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Old Speckled Hen - Greene King / Morland Brewery

Not Rated.
Old Speckled HenOld Speckled Hen

Educational use only; do not reuse.

893 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 893
Hads: 1,964
Avg: 3.46
pDev: 24.86%
Wants: 38
Gots: 236 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Greene King / Morland Brewery
United Kingdom (England) | website

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.
View: Beers (61) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Old Speckled Hen Alström Bros
Reviews: 893 | Hads: 1,964
Photo of feloniousmonk
2.17/5  rDev -37.3%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Bronze color, nice white head.
Aroma: not to my liking, puts me off, cloyingly sweet, tinny, flinty, just not right...
Taste: small hops, mellow mouthfeel, light body, some slight maltiness, drinkable, downable, but altogether unexciting.
Not my cup of tea at all. I can get why it's so popular (been showing up on numerous taplines these past few years), for those who enjoy the untroubled and the uninteresting, but I can't forgive that awful smell, and will pass on this one from here on out.

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Photo of diablo14
3.73/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

theres plenty better english ales than the old speckled. this does hit the spot tho, and manages to represent what this style is all about. as with most other english beers, it knows where it stands. could do with a tad more complexity, but still manages to put a lot of other draught beers to shame quite easily.

color wise it looks like your average english ale, but the thick creamy head comes on like an irish beer, and goes the distance. gotta love that. nothing too potent on the nose. dried fruit and malt are there as they should be. same in the taste, but after that is where this beer stakes its claim. finishes very bitter and quite dry for the style, it still doesnt lose the factors that make it great. a cheekily well balanced brew. loks full on, but is pretty light in comparison.

id never buy bottles of this, but on tap, im always giving it a nudge. and geez, why wouldnt ya? comapred to what else id be drinking in oppostion, i know where im at.

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Photo of saskguy
3.06/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I like the look of a copper coloured beer and this fit that look.

A dense creamy styled head more guiness than ale.

A strong malty smell to the beer. No off flavours, malty with a dry finish, a middle road english ale taste. Weak on the mouth feel. Drinkable but not a must drink.

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Photo of grynder33
3.33/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very appleish hop aroma, amber gold color, carmelly taste, the regular nitro smooth mouth feel, sweetness seems to stay but carmel taste disappears, what first seems creamy turns a little flat towards the end. Slight bitterness comes on at the end. I would drink somebody else's but would never buy a 4 pack

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Photo of AtLagerHeads
3.76/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very fine pale in the English tradition; I enjoyed this more than I expected I would. The nicely colored copper body was hazed and topped with a nice cream head. Decent lacing observed from the residual.

The nose is a bit disappointing, giving only small hints of the strong malt base and very little of the hop content. The flavor is very nicely malty and balanced beautifully with pleasing hop bitterness - actually much more bittered than the nose would indicate.

The feel is medium to full with a very fine crisp and clean finish. Very nicely drinkable - this could become a favorite quite easily.

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Photo of far333
3.15/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Orangey color with an off-white head. Flowery aroma and tingly mouthfeel followed by an oddly sweet burnt flavor. Reminds me (not kidding) of a burnt toasted marshmallow. This follows though in the aftertaste. This flavor is too strange, can't finish the glass.

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Photo of granger10
3.73/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This one looked spectacular. Poured a copper color with a luscious tan head. Nose was of strong malt flavor, mainly caramel. Taste was also dominated by caramel along with slight fruit malt flavor and some dextrin sweetness. A hop flavor gives a little kick in the end. However, the flavors were light in taste and texture thus lowering my rating of this beer. This one is alright and goes down easy enough, but not worth the price in my opinion.

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Photo of GeoffRizzo
4.11/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The widget assisted pour is amazing; a beauty swirl and motor like pour of a nice copper colored ale to fill the pint glass, an absolute enormous 3-4 inch layer of froth, creamy and carbonated bubbles. After settling in, a decent malty aroma. Up front, seems a bit thin, yet some great caramel and sweet malty flavoring. Well
balanced and very rich, some hoppy bitterness towards the end. Great first impression from the nitro pour; an awesome session brew, very smooth and quenching.

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Photo of Seumas
3.06/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is the first time I've tried the old speckled 'un since GK closed the Abingdon brewery and transferred the brewing to St. Edmundsbury.

