Extra Strong Vintage Ale | Coopers Brewery Limited

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Extra Strong Vintage AleExtra Strong Vintage Ale
379 Ratings
Extra Strong Vintage AleExtra 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: 379 |  Reviews: 266
Photo of woemad
3.47/5  rDev -4.7%
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 -4.4%
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 +11.5%
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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Photo of TastyTaste
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Hazed tan//maroon bottle, fine sediment visible throughout. Not much head to speak of.

Smell: Absurd carmel sweetness without much else. Maybe a little molasses as well.

Taste: Rich sweetness, carmel and brown sugar, funky woody flavors and a little buttery richness. Roasted malts and butterscotch are also in the mix. An interesting flavor to say the least. Hops are more aparent as the beer warms.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: Mouthfeel is buttery smooth. One of the better Australian beers I have come across (that's not saying all that much).

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Photo of UnionMade
4.3/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sleek 12 oz bottle stamped "BEST BEFORE 10/??/06".
Rusty red-brown, turbid, with a dense, cream colored head. Great head retention. Full, malty aroma. A bit of english styled hops here and there, mostly herbal and floral and that goldings sort of way, lots of caramel sweetness, reminding me of my babci's babka bread. Estery fruit, apple and pear. Alcohol heat is concealed until it warms to room temperature, where it displays itself with some boozy phenols. The flavor starts out sweetish and malty. Lots of caramel, dominating the flavor throughout. A bit of doughy yeast. Big flavors for a 7.5% brew. So smooth feeling, creamy textured, fine carbonation keeping things easy and very drinkable. Full bodied, not really syrupy, but rich on the tongue. Pear fruitiness. Fruit infused vanilla ice cream, moving seamlessly into a modestly hopped, floral finish. Slight plastic phenols, with that higher alcohol whiff in the finish, like a belgian dubbel. Lingering sweetness, leaving off with a fruity, brown pear aftertaste. Mmmm. Not a lick of alcohol. Just the way I like it.
An exceptional brew from the otherwise barren land of VB and Foster's. Strong in the english sense, I don't imagine this keeping too much past a couple years, but it's one easy drinking strong ale. So creamy and smooth. I like it a lot.

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Photo of crookedhalo
3.02/5  rDev -17%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I let this one sit in the fridge for a while because I noticed it looked a little sedimenty/murky. Well, that was a bust cause it poured a muddy amber to copper color with no real head other that some beige-like floating bubbles. Lightly fruity in aroma with some dull honeyed breadiness and some odd mineral notes. Tastes like the same strain of yeast is utilized from the Sparkling Ale, leaving a dry, distictive metallic twang. Lightly cidery, without being appley, almost seltzery. Too much play on carbonation and not enough emphasis on ale-like qualities. The only suggestion of its strength is a slight lingering caramel maltiness. Off-balanced and strange, but I am intrigued by it's dryness and accent on carbonation without making a good pour (twist-off?) I'll have to revisit this one again.

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Photo of Drew966
3.63/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cooper's Vintage Ale pours a hazy (after mixing in the sediment) copper color with a thin head. Aroma is a bit vinous. Taste is slightly vinous, but really more fruity I think. Kind of a bit of apple flavor. Caramel also comes through. Prickly carbonation. An interesting beer from a brewery that I don't tend to expect much from. Definitely worth a try.

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Photo of ggaughan
3.45/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a brown, iced tea like body into a tulip glass with a thin white head having very active bubbles running through the body. The aroma of this beer had a very distinctive lemon nose to it and a bit malty. The taste was a pleasing toasted malty presentation and some citrus in the background. With a medium body, I found this beer to be pretty drinkable but not overwhelming.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.26/5  rDev -10.4%
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 Naerhu
4.05/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to theSilverhand for this brew.

