Hooky Bitter - Hook Norton Brewery Co. Ltd.

Not Rated.
Hooky  BitterHooky  Bitter

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BA SCORE
86
very good

43 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 43
Hads: 51
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 7.24%
Wants: 5
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Hook Norton Brewery Co. Ltd. visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
English Bitter |  3.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: bark on 02-07-2007

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 43 | Hads: 51
Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Aroma: rich bready aromas with a hint of fruit and slight earthy hop aromas, faint caramel. Appearance: hazy gold, ½” large bubbled off white head that quickly dissipates but leaves cathedral window lacing. Flavor: light fruit, slight raisin, little biscuit, finishes dry, medium bitterness, British earthy hops, has a pleasant mix of fruity sweetness balanced by the hop bitterness. The sweetness is more light fruit than sugars such as caramel. Mouthfeel: medium light to medium body, low carbonation. Overall Impression: aroma to style, low alcohol, low gravity and carbonation, makes this beer easy to drink. Balanced slightly to the hops but could use a touch more. (673 characters)

Photo of FLima
3.53/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Amber copper color with a thin head that keeps a constant lace.
Traditional English Bitter aroma, light notes of white bread, a tangy citrusy, a bit of caramels, minerals and earthy hops.
Bitter flavor with notes of caramels, biscuit malt, earthy and herbal hops, minerals, apples, tangy citrusy and fruity esters. Dry and bitter aftertaste.
Light body with appropriate carbonation. Slightly acid, and a bit of a watery sensation.
Good, but average bitter, with all expected notes from the style. Given the low alcohol content, it is a good option for a “session beer”. (573 characters)

Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.29/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A 500ml bottle with a BB of May 2013. ABV stated as 3.5%. Picked up a while back from a supermarket in Oxford.

Poured into a tulip pint glass. A clear sunset-amber colour with good carbonation and faint sediment. Forms a small head of white foam that lasts for a minute or two before subsiding. Aroma of mild caramel malt with hints of fruity ale yeast, stewed leaves, faint grain and a touch of solvent.

Tastes of mild caramel malt with a dry finish. Notes of grain, faint caramel, fruity ale yeast, stewed leaves and a delicate earthiness. A subtle bitterness upon swallowing. Mouthfeel is smooth, dry and tingly, with pleasant carbonation and good body for the style. Somewhat astringent, followed by an aftertaste of dry stewed leaves and weak caramel malt.

A pretty average bitter. Not bad but it doesn't really grab your attention. Flavour and aroma are balanced yet dull and uncharismatic. Drinkable but quite forgettable - I know Hook Norton can do better. Worth sampling but no need to seek it out. (1,010 characters)

Photo of biboergosum
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle, 3.5% ABV. Anything resembling an English pub bitter in these parts, done well, has my vote - let us see. Another new offering in Alberta that is only available in the large, soulless chain liquor store(s).

This beer pours a crystal clear medium bronzed amber hue, with two fingers of tightly foamy, somewhat creamy off-white head, which leaves a low undulating berm of painted lace around the glass as it quickly dissolves.

It smells of biscuity, somewhat metallic pale grain, an aged lemony fruitiness, and musty, floral, mildly bitter earthy hops. The taste is grainy, bready malt, a waning bready biscuit character, some soft indistinct orchard fruit notes, and nicely offsetting floral, bitter leafy hops.

The carbonation is decently reserved - not absent, not interfering, the body medium light in weight, and everyman smooth. It finishes fairly dry, the mostly crisp, grainy malt seeing fit to share quality time with still prevalent, and softly bitter hops.

Well, I can't really bitch and moan at all about anything here, other that the weird hegemony that brought this beer to me, which is not the brewer's fault (I hope), so I will say that this is an easy drinking bitter, definitely not too acerbic, and worthy of many another round, were that the situation. (1,287 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
2.78/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Served in a Walter Payton shaker pint glass.

