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

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

591 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 591
Reviews: 378
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 12.5%
Wants: 30
Gots: 33 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-30-2001

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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 591 | Reviews: 378
Photo of c-man
1.5/5  rDev -61.7%

Honestly, I'm not huge on the English Strongs, but this one just seemed way too sweet to me.

Photo of CheckMate
1.64/5  rDev -58.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

12 oz brown bottle obtained at Hannaford's Supermarket Derry, NH. pours a crystal clear copper liquid with barely any head, maybe a centimeter and that's pushing it. smells of woodsy-ness, hops, and raisins definitely invades the senses. definitely taste the raisins and the earthy quality of the hops. doesn't give a nice after taste, reminds me of my nail polish remover. moderate carbonation. the drink ability of this beer isn't very good.... unless you like to drink nail polish. I get the impression that the bottle of beer i purchased wasn't very fresh, so hopefully I will obtain a fresh brew of this kind and be able to give this a better score,

Photo of TopherBreski
2.59/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Nothing special but a good ale

Photo of trep
2.65/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Bottle thanks to jjpm74

A burnt orange with hardly any head, even after a fierce pour. Tiny bubbles on top of the liquid are few and far between.

Sweet malt and caramel with some apple notes.

Super sweet malt with some spiciness that finishes rather quickly. Some bitter hops but this is all about the malt. I dunno this isn't really my kind of beer.

A bit sticky, like watered down maple syrup.

Shew, had trouble finishing this one, in fact I gave the rest to my girlfriend who apparently loves it.

Photo of mschofield
2.68/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Well carbonated copper-amber body topped with a one finger creamy tan head.
The aroma is quite unique, very strong, the closest thing that comes to mind is sweaty gym socks hanging from a pine tree.
Toffee, pomegranate, honey and orange in the taste, cognac like high alcohols.
Medium body, seems much higher in ABV than it really is. This just didn't appeal to me at all.

Photo of Krovtar
2.71/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A reluctant purchase @ just under $11 a six pack I can think of many others I would rather have at that price at $6 I might drink this more often but come to think of it it reminds me to much of brown ale, not that there's anything wrong with brown ale just I've had my fill.
Deep copper in color minimal head around the edge and a small island in the center no lace to speak of.
Smell- well may nose is a bit dry but I caught the malt and something citrusy
Taste- Felt the bubbles up front which reminds me of grapefruit then the malt ok but colder on this one I'm guessing would be better.
Mouthfeel- about the right consistancy bubbles tingle the front of the tongue
Drinkabliity- I'm not thinking of going back here again anytime soon it wasn't awful just not for me anymore.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
2.78/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler glass.

A: The beer is a light amber color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of honey, fruit and spice, with a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts with a burst of sweetness from flavors of honey, citrus, dark fruits and caramel. Then some hops bitterness and the sting of alcohol (surprising for a beer at only 7.00% ABV) come in. The malt character is on the thin side but there really doesn’t seem to be a much balance. The after-taste is bitter-sweet.

M: Crisp but not very smooth, light-to-medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Not very tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, good kick, decent representation of style. I really wasn’t all that impressed with this beer and it’s not one that I’d want to drink again.

Photo of Reagan1984
2.81/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured this bottle into a Pint glass and noted about a 2 finger thick head that was beige in color. The head did last a long time as I enjoyed the brew.

Color was deep copper and the beer was very clear.

The aroma was a little musty and I began to wonder if I encountered an older bottle.

A nice roasted malt flavor up front that faded to almost a metallic finish.

Yes, I think this bottle was not in great condition.

I consider this an average beer. I hope a fresher (perhaps non-skunked) bottle would be more enjoyable.

When finished I was excited to try a different brand.

Photo of cbutova
2.82/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A- Pours light red-brown with a small off-white head that has low retention. A small cloud and ring leave just a single spot of lace.

S- Very buttery caramel malt, butterscotch. Very slight earthy hops.

T- Big caramel and nutty malt. Some dark fruit and yeast bread notes. Something spicy in the finish throws me off with a stinging medicinal/fruit/herbal note. Alcohol very noticeable.

MF- Moderately thick body that is somewhat creamy. Carbonation comes in heaps before a slightly warm finish. Fairly bitter as well.

DB- I like the malt and yeast flavors but the bitter alcohol finish throws the balance off for me. Interesting but wears me down with a beastly finish. Certainly a "stronger" 7% beer.

