Old Speckled Hen | Greene King / Morland Brewery

2,089 Ratings
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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

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Ratings: 2,089 |  Reviews: 930
Photo of lamergod
2.71/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass

App: A nice 3 finger fluffy bone coloured head. Nice copper body with slight carbonation.

Smell: Prominent malts, very slight hint of caramel and even less obvious hops at the end. Very sweet smelling beer.

Taste: Not very impressed. I was expecting a lot from this pint. Very nice malts runs around in your mouth. As it gets down your throat, taste of nice bitter english hops comes in with a dry finish to finish your mouthful on a high.

Mouthfeel: Very balanced carbonation. Nothing much noteworthy.

Drinkability. Quite drinkable, but the carbonation goes away very fast, so it isn't as drinkable as I hoped. I wanted a light bodied beer to go with some south park but I was quite dissapointed. I would rate it a medium body.

Overall, might go back if I have nothing to drink in the pub or if it's on sale.

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Photo of Dodo2step
3.09/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

P- Pittsburgh Bottle Cafe

A- a pale mahogany color. A decent lacing but nothing to get excited about. Minimal head as well.

S-barley and grain malts dominate. Nothing to extravagant on smell but like a EPA should. Very malty.

T- A highly bitter malty flavor. I cant really taste anything else in the flavor. On the backend it has a semi-sweet taste.

M- malts and grains. Bittersweet feel and cool.

D- I have to be honest i struggled to put this one down. It just had too much of a bitter malty graininess to me.

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Photo of damndirtyape
3.65/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Single bottle (no date on bottle) poured into a shaker pint glass.

Appearance: Amber color (quite a bit orange) with a light tan head. Some lacing noted. Very clear beer with some bubbles noted coming up as you hold it up to the light.

Smell: Malty - and that's about it. The malt smell is good though - I can smell something like the malt in milk duds along with some other malts.

Taste: Fine balance between bitterness and malt with the bitterness just slightly ahead. A hint of skunky hops in there, but not at all off-putting. There is an unusual flavor to the bitterness which I cannot place and I can't decide if I like it or not.

Mouthfeel: Some carbonation on the tongue, and just thick enough to be noticeable. Goes down easy but otherwise nothing special.

Drinkability. I could easily have another, and I thought it went well with a meal. It has an unusual taste the more I drink it, and I can't decide if I like it or not.

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Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.37/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. It comes in a clear bottle, but it was kept out of light at the store.

Appearance: A clear red copper color, with only a moderate, quickly fading head. No noticeable lacing.

Smell: There is a very distinct, sweet roasted English malt presence here. It is sweet all the way through, with some light bitterness at the end. Simple, but pleasant.

Taste: Not quite as sweet as the smell, but it still maintains a soft sweetness throughout. A somewhat pungent bitter oily aftertaste. I can't really place the hop bitterness, it just has a vague presence.

Mouthfeel: Prickly carbonation, slight oily residue. Medium body. Slightly syrupy, maybe related to the malt.

Drinkability: Not bad, not great. A pretty simple, moderately drinkable English pale ale.

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Photo of geokills
4.12/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Good ol' Speckled Hen. Always on nitro-tap at Britts in Pasadena just east of Pasadena City College on Colorado Blvd. This is a unique pale ale most Californians don't seem to know, but probably should! Like afternoon sunshine in a glass, the nitro-tap produced an incredibly creamy three finger lingering head with great retention and lacing. A mild and sweet aroma gives way to an exceedingly pleasant velvety smooth mouthfeel, offering a slightly sweet taste with a mildly sour finish. Neither robust nor bold, nevertheless excellent with food and always easy. I would happily drink this one all night.

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Photo of MrHassellYaHurd
3.94/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours into a pint glass a slightly hazed copper with a creamy, but thin off-white head.

Sweet malty note backbone with gentle hops sneaking up on the nose. Notes of candies and bananas.

The taste is sweet, roasty, and fresh-baked bread and malt flavors with gentle hop bitterness are very tasty. Medium-bodied, very smooth, and flavorful, Old Speckled Hen has good drinkability.

