Saturday, May 22, 2010

Old Speckled Hen

I received a couple bottles of Old Speckled Hen in a gift basket and figured this drizzly afternoon was a good time to sample a brew that I'd never experienced. Besides, a blog named Coarse Cracked Corn just had to give Old Speckled Hen a shot. Brewed by Morland Brewery, the label describes it as "English Fine Ale" and boasts the brewery was established in 1711. It also claims 5.2% alcohol. The uniquely shaped clear glass bottle showed a nice copper colored beer. When poured in a glass it created a nice, off-white head that lasted a short while leaving thin lace on the glass. Fairly light bodied but it still had fairly good mouth feel. Hoppy... yes, but I didn't care for the bitter taste as much as what I find in my favorite IPAs such as Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. As I drank Old Speckled Hen, hints of maltiness and other grains come through. So, a nice beer but not something this bird would cross the road to find. I'll give it a B, although that may be a bit generous.
I also had a pint bottle of St. Peters India Pale Ale, another English brewed ale. Again it was an interesting bottle design of drab olive that conceals the color of the contents. Poured in a glass, the ale was a cloudy dull copper color. Like with home brewing, there was sediment in the bottom that contributed to the cloudy appearance. St. Peters India Pale Ale kicked up an okay head with great texture and an appealing creamy mouth feel. I liked its balance of hops and malts better than the Old Speckled Hen. All-in-all, I like this beer but have no idea where I'd find it locally or at a reasonable price. I found this fairly close (perhaps a bit less hoppy) to the Brass Rabbit IPA I used to cook up at Queen City Brewing. Lets give it an A-!
Well, it is back to some domestics for me. And cheaper ones at that.... anybody for a Pabst Blue Ribbon? For the record, I give PBR a solid B... higher than many popularly priced domestics... and if you factor in price, an A+.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just tried an "Old Speckled Hen" while watching the Coke Zero 400 (NASCAR}. I would agree the Coarse Cracked Corn review. After a few minutes it also made my sinuses xwore. But I won't hold it against the beer.