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Old Crafty Hen - Greene King / Morland Brewery

Old Crafty HenOld Crafty Hen

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

158 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 158
Reviews: 62
rAvg: 3.71
pDev: 13.21%

Brewed by:
Greene King / Morland Brewery visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: GreenCard on 10-17-2008)
View: Beers (52) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 158 | Reviews: 62 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by dwren89:
Photo of dwren89


4.09/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: great clarity, surprisingly pale gold color, much lighter than most English IPA, white, sticky, fluffy head

Aroma: Strong citrus aroma of grapefruit, orange, very little to no detectable malt aroma, clean yeast

Taste: fruity, citrusy, spritzy carbonation, much more American than English, very soft pale malt backbone that is only detectable really in the body; hops flavors ring through start to finish with a mildly bitter medium finish

Mouthfeel: Spritzy, carbonation lightens the body, you can only tell its medium bodied if you hold it in your mouth for a few seconds before swallowing; very easy drinking, medium bitter, somewhat dry finish
Overall Impression: For a beer that is ranked this highly on Beeradvocate’s top beers in Britain, I honestly expected more. It is a little too light in body and malt character, and uses obviously American hops, to be considered an English IPA. When compared to the best Ameican IPAs, this would not have a prayer to make the top 50. That being said, it is quite refreshing, light on the palate, and thirst quenching.

Serving type: bottle

06-12-2013 21:16:48 | More by dwren89
More User Reviews:
Photo of John_Squires

New York

4.25/5  rDev +14.6%

04-13-2014 00:13:33 | More by John_Squires
Photo of smcolw


4.15/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thick off-white foamy head. Leaves ring of lace after each sip. Orange, light brown color with a touch of haze.

Smells like cut soured cherries. Some sweet melted sugar.

Rich, almost oily body. Lower carbonation enhances this feel. Potent, lightly toasted malt base. Some alcohol warmth on the tongue. A touch of sourness but less than the smell implies. There's a bit of hop to prevent the beer becoming cloy. Short Carmel candy aftertaste.

Seeing the other scores here, I think it might be worthwhile to find this one on tap.

Serving type: on-tap

04-06-2014 18:51:09 | More by smcolw
Photo of watchnerd


3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

04-06-2014 02:42:14 | More by watchnerd
Photo of vhmf1978


4/5  rDev +7.8%

03-28-2014 02:34:07 | More by vhmf1978
Photo of DavidHume


3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

03-25-2014 00:39:24 | More by DavidHume
Photo of AndrewC

Newfoundland (Canada)

3.25/5  rDev -12.4%

03-20-2014 22:34:39 | More by AndrewC
Photo of SpeedwayJim

New York

2.93/5  rDev -21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

50cl bottle into a Cigar City snifter.

Pours a rich white head .5 finger head with low retention. Beer is a clear mahogany. Lacing is spotty and stringy with average stick but thin and oily legs that really cling to the glass. Not bad for the style.

Nose is corn, caramel, molasses, brown sugar, and an effervescent hop bitterness. Moderately aromatic. OK.

Opens sweet. Notes of caramel, toffee and brown sugar. A slightly sour hop bitterness emerges in the middle but fades quickly. End is brown sugar and nutmeg with a sweet aftertaste. Average.

Light bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth and filmy in the mouth and goes down slightly bubbly with a lightly boozy finish and a lingering, filmy aftertaste. Thin.

I always used to think that Old Ales were thick, robust and complex but this beer is demonstrating a completely different take. I don't know if that's good or bad. I only know that I prefer what I used to think what an Old Ale was.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2014 00:07:33 | More by SpeedwayJim
Photo of Fettpopps


3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

03-16-2014 12:36:11 | More by Fettpopps
Photo of zeff80


3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

03-14-2014 01:48:23 | More by zeff80
Photo of WreckingBrew


3.25/5  rDev -12.4%

03-02-2014 00:14:03 | More by WreckingBrew
Photo of R_J_FearNoBeer


2.76/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A - Pours a amber color, head fades quick. Very little to no lacing
S - Light hints of carmel, almost a slight smell of hops but nothing exciting
T - Taste comes through with the same ammount of hops as the smell, almost absent. And maybe a hint of fruit. Somewhat earthy.
O - An alright beer not the worst ive had. Will not seek out again

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2014 01:28:44 | More by R_J_FearNoBeer
Photo of bmac093


3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

02-01-2014 10:05:09 | More by bmac093
Photo of Hefebossen


4.5/5  rDev +21.3%

01-30-2014 01:16:58 | More by Hefebossen
Photo of tbeckett

Ontario (Canada)

3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

01-26-2014 15:26:23 | More by tbeckett
Photo of polloenfuego

Ontario (Canada)

3.69/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From a 500 ml bottle to a Morland Greene pint glass.

