A few weeks ago I mentioned Coopers Brewery as winners of a British Pub's World Cup of Beer. The beer that won it was their Sparkling Ale. Well, as I was visiting my local Spec's I came upon not just the Sparkling ale, but their Best Extra Stout. I was feeling in the mood for a stout so I picked this one up. I wasn't disappointed.
The Brewery: Coopers Brewery is based in South Australia, and is the largest family owned brewery in Australia. The brewery was started by two brothers Thomas and John from England in 1862. At the time SA was only 26 years old so these guys were obviously pioneers in many ways. Thomas Cooper first created beer from an old recipe that was supposed to act as a health tonic, but it turned into their now famous Sparkling Ale and their Extra Stout. These days the brewery is in the good hands of Dr. Tim Cooper and Glen Cooper, who over saw the development of a new $45 million brewery. All their ales are top fermented using a yeast strain they purport to be over 90 years old and all are naturally bottle fermented.
The Beer: Dark almost complete opaque with streaks of reddish brown. A nice finger thick tan head sits on top. When you pour it out of the bottle, leave a bit in the bottom, swishing around the loss sediment before pouring the last bit into your glass. In the palate there is a thick viscous mouthfeel. The taste reminds me of those chocolate covered esspresso beans. Nice layers of thick malt, with just a twinge of that esspresso bitterness coming out on top. This is a VERY nice stout, one that I will definetely come back to again and again. At 6.3% you wouldn't want to have too many in one night, but as smooth as it is you sure could. Great beer.
Bonus: Makes an absolutely incredible Stout Float. A little bit of vanilla ice-cream in the glass....an amazing desert.