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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.

1,720 Ratings

(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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Old Speckled Hen Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,720 | Reviews: 852 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Redrover
3.48/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this on nitro tap at the Flying Saucer in Houston.

Served in the large "happy hour" pilsner hybrid type glass, the beer is bronze with a dense creamy white head & awesome lacing.

It has a subtle nose of fruit and floral notes.

The taste is mild with plum and cracker notes. There is a bit of mild bitterness and it is slightly sweet with malts.

The mouth as expected is very creamy.

I would like to try a non-nitro version to see if the flavors pop a bit more.

This is a mild mannered, middle of the road offering.

Redrover, Jan 16, 2009
Photo of roadhouse
3.93/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I saw a nitro can of this so I decided to go for it. I wouldn't dare go with the one in the clear glass bottle. Poured from a 16 oz. can into a pint glass.

Appearance is of course lovely as the nitro cans tend to be. It's a bright orange-copper in color with a creamy one and a half inch thick off-white head. Retention is ridiculous and tons of lace is left behind.

Aroma is not very complex but is nice and pleasant with caramel malt sweetness being the lead factor. A bit of toastiness comes through as well as some pear and apple fruitiness. Hop character is minimal.

Taste begins with some caramel maltiness with some toasted character that is joined upon the swallow by some earthy and spicy hop bitterness. Fruity overall with the pear tones still present. Linger is good and hoppy.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a nice chewiness. Nitro cans seem to stop me from rating it much higher as I prefer some carbonation.

Not a bad session ale at all. I wouldn't mind getting a four pack of these some night and going to town on them. Better than Boddington's, the only other Bitter in a nitro can I've had to compare directly to.

roadhouse, Jan 13, 2009
Photo of thekanna
3.8/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap at Seva in Ann Arbor, MI.

Appearance: Dark copper bordering on maroon. Clear with almost no head.

Smell: Nuttiness pokes its way through, along with a slight maple syrup-like sweetness.

Taste: Very nutty. Malts impart a largely pumpernickel bread-type quality to the brew. Sweetness shows up at the end; hops are largely undetectable.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: The creamy, nutty flavor lets this brew become pretty decently drinkable. Carbonation is toned down such that it mellows out the taste.

Overall: Decent ale. Tastes more like a brown ale than an English Pale Ale, though.

thekanna, Jan 12, 2009
Photo of BWH3
3.8/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Crystal clear copper ale with thin white head atop. The head vanishes fast. The beer is still and calm.

S/T: The beer is a delightful blend of pale malt and the right quantity of light caramel to give color and flavor. The distinct yeast strains provide a fruit almost pear flavor. The yeast (and likely the water composition) subdue and smooth the bittering hops. The hops are aromatic musk and clearly noble English vintage.

D: A must drink for all beer enthusiasts. I hope to taste it on cask some day.

BWH3, Jan 11, 2009
Photo of Spikester
3.58/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amber with a small white head. Aroma is bready, malty.
Taste is smokey malts, slightly sweet with a generous amount of bitter hops. From a clear glass bottle. Will have to try the canned version with the widget. Mouthfeel was good. Slightly bitter finish.
Drinkability was good. Would like another please.

Spikester, Jan 06, 2009
Photo of mattster
3.73/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Opened 14.9 fl. oz Nitro can and poured into Nonic Glass.

Once beer settled, it formed a nice, firm 1" creamy tan head that seemed to retain well. Slight lacing on glass. Brew is light tea brown, mostly clear with interesting bubble formations on inside of glass.

Smells malty with a slight nuttiness. Has that traditional earthy and almost "old basement" taste to it. Drinks really easy, but bubbles seem nonexistent on palate. I could definitely have another or two.

mattster, Jan 06, 2009
Photo of skeetermoses
4/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This one was a pretty good beer that I had tried. Not only did I enjoy the brew, but all of my friends enjoyed the brews tasted as welll. I really enjoyed this one, it was smooth, but this beer was very red in colour, it happened to be a really good beer, I will definatley be a part of this one again.

skeetermoses, Jan 03, 2009
Photo of craytonic
3.7/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at big ben in Charlotte, NC

Appearance: A rich-looking amber with a creamy head and nice lacing.

