Old Golden Hen - Greene King / Morland Brewery

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Old Golden HenOld Golden Hen

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BA SCORE
78
okay

127 Ratings
THE BROS
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 127
Reviews: 40
rAvg: 3.41
pDev: 13.49%
Wants: 2
Gots: 16 | 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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Ratings: 127 | Reviews: 40
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.13/5  rDev -8.2%
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.

Photo of metter98
3.55/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.19/5  rDev -6.5%
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.

Photo of mdfb79
3.11/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From 10/06/12 notes.

a - Pours a deep golden orange color with once inch of fluffy white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of sweet corn, vegetables, wheat, grains, and bready malts. Not skunked at all, but pretty average overall, with not a lot going on.

t - Taste mirrors the nose pretty closer; not much going on other than some sweet corn and grains. Some wheat, bready malts, and dough. Not skunky, but not very good.

m - Light body and moderate carbonation.

o - Overall a pretty average beer; just not a lot too it. Doesn't smell or taste bad, but doesn't smell or taste good either. Wouldn't seek this one out.

Photo of chinchill
3.52/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

Photo of dbrauneis
3.55/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

Photo of BlackHaddock
3.62/5  rDev +6.2%
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.

Photo of wl0307
3.4/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Recently purchased at the Waitrose supermarket, this is the latest addition to the Morland
“Old Hen” line of products produced by Greene King of Bury St. Edmunds; coming in a 500ml slim clear bottle, BB July 2012, served cool in a straight imperial pint glass. Notes: the Galaxy hop variety is used in this brew, says the beer label.

A: pours a clear golden hue with rather lively carbonation consisting of both tiny and huge bubbles, topped with a cream-white fluffy beer head that quickly retreats to a thin, lasting sheet.
S: rather pungent aroma of hops dominates the nose, hinting at un-ripe guava fruits and sweet flowery scent, backed by a substantial body of pale malts with pleasant sweet edge to it. Pleasant and hoppy, if not lacking further complexity.
T: quite effervescent, the foretaste gives a mouthful of yeasty+citric-fruity+zesty flavour with maltiness tuned rather softly at the back; turning mildly chewy and dry in the aftertaste, showing a decent integration of hop nectar & bite with an unimposing pale malt body, ensued by a lingering floral edge in the end.
M&D: the flavour of hops treads lightly on a medium body, while the lively carbonation at times strikes as a bit too much to my liking, an effect retreating as the drink goes. Overall, this is an unexciting but decently-made golden ale, easy enough to drink with a moderate level of hop bitterness & taste to offer.

Photo of biegaman
3.96/5  rDev +16.1%
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.

Photo of aasher
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

Photo of puboflyons
3.26/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

Photo of spinrsx
3.59/5  rDev +5.3%
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.

Photo of Brenden
3.42/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

Photo of mrfrancis
4.07/5  rDev +19.4%
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.

Photo of barczar
3.5/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

Photo of RonaldTheriot
3.25/5  rDev -4.7%
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

Photo of jazzyjeff13
2.88/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A 500ml clear glass bottle with a BB of Aug 2012. The label mentions that this is hopped with Galaxy.

Poured into a straight pint glass. A clear golden-amber colour with good carbonation. Forms a decent head of frothy white foam that disappears after a minute or two. Aroma of light malt with hints of stewed hops, ale yeast, mild fruitiness and a fair whiff of buttery diacetyl. Meh.

Tastes of light malt with a dry finish. Notes of stewed hops and subtle aromatic fruitiness. Hints of yeast and a distinct note of diacetyl. Little bitterness, but quite dry upon swallowing. Mouthfeel is light and tingly, but rather thin. Somewhat astringent. Aftertaste of fruitiness and harsh stewed hops.

Decidedly average - another bland golden ale from a big brewery. The diacetyl is particularly unwelcome; it spoils the drinking experience. There are faint hints of aromatic hops, but I can't say that the Galaxy really shines through. In summary, it's dull - give it a miss.

Photo of patre_tim
4/5  rDev +17.3%

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.

Photo of bump8628
3.14/5  rDev -7.9%
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.

Photo of rangerred
3.82/5  rDev +12%
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.

Photo of thehyperduck
4.06/5  rDev +19.1%
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.

Photo of ONUMello
3.82/5  rDev +12%
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

Photo of scotorum
4.09/5  rDev +19.9%
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.

Photo of Ozzylizard
2.94/5  rDev -13.8%
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.

Photo of polloenfuego
3.42/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

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Old Golden Hen from Greene King / Morland Brewery
78 out of 100 based on 127 ratings.