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Photo of MrStark
3.06/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 14.9 fl.oz nitro-can into a nonic pint glass.

Appearance starts off with the nice cascading bubbles I've come to expect from a nitro-can which clears up to show a reddish amber with a creamy almost two finger head.

Smell is pretty faint, not much going on but some hints of malt and an almost butter like aroma.

Taste is similar to the smell being that it seems pretty faint with not much going on. There is some bready malts and only a vague hint of hop bitterness. It doesn't taste bad but its just not particularly flavorful at all.

Mouthfeel is smooth and lacks any carbonation.

Drinkabality is just average. It does go down easy but lacks and flavor or anything that would make me want to have it again as I've had much better examples from the style. Not a bad beer, but nothing special.

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Photo of DoctorDog
3.56/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz. bottle into a standard pint glass. This brew courtesy of the old man.

A-Orange/amber and clear. Pours with ~3 fingers of white head, which fades slowly to a thin cap.

S- Very feint on the nose. Hints of caramel, and some earthy, metallic notes.

T- Solid bready, caramel sweetness. Bitterness fairly minimal. Not a lot going on, but what's here is pretty solid.

M- Moderate carbonation, medium full feel, goes down smooth.

D- Pretty decent. Easy drinking, decent flavor, moderately low ABV%; seems like a sessionable beer.

Future outlook: Not a standout to seek out, but a solid brew to enjoy if given again.

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Photo of beertunes
3.38/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in straight pint glass. Poured a clear copper brown color with less than a half inch of light tan head that had good retention and no lacing.

The aroma had a nice malt scent, with a hint of hops at the back. The flavor was very to the similar, mostly smooth malt with a trace hops on the finish.

The body was full and smooth and drinkability very good, having multiples of this beauty is easy.

This is a beer that I drank a lot when I started getting into good beer and I haven't had one in a while, it was a pleasant time revisiting this beer.

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Photo of herman77
3.44/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Clear light orangish amber. Cascading wall from the nitro that settles into a thick egg shell color head. Foamy lacing

S: A little sweet. A sprinkling of hops and a odd metallic scent, probably from the nitro? Nose is pretty muted overall.

T: Lacking a little taste, but it is a little semi-sweet to start and a bitter finish. Some bready malt in the mix too. Very straightforward, not much depth of flavor, but well balanced.

M/D: Medium to light body. Very smooth and creamy from the nitro. Nice carbonation. Goes down with little effort.

I prefer this to Boddingtons.

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Photo of carlborch
2.37/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Nitro can.. After settling: 1-inch thick, creamy, tan head above golden-amber ale. Caramel-toffee, butter nose! Very smooth, medium weight body. Slightly bitter finish, albeit short. Creamy, thick "lace." Just OK. I will not seek it out again.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.6/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500 mL clear bottle without any freshness identifier. Pours a clear, light amber color and displays a dense, creamy beige foam. Nice retention and excellent lacing.

Chalky minerals, light fruit and toasty malt lead the way on the nose with a little bit of honey sweetness as well. Has some notes of green grapes and red apples to go along with an earthy yeast/malt aroma.

The chalky minerals really come through in the taste and give it a decidedly British feel. Hops are there mainly in a bittering role, but do lend some floral and herbaceous undertones. Malt is mildly sweet and boasts some toffee and burnt toast characteristics. Mouthfeel is somewhat thin, but not much of a detraction. Drinks pretty nice, I would imagine this tasting quite a bit better fresh from a cask across the pond. Glad I picked up this single bottle and will probably give it a go next time I see it on tap at a local pub.

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Photo of ujsplace
3.83/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into an oversized pub glass.

Massive, off-white chunky head that sits atop an caramel amber colored brew. As the head disappears, the lacing left behind is abundant and sticky.

Smells of rich caramel malt and slightly herbal, earthy hop bitters.

Tastes of toasted caramel and toffee malt with a great balance of citrus at the end. Very interesting almost reminds me in an odd way of my mom's real-brewed in a 4qt pot on top of the stove, tea when I was growing up - I mean this in a good way - not that it is overly sweet at all.

