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Old Speckled Hen - Greene King / Morland Brewery

Not Rated.
Old Speckled HenOld Speckled Hen

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1,793 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,793
Reviews: 868
rAvg: 3.44
pDev: 16.86%
Wants: 26
Gots: 128 | 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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Ratings: 1,793 | Reviews: 868 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of rhoadsrage
3.15/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

(Served in a Guinness pint glass)

A-This beer pours a nitrous pour that settles into a deep honey golden body that is crystal clear and a thick creamy off-white head. There is no sign of carbonation in this beer.

S- The smell of pale malt and honey is followed by a soft bitter hop note that has a faint butter aroma as it warms.

T- The slight sweet caramel and pale malt flavors also over some dry toasted note in the background. The hops at the finish offer a very soft green flavor of noble hops rather than bitterness. There is a slight tartness in the finish aswell. As this beer warms the notes of butter and butterscotch start to come through in the malt and they are not that pleasant.

M- This beer has a medium full mouthfeel with no fizz or alcohol warmth. The foam makes the beer taste really thick when it is consumed with the beer.

D- It was a bit odd to see a Pale Ale that pours with a nitrous swirl but it was that taste that was more interesting. The can says it uses a special yeast to give it that unique flavor. I didn't care for the butter and butterscotch flavors and they sort of got in the way of the malt flavors. A bit more of a bitterness in the hops instead of a green floral flavor would balance out the malt bill.

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

You know, I have had this beer many many times, but just finely found it in my notes.
It pours a nice light gold with a thick cream head. Not bad head for no nitro.
The smell is light, slightly creamy like drawn butter. Not a lot of anything in the nose except pale hops and malt.
The taste is very thin. Watery and low in both hop and malt sense.
As basic as it is, this beer will always be my go to, my Miller Lite so to speak, because if it's hot out, slamming one of these is so damn satisfying!

Photo of Mandrake
2.66/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a medium copper with a small off-white head that dissipates pretty quickly and leaves little lacing. Smell is slightly sweet and a bit fruity, with caramel apparent and a metallic note hanging in the background. Taste is malty, with some odd fruitiness and a buttery note, along with a sour finish and virtually no hops. Mouthfeel is watery and flat, and drinkability is acceptable. Not one of my favourites.

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

Poured a bottle into a pint glass.

Not a bad looking beer. Decent head, dark amber color. Lacing was just so-so.

Smelled kind of skunky, possibly from the clear glass bottle. Lots of malt in the smell.

I had just finished a Sierra Nevada India Pale Ale, which I really liked, and it obviously affected my opinion of this beer. The taste was not at all what I was expecting. It was quite malty, with little hoppiness and not much bitterness in the finish. I didn't care for the taste, especially after the SNIPA.

You could probably drink a lot of these in a row, but I would definitely keep looking for other beers to try rather than continue drinking these. I was faily disappointed in this beer.

Photo of whynot44
3.51/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A very nice copper color with a decent creamy ivory head that slowly disipates to only a ring but manages to leave some nice lace.

The aroma is biscuity malt with just some hints of herbal hops.

The taste is mild biscuits and caramel, starting slightly sweet but ending slightly dry with a nice tangy hops aftertaste. A pretty decent English pale ale.

Light/medium bodied and decently easy to drink. Definitely worth a try.

Photo of shroompod
3.54/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Niro can , served cold.

Huge Nitro head on top of copper brew.

Not much , but a faint malt/hop smell.

Taste is kinda sweet & malty. Not much in the hop department.

Moutfeel is thin , creamy head lasts.

Drinkability is very good , I could have these for breakfast with an english muffin.

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

The beer emerges from the clear 12-ounce bottle a limpid burnished copper with a substantial semi-creamy light tan head that after its decomposition leave a thick coating of lace upon the glass. Nose has nice malt sweetness, fresh and clean to the senses; the start is minimally sweet, the grain profile acceptable and the top light. Finish is peacefully acidic; the hops dainty but present, aftertaste is quite dry and lingers long on the palate. Been a long time since I sample this beer, and I certainly think there’s room in my fridge for a few more, I like these mild beers when I just don’t feel like having my normal over the top brews.

Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.11/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From notes on March 1 06. Served at King Street Grille in Charleston.

Poured from a nitro can into a frosted glass. Typical nitro can apperace with a creamy, white head on top of a hazy, dark gold colored beverage.

Aroma was pretty much muted. Dont if its from the can or frozen glass. Caramel and scotch whiskey. Peat, busciuts. A little sourness in the aroma as well.

