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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 HossMcGraw
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Geary's HSA is amber in color with little head or lacing. Smell is nothing special. Hops and barley. Taste is not bad, but unbalanced. Again, harsh bitter hops (in a good way), with subtle malty caramel background. Mouthfeel is okay, as is drinkability. I bet this'll get a lot better in a year or two.

Photo of Jarod
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hampshire Special Ale – 2002-2003
Village snow scene on label

This beer poured into the glass an amber/cedar wood/ruby color that was clear. The head was thick and creamy, the color that was produced was a French vanilla crème that was fairly sticky and left a sticky lace behind. The aromas that came from the glass were of malts, sweet fruits (berries, slight oranges), caramel, light flowers and I also noticed a very, very, very slight metallic hint at the end, not horrible just there. The flavors that came from the beer were of dark fruits, (berries, plums, and some raisins) caramel, hops, sweet malt, flowers, and a creamy sensation like you get from butter. This beer was surprisingly complex, when the first pour and sip was taken I thought it was fairly simple, but the more I poured and tasted the flavors seemed to arise and become more complex. A good beer, it surprised me from top to bottom of bottle, very well balanced.

Photo of barknee
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

GHSA is a deep copper color with a creamy off-white foamy head.
Nose of heady honeysuckle flower with a noticeable ferric element. The malts are in main attendance here, showing nice marshmallow and tropical citric essence as well. Moderately assertive hop character balances out this brew. Tasting this beer, the hops take the forefront, much more so than the nose would lead you. Moderate hopping with generous warm honeyed malts makes for a well-made and enjoyable brew. Alcohol is virtually undetectable. Slightly viscous and nicely creamy and crisp in the mouth, this is fine ale for enjoying straight up or with your favorite meal.

Photo of ism
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear amber with orange hues, topped with a 1-finger taupe head that retains lightly, leaving decent lacing. Nose of caramel malt, mostly, and slight citrus hop with spices, alcohol bubbling underneath. Gentle carbonation gives way to a medium body supplied by 2-row Pale, with roasted malt flavors, biscuity and sweetly fruity with spice. Goes down smooth with a slight pine bitter. Finishes rather refreshingly.

Satisfying and not overpowering, with flavors sufficiently understated to emphasize each characteristic. Will definitely revisit this brew.

Photo of jjayjaye
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber color with a whispy half finger head that fades fairly quickly. Some lacing observed.

A somewhat subtle malty caramel aroma and hints of alcohol.

The mouth feel is medium with a carbonated characteristic and a fairly significant hoppy presence.

The flavor is good. The complexity of bitterness from the hops over the sweet caramel malt taste is interesting.

This one is a good drinker. The 7% ABV is pretty well hidden.

Photo of Suds
3.87/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, deep chestnut color with a thin head. The aroma seems centered around alcohol with caramel and malt. Dry bread crust and nuts…walnut and almond? A little floral hop character as well. First taste is malty and, but quickly turns to a sharp hopiness and astringency. Finish is smooth and soft; very nice balance. As you drink it, you’d swear that it has more than it’s stated 7% ABV. However, although it’s solidly good, nothing about the beer particularly stands out.

Photo of DIM
3.87/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

a: This was a slightly hazy, ruddy orange color. I couldn't coax much of a head out of this one.

s: Sweet toffee along with a little caramel. A little dark fruits like raisins perhaps and a surprising hit of floral, spicy heat.

t: That sweet toffee dominates here as well. I also got some raisins and spices (coriander?). As this warmed I got some nice warmth for such a low abv.

m: This felt under carbonated and a bit thin.

d: I'd never heard of this until a buddy handed me one. Very nice stuff.

Photo of JoKo
3.87/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into pint glass.

Appearance: Half an inch thick white head that dissipated quickly. The beer is cloudy and dark copper in color.

Smell: Piney hop smell up front, rather pleasant.

Taste: Very crisp, citrus, pine. The malt sweetness comes out more in the aftertaste. The hops are robust, but they aren't as prominent as in an IPA

Mouth feel: Bold, full-bodied, the carbonation is moderate.

Drink ability: Being full bodied, this beer probably would be very filling after 2 or more. Although it is filling, this beer is most definitely enjoyable. I thought that the balance between malts and hops was well done.

