Cooper’s 2022 Vintage Ale

Rating:

“Each year, the Coopers brewing team creates a unique limited-edition Vintage Ale. This year’s Vintage Ale, the 22nd in the series, is characterised by its hop selection. The 2022 Vintage features El Dorado, an American dual-purpose hop with tropical, pear and stonefruit notes and Huell Melon, a German variety delivering fruit and berry flavours. The brew also uses Coopers Pale Malt. Coopers Managing Director and Chief Brewer, Dr Tim Cooper, said the 2022 Vintage Ale release exemplifies the brewery’s experience in developing of premium quality, limited edition beers.”

Glassware: English Pint.

Appearance: Murky light brown complexion with the standard fusion of fine suspended sediment floating about. It forms a thumb of off white head which retains fairly well. Patchy lace sticks to the glass as it ebbs.

Aroma: Really harnessing ye olde English style here. We guess that’s what we love most about not only this seasonal release but Cooper’s Brewery as a whole. Showcasing a robust malt profile of bread/toast, caramel fudge and earthy grains but because it’s still so young the hop additions display bright fruity notes which brings a crucial balance to the nose.

Flavour: Wow those hops keep coming! We’d go as far as to say that the fruit and bitterness actually outweigh the malts here. Not quite to the point of an English IPA but it’s certainly close to it. It hits a crescendo of yellow grapefruit then the malts and the classic Cooper’s yeast take the baton and finish with a dry, toasty and grainy quality that lingers.

Mouthfeel: Chewy yet quite dry and sharp. Medium body. The 7.5% ABV shows up intermittently.

Overall: We’re in two minds. We like the bold hoppy characters but at the same time we were yearning for a malt bomb. Hey, it’s nothing a few years in the cellar can’t fix ?