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: 376
Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.26/5  rDev -10.7%
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 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 hoegaardenhero
3.28/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

a: murky amber w/ a little bit of white bubbly head

s: nice sweet malts with some hop hints and some toffee

t: nice caramel overtones; sweet warming alcohol and malts; hop aftertaste

m: a little over-carbonated but still pretty creamy

d: definitely a decent beer but not one i would particularly go out of my way to try again

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Photo of blitheringidiot
3.28/5  rDev -10.1%
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 Boilermaker88
3.29/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Found this at a local store for three bucks. Presented in a stubby brown 12oz. bottle. On the bottom of the label the batch is noted, in this case 4 October 2002. Poured into my tasting glass, this strong ale had a cloudy orangey-amber hue with a lot of clumpy yeasty sediment and a small whitish head that quickly dwindled down to a ring. I had to be careful drinking this one so as to not disturb the sediment. That stuff took a long time to settle and was very easily aggitated.
The nose was sweet and fruity, with a floral aroma and some sweet caramel malt notes. Just a mild hint as to the alcohol. The taste was predominantly sweet as well, with little hops bitterness. Lightly flavored of caramel and honey, some moderate malts, and tropical fruits, I found this brew's taste profile to too mundane and pedestrian. Even the alcohol, at 7.5% ABV, seemed muted. The feel was medium-bodied and smooth with a bit of a watery edge to it.
I guess I was expecting more from a "vintage" ale, one that was advertised as able to age well. The label recommended this beer be consumed within 18 months so I was catching it right near the end of that time limit. Still, it appeared to not have held up all that well. Word of advice: if you don't want a mass of sediment in your beer, pour this one very carefully.

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Photo of beerphilosopher
3.3/5  rDev -9.6%
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 -9.3%
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 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 popery
3.31/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The beer pours a dark amber color with a nice head. There are floaties throughout when held up to the light. It's a fairly murky beer. The smell is strong with some sweetness and ethanol. It's somewhat reminiscent of maple syrup with a bit of fruit. Despite this sweetness, the taste carries a fair amount of bitterness, as well. The flavor doesn't quite balance out ultimately, and the alcohol also shows up a bit much. It's a strong beer that drinks even less smoothly than it's abv of 7.5% would suggest. There is a good deal of carbonation, a bit bracing when paired with the bitter notes. I enjoyed the beer but probably wouldn't buy it again. Admittedly, this is not my favorite style.

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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 brendan13
3.32/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours a hazy dark amber colour. A couple of centimetres of head.
S - Some malty aromas & some faint dark fruit esters.
T - Sweet malt flavours pretty much dominate the taste. The alcohol is there but not too full on.
M - A little bit light bodied for the style.
D - A nice enough beer but nothing special.

I would rather drink other beers that are tastier & smaller ABV%.

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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 NHSTEVE
3.35/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: cloudy brown with a hue of orange

S: Fruity smell, slight bread and hop smell

T: A balance between the malts and the hops, the fruit taste is what stands out.

M: Smooth with a light carbonation.

O: The side of the bottle did say to pour with care because there is sediment in the bottom of the bottle, I pour first and read second. It would be easy to drink more than one of these beers in a sitting. Overall a pleasant beer and I would buy again.

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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 greybeardloon
3.36/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Best after June 16, 2009. 2009 vintage.

A: Not much head and minimal lacing.

S: Raisins, not very sweet dried fruit, sherry.

T: Dried fruit and sherry again. Leafy, woodsy hops and a dry finish. Not too sweet or cloying, and hoppier than I had expected. alcohol is well hidden.

M: Surprisingly bubbly and thinner than expected.

O: An interesting beer to have tried...

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Photo of BDTyre
3.36/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Brown-orange colour (burnt sienna maybe?) with an alright slight cream coloured head.

Yeast smell with some fair hop bitterness. No alcohol present. It has the same yeast characteristic I find in all of Coopers beers.

Nice malt taste, lemony bread flavour with suggestions of caramel and toffee. Mild hops; yeast is not as dominant in the flavour as it is in the scent. Mild alcohol warmth.

A nice strong ale, but it is so similar to pretty much everything Coopers does why bother making it a "vintage?"

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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 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 ark57
3.38/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2000 Vintage - It is a copper/amber color with a thin wisp of a head. The aroma was weak with some fruit notes. I have not tasted this beer when it was fresh so I have no frame of reference to compare it. It is malty and creamy, but it seems that any hop character has all but disappeared. It is a mellow beer that goes smooth and easy, but is just average in taste.

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Photo of StJamesGate
3.39/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Loose taupe froth that's gone in a flash over a bright oxblood body.
Rum, golden raisin, butterscotch and whiskey barrel on the nose.
Butter and Madeira cake malts with peaches in syrup and thick honey then mild dried orange rind and cedar chip hops.
Toffee finish and dry linger. Light hinting at medium, slight cling, dead in the glass.

I knew I should be suspicious of a 5-year-old beer in a twist top. There are the whiskey notes of a mature strong ale, yes, but the whole thing is thin, flat and one dimensional, without even worrying if it's a bit stale. Not the best from Coopers or Oz.

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Photo of joemeister
3.39/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2008. The first thing I noticed about this beer was the sizeable flakes floating around. I don't know what they are, so I won't hold that against the beer. Otherwise, the beer is a murky brown color that isn't really inviting. The head was average in all respects except for a few curious specks of brown. Not the greatest start, but hey, I don't buy beer for its looks.

The smell is strong malt. I can't decipher any other items in the midst of an otherwise pungent, bread-like / yeast-like smell.

Taste: here the experience took a turn for the better. The flavors are not nearly as overpowering and overbearing as the aroma might suggest. Significant carbonation unfolds into a lasting spicy bitterness. There is a faint pine aftertaste. The body is somewhat thin at first but it does grow into a more healthy, full feel the longer the sip stays on the tongue.

Overall, this is pretty average. The appearance risks being off-putting and the smell is unbalanced. The taste is redeeming, but not enough so that I would seek this out in the future.

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Photo of Macca
3.4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This review is for the 2008 vintage.

It pours a murky dark golden colour with a centimetre of head.

The nose is dominated by yeasty spiciness, mostly pepper. Alcohol comes through quite clearly too.

A little bit of malt on the palate but not getting a lot of hops. A little sweetness. Definite alcohol warmth.

I keep trying to appreciate this beer more but it just doesn't work for me. I do appreciate that it's well made though.

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Photo of rodrot
3.41/5  rDev -6.6%
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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Photo of vancurly
3.42/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Coopers bar in Adelaide airport. $9 for a South Australian pint (i.e. NSW schooner).

a) Pours a pale caramel brown, hazy. Served in a tall fluted glass mroe suitable to pilsner than English ale. Head disappears almost immediately.

s) Banana-like esters. Wild vegetation and maybe some tropical fruit.

t) Toffee, fleshy/yeasty. Touch of warmth, with banana note again.

m) Medium weight, slightly creamy, long palate.

o) A very drinkable ale with enough complexity to keep interest. I think the bottled version is slightly better.

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Photo of Hachiman
3.42/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had the 2008 vintage.

Poured an almost clear medium brown with almost no head. Decent lacing though.

Smelled of medium roasted sweet malt and raisins, prunes.

Tasted zesty for a three-year old beer. Aged in the bottle, so nothing from the container. Taste didn't rise to the level of the aroma: a little sweetness on the front end and bitterness on the back.

Mouth feel was slick and medium heavy.

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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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