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Twelve Days - Hook Norton Brewery Co. Ltd.

Not Rated.
Twelve DaysTwelve Days

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

89 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 89
Hads: 129
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 8.57%
Wants: 5
Gots: 10 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Hook Norton Brewery Co. Ltd. visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
English Strong Ale |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Todd on 03-01-2005

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 89 | Hads: 129
Photo of captaincoffee
4.21/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Deep mahogany; tint of red when held up to light. Only a little head. Not a big nose; malt, some very light UK hops, and vague roasty flavors. However, the taste is very big; lots of burnt caramel, coffee bitterness, sweet malts, and dried fruits. What a pleasant surprise. Medium-to-thick mouthfeel and some bitterness on the finish. Overall, a really good English strong ale...better than most others I've had. Tastes much,much bigger than 5.5%. (454 characters)

Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Pours brilliant dark brown under a 1” light tan foam collar that quickly dissipates but leaves good lace. S: rich roast malt aromas, nuts, spice and some eaerthiness
T: This is a malt driven beer that starts with a little chocolate, biscuit and nuttiness with traces of toffee and dark dried fruit. Lightly hopped with an earthy bitterness.
F: Moderate carbonation but very fine bubbles give it a soft creaminess.
O: A very drinkable Christmas beer. (457 characters)

Photo of Melvintrude
4.79/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Best of the Xmas ales. Full Christmas pudding flavours but nothing forced or artificial. Sometimes seasonally available on tap in my area, a treat not to be missed (163 characters)

Photo of dogin26
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer is almost like a nut brown ale but a brown ale but also like a light dark beer. Its like trying to understand a beer after 8 tequila shots and 10 previous beers,

Simple poor with a fading head. Colour is see through but still dark

Instant coffee and chocolate waft. some freshly ground bean and crisp toffee

Coffee and chocolate are the dominant but nice features. Some dribbles on vanilla and young bean.

Simple but refreshing mouth feel. A nice lighter styled dark/brown beer with enjoyable features (515 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.43/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

nothing about this beer says holidays to me, or English strong ale for that matter. more of an dark English mild, save for the still modest alcohol by volume. dark nut brown color, half inch of lazy tan head that's relatively stagnant, doesn't go anywhere. the nose is sweet and earthy English malts, chocolate malt, and a sweetness I don't all the way like. lots of stale smelling ale yeast too, give it a funny metallic ting. I don't dislike the flavor, which is all grin forward, dark but not unmalted roast barley dark. not as sweet as it smells either, which I appreciate. no holiday spice at all, somewhat of a letdown in a beer that's not particularly flavorful. it reminds me of a lower quality sam smiths product from a yeast standpoint, which some may love, but I don't favor. it lacks the properties that make a holiday beer special for me. rich and robust in body though, which helps a lot, and only gently carbonated, giving it the appearance of a much bigger ale. nothing special here overall in my eyes. (1,018 characters)

Photo of Finite
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A - Deep brown with amber highlights. In the light the beer is clear and red like freshly oiled mahogany. The head forms late in the glass and is a crisp off white foamy head but didn't form the quite the height I was expecting for a beer with this power. Lacing is present on the glass during consumption. Visible carbonation is low.

S - Dark toffee with prominent yet not every whelming alcohol phenolics. Heavily malted. Some sutble hop aroma, almost exclusively fruity.

T - Rich toffy-like malt profile. Medium to high sweetness with a good floral hop balance on the medium to low side. The taste certainly reflects the aroma. Finish is medium to dry, a lingering wetness and sweetness before a very late hop drying takes over.

M - Medium to full bodied. Stronger than I anticipated yet wonderfully moorish. Carbonation is medium to low and supportive of above mentioned characteristics.

O - A terrific beer. Ticks near all the boxes required for this class. A full flavored sweet yet well balanced strong English brown ale which packs a punch. A delightful beer and one of my favourites from England yet. Much credit and respect to the brewing team at Hook Norton. (1,173 characters)

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.36/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

500ml brown bottle purchased from Dan Murphy's in Alexandria. Shared with Rich on the 2013 Australian election evening.

