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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: 654   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 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
zimbo (901) - 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 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
maltydog (14) - Brooklyn, New York, USA - AUG 30, 2001
Not a typical barleywine, this is ligher in body, but has an amazing blend of malty English Barleywine flavors and the cork-aging character now associated with Belgian beers. I have had numerous bottles of various vintages, the oldest being about 18 years old, but proper aging is about 3 or 4 years.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
OStreetBrewery (120) - Wellington, NEW ZEALAND - AUG 22, 2007
2004 vintage, Big vineous fruit aroma, hints of caramel , and nutty malt. On the palate the vineous notes turn decidedly raisen, with hints of prunes and alcohol warmth, suprisingly the malt weight is relativly low with dry alchol cleaning things up nicly. A trully exceptional beer.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
aobecksy (700) - Middle of no where, Ohio, USA - JAN 11, 2003
UPDATED: JUN 25, 2007 1996. Pleasing to look at, yet need a whole night to ingest true flavor. Soft undertones makes it irresistable, yet very comfortable. Impossible to stop at one. A drink to stay home for; definately a prize--rerated now that my pallete is use to partaking in better fine beers. I recollect on this one often while tasting, so it must be more memorable than my rating reflected.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
Ethereal (2421) - Los Angeles, California, USA - JUL 29, 2007
1998 (i think) bottle at the White Horse, Parson’s Green, late 2006. Pours a dark reddish brown with no carbonation. The aroma is fruity and sour, like a lambic beer. The flavour is extremely rich, with resinous woody notes, spicy plums and cherries, raisins, brandy and hints of citrus. It gets better with every mouthful, as it coats your mouth and the warming alcohol takes hold. Well worth seeking out.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
Oakes (15651) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - DEC 8, 2000
Excellent beer. Stylish and complex. Dark fruit flavours, smooth malt palate and a hint of acidity in the finish. I’ve got some of this in my cellar.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
Prostman (1077) - Pennsylvania, USA - OCT 23, 2002
This beer poured with a nice reddish brown body, no head whatsoever. Tasted very much like a fine red wine. I liked this beer very much and would recommend it.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
UnionMade (621) - Connecticut, USA - DEC 28, 2002
I tried a 1998 bottling in early 2002. This is one of the beers that put me onto "big" beers and unusual styles. It looks like very old, used motor oil. Opaque brown, no head to speak of, and not much carbonation. Spectacular flavor, unhindered by effervescence, so smooth everything melds together into an almost wine-like quality. Body is very big, with rich maltiness and a subtle british hopping within. What an amazing beer.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Hildigöltur (5105) - København, DENMARK - OCT 25, 2003
[2002 vintage] Fantastic complex vinous aroma. notes of fine port wine, Bourgogne and Trockenbeerenauslese. The flavour is full of dark fruits. A long sweet finish. [1989 vintage] After 14 years this stuff has turned into liquid liquorice.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
Wulfstan (509) - California, USA - MAY 1, 2008
This is an interesting beer that to me is really more equivalent to wine even though technically beer. It is very dark ruby red with a little brown, slightly hazy, with a thin, bubbly tan head that soon dissipates to a foamy ring. The colour is a very nice deep reddish. The aroma is port, some regular red wine, ripe apples, caramel, hints of citrus and earth, a bit musty. The taste is quite interesting, very winey, a little musty, with a very faint vinegary sourness, but still smooth and drinkable. It has elements of fruit, especially overripe apples and prunes, and caramel. It’s a little spicey and has a very silky feel as well as a light Bourbon quality. Overall, this is really nice if in the mood for wine, when I would definitely have this near the top of my list, but it’s not something I’d choose if in the mood for beer.

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