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Old Speckled Hen - Greene King / Morland Brewery

Not Rated.
Old Speckled HenOld Speckled Hen

Educational use only; do not reuse.

876 Reviews

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Reviews: 876
Hads: 1,912
Avg: 3.46
pDev: 24.57%
Wants: 36
Gots: 209 | 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: 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: 876 | Hads: 1,912
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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Photo of IronDjinn
3.62/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Rather surprising for something poured out of a clear bottle. White frothy head that makes a stage left exit the moment you turn your back. Cloudy rich amber hue, with an aroma of carmelized butter toffee, a touch of burnt malts. Possesses a butter toffee taste followed by a bitter/sour one. Difficult to tell whether the latter is due to hops, or being light-struck from the clear bottle, or a hint of preservatives. An ale that starts out strong but begins losing its character farther down the glass. Would prefer to try this one on tap.

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Photo of BeerBuilder
3.76/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours to a deep copper color with orange hues. It forms a creamy tan head with excellent lacing. It has a sweet caramel malt aroma. The flavor is also of sweet caramel malts, with a bit of hop fruitiness. The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy. It finishes with a slight dry bitterness. Not a bad beer, very easy drinking.

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Photo of Greenlabel
3.98/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'm not a big fan of beer in cans but this one in a nitro can seemed quite inoffensive. I've also had it in the bottle but wouldn't rate the canned version in a significantly different way. The impact of the widget did a good job of establishing and holding a head until the can was finished. As English pale ales go (or at least those that I've tried), this one seems quite typical and lacks the bite which I associate with many of the better American versions. A bit less sweetness would give it a better flavor profile but I'd enjoy Old Speckled Hen as a session beer any time.

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Photo of slitherySOB
3.1/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This is a decent beer, though I believe a little too sweet for it too be a bitter. Poured from the bottle into the pilzner glass, leaving a 1.5 finger head that lasted til the end. Pale copper colour with lace sticking to the edge. Wow, what a smell. Malt dominated the hops on the nose, but in a manner that was pleasant to the nostrils. Now a taste. Hmmmmm. First taste was a tad sweet. Too much malt sugarness. Second taste, more of the same. The bitterness comes out when this beer gets warmer, but that malt sweetness can't seem too come off my tongue. Perhaps it was because of the mild sweetness, but this beer seemed sticky. After every tip, I would smack my lips. This is an average drinking brew. Others I know could drink it all day. For me, I can' t overcome that sweetness, so 2-3 tops would be it fore I move on. Oh, it is a good beer, one worth trying, but I'll try others before I buy this again. Unless, of course, it's on sale.

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Photo of powoo19
2.36/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I liked the draft but the bottle had a high metallic taste...It had good color but tasted so bad that I couldnt even look at it..I am disappointed...C'mon guys, lets fix this fine brew. I suggest everyone try this beverage on draft!!!!
Happy Drinking

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Photo of Stubbie1
3.91/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This bitter pours a nice amber color with a very thick white head. This head just will not go away. A buttery malt sweet aroma hits your nose, average. There is a sweet butter taste with a slight hop finish to give it a bit of a bitter taste. This beer is very easy to drink and has a good mouth feel. A good session brew.

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

Plae amber color served with an off-white head. VG retention as well. Malty aroma with a hint of fruit. The taste is similar, again with a husky malt sweetness flowwed by some fruitiness. Then a funky bitterness comes in and it won't go away. The mouthfeel is a bit light, and the drinkabilkity is OK. I just couldn't get into this beer.

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Photo of AtrumAnimus
4.62/5  rDev +33.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This pours a perfect amber color that has a strong long lived head that leaves thick traces down the side of the glass. The beer is effervescent and more lively than champagne. The nose is rich with hops and buttery malt tones that are truly exceptional. The flavor is refreshing with a spicy maltiness that is well balanced with strong hops and goes to a warming feeling in the stomach. The hops are just awesome. The mouthfeel is excellent as well with a nice pillowy soft body that is quickly subdued by the hops. Very bitter in the middle of the quaffed finishing even more bitter, but leaving very little aftertaste for the amount of hop flavor. I am so glad I bought a few of the 50cl bottles.

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Photo of francisweizen
3.16/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A pretty good English style ale. This nitro can may have been very old as there was no best-by date to be found on it. It poured a wonderful amber-ish colour with a cascading effect and a huge frothy, nitro-induced head. This smelled of slight malts, and hops...the smell was a little too sweet for me though. The taste was good as well but too sweet for my tastes. There should be more hops and less sweet malts in this brew.
None-the-less this beer still has a very good mouthfeel and an OK drinkability.
A good nitro beer to get in a pinch...This would probably be allot beeter on cask or tap in the UK.

