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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: 78 | 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
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Ratings: 1,684 | Reviews: 850 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of KoG
3.98/5  rDev +15.4%

Nitro cascade into an amber liquid. Good head retention and lacing.

Smell is slightly grainy with some light malt sweetness. Odd phenolic twinge on the end.

Taste is pretty mild, lightly malty with no real bitterness. No metallic off taste that some Nitros have had, pretty well balanced.

Easy to drink, and light on the palate.

KoG, Sep 22, 2005
Photo of JanM
3.7/5  rDev +7.2%

Looking a bit reddish in the glass and pours with 1,5 finger of foam. It's a pretty palealey taste although very dry and with a strong bitterness. The mouthfeel is oily and not so inviting. Bottle version is too carbonated. The taste actually reminds me of a wormwood beer I had at Appolo Micro Brewery in Copenhagen (yes, it's true!).

JanM, Sep 21, 2005
Photo of DogFood11
3.98/5  rDev +15.4%

Poured into a pilsener glass it produced an inspired 2 finger head that eventually falls to a thin ring that leaves occassional spotty lacing. A bit darker than the usual pale ale with reddish tone.

I got a nutty, wood, earthy type aroma that was heavily malted. Tasted more caramel than I could pick up in the smell but it was challenged by a mild hop finish. This brew has alot of flavors sprea out through each drink and changed complexity as it warmed up. Smooth creamy mouthfeel and extremely drinkable as it is interesting enough to keep my attention and silky mouthfeel is a joy.

DogFood11, Sep 21, 2005
Photo of SkeeterHawk
3.65/5  rDev +5.8%

Appearance: An aggressive pour gives it a creamy half inch of head at first. The beer is a clear light amber color with only a few bubbles rising. There is a good bit of lacing after the beer is consumed

Aroma: Some hops noticeable at first along with some caramel malts, and a hint of butterscotch.

Taste: The flavor definitely starts out being led by the hops, but then it has a bit of a dry assertive bite that sets in as the initial floral impression fades. The finish is leaves you thinking that this is a medium bodied beer that has a bit higher carbonation to give it a lighter impression. There are definitely some Sulfates in this beer.

Opinion: Well, I am not too big on British beers, but I just can’t help but keep trying them. This beer is really pretty good. I got an example that was WAY back on the shelves as this beer is in a clear bottle. I don’t get any skunk in this one.

This is one of the better British beers that I have tried here lately. It is definitely worth a shot.

SkeeterHawk, Sep 15, 2005
Photo of danielharper
2.93/5  rDev -15.1%

Purchased from Great Spirits, Huntsville, AL.

Pours a dark orange/reddish color with a thick white foamy head. Head sticks around for awhile, although it remains thin and leaves only a bit of lacing. Nice appearance, but nothing special.

Smell is average, with a sweet backend covered up by a hoppy presence up front. Not a lot of smell to it at all, i.e. very few discernable aromas, but it seems fairly unique in its indescribability, and it's enjoyable so far as it goes.

The taste is bizarre; maybe it's just a psychosomatic reaction or something, but I could swear I can actually taste a bit of chicken in this brew. The power of suggestion strikes again. Other than that, it's mainly fruity up-front with a decent if unfulfilling bitter finish. It goes down easy.

Mouthfeel is medium, not too heavy, not too light, leaving a thin watery foam around the mouth and a reasonably decent aftertaste. Just, "eh".

Overall drinkability is low-average, because I really don't find myself wanting another after I finish the first one. Nothing special in these bottles, but it might be worth a try if you're looking for something easy-drinking but more flavorful than Bud, et al.

danielharper, Aug 31, 2005
Photo of quasimoto
2.35/5  rDev -31.9%

The O.S.H. poured a light copper brownwith a big frothy head. The aroma was of hops, glue, and some wine, like a cabernet. The taste of it was also glue, malt and like 1% of smoke. The mouthfeel is light and easy, with the slight bitterness of hops on the end. This is a 100% session beer. These were so easy to put back one after another. Overall, it's not something I'm going out of my way again to get.

quasimoto, Aug 29, 2005
Photo of assurbanipaul
4.05/5  rDev +17.4%

Pours a crystal-clear bright amber with a frothy white head. Aroma has a sweet, caramel sourness to it, not skunk but sulfurous.

Taste is again a caramel, malty sweetness cut with more than a bit of a soured element. Toasted grains and past-date milk flavors; a twinge of hoppy bitterness, but no identifiable variety. Nothing to put off the taste; on the contrary, the mild sour mash flavor is what makes this ale unique.

Mouthfeel is light and clean, very drinkable. A wonderful example of fine English ale and one of my all-time faves, ultimately sessionable. Believe it or not, the bottled version is far superior to either a tap serving or the nitrous can (ugh). Find yourself a fresh, well-kept (clear) bottle and enjoy.

assurbanipaul, Aug 25, 2005
Photo of Citadel82
3.33/5  rDev -3.5%

I had this on tap at the Full Shilling, Pearl Street near corner of wall. Tasty from the brewery glass. Strangely it tasted like it would be stronger than the 5.2% listed. I initially enjoyed the creamy balance between the caramel malts and the English Hops. There were not many other options that appealed to me so I stuck to this stuff most of the evening. Could be a good session beer, perhaps a tad sweet, but not very remarkable otherwise.

