Gale's Conquest Ale Master Brew | George Gale & Company Ltd

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Gale's Conquest Ale Master BrewGale's Conquest Ale Master Brew

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

Style: Old Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 01-20-2002

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 83 | Ratings: 103
Photo of drperm
4.94/5  rDev +54.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of my first purchases from Bruisin' Ales in Asheville was a bottle of George Gale's Masterbrew Conquest Ale (2001 bottling). I let it sit for a whole month before breaking down and cracking it open...which is nothing compared to letting my tasting notes sit for 4 months before putting them up on here.
I have had the George Gale Prize Old Ale in the past and gave it high marks (in that Old Ale sort of way), but the Conquest Ale seemed to me to be another whole level of Old Ale-ness.

I found it to be raisiny, almost Madeira-like, also pleasantly nutty and malty. True to aged Old Ale fashion, it had almost no head to it at all -- but, this is aged brew, so you mustn't think of it as "flat" beer. No more than you'd consider whisky to be flat. It does profit from being consumed not cold from the fridge, but letting the temperature rise some. It got better as it got warmer. I also found it best by itself (in sips, not gulps!), or with salted nuts. I remember thinking it might pair well with mild Asian (Chinese) cuisine. Overall, a much more delicate Old Ale than the Prize Old version, but an interesting tasting experience.
A: 3
S: 3
T: 4
M: 3.5
O: 3.5

*Review on 28/4/11
Another bottle of the 2001 vintage, this time allowed to cellar until 2011, so a full 10 years later.
In a word: Brilliant.
A: Rich and brown like a madeira or tawny port. Next to no carbonation or foam, just the slightest hint of bubbles about the edge of the goblet.
S: Oak, tar, molasses, rich soil, and tobacco.
T: Just like a fine sherry or madeira! Smooth, oaky, funky, but BALANCED and not at all hot for its 9%.
M: Silky.
O: I'm in love. Let this puppy sit in your cellar! Have it with a good rich cigar overlooking the ocean at dusk.

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Photo of PorterLambic
4.67/5  rDev +45.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a golden/honey yellow with a thin head that drops to a ring. Wow, look at the yeasy floating around in there! Definitely bottle conditioned.
Smell was sweetly sour, malty and fruity almost like a champagne nose.
Taste was magnificent! I must honestly reset my personal scale and possibly re-review every other Pale Ale I've done so far. Fruity, malty, with some alcohol later (not as much as 9% ABV might suggest) hops at the finish. Very complex and extremely well-balanced. A pale ale that drinks a lot like a champagne.
Smooth, very smooth, with a medium/full body.
Drinkability? OMG! Extraordinarily drinkable. Thank you, sir, may I have another? Please?

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Photo of ccrida
4.47/5  rDev +39.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2000 (according to a sharpie on the red wrapper, the label is not dated, although the gold wrappered on I bought says 2001 on the label). Poured into my Delirium snifter, Conquest Ale is a murky burnt gold with only a hint of an off-white collar, basically still, like apple cider. There was no pop of the cork, although it was still a tight fit and in good shape once removed. Looks a lot like any other aged English strong ale.

Smell is sweet and a little funky, like the 'pleasant', floral aroma of feces, indole. Slightly acidic vinegar as well, first whiff reminded me of Petrus Aged Pale. I like perfume nature.

Taste is surprisingly good (based on recent reviews of similar vintages that were apparently just released for sale by the importer). The flavor is not to strong, definitely has that faded flavor of aged beer, but I really impressed with how well it held up. Apparently, I got lucky! Not as acidic as the Petrus, but there's a slight tang for sure, and it's honestly very similar. Since I love that beer, I'm having similar feelings with this one.

Mouthfeel a bit tannic, but light bodied. Again, like a Belgian, it's digestible and beguiles it's high ABV.

Drinkability is high, really nice beer! Of course it's pretty rare (well, I suppose they may have a bunch more stuff away somewhere for release) as it's no longer made, so you're not gonna drink a ton of it. But a fantastic aged beer experience, 9 years old, which is about as old as I've ever had.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.47/5  rDev +39.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2001 vintage.

