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Gale's Millennium Brew - George Gale & Company Ltd

Not Rated.
Gale's Millennium BrewGale's Millennium Brew

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

43 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 43
Reviews: 38
rAvg: 3.29
pDev: 24.62%
Wants: 0
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
George Gale & Company Ltd visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Bierman9 on 01-23-2002)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 43 | Reviews: 38 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by opwog:
Photo of opwog


4.25/5  rDev +29.2%

07-18-2013 03:30:28 | More by opwog
More User Reviews:
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3.5/5  rDev +6.4%

11-16-2013 17:19:49 | More by jaydoc
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3.5/5  rDev +6.4%

07-24-2013 19:57:03 | More by harpus
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3/5  rDev -8.8%

06-06-2013 02:31:23 | More by HoistinBrews
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3.5/5  rDev +6.4%

11-15-2011 00:59:19 | More by JAHMUR
Photo of Neffbeer


3.38/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I found this bottle sitting in the back of a beer cooler in an obscure local store. I just couldn't pass on it for $2....

A: It pours a rusty nail brown with no evidence of carbonation. The beer is pretty murky at this point in its life, but I can still pick out some deep amber hues in the light.

S: My first whiff reveals a massive amount of sherry, and worn old leather. There is a mysterious vinous quality that is lurking in the background bordering on sour. In a strange way it reminds me of my grandparents attic in their old house.

T: Surprisingly I am greeted with the essence of charred malt and leather boots. The sherry notes are present, but not as pronounced as the nose. There is an element to the flavor that borders on a dark vinegar, but it manages to stay sweet enough to balance things out. I get some chocolate, cherries and campfire in the finish.

M: Somehow no carbonation is really working for me with this beer. It has a medium-thin feel to it and I bet it would be knock out with a hint of bubbles.

O: Glad I picked this up. A bit past its prime for sure, but a fun tick none the less. I had no problem finishing it and I might even grab another bottle....

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2011 19:28:39 | More by Neffbeer
Photo of ATLbeerDog


3.8/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

From a 275ml corked bottle and brewed in 1997 specifically for year 2000

Pours a kind of ugly cloudy brownish-red with just a tad of carbonation. The few bubbles are big and are quickly gone. Smells of sherry, malt, cherries and ripe plums make up this beer’s nose. First sip is completely un-carbonated with plums, green apples, and wine notes easily dominating the flavor. It has a decent sourness that is its most appreciated attribute. The beer’s flatness distracts from a pretty good flavor. The 10% is well hidden.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2011 00:14:15 | More by ATLbeerDog
Photo of allforbetterbeer


3.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Well well, this beer hasn't been reviewed on BA in almost 2 years. I just picked this up at Knightly's Spirits in Orlando. The guy behind the counter said that their distributor found a case of this beer that they didn't know they had, and that is how a number of bottles are still on the shelf. After reading the reviews I wasn't sure if it was a good idea that I bought one, but it was only $4.99 so what the heck. Also, this is the oldest beer I have tried, coming in at almost 14 years old.

Pours looking like muddy water. No apparent carbonation, no head, just brown and muddy with lighter brown highlights.

Well now, this smells much better than the last reviews led me to believe. As I would expect from a long-aged old ale, raisins and dates macerated in toffee-infused rum is the primary quality of the nose. Really quite nice actually, and it far exceeds my expectations!

Sad day... I was hoping I would have a freak bottle that aged to perfection when all the others peaked around 2002. This is not the case however. The first taste to hit the tongue is a very wine-like vinous bit, which is thin and slightly "washed out" but quite nice. Yes, there is a bit of vinegar and a touch of soy sauce, but really it is very nice... But unfortunately the story goes on. For a second it seems that nothing more will happen, and the the aftertaste looms up from the watery brown nothingness left after the initial flavors are gone. Imagine taking equal parts of chocolate malt and black patent malt and soaking them in water overnight with a little handful of used coffee grounds, and maybe a tablespoon of dirt, and then drinking the 'brew' at room temperature. That is what the aftertaste is like. Slightly bitter, slightly acrid, something roasted thrown in, and a little dirty. Not horrible by any means, just not wonderful either. After more sipping I do get some caramel notes mixed in, which is nice.

The mouthfeel is thin and watery, but with Gale's reputation for mediocre corks, and the fact that this beer has been in the bottle in questionable conditions for 14 years, what else is to be expected?

