Perhaps it’s a sign of the times and the state of the one-off-beer arms race that’s currently going on in craft circles, but I have to admit I was a little disappointed with the Anniversary Ale that Coopers released to mark their 150th anniversary.
Now, I have to stress that there was absolutely nothing wrong with it as such but, come on, it was for their 150th Anniversary. That’s something that doesn’t happen very often – only once every 150 years in fact. I was expecting something special. Instead, I felt a little bit like my wife would had I spent weeks promising her a special dinner for a major wedding anniversary and then took her to the same local bistro that we always go to on date night. No doubt we’d still enjoy the dinner and each other’s company and there’d even be some tender hand holding, but there would still be a feeling of let down on her part and some simmering resentment that would surface the next time I came home late from the pub. And I definitely wouldn’t get no loving afterwards.
But that’s enough about my marriage…
True, it’s moving to a smaller bottle with the spin being “the elegant 355ml bottle” provides “a more sophisticated appearance”, but the 375ml bottles do look rather squat these days and that does count on bottleshop shelves. I look forward to trying this one… [MK]
Coopers Releases 2012 Vintage Ale
Coopers Brewery has released its limited edition 2012 Extra Strong Vintage Ale.
The 12th vintage in the celebrated series was launched today at a special event at the Coopers Alehouse in Adelaide.
It follows the recent release of Coopers Celebration Ale, which was specifically brewed to mark Coopers’ 150th anniversary in May.
Coopers’ Managing Director and Chief Brewer Dr Tim Cooper said this year’s Vintage Ale once again lived up to the high standards of brewing excellence expected by beer enthusiasts everywhere.
“We have kept to our philosophy of using only superior ingredients, including premium-quality Australian malted barley sourced from pristine growing regions of the Clare Valley, along with select varieties of aromatic and bittering hops,” he said.
“We have used no less than five different cultivators of hops to achieve a full-flavoured, aromatic beer, with a fusion of tropical fruity esters and citrus characters.
“German varieties, Perle and Magnum, provide the foundation for the bitterness of Vintage Ale 2012, while Nelson Sauvin from our neighbours in New Zealand helps to impart a distinctive fruitiness.
“American varieties, Centennial and Cascade, provide the delicate citrusy and grapefruit notes.
“The combination of these varieties blend together during fermentation in both aroma and flavour to become the feature of this year’s Vintage Ale.”
The alcohol content remains at 7.5% alcohol by volume, retaining Vintage Ale’s title as the strongest beer brewed by Coopers and one of the stronger beers produced around the world.
Coopers’ Chairman Mr Glenn Cooper said this year’s Vintage Ale had taken on a new look.
“Vintage Ale 2012 has moved to an elegant 355 ml bottle, creating a more streamlined and sophisticated appearance,” he said.
“After receiving such a positive response following the release of 355 ml Celebration Ale bottles, we anticipate the same enthusiasm for Vintage.
“As always, limited production and strong demand in the market will see stocks of 2012 Vintage Ale move rapidly.
“Winter is the ideal time to consume Vintage, so we encourage consumers to stock up early before the cooler months really set in.”
Dr Cooper said the strong and complex flavour of this year’s Vintage would be best matched with hearty dishes made of meat and poultry, but could also be enjoyed at the end of a meal with sweet desserts and strong cheeses.
Coopers Extra Strong Vintage Ale was first released in 1998, with further vintages in 1999, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011.
The 2012 Vintage Ale is priced from around $75.00 per carton, or around $22.00 per six pack of 355 ml bottles.
Tasting notes for 2012 Coopers Extra Strong Vintage Ale
Last year’s Vintage Ale set a precedent for the quality and taste expected from future Vintages, and the 2012 Vintage Ale meets those expectations. Keeping to the philosophy of only using superior ingredients of premium quality Australian malted barley, sourced from pristine growing regions of the Clare Valley, along with select varieties of aromatic and bittering hops, the 2012 Vintage Ale once again lives up to the high standard of brewing excellence expected by dedicated beer enthusiasts.
The proven recipe of multiple hopping at different stages during the brewing process gives this beer its unique hop driven aroma and flavour. The fusion of tropical fruity esters and citrus characters are derived by combining no less than five varieties of hops, namely German varieties Perle and Magnum (which provide the foundation for the bitterness), Nelson Sauvin from our neighbours in New Zealand (imparting a distinctive fruitiness), and the American varieties of Centennial and Cascade (providing the delicate citrusy and grapefruit notes). The combination of these varieties fuse together during fermentation in both aroma and flavour, to become the hallmark of this year’s Vintage Ale.
Fermentation occurs at moderate temperatures and takes at least seven days to complete. As with previous Vintages, only the renowned top fermenting ale yeast of Coopers is used to create this robust ale. At 7.5% volume, this is the highest alcohol beer in Coopers’ portfolio. Individual bottle conditioning is what sets Coopers apart from the other brewers, and it is this specialist trait that further enhances the maturity of flavour and aroma. The 2012 Vintage Ale can be consumed immediately, although extended cellaring can be achieved, resulting in a softer and sweeter palate of toffee and port wine.
On pouring, the 2012 Vintage Ale has a rich, creamy, white head sitting on top of a deep copper red coloured beer. The complex flavour of this strong ale is best matched with hearty dishes made of meat and poultry, but can also be savoured at the end of a meal with sweet desserts and strong
This year, the Vintage Ale takes on a new look, moving to the elegant 355ml bottle and a more sophisticated appearance. This limited production will create a strong demand in the market and stocks will sell out rapidly.