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Old Speckled Hen | Greene King / Morland Brewery

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Old Speckled HenOld Speckled Hen
2,188 Ratings
Old Speckled HenOld Speckled Hen

Brewed by:
Greene King / Morland Brewery
England, United Kingdom

Style: English Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Old Speckled Hen is popular with ale drinkers up and down the country and renowned for its unique character and consistent quality.

The great British ale was first brewed to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the MG car factory in Abingdon, Oxfordshire. It was even named after the factory’s old run around car which was often parked outside the paint shop. Spattered in paint, the car became known as the “Owld Speckl’d Un”. The eagle-eyed might even see the resemblance between MG’s logo and the Old Speckled Hen label!

More than 35 years on, the great premium ale continues to be a finely balanced beer with a distinctive rich, malty taste and fruity aroma.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,188 |  Reviews: 962
Photo of Matuhg
3.75/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of alexsergio
3.14/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Samnem
3.68/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Sound_Explorer
3.58/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of BeenTired
3.64/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Snowcrash000
3.59/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep amber, coppery coloration with a small, fizzy head, Smell is quite subdued, but with faint aromas of biscuity, grainy malt and grassy hops. Taste follows the nose, being dominated by biscuity, grainy malt, toffee and lighter grassy, earthy hop accents, with just a hint estery fruit notes, diacetyl and a certain mineral note as well. Finishes with a light/medium bitterness and a certain mineral note lingering in the aftertaste. Smooth mouthfeel with a light/medium body and medium carbonation. This starts out rather sweet, but is reigned in nicely by a decent bitterness in the finish. A nice, easy-drinking Pale Ale with a good overall balance, but suffers slightly from some light diacetyl and mineral notes.

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Photo of brentblackwell
2.79/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Lingenbrau
4.04/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

An ugly, yeasty, milky pour transforms into a beautiful, clean burnt amber with a tightly bubbled tan foam resti g above the leaves exceptional lace ng.

Aroma and flavors mirror each other with the truest form of dough highlighted by traces of caramel, toffee, and an earthy and floral hop finish.

Light and creamy with good overall balance just leaning on the bitter side of the fence. Wonderfully smooth and quickly vanishing.

A great English Pale. I used to drink this a lot with my older brother years ago. I miss beers like these, for their incredible drinkability, simplicity, and unpretentious flavors.


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Photo of jlindros
3.76/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Reviewing as part of BJCP training. 11B. Best bitter
Big fluffy white head, good retrain and great lacing, very clear pale amber mild rosy hue

Nose brings some malts, toasted bread and little caramel, earthy herbal tea like hops, toffee and a white coffee like aroma, candy vanilla cake thing too, which might be coming from some diacetyl, the more it warms the more I think diacetyl which is acceptable in minor levels but this is starting to border too much,, caramel and toffee really coming as it warms, mild sulfur minerals

Taste quite bitter, moderate hop flavor earthy herbal and more tea, fair malty flavor more caramel toffee notes but mostly biscuity berry like, fair balance but bitterness wins overall, flashes of fruity esters in the background mostly overpowered by the bitterness, drier but long bitter finish, as it warms more mild diacetyl, but also that sulfury minerals

Mouth is medium to lighter bod, little soft, fair carb

Overall not bad, fairly well done representation of the style, other than the weird vanilla cake on the nose, nothing impressive though. I wonder if the low score is due to previously clear bottles since its brown now

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Photo of Kwright
5/5  rDev +44.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of edward_boumil
3.6/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

L: orange red brown colored beer, decent head retention, soapy lace. Very bright and clear in the glass
S: pretty inviting. Lots of dark sugar aromas, caramel, toffee, brown sugar, and touches of herbal hops
T: unfortunately these great malt aromas are weaker on the palate. Hops are a little stronger though, providing a vegetal bitterness, soft yet present. Get a littler buttery touch, I’m not the biggest diacetyl fan but it’s tastefully done as it complements the malts.
F: remarkably smooth. Very silky, sudsy, and refreshing.
O: good beer, probably worth a try as I’d expect this to be really sessionable.

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Photo of Dheeznuhhtz
4.63/5  rDev +33.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This is the best “ fine ale” I’ve had yet. It’s like Boddingtons with a more caramel flavor and great rose gold colour

126 characters

Photo of chitoryu12
3.54/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Look: Very pale amber, verging on yellow. A finger of off-white head with good retention.

Smell: Mild pale malt with a little fruitiness. A bit of hop bitterness.

Taste: Following the nose, with a taste that manages to simultaneously be hop-forward and very mild. The hop bitterness is the strongest note, but nowhere near the strength of an IPA's flavor.

Mouthfeel: A little thick and creamy. Mild carbonation.

Overall: A very plain pale ale. A decent drink, but not one I'd be heartily recommending.

 505 characters

Photo of chiefz1
4.17/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Amendm
3.44/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12-oz. bottle needed an average pour for a short lived light beige foamy head with little lace.
Clear pale amber color, appears yellow straw in front of light.
Bready and grainy smell with faint hops.
Taste begins semi-sweet and lightly bitter, pale malt, biscuit and faint roasted malt.
Middle taste has some ripe pear, apple and plum as it drys and bitters.
The finish is semi dry with a spicy bitterness, quick and clean.
Faint aftertaste of spice and hops.
Light body, average carbonation. Smooth feel. Semi-dryness and bitterness build up during the taste and improve as it warms.

 588 characters

Photo of matuto
3.94/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

500 ml can. Very beautiful foam, dense and persistent.

54 characters

Photo of Gemini6
3.88/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of mothmanscott
3.2/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

From notes 1/13/12: Pours crystal clear copper with super, foamy, tightly bubbled, long lasting, beige head that leaves a coating of thin lacing. Aroma is weak but a number of things come through as the beer warms: mildly acetic, biscuit, light caramel malt, honey and something akin to over ripe banana. Taste is watery up front, a little dry from middle through the finish and slightly sour throughout with biscuit, faint caramel and cherry, a hint of nuts and hop bitterness in the finish that intensifies in the aftertaste. This thin bodied beer can not be rushed to be fully appreciated. 3 stars.

 601 characters

Photo of KMcGrath
3.46/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of beersampler6
3.59/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Not a bad English ale but fairly bland and unexciting. Pours a nice amber color with minimal lastly head or lacing. Smells mainly of malt, roasted nuttiness, caramel and some toffee. Tastes similarly, along with some stone fruitiness. Smooth mild thin mouthfeel, decent carbonation. Not bad but I would look elsewhere for a go-to easy-to-drink brew.

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Photo of Ceddd99
3.29/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Mediocre at best, disappointing considering I am a big fan of English pale ales.

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Photo of DOCRW
3.72/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of CHankenhoff
2.78/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Photo of crouching050
3.46/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of SportsGuy33
3.43/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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Old Speckled Hen from Greene King / Morland Brewery
Beer rating: 3.46 out of 5 with 2,188 ratings