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 cpanossian
2.5/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle says brewed in 2001. Dead cork that disintegrated all over the place when I tried to remove it - gross.
Dull brown color - flat no carbonation. Heavy smell of fortified wine like a sherry and similar taste. Not very fun - sips only. Fortified wine alochol taste/smell overpowers any enjoyment. Not a fan of this style.

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Photo of beertunes
2.65/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A bottle from the discount table at Whidbey Beer Works. I couldn't find a date code on the bottle. Poured into 16oz balloon. Poured a very still, semi cloudy, pale brown with no head or carbonation at all.

The cork smelled vinegary and after in the glass, the beer smelled vinegary and sour. It had the aroma of an English version of a Belgian sour. The taste was mostly vinegar, I'm starting to suspect why this was on the blowout table. I poured gently at first, but with the last couple of ounces, I swirled the bottle to get all the yeast and floaties into the glass. Nope, no help at all.

Listed by the brewery as a pale, the body was typical for that style. Drinkability, would have been average, but sadly the last 3 ounces became my first drain pour.

If you see this remember, there is a reason that this beer is no longer brewed.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.48/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

9.3 oz. bottle, 2001 Vintage, picked up at Hi-Times for a Lincoln, love the label with a medieval castle,

A: Pours a clear red-brown with no head. Real nice colour, from afar could be mistaken for brandy.

S: Honey and aged malt jumped out of the bottle, but once in the glass, the bouquet isn't huge. Mentioned the brandy-like look in the appearance, seems to move over to the nose, there's a hint of armagnac vanilla in there.

T: Dry, tannic oak with a light acidity. Some caramel notes, but there's no residual sugar in this. Some attic must in the finish. Flavours are good, but don't have a great intensity.

M: Very dry, mild acidity, seems on the thin side from a lack of carbonation and alcohol body.

D: A fair example of an aged brew, and while it's not taken a turn for the worse, I believe it is well past its peak. I don't see how it can get better. If you're going to get a vintage ale from these guys, pick up the Prize Old Ale, it ages beautifully.

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Photo of biegaman
3.07/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

The beer was a lovely, blistering golden until I carelessly introduced the yeast, much of which spewed out in large chunks. As it sits now the beer is a murky, relatively listless, clementine colour and is peppered in a slurry of sediment. There is absolutely no sign of carbonation - no bubbles, no head, not even the faintest of trims.

The aroma is replete with a terribly musty, awfully vinegar-like element. It isn't entirely unappealing; in fact, it almost brings to mind a well-aged gueuze because it shares the same hints of dried apples, musty oak and what is popularly (and vaguely) described as 'funk'. It might smell good or terrible depending on the nose (mine is still undecided). If this is sample is indeed over the hill, what was there in the first place that has faded?

One in two - those are the odds that I finish this bottle feeling disappointed. As its pale colour would suggest, the flavour is plain and unsubstantial. For a moment I was again reminded of a Belgian gueuze, mostly because the two share similar flavours of sugar rocks, dry cork and tart green apple. There is also a watered down hint of cognac.

It's certainly hard to know what exactly the brewery was going for. An ingredients list of Maris Otter & Lager malts, Goldings, Fuggles & Challenger hops is indeed an odd puzzle to solve. Styles specifics aside, the result was none too successful. Flavours are hard to come by. This drinks much like a citrus-infused vodka or an odd cider-gin combo.

And the mouthfeel is a complete mess. As alluded to earlier, it has an acidic tang and vividly vinegar-like pucker. The malts are non-existent as is the bitterness. It drinks like a cooking cider or perhaps a spoiled vinegar. The texture is like mildewy cork despite the fact that the cork was in excellent shape and none of it was introduced into the beer.

Despite having been stored in ideal cellar conditions, I have to imagine this has only gotten worse in the eight years since it was brewed. Is this really how they drew it up? Because nothing about it suggests it was ever good, nor that the brewery ever should have recommended extended cellaring. Conquest Ale Masterbrew may be the most misappropriate named beer I've ever come across. Let's hope this one stays retired.

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Photo of emerge077
2.92/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Found this oddity in central Illinois, never saw it before. 2001 bottle, freebie from Friar Tuck as it wasn't in their system anymore.

