Old Speckled Hen (England: Bitter: 4.5% ABV)

Visual: Light brownish white thin head. Clear orange red liquid

Nose: Cigarette ash, dry hoppiness, oak trees and distilleries.

Body: Rich and sweet, followed by a short sharp bite. A straight on swig of blended whisky taste, then caramelised sugar and mild hops.

Finish: Hops and a dryness that lingers leaving a rough texture, then just at the end a slight citrus edge.

Conclusion: The whisky like notes adds to what else would be a fairly standard beer. As it is it becomes a slightly sharp ale with a nice punch at the start.

GUEST TASTER: Lee Duffield

Visual: There is a stagnant look to the head. Limp, deep golden look. Heavy tinge of red.

Nose: Musty burnt smell, old oak, damp cut grass.

Body: A harsh dry after hit, a slight twinge of whisky. Very full flavour.

Finish: Strong hops, a taste of gnawing of damp wood from the forest floor

Conclusion: You know when you’ve had a “Shackled” Hen. There is no gentle introduction; from the first to the last the hops seem to just hold in your mouth.