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: 923 | Ratings: 2,069
Photo of kbub6f
3.43/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nitro widget can.

The dense head is classic nitro: creamy, cafe-au-lait colored with cascading. Once the show is over, there's a clear, amber-gold beer underneath. Fine, sticky swoops of lacing. A yeasty, bready nose. Taste starts tangy with a slight metal/fish nitro thing. Creamy and malty through the middle. The finish bitters gently, also showing milk and a little sweet fruit. It's light and tasty. I'm not religiously opposed to nitro, and I like the creamy effect, but it really masks the flavors.

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Photo of travolta
3.52/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle
Apperance: brown, golden color, looks like scotch. Minimal head retention, lacing is very minimal.

Nose: Very yeasty nose. I have never smelled it before. It is sweet, grainy, and smells "young"...not pungent.

Taste: The taste dircetly resembles the nose. They are almost identical. The taste is a little bitter, and the nose isnt.

Notes: This is an interesting, drinkable brew. Not great, but far from bad.

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Photo of JackTheRipper
1.96/5  rDev -43.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A: Honey golden in color with a nice big creamy head that lingered. Intially this one has those weird~ass downward flowing bubbles. I had to laugh, this always amuses me.
S: Nice light malty nose. Nothing overpowering, nothing too complex. Sort of a weird skunky aroma.
T: Initial taste is a creamy sweetness with some smooth maltiness. After about halfway through this beer it turns a nasty bitter flavor. yuk.
M: Smooth feeling with a slickness I've come to expect from a lot of the beers from across the pond. very lite bodied.
D&N: Nothing impressive here. I'm going to avoid this one.

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Photo of daledeee
3.68/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I tried the nitro can. I liked the name. The beer is pretty forgettable. Straw yellow with a decent head. Not much of a nose. Taste is like a pub ale. I am not a fan of these. Some malt, a hint of hops and boring. Some bite on the tongue(Is that due to the nitro?)

Good tasting but I like stronger flavored beer.

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Photo of flaminghomer
3.78/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

i really don't like the head on these nitro cans. i'm just not used to it. however the ones that i have drank have been very drinkable. no exception with this one. the head is thick off white and creamy. color is to my liking. a cloudy copper. smell is so mild i can't really say much.
taste is very smooth and creamy. very drinkable. the flavors i pick up are mostly sweet malt. i wish i had a case of it. i don't that it is as good in bottles though.

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

The first beer from this six-pack had a slight skunky smell and taste. Fortunately, the others somehow seem to have avoided the curse of the skunk. It's amber with a thickish head that leaves little bubbles on top of the beer. The smell is slightly nutty but a bit on the light side otherwise. The taste is classic English Pale Ale. It has a pleasant malt sweetness with just enough bitterness to keep things interesting. It went down very well on a 90-plus-degree late spring afternoon.

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Photo of GreenWBush
3.38/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A copper coloring creme emits itself via nitrogen into my pint glass.

Nose is gritty and sweetly malty with the nitro overpowering everything. Much like pudding is the floaty head that leaves streaks of presence. Hints of sulfur and diactyl on the nose are faint but noticible.

The mouthfeel is surprisingly cask-like, good flavor cut slightly down to a watery highly drinkable brew. Biscuit, vanilla, and corn sugar are detected. Hops are thin but slightly metallic through the nitro.

The taste is slightly adjuncty, sweet, and noble in being. If you like easy drinking semi-generic pale ales with nitro, this is a damned good one. The bottle is a bit more complex, and the Hen's Tooth is a more proper example of bottled real ale.

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Photo of palma
2.81/5  rDev -19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

Amber color body with a smooth creamy tan head. Smell is very musty and a little fruity. Taste is malty with a big yeasty flavor that I dont really care for. Mouthfeel is supersmooth. Not very drinkable because of the flavor. For some reason I just dont care for this.

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Photo of Charthepirate
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured out a nice golden pale ale color. Head was mild with medium retention. Smell came off with a heavy note of phenolics.

On the first sip I was taken back by the yeastiness. It reminded me of a belgian beer. Lots of banana esthers here. The hops helped dry it out in the end with a nice slightly citrussy kick.

Interesting brew, makes me think of a belgian english ale.

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Photo of coasterfreak75
3.36/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pour was light copper with a good one inch head that slowly dissapated to a half inch of cream that held on for the entire drink. I think this was because of the nitro widget.

The smell was a nice mix of floral and malt, no signs of hop spice.

The drink started very thick because of the creamy nitro head. It had a light malt kick followed by more malt with a light hop bite in the middle. It finished with a small amount of lingering hops.

This was my first nito can, I actually liked the beer better in a bottle. The nitro added a weird aspect that, in my opinion, should be reserved for porters and stouts. I thought it hurt the drinkabality of a damn fine ale.

