1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Old Speckled Hen - Greene King / Morland Brewery

Not Rated.
Old Speckled HenOld Speckled Hen

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,825 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,825
Reviews: 876
rAvg: 3.44
pDev: 16.86%
Wants: 30
Gots: 145 | 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:
Beer added by: Quaffer on 10-23-2000

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (61) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 1,825 | Reviews: 876
Photo of geexploitation
3.26/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a reddish bronze color with good clarity and a dusting of a head. Some skunky smells overlay everything, with some orange marmalade and crystal malts as the base. On the palate, sweetness and orangey malts come in initially, then some hop bitterness hits with a snap, along with a hard water flavor that's rough but short of Burton. Toward the end, the skunkiness comes out, comprising the majority of the finish. Mouthfeel is crisp with hop bitterness and light to medium in weight. Light carbonation, even for the [bottled] style. Overall, this is alright. I would prefer a brown bottle or a non-nitro can, though.

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

nitro-can, served in a pint glass, what a show!

A - slightly cloudy, orange/amber color with a rumbling, light tan, nitro inspired head that settled down after a while, leaving some blobs of lace.

S - toffee/malt aroma.

T - good tasting ale, sweet toffee/malt flavor with a bit of hop bitterness sneaking in on the finish.

M - medium/full bodied, a bit of a flat/watery feel.

D - one or two of these is all I could drink or would want to drink, for that matter.

Photo of Doomcifer
2.98/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

served from nitro can.

appearance - clear reddish brown, with a great frothy-nitro head. nice looking beer.

smell - honey, vanilla, sweet malts, buttery

taste - sweet maltiness, toffee, very faint hop finish, buttery, it's not bad.

mouthfeel - very full bodied yet flat...meh

drinkability - one is good enough for me.

Photo of bcgoldtoe
1.22/5  rDev -64.5%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1


Words cannot express how nasty I found this beer to be. I have NEVER dumped part of any beer, but I was pretty much tempted to toss half this can.

A=The best part. Dark brown with a decent head.

S= Just plain nasty.

T= Disgusting, skunked.

M= Too thick for my taste, probably about right for this style though.

D= With a smell and taste this noxious, I can't see anyone asking for a second.

Photo of TexIndy
2.51/5  rDev -27%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Poured from a 12oz clear bottle with no dating system into a pint glass. It was a clear orange/amber color. It had a good sized white head that quickly faded to a thin collar. Good carb and slight lacing. The aroma was not very good. Started off skunky then grew into a weird smell that I can't pin down - some herbal hops. The taste was also not very good. I had this several years ago and hated it. Thought I'd give it another try and see if I had grown into it. Big nope - just isn't for me. Don't recommend. (2.5, NA, ML, N)

Photo of livingregret
3.36/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Serving Type: Standard Bottle

Appearance: A beautiful golden amber, little head w/ lacing present

Smell: not much in terms of smell...malts, hops. There is another smell, but I can't seem to place it. A touch of spice perhaps?

Taste: Carmel taste that comes through toward the end, almost nutty in some parts.

Mouthfeel: Pretty medium like feel to it, goes down like a juice might.

Drinkability: I could most likely drink just this for a night and be okay

Photo of Cyberkedi
4.06/5  rDev +18%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is an old favorite I haven't had in a long time. It pours a beautiful clear coppery-brown with just a little head. Aroma is strong and malty. Flavor is richly malty, with some hop bitterness, not complex but smooth and very satisfying. This is a good beer to have with a meal, or at a party, or with good friends.

Photo of tugdriver7
3.63/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Looks like a bottle of Copper Fox Whiskey in the clear glass container. Poured gorgeous copper in the glass, perfectly clear with a nice though small head that disappeared quickly. Not much in the nose other than a mild English malt, but the mouthfeel was surprisingly satisfying, with great, if relatively invisible, carbonation. Taste was all malt with a touch of bitterness in the end. Not too sweet. Very refreshing. A bit of alcohol as the glass got low (and the ale warmed); but I can see why this is a good call on tap. Wonderful example of the style.

Photo of Jettanbass9
3.24/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

not a bad ESB...

Aroma is slightly hoppy and malty like a good ESB should, Taste, very smooth slightly sweet/hoppy, i paired this one up with a light sandwich (honey smoked turkey, lettuce and tomato on a crossant) and it was a perfect fit... Nothing outstand about this beer however if i was in the mood for an ESB this wouldnt be a bad choice.

