In the UK, ales are very popular. There is lovely malted tones which are attractive to anyone. They can be difficult to recreate in a non alcoholic form tho. How will Old Speckled Hen get on?
About Old Speckled Hen
In 1928, the company owned four breweries in Morland. Over the following couple of decades United Breweries enjoyed substantial success and reverted to the Morland name in 1944. This success culminated in 1979 with the creation of our beloved “Old Speckled Hen”, the No. 1 premium ale to date.
Alcohol – 0.5%
Calories – 22cal per 100ml
Carbohydrates – 4.1g per 100ml
Of which Sugar – 2.0g per 100ml
54% less calories than the full alcohol Old Speckled Hen
Type of Beer
This is an ale. Ale is a type of beer brewed using a warm fermentation method, resulting in a sweet, full-bodied and fruity taste
Dark golden ale coloured. A reasonable foamy head that lingers a little bit.
You get a decent hit of caramel and chocolate from the malted roasted barley. It’s a nice smell indeed.
It’s there and yet it’s not. You start off with a caramel and toffee taste from the malt but it disappears quite quickly.
There isn’t a great structure or body to it and it feels a bit weak or diluted which is a shame.
Comparing it to the normal OSH, it is a bit disappointing truth be told. For another comparison read my review of St Peters Without. It is another ale but just has bags of flavour that keeps on giving. It doesn’t taste as watery as the Old Speckled Hen
I’m perhaps being harsh, the flavours that are there are good. Who doesn’t want caramel, toffee and malt? They just seem to go a bit fast and you aren’t left with much.
It is just lacking something for me. I don’t think it holds up to the original alcoholic version but not many do. It is passable and i’m sure many people will like it just fine.
6.5/10. Its an ok effort at a non alcoholic ale. For a single drink its nice but for a few in a row there are better options.
Find out where this beer ranks compared to all the beers i have reviewed on my updated “Best Non Alcoholic Beers” page
Where to buy
You can find this on Dry Drinker by following my link. Dry Drinker has a fantastic array of non alcoholic beers anyway.
For UK readers, Light Drinks has this and others, if you use code OPENINGTHEBOTTLE you get an additional 5% off
*Affiliate Disclosure – if you click on the links and buy from these providers, i might receive a small commission*
Is Old Speckled Hen Low Alcohol halal?
As a “non alcoholic” 0.5% there is doubt
Ive researched this extensively and believe that 0.5% drinks can be Halal as i do not think they can get you drunk.
Ive written about the different types of non alcoholic and alcohol free gins and if they are Halal here
If you wanted to be super cautious then i would suggest not to consider 0.5% ABV drinks like Erdinger Alkoholfrei as halal and only the true 0.0% ones.
Is Old Speckled Hen Low Alcohol gluten free?
Old Speckled Hen Low Alcohol is not gluten free as it contains barley. They do have a specific gluten free alcoholic beer.
I have an entire article on non alcoholic beers and gluten if you want more information.
Is Old Speckled Hen Low Alcohol vegan?
No. It is also listed on barnivore.com as not vegan.
They use isinglass to filter their beer.
For more on vegan beers see my article on the matter. Why beers may or may not be and how to check. You can also find out what isinglass is and be prepared to be shocked!!
Notes from Old Speckled Hen
Crafted by the master brewer of ‘Old Speckled Hen’ this refreshing low alcohol beer is brewed with fine ingredients to deliver taste and aroma evocative of the nation’s favourite premium ale but with 54% fewer calories.
It is just lacking something for me. I don't think it holds up to the original alcoholic version but not many do. It is passable and i'm sure many people will like it just fine.