Photo of RBorsato
2.87/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Dark gold, copper with a low tan head and decent carbonation. Piney, sprucey hop aroma -- the best character of this brew. HUge malty flavor with a warming alcohol sensation. Funky fruity, yeasty flavor ... maybe that's the Ringwood yeast. Medium bodied with an unpleasant finish.

Per Maine Brewer's Guild site: Original gravity - 1070; two row English malts (pale, crystal and chocolate); Cascade, Mt. Hood and East Kent Golding hops.

Glad I only bought a single bottle.

($1.43 / 12 oz.)

Photo of ATLbeerDog
3.08/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured Golden-Orange with 1/8 inch head from a 12oz twist-off bottle purchased at Peabody’s in Boone, NC.

Very fruity with a crisp after taste, mild hop smell, light lacing and light carbonation. The 7% alcohol is hidden well. A fair beer that could use a tad more hops. Fruitier than my taste, still not bad but I won’t be making any special trips to Maine for this one.

Photo of Knapp85
3.08/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This poured out as a clear looking golden color with a fizzy white head on top. The smell of the beer was decent, nothing too exciting though. The taste of the beer had a good amount of malts and grain flavors with a dry bitterness in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel was lighter than I expected. The carbonation wasn't bad either. Overall this was an average beer in my opinion.

Photo of gwfrankpsu
3.11/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This is a disappointment - love the ads - brewed only while the weather sucks, or something like that. There are much better winter beers. Just not what I expected.

Photo of Illinick
3.12/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Classic looking label that shows forest, mountains, and horizon. Dark amber in color with reddish and burnt orange hues. No head, but a slight ring and island.
S: Caramel and nut scents with sweet malt, toffee and sweet bread smell. Some slight cake and biscuit. Just plain smells sweet.
T: Follows smell with lots of malt and sweet, malty bread throughout. Caramel up front with roasted flavors near end. Some toffee and a faint hint of hops. Smooth, buttery flavors throughout.
MF: Full and buttery with a slightly dry finish.
Overall: Not my favorite style, but a decent, good brew that does nothing to wow me. Sweet and malty with a full body. Probably not one I'd try again, but glad I tried it at all.

Photo of EVLguy
3.16/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

Picked this one up on a whim. I'd only had on other Geary's beer before, their pale ale, and had enjoyed it thoroughly. This however caught me off guard. I had no clue this was an english style, and was still not aware when I drank the first bottle from the six pack. This review comes from the my fourth bottle had of this beer.

Appearance: A vigorous pour gave this ale a one and half finger head which quickly disintegrated to almost nothing, a light thread of bubbles which left no lacing. Color was a deep orange, very clear, almost tea-like.

Smell: I got a light hint of caramel malt as well as tea/tobacco leaf scents. However the overall aroma was weak.

Taste: I have to admit flavours I got in this beer were interesting, even if a bit odd. The tea leaf taste was the most apparent following a coffee like taste along with other herby tangs. The hops only seem to leave an ashy taste, but that maybe interpreted as smoky the some.

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly this beer did have a nice weight to it. More firm than I've been use to with all the ipa i've been drinking lately. Only a mild acidity and a smooth finish.

Drinkability: I gotta say I can't see myself drinking this beer very often. All the grassy, earthy tastes are not something I enjoy in beer. I might come back to something like this once and a while, but probably just to remind of me what those tastes are.

Photo of PeatReek
3.2/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Nice clear amber body with a just-slightly-off white head, starting at 1/2" of chunky bubbles and thinning out pretty quickly.

Aroma: Roasty and nutty and a tad sweet.

Taste & Mouthfeel: The sweet nuttiness starts off the sip and gives way very quickly to a hot, abrasive taste and feel that seems to be party alcohol and partly hops, and is not especially pleasant. The hop bitterness is actually kind of sour, with gritty citrus notes dominating. Suddenly, all of this fades away into a nice, dry roasty finish. Hm. Carbonation is just right, though. [On edit, after trying several more bottles: after you get used to the hops, which I don't especially like, the malt profile is actually quite full & complex, so I'm bumping up the score a little.]

Drinkability: The combination of alcoholic hotness and rather overwhelming citrus hoppiness would probably keep me to just one.

Photo of PDXHops
3.2/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle in a Duvel tulip.