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

Appearance: Dark amber/brown with thick white head.

Smell: Slight malt sweet aroma.

Taste: Initial strong bitter taste with hints of caramel. As I drank more, some malt sweetness began to emerge to compliment the strong bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, creamy and dry.

Drinkability: Decent drinkability. Not too high an ABV, and the nitro makes this beer easier to drink.

Comments: A decent beer, but probably one that I would not actively seek out. Would still choose it over any macro offerings.

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Photo of rabidawg
4.13/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The current cask beer at the Half Door in Hartford.

Appearance: Amber brew with zero carbonation. Left incredible lace after a soft, rocky, off-white head.

Smell: Sweet candy smells, with a malty background. Very rich and full nose.

Taste: More caramel-ish candy, with such a smoothness that I could drink several without noticing. More malt than hops, which confuses me after reading the other reviews. It'd be a great session beer, but it's a wonderful beer to relax with, too.

Not sure how this would be as a nitro draught beer, as a lot of other reviews have been. Doesn't seem like the beer I had would be nearly the same as a nitro.

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

This brew reminded me of the many many bottles of English ale I had in London. It was the simple malty aroma that did it. Clear amber/brown beer with a surprisingly well-retained head.

The taste is not complex, but very smooth. Mouthfeel has a slight tingle of carbonation that fades away into bitter hops. Buttery malts make up the majority of the flavor, in addition to a sweet caramel taste as well. Nothing great, but a very easy drinker and worth a try.

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Photo of sponberg
3.8/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very bright dark gold with a creamy white head. The nose is butterscotch and Schlitz all the way.

Starts out with a good butterscotch base (diacetyl?) with a slight but noticeable lemon/spice hoppy bite. I noticed a slight tang, sort of an "English beer from a can" flavor halfway through that I found distracting. I've noticed this before in this beer - maybe it's a hop thing? Pours down extremely easy, with light to medium body. A nice session beer, even if there are others I'd prefer.

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Photo of Bighuge
3.91/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice amber/copper color. A creamy, thick head topped the brew. Retention of head and lacing ability were good. Aroma of herbal hops and slight caramel malts. The mouthfeel was very smooth and creamy. This aspect, combined with a nice flavor, rendered the beer very drinkable. The flavor profile exhibited a nice little caramel/crystal malt backbone. The hops were not over bearing or citrus like as in APAs, but they accented nicely. They added a perfume-like and herbal quality. All in all, this was a pretty solid session beer.

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Photo of Rocko
3.55/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I have this beer a few times out of an 500ml bottle. It pours a clear copper color and creates a little off white head which stays for a few minutes. It smells sweet of caramel and corn.

The taste is about the same like the smell, sweetish and a bit of corn. I don't think this is as very bitter as I've read on other sites, and here, but still there is a little of it. I think it has good drinkability, not because of it's abv because it's just easy to swallow. ;)

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Photo of Riggo
4.05/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

For my money, the best name for a beer that I can recall seeing (Perhaps a good frivolous beer forum topic). Sampled from the hand-pump at d.b.a. in NYC. In the glass this English ale is an orange-copper color with a moderate off-white head. The nose is fruity and toffeeish with notes of butterscotch. On palate, buttery (in taste and mouthfeel), malty and sweet. A very comforting ale, very malty and yet not cloying, with late bitterness in the finish. For me, the difference in this hand-pump version as compared to the regular tap version was a depth of flavor/character, especially the toffee and butterscotch notes.

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Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
3.16/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Purchased strictly for the name (I just find a beer called "Old Speckled Hen" funny for some reason), I honestly didn't know what to expect.

I tried the nitro can version and poured according to the directions on the can. Upon pouring into the glass, an incredibly thick, merigue-like head appeared. Impossibly small bubbles formed an inch thick head that lasted the entire time, at the same time coating the entire glass. Also, there was a fair amount of sheeting action down the sides of the glass. Certainly not what I expected.

Aroma was a mixture of fruity dominance. Taste was thinner than I expected, and it was difficult to finish off the last few ounces as it got warmer. Flavor was well-balanced but nothing really impressive. Mouthfeel, due to the thick head, was good. Finished rather dry, which was surprising, given the 5.2% alcohol content.

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Old Speckled Hen from Greene King / Morland Brewery
79 out of 100 based on 876 ratings.