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 choyhosoi
2.9/5  rDev -20.5%
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.

 394 characters

Photo of DoubleJ
2.9/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

2008 Vintage. As usual, I like these 375 ml bottles for an obvious reason. On to the beer:

Into a snifter it goes, the beer is unfiltered on the pour. Dark red color with hues of brown and orange, solid bubbly and patchy head retention on this one. Some chunks of sediment floating in the glass. Aroma...sweet caramel and a kick of booze. Notes of banana.

Strong peppery flavor throughout the beer with a chalky burnt grain astringency. Not a lot of flavor here. The alcohol character is spicy, but more peppery, like ground pepper. Faint hint of apple. Burnt toast aftertaste.

This has to get better with age, right? As of now, it is not very flavorful.

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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 DaveFL1976
2.95/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Coopers Extra Strong Vintage Ale comes in a “vintage” looking bottle, and pours a deep mahogany brown, yet cloudy colour with a humongous head that crowns up over the glass without spilling over. The label indicates 7.5% alcohol and that they achieve it from “choice malts and an extended top fermentation.” The smell is a combination of aged, toasted malt and the sharpness of alcohol. The first taste to greet you is the sharpness of the high alcohol content. It’s not particularly well hidden, especially for “only” being 7.5-percent. The second taste is a toasted malty pseudo-sweetness followed, again, by the alcohol dryness. Mouthfeel is quite good, body-wise and carbonation-wise, but post-swallow, the alcohol can get to you. It’s not as easy-drinking beer as you would hope, and the “dryness” becomes a bitterness. To sum up, I won’t buy this beer again. Although it looks pretty nice, and smells pretty good, Coopers makes their Extra Strong Vintage Ale seem like the 12% Belgian that doesn’t balance out the high alcohol content. The only problem is that Coopers Extra Strong is 7.5% alcohol and does a poor job of balancing it out. All the more disappointing. I adore their sparkling ale and stout, but this beer is not one of their best.

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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 pin
3/5  rDev -17.8%

Photo of jjkatter
3/5  rDev -17.8%

Photo of probert
3/5  rDev -17.8%

Photo of Hellpop65
3/5  rDev -17.8%

Photo of OriolesFan1008
3/5  rDev -17.8%

Photo of janubio
3/5  rDev -17.8%

Hazy amber colour, big head and big lace. Smell is very faint, apples I think and caramel. Medium body and correct carbonation. Taste of fruits, apples and apricots. Easily drinkable, but I don't feel nothing special in this one.

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Photo of MenInVen
3/5  rDev -17.8%

Photo of djrn2
3/5  rDev -17.8%

Photo of Scoats
3/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This review is of the 2000 version. The label recommends 18 months of cellaring. I let it set for a while and it was 24 by the time I got around to trying my lone bottle.

After such a long conditioning, I was expecting all sorts of interesting tastes with a long tailing aftertaste. However the amazing thing about this beer was the extra-ordinary lack of flavors; no tail, nothing. Or maybe it was all too subtle for me (though my hunch it's the beer as I had it with a totally fresh palette). The beer even lacked a noticable alcohol taste, which isn't a bad thing, but surprising for a beer whose label says to drink with caution.

I was completely underwhelmed, not disgusted just disappointed.

 704 characters

Photo of xShoWTeKx
3/5  rDev -17.8%

Photo of ashleyshalyn
3/5  rDev -17.8%
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.

 868 characters

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.

 438 characters

Photo of crookedhalo
3.02/5  rDev -17.3%
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 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.

 386 characters

Photo of dqrull
3.06/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5


Pours a great looking copper with a creamy, but rather small head. The head dies off pretty fast but leaves a quite robust lid.

First thing that hits me in the nose is the very prominent alcohol, along with a hint of raisin bread and hair spray, rather pungent.

Surprisingly thin and uninteresting taste to be honest. A light breadiness followed by some apple(and banana)-ishy yeast notes and some very reserved fruitiness from the malts.. But as mentioned, very weak overall...

Mouthfeel is quite nice, with a soft and sympathetic carbonation, and the body is lighter than you would expect from 7.5 ABV.

This beer should probably be cellared for a few years, but as it is now I have a hard time seing that it would have any chance to become more than average.

 770 characters

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 Nesued
3.1/5  rDev -15.1%
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.

 1,233 characters

Photo of vacax
3.11/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours an unfiltered copper with a thick cap of off-white and attractive head, clearly bottle conditioned, though with a bit of chunkiness to the yeast. Aromas of caramel, alcohol, grapes, honey and maple predominate with a touch of hops in there somewhere. Flavor has lots of syrupy malt, quite estery, some floral malts, some solvent alcohol, finish is very dry with some maple malt and grassy hops. Feel is nicely thick, but carbonation seems over the top, which is the norm from Coopers it would seem. This is a fair strong ale without much standout character.

 563 characters

Photo of JohnnyDuvel
3.11/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

If this is Cooper's "top of the line", I'm unimpressed. All of thier ales have a sour skunkiness that doesn't appeal to me. It's unfortunate, because the fruity taste underneath is pleasant enough. This one looks like swamp water, with the color and floaties. Has a weird smell, and unusual taste. The overall effect isn't bad, but for what is supposed to be a vintage beer, certainly nothing special.

 401 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.12/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

2013 355ml bottle purchased in Dunedin NZ and comsumed the same day.

Pours dark reddish amber with poor clarity and a fizzy, short-lived head. No lacing is left on the wine glass.

Aroma: sweet and pleasant with a suggestion of cordial. Higher ABV evident here as well as in the taste and feel.

Fruity flavor with a battle between sweet and bitter.

Feel: light body; mildly astringent with some alcohol heat; low carbonation leaves this ale rather lifeless.

O: cannot recommend this old style ale despite its fine aroma.

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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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