Twelve Days - Hook Norton Brewery Co. Ltd.
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Ratings: 119 | Reviews: 86 | Display Reviews Only:
5/5 rDev +31.2%
One reviewer referred to this as a "porter" and if we can use that in the historical sense -- an opportunistic blend of pub ales, some dark, some pale, some roasty, some (slightly) hoppy -- then that works for me. Apparently 5.5% is considered "strong" by brewery.
I wonder to what degree the apparent perfection of this beer depends on its freshness. (It just arrived from England by way of normal state distribution.) The aromas of this reddish brown liquid are an alluring mixture of caramel malts, vanilla, cream, butter, baked red apples, red currants, sweet strawberries, brown bread crust, mashed hazelnuts and almonds, coffee and straw. Voluptuous creamy texture with a biscuity crumb lifts the bread and fruit flavors until they meet with oozing bitter tannins. The resolution is bright and fresh, bittersweet, and fascinating. Irresistable texture and organization. Astonishing drinkability.
12-11-2007 19:18:01 | More by putnam
4.6/5 rDev +20.7%
Was very pleased to see this offering from my old local brewery back in England!
Pours chestnut with 1 finger of sand colored head. Average head retention & lacing
S: Nice fruittyness, plus loads of bready notes & brown sugar
T: Rich malt sweetness, brown sugar & plummy fruit notes up front. I get more fruittyness & some spices (cinnamon mostly) as this warms. Finishes with chocolate, plus peppery & herbal hops
MF: Chewy, especially for the abv, great balance & minimal carbonation
Drinks really nice, shame this was about $6 a pint. One of the best winter beers I've had this year (so far)!
01-03-2008 16:11:07 | More by russpowell
4.5/5 rDev +18.1%
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.
01-31-2012 01:45:41 | More by DoubleJ
4.43/5 rDev +16.3%
500 ml bottle served cool into an imperial pint glass.
Appearance is a deep dark brown with redish highlights when held to the light. Clarity is good but the head is fantastic. Thick tight cap settles very slowly and leaves a perfect sheet of thin lace.
Aroma is sweet and malty with a nice toasted wheat and pleasant spice undertones.
The flavor is rich and roasty, more toasted than I expected, a little like a holiday-spiced porter. There is some chocolate and roasted nuts, caramel and toffee.
Mouthfeel is excellent. It's medium-plus in body and creamy smooth carbonation.
Overall a great winter warmer just like their stout.
12-16-2010 04:56:50 | More by GilGarp
4.43/5 rDev +16.3%
This pours a clear amber brown with a 1 finger head of foam.
The smell is big sweet malty tones with a touch of some nuttiness. I like.
The taste is chock full of caramel malt sweetness with a nice touch of some nutty tones and chocolate that seems to grow with every sip. Yum. Now tasting some toffee and some very light hoppiness that kind of shines near the finish. Oh my, this is a tasty son of a gun.
Medium bodied with a lightish amount of carbonation, the last taste I can sense in the finish is chocolate.
Drinkability? Low in the abv for an English Strong Ale, high when it comes to taste, this is a really delicious example of the style. I wish I had bought more than 1 bottle!!
It seems Hook Norton can do no wrong in my book and..I got this pint bottle on sale for US$2.99!!
The regular price of US$4.99 would be money well spent!
05-10-2009 20:20:50 | More by Bitterbill
4.43/5 rDev +16.3%
Aroma is strong and richly malty with a strong overtone of brown sugar. It pours a clear dark brown with a thick, fine-bubbled, off-white head that stays around. Flavor is malty with ribbons of brown sugar or molasses and smoky and nutty hints. Aftertaste is rather sweet but not cloying; there is just a whisper of hop bitterness. A delightful ale.
02-29-2008 03:17:43 | More by Cyberkedi
4.4/5 rDev +15.5%
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.
12-28-2011 02:49:57 | More by fx20736
4.4/5 rDev +15.5%
I've had this bottle sitting in my cellar since middle of last year. After reading some of the other reviews I was expecting this to be lacking in body and flavour, but I was surprised. Maybe this needs to age? Overall, great malt, nice but not overwhelming fruity hops (I'm not big on super-hopped stuff) and a great full flavour. Typically I'm drinking stuff in the higher alcohol range so I wasn't expecting as solid a beer in an ale that's (only) 5.5%.
04-28-2009 04:14:55 | More by aeroguy
4.35/5 rDev +14.2%
Poured from 1pt .9oz bottle into nonic pint glass.
Appearance: Pours a dark cola color with a large, creamy head that is the color of a scoop of vanilla ice cream after it's been dunked in root beer- in fact, this almost looks like a root beer float! The head dissipates very slowly and leaves behind thin, bubbly rings of lace.
Smell: Sweet caramel with a slight nuttiness and some sugary plum notes.
Taste: Begins with caramel and overall sweet malt, rounding out to sweet fruits and finishing nutty and with a balanced hop profile.
Mouthfeel: Thinner body with light carbonation, and a smooth finish that dries out.
Drinkability: I was having a hankering for a beer with a distictive English flavor and a winter beer- this is both wrapped into one and is definitely recommended.
12-20-2010 02:08:13 | More by Mosstrooper
4.3/5 rDev +12.9%
Poured into an imperial pint glass.
