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Gale's Prize Old Ale - George Gale & Company Ltd

Not Rated.
Gale's Prize Old AleGale's Prize Old Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

384 Ratings

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Ratings: 384
Reviews: 312
rAvg: 3.48
pDev: 23.56%
Wants: 16
Gots: 18 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
George Gale & Company Ltd visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-31-2001

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (7) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 384 | Reviews: 312
Photo of Brutaltruth
4.24/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Vintage 2007:Thoroughly enjoyed from the bottle with an English fellow (Ian-Cheers mate)) and the little lady. Pours a hazy brown with a moderate tan that dissipates to a thin ring and light lacing. This FINE old ale pours a murky brown with moderate light clarity...JUST FINE for aged ale. Nose of raisins, toffee, sweet caramel malts, raisins, and chocolate malts. Flavors are deep and complex. Caramel and toffee notes to the fore with raisin and light chocolate flavors blending in a symposium if light sweet with a light bittering hops aftertaste that foes this Old Ale right. Little to light carbonation makes this an excellent sipped and a WONDERFULL ale to savor. Excellent. Been looking forward to sampling this one with a connoisseur of fine English ales from England. A great evening and a great beer.


Photo of ygtbsm94
2.53/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Aroma of faint caramel, oxidization, cardboard. Taste not much better.

Photo of DaPuba
2.58/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Often overrated. Sometimes oxidzed due to poor seal.

Photo of shelby415
3.04/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of Hellpop65
3/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of atpca
1.25/5  rDev -64.1%

Photo of relynnjr
5/5  rDev +43.7%

Photo of kscaldef
3.5/5  rDev +0.6%

1999. Vinuous port and sherry notes. Chocolate. Cherries.

Photo of LJWalker
1.75/5  rDev -49.7%

Photo of Budinetz
4.44/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bottled in 2005 and poured slowly into a courvousier snifter. It was poured as stated on the bottle as the keep the yeast in the neck of the bottle.

Pours a beautiful deep amber hue with absolutely no head and zero head retention. The color alone is magnificent though.

Smells of slight lactobacillus, Madeira, raisins, and an almost musky smell. A great amount of scents going on here that leave my mouth watering.

Tastes almost exactly like an ever so slightly sour Madeira or port wine. The oak flavor is there and the bacteria is there. It's almost harsh at first and then you lick your lips and your mouth waters, yearning for another sip. Definitely not for a novice beer drinker.

Mouthfeel is interesting due to the crazy sweet and sour combinations going on. The bacteria on the bottle conditioning give this brew a slight puckering to the cheeks and the sweetness from the malt sugars and aging balance it out. It really makes your palate dance.

Overall a very interesting brew that is not for the novice or first time craft drinker. This beer is one to be appreciated when ALL styles of beer have been enjoyed because even though it may be classified as an "Old Ale" it definitely is very unique. I would like to acquire another bottom and age it to see what kind of difference it would have.


Photo of RexBanner
2.75/5  rDev -21%

2005 bottle served room temperature.
Murky brown, almost like cognac or brandy. No head or lacing to speak of.
I couldn't believe how much this smelled like port wine. Sweet, musty, mushroom like mildew aromas.
Taste was exactly what I expected after getting a whiff of this thing. Tart, musty, thick port wine like concoction.
Don't know if it was meant to taste like this or if I just got a bad bottle but I did not like this one bit. I like port wine, mind you, but this "beer" did not do it for me. As I kept looking at this brew in the snifter I continued to remind myself that based on how much I payed for this bottle I had better force myself to finish it. No sir! I wouldn't order this again

Photo of gillagorilla
3.75/5  rDev +7.8%

Photo of Bitterbill
3.88/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

No foam with this 2005 corked bottle. It has a rusty-murky look to it.

Light Port notes with a distinct tartness and lots of booze in the nose.

Same goes for the taste. Though it's going on 10 years old, despite the lack of carbonation, I reckon it needs more time to develop.

I'll buy a few more bottles.

Photo of Sludgeman
3.89/5  rDev +11.8%

Vintage 2000 - zero carbonation. Not too sour.

On my 52nd birthday at The Porter Beer Bar in Atlanta.

Photo of Samp01
3.95/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

9.3oz corked bottle (2001 vintage). Pours cloudy brown with a thin beige head. Aroma of slightly burnt caramel malt and sweet bitter chocolate upfront, slowly mellows out to some dark fruit, plums and raisins and yeast notes. Taste same as aroma with a slight hint of red wine nuance in the flavor. Palate is a full body, smooth, mild carbonation, has some light sticky mouth feel. Finish same as taste, has nice sweet bitterness in the taste, alcohol is well hidden, hits you in the end. This brew has a complexity yet very good and well balance, a tasty and enjoyable brew. nice.

Photo of Resuin
4/5  rDev +14.9%

Poured from a 275 mL bottle into a snifter. This was bottled in 1997, bottle #940.

