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Geary's Hampshire Special Ale - D.L. Geary Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Geary's Hampshire Special AleGeary's Hampshire Special Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

545 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 545
Reviews: 370
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 12.18%
Wants: 29
Gots: 14 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
D.L. Geary Brewing Company visit their website
Maine, United States

Style | ABV
English Strong Ale |  7.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Once Maine’s legendary seasonal specialty, Hampshire is now available year round. Hampshire has a huge toasted malt flavor balanced by assertive hoppiness. The finish is long and lingering with the malt and hop notes blending with alcohol warmth. Original gravity - 1070; alcohol by volume - 7%; two row English malts (pale, crystal and chocolate); Cascade, Mt. Hood and East Kent Golding hops.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-30-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Geary's Hampshire Special Ale Alström Bros
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Ratings: 545 | Reviews: 370 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Mac19872
5/5  rDev +26.9%

Mac19872, Nov 17, 2011
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5/5  rDev +26.9%

ZacMetalFan, Apr 18, 2012
Photo of nlincoln
5/5  rDev +26.9%

nlincoln, Nov 23, 2011
Photo of Skarod
5/5  rDev +26.9%

Skarod, Feb 17, 2013
Photo of Lawnboy33
5/5  rDev +26.9%

Lawnboy33, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of somenerd
5/5  rDev +26.9%

somenerd, Mar 15, 2013
Photo of akk101
5/5  rDev +26.9%

akk101, Jul 08, 2014
Photo of Antonius08
5/5  rDev +26.9%

Antonius08, Jun 05, 2012
Photo of Rochefort10nh
5/5  rDev +26.9%

Rochefort10nh, Nov 28, 2011
Photo of jebrew
5/5  rDev +26.9%

jebrew, Apr 07, 2014
Photo of hbis2gut
4.95/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

WOW, this guy does a few beers and does them well. This is the showcase beer for this brewery. A strong ale that gives off malt and hop aromas rather than booze fumes. Mouthfeel is perfect in my opinion. Too often these types of ales are sticky or too heavily bodied. Highly recommended.

hbis2gut, Oct 08, 2001
Photo of mikeyv35
4.8/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Stumbled upon this obviously hard to get and highly rated ESA in Brooklyn while browsing brew as I often do. Very excited to sample this one!

Poured a golden straw in color w/ ruby red hues. A thin cream head produced medium amounts of sticky lacing. Looks like an ESA. The nose was aromas of biscuit, herbs/spices, and fresh cut hay. Probably the only knock on this brew was the nose which was somewhat boring. The taste started off w/ flavors of herb spiceness, which lead into light caramel/toffee, and finished w/ lingering hop bitterness and basement mustiness. Medium bodied and lush. As far as drinkability goes, I could drink this all day! Will most likely sneak 1-2 bottles of this brew into the next Penguins hockey game I attend.

Overall, this brew lived up to it's high rating in the ESA category, and will be climbing after my review. Loved this brew and it is right up there on my favortites in the style list w/ Thomas Jefferson's Tavern Ale from Yards. What more can you ask for, an ESA produced in Maine that can compete w/ if not edge the legendary Fuller's 1845.

mikeyv35, Dec 29, 2011
Photo of nortmand
4.78/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours rich copper red, with some white foam and moderate lacing.
Wonderful smell! Flowery and rich, while maintaining an assertive alcohol presence.
Delicious maltiness, with moderate upfront hop taste. Ends wonderfully bitter and with a slow alcoholic burn.
Smooth, somewhat subtle carbonation perfect for this beer.
Despite the assertive alcohol in this beverage, very drinkable. Would be great on a cold winter night.
A nearly perfect beer.

nortmand, Sep 12, 2005
Photo of cdizinno
4.78/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Presentation: Poured into a pint glass from a 12oz bottle with no dates.

A: Rich copper color with moderate haziness and lacing.

S: Not much there. Some caramel and toasted maltiness. Buttery biscuit.

T&M: Nice mildly sweet maltiness that has a good hoppy kick in there. Smooth with light carbonation and a medium to full body. Honey and toffee maltiness with a fruity, citrus hop taste. Ever so mild piney hop bitterness in the background. Excellent!!