Photo of Bamabrew22
3.68/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at a British pub, this one did not disappoint. Great English ale!

Appearance in a nonic pint glass reminded me of jolly old England. Just a good looking ale, gold to amber in color with a slight lacing of billowy head to top it off. Smell was of malt sweetness with various fruits, maybe apricot and pear. It tasted like a consistently good old English ale. Sweetness from the malt was balanced just right with a touch of hops, probably Kent goldings. Just a glancing of fruityness along the palate. Mouthfeel was rather light; what you'd expect from an ale. Overall, this was just a great English ale. Reminded me of the old country. Could definitely make this a great session brew, if I could just get it more easily. Plus, you gotta love the name!

Photo of TurdFurgison
3.26/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a widget-can, it gave the usual widget effect to the appearance (thick creamy head). The beer was clear amber colored, maybe just a hint of haze to it. The aroma was neutralish, mildly malty if anything, and the flavor was malt. Nothing exceptionally rich, just a good session beer with creamy mouthfeel.

Photo of rohrbachsfan
4.03/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured a clear ruby red / brown color with a medium head.

Smell: Sweet Malt.

Taste: Pleasant hops bitterness, sweet malt, with hints of toffee.

Mouthfeel. Creamy and rich.

Drinkability: Very drinkable beer, well balanced and rich flavor. Very impressed with all the English and Scottish imported ales I've tasted lately and recommend trying some.

Photo of Tawnos
4.01/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a golden color with a thick, pillowy head that doesn't really go away. Smells very subtle, no skunk because of the cans, slightly sweet.
Taste is smooth and rich, it's somewhat sweet with a hop backing, but nothing kicking out. Reminds me of drinking pints in England.
Feels awesomely creamy in the mouth, and I could drink it all night.

Photo of Kulrak
3.52/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep orange brown color with very little in the way of head, but what is there is white, creamy and lacy. Smells spicy, floral & hoppy. The taste is very malty with just enough bitterness to balance it out. Very smooth. Mouthfeel is fairly heavy without much carbonation there. Overall, it's very drinkable. I don't know if I'll spend the premium price on it, but I wouldn't turn one down.

Photo of BuckSpin
4.1/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 16oz nitro draft in a classic conical pint glass

I've been looking to try this for some time, and leapt at the chance to enjoy it draft. Nose was light, sweet with warm caramel, roast malts, a little floral. Some initial faint spiciness faded, but some nice, soft vanilla tones and light citric hops emerged with some air & warmth as it settled.

A solid finger's worth of tight, condensed, thick & sticky cream colored foam lasted quite a while and laced like Feudal drapery, coating the pint's sides. The color was striking - a brilliant, warm, vibrant copper hue, almost radiating, crystal clear but with no noticeable internal bubble action.

Its nicely bittersweet, very balanced with a crushed velvety mouthfeel, creamy & smooth, resonating with burnt caramel that provides a pleasing, subtle bitterness over some dirty malts, maybe even the faintest echo of some chocolate in the background. An echo of those citrus like hops from the nose is there as well. Its very balanced, and enjoyably subtle with a leathery, tannin laced, earthy quality...very quaffable.

The overall evenness & balance carries right thru to the palate, perhaps a little sweeter with caramel, then finishes very dry, full of crackers, bread crusts, those citric hops, leaving amazing clean, uncoating & unfilmy, with an faint caramel sweetness.

That was very enjoyable, a very drinkable brew that I could have easily had many more of. It paired very well with my ubiquitous corned beef Reuben with fries, and I could see it paring with any standard pub fare or a very mild cheese. I recommend this and would definitely seek it out again.

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

Nitro can, pours with a frothy tan head, very creamy; the body's a rich mahogany. Nose is slightly metallic, sweet with dark fruits (raisins, some plums), finishes with a bready edge like saltines. Taste: opens far from the back with soft bitterness wrapped up in a grape-like sweetness; the middle is flat to me without much progression; and it closes on a very thin hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is light, as light as the style should be but still too light -- almost airy -- for my liking. Drinkable, for sure.