Pulled the dry cork with a pop and the liquid appeared still inside. Pouring from a good height, a ring of larger bubbles formed and stuck around for five+ minutes. Dark orange copper color.

Aroma of honey and wood, very much like my favorite Polish mead Jadwiga. Clover honey and wildflowers.

Flavor is very sweet, earthy with topsoil and odd candlewax oxidation/slickness. Dirty tannic oak. Clearly on a downward spiral. Flat and slippery, alcohol bite. Slow going with this, if you even have the endurance to finish it. '96 Prize Old Ale is holding up better than this did.

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Photo of gmfessen
3.63/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Very interesting, this is the first beer I've reviewed that was retired before I had it. Being a 2001 vintage, this is easily the oldest beer I've ever had. Poured from the bottle into a mini snifter, beer is a perfectly clear, deep copper-bronze color with absolutely no carbonation at all. The nose is primarily sweet with dark fruit - raisins, dates and figs; the slight but noticeable alcohol also contributes a sweetness. The flavor is similar to the nose with the alcohol presence becoming more noticeable and a slight burning effect. Slightly oxidized. Has the mouthfeel of a dry wine and a light-medium body. Decently drinkable, best as a night cap on a cold evening.

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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 connecticutpoet
1.84/5  rDev -42.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Purchased in March 2009. Based on the vintage, I was hoping that it had been stored well, but I couldn't pass up the chance to try it.

Orange-red beer, clear, with a few tiny floaters. The yeast never came out of the bottle. No head to speak of, no visible carbonation, although there was the sound of a little fizz on the pour.

Aroma is... unique. Old must, teriyaki sauce, whisky, brandy, hard cider starting to turn to vinegar. Hard to believe it from the description, but I actually like the smell.

Taste... here goes. Eeesh. Tannins and hints of teriyaki sauce, as if some had been stored in an oak barrel.

Mouthfeel is flat and lifeless. Damn.

Drinkability is just not there. This is a drain pour. I can't even bring myself to take a third sip.

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Photo of BedetheVenerable
2.12/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Presentation: Awesome/unique 9.3 oz brown corked bottle

Appearance: Beautiful bright beer, ultra-dark burnt orange with absolutely no carbonation or head.

Smell: Intensely earthy...there are strong notes of sauteed portabella mushroom and hints of soy sauce with just the slightest hints of caramel

Taste: Strong flavors of sauteed mushrooms, damp earthy must, a touch of soy sauce, and a tiny hint of tart apple on the finish.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied and slick; NO carbonation

Drinkability: Eeesh...

Conclusion: I'm reviewing this in March 2009; the beer was brewed in 2001. The label said that this was one to put down for the long haul, but I think this is definitely past its prime and showing a bit of oxidation as well. I'm glad I tried it, since it was only brewed once and the brewery is now defunct (I loved their "Prize Old Ale," 2005 vintage) but if you see a bottle of this on the shelves somewhere, I'd pass on by.

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Photo of GClarkage
2.92/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

01/16/09- Purchased at Holiday Wine and Spirits, in Escondido, CA.

Presentation- 9.3oz bottle, brewed in 2001. Poured into a small snifter-like glass.

Appearance- Rather lifeless, no sign of any kind of head or carbonation. Leaves some light watery spotting behind. Usually what to expect when you pour an older old ale...just seems like this one is wayyy past it's prime.

Smell- Smell is nice at times. Has that rich carmely old ale nose with boozed soaked dark fruits. Alos, has a very musty nose to it. Kinda of like mothballs.

Taste- Yes....past it's prime for sure. Very musty in the taste as well. Has the caramel notes, but it's so flat it becomes severely watery. Light alcohol taste. The dark fruits are virtually indetectable.

Mouthfeel- Flater than flat...more watery than water. Has a slighty sweet caramel note in the aftertaste.

Drinkability- May have been an excellent beer about 4 years ago, but it's been dead for a while I am assuming. Don't waste your $5.

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Photo of tiffanya
3.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5


Poured this unique eight-year-old vintage into a snifter glass. Pours copper and still, with no carbonation or head.

Aroma is biscuity, cidery, and kinda "old tannic".

This bottle is more cider-like in flavor, than I recall the former to be. It's got notes of tart, juicy citrus and apples on biscuity malts. The hops are lightly bitter. Musty and crisp.

