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

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

369 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 369
Reviews: 303
rAvg: 3.48
pDev: 23.85%
Wants: 17
Gots: 17 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-31-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 369 | Reviews: 303 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev +7.8%

spycow, Mar 10, 2013
Photo of Florida9
3.25/5  rDev -6.6%

Florida9, Mar 09, 2013
Photo of Seaba
4/5  rDev +14.9%

Seaba, Mar 01, 2013
Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
4.46/5  rDev +28.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2000 Vintage

Pours a hazy plum skin color. No head (expected none) no lace. It's 13 years old, I cut it some slack. Looks good.

Very strong red wine and toffee start the smell. Some chocolate and booze come through as well. Hint of leather.

Port, toffee, leather and earth combine very elegantly. In shorts and a Carhartt hoodie, I feel very underdressed drinking this from a snifter. There is a slight vinegar sour in the aftertaste, non offensive. Only a hint of the boozy heat. The body has a nice, moderate thickness. Goes down well.

I liked it. I'd love to compare it to a newer vintage. The hunt is on! The place I grabbed this from ran out of newer vintages, though I could try a few even older.

New notes 5/18/13.

Just popped bottle #4651 from the 1996 Vintage. Still pretty damn amazing.

OBeerMeGreatOne, Feb 24, 2013
Photo of Pendraggin
4/5  rDev +14.9%

Pendraggin, Feb 05, 2013
Photo of DmanGTR
4.5/5  rDev +29.3%

DmanGTR, Jan 29, 2013
Photo of AlexFields
2/5  rDev -42.5%

AlexFields, Jan 13, 2013
Photo of Keith_R
4.25/5  rDev +22.1%

Keith_R, Jan 10, 2013
Photo of Zach136
4.25/5  rDev +22.1%

Zach136, Jan 10, 2013
Photo of gwiedman1
2/5  rDev -42.5%

gwiedman1, Jan 06, 2013
Photo of rudzud
1.7/5  rDev -51.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Got this last year maybe at Julio's. Oh yeah, this is a 1996 vintage! Oh lord this is going to be undrinkable...

A - Poured into my Duvel tulip a murky, muddy reddish brown that had not the slightest sign of carbonation. Average and mehhhh.

S - Stale, old brown sugar, molasses, leather, raisins, plums. No real alcohol notes. Actually doesnt smell half bad. Smells good infact.

T - OH god! One sip and I don't think I can take another. Smokey, old stale leather. Old rotten dark fruits. Slight, slight sweetness. Just tastes old and bad. Ugh.

M - Like stale, rotten prune water. Ugh. This is horrendous.

O - Overall, one of the worst beers I've drank. Only reason why Overall is not a 1 is because the aroma was good, if not absurdly misleading. Disgustingly bad.

rudzud, Dec 27, 2012
Photo of Maltmaiden
3.58/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2003 vintage.

A: Kind of gross...Absolutely no head at all. Flat and extremely murky. Dark brown.

S: Tangy balsamic? Palm dates. Malt. Alcohol at the end. Hope it does not taste like this...

T: A lot mellower than expected. Dried/sugared dates. Oats. Has a red wine likeness. Slight bit of smokiness at the very end. plum. no hops. Some medicinal phenols. Malty and syrupy...like corn syrup. coca cola. Warming but the alcohol isnt pungent.

M: Flat yet smooth like a very thick wine. Has a beautiful softness.

O: Feels like I'm drinking wine. After a while I warmed up to the taste and body but I practically had to hold my nose drinking this :(

Maltmaiden, Dec 27, 2012
Photo of TMoney2591
4.08/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

Thanks to twiggamortis420 for this bottle!

2007 vintage. Well, if this were a true prize-winner, rather than something prized by the creator, would it compare to the massive achievement of Pabst's blue ribbon way back when? Let's see: This stuff pours a slightly brackish sienna topped by a finger or so of glowing off-khaki foam. The nose comprises red wine grapes, oak-y toffee, a hint of walnut, a breeze of earthy greens, a sprig of spearmint, and a strain of vanilla through the back. The taste brings in more of the same, though the grapes, still lightly tart, are forced to a more background role (though not exactly in the background itself) in favor of a sweeter, richer, slightly buttery-er toffee. In fact, a general sweetness pervades until those grapes force a tannic tartness through and help dissipate everything in a cloud. There's also a sense of spiciness in there as well, one composed mainly of cinnamon and brown sugar, but it's mostly muted, and so doesn't really clash with everything else, fading instead with that aforementioned cloud. The body is a light-leaning medium, with a very light moderate carbonation and an ever-so-slightly vinous feel. Overall, a lovely, complex beer. I wish I had a fresh one to compare it to, but I'm prepared to say that the past five years have been quite good to this beer. I look forward to future engagements with various incarnations...

TMoney2591, Dec 02, 2012
Photo of superspak
3.38/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

500 ml bottle into snifter, 2007 vintage best before 12/18/2010. Pours extremely hazy dark reddish brown color with a small foamy light khaki head with decent retention, that reduces to a spotty foamy cap that lingers. Spotty foamy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of huge prune, raisin, fig, toast, red wine, molasses, caramel, chocolate, bread, earth, tobacco, and light herbal. Pretty nice aromas with good complexity and balance. Taste of raisin, cherry, prune, red wine, toast, molasses, caramel, roasted malt, chocolate, earth, tobacco, wood, light cardboard, and herbal. Moderate wine-like earthy tartness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark fruit, toast, roasted malt, chocolate, earth, tobacco, cardboard, and herbal earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Pretty nice flavor balance with good complexity; fair amount of oxidation noticed; slight cloying flavors noticed after the finish. Light carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a creamy, slick, syrupy, and lightly chalky mouthfeel that is decent. Alcohol is fairly well hidden with only a small warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a pretty solid old ale. Some good flavor complexity with decent balance; though a bit cloying, it was quite smooth to sip on. This was fairly enjoyable.

