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Hooky Gold - Hook Norton Brewery Co. Ltd.

Not Rated.
Hooky GoldHooky Gold

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

29 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 29
Hads: 56
Avg: 3.86
pDev: 12.69%
Wants: 7
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Hook Norton Brewery Co. Ltd. visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
English Pale Ale |  4.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: gpcollen1 on 07-18-2007

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (17) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 29 | Hads: 56
Photo of patre_tim
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Gold and lightly cloudy with a moderate amount of carbonation. Topped with 3 fingers of yellowish tinged foamy head that leaves a foamy lacing.

Big caramel, honey, buiscut, sweet maltiness, fruity, light floral note like honey suckle, a hint of lemon rind or grapefruit pith in the background.

Lightly sweet, honey, lemon rind and a hint of juice, biscuit, caramel comes in on the finish and then a slight grapefruit pith on the end.

Moderate to light body, moderate peppery carbonation, slightly sticky finish.

Found this at Villa Market in Bangkok, where I am drinking it July 26th, 2015. Well done brew.

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Pours clear gold under a ½” quickly dissipating foam cap.
S: Fruit and bread aromas T: Biscuit tempered by moderate hop bitterness and the fruitiness is almost peach.
F: Very smooth with a medium to medium full body and below average carbonation.
O: A very easy to drink beer with big flavor.

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Photo of rangerred
3.86/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a hazy medium orange with a thin half finger head. Average head retention.

Aroma is not what I was expecting! Lots of zesty fruit especially tangerine with a little bit of peaches and apricot. Almost smells like Sunny Delight. However underneath is some fresh cut grass and caramel. Really a lot going on in the aroma.

Sweet caramel comes across immediately in the taste similar to caramel sauce. Quickly followed by the same citrus that was in the nose. Plenty of bitterness in this all the way through. The finish is extremely long lasting and plenty dry and crisp.

Really a great beer overall and something a little bit different than other English ales out there. Really nice balance of caramel, fruit, and bitterness. Easy to drink and quite refreshing.

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Photo of gcpxavier
4.42/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This good and tasteful Pale Ale is a very careful made by a brewer in oxfordshire with a great sense of the spirit of who knows what they make.
This beer has a modern "old"style with something of fruity and bitter taste with an excellent smell and a beautiful brown neck.
It's mouthfeel is very good and strong in the right combination of flavor.
If you'll can drink this beer, is a very good choice alone or with meat.

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Photo of Thehuntmaster
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle 4,2% Abv.
Served chilled in an oversized wine glass.
BB: 04/04/2012

Appearance: Crystal clear, bright golden body topped by a good sized white head that lasts pretty well and leaves pleasant lacing.

Smell: Hmmm, very light aroma - maybe the beer is colder than I thought. Some warming yields improvement, but not as much as I would like. The nose consists of zesty citrus, light grassiness and biscuity malt.

Taste: Wow, Hooky Gold's flavour is quite opposite to the nose! This is a delicious pale ale and I think a lot of English breweries could learn something from the hopping of this ale.
Wonderful zesty citrus and freshly cut grass overlaid on a fairly sweet malt base. The finish is lasting, with a solid bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate, smooth carbonation. Wonderfully drinkable and very refreshing.

Overall: If the smell was as good as the flavour this would easily be my favourite pale ale. I will still however drink quite a few of these in the future.

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Photo of fx20736
4.33/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a British Pint Glass. Served around 50f.

Peach yellow with noticeable carbonation forms a linen white head that leaves gobs and gobs of lacing.

Aroma: a Pilsnerish mix of Pale Malt & Spicy fragrant Hops but also a touch of orchard fruitiness (peaches, apricots)

Mouthfeel: more spritzy than your typical EPA.

Taste: Biscuity malt dollowed by a Noble hop style bitterness with just a touch of EPA fruitiness on the tail.

Notes: Whoa! This Bitter shares a lot of characteristics of a Pilsener or perhaps a Kolsch. The label claims that this beer is finished with American Hops and it shows. This is an oh so refreshing and tasty beer. Such a nice twist on a Pale ale by one of my favorite English breweries. This one deserves a big thanks and I cannot wait to get my hands on another.

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Photo of StJamesGate
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Burnished gold under a pocked lump off-white head that leaves trailers. Cut grain and lemon zest nose with some grass and herb - fresh and spring-like.
Lemon curd and white pan up front with citrus and light gingery hops with mild soapiness. Mango end and sweet-and-sour linger.
Light to medium, some cling, round.