Original notes...
May 6, 2008: Thanks to MW for the warehouse-stored sample. Corked 11.2-oz bottle poured into snifter glass. Wow, is this beer ever sour! Sourness prevails, with hints of caramel and fruit. Somewhat acidic. I'd like to get my hands on more of this. (Yes, I'm a fan of sour beers and this is truly unique!)

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Photo of uwmgdman
3.26/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This corked bottle pours a brilliantly clear dark amber color with no head. The aroma is very malty, complex with dark fruit and hints of roast in addition to sweetness and a bit of cardboard. The flavor is sweet, full-bodied and very smooth. No or very little carbonation. Some alcoholic warmth follows the swallow. Overall not bad for a 7 year old bottle of ale, but to me this more barley wine like than pale ale.

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Photo of Drew966
3.4/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Gale's Conquest Master Brew pours a ruddy dark orange with a minimal head from a brown, corked, 275 ml bottle. The bottle says to decant this beer, but upon opening it the bottle fell to the floor (and did not break), resulting in yeast in suspension. Caramel malt, fruit and alcohol are noticeable in the aroma. This bottle is almost flat, but I'm not sure quite how old it is, but it's been in my fridge for at least a year. Sweet and sour fruits are most prominent in the flavor and caramel malt is also fairly strong. The alcohol is quite noticeable too. An odd little brew, it's definitely not what I would consider a pale ale (as the label proclaims). Definitely interesting, but I wouldn't buy it again.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.32/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From notes 2-7-2007. Pours a clouded orange brown with no head. Nose is strong with alcohol and a very slight touch of fruit. Flavor is tangy with a woody presence. Feel is thin with little carbonation to speak of. Very drinkable, though the extreme tang of it might not be appreciated by some. I am glad to have gotten the last bottle where I did, but even if it were available, I wouldnÂ’t go for it again.

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Photo of rallison
3.7/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Cloudy amber color with a 1/2 finger white head that, basically, completely dies.

S: Butterscotch, toffee and liquor. Not too much else here.

T: Actually, enjoyable. Toffee. Butterscotch. Liquor. Maybe a touch of dates. This is still very boozy even after the aging, but I do enjoy it. Touch of oxidation.

M: Low carbonation and rich.

D: Mehhh. I enjoyed the bottle, but don't see drinking much of this at a sitting.

Overall, interesting. I really don't know how long to age the second bottle I bought. Anyway, glad to have had the opportunity.

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Photo of atsprings
2.01/5  rDev -37.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Clear copper color with no head whatsoever. Aroma was quite strong and sweet, caramel and dried fruits. The taste was very stale and bland. This one did not stand up to aging at all. The beer was medium to heavy bodied with a decent amount of abrasive alcohol. I was only able to take a few sips then it was a drain pour.

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Photo of kkipple
1.96/5  rDev -38.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Picked this up on Mike Brawley's non-recommendation in Charlotte for $1.99. I figured for a six year old beer and two bucks, I'd take my chances.

The short version: Mike was right, this is way past its prime; if it ever had one.

A. Flat, deep copper, no head.

S. Soy sauce (Shades of Triple Bock, ugh) heavy malt, sherry-like alcohol. Sour fruit.

T. Sherry. Sour grapes, massive higher alcohol content, caramel aftertaste. Mostly sour and unpleasant though. Oh yeah, quite oxidized, too. Possibly the most sherry-like beer I've ever had... just not reminding me of a good sherry. :(

M. Thin, wine-like. No carbonation.

Yeah, I didn't care for this one. At all. It's old and comes in a cool little 275ml corked bottle... that's about it. I give it greater than a 2 mostly because I'm not entirely sure if I didn't get an off bottle -- but I suspect at 6 years out they're all like this. Won't be buying it again, but someone has to deplete Mike's stock, after all.

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Photo of khiasmus
3.67/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2001 vintage.

A- Perfectly clear, amber color with no head. I take that back- a hard pour gives it a head like a sweet tea. :-)

S- Nose is wonderful. If you've had Sam Adams' triple bock, it smells JUST like that. Just got out my old triple bock bottle... and this smells like a fresh one with a little less soy sauce.

