Gale's Millennium Brew | George Gale & Company Ltd

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Gale's Millennium BrewGale's Millennium Brew
46 Ratings
Gale's Millennium BrewGale's Millennium Brew

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

Style: English Old Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Bierman9 on 01-23-2002

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 46 |  Reviews: 39
Reviews by RedBaron:
Photo of RedBaron
4.07/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Not what I was expecting or hoping for, I guess, but still a pretty decent ale, made with choice ingredients.

This ale, brewed in 1997, was uncorked seven years later (3/2/04). The corked 9.3oz bottle poured unimpressively, nearly flat, but with a wonderful sweet and fruit aroma (apricot, plum and fig). The beer was unfiltered and cloudy (a bonus), and the color was of a darkish bronze.

The initial taste was very complex, with a very noticeable mixture of fruit and barley, and a nice yeasty bite in the finish. The body is not exactly full, inspite of the 10%abv. It's a well-attenuated beer, though. The aftertaste was kind of watery, but the perpetual fruitiness remained, and that's a huge benefit.

Overall, I've had better strong, aged ales from England and elsewhere, but this definitely has a rustic and provincial English feel about it, and that is something to admire: most large breweries wouldn't dare make something this idiosyncratic. Very hard to describe, but a beer to respect.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Jason
4.09/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: Vintage style 9.3 oz brown bottle with a tarnished gold tapered top with cork inset. Stated on the back that this ale was brewed around the middle of 1997, aged for over 18 months and to be consumed in the year 2000 or after.

Appearance: Slightly reddish amber with a touch of haze. Wispy thin lace stays for a little while ... minimal carbonation though enough to hold the lace.

Smell: Fruity with a pear and alcohol nose ... sweet and spicy with a piney aromas from the alcohol also.

Taste: Full bodied with a slightly syrupy layered mouth feel and minimal carbonation. A twang from the hops and prickly spicy alcohol lead the front leading to more spicy alcohol and sweetness both from the alcohol and malt. Touch of husk in the end with a mild fruity taste and trace woody undertones.

Notes: Even after over two years of maturing this ale could benefit from additional aging. Still very drinkable though still in the raw with some mildly astringent flavours.

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Photo of merlin48
3.44/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Corked 9.3oz bottle, brewed in 1997, making this the oldest ale I've ever tried. Pours a hazy, coppery orange colour with no head and no lace. Aroma is powerful, with a huge assault of spices and fruits. Molasses and a vinous alcohol note round out the complex aroma. Mouthfeel is tart and acidic, no carbonation. Taste is medium bodied, with many complexities. Overripe pears and apples, some sweet caramel, allspice, and plum wine are what I'm tasting here. Slight syrupiness, as well. Alcohol is, surprisingly, well concealed even at room temperature. Absence of carbonation is not very appealing. Label states this was meant to be at its prime in 2000. I wouldn't recommend any further aging if other bottles of this vintage are like this one.

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Photo of ADR
4.61/5  rDev +40.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Three years after the millennium, this 1997 beer still packs amazing complexity. Dark ginger brown, palish skim laces in dots. Huge winey aroma, red grape skins, lime astringency, slight oak woodiness. Nice medium mouthfel, sharp and tart to begin with, trace of phenols, amd a mid mouth wallop of musty molasses. Spicy aftertaste and alcoholic heat. Cordial-like on warming, it just gets better. This has definite characteristics that some people may not like, but I think this is a world class beer in robust complexity -- and that it may have another five years left in it.

Source: Liquid Solutions

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Photo of stereosforgeeks
1.5/5  rDev -54.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Appearance: A pale reddish hue, but absolutely no head or any carbonation.

Aroma: Sour fruits and molasses.

Taste: Sour and tart. Maybe a little molasses.

Mouthfeel: Medium body but nothing else.

Drinkability: I was hoping for a nice limited edition high alcohol content beer, but what I got was a completely flat almost lambic-ish. Maybe this was better when it came out?

