Hen's Tooth | Greene King / Morland Brewery

232 Reviews
Read the review
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

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 232 | Ratings: 360
Photo of beerdrifter
4/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear copper-amber pour with creamy one finger head with decent retention and great lacing. Malt dominates the nose with caramel and brown sugar with hints of tea, tobacco and pennies. The taste is also dominated by the caramel malt, but as it warms the bitterness of the hops emerges with a nice mildly tangy fruitiness as well. The mouthfeel is slightly thick and chewy but extremely smooth. Hugely drinkable. A great English ale!

 432 characters

Photo of rebel1771
4.11/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a crystal clear dark amber color with almost no head.

S: Mild malt aroma with a slight hop note in the end.

T: Solid malt flavor up front that fades to a slightly fruity/floral hop flavor.

D: Not an earth shattering brew but damn tasty. This is actually a pretty excellent beer.

 290 characters

Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.62/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an amber orange color with a small head, fades fast and leaves no real lacing on the glass.

Smell is mostly malty with a strong presence of caramel, the hops are quite mute.

Taste is similar to the aroma in that the malt is really the controlling factor, the caramel is quite noticeable and pleasant, very slight hop bitterness in the aftertaste, doesn't stay long though, there's a buttery slickness that I think works in it's favor.

 442 characters

Photo of JohnnyP3
3.2/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a clear glass bottle (50cl) into an imperial pint glass. This beer pours beautifully with an amber-copper hue and a frothy white head of at least three fingers. Foam really sticks to the glass as the beer goes down. Excellent lacing. Can see yeast particles floating in the glass. Slightly hazy with signs of vigorous carbonation.

The smell leaves me eager to taste. Quintessential English bitterness, butterscotch (diacetyl), toffee, hard water, hops, luscious malts.

And the taste...hmmm, not quite on par with the smell, but many of the scents are detectable here. The key issue seems to be the mouthfeel, which suffers from what I think is excessive carbonation that masks some of the taste. Nevertheless, I do note the bitter qualities that arrive after the initial maltiness and the butterscotch/toffee flavors. Nice English hop character to the beer. But, leaves me wondering what might have been.

Mouthfeel, as noted, is a big problem for me. Not sure if it's just this bottle or if that is how this beer normally is. Way too much fizz in the mouth. As far as drinkability, again, what might have been....Also, the 6.5% abv shines through a bit more in the overall character of the beer. Imparts a bit of the "alcohol burn" going down at times.

 1,268 characters

Photo of IPA4LIFE
2.72/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

A- Amber Orange with a thick, foamy beige head that dropped very quickly.

S- Not a whole lot going on here, in my opinion. A malty-bread smell, with a little spice that is common in English Ales. Not very exciting at all.

T- A moderate malt taste at the beginning, followed quickly by a light fruit flavor. The end had a brief very light hops note. All of these flavors however, are somewhat smothered by the metallic "bite" at the end that lets you know that there was indeed alcohol in that sip.

M- Mouthfeel is smooth, but the carbonation was a little bit too high, making this a bit rougher than I would have liked.

D- Overall, the high carbonation and and metallic alcohol burn at the end make this not that great of a beer. Probably would not have another.

 769 characters

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

Pours orange with a decent sized white foam. Decent retention.

Aroma is mainly a malty bready profile.

Taste is all malts and bready with a slight hop finish. Not much balance here, but then again, I don't think thats what the brewers were going for.

Mouthfeel is medium, decent carbonation

Drinkability is moderate. It tastes fine, has a good mouthfeel and aroma. Easy to session.

 386 characters

Photo of BeardedBoffin
3.38/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer exits the clear half-liter bottle a deep amber-color and produces three centimeters of head that settles down to a centimeter or so.

The aroma is all malt. Grainy and fruity, the alcohol seems faintly present. On the palate, this medium bodied brew delivers more malt. The caramel and grain build and crescendo in the juicy buttery center. This is followed by balancing bitterness.

Hen's Tooth is an English Ale for sure. Malty all the way through with a finish of bitter hops. Not a bad brew, the lingering alcohol like flavors make it hard to drink more than one bottle, but finish this bottle, I will.