Appearance: The center of the cork disintegrated as I tried to open the bottle - after I took the cork out, I had to filter some of the cork out of the beer. The beer pours a dark brown, slight reddish hued, close to black color with no head. (2)

Smell: Mainly nice and musty (reminds me of an old library), also some dark fruits, vanilla, grapes, a hint of cocoa. (4)

Taste: Grapes, tobacco, chocolate, dark fruits: super smooth. (4.25)

Mouth-feel: No carbonation but it's actually not bad. Medium body. (3.5)

Overall: This was better than expected, especially after the cork fiasco. I definitely enjoyed drinking this beer - the age made this beer super smooth and flavors that remain are wonderful. Not entirely complex, but tasty for sure. Worth drinking. (4)

Photo of GreesyFizeek
1.56/5  rDev -55.2%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 1.5

Bottle purchased at Beers of the World in Rochester, NY. One of the bigger mistakes of my craft beer life. '98 vintage.

The cork broke while trying to open it- took about 20 minutes to get this beer poured. When it did, it was a murky chunky looking dark brown, with no head or lacing.

Smells not horrible actually- tons of dark fruits, and a sour twang. As it warms up, vinegar and acetic acid come out to play.

Tastes just atrocious. Indescribably nasty. Like sour seawater. Weirdly salty, with sour old red wine flavors, vinegar, clearly oxidized to hell. Just disgusting.

Light bodied, flat and watery.

This was honestly 3 or 4 sips and then a drainpour. Stay away, it's not worth the gamble.

Photo of Smileitsfreetobehappy
4.25/5  rDev +22.1%

Photo of XmnwildX12
3/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of mikeincharleston
2/5  rDev -42.5%

Photo of laituegonflable
3.17/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Pours a coffee colour, slight hint of sediment through the body. Head is beige, fairly thin and lacklustre. Looks heavy, and uncompensated-for.

Smells fairly thick and sweet upfront, with caramel malt that quickly turns fairly tart, with hints of red wine and oak and that sort of oak-infected character. Touch yeasty and slightly herbal on the back. Not bad.

Taste is very sweet underlying. Notes of caramel toffee underlie the whole palate which quickly turns wild and odd. Loads of oak descending into slight wild, tart acidity, and an odd note of cinnamon late-mid. Quite odd, but satisfying enough.

Body is surprisingly thin and flat, quite disappointing. Touch of alcohol. Might be showing a bit of age.

Could use a bit more oomph and more body. Nice oaky edge but a bit lacking in the foundation.

Photo of KAF
3.5/5  rDev +0.6%

Photo of Herky21
2.25/5  rDev -35.3%

Photo of Aristeia_88
4.17/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 275ml bottle into an Innis & Gun snifter. I'm excited to try this, as it was bottled when I was just a wee lad of around 10...

A: Much clearer than anticipated- At least from the side, but looking straight into the glass, it appears very murky. That's probably my fault, as this is a bottle conditioned beer though- I may have let the yeast in, in an attempt to coax a head from it. Absolutely no head, no matter how vigorous the pour... As should be expected, I suppose, for a 16 Year old Beer. Deep Ruby color, Clings to the glass like a fine Madeira Wine.

S: I'd be hard pressed to tell the difference between this and a Madeira, Tawny Port or Cream Sherry. It has a ridiculously good nose to it... Vanilla, oak, toffee, but more than anything, a rich, stonefruit feel to it, like plums, raisins and prunes. I can't believe how similar this is to the aforementioned wines.

T: Exactly like a Madeira wine- Only without a hint of the sweetness... Honestly, I'm so used to drinking the former, that this is an incredibly strange experience. All the flavors from the smell are there, minus the pure sweetness you'd expect. No hop bitterness or indication that it's a beer. There is a slight tartness that I'm getting though, along with a bit of acidity.

M: Surprisingly thin- The thing is, its grape-based cousin still has the sugar, and as a result, the mouthfeel you'd look for in something this rich. Somehow, this just doesn't feel as viscous as it should. Couple that with the fact that there's absolutely no trace of carbonation, and you're left with a bit of a letdown.

O: This was an amazing experience- I've seen this stuff over and over again in my local beer store, and I never picked it up. But this is a beer that's meant to be a special treat, and at $6.99, I consider it a bargain. The thing is though, this isn't a beer- This is a slab of old England. Upon smelling and tasting it, you're immediately transported back- Not to 1998, but perhaps a century before. True, its wine counterpart may have a better flavor, but I find it incredible that beer can even taste or make you feel this way... I can't say whether I'll buy this again, but I will say that this is a must have for anyone who loves beer and the great history behind it.

Photo of mhaugo
4.64/5  rDev +33.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

9.3oz bottle decanted into a snifter. 9% ABV. Bottled in 1998.

Appearance: Deep mahogany brown. Lightly hazed with no head and minimal carbonation (4/5).

Aroma: Extremely rich port wine aroma. My head was enveloped in a cloud of amazing smells from the second I took the cork out of the bottle. I also get some overripe plumbs and brown sugar as I dig deeper into the glass (5/5).

Taste: Incredible. Massive wine flavors from extended aging. There are also some prunes, figs, apples, and raisins in there, as well as some vanilla. On the back end I get a woody note that dries out the finish a little bit (4.75/5).

Mouthfeel: Medium body and low carbonation. A touch of heat from the alcohol (4/5).

Overall: Brilliant! I absolutely love this beer. It seems like it’s lost a little body over the years, but the flavor is unbelievable. It is rich, mature, and beautiful. I am very fortunate to have stumbled across a bottle (4.5/5)

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Gale's Prize Old Ale from George Gale & Company Ltd
79 out of 100 based on 384 ratings.