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

Geary's Hampshire Special AleGeary's Hampshire Special Ale

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

496 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 496
Reviews: 366
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 12.41%

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)
View: Beers (13) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Ratings: 496 | Reviews: 366 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of brewcrew76


3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to themaniacalone for this one.

A - Ice tea colored rusty amber with a nice sized off white head and few strings of lace.

S - Earthy and fruity hops with some sweet malt, toffee and butterscotch. The malt smells like the inside of a Butterfinger.

T - Toffee and butterscotch, fruity grape flavors, light touch of alcohol, grassy and herbal hops linger on the finish. Buttery with honey notes.

M - Full body with a good amount of carbonation. Goes down easy for being full bodied. Slight warming from alcohol.

D - Solid. Was expecting it to taste a little bigger and complex but not disappointed.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2012 23:40:30 | More by brewcrew76
Photo of mikeyv35

New York

4.8/5  rDev +21.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2011 05:31:39 | More by mikeyv35
Photo of Knapp85


3.08/5  rDev -22%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2011 23:23:42 | More by Knapp85
Photo of hustlesworth


3.93/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- hazy copper colored with a substantial beige head. looks hoppy enough, nice lacing.

S- east kent goldings are the main aroma component along with some toasty sweet malt. earthy, herbal, lemony and slightly pungent. smells english. mild chocolate and toffee layers hang beneath. smells like wychwood beers.

T- loads of hop flavor in this toasty strong ale. herbal and resinous, pine and grapefruit pith. there's burnt biscuit and weak coffee in the background and a lemony tartness. more earthy and less sweet than the aroma with a woodsy hoppy finish. could easily pass for an IPA.

MF- zesty carbonation livens up the body a bit but the weight is hard to perceive. sticky on the lips and drying on the cheeks, alcohol is evident here.

D- not a bad brew for a stock ale, strong ale, whatever, geary's has UK style brews down solid. abundant use of goldings and lots of malt work well, but the flavor can get intense.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2011 22:51:40 | More by hustlesworth
Photo of BeerKangaroo


4.43/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Into a pint glass:

A: dark brown colored body with a big beautiful one inch white foamy head that wants to spill over the pint glass no matter how careful you try to pour it, decent lacing

S: dominating pale malts, hops remain in the background

T: previously mentioned flavors with darker malts coming through, slight yeastiness

M: medium to heavy, borderline sessionable, noticeable coating of the tongue, sticky malty aftertaste and finish

O: always love this one by Geary's, good for the style and good for me.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2011 23:37:14 | More by BeerKangaroo
Photo of BEERMILER12


4.38/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a nice amber color with a fingers worth of head that sticks around for a while

S: Ringwood yeast, some pale malts, and maybe some backing hops

T: Again with the ringwood yeast, some pale to darker malts, and backing hops to prevent sweetness. Fairly stiff, but no alcohol noticeable

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation, fairly leathery on the tongue

O: Another solid brew from Geary's. The style is done very nicely and is definitely a pure example of an English strong ale

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2011 02:38:50 | More by BEERMILER12
Photo of tvazteca


4.38/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The Geary's HSA pours a beautiful dark amber, sticky-icky up the sides and a beautiful 1/4 inch head. It smells good but would probably smell better if my dishwasher didn't do such a shitty job. Sorry Geary's. The beer still tastes great. It almost tastes like an ESB despite it's strong ale label. I know the salesman told me I'd say that, and my heart wants to be contrarian, but it does taste like an ESB. Feels great going down. Excellent beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2011 01:04:08 | More by tvazteca
Photo of philbe311


4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Two fingers worth of audibly fizzy slightly rich light tan colored head with a bit of a rocky top... Decent retention and the head turns much creamier as it settles a bit... Loaded with small bubbled carbonation that starts sluggish but quickly accelerates... The color is warm light caramel... A bit of lacing clings to the glass throughout the session...

S - Toffee... Toasted malts... Some fruity notes... Hints of caramel... Perhaps just the slightest bit of booziness... A bit earthy...

T - After the nose the fairly potent hop presence takes you a bit by surprise... After a initial malty burst of light toffee, toasted malts, and fruit the hops takes center stage and shine... They are noble in nature and add wonderful depth and complexity to this offering... They linger in a very even and consistent manner...

M - On the fuller side of medium bodied... Smooth... Sleek... Moderately creamy... Sophisticated... Perhaps ever so slightly thin... A bit of a dry finish...

