so* cellar worthy. Even on the label it boasts about the benefits of cellaring this beer. so a few moths past is hardly worth mentioning on this beer.

Presentation: A very cool 12.7 fl oz bottle wrapped in foil but with a twist off cap (like all Coopers, I should have guessed).

Appearance: A careful pour leaves the sediment at the bottom and the golden copper orange/brown body has a decent clarity. A final pour after the review show a lot of "goodies" in the bottom. Small pours yielded small thick head receding to an off white cap.

Smell: Vinous grape and sweet plum, caramel, toffee and musty baked apple faintly reaches the nose and a touch of wine like alcohol.

Taste: Lots of sharply sweet sugars and fruits (this one will improve with age). There is a bread dough and thick dark fruit smoothy flavor. A bit of toasted caramel, licorice, yeasty funk, and a nice little nibble from the warming alcohol that is not quite obtrusive enough to consider a bite.

Mouthfeel: Thick and chewy malts and sugars hit the palate up front. It thins through the cent ina end with a dry warming sensation.

Drinkability: This is a sipping beer. Don't try it in the beer bong or you'll get a stomachache. That aside, I would consider it drinkable enough for a 7.5% ABV sipping beer. I would want to go to bed after the second one though.

Hope this is helpful.

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Photo of gottajiboo2
3.73/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured out a cloudy hazy light amber hue, head was a thick creamy foam, that faded to a thin white moon crator like surface. The smell was musty sweet, and hints of bourbon. tasted a slightly sweet malty and touch of alcohol warmth, maybe some woody notes.I considered this a tasty beer that I could drink 2 or three of


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Coopers Extra Strong Vintage Ale from Coopers Brewery Limited
Beer rating: 3.64 out of 5 with 377 ratings
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