#209 Coopers – Mild Ale

Coopers Mild AleName: Mild Ale
Brewery: Coopers (Regency Park, South Australia)
Style: Mild Ale
ABV: 3.5%
Source: My flatmate

Meh.

If only I had decided to tweet my progress instead of actually blogging about each beer, I could have happily left this at that one word. But, seeing as I’m obliged to elaborate…

As you may have read on the blog previously, I generally really like Coopers. I enjoy the Sparkling and the Pale Ale, I freakin love their Stout, and best of all I love that their beer is cheap. 

Which is why I was a bit let down by this Mild Ale. It was mid-strength, which I like, but it just didn’t have much character. It tasted mostly like fizzy, mineral-y water and yeast, with only the lightest coat of malt and a hint of grain at the finish.

This wasn’t bad, really, it’s just that I felt like I was on some kind of austere beer diet when I was drinking it. I kept thinking longingly about the Digital IPA in the fridge and wondering if I could sneak into the garden for a few swigs when no one was looking.

On the other hand – I get this feeling like the more ‘sophisticated’ you get as a beer geek, the more you’re able to appreciate beers that don’t taste like much, so maybe in 10 years time I’ll be able to wax lyrical for 10 paragraphs about the aromas and flavours of the Coopers Mild.

For now, I’ll just leave it at ‘meh’. 

Published in: on March 7, 2012 at 3:40 pm  Comments (1)  
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#135 Coopers – Vintage Ale (2010)

Name: Vintage Ale
Brewery: Coopers
Style: English Strong Ale
ABV: 7.5%
Source: O’Carrolls freehouse (Auckland)

Fuck Yeah Cooper’s Vintage Ale!!

Apologies for that somewhat boisterous introduction, but that’s how I feel about this beer. That’s how I feel about Malt, man! And I want to sing it from the rooftops!

(I know I can’t because I asked my boss and she said it wouldn’t be a good look, especially since I work for the AA. Not the Alcoholics one, the driving one. Neither of which are ideal.)

I could tell I was going to like it as soon as I poured it. A glowing hazy amber with an INSANE amount of sediment speckled throughout. It didn’t sink either, just floated there, making the beer look thick as custard.

It smelled like toffee, but also like plum liqueur, raisins, and botrytis dessert wine. In the mouth it tasted like all those things, but with a whoosh of sweet, caramel malt and lively carbonation. And then – this is the really great part – it was gone. Zip. No sticky residue, no cloying mouthfeel, just a crisp, bitter finish. It made me want to have another sip as soon as I finished the last – and that, in my mind, is the sign of a good beer.

I do realise that, having just discovered the wondrous joys of malt, I’m probably like an excited toddler right now: loving anything malt-forward and not being too discerning about the other things going on. I think that’s what happened when I first dicovered hops, and now I’ve gone off some of the really hoppy beers that I used to love. (In fact, wasn’t going to admit this but I think I have to: I had a HopWired last night and I didn’t enjoy it. Remember how excited I was when I first tried that??)

But that’s part of why this is so exciting for me – constantly discovering new things, and growing more in touch with what I do and don’t like. Often I love things simply for their newness (even if I don’t like the taste that much) and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that either. What am I talking about? I don’t know. I’ve gone off on a tangent and now I’m lost…

Fuck Yeah Coopers Vintage Ale!

Published in: on December 22, 2011 at 10:49 am  Comments (4)  
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#87 Coopers – Stout

Name: Extra Best Stout
Brewery: Cooper’s (Regency Park, SA, Australia)
Style: Stout
ABV: 6.5%
Source: Beer, Wines & Spirits (K Rd, Auckland)

I am really, really going to make this a quick post for once.

I had this yesterday, which was in fact International Stout Day. I’m not sure where this came from or why stout gets its own day and other beer styles don’t, and I’m not even going to Google it because I really have NO TIME!

I love the Coopers Stout. In fact, even though I buy the Sparkling Ale and Pale Ale more – this is probably my favourite. It’s punchy and decadent and bittersweet, with dark choclate and roasty coffee notes as well as a hint of marmite and dark fruits. Unlike some stouts which are a bit  rich and gloopy, it’s also refreshing enough to drink when you’re really thirsty (which I was). And, it’s only $5.99 for 750mls. Bloody ripper!

There. I just wrote a post in under 3 minutes flat. Now, like a marathon runner I go… off to drink today’s beer!

Published in: on November 4, 2011 at 12:28 pm  Comments (2)  
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#77 Coopers – Original Pale Ale

Coopers Original Pale Ale Name: Original Pale Ale
Brewery: Coopers (Regency park, SA, Australia)
Style: Pale Ale
ABV: 4.5%
Source: Bottle shop on Richmond Rd

It was marvelous late-spring day in Auckland yesterday – not hot enough to actually swim in the sea, but hot enough for me to go the beach and at least think about dipping my toes in.

But before heading beachward I spent 10 or so minutes staring into my pantry trying to pick a beer to take with me. There was Barley Wine, Imperial Stout, Barrel-Aged IPA, and all manner of sticky, sweet, and strong beers that would have looked quite ridiculous in a plastic cup against a backdrop of sand.

I gave up on my pantry, and stopped at my local liquor store to buy a Coopers Pale Ale. I was feeling quite poor even poorer than usual after my excessive weekend in Wellington, and so a large bottle of perfectly acceptable beer for $5.50 was just the ticket.

Cracking it open at Takapuna Beach (is it illegal to drink there? If so it wasn’t really Takapuna but my own backyard which is er… full of sand), it poured a golden colour, slightly hazy from the sediment. I know I was supposed to roll it first, but it would have got all sandy and probably rolled away into some child’s sandcastle.

The smell was a bit like a wheat beer I thought – quite yeasty with some spice, grassy hops and a little caramel malt. On the palate I got some subtle  citrus flavours and a light bitterness from the hops, along with some hay, bread, and malt. It was light-medium bodied and quite spritzy.

OK – so this beer isn’t going to knock anyone’s socks off with it’s outrageous hoppiness or unique flavour profile, but it’s refreshing and pleasant and best of all – cheap! I can also attest that it goes wonderfully with greasy Chinese food from Domion Road – so long as you don’t mind drinking it out of a green tea cup. (I don’t.)

Published in: on October 25, 2011 at 4:18 pm  Comments (2)  
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