The guys at Cloverleaf Wine really pushed this beer as something great. I'm skeptical of British beers because they usually lack the strong flavors of American brews. However, I was pleasantly surprised with this beer. As a Christmas beer, the appearance is reminiscent of liquid gingerbread. The aroma is spicy and sweet. The taste is very nice like spice cookies with some notes of caramel and chocolate. The mouthfeel is fine - nothing objectionable with the carbonation. This is a nice Christmas beer - easy drinking with very nice flavors. Recommended.
12-24-2007 05:07:01 | More by montageman
United Kingdom (Northern Ireland)
4.22/5 rDev +10.8%
500ml bottle bought from The Vintage, Antrim...
Poured a deep dark red / black colour... Creamy tan head poured quite thick and foamy then faded slowly to nice thick layer... decent amount of sticky lacing..
Aroma - Pretty strong dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malts, quite nutty, sweet caramel, decent vinous fruitiness (black grapes, dates, plums), earthy, roasted malts, some peppery hops, vanilla...
Taste - Again dark chocolate mixed with dark fruits (plums, dates), light spices (ginger and nutmeg), some fresh vanilla, toffee, some coffee bitterness, quite nutty, light metallic notes in the background, some liquorice...
Feel - Pretty smooth and creamy... light / medium bodied... Pretty drinkable at only 5.5%...
Overall - A very nice (and quite festive) brew... recommended...
04-27-2010 08:21:40 | More by mdagnew
4.22/5 rDev +10.8%
This was a Christmas leftover at the Brickskellar in Washington.
Pours a nice deep amber with light carbonation and a fleeting head.
The bouquet had nice sweet malt, allspice, walnuts and a hint of cinnamon.
The malts were pleasant on the tongue as the sweetness complimented the nutty undertones. Nice smooth, clean finish leaving a warming aftertaste.
This is, like most english beers, a medium bodied beer that is smooth on the palate and easy to drink. This is a friendly drinkable ale that should make any holiday festival a bit more jolly.
02-27-2009 22:50:12 | More by garcia2a
4.22/5 rDev +10.8%
Presentation: Classy, holiday-themed 16.9oz raised-letter bottle; no date to be seen; nice label
Appearance: Beautiful dark walnut beer, nice clarity, capped by a big fluffy head of light tan foam; shows nice retention and a bit of lacing as well
Smell: Lots of warm chocolatey tones right off the bat, backed with rich dark malt and a dark fruitiness. Very English, very nice.
Taste: Lovely rich, warm dark caramel and chocolate malts. Light fruit and yeast notes. No spices present/perceived. Just enough bittering hops to keep it from becoming unbalanced. Warming, simple, well-constructed. Shows a bit of coffee, and dry and lightly-roasted bitterness on the finish.
Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, smooth
Conclusion: A wonderful, tasty winter warmer in classic English style. Went wonderfully with a Grilled Red Leicester and Tomato sandwich.
08-10-2010 22:53:16 | More by BedetheVenerable
4.21/5 rDev +10.5%
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.
11-26-2013 06:02:51 | More by Finite
4.19/5 rDev +10%
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.
05-19-2013 10:32:23 | More by Dentist666
4.18/5 rDev +9.7%
pours out of the stately half litre bottle a clear but very dark mahoghany colour. thin tannish head which sticks around awhile...leaving some sparse lace. sweet brown sugar aroma, some fruit and woody notes...pretty nice. boozy wooden accents, brown sugar and molasses, dark rum, some cherries and dark chocolate, a bit of x-mas spice and a good dose of flowery hops. complex for sure...all perceived nuances are subtle yet sturdy. this is a dry beer...lip puckering in fact. i like it. a nice bodied english ale with a mouthfeel kept on guard by the dryness of the profile. drinkability is great...it's only 5.5% ABV but seems a lot boozier due to the liquor like flavours imparted.
english ales are hard to judge due to the subtle and modest qualities of the flavour profiles, but this strong ale has enough to keep the drinker interested yet invoke a sense of sessionability.
a nice meat and cheese platter would be a perfect pairing for this english x-mas ale.
12-08-2007 01:31:40 | More by budgood1
4.15/5 rDev +8.9%
A: Dark, brown, inviting. Two inch head that settles into a thin white line.
S: sweet dark and lovely, malty with something else, hazelnuts?
T: Sweet buttery toffe malts, sweet initally with a dry finish coaxing you back for another sip.
M: Silky smooth as Bryan Ferry.
D: Terrific, silky, buttery malty nutty goodness, all in a 5.5% package. It's much more than a Xmas enjoyment, I'll be sipping this all summer, found a supply for $3.99 a bottle on sale. One of my few repeat purchases.
05-18-2010 00:45:34 | More by CaptFrothy
4.15/5 rDev +8.9%
Dark amber/light brown color; seemingly clear. Awesome head that recedes in a rocky fashion. Light ring lace left on the glass.
A surprising sour smell. Largely chocolate aroma.
Tastes like a rich brown ale. There are elements of black patent, chocolate and dark crystal malts. Good hop finish that blends well with the light coffee flavors.
This is a very good Christmas beer. It has elements of a porter and a brown ale. Well balanced and flavorful.
12-07-2008 22:46:27 | More by smcolw
4.13/5 rDev +8.4%
Pours a clear brown with no head. The nose stays mostly caramel. Nice smooth and even earthy and leafy character on the flavor profile. Smooth feel, but not a mess of carbonation. A very nice ale. It's even and smooth which makes it a great one to try.
06-07-2008 22:37:40 | More by RblWthACoz
Twelve Days from Hook Norton Brewery Co. Ltd.
86 out of 100 based on 119 ratings.