Gale's Conquest Ale Master Brew - George Gale & Company Ltd
Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
Ratings: 95 | Reviews: 78 | Display Reviews Only:
1.93/5 rDev -40.4%
No date information on the bottle, but I bought from the same case as GallowsThief, so I think it's a 2001. 275 mL bottle poured into a goblet.
Appearance - Mostly clear ruby amber body with no head at all. I'm not surprised, considering how old it is. Lifeless.
Smell - Sherry and caramel. Boozy with some oxidation smells. Uh oh.
Taste - Dear god. Starts off ok with some caramel malts and immediately into a rusty metallic flavor. From then on it's just tangy sourness. So old and so gross. Ugh.
Mouthfeel - Flat, astringent, metallic, horrid. Undrinkable.
Overall - A shadow of what it once was. No, a decomposing cesspool of what it once was. I drainpoured it after finishing this review.
10-18-2011 23:52:03 | More by Alieniloquium
1.9/5 rDev -41.4%
2001 "vintage" poured into an NB globe in Fall 2011.
More than a review, this is a lesson. Many beers can withstand years, yeah; but! (a) Not all can withstand aging and (b) even among those that can, not all can withstand equal amount of time!
Gale's pours cloudy amber with hardly any head at all. And in spite of the cork to prevent oxidation (I suppose), laid on top of wonderful notes of sherry, there's a dirty, ugly layer of wet cardboard, yeah.
You know that something's very very wrong when an English Barleywine tastes sour and I will tell you what it is: it has turned sour. Way past it's prime, and yet reminiscent of its sweet spot, Conquest has notes of dried figs and raisins and some fruit peel tannins but a fuckin' boatload of yucky tartness to go with it.
Thin, watery, and most of all, un-beerly, this beer that could have been borderline awesome 4 years ago has turned into an abomination. Disappointed in my purchase, I brand this one a failure!
10-03-2011 08:05:01 | More by tewaris
District of Columbia
2.53/5 rDev -21.9%
Bottle shared by afdempse. Thanks Adam.
Alas, the decrepit cork did not survive the meeting with the corkscrew. After the cork debacle, the beer appeared a rusty orange hue, bordering on copper. No head, no lacing.
The aroma was of malt, alcohol, and light citrus.
The flavor still had a healthy alcohol presence, despite the age of the bottle. Also present was a dank cardboard flavor. Malt and subtle notes of citrus comprise the rest of the flavor. All in all, pretty bland.
The feel was more akin to a liquor than a beer. Mouthfeel was thin and watery, with virtually no carbonation.
I have had several beers by George Gale over the years. Various vintages and brews, random settings. I have yet to have one that has aged well, or that I would like to have again. Overall, a disappointment.
09-25-2011 01:01:15 | More by Huhzubendah
3.45/5 rDev +6.5%
Ratings are an average of the two vintages listed below.
A-Cork was extremely brittle and very difficult to remove. Broke into multiple pieces. Couldn't get them all out of the glass. Pours out completely flat. Watery hazy brown, a color I associate more with a good lambic than an old ale.
S-Sharp, fruity oxidation dominates the aroma. Actually smells a lot like a lambic, which is strange, but also appealing. Fruity and acidic.
T/M-Medium bodied and soft, with an undercurrent of sharp oxidation. Absolutely no carbonation. The flavor profile is extremely muted at this point, but features some fairly pleasant, if nondescript earthy/woody notes, and a plum sweetness.
O-Oxidation has hurt drinkability, but this is still decent stuff. Takes a few good sips to really get into it, but after a while the flavors open up and it's pleasant. You need to really like vintage English barley wines/old ales to go for this.
A-This cork was in much better condition, coming out in one solid piece. Pours the color of port wine, darker and more clear than the 2000 vintage, with no head.
S-This one smells a lot better than the 2000. Aromas of overripe figs, plums, cooking sherry, toffee and brown sugar.
