Old Speckled Hen | Greene King / Morland Brewery

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Old Speckled HenOld Speckled Hen
2,155 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.

Added by Quaffer on 10-23-2000

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,155 |  Reviews: 951
Photo of elfcounsul
4/5  rDev +15.9%

Photo of AndrewMichael
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of MacStinson
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of Digimaika2
3.41/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Clear orange-amber colour with a tall and creamy stark-white coloured foam head. Very good retention and similar lacing.

S: Spices, toffee, nutty qualities, and banana bread. Fairly smooth and velvety aromas.

T: Bready malt quality throughout with flashes of mildly citrus-like hop bitterness. Quite a bit of spice and toffee, but can barely detect the hints of banana I picked up in the smell. Pretty mellow and smooth.

M: Medium bodied with an average level of carbonation. Considering the ABV quite a good mouthfeel with an oily character.

D: A decent english pale ale, with a fairly smooth and velvety taste. Perhaps not the most flavourful but certainly sessionable.

 679 characters

Photo of jharkins07
2.5/5  rDev -27.5%

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
1.85/5  rDev -46.4%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Maybe its the clear bottle, but this stuff doesn't look attractive at any point of its life, be it in the bottle, or poured into a pint glass, it takes on that ugly yellow color with not much head and certainly no lace or head retention to speak of. Aroma was vinegary kind of skunky, not the kind I actually like in a lager.

Thankfully vinegar was not the taste, old english style beer, absent hopping, sweet taste of alcohol to it, corny. As it warms, it gains an even greater alcohol mouthfeel. Wow, how do people like this is kind of my thinking, I'm usually pretty tolerant, but for some of the people who swear by this stuff, sheesh. Gets all musty on you.

 664 characters

Photo of bnes09
3.13/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Transparent copper colored ale. Creamy, cascade effect on the pour. Thick, creamy head that sticks around forever.

Fresh bread and grassy hop aroma.

Mild bready malt flavor. Leafy hop character. Weak flavor overall. Not much depth.

Ultra-light feel. No carbonation. Slick texture that finishes clean.

Nothing special. I still don't understand the point of injecting beer with nitrogen. A lighter, less flavorful beer is just not as good in my opinion.

 455 characters

Photo of NickMunford
2/5  rDev -42%

Photo of dprophet
4/5  rDev +15.9%

Photo of shizzy77
4/5  rDev +15.9%

Photo of edwardkersh
4/5  rDev +15.9%

Photo of galluch
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of irishkyle21
2.5/5  rDev -27.5%

Photo of prisdefer
1/5  rDev -71%

Photo of Thullin187
4/5  rDev +15.9%

Photo of satellite86
3/5  rDev -13%

Photo of khargro2
2.5/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Photo of unclepedro
3.51/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had this on tap at the Wild Boar in Eagle Rock on 1/7/2012. I've somehow never had this beer before and went for it since it was on draft. I have to say I was underwhelmed.

A: Nice, copper colored body with moderate carbonation. Medium head which dissipated fairly quickly.

S: Not much smell. A few fruity and bready notes.

T: The best thing this beer has going for it is its biscuity, nutty flavor common to many English beers. I really liked those notes, but they dissipated too quickly for my taste.

M: Good, nice carbonation, very clean.

O: I'd say just above average. I didn't dislike it, but I thought it was underwhelming. Unique, biscuity flavor was enjoyable. While I can see why some people really like OSH, I probably wouldn't order it again.

 758 characters

Photo of shaolin
4/5  rDev +15.9%

Photo of pvsob
3.52/5  rDev +2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Crystal clear, light copper color with a one inch head that fades slowly and leaves minimal lacing.

S- Faint fruitiness, pale malt, light caramel, and a light earthy/floral UK hop aroma.

T- Similar to aroma. Fruitiness comes across as more apple/pear. A nine biscuit/toast malt flavor is the dominate flavor during the tasting. Dry toasted malts and earthy hop flavors finishes the beer off and keeps the toffee/caramel sweetness in check.

M- Medium feel with low carbonation. This beer finishes with a nice mineral dryness.

O- Standard English Pale Ale. It has all the classic aromas and flavors one would associate with a good EPA and is worth a try if you're in the mood for a flavorful, non citrus/pine, hop forward Pale Ale. Cheers.

 746 characters

Photo of Blueribbon666
2.75/5  rDev -20.3%

Photo of heygeebee
4.1/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Staple of mine over many many years, dunno how I have not reviewed yet. A Christmas drink each year.

Pours a one finger head over a copper body. Head is dense, fades quickly. Little lacing.

Aromas of English-ness - malts and toffee.

Taste is an exquisite balance of malts and restrained hops, true to EPA style. Some toffe, caramel, butterscotch, and bread. Bitterness creeps up as the bottle goes down, preventing over-malted sweetness.

Mouthfeel is light, reasonably carbonated.

It's not a massive beer, in your face or otherwise, but it is a great example of style, and as such , the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Simple beer, well done, top notch.

 670 characters

Photo of jstewart1130
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of liquoredgoat
3.32/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a nice autumnal amber/copper color. There is barely a head, and what there is dissipates almost instantly. Perhaps I should have tried a more aggressive pour, but I doubt that would have helped.

S: The very faint presence of old wet grape peels, and an even more reclusive dry cereal note. A barely there nose. If it was stronger it might be more be interesting.

T: Along with mild malt and hop bitterness, there is a sort of bitter grapefruit rind presence here that is really interesting. The taste is the best aspect of this brew, but it's nothing mind blowing.

M: Though insubstantial, not necessarily thin. It strives for a creaminess that it doesn't quite muster.

O: Probably a decent session beer, comparable in quality to most popular English imports a la Newcastle. This beer could be a lot more interesting, then again it could be worse. You shouldn't really expect a beer named "Old Speckled Hen" to be some sort of refined English craft brew, anyway. For what it is, it is alright.

 1,007 characters

Photo of gkunkle
2.81/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours an amber color with a 1/2 in white head. Head is dense, due to the nitro-can, retention is great, as I drink it leaves concentric circles of lacing. Smell is sweet like caramel, I think I'm also getting some malt and dark fruit sort of scent. Taste starts with a overly clean sort of taste, maybe it's just a dry flavor. Then I get a touch of English malt and more of that dark fruit taste. Aftertaste is a touch bitter. Mouthfeel is thin. Not terribly impressed with this beer. Don't think i'll buy it again unless I am in England.

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Old Speckled Hen from Greene King / Morland Brewery
Beer rating: 3.45 out of 5 with 2,155 ratings