A few years back, I was up at the cottage with my cousin and saw a bottle of Australian rum at the LCBO. Having never heard of Aussie rum, we bought it and took it home to drink. Now, I have no idea what they used to make it, but it did not taste like any rum I had ever drank before, and we had a hard time finishing it. The ironic part to this story is that the rum was made by the same people who brewed the subject of today's review.
When I first spotted Coopers Sparkling Ale at the LCBO, I was intrigued. The label was very similar to the abortion my cousin and I consumed a few years ago, but this one had other tell-tale signs of a train wreck in a bottle. The top of the bottle was sealed with what looked like cellophane tape over the cap. This was not just present on the bottle I purchased, but on every bottle of Coopers on the shelf. I picked one up for a closer inspection, and this is where it became obvious this needed a proper review.
When held up to the light, the bottle had what appeared to be Sea Monkeys suspended in it. At this point I was pretty sure any more pondering on the subject would lead to second thoughts, so I quickly paid for it and took it over to Brian's for an evaluation.
We cracked it open and Brian took a smell of the aroma coming off it. He seemed disappointd that the beer inside did not smell rancid. I can only assume that he figured the Sea Monkey effect was due to it sitting in a warehouse for many years, perhaps next to a nuclear power plant. Undaunted, he poured out two samples. The beer was a very murky brown colour, not at all "sparkling" as the label promised. Finally throwing all caution to the wind, we toasted Liquor Pig and drank. While not possessing a thoroughly unpleasant flavour (despite the granular texture of the Sea Monkeys), it became apparent that Coopers Sparkling Ale is simply homebrew in a fancy bottle. I have tasted many homebrews that were identical to this one. Not undrinkable, yet not really pleasant at the same time with a yeasty, malty flavour and a far from crisp finish. My advice if you are tempted to try this one is to buy a John Bull Homebrew Kit and make a vat of this crap for a fraction of the cost.