It was bland when Morlands brewed it, it's bland now (although it was just slightly better when I had it on cask in Oxford a dozen years ago).

If offered the choice (as I was) between the Hen and Stella, I'd choose the Hen any day. However, give me just about any Brit import or most NA microbrews.

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Photo of putnam
5/5  rDev +44.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

"OK," I said to my friend. "Let's do English beers now."
Old Speckled was an obvious choice, and we paired it with a John Courage. It was all over as soon as the beers were set in front of us. Speckled had a "creamy" head in a way that shames all other uses of that descriptor. I dipped my finger in the foam and it was solid! Creamy, buttery, thick and highly aromatic as it offered caramel and vanilla perfume. Then, on the palate, the same notes repeated, this time with traces of maduro cigar and roasted pig fat. The finish was a battle between candy, bitter plant and ash.
Absolute perfection!

Sabina @ The Berkley Front is to blame. She's more surly than you-know-who.

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Photo of TerryW
2.7/5  rDev -22%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Coppery red with a moderate head that promptly settles to a film.Gives some lace all the way down, just not a ton and nothing that really lingers.

Sweet and malty on the nose, give it a swirl in the glass and the yeast really busts loose. Let the beer warm and a toffee smell emerges. To taste there is not much beyond the malt. Finishes up with gently bitter hops.

Passable, but not special.

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Photo of nomad
3.76/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a soft ruddy brown color, a tasty brown and reddy color, with tons of light and small carbonation, lots of head, nice but quick lace, and a serious stain. But it only looks like this when in the glorious nitro can version.

Smell was faintly nutty, soft grainy malt, tinges of hops. Taste was fully creamy, walnut nutty, and bitter, with a hearty light-earthy body. To me, a balance of hops and malt so well you don’t even notice how well they balance. Watery mouthfeel but a bitter and creamy long finish makes it refreshing.

A good session beer, have some with friends. Obviously not a great but a tasty one.

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Photo of SilentSabre
2.51/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I must say I was indeed disappointed with this one. It poured a reddish brown colour (almost like watered down tea) which I typically like. The smell was decent and I grew quite anxious to taste it. ...and then came utter disappointment of the highest order. The taste wasn't actually terrible, it was just quite bland; almost bitter. Old Speckled Hen has almost no head at all, although it does lace fairly evenly and delicately. Mouthfeel is really not all that great, especially after enduring such grave disappointment that came with the taste. As for the drinkability, allow me to make mention again of the near bitterness in its after-taste. This wasn't totally terrible, but a huge let down never the less.

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Photo of bewareOFpenguin
2/5  rDev -42.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

If I could write the word "bland" and be done with it, I would. It poured the color it appeared in the clear bottle it was in, an amberish color. I couldn't get a head out of it. It just had a "flat" non-inspired taste, like drinking a dreary countryside. The last two frm the six pack have been regulated to the fridge for at least a year.

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Photo of TinusTime
3.06/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer is an awful lot like the MG its logo is modeled after, Looks better than it runs.. The colour is nice a kinda coppery reddish brown colour. The smell isnt that strong but it has a bit of floral from the hops and just a bit of burnt sugar on the nose as well. Taste..well it looked good it smelled ok and tasted... Well it tasted just kinda boring.. There is some nice malt on the tongue and enough hop bitterness to make it well balanced, there were no over whelming flaws at all, it was just kinda boring. I would not turn one down but I would not go out of my way to buy this in the bottle or on tap.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
2.39/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours copper amber with a cream hued fluffy textured off white creamy head. Formed huge thick patches of lacing with the nitro/CO2 mixture one complement toward the beer. Aroma contains slightly sweet malt with just a touch of roasted nuts and fruit some kind of berry. Taste is sweet but mild slight charcoal notes followed by rush of bitteness but still smooth all in all just lacking any complexities. Kind of tastes like polluted smog ridden air with the foul yeast tones trying to add some flavor to this brew wow, how can this be a popular ale from England. Mouthfeel is creamy but it's light thin and unfulfilling toward the beer lover's soul. Drinkability pass for something drinkable let alone extraordinary, damn was this beer trying to be good.

