Old Speckled Hen - Greene King / Morland Brewery

Not Rated.
Old Speckled HenOld Speckled Hen

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
79
okay

871 Reviews
THE BROS
80
good

(Read More)
Reviews: 871
Hads: 1,879
rAvg: 3.47
pDev: 15.27%
Wants: 31
Gots: 186 | 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.
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: 871 | Hads: 1,879
Photo of oberon
3.48/5  rDev +0.3%
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. (369 characters)

Photo of Morris729
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%
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. (416 characters)

Photo of charlesw
2.91/5  rDev -16.1%
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. (525 characters)

Photo of IronDjinn
3.62/5  rDev +4.3%
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. (541 characters)

Photo of BeerBuilder
3.76/5  rDev +8.4%
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. (318 characters)

Photo of Greenlabel
3.98/5  rDev +14.7%
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. (580 characters)

Photo of slitherySOB
3.1/5  rDev -10.7%
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. (945 characters)

Photo of powoo19
2.36/5  rDev -32%
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 (251 characters)

Photo of Stubbie1
3.91/5  rDev +12.7%
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. (322 characters)

Photo of aaronh
3.15/5  rDev -9.2%
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. (337 characters)

Photo of AtrumAnimus
4.62/5  rDev +33.1%
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. (699 characters)

Photo of francisweizen
3.16/5  rDev -8.9%
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.
Cheers!,
F. (622 characters)

Photo of Denali
3.15/5  rDev -9.2%
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. (510 characters)

Photo of rabidawg
4.13/5  rDev +19%
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. (651 characters)

Photo of IrishRedRock
3.65/5  rDev +5.2%
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. (462 characters)

Photo of sponberg
3.8/5  rDev +9.5%
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. (493 characters)

Photo of Bighuge
3.91/5  rDev +12.7%
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. (529 characters)

Photo of Rocko
3.55/5  rDev +2.3%
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. ;) (469 characters)

Photo of Riggo
4.05/5  rDev +16.7%
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. (622 characters)

Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
3.16/5  rDev -8.9%
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. (861 characters)

Photo of Shiloh
2.32/5  rDev -33.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

This beer does nothing for me....it pours a light amber in colour and cloudy.....head is limited with a slight island lace....aroma is a mild skunkiness....very full in body almost thick and the taste is bitter/sweet and lingering..........nuff said? (250 characters)

Photo of schrist275
2.53/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

The longest lasting head that I have seen in weeks. A nice white lace that covers the entire glass and, um, stays. The smell reminds me of a Corona, and the taste leans towards a sour hops. That’s the biggest flavor I get, sour…..but light. Not really impressed, to sour for me. The color is the best thing about the beer, it’s a nice burnt orange color…. Lovely looking with the head. (389 characters)

Photo of BeerAngel
3.51/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear fairly dark amber with a small off-white head. The aroma is predominantly alcohol with traces of sweet bready malt. The taste is a sweet caramel and diacety with a burnt twangy aftertaste. Rather mild hopping, but blends nicely with the flavor. This is a light bodied brew and finishes slightly dry. I would consider this a session beer as you could drink several in a row ;-). Cheers! (399 characters)

Photo of Reverand
4.48/5  rDev +29.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

First off I realy like this brew as you can tell the scores. A gorgeous amber color with a off white head that clings all the way down to the bottom of the glass. Amazingly smooth that makes for a great session beer. (216 characters)

Photo of brakspear
3.93/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The nitro can has both its positive and negative effects on this very English strong ale, the look of the beer with it creamy head and cascading pour is the closest you can get at home to an "authentic" pub pour unless you have a beer engine and sparkler in your bar. But the cold serving temps destroys any subltle tastes and aroma that you would experience with a real cask conditioned sample of this beer.

Nonetheless, the aroma is English hops (most likely EAst Kent Goldings) on top of a mild caramel malt sweetness. The taste is lacking the true depth a Real Ale should have, but it is well-balanced and mild.

For those expecting the assertiveness of an American Pale Ale this beer will be a dissapointment, but for those searching for a closer approximation to a British session beer served in a Suffolk pub, this is a nice try. (843 characters)

Old Speckled Hen from Greene King / Morland Brewery
79 out of 100 based on 871 ratings.