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Photo of maek228
4.47/5  rDev +28.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

this is certainly one of the finest beers i have ever drank, top five stuff. im suprised that the majority of people who review this don't share my setiment. oh well, to each their own. in my opinion though, old speckled hen is a gem. heres the low-down

appearance: a cranberry juice like color, but fainter. a watered down blod red, maybe a reddish copper. nice looking lace forms on the beer after it's poured.

smell: this was aroma therapy, i swear. it perked me up and put me in a good mood, a warm mood to be alil more specific. i have to say im very imrpessed. ok, less talk about what the smell did for me, and more talk about the smell itself. it smelled kinda like these honey roasted almonds i got once at some morroccan restaurant. maybe a faint hint of toffee, and some fresh fruit thrown in too. i could kinda smell hops as well. can't say enough about the smell of this one. really hits you as your lifting it to your lips, such a nice touch.

taste: top-notch hop/carbonation/flavor/body balance. complex taste here....honey roasted nuts, caramel, toffee, and a boquet of fresh fruit all gently explode on the taste buds when the beer first hits the tonge. after these tastes gently fade they are replaced with a moderate kick of hops that lingers for awhile, but doesn't overstay its welcome. all of the things that were detected when i sniffed this brew were present in the taste. the body of this brew is light to medium, and accomodates itself to the taste perfectly.

mouthfeel: the beer's carbonation, which was mild, lends itself to the taste in that it does not interfere with the complexity of the flavor. this beer just feels right in your mouth. it gives forth an amazing and unique taste, follows up with the nice lil kick of hops, and is never ever offending to the taste buds at anytime. smooth like silk, but at the same time bold. i dont know how they pulled it off.

drinkability: highly drinkable. could certainly be a prime time session beer, but would also be a great compliment to many a meal. this beer would be a great breakfast beer. some scrapple, scrambled eggs, maple syrup, and an old speckled hen sounds like a perfect saturday or sunday morning breakfast. i cant think of a situation that wouldn't be appropriate for this.

this beer is one of the only beers that really "wowed" me. i feel the high scores ive given this beer are more than appropriate.

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

Pours dark gold with a big creamy head.

Crisp aroma with a touch of sweetness and a little metal.

Medium body, very smooth. Mild fruit flavors that become slightly sweet. Some bread like flavors with a bit of dryness in the finish.

A very easy drinking ale, not particularly exciting though.

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Photo of mschofield
3.18/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Coppery amber with a short one finger rocky off-white head, leaves thick sheets of lacing.
Toffee, toasted malt, grassy and floral aroma.
Toffee and nut notes prevalent in the taste, the other flavor notes are also present. Chewy toasted malt.
Medium bodied and smooth, pleasant but not spectacular, good session beer, not too high in ABV or too high in flavor.

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Photo of cypressbob
2.76/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Large clear 500ml bottle

Very rich amber in colour, similar in look to a brandy or bourbon

Creamy off white head, which retains for a fair while

Smell is robust, and very rich, dry , malty and musty

Strong in flavour, and a string malty character emerges

Not a bad ale, its robustness makes it a little hard to drink, much too yeasty and unbalanced

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Photo of JeffreyG
3.98/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This solid session brew pours with the great cascading effect and large creamy head that the nitro can provides. The head is thick and white and lasts to the end. The color is a dark amber that is clear once it has settled. The smell is somewhat masked by the foamy cap, but there are hints of sweet smells that escape. The flavor is a slight tilt to the malty side with a bit of hoppiness to balance. Mouthfeel is very creamy with a soft feel going down. As I mentioned this makes an excellent session brew as it is very drinkable.

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Photo of jsolack
3.95/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Amber in color and slightly hazy. Head is creamy off white. Looks nice.

Nutty and sweet with some dark grainy hints.

Sweet grains and candy smell that is very nice.

Semi-dry and nicely carbonated. Feels slightly heavy in the mouth.

Overall a nice flavorful beer. Goes down smooth and has a moderately bitter after taste.

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Photo of 57andcounting
3.93/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a fun beer. On tap, carried a strong head that lasted all the way to the last drop.
Red/gold, cloudy look in the glass. You can't see through it.
Smell, good, rich, malty fills the nose.
Taste is malt, bold, and complex. Easy to drink.
Has a full mouth feel, like eating food.
Real good experience, I would buy this again.

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Photo of jed
3.93/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: Pours a beautiful amber/reddish color with a sizeable, offwhite head. Good head retention, excellent lacing.

Smell: Distinctive, hard to describe malt aroma with some caramel sweetness and a slight vegetable smell.

Taste: Very smooth, creamy nose is dominated by an almost buttery toasted malt, with slight hints of caramel. More sips reveal the nicely balanced hop backbone; hops become more predominant as the beer warms. The finish is creamy and sweet with some caramel and a small herbal hop aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth and creamy. Initially almost buttery, becomes chewier as the beer warms up without getting too thick.