Medium and smooth, nice carbonation.

This is a very balanced brew. Extremely easy going down and a case of this would be welcome...

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Photo of GoBrewOrGoHome
4.15/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- brilliant amber color, white head, hardly any head
S- bicuits, earthy hops
T-very clean bitterness, and notes of late hop additions, strong malt backbone, crystal, biscuity, low residual sweetness, english yeast, hop resin
M- lightly carbonated, smooth but complex
D-its a great english pale ale, very clean bitterness, nice caramel and biscuit notes followed with a very evident english yeast flavor.

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Photo of womencantsail
2.81/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to PaulV for sending this one in the Nice Cans BIF.

A: The pour is a pretty looking amber color with a long lasting, thin cream colored head.

S: The nose is very sweet and malty with plenty of toffee and a slightly sour note that I wasn't expecting.

T: The flavor is an odd combination of sour, bready, and lightly bitter. I don't know exactly what to make of this, but I can say that I'm not a huge fan.

M: The body is medium with a low carbonation and a slight bitterness that lingers on the tongue.

D: I really was not a big fan of this beer. Just too many disjointed things happening in terms of the flavor.

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Photo of SShelly
3.41/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On draft at El Prado.

Aroma is light and bready, not a whole lot going on, maybe a hint of hops.

Dark amber, crystal clear with a big poofy white head.

Light hops, medium bread, a little bit more diacytl then I want to taste, pretty refreshing, very drinkable, light bread sticks in the mouth, very reserved hops.

An old standby of sorts, think ive had better in the bottled version.

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Photo of jonziefle
3.17/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Poured a slightly cloudy (but mostly clear) brown amber. Visible carbonation. Two finger foamy light khaki head with good retention. Mild lacing.

Smell: Slightly skunky at first with sour adjuncts with some roasted malts peaking through. Biscuity. A very slight dark sweetness

Taste: Very malt, with a dark sour apple backing. Caramel and toasty biscuity malts. Smoky/burnt linger. Mild sweetness. Some bitter hop bite, but little flavor

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied. Little carbonation, but chewy.

Drinkability: English pales usually aren’t my cup of tea, but this on is alright. Great looking beer and the mouthfeel is nice. Strong on malty/biscuity earthy flavors, but could use more balance.

Buy Again? No

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Photo of nick76
4/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The aroma is malty and yeasty with a small amount of hops to balance. The appearance is amber with a nitro head that makes a nice foam. The taste is like the aroma and quite balanced as well. The palate is smooth. Overall a very good session beer. I can drink this often.

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Photo of mralphabet
3.87/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours a clear amber with about a fingers worth of off white head, nice retention, with so so lacing.

S: Lots going on here... First is a sweet malt, mix of caramel and toffee. Followed by a strong citrus hops. Wonderfully balanced mix.

T: Just like the nose, everything is there... The sweet was so sweet and the hops so hoppy. Sadly for my taste it was more hoppy than I had expected. This was different than other EPA's I've had. Not bad but unexpected.

M: Another suprise, quite light, clean, and crisp. Pretty light on the carbonation side as well, which is the what I'm used to... Just a little creamier.

D: Not a bad little brew.... ABV is good and the mix of flavors is worth grabbing one and giving it a try....

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Photo of nlmartin
3.72/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer was a frequent guest in my fridge years ago. The beer was served cold in an Imperial Pint glass. Years ago I pounded these from the bottle.

Appearance: The body of the beer is a clear coppery amber. The head is egg shell white and resolves to a thin sheen.

Smell: The beer initially smelled like skunk. Pretty much how I remember the aroma from years ago. Allowing the beer to warm up reveals something I missed years ago. A floral herbal combination rises up from my glass. Apple cider toasted caramel malt are accounted for. Much better than I remembered.

Taste: The beer has a biting bitterness upfront. The bitterness gives way to a carmel apple flavor. Finishes dry.

