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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.

1,684 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,684
Reviews: 850
rAvg: 3.45
pDev: 16.81%
Wants: 18
Gots: 79 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Old Speckled Hen Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,684 | Reviews: 850 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Methodd
4.45/5  rDev +29%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500mL can poured into a mug.

Appearance: Beautiful. Very clear amber/copper color with reddish highlight when held up to light. Very nice head which never completely dissipated. Very little lacing.

Smell: I could swear this ale is oak aged but I’ve never heard any mention of such. Lots of toffee, floral hops and spice.

Taste: Very mild bitterness. Toffee, roasted malts, nuts and I’m reminded of bourbon.

Mouthfeel: Not quite enough carbonation. Very smooth and refreshing.

Drinkability: I don’t think this brew gets the credit it deserves. I’m a huge fan of Old Speckled Hen. It smells good, it tastes good and it all comes at a good price. I don’t care where you are or what you’re doing you need to be drinking this beer right now. Except maybe if you’re in a job interview. No, wait, even if you’re in a job interview. Do you really want to work for someone who doesn’t like this stuff?

Methodd, Nov 13, 2009
Photo of microbrew52
3.48/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

For those who want to try a nitro-tapped brew but like the more traditional look, unlike guiness, this is the beer to get. Head settles quickly over a bronze body of this brew. This beer is very famous but not because of the scent. It as a smooth feel in the mouth but has a slightly fruity malt and hop balance.

microbrew52, Oct 22, 2009
Photo of KarlHungus
2.5/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer pours a clear light red color. The head is a quarter inch in height, and recedes quickly into no lacing. The aroma is of mild skunk (you've got to love clear bottles), and even milder malt. The taste is has more caramel malt than the aroma, but there is still enough skunk that it isn't a pleasant taste. The mouthfeel is on the lighter side of medium bodied with a watery texture, and low carbonation. Overall, this beer might be better if it weren't skunked. However, I blame the brewery for skunking it by putting it in a clear bottle. I might try this again, and probably on tap. I won't be drinking this again otherwise.

KarlHungus, Oct 17, 2009
Photo of BierFan
3.15/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 14.9 ounce nitro-can into a pint glass.

Appearance: Creamy nitro light tan head. Clear amber body.

Smell: I usually don't care for the smell of nitro-beers, but I think this smells rather good. Sweet, butterscotch I think?

Taste: Metallic taste from the nitrogen. Mild bitterness in the finish. Seems a little dry.

BierFan, Oct 15, 2009
Photo of Long813
3.05/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Clear golden body. One finger off-white head leaving moderate lacing.

S: Malts, caramel, grassy hops

T: Mainly grassy hops with the slightest hint of caramel

M: Medium-light body, low carbonation. Dry flavourless finish

D: Not much to this beer, I don't know why but it was flavourless.

Long813, Oct 14, 2009
Photo of recons54
3/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: A foamy head with a pale yellow tint, that leaves a good amount of lacing stuck to the side of the glass. It had a pretty dark orange color to it.

S: malty and spice smell

T: To my palate it had notes of coffee and finished dry/sweet. .. well balanced.

M: medium body and good amount of carbonation.

D: Overall it was good, and I enjoyed the beer, but felt a little heavy after a few of these. I had a couple of these beers with some steak for dinner and thought it really enhanced my meal!

recons54, Oct 12, 2009
Photo of mdwalsh
3.3/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a weak head. Even with an aggressive straight down pour I was able to pour the entire bottle into a pint glass. The beer is deep golden, almost amber, with a good amount of of active carbonation. The head is light tan/sandy and shrinking fast, with lots of big bubbles.

S: Whew. I don't know if this is skunked, though it shouldn't be as it's well out of direct light, or if I just don't like the English Hops. Some deeper olfactory investigation tells me it's more so the hops. It's like a herb cabinet full of stuff I don't like. There's no malt in the nose either.