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Photo of cokes
4.64/5  rDev +41%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

UV-clotting apple juice, no carbonation. Some tiny, stray floating cork particles, as the sumbitch disintegrated and took me three straining attempts to remove.
The first few whafts are tart, in a pear cider and gueuze fashion, complete with barnyard and burlap notions of brett. Caramel, toffee, and suede seep in and take the reins, as an oaky, spicy red vinousness gathers deeper in the sinuses.
Begins with a smattering of pear butter and grilled caramel. Gooey, fruity and, slick. Migrates briefly into bread dough and grain, as the funk kicks up. Again, with a nod toward gueuze, this touts lemon rinds, composting oranges, uric acid, crusty baseball mitts, and hay lofts. The finish comes with a thunderclap of oaked Shiraz, full of pepper and blackberry, with a numbing (but not hot) alcohol fur. The scales tip increasingly towards the vinous and away from the gueuze-eque as it breathes and warms. If you want to talk sheer "complexity", this may very well be peerless.
Medium bodied and uncarbonated, and again, very obviously wine-like.
Another mindblower from Gale's. This won't be everyone's cup of tea, but damned if it ain't mine. Fans of the Prize Old Ale line, and things like Le Coq Imperial Stout need to find this.

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Photo of Neffbeer
3.36/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I found this bottle sitting in the back of a beer cooler in an obscure local store. I just couldn't pass on it for $2....

A: It pours a rusty nail brown with no evidence of carbonation. The beer is pretty murky at this point in its life, but I can still pick out some deep amber hues in the light.

S: My first whiff reveals a massive amount of sherry, and worn old leather. There is a mysterious vinous quality that is lurking in the background bordering on sour. In a strange way it reminds me of my grandparents attic in their old house.

T: Surprisingly I am greeted with the essence of charred malt and leather boots. The sherry notes are present, but not as pronounced as the nose. There is an element to the flavor that borders on a dark vinegar, but it manages to stay sweet enough to balance things out. I get some chocolate, cherries and campfire in the finish.

M: Somehow no carbonation is really working for me with this beer. It has a medium-thin feel to it and I bet it would be knock out with a hint of bubbles.

O: Glad I picked this up. A bit past its prime for sure, but a fun tick none the less. I had no problem finishing it and I might even grab another bottle....

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Photo of jaydoc
3.5/5  rDev +6.4%

Photo of Gusler
3/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer pours a deep burnished copper color, the head minute in size, frothy in texture, light tan in color and the lace patchy at best. The nose vinous, lightly sweet, hints of fusel alcohol, and malt to finish it off with the start sweet, the top tart and skinny in feel. Finish is lightly carbonated, the hops are noticeable, quite dry aftertaste that is a tad bitter, but mostly tart and a bit of “Tummy Warming” also noticed, can’t say I liked this beer much.

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Photo of Zorro
2.99/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Ancient bottle of beer unearthed from the Indiana Jones zone at the Beverage Warehouse in Culver City. I saw this bottle on the left in the warehouse scene!

Pours a clear copper colored ale with no head formation.

Smell is sharp and a bit sweet and sour like a Flanders red. Once you get past the sour snap the fruit flavors become fairly strong. Apple is the first scent that you will smell very much like a Calvados brandy. The aromas sour berries, pepper and pears rides on the alcohol fumes again very much like a brandy. Pipe tobacco and leather rounds out the scent profile.

Taste is not as sour as the scent would suggest sweet and sour are just about equal in strength. This starts sweet and ends with a tart finish not unlike the flavor of white wine. Unfortunately most of the flavors have left this beer. All that is left is a bit of spiciness and bit of tannin.

Mouthfeel is watery, very flat.

This is a beer that is very much past its prime. If you have one of these drink it now or just keep it for the unique bottle shape. Unless you know where the Holy Grail is this beer will never get any better.

