Coopers Extra Strong Vintage Ale | Coopers Brewery Limited

265 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: 265 | Ratings: 375
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.

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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 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.

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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.

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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 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.

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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.

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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.

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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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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 Bighuge
3.15/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The amber colored brew throws out a nice head, albeit fizzy. Carbonation is evident in the glass, with CO2 surfacing rapidly in the form of tiny bubbles. A sour/fruity mix on the nose. This beer is really lacking for any distinguishible qualities on the taste buds. Surprising for a Strong/Vintage ale. There are some light nuances of fruity character. A little herbal tea like character. sIf something good can be said about this beer, it's that the alcohol taste is absent in a 7.1 a/v brew. Very drinkable for that level of alcohol.

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Photo of brentk56
3.17/5  rDev -13.2%
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 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 Quaffer
3.17/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Batch No. 4, October of 2002. Bottle lists the abv at 7.5 %.

Appearance: This beer pours a very murky, very hazy amber-orange color. There was a ton of yeast floating around in the brew. A rough, almost white head rose up to two fingers with some coaxing and settled back quickly, leaving a thin cap of foam. This, too, has disappeared well before the beer was gone. There was no lace left to speak of.

Smell: This brew had an interesting aroma of alcohol, water, wine, green apples, and yeast. All of this was very faint and not easily detectable. But as the beer really started to warm up, an almost overpowering alcohol smell became very evident.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and very smooth, with practically no carbonation feel at all.

Taste: The taste is even more interesting than the smell. Interesting and a little bit strange to boot. Upfront there is not much at all, just a mild sweetness. But after the beer had lingered in the mouth for awhile and I had swallowed, an odd myriad of flavors arose: caramel, toffee, caramel apple, and green apple bubble gum. Along with these was the wine-like quality that I picked up in the aroma. On the finish was a burst of alcohol and a yeasty flavor that continued on as a lingering aftertaste. The alcohol flavor, like the alcohol aroma, became increasingly dominant as the beer warmed up.

An intersting, but not captivating, beer. It became much less enjoyable as the alcohol smell and taste took over. I have one of these set aside for aging that I will try in a year or two to see how it has changed. However, I don't think that this brew is big enough to age well for very long.

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Photo of BierFan
3.18/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12.7 ounce bottle into a tulip glass. 2008 vintage.

Appearance: Off-white head, hazy ruby red body.

Smell: Musty, cherry syrup, almonds.

Taste: Quite a disappointment. I think perhaps it didn't have a malty enough body to stand up to 2 years of aging. Earthy herbal hops and a decent bitterness in the finish.

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Photo of EgadBananas
3.18/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Vintage 2008.

Poured an amber/copper color, very light tan head, but it doesn't stay long. Aroma is slightly fruity, malty and caramel. That carries over well into the taste, though it has a slight bitter edge and more nuttiness. Feels pretty good...medium bodied, a tad creamy and sick. Low carbonation. No real booziness to it, so it drinks easy enough, but it's just nothing too spectacular. Decent enough though....may sit on a bottle for a while

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Photo of dansmcd
3.18/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours a lively amber crested by a finger of dense foamy off white head and sticky lacing.

S - Bready english malt, sugar, yeast, some sweet grain.

T - Grain, sweet corn, alcohol, salt, metal, faint grassy hops.

M - Highly carbonated, thin light watery body, alcoholic heat evident.

O - Somewhat disappointed in this. Too hot and spritzy for what it offers in terms of flavour and complexity.

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Photo of dgallina
3.2/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz brown bottle dated best-before 10-09-2006.

Poured a cloudy pale light brown with a minimal sheen of foam and minor lace; not very appetizing looking. Minimal aroma; brown sugar and molasses over a vaguely spicy whiff of alcohol. Restrained sweetness up front, develops round and pleasant wood tones in the middle and finishes with slightly metallic toasted malts and alcohol notes. Rather thin and over-carbonated for a strong ale.

Easy-drinking and utterly undistinguished.

