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

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Gale's Prize Old AleGale's Prize Old Ale
416 Ratings
Gale's Prize Old AleGale's Prize Old Ale

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

Style: Old Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-31-2001

Bros Score:
View: Beers
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 416 |  Reviews: 319
Photo of pathman
5/5  rDev +43.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of Zimbo
5/5  rDev +43.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My condolences for those reviewers of this beer who have had bad bottles. I myself have been stung far too often when trying to age beer and frequently hold on to supposedly 'age worthy' beers far too long. Having read everything online and in my library of beer books I figured four years was about the right amount of cellaring for this, the living God of old ales.

Bottled in 2006 from the last ever batch to be brewed at the Horndean brewery. Removing the 4cm cork demanded some delicacy so I used a Screwpull with a thin worm (sorry, I know that sounds pretty pompous). Poured the slightly below temperature egually between two ISO glasses.
Deep dark shiny mahogany and fruitcake and slight banana on the nose. Likely the richest and most seductive bouquets I have ever inhaled. The nose just goes on and on. Jesus...

Seems thinnish to look at but very full on the tongue. A very slight acidity at the start which quickly falls away. There is a strong layer of sappiness there which is seamless. Everything is so perfectly integrated. On first sip a very slight woodiness before leaving a chewy element. After this it consistently ends smooth, rich and morish which is full and continues to fill out as it disappears.

The beer equivalent of a naked romp with Brigitte Bardot circa 1958.

 1,310 characters

Photo of relynnjr
5/5  rDev +43.7%

Photo of LionHeart88
5/5  rDev +43.7%

Photo of Rochefort10nh
5/5  rDev +43.7%

Photo of pat61
4.75/5  rDev +36.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I am drinking the 1998 and the 2000 vintages.
A: they both pour brilliant chestnut with very little head.
S: the 1998 is very port like on the nose with dark dried fruit. The 2000 vintage has less port on the nose and more prune.
T: The 1998 is assertive with port flavors, dark dried fruit, prunes, and a touch of sour. The 2000 vintage is softer and less port-like and is loaded with prunes coming across as mellower and less tart than its older sibling.
F: They are both wine-like, full bodied with very little carbonation.
O: outrageously good and amazing to drink beer well over a decade old.

 598 characters

Photo of TimPell
4.75/5  rDev +36.5%

Photo of MacStinson
4.75/5  rDev +36.5%

Photo of afsdan
4.75/5  rDev +36.5%

Photo of goethean
4.69/5  rDev +34.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Flat. Very dark copper. Has a sappy or syrupy sweetness and full body. Filled with a cornucopia of fruit. Deep, dark juicy cranberry-raisin-plum-currant-fig. Has the classic vinous barleywine character. But then there is the significant malt backbone, too. And the alcohol. No hops bitterness, flavor or aroma. It's perfectly drinkable as far as I'm concerned.

 360 characters

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)

 937 characters

Photo of cokes
4.62/5  rDev +32.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 1998. Bottle # OA2 13817.

Pours a deep amber-brown, resembling iced tea. With just as much carbonation. Lightly hazed. No head at all.
Cowhide, tobacco, prune and molasses in the nose.
Deep buttery tofffee taste is immediately coupled with the dark fruit, pruney sweetness. Raisins and earth enter next. Followed by burnt caramel, and char. Vinous midsection, wine-like, with hints of merlot. Woody and cork characteristics echo throughout. Leathery notes, not unlike chewing on the strings of one's baseball/softball mitt. Hops are not perceived. Lingering impressions of smoked dark fruit and grape-skins.
Absolutely uncarbonated. Smooth, wine-like body, albeit slightly thin. A little more heft would make this a classic.
I am not sure how much more the 98 will develop. Though I imagine it will certainly keep, if not improve slightly with a few (to many) more years. I've never had it fresh, so I am not sure what has happened up to this point. It is a keeper, however.

1999. Bottle #OA2 24529
Clear garnet with nary a bubble to be found.
Huge grape aroma mingling with suede, anise, earth and brandy.
Luxuriously rich and broad within the mouth. Vinous as can be. Grape jam, raisins, figs, prunes, leather, oak, earth. Crisply tart. Not as toasty, roasty or buttery as th '98. This is all about the fruit. It could be easily mistaken for a dry red wine.
Still like this a lot, and it is different from any other brew I've had.

