Coopers Extra Strong Vintage Ale | Coopers Brewery Limited

266 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: 266 | Ratings: 375
Photo of jrallen34
2.72/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I drank this from a 12oz bottle into a generic chalice.

The beer is an ugly murky brown with a light tan. Not much retention or lacing.

The aroma is light with a little malts.

The taste is bad, thankfully we were splitting this and I didn't have much to drink. It was bitter with bad hops. The feel was ok, but not drinkable at all.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.12/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a lovely, slightly cloudy amber colour, with an initially full head of white foam which disippates slightly to a thin an perhaps a little insipid ring of film. Minimal lacing. Colour is nice, but it looks a little too static and flaccid in the glass.

Nice notes on the nose - lots of toffee and caramel with a pleasant citric fruit character piping through, perhaps a little pineapple which stops the rich malt and caramel from becoming overpowering. Perhaps a slight boozy note too, but that's subtle, if it's really there at all. Nice.

Despite the rather static look of the body, there's a glut of tiny, overzealous carbonation on the palate, which leaves the tongue exhausted by the time it actually starts picking up the other characters. What's there is quite boozy, with some strong acetone characters - very little of the sweetness present on the nose. It feels as though it's a strong ale that hasn't managed to cover its alcohol content. It ends up rather harsh.

Really, this isn't a bad brew, but there's certainly something a bit too raw about it. Perhaps it mellows with age, perhaps is becomes slightly sweeter, and the harsher notes become blunted. Maybe. Hopefully.

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Photo of DrJay
3.55/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

2008. Poured a fairly clear tawny amber with an eggshell cap of fine bubbles. Thick, chunky lacing with good head retention. The sediment was quite loose, meaning that it was suspended in the last 2oz or so of beer, even with a careful pour. Fruity aroma, toffee, bready, ripe apple and pear skin. Malty texture, a little coarse, medium bodied with lowish carbonation. The body fell away a little bit towards the end, leaving it a bit thin. Medium to low bitterness that was more pronounced in the finish. Hops were a bit grassy and herbal, perhaps minty, and lingered on the palate. It was a bit earthy and there was a hint of anise mid-palate and in the finish. Fruity character was less prominent and seemed to be tied to a light alcohol flavour. There seemed to be a hint of oak/wood as well, contributing a light astringency. Overall, pretty good other than the issue I had with the body.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.35/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a brown color with a two finger head that died quickly and left little lace. A decent malt smell with some caramel sweetness and hints of hops. Has a smooth, easy to drink feel and while enjoyable rather simple. Minor fruity hops mix with mild sweet malts for a rather broad brew that is a little prickly and has a minor dry backbite. Not much in this beer but it is a good one to try.

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Photo of fragilemacabre
3.71/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

A friend who works at a liquor store gave a bottle from his six pack to me based on my beer likes (big hoppy IPAs, Three Philosophers, everything Stone and Lagunitas have done). Based on that criteria, I don't understand why he gave this to me, since it doesn't have the hoppy bitterness and big flavor that I tend to crave as of late. Based on overall good looks... er, tastes, I understand.

I didn't get much from the smell besides a dull sweetness that I normally dislike. Its dense amber color and pretty dollop of head helped make up for that. Upon quaffing, it is a little too light on the tongue. I vastly prefer a heavier feel. Whoops.

As for taste, it reminds me of Green Flash's Barleywine with the volume turned down to three, with an apple cider twang minus an overpowering fruitiness and a nice little hops bite that cuts through the cidery aspects.

I would have this again, though it would be mood-dependent, and I wouldn't pass up an opportunity to see what else this brewery can do.

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

Didn't have any expectations regarding this beer.
Strikes me as clearly, confidently English.
Lots of good homebrew characteristics in the odors, hazy in appearance with big fluffy head upon pouring.
Some pretty fruity characteristics in here; some apple, some raisin, maybe even hints of banana. Smooth on the palate. Perhaps a little too thin? This is the 2008 model so perhaps this could use even a bit more time to mature.
Still, this makes me interested in trying more.

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Photo of armock
3.72/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured a brown color with an off white head that leaves some lacing behind

S - Has a surprisingly fruity nose with apple scents and other fruit

T - Has a sort of an apple cider taste a little pretty decent

M - This beer has a medium body with higher carbonation to it

D - This is a pretty good beer thats fairly easy to drink the abv doesn't really come out worth a try sometime

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

2008 vintage, tasted Dec '09

A - hazy, amber-copper color with a thick head that is extremely well retained

S - fruity esters with a hop spiciness and strong malt

T - strong malt character with a noticeable oxidation greet you at once; the finish is fairly malty but a strong hop spiciness lingers after the malt sweetness fades

M - medium-full body with moderate carbonation

D - This is a decent beer - if not an odd style - I would consider more on the light side of a barleywine. It's been aged, as evident by the oxidation, but it just doesn't reach the level of complexity one might expect from a strong ale. Nonetheless, it is worth trying, but you probably don't need to get too excited about it.

