Brewed by Greene King
Style: Premium Bitter/ESB
Bury St. Edmunds, England
Serve in English pint


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 1783   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.08   EST. CALORIES: 150   ABV: 5%
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Bottle and nitro can: Filtered. Also available as "Smooth" from nitro tap.
Ingredients: Pipkin pale malt; Crystal Malt; brewers sugar; Bittering hops: Challenger; Aroma hops: Goldings and Challenger; Morland yeast.
previously 5.2%
Cask version was first brewed in 1979 by Morland Brewery to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the MG car factory in Abingdon. The name comes from the MG factory’s works car - the gold speckled MG Featherweight Fabric Saloon, affectionately known as the Ol’ Speckl’d ’Un.
Brewed since 1999 by Greene King following the take-over of Morlands
Bottled Old Speckled Hen has been sterile filtered in the "Old Speckled Hen Hall" bottling facility since May 2006.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Wiseblood (700) - Clarksville, Tennessee, USA - SEP 8, 2003
Bright reddish golden-brown with a solid, bubbly head,and not much of an aroma. I thought the light may have gotten to it before I did, since this was in a clear bottle,and this lack of aroma did not bode well. My fears were, thankfully, for naught. It is remarkably smooth, with a fairly snappy, bitter hoppiness and a strong underlying presence of sweet, toasted malt. The finish is long and bitter with a mild hop accent. Altogether, this makes a wonderfully balanced beer to have again.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
thehoff (596) - Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA - SEP 3, 2003
UPDATED: OCT 19, 2003 This is a great English Ale with a great name. Starting with a raw amber body with a cream head, through a crisp clean draw with a bitter finish. Seems like the slightest taste of chocolate. Slightly citrusy, the subtlety of the flavor is key, great for any palate. From the can it has a much creamier body and a great head. It is also a bit smoother

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
SilkTork (5398) - Southampton, United Kingdom, Kent, ENGLAND - AUG 30, 2003
UPDATED: OCT 4, 2005 Aug 2003: Pastuerised bottle. This has long been one of my favourite ales on tap or in the bottle. The yeast used for this brew dates back to 1896 - and in the move to Bury St Edmunds, Greene King ensured the yeast moved as well. The balance of sweetness and dry hoppiness is still there. [3.4]
Aug 2004: Pasteurised bottle. BBE Jun 05. Head to Head with Hobgoblin. When drinking them side by side I preferred the Goblin. In fact I finished the Goblin first. Then, while drinking the remains of my Hen without any Goblin left for comparison, I refused to accept that the Hen could be outclassed. Plenty of flavours! I think they’re about the same. [3.5]
Aug, 2005: The original Morland Old Speckled Hen from 1979. Well, it tastes old, but is pleasantly toffee sweet. An interesting drink that has survived 26 years in the bottle. [2.7]

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
vector (163) - Dallas, Texas, USA - AUG 18, 2003
Poured a dark golden color with moderate white head. Aroma and flavor slightly sour, whether this is intended or a result of clar bottle skunkiness is unknown to me. Some malt flavors, didn't taste any toffee. Nothing special, won't be buying another bottle.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
NectarFarm (128) - Calgary, CANADA - AUG 14, 2003
pours the red/orange enligh pale ale colour. smells malty hints of toffee. could be hoppier. buttery mouthfeel. nothing to write home about.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 14/20
EKGoldings (616) - Radford, Virginia, USA - AUG 14, 2003
Clear glass bottle - no expiration date. Pours amber with ivory, fast disappearing head. Just a trace of the Heineken disease (prenyl mercaptan). Toffee, some malt taste, a vinous quality that I really like and was not expecting. I found the finish pretty dry. Aroma hops largely nonexistant but light bitterness balances well with the flavors. A balanced beer, decent, but nothing to write home about. At least the hops appear British and the beer is eminently drinkable. A nice beer for a session & I'd like to try this on tap.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 3/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 8/20
ante (3374) - Stockholm, SWEDEN - AUG 13, 2003
Looks good, amber color with a thick white head. Some sweet malt aroma of toffee with some hops. Hey, the pale glassbottle just makes the flavour skunky... Ok sweet maltiness of toffee. The hops is just skunky and boring. Quite sweet and dry finish. Easy drinkable, though. I think i'll try this one on tap to make a ok rating.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Choos (662) - Taylors Hill, AUSTRALIA - AUG 13, 2003
UPDATED: JAN 20, 2004 Bottled: Aroma is slightly roasted toffee and a hint of hops (bet they're Goldings). Geat looking clear darker orange/gold with a nice holding head but comes in a daft clear bottle. Roasty notes and toffee (not butterscotch) are in the forefront of this with a fantastic clean bitterness following. Nice mouthfeel not too thick so you could drink stacks of this and magnificently lightly carbonated. On tap I have found some of the roasted toffee notes seem to be a bit more spikey honey like and a lot of the aroma is killed off by the nitrogen/co2 gas but if kept till it warms up is still fantastic.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 12/20
Drew (2411) - Kent, Ohio, USA - AUG 11, 2003
It all started with Walt - I finally steered him away from Killian's and showed him the malty goodness of Aventinus. He decided to be a bit daring and bought a 6-pack of this. "so, what rating did you give it" Well, I know I've had this before, but look - I haven't rated it! So, he brings a bottle to me the next day and says "This is awful - it's too bitter, just bad" O.k. - I know Walt isn't a fan of hops (yet), but I don't remember this beer being all that hoppy. So I take it home and chill it. I open and pour it - from across the room my wife exclaims "My gawd, that is one Skunky Beer!" "Well, my darling, take a look at this beautiful bottle - nice and clear so that the light gets in and ruins my beloved little hops!" Tastes like acid and copper pennies before turning worse. I dump what's left. Part 2 - Deteremined not to let Walt's adventurous spirit be crushed by bad beer, I buy a 4 pack of this in the 16oz widget can and give a can to him. He reports back that, yes, it's not too bad. I pour it and have my wife smell it (without revealing it's identity). "ooooooh, this is really caramelly!" Yup - great aroma. Taste is caramel, bready malts and even cookies followed by a very subtle hop. The only problem is that the widget can, as always, causes the palate to be watery and thin. Let this be a lesson - if you're tutoring a Beer Jedi, keep them away from the clear bottles until they understand the risks! (My rating is an average of the 2 experiences)

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 12/20
drywallman (342) - Lake in the Hills, Illinois, USA - AUG 6, 2003
This is one of the last from my Christmas gift collection, and may taste differently fresh. It was stored in the fridge on its side, since it was too tall for the beer area. Sediment on the side of the bottle was then noticeable. The bottle was opened after being put upright on the table, and giving the sediment a minute to settle. A lot of carbonation was present, and the foam started to leave the bottle. I quickly proceeded with the pour and wound up with a normal size off white head on top of a slightly cloudy amber brew. It smelled mostly of malt and a slight sugary scent. The palate was adequately full, but not overly full. It was sweet malt at the beginning, neutral in the middle, and then dry but not quite citrus hops hitting you at the end. An enjoyable beer, but nothing real special.

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