 1,456 characters

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...

 730 characters

Photo of beernut7
4.57/5  rDev +31.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

1998 vintage. This is one of the smoothest old ales I have ever tried. Nice brwon amber color and extremely smooth body with the perfect level of sweetness. Awesome.

 167 characters

Photo of ClavisAurea
4.53/5  rDev +30.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2001 vintage served in a crystal snifter/balloon glass.

Bottle was a bit difficult to open considering the cork has been in there for over 14 years. The beer poured still with absolutely no carbonation at all which is to be expected. The nose was full of dried fruits, raisins, tobacco, sherry, Madeira, leather, prunes and oak. The body is a little on the thin side but considering it's age I'm not surprised. Plenty of alcohol legs when the still beer is swirled. The taste is immaculate. Leather, red stone fruits, prunes, tobacco is dominant, still retains a bit of sweetness, there is a subtle spicy character that could be from the hops used, heavy oxidation in the form of high sherry notes with the leather and Madeira. Warming alcohol presence in the finish. This vintage beer is a rich and wonderful taste of history.

This beer stood up to the test of time and deserved every point given. Some may not appreciate the aged qualities that make this beer great. It is a must try to see what cellaring beer can do to a fantastic original product. Bravo!

 1,061 characters

Photo of twiggamortis420
4.52/5  rDev +29.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2007 vintage in a 16.9 oz bottle pours a dark copper color with a fine layer of light tan foam. Mild lacing and retention.

Nose is sweet malts with a definite sour twinge and maybe even some brettomyces rotting wood aroma. Caramel and some barnyard funkiness. Smells mighty fine to me!

Taste is fruity with a sour kick and a touch of smoke. Whiskey and wine notes with some tannin-like flavors found in dry red wines. Mild oxidation, not much. Seems like something that could be aged for quite a long while, will surely pick of a few next time I see it for the cellar. Vinous, like a Rodenbach meets Hibernation. Full mouthfeel, creamy and more carbonated than most old ales. I really enjoyed this brew, outstandingly delicious.

 730 characters

Photo of Realale
4.52/5  rDev +29.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

1995 vintage. Bottle # 0157, Serial # OA111839

Opaque french onion soup color. Zero head and zero visible carbonation.

The nose is molasses, burnt caramel and leather with a note of orange zest. With time clove notes arrive.

The palate is intensely malty. Zero hop presence, but some surprising acidity is present to keep the beer from becoming cloying. There is a slight prickle of carbonation to give a little lift as well.

No hint of 9+% alcohol, other than the rosy glow in my cheeks and the slightly stupid smile on my face . . .

 550 characters

Photo of rye726
4.52/5  rDev +29.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a rich, woody brown and a thin tan head. Exceptional color.

Nose has sweet candy malts, tart cherries, chocolate, vanilla and a bit of farmyard funk.

Taste has nutty malts, dark pitted fruits, a lactic sourness and red wine grapes.

Medium body is lightly carbonated. Nice dry finish.

Great example of an authentic Old Ale. At ten years this was quite nice, but I'm sure it will continue to get better for another decade.

 431 characters

Photo of fx20736
4.51/5  rDev +29.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2001 Edition.

Poured from a 9.3 oz bottle into a Nonic, served at cellar temp.

Umber brown with a thin tan head that leaves minimal lacing.

Aroma: Clover honey, dates, orange blossoms. Sweetly aromatic with a mellow, rounded scent that years in the bottle conferred,

Mouthfeel: soft.

Taste: Mellow, softly sweet with notes of honey, dates & oranges. Has a soft, fading finish that is slightly wine-y and slightly clove-like but dries out on the end.

Notes: Where do I begin? This beer is in a category by itself. Rich, mellow, delicious. I am so sad that it went by so quickly. I will buy more and cellar.

