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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.
very good

528 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 528
Reviews: 369
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 12.44%
Wants: 28
Gots: 9 | 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
Ratings: 528 | Reviews: 369 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Crumpetsnbeer
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%

Crumpetsnbeer, May 29, 2014
Photo of MaineBrewing
4.59/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured a clear medium amber with ruby in the center and orange around the fringe. Head was a good two fingers of thick foam but dissipated quickly to a large bubbled froth. As always with Geary's and other similar breweries out of Portland I get no lacing, no remaining head, and a dead looking ale after a while. It ends up looking like I'm drinking iced tea. I would have to say the body/color puts it above "okay" but the liveliness or lack thereof really affects it and makes it dull.

S - Deep nutty aroma, with toffee and caramel malt notes, lots of fruity-ness as well as diacetyl, butter, biscuit, slight metallic character, and slight warming alcohol. No discernible hops, smells on par with the style and very approachable.

T - Taste is a complex deep nutty toffee malt character, loads of toasty bread and biscuit. Lots of buttery/diacetyl/ringwood yeast flavor dominates the finish, however is balanced well with the malt character and compliments it instead of overpower it. Good bite of bitter hops with lingering butter and toffee notes finish it off. To me the taste is perfect for the style.

M - Thick with low carb, a little hot at the end, slightly rough. This to me is a slow sipper, one to savor the nuances of the malt character that is deep and delicious.

O - Very English and very Portland. No matter how many newer more inventive breweries pop up in this state, the old school open fermented "Yorkshire" inspired ales with ringwood yeast in my opinion are sort of the foundation of Maine brewing, and Gear's HSA to me is some sort of the Pièce de résistance. A decadent deluge of English inspired flavor done in the old world style.

MaineBrewing, May 23, 2014
Photo of Blueribbon666
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Blueribbon666, May 18, 2014
Photo of henryclay_
4/5  rDev +1.5%

henryclay_, May 10, 2014
Photo of davidwhatshisnam
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%

davidwhatshisnam, May 03, 2014
Photo of BigFatOgre
3.25/5  rDev -17.5%

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

agentorangebitter, May 03, 2014
Photo of jebrew
5/5  rDev +26.9%

jebrew, Apr 07, 2014
Photo of SkinniePost
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

SkinniePost, Apr 05, 2014
Photo of Ken_P
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%

Ken_P, Mar 11, 2014
Photo of Brenden
4.23/5  rDev +7.4%
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.

Brenden, Mar 10, 2014
Photo of MACO
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

MACO, Feb 27, 2014
Photo of meehandennis
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

meehandennis, Feb 21, 2014
Photo of bostonryan
3/5  rDev -23.9%

bostonryan, Feb 09, 2014
Photo of Denzo
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%

Denzo, Jan 24, 2014
Photo of jmsedgwick
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

jmsedgwick, Jan 24, 2014
Photo of goldenM13
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

goldenM13, Jan 01, 2014
Photo of Shoeguy17
4/5  rDev +1.5%

Shoeguy17, Dec 29, 2013
Photo of Roguer
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Roguer, Dec 28, 2013
Photo of BillRoth
4/5  rDev +1.5%

BillRoth, Dec 19, 2013
Photo of rorjets
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%

rorjets, Dec 17, 2013
Photo of firesrage
3/5  rDev -23.9%

firesrage, Dec 04, 2013
Photo of scotorum
4/5  rDev +1.5%

scotorum, Dec 01, 2013
Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a dark chestnut color with decent clarity. The head is a two finger pale orange shade. The retention is quite solid, and the texture is quite creamy. Solid lacing is left behind on the glass.

S: DAT RAISINY NOSE. This starts off strongly with dark fruits, before a slight whiff of hop bitterness comes out after warming up. Caramel notes are nicely restrained but not nonexistent.

T: It starts off with a light hop bitterness redolent of tobacco. Maltiness takes over after the hops fade on the palate, with some unsweetened toffee. The finish is mildly fruity, but not as strong as the nose indicated. Sometimes I even get some wisps of chocolate. While I don't enjoy all of the flavors (COUGH CRYSTAL MALT COUGH), it's clear this is a high-quality example of the style, without a hint of alcohol anywhere.

M: This style is usually plagued by intrusive malts and a heavy lingering finish. This one is superbly clean, crisp, and there's only a slight sweetness on the back end. The carbonation is fairly mild, and yet it's still quite drinkable.

O: Normally, I'm not a fan of this style, but these guys damn near nailed this. It's super clean, drinkable, yet nicely complex and savorable. I would definitely buy this again - this is one of those 'hidden gems' that few people know about but is actually really damn good.

ThisWangsChung, Nov 25, 2013
Photo of MGodduclan5
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

MGodduclan5, Nov 18, 2013
Geary's Hampshire Special Ale from D.L. Geary Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 528 ratings.