A - Hazy brown body with off white head and stubborn lacing.
S - Brown sugar and yeasty aroma.
T - Sweetish half baked bread malt with nice big yeasty aroma. Very light hoppyness. This is a beauty.
M - Nice light carbonation, on a body that is a bit too small.
D - This is a joy to drink. The maltyness and yeastyness play off each other.

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Photo of rodrot
3.41/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This ale poured a cloudy brown color with a half inch fluffy head. Aroma was almost absent with just a faint whiff of malt hitting my nose.
Taste was malty and fruity with just a little bit of hop bitterness. I could taste some notes of caramel and a candyish taste in the finish. This beer seemed rather thin to me and not very complex in the aroma or flavor. This was a 2005 bottle, so maybe it requires a few months of aging.

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3.65/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

The Cooper's Vintage Ale poured a dark cloudy brown color. It smelled of strong hops and spice. The carbonation was high for most beers, but felt fairly moderate for Cooper's. The body of the beer was fairly heavy, it is a very strong ale. The hops were prominent, just as in the smell. And it had a strong finish with the ample taste of spice. This was an interesting beer. It was delicious while drinking it, but I really don't see someone drinking a lot of it. The spice was really strong, and my girlfriend said said it tasted of soy sauce, which I can kinda see(it was not a bad thing , just a really spicy finish).

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Photo of goatherder
3.96/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

serving - 375ml bottle, 2004 vintage

a: nice looking bottle - more upmarket than your standard Coopers fare. Foil cover on neck looks classy. Pours deep copper with a nice one finger head. The head remains tight and lasts well into the beer.

s: sweet malty aroma, a bit of floral hops in the background. the yeast is there. There's something that smells a little like dishwashing liquid - not offensive, just a little like artificial fruit smells.

t: nice sweet hit up front. The malty nose isn't so obvious in the mouth Quite smooth and a good bitter hops bite at the end. The higher ABV is obvious, especially in the finish.

m: big mouthfeel, just like I like em, complemented perfectly by a subtle carbonation.

d: Quite easy to drink and I'd definitely buy more. Not quite a session star - the high ABV makes this a one-or-two only affair.

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Photo of ashleyshalyn
3/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I tried this at a barley wine tasting for some reason… I’m guessing b/c the ABV is high. As a barley wine I named it “the Budweiser of barleywine.” Described as strong ale, however, I feel it deserves a little more credit.

A: No head wnad a foggy burnt amber color, thin.

S: Coppery/metallic (like after playing a guitar with old strings or handling a bunch of pennies) with a light pecan and fruit aroma

T: A mellow light alcohol with sweet malty tones and a light hop finish… really not too exciting at all.

M: Medium high body w/ low carbonation

D: I would drink it again if someone else paid for it, but for my $ I wouldn't get it again.

I don’t recommend this one too much… not bad… but just not really doing it for me. I drank this alongside a few really really awesome barleywines so I’ll review again when I am tasting it on its own.

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

Dark orange with quite a few flecks and flakes floating within. I broke off the pour before some of the larger, nastier stuff had a chance to escape. The buff colored cap is small and isn't the least bit sticky. It's deflating relatively slowly, but doesn't look wonderful on the way down. There's very little lace in the beginning and a few stray splotches in the end.

The nose is reminiscent of musty orchard fruit (apples mostly) and caramel. The aroma isn't all that compelling. It doesn't smell 'strong', either in terms of how much actually reaches my nose or in terms of its character. I guess the 7.5% ABV is the sole justification for the name.

The flavor is a definite improvement. I won't go so far as to agree with the brewers that it's the beer equivalent of fine wine, but it does have a concentrated fruitiness that justifies the comparison on some level. There's a modest toasted bread flavor, some light caramel and an unsweetened tea-like quality that I associate with some English ales. Bruised apples are still uppermost, with a faint oranginess trailing along in their wake.

There's a fair amount of hoppiness (Tettang? Kent Goldings?) that easily counters whatever sweetness might be present. The middle is firm and the finish is crisp and dry. I can't really taste the alcohol, but I'm pretty sure that I would have come close to guessing the ABV if blinded.