 611 characters

Photo of DmanGTR
4.5/5  rDev +29.3%

Photo of francisweizen
4.5/5  rDev +29.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1999 vintage. ruddy copper brown, with not much of a head to speak of. Aromas are of dark fruits, plums, grapeskins, and a bit of port/sherry. The taste follows suit making this a very interesting, and complex English old ale. Caramel flavors also shine forth in this wonderful brew. Mouthfeel is light bodied and wine-like. Drinkability is unreal for a 9%abv brew. Wow, this brewery is just nuts.

 397 characters

Photo of mrfrancis
4.5/5  rDev +29.3%

Photo of rtepiak
4.5/5  rDev +29.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

there is truly a deep intrigue in this beer because of its unique aged quality. it pour a murky mahogany without any head really. the look of a stale oud bruin. nose is that exactly. an intense tart basamic vinegar port quality. a bit of fig... grape. flanders red fashion. the missing link between english old ale and flanders. this old ale either default of aging properties or poor storage. After having numerous times i've found as what appears to be quite live, it doesn't keep that well past recommended date. Not for ageing. ↲↲Look of mild cloudy mahogany. palate is cherry tart, chalk, rosemary with a finish of tobacco and grape. In a great bottle you get hints of chocolate and coffee. there are quintessential old ale style properties. A nice caramel backbone. but there is very much so a sour, one could say 'wild' influence. i think this is an interesting surprise. but i can see how this would really deter a lot of drinkers.

 951 characters

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.49/5  rDev +29%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

1997 vintage, bought in Allentown and enjoyed in Philadelphia in late August 2016. Superb! Flat looks but still some bubbles as the brew pours out. The taste is sweet, of chocolate and raisins and crushed juicy goodness. Port, Pedro Ximenez... the older it gets, the closer it comes to wine. Easy to drink and delicious. Reminds me of Sam Adams 1995 Triple Bock.


Prize Old Ale out of a bottle and into a goblet. 2001 vintage enjoyed in April 2011, bought at New Beer Distributors in Manhattan for five dollars.

Appearance: A very thick but non-beer-like pour, no carbonation, no head, some decent lacing. Color is hazy brown, like dirty coca-cola.

Smell: Aged bitterness. Some raisins, plums and bread pudding. Rum sugars and fruit wine. Rain puddles, dampness. Flooded basement.

Taste: Not as pronounced as smell. Very flat, like flavored, spiked water. Weird! Back bitterness as it goes down. Dry fruits around the mouth, a flavor that lingers along with a taste of old sherry aged in casks.

Mouthfeel: A contentious part of this beer. Flat, watery, thin. Absolutely no carbonation. Low body but medium-to-full flavor. Hard to believe this is a beer, or even a quality alcohol product of any kind. Looks and feels more like Kool-Aid or grape juice. But once you get into it, it is oh-so-nice. Beautiful dirty sediment at the end.

Overall: Drinkability is ginormous here. It's a small bottle, the taste is fine and it drinks great. I could chug this! No heat or booze. Smooth... after spending some time in England drinking plenty of warm and flat beers, I'm glad I got to revisit this and fully enjoy it. English old ales are exactly like this, flat and musty and unlike the carbonated American old ales such as Old Stock.

Not for everyone, but a gem for those who can appreciate it. Should be tasted at room temp!

 1,920 characters

Photo of StevieW
4.47/5  rDev +28.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

1999 bottle. Sorry, I forgot to write down the bottle number. Cool little fat brown bottle with a red waxy cover over the cork, sealed tighter than a frog's ass in water. No chance of oxidation or carbonation seeping out. Wow.
Deep dark brown or black color. Nearly no head or carbonation noticable. Rich aroamas, not smells, please, it's English after all, Aromas of rum soaked and then roasted plums, figs and cherries. Wow. Great rich taste slides by, super malty, roasted richness. Thick and full tastes. Roasted plums again on the tongue, some sweet nice malt flavors coat and soothe the tastebuds.Hints of woody smoke, and oak casks also linger. Wow. Nice full rounded feel, not slick, nor not much presence of any carbonation. Nice belly warming alcohol shot as well. A real treat. I am definitly going to look for this one again, and keep it on the shelve for a while. This one was nearly four years old, and full of flavors.

 935 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Gale's Prize Old Ale from George Gale & Company Ltd
Beer rating: 3.48 out of 5 with 416 ratings