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Old Speckled Hen - Greene King / Morland Brewery

Old Speckled HenOld Speckled Hen

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,519 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1519
Reviews: 835
rAvg: 3.44
pDev: 16.86%

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)
View: Beers (52) |  Events
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Ratings: 1,519 | Reviews: 835 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Etan


3.26/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Nitro at The Coopers Tavern.

A: Pours a clear cherry red with a moderate light tan head.

S: Smells of bread and overripe fruit, a bit cidery and syrupy.

T: Taste brings notes of soft cherries, apricot, a bit leafy, grain.

M. Medium-bodied with light carbonation.

O. Not enjoying the hop profile on this very much. Has a bit of a syrupy taste to it.

Serving type: nitro-tap

10-08-2013 05:40:54 | More by Etan
Photo of T100Mark


3.58/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Served in an imperial pint glass, on tap (nitro), at Shakespeare Pub and Grill, in San Diego, CA.

Appearance - A light copper color. Initialy cloudy but becomes ecceptionaly clear as the head forms (must be a nitro thing). Thick, creamy head (again, the nitro).

Smell - The beer smells a bit like a cleaning agent (Pine-Sol?) Odd.

Taste - Malt. Slightly sweet. Minimal hops. Very mild.

Mouth - Buttery smooth. Fine, mild carbonation. Very pleasant on the pallet.

Overall - A similar expieriance to Guinness on nitro tap. Unlike Guinness, however, this beer is a little lacking in character. There is nothing wrong with this beer (aside from the unique aroma). The mouthfeel is cool and it sure is pretty to look at. The taste, however, is underwhelming.

Serving type: nitro-tap

07-24-2013 00:57:37 | More by T100Mark
Photo of Everydayoff


3.48/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On nitro-tap served in an Old Speckled Hen pint glass at White Beer’D, Bangkok.

The showcase is shaded by clear rich brown amber color and thick creamy head with faultless retention. It everlastingly stands atop until the last sip and yields splendid lacing patch and cluster along the way down.

Caramel, toffee, sugar, trait of somewhat roasted and citrus hop.

Malt builds its base by a note of caramel, sweet toffee and toasted bread. Hop together shines in balance with decent bitterness along with citrus snap.

The body is medium with very creamy smooth mouthfeel, rather low carbonation but active enough to zest the palate, rather dry finish.

Well balance and very easy drinkable ale, the overall feeling is not too thin and not too bold with great mouthfeel by the way.

Serving type: nitro-tap

09-01-2012 15:46:38 | More by Everydayoff
Photo of dbrauneis

North Carolina

3.23/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on nitro tap at Drop Off Service in New York, NY

A: Pours a crystal clear amber in color. The beer has a half finger tall creamy off-white head that is retained throughout the drinking of the beer. Significant lacing is observed.

S: Very light aroma overall with subtle hints of malts and hops.

T: The beer has a very mild flavor with some light hints of the malts and hops.

M: Light bodied with light to moderate amounts of carbonation. Extremely creamy.

O: Super easy to drink and very refreshing with a light flavor and wonderful creaminess.

Serving type: nitro-tap

03-19-2012 13:34:06 | More by dbrauneis
Photo of GarthDanielson

North Carolina

3.58/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a nitro-tap into a tumbler pint, the beer has a foamy, bright, and lively cascade as the creamy smooth off-white head settles in on the top. It looks like buttercream frosting it is so smooth. The body of the beer is a bright, crystal clear, vibrant ruby-orange coloring. Aromas are rich and buttery toffee sweetness, with a slight tang and a biscuit backbone. Flavors are smooth and somewhat fruity, with berry and cherry highlights on a toffee and caramel malt backbone. The body is light, but velvety smooth, with a creamy feel overall to go along with the curtains of lacing left on the glass. Subtle roasting throughout, with a slick, tangy transition into a caramel sweet aftertaste. The finish is smooth and quick, with only a slight filmy linger left behind. Decent served this way, as I was never a huge fan from a bottle or can.

Serving type: nitro-tap

02-12-2012 18:36:10 | More by GarthDanielson
Photo of thecheapies


3.95/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Clear, red-orange amber with an immortal nitro topper. Cemented lacing. Looks great.