 616 characters

Photo of Radome
3.68/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Medium copper or red color, looks more like an Irish Red than a typical English pale ale. Very clear, even though it is bottle conditioned. The sediment is minimal at the bottom of the bottle and it stays put during pouring. Head is a thick, healthy off-white foam that lasts to the end of the pint.

S - Aroma is a mix of malt and fruity yeast notes. It has some hops, but at a lower level.

T - Nice malt with a moderate hops bitterness for backbone, as expected for a British pale. There is a restrained yeast fruitiness that adds complexity. On the back of the tongue there is a faintly acrid, unpleasant note that I can't identify. Maybe this is the "skunkiness" other reviewers mentioned, but it could also be just the choice of flavor hops, as far as I can tell. This is in the background enough that it doesn't make me dislike the beer's taste.

M - Good firm mouthfeel but not overly heavy. No alcohol burn. Carbonation seems a bit higher than I expected for the style. Maybe this is an older bottle that's been slowly carbonating beyond the desired level?

D - A good, solid British Pale Ale. Some hops and yeast taste complexity that adds to the expected malt flavor and hops bitterness. I appreciate the effort to bottle condition, but I can't say the results directly translate in this beer. It seems a bit too carbonated to me (I have lived in the UK and know these beer fairly well).

 1,403 characters

Photo of Japerrault
3.39/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Nice clear copper with a slim white head.

S: Skunk, toffee, caramel, brown sugar.

T: Brown sugar, toffee, mild skunk showing through. Toasted grain, and mild hops bitterness in the finish.

M: Good medium body and nice carbonation.

D: Smooth with good body. Nice malt profile, but all this was somewhate ruined by the skunky aroma and flavor. Get rid of the clear bottles!!

 380 characters

Photo of bashiba
2.4/5  rDev -30%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured a hazy amber color with a thick off white head, mild lacing.

The smell had a lot of musty yeast and a mineral quality.

The flavor had a nice bit of caramel malt then a strong mettalic coppery flavor took over completely, probably oxidized.

Mouthfeel was average.

Clearly a flawed beer, hopefully just a bad bottle, why the clear glass Green King?

 357 characters

Photo of Blakaeris
3.5/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours clear copper with generous carbonation and a thick fluffy head.

Aroma is minerally, fruity, yeasty funk.Bready and spicy.

Taste is leathery caramel malt and mild light fruit up front. Then a woody, musty, brown sugar quality takes over. Finishes with drying herbal hop bitterness, peppery yeast, and lingering metallic sting.

Mothfeel is light-medium bodied.

I thought this was an interesting and unusual brew. Heavier malt than I had expected. Worth a try.

 467 characters

Photo of danielharper
3.32/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(This bottle was given to me by a vendor looking to sell it in the store in which I work. Well, technically given to me by my manager who orders the beer but generally doesn't care for English ales, but the principle remains: I did not personally purchase this bottle.)

Pours rich reddish/orange, very hazy, with a thick brown-white head that thins but never really disappears. I've got to say that I love the presentation. Aroma is less pleasant -- when will breweries learn not to use clear bottles? A not-insignificant skunkiness permeates my nose at first, not so much that I don't get some sweet malty notes underneath.

Flavor is better, with a stronger hop bite than expected from an English Pale, mostly Kent Goldings and Fuggles I'm guessing. Strong sweet malt presence, hints of ripe fruit, and a significant yeasty quality, especially on the backend. Finishes bitter and slightly metallic. Mouthfeel is moderate, with a stiff carbonation and a strong hoppiness for an English Ale.

Is it fair to review a beer that has some skunked qualities? It's easy to argue against it, as the beer is clearly not in the state that the brewer intended, but it's also true that these bottles represent the state of the beer "in the wild," as it were. They brew the beer with significant hops, bottle it in clear bottles, and ship it halfway around the world -- to say that the condition of the beer is less than it would be straight out of the fermenter is to belabor the obvious. This bottle being a freebie from the vendor only makes this claim more specific, as the distributor clearly intended for this to be a sample bottle showcasing the beer's strengths. My review stands.