Conclusion: I am a fan of aged beers, and I tend to like almost anything aged longer than almost everybody else on BA. That being said, I am glad I got to try this beer. There still are significant elements of its flavor and especially its aroma that I quite appreciate. Overall I wouldn't call it a success though, and if I had brewed it I would probably call it a near-failure that still tastes ok. If you like old old stuff, I would try this beer if you can find it without much hardship.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2011 20:38:26 | More by allforbetterbeer
Photo of goethean


2.28/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Tasted from a wineglass at 55F. Dead flat. Dark Copper. Winey aroma. Strange flavor. There is a lip-curling tang. There is a wine-like dryness. But it's not like good wine...at all. I think that this is far past its prime. Thin, a bit astringent, tangy. Not good.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2009 00:57:33 | More by goethean
Photo of rayjay


3.35/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

I think finally my last beer from beerbeing in the never again bif.again. Poured into a Delirium Noel goblet.

Cork is dry and cracks in pieces, so be careful. Pours a muddy, flat looking beer. Ruby red and brown and dense pale malt colored. Absolutely motionless. It's lot making the biggest entrance, but it could fit the style.

Musty aroma. Notes of leather, sweet brandy, drunk old man, old pipe tobacco, and lots of carmel malt. Estery, with some alcohol notes. Some notes suggest oxidation while others suggest a well preserved beer...probably a little bit of both.

Lots of complex old ale flavors going on. The old leather is probably the most notable, along with this weird old man notes. Slightly salty and slightly tart. It's more like a woody, rustic wine than a beer. Like a musty old house. Alcohol is well hidden flavor-wise, but each sip makes fumes come out through your nose, showing it's true strength.

Mouthfeel is very watery suggesting a beer past it's prime, and it could certainly benefit from at least a small amount of carbonation, of which there is none. At least it isn't very thick for the original gravity.

Interesting and fun to sip, a bit challenging, but unfortunately well past it's prime at this point. Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

08-17-2009 02:59:05 | More by rayjay
Photo of gpcollen1


1.58/5  rDev -52%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

A very dry cork comes out of this little guy - yet almost doesn't. These should be store on their side for this reason. A gorgeous ruby and dark copper tone lights this one up on the pour yet nary a hint of carbonation.

Aroma screams Port - extremely vinous with lots of deep sherry notes. Almost a hint of sour on this one. Taste follows the nose for sure. Lost of sweet and rich fruit mixed and mangled with hints of Port, waves of wine and touches of sherry. What a mess - and this one said it would be great well into the Millenium.

Overall a mess and a half. Wonder what it would be like if the cork was not dried out?? Have to review so folks can decide whether to purchase these vintage brews or not.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2008 23:55:05 | More by gpcollen1
Photo of therica


2.85/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

This bottle was purchased November 2007 and consumed 3 months later. It seems to be rather separated, however-- light waterlike around the edges and darker dishwater-brown in the middle.

A= zero head; rather separated appearance, near-clear around the top and edges but darker tea color in the middle. Reminded me a bit of dish-rinse from after a holiday meal.

S= INCREDIBLY AMAZING smell. Just as it's put to your mouth to drink, it's a gorgeous smell like being in a caramel-candy factory. The scent impressed me as being the sole excitement of this beer.

T= On the taste, I greatly agree with the August 2007 review by chris19571978 ( Cleveland, Ohio ) It's a bit more like fruity Pinot wine, and not really much like a beer. We quickly got wine-headaches, too, which may allude to its yeast origins. It's interesting but more like a wine. I'll pass, next time.

M= watery and sour

D= not much

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2008 07:21:42 | More by therica
Photo of BDTyre

British Columbia (Canada)

4.05/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased in June 2007. It was kept cooled at the place of purchase and I kept it cellared until now. Cork was tight and in excellent condition. I don't think this 10 1/2 year old beer has gone off in the least.

Nice ruby-brown-mahagony colour with a thin, near white head.

Flat wine-ish smell. Wooden hints to it. Probably the least exciting part of this beer. Slight fruit background, with a bit of sweetnees.

Vinous malt taste; almost a plum pudding flavour. Slight sourness - possibly a result of the aging, but this doesn't seem to present the beer as being "off." Hops are almost invisible in the taste. Slighty spicyness to it. This may have been more dominant had I tried this earlier; perhaps the age has tempered it slightly.