Pours a solid ruby-tinged brown: quite clear, but with a true depth of colour. Head forms a solid cushion of beige, settling to a slightly pocked but still solid film. Streaky lace forms in fine patterns. Carbonation is quite fine and the body is full. Looks good.

Nose is slightly toasty, but with sweeter nuttier tones than you'd get in a stout or a porter. Slight butteriness comes through, and a solidly sweet English base malt character. There's a faint sharpness to it, perhaps a touch of phenolics, a touch of metal or even a suggestion of acidity. It's not bad though all up. Quite pleasant.

Taste is smooth and light for the most part, with a firm, clean entry that immediately imparts some nuttiness and a rounded if slightly insipid sweetness. This disappears quickly though, leaving the beer feeling slightly weaker and emptier than it should be. On the back, the sweetness sits around rather flatly, not doing much and providing a rather dull finish that doesn't go anywhere. It's fine enough for an English ale, but it doesn't have the structure which would make it really shine.

Feel is smooth enough, but the insipidness towards the back means it feels weaker than some of the better examples.

Overall, it's fine, but really not that exciting. When an English ale like this is good, it can really be phenomenal. This one is not that, however—it feels like a by-the-numbers brown, perhaps with a little more weight behind it than you'd usually get, but missing the edge that would make it something special. (1,649 characters)

Photo of ADZA
2.92/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Pours just like kola beer with a one finger head that slowly settles to a rim of lacing and leggy lacing everywhere,the smell is dried fruits,raisins,booze and cotton candy,the mouthfeel is light bodied with moderate carbonation and the tastes are pretty much just like any other dark English ale without the booze its basically toffee,dried fruits,raisins and finished with a herbal earthy bitterness,overall if you havnt tried it you ain't missing much cheers. (462 characters)

Photo of soju6
3.82/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a mahogany color with a good head that fades to ample lacing.

S: Aroma of roasted malt, nuts with bit of dark fruit in the background.

T: Taste of roasted malt, some nuts and dark fruit. Mild bitterness and dry finish.

F: Medium body, smooth and creamy. Very nicely balanced.

O: Very enjoyable beer. Well worth checking out. (340 characters)

Photo of Dentist666
4.19/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown beer with tan head. Good foam retention. Nice smell: dark fruits, chocolate, roasted malts. Decent taste, close to porters, roasted malts in the front, some fruity roundness, rather warming with evident hop bitterness in the finish. Medium-bodied, balanced and full-flavoured ESA. (297 characters)

Photo of PolarBear3
3.26/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a darkish mahogany colour with an tanned head that retains fairly well

S - nutty aromas with some dark sweet malts and a hint of chocolate

T - Roasted malt, nutty , earthy flavours with a a hint of coffee and dark chocolate coffee together a little bitterness at the finish

M - medium bodied and medium carbonation

O - Promised alot at first with pleasant aromas upfront. I was slightly disappointed with the taste which lacks a little intensity and complex flavours to that of a good dark ale. But nonetheless very drinkable on a cold winters evening. (566 characters)

Photo of StJamesGate
3.64/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On cask at the Bull & Castle, Dublin.

Chestnut with ample tan froth.
Nut, earth, roast, and toast nose.
Dark toast, buttered rum, dates, and some woody hops. Goes treacly as it warms.
Chocolate bark finish and astringent linger.
Medium, chewy, round.

Definite zing of acidic black malts that's throwing off the usual sweetness from a dark winter ale. IBUs seems a bit bigger than I'd expect. Just too sharp for a winter warmer.

Rare dud for HN. (448 characters)

Photo of dgilks
3.45/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear mahogany colour with a small, smooth, light tan head. Fair head retention.

Lovely dark fruity esters. Some toffee and almost chocolate. Raisins. Nicely balanced.

Moderately sweet but not overly so. Decent malt character and nice dried fruit. Some light bitterness but it doesn't dominate. Good.

Medium-light body with moderately-high carbonation. Fine.

