• Ian

Morland Brewery - Old Speckled Hen

Bitter from the UK 🇬🇧


Brewed by the Morland Brewery

Westgate Street; Bury St. Edmunds; Suffolk; United Kingdom

Beer Type


Alcohol %


A bit about the beer

Ingredients - Water, Hops - Challenger, First Gold, Goldings, Malts - Pale, Crystal

Morland Brewery started in 1711 when farmer, John Morland set up a brewery in West Ilsley, Oxfordshire. They brewed ales and porters for pubs around England and soon started expanding. In 1860 they acquired local competitors Abbey Brewery and Eagle Brewery and continued to buy up other breweries and pubs in the decades that followed.

In 1979 the "Old Speckled Hen" was created. The MG Car company celebrated their 50th Anniversary of their move to Abington and they asked Morland Brewery to brew a special beer for the occasion. "Old Speckled Hen" was the name chosen in reference to a paint-spattered MG Featherlight Saloon, which back in the day was the MG factory run-around, fondly referred to as "Owld Speckl'd Un".

To this day, Old Speckled Hen is the brewery's no. 1 premium ale.

The commercial description for Old Speckled Hen is as follows - "A high proportion of Crystal malt in Old Speckled Hen provides the key toffee/caramel flavour. The yeast used to ferment the beer provides the other key character - estery or banana/pear drop. This estery note provides the fruity and refreshing balance. The hops used add a palate cleansing herbal note and very slight orange citrus. A very malty, full bodied and warming ale".

For me, poured from a 500ml bottle, it has a pleasant amber colour with a decent foam head which fades quite quickly. The aroma is a little light, but you do get flavours of caramel, toffee and hop notes coming through. The taste begins a little sweet, the caramel coming through and then advances into a more earthy, hoppy taste. The very slight caramel taste that lingers at the end, combined with a mild bitterness, makes this a very easy drinking and flavourful English pale ale.

Hoppiness Rating


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