Sunday, November 15, 2009

Beer Review: Old Speckled Hen

So I was reviewing some of old posts and thinking about ways I could make The Beer Buddha a more interesting site. Still not sure how to do that but one thing I noticed was I've been reviewing mostly American beers. I'm sure you've heard me say before that American beers are the best and I truly believe they are but I do enjoy beers from other countries. I don't discriminate when it comes to brew. I'll try them all!

There has been one beer here at work that just keeps staring at me saying, "Drink me, drink me." Actually it's saying, "Hey you f#$%ing tosser, come get sloshed off me you f$*$ing donkey!" and for some reason it sounded like Gordon Ramsay. That beer with the dirty mouth is Old Speckled Hen.

Old Speckled Hen has a less than interesting history which I copied and pasted below for you to read:

The story of "Old Speckled Hen"

"Old Speckled Hen" was first brewed to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the MG car factory in Abingdon, Oxfordshire. Named after an old MG car which was used as the factory run around, they would park the old MG Featherweight Fabric Saloon outside the paint shop where it would normally get spattered in paint and so it became known as the ‘Owld Speckl’d Un’. This turned into "Old Speckled Hen" when the beer was unveiled.

Since then the finely balanced beer with a distinctive rich malty taste and fruity aroma has attracted many fans, including the fox, who is always on the hunt for his Hen.

Yeah, ok then. Hopefully the beer is more interesting than it's history. Here goes nothing.

Brewery: Greene King PLC

Beer: Old Speckled Hen

Style: English Pale Ale

Recommended Glassware: Pint Glass

Appearance: This beer poured a clear, deep amber color. The head was a creamy, off white. I like the way the the widget makes the beer pour into the glass. It creates an interesting "beer falling down the sides of the glass" effect. Lacing was present throughout as was the head. Honestly a beautiful looking beer.

Smell: There was a very sweet maltiness present right up front. Hints of toasted toffee with an interesting caramel aroma. Not much in the way of hops that I can tell though.

Taste: An immediate metallic(penny)taste followed by a sweet maltiness. Lots of toffee and breadiness present. As I let the beer warm up closer to room temp the coin taste goes away. Has a nice hop bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium, creamy body with medium carbonation.

Overall: Not a great beer but also not too bad. I'd be very interested in trying this on draft or maybe even cask. The metallic taste was a bit of a turn off but I didn't take off points because it did go away when the beer hit proper serving temp. I'll consider that my fault for now serving at the right temperature but also a perfect example as to why beer should be served at the proper temp.

Score: Photobucket 3 Out of 5 Buddhas


Anonymous said...

Anyone that really thinks that the maiden's piss that passes for most American beer is the best in the world would not know a good beer if he fell over it.

The Beer Buddha said...


You do realize that Bud, Miller and Coors are no longer American right? The American craft beer scene is top notch compared to most other countries. Thanks for reading!



Anonymous said...

As I drive a '71 MGB, Old Speckled Hen (cans & bottles) is a household, ceremonial staple. Cafe Maude in Minneapolis has it on tap. There is no contest, ... it is a completely different and superior beer on tap than the can or bottled product we keep at home.
Hunt down a keg and give it a try.

Anonymous said...

I agree there is no way you can give this beer a fair and honest write up.without trying it draft personally I wont even buy the canned version !