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Photo of mulder1010
3.2/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

375 ML poured into a Globe glass 2010 Vintage

A-- Poured a dark sludgy looking orange color. Had a little bit of sediment at the end of the pour. Short lived off white head that only got to half a finger in height, then just film. A little bit of head retention with a swirl or two.

S-- A lot of dark fruits with this. Plumb and raisin. Has a bit biscuit sweetness to this as and a little bit of an alcohol nose.

T-- A lot of dark fruit and sweet bread off the bat. Big dose of carbonation as well.

M-- Really carbonated. Masks a lot of the flavors in this. Really thought this was closer to a Belgian Strong Dark Ale but seriously over carbonated. Plum, fig, and orange come out more and the sweet bread is in the feel also. Quite an earthy feel to this.

D-- Carbonation hurt the drinkability of this. Really over carbonated. Flavors and the texture are pretty good though. This could develop into a really good beer in time. Have an 09 in my cellar and should have reviewed that one. Will hold off on trying a 10 again for at least a year.

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Photo of tpd975
3.2/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a very murky creamy brown hue with lots of floaters. Average head with avg retention.

S: Aroma has notes of sweet apple cider, toasted malt, brown sugar, grapes, and thanksgiving spices.

T: Very similar to the nose. Lots of apple and brown sugar. This is one malty brew with slight hints of spice. Some booze can be noted.

M: Medium to full bodied. Smooth.

D: One bottle is enough. Not great, just good.

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Photo of jlindros
3.21/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2009 vintage
Oh no, vintage with screw cap

Big creamy head, nice lacing, very hazy reddish orange color

Nose aged malt, plenty of oxidation, little yeasty, sweet candy malt, chewy nougat

Taste little bitter herbal grassy hop, more oxidation, sweet candy malt, toffee syrup, sticky, little metallic too

Mouth sticky syrupy, decent carb

Overall eh, as expected

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Photo of jp32
3.24/5  rDev -11.2%
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 IronDjinn
3.25/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

The bottle comes with a cream coloured foil around the cap and neck. Pours out a cloudy opaque almond tone, not much of a head.

Boozy toffee malt on the nose, the alcohol is clearly present, and also contains hints of citrus and spice.

The flavour is unassuming at first, and then whammo, is sneaks up and catches you off guard near the finish. Malt is big and chewy, the toffee notes carry over from the aroma. There's a vinous vapour-trail character to it, the alcohol is a big player in the taste and mouthfeel of this ale. The finish is bombastic, with the malt and alcohol meeting up with some leafy green hops, which all but get trampled in the stampede of the other two. Tart citrus zing lingers in the aftertaste.

Pretty light and watery mouthfeel for such a high test ale, not sure if the transport and handling of this stuff from the other side of the planet had anything to do with that.

A bit disappointing overall (especially after shelling out $20 CAN for a 6 of this!), it kind of teases, but doesn't own up, the flavour is too loose and disjointed to really leave a lasting impression. The abv% however tends to kick like a mule for 7.5%.

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Photo of kiddynamite920
3.25/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2008 Vintage into a large snifter.

A: Pours a dark caramel brown. Large particle floating around the brew. White head that stands about a half finger tall. Tried to pour this one light after reading there was large floaters in no avail. Other than the floaters this beer looks pretty solid. Small bubbles on the head.

S: Alcohol is still very strong for a 2 year old brew. Picking up raisins and bourbon aromas. Some vanilla. Hard to get past this alcohol burn. Has a grassy, earthy hop character behind the alcohol. Not an overwhelming malt profile.

T: Taste almost hits a high mark, but falls off very short. A good deal of flavor hits the tongue but it falls extra flat around the palate. Sweet malts hit the tip of the tongue and roof of the mouth, but nothing is there on the rest of the tongue. Almost has a watered down taste. Raisins and figs are present from the malts, no alcohol burn and no crispness. Just fell flat for me.

M: Almost feels like it will be a big strong ale, but it really feels watery.

D: Good flavor, but not an enjoyable mouthfeel. And no one really wants to watch floating bits sliding into their mouth from a beer. I understand drinking sediment but this is large particles.

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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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