I'm originally from New England and was never a huge fan of Geary's Pale Ale, but this stuff is INCREDIBALLY GOOD!

cdizinno, Aug 14, 2010
Photo of agentorangebitter
4.75/5  rDev +20.6%

agentorangebitter, May 03, 2014
Photo of rpaine
4.75/5  rDev +20.6%

rpaine, Mar 12, 2012
Photo of Newbiebeer
4.75/5  rDev +20.6%

Newbiebeer, Mar 20, 2013
Photo of mbs11
4.75/5  rDev +20.6%

mbs11, Jun 25, 2012
Photo of cbyrd4088
4.75/5  rDev +20.6%

cbyrd4088, May 23, 2012
Photo of nate1357
4.75/5  rDev +20.6%

nate1357, Jun 06, 2012
Photo of mophie
4.72/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had heard good things about this beer, and I am not disappointed! It's a gorgeous beer, deep copper, with a creamy slight tan head. Smell is malty, caramel and molasses, with a touch of mild, floral hoppiness. The maltiness really comes through in the taste, again creamy, caramel, molasses, nice and smooth. Finishes with a mild hop twang, and a slight bitterness at the back of the tongue. Gentle spicy alcohol notes as well. Very, very nice.

mophie, Oct 20, 2002
Photo of geexploitation
4.7/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm a bit of a partisan here -- this is probably my favorite all-around beer. There are different brews that excel in different occassions, of course, but this one, to me, is a brilliant all-rounder.

This brew pours a rich, coppery tan that is crystal clear. The head is white and is best enjoyed at one finger (or perhaps just a bit more). The nose is a wonderful burst of hops; not overpowering like, for example, some IPAs, but comfortingly spicy and complex. The taste sets this beer apart: the hop aroma is backed up here by a pleasing bitterness and not a little spiciness, but the malt mixture used by Geary's complements the hops exceptionally well, and adds a hint of sweetness to go along with the hops. I find this beer to be exceptionally drinkable, especially for a brew clocking in at 7% ABV... but one does need to be respectful of that figure.

A couple of additional comments. First off, by all means, if you get an opportunity to taste this in a cask-conditioned state, go for it. I know that the Great Lost Bear in Portland, ME, has been the recipient of a few special kegs of this stuff over the years, including a cask I had the privilege of sampling at the brewery.

Finally, Geary's Hampshire Special Ale provides an opportunity for some Irish Car Bomb-type fun. Perhaps this is blasphemy on this site, I don't know, but take my advice and, sometime, drop a shot of primo bourbon into a glass of Hampshire Special. The flavors complement each other very, very well. Enjoy!

geexploitation, Jan 19, 2006
Photo of Stubbie1
4.65/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A brew with a deep gold/red color and a decent off white (tan) head. The head last and give way to a sticky lace that races to the bottom of the glass.
Aroma is spice and caramel. Hints of honey and a small hint of alcohol are present.
Taste is fantastic, there is malt, and caramel, spices, honey, fruit and that hint of alcohol are all going across the tongue. It is well balanced with all the flavors going on and a well done brew. I could enjoy this beer all the time. If you see this one on the self, don’t pass it buy it is well worth the try.

Stubbie1, Jul 11, 2005
Photo of purplehops
4.63/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2002 - 2003 release

Hampshire Special Ale pumped a light copper color with a firm white head that clung to the glass and your mouth and lips. The aroma was Munich and Biscuit malts with what seemed like some peat smoked malt along with fruity yeast and floral hop notes. The taste started out with a rush of malt sweetness that was quickly balanced by hop bitterness and some citrus notes. The finish was a smooth malty flavor along with caramel, orange, and spicy hop bitterness with a touch of alcohol. Aftertaste was a big malt and alcohol taste lingering long into the afternoon with a hoppy profile popping up every now and then. Mouthfeel was very very very smooth with a nice alcohol warmth to it.
Overall a "Very" Special Ale! If you thought the bottle version was good....
Once again Dave has outdone himself. IMHO this is what Maine beer is all about.

purplehops, Mar 10, 2003
Photo of StevieW
4.6/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle. Shiny clear, copper color, rich golden tinged bubbly foam filled beige head. Fills an American pint glass perfectly with an full 2 inch head. A beauty to behold, a visually striking beer.
Rich full aromos of candied apples, carmel, and rum soaked cherries. Very fresh and seasonal. First taste combines the seasonal sweetness with a sharp bitter hop snap. Bitterness is super smooth and well matched with the fruit filled finish. Clean and crisp flavor combinations nothing lingers, except an urge to have another sip. Hints of butterscotch are noticed, but not in a negative way at all. This beer is medium bodied, lighter than I expected. I have it as a cross between a Geary's Halloween Ale, A Celebration Ale, and maybe the perfect ESB, but it is listed as a Strong/Old Ale. This beer grabs your attention and keeps it. Incredibly easy to drink, I am shocked my glass is already finished. I expected this to be along the lines of an Anchor OSA, but it is more toward a Celebration Ale in body without the fresh piney hop presence. But make no mistake this is a taste all it's own and very much worth seeking out. I need to get more of this, somebody please visit Florida with a suitcase full of it. Cheers to JohnnyP for the sample, I can see how he raves about this one. This is no mere beer, this one recieves my highest compliment...
Magic in a glass !

StevieW, Jul 26, 2003
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Geary's Hampshire Special Ale from D.L. Geary Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 545 ratings.