Morland brewery ‘Old Speckled Hen’ English ale


image“If, like me, you like to hunt out a hen, well there are plenty of opportunities to find one. ‘Old Speckled Hen’ is in pubs and bars across the country in cask and also as a smooth version at 4.5% ABV.”

As the hen fears the fox the craft beer drinker fears the clear bottle. It’s beyond us why in this day and age that breweries would risk bottling their beers in clear or green glass. The reason is that the alpha acids in hops react very badly to direct light. This is why you see all craft brewers bottle their beers in brown glass. Oh well, we will see if this one has been affected.

Served in an English pint glass, the attractive amber pour holds up a fluffy one and half finger head that is retained quite well. As it reduces some thick blotchy lacing is being omitted. Lovely, rich and caramelised on the nose. It’s an all malt affair here as we pick up wafts of caramel, toffee, butterscotch, toast, nuts, maple syrup and subtle earthy hops. So typically English it isn’t funny but we can’t write it off, it actually is really nice. Very one dimensional…but sweet, sugary and aromatic at the same time. Not bad. In the mouth it’s smooth and quite light on. A little thin but it doesn’t ruin the experience. Very low on carbonation with mild-medium body. The flavour profile is a mirror image of the aroma with the palate being treated to lots of sweet, bready malts, caramel, toffee, nuts, butterscotch and honey. No real depth in flavour just a smattering of different malts on entry leading through to the finish. 5.2% ABV which is actually fine because this really isn’t sessional anyway. Although the sweet, caramelised, malty flavours are delicious anymore than one and it would start to become cloying. Not bad but nothing memorable either.