Gale's Christmas Ale | George Gale & Company Ltd

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Gale's Christmas AleGale's Christmas Ale
77 Ratings
Gale's Christmas AleGale's Christmas Ale

Brewed by:
George Gale & Company Ltd
England, United Kingdom

Style: Winter Warmer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-07-2001

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 77 |  Reviews: 70
Photo of Hellpop65
3/5  rDev -13.5%

Photo of BGsWo22
2/5  rDev -42.4%

Photo of matjack85
1.75/5  rDev -49.6%

Photo of WynnO
3/5  rDev -13.5%

Photo of t0rin0
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of Bitterbill
3.75/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of warnerry
1.77/5  rDev -49%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

2001 Vintage into a tulip. Cork is very dry and breaks on the way out. Not a good sign. But there is a slight release pf CO2 after pushing the remaining end of cork into the bottle.

A - That must have been all the CO2 left, as this pours with absolutely no head Pours a murky brown with a couple cork bits floating on top (which I'll blame on user error).

S - Lots of caramel, a bit of cardboard and quite a spice presence. A bit odd overall. Cardboard suggests this is way past it's prime.

T - Quite bit tart up front, with a big caramel malt presence. Some fruit: apple, raisin and a bit of cherry. Pretty unpleasant overall. Was hard to drink enough to get the flavor profile.

M - Medium mouthfeel and completely flat.

O - Well this is clearly way past it's prime. I knew it was a gamble, and it didn't pay off. Drank enough to review and poured the rest. Would love to know what this tastes like fresh.

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Photo of Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev +15.3%

Photo of jale
1.69/5  rDev -51.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Lets see how this 2001 bottle held up.

A: Pours a light brown with zero head.

S: Very aged malt aroma. Must be cherries in here because this smells of an old cherry wine.

T: Way beyond its prime. Slight cherry flavor, alcohol and an old hop bitter finish.

M: No carbonation. Thin

D: I only had about 20% of the bottle.

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Photo of clickpush
2.9/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pour: Unique 250ml bottle, red-wrapped & corked, age unknown (scary and intriguing at the same time...). Some goo atop the cork before opening, but upon opening the seal seems to still be intact. Completely still amber body. No life.

Nose: Fruit, caramel, oddity.... Spiced caramel apple. Green grape juice. Not good. Smells like a case of dead beer.

Mouth: Livelier than the appearance and aroma would have you believe. The spicy caramel apple flavors come through like a Christmas dessert. The finish is a bit warm, a bit roasty, and a bit hoppy. Some sizzle in the body, some CO2 that I wasn't expecting. Quite dry.

I wouldn't go so far as to say that I could drink multiple bottles of this beer, but the flavors were certainly an improvement over my initial impressions. I'd like to try a fresh bottle (my intuition tells me this one is several years old).

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Photo of moosiz
2.25/5  rDev -35.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

I found this bottle at a local store on a shelf in the back it was there as a decoration i think, but it had a price tag on it 3.75. It is from the 2002 vintage.

pours a bit thick and flat, but there are a lot of bubbles lining the sides of my glass. not active carbonation but carbonation nevertheless.
the color is a ruddy brown/red copper hard to nail down.

smells aged. sour notes left behind from something that was never meant to be aged this long on a store shelf a bit woody maybe from the cork.

sour nutty flavor with a slight clove hint. very sour.

slick mouthfeel with a lingering effect.

Im glad i have just one of these. but i look forward to drinking a fresh one if i can find it this winter.

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Photo of cadenwhitaker
2.27/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

2002 Vintage

I believe this was corked. So you can skip my review if you have a fresh bottle.

Very sour, vinagery, burnt coffee, and no carbonation. There was some residue on the actual cork, with some bits of dried beer on the top of the cork with sticky/slimy bits around the bottom of the cork as well.

Why review if it was bad? Well, just a heads up to act with caution when trying some of these older brews.

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Photo of paulthebeerguru
3.69/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2001 Vintage

A: pours a cloudy, murky tawny color. No head at all.

S: light coconut esters. Some apples and dates. Slightly strong alcohol notes. Some light sour aromas as well.

T: wow. Never had it fresh, but I can notice that a ton of flavors have passed away. Major malt notes, mostly caramel, plums and apples, some clove. Very wine-like. I do pull some grapes/raisins out of this. Very sour notes.

M: no carbonation left, so its flat. Some alcohol notes/vibes. Very smooth with the age of this. Think it was a aged a little too long.