T: The taste is maltier, I can stand it, but there's still a lot of hops, which I'm finding almost soapy. But the malt is nice, a bit caramelly. Apparently "caramelly" isn't a word. I'm still thinking a little skunked. I may re-review this soon.

M: Slick. Leaves the mouth feeling wet.

D: Would be better without the soapyness.

mdwalsh, Oct 05, 2009
Photo of Thur123
3.88/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The color is a dark brownish red. The head foams to about a finger of off white head. Carbonation seems average. The smell is a malty sweetness with a light grassy hop smell thats very light indeed. The water smells soft and lacking minerals.

Glug glug

Ok so the first thing that hits is malt sweetness followed by a slight bitterness that reminds me of cooked veggies a little bit. There is also a real bread taste towards the end too. The mothfeel is a little watery but overall its fine.

Thur123, Oct 02, 2009
Photo of CrazyDavros
3.1/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Toffee/amber pour, small head.
Hints of caramel and toffee in the aroma along with some resinous hops. Slightly skunked.
Flavours include some light caramel malt, some not-so-nice grassy hops, and finishes with a lingering noble hop bitterness. Needs more of a malty backbone.

CrazyDavros, Sep 29, 2009
Photo of gatornation
2.78/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

had this on tap at brits pub in Minneapolis it poured a medium golden color with a thick 1 inch cotton head..the smell was bitter and malty ..the taste was the same it was a bitter ale with metallic hops and bittersweet malts..it slid down with my fish and chips ..but no way would i buy this beer in a sixer..i guess its ok at an English pub.. i will say we had a great time on the rooftop on a beautiful autumn night in the north land..what a beautiful setting

gatornation, Sep 27, 2009
Photo of krilo
2.15/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Wow, just looking for a single with which to share my evening and by the looks of this beer's overall scores, I should have had a pretty good one. The price, I guess, should have tipped me off, but I still gave it a go. When it comes down to it, this beer did live up to its name. It appears to taste as an old speckled hen might.

krilo, Sep 24, 2009
Photo of fropones
3.58/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an amber copper color with minimal white head. Smell is some toffee, butterscotch, a little bit of skunk. Taste is more butterscotch and toffee. Some hops and toasted malt. A little bit of diacetyl but not in a bad way. Creamy mouthfeel. Good drinkability. Tastes like England, if that makes sense.

fropones, Sep 20, 2009
Photo of Evil_Pidde
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Copper, with an off-white small rather thin head that leaves some lace.

S: Light roasted sweet malt, butterscotch, some bitter and floral hops.

T: Light roasted sweet malt, butterscotch, some fruit.

M: The aftertaste is bitter with some sweetness and stays for quite some time. The body is creamy medium and the carbonation is moderate.

D: A nice beer at the pub - sit down and talk-beer.

Evil_Pidde, Sep 18, 2009
Photo of washburnkid
3.25/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: A little over one finger off-white head that's creamy in consistency from the nitro bubbles. The body is amber with golden edges. Good retention and tons of frothy lace. I can see stouts with a head like this, but the consistency doesn't feel right for a pale ale.
S: Sweet malts, bready and fruity on the nose. Stone fruit comes to mind. The hops are there in the back and they are a bit spicy.
T: Mellow flavors. The malts are dominant with roasted barley and toasted bread. There's an unfortunate metallic flavor that gets in the way quite a bit. A hop bitterness at the back. Not a ton of complexity here.
M: Low carbonation and a light, watery body. Creamy from the head and lack of carbonation.
D: I prefer this beer from the bottle. I've been lucky enough to have a non-skunked bottle, but only the can was available for this review.

washburnkid, Sep 18, 2009
Photo of ecoastman
3.7/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

D - A very good beer (after the skunkiness fades). This beer had a lot of characters. I'd like to try a fresh one out of a dark bottle...

A - Medium dark clear copper. Creamy head recedes to a medium thick layer that is replenished by good carbonation. Little lacing.

