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

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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:
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Ratings: 416 |  Reviews: 319
Photo of surlytheduff
1/5  rDev -71.3%

Photo of atpca
1.25/5  rDev -64.1%

Photo of hotstuff
1.28/5  rDev -63.2%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

1999 bottle.This was anything but a good beer experience.Yuck is all I can say about this beer. There was no head when this beer was poured and there was no lacing either. The body was cloudy and the hue was dark brown. I could not decide what the nose was of this beer. I could definitely taste the alcohol in this beer. I also observed a bitter aftertaste with this beer.

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Photo of supercolter
1.39/5  rDev -60.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

I really, really disliked this beer.
Appearance is somewhat flat, cola to coffee looking in color without any head or lacing.
Smell is probably skunked to be honest...I don't think this was right for the beer but I will have to try another old ale to verify this.
Taste is of tobacco and coffee...gross.
Mouthfeel is good. Medium in body.
Drinkablity, well I didn't finish it.

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Photo of ManekiNeko
1.41/5  rDev -59.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

1997 vintage served at cellar temp in a Trois Pistoles goblet. Serial# OA1 31483.

As promised, I cracked open the second bottle of this stuff, and it's bad as well. No new observations here. I think I'll skip this beer for the near future.

1997 vintage served at a wee bit lower than room temp in a pint glass. Serial # OA1 31469

Appearance: Dark, dark brown liquid with an ephemeral white head. No lacing or retention in the least.

Smell: Extremely sour, like a geuze. Very woody and vineous.

Taste: Grapey, cidery, geuzelike tartness. I think the bottle went bad judging by the other reviews here. Woody flavors are quite prominent.

Mouthfeel: Lightly bodied and extremely puckering.

Drinkability: Corked bottle, I presume. I hope the 2nd one I purchased isn't like this. I'll crack that puppy open sometime and rereview, maybe grabbing a more recent vintage just to make sure this particular bottle went bad.

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Photo of krberg
1.46/5  rDev -58%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

1999 edition

Looks like a brown ale with no head even after an aggressive pour.

Smells like booze with a touch of vinegar. This does not bode well for my 2nd attempt at a Gale's POA.

Shot. Vinegar.

Thin mouthfeel.

Gross. Going down the sink.

I did not review this beer the first time I had it (a 1997 vintage) because it had obviously spoiled, but when a beer is bad 2 out of 2 times I have to chalk it off as a lousy beer. I might feel differently if I had tried the same vintage both times...

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Photo of Murrhey
1.47/5  rDev -57.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.75

Poured from a 275ml wax-sealed cork bottle into a conic pint glass in high elevation Kalispell, Mont. Brewed in 2005, the bottle says.

A- Absolutely zero head. I attribute that to the age of the beer rather than a failing. Rich chocolate-brown body. No carbonation.

S- Vinous smell with a distinct aroma of Worcestershire sauce. Uhhh that can't be good.
On second smell, a twinge of live cultures, but it can't make up for the condiment smell. I stand by my score.

T- Vile flavor. Water and steak sauce. Oh my god.
More robust flavor, but not any better.

M- Water with cloudy crap floating in it. Something wicked this way comes.

O- I'm keeping my original comments, but I will wait for the beer to come to room temperature and review it again.
I stand by my comments. One of the worst beers I've ever had. I think it was well past its best-by date.

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Photo of Lnedrive14
1.5/5  rDev -56.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

Had in a bottle at Ginger Man NYC. 1999 vintage.

Completely undrinkable. Bitterness overpowered any other flavors that "might" have existed in this one. Doesn't age like the Lees, which attains those great brandy-like qualities. this was like a bottle of Old Engine Oil that had gone bad. Dark brown, no head. Carbonation had left this bad boy ages ago. The major problem here was that the malts had bittered. it wasn't a hop bitterness, it was aged malts that just weren't working.

one of the few beers i have failed to finish.

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Photo of jimmah120
1.5/5  rDev -56.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

stubby vintage 2006(5?) bottle into goofy-looking tulip. review from notes

im making this review only as a word of caution: do not buy this beer. i repeat, DO NOT BUY THIS BEER. there is no enjoyment to be had here. it is flat, sour, insipid sewer water from the 9th level of hell.

maybe, MAYBE, this was once a good beer (and according to some reviews, it was), but time has not been kind in this case

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
1.52/5  rDev -56.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 1.75

A dirty, gritty brown pour. No carbonation. Aroma was mostly alcohol, maybe plum.

