Old Speckled Hen - Greene King / Morland Brewery

Not Rated.
Old Speckled HenOld Speckled Hen

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1,769 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,769
Reviews: 861
rAvg: 3.44
pDev: 16.86%
Wants: 24
Gots: 113 | 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: 1,769 | Reviews: 861 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of aforwark
3.8/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer that has a very nice color to it, probably one of the better looking beers I have seen. Smell was a little weak, but rather intersting and different than others. Taste is smooth with a hint of something I can't put my finger on right now. Good aftertaste as it goes down very smooth. Could drink many of these in a row I believe.

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

First 5.0 I ever gave on an appearance. This beer poured a copper color w/ a nice almost peachy-white colored head that was fluffy and very appealing. Smell was subtle, nothing spectacular, some grass and nuts or something, hard to pick it up. Tasted somewhat bitter with a smooth aftertaste. Goes down fairly easy with little carbonation. Enjoyable.

Photo of Noxious26
3.1/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

500ml can had at a beer/wine tasting dinner held at my friend's (Jen & Mike) home. Special thanks to James & Rhonda for providing this brew!

Copper coloured and clear. Off white head quickly turns into a thin ring.

Traditional English Ale aroma. Malty with minimal hops. Hints of leather and minerals in the background.

Mild and malty flavour throughout. Light hints of minerals give some tang here and there.

Medium bodied with light carbonation.

Definitely better in a can than I've ever had in the clear bottles. Smart move to start importing in cans. I might actually buy one or two of these on occassion now.

Photo of jwc215
3.65/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours amber with a creamy head that leaves trails of lacing down the sides of the glass.

The smell is of sweet grassy/graininess.

Sweet grass and apple-like fruitiness. Grainy. A bitter, earthy undertone. Not complex, but enough flavor to make it worthwhile, if nothing else.

A grainy pale ale. Leans towards sweetness, but balanced by some underlying bitterness.

A decent, easy-to-drink English "session" ale. Not very fresh - could be in transportation, and not overly flavorful. Still, decent enough to grab for an easy drinker.

Photo of Bobikel
3.63/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Poured into an 8 oz glass from a 14.9 oz nitro-can

Apperance - Pours a deep copper-amber with a generous white, thick creamy head. A little hazy

Smell - A bitter yeastyness dominates with a malt pudding likeness creeping around somewhere down there.

Taste - Yeast turns into a nice malt flavour. The whole thing settles on the back of the tongue with a nice earthy hop flavour. Slightly cloying.

Mouthfeel - A little thinner than I'd like, but very even through the mouth.

Drinkability - Very drinkable. A good session ale.

Overall - A tasty treat. I won't go out of my way to find it, but if I see it, and the mood is right, I'd have no trouble tearing a couple of these puppies down!

Photo of seanyfo
3.25/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours dark golden brown, with a minimial half finger head, some good lacing down the glass.

Smell: Very malty, no obvious fruit or hop notes

Flavour: Malty as in smell, a little coffee flavouring, perhaps a floral note finishing in a slightly watery way

Mouthfeel: Pretty thin for my tastes, medium carbonation

Drinkability: Stantard pale ale, good for a session, but nothing to savour here. Average!

Photo of MrHungryMonkey
3.78/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Rich amber color, dark and beautiful – half inch head – clear – fairly lively. One of the nicest colored ales I’ve encountered.

Strong bitter ale smell – a little sweetness – a fruit undertone, like prunes or apples – a hint of alcohol.

Bitter, but not citrusy – almost no discernable sweetness – there’s a solid earthy presence attributing to a hearty essence. I feel like I’m getting some yeasty flavors, although I don’t know what those would actually taste like. Overall taste is not very strong. I wouldn’t say it is weak, just not strong.

Pretty thin – mild to little carbonation feel.

I feel like is has a nice little English vibe. Fun to try, wouldn’t go out of my way to seek it again. Not bad.

Photo of plaid75
2.13/5  rDev -38.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured a light amber hue with a two finger creamy white head. There was very good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a medicinal, acrid, green apple acetaldehyde aroma.

The taste consisted of a green apple bitterness and a bit a diacytel. Good grain bill and decent hop presence. The grren apple really threw me off though.

The mouthfeel was creamy, a bit medicinal and slick.

Overall not something that I would try again.