Citadel82, Aug 14, 2005
Photo of fisherman34
3.3/5  rDev -4.3%

Orange in colour with medium carbonation. Aromas are of caremel malts, fruity yeast, and perhaps a bit of licorice. Flavors are about what I’d expect from a typical bitter: sweet malt, goldings hops, cooked apples, a bit of spice, and a slightly woody note. The only flaw with this beer is its body, which is way too light... almost like a pale lager. Close, but no cigar.

fisherman34, Aug 12, 2005
Photo of battlekow
3.43/5  rDev -0.6%

My girlfriend brought me back a couple beers from Britain and Ireland, including two English Pale Ales: this and Innis & Gunn. I'm reviewing them together to compare.

Appearance: Both are a beautiful, crystal-clear dark reddish-gold. Minimal head but good lacing.

Smell: Lots of piney and floral hops. Hints of apple. Unbalanced; not much malt.

Taste: Speckled Hen is a really dry beer. There's some maltiness, but, as expected, the primary character is hops, though it's actually not that bitter. Aftertaste is slightly appley.

Mouthfeel: Really dry. Kinda creamy.

Drinkability: Not bad. Not nearly as good as the I&G, though; too unbalanced.

battlekow, Aug 07, 2005
Photo of cracgor
4.05/5  rDev +17.4%

Appearance: rich orange color. With a white velvety head that just sticks to the glass in a way I can only describe as sexy.

Smell: Kind of weak on the aroma. A sweet malty/caramel smell to it. A little spicy.

Taste: Buttery, toffee. A great fruitiness to the beer.

Mouthfeel: This beer is just like velvety smooth butter. Rich and creamy.

Drinkability: This beer is fantastic on tap. It is exceptionally drinkable, earthy, and just great flavors to forget yourself in.

cracgor, Aug 03, 2005
Photo of LiquidBreadMan
2.93/5  rDev -15.1%

I love the UK. Honest. But I am not impressed with Old Speckled Hen.

This brew pours a rich copper color, like iced tea, with a thick (quickly dissipating) head. It pretty much goes downhill from there. The aroma is a potpourri of lemon, sweat and spinach. Although I can (barely) discern some hops, this brew has a prominent "photosynthetic" flavor -- from start to finish -- much like. . . spinach. It's middle of the road, as far as carbonation, which makes it fairly easy to swallow.

Cute name. But I won't be buying the bottled version of this brew in the future.

LiquidBreadMan, Jun 21, 2005
Photo of packetknife
3.45/5  rDev 0%

Don't bother with the bottle, the nitro can is an entirely different experience. I like it better than any taps I've had of it. Orange with maroon highlights, a near-bleach white head that was dense and at least three fingers out of two pours. Classic beer-book look. Can't smell anything but acid & bubbles but it's not offensive, don't want to take away too much for that. Perhaps a bit sweeter than some would prefer but this isn't an IPA. The sense of caramel, malts, and hops on the finish was consistent between each can's pour. The density makes it feel more like a decent thick stout or porter which I really enjoyed (the texture so to speak). Drinkable for most environments.

packetknife, Jun 19, 2005
Photo of Franchise
3.13/5  rDev -9.3%

This beer pours a golden amber color, it leaves a thin tan lace of head that disapates pretty quickly. Has a faint "skunky" oder with a finish of vanilla and hops. The taste when it first hits the palate is smoothe, goes down easy def session quality. The strongest flavors on the tounge are honey, sour grapes, with a malty finish. This beer would be paired well with some classic english eats such as fish and chips, or shepard pie.

Franchise, Jun 18, 2005
Photo of whartontallboy
2.93/5  rDev -15.1%

Clear bottle pours out kind of a caramel color with a head that's initially big but fades into nothing quickly.

Smell is lightly skunked and stale hops, a bit of caramel malt and maybe a little hint of vanilla.

Taste is not much to crow about: light skunky flavors, thick malty sweetness, and then a little more skunkiness kicks in with some bitterness. Eh.

Overall: Not so great, especially for the money. The tap version may be better, but I find this one too sweet and too offputting to warrant further purchases.

whartontallboy, Jun 03, 2005
Photo of Noelito76
4.08/5  rDev +18.3%

I must say that I was pleasantly surprised. In the store the color looked darker than the light brown it was. Not too much head. However, it had a good balance between the subtle sweetness I detected and the hops. The drinkability was quite smooth as the mouthfeel was good enough to savor each sip (or gulp if that's your style). I'd buy this one again.