A decent English Ale. Full of flavour but not overly complex. Good. (430 characters)

Photo of rjimlad
3.96/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Right up my alley, this one, so a little biased. Nice deep, dark red tan colour with thick head and some lacing on a pint handle. Aroma is a little fruitcake and roast. I'm olfactorily challenged so aroma scores are a bit sketchy. Flavour is roasted malt with plum and fruitcake as you'd expect. Good bitterness on the back palate so I didn't find it cloying at all. Boozy? according to Doktorhop. I guess it is a little but the flavour is big enough to pull it off. A bit chewy at the end but that's just lip-smackin' style and I found that all in all this is a really pleasant ale and I would like some more. (610 characters)

Photo of doktorhops
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Last out of the three bottles we get in Oz. It's been sitting in the fridge since I reviewed the other ones and after taunting me for a couple weeks I've finally succumbed to reviewing it.

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a nonic pint.

A: A delicious clear smokey topaz body with a 0.5cm fawn head.

S: Chocolate with hints of figs, prunes, raisins. There is a slight toasted malt base and whiffs of yeast in the background. Expecting a big fruit cake taste.

T: Quite heady in the flavour department, this is good, the expected fruit cake flavours are there in the chocolate, figs, prunes and raisins. Then there is a boozy sherry knock in the middle - this is like the fruit cake your grandma made while drinking sherry ala "one for me, one for you" style. The nuttiness mentioned on the bottle is a back note and the yeast adds nice bread characters. This is actually an exceptional balance.

M: Slightly heavy body with light carbonation.

D: Very impressed with this one, clearly the best out of the three Hook Norton brews I tried (others being 'Old Hooky' and 'Haymaker'). The slightly cloying alcohol note in the middle betrays it a little (sort of flavour you would expect in a much higher ABV brew), but doesn't hold back the overall flavour too much. "Grandma's Boozy Sherry Fruit Cake" would have been an apt name for this.

Food match: The bottle states 'cheese platter' and I don't disagree. Other than that a nice game bird roast would work well - Jamie Oliver's "Roast of incredible game birds with proper polenta" is a great place to start. (1,558 characters)

Photo of SmashPants
3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: solid 500mL brown bottle, stylish country label.

Appearance: dark colouring with a decent, thick off-white head. Decent looking.

Aroma: not hugely strong, per the style. What's there is sweet malts and dark dry fruits. Very nice.

Taste: a combination of flavours - sweet toffee malts, dry earth and nut malts, and some hops bitterness.

Aftertaste: the bitterness lingers for a while, but other than that there isn't much in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied with low-to-medium carbonation. The carbonation carries the flavour across nicely.

Overall: an interesting English Ale with a reasonably restrained flavour. The flavours that do come through, however, are well considered and bounce off each other nicely. (733 characters)

Photo of heygeebee
3.21/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

BB Nov 12

Pours dark brown. Fluffy dirty-off-white head crackles and bubbles. Spotty lace.

Malt driven aromas. Moderate. More figs dates prunes than toffees and caramels.

Taste is much more roast malt driven. Almost burnt malt / toast. Didn't see that one coming. Dry finish.

Mouthfeel medium bodied, low carbonation.

Overall, a bit one dimensional, and dry. Add 0.5 for the Aus price point. (396 characters)

Photo of shleepy
3.11/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served from bottle into tulip glasses. Writing based on 2-week-old notes.

A: Dark brown, fluffy head. So far, so good.

S: Toffee, caramel. Not too interesting.

T: Burned caramel. Very toasty, to the point of bitterness, but balanced by sweetness. Leather, prunes.

M: Medium body and carbonation.

O: It's alright for a UK beer, but not spectacular. (352 characters)

Photo of Brenden
3.91/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The color is a red-tinted dark brown showing clarity in the light. There's enough substance to maintain a hefty tan head for awhile. A ring of chunky lacing tops the glass and drops more lacing behind it.
Malty and nutty, yes, but what this beer offers primarily in its aroma is fig and plum with a whiff of alcohol and spiciness. Malts lay down a strong foundation, but the full spectrum isn't permitted to shine beneath the dark fruits.
In the flavor, however, the full effect can be appreciated. Hops bitterness comes out strong but gentle and obviously British, and I assume from which comes a steadying earthiness and peppery nip along with leafy floral notes. The nutty flavor is also more effective. Alcohol still comes through despite a reasonable 5.5% and avoids the fusel taint. Dark fruits still play a major role and the sweetness is appreciated.
The body is medium and has a bit of smoothness but opts for crispness in the overall feel from a carbonation that's just right for this beer. (1,000 characters)

Photo of DoubleJ
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A 500 ml bottle purcahsed from the Pizza Port bottle Shop. It isn't too late for a Christmas beer, is it? On to the beer:

Despite a small head, this beer leaves lots of stringly lacing around the glass at it descends down. It's got a dark ruby brown color with red hues. A great first impression. And the impression leaks into the aroma, which is also great. There's soft English yeast, pudding, semi-sweet chocolate, butterscotch, and raisins.