The beer poured into the sniffer crystal clear deep golden amber with a frothy and tall yellowish head which lasted very well to lace the glass taking into consideration the alcohol content of the beer.

The aroma was spicy with notes of earthy hops and a strong malt backbone to boot. The malt contained raisins and sherry and an appropriate nose of alcohol. The aroma was unique and interesting being both hoppy and fruity.

The flavor was crisp and nice with a strong malt presence and a substantial level of bittering. The flavor was spicy with hops, but without a distict hop flavor. A bit earthy, perhaps a bit grassy, but nothing concrete. The malt contained a lightly nutty presence and a biscuit flavor that was well achieved and uniquely interesting. Some alcohol was present in the flavor, but only added to the complexity of the brew.

The finish was dry with a lasting impression of caramel, sherry, and alcohol into the aftertaste with a lightly spicy character in the finality of the aftertaste. The body was medium or just above and the carbonation level was just almost too high for an old ale, almost reaching the point of being fizzy. A truly great and interesting ale, even with 5 years of age staring it in the face.

9.3 ounce corked bottle.

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Photo of edbeered
4.4/5  rDev +37.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a tulip glass, this pours an opaque orange brown, with no head to speak of. It's odor is of brandy-like alcohol. The taste has elements of plum brandy, sweet cherry, and a tart green apple presence as well. The mouthfeel is very full, with the various flavors warring for supremacy. This is 9 percent alcohol and tastes it. Drinkability(in quantity) is somewhat diminished by the intense flavors and high alcoholic content. This beer demands to be savored slowly. A fascinating and flavorful brew.

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Photo of TastyTaste
4.4/5  rDev +37.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Very hazy golden orange color with lots of particles floating around the beer. Absolutely no head. I mean no head whatsoever, this is weird. Smell is very pungent and sour, musty, with lots of citrus involved. Taste is a strong one. Booziness, apples, oranges, toffee, and carmel. A very odd beer, matured several years. Tart and very unique, this will stick with me for a while. Could use carbonation (at all). What an interesting beer, never had anything like it, nor anticipate to ever again.

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Photo of Viking
4.32/5  rDev +35%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

OK, I'm re-reviewing this beer. I bought two bottles - the first was bad, but the second was excellent! The numbers above represent the good bottle. (Original numbers: 3, 4, 3.5, 3.5, 3 for average of 3.4.)

Golden-peach beer, a bit hazy. Big bubbly head, faded quickly but the head remained along the side of the glass. (bad bottle had no carbonation at all.)

Tart grape aroma, with perhaps a bit of a honey-like floral scent. Flavor is fairly complex - sour fruity flavor, blended with 'creamy' malt. (Taste and smell of the 'bad' bottle were weaker, and less complex.) Body is a bit thin, but not bad. Carbonation in the 'good' bottle gave it more life than the 'bad' bottle. I notice a hint of the 9% alcohol in the finish, very faint.

I must agree with other reviews of Gale's beers - Need a better corking system!! The second bottle showed what this beer can truly be, but the first provides a warning to potential buyers - buying bottled Gale's beers is a risky endeavor.

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Photo of mrfrancis
4.26/5  rDev +33.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Unknown vintage, most likely 2000 or 2001. Pours a murky golden amber with no head whatsoever. A large amount of yeast sediment is clearly visible, both suspended in the liquid and gathered at the bottom of the glass.

S: Strong aromas of sherry, madeira, salted nuts, caramel, oak, unripened pineapple, unripened grapes, cider vinegar, yeast, and must fill the nose. This is definitely an old-fashioned, oak-aged English old ale.

T: The entry presents complex and somewhat contradictory flavors of maple syrup, brown sugar, caramel, leather, must, unripened grapes, unripened pineapple, oak, moist earth, mild tobacco, salted nuts, cider vinegar, bready yeast, must, pear, plum, sherry, and madeira. The finish is tart, lactic, and woody with robust cider vinegar, must, sherry, unripened fruit, leather, and yeast flavors.