Smooth, thick mouthfeel. Very little carbonation - there was hardly even a pop as I removed the cork. This comes off almost as a fine port than a beer.

Despite the ABV (10%), this is highly drinkable. There is only a very slight burn and the small serving size and richness keeps this from being an overpowered session beer. My only regret is that I couldn't get all the yeast out of the bottle. I would love to have tried this seven or even ten years ago, but I must say at 10+ years this is still an enjoyable beer and I wish I had chosen a better occassion (as opposed to no occassion at all:) ) to enjoy it!

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2007 07:59:31 | More by BDTyre
Photo of chris19571978


3.48/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had a Millennium 2000. Never heard of it before so I gave it a try. When I opened up the bottle it smelled like wine. Fruity Pinot. A closer smell revealed a sourness but not as much as a traditional lambic. It also had some sweetness to it. Smelled like apple juice also When took a sip it was sour and sweet. Tasted like a damp basement or musty room. I liked the fact that it had a nice balance between the sweet and the sour. Hints of molasses and maybe toffee but not sure. This beer might be a tad past its prime. Overall it was a restrained and seductive beer. I bet when i was first released it was very fruity. Not bad.

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2007 03:12:50 | More by chris19571978
Photo of stereosforgeeks


1.48/5  rDev -55%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Appearance: A pale reddish hue, but absolutely no head or any carbonation.

Aroma: Sour fruits and molasses.

Taste: Sour and tart. Maybe a little molasses.

Mouthfeel: Medium body but nothing else.

Drinkability: I was hoping for a nice limited edition high alcohol content beer, but what I got was a completely flat almost lambic-ish. Maybe this was better when it came out?

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2007 00:16:38 | More by stereosforgeeks
Photo of Westsidethreat


2.63/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I too found this one at Beverage Warehouse in Culver City. Brewed in 1997, this beer is almost 10 years old.

A: First off, this beer is flat. I mean no carbonation. None. I suppose I was expecting that though. Has the general complexion of cider, unfiltered and raw.

S: Sour and pungent. Reeks of oak, dust, sherry vinegar, raspberries, plums and over ripe lemons.

T: Begins sour like a bottle of red wine that has gone bad. Lot of buttery diacytel with berries esters associated with it. Lot of tannins on the tongue that won't go away fast enough. Medicinal qualities that aren't aiding in the enjoyment of the beer. Finishes tart, acrid and uninviting, so I think I won't have another sip.

M: Full mouthfeel but crisp and hard due to the lack of carbonation.

D: Massively oxidized and past its prime. I would have like to have tried this around 2001. I would recommend passing on this beer if you come across it.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2007 02:27:49 | More by Westsidethreat
Photo of dogfooddog


4.47/5  rDev +35.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

bought at john's grocery in Iowa City; this beer pours with next to zero carbonation, typical for gales. The smell, if given this blind, I would identify as wine. Very raisiny, reminds me a great deal of courage imperial russian stout/1993 i had earlier this year.

Taste is initially some old-ale sweet taste, with a hint of the acidic/wine nose I noted, then becomes a bit malty and just a bit of roasted undertones. Really a category with very few members in beer, this high ABV english old ale/barleywine still tastes very nice and would do nicely with more time, I think.

Aftertaste is sweet and not too remarkable, undertones of malt present as well.

I am very happy to have had the chance to try this beer from this now-closed brewery. with the closure of gale's, I am not sure who in england will produce this type of product in the future.

Serving type: bottle

08-11-2006 07:11:52 | More by dogfooddog
Photo of scruffwhor


2.48/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured from a corked, 275ml botlle. Berr was brewed in 1997 and aged for eighteen months.

Appearance- Poured a deep, rusty, dried blood color with no head or lacing. Just some suspended sediment.

Smell- An immediate wiff of moldy, woody, appley....grapes. Lots o' vine.

Taste- Pretty hard to handle. Tasted like an old lambic. Very tart, sour really. Hints of oak, apples, toasted barley, and grapes.

Mouthfeel- Pretty sour all over the tongue with the epicenter being the center of my tongue. Poured the last eight down the drain.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2006 02:02:02 | More by scruffwhor
Photo of Zorro


2.9/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Ancient bottle of beer unearthed from the Indiana Jones zone at the Beverage Warehouse in Culver City. I saw this bottle on the left in the warehouse scene!

