Geary's Hampshire Special Ale | D.L. Geary Brewing Company

BA SCORE
88
very good
636 Ratings
Geary's Hampshire Special AleGeary's Hampshire Special Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
D.L. Geary Brewing Company
Maine, United States
gearybrewing.com

Style: English Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

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.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-30-2001

BEER STATS
Ratings:
636
Reviews:
387
Avg:
3.93
pDev:
12.47%
 
 
Wants:
35
Gots:
60
For Trade:
0
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 636 |  Reviews: 387
Photo of Reds76
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of ghostwalker
4.43/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Body is copperish brown. Huge frothy head with great retention.

Nose is biscuity malt, yeasty with a touch of butteriness.

Flavor is really tasty. Much like a bitters or ESB, but with much more flavor than most. Biscuit malt forms the solid backbone. Tangy hops on the finish. The huge head, that has yet to subside, is distinctly sweet. There is even a hint, perhaps, of some citrus.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy.

Drinkability is tops. I love the British style brews, and this one is a new favorite.

 515 characters

Photo of divineaudio
3.82/5  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.

 639 characters

Photo of nortmand
4.75/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours rich copper red, with some white foam and moderate lacing.
Wonderful smell! Flowery and rich, while maintaining an assertive alcohol presence.
Delicious maltiness, with moderate upfront hop taste. Ends wonderfully bitter and with a slow alcoholic burn.
Smooth, somewhat subtle carbonation perfect for this beer.
Despite the assertive alcohol in this beverage, very drinkable. Would be great on a cold winter night.
A nearly perfect beer.

 448 characters

Photo of QuadriderMX
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of Franchise
3.68/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This offering from Geary's pours a crystal clear orange body that leaves a thin off-white lace. The aroma is sweet, citrus hops are what comes to mind, followed by some malty sweetness tough to make out though. The taste starts very sweet upfront on the palate, it leaves you with a brown sugar, caramel, feel that is quickly balanced with some english style hops not pungent at all more mellow and smooth. The finish is silent, no real, back end to this beer maybe a bit of spirit quality to it but overall very drinkable. This brew paired well with the pepperoni and mushroom flatbread pizza I was having.

 607 characters

Photo of Ctb6582
3.68/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of BDIMike
4.32/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a copper color with a brown tint in a darker light. There is a slight bit of carbonation that creates a thin lace of a white head.
Smell is really nice for an English strong ale. Normally the smell is not as pronounced for this style. However, there are good strong malts of toffee and also a strong hop hit of fresh citrus.
Taste is one of the best I have had of this style. There is an unbelievable balance of malt and hops. The hop taste starts strong with really nice citrus tastes. It balances with a good caramel and toffee malt. There is also a bit of alcohol taste that comes through, but it is a nice amount.
Mouthfeel is very nice and smooth. Great thickness, but incredibly smooth.
Drinkability is excellent on this beer. For all of the strong tastes and flavors in this beer, they all balance very nicely and compliment each other. So smooth and drinkable this is a great beer for the style, probably the best I have ever had.

 945 characters

Photo of deanhead
4.38/5  rDev +11.5%
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!

 755 characters

Photo of gfreed
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on cask at Cambridge Common. Deep mahogany color that blended perfectly with the table, topped by the loosest head I've ever seen. I could have dropped a golf ball between the bubbles. At first this had an odd, Flemish-sour bend to it, but that disappeared after it warmed up a bit (relative to its initial temperature). Plenty of hops in the nose, along with vanilla, cherries and a burlappy smell that reminded me of a warm barn. Hops were mild in the taste; malt was dominant with fruit and figs, and the whole thing was very, very dry. Tasty indeed, but I have a suspicion that this might be better a bit colder from a bottle.

 634 characters

Photo of mrob22278
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%

Photo of inebrius
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nicely balanced drink this; flavors of pecan sticky buns and toasted maple branches plaster your buds. Slick sips drain easily while aromas of coconut marshmallows and circus peanuts stick to your nose hairs like insane sugar sea jellies. Finishes mellow and wet with traces of stainless. Pleasant drinking if you don't plan on more than a couple.

