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

316 Reviews
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

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Reviews: 316 | Ratings: 411
Photo of Loki
3.87/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sampled in a 275 ml bottle with a label stating a 1997 brew dated. Sampled on May 22nd, 2003.

Poured a dark mahogany brown with no head and no apparent carbonation what so ever. There was no lacing and swirling did not produce even a semblance of a head.

Smelled like a bad port or an after dinner liqueur, also some other flavor like prunes maybe. The aroma was intriguing, not really enticing but definitely intriguing.

Tasted of alcohol, oak, prunes, molasses, very similar to a port but slightly off. It would take some getting used to but I could come to enjoy this as an after dinner drink, would be great with some deserts.

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Photo of jaz
4.28/5  rDev +23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured with very little head, which was not surprising for a cask. The appearance was a deep golden red color, and fairly clear. It had a rich malt and alcohol aroma. The initial taste was carmel apple and sweet raisin, somewhat bitter-sweet middle with a nice mild hop finish. Overall a very tasty beer.

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Photo of Viking
4.19/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark reddish brown, fairly clear (yet still rather dark). No apparent carbonation in the body. Very faint head, no retention whatsoever. Very vinous caramel/tofee aroma. Big presence of fruit in the smell and taste - seems to be an odd (but good) combination of sweet apple and slightly sour cherry. Big caramel/toffee presence in the flavor. Spicy as well. I'm not sure, but there seemed to be hints of nutmeg in this one. Slight fruity aftertaste, and fairly dry. Full-bodied, creamy brew. This should have been my nightcap. Alas, there were beers I had not yet met...

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

As some others have noted, this is a strange beer. Reminds me of apple cider with a shot of booze in it. Fairly smooth, and certainly warming. Quite unique, but I won't go back for this one. No head or lacing, sweet and smooth. I was feeling a little off tonight, and this was good medicine, but I have had many, many ales that are more enjoyable (and several Barley wines, also).

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Photo of dwarbi
4.17/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer is a dark brown, with a thin, nutty-looking head. Smells buttery and nutty and tastes buttery and nutty... or is it butty and nuttery? My point is that these two flavors/vibes dominate. Feels slippery in the mouth, and a little sweet, which hurts the drinkability. Very good beer, overall. Great for one.

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Photo of BierReise
2.31/5  rDev -33.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This was a recommended by the owner of a beer store I frequent so I gave it a try. Looked promising in it's corked bottle(brewed 2001) and poured deep amber with very little head. Taste was almost like a barley wine, sweet and very malty. Mouthfeel very fizzy and carbonated. Also an alcahol taste I didn't care for.

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

Unrap, uncork, and out comes a strange murky apple cider colored brew with a little extra brown color. No head what so ever. The aroma is of vodka and apple cider. Kind of like apple puckers mixed with vodka.

It has a sweet apple start. Then you are hit with the strongest alcohol taste I have ever witnessed in a beer. It tastes more like 90 proof vodka than 9% beer. It mellows out a bit to make it much easier to stand. There is no carbonation, but it has a lot of bite from the alcohol. The body is medium to full with lots of flavor. Unfortunately the smash in your face of alcohol is a lot of that flavor.

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Photo of UncleJimbo
4.21/5  rDev +21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

9.3 oz amber bottle, corked. $4.99 per bottle.
1995 Bottle #2893

The bottle says to drink this ale at room temperature, and they are right! This ale poured a dark, cloudy brown (coffee) color with absolutely no foam whatsoever. The smell was absolutely wonderful, and was probably the best aspect of this sample. I just sniffed and savored. The smell was sweet and malty with aromas of oak and grapes and raisins and a whiff of alcohol. The taste was slightly sweet: caramel, malt, a trace of coffee, alcohol, some oak, and some hints of phenols and pine, as well as musty grapes and raisins. There was not much hop presence at all. The mouthfeel was flat (no carbonation), medium bodied, velvety smooth, and fairly clean despite the slight sweetness. The drinkability was good, but as mentioned above, this ale needs to be served at room temperature to be fully enjoyed. Not bad, and the store has more where this came from.