Smell: Nice sweet malts

Taste: Very smooth, toasted malts and caramel/toffee. Some light brown sugar and bread/dough.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and smooth; a very well-rounded mouthfeel

Drinkability: Great session beer.

craytonic, Dec 29, 2008
Photo of biggmike
3.65/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this one from the can with the accompanying widget. Poured a light copper color with fluffy cascading white head. Aroma was not a dominant feature of this beer, but it had notes of caramel, toffee, and wood. Flavor was about the same with hop bitterness from start to finish. Mouthfeel was good. Drinkability was good as this goes down with little effort. The whole of this beer seemed to greater than the sum of its parts.

biggmike, Dec 29, 2008
Photo of DmanGTR
4.53/5  rDev +31.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this on tap at the Old Toad in Rochester, NY. Review from notes.

A - poured a transparent tawny brown with reddish hues. 1 inch creamy head that kept well and decent lacing in an English pint glass

S - fruity, almost white wine like with caramel/toffee malts. Some tobacco and citrus with light hoppiness.

T - white wine fruits and smoky wood, sweet malt, some slight yeastiness and a bittersweet finish. Light touch of alcohol in the finish as well.

M - extremely smooth and medium bodied with light carbonation

D - highly sessionable and drinkable

Overall - I was quite impressed with this beer on tap. I was somewhat skeptical at first... a beer that looks orange-brown?! Then I gave it a smell.... not bad at all! Diacetyl perhaps? Well, something sweet and fruity, like a good Riesling... in any case, it was a delightful session beer that I am sure to have more of in the future. Looking forward to trying it from the bottle. Cheers to the Old Speckled Hen!

DmanGTR, Dec 27, 2008
Photo of nighthawk
3.9/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500mL can with no freshness date. Poured into imperial pint.

Pours a mostly clear copper with a large head that settles to one finger and stays that way till the end of the beer.

Nose is initially a burst of earthy pine hops, but mellows into smooth caramel and grain malt smells.

Taste is a blend of caramel and butterscotch with some pine hops. A very earthy blend of bready, thick feeling malts with the bitter pine hops. Very smooth on the palate, light body that is not too thin. Only mild carbonation is felt.

This is a very pleasant brew, pretty good balance makes it an easy-drinker. Doesn't really amaze you with complexity or bursts of flavour, but it's nice nonetheless.

nighthawk, Dec 26, 2008
Photo of Minkybut
2.7/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I poured this off tasting beer into my tumbler at 50 degrees. The beer was amber colored and poured a tan head with nice bubbles. However the head did not last long. The smell was bland and the taste was bitter and very flat or stale musty tasting. I will not buy again.

Minkybut, Dec 24, 2008
Photo of WJVII
3.45/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass (not that is was necessary with the clear bottle) this brew has a nice light amber color with a thicker 1/2 inch head the settled into a nice cap leaving some lacing on the glass. An unusual observation was larger bubbles leaving holes in the cap, much larger than seen in most brews. The aroma is definitely hop heavy, but the smell is not overpowering. There are hints of some citrus and floral notes, along with some mild sweetness. The taste is above average, but lacks the bite I enjoy in a Pale Ale. This is much simpler and isn't as aggressive. Despite the larger "bubble holes" in the cap, the carbonation was on the light side, also disappointing to me. This was a decent brew that I could sip on for a while, but for the import price can find better.

WJVII, Dec 19, 2008
Photo of DuqTroops
4.43/5  rDev +28.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance - great looking amber in hue. little head, reminds me a lot of a guiness (milk stout), but reddish and lighter in complexion

Smell - malt and barley

Taste - very smooth, tastes like a malta, with lots of great flavors, but easier to taste everything

Mouthfeel - Very Smooth

Drinkability - much drinkability, my favorite part was getting my second one.

like it.

DuqTroops, Dec 18, 2008
Photo of Arbitrator
2.55/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Found this on tap, hadn't heard of it, so I got a pint.

A: Coppery color. Decent head, some lacing.

S: Mild aroma of hops, but nothing jumps out.

T: Some hoppy bitterness, no complexity, aftertaste, or finish.

M: Smooth, medium bodied.

D: Not bad. I could have another if I were so inclined, but it doesn't stand out so I probably won't.

Arbitrator, Dec 17, 2008
Photo of Macca
3.5/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks a treat in the glass. Cascades - love em. A dense solid head. Amber coloured.

A distinct hoppy fruitiness and some sweet maltiness are found on the nose and the palate.

The creamy mouthfeel is fantastic.

