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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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

586 Ratings

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Ratings: 586
Reviews: 377
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 12.5%
Wants: 30
Gots: 30 | 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: 586 | Reviews: 377
Photo of OtherShoe2
3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a rich copper with some brownish-red hues and a small white head that dissipated fairly quick. Some lacing, but not much.

Smells of sweet malt, butter, a little caramel.

A rich beer, has that dried stone fruit element, with caramel, some buttery notes, and some hop bitterness.

This one has fair carbonation, and you notice the alcohol (not super strong, but it there on your palate).

A tasty one for sure -- I think I pulled this one in the wrong season. Hard to knock back more than one in the summertime, but I'm sure once the cooler fall weather hits I'll be stocking this a bit more. Grabbed this as a single and glad I did.

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 brdc
3.97/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks cookin420 for this one. Small capped bottle, poured into a pint glass.

Copper colored brew, with a decent if not big whitish head, average lacing and retention.
Aroma is a mix of fruity hoppiness, caramel maltiness and some hints of butter.
Medium bodied, good carbonation.
Taste is a bit sweeter upfront than expected, some noticeable alcohol amidst the caramel, but well balanced by a hoppy, fruity bitterness.
Not overly complex but well done.

3.42/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Honey amber reddish body hosts a two finger off white head that fades to just a skim in minutes. Nose has big floral notes with phelonic spices, creamy fruits, and candied alchol notes. Flavor profile is abrubt with shrill bitter notes and citrus rind sour tones. A balance of grapefruit like hops and rocky malts round out the taste profile. Mouthfeel is a grapefriut rich bitter and a bit of a soapy tone. This is decently drinkable but a bit scattered.

Photo of PatrickJR
3.57/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle into nonic pint glass.

A - Slightly hazy copper, with a finger or so of off-white head. Retention is pretty short, falling to a film. Some lacing.

S - Malty, dark fruit smell, with a hint of licorice. Slight aroma of floral hops pull through.

T - Mild malt with a licorice edge. Dries out a bit with some earthy hops, though subdued. Aftertaste has some leafy hop notes. Good, but it's nothing all that interesting.

M - High carbonation, with a medium body. Unexpected, too fizzy.

D - A decent enough brew, but not what I thought it was going to be. Solid, but there's nothing outstanding about this beer.

Photo of ckeegan04
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark copper in color with foamy off white head. Moderate retention with good lacing.

S - Toasted malts with a hint of some caramel sweetness. Also a hint of alcohol.

T - Sweet malts and alcohol. Little bit of a caramel taste to it.

M/D - Medium bodied but a little thin on the feel. Good carbonation. A very sippable brew.

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.43/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appears an amber copper hue with a large off white cream head fine bubbled forms thick at least three fingers deep on the pint glass. By the way the head dwindles slowly and JohnnyP this one's for you. Lacing is left behind evenly in thin streaks between sips. Aroma contains tart fruit notes namingly some cherry and wood essence with an air of anise. Almost a cidery character to it in my opinion, again with more barrel notes. Flavors are wild with a front to back barrage of tart fruit, alcohol and wood aged caramel with anise spiced booziness. Caramelized brown sugar and strong alcohol flow together in the finish tickling the nose hairs just a bit but the body is a simple syrup texture with light carbonation that doesn't catch you until the back of the throat, really interesting definitely hard to describe. Drinkability overall this is a bit of a strange bird and it definitely screams a unique New England quality. I'm assuming that part, I've never traveled that far to the Northeast but again worth a try holds a special place in my beer memory and I saw it in Virginia had to pick up a bottle. A little bit of dust collected on the bottle but I assure you this one is still drinking prime.

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 stemcell001
4.32/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a light amber and off white head into a pint glass. Got a good whiff of some good hops. The first taste in the sip was a nice bitter hop followed by some slightly sweet and nutty smooth malts. The head left nice lacing down the pint glass. Definitely a great, quality ale. I could have a couple of these in a sitting.

Photo of BeerSox
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into nonic.

Slightly hazy copper color with an off white head that slowly settles to a thin cap.

Light sweet brown suggary grain with a little bit of raisin.

A touch of light grain is masked by a slight amount of bitter hops and some alcohol. There is some caramel in there along with some more raisin. Medium bodied with good carbonation. The finish is the lingering raisin.

An okay beer, does its job by packing a little more punch than a Pale Ale without going into the Barleywine territory. Lightly complex. Recommended.

Photo of deanhead
4.38/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have been drinking this beer for over ten years, and finally decided to take some notes on this really excellent offering from New England.

This beer poured an amber to burnt orange color with little head. The head that is present does lace nicely down the glass.

Aroma has hints of peat and scotch, as well as some buttery undertones.

Bitter and sweet tasting, but very well balanced. Warming alcohol feeling but not solventy, or fusel. The alcohol wamring feeling slowly creeps up thru my belly, and finally out my nose. Wonderful sensation. Nice lingering buttry finish, with a very slight mettalic taste.

medium bodied and highly drinkable beer. I have always ben a huge fan of this beer. It is delicious.
Try this beer if you like strong ales!

Photo of dasenebler
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

An excellent beer, a good buy in Maine, and a good way to support local business.

The first thing that hits me is a healthy bitterness, but it's not overpowering. Then comes the malt, which is strong in this brew, and very tasty. Kind of sweet, nutty, maybe caramel-like. Drinkable to the point that I could have a few in a sitting, but you've got to take the time to enjoy it and ponder the flavors and sensations.

7% abv can't be a bad thing either, right?

I enjoyed this beer, and I'd buy it again.

Photo of beerthulhu
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

Photo of PhageLab
3.63/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a chalice of power.