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Photo of WesWes
3.57/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours an amber color with a thin white lace head. The aroma is malty witha bit of English ale yeast to increase the scent. The smell of crystal malts hits you; a nice aroma. The taste is dry at the start and at the finish. The crystal malts that are so present in the aroma are gone. There is not much complexity here either; very plain. The mouthfeel is good. This is a light bodied beer. It drinks well despite it's dull palate.

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Photo of kindestcut
3.65/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have had Old Speckled Hen from the bottle before and it was pretty tasty. I was a little aprehensive about trying it on tap since I had heard that it was shot forth from the tap using the wonders of nitro. Knowing what Old Speckled hen tasted like, that didn't sound good to me. Well, it's not that bad but not great.

My Old Speckled Hen arrived from the tap with a small, one-finger head. It was as creamy as melted ice cream, which absolutely didn't look good to me on something not called Stout or Porter. The beer was a nice amber color with evident carbonation.

The aroma was not overpowering but obviously sweet. I could find evidence of hops in the distance.

The taste was good but not the best. Again, there is a mat sweetess but this is a dry ale, not very much like other English Pale Ales I have had. The mouthfeel is very good, smooth and crisp. A refreshing beer for a night of drinking or as a thirst quencher. Not very complex but a simple ale, ripe for drinking.

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Photo of fattychubs
2.98/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Beer pours a slightly hazy toffee color with a small head that disappeared quickly. Aroma is subtle with slight malt a bit acidic. Taste was malty and somewhat bitter, easy going down thin mouthfeel, bitter and slightly metallic after taste.

I think this had some decent underlying flavors, but may have been skunked a bit or is just off. Aftertaste and finish wasn’t good and was thin. Overall not horibble though.

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Photo of hotstuff
2.49/5  rDev -28%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer poured a medium white head with medium sized bubbles.The body had carbonation present and an amber hue.The lacing was good on the sides of my glass.The nose was that of hops as well as citrusy.There was a strong lingering bitter aftertaste observed.This was just an okay beer to me.Nothing special.

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Photo of kmo1030
3.03/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

fairlly deep amber color with medium sized whit head. very mild smell a little bit spicey and a little citrusy. a taste to match the smell, malty at the begining with the spices coming through somewhat, almost, but not quite cinnamony. slightest bit bitter at the end. body suited the taste i suppose it was a little thin, but not bad. i felt like this should have ben better than it was, no bad by any means, but kind of bland, gets better as it warms though. i will probably give it another try sometime.

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Photo of TheDM
2.64/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This brew poured a medium head of small to large white bubbles with a good lacing. Its body is a beautiful amber brown color with carbonated bubbles rising up the side of the glass. I smelled an aroma of hops and citrus. It has a fizzy hoppy taste that starts off slightly bitter and finishes slightly bitter too. Not a bad brew but it could be better.

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Photo of oberon
3.48/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I have had this a few times and always think its gonna be better each time I drink it,its not a bad beer but just seems to be missing a little something.Pours a deep copper/amber with a light head,aroma is slightly musty and malty.A pretty big pale ale nice maltiness but I would like maybe some more fruitiness to it.It is a pretty drinkable ale for the big maltiness.

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Photo of Morris729
3.5/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark orange amber color with a thin and bubbly white head that dissipates into a patchy lace. Nose is toasted sweet malts and grains blended with some caramel notes and a bit of wood. Not at all skunky despite being in a clear bottle. Taste is dominated by toasted sweet malts and caramel with some additional notes of mildly spicy hops. Finish is crisp and quite dry. A decent brew, but fairly unremarkable.

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Photo of charlesw
2.91/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served from a pint (500ml), clear glass bottle. Pours a dark honey color with a creamy, very dense and long-lived head.
Taste: a strong diacetyl flavor to the point of being overpowering. (Perhaps my bottles were a bit old or had been mistreated?) That aside, it had a very light flavor for a 'strong' ale. The aftertaste is all about citrus.
Drinkability: I'd drink another - I just wouldn't go out of my way (at all) to find one if they all taste like that. Off-style with the (far too strong) diacetyl and fruit flavors.

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Old Speckled Hen from Greene King / Morland Brewery
79 out of 100 based on 893 ratings.