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Old Speckled Hen - Greene King / Morland Brewery

Not Rated.
Old Speckled HenOld Speckled Hen

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
77
okay

1,720 Ratings
THE BROS
79
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,720
Reviews: 852
rAvg: 3.44
pDev: 16.86%
Wants: 21
Gots: 94 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Greene King / Morland Brewery visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
English Pale Ale |  5.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Quaffer on 10-23-2000)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,720 | Reviews: 852 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by GoreStorm:
Photo of GoreStorm
3.88/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - this is a very attractive beer. the bottle and stickers remind me more of a bottle of scotch, it has a really clean old school feel that i like a whole lot. the color is a nice amber and the head tops off my pint glass. i give it a 4.5 because unfortunately the head diminishes quite a bit.

S - bitter and hoppy with a bit of citrus and a nice malt background. pretty good but not outstanding.

T - i like the bitterness level here. this is how hops should support a beer in my opinion. the malt is a nice caramel flavor. nothing too overpowering or subtle either. there are some nice notes of citrus. a nice bitter finish. solid.

M - the hops and light carbonation play off of each other nicely for a good tingly feeling. nothing that makes me go "WOW" though.

D - the drinkability is good. allthough i don't think i could ever make a solid session out of these, it has a syrupy quality that comes out after a few and makes it a bit satiating. i could do about 3 of these though, not bad.

GoreStorm, Jan 14, 2008
More User Reviews:
Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, bottled on 11/30/2013. Pours crystal clear reddish copper color with a 1 finger dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with some moderate streaming carbonation. Aromas of caramel, toast, brown bread, plum, apple, honey, herbal, grass, light pepper, and yeast earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/bready malt, yeast ester, and earthy hop notes; with solid strength. Taste of caramel, toast, brown bread, plum, apple, nuttiness, light roast, herbal, grass, light pepper, and yeast earthiness. Light earthy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, toast, brown bread, nuttiness, herbal, grass, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and robustness of dark/bready malt, earthy hops, and yeast ester flavors; with a good malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Very clean in flavor as well. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied; with a very smooth and fairly creamy/bready mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with no warming present after the finish as expected of 5%. Overall this is a very nice English pale ale! All around good balance and robustness of dark/bready malt, earthy hops, and yeast ester flavors; and very smooth to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

superspak, Aug 07, 2014
Photo of oberon
3.5/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I have had this a few times and always think its gonna be better each time I drink it,its not a bad beer but just seems to be missing a little something.Pours a deep copper/amber with a light head,aroma is slightly musty and malty.A pretty big pale ale nice maltiness but I would like maybe some more fruitiness to it.It is a pretty drinkable ale for the big maltiness.

oberon, Jul 11, 2003
Photo of davemarc87
2.75/5  rDev -20.1%

davemarc87, Mar 20, 2014
Photo of cam477
3.5/5  rDev +1.7%

cam477, Sep 26, 2013
Photo of brownbeer
4.15/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Classic amber color with an off-white head.

The aroma is very nice, caramel, tea leaves, and earth.

Maris otter and English yeast work well together as far as the taste goes. A touch of toasty toffee and earthy hops are there. It's malty but manages to stay dry, which is a plus.

Really drinkable, impressive English ale. I could session this every day and not complain.

brownbeer, Feb 16, 2010
Photo of Mac19872
4/5  rDev +16.3%

Mac19872, Aug 31, 2012
Photo of npala86
3.25/5  rDev -5.5%

npala86, Aug 08, 2013
Photo of wesbrownyeah
3.28/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

"Old Speckled Hen" English Pale Ale poured from a Nitro-can into a pint glass. 5.2% alcohol. 14.9 fluid oz.

A- Pours a brilliant pale orange fluid with massive and lingering off white sticky head that leaves huge fluffy lacing on glass.

S- Light scents of sweet malts and tangy hop spice. Almost an alcohol estery scent lingering as well.

T-M- Taste is off toasted sweet malts, mild flat floral hops and creamy buttered bread fininsh. Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth with little to distiguish it from others of its kind.

D- Well as most nitro-can english pub ales this is a session beer in all aspects. Drink up and cheers!

wesbrownyeah, May 23, 2010
Photo of Parke
4/5  rDev +16.3%

Parke, Nov 26, 2011
Photo of lordofthewiens
3.2/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

An OK beer. Amber color with a thick white head and some lacing. It had a sweet, grainy aroma, pretty nondescript. Taste also pretty nondescript; sweet,bready, a little hops. Decent mouthfeel, and drinkable. I'm not a huge fan of most British beers, so I'm probably knocking some points off for that.

lordofthewiens, Jun 21, 2006
Photo of Todd
3.53/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: On draft @ The Pheonix Landing, Central Square, Cambridge, MA.

Appearance: Deep hazy amber, with a rich look to it. A creamy off-white head site a top, stays and sticks (poured through a Nitro system).

Smell: Semi-medicinal aroma with hidden sweet malts in the background.

Taste: Extremely smooth. Well rounded mouthfeel. Toasted, caramel and sweet malt flavours (likened to unfermented wort). A bit of a spicy, lemony hop flavour begins about 3/4 of the way through and dries, then balances the malt profile. Finishes sweet with a bit of medicinal flavour.

Notes: This is a fairly rich, robust and extremely drinkable Pale Ale. Makes for a great session beer as it goes down with no effort.

Todd, Oct 23, 2000
Photo of sponberg
3.78/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very bright dark gold with a creamy white head. The nose is butterscotch and Schlitz all the way.

