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

BA SCORE
80
good
413 Ratings
Gale's Prize Old AleGale's Prize Old Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
George Gale & Company Ltd
England, United Kingdom
gales.co.uk

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
413
Reviews:
316
Avg:
3.48
pDev:
23.56%
 
 
Wants:
17
Gots:
23
For Trade:
2
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 413 |  Reviews: 316
Photo of kylehay2004
3.58/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of jaydoc
3.76/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev +7.8%

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 djrn2
3/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of t0rin0
3.5/5  rDev +0.6%

Photo of nmann08
3.51/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
2.2/5  rDev -36.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Photo of metter98
3.65/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle at The Diamond, Brooklyn, NY

A: The beer is very dark brownish amber in color and poured with absolutely no trace of a head.
S: There are aromas of alcohol in the nose along with notes of sherry and sweet, dark fruits.
T: The overall taste tastes like a lighter version of sherry with hints of alcohol and toffee.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied and has a low amount of carbonation.
O: This beer must have been aged upright with a cork because there’s not that much visible or perceptible carbonation. Although the alcohol was noticeable in the smell, it wasn’t that perceptible in the taste.

Note: 2005 Vintage

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

Vintage 1998 on-tap at Rich O's Gravity Head '08: February, 29, 2007

A murky brown color with soft, light carbonation, dainty head retention and basically still. Aromas of the deepest, darkest fruits imaginable: figs, plumbs, grapes, raisons, prunes, dates, berries, nuts, and a mild musty / woody aroma. These characters cary over to the flavors seamlessly. Subdued sweetness, and light soft textures without a hint of harshness or heat. Finishes very soft with a hearty sweetness and a linger of herbal hops and woodiness.

Recently drank a pint of the '05 vintage hand drawn from cask at Rich O's (Louisville). Expecting a lot from this brew, it didn't give me what I was expecting, but it was different. The Cask gave an almost flat look to the beer with lessened carbonation and virtually no carbonation. A dark brown brew with amber highlights. Smells much older than and '05 with a very woodsy, musky, nutty, almost-moldy aroma. Flavors supported the aromas, but added caramel, malts, dark fruits, figs and dates, and a strong (fusal) alcohol flavor. The feel was heavy on the palate with a mildly oily texture. Lack of carbonation made the beer seem heavier than it was. The finish was a lingering maltiness and alcohol sensation. Strange, but good training for the taste buds.

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Photo of brentk56
3.07/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Brewed in 2003

Appearance: Pours a caramel color without a head, though I am not surprised given the age

Smell: Caramel, raisins and a barrel-aged tartness

Taste: Somewhat like a Madeira, with a caramel, raisin and tart cherry character up front, the beer becomes increasingly sour by mid-palate; after the swallow, the sourness becomes overwhelming and ruins the complexity

Mouthfeel: Flat and a bit watery

Drinkability: The smell is the best part and the mouthfeel is the worst; it appears that this beer is hit or miss with respect to how it ages; mine was a miss

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Photo of emerge077
4.17/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2005 bottle: Less oxidation, toffee, spices, and fruit are much more vivid here. Active carbonation with a thin tan cap of whipped foam. Enjoyed this bottle enough to bring up the score to 4.15.

***
B- / 3.4
Neck label, "bottled in 1996, bottle # 4991"

After trying some aged Thomas Hardy's recently, i've been interested in exploring more English Old Ales.

Poured into a tulip glass, there were a few larger bubbles at first, then a skeletal web of skim across the surface. It glints ruby red in the light, otherwise a dark brown/black. A swirl releases an echo of cobweb skim, but there is very little visible carbonation. There was a decent pop when the cork was pulled.

Well oxidized aroma, old musty leather, tobacco, soil, and grapes.

Flavor is rich and sweet, ye old fruity elixir. The hallmarks of age are here, but compliment rather than strike against it. Musty oxidation and pruney raisin fig sweetness. No hint at a high ABV. Imagine a mixed fruit flavored fruit roll up aged for a few years in a cellar, then distilled into an old ale. Light yet slightly syrupy, mild carbonation, this is a sweet after dinner drink.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2002 vintage - Pourred a dark brew with almost no carbonation or head. Vinous aroma is very strong, almost like port. Alcohol taste is well balance and body is between medium to strong. It is the first time I tried an old ale and find it similar to some barleywine that I tried before. Overall, a great beer and even greater bottle with cork. I'll try to get my hand on some more of these to aged them.

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Photo of largadeer
3.7/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

'96 vintage shared by nickd717 at his birthday bash. This was purchased by his father Dalton, an English native, 13 years ago, and cellared until Nick's 21st birthday, when it was given to him for his coming of age. Congratulations Nick, you're a man now.

The beer pours a clear chestnut color, and rests in the glass completely flat. The color and clarity make this a beautiful beer despite the lack of carbonation.

Aromas of cork, prunes, tobacco and soy sauce greet my nose first. The cork aroma is fairly dominant initially, but the beer grows in complexity as it's allowed to breathe. There's a touch of fruity tartness, sherry and leather beneath more powerful dried fruit aromas.

Vinous on the palate with a wallop of prunes, figs and light soy sauce. Toffee sweetness meets wood, earth, tobacco and leather. The body seems to have thinned quite a bit from age, and the stillness amplifies that. 13 years is a long time for a 9% beer, but all things considered, this has held up pretty nicely. While I couldn't drink a lot of this, it makes for an interesting sipper.

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Photo of zeff80
3.62/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2001 bottle consumed on 8/5/12.

A - It poured out a murky brown color with almost no head. No lacing at all.

S - It smelled boozy and a little fruity. The fruit aroma increases as it warms up.

T - Boozy and malty. A little brandy-like. Mostly sweet with a sourness that I assume is unintended.

