Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Old Speckled Hen | Greene King / Morland Brewery

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
913 Reviews
Read the review
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:
No notes at this time.

Added by Quaffer on 10-23-2000

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 913 | Ratings: 2,043
Photo of q33jeff
3/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3


On tap, Dubh Linn Square.
LOOK: Clear Amber
AROMA: light grass, hops, grains.
TASTE: Beer. Hops barley. Good balance.

Better than I remember. Easy drinking and smooth; not devoid of flavor.

 216 characters

Photo of Brian_L-2056
4.16/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a definite light brown/caramel color, with a very light body head but good carbonation. Surprisingly descent lacing, disputed the lack of head. Smells kinda boozy when you first open the bottle but after u give it a little time, the spicy notes take over. Initial taste is slightly hoppy, sweet and creamy, then a slightly spicy but mild aftertaste. Overall I was totally impressed with this brew and will be looking for more

 435 characters

Photo of sennoma
4.47/5  rDev +28.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A fine pale ale, not in the least bit overhopped as seems to be the trend these days. Beautifully balanced and smooth... ish. There's an edge there, but I don't know how to describe it: it's not non-smooth, it's something else (that I like). To me this is a straightforward beer: malt, hops, balance, yum.

 305 characters

Photo of JakeScully
3.88/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

500ml can poured into a pint.

A very drinkable English Pale Ale. What I expect from the style, great aromas and a smooth finish. Could drink this all night long, somewhere in London. Cheers!

 193 characters

Photo of SargeMcCluck
3.49/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours garnet-brown and peach with a thick, quick-dissipating head and medium lacing.

This is my go-to brew for drinking alongside meals (read: curries) back home in the UK. As such, while being nothing spectacular, it has more complexity than other widely available pub and supermarket ales. On both the nose and tongue, standard grainy malts are chased by notes sweet tobacco and toffee.

The mouthfeel has to be the downside, admittedly being quite a flat affair.

 466 characters

Photo of Ferb
3.73/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This is a balanced English ale. It doesn't attack you with huge hops or espresso notes, it has a pleasant malt flavor and it was introduced to celebrate MG'S 50th anniversary. That makes it perfect to take to local British car shows. I like it. I prefer Fuller's for British ales, but this is 2/3 of the price and good enough for me with family and cheeseburgers on the deck. Cheers!

 389 characters

Photo of mjurney
4.28/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Copper color, crystal clear. Lots of bubble streaming. Small frothy head.

Toffee, caramel, fruity, a little earthy-herbal.

Med-roasted malts, caramel, toffee, a little nutty. Bitterness is medium, mostly tea-like, herbal, a little earthy. Finish is dry and smooth. Medium bodied, crisp, dry, highly drinkable.

It's an excellent English Pale Ale/ESB.

 404 characters

Photo of twage04
4.19/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a mahogany orange brown with medium to low carbonation. Not much aroma from this bottle but taste is very smooth and flavorful. Excellent mouthfeel annd generally enjoyable to drink. Some malt and fruit but overall easy drinking fun.

 239 characters

Photo of KeithTobberman
3.97/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This is a nice, very drinkable beer. The taste and smell are very smooth, and the beer is a nice, medium dark color. I hope to find this beer again for another drink date.

 171 characters

Photo of brainwilson
3.77/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I have a soft spot in my heart for this beer. I drank 12 or so on Christmas day in 2006, having been dumped by my girlfriend on Christmas eve. Why would I have fond memories of this beer? I have no idea, so I decided to revisit it.

It's a pretty beer, clear, with a nice copper color. Smells good, sweet and of malts. Tastes much as it smells, with a touch of bitterness.

Verdict: not a bad beer, but best when you're heartbroken in the heart of winter.

 462 characters

Photo of HamdenHector
3.77/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A; crystal clear; bronze in color; 1 finger off white head that receded to a wispy cap; OK lacing;

S: caramel, toffee, earthy, a bit of tobacco;

T: sweet caramel malt up front that fades into toffee; tobacco is very noticeable from the middle to the end; mild bitterness on the finish;

M: medium bodied; light to moderate carbonation; lightly dry finish;

O: easy drinking;

 377 characters

Photo of mynie
3.36/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

How have I never had this before?

On nitro tap. Pours a light caramel color with neat, backwards cascading bubbles. Tight, white nitro head, which looks pretty on a stout but weirdly synthetic on a pale:

Smells like Bass and nitrogen. British pales always smell a little stale at first, til my nose adjusts to the sweetness.

Tastes... Like a fruitier Bass. Also like nitrogen. Little caramel, some overripe fruit, and then clean gas.

 440 characters

Photo of johnnyd10vt
4.05/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not as brown as I had hoped, but a nice drinkable beer. Amber in color (should I say colour? :-) with thick white head. The smell is pure sweet caramel malt). The taste is a refreshing blend between a boring lager and an English brown, malty, sweet with just enough subtle hops to cut the sweetness. Not my normal type of beer, but I could easily drink these all night long.

 374 characters

Photo of DrCruise
4.59/5  rDev +32.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

First time I've tried this ale. Fantastic from start to finish. Easy drinkability. I believe this will become one of my all time favorites, but there are a lot of beers I haven't tried yet. I will definitely share this with friends.
Sweet aroma on opening the bottle, smooth and very balanced. I have yet to pour it into a glass.