T/M-SO much better than the 2000 vintage. Just the slightest traces of oxidation, but otherwise, this is intact and tasting like a good vintage old ale should. Medium bodied and soft, with flavors of toffee, rum soaked raisins, bread pudding and candied cherries. The finish is sweet and sustained.
O-Lack of carbonation might turn some people off, but if you can get past that, there's a lot going on. A classic English old ale that is still drinking great at 10 years.
08-28-2011 02:50:27 | More by DaveHS
United Kingdom (Wales)
2.48/5 rDev -23.5%
Thanks to Tewaris for bringing this over.
Pours very still. No head. Color is a clear copper amber.
Aroma: A lot of malts. Caramel and toffee stick out the most. Just a ton of malts. Smells sticky.
Taste: Much like the nose, but I taste cardboard flavors out of it. I think it has reached its prime. Very malty. Interesting.
Mouthfeel: Flat and bland. No carbonation. Medium bodied. Ends clean.
Overall, this beer was probably past its prime. It had a few good flavors, but I could still taste the old.
08-27-2011 03:41:50 | More by mothman
3.55/5 rDev +9.6%
Poured out of a 9.3 oz bottle into my Duvel tulip. Found this relic at the House of Brews. Come all corked up. Bottled 2001.
A – Cloudy, caramel brown on the pour. Almost no head to speak of and no lacing.
S – Has a very cider like smell. Tart. Honey.
T - Funky baby. Dark fruits comes out first. Sherry like flavor. Molasses. Very solid warming booze flavor still at the end. Definitely has cider like qualities to the taste. Tart at the finish.
M – Slick and smooth. Covers the palate. Low carbonation.
O – Pretty tasty brew here. I was skeptical with its age but its done nicely. Nice taste and well balanced. Will be looking for more.
08-17-2011 23:55:30 | More by GallowsThief
4.95/5 rDev +52.8%
One of my first purchases from Bruisin' Ales in Asheville was a bottle of George Gale's Masterbrew Conquest Ale (2001 bottling). I let it sit for a whole month before breaking down and cracking it open...which is nothing compared to letting my tasting notes sit for 4 months before putting them up on here.
I have had the George Gale Prize Old Ale in the past and gave it high marks (in that Old Ale sort of way), but the Conquest Ale seemed to me to be another whole level of Old Ale-ness.
I found it to be raisiny, almost Madeira-like, also pleasantly nutty and malty. True to aged Old Ale fashion, it had almost no head to it at all -- but, this is aged brew, so you mustn't think of it as "flat" beer. No more than you'd consider whisky to be flat. It does profit from being consumed not cold from the fridge, but letting the temperature rise some. It got better as it got warmer. I also found it best by itself (in sips, not gulps!), or with salted nuts. I remember thinking it might pair well with mild Asian (Chinese) cuisine. Overall, a much more delicate Old Ale than the Prize Old version, but an interesting tasting experience.
*Review on 28/4/11
Another bottle of the 2001 vintage, this time allowed to cellar until 2011, so a full 10 years later.
In a word: Brilliant.
A: Rich and brown like a madeira or tawny port. Next to no carbonation or foam, just the slightest hint of bubbles about the edge of the goblet.
S: Oak, tar, molasses, rich soil, and tobacco.
T: Just like a fine sherry or madeira! Smooth, oaky, funky, but BALANCED and not at all hot for its 9%.
O: I'm in love. Let this puppy sit in your cellar! Have it with a good rich cigar overlooking the ocean at dusk.
04-29-2011 01:48:06 | More by drperm
2.55/5 rDev -21.3%
This beer sounded like it was going to be awesome. I ordered a bottle of this at the Bethlehem Speakeasy and waited patiently for the waiter to bring it over. The beer was uncorked and poured into a wine glass. Flat looking brew, no bubbles at all in this thing. The color was hard to tell because the place was dark but it almost looked red. The smell was a lot like wine. The taste was pungent and tart also much like a red wine. This beer's mouthfeel was watery and flat. Not much complexity or anything going on in this. Not really impressive. Bummer.