Two senses have been overwhelmed in joy, and now tastes gets to experience the same. This is simply delicious. The flavors tootsie rools, powdery chocolate, complimentary sweet doughy yeast, raisins, and nuts form a complete beer that's not too sweet. The body is medium with a little buzz of carbonationn, and it has a little chew to it. Another sense in delight.

I came in with moderate expectations, and they were blown off the hinges. This is one of the better English beers that I've had in a long, long time. (964 characters)

Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A 500ml bottle with a BB of Feb 2012. Features a partridge in a pear tree on the front label - along with the name this hints at a Christmas ale (though this is not explicitly stated). Purchased at the Grog shop in Oxford.

Poured into a tulip pint glass. A dark ruby hue with low carbonation. Produces a small head of creamy off-white foam that lasts for a minute or so before subsiding. A subtle aroma of caramel malt with hints of cocoa, chocolate syrup, dried fruit, brown sugar and alcohol.

Tastes of dark malt with a subtle fruity character and a mild bitter finish. Faint notes of roasted malt, chocolate, dried fruit, vanilla, caramel and stewed hops. Mouthfeel is velvety smooth and full-bodied, with tingly carbonation and slight astringency. Aftertaste of sweet dark malt and chocolate.

An interesting Christmas ale with a restrained character. All the aromas and flavours are subtle, yet this beer achieves a nuanced complexity. No spice, but a definite chocolate note makes itself known. Lovely body. Rewards the perceptive beer drinker. Well worth sampling if you come across it. (1,095 characters)

Photo of fx20736
4.38/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 16.9 oz bottle into a nonic, served at cellar temp.

Deep, deep brown which appears black until backlit. Thin creamy sandstone head which leaves magnificent lacing.

Aroma of baked brown bread spread with Nutella.

Mouthfeel: slippery and smooth

Taste: Rich, dark bread like pumpernickel but without rye. A distinct cocoa flavor which is distinctly cocoa and not chocolate and a slight English Hop bitterness on the fade.

Notes: Magnificent! Tasty! A Brown Ale with richness and malty goodness. (510 characters)

Photo of BDTyre
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark copper with a decent, if somewhat porous white head. Earthy malts, raisin, hints of spice and christmas pudding. Nice earthy malts, light buttery character, raisin and even a bit of brandy. Quite pleasant, but a little rough on the finish. At first, this is a little too carbonated, but it eases off as the beer breathes. Good dessert beer, but a bit rough and high in alcohol to be a true session ale. (407 characters)

Photo of claspada
3.42/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Aromas are primarily earthy with brown maltiness. Mild spiciness as it warms. Nothing too mind-blowing or inviting here.

The taste begins fairly muted as well Brown maltiness with some slight hop character (spice and earthiness again). As it warms you get a little nuttiness and mild fruitness from the English yeast strain. Lesser notes of toffee and cocoa as it further comes to room temperature.

The mouthfeel works well for the style and matches what you would expect for this ABV level. It's impressively smooth and has just enough substance to lend a light creaminess to the proceedings. Carbonation is average as well.

Overall this is an average offering but it lacks the depth and complexity for the Strong Ale category and the foreign pricepoint/small bottle size also detracts from needing to revisit this anytime soon. (834 characters)

Photo of Knapp85
3.33/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer poured out as a nice brownish red color with a tan head. The head sinks down to a thin white film that lays over the top of the beer. This beer Wasn't really a holiday beer to me, I suppose there were some spices in it but it wasn't very pronounced. This brew get a little better tasting once it warms up a bit. This beer might be ideal having it from a cask. (368 characters)

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Twelve Days from Hook Norton Brewery Co. Ltd.
86 out of 100 based on 89 ratings.