Gale's Christmas Ale

Formerly brewed at Gales
Style: English Strong Ale
Horndean, England


on tap


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RATINGS: 164   WEIGHTED AVG: 2.98/5   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 255   ABV: 8.5%
A special brew for Christmas with all the rich and fruity flavors for which Gales is renowned together with an interesting lingering hop character.

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shalloWMeans' rating

   AROMA 3/10   APPEARANCE 1/5   TASTE 2/10   PALATE 1/5   OVERALL 7/20
shalloWMeans (169) - Independence, Kentucky, USA - APR 24, 2012
I got my hands on this rare gem while working in the beer dept. at The Party Source. It was all alone on the very top of a storage rack and no one knew where it came from and how long it had been there. So I saved it for about another five years and finally decided to try it this past Christmas, unaware of how well it had aged (or soured for that matter.) Poured into a trappist style glass producing a small ring of foam. Tons of UFOs (unidentified floating objects,) which was probably old, stale yeast. The color was brownish tan almost tobacco-like russet. Aroma was fruity and vinegary, like a very tannic red wine. The body was thin and flat, and the flavor was of immediate sourness, evolving into a medicinal fruitiness. Gales has been one of my favorite English breweries and I only wish that i had tried more from them. Drank this under the Christmas tree with my love. Made it about halfway through the glass before we decided that time and the elements had not been friendly to this beer, which reluctantly became a sink pour...

TheBeerGod (6254) - Newport News, Virginia, USA - JAN 29, 2014
Bottle - 275mL (9.3 ounce) corked. 2001 Vintage. Muddy copper pour with no head, save the spotty brown bubble along the edge of the tulip glass. Strong fig and raisin notes in the aroma, light plum and soft spice with faded caramel and malt notes. Taste is strong soy sauce, figs, unripe plums, raisins, caramel and light spice. Body is light with no carbonation. Finishes with more strong raisin, plum and figs, light spice, soy sauce notes, caramel, dark bread and soft malt. WAY past it’s prime but still drinkable.

NikkTwist (3306) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - MAY 24, 2012
2001 bottle in 2012. Dark ruby red pour with no head. Full dark red fruit flavors. Sweet malt. Christmas spice. Caramel. Dark molasses. Raisins. Potent alcohol lingers. Carbonation mostly flat. Very smooth, but enough of a bite at the end to know that it has not turned. Nicely mellow now but is likely to turn soon.

WymanJ (49) - Minnesota, USA - SEP 28, 2011
Bottle. Pours a cloudy light brown. Cork smelled of yeast but that didn’t follow through into the beer. Caramel notes and some spices in the aroma. Taste has some caramel-ey coffee notes with a slightly fruity flavor. Quite complex, but good.

Rosebud butternuts (2396) - Denton, Texas, USA - APR 10, 2011
Bottle thanks to bhensonb. Poured amber with no head. Aroma was caramel, dark fruit, plum, brown sugar, and and some fruit notes. Flavor was fruity, dark fruit, brown sugar, and oxidation.

andyhwcinc (1884) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - DEC 12, 2010
2001 vintage. I enjoyed this at Delilah’s 12th annual Winter Beer Tasting in Chicago, IL. From what I remember this was partially sour with an interesting malt/spice profile. Was rather average, especially for the vintage.

paultheguru (644) - Parker, Colorado, USA - AUG 21, 2010
2001 Vintage A: pours a cloudy, murky tawny color. No head at all. S: light coconut esters. Some apples and dates. Slightly strong alcohol notes. Some light sour aromas as well. T: wow. Never had it fresh, but I can notice that a ton of flavors have passed away. Major malt notes, mostly caramel, plums and apples, some clove. Very wine-like. I do pull some grapes/raisins out of this. Very sour notes. M: no carbonation left, so its flat. Some alcohol notes/vibes. Very smooth with the age of this. Think it was a aged a little too long.

jtclockwork (17101) - , New Jersey, USA - MAY 7, 2010
I drank this one fresh when it was still delicious. Amber pour. Strong nose of candied sugar, malt, toffee and caramel molasses. Taste is similar. Strong body. Rated 4/11/03

lla911 (11) - Connecticut, USA - FEB 14, 2010
Bottle is different than almost every other beer I’ve seen. 9.3 fl.oz and 8.5%ABV...Opening now. Up need a wine opener...ok now opening. Cork was completely dry and now looking for a date on the bottle. I don’t see on. Sour Aroma hiding a slight malt smell. Can’t find any hops. White big bubble head. Beer is a cloudy yellow amber. Definitely unfiltered. Sour fruity taste, not sure if it is supposed to be this sour. No hops at all. Nope I can’t keep going. Looking back at the bottle it says, " A spiced ale specially brewed to be enjoyed this Christmas..." Well I guess they meant it for the year they brewed it. Some beers are ment to be aged and some are ready to drink right away...this is the latter I hope or else it is just a bad beer to begin with...

BVery (11240) - Plymouth, Minnesota, USA - OCT 2, 2009
UPDATED: DEC 23, 2013 BOTTLE: 2002 vintage, brown pour. Aroma is sour cherry, taste is raisin, caramel, sour fruit. Not particularly good.

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