04-07-2011 02:20:09 | More by Knapp85
3.33/5 rDev +2.8%
A: The beer is hazy amber in color. It poured into a snifter glass without any head or visible signs of carbonation in the form of rising bubbles.
S: The smell resembles that of a port wine and has moderate aromas of caramel, dark fruits and toffee.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell and has a slight amount of sourness along with some hints of alcohol.
M: It feels medium-bodied and a bit watery on the palate without any perceptible carbonation. There are some warming sensations from the alcohol in the finish.
O: This beer is a slow sipper given its strength but the lack of body and carbonation didn't make it very interesting.
Note: 2001 vintage
03-28-2011 02:21:48 | More by metter98
2.55/5 rDev -21.3%
2001 George Gale & Co. Ltd Masterbrew Pale Ale 275ml/9.3oz corked bottle into snifter. Pours dark mahogany, with no head whatsoever, absolutely lifeless. Smells like wine, like a bitter white wine. Taste like wine, no beer aspect at all here. I picked this "wine" up @ Michaels in Marietta GA for $3.09. When I saw the 2001 vintage I had to shell out the change to grab a few. The cork was intact and not disintegrated like some others reviews, and this beer did not reek of vinegar. Honestly the "wine" was pleasant, paired with my 1lb 3oz ribeye. I'm not much of a wine person but honestly this wasn't a bad experience, but just not what I was expecting. Ive had beers as old as 17 years properly cellared, such as Chimay grande reserve 1994 vint, Westvleteren abt12 1993 vint. Anchor Xmas 1997 and so on. This beer just wasnt up to par with other older vintages Ive had. I gave lower scores due to this brew not being anything like "beer". I wish that I could have found this beer back in early 2k, or maybe even one cellared properly. Overall If you see it grab one, its cool for the collection. I wouldn't open it unless enjoying with someone who's into wines. Cheers!
01-06-2011 02:13:18 | More by OhYesILoveBeer
4.1/5 rDev +26.5%
vintage 2000 at beer table in park slope
the bartender told me the back story on the beer. Its a english strong ale that spend a pretty long time sitting around. There have been cases in bottle open which still retained a hop character. But at this point it is a bit inconsistent. One thing is for sure it is going to pour completely placid.
nd it did. With a amber that is nearly completely clear with some particles at the bottom. Nose at first is booze. That opens up to a port like candied date. The sugar cane worked with the booze and malt and gave it a quality of amaretto. Palate is warming booze with an intense malt finish of nougat. finish of three musketeers, dense hazelnut, dates, beet sugar, toffee...fresh and burnt on the brink of fusing to the hazelnut with nutella like qualities. Very rich malt finish and were much worth experiencing how unique and elaborate.
09-23-2010 06:02:32 | More by rtepiak
2.8/5 rDev -13.6%
Appearance: Pours a clear amber color; no head was expected nor did one materialize
Smell: Caramel, oak and dates
Taste: Up front, it tasted like it smelled, but by mid-palate, it was clear the beer was corked (I mean this in the sense of a wine descriptor but you can take it as a pun, too) and, after the swallow, it disintegrated into a sour mess
Mouthfeel: Light to medium body; flat
Mouthfeel: Oh well..sometimes you win and sometimes you lose; like others have reported, this beer has almost uniformly not stood the test of time
09-15-2010 23:25:26 | More by brentk56
2.5/5 rDev -22.8%
Bottle says brewed in 2001. Dead cork that disintegrated all over the place when I tried to remove it - gross.
Dull brown color - flat no carbonation. Heavy smell of fortified wine like a sherry and similar taste. Not very fun - sips only. Fortified wine alochol taste/smell overpowers any enjoyment. Not a fan of this style.