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

The Old Speckled Hen arrived in a Morland imperial pint glass and was copper in color. The body varied in clarity with the bottom being crystal clear and just below the head being cloudy. The head was beige in color and had a sudsy meringue-like consistency. The lacing was thick and faintly crusty looking.
The smell was caramel malt sweetness, faintly roasted, green grassy English hops and yeast mustiness. The taste was sweet malts, a light fruity sweetness, moderately bitter with a dry finish and an unpleasant lingering tart acidic aftertaste.
The cask conditioning gave this a light toned-down carbonation that sat on a light body. The mouthfeel had a thin creaminess, but was still somewhat sharp.

I consider myself to be a fan of English Pale Ales. To date this may be my least favorite. I found the acidic tart aftertaste be vinegar-like and wholly unpleasant.

Photo of zeff80
3.55/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours out a reddish/amber color. It had a short-lived, small head. No lacing.

S - It smelled of pine, yeast and malt.

T - It tasted very malty with a little spicy bitterness.

M - Crisp and slightly dry. It is light to medium-bodied.

D - I was mildly surprised by how good this beer was. It is a nice English Pale Ale.

Photo of cjgator3
3.38/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear copper color with an off white creamy head that sticks all over the glass. The smell is a bit skunky, medicinal and metallic that is slightly buttery and nutty. Taste is herbal with with a little bit of malt hiding in the background and a respectable amount of hops in the dry finish. Overall, an average beer that is nothing that I am dying to have again.

Photo of kimcgolf
4/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

The clear bottle was a bit of a negative, but beer pours to a golden orange colr with thick off-white head that reduces to a foam cap for the entire bottle, and leaves very good lacing on the glass. Aroma was a nice blend of hops and malt, and smelled somewhat like roasted nuts. Taste was somewhat bitter, and more of the hops, with alcohol becoming more evident in both the aroma and taste at mid-glass. Finish was slightly bitter aftertaste, but mostly smooth and a bit dry. I enjoyed the "Hen"

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

Came as a 500ml clear bottle. I mistrust clear bottles slightly.

Poured into pint tumbler a slightly hazy dark tan coloured brew with a thinnish bubbly head. Head lasted well however, leaving nice lacing on the glass.
Smelled of hops and not much else.
Tasted of hops with a smoky background. Nice smooth mouthfeel.
Decent solid brew.

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

Presentation: 14.9 oz nitro can, no dating of any kind, poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Poured a clear amber color (once the carbonation settled) with a creamy head that maintained throughout.

Aroma: Sweet malts

Taste: Sweet malt flavors throughout with some nutty overtones in the middle. I didn't notice any hops at all. The finish was rather sweet, still pleasant though.

Mouthfeel: Extremely smooth, very little carbonation though.

Overall: Very enjoyable. I've had both versions and I prefer the nitro over the traditional.

Photo of sewald
3.43/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A red-like translucent colour. Dense and creamy head. Very soft smell of coffee and malt. A little hop smell on finish. Dry and bitter hop taste. Beer is full on mouth, good for drinking in cold weather seasons. Overall not a heavy beer, not that easygoing.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.33/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Can: Poured an amber color ale with a medium white bubbly head with average retention. Aroma of floral malt with some fruit-like sweetness. Taste of floral malt is pleasant with some faint fruit-like sweetness and some slightly bitter finish. Overall this is a nice standard ESB that I wouldn’t mind revisiting again.

Photo of tgbljb
4.38/5  rDev +27.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured an initially clody(from the nitrogen) medium copper colorwith massive slightly off-white creamy head. Beautiful lacing. Smell is pf caramel and toffee and very pleasant. Taste follows through on the smell with nice caramel and roasted notes to be found. Nice creamy and full bodied. An excellent brew with great drinkability. Good session beer.

Photo of gestyr
3.13/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a massive glass full of foam that subsides into a slightly cloudy copper colored ale topped by 1 finger of close knit tinyy bubbles that last for the entire serving and leaving lots of lacing on glass.

Smell: Malt, toffee and caramel

Taste: Slightly bitter, some toffee and malt and occasionally a taste of cardboard. Bitter aftertaste of burnt caramel

Mouthfeel: Low to medium. Not too bad

Drinkability: It was ok. I would drink it again but I wouldnt go out of the way to buy any. Maybe it was because it was canned. I might have to find it on tap and review it served that way.