 331 characters

Photo of illpass78
3.61/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Half a pint can poured into a nonic. Split with my dad over pub pizza.

Appearance: Pours a clear scarlet with a big cream head. Layers of foam billowing during the pour in Guinness-type fashion.

Aroma: Toast, biscuit, malts, lemon.

Taste: Follows the nose. On the EPA/ESB cusp. Bready, toasty, malty and bitter.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. Easy on palate.

Overall: Good, traditional British beer. Not fancy, but doesn't need to be. A peer of Belhaven and Smithwicks.

 469 characters

Photo of kitschiguy
4.21/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured a 500ml bottle into a beer glass.

I'm very surprised at the average reviews for this beer.

I used to get tanked up on this beer in my local pub during my late teens and early 20's where it was available on cask. I've drank it a few times since. I was given this bottle by a supplier.

Nice light to medium-brown. Typical of the style. Good fluffy head. Hung around and left a bit of lacing.

Beautiful, complex nose with lots of biscuity malts, bread, caramel and toffee. Biscuit predominates.

Palate is very smooth and well balanced. Malty and complex with some hoppy fruits as well.

Mouth medium to full and quite creamy. Nice feel.

Overall a very good example of the style. Typical English bitter; complex malty and very well balanced. Great beer.

Highly recommended.

 786 characters

Photo of Bitterbill
3.67/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear 24 karat gold with a +1" head of foam. Some lacing.

Malty nose with fruity hop presence. Overall sweet and fruity aromas.

The taste has that discernable English hop taste that leans towards the fruity along with sweetish and bready malt notes. I'd say of the fruit, I get mostly lemon and the malt has quite a bit of caramel and some nutty notes.

Light bodied with light carbonation.

Some light toasted malt to go with this ESB. .I have to say that this tickles my fancy. Despite the fact that it comes in a clear bottle.

 543 characters

Photo of RyanPoff
3.6/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: poured a clear copper color with about a finger of head with excellent retention.

S: Biscuity malts, caramel, bread, clean, understated British flavors.

T: Malts predominate, a bit of bitterness and astringency on the back end. Pretty good for a British beer.

M: a little thin, but still fresh and good to go.

 316 characters

Photo of MACrist
3.66/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

APPEARANCE: Poured into pint glass from the nitro pint can. Leaves an ultra creamy 1"+ eggshell head that sticks around. Leaves incredible creamy lacing down the glass. After the cascading effect the beer is a very clear dark amber.
AROMA: Sweet toffee/caramel and a nice earthy note.
TASTE: Very mild toffee and a little mild earthy spice.
FEEL: Creamy and smooth. Quite thin body. A little slick and it dries up a little on the finish.
OVERALL: A very mild, smooth brew, in both taste and feel.

 498 characters

Photo of Sazarac
4.46/5  rDev +28.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

You have to drink this beer on nitro to give it a true review. As far as English pub ales go, this one is at the top of my list. The look is beautiful bronze whith a thick, creamy head. The smell is of British grains, taste is creamy, lingering, the feel is creamy, overall, i love having this on a rainy day. Cheers!

 317 characters

Photo of DuaneL
4.2/5  rDev +21%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice mild ale with a strong malty finish, reminiscent of Brr and Winter Warmer style American winter ales. another remarkable, but great for a cold winter afternoon in Buckley's of Centreville; DL 1/30/16.

 205 characters

Photo of Slamabamadingdong
3.1/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

I was excited to buy this beer because I had it on nitro tap a couple times and I really enjoyed it. From nitro to bottle the beer nearly dropped a whole point for me. The style of this beer is greatly enhanced from the creamier mouth feel of a nitro tap--it tastes a lot more like your typical light beer without it. Regardless, this classic English beer boasts a nice malty, lightly roasty finish. Pours a dark yellow amber with a thin head and milky lacing, though it disappears quickly. It has a bit of a metallic mouth feel and isn't the most dynamic beer, but it has a pretty unique flavor that separates it from your typical light beer. The smell has some light fruity notes but isn't much to rave about. In a bottle I'd say this beer is above average but on nitro it's better because the creaminess, caramel notes and head and lacing are more enhanced.

 861 characters

Photo of josanguapo
3.02/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 3

From Carrefour. In Teku glass. Reading CPPHTP Ch17. Im getting used to these english brews or this one was better than the others. Very drinkable and with a low rancid taste

 173 characters

Photo of mickwin
3.58/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

poured 500 ml bottle cold from fridge, reddish brown with frothy head which dissipates quickly. Aroma is faintly malty , flavour is rather fizzy and sweet with hints of malt and caramel. An enjoyable beer - I prefer it chilled, but nothing remarkable.

 256 characters

Photo of MacMalt
3.68/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Enjoyed on draught in a pub. The color was something between a dark yellow and a light amber, with a very thin, milk-white head and lacing. The head disappeared very quickly and the lacing was minimal. It primarily of malt and hops with a slight toffee sweetness. The taste really follows the nose: primarily malty with biscuit, nuts, and faint butterscotch. It is rather bland but very easy to drink given its light body, low carbonation, and low ABV. This is a classic sessionable pub ale. You can drink a lot of it without feeling it. Overall, this isn't an ale to savor but it is great to drink with friends in a pub.

 632 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Old Speckled Hen from Greene King / Morland Brewery
3.47 out of 5 based on 2,043 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer FestĀ® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!