09-13-2010 01:10:39 | More by cpanossian
2.65/5 rDev -18.2%
A bottle from the discount table at Whidbey Beer Works. I couldn't find a date code on the bottle. Poured into 16oz balloon. Poured a very still, semi cloudy, pale brown with no head or carbonation at all.
The cork smelled vinegary and after in the glass, the beer smelled vinegary and sour. It had the aroma of an English version of a Belgian sour. The taste was mostly vinegar, I'm starting to suspect why this was on the blowout table. I poured gently at first, but with the last couple of ounces, I swirled the bottle to get all the yeast and floaties into the glass. Nope, no help at all.
Listed by the brewery as a pale, the body was typical for that style. Drinkability, would have been average, but sadly the last 3 ounces became my first drain pour.
If you see this remember, there is a reason that this beer is no longer brewed.
05-01-2010 07:48:13 | More by beertunes
3.48/5 rDev +7.4%
9.3 oz. bottle, 2001 Vintage, picked up at Hi-Times for a Lincoln, love the label with a medieval castle,
A: Pours a clear red-brown with no head. Real nice colour, from afar could be mistaken for brandy.
S: Honey and aged malt jumped out of the bottle, but once in the glass, the bouquet isn't huge. Mentioned the brandy-like look in the appearance, seems to move over to the nose, there's a hint of armagnac vanilla in there.
T: Dry, tannic oak with a light acidity. Some caramel notes, but there's no residual sugar in this. Some attic must in the finish. Flavours are good, but don't have a great intensity.
M: Very dry, mild acidity, seems on the thin side from a lack of carbonation and alcohol body.
D: A fair example of an aged brew, and while it's not taken a turn for the worse, I believe it is well past its peak. I don't see how it can get better. If you're going to get a vintage ale from these guys, pick up the Prize Old Ale, it ages beautifully.
01-19-2010 05:17:45 | More by Halcyondays
3.05/5 rDev -5.9%
The beer was a lovely, blistering golden until I carelessly introduced the yeast, much of which spewed out in large chunks. As it sits now the beer is a murky, relatively listless, clementine colour and is peppered in a slurry of sediment. There is absolutely no sign of carbonation - no bubbles, no head, not even the faintest of trims.
The aroma is replete with a terribly musty, awfully vinegar-like element. It isn't entirely unappealing; in fact, it almost brings to mind a well-aged gueuze because it shares the same hints of dried apples, musty oak and what is popularly (and vaguely) described as 'funk'. It might smell good or terrible depending on the nose (mine is still undecided). If this is sample is indeed over the hill, what was there in the first place that has faded?
One in two - those are the odds that I finish this bottle feeling disappointed. As its pale colour would suggest, the flavour is plain and unsubstantial. For a moment I was again reminded of a Belgian gueuze, mostly because the two share similar flavours of sugar rocks, dry cork and tart green apple. There is also a watered down hint of cognac.
It's certainly hard to know what exactly the brewery was going for. An ingredients list of Maris Otter & Lager malts, Goldings, Fuggles & Challenger hops is indeed an odd puzzle to solve. Styles specifics aside, the result was none too successful. Flavours are hard to come by. This drinks much like a citrus-infused vodka or an odd cider-gin combo.
And the mouthfeel is a complete mess. As alluded to earlier, it has an acidic tang and vividly vinegar-like pucker. The malts are non-existent as is the bitterness. It drinks like a cooking cider or perhaps a spoiled vinegar. The texture is like mildewy cork despite the fact that the cork was in excellent shape and none of it was introduced into the beer.
Despite having been stored in ideal cellar conditions, I have to imagine this has only gotten worse in the eight years since it was brewed. Is this really how they drew it up? Because nothing about it suggests it was ever good, nor that the brewery ever should have recommended extended cellaring. Conquest Ale Masterbrew may be the most misappropriate named beer I've ever come across. Let's hope this one stays retired.
