Old Speckled Hen | Greene King / Morland Brewery

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Old Speckled HenOld Speckled Hen
2,143 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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Ratings: 2,143 |  Reviews: 947
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.

 538 characters

Photo of StayCeeJay
4/5  rDev +15.9%

Photo of Stoffel
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%

You had this beer. Write a review.

Photo of mnixon86
3/5  rDev -13%

Photo of animal69
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of KimenTshom
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of msromberg
2.75/5  rDev -20.3%

Photo of dmmcgove
4/5  rDev +15.9%

Photo of xdefeatsy
2.5/5  rDev -27.5%

Photo of cdwil
3/5  rDev -13%

Photo of discoinfiltrator
4/5  rDev +15.9%

Photo of Foddz
4.29/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Bright, copper, and clear, pours with 2 fingers of off-white head with decent retention. Leaves lacing around the glass as it recedes.

S: Sweet, malty, ripe fruit, especially bananas, raisins and dried apricots, with some caramel/toffee undertones. The smell is making my mouth water with the sweetness and complexity present.

T: Sweet and bready malts, ripe and dried fruit, caramel, butterscotch, grains... there's a lot going on here! A little bit of grassy/floral hop notes towards the end. Bitterness is pleasant and well balanced to the rest of the flavour complex. Just a bit of alcohol comes through at the end, but not enough to detract appreciably from all the positives.

M: Pleasantly substantial, but not overbearing. Velvety smooth with just the right amount of carbonation. The sweetness leaves a pleasant stickiness in one's mouth without being at all cloying.

O/D: Just one word: Yum! Excellent in all regards, this is much better than I recall from my previous samplings of this brew. Perhaps the presentation in a closed gift container with a pint glass protected the clear bottle from light degradation. All in all, I'm sad I only have one of these to drink tonight!

 1,192 characters

Old Speckled Hen from Greene King / Morland Brewery
Beer rating: 3.45 out of 5 with 2,143 ratings