Brewed by Greene King
Style: English Strong Ale
Bury St. Edmunds, England


on tap

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RATINGS: 335   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.32   EST. CALORIES: 195   ABV: 6.5%
Bottle: Pasteurised.
A blend of 10 - 14% Old 5X (aged up to 5 years in oak vats - and used in Strong Suffolk) and regular Old Speckled Hen.
"A distinctive malty taste with a satisfying, smooth raisin finish. This delicious dark amber ale is perfect for indulging yourself and your friends."

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
Chad9976 (1419) - Albany, New York, USA - FEB 13, 2015
I don’t tend to drink that much English beer mostly due to the fact that much of what’s for sale in my area is old and stale. That’s fine if the beer is intended to be aged, or at least is not harmed by aged. Greene King/Morland’s “Old Crafty Hen” – a blend of fresh and vintage “Old Speckled Hen” is the kind of English beer that’s apparently unaffected by age. It has the palette I associate with traditional British pub-style brews (even though I’ve never been to a pub in the U.K.). It’s held up surprisingly well despite its age and clear bottling. I should drink beers like this more often.

I poured a 500ml bottle into an English pint glass. It was bottled on 8/23/15 and cost $4.79 ($0.28 per ounce).

Appearance: Beautiful burnished copper hue; slightly cloudy but constant carbonation is visible. Pours to a two-finger, white, frothy head which retains and laces extremely well.

Smell: Noticeable skunky aroma from the clear bottle, though the genuine malty aroma is present as well. Sweet fruity and confectionery notes are detectable.

Taste: There seems to be a gray area when it comes to differentiating between beers of the “Old Ale” style and the “English Strong Ale” style. I think Old Crafty Hen probably fits either category due to the fact it’s a blend of new and old beer, though the former is a classic BJCP-recognized category and the latter is New School. Disirregarless, the flavor here is surprisingly flavorful and appealing. The malts comprise the classic British flavor notes of caramel, toffee and raisin bread. It’s almost pudding-like (“Spotted Dick” to be specific) in its composure. Little in the way of hops, but it’s in no way sickly sweet or cloying. Minor notes of vanilla or rum from the alcohol, but it’s well-blended with the palette to accentuate, rather than distract from, the base brew. I do notice a slight tanginess from the lightstrike and/or the old ale blend. A slightly cleaner brew would be pretty amazing I’m sure, but what’s here is damn tasty.

Drinkability: One thing I absolutely love about English-style pub ales like “Old Crafty Hen” is how extremely soft, smooth and comfortable they ale. This isn’t just a great-tasting beer, it’s a pleasure to have in the mouth as well. Medium-bodied, though still slightly crisp; yet it has distinct weight and doesn’t finish completely clean. The aftertaste is tolerable. At 6.5% ABV it has the drinkability of a session cask ale, but the robustness of a strong brew. A 500ml pint is the perfect serving size. It makes a great night cap.

   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
KansaiBeerLvrs (3056) - Kyoto, JAPAN - FEB 8, 2015
Skunky aroma with underlying hops and decent caramel body. Medium lively body with hops and caramel but soured skunk from the damn clear glass. Decent body and a decent beer by I suspect would be surprisingly nice fresh-shame. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
Nilz (459) - Glasgow, SCOTLAND - FEB 4, 2015
500ml bottle pours a clear darkish amber with a slim light head. Aroma, malty sweetness. Taste, caramel malt, sweetish with a reserved bitterness. One to savour I thought.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
kaziopiwosz (362) - Warszawa / Wałbrzych, POLAND - JAN 27, 2015
Tastes honey with sharp hoppy background. Delicate caramel nutes. Long, bitter finish. White head stays long on the top. Copper colour.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
matstrange (86) - Kent, ENGLAND - JAN 17, 2015
A dark ale, strong in flavour. A mild head on pouring. A slight undertone of caramel moxed with liquorice. Smooth in mouth feel and very drinkable.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
mszzukowski (32) - Olsztyn, POLAND - DEC 31, 2014
Aromat dość słaby, karmelowy, lekko ziołowy. Barwa_ miedziana, klarowne. Piana początkowo dość gęsta, szybko rozpadająca się. W smaku mocno dominuje karmel, lekkie zioła i alkohol. Goryczka średnia. Odczucie rozgrzewające, wysycenie średnie. Ogólnie na pewno warte spróbowania i myślę że z przyjemnością wróciłbym do niego w inny chłodny wieczór.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
AshtonMcCobb (3926) - Edinburgh, SCOTLAND - DEC 30, 2014
Bottle from the Coop. Appearance - amber with a nicely proportioned head. Nose - toffee Taste - toffee and burnt orange. Floral honey. Palate - medium to full bodied with a big tangy texture and a finish that is a combination of dry and sweet. Overall - interesting beer.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
RobBestwick (665) - Calgary, Alberta, CANADA - DEC 22, 2014
Bottled. Black currant aroma. Pours bronze in colour with a small head. Strong Christmas cake flavours with lots of maltiness. Brown sugar notes. Hint of bitterness in the finish.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
rondphoto (2888) - Lakeside Park, Kentucky, USA - NOV 26, 2014
bottle @ Party Town / Florence KY --- Clear dark caramel amber with an ivory rim head, a few dots of lace. Taste is strong earthy malt with overtones of dark fruit on the swallow, turning somewhat bitter in a long edgy finish. A full-bodied brew, thick and chewy.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Mark_Eck (1131) - - NOV 24, 2014
Pours a clear amber color. Aroma and taste are mostly sweet with caramel and malts.

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