Substantial for a blonde - nice EKG + Fuggles end but decent bitterness from Willamette, all on top of some chewy malts. Does fine cold in summer, I'm sure, but warm in autumn works, too. Hook Norton continue to impress.

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Photo of jazzyjeff13
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 500ml bottle with a BB of Dec 2011. Label mentions this brewery's first use of American hop Williamette in addition to Fuggles and Goldings.

Poured into a Guinness pint glass. A golden colour with slight haziness and good carbonation. Produces a thick head of white foam that subsides after a few minutes. An aroma of light malt with distinctive hoppiness; sharp fruity notes of citrus and grapefruit. Nice...

Taste of light malt with a refreshing bitterness. Citrus and grapefruit notes. A tingly and slightly astringent mouthfeel. Lingering aftertaste of hops.

Very nice. Light but flavoursome, and well worth your time. Would be very refreshing in summer.

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Photo of Beejay
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Grapefruit colored, and hazy. The head is white, and plentiful.

S: A very light biscuity bread aroma. The aroma is very soft. There is an earthy/grassy hop scent coming through but it is fairly subtle.

T: Bready, with a little bite from the hops. There is almost a slight earthiness to it. Rather subtle and nice.

M: Light in body and carbonation. The finish is clean.

D: Something I would love to try on cask, or dry hopped. Good, but I think it could be great in the UK.

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Photo of BlackHaddock
4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brown 500ml bottle, drank and reviewed a week after its best before date.

Poured into an 'Abbot Ale' glass tankard: pale yellow/golden body with full, deep white foamy head which produced some good lacing.

The nose is citrusy hops (three types of hops used, American Willamette, with British Fuggles and Goldings.

The flavour was mostly hops, semi-sweet tasting more that a hoppy bitterness, that came later in the mouthfeel.

A nice refreshing pint, ideal for summer drinking, but also fine for cold winter nights too.

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Photo of AgentMunky
3.92/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 500mL bottle into a pint glass.

A: Very clear, yellowish orange, thin to no head, a few bubbles. Not particularly impressive, but not near pale enough to make me worry.

S: Buttery toast. Hints at spicy fruit. Subdued.

T: Not bad! (By which I mean, 'Quite good!') Crispy malts, nicely-balanced hops. A bubbly, bittery kick. The butteriness carries over to the flavour. Aftertaste is light, bitter, and a bit too brief.

M: Carbonated, bready (toast again!), hopped and drying.

D: A rather delicious creation, truth be told. It may not win any awards, but it definitely stands out amongst its peers. The buttery notes were impossible to ignore, but I think worked well. Next time I'm in the market for a pale ale, I will be giving Hooky serious consideration. Recommended.

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Photo of AEK
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500ml brown bottle poured into a Young's pint pot B.B. 25/04/10.
Note the Best Before date and the date I sampled it! Bloody Spar shops!

A. Yellow-Gold coloured beer with a nice white head that was pretty consistant.

S. Citrus and fruity malt.

T. Juicy malt, zesty and citrus notes, maybe a hint of spiciness in there too. A slight hop bite.

M. Medium bodied

D. This would have scored higher marks if it was still in date. Even though it is 5 months over the B.B. Date it was still okay. Still a little complexity going on in the aroma and taste but maybe not as much as there was 6 months ago.

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Photo of mdagnew
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle bought from The Vintage, Antrim...

Poured a crystal clear pale straw colour... white head poured quite small and loose which faded quickly to light covering... lots of carbonation rushes to the surface... light lacing..

Aroma - Strong freshly cut wet grass, light pale biscuity maltiness, floral hops, salty, honey sweetness, light fruits (lemons, apples), some faint almond nuttiness, light spicy / peppery notes, some creamy vanilla...

Taste - Nice strong fruitiness (grapefruit, apples, lemon), good peppery hop bite, faint pine, biscuity malts, some butteriness, floral honey, grassy, herbal, light mint, some sea salt, light sweet caramel notes...

Feel - Smooth initially then a good sharp bite comes through... medium bodied... extremely thirst quenching and drinkable - a perfect session beer..

Overall - Another pretty good pale ale from Hook Norton... nothing ground breaking but a good drinkable ale.

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Photo of fullsweep
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500 mL brown bottle pured into a pint glass.

A: clear golden beer sits underneath a frothy, rich white head that resembles a Belgian pale.