Taste was mostly alcohol as well. No hops. Just like a mixed alcohol drink. Order a long island iced tea instead. Very sweet. Might have some vinegar in it as well.

Can't drink this, can't believe I paid what I did for it.

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Photo of VaTechHopHead
1.54/5  rDev -55.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

1999 Vintage, had to give into my curiosity when I saw it sitting on the shelf. And it was $4...

A - Deep brown and looks exactly like Coca-Cola when poured. Barely any head with, again, soda-like bubbles forming on top. Zero lacing.

S - Slightly unpleasant up front with a medicinal aroma. But there is some molasses and caramel way in the background.

T - SUPER flat. Cardboard, and grossness.

M/D - Couldn't tell you....


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Photo of GreesyFizeek
1.56/5  rDev -55.2%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 1.5

Bottle purchased at Beers of the World in Rochester, NY. One of the bigger mistakes of my craft beer life. '98 vintage.

The cork broke while trying to open it- took about 20 minutes to get this beer poured. When it did, it was a murky chunky looking dark brown, with no head or lacing.

Smells not horrible actually- tons of dark fruits, and a sour twang. As it warms up, vinegar and acetic acid come out to play.

Tastes just atrocious. Indescribably nasty. Like sour seawater. Weirdly salty, with sour old red wine flavors, vinegar, clearly oxidized to hell. Just disgusting.

Light bodied, flat and watery.

This was honestly 3 or 4 sips and then a drainpour. Stay away, it's not worth the gamble.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
1.59/5  rDev -54.3%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 1.75

Man this was a substandard beer pour from a professional brewery, its all ruddy, gritty and brown and totally devoid of carbonation. Aroma was like gasoline, alcohol and dark fruit bitterness.

Almost all alcohol in the taste. I can't do it. Its really in that small contingent of beers that I literally can't drink all of it. No hop aspect. Is there vinegar? I can't even. . . so much raisin like booziness all over it.

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Photo of jmdrpi
1.6/5  rDev -54%
look: 1 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

brewed in 2001. 275mL bottle. wine style cork, no cap. huh?

pours a gross looking murky muddy brown gray color. zero head or carbonation.

smell is actually okay - burnt raisins, figs, wine.

taste is extremely oxidized. flavors of wood, vinous, astringent, salty. terrible, only a few sips before I poured out. thin body, zero carbonation, bad.

it says on the rear label that it should be stored on the side. The store I bought it from did not have it that way. But why did the brewer not use a bottle cap? FAIL

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Photo of grayburn
1.63/5  rDev -53.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

bottled in 1996 bottle 0534

I bought this on the cheap like just about everyone else apparently, not expecting much, but definitely interested in a 13 year old brew. I expected no carbonation and some heavy oxidation...I got them both. The oxidation turned this into a sour cardboard mess, there were some port and sherry notes in the nose, but nothing redeeming enough to keep this from the lips of the mighty drain.

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Photo of corby112
1.67/5  rDev -52%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

275ml, 1999 vintage

Pours a dark chestnut brown color that's almost completely opaque with faint mahogany edges when held to a light source. Pours completely still with no sign of carbonation/head/bubbles.

Sweet syrupy aroma with hints of boozy bourbon(odd since it's not barrel aged), leathery, earthy malt, caramel, toffee and sweet fruit, mostly apple. Kind of smells like someone took a caramel apple and dipped it in a glass of liquor.

Thick, syrupy and completely flat without any sign of carbonation at all. Sticky sweet with a huge blast of booze up front that lingers throughout into a sweet finish with warmth in the chest. Slight diacetyl(yes, I know what that means!) with plenty of leathery malt, caramel and toffee. Again, I'm picking up that sweet apple presence found in the aroma making this beer taste like a boozy caramel apple. The combination of it being cloyingly sweet and total lack of carbonation turns this into a drain pour pretty quickly. For a beer that is supposed to aged gracefully this was a huge disappointment. It seems to have completely fallen apart.

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Photo of DogFood11
1.72/5  rDev -50.6%
look: 1 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Sorry but I've sampled 3 of these prized old ales now and all have poured flat and boring. I review this off three distinctly differnt occastions although all fall within the calendar year of 2006. Poured aggressively it forms nothing, leaves nothing, caramel brown color.

