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Hen's Tooth - Greene King / Morland Brewery

Not Rated.
Hen's ToothHen's Tooth

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
79
okay

320 Ratings
THE BROS
73
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 320
Reviews: 220
rAvg: 3.44
pDev: 17.44%
Wants: 1
Gots: 13 | FT: 0
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Hen's Tooth Alström Bros
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Ratings: 320 | Reviews: 220 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.85/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ok, pretend this is a blind taste. Looks like an IPA, grapefruity with bubbles, lots of foam in pour (the ackward way I pour on purpose). Funky smell, a wild ale...then taste, a hoppy bitter ale, malting, and then sourish. You like sour people, right, you Cantillon it. A different British.

Sammy, Jan 14, 2007
Photo of t0rin0
3.25/5  rDev -5.5%

t0rin0, Nov 19, 2012
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.85/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a hazy dark orange with a foamy beige head that settles to a thin cap on top of the beer. Foamy patches of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, fruit, and slightly sour Brett-like aromas. Taste is much the same with malt and fruit flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with some interesting aromas and flavors that I am not entirely sure were intended.

UCLABrewN84, May 30, 2013
Photo of metter98
3.46/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A: The beer is crystal clear reddish amber in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a half finger dense high beige colored head that never completely faded away and left a coating of bubbles down the sides of the glass.
S: There are aromas of fruity yeast in the nose—apples seem to stand out in particular.
T: The taste is fruity like the smell but also has some notes of caramel malts and toffee with hints of herbal hops. There is a slight bit of sweetness and no bitterness is perceptible.
M: It feels medium-bodied and rather smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is relatively easy to drink. I wouldn't mind drinking this again if I was in the mood for a bottle conditioned English Ale but something a little stronger than a pale ale.

metter98, Feb 20, 2013
Photo of BEERchitect
3.58/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

OK beer. Has lots of flavor and sweetness with a body that weighs a bit on the heavy side. Most characteristics are blended well, but can't seem to descern the flavors. Some obvious fruity notes in the nose and flavors, malt profile seems heavy. Lowly carbonated for a heavier effect. Viscous and bright orange to the sight. Finishes with a mild hoppy / sweet lingering quality. It's ok.

BEERchitect, May 11, 2006
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.58/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ripe pumpkin orange with butterscotch edges; easily seen by looking through the clear glass bottle shown at right. The large, orangish ivory crown is tight-bubbled and is clingingly sticky. I like the color quite a bit and the head is one of the best on an English pale ale that I've seen in ages.

Amazingly, there's no trace of skunk. This bottle must have been especially well cared for. The nose consists of lightly sweet, lightly toasted grain and an equal measure of musky, earthy hops. There may be a little orange fruit as well. It doesn't smell like the more common English hop varieties have been used, but it still smells unaccountably English. Go figure.

If you like your EPAs on the malty-sweet rather than the hoppy-bitter side, then Hen's Tooth should be right up your alley. Since I prefer the latter, I'm not warming up to it all that much. The flavor profile isn't very deep. Actually, the beer tastes somewhat dumbed down to me. I keep sipping, hoping to find some nuance, but what you taste is pretty much what you get.

That isn't to say Hen's Tooth is bad, just that it isn't especially interesting. I find myself longing for a little of that classic English pale ale bottom-of-the-teacup, tea leafy bitterness. The soft, subdued, yet still effective, carbonation matches up well with the medium body and with the lightly mouthcoating finish. A cask feel from a bottle, in other words.

This beer isn't my preferred sort of EPA, but that doesn't mean it doesn't have some positives or that it won't appeal to a wide range of people. In the official pecking order of English pale ales (according to me), Hen's Tooth is at least as much pecker as it is peckee. In trying to decide if it was a worthwhile purchase, I spot the sticker that reads '$3.99'. If I had it to do over again, at that price, I'd pass.

BuckeyeNation, Nov 16, 2005
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.43/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a brilliantly clear, orange-hued body with a tall, foamy, light beige head on top.