Playin' hooky tonight. ...Wow...sorry... Anyway, this stuff pours a clear soft gold topped by a finger of white foam. The nose comprises biscuit, mild cocoa, earthy greens, light oak, and dried tobacco (like a nice Connecticut wrapper). The taste brings in more of the same, with a blast of firm earth, oak, and tobacco really taking control, junta-style. Things just don't sit right with me, honestly, especially considering how much I prefer democracy. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a generally smooth feel. Overall, this bitter just didn't do it for me. The hops came through far too tobacco-y to be enjoyable, and this is coming from someone who enjoys a nice cigar. Don't know what went wrong, but something clearly did. (807 characters)

Photo of StJamesGate
3.58/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pale amber with lumpy taupe head that fades to film and chunky trailers.
Mostly flinty grain, with faint oily wood and toasted hazelnuts.
Buttered toasted pain with hints of peanuts, slight soapiness, with sandalwood hops.
Dried apricot finish and drying linger. Light, slight clingy, oily.

Rebranded as just "Hooky", and dropped to 3.5%.

Easy drinking, and the strength is right, but I look for my session bitters to actually be bitter. Malts in the fore just doesn't suit. Maybe it's the 3.5% as opposed to, say, 3.8%, but it just ends up insubstantial.

Hook Norton does better than this. (597 characters)

Photo of fx20736
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a British Imperial Pint Glass.

Hazy copper amber, actively carbonated with a 1 finger tan head. The ale leaves a magnificient shawl of lacing.

Aroma of malt and fruitiness with a hint of diacetyl.

mouthfeel: that soft but solid English Ale feel

Taste: Biscuity malt gives way to a musty, earthy English hoppiness followed by a glaze of buttery toffee and a touch of fruitiness like dried plums or apricots. Hooky leaves just a hint of herbal bitterness in the aftertaste.

Notes: pretty to look at, nice bouquet, supple in the mouth and a complex taste that lies in layer upon layer of the soil of England. My God this is a beer. (665 characters)

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.72/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hooky Bitter

Pours a light orange color, inch of head and little in the way of lace. Aroma is yeasty, sweet, floral, and somewhat malt driven. In the taste, ale yeast, mellow noble bittering hop, and a light malt character. Just a bit of toffee, herbal hop, and a very clean finish. Mild, yet with a good malt bill and creamy mouthfeel. Overall, a nice mild English session ale, easy and unobtrusive. (401 characters)

Photo of johnnnniee
3.92/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly cloudy deep amber with a rocky white head that sticks to everything it touches. Smell is malty sweet with hints of toffee and caramel. There are some floral/earthy hops in here but every time I think I smell them they are gone to quickly. Taste is again malty bready and sweet with caramel and toffee. Some hops do come out in the flavor earthy floral cut through the malt quite nicely. There is a slight mineral element in the taste as well as a hint of butter. Medium to low level of carbonation, sweet sticky mineral mouthfeel with a medium body. This beer flew through my glass on this 98 degree day. This is an easy drinking light ale with enough flavor to keep my attention, to bad it takes a bit of work to get one of these to enjoy at home. (765 characters)

Photo of rmolledo
3.3/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: hazy copper, low head.
S: caramel malts. Fruity esters. Grassy
T: good toasted and caramel malt flavors. slightly turned. Slight vinegar. Caramels, toasted malts.
MF: medium carbonation. Medium body.
O: good light bitters/mild. Refreshing. Slightly turned but fr the ABV and considering shipment it was expected. (315 characters)

Photo of Beejay
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Hazy medium amber in color. Nice white head on top, though is fades a good deal fairly quickly.

S: Lovely malt presence, with fresh baked bread following. Not a lot of hop scent, but what is there is mildly earthy.

T: Malty with a nice bitterness. Caramel and bread notes present as well as a mild fruitiness. There is not a lot of hop flavor, but there is a nice solid bitterness to the finish.

M: Fairly light in body with active carbonation. Finish is crisp with a slightly slick feel.

D: Yeah I could basically drink this all day. I bet this would be mega awesome dry hopped. (589 characters)

Photo of crossovert
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle.

Poured into a English pint, it is a medium orangeish gold with a nice foamy white head. It recedes with some nice lacing.

The smell is very nice, it has a lot of lemon and orange zest, it is very zesty.

The taste is surprisingly similar, though more subdued. It has some zesty lemon/lime, a bit of grain, and some mineral water. It has a lot of flavor, though it is a bit blunt.

It is supremely drinkable. (424 characters)

Photo of OtherShoe2
3.93/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a bright orange with soapy off-white head. Some lacing and decent retention.

