Craft Beer Reviews #3 | Old Crafty Hen

Craft Beer Reviews #3 | Old Crafty Hen
February 22, 2017 daveitferris
Morland Brewery – ‘Old Crafty Hen‘.
It’s a 6.5% – Oak Aged Vintage Beer.

About: ‘Our Master Brewer has created a premium, vintage oaked beer, which delivers the oak-aged fruity, raisiny notes from Old 5X with the lighter malt and toffee of Old Speckled Hen. Elegance and mystery.’

This is the third and final review of products from the Morland Brewery for now, as i only picked up three bottles. I have to say though, it’s probably for the best, as i haven’t noticed a major taste difference between three completely separate products from the brewery. I know these are the first beer reviews you guys are seeing, so it might seem reasonable to assume i just have a weak palate for tasting or don’t know what the fuck i’m talking about, however, i have recently sampled ranges from other breweries that tasted incredibly different from bottle to bottle – so i am able to discern taste quite well, i just feel like the Morland Brewery range that i’ve sampled has been incredibly similar.
Okay so, just like my review of their OSH product, i’m sad to report that the gold lettering is back and it’s still an issue. It just doesn’t work in any kind of light – too bright and the light reflects off the lettering and too dark and it’s hard to read. Seems like something that has absolutely no purpose to me and i’m quite invested in the design community at this point. I’m not mentioning this because i want to fill space, i’m genuinely one of those guys that dissects the design of bottles and beers when i get them. Heck, i’m even at the point now where i can name fonts on certain drinks as i’ve used them in my own design projects!
This is a beer, so there’s a little more of a pop when i pull the lid off, followed by a nice little white cloud that escapes the bottle. Again though, it’s nothing like many of the other beer bottles i’ve cracked open – i’m unsure as to why, maybe i’m missing something? There’s just something incredibly satisfying about opening a bottle and being punched in the ear by soundwaves – i’m sure there’s some psychology at play here. Introductions are everything.
The colour is just a shade darker than the two previous beers from Morland Brewery i tried, but that’s to be expected as this is a beer. The smell is accurately married to their description of the drink because i certainly can smell ‘toffee and raisins‘.
Taste-wise, it’s definitely the best of the bunch i’ve sampled from Morland, by far. Taste is obviously incredibly subjective, but this one tastes the most complete to me. It doesn’t taste like any commercial beer i know of, but yet tastes familiar and i like that. It has a pretty strong and constant aftertaste which i love. I’ve had many craft beers that seduce the tastebuds for a fleeting second and then head on down to the stomach, this aftertaste sticks around and it’s a very pleasant sweetness in the mouth. I’m unsure of the mechanics of everlasting beer aftertaste, but i wish they’d introduce them to the two previous beers i reviewed from this brewery.
My final thoughts on the Morland Brewery bottles i’ve tasted are that they’re good. They’re not great. But as i’ve echoed in each post, i fail to understand why these products exist as three separate entities, when they taste quite similar. Just my opinion, but it seems like the company was trying to fill up the range using pretty much the exact recipe and technique with the inclusion of a slightly different flavour – it just doesn’t work as a ‘range’ for me. I’d be heavily disappointed if someone bought their entire range for me as a gift because, although the bottle label changes, nothing much else does in terms of taste.
OSH: Old Speckled Hen – another product from the same brewery.