Long-time beer drinker and The Sip editor Ross Lewis puts some of Australia's top drops to the test.
Each year Coopers gives drinkers something a little bit extra special.
And while the latest drop in the super series is well worth a try right now it might be wise to put a couple aside for enjoyment in the future.
Coopers Brewery has released 14 Vintage Ales since 1998. The beers showcase the premium techniques of the South Australia producer.
They have proven immensely popular with last year’s edition selling out quickly.
The 2014 version again packs strength at 7.5 per cent alcohol but the power doesn’t detract from a nicely balanced beer.
The Extra Strong Vintage Ale is very much hop-driven but there is a distinct malt flavour early in the taste.
However, it will get better over time. Coopers believe the brew could be at its best in two years as long as it stored in cool conditions.
Coopers chief brewer Dr Tim Cooper advises that careful consideration was given to the hop selection to ensure the 2014 Extra Strong Vintage Ale maintained the high standard expected of the release.
“This year’s selection of hops has been given careful consideration to ensure the best combination of bittering and aromatic varieties,” Dr Cooper said.
“Four varieties – two Australian and two American – make up the 2014 Vintage Ale.
“American variety Bravo provides the foundation for the bitterness of the brew, while Galaxy and Ella from the hop-growing regions of Tasmania provide fruity aromas and flavours of peach, grapefruit and passionfruit.
“There are also layers of spicy notes to complement the citrus and tropical notes.
“The other American variety, Cascade, harmonises and emphasises the floral and fruity undertones arising from the Tasmanian hops and from our distinctive ale fermentation.”
Fruit is easily detected on first smell but there is also a bit a spice on the backend of the taste.
It has a pleasant bitterness that does encourage another sip.
The Vintage Ale maintains the high reputation of Coopers’ special release brews.
The Sip Snip
2014 Vintage Ale
Brewer: Coopers Brewery, South Australia
Style: Extra Strong Ale
Alcohol content: 7.5%
Standard drinks: 2.1
Bottles: 355ml bottle
Estimated calories: 140 (approx)
The Sip Tip (rating): Top shelf
Average prices: $25 (six pack), $80 (carton).