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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

536 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 536
Reviews: 370
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 12.44%
Wants: 28
Gots: 11 | 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: 536 | Reviews: 370 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of LPorter33
3.83/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bought a six pack from Martignetti's . Poured a nice deep amber , minimal head. Bourbon like smell, indicative of the 7% ABV. Very tasty mix of fruit and spice, does not hide the alcohol as well as others but it's not too overpowering. Overall a great beer that I'd go back to anytime.

LPorter33, Mar 12, 2005
Photo of Liquids
3.83/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours an intense rubied orange hue, with a scummy thin head despite the rousing pour into a chalice glass. No lacing. The aroma is intense and complex--a sweet intense caramel malt aroma, fruits and dark syrups, alcohol and some hop aromas, but dominated by a complex fruity sweetness. The taste is unique, malty, and intense, english style with spicy malts and a fruity sweetness--a bit alcoholic, but it's hidden in the mix and not a swash across the palate. The hops are present, oh yes, spicy and resinous flavors linger. The key word for this beer is complex, but after a few sips, you loose that complexity and taste that it's too sweet, with a hoppy compliment. Moutheel is light for this style, but not water. More body would definitely make this more enjoyable drinking, and a bit carbonated for me, but thats nothing a harder pour couldn't remedy for my preferences. Overall, I like this beer, and seeing as I don't much care for strong ales, this is a winner. I can indeed imagine it being even better than it is, but it's a solid drinker that is not hard to locate, and that's always a plus for a local good-drinking brew.

Liquids, Feb 02, 2007
Photo of johnnnniee
3.83/5  rDev -2.8%
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 Yeastcakes
3.83/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving notes: Hefe glass, cellar temp
Aroma: Dark fruit-hop-spice notes.
Appearance: Nice inch head, dissipates to quarter inch. Clear amber in color.
Mouthfeel: Nice full mouthfeel, light carbonation.
Taste: Alcohol, raisins, grapefruit (I may be reaching on that one). Nice complexity of flavors that makes swirling it around worthwhile.
Drinkability: While not a session beer, I could easily have two of these and would get this one as a beer for a cold winter night.

Yeastcakes, Feb 08, 2009
Photo of divineaudio
3.83/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle courtesy of valdieu2.

a - pours a deep transparent amber shade. formed a pinky's worth of off white foam that calmed quickly to a film. leaves a few legs of lacing behind.

s - nutty malt, grape, candied cherries, faint chocolate.

t - starts off with toffee and nutty malts then moves into notes of darker, sweeter fruits. a fairly pronounced herbal bitterness sets in and finishes on a faint alcohol spice note.

m - medium in body, slightly buttery, adequate carbonation, medium co2 profile.

o - a solid beer and seems to fit the style well. very drinkable too. it's no fuller's, but i'd buy it again if i came across it.

divineaudio, Mar 26, 2012
Photo of jackndan
3.8/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hampshire Special Ale: from a stubby brown bottle. Pours a reddish brown, perfectly clear. Nice head, off white, that leaves a little covering but not much lace. The aroma is malty, but with an unmistakable whiff of alcohol as well. The taste is very nice, malty and with definite tastes of dried fruits including raisins, prunes. Sweet long lasting aftertaste, with cidery flavors. Fairly highly carbonated. Interesting brew, but the alcohol taste is notable, and would have earned this beer another half star without it.

jackndan, Jun 13, 2004
Photo of PhantomVodoo
3.8/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Light tan head had good retention. Light amber colored brew.
Aroma is earthy and woody. Caramel malt with a hint of butterscotch.

Taste shows a caramel and toffee malt backbone. A bit earthy and woody. Solid hop balance although the malt gets the final say in this one. Hint of butterscotch.

Good body and a somewhat creamy mouthfeel.
Overall, a solid beer. Thanks to OldFrothingSlosh for the bottle!