 347 characters

Photo of raythealeman
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of ariceclemson
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

Photo of Naes
3.58/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is amber in color with a tall cream colored head.
Its aroma is a mix of toasted malt with a mild hop presence.
The flavor has a bit more hops than the nose with a solid malt base. It’s semi bitter near the finish, though the maltyness becomes dominant as it warms. Quite sweet.
Mouth feel is a bit oily and actively carbonated.

 338 characters

Photo of Larrydoherty
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of AtrumAnimus
3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This Special Ale pours a very rich amber that reminds me of strong Iced Tea in color. The head is thick and rick with a light tan color that is long lived and settles out slowly in about a minute leaving a nice appealing lacing down the side of the glass.

The nose is actually fairly decent as well. Malt that is subdued by the fragrant hops along with hints of coriander, nutmeg and fruit with some apples.

The beer has a very nice full mouthfeel that is rich, satisfying and filling. Not a hot day summer beer. I would prefer this one on a cool spring or fall day. But it is a rather excellent beer. The flavor is dry malt with a sharp hoppy flavor that is a very strong with a peppery undertone. The finish is bitter but pleasant and not overwhelming.

Overall this is an above average beer that is very drinkable. I would definitely buy it again were it available in my area.

 881 characters

Photo of Cheld
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of PhantomVodoo
3.78/5  rDev -3.8%
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!

 409 characters

Photo of DavidSeanNJ
3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First off, this is one classy looking bottle- excellent artwork on the label.

12 oz. bottle poured into my yankee pint glass...

Pours a orange/copper color. Lots of fluffy white head- great contrast to the bright color of the beer. The beer itself had a sweet aroma- malty- sugar- HSA tasted of grains and malts- some hops but all around a perfect blend- superb smoothness. Please note: the sweetness of the beer was not overbearing- HSA is the type of beer that could please all kinds of beer lovers-

I want to drink these all night even with a 7.00% ABV. Yum.

 570 characters

Photo of TheTrevor
3.6/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a dark copper color with very little head. It smells of toasted malts and a hint of sweetness. The taste is pleasant with a sweet tartness followed by a little bit of hops. This is a very easy drinking beer with a pleasant crisp mouthfeel. I expect I may be picking it up again in the future.

 309 characters

Photo of Jarod
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

 944 characters

Photo of Beastdog75
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this one in a Geary's sampler pack. Geary's H.S.A. was a surprising brew for me, as I was pretty much just expecting a run of the mill ale, but this one was pretty nice.

H.S.A. pours a slightly murky brownish copper color. A healthy head of foam forms and lasts for several minutes. A nice malty aroma hits the nose, with dark fruits and caramel being present. Some woody aromas and some hoppiness are smellable as well. The mouthfeel was a bit sticky with a low-moderate amount of carbonation present. As for the flavor, it is indeed a bit on the sweet side with a big malty flavor present bringing with it some dark fruit/raisin taste. The hop bitterness hit me a bit unexpectedly, and I can only describe it as woody/citric/herbal/spicy. The beer ends up feeling in a word, "warm." This hop bitterness lingers on in the aftertaste along with some of the sticky maltiness. The warming sensation from the alcohol is nice and brings the beer to a full conclusion.

I would definitely recommend this. The brew is surprisingly complex and is quite drinkable for an ale of its strength.

 1,088 characters

Photo of NHSTEVE
3/5  rDev -23.7%

Photo of Hautacam
3.45/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Clear amber...pour-head disappears quickly.
Smells mostly of steely malt.
Taste is very sweet , malty...caramel ..biscuity and slightly metallic. Hops add a bitter citrus. Alcohol is well hidden.
Medium body with low carbonation.
Tasted good , but probably would be happy with just one.

 290 characters

Geary's Hampshire Special Ale from D.L. Geary Brewing Company
3.93 out of 5 based on 636 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Subscribe