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Photo of aracauna
2.69/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Medium orangey amber body with absolutely no head. The aroma is brightly fruity, herbal with notes of wood. The flavor is dry, with a bit of butter. There’s also a vague kriek lambic quality to the aroma, but there’s not the big sourness to back it up. An interesting, vinuous beer, but not really something you’re going to want to try more than once.

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Photo of Indybeer
1.92/5  rDev -41.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

9.3 oz bottle. Pours out the color of muddy water, with no head or lacing. Aroma is almost wine like, with a heavy alcohol note. The taste again is wine like, but with a bitter finish. It reminds me of my youth drinking cheap wine like Mad Dog, and Red Rocket! There is a sourness in there but the bitterness overpowers it. It's more of a bitterness from husks than from hops.

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Photo of melitameister
3.2/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Think I left this bottle in the cellar too long? It just seemed so special that I kept leaving it behind, got shuffled to the back. Noticed it tonight and just finally tore the cork out.

Absolutely flat. But only that it has lost much of its charm, not that it has turned bad in any way.

Look is muddy with lotsa stuff floating around.

Smell is fragrant enough to let you know that this was once a very special Gale. Sweetness of dark fruit, plums and prunes, some tart citrus, funky leather. Not many dimensions left, but nothing foul.

Taste like the aroma. Rich and yummy. Got my first fruit cake treat for the season, with luscious balance of sweet dried fruit, tartness and bitter from first taste to the long lasting end.

Nice chewy feel. Some moisture must have escaped. A tad of carbonation would be nice.

Overall, just don't keep a 10% English beer unrefrigerated for 15 years, unless like me you like to conduct experiments. It's past its time, but so much still going on.

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Photo of tikk
3.18/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of allforbetterbeer
3.28/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Well well, this beer hasn't been reviewed on BA in almost 2 years. I just picked this up at Knightly's Spirits in Orlando. The guy behind the counter said that their distributor found a case of this beer that they didn't know they had, and that is how a number of bottles are still on the shelf. After reading the reviews I wasn't sure if it was a good idea that I bought one, but it was only $4.99 so what the heck. Also, this is the oldest beer I have tried, coming in at almost 14 years old.

Pours looking like muddy water. No apparent carbonation, no head, just brown and muddy with lighter brown highlights.

Well now, this smells much better than the last reviews led me to believe. As I would expect from a long-aged old ale, raisins and dates macerated in toffee-infused rum is the primary quality of the nose. Really quite nice actually, and it far exceeds my expectations!

Sad day... I was hoping I would have a freak bottle that aged to perfection when all the others peaked around 2002. This is not the case however. The first taste to hit the tongue is a very wine-like vinous bit, which is thin and slightly "washed out" but quite nice. Yes, there is a bit of vinegar and a touch of soy sauce, but really it is very nice... But unfortunately the story goes on. For a second it seems that nothing more will happen, and the the aftertaste looms up from the watery brown nothingness left after the initial flavors are gone. Imagine taking equal parts of chocolate malt and black patent malt and soaking them in water overnight with a little handful of used coffee grounds, and maybe a tablespoon of dirt, and then drinking the 'brew' at room temperature. That is what the aftertaste is like. Slightly bitter, slightly acrid, something roasted thrown in, and a little dirty. Not horrible by any means, just not wonderful either. After more sipping I do get some caramel notes mixed in, which is nice.

The mouthfeel is thin and watery, but with Gale's reputation for mediocre corks, and the fact that this beer has been in the bottle in questionable conditions for 14 years, what else is to be expected?

Conclusion: I am a fan of aged beers, and I tend to like almost anything aged longer than almost everybody else on BA. That being said, I am glad I got to try this beer. There still are significant elements of its flavor and especially its aroma that I quite appreciate. Overall I wouldn't call it a success though, and if I had brewed it I would probably call it a near-failure that still tastes ok. If you like old old stuff, I would try this beer if you can find it without much hardship.

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Photo of rayjay
3.37/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

I think finally my last beer from beerbeing in the never again bif.again. Poured into a Delirium Noel goblet.