Taste is like chewing on a cedar stick laced with heartburn. A charred effect creeps into the bitterness, caramel late in the game.

Fuck!! I get so pissed!! I keep seeing decent to good reviews from this brewere and I keep buying into it, keep spending money on it and cant understand what is going wrong. The beer is far from spoiled it just tastes like some boring crap. I'm vowing to wait till i'm in their homeland to try this brewery again...Banned.

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Photo of spartan1979
1.74/5  rDev -50%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

2005 Vintage, purchased 10/30/09. This beer was completely flat and was very murky, looked like prune juice. I guess you could call it port-like, but it was so oxidized it was undrinkable. I set it down and came back to to it. I tried it again and poured it down the drain. I guess that's what I get for buying a vintage ale for $4.39.

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Photo of LJWalker
1.75/5  rDev -49.7%

Photo of Eighty
1.75/5  rDev -49.7%

Photo of tobelerone
1.78/5  rDev -48.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

1998 Vintage.

This was easily the worst beer I've had all year. Dark deep brown color with no head or lacing at all, totally still.

Smell is very musty, earthy and sweet...not awful...yet.

Taste however is another story. Sweet and rancid, like putrified fruit. Corky, musty, vinegar-y too.

Totally undrinkable mess. Boozy, sour, flat (no carbonation left all), no malt character. Lots of moldy cork. Just rancid.

I like old ales so I'm not a newcomer to the style or naive about what they should taste like. THis one was plainly ruined. An awful beer and one of the few drain pours I've performed in my life. That was just the last 1/3 of the beer too....gave it a chance...let it warm completely....kept sipping. Nope. Yuck. Steer clear.

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Photo of rudzud
1.82/5  rDev -47.7%
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.

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Photo of bamadog
1.9/5  rDev -45.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

OK, so first off, I feel that I have to say that I absolutely love Old Ales, easily one of my favorite styles. I've seen this one on the shelf numerous times, but didn't want to fork out the cash for it. Well, when I broke down and did it, I wish I could have that moment back. This one was pretty rough. I was nervous going into it since the reviews are really mixed, and I should have left it alone.

Appearance: So my experience started out simple enough, and this beer looked alright. Poured a deep dark caramel brown; started with a 1/4 finger head that's creamy and tan and fades quickly to nothing but a thin whisp on the surface; body is entirely opaque.

Smell: Deep and sweet caramel and toffee; burnt sugar and a bit of a spicy presence to it; definite whiff of alcohol and a bit of a rasin or prune scent to it.

Taste: Here is where it all went down hill. The second this touched my tongue, I knew it was a mistake. Started off like burnt chocolate and a mouthfull of rotten raisins and prunes mixed with isopropyl alcohol. I wish I could say I was exaggerating with that description, but that's actually how it tastes. If there are doubts, please read my other reviews as they're all pretty simple, cut and dry.

Mouthfeel: Oily, buttery and flat. Honestly, I couldn't tell you much more about this because the taste was so awful I really couldn't stand having it in my mouth.

Drinkability: Awful due to the taste.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
1.96/5  rDev -43.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

2005 vintage.

Pours a thick murky dark brown with absolutely no head and no lacing. Smell is of malt, dark fruit, oxidized sherry/port, and some cork aromas. Taste is salty with malt, earth, rotten fruit, and cork flavors. This beer has zero carbonation and is super flat. Not even the slightest hint of carbonation on this one. Overall, this is a pretty horrible beer all around. I had high hopes when the cork came out clean and intact but I guess I didn't luck out.

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Photo of TheDM
1.96/5  rDev -43.7%
look: 5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

This bottle was labeled from year 1999. It had a very interesting aroma. Its aroma was different than I have smelled thus far. It was hard to describe. Initial reaction to the aroma is, "What the devil is this?” It poured no head at all with a very thick cloudy dark brown body. It left no lacing at all. Tastes like wine, perhaps grapes. No real fore taste and some bitterness in the after taste. It is failing the GF test and she may not drink it all. You can definitely taste the alcohol in this brew. It is definitely a different kind of brew. But not one I would buy again.

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Gale's Prize Old Ale from George Gale & Company Ltd
Beer rating: 3.48 out of 5 with 416 ratings