Taste was as muted as the aroma. Sour oranges, smoked whiskey. Pretty tangy finish. Slight earthy hop presence.

Average beer at best. Probably wouldnt try this again. Maybe a brown bottle would be better than the nitro can, but I wasnt impressed.

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

Highs: Appearance, head
Lows: A bit too sweet

Beautiful pour from the 14.9 oz. nitro can, produces very attractive head of two fingers which lingers. Color is reddish brown. Nose is malty and sweetly applish with light hops. Mouth is interesting: appley-sweet with some light hops and fruit. Finish is almost but not quite cloyingly sweet. Mouth is watery and smooth, and the finish is lightly sweet.

Overall: A good floral ale.

Photo of Sammy
3.15/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

light orange, aggressive carbonation but some pleasant taste of hops, a touch metallic finish. Good amount of lace and creaminess of head Very dry aftertaste. Have had mixed results from this brewery, and it seems the LCBO have a relationship so we see a number coming through. OK to share a bottle.

Photo of hanco005
2.91/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Nitro can poured into a nonic pint glass

A—starts like orange Yo-J, then bubbles cascade up from the bottom into a ½ inch thick creamy tan head, amber color and clear, excellent head retention, not much for lacing, however

S—sweet and fruity, candy smells, marshmallow crème, a little chocolate, apricot, plum, lots of smells…something different with each whiff. What is this beer?

T—bitter, mild coffee flavor at first, then gives way to fruit flavors and finishes dry. Weird

M—smooth, medium bodied, good carbonation

D—glad I tried it, but won’t have it again. I am confused by this one. It is like two different beers in one. Started like a porter, then switched to a Belgian, then finished like an English Bitter. Maybe it is just me…I hope so.

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

500 mL bottle. Pours a caramel brown with a frothy off-white head. Smells like a sweet bread loaf laced with a bit o' cut hay. Smells a bit on the grainy side of things. There's a bit of sour apple in there.

The mouthfeel is smooth and medium carbonated. A bit creamy.

Taste is nice and malty (a dark molasses), a bit of tartness (that apple, for sure), balanced with an earthy hop bitterness. The finish is subdued, but pleasant, with the aftertaste a nice lingering memory of the bitter and sour overtones. This is what it should be. Very English.

A nice one to fall back on. I certainly won't refuse it, although it's not an 'exciter.'

Photo of Drew966
3.88/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a cloudy orange from a 440ml nitro can. Caramel predominates the aroma. Caramel is also present in the flavor, with some hop toward the end. Creamy mouthfeel from the nitro. Not bad, definitely worth a try (tough choice here, nitro can or clear bottle - I kind of like the nitro thing now and then, but I may have to try the bottled version - but I'm not thrilled they are putting it in a clear bottle, that's a lot of traveling and potential for bad handling).

Photo of Enola
3.88/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Six Pence Pub in Blowing Rock.

This beer was a golden color with a thick creamy head. Lots of lacing left in the glass. The smell was fairly hoppy. The taste was bitter but very smooth. There was plenty of foamy head to sip up. You gotta love these nitro beers. I could drink these again. A good representation of the style.

Photo of BEERchitect
3.41/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

One of many beers that I am tired of passing on without trying. Glad I did. Quite Pale Ale-ish in nature. Moderately bready, caramelly, nutty, and hopped to balance. The nitro gave a terrific creamy texture while remaining clean and refreshing. Nicely malty and yeasty through to the finish. Lightly estery due to the fermentation and hopping adds to the complexity. Easy to drink until the finish where a lightly phenolic-plastic-ey flavor was pronounced that made the swallowing a bit tough. Otherwise, I'm glad I tried it.

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

Appearance--Old Speckled Hen poured a clear , reddish copper with a head of about an inch.

Smell-- slightly malty , yeasty , a bit of buttery diacetyl.

Taste-- a firm, semisweet malty body , some diacetyl again ,dry yeasty flavors , a bit of bittering hop flavor as well. Smooth and round.

Mouthfeel-- Smooth with a dry finish and pleasant, long lingering aftertaste.

Drinkability-- Very drinkable English pale ale. I could imagine throwin back quite a few of these in an English Pub.

Photo of dwheeler
3.9/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle with a rock hard white head, sitting on a deep golden beer, beautiful! English hops upfront, great aroma, the smell reminds me of hot sweet biscuits just out of the oven.