Photo of sleazo
3.64/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light amber colour with a thick rich head. It takes a few seconds to settle but the head remains steady. Nice lace

S-not much smell maybe a little toasted bread

T-very smooth slightly sour with a bit of that nitro taste. Very mild in taste. Roasted grains are the first thing you take but they are very mild. Then you get a mild English hop finish

M-damned near perfect. Rich and creamy. With a mild light bubbled carbonation

D-a good mild beer. This is sessionable and a great beer on a hot summer day.

Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.45/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Deep amber to sienna brew with a small head and a tiny bit of lacing.

S - Toffee and woodsy hops.

T - Coffee, toffee, malty, woddsy hops. Aftertaste is woodsy with a little bitterness.

M - Smooth, thin, a bit on the not refreshing side.

D - Pretty good. worth a try, a nice ESB.

Photo of pittvkyle7
3.62/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This looks great. Perfect amber color with a steady one inch head that stayed the whole time. No lacing.

The nose is hops and maybe a little spice.

Mostly floral hops that bite. The malts and some nut flavors comes through as it warms. Not very balanced and it leans toward the hop side.

Mouthfeel is light with the right amount of carbonation.

ok drinkability. I liked this but I wish the taste impressed me more. I'll have to have it again soon.

Photo of BrewSomerville
3.35/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thankfully I bought two bottles of this because the first one was skunked.

Aromas of vanilla, spice, and some grassiness. Some herbal aromas as well.

The colour was amber/copper with red highlights. A thumbs width of head, which was off white in colour. Poor head retention, with some lace.

Good hop flavouring, balanced with some nutty, biscuity malt flavours. It had flavours of vanilla and spice. It had a little bit of a metallic taste to it.

Mouthfeel was on the lighter side of medium bodied. The carbonation was not too aggressive.

Overall, I like it, I will drink it again...but I hate the clear bottles!!

Photo of shadow1961
3.25/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Morland Old Speckled Hen Ale pours a thin head that collapses quickly
over a clear, dark orange brew. Carbonation is steady with big fat bubbles,
and the nose is malt and sharp yeast. The flavor is light malt with an herbal hop
finish, and vanilla notes. Mouthfeel is crisp and dry. Interesting. Incidentally,
the label says the speckled hen referred to in the name of the beer is an MG
with an odd paint job, and not some barnyard fowl. Brits are wierd.

Photo of barefootbrewer
3.56/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured with a cascading effect from the widget. It settled into a deep copper/brown with a thick head. The aroma is hoppy with some malt characteristics in the background. This is a malty beer that has enough hops to keep it balanced. The mouthfeel is creamy and full. This is a smooth beer which goes down easily, making it a nice session choice.

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

they claim a unique yeast strain
does the speckled trick
and their right
for a pale ale
there seems some yeast ester in it-
or a strange butter malt-ness
peculiar tofee like spice
very hard to describe
you'd have to taste it to decide

but seems well made nonetheless

carbonation is good
a little bittering is present
finishes semi-sweet wood

a unique offering
without a doubt for
a pale ale

Photo of bosco7
3.81/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful cascade of nitrogen bubbles that eventually settles and leaves a nice creamy head. Some lacing.

Not much aroma here.

Toasted hazelnut, caramel, popcorn, toffee flavors, backed with some floral hop character.

Creamy mouthfeel at first , later becomes quite watery. Goes down real easy. Great session beer.

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

Presentation - According to the 14.9 oz widget concealing can it is named for a vintage MG with a speckled paint job.

A - A mid range amber hued liquid that allows a pillowy white head to cascade until becoming smooth + glossy like creme brulee and placid after the nitro widget does it's trick. No bubbling action is detected thereafter.

S - A subtle fruit and cream scent with a touch of spice. A small amount of banana and orange peel is hinted at.

M - Creamy smooth fullness effect of nitrogen is felt with thin after effect. Spiced bitter textures are present in the follow up.

T - A tasty smooth pale ale taste. Sweet creaminess is counterbalanced by the slightly spicy peppery hop tinges in the finish. An excellent English bitter ale taste shines through in the draft can. A light ale with clean accent augmented by round edges and fruity undrerpinnings.

D - Easily accessible and a sessionable bitter with sweet creaminess and nice spicy hop dashes.

to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Old Speckled Hen from Greene King / Morland Brewery
78 out of 100 based on 1,825 ratings.