T- What a disappointment. If it had been like the nose, I would be a happy man. It's like it a bit, with soy sauce, dark malt, boiling molasses, cork, etc... but the finish is very sour. Sour and alcoholic finish... like really sour port.

M- Body is more like a wine than a beer. It's 6 years old, what do you expect? A bit dry, warming, and very alcoholic in the finish.

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Photo of Gmann
2.99/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 2.5

Poured out of a 9.3oz bottle with the cork in wine style, vintage 2001. Pours a dead musty brown color, no attempt at a head. The smell is of raisin bread and wine grapes. The taste is that of a weak red wine, has a honey wine flavor much like mead. Has some raisin notes, overall sweet. The feel is just awful. Somehow less carbonated then tap water, starts off slick and finishes astringent, very watery feel. Good aroma and decent taste but age killed this brew. Though bottle conditioned, this beer is probably only good for a couple of years, not six.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
2.68/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

2001 Vintage, Sampled June 2007
Pours with a brilliantly clear, ruby amber color. It is quite still and as such has nothing but three bubbles sitting on top of it initially. The aroma smells quite aged with notes of sherry, port, raspberry cordial, maraschino cherry and concentrated raisin. This really reminds me of Port for some reason, it seems really appropriate as an after dinner sipper. Mind you this is all based on the aroma, as I have yet to taste this brew.

Quite light bodied, and it is really quite dry. It is perhaps a touch tart, but is ultimately quite water-like. Notes of oxidized malt round out the finish, perhaps evocative of a dry sherry. It even seems a bit chalky at times. The aroma was actually quite nice on this beer, despite the 9% alcohol though, the flavor just did not hold up. It really could have used a touch of residual malt sweetness.

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Photo of daliandragon
3.67/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked this one up at Bruisin' Ales in Asheville while on vacation last month. Opened it tonight to celebrate almost finishing another week of work but it hasn't started well. First off, I had trouble with the cork, most of which is still in the bottle, although the cheap corkscrew I used did do enough damage to get most of the beer out.

Next problem is the utter lack of head or lace or even a soliitary bubble. The color is a cloudy dark brown with hints of red (and tiny specks of cork). Nose features smoke and winey dark fruit flavors. Alcohol drips over everything but here that's a plus.

The first sip reveals a densely alcoholic fruit and malt melange with a slight but noxious sour flavor. The mouthfeel is surprisingly creamy and has a pleasant, durable warming quality in the aftertaste as well that saves the drinkability somewhat.

This Gale ale seems to have almost as many wine characteristics (especially port) as beer ones. I had always wanted to try this one and am glad I did but as far as quality old ales go, Conquest falls a good bit short of the mark.

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Photo of jwc215
2.82/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

2001 vintage

Pours bright copper with no head. (No head expected - taken into consideration in the score.

The smell is of super-sweet caramel with a touch of maple.

The taste is of caramel. Some maple. There is an undertone of earthiness. Astringent alcohol seems even higher than the already high abv.

The feel is astringent. Prickly despite years of aging. Rather thin, especially for the style. Sweetness lingers, almost annoyingly so.

A rough one to drink. It has something to it, including a decent aroma, but it's too unpleasant, overall, for me. Don't know that this one aged gracefully. Wonder how it tasted fresh...

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Photo of lackenhauser
3.32/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Murky orange in color. Very slight trace of carbonation. Extremely vinuous and earthy aroma. Somewhat sherry/oak like. Slight solvent burn to it. Quite sour flavor. Again with the oak. Very tart apple taste to it. Mild alcohol burn. Body is rather thin. Really quite average overall. I would have been curious to try it a few years ago.

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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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Photo of scruffwhor
2.55/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

The pour is reminiscent of seeing brandy on ice. When the ice melts, you can see the water and impurities in the ice sort of move like a light oil. This stuff looks a little viscous. The color is a depp, hazey rust at teh bottom and thick cognac at the top. You can see some liquid suspension near the bottom as well. The aroma is a vinegary, barndy and yeasty brown malt. Has that good "old" smell. The taste is a little harder to handle. Like a barley wine gone bad. Some carmelized fruits with a little vinegar and soy sauce. Then some alcoholic cabbage. Plus the thick, odd viscous palate wasn't too pleasing either. Glad I didn't let this one sit around any longer.

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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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