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Photo of kyleec
4.52/5  rDev +30.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 2003 bottle into a goblet.

A - reddish brown and absolutely no head at all.

S - Strong alcohol, raisin, clove, and fruit.

T - I'm not a brandy drinker, but in my poor recollection, this reminds me a lot of a brandy or some other such brown liquor. I got a fruity tartness with spices and a sweet raisin character. Fairly dry. Too much complexity for my novice palate to give due justice. This was an awesome beer. The drinkability is there, but I wouldn't have more than one. That one is a pure delight, though.

This tasted very different from any other beer I've had, and in a good way.

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Photo of adamdotson
3.84/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bought in Allston, MA at Blanchard's. Drank in 08 bottle from 01.

Appearance-Amberish orange. Little to no carbonation. Nothing impressive about it visually. Fairly hazy. Just a notch of funk

Nose- Yummy. Sourdough fresh from the oven. Apple pie/ heavy on the cinnamon. A hint of soy sauce. A hint of whisky but not in a phenyly way. This is wine i'll tell my wine drinking friends to try if they can handle the funk.

Taste is round and dense. A bit of caramel and a surprisingly biting finish that is delicious to me. Sour apple but not in the same way as belgian sour apple (rodenbach) I bet the og on this was fairly high.

Mouth feel is light. Scrumptilumptious.

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Photo of aforbes10
3.08/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle from John's Grocery in Iowa City. Pours gluggy and flat from a corked 2002 bottle. Dark maroon in color. No head or sign of carbonation whatsoever. Smells of figs and raspberry liquor. Pungent and alcohol-laden, like a cheap wine. My first couple of sips were taken while the beer was still cold, and didnt give me much flavor at all. Warmer, it became increasingly fruity and wine-like. Grapes, raspberries, toffee all came through. Some spiced notes, most obviously nutmeg. Mostly it maintains the fruity red-wine character throughout, and if anything just becomes a little dull and cardboardy towards the end. Its also a little thin, considering the style and presentation. I expected a little more than what i got from this one.

 739 characters

Photo of Smartestmonkey
3.62/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2002 Vintage Bottle poured into a tulip glass - 12-25-07

This beer poured hazy red-brown with absolutely no head. The smell is rich and complex. First thought is wine, raisins and plums, dark fruit. Then I pick up a little woody, earthy hop. The taste is much like the smell, very vinous, very port like. Taste is first and foremost of dark fruits with hints of malt and grains and this is all followed with an odd hop bitter. The alcohol in this ale stands out and is felt throughout the drink. The mouthfeel is smooth and full and the taste lingers for a long time. An interesting beer that is well suited for the holidays, for sipping in front of a fire, but not much else.

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Photo of iceviper22
3.82/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2001 Vintage Bottle on 12/2/07

Poured a hazy light reddish to brown hue with little to no head present. Just a fuzzy cream lace around the glass.

Smelled of strong sweet tart fruits such as cranberry or sour apples with hints of alcohol. Very tarty and fruity taste that reminded me of drinking a glass of wine. Basically no carbonation with a light juice type mouthfeel to it.

Overall, this isn't a beer I'd choose a lot. Best to be enjoyed around the holidays, probably with a good sweet desert.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.85/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

With a very careful pour it only produces a three-finger thick, somewhat tightly beaded, tan colored head. The beer is a brilliantly clear, deep orangish tinted, copper color when held up to the light, but is otherwise a dull, albeit fairly dark, cranberry color. A wonderfully tart character greets my nose as I am inspecting this beer. A mix of tart cherry, green apple and some definite aromas of white wine vinegar. Woody aromas of damp oak, leather, as well as full on funky notes of moldy cotton, barnyard aromatics & interesting sharp acidic notes. This is definitely quite a bit more funky than when I last had this. It has a really nice, vibrant fruity character to it underneath all of the funk though; at times it has a distinct, candied cherry note to it.

Very lightly sweet and definitely well carbonated, the beer has a distinct spice flavor to it that was expected, but not really noticed in the aroma. The spices add a sharp, woody, bitter astringency to the finish of this brew. Definitely tart though, the acidity adds a nice touch to this brew. Sort of chalky, lactic, green apple, star-fruit, tannic oak, a touch of urea, almond, nutmeg, a touch of apricot pit and a touch of butterscotch form a mix of flavors all which I can't quite discern. As the beer warms the astringent spice notes tend to die down a bit and the tart / funky character becomes a bit more noticeable. This is definitely quite a nice brew at this stage, and I definitely prefer this brew when it gets more towards the funky side of the spectrum.

