Old Speckled Hen | Greene King / Morland Brewery

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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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Reviews: 921 | Ratings: 2,062
Photo of matcris
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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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Photo of sokol_1993
3.88/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Look: Darker shade of yellow with extremely creamy white head. The head is also really creamy, which goes really well with the biscuit taste.
Taste: A lot of sweet, honey, biscuity-like taste. Not really hoppy.
Feel: more sweet, biscuity after taste, but not really that much.

On tap at The Londoner in Addison, TX. An easy drinking ale that would fit well for a lot of occasion.

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Photo of Malt_Man
3.86/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Served cool from 500ml clear bottle into straight pint glass.

L) Light copper brown, fizzy head disappears immediately. Looks very fizzy.

S) Pleasant aroma from the English bitter hops used, also hints of toffee sweetness.

T) Decent fairly deep toffee-malt flavour, with an overlay of bittering hops. Nice balance, nothing fancy but easy drinking.

F) Very fizzy. No dirty aftertastes. Very guzzlable.

O Easy drinking fizzy ale, take it for what it is.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
1.85/5  rDev -46.7%
look: 1.75 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 1.75

Ugly urine like appearance in a clear bottle. Aroma was rotting vinegar garbage, what the hell.

Taste stayed away from the acetic acid, but also stayed away from any malt sweetenings or hop bitterings. Alcohol comes out massively in the mouthfeel. Musty, rank, soggy beer.

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Photo of aleigator
2.31/5  rDev -33.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

Brown, amber color, with a decent head. Aroma of malt and sugar. Taste is way too watery, with too low carbonation. Taste is defined by malt, wood and toffee. A little too sweet, due to too much molasse. No aftertaste at all.

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Photo of bubseymour
3.44/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle. Has a strange boozy smell. I really can't describe anything else. Strange. Taste is thin and watery with a mineral taste and some sweet toffee/caramel in the background. Hop crispness/mild bitterness in the finish. Overall this beer is drinkable but not desirable. Perhaps on tap its better, who knows.

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Photo of TheBierdimpfe
4.05/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Slightly hazy brown color with a good amount of activity. Thin creamy beige half a finger head, lasting around 5 minutes, with some good leggings.

Flavors of caramel, cookies, butterscotch, toffee, faint molasses, buttery, and herbal spices. Bready, grassy, and a little earthy. Balanced sweetness with a nice sharpness.

Smooth oily creamy medium body with prickly carbonation. Medium strength finish that lingers a little, ending with bitter spices including peppercorn, and an herbal grassy hops tongue coat.

Overall good quality craft. Tasty flavors that are nicely balanced and well intensified. Slightly flat yet OK freshness. Good accessibility while a little boozy.

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Photo of hardy008
1.56/5  rDev -55%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

14.9 ounce can pours clear amber with a one finger creamy white head, which has nice retention and lacing. The aroma has an unpleasant strong yeast smell with some bread malt. No hop aroma for an English Pale Ale.

Has a bland, stale bread and biscuit malt flavor with some grain. No other tastes, and no hops. Very bland.

Light bodied, almost watery with light carbonation. There is no date on the can, just a code which does not tell me how old this beer is. Since thereis no date, I will review as if this is a fresh beer. Not impressive. Will not buy again.

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Photo of Oh_Dark_Star
3.63/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 3.75

I tried this a second time four or five years after the first - I always held it up in my mind as having been exceptionally creamy and incredible for the style. Years later I was less impressed, but I think that was more my change in taste than the quality of the beer. If the creamy English beers are your thing I would recommend giving this ale a try.

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Photo of ACD
4.07/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A great classic English Pale Ale much better on tap or in the nitro can than the bottle If you like the smoothness of a stout but want a lighter beer this is a great choice I really enjoy this beer

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Photo of SD-Alefan
3.93/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, the beer is a crystal-clear dark reddish-amber with an offiwhite head.
The aroma is caramel and biscuit with a bit of underlying spice and earthiness.
Taste is malt forward at first; toffee and bread followed by a bit of spicy hops with a middle bittering bit, a hint of fruit comes in. then it finishes with a slight bitterness. There's also a flavor in there that I can't quite figure out. It's not unpleasant, I just can't put a name to it.
Mouthfeel is medium-smooth.
Overall, refreshing and drinkable.

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Photo of HorseheadsHopHead
3.58/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a stem glass. Age unknown.

Looks clear, bubbly amber with a finger of beige head.

Smells of caramel, toffee, toast, light oily nuttiness, a bit of earth, and a touch of cherries, figs, and raisins.

Sweet malts up front. Candied and caramelized malt flavors of butterscotch, caramel, licorice, toffee, brown sugar, toasted bread and biscuits, brandy-soaked cherries, and raisins. Faint earthy hoppiness just keeps the sweetness in check. Mouthfeel is mostly light and watery, but well carbonated and smooth, and it finishes mostly clean with only a touch of lingering sweetness.

A tasty English ale that I find to be fairly enjoyable. I could easily quaff some pints of this.

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Photo of scottbrew4u
3.67/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Nitro tap: after it settles, beer is clear amber color with a creamy white head that persists. Light toffee, fresh bread and a light herbal hop touch. Smooth creamy mouthfeel from nitro and a dry but lightly caramel, toffee sweetness and a layered malt caramelization. Just enough hop bitterness to take the sweetness back to and light bitter bite on the tongue. Delicious for the style and it paired well with fish and chips.