D - This is an exceptionally well crafted English Strong Ale... Strong in all facets... If this were available to me on a regular basis it would no doubt be in my go to rotation... I will gladly invest in a sixer of this anytime I'm passing through "DL Geary" territory and stronglys suggest that you do the same... Definitely more than the sum of its parts...

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2011 00:55:54 | More by philbe311
Photo of KTCamm

New Jersey

3.38/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a twelve oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours medium amber with with good foam and some lacing. Malty smell, some fruitiness. Light bubblegum. Mellow malt with firm hop. Light lingering at the end and long finish. Some fruit at the finish too.

Kind of musty and old feeling. A little like I pulled an old bottle out of someones basement. Ok beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2011 01:20:47 | More by KTCamm
Photo of CampusCrew


4.15/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

appearance: dark brown, amber highlights with some good head rentention and lacing

smell: caramle with earthy aromas

taste: huge caramel, nicely balanced with huge hop profile

mouthfeel: full bodied

drinkability: a great fusion of american and english ales

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2011 18:59:35 | More by CampusCrew
Photo of DirtyPenny


3.98/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass during my weekly online D&D game.

A: Woody amber brown with dark red/garnet notes. Poured with 1 finger of tan head. Lots of waves and whirls and webs of wacing.... I mean, lacing.

S: Sweet bready malt and a finish of grassy hops. Like standing out in a field of tall grass, holding a loaf of fresh baked brown bread, wondering how you got there and why you're holding this bread. And yet, you realize that you look damn fine in a drindl.

T: Why are you wearing a drindl? Geary's is a take on British ales. Sweet toffee and lively brown sugar notes with a backbone of toasty brown bread. Alcohol runs throughout and is about as subtle as the smell of a freshly paved highway. Bitter hop finish.

M: Surprisingly light given that this is a "big" (ish) beer. A touch grainy, with active, fizzy carbonation. Suddenly you're back in that field being tickled by dandelion seeds. And it's awesome because there aren't many things in this world that you can kick and they immediately explode, but the dandelion is one.

O: Mad ramblings aside, Geary's Hampshire Special is a great strong ale. I'd seek this one out again.

I sometimes wonder how James Joyce got away with this crap for so long.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2011 03:47:22 | More by DirtyPenny
Photo of capeannbass36


3.6/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Had on tap at Mac's Grille in Auburn, Maine.
Arrived in a pint glass. Sort of ice tea color, one finger off white head.

S- Some sweet malt. Some fruit.

T- Flavor is similar to smell, but less intense.

M- Unfortunately this draft was pretty flat. Minimal carbonation. Huge disappointment. Slightly warm, boozy feel.

O- Didn't even bother to finish. Too flat. Temperature was fairly cold. That felt right. Flavor and carbonation did not cut it for me.

Serving type: on-tap

08-05-2011 21:45:43 | More by capeannbass36
Photo of VelvetExtract


4.05/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-Pours a perfect median between amber and rust. No haze. Slim off-white head. Not much head.

S-I smell bananas at first whiff. A hint of floral hoppiness. A bunch of sweetness too. Unique scent. Mellow but when I hone in on the various components in the nose I enjoy what I detect. Almost smells like cognac mixed with strawberry-banana yogurt.

T-The taste and the aroma are a perfect pair. There really is a decent bouquet of different flavors in HSA. Caramel and toffee mix with the banana fruitiness. Alcohol comes into the equation but is well masked. I was worried that Geary's high ABV offering would be a bit messy, but this one is clean and surprisingly soft while being imbibed.

M-Carbonation is mellow. Feel is on the heavier side of a medium mouthfeel. Alcohol dries out the tongue only a tiny bit.

O/D-Most of my reviews depict the battle between expectation and actuality. This one beats expectations. I think this is a pretty cool beer. Hey, maybe my evading Geary Brewing Company was a bad idea. Geary's Summer, Pale Ale, are you next?

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2011 05:31:46 | More by VelvetExtract
Photo of Infamous7100


3.53/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: pours a copper, off orange color with a great looking tan head. Nice lacing.
S: very muted, nothing leaping out at me. Faint malt, bit of grassy hops.
T: nice balance of malt and hops. Sweet and malty up front, blending with hoppy bite at the back. Picking up more bread like flavors than anything else.
M: very smooth, borderline creamy. Mild carbonation and great bite/burn at the end where you can really feel that 7% burn. Really like it.
O: expected more in the aroma and flavor. I believe I may have waited too long to try this, as after reading some reviews, my aromas and flavors seem lacking. Nice beer though and will try it again.