Drinkability: Cost aside, would make a great session beer, nice flavor and easy to drink.

A solid example of an English-style pale ale, with especially good use of malt and an excellent mouthfeel. Definitely one to try, and something I'll come back to from time to time.

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

On-tap this beer was a dark/amber color capped by big creamy head that lasted for a while. It also had really good lace. The aroma was herbal/earthy. The taste was slightly metallic with some sweetness and elements of caramel and citrus. I didn't care for the finish. It seemed to be metallic/grassy and dry with a bit of astringent aftertaste. I've tried this beer a few times and it never tastes any better.

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Photo of ViveLaChouffe
3.48/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From the nitro-can.

Pours a bright copper with a mouth-watering, off-white, creamy, dense head. Lots and lots of lace and the familiar nitro settle. Not alot in the nose but some light carmel aromas and some hops in there somewhere.

Taste is creamy pale malt with hints of caramel followed by some well-balanced hops and light citrusy flavors. A light hops finish but it does it's job in this subtle ale. Very creamy with a light hoppy aftertaste. Nothing earth-shattering here but a pretty fine, smooth-drinking brew. Much, much better than the bottle. I'll get it this way or on tap from now on.

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Photo of Suds
3.39/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a nitro-can, the beer looked beautiful…perfect, thick head with a creamy consistency…too bad I always think it’s a big gimmick. The color is a burnt golden hue…It really is attractive. Biscuit like, bread aroma and flavor. Moderate sweetness up front and subtle English hop balance. Very mellow, very creamy, very smooth. It’s certainly drinkable, but it’s also restrained, understated, and polite. Not bad for a relaxing afternoon with friends, but I’d rather reach for a more flavorful brew.

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Photo of CBFanWish
3.85/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A good beer to drink when with friends. This one pours a clear gold colour with a moderate head. It has a nutty aroma and taste that everyone will like. Well balaced with a slight hop feel evened out with the right amount of malts. Just a good one to sit down to every now and then.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.77/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA, in a four pack of draft cans. Classic English-style appearance to the can.

Upon opening, the widget goes to work nitrogenating the contents. Poured in a pint glass, excellent cascading effect, which concludes with a tall, thick head on the dark golden contents. Nothing much jumps out to the nose, but the smoothness of the product down the hatch is incredible. Pleasant bitterness, nice body, all in all, a great beer, and one of my favorites. Always a standby whether you're having one at the pub, or a few watching the game.

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Photo of Quaffer
3.43/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I love the packaging for this brew. The label has a classic, simple look and the bottle is very "English" in both style and shape. I am not a fan of clear bottles, but this beer looks really good in one due to its pleasant color.

Appearance: This was a crystal-clear, amber beer that is just about the perfect pale ale color. The almost white head rose up to two fingers and was quick to disappear. The majority of the coarse bubbles were gone quickly, leaving just a right of foam around the circumference of the glass. A few "speckles" of lace decorated the glass when the beer was gone, but they were few and far between.

Smell: After an initial hit of strong sulpher died away, there was left an aroma that was comprised mainly of sweet malt. It contained notes of caramel and bread, but was pretty straightforward overall. A hint of hops and a light fruitiness was evident on the nose as well, but they were both very light.

Mouthfeel: Thin-bodied upfront, but it became a little fuller and chewy as it moved back in the mouth. It was slightly buttery on the tip of the tongue, but was by no means coating.

Taste: The hops flavor was rather strong for an English pale ale in my opinion. It was the dominating flavor from start to finish, though it did gain strength and some herbal characteristics on the finish. The malt seemed to be almost non-existent up through the finish, though I know it was there due to the balancing effect it had on the hops. Not to say that the flavor was balanced, because it wasn't; it was definitely hop-heavy. But it would have been much worse if there hadn't been a malt counterpart backing it up. Finally, some malty sweetness did shine through in the aftertaste.

This was not a bad brew, but it was a little unbalanced on the hop side. Not what I expected from an English made pale ale. Definitely drinkable, though.

A big thanks to noclueaboutbeer for hauling this one out to Kansas all the way from Connecticut.

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Photo of Naerhu
3.52/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: orange with an ale haze. Super creamy whitish head.
Smell: barely any aroma as is usual with nitro beers. sweet malts in the background.
Taste: Toasted, caramel. Lemony hop flavor finishes on a dry hoppy bitterness.
Mouthfeel: Extremely creamy and silky, as with all nitro cans.
This is the first nitro beer I have had that I found enjoyable. Four pints of this put me down for the night.

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Old Speckled Hen from Greene King / Morland Brewery
3.47 out of 5 based on 2,069 ratings.
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