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


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 370   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.33/5   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 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.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
JonMoore (2066) - Loughborough, Leicestershire, ENGLAND - SEP 19, 2008
Bottle. Unusually the beer is exactly like its commercial description says it is. Dark amber colour, malt and raisins. Full bodied, light carbonation. Very good indeed.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
dwyerpg (5683) - Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - MAY 9, 2012
A malty English aroma. Nice red color. Malty up front with toasty caramel notes. This has a bit of hops near the end to counteract the sweetness that grows throughout. pretty tasty. Way better than the speckeld hen.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Holmen1 (4907) - Stavanger, NORWAY - MAY 17, 2012
Fra flaske på DØE festivalen: en fremragende esb, balansert, lettdrikkelig og med herlig ettersmak. Mye bedre enn Old Speckled Hen.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
tbopslt (354) - New York, USA - FEB 22, 2013
Poured from a bottle. Clear dark amber color, minimal head but ample lacing. Very little carbonation. Deep oak cask aroma. Full malt flavor, smooth start and finish. Similar to Innis and Gunn if you like that. Slightly heavier. Average drinkability, somewhat filling

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
BREWMUSKCLES (2566) - New Jersey, USA - MAY 19, 2013
UPDATED: MAY 20, 2013 veerrryy nice ale with golden raisin a bit of sweet vanilla and a touch of almond. malt brew with good soft smoothness and a nice appearance of amber with small brown yet substantial head that seems sugary. nice surprise, and a lingering finish with some bitterness.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
ronaldtheriot (1799) - Laplace, Louisiana, USA - OCT 15, 2013
Old Crafty Hen has a very thin, off-white head, and a mostly clear, deep, brilliant, amber appearance with some bubble streams and lacing. The aroma is of of rich, sweet caramel and toffee, bread crust and maybe some raisin. Taste is of those elements, with some mellow, but distinguished bitterness at the end of the sip. Mouthfeel is medium and soft, and Old Crafty Hen finishes wet, sweet, rich, and delicious. Overall, a most excellent beer! RJT

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
ChadPolenz (1700) - 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 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
rodrigorj87 (14) - Rio de Janeiro, BRAZIL - JUN 10, 2015
Great vintage ale with fruit flavors, nice ambar color and fruit aroma. I prefer vintage ales that are less sweet, nevertheless this is a fine one, great for deserts. Great bang for a buck.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
rjplumer (1008) - Foxboro, Massachusetts, USA - APR 28, 2016
Heavy toffee malt aroma. Deep mahogany color with a one fingered head that is a hint of red. Dark fruit malt taste. Heavy bodied. Sweet and smooth with a dry finish. A fine sipping beer.

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