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Old Golden Hen - Greene King / Morland Brewery

Not Rated.
Old Golden HenOld Golden Hen

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
80
good

36 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 36
Hads: 131
rAvg: 3.49
pDev: 13.47%
Wants: 2
Gots: 18 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Greene King / Morland Brewery visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
English Bitter |  4.10% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: wl0307 on 09-01-2011

No notes at this time.
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Reviews: 36 | Hads: 131
Photo of Manoftyr
4.16/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance-Pours a beautiful golden amber into the imperial pint, good white head rises to about a finger and a half then settles down to a film leaving nice lines of lacing down the side. All in all it looks spectacular.

Aroma-A lightly tropical, almost soapy but not in a bad way, hoppy smell is first forward which I'm supposing is the galaxy hop, beneath that is a blanket of light biscuity, toffee-like malt. Straightforward, clean and simple.

Taste-Grainy and lightly bitter upfront, the galaxy hop steals the show mid-palette with mixed tropical notes and lingers all the way into the finish which is crisp and dry.

Mouthfeel-Light bodied with medium-high levels of carbonation; works well.

Overall-Just a well done session strength bitter here, hope to see this around more since stuff this good at such a low ABV is pretty rare here in the US. (856 characters)

Photo of scotorum
4.09/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured directly south out of a half liter bottle, into a Sam Smith English tulip pint glass.

a. An old golden color - who'da thought LOL. A two inch white head dissipated fairly quickly, leaving a surface foam with moderate lacing bravely (or desperately, it was hard to tell) clinging to the sides of the glass.

s. Densely floral or herbal with yes, a barnyardy mustiness, perhaps the skunkiness clear bottled beers are known to acquire. Still, to me in this case, appealing.

t: As anticipated by the odor, an earthy floral sweetness balanced by hop bite. The kind of brew which must have been popular in the old British India, if available then, as an alternative to gin drinks. Refreshing yet flavorful. However, it becomes stronger-tasting and less drinkable as it warms.

m. Moderate due to the dense flavors and hops. Tastes of high ABV, but is in fact low at 4.1.

o. This is the second I've had out of the Greene King/Morland Brewery's "Hen House" variety fourpack. I liked this better than the higher ABV (6.5) Hen's Tooth, which surprised me because I generally like high ABV. But then it's all about flavor.

Rather like a well-balanced darkish IPA, floral-herbal rather than fruit enhanced. Since I am generally not a fan of fruit flavors in beer, this one stands out to me. I'd probably take it over Lagunitas IPA. Perhaps that just shows what an Anglophile I am. (1,382 characters)

Photo of mrfrancis
4.07/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear, pale gold with a fizzy, thin white head that recedes quickly, leaving only a thin ring of white lace around the sides of the glass. Little streams of bubbles are very apparent in the liquid, marking this as a well-carbonated brew.

S: Aromas of biscuit, crackers, caramel, honey, straw, lemon, lime zest, herbs, tobacco, white pepper, leather, and tea fill the nose. Much more complex and enticing than expected...

T: Hoppy notes of straw, grass, lemon rind, lime zest, bitter orange, herbs, juniper berry, pine, leather, white pepper, and tea blend harmoniously with mild, malty notes of caramel, butter, crackers, and biscuits. The finish is spicy and sappy with bitter citrus, herb, pine, leather, cracker, biscuit, and mineral flavors.

M: Light in body, very dry, and very firm. Carbonation is incredibly crisp. Despite being a bit overcarbonated for my tastes, this is still very enjoyable to drink.

O: A very promising English bitter. I enjoy the great hop aromas and flavors in this beer, as well as its easy drinkability. Definitely one worth seeking out if you are a fan of classic English ales. (1,125 characters)

Photo of thehyperduck
4.06/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

500 mL bottle from a 4-pack picked up at the LCBO; served slightly chilled. Not sure what it is with UK brewers and these clear bottles, but my limited experience with this brewery tells me to expect something straightforward, well-constructed and highly sessionable regardless of the container.

Pours a bright golden-yellow colour, clear as day and topped with one finger of frothy, white head that quickly evaporates. A soapy cap and generous collar remain after a few minutes' time. Great aroma on this one - biscuity malts, grains and honey, along with leafy hops, clementines and green apples. A few butterscotch notes as well, but everything comes together quite nicely - I am impressed at the lack of skunk, given the clear glass. Closed containers to the rescue, I guess?

