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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

572 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 572
Reviews: 374
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 12.72%
Wants: 29
Gots: 20 | 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)
View: Beers (10) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 572 | Reviews: 374 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of merlin48
3.3/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle pours a clear, amber body, with lots of active carbonation. Moderate, beige head retains well, and leaves plenty of sheet and patch lace.

Aroma is malty caramel, with some biscuit, and an odd, spicy hops note.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with lots of carbonation.

Taste has an odd, spicy note that doesn't seem to belong. Hops seem floral, as well. The malt holds its own, but is more biscuit than caramel.

I wasn't a big fan of this after my first couple of bottles, but it does seem to "grow on you". An acquired taste, in my opinion. The earthy, woodiness takes some getting used to. Overall, there still seems to be something that is slightly, unbalanced with this ale.

Photo of Rastacouere
3.3/5  rDev -16%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear orange, little to no head. Surprisingly intense aroma. Extremely sweet fruity apricot, pears, and orange hoppiness. This is another fruit blend (had with wachusett winter ale) that seems to work pretty well though this one is a lot hoppier. Wet juicy mango flavor with malt closing to earthy. Generous hoppiness is rather complex, something of a cascade hop, but with more depth. Perhaps a bit cloying at the end, but still pretty enjoyable.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.3/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a Chicago Bears shaker pint glass.

Thanks to papollo for this bottle!

Now this does look like an intriguing beer, doesn't it? It pours a clear russet-ruby topped by about a finger or so of light ecru foam, which doesn't hang around to chat very long. The nose comprises vodka-soaked buttery biscuits, light rye bread, and a smidgen of orange rind. Interesting turn; let's see where it leads. The taste strips away some of the booze, which is replaced by a stronger version of the orange peel. Everything else remains fairly static from nose to tongue. (...Now, that's an image, am I right?) The body is on the heavier side of medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a slightly syrupy feel. Overall, an interesting brew, indeed, but not something I can see drinking very much of in the future.

Photo of changeup45
3.3/5  rDev -16%
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 rinhaak
3.3/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Pours a dark brown. When held up to the light, it looks more like a deep copper/red. There is a full one finger head, but this dissipates far too quickly leaving behind only a small amount of lace.

The nose is the highlight here: very aromatic, I smell lots of banana and hops, with a few flowers in the background.

A very viscous and fairly syrupy beer, there is a slight sourness to the taste. Modestly roasted malts are present, with only a slight hint of hops in the distance. A boozy aftertaste lingers in the mouth long after its gone, and one easily tastes the alcohol.

Though not bad, this certainly isn't a beer to get excited about.

Photo of lackenhauser
3.33/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Nice coppery color-head last the whole way down. Decent carbonation level. OK aroma-very malty. Theres almost a metallic odor,bordering on a high alcohol level but I wouldnt think thats it at only 7%. Very malty flavor. Caramel like. Very slight earthiness to the finish. Decent body. An enjoyable beer. I havnt had this in years. Seemed to improve as it warms a little. I dont know how much Id look to have this again as it has never been a personal favorite. Worth a try though in all honesty.

Photo of confer
3.33/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

It pours a hazy amber with an off white head.
Malty ale smell. The alcohol also is apparent in the smell.
Taste is the same as the smell. Malty/alcohol taste, with a very bitter finish.
The HSA has a very smooth creamy feel. Its a one and done beer for me.

Photo of Duhast500
3.35/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Clown Shoes pint glass.

The color is clear dark amber with a finger of foamy off-white head and some thick lacing left on the glass.

The smell is a little buttery and some caramel aroma hits along with it. The aroma reminds of a butterfinger candy bar.

The taste is buttery with some bready flavor. There is a whole ring of caramel that is holding at the borders of this beer and comes out every so often.

The feel of this beer is pretty even and goes down with a smooth feel. Some nice aftertaste that does linger a little too long.

Photo of travolta
3.35/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Apperance: Wonderful head. Rocky, thick, sticky....just right. It is not white, but not tan, right in the middle. Copper and gold in color. The lacing is also great. The lacing just slaps itself right up against the glass.

Nose: Sweet, carmel, fruity, little bit of hops. This beer smells nice, but I cannot quite get my hands on the smell. it smells sweet, fruity and a bit of caramel, but I cannot think of anything to relate it to.

Taste: Great texture, nice mouthfeel. A bit syrupy and sweet. lightly hoppy at the end with it's slight bitter aftertaste.Syrup, sweet, carmel.

Notes: The head and lacing were both something to admire. The thing that made me really enjoy this beer was it's structure. It is very balanced. Not boring, balanced.

Photo of oldhippie247
3.35/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear copper hue with a slightly off-white head. Though head is nice and fluffy and lingers, no lacing is left on the glass.

Even at just below room temperature the nose is quite muted. Malty sweetness with a lightly funky earthiness is noticeable with a little effort.

