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Old Speckled Hen - Greene King / Morland Brewery

Not Rated.
Old Speckled HenOld Speckled Hen

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1,814 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,814
Reviews: 875
rAvg: 3.44
pDev: 16.86%
Wants: 29
Gots: 138 | 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: 1,814 | Reviews: 875 | Display Reviews Only:
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.


Photo of crass751
3.81/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Nitro can poured into a pint glass

A: Dark gold with a thick creamy white head.

S: Big bready malty aroma

T: Extremely dry and malty, with a touch of hop bitterness and a little alcohol bite at the finish.

M: Heavy, thick, just the right amount of carbonation.

D: I love this beer. I always end up extremely refreshed and satisfied after putting one of thse away. I'm not sure it's sessionable as it's very filling, but it's extremely drinkable.

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

Crazy Ron over at Total Wine in River Edge said this is where it's at. I've never even given this beer a second glance, on the clear bottle theory alone... but, hey... I've got an open mind and a few nickels in my pocket.

Served at just over fridge temperature in a Fuller's nonic.

Appearance- Pours a clear, glowing, burnished gold into my glass... the fluffy, bone white crown climbs three fingers high and crackles softly down to a pillow of foam. Very similar to Sam Smith Pale Ale, from what I remember. Absolutely killer lacing rides the sides of my glass.

Smell- Bready, doughy notes mingle with the mineral character of the water. Hops that first smell a little skunky clean up and become zippy and grassy, and both aromas come together in nice balance.

Taste- A mineraly, hard "taste" is the backbone of this beer, where the English hop varieties with their sharp *zing* ride alongside the bready display here. Not terribly impressed with the aftertaste... it's got an old "dryness" that takes away from the great beginning and middle. Good overall balance.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Simple, easy, moderately effervescent texture that feels right for the style. Super sessionable, and that's really the key here. Nevermind swirling and swishing this one, this here's a drinkin' beer. Not my favorite, but enjoyable nonetheless.

Photo of stcules
3.27/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reddish copper color, a relatively abundant foam, light brown in color, average compactness.
At the smell malt, hazelnut, hop with metallic and rusty notes. The cinder, and light caramel.
In the taste malt, hazelnut, a good amount of bitterness and again a light metallic and cindery note.
Dry, with orange peel.
The aftertaste is dry, the bitterness is long, and the orange peel is more strong. And even something woody and smoked.
Light body.

Photo of MMansfield
3.86/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked a can per usual at at the NSLC. Took me a while to review this, but here she goes.

Appearence: Red rust colour with a creamy head that forms tight holes, a sort of 'speckling' if you forgive the pun.

Aroma: Sweet toffee, There's also a hint of wood. Not much from hops.

Taste: Heavy on malts, loads of toffee, some bread, medium bitterness, tea flavour in finish.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and rich. Very drinkable. A definite quaffer

Final Statement: One of my old favourites. I went to Boston recently, and on my list of things to do was to get this on tap, which i accomplished at Cornwalls Pub.

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

Speckled Hen is a mildly hazy copper with moderate carbonation. Head is tan, creamy, and of a medium height. Aroma is of sweet lightly toasted English grain with a touch of grassiness. Taste is also of toasted English grain, sweet and somewhat earthy. Herbal hops are in the mix and provide an edge of fruitiness. Overall Speckled Hen provides a mellow, balanced flavor that has enough complexity to keep things interesting.

Photo of JayTheFinn
2.83/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I had reservations about trying this in bottle form after having it on tap in England. Unfortunately it taste about the same, only maybe not quite as fresh. Same slightly overbearing alcohol taste that is always present through out the entire pint. Old Speckled Hen has won awards, so why don't I like better? I think the judges were in Greene King's pocket, lol!

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.

Old Speckled Hen from Greene King / Morland Brewery
78 out of 100 based on 1,814 ratings.