Hen's Tooth | Greene King / Morland Brewery

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Hen's ToothHen's Tooth
366 Ratings
Hen's ToothHen's Tooth

Brewed by:
Greene King / Morland Brewery
England, United Kingdom

Style: English Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-02-2001

Bros Score:
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 366 |  Reviews: 234
Reviews by Beermaine:
Photo of Beermaine
3.25/5  rDev -6.1%

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.44/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Well it was a damn fine pour in to the imperial pint glass right to the top a deep clear copper,with a quick to vanish one finger head.Somewhat downhill from there I have to say aromas of hard water and fruit but light and that clear/green bottle skunk but I wont hold it against the actual beer itself.Flavors are ok it has the English fruitiness a touch of brown sugar and iron but not much hop presence just a light herbal note in the finish after a few sips.Quite light for a 6.5% alc beer goes down easily just nothing to make u want more,a decent beer none the less to be had.

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Photo of RoyalT
3.11/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance – This is a crystal clear dark orange in color with a nice, easy head.

Smell – The yeast packs a wallop to be sure. It’s not bad, just extra funky. The malts are toasty but faint and the hops a bit too grassy for my tastes.

Taste – These are some sharp flavors sure to offend some. The yeast especially just takes over the flavor profile. The finish is sweetish malt; very sugary in an artificial way with loads of butter. No, wait, I think it’s Parkay.

Mouthfeel – This is light-bodied with some tight carbonation and a healthy dose of bitterness.

Drinkability – This was very different to say the least. I didn’t have much trouble laying down the bottle but I can see how others would disapprove.

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Photo of cam477
3.5/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of tbryan5
2.5/5  rDev -27.7%

Photo of Todd
3.38/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 16.9fl.oz. clear custom Morland bottle. No freshness date.

Appearance: Pours a vibrant rich amber liquid with a clumpy off-white foam head. It quickly recedes to a patchy bubble lace. Make sure to pour gently as to not disturb the sediment.

Smell: Waxy aromas that mix with light sweet grains and faint apple-peel aromas.

Taste: Malt flavour is light, with toasted malt flavours. Medicinal and touch of all-spice flavour get lifted and removed by a gentle carbonation. Hops are tea-like with a assertive dose of raw leaf astringency and a mellow background citrus rind snap that melds nicely with light fruity apple flavours. Buttery diacetyl can be detected along with dry biscuit and grain flavours that pull through to wreak more havoc on the palate. Can you say yeast? Rawness? There's yeast flavours all over this bottle-conditioned brew. Finishes dry and musty.

Notes: A very traditional bottle-conditioned English Ale. As real as it gets in the bottle, and you either like these real ales, need some palate maturation, or you'll hate them forever. Me? I like them. There's nothing like beer that's alive and maturing in the bottle!

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Photo of Jason
2.91/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

16.9 clear bottle with no freshness date.

Sunset orange hue with a good frothing and good retention. Buttery, grainy, slight orange and mint and salty aroma.

Smooth carbonation with a medium body. A buttery musty diacetyl sticks to the palate, maltiness brings caramel and toasted biscuits. Hops are a little bitter with a quick minty note. Graininess and a flash of solvent alcohol show some roughness within this ale. Finishes a little funky with alcohol on the breath.

Not bad, sure its English, bottle conditioned and all but it just does not seem to hit its stride. A bit of a chore to put down.

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Photo of Billolick
1.48/5  rDev -57.2%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

16.9 ounce clear bottle, with no freshness dating. the pour immediatly tells me I've got a problem on my hands, A huge head develops, tons of bubbles continue to rise from the bottom. Uh oh, beer gone bad, nose is soapy, mouthfeel is prickly, flavors are off and winey, nah, I've experienced enuf, was it the clear bottle? , was it on the shelf for too long? Anyway bad beer is not for me, down the drain it goes

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Photo of tigg924
1.72/5  rDev -50.3%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Appearance: copper, no head, no carbonation

Smell: a bit skunky, salt, unsweetened toffee, malt

Taste: better than the smell, light hops, tea leaves, a bit of tobacco

Mouthfeel: clean, smooth--a biiter bite for a finish

Drinkability: I had to double check this one to see if it was my preference or just the style...After doing so, it is not the style--it is the beer...I think there are way better English Pale Ales...This one just missed my palate on every level...I get bitter, just not a lot of taste thereafter...Those that like dry hoppy, bitter beers should give this a shot, but I for one would rather have a Fuller's London Pride

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Photo of vinivini
3.93/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of innominat
3.5/5  rDev +1.2%

Photo of pat61
4/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: brilliant deep copper capped by a 2" cream to tan layer of foam that drops to 1/2" moderately fast and then stays producing light lace.