A - Ruby brown coloration, thin bot of froth, nice swirling effects on the top, fine lacing.

S - Roasted toffee and plum. Notes of toasted nuts and a hint of booze.

T - Rich and flavorful, dark fruits with a sufficient malty backbone. Gets a bit sweet at parts, but I can deal with it here, as this is a finely balanced brew.

M - Full bodied, nice carbonation level, and a nice aftertaste that lingers for several moments after a sip.

D - A very tasty brew, and one worth seeking out. I've yet to experience many in this field, but I must say, this has certainly sparked my interests.

Photo of dsa7783
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Short, fat, stout, single 12 oz bottle purchased from Total Wine and More in Union...
After an aggressive pour, a deep, dark, amber and ruby-red hue is noticeable along with a moderate-sized head that slowly receded and left a copious amount of lacing...
My first brew from this company, and I must admit that I was very impressed by the overall quality and flavor exhibited...
Subtle, soft smell with some noticeable hops and a touch of malts present along with a tinge of vanilla...
Rich, sweet, creamy taste bursting with caramel, sugars, vanilla, bread and butter, and butterscotch...
In my opinion, another highly underrated beer that should deserve more attention and respect...
Flavor was top-of-the-line and certainly one of the best depictions of the style that I have recently come acrosss...
Rich, creamy, thick, filling mouthfeel and an equally high level of drinkability where the ABV is well-masked behind a rich conglomeration of flavors...
Excellent stuff...
Definitely recommended...

Photo of Lothar666
3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- A dark orange copper red amber body with a creamy white head that was three full fingers thick and threatened to overflow as I poured it (oops). This one displayed excellent head retention and left plenty of lacing as it receeded.

S- Aroma is very clean- Fruit, yeast and malt aromas are present but not incredibly strong. There is a bit of the alcohol in the nose as well.

T- Tastes like copper pennies and alcohol. Some fruits become more prevalent as the beer warms. Very different, but at first I was not all that impressed for a beer that has gotten such a high rating on this site. A fair hop bitterness in the finish and something unfamilliar but strangely pleasent in the aftertaste work together to keep this beer from being a total loss, and as I drink more and more the off putting taste becomes strangely alluring and pleasant. Wierd.

M- Drinks almost like an Irish red at first. Very crisp, dry and clean at first sip but there is a bit of stickiness that doesn't make its presence felt until you get the aftertaste.

D- Despite its odd flavor and texture profile, this is a beer that is nothing if not incredibly drinkable. By halfway through the glass I find myself craving more of a beer that at first taste seems sub par at best. This one is definitley different and worth a try if you are adventurous.

Photo of beerbutcher
3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours a deep copper with a finger off whitish head.

there's a clean malt aroma as well as english hops and some yeast character to the aroma.

on the palate, the beer is broad and slightly sweet. there's a bit of english hop flavor though, not a ton of bitterness. the malt is really standing out, more than i remember. I will say, the alcohol is quite discreet making for a bit of a guzzling session.

mouthfeel is quite nice. nothing stands out, the carbonation is great, the hops are there enough and the alc factor is in check. the only problem is that nothing stands out... except for its drinkability...
.. which is insane. i can see how so many people get hurt drinking this stuff. makes a fantastic session beer, and the palate doesn't tire of it. gulp, gulp, grin.

Photo of KATE12
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a great rich amber color with a thin head and a little bit of lacing.

The smell is a sweet and fruity smell with hints of hops and malt.

The taste is awesome. First you get hit with a citrus flavor and suddenly there is a sweet carmel undertone to the beer. I loved it. It has a smooth and balanced taste with a heavy (in a good way!) mouthfeel.

All in all I was very happy with this beer!

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 jdmorgan
4.47/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This strong English ale poured an amber brown into an English pint glass.

The smell was light, with some slight malt aroma. There were some notes of fruitiness as well as some balanced hop flavor. I found the taste to begin with a sweet maltiness with a pleasant hop flavor. The two blended very well and finished with a full body and medium hop bitterness. The consistency was medium and so was the carbonation.

This ale surprised me, and I found it to be full of flavor, excellent in balance, and very drinkable. This would make a good session ale, despite it's high ABV. I'll be buying this again.

Photo of sudz42
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

Photo of alexwag
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Good ruddy amber with hint of red, partially opaque. Thin film of creamy white head, not much lacing.

S: Rich and malty, with toasted notes. Enticing but not overpowering.

T/M: Toasted and caramel malts, somewhat bready, but in a good way. Smooth and creamy without being cloying, goes down consistently well. Great balance with a little hop twang coming in at the end. Tasty beverage for the last few hours of '07.

D: Damn fine beer, could have a few and be feeling great. Rich and interesting and well balanced. Can't ask for much more.

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear amber brown with a light tan head. On the nose it is tar like with a slight alcoholic tone to it. There is something else that is extremely prevalent that I just can’t put my finger on. Peat, maybe? On the mouth it is...whoa...sorry...was tasting and typing at the same time. Smooth and even. Strong caramel tones on the mouth. Feel is good, with a lower carbonation. Thicker with an almost syrupy feel. Definitely drinkable, but it’s definitely a strong English ale.

Photo of Bassetdawg
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12 oz bottle (with new label) poured into shaker glass

Appearance: dark amber, with cream colored head, one finger thick, with some lacing

Aroma: malty aroma with a hint of spice.

Taste and Mouth feel: a caramel and toffee malt up front, quickly balanced by hops. smooth, thick mouth feel.

Drinkability: wow – this goes down quickly and smoothly – an excellent ale, one that should have a permanent place in the refrigerator.

Photo of Bitterbill
4.42/5  rDev +12.8%
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!

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Geary's Hampshire Special Ale from D.L. Geary Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 586 ratings.