Mouthfeel / Drinkability: The body is light. The carbonation is appropriate to the beer. Pretty much the throwback beer I remember. A bit more flavorful and a bit more aromatic than I remembered. Still tempted to throw back in a bottle but I think in a glass and just short of cold temperature is the way to go.

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Photo of FreshHawk
3.8/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Deep and slightly hazy copper/amber. Decent sized white foamy head. Slightly lower than average retention.

S - Sweet caramel malt with some grassy hops and hints of a variety of spices. Slight apple smell.

T - Similar to the nose. Good amount of caramel and toasted grain malt. Also some apple and spices mix with this. There are some grassy hops that come in and out but never really overpower. Reminds me somewhat of a rustic orchard/farm.

M - Medium body with moderate carbonation. Smooth.

D - Pretty drinkable, interesting rustic flavors that are somewhat sweet. Not cloying for me but it might get to be a little too much sweetness for it to have great drinkability. Pretty good choice for a session beer though.

Notes: Good beer with some interesting flavors. Not a lot of hops so it turns out being a somewhat sweet beer, although I don't think it is too sweet or really malty. Good but not amazing.

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Photo of fullsweep
3.58/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500 mL can poured into a pint glass.

A: great colour--copper with great clarity, and a foamy eggshell head on top; head dissipates slowly leaving a bit of lacing.

S: sweet and mellow with a mildly spicy fragrance.

T: very mellow but with a bitter bite upfront; some fruit in the middle and mildly spicy on the finish.

M: very smooth and mellow--mouthfeel doesn't get much better than this in a non-nitro pale ale.

D: higher ABV for a traditional English ale, but not bad after a meal.

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Photo of chiefydawg
4.01/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Yeah - got it in the can! The clear bottle was not fit nor fair for rating, and I do not know why some of Europe's bottlers insist on them. I am on a permanent boycott and wish everyone would join.

Brassy/dull orange and clear, with the nitro bubbles sticking to the sides of the glass leaving the illusion of haze. It is bright. Dense nitro head with clingy walls.

Smells like an November trip to an orchard (overripe, musty apples), livestock feed and caramel. Maybe a little orangy hop, but restrained. Not big on scent, just enough to get the sipping started.

A lot of the same flavOurs (yeah, it is an English beer), but two things become more prominent, and they balance nicely. First, there is a bready toffee that slides back smoothly over the tongue, towing ripe pear. Slick then sticky.

Second, truncating the malt party is this quick bite of earthy, fruity hop that shows up and bitters everything, cleaning the palate and making you reach for another drink to make sure you really did have this sweet, smooth liquid on the tongue just seconds earlier. Quick astringent kiss of clean alcohol at the end of the sips from the bottom of the glass.

Smooov drinking; light on the chops yet showing some substance to it. The 14.9oz can didn't last to the end of the rating. Call me a romantic dreamer, but right or wrong this is sort of how I have imagined English bitters in any local, unassuming pub in England. My family is from there, and I am feelin the Call of the Mild.

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Photo of mike130
3.16/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an Old Speckled Hen glass, the first branded pint glass I was able to get when I got to the UK. Nice, 2-finger head that sticks around for a bit, leaving very little lacing. Aroma is... quite biscuity but with a bit of hops. Smell is a tad underpowering if anything.

Tastes like it smells - a bit of malt, a bit of hops but overall very watery. Doesn't really leave much of a taste in your mouth. I guess you could describe it as smooth, but it doesn't exactly make me want to down pints of it. Not dreadful, but a far cry from some of the much better EPA's.

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Photo of HeightsEats
3.14/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer is smooth and drinkable but lacks much character. I remember it being good in the bottle, but apparently the draft version has recently been watered down. The flavor is biscuity (almost musty) and well-balanced. While hops are clearly used for an overall bittering effect, there is very little discernable hop nose or flavor.

The beer I had before this one was an Arrogant Bastard, which seemed to highlight the blandness of the OSH.

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Old Speckled Hen from Greene King / Morland Brewery
3.47 out of 5 based on 2,089 ratings.
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