 1,679 characters

Photo of theopholis
4.41/5  rDev +28.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance- Pours a brilliant, very clear, orange body with a HUGE, foamy, light beige head on top. Excellent head retention. Excellent lacing.

Smell- Malty, slightly grainy scent with a jolt of sourness from the mash. Just the barest hints of bread and a light fruitiness. Some bittering hops come through.

Taste- Fairly complex for a English pale ale. I have to admit, I'm impressed. A fairly well-blended mix of soft, malt sweetness (unusual for a British beer) with a toastiness that is very appealing. Also getting some toffee and the taste of dark bread. . Slight English ale fruitiness. Very subtle interplay of bittering and flavoring hops.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. The carbonation is just a hair to high. But it has a very nice mouthfeel.

Drinkability: It's excellent for an English pale ale.

 807 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.41/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a brilliantly clear, orange-hued body with a tall, foamy, light beige head on top.

Smell: Dry malt scent with accents of toffee and bread and a light fruitiness with a notable spiciness.

Taste: Sweetish, toffee-tasting maltiness with a bit of crumbled bread crusts thrown in for good measure. Slight English ale fruitiness. Hops are both spicy and grassy and provide a bit of herbaceous bitterness. Dry, spicy, crisp finish with the zing of carbonation accentuated the bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium-plus carbonation.

Drinkability: Though I don't find myself particularly enamored with it, it's still a decent lil' beer.

 656 characters

Photo of ImusBeer
3.59/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First off I think I love this beer. I may marry it.

With all the stouts I've been having lately I didn't think I would like this beer. I did though.

The appearance is an orange tan/amber, when poured there was copious amounts of head, all off white maybe an orange/red tinge. It died down quickly enough and allowed me to pour the rest. The head was bellowy and slightly creamy. Some stickiness on the sides.

The aroma was subtle, mostly malt and maybe some grain or bread. The taste was mostly malt sweetness.

Mouthfeel began light then became a bit heavier as the malt sweetness kicked in. Overall a very good beer, I was expecting a bit more funk due to the clear bottle but I was pleasantly surprised.

 709 characters

Photo of Trizzle
2.98/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

550ml Bottle poured into a wine glass..

Pours a nice orange with an small head (not sparse, not dense) that dissapates quickly with only some lacing.

Not a lot in the aroma. Some orange rind and dark sugar.

A nice thickish mouthfeel from the good carbonation level. Some dry malts and an almost stale bitter lingering hop finish. Not altogether unpleasant.

Probably wouldnt drink a lot of this, but not bad really.

 418 characters

Photo of Flightoficarus
3.36/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Serving type - 1/2 liter bottle into pint glass

A - Pours a deep, ruby hue, with a medium off-white head, and leaves thick lacing around the glass

S - The smell either isn't very strong, or I have a bit of a cold, lol. What I do detect though is a fair balance between malt and hops, and some fruity notes in there (pear?)

T - Taste is on the slightly bitter side (but balanced overall), with the hops slightly more prevalent than the malt. Malt gives off light caramel/biscuit notes. Hops are more subtle here, and lack that aggressive cascade hop bite found in American versions of this style. I also pick up tea notes. Slight alcohol in the finish.

M - Medium-light bodied, smooth, almost creamy texture.

D - Not quite what I'd call sessionable, but I could drink a few of these. The 6.5% alcohol can make this sneak up on some.

Overall - My second English pale ale I've tried so far, and so far, they're definitely a different ball park than the American pale ales, which I've become more fond of in the world of pale ales. This one is worth a shot, but not something I'd go out of my way to seek out again.

 1,118 characters

Photo of whynot44
3.76/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear dark orange/amber color with a magnificent creamy off-white head that sticks around well and produces some nice lacing all the way.

There are some yeasty dregs on the bottom but they seem to stay there.

The Aroma is biscuity malt with a bit of grassy/minty background.

The Taste is light buttered biscuits with a touch of caramel and mint. the finish is dry and a bit carbonic with a lingering minty/ grassy hops note.

Medium bodied, quite a bit of carbonation but reasonably drinkable. An interesting English Ale.