S - Skunky off the pour out of the clear bottle (no best before date). The smell fades after a few minutes to allow a nice malty caramel to pull through.

T - Like the smell minus the skunk. Also has a big candy butterscotch malt and a slight mineral taste to accompany the balanced hops into a medium bitter and dry finish. There's a light grapefruit citrus in the aftertaste.

M - Smooth and creamy start with diacetyl slickness that transitions to a slightly course finish with the carbonation and dry bitterness.

ecoastman, Sep 14, 2009
Photo of Jwale73
3.6/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a standard pint glass. Poured a hazy copper with a tight, almost solid, half-inch white head. Some lacing, but weak legs during the tasting. Nose was pale malts, a hint of tea and some hops. Taste consistent with nose, with a lemony quality coming out in the mix. Mouthfeel was fairly light in body and creamy smooth. An easy drinking session beer on nitro; however, the tea-like flavors, coupled with the lemon character get in the way after a while.

Jwale73, Sep 13, 2009
Photo of LittleDon
3.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Clear amber with a beautifully dense white head that disappear into copious lace. Nondistinct cereal aroma. Wonderfully smooth mouthfeel, but not much of anything else that would make this beer standout. Bitter finish. If it weren't for the nitro, this would be one boring brew.

LittleDon, Sep 11, 2009
Photo of drperm
4.53/5  rDev +31.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm always a bit apprehensive when it comes to the Clear Bottle - especially when said bottle has traversed the Atlantic. However, best I can tell this one *seems* to have fared decently in its evil-light-permitting glass home.

The beer pours quite handsomely into my trusty John Courage glass: bold English copper-pale-ale in tone, sharp and clear. True to form with many bottled brews of this ilk that I've had, the head billows up and then retreats to a lacing.

On the nose, I wonder if some light pollution may have had play. Not promiently, mind you, but there's a whiff of something flirting with unseemliness. More favorable notes follow: English floral yeasts, butterscotch, hay, summer wheat fields, white pepper.

I take my first sip and am greeted with a liquid embrace: fresh grain, grassy hops, caramel, toffee, quenchingly mild bitterness, and that wonderful English flower-fruit yeast goodness. Perfect.

As it coats the palate and continues on its way, it leaves a wonderful creaminess to linger behind, with a slight hoppy snap on the tail. I can only imagine what this is like with nitrogen.

This beer is pure delight, with plenty of that wonderful English subtlety that I love. Sometimes you just don't want an Imperial- anything. Sometimes a 5.something% ABV Pale Ale is exactly what is called for, and here's an acme of its genre. It is simple and light enough to make a wonderful session beer throughout the night, but complex enough to keep you interested in it the whole time. This is an all-around winner, provided that the clear glass bottle doesn't betray you.

Try with roast beef sandwiches, fish & chips, mild cheese and pickles, or your drinking buddy.

drperm, Sep 09, 2009
Photo of Jeffo
3.28/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Got this at the LCBO

From a bottle into a pint glass

APPEARANCE: Pours a one finger thinner looking fizzy white head that rapidly recedes to a thin patchy film. Perfectly clear, mahogany in color with medium carbonation that decorates the top. A small ring remains until the end but leaves no lacing. Average at best.

SMELL: Strong initial scent from the pour. Sweet caramel and toasted malt with hints of grain and toasted nuts. Perhaps a slight touch of vanilla at the back.

TASTE: Sweet caramel malt up front with some toasted malt, grain and nuts as well, much like the nose. Some pine or leafy hop notes and earthiness. A mild and lingering bitter aftertaste is a nice touch.

PALATE: Medium-thin body and a little airy on the palate. Not as creamy and smooth as hoped. Goes down fine and finishes with a touch of dryness on the palate. A little too thin and airy for my liking, but not off putting.