12-16-2009 03:54:56 | More by biegaman
2.85/5 rDev -12%
Found this oddity in central Illinois, never saw it before. 2001 bottle, freebie from Friar Tuck as it wasn't in their system anymore.
Pulled the dry cork with a pop and the liquid appeared still inside. Pouring from a good height, a ring of larger bubbles formed and stuck around for five+ minutes. Dark orange copper color.
Aroma of honey and wood, very much like my favorite Polish mead Jadwiga. Clover honey and wildflowers.
Flavor is very sweet, earthy with topsoil and odd candlewax oxidation/slickness. Dirty tannic oak. Clearly on a downward spiral. Flat and slippery, alcohol bite. Slow going with this, if you even have the endurance to finish it. '96 Prize Old Ale is holding up better than this did.
11-03-2009 01:12:13 | More by emerge077
3.6/5 rDev +11.1%
Very interesting, this is the first beer I've reviewed that was retired before I had it. Being a 2001 vintage, this is easily the oldest beer I've ever had. Poured from the bottle into a mini snifter, beer is a perfectly clear, deep copper-bronze color with absolutely no carbonation at all. The nose is primarily sweet with dark fruit - raisins, dates and figs; the slight but noticeable alcohol also contributes a sweetness. The flavor is similar to the nose with the alcohol presence becoming more noticeable and a slight burning effect. Slightly oxidized. Has the mouthfeel of a dry wine and a light-medium body. Decently drinkable, best as a night cap on a cold evening.
08-08-2009 02:51:38 | More by gmfessen
4.47/5 rDev +38%
Vintage 2000 (according to a sharpie on the red wrapper, the label is not dated, although the gold wrappered on I bought says 2001 on the label). Poured into my Delirium snifter, Conquest Ale is a murky burnt gold with only a hint of an off-white collar, basically still, like apple cider. There was no pop of the cork, although it was still a tight fit and in good shape once removed. Looks a lot like any other aged English strong ale.
Smell is sweet and a little funky, like the 'pleasant', floral aroma of feces, indole. Slightly acidic vinegar as well, first whiff reminded me of Petrus Aged Pale. I like perfume nature.
Taste is surprisingly good (based on recent reviews of similar vintages that were apparently just released for sale by the importer). The flavor is not to strong, definitely has that faded flavor of aged beer, but I really impressed with how well it held up. Apparently, I got lucky! Not as acidic as the Petrus, but there's a slight tang for sure, and it's honestly very similar. Since I love that beer, I'm having similar feelings with this one.
Mouthfeel a bit tannic, but light bodied. Again, like a Belgian, it's digestible and beguiles it's high ABV.
Drinkability is high, really nice beer! Of course it's pretty rare (well, I suppose they may have a bunch more stuff away somewhere for release) as it's no longer made, so you're not gonna drink a ton of it. But a fantastic aged beer experience, 9 years old, which is about as old as I've ever had.
04-12-2009 01:21:43 | More by ccrida
1.7/5 rDev -47.5%
Purchased in March 2009. Based on the vintage, I was hoping that it had been stored well, but I couldn't pass up the chance to try it.
Orange-red beer, clear, with a few tiny floaters. The yeast never came out of the bottle. No head to speak of, no visible carbonation, although there was the sound of a little fizz on the pour.
Aroma is... unique. Old must, teriyaki sauce, whisky, brandy, hard cider starting to turn to vinegar. Hard to believe it from the description, but I actually like the smell.
Taste... here goes. Eeesh. Tannins and hints of teriyaki sauce, as if some had been stored in an oak barrel.
Mouthfeel is flat and lifeless. Damn.
Drinkability is just not there. This is a drain pour. I can't even bring myself to take a third sip.
04-07-2009 01:54:59 | More by connecticutpoet
2.1/5 rDev -35.2%
Presentation: Awesome/unique 9.3 oz brown corked bottle
Appearance: Beautiful bright beer, ultra-dark burnt orange with absolutely no carbonation or head.
