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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
89
very good

514 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 514
Reviews: 367
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 12.41%
Wants: 27
Gots: 6 | 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)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Geary's Hampshire Special Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 514 | Reviews: 367 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BassAssassin
BassAssassin

Massachusetts

4.18/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Clear copper color with reddish tint. The thin white head could be a result of me pouring it incorrectly. However, head does dissipate very quickly.

S: Nutty malt aromas along with some buttery diacetyl and hints of fruit. Tea like aroma from the hops comes through loud and clear.

T: Sweet, fruity malt upfront with the buttery diacetyl that's so common in many Maine beers. I actually find it quite enjoyable. Tea like hop flavors are very well integrated. This brew leans toward the sweeter end of the spectrum. However, it remains balanced and actually finishes dry. Not terribly complex, but very tasty nonetheless.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amount of carbonation. Grainy mouthfeel, but easy drinking just the same.

D: What this beer lacks in complexity it makes up in drinkability. It can be paired with almost any food. It's also great on its own. Above average ABV helps make this a great winter time brew, as well. One of my favorites. A staple in my fridge.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2007 19:00:40 | More by BassAssassin
Photo of GreatPondBrewer
GreatPondBrewer

California

4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2002-2003 edition.
I have only had their summer ale so I did not know what to expect from this beer, but I must admit that I was pleasantly surprised with it. The smooth pour revealed a beautiful, dark, amber hue that had a thin, white, styrofoamy head that clung to the side of my glass all the way down. The smell was very arousing with scents of a sweet caramel balanced with a salty, teriyaki like smell. The taste was very dry with deep full bodied taste. Very good winter brew!

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2003 18:15:54 | More by GreatPondBrewer
Photo of Sixpack595
Sixpack595

Michigan

4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another impressive brew from Geary's. Crystal clear copper colored with very minimal head. Aroma is bready malt and fruity hops. Apples and caramel with a touch of butterscotch. Very smooth with a buttery, buiscity taste. Toffee and fruit make an appearance as before being rounded out by big oily hops. Mouthfeel may be a bit thinner than I prefer, but I sure didn't want to stop at one. So I didn't. I like strong beers, so this is *almost* like a session beer for me. Good stuff.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2003 08:15:58 | More by Sixpack595
Photo of Georgiabeer
Georgiabeer

Georgia

4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured amber with a head that quickly fades to nothing. Spotty lacing. The smell is quite malty, but dry. The taste has that same dry maltiness up front, but this is followed by quite a whallop of bitter orange hops and a spicy finish. Quite tasty. Mouthfeel is a bit prickly, but it suites the hop slam. Quite a nice treat, a beautiful if hoppier than usual exampleof the style.

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2007 21:14:20 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of msubulldog25
msubulldog25

Oregon

4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Short-necked, twist-off-capped bottle, holding 12 ounces; poured to the Abita pint glass. No date (or much else) on the simple label. Big 'HSA' on the neck and cap. This came from Back East, a swap with AdamB84...

A: Crystal-clear honey/amber, topped with about 1-finger of pillowy, ivory-colored head. Excellent head retention, settling to a denser creaminess. A healthy level of fast-rising carbonation.

S: This one was slow to develop, starting vaguely sweet and grainy. With time and warming, more ripe fruit, orange rind and flowery spice rose. Malts become more and more sugar-laden, melding nicely with the fruit and spice.

T: Lots of ripe fruit (raisins, plums?) hit up front, with a citrus juice twist and an intriguing tart cherry. Bready malts have lots of sugariness, brown sugar and toffee. Drying hoppiness in the finish balances the malts well.

M: Some carbonation 'busy-ness' in the mouth initially, then settling to a smooth, creamy mouthfeel - seeming to thicken as the glass empties. Medium carbonation. Alcohol gives a slight warmth and malts stick a bit on the cheeks and lips.

D: Quite tasty! Intriguing flavors, something different. Easy to drink, too (mine didn't last more than 5 minutes...it was a long day at work...); 7% makes it a strong ale to 'session' but I certainly have liked another...

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2007 04:41:37 | More by msubulldog25
Photo of sudz42
sudz42

Maine

4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

for the style it's exceptional--the style being winter. too many winter styles are sweet.

this is balanced, with strong hop finish, strong malt and a high abv.

have to side with the brothers' reviews in the "A" category. although they're from massachusetts they both spell "flavour." maybe they've been hanging around england. seems the letter system is new; kinda preferred the numeric rating system.

first drank this in the early 90's when it was only brewed in winter. it should stay that way because it's a winter beer. now it's year 'round and a new label. oh well change is good.

gives you an "imperial" sort of unexpected buzz. very warm.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2008 23:53:28 | More by sudz42
Photo of StaveHooks
StaveHooks

Oklahoma

4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a clear dark amber. 1.5 finger head that sinks down to a nice ceiling.

S - Toffee malt, slight spice, alcohol vapors, fruity-mostly grapes.

