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


on tap

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RATINGS: 361   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.32/5   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 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 16/20
princepurple (22) - wirral, Merseyside, ENGLAND - APR 14, 2015
Vintage really is the Word here, Take Old Speckled Hen and knock up the intensity. On the nose is nothing particularly special, rather like the standard variation, a malty, hoppy fresh aroma, but this one has notes of warm clove like spice. It pours an even more rich, red copper liquor of solid body, but noticeable darker and cloudier, with a similar but slightly thicker head. In the mouth there is very little to go on, it’s certainly heavy, and of mild carbonation, but this is quickly subsides for the flavour. This ale is really all about the taste, a strong, demanding, complex variety of various malty and spicy notes, hoppy, lively, crisp and nutty with distinct Caramel undertones and spicy background. it’s finish is a little shorter than it’s basic version, but still packs it’s extea malty caramel esque after taste. A powerful, elegant beer that goes hand in hand with a good cheeseboard.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
nihtila (2678) - Edinburgh, SCOTLAND - MAR 25, 2015
17.11.2013. Brittialen tuoksu, kypsiä hedelmiä ja rusinoita, karamellista mallasta. Maussa myös kypsiä hedelmiä ja rusinaa sekä hieman tammisuutta. Lämmittävä jälkimaku, kohtuullisesti hieman pistäviä hiilihappoja ja bitteriä lopussa. Jotenkin jälkimaku on hieman pettymys.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
ERB92 (619) - Bergen, NORWAY - MAR 23, 2015
Caramel, biscuits, fruits, grass, wood and some dried fruits in the aroma. Amber with a off-white head. Medium + sweet and medium bitter. Full body with a soft carbonation. Overall a really decent English Strong Ale, really enjoyable.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
puboflyons (2955) - Allenstown, New Hampshire, USA - MAR 11, 2015
From the clear bottle stamped 13235. I would like to know what Vintage it is since I did not see a date. The pour is an attractive looking medium amber-copper. Off-white head and good clarity. Clear bottle but not skunked. I pick up a nice English malt roastiness, a touch of raisin, and a grassy character behind it all. Medium, smooth body. Those English malts shine in the taste with a moderate sweetness and a a pub bitter finish.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
JorgeLee (1677) - Greater London, ENGLAND - MAR 3, 2015
Bottle from Sainsburys. Copper colour, poured with quite high carbonation. I guess it does just taste like a beefed up Speckled Hen, but it is pleasantly warming, solid malty background and well balanced bitterness. Nice and drinkable for the abv, there are probably more complex beers available in this niche but this one wasn’t bad.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 11/20
Wixie (267) - BELGIUM - FEB 15, 2015
Clear, light brown liquid. No head. Aroma of malt and citrus. Light body, light carbonation. Taste is bitter.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
ChadPolenz (1629) - Lakeland, Florida, 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 (4243) - 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 (499) - 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 (384) - 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.

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