Mouthfeel is nice and rich, but flavors fall a little flat. I think I was expecting something a little closer to a barleywine, while it drinks more like a slightly-above-average-strength amber.

Despite an overall non-impressive nose and a less than stellar palate, this is a good beer for those looking for something easy to drink but with a little more alcohol.

Easy to drink and well-priced are it's big attributes to me.

Photo of Thrasher
3.38/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A very violent pour is the only way to get a lasting head on this puppy. The buttery flavors of the ringwood are strongly dominant and a little bit goes a long way. Malts and hops are diminished because of it. There are some interesting fruity undercurrents, some intriguing spiciness which I think is derived from the alcohol, and the malts (if you can discern them buried underneath all the butterscotch) are sturdy, salty and delicious. I would love a bit more crispness from a more forceful hop presence. Other reviewers have mentioned a fair amount of hoppiness, but I'm not getting any of it. The sweetness and butteriness of this beer gets cloying, especially as it warms; I preferred it at a cold right-out-of-the-fridge temperature, unusual for this style of beer. This is not a bad beer but I think it is overrated. That said, it does grow on you and each bottle tastes better than the last. Perhaps a fresher bottle, or a cask-conditioned pint, or even a more wintery setting would enlighten me as to why this beer basks in universal acclaim.

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.38/5  rDev -14%
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 KTCamm
3.38/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a twelve oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours medium amber with with good foam and some lacing. Malty smell, some fruitiness. Light bubblegum. Mellow malt with firm hop. Light lingering at the end and long finish. Some fruit at the finish too.

Kind of musty and old feeling. A little like I pulled an old bottle out of someones basement. Ok beer.

Photo of SPLITGRIN
3.38/5  rDev -14%
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 Jwale73
3.43/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle served in a standard pint glass. No freshness dating indicated. Poured a hazy copper with a half inch off-white head that evenutally settles into a fairly consistent, thin cap. Some strands and spatters of lacing present during the tasting. Nose suggests caramel and dark fruit (perhaps fig and/or prunes). Taste consistent with nose for the most part, but there is a strange, chemical aftertaste detectable at the finish, that lingers between quaffs. Also a little bit of alcohol heat comes out in the mix. Mouthfeel falls between light-and medium-bodied, but carbonation is a little prickly and there's a lingering bitterness at the finish. Interesting, but I'm not loving it. A little too much of a chemical character to be drinkable.

Photo of winomark
3.43/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Deep copper, slightly reddish hues with a small, but persistant light tan head. Nice malty tones dominate the nose. Slighty grainy with mild hops detected. Good malty sweetness, with a dry, grainy finish. Reminds me of a red ale. Flavorful and dry mouthfeel. Not too heavy. Quite nice. Very drinkable. I wish I could make this a regular brew for me, but alas, I have only been able to get 2 bottles. Definately recommended.

Photo of klewis
3.43/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours copper with a bubbly 2-finger head. Great retention with a bit of thick lacing that clings just above the top of the beer.

S: Pale malt and strong floral hops.

T: Taste is malty with flavors of cereal grains, caramel, and buttery notes. Lots of hop bitterness in the finish. Overall, the taste is strong, but somewhat boring.

M: Full-medium in body with moderate carbonation. Finishes dry.

D: This is my first reviewed Eng. strong ale, and I think I prefer the American versions so far. Not a bad beer, but it just isn't very interesting to me.

Photo of Amalak
3.45/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I had off the cask at Barcade in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
A- It had a dark orange color, opaque, with a nice head and lacing.
S- Very nice hoppy scent to it.
T- It's quite bitter, very hoppy. And dry, too. It's actually very dry. There is something of a sweet candy aftertaste to it. Honestly, this is too dry for my liking, even if it's a high quality beer.

Photo of Avryle
3.48/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2001-2002 bottle from The shady bevy purchased in July 2008... it'll be interesting to see how/if this held up.

A- hazy orange-brown in color. Very small cap o' foam on vigorous pour.

S- Malt & apples. Malt is much more predominant. Fortunately it does not smell like the shady bevy. (Cigarettes & dog)

T- There's some oxidation. Very malty. Surprised to get booze presence. Tea-like qualities with tannin finish.

M- Carbonation held up well. Medium to full bodied. There's a slight sticky-sweetness on the tounge.

D- Not too bad. The oxidization takes it down a notch, but the flavors are very mellow and are improving as it warms.

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.49/5  rDev -11.2%
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.

Photo of RoyalT
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
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.

Photo of juicebox
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

Photo of rastaman
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Rich barley sweetness at the start, yet quite soft and approachable. Some nice delicate spicyness, with a touch of caramel and toffee, quite a hoppy, bitter-ish finish, quite alright, this was the last of the night, perhaps it didn't benefit as much as it could have because of this very reason, still a nice tasty strong ale.

Photo of Denzo
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

Photo of mobrockman
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

Geary's Hampshire Special Ale from D.L. Geary Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 572 ratings.