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

Thanks Dim.
Bottle poured into a tulip glass produced a finger worth of white head that faded fast. The body of the brew was a clear copper color

Aromas' of dark fruits are up front raisins and plums. The malt sweetness is there as well in the nose. The flavor is really well balanced he first one I have experienced in a strong ale it starts of sweet up front but a nice bitter finish cleanses the mouth as you finish. Medium feel in the mouth with light carbonation

Nice old ale I'd buy it if I see it easy to drink and enjoyable at that I could see me drinking a couple of these in a sitting

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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 carbonation...finishes dryer than expected..

D-Enjoyable ale. Solid beer

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Photo of bsp77
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Received in November shipment of my BOTM club.

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Nonic Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Cloudy dark orange with some floaties that quickly sank to the bottom. Thin but creamy off-white head that leaves a few bubbles on the side of the glass.

Smell: Dry caramel and tea malts, with some fruitiness and a floral, spicy hop counterbalance.

Taste: Very malty with lots of caramel, figs, raisins, plum and spice. There is a strange sweetness that I can't quite identify and have lukewarm feelings about.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, slick but creamy body, somewhat strange finish.

Drinkability: Really, just kind of strange for an English style ale. However, I definitely do enjoy it, I just can't see myself returning to it too often.

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Photo of Brad007
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy amber color with a two-finger head into my glass that quickly fades down.

Aroma is full of sweet malt with a good hint of raisin in the nose. Not much else can be detected past that.

Taste is full of sweet, grainy malt as well with a caramel bent to it. Also notice hops and raisin as well. Alcohol warmth is quite strong though.

Mouthfeel is full of lingering raisin and alcohol warmth. Seems a bit too strong for my tastes but lives up to the style name.

Not bad. Definitely a strong ale of sorts. Not as strong as the american cousin and slightly closer to an english barleywine, albeit not quite.

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Photo of DIM
3.6/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

a: This was a clear, dark copery color. It poured with a short, fizzy head.

s: I found floral warmth, raisins, plums, and a little sweet, malty brown sugar.

t: Starts off lightly sweet, tasting of honey and toffee. The finish is slightly floral and quite bitter.

m: Maybe a little on the this side with gently fizzy carbonation.

d: Pretty tasty, but kind of green. I should have waited to open this.

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Photo of RuudJH
3.65/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer from Australia. Vintage 2008.
Label with a bearded 19th century dude. Cooper?

chestnut coloured beer with a thin head, quickly disappearing. Lots of very small floaty bits in a clear brew, makes it interesting nevertheless.
Smell and taste is hops and malts, slightly roasted, with hints of banana, dried fruits, clean yeast too.
The aftertaste is bitter.

The alcohol in this brew is upfront, but not offensive.

Interesting brew. Not one to drink steadily, but an ok experience.

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Photo of Mavajo
3.91/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 vintage.

Pours a brown amber with a fluffy white head that has excellent retention - even after sitting a while, there was a nice half-inch foam on top. Minimal lacing, which is the only thing keeping this from being a 5. Depending on your pour, you may or may not have sediment in your glass.

Nose was nice, but I had difficulty distinguishing the individual characteristics - maybe some cherries, figs...some sweetness. Taste is good - cherries, figs, raisins, sweet with a bit of bitter follow through. Contrary to oher reviews, I didn't find the mild bitterness to be unwelcome at all.

Mouthfeel medium and smooth with fairly heavy carbonation. Alcohol presence becomes more pronounced as it warms. Drinkability is fairly good, but lends itself to sipping.

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Photo of NorCalYeti
3.72/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

taste- chocolate and sugar in the finish

color- amber

clarity- cloudy

smell- woody, aged whiskey

body- full-flavored mouthfeel, strong and rich

appearance- cloudy, burnished amber

overall impression- very tasty, light caramel-malt aspect

notes- this review is for a 2002 vintage tasted in 2002

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Photo of jwc215
3.72/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12.7 oz bottle - 2008 vintage - "Best after" date unclear...

Pours hazed orange amber with a thin off-white head that descends to a thin lasting cover. Nice color - not much lacing sticks.

The smell is of musty-ish earthy spicing with a orange-accented fruitiness. It has woody notes and some caramel.

The taste is malty, but not too sweet. A earthy hop touch held up well to give it a nice balance. Orange fruitiness (with a hint of anise?) and sweet caramel/toffee maltiness lead to an herbal/woody dryness in the finish.

It's slightly more carbonated than expected, but body certainly holds up to medium. It is very smooth.

This is easy to drink with enough going on to keep interest, a nice smoothness, and abv very well-covered.

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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 rvdoorn
3.37/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I had this beer thanks to and with PapaEugene during our second beer drinking evening. Poured into a Rochefort glass. The beer pours a brown-orange color, with almost no head and no lacing. The beer is full of yeast pellets in suspension.

Smell: sweet butterscotch, strawberry chewing gum, plum, strong cherry, syrup.