Although the amount of carbonation is on the low end, the beer is far from underbubbled. A bigger body would have worked much better. I like my old ales to have some amount of chewiness and mouth linger. This is a lighter version of the style for sure.

Coopers Extra Strong Vintage Ale reminds me of a higher alcohol English pale. It could use a tad more depth and assertiveness, but it's still a worthwhile beer that I found appealing. This is my favorite Coopers Brewery offering to date and has to be included in my top handful of Aussie beers as well.

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Photo of DogFood11
2.67/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Cooper's Vintage poured into a snifter forms a controlled 2 finger hea that leaves stringy lacing. Hazy body that looks meaty. Yeast particles evident, never bothered me a bit yet so no big deal.

Light fruitiness to this brew is the savior....lemon zest, toast, combine with a light fruitiness and molds together rather abrubt. Enough bitter hops to keep this thing in check, maybe the bitterness is from a lemon peel as well. Its a nice beer but its between Average and never purchase again....oh the dilema.

Notes: not a brew I'd want to drink more than one of in a night, and it has nothing to do with the abv%. Zesty lemon, thin body, with a weaker toasted starter. Stick with the stout from this brewer.

Mouthfeel is spiced, dry and lingering. Highly reccomended.

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Photo of blitheringidiot
3.28/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

$300 a bottle

Label indicates 4-OCT-2002. 315 mL 7.5%

Pours a murky dark orange amber with rising bubles to a wafer thin khaki head cap.

Malty sweet sugary aroma, reminding me of an olde ale for sure.

Dry flour flavors with a delicate blended orange & lemonade twinge. Slightly diluted for an olde ale, and 7.5 % ABV is easy going. Clean finish with some pancake linger.

Feel is soft carbonation. Nothing spectacular but that would be good if it strikes the mood. like a marzen.

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Photo of tgbljb
4.05/5  rDev +11.3%
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 beerphilosopher
3.3/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an extra large pint glass from a 12 oz short bottle.

A - A very murky, hazy brown color because of the suspended sediment in the bottle ... reminded me of apple cider, but not quite as transparent. Not a substantial head, although vigorously poured. Diminished fast and left sporadic lacing.

S - Sweet and complex. Contains a spicy aspect that is favorable but not easily identified. Bread baking, or maybe a pastry of some type. Slight honey-like odor and yeast.

T - Pronounced malty sweetness. This is a complex beer and difficult to identify. Almost a fermented fruit-like taste upfront with subdued hop flavors accentuating. Yeasty. Not a lot of alcohol flavor to report.

M - Although thick and murky, like a cider, there is a decent carbonation to this ale that is not immediately apparent. Over all, a very thick, creamy ale that feels decidedly balanced to the malty side of things.

D - I'm at a bit of a loss with this one, as I haven't really encountered anything quite like it before. Much more drinkable, and enjoyable that it initially appears ... this ale is worth a try for sure. It's complexity and elusiveness in being easily identifyable is a virtue in this case, I believe. I wonder what it would be like with the heavy sediment removed altogether ...? I suspect this is a good part of it's appeal however. A worthy, although odd, ale. I can honestly say I like it and would drink it again ... and since I have 2 more bottles, I intend to do just that.

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Photo of Gritsak
3.31/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- hazy brownish orage with a decent size offwhite head. retention is pretty good.

S- sweet fruity smell with some malt and yeast. alcohol is also a little noticable.

T- kind of bland taste. nothing really stands out that much. alcohol is warming and there is a bit of hop presence.

M- heavy body with a little creaminess. carbonation is low.

D- i could drink a couple of these without a problem, but thats just because there not really a whole lot of flavor going on.

overall- this isnt a bad beer, just not very good. its pretty easy to drink, but i just dont get much pleasure drinking it.