PhantomVodoo, Apr 23, 2004
Photo of MuenchenerKindl
3.8/5  rDev -3.6%
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

MuenchenerKindl, Nov 29, 2006
Photo of MistahBeah
3.8/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours brownish amber with foamy almost tan head. Some visible carbonation. Not much retention or lacing. Somewhat hazy

Smells rich and buttery. A little sweet. Spicy/herbal

Taste follows the nose. Rich butter and bready malts. Crisp white apples and some caramel sweetness. The finish has some spicy hop bitterness with a lingering floral aftertaste. Somewhere in the middle there is a trace of alcohol that actually pairs quite nicely with the spicy finish

Feels warming and smooth. Tastes more light-bodied than you would expect

I enjoyed this beer. I would get from time to time. Well-balanced with a nice flavor profile

MistahBeah, Aug 02, 2013
Photo of OtherShoe2
3.8/5  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.

OtherShoe2, Aug 25, 2008
Photo of PatandDavid
3.8/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this on cask at the Great Lost Bear. Pour was slightly cloudy dark copper. The 1/2 inch head lasted till the end of the pint! I found the aroma to be of husky grain. The taste was well-rounded, and the alcohol was easily detected in this one. Very smooth and balanced: not a hop monster. I also noted a slightly nutty aftertaste. Very good, but could get you in trouble if you decided to keep knocking them back. pat

PatandDavid, Dec 05, 2003
Photo of ckeegan04
3.8/5  rDev -3.6%
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.

ckeegan04, Jun 16, 2008
Photo of marc77
3.78/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

2002 - 2003 edition. Garnet hue with a light chill haze. Almond white, thin, but well retained head leaves loose lace. Mellow, strawberry like esters with a tinge of fig along with smooth, medium lovibond caramel and sweet biscuit. Damply floral, lightly perfumed hop nose. Trace butterscotch and bubblegum esters arise with a swirl. Deeply toasty, borderline tannic, amber - like malt sweetness is perceived at first in flavor, then is ensued by notes of burnt caramel and dry, roasted, sugared pecans. Subdued fruitiness of a berryish, red licorice nature emerges mid palate along with mild diacetyl, lending an odd, yet agreeable buttered and candied fruit impression. A touch shy in residual dextrins and / or over attenuated. Passably smooth in mouthfeel, but no more. Earthy, humus like hop flavor. Finishes with a lingering, cleanly bittersweet toffee and hop bitterness combination. A flavorful, well rounded strong ale, with a pronounced biscuit presence. The slight astringent note upfront prevents Hampshire S.A. from reaching its full potential. Tasty, but not outstanding. The relative high strength goes nearly unnoticed, and aids in the brew's fine dinrkability. Thanks to Mainebeerman for the sample.

marc77, May 30, 2003
Photo of beerbutcher
3.78/5  rDev -4.1%
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.

beerbutcher, Feb 05, 2008
Photo of thryn
3.78/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This pours a very clear amber with about a finger of creamy head that settles to a couple millimeters of creamy foam atop the ale.

Smell is biscuity malt and a noticeable floral hops presence. Some alcohol, a bit of fruit -- plum, maybe, and the vaguest hint of banana? I want to dive right in.

I take a sip -- oh, hey, this has some alcohol in it! There's also that bready character, and the hops offer a bittering finish that's nice, but there's less going on here on the palate than in the nose. The alcohol is bit too dominant against flavors that are actually fairly subtle. As it warms, this improves, with the biscuity and fruity flavors emerging a bit more.

Mouthfeel is clean but not too light, with a low carbonation but not flat.

Drinkability improves, with taste, as it warms.

I expected more of this beer and while I am not usually turned off by a strong alcohol presence, it's somehow a bit too much in this beer. If I was freezing my tuchus off in Maine, I might have a different opinion ...

thryn, Oct 19, 2008
Photo of doerickson
3.78/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is the 2002-2003 offering. Deep amber coloring with a frothy off-white head. Malty, toasty, fruity aromas. Medium body, medium carbonation. Sweet flavors are the main storyline, with caramel and ripe dark fruit evident. There's an earthy hop presence that lends some balance, but this is a malty brew, and a big, warming one at that. Bit of a metallic twang in the finish. Nice for sipping on a cold night.

doerickson, Nov 23, 2002
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3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

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3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

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3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

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3.75/5  rDev -4.8%

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Geary's Hampshire Special Ale from D.L. Geary Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 536 ratings.