M: Medium in body, slick, oily, and smooth. Carbonation is pretty much nonexistent, so this beer is very still in the mouth. Alcohol presence is just barely detectable.

O: From reading some of the earlier reviews, I get the distinct impression that real English old ales are not all that familiar to American audiences. After all, the style is very nearly extinct, because what passes for old ale these days in both the United Kingdom and United States is not all that comparable to the style of old. Real English old ales were generally moderate in alcohol content (though some, like this one, were stronger), they were malty, and they were stored for extended periods of time in new, uncharred oak casks. This storage in wood contributed to the beer's distinctly lactic, sour flavor and lack of carbonation. As a matter of fact, it is my understanding that when served, old ales were frequently referred to as "still beers" because they lacked easily discernible carbonation, sitting in the mouth much like a wine or spirit. So, for those who feel that this beer is past its prime, all I can say is perhaps only slightly. It's probably just past its peak right now, but should be good for at least a couple more years. Taken as an example of a real English old ale, this is a near excellent example of the style.

As a side note, this makes me really miss George Gale & Co. I'll definitely be picking up a few more of these for consumption on special occasions.

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +32.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is a 2001 vintage that I picked up in 2011 and recently drank. .
A: It pours dark reddish brown with a slight sparkle and a thin tan line of fizz arouind the edge.
S: It has an estery, winey smell.
T: Suggests a fruit wine but the type is hard to pin down.
F: Full bodied, wine-like, almost oily, with very little carbonation.
O: This drinks as close to a wine as a beer can get. .

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Photo of francisweizen
4.1/5  rDev +28.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Unknown dusty vintage. It could be as new as 2002, or as old as 1992? No one knows. Dark muddy peach with a nice fine layer of bubbles. Aromas of cherries, nutmeg, cinnamon, sour apples, and more. This is a very complex cidery, quelque chose like concoction. I''m not sure what this particular old ale tastes like fresh, but I have to assume that the years of aging that this brew has gone through has made a bit of magic happen in there. The taste is big, bolshy, and wonderful. Figs, dried fruits, port, brandy, sherry, christmas pudding, and more blend together wonderfully to make an intoxicating liquid. The mouthfeel is hindered by a lack of carbonation, but the drinkability remains magical. How can a brewery be so good, and yet so bad!?

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Photo of ark57
4.07/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is golden in color and has a big head that dissipates fast. The aroma smels of cheddar and some lemon. It is earthy and musty as well as vinous and slightly tart. IT finishes with a bitter bite, but it almost reminds me of a lambic. Not quite, but it was the closest style I thought it resembled, though I do not believe it neatly fits into any style's guidelines.

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Photo of rtepiak
4.05/5  rDev +26.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

vintage 2000 at beer table in park slope

the bartender told me the back story on the beer. Its a english strong ale that spend a pretty long time sitting around. There have been cases in bottle open which still retained a hop character. But at this point it is a bit inconsistent. One thing is for sure it is going to pour completely placid.

nd it did. With a amber that is nearly completely clear with some particles at the bottom. Nose at first is booze. That opens up to a port like candied date. The sugar cane worked with the booze and malt and gave it a quality of amaretto. Palate is warming booze with an intense malt finish of nougat. finish of three musketeers, dense hazelnut, dates, beet sugar, toffee...fresh and burnt on the brink of fusing to the hazelnut with nutella like qualities. Very rich malt finish and were much worth experiencing how unique and elaborate.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.99/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours without any head so the glass is squeaky clean. Cloudy amber color with chunky bits left in bottle. No carbonation and medium bodied. Nose is raisins and prunes. Starts on the sweet side, malts are there and the hops are hidden some alcohol overtones. Nice Old ale, the 275ml bottle is not enough, $5.49 from Oliver's Beverage Albany, NY.

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Photo of Jason
3.97/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: Vintage style 9.3 oz brown bottle with a red plastic tapered top with cork inset.

Appearance: Slightly hazy orange copper with a thin bubbly bone coloured lace.

Smell: Grapefruit and pineapple in the nose from the alcoholic esters. Mild earth aroma from the hops.

