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


on tap

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RATINGS: 349   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 5/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 14/20
SilkTork (5450) - Southampton, United Kingdom, Hampshire, ENGLAND - OCT 19, 2008
UPDATED: MAY 14, 2015
Oct, 2008 500ml clear bottle from Tesco. Attractive mahogany colour. Lots of Old Speckled Hen malty flavours. Some boiled sweets pasteurised notes. Some awareness of higher alcohol notes, though I’m not picking up much oak aging - no sour notes or any aging or oak flavours. This tastes like a stronger version of the pasteurised Old Speckled Hen. I like the old Hen, so I like this. I’m quite happy with 5.2% strength, and I think this may show too much alcohol warmth, but on the other hand it does seem to also have a greater depth and richness. On balance, and without the regular beside me to compare, I think I prefer this version. [3.6]
Dec 2011 Candied sweets. OK, but this would be so much better if bottle conditioned. The malt doesn’t really work, and the hops are a flop. Yeah, it’s drinkable and tasty, but it lacks character. Way too processed. [3.1]
July, 2012 500ml clear bottle from Tesco. There’s vinegar from the old ale, and hoppy malt from the Speckled Hen. The combination doesn’t quite work. It’s drinkable enough, but is not what you’d hope for. [3.1]
May, 2015 500ml clear bottle, filtered. 6.5%. I like this. There’s the rounded, plumy, toffee and barley-sugar flavours of the bottled Hen, plus the more robust tones of a strong ale. Good boiled hops - not aggressive or fragrant, just underpinning the sweet malt with a gently sombre bitterness. Interesting corners and edges to this, such as the green apple in the nose, and the hint of banana in the swallow. [3.5]

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
berkshirejohn (5400) - Bracknell, Berkshire, ENGLAND - NOV 28, 2008
[500ml bottle from Tesco, Bracknell.] Copper with a thin white head; aroma has grassy hops and some spice; sweet caramel malt flavours, slightly burnt, and some sweet cereals - a touch of Sugar Puffs in fact; smooth and creamy mouthfeel; the finish is warming with spicy raisins and slightly dry, leaving a vanilla aftertaste. A pleasant beer to sip slowly.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
Ethereal (2417) - Los Angeles, California, USA - APR 13, 2009
Bottle at home. Perfectly clear rich amber with a centimetre of head. Malty taste with some alcoholic warmth. Not bad for GK actually.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
RichardGretton (4471) - Leicestershire, ENGLAND - APR 18, 2009
Bottle. Bronze/Brown beer with a strongish head. The aroma is very well roasted and caramel, and the flavour is very dry with a bitter, caramel, roasted and hopped finish. Overall an average beer.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 13/20
kester (2) - NETHERLANDS - JUL 1, 2009 does not count
[Bottle - UK supermarket] A bit sour, a bit oaky and maybe vinous, but still with much of that Speckled Hen flavour and aroma. As someone who’s not been a great fan of Speckled Hen, I have to say this is a more interesting than the average strong english beer. Not bad at all.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
imdownthepub (11965) - Banbury, Oxfordshire, ENGLAND - APR 11, 2010
Bottled, pasteurised, 500ml from Tesco, Banbury. Deep Orange Amber with white head. Rich malty flavours initially, with a molasses grainy effect, burnt and mouthcoating, then an unfortunate pasteurisation, cardboardy note followed by a fruity, sugary finish. Shame about the middle part as it was proving to be a very decent beer.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
pivnizub (9528) - Bochum, Porúří, GERMANY - OCT 17, 2010
Bottle: Clear, chestnut-amber coloured, lacy medium-sized off-white head; raisins, dark toasty malt and solid hops in the nose; moderate to solid bitter-sweet flavour, medium bodied as expected; slightly lingering drier fruity and hoppy finish, accompanied by a little tartness and delicate traces of alcohol. Robust thirst-quencher......

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
tommann (3056) - Dudley, West Midlands, ENGLAND - DEC 17, 2010
500ml bottle. Pours a hazy dark orange with a small head. Aroma is dried fruit and bready malt, slightly sour. Caramel malt start. Lots of dark fruity malt on the aftertaste. Slightly sour in the aftertaste.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
armando629 (2453) - Budapest, HUNGARY - AUG 15, 2011
0,5 l bottle, Tesco, South Tottenham.
Dark copper coloured beer with a small tan lacing head. Aroma of medium caramel and cocoa, light fruit, some alcohol. Toasted grains, light chocolate and some caramel, with malt and the fruits again. Light vinous tartness with some oak character. Not bad.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
deanso (7199) - the Hague, NETHERLANDS - SEP 17, 2011
50cl bottle shared with a friend. Thin white head. Clear amber pour. Lovely beer. Even nicer than the regular beer

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