Pours a clear copper colored ale with no head formation.

Smell is sharp and a bit sweet and sour like a Flanders red. Once you get past the sour snap the fruit flavors become fairly strong. Apple is the first scent that you will smell very much like a Calvados brandy. The aromas sour berries, pepper and pears rides on the alcohol fumes again very much like a brandy. Pipe tobacco and leather rounds out the scent profile.

Taste is not as sour as the scent would suggest sweet and sour are just about equal in strength. This starts sweet and ends with a tart finish not unlike the flavor of white wine. Unfortunately most of the flavors have left this beer. All that is left is a bit of spiciness and bit of tannin.

Mouthfeel is watery, very flat.

This is a beer that is very much past its prime. If you have one of these drink it now or just keep it for the unique bottle shape. Unless you know where the Holy Grail is this beer will never get any better.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2006 07:09:38 | More by Zorro
Photo of DogFood11


1.65/5  rDev -49.8%
look: 1 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Flacid uncarbonated brew (stretching it). I judge appearance on how this beer draws you in to try it. If i saw this I'd think it was apple juice and pass it on to some jackass at the office. However, Many a-beer have I crossed that had no redeeming appearance qualities ended up enjoying.

Wine characteristics, grapes, alcohol. there is a distinct smell of gasoline, sour apple and alcohol. Yikes. Tasted similar although the wine, grapes and alcohol take over the wierd gas I was getting in the smell.

No carbonation, mouthfeel was like wine again like every other portion of this ummm beer. spicyness was ughhh uninspired. Had to pour a sierra celebration just to clear my conscious...Hey it worked!!


Serving type: bottle

01-05-2006 03:38:37 | More by DogFood11
Photo of lackenhauser


2.95/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pale, coppery color. Somewhat cloudy and has a slight pink hue. Decent aroma-very oak like and vinuous. Lactic sourness in a big way. Extremely vinuos flavor. Very woody and earthy. Dry finish. Man this would make a perfect Belgian, actually. Thin and watery body-rather weak. I was sure expecting a lot more from this beer. Perhaps its past its prime. If theres a bottle on the shelf let it sit.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2005 03:46:46 | More by lackenhauser
Photo of TheLongBeachBum


4.08/5  rDev +24%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: The classic Gales wide base bottle, tall thin necked 9.3 fl.oz. (275ml) stubby. The shoulder has the words “G. Gale & Co. Ltd. Horndean” embossed on the neck. The neck is shrink-wrapped in a tight fitting gold plastic “foil” with a little red tab that unravels the covering. Once this is removed a recessed clean cork is revealed. The main label is just per the BA avatar. Brewed for the Millennium in 2000 this is now nearly 5 years old. Strength listed as 10.0% Alc./Vol. Described on the back label as “Millennium was first brewed during Gales 150th Anniversary year of 1997 on the occasion of our first Royal visit. Matured over 18 months, and ready to savour now, this ale will further mature in bottle into the 1st Century of the new Millennium”

Appearance: The slivered straight sided cork had the words “Gales Ales” written in black on it. Utterly devoid of any head or any semblance of carbonation. It looks like a flaccid cold tea. Gales always appears to suffer from this complaint, though to be fair, in the overall scheme of things it isn’t all that much of a negative.

Nose: Lots of fruity alcohol laden grape skins mixed with light caramel and a little whiff of soaked wet wood. Delicate toasted malts litter the spicy nose. Sour acidic nose like commercial Cider meets traditional Gueuze, quite funky.

Taste: Acerbic start, sharp acetic Cidery entrance rises with a grape skin middle that exhibits some apple juice qualities. Strange fuzzy feel has a wild yeast dimension to it. Spicy caramel and a brown sugar coated baked pear finish. Every mouthful reveals something different. A very complex brew.

Mouthfeel: How can you judge mouthfeel when there is no carbonation? Well I mark it as I would for wine. Astute and definitive, even in its own weird odd-ball sort of way. Nevertheless this one is a marvel of the Wine-Beer crossover area.

Drinkability: Flat as fuck, but the complexity of the tastes is the reciprocal to the stark boring appearance. Polarizing in its straight line shooting from the hip characteristics, it nonetheless mesmerizes me. A really nice brew to finish the night with.