Taste: Crisp mouthfeel with a light snappy carbonation, medium to full in body and a touch of slickness in the mouth feel. Juicy fruit all around of citrius and apples that leaves a faint tart twang throughout. Biscuit like malt flavours are an even match for the earthy hops that still have a small kick of bitterness. Warming sensation from the alcohol becomes more evident towards the middle of the glass. A pretty clean finish with few remains of grain and hop.

Notes: Could use additional months of maturation to meld flavours together. Still a brew to reckon with and a brew to respect, boasts a 9.0% abv. Well built and just enough hops to malt for a good balance.

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Photo of ElGordo
3.97/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Color like grapfruit juice. Little to no carbonation. Nice yeast floating in the glass. Citrus nose followed by very citrusy taste, I'm picking up a lot of tangerine. Very pleasant, although I might have a hard time finishing even a full bottle of this (and it comes in a 9.3 oz). Overall, though, one of the better beers I've had lately.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.97/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 275ml / 9.3 fluid ounce brown glass bottle, the shape is so familiar to those that have sampled George Gale’s bottled libational offerings. Sealed with a sliver-like thin unmarked cork and wrapped in a gold colored plastic. The main label lists this brew as “Conquest Ale Masterbrew – Brewed in 2001”. Stated as 9% alc./vol.

Appearance: Dark red brown body, in the Duvel glass it exhibits a ruddy hue that has rustic tones. Minimal head retention which formed on the pour soon disappears completely to reveal a sad looking flat lipid fluid. Zero carbonation.

Nose: Hmmm, deeply inhaled it has a lovely rich dark fruity aplomb.

Taste: Low on carbonation but high on viscosity. Figs and sultanas ride the toffee caramel middle. Woody tones with a light run on the alcohol. Bare knuckle Boxer with some refinement. Thick Devon toffee and smooth malts start the proceedings. Centre-piece represents rich dark skinned plums, cheap sherry, dried sultanas, prunes and figs. Finish warms with a Christmas Pudding texture.

Drinkability: Oh yeah…..pedigree chum, nicely put together and a great sipping finish to the night.

Overall: Saved for a special occasion….

George Gale & Company is located in Horndean, I’ve been there, it’s a lovely picturesque village situated in the English County of Sussex, but 65 years ago it would most certainly not have been a quiet time or place to be.

London has a remarkable mixture of old and new monuments, and today it has another new addition, a £1.65m sculpture commissioned by the Battle of Britain Historical Society and funded by public subscription. A plaque inscribed with the names of the 2,936 pilots and crew from Britain and 15 other countries who fought in the Battle of Britain and engraved with Sir Winston Churchill's famous phrase: "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few."

The RAF and the German Luftwaffe fought for air supremacy over the skies of Britain between 10 July and 31 October 1940, but it was on 15 September 1940, that RAF Fighter Command eventually dared to claim victory over the Luftwaffe after a day of bombing raids ended in extremely heavy losses for Germany.

“When shall their glory fade?” Winston Churchill

Dedicated to the Few.

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Photo of UncleJimbo
3.97/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

9.3 oz brown glass bottle, corked, Marked as 2001 vintage on the label.

This ale poured a cloudy, reddish-amber color with no foam despite a bit of carbonation. The smell was very pleasant: figs, raisins, fruit, caramel, oak. As with other Gale ales, the smell was one of the stronger points. The taste was malty with some tartness, but with lightly sweet fruitiness (figs) coming through, and with some hop bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel was lightly carbonated, smooth and relatively clean, with a bit of astringency. The body was medium, and there was some warming in the mouthfeel. The drinkability was good for this bottle conditioned ale.

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Photo of frank4sail
3.95/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

9.3 fl. oz bottle corked quite a funky lookin' little bottle. Not much head at all on the pour. Lots of floaties (yeast clumps). Peach colored with lots of bubbles. it looks alot like hard cider in the glass. Sweetish cider/white wine smell. This is without question a look and smell i have not experienced with a beer before. Big round fruit (apples and pears) taste with a dry ABV finish. The brew leaves the front of the tongue sweet and wet and the back of the tongue and throat dry and sour (apple). Medium mouth. Very unique brew. This stands up well to its strength. not much hops at all just fruity and dry.
Cheers to the BA Victory Beer Exchange for this unique sample!