Cork is dry and cracks in pieces, so be careful. Pours a muddy, flat looking beer. Ruby red and brown and dense pale malt colored. Absolutely motionless. It's lot making the biggest entrance, but it could fit the style.

Musty aroma. Notes of leather, sweet brandy, drunk old man, old pipe tobacco, and lots of carmel malt. Estery, with some alcohol notes. Some notes suggest oxidation while others suggest a well preserved beer...probably a little bit of both.

Lots of complex old ale flavors going on. The old leather is probably the most notable, along with this weird old man notes. Slightly salty and slightly tart. It's more like a woody, rustic wine than a beer. Like a musty old house. Alcohol is well hidden flavor-wise, but each sip makes fumes come out through your nose, showing it's true strength.

Mouthfeel is very watery suggesting a beer past it's prime, and it could certainly benefit from at least a small amount of carbonation, of which there is none. At least it isn't very thick for the original gravity.

Interesting and fun to sip, a bit challenging, but unfortunately well past it's prime at this point. Cheers!

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Photo of DogFood11
1.64/5  rDev -50.2%
look: 1 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Flacid uncarbonated brew (stretching it). I judge appearance on how this beer draws you in to try it. If i saw this I'd think it was apple juice and pass it on to some jackass at the office. However, Many a-beer have I crossed that had no redeeming appearance qualities ended up enjoying.

Wine characteristics, grapes, alcohol. there is a distinct smell of gasoline, sour apple and alcohol. Yikes. Tasted similar although the wine, grapes and alcohol take over the wierd gas I was getting in the smell.

No carbonation, mouthfeel was like wine again like every other portion of this ummm beer. spicyness was ughhh uninspired. Had to pour a sierra celebration just to clear my conscious...Hey it worked!!


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Photo of ChrisBowers
2.83/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I was pretty disappointed in this beer, but perhaps I consumed it past its prime. Brewed in 1997, released in 2000, consumed in 2005. Pours a dark blond with no head into a snifter. Aroma is pretty sour, similar to a lambic but there's a little funk to it that I can't quite place. Maybe some sour cherries too. Taste is dull and far less complex than I expected after tasting some other Gale's brews. Somewhat sour with some definite alcohol present. Sour fruits and brandy notes are in there, but the brandy/port is pretty subdued. Mouthfeel is pretty thin. I won't buy this again as it is either past its prime, or not a good beer to begin with.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.02/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: The classic Gales wide base bottle, tall thin necked 9.3 fl.oz. (275ml) stubby. The shoulder has the words “G. Gale & Co. Ltd. Horndean” embossed on the neck. The neck is shrink-wrapped in a tight fitting gold plastic “foil” with a little red tab that unravels the covering. Once this is removed a recessed clean cork is revealed. The main label is just per the BA avatar. Brewed for the Millennium in 2000 this is now nearly 5 years old. Strength listed as 10.0% Alc./Vol. Described on the back label as “Millennium was first brewed during Gales 150th Anniversary year of 1997 on the occasion of our first Royal visit. Matured over 18 months, and ready to savour now, this ale will further mature in bottle into the 1st Century of the new Millennium”

Appearance: The slivered straight sided cork had the words “Gales Ales” written in black on it. Utterly devoid of any head or any semblance of carbonation. It looks like a flaccid cold tea. Gales always appears to suffer from this complaint, though to be fair, in the overall scheme of things it isn’t all that much of a negative.

Nose: Lots of fruity alcohol laden grape skins mixed with light caramel and a little whiff of soaked wet wood. Delicate toasted malts litter the spicy nose. Sour acidic nose like commercial Cider meets traditional Gueuze, quite funky.

Taste: Acerbic start, sharp acetic Cidery entrance rises with a grape skin middle that exhibits some apple juice qualities. Strange fuzzy feel has a wild yeast dimension to it. Spicy caramel and a brown sugar coated baked pear finish. Every mouthful reveals something different. A very complex brew.