 1,538 characters

Photo of BeardedSquash
4.17/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought a 9.3 oz bottle, also at McScrooges in Knoxville. One of many good brews I’ve found tucked away in that store.

A: A murky cola colored pour with no signs of life. No head, no carbonation, but some legs while I drank. It looks more like a flat soda than a beer. I'm not going to knock an aged beer too much for looking old, but if I didn't know the vintage, I would have guessed much older than 5 years.

S: Wood and cider smells take the forefront right off the bat. A mix of fruits, somewhere between plum and apricot take up as it warms, but a heavy leather smell oversees everything throughout. It reminds me of my grandfather's basement workshop for some reason, dusty and organic.

T: Sour malts mixed with a bit of spruce that lingers on the tongue after the swallow. The whole thing is very vinous with the woody backdrop. Tart cherries and brown sugar flow well with the acidic effects of the aging.

M: As dead as it looked, the mouthfeel could be considered to be in a coma. Only a faint hint of carbonation. Feels somewhat like a prematurely corked wine. Old ales will die out with age, but again, this one seems older than 5 years. Works well with the flavors though.

D: This is a great beer to sip at the end of the night. I had it with a black forest cake and the acidity of the beer was the perfect compliment to the sweetness of the desert.

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Photo of CWiggins
2.58/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

2002 Vintage; purchased at McScrooge's Liquor in Knoxville, TN just last week.

No head formed as I poured this beer into a Unibroue flute. The color is a deep ruby red, almost like port. Aromas of dark fruits such as fig, raisin, and plums waft up as an initial sniff is taken. The flavor is sour, and I can easily compare it to some of the Flemish red ales I've tasted, such as Duchess de Bourgogne and the Italian Paladin. No seasonal spices are at all apparent. I'm sure this wasn't the intended flavor, so perhaps aging isn't proper for this English ale. As it warmed to room temperature, the flavor became somewhat more palatable, but it still isn't like any Winter Warmer I've ever tried. The texture is pretty much spot on. I wouldn't try this again unless I had a fresh example to sample!

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Photo of tgbljb
3.73/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a cloudy brown color with virtually no head.
Smell presents with a bit of fruit, but really nothing notable.
Taste shows more of the fruitiness, and somewhat resembles a liquid fruit cake.
The ending allows more of a hoppiness to present itself.
The alcohol is extremely well hidden.
Nothing that great as compared with other winter warmers I've had. Not worth the price

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Photo of neonbrown82
3.02/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

2002 vintage.

Pours with absolutely no head, even from a vigorous attempt. Subsequently no lacing, and retention is a non-issue. No apparent carbonation. The color is a deep brownish ruby red.

The smell is heavy on the malt with some dark fruity esters of raisin, plum, and fig. Also plenty of brown sugar and molasses with a hint of cinnamon and clove. Even a hint of cider. The taste is very similar to the nose. It would be much more drinkable with some carbonation to liven it up. Also, it has a bit of a corked taste. I fear that the years of aging have not done this beer well. It was probably really interesting and tasty when fresh.

The body is fairly thick, but with no carbonation it is fairly unpleasant to drink, despite the great complexity. Even despite it being completely flat, I didn't hate it, but it was very difficult to finish.

 857 characters

Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.27/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2003 vintage

The beer poured into the sniffer clear medium amber and devoid of head at all.

The aroma was malty and nutty with a strong fruity presence of sherry coupled with cinnamon spice. A bit of clove presence was notable as was a light bit of pepper.

The flavor was lightly tart with a strong bready, biscuity, and nutty character. The flavor was fruity with dark fruits, namely raisins, present, but also dark caramel. The spice character in the aroma was muted and difficult to place, but alcohol was a strong presence. The bittering was fairly strong, but no particular hop presence was notable.

The finish was dry with lasting tartness and bittering into the aftertaste. The body was medium and seemed watery without any carbonation. This beer smelled wonderful but time may have detracted fiercely from the flavor.

9.3 ounce corked bottle.

 865 characters

Photo of Sephiroth
3.6/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served from a firkin at Gravity Head at Rich O's in New Albany. Small head that instantly disappears. Smells malty and spiced, very rich. Marris otter malts I so love are obvious.

Taste is all over the place, too young and hot, caramel noted.. Malty, spicy, and hoppy. Drinkability suffers.

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Gale's Christmas Ale from George Gale & Company Ltd
Beer rating: 3.47 out of 5 with 77 ratings
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