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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.

1,593 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,593
Reviews: 840
rAvg: 3.44
pDev: 16.86%
Wants: 14
Gots: 51 | 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: 1,593 | Reviews: 840 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of shuriyukum


4.5/5  rDev +30.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of my favorite summer beers. Smooth, easy going, a great session beer with a little extra alcohol content (compared to similar English brews) for those who prefer the extra bite. A draft version on nitrous is an extra special treat! A very delicious beer.

A - Excellent, foamy head with good retention and a white lace that appears as you drink it up.

S - Creamy, light caramel smell with a slight hop undertone.

T - Light and smooth with a full malt flavor that's offset by the hops. No hoppy after taste that resembles the Bitter style, no lingering hoppy after taste that resembes the American Pale Ale style. Well-balanced throughout the taste cycle.

M - Creamy, smooth, and light in heft. Leaves your mouth feeling clean with very subtle alcohol after-taste.

D - Tasty with a very agreeable mouthfeel. Makes a great session beer. :)

Serving type: nitro-tap

08-13-2006 14:44:02 | More by shuriyukum
Photo of Kendo

New York

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

Pours from the nitro can a coppery amber into a pint glass with a 1.5 finger fluffy ivory head after the whole "Guinness cascade" thing. That fluffy head remains throughout, with some lacing clinging to the glass on the way down.

Smells of sweet caramel malt with a hint of nuttiness.

Tastes also of sweet caramel malt at first, with a moderate minerally or metallic bitter finish tang to it. Not the kind of lingering hops bitterness you'd find from an American Pale Ale, and not the same sort of big hop flavor, either, but just enough bitterness to offset the malt flavor that initiates the taste.

Mouthfeel is creamy but light in overall heft.

Highly drinkable as a light English Pale Ale. It goes down fast and won't weigh you down with heavy flavors of any sort. I knocked the score down a bit b/c of that slight metallic bitter tang, however.

All in all a good version of an English Pale Ale.

Serving type: nitro-can

08-13-2006 14:27:27 | More by Kendo
Photo of scottoale


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

Pours from a 440ml. can with nitrogen capsule an amber-copper ale with exceptional clarity and an off-white creamy froth head with retention ever-lasting and some nice lace.

Nutty and somewhat roasty nose fill. Semi-sweet and very earthy, with hops lingering in the background. Slight note of alcohol as it warms.

Nutty and bitter from start to finish...a good balance leaning to the bitter side much like an IPA.

Mild ABV with a solid medium body, the nitro charge makes the mouthfeel smooth and cream-ale like.

Very drinkable and a pleasant change of pace for a Pale Ale...I mean English Pale Ale.

Serving type: nitro-can

08-10-2006 12:18:52 | More by scottoale
Photo of trevorwideman

Manitoba (Canada)

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

500ml can poured into a pint glass. Coppery red colour, Medium sized head that Subsides quickly to a thin top-layer of foam and generous lace. Nose is very malty-sweet with caramel notes. Some earthiness, a bit of alcohol.

Taste is perhaps a little sweeter than I normally like, with all that sweet roasted caramel flavour right on the forefront and dominating the palate. The pleasant thing is that the hop presence is more pronounced than the nose would suggest, which offsets the sweet stuff enough that I can enjoy it. An enjoyable citrusy sourness is present, and the roasted character is pleasant as well. Mouthfeel is a bit softer than I like, but typically British in that respect, and befitting the style. I enjoyed it, but after more than one pint this might get a bit sweet and cloying for my taste.

Serving type: can

08-03-2006 02:49:14 | More by trevorwideman
Photo of rjlemos


4.25/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I'd had this one for the first time in a Irish Pub in São Paulo, right from the tap. I don't know why, but it didn't impress me much at the time. Now I had it from a bottle, and, despite being a (lousy) transparent one, the content gave me chills and thrills. It was reaaaally tasty, and ended being the best beer of the night. That day i was just needing that smoky flavor, that reddish color, that toasted malt taste. Really good one. I bought more the next day, but it didn't deliver the same sensation (the day was rather hot for it), but in the end, it has a special place in my heart (huhu...)

