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Hen's Tooth - Greene King / Morland Brewery

Hen's ToothHen's Tooth

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
78
okay

299 Ratings
THE BROS
73
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 299
Reviews: 216
rAvg: 3.42
pDev: 17.54%


Brewed by:
Greene King / Morland Brewery visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
English Strong Ale |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-02-2001)
View: Beers (52) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 299 | Reviews: 216 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by kinger:
Photo of kinger
kinger

Ohio

3.95/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very intriguing beer here, unique would be an understatement. Crystal copper pour, touches of ruby sparkle through. Nice thick white head good retention, slow steady stream of carbonation. The aroma initially stings the nose, it seems sour but I'm not sure if that's accurate. Let it sit out and warm a bit and the odd scent intensifies (in a very good way). Calm and lightly malty at first, this hen pecks you immediately as the beer hits the back of you mouth. I'm having trouble finding descriptive words here but it's yeasty with a good dose of sour fruitiness. Sour is prevelent in my head but that doesn't seem quite right. An entertainingly odd brew that does become rather inviting. Smooth and relatively easy with a remarkable dry finish. One of a kind!

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2008 22:11:27 | More by kinger
More User Reviews:
Photo of HOPHEADNATIONMATT
HOPHEADNATIONMATT

Florida

2.75/5  rDev -19.6%

04-10-2014 23:03:20 | More by HOPHEADNATIONMATT
Photo of biegaman
biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

3.64/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This is not the first bottle of Hen's Tooth I've had with thick clumps of sediment caked to the lip of the bottle like spring mud. It's not the most welcomed sight to see right after prying the cap. But bottle-conditioning has done little to spoil the beer's blazing orange-auburn colour and clean, fiery complexion. Its head is dainty but leaves doily-like patterns of lace.

The aroma is comprised of all things irresistible to the British palate: biscuits, toffee, dried fruits, honey. As you can gather these are sweet flavours, but they're airy enough and masqueraded by such a floral perfume that this doesn't smell even remotely saccharine. It's a very pleasant, if slightly reserved bouquet which opens up further with hints of grapefruit and jasmine.

Be sure to consume this English ale the way the English would: cellar temp at coldest. This is a beer that doesn't just benefit from air, it requires it. Serve it chilled and you miss out on the subtle green tea grassiness and delicate wild flower honey notes. A brandy glass, or any kind of wide bowled vessel, is definitely a superior option than a standard pint glass.

All that said, don't expect the moon and the stars - this is an *English* strong ale after all. Just as its 6.5% alcohol doesn't qualify this as a particularly "strong" ale in the minds of most craft drinkers, its relatively mild flavour profile isn't likely to meet North American expectations for the style nor strike them as overly rich or complex, not compared to modern American Strong Ales.

But there is often intricacy in simplicity, volume to quietness. Without making any less sense trying to wax philosophical I'll just come out and say it: Hen's Tooth may not be a double-digit strength, barrel-aged beer that twists your palate inside out and knocks you upside the head, but it is "strong" enough to withstand the test of time and holds a quiet confidence and balanced composure few new-world offerings can offer.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2014 22:47:16 | More by biegaman
Photo of AndrewC
AndrewC

Newfoundland (Canada)

3.25/5  rDev -5%

03-20-2014 22:35:05 | More by AndrewC
Photo of zeff80
zeff80

Missouri

3.5/5  rDev +2.3%

03-20-2014 00:59:02 | More by zeff80
Photo of ossiferrose
ossiferrose

Georgia

4.5/5  rDev +31.6%

03-10-2014 17:41:38 | More by ossiferrose
Photo of EmperorBevis
EmperorBevis

United Kingdom (England)

3.5/5  rDev +2.3%

02-22-2014 16:23:32 | More by EmperorBevis
Photo of ssgunbond
ssgunbond

Belgium

3.25/5  rDev -5%

01-13-2014 07:26:20 | More by ssgunbond
Photo of drbenderdo
drbenderdo

Michigan

3/5  rDev -12.3%

01-03-2014 02:33:52 | More by drbenderdo
Photo of polloenfuego
polloenfuego

Ontario (Canada)

3.63/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

From the bottle to a pint glass

A: pours a clear amber color with a thick two to three finger head that breaks quicker than I expected leaving a thin layer of foam.

S: bready malts and a touch of hops

T: the malts come through on the taste with the hops just find the end but coming in smooth.

M: low carbonation and slightly sticky feel.