T - Roasted toffee malt, nutty gingerbread spices, sharp citrus, apples, dates, and butterscotch. All this is surrounded with with quite a bit of grassy lemon hop bitterness. Finishes dry.

M - Medium to full bodied and creamy.

The rich fruity malt is masterfully balanced by the grassy hops. A very complex brew that is a joy to drink.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2010 02:47:03 | More by StaveHooks
Photo of mynie
mynie

Indiana

4.2/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

English Strong and American Old are two of the most underrated ales in the American beer scene, in my humble opinion. They share a lot of traits. Lots of intense maltiness--just as impressive, complex, and hard on the novices as intense malt profiles. We like hop bombs and things that taste like bourbon. Any other kind of intensity is not our cup of tea.

Pours limply, according to my low-malt prejudices. Maybe in another world, a world where Hello means Goodbye and Cheeri-o is a greeting, this is what a great pour looks like. Here, it's just kinda pretty but headless.

Smells like a wonderful potpourri of wood and malt and furniture polish and burny chemical yeast. Canned flowers are in there. Nice smells of synthetic nature. If Eraserhead was a beer it would smell like this.

Tastes much like it smells. Big, giantic caramel starts things off. This moves into a woodier back, generic fruit and flowers, and this swings pretty quickly back into caramel with some nuts and then a sweet aftertaste of burny alcohol.

Nice. Not everybody's cup of tea, but nice.

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2008 03:57:14 | More by mynie
Photo of blackie
blackie

Virginia

4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

appearance: The thin, white head recedes immediately, leaving a ring of bubbles around the edge of the snifter. The beer is medium amber in color.

smell: A mixture of odors of light and dark fruits is provided by the malts used, and slightly floral hops back them up and provide hints of tropical fruits. Very much like a malt heavy IPA, but different in its own right, the malts slightly more evident and the hops a little more muted. Hints of pineapple, mango, and cantaloupe are present. There is a slight pecan like nuttiness. A very well balanced ale.

mouthfeel: Carbonation is on the lower end of the high range and the body is a light medium.

taste: The fruity malt is almost perfectly balanced with the bittering hops, though I would personally prefer a lower bitterness. Slightly nutty and earthy. Again, very well balanced.

drinkability: A good ale all around, and pretty drinkable too.

I was pretty surprised to find this one at my local beer store, but am glad I happened to notice it as I glanced over their selection.

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2005 03:08:17 | More by blackie
Photo of Brent
Brent

Kentucky

4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice brown/bronze color. Not much head, but the beer maintained an impressive sheeting of tiny carbonation bubbles up the sides of the glass throughout. Malty with a touch of honeysuckle blossom honey. Solid bittering drops in at the finish, with a lingering, thickness at the back of the tongue. Very tasty, and thanks to Cooper for the Christmas trade.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2002 20:44:43 | More by Brent
Photo of bro2baseball
bro2baseball

New Hampshire

4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What an exceptional beer. I have to admit I'm a very amateur beer drinker, and have drank more PBR than anything else.

But Geary's HSA is by far my favorite. I drink it straight from the bottle, the smell is amazing, it makes my mouth water after one sniff.

The taste is really exceptional. It's quite heavy, and it lingers in your mouth pleasantly after each sip. Drinkability is great, I love knocking a few of these back with buds, though it is a bit heavy.

Take my review with a grain of salt - I am not very experienced. But this is the best beer I've ever had.

Serving type: bottle

07-07-2010 20:39:02 | More by bro2baseball
Photo of Imstillthegman
Imstillthegman

Delaware

4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear amber-copper color with a nice, full two finger head. The head disappears rather quickly, but a nice solid ring remains.

Nose is malty with some alcohol presence. Fruity, brown sugar, very light floral hop notes, toffee, and the alcohol.

Sweet fruits (apples mostly), buttery caramel, florals, and the warming alcohol. Starts sweet and finishes dry. Just enough hops to keep it from being over the top sweet. Quite tasty.

Medium bodied with light carbonation. Sweet, dry aftertaste. Good beer to have on a cool day as the alcohol has a nice warming effect.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2007 14:32:22 | More by Imstillthegman
Photo of Andy
Andy

Massachusetts

4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer celebrates everything I personally dislike in Northeastern beer: the Ringwood yeast strain. Deep amber color. Nose is fresh hop, diacetyl, and sweet malt mixed deep within. Mix of sweet english malt and ringwood yeast flavor/diacetyl, buttery overtones. Slightly earthy mix of hops and yeast. Very well-constructed and a solid rating even if I don't personally enjoy it.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2002 20:40:39 | More by Andy
Photo of CharlesRiver
CharlesRiver

Connecticut

4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours amber in color with little to no head. The smell is all malt. Mellow and malty in taste with a nice warming as it goes down. I remember having this on tap when I was in college. I loved it then and I love it now. Others have mentioned things like fruity & watery but I don't get that at all. Please do try as this is worth every penny.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2002 02:40:47 | More by CharlesRiver
Photo of chaz01
chaz01

Ohio

4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle from the Beer of the Month Club

A: Dark mahogany color with ruby highlights and an off-colored head.