A: pours a clear amber with a huge three finger soapy head that breaks down quickly leaving little behind but a small film.

S: malts up front followed by a small touch of oak and wood.

T: malts, caramel and a touch of dark fruit.

M: full body with lower carbonation.

O: not the best of offering from Morland but it's a fair beer. I'm still not a fan of the clear bottle and I have to wonder if that affects the taste. I'd like to try this on tap and see if there was a difference.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2014 22:17:53 | More by polloenfuego
Photo of mattmarka1


3.25/5  rDev -12.4%

01-14-2014 04:47:54 | More by mattmarka1
Photo of Mr_Pink_152

United Kingdom (England)

3.25/5  rDev -12.4%

01-04-2014 19:09:35 | More by Mr_Pink_152
Photo of ThinkAgain

Ontario (Canada)

3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

12-27-2013 03:34:59 | More by ThinkAgain
Photo of csurowiec


3.5/5  rDev -5.7%

12-25-2013 02:37:52 | More by csurowiec
Photo of biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

4.15/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Say what you will about British dental hygiene but their ales are often perfectly manicured and make a stunning first impression; Old Crafty Hen is tanned, polished, and drop dead gorgeous. It has a lightly coppered auburn colour, deep tone but perfect clarity, and just a sprinkling of bubbles. Its head is fine as moss and sits on the beer like fresh dew over blades of grass.

The bouquet is an intriguing combination of toffee and hazelnut, with a hint of iodine and peat; it's vaguely scotch-like owing to the sharp maltiness, earthy hops and subtle wood spice. I can't even smell an English Old Ale like this without fantasizing about how magical it must be to drink from a fresh cask. Alas, I do not live in Britain, and that is my misfortune.

This beer is a blend of Old Speckled Hen and the allusive Old 5X (which is aged in oak vats for two to five years). The resulting flavour produces a perfect balance of wood spice, tannins, dried fruits, toffee biscuits, nut brittle, and lots of wholesome breadiness. Despite its substantial maltiness a strong sherry-like profile constantly intrudes. No issue there though.

Hence, the palate also features a lot of raisin flavour, but isn't sugary or overly sweet in the least; pungent and resinous Target hops add a taste of grassy, vegetal spice and a bitter (almost astringent) taste of spent green and black tea leaves. These resins are earthy and, owing to the oak, make for an aftertaste loosely reminiscent of moss and peat.

The Brits have a particular talent for making intricate ales without compromising their drinkability, without making them boozy, steroid-driven monsters (like the Americans do). Old Crafty Hen is as mellow and manageable as any pint of plain, but it is just that much more alluring and complex. It is a drink most refined; a perfect fireside companion.

Indeed, if Rhett Butler wanted to find somewhere there was left in life charm and grace, he should have settled in Suffolk, right next to the Morland brewery - Old Crafty Hen is nothing if not charming and graceful. English Old Ales like this one - and the Fullers Vintage Ale, which it strongly resembles - teach one how to relax, properly reflect, and appreciate life.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2013 17:51:50 | More by biegaman
Photo of dbrauneis

North Carolina

3.74/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a crystal clear amber in color with light amounts of active carbonation slowly rising from the bottom of the glass as well as some orange and garnet red highlights. The beer has a quarter finger tall foamy dark beige head that reduces to a mottled thin film covering the entire surface of the beer and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of fruity yeast (apple + pear) along with moderate flavors of toffee malts. Light notes of earthy hops as well.

T: Upfront there is a moderate flavor of biscuity malts with some light notes of toffee sweetness. That is followed by moderate flavors of light fruity (apple, pear, and white grape) yeast and just a hint of something oak-like. Finally there is a light amount of earthy hop flavors towards the finish. Very light notes of bitterness in the finish which fades almost immediately.

M: Slightly heavier than medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: This is more of a sipping beer even though the ABV is not too high - enjoyable flavors and aromas but it seems a little bigger than it is.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2013 19:54:09 | More by dbrauneis
Photo of BillRoth


3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

12-05-2013 02:59:00 | More by BillRoth
Photo of cfalovo97

Ontario (Canada)

2/5  rDev -46.1%

12-05-2013 01:22:04 | More by cfalovo97
Photo of BigGruntyThirst

Ontario (Canada)

3.75/5  rDev +1.1%

12-03-2013 03:58:52 | More by BigGruntyThirst
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Old Crafty Hen from Greene King / Morland Brewery
84 out of 100 based on 158 ratings.