Beer sellers: Cerveteca
Origin: Regency Park, South Australia
The historic Coopers brewery near Adelaide is known as the hypertraditional custodian of the unique style of Sparkling Ale, as well as several other old established beers. But in 1998 head brewer Tim Cooper decided to create something new, coming up with this strong bottle conditioned amber ale that has evolved with every annual brew, making a virtue of bearing a “best after” date. “If fine wine were beer it would no doubt be Coopers Extra Strong Vintage Ale,” claims the publicity.
My sample, drunk a year after that “best after” date, was a cloudy amber, with a subsiding off-white head and a restrained fruity and nutty aroma. The palate was rich but quite closed, with more fruit and nuts underlined by firm malt, pippy apple and oaky whisky notes. A slightly fudgy swallow yielded to a nutty, caramelly finish with more apple pips, fresh yeast, a nugget of bitter hops and late almonds. Tasty stuff.
Read more about this beer at ratebeer.com: http://www.ratebeer.com/beer/coopers-vintage-ale/4063/