S: Malty, caramel aroma.

T: Initially, I just picked up some peaty scotch malt flavor. But the beer really opens up as it warms, picking up some fruity grape flavors, a bit of alcohol, caramel malt and a slightly bitter finish.

M: Full bodied, light carbonation.

D: Nice malty sipping beer if not served too cold

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2010 04:27:27 | More by chaz01
Photo of inebrius
inebrius

Michigan

4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nicely balanced drink this; flavors of pecan sticky buns and toasted maple branches plaster your buds. Slick sips drain easily while aromas of coconut marshmallows and circus peanuts stick to your nose hairs like insane sugar sea jellies. Finishes mellow and wet with traces of stainless. Pleasant drinking if you don't plan on more than a couple.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2005 03:09:58 | More by inebrius
Photo of Brenden
Brenden

Ohio

4.23/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Sort of a medium brown with a red-orange flair through it, there's a thickness that seems attributable only to the darkness of color and is completely clear otherwise. Soft bubbling activity eases up the sides of the glass and continues to steady a thick, creamy and dense tan head that doesn't settle to less than one finger to begin with but, more surprisingly, at any point during the entire session. Patching remains in clumpy manner well down the glass.
Must, toast, earth, and some gently spiced dark fruits make up a particular but very nice aroma. It seems quite rustic though very much like baked sweetbreads, perhaps more of a thick dark dough. Lots of fig, currant and apple, along with honey and toffee, are balanced by all the earthiness in the hops presence off a malt lead.
More gentle bitterness comes out on the tongue than I get from the nose. The earthiness is certainly present in it, along with lots of dry leaf. Spiciness takes a stronger position as well, sweetness easing out and things generally switching order and strength from aroma to flavor. It's lightly buttery and still gently sweet, but I wouldn't have expected from smelling this beer that hops would take control like this in the taste.
Crisp with a surprising heft on the front of the tongue, this beer is nevertheless barely medium-bodied but well within range and with a nice smoothness along with the good, clean, crisp bite.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2014 15:30:23 | More by Brenden
Photo of russpowell
russpowell

Oklahoma

4.25/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this NC late July, review based on notes

Poured copper/caramel with 2 fingers of sand colored head. Above average lacing & head retention

S: Slight breadyness & brown sugar

T: Bready with herbal hops up front. Hints of brown sugar & chocolate as this warms. Finishes with herbal & citrus hops, & dry brown sugar

MF: Rich & chewy with low carbonation & near perfect balance

Drank real easy for the ABV, a really tasty offering from one of the first Maine breweries I ever tasted (back in the 90s)

Serving type: bottle

10-25-2007 15:30:20 | More by russpowell
Photo of Gusler
Gusler

Arizona

4.25/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a cloudless amber color with the head impressive in size, frothy in texture and the color an off-white, the left over lace thick and clinging. The hop floral tones quite pronounced, along with the customary malt and sweet caramel. Begins quite sweet and the top middle of the road mouth feel wise, finish is has a monster hop bite and the carbonation pleasant, dry as a bone aftertaste, quite "Quaffable".

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2002 13:27:03 | More by Gusler
Photo of ramonesfan
ramonesfan

Connecticut

4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

08-26-2013 23:50:25 | More by ramonesfan
Photo of pathman
pathman

Ohio

4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

07-15-2013 02:12:49 | More by pathman
Photo of WeldBeerMan
WeldBeerMan


4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

08-29-2012 01:33:54 | More by WeldBeerMan
Photo of PokerGod
PokerGod

Minnesota

4.25/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a stemmed tulip.

Appearance- reddish color has a very nice look with a nice head. good retention and excellent lacing.

Smell- Yowsa! Hoppy yet sweet. smells like my kind of beer. I'm excited to try this one.

Taste- Doesn't let me down at all. Delicious. Hoppy ye sweet, just like it smells. You can taste the alcohol in this 7% ABV Ale. But, I think that's a nice thing. Keeps my tongue warm.

Overall- I really like this brew. I will certainly try to get more of this. I think it's certainly a drinkable beer, just watch your quantity with that 7% ABV, it'll catch you.

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2011 05:44:45 | More by PokerGod
Photo of ale207
ale207

Maine

4.25/5  rDev +7.6%

12-14-2011 20:39:52 | More by ale207
Photo of jreitman
jreitman

California

4.25/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2002-2003 Fruity/spicy aroma... some nutmeg, apples, all kinds of smells came out. Poured a deep copper with a thick and dense, off white head. Nice visible carbonation. Slight bubblegum note to the nose came out as it warmed. Flavor of sweet fruit with some nice cinnamony spicing coming through. Bitterness was fairly high but fit well with the rest of the beer. After a while aroma and flavor started to remind me of artificial strawberries (think lollipops).

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2003 23:17:33 | More by jreitman
Geary's Hampshire Special Ale from D.L. Geary Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 514 ratings.