Starts out with a good butterscotch base (diacetyl?) with a slight but noticeable lemon/spice hoppy bite. I noticed a slight tang, sort of an "English beer from a can" flavor halfway through that I found distracting. I've noticed this before in this beer - maybe it's a hop thing? Pours down extremely easy, with light to medium body. A nice session beer, even if there are others I'd prefer.

sponberg, Feb 18, 2003
Photo of grynder33
3.3/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very appleish hop aroma, amber gold color, carmelly taste, the regular nitro smooth mouth feel, sweetness seems to stay but carmel taste disappears, what first seems creamy turns a little flat towards the end. Slight bitterness comes on at the end. I would drink somebody else's but would never buy a 4 pack

grynder33, Oct 26, 2003
Photo of generallee
3.46/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: It was poured from a clear 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. The label lists the abv at 5.2%.

Appearance: It has a light amber body with good clarity and a small quick fading white head.

Smell: The aroma is light overall. The hops are up front and offer very light mineral like notes with a slight skunked presence over a very pale thin malt.

Taste / Palate: The flavor has a nice bready maltiness up front along with some mild caramel and toffee sweetness. Hop flavor comes in quickly and adds some dryness and mellow bitterness to the finish.

generallee, May 23, 2014
Photo of SmellsofMahagony
3/5  rDev -12.8%

SmellsofMahagony, Apr 27, 2013
Photo of Phipsi345
3.5/5  rDev +1.7%

Phipsi345, Aug 24, 2013
Photo of TimoP
3.25/5  rDev -5.5%

TimoP, Jul 14, 2012
Photo of Doomcifer
2.95/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

served from nitro can.

appearance - clear reddish brown, with a great frothy-nitro head. nice looking beer.

smell - honey, vanilla, sweet malts, buttery

taste - sweet maltiness, toffee, very faint hop finish, buttery, it's not bad.

mouthfeel - very full bodied yet flat...meh

drinkability - one is good enough for me.

Doomcifer, Aug 30, 2007
Photo of merlin48
2.1/5  rDev -39%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

OSH was first brewed by Morlands, in Abingdon, as a 50 year tribute to MG cars, in 1979. It is supposed to be a bitter or ESB, with a prominent sweet toffee and caramel character from crystal malts and a floral hoppiness from Goldings hops. Sadly, the MG factory closed in 1980, and was later razed. OSH is now brewed elsewhere by Greene King. As an MG enthusiast, I was hoping that the Hen would be a pleasant and nostalgic British bitter. In the USA, unfortunately, in most cases it is not. I've had this in the nitro infused, widget cans, but this review is based on a pouring from a clear, 12 oz bottle.
Served into an English pint glass, this pours a clear, copper body with an initially promising boneivory head that falls into a film almost immediately.
Aroma is skunked, worse than sulfuric. No caramel or toffee from the crystal malts, and definitely no floral hops.
Mouthfeel has adequate carbonation, but is ruined by the skunkiness.
Taste is somewhat better than the aroma and mouthfeel, and some caramel is picked up near room temperature. It is claimed that this is still brewed with a Morlands yeast strain from the 19th century, and this does have a pronounced dry and dank yeastiness. The finish is dry and bitter as it should be, but not so much in the pleasing manner of a good English bitter or pale ale.
Very little here to encourage drinkability. It is actually better in the widget cans which at least lack the skunkiness. Stores in central Kentucky, stopped selling this by the bottle because of complaints similar to what I have noted here. If you can kind this from a fresh keg or cask, I would recommend trying it. By all means, avoid this in the clear bottles, unless you're certain they are fresh and have been kept away from light and extreme temperatures. The Old Hen,obviously, does not like to travel far from the coop.

merlin48, Oct 27, 2004
Photo of sbartnik01
4/5  rDev +16.3%

sbartnik01, Apr 30, 2013
Photo of tigg924
2.7/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: clear, amber, decent head

Smell: big time malt and some grass

Taste: grass, malt, and grapes--like a light white wine

Mouthfeel: watery, light, dry-start with a bitter finish

Drinkability: I personally think this tastes like Budweiser with a kick. Very light and indistinguishable for me. I would not turn this down, but will not be picking this up.

tigg924, Feb 25, 2009
Photo of locckdown
2.75/5  rDev -20.1%

locckdown, Mar 24, 2012
Photo of JupiterJesus
4.5/5  rDev +30.8%

JupiterJesus, Jan 20, 2013
Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.48/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled from a tall, clear bottle. First time I've had this bottled - usually I get it on draught or in canned form.

Poured into a nonic. Big carbonation bubbles cling to the sides of the glass. Russet-orange in colour, with a thin, soapy head, not much lacing or retention. Not that this is uncommon for the style, however, but I can't say it's visually appealing beer.

Nose is caramel, tea, toffee, leafy hops. Not bad.

Taste gets considerably better as it warms up (definitely one I'd prefer at English serving temperature). Malty, with notes of caramel, toffee and tea. Hops to the finish. I don't think the bottle has helped matters, as there is a slight sour skunk to the whole thing, but generally it's not bad. Standard big-market EPA.

Watery, slightly oily, aggressive carbonation at first which settles down near the finish.

Not bad, but certainly very different in this clear bottle from what I remember the draught version tastes like. Certainly a more manufactured feel to it here, a very run-of-the-mill English pale. Still, it's going down well and I'll probably come back to it again, just next time in another serving type.

JohnnyBarman, Oct 14, 2010
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Old Speckled Hen from Greene King / Morland Brewery
77 out of 100 based on 1,720 ratings.