S: Moderately low aromas of malt, treacle, nuts, light fruit, spice and dank wood rise from the glass.

T: The flavors are moderate to moderately low starting lightly sweet leading to a crisp weak black tea bitter finish. Malt flavors of grain, nuts and treacle are medium to medium low. Hints of peach are in the background. The bitterness is moderate to moderately high. Alcohol is barely noticeable.

F: medium body and medium low carbonation. The balance leans ever so slightly to the malt.

O: good but not outstanding British Strong Ale

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Photo of fionn13
3.75/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.25/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A 500ml clear glass bottle with a BB of Oct 2012. Picked up cheap from an off-licence a while back. A strong ale conditioned with live yeast (highly unusual for Greene King).

Poured into a tulip pint glass. A deep coppery-orange with faint sediment and medium carbonation. Forms a large head of frothy off-white foam that lasts for a few minutes before disappearing. Aroma of rich, fruity malt with notes of caramel, brown sugar, dried fruit, stewed hops, wet cardboard and subtle earthy yeast. There is a background hint reminiscent of maple syrup, along with a warming whiff of alcohol.

Tastes of fruity malt with a dry, bitter finish. Notes of caramel, mild roasted grain, brown sugar, dried fruit, a slight nuttiness, cardboard, dry yeast and stewed hops. A hint of booze lingers in the background, along with a stale note. A harsh, dry bitterness upon swallowing - this is overbearing and dominates the finish. Mouthfeel is smooth, dry and tingly, though rather slick and a bit thin for the style. Highly astringent - dries the palate. Aftertaste of fruity malt and harsh stewed hops.

An OK ale, but doesn't fulfill it's potential. The clear glass bottle is an obvious no-no. It has an interesting complexity that raises it above most Greene King brews, but the harsh bitterness from the hops spoils the balance. The fruitiness and caramel notes are nice, but I would expect a strong ale to have a more malt-dominant character. Aims high and falls short. It's quite drinkable and I would have it again, but not the best example of the style. Worth trying (once).

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Photo of BranfordBound
3.36/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Comes out of the bottle a caramel color, dark amber, decent head. Smell is noticeable skunked (across multiple bottles), thanks clear glass! Some sweetness and fruit. Taste isn't that great either, big maltiness, some fruit, medicinal bitterness, and skunk. Not good, pass!

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Photo of ADR
2.44/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Murky copper color and giant creamy carbonation of over an inch in height. Laces in thick glue-like sheets. Some floral hops in the aroma, LOTS of skunkiness with maybe some weasel musk added for good measure. Medium buttery diacetyl flavors abound here, possibly the beer's best characteristic, some sense of mown grass and nutmeg as well. Hops are harsh and extremely un subtle at the close, drying the beer harshly. I don't know -- this bottle was picked out of some just put in the fridge at Thomas Liquors, but alas there's a big sense of oxidation, yeast gone out of control, and light-striking skunkiness here. I'll re-rate some day...

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Photo of stereosforgeeks
3.25/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of rastaman
1.96/5  rDev -43.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Yipes, sourish off-milk flavour, and quite yeasty, monstrously weird, quite hard to drink, i'll give it a miss if ever offered it again, definitely didn't agree with me.

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Photo of SetarconeX
2.1/5  rDev -39.3%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Really a pretty big dissapointment. It's a really nice, orange color, with bubbles set up in just the right way.

The smell however, is something special. I'm not even quite sure how to describe it. Other reviews here have called it "yeasty rotting apple," and that probably sums it up as well as anything I can think of. It really must be smelled to be believed.

