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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.

1,607 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,607
Reviews: 840
rAvg: 3.44
pDev: 16.86%
Wants: 14
Gots: 57 | 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)
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Ratings: 1,607 | Reviews: 840 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of RodBurg


2.78/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured out of the can into a pint and got that crazy reverse cascade effect. Fun to watch. Anyway, it's a rosy-red amber color with a nice thick and creamy head that you'd expect from a nitro-can.

Nice, light smells of biscuity malt, bread, caramel and white wine. Hops are there but far in the background.

Calmly sweet malts at first with bread and lights hop bitterness. Lack of carbonation gives it a soft syrupy feel that I'm not too fond of.

I think I'd like this one a lot more in a bottle or on nitro-tap.

Serving type: nitro-can

09-07-2008 16:06:06 | More by RodBurg
Photo of morimech


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

Pours with the cascading head affect from the nitro-can that always looks impressive. Is a clear copper color with a neat white head that has good retention. Thick lacing is left on the glass surface throughout consumption.

I smell a faint aroma of English hops. Not much else is detected.

The malt has a slight toasted flavor. The hops add flavor but not much for bittering. Even some alcohol is found in the finish.

Nice creamy texture from the nitro boost. Feels a bit thin and watery otherwise.

A good English Ale from the nitro-can. I imagine it would be unimpressive from a standard bottle. The higher ABV seems a little out of place with this light beer. Still within session range.

Serving type: nitro-can

09-06-2008 20:47:38 | More by morimech
Photo of akronzipfan


3.38/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

a - clear bottle gives you a good view of the reddish-amber color; pours quickly into a foamy and abundant, but short lasting, whitish head

s - slightly bitter hops with a sprinkling of malt and caramel

t - well blended flavors of hops and malt with a mildly "skunky" (but not unpleasant) aftertaste

m - well balanced in terms of carbonization

d - goes down easily in small swigs; not a good chugger

Overall a nice ale from the mother country. Peculiar enough to be interesting, yet normal enough to be enjoyed/

Serving type: bottle

09-04-2008 17:00:43 | More by akronzipfan
Photo of changeup45


3.05/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

4/1/2005. Saw someone else order this at a local bar and it immediately interested me because I hadn't tried it yet (I thought I had tried everything there several times :-) Sampled out of the can, so it poured an amber body with a very thick, long-lasting head. Similar to a pour of Boddingtons. Creamy with a caramel maltiness flavor. Bitter and relatively smooth. Something just wasn't quite right with it though. Overall a decent beer and I want to try it again and figure out what exactly I think was missing.

Serving type: nitro-can

08-24-2008 19:14:00 | More by changeup45
Photo of charlatan

United Kingdom (Scotland)

3.68/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This brew is copper coloured without much of a head at all. I'm having difficulty ascertaining the nose (mine isn't working too well) but it smells slightly metallic and more clearly of raisins. As it warms it seems to have more and more of a generic malty smell.

I like this beer. After a delightfully woody start, it is much more hoppy than the nose suggests with an almost minty fresh bite accompanied by just the right amount of carbonation and enough sweetness in the aftertaste to avoid being overpowering. A hint of the raisin I identified earlier on lingers on the tongue once the bitterness has completely subsided. This beer packs a big punch for the style and thus has to be well worth investigating.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2008 22:25:21 | More by charlatan
Photo of Daredevil


3.75/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

the color is very promising .... beautiful amber-with-a-touch-of-copper ....
smell is fresh, reminiscence of tropical fruits and ripe oranges ...
the taste however is not fruity at all .... cobnut with a hint of smoked almond and lots of charred wood (teak, basswood) .... nice bitterness, however a bit sourly ...

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2008 19:32:23 | More by Daredevil
Photo of fitzy84


4.08/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at the Sierre Grille. This had a great, great appearance. Really extra creamy head that was an inch or two thick head. Colors were a clear, dark amberish gold color. Frothy aromas of creamy biscuit aspects with a slight spice to it. The taste was awesome with a sweet and spiced flavoring to it. Slight malt mixed with roasted coffee hints. Mouthfeel was excellently creamy, helping the flavors really come out. Overall, a fantastic drink.

Serving type: on-tap

08-10-2008 00:34:21 | More by fitzy84
Photo of jushoppy2beer


3.85/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a really nice beer. Its orangish hue with nice lingering head is very appealing and unusual. The nose is subtle but distinctively malty. The taste is also mostly malty with a caramel sweetness that is very satisfying, and is accentuated by the smooth and thick mouthfeel. A well-balanced lingering hop bitterness finishes it off. For such a rich ale, this is pretty drinkable as well -- a nice choice for an evening with friends as the sun sets.

Serving type: on-tap

08-05-2008 00:35:27 | More by jushoppy2beer
Photo of kinger


3.5/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Interesting beer with some nicely unusual aspects. Aroma is extremely pleasant very flowery and sweet with some bitter overtones. Pours creamy with a nice cascade effect that leads to a light amber medium copper color. Thick white head that sticks around and medium lacing. Mouthfeel is watery but the finish is decent. Flavor is weak compared to the awesome aroma but it is pleasant. Dominated by a sweet maltiness there is a nice subtle bitter finish. Being a true English Ale this one is rather nice.

