There’s little I can add to my previous notes about Coopers’ annual Vintage Ale. It’s a real favourite of mine. Buy some this year and savour it and experience it over the next decade. For my money, it seems to peak at about 3-4 years, but it’s a fascinating experience to see it age over longer periods. The hardest part is keeping it that long. It pairs beautifully with a Rib on the bone with blue cheese melt… [MK]
Coopers celebrates another limited release vintage ale
Coopers Brewery has released its limited edition 2013 Extra Strong Vintage Ale.
The limited release beer, which will be officially launched at a special event at the Coopers Alehouse in Adelaide on Friday 5th July, is the 13th Vintage in the celebrated series.
Coopers’ Managing Director and Chief Brewer Dr Tim Cooper described Vintage Ale as a highly anticipated brew and said the 2013 release would be greeted by devoted beer lovers everywhere.
“Hops are at the heart of this year’s Vintage, with Centennial, Chinook, Citra and Styrian Golding hops all being used.
“The intriguing combination of Centennial, Chinook and Citra creates strong citrus, grapefruit, melon, lime and passionfruit aromas, while Styrian Golding provides spicy and floral flavours.
Dr Cooper said a combination of premium quality Australian malted barley, wheat and crystal malt made up the grist composition.
“The result, upon pouring, is a balanced flavour of malt sweetness with a lingering crisp bitterness,” he said.
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 in the world.
Coopers’ National Marketing Director Mr Cam Pearce said the 2013 Vintage Ale would once again be made available in a 355ml bottle.
“As in previous years, we expect that limited production and high demand will see Vintage Ale stocks go quickly,” he said.
Coopers Extra Strong Vintage Ale was first released in 1998, with further vintages in 1999, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012.
The 2013 Vintage Ale is priced from around $80 per carton, or around $25 per six pack of 355 ml bottles.
Tasting notes for Coopers 2013 Extra Strong Vintage Ale
It’s that time of the year again when the warmth of summer slowly surrenders to the frosty feel of winter. Thankfully, this is also the time when beer enthusiasts anticipate the release of the fresh batch of Coopers Vintage Ale, which provides a source of inner warmth to endure the chill of winter. So it is with pleasure that we explore the brewing recipe of this year’s Coopers Vintage Ale.
Hops, hops and more hops are the intrinsic soul of Coopers’ Vintages, both past and present. The custom of multiple hopping with exotic, modern and noble hop varieties continues with this year’s brew, providing a strong hop-driven flavour and aroma that beer lovers have come to expect.
This year’s Vintage comprises no less than four hop varieties, namely Centennial, Chinook, Citra and Styrian Golding. The first three hop varieties are commonly used in strong ales like India Pale Ale, which require higher levels of bitterness, and also in beer styles such as Barley wines to balance the malty sweetness. Strong citrus, grapefruit, melon, lime, passionfruit and pine-like aromas bombard the senses, derived from the intriguing combination of Centennial, Chinook and Citra. Styrian Golding underpins the foundation of these three varieties, and provides the spicy, floral aroma and flavour of this beer.
Once more, Coopers’ unique 100-year-old strain of ale yeast has been used for both primary and secondary fermentation in the bottle and the keg. An inherent property of this ale yeast is its ability to produce higher levels of fruity esters that provide texture, and balance the bitterness with a smooth, mellow, warming aftertaste on the palate. Coopers’ ale yeast is also known for its robustness, a trait which is vital in carrying out efficient fermentation of a high gravity brew to produce an elevated level of alcohol of 7.5% vol.
A mixture of premium quality Australian malted barley, wheat and crystal malt make up the grist composition of this complex Vintage Ale. The wheat malt helps enhance the thick, creamy head of the beer, but with its softer flavours it also complements the sharpness of the crystal malt, thereby further enhancing its drinkability. A balanced flavour of malt sweetness with lingering crisp bitterness is the initial impression of a freshly opened Vintage Ale, which displays a deep copper coloured hue. Wholesome foods of lamb or beef make a good accompaniment, but this ale would also excel combined with desserts like crème brulee or blue cheese. With age, caramel and sweet malty flavours develop that overwhelm the rounded after palate bitterness.
A limited release in elegant 355ml bottles of only 30,000 cases will be made available for sale. As with last year’s Vintage, the limited stock is likely to be sold within months when made available in July.