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

Pours a deep reddish copper, with a decent off white head and some lacing. The smell was pretty much all sweet malts to me. The taste starts with some caramel and other sweet and nutty flavours, before being joined by some spicy hops. Both flavours enjoyably lingered on in the aftertaste, with the hops being more prevalant. I found the taste enjoyable, with adequate complexities and a nice body. Mouthfeel was good, sufficiently carbonated and refreshing. I found it struck a fine balance, avoiding being too syrupy, but at the same time it had a medium body, and didnt feel too watery. I think drinkability is pretty good with this one, the beer is not spectacular, but has a very decent taste, and holds up all around, a definite session beer.

Photo of teg8612
3.43/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Hazy amber with nice cascade from the nitro. Creamy head that sticks around with a nice coating of lace.

S- Slight medicinal alcohol smell. Sweet malt notes, overall light in aroma.

T&M- Slight caramel malt and toasted nut and loads of unfermented sugars. Lemon zest from the hops but just enough to off-set the malt. Very smooth and slightly on the malty side of balance. Slight medicinal alcohol taste.

D- I tend to lean more toward the bitter and hoppy range of pale ales myself and this just didn't quite make it. I prefer this on nitro than draft or bottle as it gives it a much creamier and smooth feel. Not real robust or rich but goes down easy.

Photo of davidshamoon
2.9/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Why the clear bottle, fellas? Not like your brew is so hot to look at, so no reason to risk skunking. Fortunately, my bottle wasn't skunked, but nor was it what I'd hoped for after enjoying the delicious, buttery smell that warmed my nostrils upon popping the cap. My first sips were pleasant enough, but I soon felt overwhelmed by the Old Speckled Hen's powerful toffee aroma. I dare say I even began tasting something like carrots about halfway through the bottle. Were the brew drier, these flavors might have been tastier, but as it stands I had trouble making it to the bottom of my twelve ounces.

[Drunk among jogging beauties, across the way from a toothless bag man feeding pigeons and gobbling a pudding cup.]

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

tasted at the classic wines annual beer tasting earlier this year, i am reviewing this from my notes.
was served a copper colored sample with an airy head.
the aroma was malty, carmelized malt, honey
the flavor was malty, hint of honey, bit of hopsack, with a clean toffee finish.

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

An import ale that is definately over hyped.

...poured a soft amber color with small off-white cap which lingers...fair lacing.

Aromas of goldings and some soapy tobbaco tones under the toasted malts soft mouthfeel

...medium malty body...wet flacid character.

Sweet toasty biscuit malts up front sweetness develops then is cancelled by bittering that comes in late near the finish...finish is lightly dry and bitter...but overall this ale is soft, 2 dimensional and unoffensive...not bad but fair and that isn’t enough to hold this bock drinker’s interests.

Photo of Osiris9588
3.2/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Copper and rust color. Casades for about 30 seconds, leaving a quickly dissipating head, resulting in some decent lacing. Aroma is of yeast, slight malt, and a mineral, white wine-like characteristic.

The taste features caramel malt, a hint of cherry, sugar, and some hoppy bitterness. The mouth is light and antisecptic--begins warm, with a caramel surge, then finishes on a phenolic downer--leaving a not all that pleasant, medicinal aftertaste.

Its light body makes it moderately drinkable, but the aftertaste begins to wear on the palate quickly. It is considerably improved when on-tap. Not bad if it's the best option in a pub (which is sometimes the case), but far from sublime.

Photo of mmmbeer
1.9/5  rDev -44.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

440 mL can with nitro widget - served in a nonic. After the pour, it cascades for about 45 seconds and settles to an unfiltered dark tea/copper color with low carbonation and a 2 finger almost white head that consists of insanely small bubbles that slowly recede and leave huge sheets of lace on the glass. Beautiful. However, it's all downhill from here. It smells sweet - almost too sweet - with a touch of caramel and it's rather flavorless, with light cardboard, caramel, maybe some vinous malts, and a mild bitterness at the end. The body is light to medium and fairly smooth, but it is really hard to drink and I came close to pouring it down the sink. I chose the can because I didn't want to risk a skunked beer from their clear bottles, but I'm not sure if I made the right choice. Doubt if I'll try it from the bottle, but if so I'll post a review.

Old Speckled Hen from Greene King / Morland Brewery
78 out of 100 based on 1,769 ratings.