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Photo of budgood1
3.87/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

1996 # 7916 serial # OA106558

i've been sitting on this for quite awhile...finally "in the mood" to uncork it.

pours out completely black with hints of light penetrating at all. zero carbonation. aroma of sugar laden ripened dark fruits and hints of dark chocolate. tastes like wine...fruit and cocoa hints. eerily similar to SA triple bock, but with a much lighter body. seriously....much more wine like than beer like. lots of warmth in the belly. a pleasantly dry finish, with some spicy hop notes finally coming out to provide a beer like bitterness. it's like a fine, dry red wine. thick and luxurious, smooth and quite drinkable. i probably have no idea how to correctly appreciate, or score this, but it's agreeable to my palate.

i now wish i would have tackled more beers like this before sampling the aforementioned SA triple bock, just to have a better appreciation of these "styles" of brews. my beer education continues......

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Photo of BeerBuilder
3.44/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

1996 Vintage Bottle #8534

Pours to a murky, dark brown color, with no head or carbonation for that matter. The aroma is sweet, bread, and smells of raisins and prunes. You can also smell the alcohol. The aroma reminds me of a Belgian beer. The flavor is very sweet in the front, then it has a flavor of prunes. Into the finish is a sour, tartness like that of green apples. Overall, it is an interesting beer. This is my first Old Ale, so I really didn’t know what to expect. Complex flavors and aromas.

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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.

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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 . . .

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Photo of rastaman
4.25/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Strange little brew, but it grew on me. Very different. A very nice dark fruit, vinegary, acidity from the middle of the palate to the finish, also has hints of berries, more towards the start i think. Very unique, i enjoyed this one.

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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.

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Photo of beerluvr
2.32/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours into the glass with zero carbonation. Opaque, almost purple-ish color. Nose is of dark fruits and raisins, with a whiff of alcohol present. First taste is pruney, winey & dry. Mouthfeel is slightly similar to Sam Adams Triple Bock...only not nearly as syrupy. A short finish with a lingering astringency...not one of the best beers I've had.

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Photo of Jason
4.27/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

1997, bottle # 4695.

A creamy and chewy mouth feel with a very low carbonation that merely adds to the smoothness. A complex mix of black malt astringency, raisin and apple fruitiness, and a dry maltiness that leaves mostly a grain taste and a trace of sweetness. Slight warming alcohol has a sweet spicy flavour. Hops have the flavour of an extended boil leaving a mild bitterness. A little dry though a handful of residual sweetness is left in the finish. Corky/woody flavour dries the finish even more. Around three years for this vintage has done it justice ... intricate and complex packed with fruity flavours.

1996, bottle # 4026.

Taste: Slick creamy mouth feel quickly leaves to let an acidic/tart granny smith apple twang and a mildly astringent grain flavour to the tongue. Hops have faded though leave a leafy flavour ... some earthiness and a woody/corky flavour also touches the palate from the wooden fermenters. Carbonation is very low and give the creaminess control throughout. Warming alcohol gives a little bit of spiciness. Some malt flavours are present ... husk and grain mostly. The finish is quite dry with a leftover grain taste. Surprisingly this brew could benefit from a few if not several more years mellow the tartness.

1995, bottle # 1043.

Thick syrupy mouths feel with barely any carbonation at all. Slight granny smith apple like tartness up front ... tartness is not too much. Blackberries and raisins mark the fruitiness in this ale ... light roasted lingering black malt twang in the middle, liken to mild black coffee. Hops are a faded memory leaving a vague bitterness. Warming alcohol and a grainy, woody/corky, apple peel and cracker like malt slowly fade into the finish.

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Gale's Prize Old Ale from George Gale & Company Ltd
3.48 out of 5 based on 411 ratings.
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