M - It was smooth and medium bodied. A somewhat sticky mouthfeel.

O - This is really interesting. I'd like to try newer vintages.

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Photo of WillieThreebiers
4.25/5  rDev +22.1%

Photo of superspak
3.38/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

500 ml bottle into snifter, 2007 vintage best before 12/18/2010. Pours extremely hazy dark reddish brown color with a small foamy light khaki head with decent retention, that reduces to a spotty foamy cap that lingers. Spotty foamy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of huge prune, raisin, fig, toast, red wine, molasses, caramel, chocolate, bread, earth, tobacco, and light herbal. Pretty nice aromas with good complexity and balance. Taste of raisin, cherry, prune, red wine, toast, molasses, caramel, roasted malt, chocolate, earth, tobacco, wood, light cardboard, and herbal. Moderate wine-like earthy tartness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark fruit, toast, roasted malt, chocolate, earth, tobacco, cardboard, and herbal earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Pretty nice flavor balance with good complexity; fair amount of oxidation noticed; slight cloying flavors noticed after the finish. Light carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a creamy, slick, syrupy, and lightly chalky mouthfeel that is decent. Alcohol is fairly well hidden with only a small warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a pretty solid old ale. Some good flavor complexity with decent balance; though a bit cloying, it was quite smooth to sip on. This was fairly enjoyable.

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Photo of Thorpe429
2.06/5  rDev -40.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bottle courtesy of Lunch. Served in a SAVOR snifter.

Pours a very dark brown color with no head really at all. Thin, thin collar without much going on. The nose carries some cardboard and a bit of booze. Sweetness as well. Plenty of malt. Flavor has loads of wet cardboard and booze. Some malt sweetness. Medium, flat body. Meh.

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Photo of oberon
3.17/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Well found this up in Buffalo at Premiere Gourmet and decided on the 98 vintage,pours a deep ruby red with no head or carbonation to speak of,aroma is woody and raisiny sweet.The taste is pretty odd raisiny and port-like but also an annoying sourness to it that makes it a litle hard to drink.There are some nicethings going on with this beer but the little sour tinge to it kinda ruins the moment.

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Photo of jlindros
3.77/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A 1997 vintage.

Dark molasses brown color with no carbonation or head.

Nose has brown malts, light syrupy sweetness, raisin, caramel, aged malts, and a bit of cork.

Taste has aged chocolate malts, port wine, dark sweet malts, candied syrupy raisins and plums, tobacco, and a bit of cork flavors, burnt toffee, a little syrupy as well.

Mouth is medium bodied, syrupy, and no carbonation.

Drink is meh, syrupy, a bit of minerality, hint of booze.

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Photo of ygtbsm94
2.53/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Aroma of faint caramel, oxidization, cardboard. Taste not much better.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.5/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a bottle at The Diamond in Brooklyn, NY

2005 Vintage

A: Pours a murky dark orange to amber to brown in color with hints of golden yellow when held up to the light, which looks like a very dark unfiltered apple cider. There is just the most minimal amount of off-white head that dissipates almost instantly. No amount of lacing is observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of alcohol with more moderate notes of sherry and dark/tropical fruits.

T: There are light amounts of malty dark fruit (bordering on tropical fruit) sweetness with notes of sherry and some alcohol presence.

M: On the heavier side of medium bodied with very low amounts of carbonation. Light amounts of alcohol heat/warming.

O: Enjoyable and interesting but there is just too much alcohol presence for this one to be easy to drink. This would probably be a much more enjoyable beer sitting by the fireplace and sipping on a cold winter afternoon than in the middle of summer (even in frigid AC).

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Photo of XmnwildX12
3/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.75/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ah, 1997, we hardly knew ye. Scientists fulfilled the worldwide mandate to clone the noble sheep, audiences delighted at the blockbuster film "Con Air", the world said "good-bye" to Biggie Smalls and the members of the Heaven's Gate cult, and Gale's graciously gave us another bottling of their Prize Old Ale. Good times... good times, indeed.

Appearance: Pours out a slightly murky, mahogany-hued body with no real carbonation beyond a few scant bubbles.

Smell: Sweet-smelling caramel with notes of less-than-dark fruits and wood shavings, all mingled with some sherry-scented hints of oxidation.

Taste: Sweetish, candyish caramel in the fore followed by a fruity, vinous mix of golden raisins, figs, and even ripe apricots marinating in a tumbler of sherry. Vague wooden component. Remnants of a long-dead earthy hop character nearly vacant and bitterness. Only a touch oxidized overall. A rebound of sweet, over-toasted caramel cubes on the warming finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Low carbonation, subsequently giving it a smooth mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Enjoyable and pleasantly drinkable, but, when reaching for an English-born beer from the 1990s, I far prefer to grab ahold of the J.W. Lees Harvest Ales.

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Photo of russpowell
4.17/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 2 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

1996 version, from a great English brewery, Bottle# 4239 picked up at goebbels in Wichita

Pours murky mahogany with purple tinges & minimal brown head & much oilyness. Finishes hazed with floaties

S: Oakyness, sherry, sourness, raisins

T: Tart oak, burgundy & puckery dry raisins, port, & vinegar, alcohol burn, dryness & plums up front. Dryness, sherry, with loads of dryness & tannins, once warmer. Finishes with vinegar, oakyness & a bit of booze burn. Complex, but could've blended better. Almost pulled a 4.5

MF: Vinous, slick, & near stillness, skews hot/acidic

Drinks slooow, a great night cap, but not one to dive in to blightlty, a great dessert or cheese course selection. This would be nice one to split new years eve

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Gale's Prize Old Ale from George Gale & Company Ltd
3.48 out of 5 based on 413 ratings.
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