Smell: Dry malt scent with accents of toffee and bread and a light fruitiness with a notable spiciness.

Taste: Sweetish, toffee-tasting maltiness with a bit of crumbled bread crusts thrown in for good measure. Slight English ale fruitiness. Hops are both spicy and grassy and provide a bit of herbaceous bitterness. Dry, spicy, crisp finish with the zing of carbonation accentuated the bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium-plus carbonation.

Drinkability: Though I don't find myself particularly enamored with it, it's still a decent lil' beer.

ChainGangGuy, Jan 28, 2010
Photo of oberon
3.45/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Well it was a damn fine pour in to the imperial pint glass right to the top a deep clear copper,with a quick to vanish one finger head.Somewhat downhill from there I have to say aromas of hard water and fruit but light and that clear/green bottle skunk but I wont hold it against the actual beer itself.Flavors are ok it has the English fruitiness a touch of brown sugar and iron but not much hop presence just a light herbal note in the finish after a few sips.Quite light for a 6.5% alc beer goes down easily just nothing to make u want more,a decent beer none the less to be had.

oberon, Mar 31, 2006
Photo of zeff80
3.5/5  rDev +1.7%

zeff80, Mar 20, 2014
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.13/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Its slightly hazy (bottle-conditioned) copper body displays bronze and ruby highlights beneath a short, creamy head of off-white foam that drops readily but holds a thin cap throughout the pint. The nose displays and iron/mineral character, some delicate apple-ish fruit, and some leafy hops over a caramelish malt. The body is full, creamy and smooth in the mouth with a very fine, natural carbonation that just lightly caresses the tongue (similar to a cask-conditioned pint!). The flavor delivers a biscuit-like maltiness, some lightly-dry and apple/pear-ish fruitiness, a distinct note of diacetyl, and a subtle touch of blood-like iron all backed by a solid bitterness and some leafy, tea-like hop flavor. It finishes dry with a lingering character from almost all of its attributes except for its slightly elevated alcohol which seems to remain hidden at all times. Quite nice!

NeroFiddled, Nov 20, 2003
Photo of nickfl
3.5/5  rDev +1.7%

nickfl, Feb 21, 2012
Photo of Jason
2.9/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

16.9 clear bottle with no freshness date.

Sunset orange hue with a good frothing and good retention. Buttery, grainy, slight orange and mint and salty aroma.

Smooth carbonation with a medium body. A buttery musty diacetyl sticks to the palate, maltiness brings caramel and toasted biscuits. Hops are a little bitter with a quick minty note. Graininess and a flash of solvent alcohol show some roughness within this ale. Finishes a little funky with alcohol on the breath.

Not bad, sure its English, bottle conditioned and all but it just does not seem to hit its stride. A bit of a chore to put down.

Jason, Nov 09, 2009
Photo of TheManiacalOne
1.75/5  rDev -49.1%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Shared a 16.9oz bottle on 2/24/07 at British Beer Company, poured into an imperial half-pint glass.

A: The beer is a light brown color, with a large beige head that fades slowly and leaves very little lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is quite pungent and contained caramelized malt, hops, nuts and a little brown sugar.

T: The taste is very bitter and malty, with flavors of caramel, nuts and apple. There’s a mild hops presence but it’s not what causes the bitterness.

M: Crisp but not smooth at all, medium body, medium carbonation, dry finish.

D: I didn’t find it tasty at all; good kick, but I definitely would not drink it again. My thanks to the individual that purchased the bottle and shared it with me. I consider myself fortunate that I did not have to spend money to try this beer.

TheManiacalOne, Feb 26, 2007
Photo of Slatetank
3.5/5  rDev +1.7%

Slatetank, May 25, 2013
Photo of jwc215
3.5/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours bright reddish copper with nice clarity. The thin head almost immediately becomes a lasting patch.

The smell is of sweet grain with hints of caramel and earthy fruitiness.