Pours a deep slightly hazy amber with a finger or so of off-white head. This sticks around for a brief moment before disappearing into a skim and a bubbly collar. A few small spots of wet lacing here and there.

Pleasant, if uninspiring, caramel nose with background notes of overripe apples and fresh bread. A bit of fig newtons in there. Flavors are more lively, apple Jolly Ranchers with caramel and a hint of black pepper. Sounds weird, but works pretty well.

Overall impression: Not bad at all, but probably not something I'd revisit.

Photo of beancounter
3.23/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Amber color, minimal head. does not leave any lacing

S-Carmel and malt. Nothing else.

Taste Carmel and malt. You get the picture...

Mouthfeel. - Moderate mouthfeel. Appropriate for the style.

Drinkability-This beer is very one dimensional. All carmel and malt. if you like these flavors, you will like this beer. The carmel is not overwhelming however, so it does go down easy

Photo of ArrogantB
3.26/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Orange in color with a good head, looks like it will be a decent brew.It tastes slightly English if that makes any sense but it is a little too strong and I usually don’t say that. This is a decent beer but not one I will seek out again, doesn't suit my tastes.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.28/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a Chicago Bears shaker pint glass.

Thanks to papollo for this bottle!

Now this does look like an intriguing beer, doesn't it? It pours a clear russet-ruby topped by about a finger or so of light ecru foam, which doesn't hang around to chat very long. The nose comprises vodka-soaked buttery biscuits, light rye bread, and a smidgen of orange rind. Interesting turn; let's see where it leads. The taste strips away some of the booze, which is replaced by a stronger version of the orange peel. Everything else remains fairly static from nose to tongue. (...Now, that's an image, am I right?) The body is on the heavier side of medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a slightly syrupy feel. Overall, an interesting brew, indeed, but not something I can see drinking very much of in the future.

Photo of lackenhauser
3.31/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Nice coppery color-head last the whole way down. Decent carbonation level. OK aroma-very malty. Theres almost a metallic odor,bordering on a high alcohol level but I wouldnt think thats it at only 7%. Very malty flavor. Caramel like. Very slight earthiness to the finish. Decent body. An enjoyable beer. I havnt had this in years. Seemed to improve as it warms a little. I dont know how much Id look to have this again as it has never been a personal favorite. Worth a try though in all honesty.

Photo of rinhaak
3.32/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Pours a dark brown. When held up to the light, it looks more like a deep copper/red. There is a full one finger head, but this dissipates far too quickly leaving behind only a small amount of lace.

The nose is the highlight here: very aromatic, I smell lots of banana and hops, with a few flowers in the background.

A very viscous and fairly syrupy beer, there is a slight sourness to the taste. Modestly roasted malts are present, with only a slight hint of hops in the distance. A boozy aftertaste lingers in the mouth long after its gone, and one easily tastes the alcohol.

Though not bad, this certainly isn't a beer to get excited about.

Photo of merlin48
3.33/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle pours a clear, amber body, with lots of active carbonation. Moderate, beige head retains well, and leaves plenty of sheet and patch lace.

Aroma is malty caramel, with some biscuit, and an odd, spicy hops note.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with lots of carbonation.

Taste has an odd, spicy note that doesn't seem to belong. Hops seem floral, as well. The malt holds its own, but is more biscuit than caramel.

I wasn't a big fan of this after my first couple of bottles, but it does seem to "grow on you". An acquired taste, in my opinion. The earthy, woodiness takes some getting used to. Overall, there still seems to be something that is slightly, unbalanced with this ale.

Photo of changeup45
3.33/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled this on draft at Harlow's Pub on 1/6/2005.. Poured an amber color with a relatively thick head and quite a bit of lacing. Quite malty and sour with caramel and some bitter hops. Overall, a strong brew that tilts towards malts. I'd get it again.

Photo of Rastacouere
3.34/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear orange, little to no head. Surprisingly intense aroma. Extremely sweet fruity apricot, pears, and orange hoppiness. This is another fruit blend (had with wachusett winter ale) that seems to work pretty well though this one is a lot hoppier. Wet juicy mango flavor with malt closing to earthy. Generous hoppiness is rather complex, something of a cascade hop, but with more depth. Perhaps a bit cloying at the end, but still pretty enjoyable.

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Geary's Hampshire Special Ale from D.L. Geary Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 591 ratings.