Noelito76, May 10, 2005
Photo of ikonoklast7
3.05/5  rDev -11.6%

Old Speckled Hen looks great, with that wonderful nitro masking effect from the can and a big creamy head. It also has a very smooth, buttery mouthfeel. But other than that, it isn't all that great. Smell is just a typical beer smell, the kind of scent I associate with American mass-produced beers. Taste-wise its decent, with a nice mild, hoppy character, but that's about it.

ikonoklast7, May 03, 2005
Photo of Zraly
3.33/5  rDev -3.5%

A light golden brown with a frothy white head. The nice settling nature of a nitro can pour is always welcomed and comforting. Strong bready smells with the head following faithfully down the side of the glass.

Malty, bready and slightly sour...it starts off interesting in the mouth. However, the finish is too subtle and too buried by a slightly off-grain flavor. Not unpleasant, just too mild...a bit more hops may help. It's medium bodied, with a sweet middle. I would be interested in having it on tap and contrasting the nature/flavor of the two. However, I could drink this all night because it is easy on the palate.

It's not bad, but it isn't the best interpretation of an English ale.

Fish n' chips would do just fine.

Zraly, Apr 21, 2005
Photo of pikemark
4/5  rDev +15.9%

This one was a surprise for me. This is a differentt EnglishPale Ale and it is pretty tasty.

It is a dark brown in a mug as compared the light body it has in the bottle. Not much headbut pretty good lacing. I smelled some roasted malts off the bat and a little hops.

The taste didnt finish as well as I wouldve liked but it is a solid beer for the flavor and drinkability. I can understand the Pale Ale of this as the hops really do come out with that roasted flavor. Not as good as the Tadcaster but as I said before its different because of the carbonation. Pretty good I must say.

pikemark, Apr 20, 2005
Photo of Backer2004
3.98/5  rDev +15.4%

I'm glad I tried this as a draft instead of a bottle . . . I may have lowered by rating on appearance with the clear glass and very light color. Instead, I found a very impressive brew. this did not seem to be a Pale Ale in terms of hops. One of the smoothest drinks to go down, very creamy in taste and appearance. Great lacing and head around the glass. i only tried this in 5 ounce taster and may have a different opinion next time, but my initial response was great.

Backer2004, Mar 26, 2005
Photo of Dithyramb
3.58/5  rDev +3.8%

On cask at Victoria’s in Chester, UK
Pours amber, but on the brownish side
Lightly citiric smelling on the nose with little to no hops to speak of

Interesting flavor, with pear fruitiness and sweet and nutty malt flavors dancing around. Very light hop finish that is surprisingly dry

Medium to heavier mouthfeel. I tried this on tap in NY, both were good. However, after a week or so drinking cask conditioned real ales, this was very average.

Dithyramb, Mar 21, 2005
Photo of horndecker
3.73/5  rDev +8.1%

On tap at my neighborhood tavern.
The color is clear golden bronze, with a fine fine tan head. Pillowy and long lasting. The scent of river grass and piney herbal hops is what greets you at first, then a sweet subtle fruity malt aroma. It's wonderfully bitter, the hops takes precedence here over the malt, but it doesn't drown it. After a few sips and a bit of warmth, there's plenty of toasty malt to chew on - and it's all so smooth and refreshing. A very nice pale ale. I would order this over most of the usual fare we get here.

horndecker, Mar 19, 2005
Photo of MuddyFeet
2.85/5  rDev -17.4%

Poured a nice amber in color, with a 1" thick head with great retention. Not as much fins watchig this settles as a Guiness ot a Boddington's. The aroma is kind of soured vegetables. The taste is hoppy, but it has a unhappy sour tinge to it. The malts are slightly overdone(?). Not sure, just way too heavy on the palate (at least for me). The mouthfeel is pretty heavy, and does nothing for me. However, I don;t find it a complete loss, and still find this beer fairly drinkable.

MuddyFeet, Feb 26, 2005
Photo of NEhophead
3.48/5  rDev +0.9%

440 ml.

Very creamy, bone white 1" head with good retention. Condensed and spotted lacing with solid strength. Slightly cloudy, dull bronze in color.

Mellow caramel malt aroma. A touch of biscuit with a drop of diacetyl.

Bready maltiness with a moderate caramel sweetness. Moderate grain-flavored bitterness; very bland tasting beyond the initial caramel-biscuit sweetness. Dry finish with a grainy aftertaste.

A shade lighter than medium bodied; smooth and mellow on the palate. Little to no carbonation.

This one goes down like water. Nothing special but nothing bad either.

NEhophead, Feb 18, 2005
Photo of deejaydan
3.58/5  rDev +3.8%

A very average, pedestrian English Pale ale. Well, it does pour pale, and it has a decent head. Aromas are grassy and slightly floral, with a hint or caramel there. Malt forward taste with the grassy hops bringing up the rear. Smooth tasting, easy to drink. Not bad as English Pale Ales go, but not great.

deejaydan, Feb 15, 2005
Old Speckled Hen from Greene King / Morland Brewery
79 out of 100 based on 1,684 ratings.