Very drinkable when served this way. I'll have to check it out in bottle form.

Macca, Dec 17, 2008
Photo of Blake
2.08/5  rDev -39.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2


I picked this beer out, despite it's horrendous presentation, because I thought I heard somewhere that "Old Speckled Hen" was a pretty good ale. I'm dissappointed.

The smell is alright and it certainly smells better than it tastes.

At first sip, there's the hops and a really nice bitter flavor, but the aftertaste seriously tastes like rotting meat or something else putridly disgusting.

Goes down well enough and has a bubbly head, but the taste kills it.

Maybe this is what mung tastes like.

Blake, Dec 15, 2008
Photo of Vendetta
1.35/5  rDev -60.8%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Original Rating Date:
October 11, 2008

Not a big fan of English bitters but my father brought this home so I decided to give it a try. The clear bottle is an immediate turn-off, the aroma follows suit. Horribly skunky, so much so that it blocks out any discernible beer aroma. The beer looks alright, though- rust colored with a medium, lasting head. The taste follows the aroma -- horribly skunky. Nothing really here. I really need to get this brew on tap and re-rate, the clear bottle was awful.

Vendetta, Dec 14, 2008
Photo of magictrokini
2.9/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dry beer. Pours hazy gold with a big white head. Straw, stale, dank aroma with a sugary metal. Somewhat sour, but not in a good, hoppy way. Has a mild flavor that is tough to pin down. Kind of like hay, but not in a bad way. It leaves you a little disappointed, but not enough to complain.

magictrokini, Dec 09, 2008
Photo of colts9016
3.6/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Medium copper color with a good off white head. Smell: Malt and slight floral esters
Taste: Has a nice malty backbone with a lightly bitter after taste. Slighty soapy with a hint of sweet taste
Mouthfeel: Is slightly astringent.
Drinkability: if very high.
Overall: A medium bodied beer I thought ita was a tad bit watery. There is no finish.

colts9016, Dec 06, 2008
Photo of toolbrew
3.58/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Pours a clear copper color with little carbonation. Retains a thin white head with some lacing on the glass.

Has a slightly hoppy aroma.

Bitter taste with some good hop flavor. Balances well with the malts.

Feel the hops in the back of the mouth. The beer goes down smoothly. Slightly dry taste.

A good beer that I would like to try on draft.

toolbrew, Dec 05, 2008
Photo of Bagman007
3.3/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a bottle.

A- Reddish pink coloring. Haven't really seen this color in a beer before.

S- Somewhat of a hoppy scent. It kind of smelled sweet like candy.

T- Excellent mixture of malts and hops with a hoppy finish. The ideal taste for an English Pale Ale.

M- Goes down easy because of the great balance. Feels great going down.

D- Very drinkable beer. I recommend it to everyone. I will say that this beer taste radically different on tap. Not a big fan of this out of a tap, but it is excellent in a bottle.

Bagman007, Dec 02, 2008
Photo of selecter70
4.08/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A pub I used to frequent several times a week used to have this on draught about 10yrs ago. I have missed it as a highly drinkable pale ale with a lower hop but nice malty finish. I always got a decent pour and have only ever had slightly skunked occasions from the occasional bottle.

selecter70, Dec 02, 2008
Photo of HIFF
3.68/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Would say this brew is burnt sienna in color. Good looking head some lacing.

S-Slightly hoppy not overly strong.

T-Some what bitter with nice smooth after taste

M-Easy on the tongue, very smooth. Not overly carbonated

D-Great drinkability could easily drink several of these.

For my first review this was a tough one nothing really jumped out at me but I would definatley drink this brew again.

HIFF, Dec 02, 2008
Photo of steeler
3.95/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I tried this one out of the 500mL bottle purchased from the LCBO. Anyway, pours out a nice golden orangey color, looks real nice. Just screams tastey ale! Smell is also good, smells of floral hops and malt. Real nice. This is a really tastey brew, nice and bitter and smooth! Goes down nice and smooth then the hops kick in, very nice. I docked the mouth .5 because, to me it felt watery and not full, I was rather surprised at this. The drinkability on this one is good, once its at optimal temperature, it really goes down nice, and keeps sucking in you for more of this delicious brew. Good stuff. Highly Recommended!

steeler, Nov 30, 2008
Old Speckled Hen from Greene King / Morland Brewery
79 out of 100 based on 1,720 ratings.