Serving type: nitro-can

08-04-2008 22:09:33 | More by kinger
Photo of nickynick


3.8/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Old Specked Hen poured a nice light amber with one finger fluffy white head. The smell was light, but malty. Taste was loads of malty sweetness, with an ok hop bight. Mouthfeel was very creamy and nice. Drinkability was nice, with good balance, a good English pale pub ale.

Serving type: nitro-can

08-04-2008 02:17:15 | More by nickynick
Photo of MaltyGoodness


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

12oz. bottle

Pours a clear copper color with a thin white head that vanishes. Faint, spotty lacing.

Rich caramel malty aroma with notable diacetyl and a hint of herbal hops.

Caramel malty upfront with a nice compliment of buttery diacetyl flavors. Medium bitterness midway with a hint of herbal hops. Finishes dry with a light lingering caramel buttery taste.

Medium-light body, mild carbonation.

Always satisfying when I'm in the mood for a malty English ale. No problems enjoying multiple bottles in one sitting.

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2008 22:58:14 | More by MaltyGoodness
Photo of Reagan1984


3/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I was surprised by the significant and creamy two finger head that formed as I poured this beer from the bottle. The head stayed for a short while and was off white in color. The beer was Orange/Amber in color and crystal clear. There was no visible carbonation, but a nice amount of lacing left behind.

Aroma was typical of bottled English beers for me. Immediate hit of what I describe as a mineral aroma. There was also a spicy note that was almost clove like. Very slight.
As I drank the beer further there was almost a wet rag aroma that wasn't overly pleasing.

The taste followed the aroma and was also typical of English beers for me. Mineral taste and flat mouth feel. There was an assertive malt flavor that was nice, but this gave way to the typical metallic flavor. Not bad, but not really interesting.

Mouth feel was surprisingly creamy. Was there diacetyl? I did get a bit of a buttery sensation. Not sure.

Drinkability was o.k., but I wasn't too motivated to work through it.

Think I'll pass next time.

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2008 22:38:17 | More by Reagan1984
Photo of smanders


4.22/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft @ The Old Brogue Irish Pub, Great Falls, VA.

Appearance - Dark amber with a creamy/thick off-white head (reminiscent of a Guinness head).

Smell - Hints of malt with some herbal notes.

Taste - A perfect blend of hops and malt make for a great ale. Completely balanced with no awkward/unexpected flavors

Mouthfeel - Extremely smooth. What else can I say.

Drinkability - A rich ale that is a joy to drink on draught. Can't wait until that next trip to the UK.

Serving type: on-tap

07-24-2008 21:19:16 | More by smanders
Photo of simonjohansson


3.73/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Smell: typical british ale smell - caramell, some toffee, earthy fresh citric hops. Nothing special.

Taste: caramell and toffee, citric earthy hops and some spices (clove?); quite bitter, which I liked, some minerals and some annoying metallic notes.

Overall a pretty nice and well done british ale.

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2008 17:39:44 | More by simonjohansson
Photo of dasenebler


3.83/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What a great, unique name for a brew. Doesn't get much more English than this. Came in a 15oz. can with nitro thingy. Fun to pour, as the creamy head slowly forms from the bottom up, like a Guinness. And this head stuck the whole way through. Had a nice, rich copper color.

Smelled average, lightly malty.

Tasted very nice. Subtle yet full maltiness, a good bitterness. Some biscuity and sweet malts. Very smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Really no carbonation either which was perfect, as I think it would have taken away from the subtle flavors. A very nice beer.

Went down pretty easy, with a mess of creamy foam from the head clinging to the bottom of the glass. A good change of pace from over-carbonated beers and in-your-face craft brews. Definitely would get this one again.

Serving type: nitro-can

07-16-2008 02:40:05 | More by dasenebler
Photo of mhewes


3.7/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A : Pours a nice orange-amber with a good off white head that leaves some spotty lacing behind.

S : Nice sweet malt along with some citrus hops. I'm also picking up some spice notes in there but I can't identify what spices they are.

T : Starts with a sweet malt that real quickly changes to the hop bitterness. There's a nice tartness to it.

M : Oily and smooth

D : Easy to drink and a good English ale to go back to.

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2008 00:51:40 | More by mhewes
Photo of cvstrickland

North Carolina

3.93/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

440 ml nitro-can poured into a pint nonic glass yields a familiar clear dark amber body alive with creamy nitro-foam. When things come to stability, a finger of butter-smooth white foam decorates the drink and leaves thick sheets of whipped-cream lacing on the glass.

Smell is malty with a clean, refreshing note of earthy hops.

Taste is malty with dry biscuit and soft toasty cocoa and caramel flavors, seasoned with floral, spicy hops. The beer is rich and malty, almost chewy.

This, the nitro can version of this drink is creamy and smooth and superior to the bottle in almost every way I can think of.

