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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 puboflyons
3.26/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

From the clear bottle 1 pint 9 oz. bottle. Sampled on March 9, 2015.

The pour is a handsome looking golden yellow with a white, fizzy head that lingers. Great clarity.

There is something about the water in the British Isles, whether it is the UK, Ireland, or in this case Scotland, that mingles distinctively with the toasted pale malts, sugars, and grassy hops that screams "British" or "Scottish" in this case. A little skunky though.

Smooth but lighter body.

There is a toasted golden malt character in the flavor with a clean, grassy hop finish. There's nothing that makes this the cream if the crop of golden ales but it is definitely tolerable. (658 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 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 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 Ozzylizard
2.94/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Undated bottle at 45 degrees into imperial pint glass
Aroma grainy
Head small (2.5 cm), off white, fizzy, rapidly diminishing to broken 2 mm layer
Lacing none
Body golden, clear
Flavor pretty much absent, slightly sweet, maybe, just maybe, a hint of melon. No hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl.
Palate light, watery, lively carbonation

Tastes very like an adjunct lager except no dimethylsulfide. Some diacetyl would have helped. This is supposed to compete for the affections of the lager crowd – it should since it is pretty flavorless. (537 characters)

Photo of RonaldTheriot
3.25/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Old Golden Hen has a thick, white head, a hazy, amber (golden, under direct sunlight) appearance, some streaming bubbles, and thin lacing on the glass. The aroma is slightly skunky (clear bottle), somewhat sweet, white bread crust, and mild, mellow hop resin. Taste is of white bread crust, sugar crystals, mild, somewhat moldy, hop bitterness, and tap water. Mouthfeel is light and watery, and Old Golden Hen finishes dry, easy drinking, and somewhat dull.

RJT (463 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 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 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 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 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 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 Jeffreysan
1.98/5  rDev -43.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.5

Imperial Pint bottle poured into a goblet

Appearance: Pours a pale yellow, slightly golden with a finger of off-white head, speckled with yellow highlights that dissolved into a nice lacing of foam that covered the entire top of the beer.

Aroma: Skunky, like a Heineken or an Amstel. I’m not sure if this is intentional, like it was brewed for Heineken or Amstel fans, or if the beer got spoiled as it is in a clear bottle.

Taste: Like the aroma: skunky. Almost borderline undrinkable. Turpentine. Sour milk. Horrible.

Mouthfeel: Smooth as hell, with almost no carbonation.

Overall: I didn’t like this beer at all, at least not out of the bottle. Too damn skunky. Note: this was part of the Hen House 4 pack that Morland sells, and the other beers in that 4 pack, Old Speckled Hen, Hens Tooth and Old Crafty Hen, which are also sold in clear bottles, tasted fine. After reading some of the other reviews of this beer, I really need to seek it out on tap, as the other reviews are completely different from my experience. Maybe my bottle was contaminated/bad? (1,068 characters)

Photo of fx20736
2.32/5  rDev -33.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bought a single bottle from Beers of the World on 8/10/13.

poured from a 330 ml bottle into a nonic, served cold.

appearance: apricot old gold with a 2 finger creme brulee' head. nice lacing.

aroma: the beer which was in a clear bottle smells skunked. Beyond that I smell a decent English Pale Ale with earthy hops and some butterscotch diacetyl.

mouthfeel: thinnish.

taste: skunking intrudes on what seems like a lightweight EPA.

notes: WHY DO BREWERS USE CLEAR BOTTLES? (477 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 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 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 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 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 bump8628
3.14/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Thought I would take a shot on this since it was on special for $3/pint and I'm always up for British session ales. Clear gold (aptly named) with a thin white head that nearly disappears. Oddly fruity - the mix of English yeast with Galaxy hops is certainly unique - lime stands out along with some peach and a grassy herbal note. Malt is minimal with a light graininess and a hint of corn. Just a hint of butter at the finish. Not a bad beer if you are looking for something low ABV. It was interesting to taste Galaxy hops in something besides a big, aggressive American ale. (577 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 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 TMoney2591
3.19/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

I bet it still tastes fine... Anyway, this stuff pours a clear copper-brass topped by a finger of lightly off-white foam. The nose comprises light lemon peel, fluffy biscuit, light honey, light greens, and a hint of skunk (damn glass...). The taste brings in more of the same, but with a deeper vein of greens, this time closer to tobacco than anything. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fluid feel. Overall, an alright little bitter, but nothing all that special. (532 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 UCLABrewN84
3.13/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle pour at the BevMo Holiday Beerfest held at Golden Road Brewing in Los Angeles, CA.

Pours a clear honey orange with a foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, sugar, and a slight skunky aroma. Taste is much the same with a mild hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an average beer but it's drinkable for what it is. (517 characters)

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