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Old Speckled Hen - Greene King / Morland Brewery

Not Rated.
Old Speckled HenOld Speckled Hen

Educational use only; do not reuse.

1,824 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,824
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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,824 | Reviews: 876
Photo of davidshamoon
2.92/5  rDev -15.1%
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
3.33/5  rDev -3.2%
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
3.18/5  rDev -7.6%
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
1.95/5  rDev -43.3%
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.

Photo of Derek
2.28/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A: Light caramel colour with a touch of white head.

S: Plenty of mineral aroma... not to my liking.

T: Penty of mineral-like flavours that are hard to get past. I'm not sure if this is the water, yeast, hops, or an aweful combination of them all? There is a little toffee and bread in the background.

M: Moderate body and carbonation.

D: Tough to get this one down.

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. :)

Photo of Kendo
3.71/5  rDev +7.8%
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.

Photo of scottoale
3.91/5  rDev +13.7%
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.

Photo of trevorwideman
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.

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...

Photo of vancurly
3.54/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

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.

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.

Photo of BlackAngus
3.83/5  rDev +11.3%
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.

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.21/5  rDev -6.7%
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.

Photo of jarmby1711
3.6/5  rDev +4.7%
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

Photo of jameaterblues
3.7/5  rDev +7.6%
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.

Photo of RenoZymurgist
3.88/5  rDev +12.8%
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.

Photo of PBRstreetgang
3.06/5  rDev -11%
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.

Photo of acrawf6
3.93/5  rDev +14.2%
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.

Photo of arizcards
3.38/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

Photo of allergictomacros
3.21/5  rDev -6.7%
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.

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.

Photo of HimerMan
3.71/5  rDev +7.8%
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.


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Old Speckled Hen from Greene King / Morland Brewery
78 out of 100 based on 1,824 ratings.