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Photo of jjboesen
3.71/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.25

Named after a British sports car, Old Speckled Hen is a semi-sweet ale: it pours a nice froth, which dissipates into a dark amber body. It has a subtle caramel nose with a toast and grass bite on the palate. The body is creamy and a tad silky. While not complex or overwhelming it does make for a pleasant quaff - I find the draft version better than the canned version, on which this review is based. In any case, I always order one when I see it available, even at venues like the Gingerman in NYC. I have always enjoyed it, the perfect "go-to" quaff. Cheers!

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Photo of Tucquan
3.53/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Had this on 2015-09-18 in Columbia, PA from a 16oz can

A - Remarkable pour. Big hiss when opening the can but it didn't foam over. Pouring into the 20oz tulip glass filled it to the top. Clear copper and a mighty 4-finger head. The head dropped quickly to 1.5 fingers and stayed that way for a good while. Leaves big lace on the glass.

S - Mild aromas of white grape and biscuit.

T - Earl Grey tea, light-medium roasted sourdough bread, earthy spice including cinnamon, orange rind. All-in-all; lots of malt character. Mild-moderate bitterness. Flavors linger quite awhile in the aftertaste and turn a bit medicinal.

M - Medium body and light carbonation. Smooth and creamy

O - Different than any other beer I've had. It really seems like this was pulled from a cask. The tea flavor is too prominent and the medicinal flavor comes on too much in the finish but even so, I wouldn't mind having it from time-to-time.

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Photo of EricVonStein
3.13/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Light clear Amber colour with a hint of orangey copper. Two fingers of off white head with large bubbles.

Hint of sweet malt. Mild bread notes. A bit metallic.

Taste shows way more than the nose lets on. Caramels and toasty whole grain bread up front. Caramel or honey sweetness through the middle. Tart bitterness at the end with nice earthy woody bitters. Finishes bitter and pretty dry though malts linger a touch.

Medium to light body. Low carbonation. Smooth but a bit watery at the end. Slides off the back of the tongue.

Overall nice complexity. Good flavours but a bit thin and lacking in malt profile to balance the herby bitterness.

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Photo of Wiffler27
3.76/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I bought this because I wanted something English, I'm sure their were better or worse options but this is what i chose.

Look - i got a 16oz 4 pack of cans! immediately after cracking the can it releases the noise of a beer craving to be opened. a nice rush it had. pouring the beer resulted in a cascade very similar to Guinness draught cans with a widget. this is a draught pub ale after all. the head is thick and frothy, staying for a while (also similar to Guinness draught cans).

Smell - also very similar to a Guinness draught can, it smells like a buttery Guinness.

Taste - again, very similar to a Guinness draught can! it tastes like a Guinness stout/pale ale mix. its weird only because I enjoy Guinness draught from time to time. if i didn't i would not have noticed the similarities. it's not bad but just nothing noteworthy, a simply easy to down pub brew. no complaints here.

Feel - this does go down smoothly; not thick, syrupy, or too much of any great or undesirable trait. just a smooth drinker that i could put down all night.

a solid beer, nothing great and nothing terrible. oddly similar to Guinness draught can which i find weird. it's not good or bad it's just an observation. not something i would seek out but something i would "put down" if need be. it was a cheap 16oz 4 pack of a draught pub ale. it is what it is

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Photo of ChrisCage
4.32/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A- Pours a clear coppery toned color with a nice cascading head that forms into about 2 fingers thick and it does quickly settle into a creamy froth over the brew. Lacing is very nice with many medium sized patches of foam clinging to the side of the glass! Carbonation appears to be smooth and lumbers to the top of the liquid. Overall this is very decent and British looking!

S- Smooth, semi sweet malts, with caramel undertones dominate the aromas. Roasted Toffee/molasses, perhaps a hint of nut shells, and perhaps some light milky chocolate. There is definitely notes of hop bitterness on the finish with is refreshing on the nostrils!

T- Flavors follow the aromas rather closely, but perhaps more refined. The nuttiness comes through more and is almost buttery glazed in flavor. Caramel/toffee/molasses defines the sweetness of the malts, slightly toasted/dark fruity notes. The finish is fresh hop bitterness that doesn't overpower the palate and its rather cleansing, leaving me want to have another sip.....almost green tea leaf like.

M/O- Creamy, and reasonably full bodied and well balanced....the alcohol is very well hidden and there is medley of flavors and characteristics going on with this one. Characteristic English Session Bitter that is quite nice, very smooth and highly drinkable....I've had this before and I'll have it again....nice easy going Ale!

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Photo of DeeZee83
3.69/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Widget pint can into a English pub glass. Pour is full of tight swirling bubbles that settle into the perfect head. Smells of sweet malt and mineral water, though not off putting. The creaminess hits you first before the actual taste. Sweet malts and bitter hops with a nice sweet aftertaste. A very simple and enjoyable beer. Nothing too exciting though, but it does give a nice representation of a classic English pint.

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Old Speckled Hen from Greene King / Morland Brewery
3.47 out of 5 based on 2,062 ratings.
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