Smell: Intensely earthy...there are strong notes of sauteed portabella mushroom and hints of soy sauce with just the slightest hints of caramel
Taste: Strong flavors of sauteed mushrooms, damp earthy must, a touch of soy sauce, and a tiny hint of tart apple on the finish.
Mouthfeel: medium bodied and slick; NO carbonation
Conclusion: I'm reviewing this in March 2009; the beer was brewed in 2001. The label said that this was one to put down for the long haul, but I think this is definitely past its prime and showing a bit of oxidation as well. I'm glad I tried it, since it was only brewed once and the brewery is now defunct (I loved their "Prize Old Ale," 2005 vintage) but if you see a bottle of this on the shelves somewhere, I'd pass on by.
03-21-2009 16:43:19 | More by BedetheVenerable
2.9/5 rDev -10.5%
01/16/09- Purchased at Holiday Wine and Spirits, in Escondido, CA.
Presentation- 9.3oz bottle, brewed in 2001. Poured into a small snifter-like glass.
Appearance- Rather lifeless, no sign of any kind of head or carbonation. Leaves some light watery spotting behind. Usually what to expect when you pour an older old ale...just seems like this one is wayyy past it's prime.
Smell- Smell is nice at times. Has that rich carmely old ale nose with boozed soaked dark fruits. Alos, has a very musty nose to it. Kinda of like mothballs.
Taste- Yes....past it's prime for sure. Very musty in the taste as well. Has the caramel notes, but it's so flat it becomes severely watery. Light alcohol taste. The dark fruits are virtually indetectable.
Mouthfeel- Flater than flat...more watery than water. Has a slighty sweet caramel note in the aftertaste.
Drinkability- May have been an excellent beer about 4 years ago, but it's been dead for a while I am assuming. Don't waste your $5.
01-19-2009 15:50:20 | More by GClarkage
3.35/5 rDev +3.4%
Poured this unique eight-year-old vintage into a snifter glass. Pours copper and still, with no carbonation or head.
Aroma is biscuity, cidery, and kinda "old tannic".
This bottle is more cider-like in flavor, than I recall the former to be. It's got notes of tart, juicy citrus and apples on biscuity malts. The hops are lightly bitter. Musty and crisp.
May 6, 2008: Thanks to MW for the warehouse-stored sample. Corked 11.2-oz bottle poured into snifter glass. Wow, is this beer ever sour! Sourness prevails, with hints of caramel and fruit. Somewhat acidic. I'd like to get my hands on more of this. (Yes, I'm a fan of sour beers and this is truly unique!)
01-18-2009 16:16:43 | More by tiffanya
3.28/5 rDev +1.2%
This corked bottle pours a brilliantly clear dark amber color with no head. The aroma is very malty, complex with dark fruit and hints of roast in addition to sweetness and a bit of cardboard. The flavor is sweet, full-bodied and very smooth. No or very little carbonation. Some alcoholic warmth follows the swallow. Overall not bad for a 7 year old bottle of ale, but to me this more barley wine like than pale ale.
10-12-2008 03:00:54 | More by uwmgdman
3.4/5 rDev +4.9%
Gale's Conquest Master Brew pours a ruddy dark orange with a minimal head from a brown, corked, 275 ml bottle. The bottle says to decant this beer, but upon opening it the bottle fell to the floor (and did not break), resulting in yeast in suspension. Caramel malt, fruit and alcohol are noticeable in the aroma. This bottle is almost flat, but I'm not sure quite how old it is, but it's been in my fridge for at least a year. Sweet and sour fruits are most prominent in the flavor and caramel malt is also fairly strong. The alcohol is quite noticeable too. An odd little brew, it's definitely not what I would consider a pale ale (as the label proclaims). Definitely interesting, but I wouldn't buy it again.
03-14-2008 00:55:41 | More by Drew966
Gale's Conquest Ale Master Brew from George Gale & Company Ltd
75 out of 100 based on 95 ratings.