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 Georgiabeer
3.17/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a very murky light brown and very little head. There is also a lot of sediment and some yeast in the bottom of the bottle. Not a pretty sight. The nose is substantially better, a malty sweet smell combined with a slight sour sharpness that is not unpleasant. Maybe some apricot and spice as well. Its a little faint, but fine. The taste is a little unusual, with a deep but light maltiness, a little bit of spicy hops and some orange peel flavors. A touch of dried apricot makes another appearance. A little funky, but somewhat tasty. Mouthfeel is smooth and a little light. A little too off balance for me to drink all the time, but not bad to try once.

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Photo of joecast
2.49/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

version 2006. 375ml bottle. 7.5% abv

well, looks a disappointment in the glass. fairly light in color, deep amber and clear but with chunks of yeast sediment falling to the bottom of the glass. not the good, natural looking sediment you find in other coopers brews, but sort of not quite right stuff you dont want in your beer sediment.
not only that, no head. pours really lightly into the glass and only musters up a 1cm head that quickly faded to just a ring around the edge of the glass. not what i was hoping for.

ok, close the eyes and just smell. eh, a bit better. sweet fruit cake aroma with a bit of warming alcohol behind. the alcohol becomes more prominent as it warms which leaves it kind of one dimensional. not being a big fan of that acetone alcohol aspect to the smell of beer, this isnt all that appealing so far.

the worst part of all this is that for a beer of this style and strength, it really needs/should be enjoyed at not so cold temps. unfortunately, the aroma, for me at least, makes that difficult.

smooth flavor. strong malt presence with a bit of yeast accompaniment. some warming as it goes down. little noticeable hops but not sure if they would fit in much here. mouthfeel is ok. little carbonation keeps it from being too lively which wouldnt go well with the strong alcohol.

what a disappointment. dont know if age will help tame this beast. not that i need to worry as this is the only bottle i got, and dont plan on going back for more.

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Photo of xymyl
3.31/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Note: I'm assuming this was kept at too high of a temperature before I purchased it, because in the past it has been much better.

Color: Slightly cloudy orange/amber, with a thin white head.

Aroma: Huge caramel, light hops, alcohol and cardboard.

Taste: Caramel, apricots and peaches with oranges and cinnamon, light hop bitterness, alcohol, a little bit of cardboard.

Body: Medium.

Drinkability: Still quite good.

Notes: (Bottle best before 10.09.06) Tastes much better after having been stored at 55 degrees for 8 months, has aparently absorbed some the off flavors into the yeast. I've had this happen before with minor heat damage. But of course, there is no substitute for proper cellaring.

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

A pretty solid orangish brown in color. Medicinal and phenolic aroma, rich malt and dark fruity esters, plums, black licorice, and grapes, and some yeastiness. Alcohol stings the nose slightly. The taste was like plums, white grapes and pears, but tangy and zesty. Rich malt but not syrupy. Spicy and zesty as it warms, definitly some medicinal feel as well. Medium body and the alcohol is hidden pretty well, kind of a dry mouthfeel like a wine.

Verdict: I liked it quite a bit, but it seemed to lack a hook that would make it stand out.

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Photo of shadow1961
3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cooper's Vintage Ale- (my first Australian beer) pours out
a creamy white head that breaks up into lace over a cloudy
brown brew. Carbonation is fairly active, and the nose is of
malt and fruit. Flavor is of molasses, mothfeel is tingly and
crisp. A sweeter brew, it's also nicely alcoholic, coming in
at a perfectly respectable 7.5% by volume. Yummy- very
good for after dinner to be sipped slowly over conversation.

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Photo of amatuerbeerguy
3.02/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This one poured out a hazy, copper color. No distinguishable head to speak of. It also has a egg white like look in it.

Aroma is of caramel, yeasty.

Flavors of alcohol, with some caramel, slight roastiness.

Mouthfeel is a medium high body, with little to no carbonation.

This is an almost no flavor, aroma brew. It may be too cold, or old. But it is worth a try for the try.

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Photo of ohitsbrad
4.29/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

27 September 2006, 2006 Vintage

Bottle reads best after Jun 06 and, typical of Coopers, it's a twist off. Cloudy brown colour. Poured so as to force a large white stable head. Some lacing left on the glass. Banana yeast aroma. Fresh, grainy sweet malt and vanilla too. Flavour is fruity (banana, apple), yeasty, toffeeish and caramel like. Alcohol is hidden fairly well but some nice warmth is provided. Chewy mouthfeel and medium bodied. A very good brew from Coopers and better than what I remember of the 2004.

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Photo of norwichboy
3.02/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2006 vintage tasted. Careful not to disturb quite a bit of sediment, it pours a clear copper. There is little head which dissipates quickly. Smell dominated by synthetic fruit aromas: fruit jellies, apple peel, banana milkshake, and toffee. Quite sweet to taste with alcohol coming through very strong. Nice fine bubbles with a creamy mouthfeel. Overall, okay I suppose, but overly sweet and I was expecting more intensity with this beer.

