I’m a huge fan of the Coopers Vintage beers. and if money wasn’t an issue then it would probably be my everyday beer. I’ve watched the beer evolve over the years from having its fancy gold foil cap wrapper and copper plate writing on its label, to becoming a slowly less fancy labelled beer, now with a plain circular and generic-ish label. I love watching how the beers evolve in the bottle over the years (with careful cellaring), from big brash hop driven mouth grenades to caramel and then to varying degrees of toffee ie light, dark etc. For example the 2012 below was a delight to drink, a big heavy, dark toffee driven beer with very strong herbal/very heavy potpurri notes.
A few years ago the brewers decided to start playing with the recipe. They have changed the hop bill, and the malts to find the best brew they can create, that will also give the cellaring potential they are after.
I personally found that beers weren’t as good on release as they had been prior to the recipe change. The 2018 release didn’t do it for me at all actually, and hasn’t held up all that well in my cellar. That could possibly be more to do with its transportation to Cairns though and the actual quality of the beer. But the neither of the cartons that I bought last year have shown to be the great beer that i know the Coopers Vintage is.
And then along comes the 2019 release, bouncing right back to where this beer should be. This year using Compass barley grown in the Murray Mallee area, and Mosaic and Cascade hops with a small addition of Centennial in the kettle.
Its main driver is that Mosaic hop though. Pushing forward its profile of tropicals and stone fruits, particularly apricot in th is case, pine and citrus in there too. Mosaic also dominates the palate with its citrus and pine notes suppoorted by teh roasted malt, nuts and toffee. Exeptionally clean bitterness and velvety smooth finish.
Great beer, and with careful cellaring will see around 5 years in the bottle. Coopers may believe it will last longer, but the way the beer is treated during transportation to NQ means that it wont quite make it.