A: reddish amber, reminding the bockbiers.
S: smoky, flowery, just nice.
T: strong toasted malt, perfect bitterness.
M: not as impressive as the rest, but...
D: for cool nights, tasty cheeses, it goes on and on...

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2006 22:59:40 | More by rjlemos
Photo of vancurly


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

Clear glass really irritates me.... it reminds me of all the "dry" lagers that are in fashion, not to mention the vulnerabilities it creates with respect to light-strike.
Head pours OK, subsides to thin layer.
Burnt orange colour.
Marmalade toast hits me first.... if only I was allowed to drink beer at breakfast.
A touch of roasted malt. Tasty English hop flavour profile, with a metallic bitterness that (I think, I think) is from Fuggles. It lingers well, along with a touch of honey.
In my part of the world (Sydney, Aus) there is the occasional pub that will have this on tap. I would rather have reviewed a draft Hen, than a clear bottle. I'll seek one out, and update accordingly.

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2006 07:54:37 | More by vancurly
Photo of Blakaeris


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

Pours hazy orange amber with a modest head, and slight lacing.

Smell is toasted malt with a sharp mineral tang. Mild underlying fruit and herbal hop character.

Taste is similiar to the nose. Very balanced and creamy. Finish is quite bitter with a lingering sharp, but not unpleasant tinny flavor.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied. smooth and buttery.

A well crafted English Pale. Flavors are tasty, but not overly complex. A good session ale.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2006 04:22:17 | More by Blakaeris
Photo of bashiba


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

Poured a nice hazy orange with a creamy tan head with good lacing.

Smell has a light malt odor with a strong floral hop odor and a definite pepper aroma.

Has a light crackery malt taste with a light bit of diacetyl butteryness, is quickly overtaken by the strong floral and spicy hops.

Mouthfeel is crisp with a nice dry finish.

Easy to drink and tasty, a nice english pale.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2006 04:16:52 | More by bashiba
Photo of BlackAngus


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

I had heard of this beer, and saw it and wanted to check it out. I was hesitant, because it was in a clear bottle, and I have had very bad luck with imports in clear bottles.

It's a tasty beer. Looks good, had a pleasant pale ale aroma. It wasn't skunked at all, which surprised me. The taste was pleasant, roasty.

I could drink a lot of this, but the price was just too high. I would be just as happy buying a domestic pale ale. But if you can find it at a decent price, give it a try.

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2006 13:13:18 | More by BlackAngus
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2006 18:02:36 | More by lordofthewiens
Photo of jarmby1711


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

Dark teak with a reddish hue supporting a finely rothed pale orange head,with surprisingly little bead for that had.
The smell is distinctly caramel but not overly sweet.
The taste has those caramel tones and a hintof ginger as well, the flavoursarent detailed andblend through to finish on a bitter note.
There is a vague sour background that dtracts from the overall enjoyment
The carbonation feels about right in the mouth but aagin the sourness detracts from the overall enjoyment
A none to distinctive orinspiring example of an English APle ALe , but given I find most English Ales pretty darn good it is very good company.
It is at the lower end of being good

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2006 00:06:28 | More by jarmby1711
Photo of jameaterblues

New York

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

A- Amber/bronze color, fairly dark...with a 1/4 inch white head....light lace.
S- Very malty...butter, toffee were fairly strong to me. Light hops...not too distinct.
T- Malty(slightly toffee flavored) on the tip of the tongue, and a citrusy hopy finish with a mildly bitter after taste.
M/D-Medium bodied, lower carbonation than I was expecting. Always nice...but not something I pick up too often.

