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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

525 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 525
Reviews: 369
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 12.41%
Wants: 28
Gots: 8 | 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
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Ratings: 525 | Reviews: 369 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of beernads
3/5  rDev -24.1%

beernads, May 24, 2013
Photo of Gavage
4.13/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep amber color with a slighlty thin head. The head slowly receded to the rim of the glass along with some spotty bubbles on the surface. The aroma was sweet, but the alcohol was definitely noticable. The flavor was a great balance of sweetness, spiciness, and bitterness. Very smooth and full bodied. There is a slight malt and alcohol aftertaste. Definitely a tasty ale.

Gavage, Oct 06, 2003
Photo of tempest
4.28/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I've been on a strong ale kick lately and this is one of the better ales I've sampled. Retention isn't great, but the orange-ruby red coloring is gorgeous. Smell and taste are both subtle and appropriate for the style and I'm tempted to give 4.5's, but I just can't pull enough complexity out (maybe next time). Tastes of orange, apples and sweet berries with a touch of grassy bitterness. Smooth mouthfeel and very easy drinking. No hint of alcohol, this one could be a dangerous session beer. Go try this.

tempest, Dec 11, 2006
Photo of Billolick
4.05/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 ouncer, with a new label motif, twist off cap. No freshness dating. Pours a nice honey/golden tone of amber, white head of tiny bubbles and leaving moderate lacing. Clear, with bubbles streaming to the top for a good long while. Nose is malty, with some vanilla, and confectionary sugar. This is a sweet, flavorful brew. Goes down very easy. Notes of vanilla, mild rum, straw, and lightly spicy finish. A bit warming. Feels and tastes slightly thin for the style. Understated and very British, ie: subtle and balanced, two fine qualities in a brew.. Pleasant wintertime sipper

Billolick, Dec 07, 2004
Photo of Georgiabeer
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.

Georgiabeer, Jul 06, 2007
Photo of wrightst
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%

wrightst, Jul 12, 2014
Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to ampzilla for this brew.

Pours a nice clean/clear dark golden amber color, nice carbonation, nice small foamy tannish head, nice sticky lacing follows. The nose is malty, slightly spicy, and lots of caramel. The taste is malty, slightly bitter, some spicness, and lots of caramel. Medium body. Very drinkable, a tasty ESA, glad to have had a chance to try it.

Wasatch, Jun 28, 2007
Photo of ppoitras
3.9/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 12ozer from a 6 pack of the beer that used to be "Only available while the weather sucks." I hear it is available year round now, and rightly so... Bought at Tully's in Wells, ME, (a great little shop if you find yourself in the area), and fridged since then.

When poured into an imperial pint glass, a slight head forms, which quickly dissipates. The color is a dark and malty, with a slight tinge of red to my untrained eye. A nice aroma, with an obvious alcohol odor in the offing. Taste is nice, with a slight warming present, an indication of the 7% ABV. A benefit of the brew (a nice, unexpected bite of bitterness), can also be it's downfall, knocking it's session-ability down a bit. However, on cask (Great Lost Bear) it was incredible.

ppoitras, Jan 15, 2004
Photo of BillRoth
4/5  rDev +1.3%

BillRoth, Dec 19, 2013
Photo of beerthulhu
3.83/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured a clear, light cranberry color with no head.

S: light with some dried grapefruit and decent maltiness.

T: malty with some light fresh woody toasted notes, and a dry floral hoppiness. The beer finished with a dried citrus hopping, and a slight toasted malting.

M: moderate with some dried citrus notes upon the tongue.

D: Overall a generally good ale, with a outdoorsy palate of dried woodiness, malt, pine and citrus making for an easy drinking ale by the fireplace.

beerthulhu, Apr 14, 2008
Photo of Bighuge
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear copper color with streams of carbonation surfacing at a nice clip. Thin muddy looking brown head adorns the top and dwindles down to a collaring within a minute. Lacing is spotty, but nice. The aroma is quite nice. A thick malt presence blends with some sweet fruity tones. Toffee and caramel apple. And then there's also some nuttiness, wood and a little smoke. Nice blend. Some alcohol hits my palate first. A bit of a sting, but not out of character in the context of this beer. It blends nicely with the wooden barrel character and slight smoke I find in this beer. The malts make their presence known with caramel, toffee, biscuit and a little toasted character. I like the sweet aspect of this beer. Candied apple comes to mind. Not cloying in the least. Just delicious.

I do not know if there is a bigger advocate of one beer than JohnnyP and this one. I thank my lucky stars (and JohnnyP) I had a chance to try it (and cellar one).

Bighuge, Nov 05, 2003
Photo of DrJay
4.33/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received from cburian as part of Secret Bunny 07. Thanks Chris!

Clear medium amber with a thin cap of fine, whitish foam. Some stickage between sips, decent head retention for what's there. Aromas of floral hops, caramel, brown sugar, and fruity esters (pear?). Malty flavour, not overly sweet, but with a mellow caramel backbone and a solid, balanced bitterness. A little bready, toasty, estery middle, and a hint of alcohol. Medium bodied, lowish carbonation, slightly grainy texture with a bit of warmth at the end. Very nice. A well-crafted, easy drinking english strong ale. I like this one quite a bit.

DrJay, Apr 28, 2007
Photo of PEIhop
4/5  rDev +1.3%

PEIhop, Sep 02, 2013
Photo of harpus
4/5  rDev +1.3%

harpus, Jul 02, 2013
Photo of GarthDanielson
3.49/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a shaker pint, the beer is a ruby-highlighted caramel coloring with a thin, filmy, white head. Nose of apricot and mango fruit sweetness and a caramel backbone. Tangy aromas, overall. Flavors of roast initially, with a biscuit backbone, honey and fruit sweetness, and a spicy blend overlay. Light bodied, with a roasty and tangy sweet aftertaste. CLean, slightly sharp finish. Surprisingly easy to drink despite a slightly elevated ABV and heavy flavor profile.