Crisp Euro hop aroma with an oyster cracker maltiness pulling through. Hay or grass, slightly floral.

Mellow sweetness with grassy hops, on the aged side. Little bit of quince and red apple flesh. Biscuity, a little nutty, some saltiness,and well-balanced.

Creamy, tight carb on the low side. Love this one on nitro.

Classic. Highly-recommended.

Serving type: nitro-tap

02-08-2012 01:57:16 | More by thecheapies
Photo of jkanavel


3.13/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have to admit up front my affection for this beer. This is a LEGENDARY session brew as far as I'm concerned. That being said...

A: Really pretty rust orange.

S: Flat Flat Flat, little malt, little hops.

T: Distinct sourness, good hop to sweetness balance. Nothing else to speak of.

M: so creamy. Its like a red guiness...but slightly less bitter. That is all.

Serving type: nitro-tap

12-06-2011 04:09:55 | More by jkanavel
Photo of KDawg


3.23/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

was poured into a pint glass from a nitro-tap. Amber colored that took a little bit to settle with a defined and creamy head

balanced with aromas of caramel, toffee, and creams. Not overly complex, but it certainly works well

very creamy and smooth feel. The feel is the real star of the beer along with toffee and cream flavors

a quality session beer. It's not the most amazing beer in the world, but hits the spot when wanting something with lower alcohol

Serving type: nitro-tap

11-20-2011 00:08:00 | More by KDawg
Photo of donkeyrunner


3.88/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

$5.50 @ The Old Spot, Salem MA.

Coppery color like a glass of apple juice. Thick and creamy nitro head. Glorious nitro head and glorious nitro retention - nitro casks are pretty much cheating in the appearance department because it makes all beers look near flawless.

Typical English toasted mineral swampy aroma.

Flavor is full of fruity esters tempered by metallic minerals. Toasted quality throughout.

I don't think I'd like this beer as much as I do if it wasn't nitro-tapped. But it is and I do.

Serving type: nitro-tap

09-05-2011 03:08:03 | More by donkeyrunner
Photo of MoustacheHero


3.85/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A nitro pour of this old bird is just what the doctor ordered.

A: A copper colour with a thick off white head from the nitro.

S: A roasty nose, semi sweet with almost pilsner like qualities.

T: Layers of flavour. Dark, roasty flavours lead into spices, alfalfa and sweetness. Reminds me of a black and tan with its great layering.

M: Rich, creamy mouthfeel that makes nitro pours great. Washes clean.

O: A great beer with a ton of complexity that is never fowl.

Serving type: nitro-tap

08-30-2011 02:09:36 | More by MoustacheHero
Photo of jsprain1


3.5/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a light copper. Head is thick and wonderfully nitro'd. Very fine bubbled and leaves lots of lacing.
S- Smell is mildly bready with some light malt sweetness. Occassionally picking up some toffee.
T- Taste is about the same. Initially bready with some toffee notes in the middle. Finish is lightly sweet with some tinny notes as well.
M- Relatively creamy, largely due to the nitro tapping. Body is relatively light, but not too much so considering the style.
O- Better than Bass or some of the other well-known English Pale Ales, but it's still only a slightly above average beer for me. The odd tinny note in the finish didn't help much.

Serving type: nitro-tap

08-28-2011 23:04:27 | More by jsprain1
Photo of metter98

New York

3.48/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear amber in color and has no evidence of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high creamy beige head that has good retention properties and consistently left a thin head covering the surface.
S: There are light aromas of fruity yeast and sweet malts in the nose.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste is both fruity and malty.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and very smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The beer is very easy to drink and also goes down very smoothly.

Serving type: nitro-tap

07-19-2011 23:43:34 | More by metter98
Photo of RoamingGnome


3.53/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this beverage with my fish fry at the Five O'Clock Club. I was very pleased to see this on tap.

A) Arrived cascading nicely in a standard pint glass. The ale is amber, with a very silky inch to inch and a half of white head. The head thinned slowly, and really stuck around. There was nice lacing.

S) Malty, with some sweetness, maybe honey or caramel. There is a hint of short bread or perhaps English muffin.

T) Slight sweetness to start, maybe even a little banana flavor. If it was banana, it was very mild. The finish was easier to pinpoint, as it was bitter English hops.