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2006 02:04:50 | More by jameaterblues
Photo of RenoZymurgist


3.9/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a crystal clear rich amber color witha thick white nitro head. The aroma is full of delicious fruity esters and a slightly herbal hop presence. The flavor is very nice as it has a superb balance of sweet and bitter. The malt is the first flavor you taste it is a slightly carmelly malt that is very smooth from the nitro. Then the hop bitterness comes into the flavor but it is still balance by the malts. The flavor of the bitterness is nice and herbal with a touch of a citrus like taste. Towards the end the malt drops out and the bitterness is left to be tasted by itself which to my taste makes this a nicely hoppy brew. The mouthfeel is very creamy and smooth from the nitro. I haven't had this in a bottle but after having this on nitro i probably wouldn't try the other as the carbonation would have too much bite. Very drinkable this is an excellent session beer.

Serving type: nitro-can

05-26-2006 21:12:08 | More by RenoZymurgist
Photo of PBRstreetgang


3.1/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours clear bronze with a thin one finger head. Excellent retention but weak lacing. Aromas of toasted pale malt and a hint of crystal malt. Sour nitro tap taste upfront, toasted pale malt sweetness and mild floral hop flavor. Semi-dry aftertaste- very fruity and leaves a buttery diacetyl coating on the tounge. The low carbonation and medium body accentuate the slick mouthfeel. Low hop presence throws off the balance. Slight dryness in the finish helps drinkability but the diacetyl is the only notable character and it just seems kind of bland.

Serving type: nitro-tap

05-25-2006 03:25:42 | More by PBRstreetgang
Photo of acrawf6


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

Pours out of the clear bottle a deep clear amber color with a nice foamy slightly tan head.

Smell. i get a sweet and peppery maltiness. small vanilla bean aroma as well with some butteryness.

Taste. Has a toffee sweetness. very small nuttiness. slightly buttery. has a sharp bitterness to it. not bad at all. aftertaste is slightly fruity with some unsuspected spices. I get a feeling of high alchohol content here, though it's only at 5.2

Mouthfeel is good. very good balance. medium to full body. Quite good.

Overall this beer to me is a good solid beer, but not unique. just a good beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2006 19:17:47 | More by acrawf6
Photo of arizcards


3.4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this brew after touring London the first week of May.

Beer poured a golden orange with a OK head to start. Nose did not detect much there. Taste was bittering hops with a slight citrus finish. Mouthfeel was light to medium bodied and fairly smooth. Drinkability was definitely OK to try as this was a sessionable beer.

Serving type: on-tap

05-14-2006 23:52:48 | More by arizcards
Photo of allergictomacros

Ontario (Canada)

3.2/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Clear bronze witha creamy head.
S - A touch of skunk and some metallic aromas. Light toasted grain and some fruitiness. Sweet caramel aromas as well
T - Slight toasted bitterness, and some hops in the aftertaste. A bit of a tart character as well. Not as sweet as expected, good balance, but a little bland.
M - Creamy with a medium body.
D - Quite nice. Could be more flavourful.

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2006 00:36:49 | More by allergictomacros
Photo of Dukeofearl


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

Had this on tap many times at my local "British Pub" (The Royal Falconer, Riverside, CA.), 20 oz. in a Guinness Pint glass for $6.00.

Pours a very pretty creamy yellow with a separated cream head that just looks nice. Aroma is a hint of hops around the lightly roasted malts. Flavor follows through, with a very creamy mouthfeel.

Simple and easy to drink, I admit to enjoying many others of the style much more when in Britain, but since this is all I can get on tap in my hometown, it makes for a reasonable substitute.

Serving type: nitro-tap

05-12-2006 16:14:35 | More by Dukeofearl
Photo of HimerMan

New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nitro-tap at the House of Brews, NYC - served in the Old Speckled Hen glass.

Medium amber pour with an awesome thick white head that is absolutely creamy and sweet.

Not a big smell to it, I suppose a bit of sugar/candy aroma to it.

Taste - a little strange to write this, but it has the aftertaste of gummy bears? Very sweet, not pale at all for me, and velvety smooth going down.

One of my normal beers at the bar, as it is great to have on nitro-tap. I never tried it from the bottle, but have seen it in the larger can.

Find this on tap, try it - it's worth it.