I'm in love with this after one sip - pretty complex for the abv, with plenty going on to keep me interested. Crackery malts and a light toffee note start us off, followed by a nice range of fruity tones including lime, bergamot and pears. The hop bill kicks in toward the finish - a little grassy, a little floral, but enjoyable all-around, offering a combination of bitterness and zest to finish it off. Light-bodied and extremely smooth-drinking, with the perfect amount of mild carbonation.

Final Grade: 4.06, an A-. I don't drink a lot of bitters, but Old Golden Hen is easily my favourite so far. The hops are fresh and interesting; the malt backbone is light but sturdy - overall, this is just a great English-style session ale. I've always had a fondness for bitters, and even though I haven't had a new one in a while, this brew immediately reminded me why I love them so much. I could drink this all night and not get sick of it - much better than Old Speckled Hen, which is a decent session ale in its own right. (1,807 characters)

Photo of blange3
4.04/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Hand drawn and enjoyed in an authentic Old English Pub (Red Lion Inn, Avebury).

Brilliant golden color. Delightful citrus and floral notes. Sweet but not cloying

Mouthfeel consistent with real ales. Thin white head with moderate lacing. Very drinkable and satisfying. (269 characters)

Photo of patre_tim
4/5  rDev +14.6%

A: Golden copper filtered, little carbonation, huge creamy, slightly yellow 3 finger head.


S: Citrus, lemon orange candy, bergamot, caramel, toffee, creamy, iron, hard water.


T: Citrus, lemony, bergamot, caramel, toffee, creamy, iron and hard water. Good solid bitterness on the end.


M: Medium, slightly gelatinous body, medium low carbonation.


O: Great brew. The hops are great, overall flavor, mouth feel are nice. Drank from a can. (445 characters)

Photo of biegaman
3.96/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Old Golden Hen is golden alright, but doesn't look so old at all; it brims with a healthy golden colour, vibrant highlights and energetic bubbles. I believe 'brilliant' is the word to best describe it. Both the surface of the beer and the sides of the glass appear to be collecting dust.

English Bitters don't typically disclose (much less show-off) their hoppiness but this beer, brewed with Galaxy hops, is practically a ringing endorsement for the Australian hop industry. It is expressively floral, like a garden in spring bloom, and has heavenly notes of citrus blossoms.

Those soft flavours of citrus blossoms and orchard fruit (apricot in particular) continue on the palate, but more fleshy tropical fruit notes including mango, lemon and passionfruit turn up as well. The beer has plenty of maltiness but it's this wealth of divinely floral and tropical hop qualities that set this bitter apart from all others that come to mind.

Indeed, all of this citrus character is super clean; in a way that few other beers ever have, its hoppiness showcases the delicate qualities of citrus blossoms and the brightness of citrus zest without even a trace of bitter pithy texture, stinging citric acidity, any candied sweetness or sappy resins. It is simply soft, delicate florals and a humble 4.1% alcohol.

Most English bitters compromise flavour (specifically, hoppiness) to ensure approachability and drinkability, but this ale shows us no sacrifice need be made! I honestly didn't expect to fall in love with Old Golden Hen as I have. Perhaps I shouldn't be so surprised given how impressed I am with Old Crafty Hen and how much I enjoy the flagship Old Speckled Hen. A great brewery. (1,692 characters)

Photo of kvnstfrd
3.92/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

After a very long wait, I finally got my paws on this brew!
Pours a gorgeous, almost-clear golden color with a fluffy white head. Earthy aromas of cereal grains, dewy grass and a sweet bouquet of spicy hops. Taste is all hops at the beginning with malty and fruity English barley following close behind. Aftertaste is pleasantly hoppy and long-lasting. Body is light, crisp and refreshing with mild carbonation.
Overall, a light, but tasty brew with a low ABV; the perfect recipe for warm weather! (497 characters)

Photo of ONUMello
3.82/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle poured into a pint glass
A: Golden color with a 1/2-finger head that settles to a fine lacing
S: Nice herbal aromas along with a bit of bitterness and lightly toasted malt
T: Again herbal, some pleasant grassy hops & a nice malt backbone
M: Medium-bodied, crisp
O: Very solid. Nice crispness & moderately complex flavors. A nice session beer with the low ABV (371 characters)

Photo of rangerred
3.82/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

clear 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear dark gold with a one finger white head. The head fades rather quickly but leave ok lacing.

Really no skunk in the aroma which surprised me a little with the clear bottles.