The taste is of caramelish graininess - almost grassiness. Some earthy fruitiness and a leafy bitterness push to balance sweetness, but don't quite make it, leaving the sweetness too imbalanced. The alcohol that is well-covered at the start slowly creeps in and becomes more pronounced as the drink progresses.

It has a medium body buttery slickness. Slightly drying.

This reminded me of Old Speckled Hen with more sweetness and alcohol. It emphasizes "rarity", "rare as a Hen's Tooth", etc. but, I didn't really find anything exceptional about it. Not a "session" ale, but not good enough for a "sip and savor" either. Not bad, but rather boring and too imbalanced, both with sweetness, and by the end, with alcohol.

jwc215, Feb 11, 2007
Photo of DrunkinYogi
3.25/5  rDev -5.5%

DrunkinYogi, Jun 29, 2013
Photo of Rochefort10nh
3/5  rDev -12.8%

Rochefort10nh, Nov 27, 2011
Photo of kojevergas
2.85/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle into Bay Brewery pint glass in low altitude Galway, Ireland. Reviewed live. Acquired at Spar Off license in Galway.

A: Obviously, the first question I have regards the presentation: what brewer okays a clear bottle for production bottling? Inexcusable. Three finger head devoid of cream but of fair thickness and decent retention. Colour is a nontransparent dark amber. Appealing.

Sm: Amber hops, maybe some butterscotch? There's definitely something familiar there. Maple syrupy note, but it's well concealed. Some earthy fruit notes, but none subtle and focused enough to directly detect.

T: A bit of dry caramel punches through in the climax, which is unexpected. The fruits are very non-berry but not quite dark; they're not balanced alongside the earthy hops, which don't sit correctly in the beer's build. Bittering hops typical of the style are mysteriously absent, but I count this as a benefit. Open has slight caramel. It's built well for the style, but poorly balanced.

Mf: Smooth and dry enough, but not complementary to the taste. The absence of bittering hops is indeed peculiar.

Dr: Expensive, but not bad. I'd have it again, maybe in the UK at a better price.

kojevergas, May 17, 2011
Photo of BlackHaddock
3.45/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear 500ml bottle, best before Jan 2008, drank March 2007.

Poured into a pint sleeve glass (2004 Cotswold Beer fest). A light chestnut amber with a good white foaming head.with bubbles rising to replenish any head that is leaving.

Very little aroma from my bottle or glass, a bit of hops and yeast, but great shakes here.

I've had this beer twice before and thought it awful (both times years ago), this time however I like it. There is depth and flavour where before there was nothing, a liveliness where before it was dead. Hops and malts aplenty in every mouthfull.

Pleased I had this beer again (it was given to me), I shall not be frightened to try it another time.

BlackHaddock, Mar 26, 2007
Photo of GClarkage
3.9/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

02/16/05- Purchased at Mollie Stones in San Mateo, CA

Presentation- 16.9oz bottle poured into my 20oz Radeberger pils glass. Coed of L04-204 on the back.

Appearance- Great looking glass bottle. Pours an amber color with average foamy head and light lacing. Lots of yeasties floating in my glass.

Smell- Not really skunky, but a really bittersweet malt scent.

Taste- Good sweet malt character with just the right amount of bitter ESB type hop flavor. Right at the borderline for me. Quite tasty one. Grapefruity, but not like an IPA grapefruity, if that makes any sense.

Mouthfeel- Low to medium carbonation and a bitter dry mouthfeel.

Drinkability- One would be perfect for me considering it's bitterness, but that one is pretty refreshing. Would like to have this one on tap in the UK. A bit pricey though. I think I paid $3.49. Drop this one a buck and I may pick up a few more for the DBF.