Serving type: nitro-tap

05-11-2006 11:45:15 | More by HimerMan
Photo of crass751


3.85/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Nitro can poured into a pint glass

A: Dark gold with a thick creamy white head.

S: Big bready malty aroma

T: Extremely dry and malty, with a touch of hop bitterness and a little alcohol bite at the finish.

M: Heavy, thick, just the right amount of carbonation.

D: I love this beer. I always end up extremely refreshed and satisfied after putting one of thse away. I'm not sure it's sessionable as it's very filling, but it's extremely drinkable.

Serving type: nitro-can

05-05-2006 03:23:23 | More by crass751
Photo of yelterdow

New Jersey

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

Crazy Ron over at Total Wine in River Edge said this is where it's at. I've never even given this beer a second glance, on the clear bottle theory alone... but, hey... I've got an open mind and a few nickels in my pocket.

Served at just over fridge temperature in a Fuller's nonic.

Appearance- Pours a clear, glowing, burnished gold into my glass... the fluffy, bone white crown climbs three fingers high and crackles softly down to a pillow of foam. Very similar to Sam Smith Pale Ale, from what I remember. Absolutely killer lacing rides the sides of my glass.

Smell- Bready, doughy notes mingle with the mineral character of the water. Hops that first smell a little skunky clean up and become zippy and grassy, and both aromas come together in nice balance.

Taste- A mineraly, hard "taste" is the backbone of this beer, where the English hop varieties with their sharp *zing* ride alongside the bready display here. Not terribly impressed with the aftertaste... it's got an old "dryness" that takes away from the great beginning and middle. Good overall balance.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Simple, easy, moderately effervescent texture that feels right for the style. Super sessionable, and that's really the key here. Nevermind swirling and swishing this one, this here's a drinkin' beer. Not my favorite, but enjoyable nonetheless.

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2006 01:16:34 | More by yelterdow
Photo of stcules


3.3/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reddish copper color, a relatively abundant foam, light brown in color, average compactness.
At the smell malt, hazelnut, hop with metallic and rusty notes. The cinder, and light caramel.
In the taste malt, hazelnut, a good amount of bitterness and again a light metallic and cindery note.
Dry, with orange peel.
The aftertaste is dry, the bitterness is long, and the orange peel is more strong. And even something woody and smoked.
Light body.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2006 12:15:42 | More by stcules
Photo of MMansfield

Nova Scotia (Canada)

3.9/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked a can per usual at at the NSLC. Took me a while to review this, but here she goes.

Appearence: Red rust colour with a creamy head that forms tight holes, a sort of 'speckling' if you forgive the pun.

Aroma: Sweet toffee, There's also a hint of wood. Not much from hops.

Taste: Heavy on malts, loads of toffee, some bread, medium bitterness, tea flavour in finish.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and rich. Very drinkable. A definite quaffer

Final Statement: One of my old favourites. I went to Boston recently, and on my list of things to do was to get this on tap, which i accomplished at Cornwalls Pub.

Serving type: can

04-26-2006 00:02:38 | More by MMansfield
Photo of Gagnonsux


3.83/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Speckled Hen is a mildly hazy copper with moderate carbonation. Head is tan, creamy, and of a medium height. Aroma is of sweet lightly toasted English grain with a touch of grassiness. Taste is also of toasted English grain, sweet and somewhat earthy. Herbal hops are in the mix and provide an edge of fruitiness. Overall Speckled Hen provides a mellow, balanced flavor that has enough complexity to keep things interesting.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2006 13:59:31 | More by Gagnonsux
Photo of JayTheFinn


2.85/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I had reservations about trying this in bottle form after having it on tap in England. Unfortunately it taste about the same, only maybe not quite as fresh. Same slightly overbearing alcohol taste that is always present through out the entire pint. Old Speckled Hen has won awards, so why don't I like better? I think the judges were in Greene King's pocket, lol!

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2006 18:53:07 | More by JayTheFinn
Old Speckled Hen from Greene King / Morland Brewery
78 out of 100 based on 1,593 ratings.