Caramel and toast on the nose with a little bit of corn. Fruity hops that definitely take on a tropical tone. The galaxy hops really show themselves.

The flavor on this is really great. Tropical fruit right from the get-go but there is a wonderful malty backbone. Toast and caramel underneath with some pale malt. A little bit of pipe tobacco too. Bitterness is moderate with the passion fruit lingering throughout. Mouthfeel is light but makes the beer extremely drinkable.

Overall, a wonderful, flavorful session beer that I could drink all day. If I could pick this up locally and it was cheaper it would be a go to beer for me. US breweries really need to take a closer look at this style. (922 characters)

Photo of jonb5
3.78/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pint served in a footed Adnams shaker. Small head, very clear. Amber colour very much like apple juice. Hoppy citrus smell. Tasted of citrus fruits with a nice balanced bitter finish. There's more than enough to keep me interested even at a low adv. Smooth mouthfull. Overall I'd say a very good session beer. (309 characters)

Photo of damndirtyape
3.76/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle (no date) poured into a Shaker pint glass.

Appearance: Bright clear deep gold with plenty of large bubbles clearly seen coming up through the beer. Thin white head upon pouring died back fairly quickly to just a ring at the edge. Occasional strand or island of lacing.

Smell: Citrus, crushed bergamot, cut grass, hint of passion fruit, hint of butter every now and then.

Taste: Crisp start, hint of butter in the middle, lots of bitter flavors mingling from the middle to the end. There is a bitter type of fruit in here I can't quite place. It's not quite citrus an it's not quite berry. Black currant? Finish is bitter - a bit like your typical English tea-like bitterness, but different as well.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, a little bit fizzy at times. A little watery underneath.

Overall / Drinkability: A good English bitter. I wonder what this would be like on cask - probably less carbonated. Nice color, interesting aroma and taste. Pretty drinkable as well, I wouldn't mind having another. (1,008 characters)

Photo of seedyone
3.75/5  rDev +7.4%

03/27/14 On tap at Rattle n Hum, NYC. Better than I expected. Not much head & only a hint of lacing. Nice malty flavors balanced with a hint of sweetness. Nice surprise. (169 characters)

Photo of BlackHaddock
3.62/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear 500ml bottle, best before Aug 2012, poured into an 'Abbot Ale' glass tankard in Oct 2011.

Golden light yellow body, very clear. The head didn't last, large bubbles at first but soon nothing but a hint and half a collar.

Crisp hoppy aroma, yeasty too. The label askes for the beer to be served cold, very unusual for a UK bitter, I'm sure the smells would have been stronger if the beer had been warmer.

The beer is dominated by the hop content, the malts staying just below the surface and only coming out midway through the mouthfeel. I enjoyed the beer and although I prefer sweeter brews normally, this hoppier bitter was both refreshing and easy to drink.

I'm as quick as anyone to slag off Greene King, but credit where its due: this isn't a bad beer at all. (773 characters)

Photo of spinrsx
3.59/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

500ml Bottle from the Ottawa LCBO part of a mixed 4 pack for $13

Appearance - Clear yellow colour with an average size white coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is some pretty good lacing. The head lasted for around 2-3 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, hops, pears, apples

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, corn and apples. There is also some breads/grains, caramel, and some pears. It ends with a bit of a hoppy aftertaste.

Overall - For what it is, it's pretty solid. Very drinkable and pretty refreshing. Probably not something I'd pick up again but a beer worth trying. (673 characters)

Photo of metter98
3.55/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: The beer is crystal clear and has a deep yellow hue and a slight amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a thin bright white head that quickly faded away, leaving some lacing on the surface and a narrow collar around the edge of the glass.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of floral and herbal hops in the nose along with some notes of fruity yeast.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and also has some hints of honey. A light amount of bitterness is present.
M: It feels a bit more than light-bodied on the palate and has a low to moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is easy to drink given its light body but still manages to pack in a good amount of aroma and flavors. (695 characters)

Photo of dbrauneis
3.55/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Served on tap at Beer Authority in New York, NY

A: Pours a crystal clear medium yellow in color with some light hints of gold and significant amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a half finger tall off-white head that reduces to a thin film covering the entire surface of the beer with a slightly thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light aromas of malts, fruity yeasts, and some floral + herbal hops.

T: Slightly sweet with some flavors of honey in addition to the malts. There is a moderate amount of fruity yeasts and very light amounts of floral + herbal hops which contribute light bitterness that fades quickly.

