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Gales Prize Old Ale (1920s - 2006)

 (RETIRED)
overall
83
61
style
Formerly brewed at Gales
Style: Old Ale
Horndean, England

bottled
available

on tap
unknown

Regional Distribution

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RATINGS: 631   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.36   EST. CALORIES: 270   ABV: 9%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
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.


Ringo's rating

1.6
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 1/5   TASTE 3/10   PALATE 1/5   OVERALL 5/20
Ringo (963) - Loveland, Colorado, USA - DEC 16, 2004
What we have here is a complete lack of carbonation, or any sign of life whatsoever, ruining what may have been a nice beer. I enjoyed the aroma when I pulled the cork; unfortunately it went down hill fast from there. The flavor is probably nice - but it is simply too contradicted by the watery look and feel of the beer to be enjoyable. If they were to add some carbonation to what might be a nice flavor, it possibly could be enjoyable; but I simply cannot enjoy such a flat and dull beer. And the appearance - it sort of just flops into the glass, dull and lifeless, and sits there - looking every bit like a cup of diarrhea. I’m not trying to be funny - that’s what it looks like. A murky opaque brown liquid with no head, carbonation, or sign of life whatsoever. This is not good beer.


3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Bill Becker (362) - Casper, Wyoming, USA - OCT 23, 2014
No foam with this 2005 corked bottle. It has a rusty-murky look to it. Light Port notes with a distinct tartness and lots of booze in the nose. Same goes for the taste. Though it’s going on 10 years old, despite the lack of carbonation, I reckon it needs more time to develop. I’ll buy a few more bottles.

4.5
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
wlajwl (3932) - Quad Cities, Iowa, USA - OCT 8, 2014
Aroma is vinous/dark fruit, scotch and black malt, somewhat odd considering it was minute. The flavor is dark/black malts, black liquorice, dark bread, scotch/peat, earthy notes, very thick/slick texture and a tart/sour/increasingly funky finish.

3.2
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 13/20
slowrunner77 (5983) - Reno, Nevada, USA - SEP 12, 2014
"1996 vintage had 3/21/13. Maybe the oldest beer I’ve ever had. Completely flat and maybe a hint o oxidation, but the pruniness and dark fruit is still pleasantly in the forefront of the aroma and flavor. Don’t think this ever had any hops. Lightly sweet. Really not too shabby. If it weren’t for the feel I’d like this quite a bit."

3.6
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 16/20
Alengrin (2124) - BELGIUM - AUG 15, 2014
Vintage from the eighties, tasted at 20 years of age. One of the last of an old league of classic English old ales and barley wines, deep burgundy colour, no head anymore after all those years, very complex aroma, rich and reminiscent of dried apricot, balsamic vinegar, liquorice and dry sherry. Low carbonation, dried fruits, sweet chocolatey malts and the obvious oxidized taste of an old beer, but in a noble, old madera kind of way, vinous mouthfeel. You have to like old beer to enjoy this, that’s for sure, so something like this will not be to anyone’s liking, but I enjoyed the experience very much. Should taste this as a young beer too. A true world classic from a bygone era.

4.3
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
generallee08 (714) - New York, USA - JUN 30, 2014
This beer pours with almost no carbonation and it only makes a few stray bubbles around the edge of the glass. On top there is just the finest dusting of tan yeast sediment. There is no real head and no lacing. For the style and age of the beer I would think this is an acceptable attribute. The liquid is hazy and has a brownish color with some reddish high lights. The aroma has a rich sweet bready maltiness with pleasant estery yeast which sweet and fruity. The alcohol is also noticeable in the nose and brings a refined red wine like character to the mix. In tyhe flavor there is a sour dough bready maltiness with a warming boozy port like alcohol presence to start with. In it there are also notes of sweet and tart fruit like apple, raison, white grape, and tart red raspberry mixed with dry earthy yeast. The yeast has an almost woody earthy quality to it. The dryness and some sourness comes out more in the warm wine like finish.

3.6
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Ferris (4500) - Burnaby, British Columbia, CANADA - MAY 31, 2014
Bottle - Vintage 2005 - Toffee and a light sourness. Cloudy brown with a thin head. Caramel and a light sourness and a nice finish. A little woody and a nice finish.

3.9
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
CanIHave4Beers (3322) - Pouring Bus, Iowa, USA - MAY 13, 2014
1996 Bottle, opened last night... with all expectations that it would be bad if not undrinkable. Although there is the occasional high rating for these old bottles, and I do suppose I got lucky with this one.

Pours perfectly still with a deep ruby brown color.

The aroma has all sorts of tobacco, cherry, raisin, sherry, & lemon rind. It’s oxidized no doubt, but in no unpleasant way, it does indeed have the lightly & pleasantly oxidized character one would expect to find in an Amontillado.

The flavor is similarly rich and all over the place, raisin, leather, tart lemon, sweet cherry, toffee, woodiness, brown sugar and sherry like character akin to Oloroso.

It’s truly special to drink a beer this old that has developed so favorably.

2.9
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
NeoHippie2 (1043) - Louisville, Kentucky, USA - MAY 10, 2014
1999 vintage. Red/amber pour with minimal head. Subtle aromas of dark fruit with acidic notes. Flavor is slightly sour and acidic. I was expecting something a bit more malty and sweet. Not bad, but I suspect this one was past its prime.

3.3
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
zvikar (3492) - Ramat Gan, ISRAEL - APR 15, 2014
Bottle shared at a tasting at the Beer & Beyond shop. Brewed in 2001. Pours an hazy with no head, aroma of cherry, sour cherries, scotch and chocolate, flavor of vinegar, dry, low sweetness and nice fruitiness, medium bodied.

0.9
   AROMA 3/10   APPEARANCE 1/5   TASTE 1/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 2/20
Marheb (2141) - Montréal, Quebec, CANADA - 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.


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