It claims to be a traditional English Pale Ale, but it's not like any I've ever had. An all pervasive corn husk flavor, common in some macro beers but foreign to most English Ales shows itself here.

Harsh and sharp, all the way down. Lousiest mouthfeel in recent memory.

Can't recommend this one. Best avoided.

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Photo of Jeffreysan
3.49/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Imperial Pint bottle poured into a goblet

Appearance: Pours a very attractive reddish-mahogany with two fingers of off-white head, speckled with reddish-mahogany highlights, that dissolved into a nice lacing of foam that covered the entire top of the beer.

Aroma: Wow, very interesting. Lots of fresh bread, but also lots of dried stone fruit, like raisins and prunes, or figs, followed by some toffee and very Belgian-like yeast.

Taste: More malty breadiness upfront followed by toffee, caramel and dried stone fruit. Very Belgian in flavor. More like a Belgian brune. Very, very good.

Mouthfeel: Medium to slightly chewy. Nice coating of the mouth. Not much in the way of carbonation.

Overall: I really enjoyed this beer and will certainly look for more. I would love to try it on tap!

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Photo of DagFishHead
3.94/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

50 cl clear bottle with sediment settled at bottom.
Admit I was scared of this beer based on many of the reviews posted, but me thinks I got a good bottle!
Appearance: Careful, decanting pour to prevent disturbing sediment as recommended on tag attached to bottle. Slight chill-haze copper-amber body. Weak, fizzy, off-white head that quickly fades to a small sustained edge ring. No lacing to speak of.
Smell: Slightly toasty, sweet caramel malt pokes through an earthy/yeasty/mineral aroma.
Taste & Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied slick, sweet caramel malt start, tingly cask-like carbonation at the top releases a biscuity and mineral/iron-tinged flavor. Finish has a drying floral hop, unsweetened tea character. Let this warm close to room temp and you'll be glad you waited.
Drinkability: Don't have a lot of bottle-conditioned experience, but I like this and will pursue other examples.

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Photo of zjungleist
3.99/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Orangish with an average white head, with sediment in the bottle. Smells very yeasty and slightly fruity/nutty. The smell reminds me exactly of Samuel Smith's pale ale, which is a good thing. Lots of malt and yeast flavors, as well as a small amount of spicey hops. There is something about the smell and taste that just reminds me of a brewery. That sounds pretty generic, but it's hard for me to put my finger on as well. I'm sure it's a combination of the right yeasts at the right temperture. Mouthfeel is right on for the style and drinkability is pretty good too.

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Photo of IntriqKen
4.03/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear bottle dispenses a clear reddish orange alixer with a half finger white head that melts to top capping lacing.
Aroma is faint sweet malt and dry apple peel.
Taste is really british..hahaha.
Uh, there is a sweet malt with a drying biscuit like yeast being used and some nice bittering hops that are not too citrusy. This is an interesting brew. I can surprisingly taste and feel the alcohol on the swallow making this more of a sipping beer than merely an English Ale.
As it warms it also grows on you.
Honest bottle conditioned steady carbonation in this beer that leaves a sharp taste in your mouth...a clean drying...and a wonderful warming as the alcohol settles down in your belly.
I read some of the reviews on this beer and didn't think I would like it.
I think it's a wonderful sipping brew.

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Photo of Quin00
4.6/5  rDev +32.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I love this brew. One of my favorites. Not easy to find around here in Budweiser land.

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Photo of cokes
2.81/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Hazed-through amber with a sticky white capping.
Nose features oxidation, light strike, spoiling butter, rust and dustballs. It's such a mess that it's almost endearing.
Begins with a touch of brown sugar. Then it turns lightly fruity. The yeast strain here is very odd. It imparts some Belgianesque tropical fruits and peppery spice, while at the same time imparting expired milk. Oh, and earthy too. Dirt balls and cobwebs. Diacetyl is all over this one. Ends metallic and bitter, with traces of sulphur.
Medium bodied. Milky, yet gritty. Strange.
I can't quite tell if I was intrigued by the many nuances of this beer, or absolutely repulsed by them. It's very unique, but be warned.

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Hen's Tooth from Greene King / Morland Brewery
Beer rating: 3.46 out of 5 with 366 ratings