M: Very slightly heavier than light bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: Easy to drink with the light body and low ABV but yet still quite flavorful. Definitely a sessionable beer that reminds me of sitting in the pub in the UK after work. (944 characters)

Photo of chinchill
3.52/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a cask at the 2015 Atlanta Cask Ale Tasting.

Feel: light body with light carbonation.

Clear amber with a decent head.
Fruity hops with light baked bread. Good balance.
Perhaps a bit more hoppy than usual for style but this works to its advantage. (258 characters)

Photo of aasher
3.5/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a light bodied bright gold in color with a beautiful two finger, white and soapy head. The nose is light as expected. There is light slightly sweet malt and a touch of honey. The galaxy hops that the back of the bottle references are only slightly recognizable in the flavor but absent in the nose. It's mild as it should be. It is refreshing though. It's very light in body and very drinkable. If this were in six packs it would sell very well. Good ESB. (471 characters)

Photo of barczar
3.5/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a brilliant golden brown with a half inch ivory head that dissipates somewhat quickly, leaving spotty lacing.

Skunk and buttery popcorn open the aroma, with toasted, bready malt and a hint of caramel and floral hops rounding out the profile.

Flavor reveals more herbal and floral hop character, backed by bready malt, a touch of citrus, and fresh cut grass. The finish is fairly bitter and herbal.

Body is moderate, with carbonation a touch on the high side, and a slightly astringent finish.

Minus the skunk character, this is a great bitter. Damn clear bottles. Good herbal hop character, lightly toasted caramel malt, and nice bitter finish. (654 characters)

Photo of breakingbland
3.43/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle (not dated) into a pint glass.

Appearance: Poured a clear golden.

Aroma: Some skunkiness (as seems typical for Morland) and a piney hoppiness but virtually no malty aroma.

Taste: The skunkiness did not appear in the taste. Hops predominate over the malt, but I wouldn't call this a hoppy beer. The hop flavor has a bright grapefruit character. There is a slight maltiness sweetness. A slightly sweet bitterness lingers.

Mouthfeel: Clean with a medium body. Appropriate carbonation. Nothing special.

Overall: This was the fourth beer from a Morland "hen house" four-pack. Though it is fairly good, it is my least favorite. It is a refreshing beer (as the label says) and one that I might have again. (724 characters)

Photo of droomyster
3.43/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear golden copper body with a small white head that quickly settles to a collar. Aromas are very biscuity with brighter notes of a citrus stand. Taste is lightly earthy and wet leafy, and finishes light breakfast tea dressed with a spot of lemon. Medium light body and easy drinkability make it a nice session ale whose whole is greater than the sum of its parts. (373 characters)

Photo of Brenden
3.42/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Sort of a medium yellow-gold leaning slightly darker, this one develops an eggshell-colored head that's more of a foam, really, though fairly craggy. Lacing is mostly pretty good spotting going a bit thicker at times.
The aroma is yeasty with a balance of biscuity malts and leafy hops along with a pithy sort of lemon zest. There's a gentle sugary undertone following. It's a little light.
More leafiness comes out in the flavor than there was on the nose, a touch of herb, some green apple, and a bit of raw tobacco leaf. It's not bad.
A light body wants to go medium, and it's got a good level of carbonation keeping it lively, though it doesn't really translate to crispness. There's a hint of it, but it mostly goes fairly smooth. (735 characters)

Photo of polloenfuego
3.42/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500 ml bottle to a Morland pint glass.

A: poured a very pale/clear golden color with a small thin head that broke quickly to a thin layer of foam.

S: malts, hops and a touch of skunkiness...curse you clear glass.

T: malts, breads and hops...the skunk follows a little here as well.

M: low carbonation and smoother feel

O: I'm not sure what to think about this beer. I have to wonder if it wouldn't be better if it were straight from the keg. I imagine this might be a good session beer but it needs to be fresh. Definitely hurt by the clear glass I think. (561 characters)

Photo of KickbacksSteve
3.41/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Kickbacks in Jax. Poured into a small snifter. Fluffy white head, medium retention atop a very clear golden body. Go figure, its perfectly golden. Aroma is lightly hoppy with bready/biscuity malt aroma, mild sweetness, very pleasant and inviting. Taste is light caramel and light bitterness. Not a lot going on but nothing bad going on. Very easy to drink, I'm sure quite sessionable to the average English drinker. (425 characters)

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Old Golden Hen from Greene King / Morland Brewery
80 out of 100 based on 36 ratings.