M) Smooth and crisp. I'd describe it as medium bodied, with light carbonation.

O) I've always enjoyed English pale ales, and Old Speckled Hen is no exception. I haven't had the pleasure of enjoying it on tap since my last visit to the UK, which was unfortunately eight years ago. I have found that marriage and children tend to keep you stateside.

Serving type: nitro-tap

06-11-2011 01:00:36 | More by RoamingGnome
Photo of Bouleboubier


3.69/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

First couple times I had this, I hated it. From the bottle. Not accustomed to the "English" nuances, most likely.

Had it from the bottle again last year. Different story. Palate used to English ales by this point. Must say, I thought it wasn't bad.

Crossed paths with it on-tap last night. Thought I'd give it another shot. Yeah, it's alright. The pour was nice (fond of the nitro-file). Despite a smooth, creamy first look, the head petered out rather early and the sheeted lacing stopped halfway down (not a spotless class, hmm?). The aroma is a tad bready and certainly a larger degree 'fruity', but there's a decidedly whiskey quality overall. Not just the aroma but the color and flavor as well. Reminds me vaguely of Bass...maybe. But, anyway, yes, the whiskey edge is strong - a watered-down beer version of the spirit. Decent smoothness in feel - the nitro certainly blandifies the drinkiness and flavor-taste. This is an ideal session or fish-n-chips (et al - pub food) drink, notwithstanding.

Serving type: nitro-tap

12-13-2010 03:54:32 | More by Bouleboubier
Photo of ktrillionaire


3.08/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - It is served a nice maple-amber hue, with a small white cap and good lace.

S - Simplistic nose of vague sweetness and toasty biscuit.

T - The flavor is about the same as the aroma, except it seems to taste even more bland. It is mostly vague sweetness and toasty biscuit. Also a hint of peach fruitiness, but just the smallest hint.

M - There is a strange conflict between the watery feel of this brew, and the undeniable creaminess. The both inhibit the effectiveness of one another. In other words, they should be mutually exclusive. Still, it has a better feel than most brews out.

D - Easy drinking, partially because it is near-flavorless.

Serving type: nitro-tap

11-13-2010 03:52:26 | More by ktrillionaire
Photo of OWSLEY069


2.63/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clean orange-ish copper color with a light tan head. In the aroma, a light sweet, gingerbread like maltiness. In the taste, a light and dry malt. A smooth and medium bodied mouthfel, with a small sweet malt to clean aftertaste. Kind of like Boddington's with more flavor.

Serving type: nitro-tap

10-22-2010 21:17:59 | More by OWSLEY069
Photo of bsp77


3.7/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from nitro-tap into Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Clear, bright amber with thick nitro head and layers of lacing.

Smell: Spicy and floral English hops, cherry & other fruit and light tea.

Taste: Light malts with some cherry, dark fruit and tea-like characteristics. Fairly strong English hops take over and carry through the finish. Slightly sour. I feel strange saying this, but it is a little unbalanced toward the hops; the malts should supply better support.

Feel: Smooth and creamy nitro body with low carbonation and a dry finish.

Drinkability: Very drinkable English Ale that is almost too hoppy considering the relatively weak malts.

Still trying to find the ideal version of this beer as nitro mutes the malts and the clear bottle is usually a little off. Guess I need to go to England for a cask beer for the real thing.

Serving type: nitro-tap

10-08-2010 02:04:47 | More by bsp77
Photo of Sleestak


4.13/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Had this one on tap at The Olde Ship in Fullerton last night. Tried this beer years ago from the bottle and thought it was ok so let's see how it is from a nitro tap. Smooth, creamy, crisp with just a bit of hop kiss at the finish. Very good on tap. Hit the spot for me and worked well with the bangers and mash I ordered.

Serving type: nitro-tap

09-12-2010 18:48:19 | More by Sleestak
Photo of LacquerHead


3.65/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at The Friendly Spot in S. Antonio TX 8/21/2010

It was poured into a regular pint glass. The pour looked similar to a Boddingtons. There was a cascading effect that led to a 1/2inch settlement of very smooth foam. It had a crystal clear deep copper color.

The aroma reminded me of amaretto. It was very sweet smelling, sort of buttery.