Photo of johnnnniee
3.86/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

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

Aroma is mildly spicy and perfumey with caramelized sugar notes (crystal malt), caramel malt and toffee. Body is a ruddy orange with a thin white head. Fore is fruity with apple, pear and honey laden throught he middle with mild hop bitterness. Also some bready malt notes from the middle back. Doesn’t go anywhere unexpected flavor wise, but it is fairly intense and assertive and I found myself quite eagerly knocking back bigger and bigger sips. Nice brew.

Photo of Cheld
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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

A: Dark Brown/ Dark Copper. Active leaky carbonation from top to bottom
S: Sweet, Nutty, Roasted, and woody.
T: Tastes like to color brown. Tobacco, nuts, Smoky, Roasted, sweet, woody, earthly sweets.
M: Deep, fills and fades in the mouth nicely. Leathery smooth. An Earthly beer!
D: Ya not to to many but a few more would be nice. I would think this would be a great beer to put out in the fall.

Photo of mooseisloose
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

Photo of brewcrew76
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

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

I took a gamble on a case of this HSA (as a 2002-2003 the store had it in the discounted out-of-date section). It poured A clear dark orangy gold with a minimal head. The initial aroma was of sharp spices and maple malts. There's also a touch bitter of hops back there somewhere as well. The mouthfeel is luscious--a medium thickness offset by modest carbonation. The taste is reasonably well balanced; there a syrupy cherry and pear sweetness at the start, but it fades quickly as the hops kick in, and the finish is rather tart. The alcohol is more evident in the taste than I expected for a 7% brew; I think it's more potent than reported.

Photo of Florida9
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

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

Pours a clear amber with a thin frothy head and streams of microbubbles. Aroma is rich and malty with bitter hops.

Taste is again rich malt and hops with a fair amount of alcohol present up front (lost some points for that). Some buttery flavors, yeasty, hops follow the malt but not enough to offend. Light caramel or toffee flavors, some oaky whiskey flavors, a mild sweetness and maybe even slight tobacco flavors emerge as it warms a bit. That orangey hops flavor also makes itself better known but still the balance is retained.

Mouthfeel is moderately heavy, oily. Smooth, a sipping beer with the flavors seeming to fluctuate a bit on the palate...curious. Balance or just fighting for dominance? Very close to a light barleywine. Makes me wonder how this would age, especially to take an edge off that alcohol presence.

My thanks to kfoss99 for this contribution, now I know what all the fuss is about.

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

I didn't really think this was anything special the first time I tried this, but it really has grown on me. Translucent, golden-copper appearance to go with a thin, off-white head isn't anything out of the ordinary. The STRONG, warming alcohol tinge to go with hints of molasses and smokey maple syrup in both the nose and the mouth make this beer a flavor-filled monster . Amost like an ultra-malty version of an American IPA. Be careful, this will pretty much kill your palette, but it's well matched with strong cheeses and rye bread. It's the perfect Winter beer even though I'm lovin' it in the Summer.

Photo of argock
3.84/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz brown bottle into a clear pint glass

A: Copper-light brown with thin off-white head and skimpy lace.

S: Toasted malt with bread and caramel, reasonably heavy alcohol, and faint fruity aromas

T: Malty with buttery caramel flavor with fruity flavor cut by the moderate hops bitterness and warm alcohol. Very full beer for sure.

M: Light carbonation and full bodied with uncanny smoothness.

D: Tasty and smooth but very full-bodied and with heavy alcohol presence.

Photo of mageek52
3.84/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle to a pint glass. The liquid is a light copper and has good carbonation The head is a beige 1 finger tall and but very rich, thick and creamy. Some light lace.

The smell is lightly sweet with lots of caramel and fruity notes

The taste follows mostly but the fruity flavor tries to over whelm, could be vanilla notes as well.

The mouth feel is medium body with good carbonation.

The drinkability is ok, I just can't decide if I really like the unusual sweet fruity taste . MK

Photo of clvand0
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This one pours an amber color with a small off-white head that doesn't stick around long and doesn't leave much lacing on the glass. The aroma is sweet malts, but the hop presence balances this well. The flavor is of brown sugar and caramel malts, but as in the aroma, it is well balanced and not as sweet as I expected it to be. This has a light mouthfeel and is slightly thin. I'd prefer it to have a thicker body. Drinkability is good.

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 bbothen
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear copper like color with a bubbly 2 finger deep off white head.

Smells of sweet malts, slight spiciness, fruity.

Smeet caramel maltiness, fruitiness, raisin, tartness, hoppy bitterness, warming alcohol.

Smooth, moderate carbonation, medium bodied.

Nice cold weather warmer. Good flavor. Enjoyable brew. Wish I had access to this & others from Geary's.

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