GClarkage, Feb 18, 2005
Photo of wrightst
3.5/5  rDev +1.7%

wrightst, Sep 16, 2014
Photo of Billolick
1.48/5  rDev -57%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

16.9 ounce clear bottle, with no freshness dating. the pour immediatly tells me I've got a problem on my hands, A huge head develops, tons of bubbles continue to rise from the bottom. Uh oh, beer gone bad, nose is soapy, mouthfeel is prickly, flavors are off and winey, nah, I've experienced enuf, was it the clear bottle? , was it on the shelf for too long? Anyway bad beer is not for me, down the drain it goes

Billolick, Mar 05, 2005
Photo of wl0307
3.55/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Guess what, this bottle-conditioned beer just won the Silver Medal in the category of bottle-conditioned beer at the GBBF 06!! How is it possible, crying out loud~~?! as my last encounter with the beer last September was less than satisfactory, to put it mildly. Well I get the chance to revisit the beer today, as it's now on sale at the Sainsbury's supermarkets. I'll see if my low score last time was to do with that specific bottle or simply that this beer is not my cup of tea.

BB 05/07/07, served cool in a straight imperial-pint glass.
A: bright copper hue, poured with great clarity and a slowly growing off-white beer head of fluffy texture, gradually breaking down to just a thin foam, regarless of the lively fizzy support underneath.
S: plenty of hop resins abounds initially; a rich layer full of dried-fruitiness (like sour-sweet apples coated with caramel and dried black dates), lively spicy+grassy hays, sticky/syrupy sweet and burned-sugary malts, caramelised orangey note and a savoury hint. Overall, smelling very "Greene King" for that hop formula and eggy+floral yeastiness; rich and full, showing good inputs from fruity hops (incl. Goldings I'm sure) and malts, while a slightly stinky edge of yeasts is not to be missed.
T: a mouthful of sour-sweet toffee-ish malts, intertwined (without clear structures) with deeply sour-sweet apple-ish fruits, tangy citric-syrup, tea-leafy bitter-sweetness, lightly buttery note, and an earthy bitter aftertaste of hops lingering with a moderate length. Warming down the throat in the very end.
M&D: slightly overly fizzy on the mouthfeel, perhaps the bottle-conditioning hasn't been long enough to soften the texture. Overall this beer is a full-bodied strong ale. Compared with my previous note, this bottle seems to perform much better. But a Silver Medallist in the RAIB category surely should've been more impressive and complex, I reckon?

wl0307, Sep 06, 2006
Photo of mothman
2.95/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Best before date was not stamped on my bottle.

Poured into Sam Adams Sensory Glass. Decent layer of head, but leaves no lacing. Color is a brown ruby.

The aroma is very skunky, nothing to pleasing. No other notable smells. Taste has that same skuny flavor to it. Has some kind of hops, but I can't determine it. Also, there are some bready malts.

Mouthfeel is very crisp and bitter. Leaves a sticky aftertaste. Has an overpowering level of carbonation.

Overall, this is not something I would like to drink again. I received as a gift so I took a shot at it. The worst part about this is that I have over half of my .5L left... oh gosh...

mothman, Jan 23, 2009
Photo of Zorro
4/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

50 CL clear glass bottle carefully selected from back of the cooler at the Green Jug.

Pours a clear darker copper colored ale with a good tan head.

Smell is sweet and fruity with a fairly strong scent of herbal hops. Fruity scent is the standard British ale smell that I can best describe as juicy fruit. Spicy scent of alcohol and a secondary sweet vanilla scent. Absolutely no funk or skunk in this bottle.

Taste is sweet and herbal at the very start. Strong herbal hop level here and I like it. Fairly fruity with the standard British ale yeast flavor. Sweetness here has several levels, toffee, honey, malt, butterscotch, and caramel. Earth flavor play a part here too, wood and leather are the major ones.

Mouthfeel is good.

Quite a tasty pleasant ale here but only if you get a properly treated bottle. I REALLY wish British brewers would just give up on clear glass, it doesn't protect the beer at all. A tasty satisfying ale that I liked a lot. Be absolutely sure you get a good bottle because this one will not tolerate shoddy treatment at all.

Zorro, Oct 02, 2005
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Hen's Tooth from Greene King / Morland Brewery
79 out of 100 based on 320 ratings.