The taste was not to dissimilar from the aroma. Sweet caramel malts, and a little nutty. Not a whole lot of hops on duty in this one - I think they took the night off. Still, there was just enough there to keep the malts from getting out of line, and provide a nice dryness.

Very smooth texture and M/F - a very soft beer. Unlike Boddingtons, this one didn't taste watery. It was very full flavored.

A decent beer that I'd drink again, especially on-tap because it looks cool being poured. However, I still like the bottle version better. While it may be good, I couldn't see myself drinking too many of these.

Serving type: nitro-tap

08-24-2010 14:49:40 | More by LacquerHead
Photo of sfprint


3.33/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Very beautiful. I love the nitro head on a non stout. Golden with a reddish tinge.

S: Not much of a smell

T: Light. Both slightly hoppy and malty.

M: Very smooth, nitrogenation creates a nice texture.

D: Easy to drink and nice however the flavor is lacking.

Serving type: nitro-tap

06-30-2010 09:47:09 | More by sfprint
Photo of sholland119


3.5/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at George Keeley's, 6/27/10.

A-Pours a clear golden amber with a generous creamy nitro head. Very well poured by our bartender.

S-A little bit of malt sweetness. Otherwise not much going on here.

T-Taste is malty, mildly sweet with a dusty hop undertone and a bit of yeasty zing.

M-Light bodied, a little bit of creaminess from the nitro pour but also rather watery.

D-A pleasant, easy drinker. More interesting than many of the style but still nothing special. The first Old Speckled Hen I have had in several years. I would not seek it out, but would not turn one down.


Serving type: nitro-tap

06-28-2010 13:35:51 | More by sholland119
Photo of Stinkypuss


3.58/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Old Speckled Hen

Appearance: Poured from a nitro tap into a tulip pint glass. Cascades of nitrogen infused beer, waves and lots of creamy foam. Underneath is a hazed amber ale.

Smell: Not a whole lot going on here, slight malt, even fainter hops.

Taste: Lightly roasted creamy ale. Hop bitterness is moderate, just a bit of leafy hops. Similar to a Guinness with perhaps a little more hop character and the color of course.

Mouthfeel: Undeniably smooth, creamy, carbonation is low but not flat.

Drinkability: A solid Nitro pub ale. Not much different from the Guinness and Boddingtons of the world.

Serving type: nitro-tap

05-25-2010 20:52:27 | More by Stinkypuss
Photo of herman77


3.48/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Clear light orangish amber. Cascading wall from the nitro that settles into a thick egg shell color head. Foamy lacing

S: A little sweet. A sprinkling of hops and a odd metallic scent, probably from the nitro? Nose is pretty muted overall.

T: Lacking a little taste, but it is a little semi-sweet to start and a bitter finish. Some bready malt in the mix too. Very straightforward, not much depth of flavor, but well balanced.

M/D: Medium to light body. Very smooth and creamy from the nitro. Nice carbonation. Goes down with little effort.

I prefer this to Boddingtons.

Serving type: nitro-tap

04-11-2010 14:59:51 | More by herman77
Photo of HeightsEats


3.15/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer is smooth and drinkable but lacks much character. I remember it being good in the bottle, but apparently the draft version has recently been watered down. The flavor is biscuity (almost musty) and well-balanced. While hops are clearly used for an overall bittering effect, there is very little discernable hop nose or flavor.

The beer I had before this one was an Arrogant Bastard, which seemed to highlight the blandness of the OSH.

Serving type: nitro-tap

02-20-2010 04:42:37 | More by HeightsEats
Photo of morebeergood


3.55/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ordered a pint at St. James' gate in JP last Saturday night. Man, the bartender certainly took her time finishing off pouring this beer. Took forever. Sunset yellow color body. Thin white head finally settles at the top. Smells creamy like a cappuccino, warming and thick. Taste was slightly above average. Not a lot too it, but enough flavor to be satisfying. The nitro really makes this beer shine. Gives it a creamy texture that helps keep each successive sip just as thick as the last. Low in abv helps make this beer a great session choice. Old Speckled Hen is a mainstay in Brit/Irish pub for a reason: it's good.

Serving type: nitro-tap

02-01-2010 17:52:48 | More by morebeergood
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Old Speckled Hen from Greene King / Morland Brewery
78 out of 100 based on 1,519 ratings.