17. Coopers Extra Strong Vintage Ale

Posted: July 22, 2009 in Australian ales, traditional looking label
Tags: , , , , , ,

Coopers Extra Strong Vintage Ale - bottleCoopers Extra Strong Vintage Ale
Australian flag - small


Company info:
Coopers Brewery


Bottle size sampled: 375 mL

Alcohol: 7.5%
Standard drinks: 2.2

Cap type: Twist

Cost: I picked this up for AU$4.50

Label info: FRONT – ‘Coopers Vintage has been brewed with choice malts and an extended top fermentation to provide a strong flavoursome ale. Stored under cellar conditions the rich and full flavour of Coopers Vintage will become more complex over an extended period’.

BACK – ‘This naturally conditioned ale experiences interactions between the robust malt, hop and yeast characters, to exhibit an intriguing journey of flavour development over a period of five years. This grand ale should be savoured in moderation – Dr Tim Cooper, Managing Director and Chief Brewer’ 

What the label really means: This is label poetry. It sings of sweetness, telling a story that seems to create its own history and heritage, ensuring it is firmly planted in Australian beer folk-lore.

The Hell-Cat review starts here

Label: I challenge anyone not to find a beer label displaying a man with an over-sized beard inviting. It plays the vintage tune in perfect pitch by looking old fashioned, steeped in history. There is a foil neck label to give it that extra bit of class and this can be a dubious move but it works here.
The only visual aspect I don’t like about this label is that there is too much descriptive text…it begins to detract from the beardo.

I give it a label rating of 7 out of 10.

AROMA: A beautifully strong malty aroma that rises up and carries me off towards beer-garden heaven.

Taste: GLASS -This beer really epitomises a full-bodied ale. It sort of rolls around my tongue with a combination of carefully measured spices, and hits with a deliciously bitter aftertaste. I’m drinking it, but my mind is setting me down on a nice comfy couch in front of a warm open fire-place. (Turns out I have actually wandered in a daze into a deserted amusement park on an ocean pier).

I give it a beer from glass rating of 8 out of 10.

Coopers Extra Strong Vintage Ale - Glass

Taste: BOTTLE – On first sip I felt the beer was just as delicious, but as I continued, I really felt something was missing. I feel it is definitely the lack of aroma that wafts up from a glass that is missing here. Strangely, the beer still has a genuine appeal when supped from the bottle.

I give it a taste from bottle rating of 7.5 out of 10.

A word from the wife: “Robust and rich…so not for me!”

She gave it a taste rating of 5 out of 10.

Accompanying food: This is a hearty, warm meal accompaniment. Give me a couple of these as I tuck into a lamb roast, and I am a happy fellow.

Best season to appreciate: While some like this dark style of beer all year round, it’s definitely a Winter brew for me. 

All-nighter beer? After I finished the bottle for this review, I really believed that I could easily last all night on this. In reality it’s not an all-nighter for me as I tend to get hit doubly hard the next day on darker styled beers (and this beer isn’t even that dark!). I am keen to hear from those that love to drink this all night.

NEXT WEEK: Quilmes Cerveza (our first South American beer – Argentina to be exact)

  1. […] what I’ve said previously: ‘This label is very similar to the previously reviewed Coopers Extra Strong Vintage Ale so I’ll repost a couple of previously made comments such as ‘I challenge anyone not to […]


  2. […] label is very similar to the previously reviewed Coopers Extra Strong Vintage Ale so I’ll repost a couple of previously made comments such as ‘I challenge anyone not to […]


  3. Sniv Whettuce says:

    If there’s a sweeter term in beerspeak than 7.5% ALC/VOL then I’m yet to meet it. Nine out of ten.


    • BargeDave says:

      SO glad you’re a fan, Sniv. I’d have been devastated if either Mason or yourself had bagged this beer. My final comment about this magnificent beer is that it does indeed improve with ageing and if you’ve got something approaching cellar conditions, it’s truly amazing once it’s about 3 years old. God I love this stuff. If there’s a better ale made outside of Belgium (or the Belgian impersonators at Unibrou in Quebec, Canada) I’m yet to meet it.


  4. McLean not MacLean says:

    Hell Cat, you’ve done it again. An insightful analysis that leaves me feeling well-informed, uplifted… and thirsty. Time for a cheeky beer I think. Cheers!


  5. BargeDave says:

    Thanks for reviewing my favourite beer Mase. As far as this being an all-nighter is concerned, I’m sure I have drunk this all night, as long as you’re happy to define ‘all night’ as including passing out at 8pm. Once a year, I try to consume an entire six-pack of this while watching the Superbowl broadcast on tv. I’ve only completed the challenge and stayed awake to see the final play once. The other detail about this beer which will be only known to Coopers fans is the practice of rolling the bottle on its side before opening it, to release the cloudy yeast sediment into the beer before pouring.


    • Sniv Whettuce says:

      I put it to you, Barge, that it’s not the beer making you go snoozy-bo-bo’s. Dreadful, dreadful game.


      • BargeDave says:

        As a once-a-year excercise it’s pretty good but your point is fair Sniv. Forgot to mention in my previous post that the beardo on the label is of course Thomas Cooper who founded the brewery still run by his descendants in the 1860’s. He first brewed stout in his bathtub. To this day, Coopers range of bottle-conditioned ales is always satisfying, even in Adelaide’s hot dry summer (although the stout and Vintage are probably better winter beers).


      • Sniv Whettuce says:

        I wouldn’t be surprised if Reschs Real Bitter is made in a bathtub. Worst beer I’ve ever tasted. I drank half a pot of the stuff at a drinking tournament last year and ended up having to retire hurt.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s