Coopers Extra Strong Vintage Ale

Total Score: 7.6/10 Caramel1 DarkFruits1 Butter1 Nonicpint1

This is one I’ve been saving in my fridge for about 8 months – 2010 vintage [Yes you read that right – I actually own a time machine and 2010 is an exciting year that I often travel back to]. I had a fresh one when I got the 6 pack and put the other 5 to rest in the cooler and have gradually been picking them off over time.

Poured from a 375ml “stubbie” into a tulip pint glass.

A: The most immediate thing that strikes me is how murky and brown the body is, certainly would be difficult to shine a flashlight through it. The 1cm beige head slowly settled down to 0.5cm. 6/10.

S: An interesting combination of tart and sweet aromas – a touch of port and fig pudding with rhubarb. The alcohol is detectable in the smell and there is a hint of Diacetyl butteriness as well. 8/10.

T: Sitting in the fridge for 8 months certainly hasn’t changed the kick of flavour this brew has! There is a strong toffee malt front, followed by almost overbearing candied-plum flavour (which is where the ABV really kicks in), and ending with a tart dryness that compliments the overall experience quite well. 8/10.

M: Heavy, almost honey-like viscosity which makes it the last thing you should be drinking on a menu as it entirely dominates nearly any other competing flavours & textures. The carbonation is mid-low. 7/10.

D: It’s a big Ale, and it doesn’t bandy about the subject. There is quite a bit of alcohol in this drop and considering that fact it’s hidden rather well (tastes on strength par with Leffe Blonde). I would recommend it as a decent after dinner beer or with a heavy meal, but as far as sessioning goes this one should be the finale rather than something to start and continue with. One last thing to note: expect a fair bit of yeast at the bottom of the glass/bottle – if you’re not a fan of this (personally I think it adds character) you may want to decant it. 7/10.

Food match: Rich game meats like Venison or Kangaroo… in fact a grilled “roo” steak with roasted vegetables and a dark chocolate sauce would go down a treat with this.


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