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Photo of acrawf6
3.54/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured out to what i thought was a pretty unattractive hazy brown, almost like very dirty dish water i used to see at my old work. I thought i poured aggresively, but didnt get too much of a head.

Smell is dry apples with little bits of cinnomon spice.

Taste is apples, a little sour. Alcohol comes through, especially in aftertaste. I also get a little butterscotch in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is good. Tastes very crisp and carbonated on my toungue. A full flavor is good balance.

Overall, i think this one is certainly one to try, but one i really need to be in the mood for to have again. Especially the price. Where i got it, it was $20 a six pack (although that place is always expensive). luckily they sold it singly or i wouldnt have tried it.

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Photo of brentk56
3.17/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a murky ice tea brown with nary a head and very little lacing

Smell: Rich caramel malt nose with undertones of tropical fruit

Taste: Immediate domination by the malt accompanied by a quick transition of apples and orange; the finish is marred by an unbalanced blend of alcohol and phenolic band aids

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied but a bit slick (diacetyl?) with modest carbonation

Drinkability: Just a few too many flaws here and there to be very good; I'm disappointed as I had high hopes for this Aussie; is this supposed to be a malt liquor?

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Photo of Mitchster
2.18/5  rDev -40.1%
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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Photo of asabreed
4.45/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz shorty bottle, Oct 2002 is the batch and bottle date, so I guess this guy's already 4 years old? Here goes.

Appearance: Because of the shitload of sediment that was poured into the glass, it's made the beer a weird hazy brown. Slightly unattractive in that sense, but also very much like something I've never seen. Odd pieces of sediment are floating around and are stirred up as I sip on it. Also, it's got a great head that's still above the beer, and decent lacing.

Smell: An odd mix of vinous grape-like qualities and sweet, dark, chocolate. Yes, odd indeed, but somehow it works very well. Some yeast, dark bread, maple, caramel, and slight toffee too. I've never really smelled a beer like this before.

Taste: Malt sweetness up front, with the vinous characteristics coming back later and right before the swallow. Some hints of sweeter chocolate are there too, along with some, brown sugar, some fruit: plum, apricot? Tons of stuff going on, and though it's slightly odd it's working very well for me, one because of the singular nature of the beer, and how quality the balance and ingredients seem. And where's the alcohol for 7.5%? Hidden, and hardly there in my opinion.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation levels are those that seem absent, then they spritz the mouth upon the swallow. This may be because the seemingly higher sugar levels, but I don't know. Either way, it ends up being a bit creamy and velvety by the end. Medium body but not cloying or anything. Satisfyingly coating, if you will.

Drinkability: I'm more than impressed by this brew, especially for the seemingly lower end reviews (meaning many significantly lower than a total of 4), but I think this is complex, satisfying, original, tasty, and altogether a great drinking experience. Make sure you decant properly if you're not a big sediment fan, though, because like Smuttynose IPA, there's tons, and it'll make its way into the glass if you're not careful. Then I ask: what did the four years do? I guess it has to be good things. Either way, I'll be getting more of this, and even if you're a bit wary, you should try it for sure.

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Photo of connecticutpoet
3.97/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best before 10-9-2006. The pack I took it from said it was vintage 2002, but there was no indication of this on the bottle itself.

This brew was a hazy light brown offering, with a two finger fizzy head. I was surprised that it was so bubbly and carbonated.

The aroma was VERY complex... sherry, white wine, raising, and figs, with caramel malts underneath. Quite nice.

Taste was not at all fruity, unlike the nose. I detected light roasted malts, coffee with cream, and some oak flavors. Tasty indeed.

Mouthfeel was pretty darn good... nice body to rhis one. Smooth and creamy despite initially seeming like it was heavily carbonated.

Drinkability... damn good. I will have to get another one and cellar it until the date on the bottle.

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Extra Strong Vintage Ale from Coopers Brewery Limited
Beer rating: 3.64 out of 5 with 379 ratings