Some bread and toast aromas and toasted malt. Some honeyed elements.

Nice balance here. Dark brown bread crust, complete with bread sweetness then crust bitterness, toasty full malt, some lingering clean bitterness, and a creaminess that makes this entirely drinkable, in addition to the low alcohol. A little thin, but this one tastes like tap beer in a bottle. So glad I tried this. (469 characters)

Photo of tempest
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a bottle at Tap and Table in Emmaus. I was never a big believer in bottled English session beers, but this was full-flavored session ale. There was a smooth biscuity malt character throughout with mild spice and fruity esters. There was a herbal citrus peel tast upfront and then the beer finished with a peppery hop kick and had the body of a roughly 5% pale ale. It didn't feel light or watery and it was rich in subtle English character despite the low alcohol. Very drinkable, check it out if you like the style. (520 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Copper-tinged golden color with a very rocky head that dribbles a few shards of lace down the side of the pint glass

Smell: Toasty caramel with a grainy aspect and a hint of butterscotch

Taste: Toasty, with a developing buttery caramel flavor, up front, but by mid-palate, the earthy, herbal hop flavors kick into gear; lots of fruity flavor after the swallow, with apple, pear and a hint of raisin

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with low carbonation

Drinkability: A very nice sessionable bitter that shows off a lot of flavor in a low ABV brew (561 characters)

Photo of MbpBugeye
3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

So I set out to cross off a few styles I havent had. While looking for a bitter I came across this tall, custom glass bottle. Poured into a Perfect Pint.

A- A slightly hazy gold color that matches the color of the label. The head is about 2 fingers tall and fades to a skin that throws a tiny bit of lacing.

S- Flowery hops, a mealy grain smell, some light orange, honey and grapes. Everything is very delicate.

T- Very delicate flavors of flowery hops, sweet fruity and grain malts. Very insanely balanced.

M- Creamy smooth with a low level of carbonation. It simulates that cask conditioned effect. Finish is very quenching and semi dry.

D- You gulp this stuff, sipping is impossible. Real English session ales are fantastic! I must find more.

This beer in two words: Elbow bender. (790 characters)

Photo of farrago
3.7/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Close to two fingers of mostly huge bubbles causing it to disappear quickly, off-white in color, for as quickly as the head is gone leaves decent lacing residue. Mild haze to the base orange color, suggests as much brown as yellow, fairly consistent throughout with a scattering of loose bubbles. The nose is biscuity with a fistful of grains, dried flowers, corn husks, barley, dried orange peels, dead yeast cells, cellar stored apples and peaches, nothing distinctly malty but, by the same token, doesn't come across as devoid of malts. Light-bodied, consistent throughout so you don't sense any dropping off. Barley, wheat germ, corn, sorghum, and yeast, does a nice of job of alternating between bitter and sweet, the very active carbonation moderates between them. Caramel and maple syrup smooth some rough patches, still has a leafy finish. The lemon, orange citrus dry and focus things further. Ends with a kind of peppery kick. The only thing that lowers drinkability is the dryness. (992 characters)

Photo of JoEBoBpr
3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A - Pours a nice clear slight copper color with some orange hues and a nice medium dense 1 inch head. That seems very sticky and retentive.

S - The pale malt aroma is intense and very enticing. Delicious grainy and bready hints a plenty. Nice flowery aroma form the hop with some slight citrusy notes.

T - Delicious and sharp grain flavors com up quick with a slight sweetness that is very much an English Bitter staple. Nice slight hop grassy flavor. There is some nice nut flavors in there as well and some slight pine resin form the hops.

M & D - Light, refreshing , lower ABV, delicious. (622 characters)

Photo of Offa
4.55/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is an excellent, light, easy-drinking, balanced, flavourful bitter.

Pale amber (like very dark gold with a bit of orange & copper), it has a big pale tan head slowly shrinking to a permanent, thin rocky top and leaving some good lace.

The aroma is caremelised toasty crusty bread, barley, lemon, light fruits, hints of yeast and leafy tea.