What balance, slides down the throat with ease. As a homebrewer, most of my battles are with balance, if I could get it this good I would retire tomorrow. Nice caramel overtones with some bitterness to back it up. Not to bitter, not to sweet, pleasant and easy drinking, wow.

Overall: A really nice pale ale, good aroma and great balance. Fault: It lacks a little body, but hay, I could drink this to I fell over (with a smile on my face)!

Photo of Absumaster
4.25/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is one of the few English beers that is available in supermarkets in Holland. With Belgium around the corner, I never gave it any attention, because English beers have a reputation to have very little carbonation, being bland and are drunk at roomtemperature. But after reviewing a lot of Belgian beers, one seeks to find new tastes. I must say, I was pleasantly surprised about this beer.

Appearance: amber coloured, little carbonation, small head.
Smell: caramel, slightly fruity, bitter and nice hop aroma.
Taste: nice maltiness, bitter and hoppy. Caramel like in a caramel pudding or like the topping on a McDonalds ice cream. Although this beer is bitter, it is magnificently in balance and very pleasant to drink.

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

Pours a medium amber with just a little white head. Slighltly hazy.

Smells mostly of malts along with some hops... basic beer stuff here.

Tastes- while I found the malt to prevail in smell, the hop bitterness won slightly in taste. Nothing too exciting, but there is a bit of caramel, and maybe even some medicinal notes.

Photo of vanrassel
3.75/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured from a clear pint bottle a cloudy amber colour into my pint glass, with a frothy head that dwindled to a thin ring by the end.

The smell was strong and distinctive — yeasty with a bread aroma and prominent alcoholic smell.

When drank, it hit he palate with a hoppy bitterness and finished with a malty, caramel sweetness. The carbonation was lively and there was a warm boozy aftertaste that was OK at first, but I found kinda cloying by the end.

I'd be curious to try this on tap in England — I wonder if I'd like it more if I drank it fresher and closer to its home.

Photo of hunteraw
3.19/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a nice clear honey... Nice looking.

Doesn't smell very pleasant to be honest... difficult to place, but not particularly appetizing.

Taste is intriguing. Starts out creamy, then the hops come out, and there's a butter and caramel finish. One of the friends I was sampling this with said it reminded him of how he would imagine the "butterbeer" in Harry Potter.

Mouthfeel is creamy at first, but resolves to mild wateriness...

A decent brew, but not for drinking in large quantities.

Photo of canucklehead
3.8/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Weird I have been playa hating this beer for years and yet here i am enjoying a glass of this same beer. All those memories of a anemic ale that had off flavours is no longer. The malty nose is very prominent, the taste is full and creamy hops with good malt on the backend. A quality English ale that sells for not a bad price in cans no less. Sorry OSH I will start to buy you again.

Photo of skillerified
2.33/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Pours very orange and amber with about a half finger head that dies pretty early. Very little lacing is left after that. Moderate carbonation is visible.

Scent starts malty but favors the hops. There's an interesting backend to it. That's the unique yeast, I suppose.

Taste pretty much follows the scent pattern. Starts slightly malty, hops follow in force, then a unique aftertaste that's a mix of malt and the yeast.

The mouthfeel leans toward the pathetic side. Very light and watery feel. The carbonation is maybe a little too aggresive for the flavor.

It goes down pretty easy, but it's not impressive by any means. I don't think I'll be having another one of these.

Photo of IceAce
2.91/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Clear bottle Julian dated 5095

Pours a lovely bronze with a thick and sticky light tan collar of foamand excellent clarity. Nose is earthy malt, distinctive yeast, and a hint of skunk.

Entry zings the cheeks with prickly CO² and a watery mouthfeel. Midtaste is supported by the typical earthy malt which has made Sam Smith famous...I just wish there was more of it. Rather than a backbone of malt...this has a limp wrist.

Finish is ushered in with a dose of hops (fuggles?) quickly followed by a malty fade with hints of the speckled hen yeast.

Not horrible by any stretch...but also not noteworthy. I guess I should've known by the fact that this 'English Fine Ale' has yet to be reviewed by The Long Beach Bum.

Photo of TPSReports
3.92/5  rDev +14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Split a bottle of this brew with my brother-in-law on Thanksgiving Eve.

All in all, quite tasty. I tend to favor higher alcohol Belian beers, but this isn't a bad option.

It has a nice nose with mild hops and slight biscuity flavor.

I will add this to my cellar for a bit a change-up from a dark bold Belgian ale.


Old Speckled Hen from Greene King / Morland Brewery
78 out of 100 based on 1,793 ratings.