Serving type: nitro-can

07-14-2008 02:48:10 | More by cvstrickland
Photo of jamiejohnson


4/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sometimes I'll go several months at a time without a true English ale. After a dry Britless stretch you can really appreciate their style, more subtle than the typical American craft in-your-face hop/malt assault on the taste buds that we've become accustomed to (and love!) There's nothing like a fine ale from the other side, reminding us of their unique beer culture that hopefully will survive. Old Spec is a delightful balanced brew that (once again) makes me want to jump on the bird to publand. There's nothing more I'd rather be doing than sipping an Old Spec while discussing world events with the regulars - enjoying a bit of real life away from the television that so entraps society. Beer - the lubricant of life.

Do this, do that,
Do as you're told.
Think I'll drink beer,
In the world of Olde.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2008 22:33:24 | More by jamiejohnson
Photo of jdoncbus


3.78/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours an orange-brown in a Duvel tulip. Active carbonation with a decent amount of oily lacing; thin biege head.

Nose is a brown sugar malt with doses of lemony hops. Also present are cloves, cinnamon, and biscuity, toasty malt.

Smooth and oily on the pa;ate, sugar-toasted malt with a nice corriander, spiceness rounded out with lemongrass hops. Mouth is left nice and tart, not overpowering but bitterness lingers.

A solid EPA and not bad from the nitro cans; in te past I always had from their clear bottles. A friend I had not seen in 10 years brought then over and I am now guiding him through the American Craft Beer selection.

Serving type: nitro-can

07-04-2008 02:11:37 | More by jdoncbus
Photo of Rzzzzz


4.43/5  rDev +28.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Rose & Crown, Palo Alto. Served in a tall Old Speckled Hen glass. Superb presentation. Orange/amber with that creamy nitro-head, nice clarity once it settles, with constant racing bubbles. Armoas of toasted grain and carmel malt. Full malt flavors, with an initial sweetness that's pulled back into line by a subtle bitter finish. Medium to light bodied with a creamy mouthfeel. A perfect companion to fish and chips. This is what beer should be.

Serving type: nitro-tap

06-28-2008 15:31:43 | More by Rzzzzz
Photo of Bobdope


4.33/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I am a big fan of this beer. I prefer it on the nitro-tap. I feel that is how it is meant to be. The charged can is also a great pour. You need to be careful with the glass bottles because they tend to very susceptible to skunking. Hen is a lighter side, refreshingly simple beer. It does not have a lot of fancy flavor, just all around good.

Serving type: nitro-tap

06-26-2008 17:06:39 | More by Bobdope
Photo of gonzo46and2


3.43/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

16.9 oz can. Poured a brilliant deep amber color and a soft creamy head that laced all over the glass while drinking. Drank this one strait out of the cooler and the aroma was quite subdued at first but after warming up revealed a subtle bouquet of cararmel and bitter hops. Taste was a bit metallic at first but cleaned up nicely after a few more sips. Finish is slightly bitter but clean. Respectable beer but not enough hoppiness for what I'd expect from an ESB or Pale Ale.

Serving type: nitro-can

06-25-2008 22:52:18 | More by gonzo46and2
Photo of Gambrinus1184


3.6/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served through a nitro-tap system at James' Gate Pub in Boston, Mass.

A: Poured a clear, orange-amber color with a cascading wall of nitro-carbonation which settled into a thick dome of tan foam. Nice!

S: Smells a tad malty, lightly hopped and sweet, with a little oxidized metal in the nose as well.

T: Taste is thin, semisweet and a tad bitter. The sweet toasted malt taste comes through a roasted caramel start, before winding up thin and slightly bitter.

M: Mouthfeel is smooth, light and creamy.

D: This is a great session brew, particularly through this nitro system. The taste isn't overwhelmingly delicious, but it's a classic English malt ale flavor in a smooth brew.

I'd be interested to see if the same results came from the bottle experience. Probably wouldn't stick out among a larger list of imports, but it's in the top half, for sure.

Serving type: nitro-tap

06-24-2008 22:57:06 | More by Gambrinus1184
Photo of AlesALot


3.88/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a copper color with a small off white head. Some lacing and good head retention. Lots of small bubbles.

Smells of pale malts and spicy hops.

Toasty malt flavor that quickly gives way to spicy hops and hop bitterness with a dry, slightly herbal finish.

Nice, slightly creamy but light mouthfeel with moderate carbonation.

A true session beer. Drinks down well. Line 'em up!

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2008 01:36:14 | More by AlesALot
Photo of DoubleJ


3.65/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at The Olde Ship in Santa Ana, on to the beer:

Pale orange color with a creamy hed on top. Aroma is faint with a little creaminess. As for the taste, it's a bit earthy and sweet (like butterscotch). Hard minerals are noticable and the there's some drying husk for a brief moment. Very creamy mouthfeel, one which I dig of these nitro infused pale ales, and sessionable. This beer did the job washing down a plate of bangers and mash, and certainly the draft is a safer pick than picking up a clear bottle of it at a beer store.

Serving type: nitro-tap

06-21-2008 03:11:20 | More by DoubleJ
Old Speckled Hen from Greene King / Morland Brewery
78 out of 100 based on 1,607 ratings.