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Gales Prize Old Ale (1920s - 2006)

Formerly brewed at Gales
Style: Old Ale
Horndean, England


on tap

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RATINGS: 652   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.35/5   EST. CALORIES: 270   ABV: 9%
Bottle Conditioned. 275ml bottle. Corked.
Ingredients: Maris Otter and minute amounts of black malt and brewing sugar; Fuggles, Goldings and Challenger.
Matured for 12 months in wooden casks.
It is reddish in color with hops and apple fruit on the nose, spicy and malty in the mouth, and a dry, even tart fruity finish with hints of raisins and apple.
The slow work of the yeast in the bottle may increase the alcohol content to 12% or even more. After several years of aging Prize Old Ale gains a more complex palate with Calvados like character. It is said that Prize Old Ale is at its best after 20 years of maturing.
Bottled as Milestones Pale Ale to celebrate the opening of the Milestones Museum.

   AROMA 3/10   APPEARANCE 1/5   TASTE 1/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 2/20
Marheb (4768) - San Diego, California, USA - APR 2, 2014
Brassée en 2005: Un liquide inerte et problématique qui suinte la cire à chaussure, bois moisi, pomme pourrie et je pourrais continuer comme ça longtemps. Une gorgée a suffit.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
kerenmk (4032) - Tel Aviv, ISRAEL - MAR 17, 2014
Bottle sample at a tasting at the Beer & Beyond shop. Thanks zvikar. Brewed in 2001. Pours muddy brown. Cherry Heering and chocolate milk aroma. Vinous, sour taste, full-bodied, no carbonation, sourish finish.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Jimsal27 (291) - New York, USA - MAR 14, 2014
Bottle 1997. Pours mahogany out of bottle. The beer smelled great. Sweet, dried fruit, sherry. Taste reminds me of a watered down version of port wine. Zero carbonization. I don’t know what oxidation tastes like but I don’t get any wet cardboard here. True sipper.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 10/20
devman171 (1221) - Annapolis, Maryland, USA - MAR 14, 2014
1998 bottle, pours a murky brown with big sediment. Aroma is sweet figs and oak. Taste is flat sweet molasses and dark fruits, it is what it is.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
DSG (11469) - Tel Aviv, ISRAEL - FEB 21, 2014
Bottle sample at a tasting at the Beer & Beyond shop. Thanks zvikar. 2001 bottle. Murky brown. Lovely aroma of malt, chocolate, lots of dark fruits, a bit of sherry and liqueur. Sweetish-sourish flavor, malt and fruity with some cookie notes and chocolate. Interesting.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
M82 (469) - Kansas, USA - FEB 7, 2014
A murky mahogany brown body fills my snifter with no trace of carbonation

Flowing aromas of bright vibrant cherries, moist raisins, and prune juice with a dark moist coffee cake and oak barrel base accented by candied apple and pear, flavors of juicy white grape, and green melon dominate on the palate, finishing with added cherry nuances and a bit of char and caramel chocolate sweetness from the faintly carbonated, somewhat watery, medium body with a soft sweet tact balanced by mellow tartness and dryness, residuals remain in the darker bready yeast realm with an underlying layer of oak

With further warmth, the aromas and flavors shift towards the yeasty fruit cake layers with the mildly tart fruit characteristics transitioning towards a wild earthy nature

9.3oz corked bottle brewed in 2003 at 60º into 16oz Spiegelau Soiree brandy snifter

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
aenima (333) - Askim, SWEDEN - FEB 5, 2014
Very complex aroma of sherry, figs and plums. The taste is sherry, raisins, figs, plums and also some light chocolate. Low carbonation. Not so sweet I expected.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
wutangfinancial (195) - CA to VA, California, USA - JAN 20, 2014
1982 bottle thanks to my friend Christophe. Pours a clear deep amber with no head. The cork on this was in very good shape. Wonderful nose of amaretto, port, oak, walnut shell, raw honey, and cognac. The palate is nicely oxidized with flavors of marc, musty oak, dried flowers, autolytic character, forest mushroom, and sherry. Very long finish.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
zimbo (891) - SCOTLAND - JAN 19, 2014
My condolences to those reviewers who have had bad bottles. I have often been stung when trying to age bottles but this one was perfection. A lucky decision about when to drink it. Bottled in 2006 from the last batched ever to be bottled under this label (the truly last batch was labelled ’Last Drop’) at the Horndean brewery. Removing the 4cm cork demanded some delicacy so I used a cork screw with a very thin worm (’screw’, yeah, I know it sounds pretentious). Poured slightly below room temperature equally between two ISO glasses. Deep dark shiny mahogany and fruitcake and slight banana on the nose. Likely the richest and most seductive bouquets I have ever inhaled. and that is just the nose. Seemed thinnish to look at but very full on the tongue. A very slightly acidity at the start which quickly falls away. There is a strong layer of sappiness which is just seamless. Everything is so perfectly integrated. On first sip a very slight woodiness before leaving a chewy element. After this it consistently ends smooth, rich and morish which is full and continues to fill out and out as it disappears. The beer equivalent of a naked romp with Brigitte Bardot circa 1958.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 10/20
Sarlacc83 (1861) - Portland, Oregon, USA - DEC 7, 2013
’72 bottle from Douglas. Oldest beer I’ve had. A: Pour gets me a few bubbles. This is dark-brown, and a glass swirl gives me light lacing. N: Aceton, wood, orange, cherry. This is oxidized in a very "interesting" way. T: Spoiled, cherry, acetone, and wood dominate this. Glue and iron. Not really enticing. M: Some heat. Broken body. O: Blech. This is like a bad lambic. Glad to have tried it, but wouldn’t have one again.

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