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Old Speckled Hen - Greene King / Morland Brewery

Not Rated.
Old Speckled HenOld Speckled Hen

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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 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.

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.

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