Mouthfeel: How can you judge mouthfeel when there is no carbonation? Well I mark it as I would for wine. Astute and definitive, even in its own weird odd-ball sort of way. Nevertheless this one is a marvel of the Wine-Beer crossover area.

Drinkability: Flat as fuck, but the complexity of the tastes is the reciprocal to the stark boring appearance. Polarizing in its straight line shooting from the hip characteristics, it nonetheless mesmerizes me. A really nice brew to finish the night with.

Overall: Nice enough, and it’s a typical Gales bottling, so maybe I cut it more slack than I really should. Utterly repugnant to some but a marvelously complex fascinating brew to others, I am somewhere in between. But honestly, and in the cold light of day, this one feels like it is on its way out, I really don’t see it getting any better. Goes nicely with a packet of Pickled Onion Monster Much though.

If you have some 2000 Millennium Brew Premium Ale stashed away, I wouldn’t leave it much longer.

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Photo of lackenhauser
2.97/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pale, coppery color. Somewhat cloudy and has a slight pink hue. Decent aroma-very oak like and vinuous. Lactic sourness in a big way. Extremely vinuos flavor. Very woody and earthy. Dry finish. Man this would make a perfect Belgian, actually. Thin and watery body-rather weak. I was sure expecting a lot more from this beer. Perhaps its past its prime. If theres a bottle on the shelf let it sit.

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Photo of ypsifly
3.51/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Corked 9.3oz brewed in '97, poured into a pint.

Flat and tea brown in color. There's a ring of big tan bubbles, but that's it.

Smells of dark fruits with some apples and alcohol underneath. The nose is rather weak overall.

Tastes very juicy. The alcohol barely registers as a slight warming on the tip of my tongue. This reminds me of Kuhnhenn's Fourth Dimentia, but without carbonation, hop profile or overall intensity.

The mouthfeel is a bit weak, maybe from the low carbonation. Too strong to drink a lot of.

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Photo of Wildman
3.19/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This beer poured a dark cloudy reddish amber color with absolutely no head to speak of. Makes Expedition Stout look like is explodes with head. The aroma was vinous, with a sweet smell of grapes and alcohol. The flavor was of malt, wine and alcohol. Now the finish is what really killed it for me. It was quite sour and destroyed any of the flavors trying to peak through. So far I have not been terribly impressed the George Gale and wonder like others if it has something to do with there method of corking.

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Photo of beerguy101
2/5  rDev -39.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Murkey brown color. No head at all. Aroma is fruity and spicy with a touch of must. Med bodied ale. Apples and grapes dominate the flavors, with sour and vinous taking a close second. Touches of oak and brett, but its very watery and flat tasting. I’m wondering if it over the hill as it is nearly 2004. Could not drink to much of this bottle, needed to do a drain pour.. Mouthfeel is thin. Finish is clean. Aftertaste is slightly bitter, with some cardboard. Touch of alcohol bite in the finish.

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Photo of dogfooddog
4.47/5  rDev +35.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

bought at john's grocery in Iowa City; this beer pours with next to zero carbonation, typical for gales. The smell, if given this blind, I would identify as wine. Very raisiny, reminds me a great deal of courage imperial russian stout/1993 i had earlier this year.

Taste is initially some old-ale sweet taste, with a hint of the acidic/wine nose I noted, then becomes a bit malty and just a bit of roasted undertones. Really a category with very few members in beer, this high ABV english old ale/barleywine still tastes very nice and would do nicely with more time, I think.

Aftertaste is sweet and not too remarkable, undertones of malt present as well.

I am very happy to have had the chance to try this beer from this now-closed brewery. with the closure of gale's, I am not sure who in england will produce this type of product in the future.

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Photo of HoistinBrews
3/5  rDev -8.8%

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Gale's Millennium Brew from George Gale & Company Ltd
Beer rating: 3.29 out of 5 with 46 ratings