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Old Speckled Hen - Greene King / Morland Brewery

Not Rated.
Old Speckled HenOld Speckled Hen

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1,791 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,791
Reviews: 867
rAvg: 3.44
pDev: 16.86%
Wants: 27
Gots: 126 | 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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,791 | Reviews: 867 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of adowney523
3.59/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. A nice 1 inch white head formed and remained throughout. Appearance is amber in color and relatively clear.

Smell is of faint alcohol, bready aroma, and hints of apple juice and vinegar.

Taste is mostly of biscuity malt with faint hops in the background.

A pretty decent pale ale, would make for a great session beer.

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

The beer poured a nice, clear, amber color with a small off-white head. Heavy bubble activity gives the beer a high carbonation look.

The smell was what you might expect from an english ale - bready and toasty, with a slight, floral, noble hop background.

The mouthfeel was fairly thin with lots of carbonation and a dry finish.

The taste was all toasted bread. A little bit of noble hop bitterness is also present.

This beer is very drinkable, especially if you like your beers malty.

Photo of hero27
3.13/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

14.9 oz nitro can.
5.2% abv

Clear amber color...cascading off-white head that sets up like concrete on top of the brew. Aroma of molasses & pale malts..if a bit musty...but not bad.
Sometimes nitro tends to really kill off some of the flavors in a beer, but in this case it works alright. The pale malts show off pretty well, but there's a slight cigarette ash taste that I could have gone without. Flavor fades quickly after each sip, as the body is a little on the weak side. That being said, it is a nitro and goes down very smoothly. I'd have no hesitation about trying this on-tap if given the opportunity.

Photo of daliandragon
2.73/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I remember drinking this beer years ago, before I had learned to appreciate beer, and I thought it was horrible and could barely finish it. A few years later I had it in London and remember it being unremarkable, just another okay English draft beer you had to wade through to find the truly quality stuff (Young's, Fuller's, Shepherd Neame, York, etc). At any rate, I'm curious as to how my more mature taste buds will rate this now. Color is a deep burnt amber with tones of fire red. Head is wet and snow white but doesn't go the distance. Nose is faint but shows bitterness with dense metal tones.

Heavy Engliish hop flavors with some roasted malt balance but the aftertaste is all bitter metal. Not so good. This beer has an unidentifyable sourness to it that I just can't abide. Mouthfeel is okay and this beer slowly grows on me as I drink it but not enough to make me want to try it again. Why one of these when you could have a Royal Oak or London Pride?

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

Pours light copper with a white head that is short lived. Has a toasty malt smell. Taste is sour and nutty. The mouthfeel is bitter and dry esspecially at finish. Carbonation is low which added to the drinksbility. It was a pleasure to drink this beer and looking forward to drinking it again.

Photo of alexskovan
3.6/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured clear amber with minimal carbonation and an off-white head that dropped to a half-inch and stayed. Aroma is toasty malt and a hint of hops. Taste is much more assertive than the aroma. A big hit of toasty malt and that chalky-salty hard-water bitterness of British Pale Ale. This stuff is like a more determined version of Bass Ale. Lingering bitter aftertaste.

Maybe a little heavy for a session, but a very nice Pale Ale.

Photo of sstackho
3.72/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ah, an oldie but a goodie. I first got into this on cask when living in England for a year. It wasn't until I returned home before I realized it was also available in our Ontario liquor stores. It's certainly different bottled than on cask, but it's still a very enjoyable drink. 500ml bottle pours a nice copper with no head and carbonation. Nicely malty with some hops in there as well. I think I'll always have a soft spot for this being my regular tipple at my Friday pub in Leatherhead.

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

have to admit that even the name evokes an 'englishness' to it. Nice copper colored ale that left a healthy off-white head after an agressive pour.almost fruity odor...different from the other english ales I've tried.

Tasted very smooth...a hint of sweet malts with just a hint of hop bitterness.

a very smooth mouthfeel and not at all thin like some others i've tried. Could drink this stuff by the litre easily.

Photo of mattcrill
3.12/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Aroma: Light malty notes and slightly grassy hop notes to balance. A slight fruitiness appears as the beer warms.

Appearance: Light copper color with a white head that retains well. Moderate carbonation noted through the body with moderate clarity.

Flavor: Dark fruit flavors noted right up front. Carmelly sweetness that is balanced by a firm hop bitterness that asserts itself quickly. Hop bitterness definitely takes control and lends a lingering finish on the palate.

Mouthfeel: Light body with low carbonation. Seems a little lifeless. A touch drying with a definite hop bittering finish.

Overall impression: Definitely balanced toward the hop end of things. A slightly stronger, still sessionable beer. The nitro can probably lends itself a better offering than the clear glass. Still, there are other ESB's out there that are more worthy than this.

Photo of mjc410
2.25/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

The pour into my Sam Smith pint raises a modest one finger off white head that falls pretty quickly to surface lacing. The body is a bright transparent amber. The nose is a bit malty and bready, with a bit of English hoppiness. The taste is quite sour, with hints of the breadiness from the nose. There's really not that much to it. The mouth is very light, and the carbonation seems a bit high for this type of beer. Not a very good beer.

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

Pours well, but I found the head didn't last very long.

Quite a pleasant taste, with a bit of bitterness in the finish.

Nice straw-like nose and a hint of hops.

Sorry folks - but to me, this is JAB.

"Just another beer" - ie, pleasant, but nothing special.

Photo of BeerSox
2.74/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

500ml bottle into pint glass.

Pours a copper amber hue, with a light tan thick head that lasts a good while. Sticky lacing along the glass.

Light malt with maybe a little bit of flowery hop aroma.

