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
4.33/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I have had the pleasure of trying many different vintages of this beer and will say for the record that it hits its prime around 8-11 years of age. If you are a fan of port you will love this one. Having a 1999 vintage now and I must say it is a bit past its prime. But this is a lovely and classic beer.

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Photo of tappangordo
3.79/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of atlbravsrno1
3/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of Elicoleman
2.75/5  rDev -21%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

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!

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Photo of weldchecker
2.17/5  rDev -37.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

This 2002 is way past its prime. Sharp, murky, acidic taste.

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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.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
4.24/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Vintage 2007:Thoroughly enjoyed from the bottle with an English fellow (Ian-Cheers mate)) and the little lady. Pours a hazy brown with a moderate tan that dissipates to a thin ring and light lacing. This FINE old ale pours a murky brown with moderate light clarity...JUST FINE for aged ale. Nose of raisins, toffee, sweet caramel malts, raisins, and chocolate malts. Flavors are deep and complex. Caramel and toffee notes to the fore with raisin and light chocolate flavors blending in a symposium if light sweet with a light bittering hops aftertaste that foes this Old Ale right. Little to light carbonation makes this an excellent sipped and a WONDERFULL ale to savor. Excellent. Been looking forward to sampling this one with a connoisseur of fine English ales from England. A great evening and a great beer.


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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 DaPuba
2.58/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Often overrated. Sometimes oxidzed due to poor seal.

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Photo of shelby415
3.04/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of Hellpop65
3/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of atpca
1.25/5  rDev -64.1%

Photo of relynnjr
5/5  rDev +43.7%

Photo of kscaldef
3.5/5  rDev +0.6%

1999. Vinuous port and sherry notes. Chocolate. Cherries.

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Photo of LJWalker
1.75/5  rDev -49.7%

Photo of Budinetz
4.44/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Bottled in 2005 and poured slowly into a courvousier snifter. It was poured as stated on the bottle as the keep the yeast in the neck of the bottle.

Pours a beautiful deep amber hue with absolutely no head and zero head retention. The color alone is magnificent though.

Smells of slight lactobacillus, Madeira, raisins, and an almost musky smell. A great amount of scents going on here that leave my mouth watering.

Tastes almost exactly like an ever so slightly sour Madeira or port wine. The oak flavor is there and the bacteria is there. It's almost harsh at first and then you lick your lips and your mouth waters, yearning for another sip. Definitely not for a novice beer drinker.

Mouthfeel is interesting due to the crazy sweet and sour combinations going on. The bacteria on the bottle conditioning give this brew a slight puckering to the cheeks and the sweetness from the malt sugars and aging balance it out. It really makes your palate dance.

Overall a very interesting brew that is not for the novice or first time craft drinker. This beer is one to be appreciated when ALL styles of beer have been enjoyed because even though it may be classified as an "Old Ale" it definitely is very unique. I would like to acquire another bottom and age it to see what kind of difference it would have.


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Photo of RexBanner
2.75/5  rDev -21%

2005 bottle served room temperature.
Murky brown, almost like cognac or brandy. No head or lacing to speak of.
I couldn't believe how much this smelled like port wine. Sweet, musty, mushroom like mildew aromas.
Taste was exactly what I expected after getting a whiff of this thing. Tart, musty, thick port wine like concoction.
Don't know if it was meant to taste like this or if I just got a bad bottle but I did not like this one bit. I like port wine, mind you, but this "beer" did not do it for me. As I kept looking at this brew in the snifter I continued to remind myself that based on how much I payed for this bottle I had better force myself to finish it. No sir! I wouldn't order this again

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Photo of gillagorilla
3.75/5  rDev +7.8%

Photo of Bitterbill
3.88/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

No foam with this 2005 corked bottle. It has a rusty-murky look to it.

Light Port notes with a distinct tartness and lots of booze in the nose.

Same goes for the taste. Though it's going on 10 years old, despite the lack of carbonation, I reckon it needs more time to develop.

I'll buy a few more bottles.

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Photo of Sludgeman
3.89/5  rDev +11.8%

Vintage 2000 - zero carbonation. Not too sour.

On my 52nd birthday at The Porter Beer Bar in Atlanta.

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Photo of Samp01
3.95/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

9.3oz corked bottle (2001 vintage). Pours cloudy brown with a thin beige head. Aroma of slightly burnt caramel malt and sweet bitter chocolate upfront, slowly mellows out to some dark fruit, plums and raisins and yeast notes. Taste same as aroma with a slight hint of red wine nuance in the flavor. Palate is a full body, smooth, mild carbonation, has some light sticky mouth feel. Finish same as taste, has nice sweet bitterness in the taste, alcohol is well hidden, hits you in the end. This brew has a complexity yet very good and well balance, a tasty and enjoyable brew. nice.

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Photo of Resuin
4/5  rDev +14.9%

Poured from a 275 mL bottle into a snifter. This was bottled in 1997, bottle #940.

Appearance: The center of the cork disintegrated as I tried to open the bottle - after I took the cork out, I had to filter some of the cork out of the beer. The beer pours a dark brown, slight reddish hued, close to black color with no head. (2)

Smell: Mainly nice and musty (reminds me of an old library), also some dark fruits, vanilla, grapes, a hint of cocoa. (4)

Taste: Grapes, tobacco, chocolate, dark fruits: super smooth. (4.25)

Mouth-feel: No carbonation but it's actually not bad. Medium body. (3.5)

Overall: This was better than expected, especially after the cork fiasco. I definitely enjoyed drinking this beer - the age made this beer super smooth and flavors that remain are wonderful. Not entirely complex, but tasty for sure. Worth drinking. (4)

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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 Smileitsfreetobehappy
4.25/5  rDev +22.1%

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