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Twelve Days - Hook Norton Brewery Co. Ltd.

Not Rated.
Twelve DaysTwelve Days

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

89 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 89
Hads: 130
Avg: 3.84
pDev: 12.24%
Wants: 6
Gots: 9 | 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.
View: Beers (16) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 89 | Hads: 130
Photo of putnam
5/5  rDev +30.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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.

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Photo of Melvintrude
4.79/5  rDev +24.7%
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

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Photo of russpowell
4.61/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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)!

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%
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.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.42/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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!

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.42/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

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Photo of GilGarp
4.41/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

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Photo of fx20736
4.38/5  rDev +14.1%
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.

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Photo of aeroguy
4.38/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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%.

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Photo of Mosstrooper
4.33/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

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Photo of montageman
4.27/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%
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.

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Photo of captaincoffee
4.21/5  rDev +9.6%
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%.

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Photo of mdagnew
4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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...

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Photo of garcia2a
4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of BedetheVenerable
4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Drinkability: High

Conclusion: A wonderful, tasty winter warmer in classic English style. Went wonderfully with a Grilled Red Leicester and Tomato sandwich.

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Photo of Finite
4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
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.

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Photo of Dentist666
4.19/5  rDev +9.1%
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.

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Photo of CaptFrothy
4.17/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of budgood1
4.12/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.


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Photo of fullsweep
4.12/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 mL brown bottle poured into a pint glass.

I really enjoyed this beer, was pleasantly surprised. The only other offering from Hook Norton I've tried is Hooky Gold, and I enjoyed this much better (to be fair, it's for stylistic reasons).

A: clear but darkish brown with mahogany hints. Lots of clarity, very small head that dissipates quickly.

S: strong caramel scents with a bit of fruit too

T: sweet and rich--very enjoyable, a bit of alcohol that leans in the direction of a barleywine but not nearly as strong or pronounced as that.

M: very mild carbonation (almost nonexistent) and surprisingly light considering the sweetness.

D: very drinkable--would certainly buy this again!

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Photo of smcolw
4.11/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of jwc215
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours deep chestnut brown with a thin head that eventually becomes a lasting, swirling patch.

The smell is of caramel/toffee with a hint of chocolate and dark cherry fruitiness. Roasted nuts mixes in.

The taste is malty - caramel/toffee, some chocolate. A balancing subtle, fruity bitter presence takes some edge off sweetness while keeping maltiness in the forefront. Fruitiness is of dark cherries with some pear. Roasted chestnuts suggested by nuttiness. A balanced sweetness finishes it off.

Medium-to full-bodied with a creamy touch.

A tasty, very drinkable, smooth, malt-accented with a nice, spicy hop touch, English ale.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours chestnut with a thin head that fades to a ring. Caramel aromas as well as a nuttiness, and slightly spicy. Tastes of hazlenuts and cream with a slight sweetness. Round and mild.Smooth and creamy mouthfeel, and very easy to drink. This is a very mild Christmas brew, but a nice change of pace.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.08/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 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.

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