Cracker like malt with a little bit of rounding hop bitterness in the finish. Light bodied with good carbonation. A little bit of buttery diacetyl makes its way through. The finish is clean with a little bit of the lingering grain.

This one doesn't seem very appealing to me. I'm sure it's better in England when it's fresher. The distance it has to travel, along with the clear bottle, probably take this one down a few notches. I haven't seen too many positive responses to this one unless it's on tap or in England. See what you find.

Photo of goochpunch
1.95/5  rDev -43.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Pours out a still-looking copper body with a barely there head that eventually settles to a ring, leaving no lacing. Some decent maltiness and a touch of diacetyl and noble hop in the nose, but there's an odd aroma of rubber bands. Starts off with a bit of toasty malt then comes a bit of hop bitterness. All of a sudden this horrible flavor of rubber bands comes through and rides it out. Gross. Mouthfeel is so-so, nothing bad nor good about it. This is a pretty hard to drink beer. The rubber bands flavor and a weird yeastiness make this hard for me to finish. Maybe I got a bad bottle.

Photo of Monkeyknife
2.79/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle pours out a deep bronze color with a light head.

My initial impression was that the beer had gone skunky...but it mellowed to a soft caramel aroma moments later.

Taste was decent but nothing spectacular with a mild hoppiness and a bit of sour/sweetness at the end.

Definitely a drinkable beer but not one I think I'd buy again.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.11/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On nitro-tap 1/11/07 at The Abbey in Providence, RI, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: After the cascade subsides, the beer is a deep amber color, with a short dense off-white head that fades very slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of honey, caramelized malt and a little bit of hops.

T: The taste contains flavors of mild spice, honey and caramel. There’s a solid malt character and faint touch of hops bitterness. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, light-to-medium body, light-to-medium carbonation, finish has a little bit of stickiness.

D: Not very tasty, goes down OK, not too filling, I think it’s better than Boddingtons’s but I’m just not a fan of the style.

Photo of smcyrone
2.36/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Got this bottle from beers of the world in rochester, stop by if you're ever in the area and be floored by their selection. Average looking brew, nothing special here, copper beer with a thin white head. Smell is quite off-putting, smells of corn, caramel and overall badness. Smells like a macro. Skunky in a word. Taste is equally unimpressing, caramel, sweet maltiness at the start with a very dry almost metallic middle that lingers all the way through the finish and hangs in your mouth indefinitely. Tastes like pennies. Stay away from this one, save those precious dollars for something else. Perhaps it went bad in that ingenious clear bottle of theirs, who does that?? Even so, I won't grace old speckled hen with a second visit to see if that's the case. Adios!

Photo of elricorico
2.88/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours an amber colour with a thick foamy beige head. Head fades slowly and leaves plenty of lacing.

The smells I pick up are mostly soapy and medicinal at first. A bit of wood peeks in as it warms. Nothing mouthwatering.

Sweet and malty, honey and bread up front, moving to flowery in the middle. Finish is bitter and medicinal, and not entirely pleasant. Overall not my pick for the style.

Mouthfeel is a bit creamy and highly carbonated. Altogether, the beer goes down alright. Not a treat, but drinkable.

Photo of Manosbeeroffate
2.81/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Picked this up on a whim, I see this sold a lot of places so decided to give it a shot. Pours a deep copper color with a foamy head thanks to the nitro widget. Smells sweet and fruity, almost like prunes. Tastes the same with some slight bitterness or metallic flavor, not a lot. Creamy mouthfeel. Overall I am not impressed, I'm not sure if it's because it was canned or something with the nitro widget, may review this again in bottled form.

Photo of BeerNutta
3.16/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Old Speckled Hen

A = Poured a dark copper with a thin light brown foam head like the one you would get from a glass of kilkenny.

S = Very little smell. Feint hoppy aroma.

T = Biscuit malt backbone that dances around a nutty characteristic and slight hop bitterness. A sweet finish is also noted as well as a slight smokey characteristic.

M = Medium bodied with light carbonation. Very smooth and pleasant to drink.

D = Drinkable.

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

Typical euro pale ale style. Bready malt aromas and flavor, with a very subdued hop presence. Slight mineral taste. Pours a pale copper with a slight head. Very easy going down, refreshing. Better tasting than others of the same style, but not much here in the way of flavor or imagination. Solid sessioner.

Photo of abcsofbeer
2.74/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

First beer I have had from a can in a while. Pours a fantastically huge head that slowly falls down to a respectable two fingers. The head is the nicest thing about this beer and reminds me of a Guinness, with its creaminess and vanilla milkshake looks. This head leaves a tremendous amount of lacing, a result of the nitro can, I assume.

The color is a shiny copper penny.

The aroma is very week and all I can detect is some sweet caramel malts.

The taste is very smooth and sweet tasting, followed by some hoppiness. All the while, I detect some white wine notes. The mouthfeel is very smooth, but, there is some tartness. Would not try it from the can again.

Photo of Gavage
3.41/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: clear orange in color with a fluffy two finger head. Light lacing develops. Loads of fast rising bubbles present.

Smell: caramel and malt sweetness.

Taste: caramel, mildly grainy malt profile, ripe red fruits, soft bitterness and a hint of metallic tones. Mildly dry too.

Mouthfeel: lightly crisp and dry from the start. The finish is smooth and dry. Brief aftertaste. Medium bodied.

Drinkability: overall this is a so-so beer, but not one that leans towards the "crappy" or "wonderful" side of the scale. Worth a try, but don't expect much other than a standard fare English Ale.

Photo of aforwark
3.76/5  rDev +9.3%
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
3.42/5  rDev -0.6%
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
3.12/5  rDev -9.3%
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.

Old Speckled Hen from Greene King / Morland Brewery
78 out of 100 based on 1,791 ratings.