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Photo of Osiris9588
3.85/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

3oz serving at the Spagio Cellar's October Beer Social. It pours a hazy, orangish copper.

The aroma is very yeasty, along with orange peel and cinnamon. The flavor features orange and other citrus notes, some apple and pear, cinnamon, and a touch of corriander.

The mouth is virbrant, showing a complex mix of yeast and sugar, with citrus on the front palate, and then displays a phenolic, but not unpleasant finish.

It's vary drinkable, well balanced for the style, and would compliment stong flavored meats and spiced dishes.

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Photo of Dukeofearl
4.09/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I may be reviwing this in the wrong place, because mine was "Coopers Vintage Ale", which I don't see in this list. But the descriptions sounds about right, so here it goes.

Pours a pretty copper color until a huge dollop of brown-black yeast snuck past my less-than-watchful eye. Made this a muddy mess. OOPS!

The aroma is flowery sweet and fruity- the best part of this beer.
The flavor profile was something I didn't record in my notes (damn!) besides that it was very tasty- now that's descriptive! It was a very balanced beer, with a moderate fruit character that made easy to drink. I enjoyed this, although if it's truly a strong ale, it may not really fit the style too well. So what- it's a good beer.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
3.7/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Coopers- Vintage Ale

Appearance- Hazy orange with a billion little red and brown floaters?! No head.
Smell- Light grape juice with alcohol and Apple juice.
Taste- Fruity,Apple, grape, and orange with an even balance of alcohol.
Mouthfeel- fruity but slighty subdued. Alcohol is slighty present but not overpowering.

Overall- A tasty fruity beer, High alcohol seems to be pretty well hidden. I liked it.

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Photo of bditty187
3.33/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Fairly hazy; bronze-coppery, reddish-brown in hue; the liquid is fairly typical for the style. Sadly there wasn’t much head; at the apex there was only a half finger cap which faded quickly to a soapy collar. There was no subsequent lacing. For what it is worth, this is the least ugly Coopers beer I have seen. Yeah.

The nose is musty fruits (apples and grapes) with a malty caramel underbelly along with hints of wood, earth, and alcohol. At 7.5% the alcohol is hidden (should it be?). I don’t really find it malty or rich. Strong Ale? I guess. Low potency, not chatty… hell, I’d call it very simplistic for the style. I’ll be nice and call the aromas inviting (but on a bad day I might call them neutral).

The palate is much tastier then the nose led on. There is a nice blend of alcohol, caramel malts, dark fruits, apples, orange peel, earthiness in the middle, dry, crusty bread near the finish before a return to the sweetness of the malt. I can’t find any fault in the palate but it is a little restrained. The aftertaste is moderately sweet, lingering and pleasant. IMO, this beer is either an extra strong English Pale Ale or 1/4th as good as say, Odell Old Curmudgeon’s Nip. Either way I am not really impressed.

Medium in body, more or less anyway, low carbonation, the mouthfeel is neither creamy nor flat (it surely isn’t lively either). Overall the mouthfeel is okay.

Sure, this beer is drinkable. Hell, I even like it. I think it tastes good. But is it special? No. I just don’t get the needed complexity to keep my interest. Granted, I love English-style Old Ales, Strong Ales, and Barleywines so I ask for more out of them then other beers. I purchased my bottle in Kansas City, KS for $3. I need not buy this again.

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Photo of joedon
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle marked "2006". Dark amber to almost brown with a strong ivory head.

Aroma of malt, caramel, slightly winey/estery.

Nicely balanced flavor. Good bitterness and malt with notes of brown sugar, raisins and roasty taste. Very slight residual sugar.

Good body and mouthfeel. Just a bit of alcohol felt in the nose.

Excellent sipping/special beer.

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Photo of SethB2
3.47/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A - Pours a dirty swamp water color. Non transparent, unfiltered in the look, with a small khaki head. Not that it is a bad thing, but this beer looks like muddy water.

S - Very strong berry smell is apparent at first, along with a non-hop floral waft. The berry is almost overwhelming in a good way.

T - A little bit boozy, but the berries come through here too, but neary as much as they did on the nose. Very bready in character with sweetness battling alcohol for palate dominance.

M - A bit thin and watery, but not offensive.

D - Not bad. Not good. Worth drinking.

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Photo of cbl2
2.95/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

8/24/2006 $3.00 12.7 oz. 7.50% Best by 10/9/06 stamped on neck.


Pours a murky brown with no head at all, and large soda-like bubbles.


Sickly malty sweet with subtle fruit notes and some adjuncty corn aroma. This is vintage?


Mild malt overtones and a slightly bitter finish, but not a whole lot of character. Insipid mouthfeel that is offputting. Most of this went down the drain.