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2011 01:15:57 | More by Infamous7100
Photo of PokerGod


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 rinhaak


3.3/5  rDev -16.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2011 13:10:32 | More by rinhaak
Photo of Duhast500

Rhode Island

3.35/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Clown Shoes pint glass.

The color is clear dark amber with a finger of foamy off-white head and some thick lacing left on the glass.

The smell is a little buttery and some caramel aroma hits along with it. The aroma reminds of a butterfinger candy bar.

The taste is buttery with some bready flavor. There is a whole ring of caramel that is holding at the borders of this beer and comes out every so often.

The feel of this beer is pretty even and goes down with a smooth feel. Some nice aftertaste that does linger a little too long.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2011 04:12:25 | More by Duhast500
Photo of AlexanderSelby

North Carolina

4.03/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Handsome, almost cloudy, copper color with little head. Smells like brown sugar and flowers, but heavier on the flower. Tastes like brown sugar and flowers, but heavier on the sugar. Sweet, but not cloying on the tongue. Like a nice herbal tea blended with a spoonful of honey. And 7%? Where?! Pretty well balanced and "in check," with no aggressive flavors running rampant.

Man, I love this. That's not a very objective statement to put into a review, but I think it's because this is a taste for yourself kind of beer. It is unbelievably agreeable and sensational, but the reasons why are sort of vague. There aren't huge hoppy notes, or big malty sweets. There is just a balance of all things which create a wonderfully in-tune song. I guess you just have to try it. And I am going to try it...again...and again!

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2011 02:47:14 | More by AlexanderSelby
Photo of corcoranjc


3.7/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Reddish amber with a pretty strong head and decent lacing. not bad lookin,' wouldn't kick it out of bed for eating crackers.

S - caramel, and butter. some butterscotch as well. sweet and full smelling.

T - sweet buttery goodness with a slight hop bitterness in the finish. very nice, but definitely different.

M - Very full and round.

D - it depends for me. i love this beer, but there are times when one is surely enough and other times where i can drink 4 of them. the alcohol is well hidden for me, but the buttery taste from the ringwood yeast can make this a sipper.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2011 06:34:22 | More by corcoranjc
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.98/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Spot on for the style, this beverage emmits a rich though pale malting. Medium golden coloured body with a generous, intially enormous foamy white head. Above average mouthfeel, themalting is complex and tasty, with a dryish and slightly bitter finish.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2010 21:40:11 | More by Sammy
Photo of chaz01


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 StaveHooks


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 morimech


4.4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Amber copper color with one finger of rocky head that had good retention before settling to a thin cap. Quite a bit of lacing is left on the glass.

After the beer opens up a little, I was treated with dark fruit, caramel, herbal and grassy hops resulting in a rich, complex aroma.

Taste is everything I expect from an English style ale. Bready and toffee malt with the sweetness kept in check by the grassy and herbal hops. This is a beer best sampled fresh I suspect.

The only short coming of this beer is that the body does not feal as big as it should. Lacks a texture that would put this beer in the elite level.

Why did it take me so long to discover this beer? Geary's really hit it hard with this beer. Right up there with Yorkshire Stingo.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2010 19:29:41 | More by morimech
Photo of mooseisloose


3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A recent BOTMC arrival. Looks like a buttkicker at 7%, let's give it a whirl. Popping the top I get hints of licorice, brown sugar and molasses. Pours to a deep bronze with a micro-bubble foamy head. The taste is a kicked up brown ale flavor with a nice noble hop bite. The AC is slightly evident in the lingering but smooth bitter finish. Mouthfeel is good with a nice sparky carbonation to augment the hop bite. This is a very high IBU special ale and is indeed quite tasty. A great drinker but the 7% probably sneaks up fast. I think I'll cellar the other two bottles I have and see how it tastes a year from now.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2010 17:30:48 | More by mooseisloose
Photo of scoobybrew


4.03/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

S - light citrus and herbal hop with caramel sweet malt aroma

T - sweet malt for a brief moment initially and a herbal, floral and light citrus hop flavor perhaps from a blend of European and American hops but potentially from American versions of European hops; hop bitterness on finish is firm but not harsh; malt is gentle and very supportive with caramel and slight biscuit like flavors; yeasty esters are also present and add a nice dimension

M - moderately high carbonation, full body

D - This is a very interesting beer for sure. I really think it could be marketed as an "Imperial Amber" as I find the hops don't seem to be totally true English hops as the BA classification might imply. Nonetheless, I like and think it's really well done.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2010 02:02:24 | More by scoobybrew
Geary's Hampshire Special Ale from D.L. Geary Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 496 ratings.