Date: Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Beer: Sparkling Ale
Category: Specialty Beer (Australian Sparkling Ale)
Brewed in: Australia
Coopers Sparkling Ale is technically an “Australian Sparkling Ale” which is not a specifically recognized style of beer by the BJCP. We would hope the next official release of BJCP guidelines would include this style. For the time being it is specifically referenced as falling under “Specialty Beer”.
In terms of what type of beer it is similar to? I have seen others refer to it as an “English Pale Ale” or EPA.
The beer pours a attractive golden and is cloudy which is a result of the beer being unfiltered and bottle conditioned. In fact, the yeast in the bottle has another distinct effect.
If you are wondering why it is called “Sparkling Ale” – check this out:
The head developed one finger thick and an almost pure white. Retention was very average and minimal lacing occurred.
The aroma I get it sweet malts, some bready yeast, and subtle hints of hops and citrus notes. I think it kind of smells like how it looks if that makes sense.
The taste begins a smooth with a crisp maltiness that gives way to the hops and a more bitter finish. There are definite fruits notes here with citrus being obvious. The other influence is harder to identify – maybe apples or pears. Again, the finish is hoppy. Very balanced overall.
The mouthfeel is light to medium. It is smooth but at the same time quite carbonated.
Overall, I found this beer to be extremely refreshing and thirst quenching possessing some very subtle complexities to keep me interested. I would have never tried this beer if I hadn’t been given that “Beer a Day” book. I am glad I did. This will surely be a staple of my warmer-season beer roster.
I would also add that this beer has the complexities and subtleness to it’s character that most beer geeks would enjoy it but, at the same time, it has the perfect blend of qualities (and price) to give to your non-beer geek friends to get the started on quality beer.
Last comment: next time you want to toast to Australia, put down the damn Foster’s and grab a Cooper’s. Aussie’s will notice and thank you.
Date: Sunday, January 16, 2011
Category: Belgian Specialty Ale
Brewed in: Belgium
Purchased 2007 vintage from Sherbrooke Liquor in Edmonton. Poured a dark hazy brown with a huge tan head. Head was enlarged due to an amateur poor by myself – came in over two fingers. The beer was darker than I anticipated but is very appealing. Head retention was surprisingly short and virtually no lacing occurred.
The aroma is incredibly complex. There are dark fruits immediately present with cherries most noticeable and plums and raisins in the background. It took numerous sniffs to identify but the other prominent aroma I can detect is brown sugar. The aroma has numerous other treasures to discover but my nose was not feeling up to the task on this day.
The taste mimics the aroma and includes a lot of dark fruit, some brown sugar, and a bit of a bready taste. I also taste roasted malts and some chocolate that were not foreshadowed by the aroma. The finish almost has a faint coffee taste and betrays the presence of the 10% ABV.
The mouthfeel is not incredibly smooth or harsh – occupying that middle ground. Carbonation is moderate as well.
I have too many world-class beers lately. It is making me sound like I think every beer I try is the best I’ve ever had. Well not to go that far – but this beer is easily on the top 5 list. Ratebeer.com had it rated as the best beer available for purchase in Edmonton. It is pretty damn close to that.