Overall: Nice enough, and it’s a typical Gales bottling, so maybe I cut it more slack than I really should. Utterly repugnant to some but a marvelously complex fascinating brew to others, I am somewhere in between. But honestly, and in the cold light of day, this one feels like it is on its way out, I really don’t see it getting any better. Goes nicely with a packet of Pickled Onion Monster Much though.

If you have some 2000 Millennium Brew Premium Ale stashed away, I wouldn’t leave it much longer.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2005 06:17:09 | More by TheLongBeachBum
Photo of cokes


4.68/5  rDev +42.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

UV-clotting apple juice, no carbonation. Some tiny, stray floating cork particles, as the sumbitch disintegrated and took me three straining attempts to remove.
The first few whafts are tart, in a pear cider and gueuze fashion, complete with barnyard and burlap notions of brett. Caramel, toffee, and suede seep in and take the reins, as an oaky, spicy red vinousness gathers deeper in the sinuses.
Begins with a smattering of pear butter and grilled caramel. Gooey, fruity and, slick. Migrates briefly into bread dough and grain, as the funk kicks up. Again, with a nod toward gueuze, this touts lemon rinds, composting oranges, uric acid, crusty baseball mitts, and hay lofts. The finish comes with a thunderclap of oaked Shiraz, full of pepper and blackberry, with a numbing (but not hot) alcohol fur. The scales tip increasingly towards the vinous and away from the gueuze-eque as it breathes and warms. If you want to talk sheer "complexity", this may very well be peerless.
Medium bodied and uncarbonated, and again, very obviously wine-like.
Another mindblower from Gale's. This won't be everyone's cup of tea, but damned if it ain't mine. Fans of the Prize Old Ale line, and things like Le Coq Imperial Stout need to find this.

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2005 04:24:25 | More by cokes
Photo of BuckeyeNation


4.2/5  rDev +27.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Brewed in 1997. Released in 1999. Consumed in 2005.

Turbid russet with ripe cherry highlights when backlit. There was a small collection of clear bubbles sitting atop the beer after the pour, but I wouldn't characterize it as a head. They now resemble a glittering, beaded necklace that looks like it will be gone in mere minutes. I always struggle with how to score the appearance when there's no head.

The nose is decent for an old ale without being overly impressive. At least it's concentrated by the sloping sides of my brandy snifter and doesn't lack power. Still, it's rather simple. First the bad: musty and ethanolic. Now the good: burgundy (or even port), dark butterscotch and dark fruit. The latter can't overcome the former, especially the insistent nature of the medicinal alcohol.

Millenium Brew tastes quite a bit like it smells... 'cept better. For starters, the alcohol is much less of a distraction since it's more an integral part of the flavor. Again, like sweet dessert wine or port wine. Vinousness dominates, with a sour, grapey, not-quite-raisiny flavor that I'm enjoying. Sweetness is more apparent on the finish (where it meets sour on more or less equal terms). Although the flavor is good, I much prefer the after-flavor.

I can't emphasize enough how wine-like this beer is. In fact, given the complete absence of a head, I would venture to guess that more people would call it wine than would call it beer if they didn't know different. The body is lighter than expected, but still retains a lightly syrupy suppleness that reminds me of... wine.

Gale's Millennium Brew is a wonderful little sipper. It grew on me quite a bit over the course of the 275 ml bottle and I have no choice but to reward it (after much flip-flopping) with the higher flavor score. A classic after-dinner, snifter kind of beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2005 16:27:45 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of ypsifly


3.55/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Corked 9.3oz brewed in '97, poured into a pint.

Flat and tea brown in color. There's a ring of big tan bubbles, but that's it.

Smells of dark fruits with some apples and alcohol underneath. The nose is rather weak overall.

Tastes very juicy. The alcohol barely registers as a slight warming on the tip of my tongue. This reminds me of Kuhnhenn's Fourth Dimentia, but without carbonation, hop profile or overall intensity.

The mouthfeel is a bit weak, maybe from the low carbonation. Too strong to drink a lot of.

Serving type: bottle

06-14-2005 05:16:14 | More by ypsifly
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Gale's Millennium Brew from George Gale & Company Ltd
77 out of 100 based on 43 ratings.