S: floral and fruity.

T: very bitter pale ale here; sharp and a bit spicy from the hops; surprisingly refreshing nonetheless.

M: nice carbonation, very smooth, a good spring/summer afternoon beer.

D: although I am not a huge fan of this particular style, it is a great representation of the Oxforshire pale ale.

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Photo of brownbeer
4.42/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours, well, gold with a nice white sheet on top.

The nose is definitely English. It's got those herbal, lemony, spicy hops out front, with a distinct but subdued malty backbone. So far, i'm diggin' it.

The taste is quite bitter for an English Pale, but that's good, means it's fresh. Noble hops just edge out the honeyish malts in the flavor. The mouthfeel is rich and the carbonation ample. For 4.2% this is loaded with flavor. Awesomely drinkable.

This won't shake anything up in the world of beer, but for me, in the world of Brittish Pale, it's innovative. Hook Norton is great!

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Photo of brentk56
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy russet tinged honey color with a foamy head that leaves plentiful amounts of lace behind

Smell: Cracker malt with an herbal character; subtle hints of lemon pith and pine

Taste: Opens with a cracker malt flavor that moves directly to a grassy, herbal hop bitterness, with the lemon pith and pine flavors emerging by mid-palate; after the swallow, the cracker malt re-emerges to balance the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with low to moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Rather decent, though the hop combination (while an interesting blend of old an new world) is not really to my liking

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Photo of gfreed
2.83/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Not-quite clear colors of gold and amber, with a little fog in the middle, and a loose white head that faded quickly. Quite pretty. Not a lot of visible carbonation. Enough lemon and honey in the smell to remind me of a good German lager. Still more honey and lemon in the taste; perhaps a little soap as well (this would definitely be good for washing out the mouth when mother catches you using the wrong words...) and some orange furniture polish at the end. A little density in the body; not a lot of fizz. What's missing is the bite: the edges are rather dull, especially at the end where a sting can be nice.

With an ABV of 4.2%, this could easily fall into the lawnmower-beer category. However, at $5+ a bottle in New England it's a bit pricey for pounding while pushing a whirring, limb-mangling power tool around the yard.

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Photo of smcolw
3.81/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Plateaued, foamy head that leaves spotty, but chunky lace after each sip. Slight haze to a light gold color.

Earthy malt tones to the smell, some skunk; Light hop in the background.

Creamy body with a light spritz in the background. Good malt base. The swallow is a pleasant blend of pale malts and bittering hops which last a decent amount of time in the aftertaste. A good run-of-the-mill English Bitter.

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Photo of tai4ji2x
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

day two at NERAX 2009

deep golden straw. faint haze. bubbly, sudsy head that stays around. micro-bubbles do stick to the glass, as a sort of sparse "lacing"

aroma: fruity ripe pears, grape even, with a touch of citrus (orange) zest, moving to grassy hop resins with toasted malt foundation and hint of yeastiness. trace of diacetyl.

taste: malty, toasted bread quickly flashes with grassy, faintly piney hops with some herbal quality. yeasty, bready finish with mild to moderate bitterness and more grassy resins. fruity esters in the background.

light but smooth, with faint resins in the finish. touch of carbonation.

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Photo of TheycallmeTim
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Cask at Chipshop, Atlantic Ave. location. Served in an O'Hara's imperial tulip pint.

A--Bright tawny honey-colored body--looks like sunlight coming through an open window in the Spring air. Light ring of big soapy bubbles circle the rim and dissipate. Body is still without being flat.

S--Mainly lemony, with some light grassy and floral hops (very, very light on the floral--we're not talking American hops here). Mostly it's fresh grain promising juicy biscuit on the flavor profile.

T--And it's in! Yeah, that's what I missed about England--just a flavor sock of biscuit malt buttered on both sides. Earthy herbal notes come through that were lacking on the nose to match the lemony tang up front (which is more muted in the taste). The profile on this is great, but the cask was on its way out, unfortunately--got some sour wetness on the back end that just shouldn't be there. Too bad the turnaround on beers like this isn't quicker in the States.

M&D--Mouthfeel is super--slick and medium-full and creamy. Drinkability on all English ales is great. Halfway through I was ready for another, without any trepidation toward the serving size.

We really need to get our cask on in this country and start appreciating subtlety.

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Photo of JohnQVegas
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy gold, no hint of a head. Live the haze, love the haze.