Taste is up front, and mostly the rest of the way, leafy with light earthiness and peppery spiciness, with hint of lemon zest, yeast, underlying light toasty bread and hints of caramelly sweetness. It is nicely balanced in bitterness-sweetness, although the hoppy bitterness just slightly dominates the finish before the balance resumes. Flavour character leans definitely to the hops, unlike the aroma. It is extremely easy to drink and wonderfully balances light drinkability with character and well-roundedness. Fell is good, a bit flat but not thin or watery. (911 characters)

Photo of jsh420
4.09/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours golden yellow with a 1_ finger head that covers the glass with lacing

smell is faint pale malts and some earthy hops

taste is solid - good amount of pale malts and earthy hop with some slight bitterness

mouthfeel is light kinda watery thin - it has a nice creamy finish

drinkability is great - a beer with this kind of flavor and only 3.6% abv - i just wish it was cheaper (383 characters)

Photo of pokesbeerdude
4.28/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

1pt .9 fl oz bottle from Wilbur's in Fort Collins, around $5.

A: Hazy gold in color, about half an inch of thick cream colored head, pretty fair head retention, not much lacing. Nice looking beer.

S: Creamy sort of caramel malt, deep earthy hop, really smells smooth, not a whole lot, but really pleasant nonetheless. Very aromatic for a small abv beer.

T: Caramel malts, quite sweet, has a very English both taste and intrinsic quality, everything about the taste screams pub session ale. Lightly bitter hop profile in the end, slightly earthy. This is excellent.

M: Thin carbonation, medium thickness, very refreshing.

D: Amazing, this beer would be incredibly easy to drink all night. I would love to try this on cask, as it is meant to be. Really a great beer, and without a doubt the first true sessionable beer I've ever had. This is fantastic. Highly recommended. (880 characters)

Photo of marcobrau
3.91/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A hazy, golden ale that pours with plenty of foam that settles slowly leaving some lace behind. Slight whiff of fruit in the nose; predominantly apple.Gentle carbonation, which is good. Tastes a bit fruity (apples, pears) along some juicy caramel maltiness and decent peppery bitterness. Rather full-bodied without being too malt forward. I think this is an ale that Reminds me a bit of one of my home-brewed bitters served from a Party Pig. This beer really needs to be experienced a bit warmed up and not right out of the fridge to be enjoyed and I would guess that it really needs to be served from the cask to be fully appreciated. Like the fact that it's low in alcohol. (675 characters)

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From notes, from a cask at The Brazen Head in Brooklyn via Alex Hall...

Appearance: Clear, golden, very limited white head that dissolves immediately to a whispy surface covering.

Aroma: Malt and hop blend. Basic. Straightforward grain and minor floral/grassy hops. Delicate fruitiness.

Taste: Malt opens up in the flavor with a nice, gently biscuity and grainy/straw-like character. Minor apple-like fruitiness. Followed by floral and spicy hops with an edge of grassiness. Mild undertones of buttery diacetyl. Firm bitterness appears across the middle and lingers into the finish, gaining momentum as it goes. It finishes quick and dry with just a suggestion of malt and some spinning, swirling hints of spicy and floral hops left behind.

Mouthfeel: Obviously smooth with a medium body and natural, soft carbonation.

Drinkability: Impressively tasty for a low gravity brew of 3.6%. A great session ale. Well worth trying. (928 characters)

Photo of plaid75
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On cask at the Brazen Head, Brooklyn.

Poured a light copper hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a soft doughy malt and a light grassy hop.

The taste consisted of a balanced doughiness and grassiness.

The mouthfeel was typical of the style.

Overall a tasty and very quaffable bitter. (351 characters)

Photo of pik5el
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

a - amber in appearance with a thumb of white frothy head which dissipates to a pleasant ring after a couple minutes.
s - light hopping, spicy and grassy. caramel maltiness. notes of honey, hay, grass, fresh bread.
t - easy bitterness, grassiness from the hopping, a bit of florals. some caramel and toastiness. good biscuity finish.
m - smooth going down, a bit thin, finishes dry.
d - dry finish makes if very drinkable, like a standard bitter should be. leaves me wanting another taste. i have a feeling this is a great session beer, i could have multiple pints. (565 characters)

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Hooky Bitter from Hook Norton Brewery Co. Ltd.
86 out of 100 based on 43 ratings.