Taste: sweet candy, fruity (cherry), vanilla, bit to strong alcohol and light malts. The aftertaste is very bitter.

Mouthfeel: medium carbonation, light-creamy body

Overall: Like PapaEugene, I had this one after Pliny the Elder, so I was a bit sick and tired of a very bitter aftertaste. This is the main reason why I couldn't enjoy this beer. As mentioned by PapaEugene, for a fair review, I will have to drink it another time. But this is not too high on my beer-priority list...

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Photo of PapaEugene
3.32/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Tasted this beer at the second beer tasting with rvdoorn. It came after the pliny the elder...

A: Hazy orange with yeast pellets in the bottom of my glass.

S: Butterscotch, strawberries, cherries, hint of vanilla and syrup.

T: Fruity, mainly cherries. Light malts and some hops. Almost like a fruit beer. Bitterness and honestly that was not what I needed after the
pliny the elder.

M: A litle creamy, light/medium carbonation.

D: I guess a bad choice after the hop-bomb pliny the elder. To give it a fair review I would have to drink this again...

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Photo of GRG1313
2.87/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 2 | smell: 5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

2008 Vintage. Pours a dark copper color with a nice white head.

Stunning rich and assertive peach and banana nose. Unfortunately, flavor, character and body do not follow.

Simple malt and an upleasantly bitter hop flavor does not leave one wanting more. Short mouthfeel with turpentine unpleasant pine tar flavors. Short (thankfully) finish.

This vintage ale calls for aging. However, nothing in body, flavors or character could lead one to conclude that aging will help this dull, simple and short flavored beer with a fantastic nose. Smell it; don't drink it. Just one guys opinion.

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Photo of drpimento
3.37/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Interesting beer. Got this at Sam's in Chicago last week. Poured with a tan head and a few drops of dark sediment. Color is a very hazy dark amber to brown. Nose is some malt, caramel, toffee, nougat, and varnish. No lace and head mostly subsides quickly. Flavor is malty, toffee, a bit bitter from yeastoids, Thinner than I would have supposed. Think it'll get much better with some time. Do pick up the alcohol. Good carbonation. Finish is ok.

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

I believe this vintage came out towards the end of '08 so it's fair to guess that it's since been stored for roughly 6 months. The Vintage Ale is a little bit of a mixed bag for me, I've always enjoyed it but occasionally when I've had it, it has a subdued fruity taste to it which is something I'm not particularly fond of. I'm not sure if this comes down to variations in the batch from vintage to vintage or more to do with the length of the time it's been left to develop in bottle.

It pours with a good head that sticks around long enough, what you'd expect from a decent ale really. Has a deep reddish/golden amber colour and is quite cloudy in appearance, which I believe is due to the sediment left in the bottle.

The smell was quite hoppy and a little malty. A little bit of fruitiness too but not too much, quite a pleasing aroma all up.

Taste is very pleasantly complex. Highly drinkable, you could slam this down if you were so inclined (too pricey for that though) but a lot of nice flavours come through if you sip on it. Immediate rich malty flavour with a good crisp bitter hoppy bite which is tamed down well with a slight fruity sweetness. Goes down the throat beautifully it has a lot of body. In previous years as mentioned above the fruitiness was a bit too much for me, getting a little too estery and covering up the malt flavours but this one was very pleasant going.

Maybe not as unique and amazing as marketing tries to make out this ale to be I still have this up there as one of my top 3 English style ales made in Australia (and in general, though my experience with international varieties are the more common garden varieties.) Definitely will drink this many times again, though it's not always quite this good and the Coopers Sparkling Ale is also very good, cheaper and more consistent with taste.

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Photo of skee1080
2.16/5  rDev -40.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

A: Dark copper with a slightly off-white head that lingers leaving a beautiful lacing on the glass. There is some haze, but that's probably cause the beer was bottle-conditioned and I accidentally just dumped all the sediment in (long day at work and I was rushing to pour my evening beer).

S: Sweet malt with hints of honey and raisin. There is a slight alcoholic note on the nose. No hop aroma. The aroma finishes with some caramel and toffee.

T: Some biscuity malt, but the beer is fairly well-attenuated, finishing dry. There are some intense solvent-like alcohols, which are a bit overwhelming. Mild bitterness. These higher alcohols are really masking much of the flavor--there's not much else I'm picking up.

M: Medium bodied with medium-high carbonation, lending a slight carbonic bite. The alcohols coat my mouth and provide an intense warming sensation.

D: This was a vintage-dated bottle dated 2008, so I probably drank it a bit too soon. Overall, those higher alcohols were the dominating flavor in this beer and were harsh at best. I'm thinking of buying a few more bottles and seeing how it ages over time, as this beer definitely needs some years to mellow out. I'll try to come back and re-review this beer once I had the chance to age a bottle for awhile.

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Coopers Extra Strong Vintage Ale from Coopers Brewery Limited
3.65 out of 5 based on 375 ratings.
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