Nose is spicy hops, some biscuity malt, faint but really nice.

taste is beautiful - biscuity and orangey, juicy, firmly spicy, floral towards dry finish. exhale is buttery and biscuity, beautiful.

Mouthfeel is nicely silky, pleasant, though very little carbonation at all.

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Photo of soulgrowl
3.41/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Basic-looking brassy body with a beige-white head, creamy and solid with good retention.

Smell: Soapy-citric hops with a little dandelion floral quality; malts are just a bit caramelly and toffee-ish. Basic and mild.

Taste: Lovely whole grain/fresh barley flavor with a considerable smack of hops and a touch of white wine fruitiness. Very floral and citric; not Americanesque, but distinctly orangey and lemony with a hint of minty herbs in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Soft and light; a bit sticky.

Drinkability: Strangely, I think this would drink better as a lager, but then again some of its nuances may be lost at a colder temperature.

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Photo of Offa
4.23/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is a light, crisp, but tasty beer, leaning slightly to the bitter side and packing a lot in for the low ABV.

Deep gold, slightly orangish, it has a big, off-white head, creamy and slowly shrinking to a small frothy head and leaving a little nice lace.

The aroma is light fruit (yellow plum, pear, and apple), white bread, lemon, a hint of herbs, and honey. It smells a bit like a typical English pale ale smell crossed with a little pilsner and a hint of an American pale ale.

The taste is lemon, a hint of grapefruit, pear, bread, toasted crackers, a hint of pne. It has a light fruity sweetness with a slightly stronger citrusy bitterness that dominates the finish and lingers in the aftertaste. The finish is mostly toasted crackers and lemon. It is very clean and crisp, with an excellent feel and harmony between the elements. It has a slight American quality to it, perhaps due to the use of Willamette hops, which I inly discovered after drinking it.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Haystack gold with a bright splash of pumpkin orange. Autumn reviews require autumnal descriptors. The oyster shell colored crown is a tight collection of glassy bubbles rather than firm, sponge-like foam. Large sheets of sandpaper lace definitely help the cause.

The beer smells more English than American, which makes perfect sense considering the country of origin. That's in spite of the fact that Gold is the first Hook Norton beer to use an American hop: Willamette. Never mind that Willamette is a hybrid of English Fuggles. In any case, it smells herbal, pleasantly musky and just a bit fruity.

Hooky Gold is good beer because it tastes like hops and because there's no shortage of flavor and bitterness. We're not talking Two Hearted, but then that wasn't the goal. For an English pale, there's no question that the little green cones were added with a heavy hand.

The malt backbone is cracker-like rather than biscuity or bready. It might be the crisp snap of abundant alpha acids that's giving that impression. If there's something darker than pale malt in here, there can't be much of it. In addition to Willamette, Fuggles and Goldings were used. We can't have an English beer named Gold without Goldings hops.

If you're a hophead, the beer is balanced. Actually, even if you aren't, it's pretty close. This must be a relatively fresh bottle because the lemon zesty, grassy, herbal, musky fruit flavor of the hops is right up front and teases the tongue in tantalizing fashion. Multiple pints would be no trouble at all.

Even though the mouthfeel is big enough (especially given the ABV), it could be more expertly bubbled. The carbonation fades before the end of each mouthful, lending a quasi-flat feeling to the finish. On-cask in Oxfordshire is probably a different story.

Hooky Gold and Twelve Days are proof that Hook Norton is more than capable when it comes to brewing traditional English ales. Because of the price ($5.89), this purchase won't be repeated. Having said that, if you like your pales ales to taste English and to contain an American amount of hops, a single bottle purchase is well worth it.

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Photo of Rayek
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Slightly hazy bronze color. Somewhat active carbonation displays tiny bubbles. The white head is rather small, but has great retention. Leaves a generous amount of lace.

S: Mild and Fruity, with a healthy dose of grapefruit and lemon, plus some biscuit notes.

T: The use of American cascade hops makes this reminiscent of a good APA. Initial husky malt flavor is followed by a moderate level of citrus bitterness. The bitterness lingers through the finish with a strong grapefruit character. Rather dry.

M: Medium body feels oily and even a little leafy. Carbonation level is right.

D: Glad I picked this one up. Very nice session beer. Shows that a low ABV doesn't have to equate to llow flavor.

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Hooky Gold from Hook Norton Brewery Co. Ltd.
86 out of 100 based on 29 ratings.