OVERALL: A pretty solid brew all around, though the thinner airy palate was not quite up to par. An enjoyable and drinkable brew that I'd have again, though I wouldn't go on a wile goose chase for it.

Jeffo, Sep 03, 2009
Photo of sbe1
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: cloudy amber, with a creamy head that lasts for awhile and laces the glass.

Smell: Sweet malt, caramel, light floral hop, hint of pine.

Taste: Sweet malt, caramel, hint of citrus, sweet clean finish.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, medium bodied, mild carbonation.

Drinkability: Pretty good. A good session beer.

sbe1, Sep 02, 2009
Photo of garymuchow
3.88/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice malt aroma of familiar British style. Slight watery quality. Pleasant with a touch of spicy niceness.
Attractive amber. Water clear. Good size tannish head with a frothy look and a slow settling.
Soft malt flavors with a nice finishing dryness. A sneaky push to the flavor, in that it grows over time. Subtle yeasty flaovr offers a nice complexity (a bit of spiciness and yeast taste).
Moderate light feel. Enough carbonation to slow the pace of drinking.
A nice drinking ale. Should complement foods well, especially those that do well with drier beers. A drink that could be enjoyed several pours over the evening.

garymuchow, Aug 30, 2009
Photo of scottyshades
3.53/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a transparent gold color that creates a very nice, creamy looking, tightly knit, head that is eggshell colored. Retention is amazing and the lacing is pretty damn good too.

S: Sweet and toasty malts dominate the nose, lactose is present, caramel, a woody aroma, and some slight hop fragrance.

T: Similar to the nose, malts are definitely dominant along with caramel, slight molasses, a pleasant woody note and some slight hoppy twang to it. Nicely done, somewhat unbalanced but very good.

MF/D: Very nice mouthfeel, surprisingly thick, smooth woody and sweet malt finish.

scottyshades, Aug 29, 2009
Photo of bluemoonswoon
3.95/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

16oz nitro can poured into a shaker pint glass.

A: Pours out a clear and dark copper with a wonderful cascading effect that when settled holds up an inch worth of tightly packed bone white head. Lacing comes in thick sheets and stays with you through the duration of the drinking session.

S: Lovely, in a word. Sweet caramel maltiness with a mild, apple and almost overripe pear fruitiness. Mild in every sense of the word with a depth of character and a balance that is second to none.

T/MF: Rich and slightly toasty caramel opening topped with a light and fruity floral and earthy hoppiness. Finishes decently chewy with a silky smooth mouthfeel owed to the nitro widget at the bottom of the can. Nutty caramel apple with a delicate fruity/earthy hop presence is what defines this beer.

D: So so easy going down, the smoothness from the nitro widget makes this incredibly quaffable, but remains something to ruminate on due to the complexity this beer displays in flavor profile. A beer worth paying attention to.

bluemoonswoon, Aug 29, 2009
Photo of Seanstoppable
3.53/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another entry from NSLC's 'Beers of the World' wall.

Pouring into a pint glass results in a cloudy amber brown colored ale, which clears up as the bubbles rise up to give a solid white colored head.

Scent consists of some rich sweet caramel malts.

The taste is earthy in nature, but quickly fills with sweet toasted caramel malts. The sweetness fades after a few seconds, leaving a dry bitterness behind for an aftertaste.

My chicks feel slightly chalky after things have dried out, but not annoyingly so. When all is said and done, "Old Speckled Hen" is a fairly good english ale.

Seanstoppable, Aug 25, 2009
Photo of bigdeuce
3.65/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a oft-amber color. Scents of roasted nuts and caramel come through on the nose. Half-decent head with some lacing, but goes down quickly. Goes down rather smoothly and has just below a medium body feel. A bit unbalanced. Some fuggles hops shine on the back end. A nice session beer.

bigdeuce, Aug 22, 2009
Old Speckled Hen from Greene King / Morland Brewery
79 out of 100 based on 1,684 ratings.