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Photo of ngusset
3.9/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Campbell's tulip. No date marking. Murky earth color, no head whatsoever. Mild nose, sweet, smells lightly of tangy fruit. Tastes light and smooth, like prunes, with a zing. Refreshing round and complex.

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Photo of putnam
3.89/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

2001. A deeply malty mass of aromas emerge from this solera brandy-colored liquid. Though I've not tasted one in over a year, memories of Old Crustacean pop into my head. No bubbling at all. Absolutely still. The odors rising upward imply a thickly alcoholic drink with nuances of toffee, walnut brittle and roasted grass.
On the palate it is perfectly flat, and now this fact seems like an error. Too long in the bottle without a perfect seal (this was closed with only a short cork and capsule.)
It is a shame, because there is some real merit to the recipe. Tons of glycerin survived the trip and offer baked apple, nutmeg and pepper spice flavors. Really a terrific base. I will use this in my next pot au feu

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Photo of Guinness4me
3.87/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Amazing how a high-ABV beer can be so refreshing and lacking the normal "high ABV shiver" I seem to get. I would never have guessed the taste by the appearance and smell.

It poured a what seemed to be a thick, chunky, cloudy beer. It was a light caramel color with a nearly non-existant head.

The smell was a boquet of citrus, caramel and spices with an acidic edge. As it warmed, the alcohol smell intensified.

The taste was a low carbonation surprise that tasted more like a spiced cider than an ale. This was my first "Old Ale" so I'm anxious to try more of this style.

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Photo of mattmaples
3.77/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ok, I'm not that into Gale beer mostly because I do not like the vinous character most of them have. This one on the other hand didn't (at least not the one I had) and over all a very enjoyable beer. It is was it bills itself as and that is a 9% pale ale. This was nice beer but until Gale moves to a flared cork or cork and cap I am always going to be rather skittish about buying thier beers.

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Photo of Wildman
3.77/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a medium golden amber color and formed a small bubbly white head that left trace lace as it quickly disappeared. A small amount of carbonation and sediment was present. It had an aroma of malt, caramel and raisins with a hint of the alcohol. The flavor was of malt and caramel. The finish was wine like, almost sour/vinegar with a slight astrigent aspect. I like others, seem to wonder whether their corking method is impacting this beer. I have yet to be overly impressed with this brewer.

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Photo of granger10
3.74/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled in 2001 this beer pours a light honeyish color with barely a head. Lots of bubbles in the liquid that aren't rising to the top but slowly making their way up. Fairly clear bronze color in the end.

Aroma is great. There's a citric grapefruit/orange flavor in there. Some vinous notes, a bit of smoke, and then finally a strong apple cider scent comes in the end. Really nice.

Taste did not quite live up to the aroma. It was like a big globule of liquid hit me in the front with cidery notes but there really wasn't much residual sugars, just a glob of sweetness. Towards the end it gets a bit tart and then acidic in the finish. Alcohol is hardly noticeable.

This beer is thick and heavy in body. Decent carbonation but its lacking some life to it, which I guess I would expect.

This was a good beer but I was content after the 9.3 oz. Still probably not worth the price imo.

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Photo of dgallina
3.72/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

275ml wrapped and corked brown bottle. No date evident.

Pours a very full and luxurious golden copper color. No lace or head at this strength and age. The rich aroma is loaded with pears, tannic wine notes, and musty earth undertones. Flavors are unique but not entirely satisfying. Begins sweet and fruity with musty pears dominant. Quickly becomes strongly tannic with puckering red wine fullness. The finish is not as extreme, revealing a dry sherry aftertaste and slow alcohol warming. Body is nearly still from the aging; mouth-coating but clean. An odd duck altogether; unusual but not especially winning.

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Gale's Conquest Ale Master Brew from George Gale & Company Ltd
3.2 out of 5 based on 103 ratings.
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