GarthDanielson, Jun 10, 2013
Photo of johnnnniee
3.83/5  rDev -3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a beautifully clear reddish amber with a frothy off white head that dissipates quickly. Smells of alcohol and a bit of floral and perfume, some sweet malt in there bread and biscuit. Really great nose. Taste is sweet malt up front some toffee and caramel. With some alcohol and hop bitterness mid to finish. Some raisins or dried fruits in there too. Medium to thick body. A syrupy oily mouthfeel. Low carbonation. Great Strong ale, if not a touch sweet. Not cloying, but a little sweet.

johnnnniee, Nov 06, 2008
Photo of Gusler
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".

Gusler, Dec 17, 2002
Photo of Brad007
4.05/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light amber color with a one-finger head. Smell is strong and malty upfront, much like the style implies. Taste is reminiscent of a barleywine, with a softness to it and a lot of fruity/biscuity overtones in the finish. Very tasty to me. The alcohol seems to have mellowed, creating a very drinkable ale that is far more suited for sipping than chugging. I like this very much.

Brad007, Sep 29, 2007
Photo of Bitterbill
4.43/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I got this bottle in a trade with Wasatch. Thanks John!

This pours from 12oz bottle a clear medium gold with a 2 finger head of foam.

The smell is very malty and very nice. I also get a fruity nose that makes it a pleasure to sniff.

The taste has big caramel malt, dark fruit, some grain, and a surprisingly ample but not overpowering hop presence in the background that adds just the right touch to somewhat balance it out but to tell you the truth, I'm enjoying the hell out of the malt. Nice bit of bready notes here as well and the alcohol is completely hidden, asaic. Lovely drop!
It has a fairly thick mouthfeel(yeah!), the carbonation is medium light, and it finishes malty semi sweet. Again...lovely drop! Oh, and the foam hangs around like forever. I'm *really* impressed with this English Strong Ale and I'd seek it out again.

Thanks again, John!

Bitterbill, Dec 27, 2007
Photo of avalon07
3.68/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: When poured from a bottle to a pint glass, this beer had a rust color and a big, foamy head. Good lacing.

S: Smells of caramel, malt and some indeterminate spices. Pretty complex aroma.

T: Very malty, with some traces of hops and and caramel. It's a rich taste, with a fairly high alcohol content (more than I expected at any rate).

M: A high level of carbonation and smooth finish here. Full-bodied.

D: Overall, this is a drinkable beer - if you're into the style. It has a complex character on the whole that's a little bracing at first. Still, a solid brew.

avalon07, Aug 28, 2008
Photo of Dogbrick
3.63/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a mostly clear reddish-brown color with a medium thick and creamy light tan head that has good retention. Patchy lacing on the glass. Equal parts toasted malt and hops in the nose. Medium, smooth body with a moderately hoppy character supported by sweet caramel and malt flavors. Mild spice and alcohol are present too. The finish is hoppy with touches of toasted malt and fruit in the aftertaste. Straightforward and easy to drink, this is a pretty good session beer.

Dogbrick, Nov 02, 2007
Photo of tavernjef
3.58/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clear copper color with a one inch ivory colored head of smooth, thick fluff that faded super fast to a thick skim and fast dripping lace. Aroma is faint of woodish dryness with touches of leafy dry hops, light caramel, and dulled citrus. Taste is mild and subdued, with lightly sweet roasty/toasty breadish malts, lightly playing hop bitterness lending a bit of leafyness and citrus. Notes of dry wood. Malts build a bit more into the finish with some light chewyness and sweet tang of fruits that are hard to distinguish, pear maybe? Feel is quite smooth and medium bodied with an easy carbonation, finishes a bit crisp with lingering malted sweetness. An OK Old Ale if there ever was one. Thanks to mydeadguy for the bottle through BIF 4.0

tavernjef, Nov 27, 2003
Photo of ZAP
4.3/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice amber color....Nose is very inviting....a bit of whiskey...some bing cherries...and even some leather and mustiness...body is thick and firm but easy drinking....about perfect...feels good in the mouth, like it was meant for me to drink a six-pack of this tonight (although I only have one which is a probably a good thing)...A verynice flavor to match the nose although slightly weaker than the nose.....same elements...sweet fruit/whiskey/leather...finsihes with a nice twang of hops that throws this malty badass into balance.....a very enjoyable beer...one of the more drinkable barley wines I've had...A guy could get in trouble with this....a lot of character with this beer, but a high drinkability as well....thanks to Bierman9 for providing this memorable beer..

ZAP, Jun 18, 2003
Photo of RoyalT
3.5/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – This beer is a light brown in color with a good, clingy white head.

Smell – The light, easy, English-style hops are supported by some good biscuity notes.

Taste – This is reminiscent of the English bitter style but a bit bigger. The bittering hops and biscuity malts are all understated but well done.

Mouthfeel – This is rather light for a “strong ale”, I wouldn’t even say medium-bodied, but is well balanced and has some nice, light bitterness at the end.

Drinkability – I wouldn’t put this in a taste test with Fuller’s, but it was good enough to enjoy.

RoyalT, May 16, 2005
Photo of RBorsato
2.8/5  rDev -29.1%
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.)

RBorsato, Jan 13, 2004
Geary's Hampshire Special Ale from D.L. Geary Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 525 ratings.