 528 characters

Photo of CupcakeNY
2.88/5  rDev -16%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A beautiful looking beer; pours a dark reddish amber with a fluffy white head that is retained for a long time. Smell is mildly unpleasant; reminds me of a lager more than an ale--smells more like Budweiser than anything else. Taste was underwhelming as well; bitter, with a hoppiness that was hard to characterize--bitter, but without the grapefruit or piny flavor elements I am used to; peobably a little bit citrusy. I did not get much sweetness or maltiness at all. Finish was just a lingering bitterness and alcohol on the tongue. Not a beer I care to have again.

 568 characters

Photo of garrettmccut
2.51/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Tasted in an English pint glass at open temperature of 47F (7C).

A - Medium amber color with extreme head (1/4 glass of beer topped the glass with head) that lasted for most of the drinking experience (~1hr), diminishing toward the end into a lacing.

S - Underwhelming smell with hints of caramel.

T - Notes of chocolate and coffee with strong bitter aftertaste. Overall very little taste, extremely disappointing.

M - Very carbonated (too much IMO), felt like a light mousse or meringue in the mouth.

D - The carbonation did little to help the overall drinkability. Little sips expanded into uncomfortable belches, extending the drinking time and making for a rather unpleasant experience.

Overall I was very disappointed in this beer. It was far below my expectations and rather below average in terms of flavor and drinkability.

 837 characters

Photo of Jason
2.91/5  rDev -15.2%
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.

 603 characters

Photo of BeachRez
3.95/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle.

Nice deep orange color with a think white head. The rention on the head was nice, even though I milked this one.
Some little yeasties on the bottom of the bottle.

The smell was a little sweet. Not overwhelming at all.

The taste was a little malty, but not overly. Nice biscuit and hop flavor. It tasted/felt like it was layered. (?)

This is an easy one to drink and one that I enjoyed as it warmed up. I think drinking cold initially didn't improve the flavor.

 485 characters

Photo of drperm
4.43/5  rDev +29.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a Sam Adams tulip glass.

The appearance is burnished copper -- darker than I expected, even with the clear bottle. It glows red and handsome, with (as I anticipated) a thin lacing of cask-reminiscent white foam. Lots of bubbles throughout the drink.

On the nose, it is mild yet pleasant. Overwhelmingly malt-forward, with some English (Goldings?) hops lurking. Biscuit and wet moss predominate, with an undertow of fresh-baked loaf bread.

Taste -- nice! Malty, with good bitterness and a floral/fruit (plum, fig, and pear, mostly) backdrop. It keeps going, too. Lots of good subtlety here -- this is one to drink with undivided attention. As it warms and nears the bottom of the glass, it only gets better and richer. Good to the last drop!

On the palate, it's mostly excellent, but there's just a hair too much sweet malt on the finish for me.

Drinkability - high. Very high. Highest. This is a winner! To me, it's like Old Speckled Hen with a college degree: a bit more sophisticated and mature. I love this English take on a bottle-conditioned beer. I'd love to get some more (provided the bottles have been stored properly) and stick them in my cellar to see what happens over time.
Great on its own; I'd try it with good hard artisan cheeses or even milder Indian fare (anything with whole cloves and chutneys). Speaking of cloves, this would also be great with one of those old-fashioned baked hams.

 1,422 characters

Photo of smanders
3.35/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: amber with an off white head.

Smell: grainy with a hint of fruit (apples?).

Taste: like an afternoon tea with carbonation and alcohol.

Mouthfeel: dry and light.

Drinkability: A good introduction into the "Real Ale" cult alive and kicking in the U.K.

 267 characters

Photo of Jablonski
3.54/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a nearly clear copper color with an above average head and decent lacing.

S: Cannibis-like hops are decently strong in the smell. The malts are hardly present.

T: The hops almost disappear in the taste--very sweet.

M: Average carbonation and a bit watery.

D: Decently drinkable PA. The hops could be a bit stronger for some balance, but otherwise it's a good beer.

 377 characters

Hen's Tooth from Greene King / Morland Brewery
3.43 out of 5 based on 360 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.