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Photo of ypsifly
4.1/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Undated 12oz purchased at Merchant's in Dearborn and poured into a nonick.

Dark hazed amber with floaters under less than a finger of white that settles to a veiled ring that leaves rings of wispy lace.

Fruity with apples, melons and cherries. Some suggestion of bitter hops and wet oak.

The fruits are there upfront. Especially noticable is the melon flavor. There is also a slightly tannic flavor that works well with the bitterness of the hops into a dry finish with some lingering flavors of toasted malts. I like how this all comes together.

Medium mouth is right in line with the style. It has a little more carbonation than most offerings in this style, but this is not a problem at all when paired with the range of flavors. One of the more drinkable ESAs.

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

Barleywine barley and sweet malt aroma. Nut brown colour with white head, lace. Not all that strong, and a middling body and mouthfeel. Fairly simple old ale taste with drying finish. Wood and roasted barley and licorice notes, nut brown, carmel, slightly on sweet side.

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Photo of Westsidethreat
3.26/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Interesting looking beer. Sort of a mixture between rootbeer and pear juice. Very drab and unassuming. Head is made up of medium sized bubbles, sort of a greyish off white.

S: Fruity and spirited with some underlying molasses tones. Roasted chocolate, dried apricots and some wood.

T: Starts somewhat like an English bitter. Limestone aura with some prickly hops. Then a sublte maltiness starts to develop then continues to emerge with some faint caramel flavors. Finishes a bit hoppy with some bitterness and a smidgeon of toasted grains.

M: Medium body with a fizzy carbonation

D: Not a stand out beer by any stretch, but worth a drink. Flavors are much more subdued than I'd expect out of a "VINTAGE" ale.

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Photo of Dizzy
3.1/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

No date on bottle, poured into pint glass leaving dregs in bottle. Hazy brown with not much head. Aroma is sweet malts and alcohol. This beer is very sweet and the alcohol is very obvious, I also notice caramel notes. The alcohol burn lingers. Hops not prominant in this one. Somewhere between medium and full bodied with little carbonation. I was expecting a lot more from this one. I don't like this one very much, but it does match the style well.

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Photo of stephendr
4.25/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy brown color- thick lasting head- nose brown sugar roasted malts – taste brown sugar, caramel, malts, smoke, figs- medium body- aftertaste figs, malt Hazy brown color- thick lasting head- nose brown sugar roasted malts – taste brown sugar, caramel, malts, smoke, figs- medium body- aftertaste figs, malt

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Photo of rebel1771
2.93/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a beautiful cloudy dark brown with tons of sediment. This is a very nice looking brew.

Decent aroma with caramel and candied fruit notes.

The flavor is really a let down. I expected some bold malty flavors but this beers' flavor is just weak. Very subtle candied fruit flavors make an appearance, they're nice but I was expecting something a little more.

This beers' bark is worse than it's bite, still not a bad brew worth a try.

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

12oz/375ml bottle purchased several months ago in Spokane at either Huckleberry’s or the Rocket Market, I forget which. According to the label, this was from “Batch No. 4 – Oct/2002.”

Poured a dark, muddy orange color, with a thin, off-white head that promptly vanished, leaving little in the way of lace. Lots of visible sediment.

This is a very malty beer. Aromas of caramel, nuts, and doughy bread. Slightly musty odor in the background, but not to an unpleasant degree. Call me crazy, but I’m also getting a sweet melon scent that reminds me of cantaloupe.

The flavor is slightly roasty, which keeps the sweet aspects noted in the nose above from getting out of control. Elements of caramel, nuts, apples, melon and bread all appear. The flavor of this beer is different. It reminds me of a fruity brown ale, if that makes any sense. There’s a slight dryness at the swallow. Odd, but not unpleasantly so.

This has a relatively light body for a beer of this strength. Effervescent, slightly tingly mouthfeel.

An odd but not unpleasant drinking experience. Nevertheless, I think one would suffice for me during a drinking session. I’m curious to try a fresher example to see what the difference would be. Worth seeking out to try, not sure it could become a favorite of mine

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

From a bottle dated 2002:
Appearance was a hazy dark amber color with a thin fully diminishing white head. Noticable chunkiness in the body.
Aroma was mostly of sweet caramel.
Sweet caramel flavor
Body was relatively light, but the chunks were a little harder to swallow.

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Photo of phishgator
4.06/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This pours into a pint glass. The tan thick, murky, yeast-filled, liquid is non-transparent. The head is big large bubbles that slowly dissipate with some time. The aroma is not overpowering any way it just has some earthy hops and a little stale bread. The flavor is what is also nice. There is a lot of bitterness in there, but the strong backbone of old malt that kind of a little on the stale side also shows through. The mouthfeel is medium with a drying bitter aftertaste. One is enough. Great brew to switch it up!

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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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