O: if someone handed me this beer without telling me what it was, I would likely have no problem identifying it as a Greene King / Morland brew. It has that distinct taste. Not a bad beer, but not really anything outstanding either. Seems a bit mild for my liking, but that is the opinion of but one man.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2013 21:12:07 | More by polloenfuego
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Vsarmatov

Russian Federation

3.5/5  rDev +2.3%

12-16-2013 18:25:03 | More by Vsarmatov
Photo of ThinkAgain
ThinkAgain

Ontario (Canada)

3.25/5  rDev -5%

12-10-2013 02:03:47 | More by ThinkAgain
Photo of BillRoth
BillRoth

Maryland

4/5  rDev +17%

12-05-2013 02:58:42 | More by BillRoth
Photo of cfalovo97
cfalovo97

Ontario (Canada)

3/5  rDev -12.3%

12-05-2013 01:22:37 | More by cfalovo97
Photo of RochefortChris
RochefortChris

South Carolina

3.5/5  rDev +2.3%

12-03-2013 22:20:48 | More by RochefortChris
Photo of BigGruntyThirst
BigGruntyThirst

Ontario (Canada)

3.5/5  rDev +2.3%

11-30-2013 05:32:03 | More by BigGruntyThirst
Photo of cam477
cam477

Newfoundland (Canada)

3.5/5  rDev +2.3%

11-20-2013 02:15:33 | More by cam477
Photo of thehyperduck
thehyperduck

Ontario (Canada)

3.89/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

500 mL bottle from a sampler picked up at the LCBO. Served at cellar temperature.

Pours a deep, amber-brown colour, with one finger of creamy, light beige-coloured head that wilts slowly over a period of minutes. A thin cap and collar cling to the surface, along with a few strands of lacing on the sides. The liquid itself is a little hazy, but to be fair I poured all of the sediment in. The aroma is vaguely skunky at first, but after some time to breathe a lot of this brewer's usual tropes come through - biscuity malt, toffee/caramel, orchard fruit, raisins and leafy hops, with a touch of yeast as well.

I am impressed at this one's balance - this style usually tends toward the higher ends of the ethanol and malty sweetness scales, but Hen's Tooth keeps everything in check deftly. Perhaps this is a double-edged sword, though - while the brown sugar, toasted nuts and biscuity malts are inviting enough, the touch of dried stone fruit isn't enough to make this a very interesting beer. The finish is where the hops and yeast start to shine, providing a light, tea-leaf bitterness and almost woody astringency that lingers briefly into the aftertaste. Not much of an ethanol presence, but you can tell it's there. Medium-bodied, with a slick, almost chewy mouthfeel. The carbonation is mild, contributing to this one's surprisingly high drinkability - not something I'd want to sip all night, but a bottle or two would be welcome in my rotation.

Final Grade: 3.89, a B+. Hen's Tooth won't blow your mind, but it's still a well-constructed English-style strong ale that I'd consider picking up again at some point. A serviceable ale, comparable in quality to the other three brews in this sampler (Speckled, Golden and Crafty). None are the hallmarks of their style, but they're all easy to enjoy and worth at least one shot, at least assuming you're not a vehement opponent to English ales.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2013 16:45:11 | More by thehyperduck
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dcmchew

Romania

3.75/5  rDev +9.6%

11-04-2013 13:37:11 | More by dcmchew
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Adamostella

Washington

3/5  rDev -12.3%

11-01-2013 22:59:29 | More by Adamostella
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Beermaine

Maine

3.25/5  rDev -5%

10-27-2013 20:58:21 | More by Beermaine
Photo of hansavijaticar
hansavijaticar

Croatia (Hrvatska)

3.75/5  rDev +9.6%

10-22-2013 19:56:11 | More by hansavijaticar
Photo of schoolboy
schoolboy

Ohio

3.78/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I often only tolerate this style - it is not normally a favorite. Being that is the case, I find this one a little easier to drink than some. The sample bottle was supposedly fresh in the store - they made a point of saying so.

It looks great in the glass. Loads of head. Fairly clear. Perhaps a bit too red. Nice, though and appetizing. The aroma is a little odd. Slightly soapy (I know that may sound odd). The taste has that similar off skunky flavor common in the style. This is not surprising since it is in a clear bottle - always a bad idea.

Similarly the aftertaste is a little off, but it is pleasant, as is the overall experience. I am pretty sure this was not the first time I had this but I will seek out others (won't buy this) when I am looking for that British experience.

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2013 22:25:33 | More by schoolboy
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Knobpolisher

California

3.25/5  rDev -5%

10-12-2013 21:18:50 | More by Knobpolisher
Photo of Sspeer1
Sspeer1

Massachusetts

2.75/5  rDev -19.6%

10-12-2013 16:21:34 | More by Sspeer1
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Hen's Tooth from Greene King / Morland Brewery
78 out of 100 based on 299 ratings.