superspak, Nov 28, 2012
Photo of t0rin0
3.5/5  rDev +0.6%

t0rin0, Nov 19, 2012
Photo of csustar001
2.5/5  rDev -28.2%

csustar001, Nov 17, 2012
Photo of sneaks2210
2.5/5  rDev -28.2%

sneaks2210, Nov 16, 2012
Photo of sveil
2/5  rDev -42.5%

sveil, Nov 15, 2012
Photo of RochefortChris
2.13/5  rDev -38.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2.5

I was very disappointed with this as I love old ales. I chipped the bottle trying to get the cork out It poured with absolutely no head despite pouring it slow. It has the aroma of a Belgian quad with a hazy reddish brown coloring. Flavor was a bit solventy with hint of raisins and prunes. Very thin body and watery mouth feel. Hard to finish.

RochefortChris, Nov 06, 2012
Photo of smcolw
2.2/5  rDev -36.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Bottled in 1999, opened in 2012.

As typical of some in this style, there is NO head even with a vigorous pour. No lace, naturally. Muddy brown color--appears to be excessively cloudy.

Smells like a glass of Port was added to this beer. Strong alcohol and coyly sweet to the nose.

This is very flat. I believe this may have been exposed to oxygen (thus the strong port flavors). So I can't tell if this is ruined or intended to be like this. If it is intended, I am disappointed. It is sugary and rich. Frankly, this is nearly undrinkable. The aftertaste is similar to drinking a Sherry.

smcolw, Oct 28, 2012
Photo of LBM1A
4.25/5  rDev +22.1%

LBM1A, Oct 12, 2012
Photo of StaveHooks
3.8/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review from notes:
2007 Vintage

A - Pours a hazy brown with a thin khaki head.

S - Raisins, prunes, dates, dark sweet bread, thick caramel malt, woody apples, new leather, has a sharp but sweet candy aroma, chocolate covered raspberries and alcohol.

T - Tangy fruit, cherries, raspberries, woody undertones, tart grapes, green apples, very woody with a dry tannic finish.

M - Low carbonation, smooth and drying finish,

Wonderfully complex aroma, the flavor was more tart and the tartness grows as it warms. A little weird but very good. I'll let my other bottle go a few more years before I try it again.

StaveHooks, Oct 04, 2012
Photo of beergoot
4.58/5  rDev +31.6%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Dark, ruby-red, hazelnut-like color to the body. Absolutely no head on this one. Syrupy malt notes: high in figs, dates, raisins as far as smell goes. Thick and chewy body; slick and smooth with no perceptible carbonation. I guess this is what is described as vinous. Beautiful malt taste with strong overtones of dates and currants. A very nice alcohol warmth rises from the depths. Sweet and bitter at once.

Aside from the lack of any head, this is one tasty brew! Subtle yet distinctive complexity throughout and very, very well-balanced with the flavors. I've gotta get me mitts on another bottle or two of this beer. I would love to sip on this during the winter months when we have a wood fire crackling in the fireplace...

beergoot, Sep 16, 2012
Photo of allforbetterbeer
3.9/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

275 mL bottle with a real cork, poured into a Swiss wine snifter. I can't find any dates or vintage numbers anywhere on this bottle or the cork, but the pour makes it look quite old. I would guess this couldn't be younger than 5-7 years.

Pours a muddy brown dirty-looking watery body with no head and no evidence of carbonation. Actually one of the least attractive beers I have never seen, and I have seen some pretty old beer. It looks like I dipped my glass in the shallow portion of a swamp after stirring up the mud. I even let this stand upright in my fridge for a week after buying it, and carefully poured it so as not to disturb the sediment. All to no avail apparently.

Smells rather like old banana peels, grape jelly, and raisin paste. Not a bad aroma at all.

To my utter surprise, the flavor is quite nice! The typical raisin, date/fig flavors of long-aged English strong ale are in full force here, and amazingly are not accompanied by the also typical savory unattractive meat flavors that show up in overly oxidized beer. The flavor is mellow and easy to drink. As this opens up I get even more dark stone fruit and a little jam and toffee.

The mouthfeel is actually quite nice because the body still has some weight. Looking at this one would think it would be a watery mess but instead has a thick feel. Very slight carbonation left.

Conclusion: Looks like muddy water, tastes pretty awesome for an old beer. I wish I could know how old this is.

allforbetterbeer, Sep 16, 2012
Photo of DoubleJ
2.5/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I'm getting old, and so is this beer. When my bottle was filled in 1998, I was about to enter the world of middle school. Yes, that was half a life ago. I don't expect the contents from the bottle to bring the memories of that year, but the beer itself should be a ride. On to the beer:

Yank that cork out and pour the beer. It's a beer that looks more like a spirit, with its leather brown color and few bubbles of head that quickly go away. The nose provides hope. There's some god oxidation in the aroma, pleasant notes of prunes, brown sugar, raisins, and a dose of alcohol.

I can't say this has aged too well. What smelled reasonably good and fallen into a sour old ale. Sour grapes and alcohol spice hit and quickly dominate the beer. Figs work their way into the picuture. The alcohol warmth is still there and offers a little sweet brown sugar in the end. It's like a trip down memory lane; you can find vague echoes of what this beer once was, only to be brought back to reality. Medium full bodied with no bubbles, however it still has a little texture remaining.

Too old for my liking. Cut its age in half and we might be onto something.

DoubleJ, Sep 07, 2012
Gale's Prize Old Ale from George Gale & Company Ltd
79 out of 100 based on 369 ratings.