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Twelve Days - Hook Norton Brewery Co. Ltd.

Not Rated.
Twelve DaysTwelve Days

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

122 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 122
Reviews: 86
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 12.3%
Wants: 4
Gots: 7 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Todd on 03-01-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 122 | Reviews: 86 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of pknyc
4/5  rDev +4.7%

pknyc, Apr 30, 2014
Photo of biggred1
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark chestnut amber with a pock marked sand colored head that lasts awhile and sticks to the glass. This beer smells of roasted malt, cocoa powder and black licorice with mild minty hops. Roasty dark chocolate and toasted nuts with cocoa and herbal hop notes balance nicely and finish fairly dry. Medium bodied with smooth carbonation. I'm not sure about the style but make no mistake, Twelve days is indeed a good ale. The bottle says "English Christmas ale" the BA description is "English strong ale" but I think it tastes more like a nut brown ale.

biggred1, Jan 12, 2010
Photo of pin
4/5  rDev +4.7%

pin, Jul 02, 2012
Photo of TheHoppiest
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 500 ml bottle into a pint glass. Pours a mahogany red with an ivory colored head that quietly dissipates.

Has a malty, bready smell with a pleasant underlying aroma of cinnamon and nutmeg.

Has a spicy, hoppy taste, ending bitter and peppery. Hints of toffee, orange peel, and grain.

Medium bodied, with a pleasant sweet/bitter finish.

Very enjoyable, one of the better Christmas Ales I've had this year.

TheHoppiest, Dec 27, 2010
Photo of avalon07
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a bright ruby color and a slightly hazy consistency. There was an inch of foamy, long-lasting head. Very good lacing.

S: A nice malty aroma, with some nuttiness about it.

T: Tasted of malt more than anything, with nutty hints, as well as a bit of caramel. Like many British beers, this one has a somewhat subdued flavor, but it's still pretty decent.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a dry finish. Medium-bodied.

D: On the whole, a solid, drinkable beer.

avalon07, Dec 09, 2010
Photo of Redrover
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1 pint. 9 oz festive brown bottle purchased at Trader Joes. Poured into a pint glass, the beer is a dark brown with some garnet highlights. There is a thickish brown head.

It has an aroma of brown bread, some caramel and a touch of tea.

The malts are dominate here. The beer is slightly sweet with grains, a bit of raisins, a trace of nuts and some brown sugar. The hops are more prevalent mid-glass and add a tea and spice quality. I think the tastes are well integrated.

The mouth is smooth with low carbonation. This is a pretty easy drinker and a Winter beer at 5.5% is always appreciated for sessions.

My first beer from this brewery and it wont be the last. I would love to visit Oxfordshire to see the source.

Redrover, Feb 19, 2011
Photo of magpieken
4/5  rDev +4.7%

magpieken, Jul 15, 2013
Photo of hoegaardenhero
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: nice dark brown/mahogany with some minor maroon highlights; 1/4 inch of creamy beige head that fades but leaves a covering on the top

s: chocolate, biscuit; light hay in the back; light nuttiness; sort of a little like ovaltine actually

t: chocolate; dry grain; a little watery-mild; very light coffee; light nuttiness; some abv; sort of smokiness; very interesting

m: creamy and smooth; very mild carb and very english

d: a good brew with some interesting tastes but could definitely be a bit more festive

hoegaardenhero, Dec 26, 2009
Photo of jniagar1
4/5  rDev +4.7%

jniagar1, Dec 18, 2012
Photo of doktorhops
4/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

doktorhops, Jul 28, 2012
Photo of tmoneyba
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from River's Bend.

Pours a hazy brown color with an average frothy off-white head that mostly lasted with good lacing. Moderate toasted malt and spice aroma. Medium body with a smooth texture and soft carbonation. Medium spicy sweet flavor with a medium sweet finish of moderate duration.

Good drinkable beer.

tmoneyba, Dec 19, 2008
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Burnt orange with reddish bronze undertones when backlit with sunshine. The sandstone colored crown is a good match for the beer. It's firmly creamy to start, melts in appealing fashion, and is beginning to deposit a thick band of BB-shot lace just above the nonic bulge.

The aroma is primarily earthy and brown malty. I detect no added herbs or spices. It's darker than a bock and lighter than a brown, with olfactory characteristics of each. Not bad, but I'm not in a holiday mood yet.

Twelve Days is on the subtle side. That isn't surprising given what's considered strong ale in this country in 2008. My palate hasn't been completely recalibrated, though, because I like what I'm tasting. After nothing but 3.5% bitters all year long, I'd probably consider this some pretty substantial beer. And it is, in it's own way.

Since it's tough to pick a style that this offering most closely resembles, let's stick with nut brown ale. The 'English Christmas Ale' seen on the label works as well. The malt isn't quite as dark as most browns, but the beer is pleasingly pecan nutty and delivers plenty of medium-dark fruit.

Specifics include lightly toasted brown bread, English toffee, cocoa powder, unsweet figs, a dash of vanilla and a handful of shredded hop leaves. Sweet is easily countered by tea leafy bitter, especially on the surprisingly tight, drying finish. A faint spiciness must be hop-related. This stuff is proving to be nicely drinkable.

The mouthfeel, while far from massive, works in concert with the beer's other attributes. It's impressively smooth and has just enough substance to lend a featherlight creaminess to the proceedings. Drinking it on cask... in Oxfordshire... in winter... must be a near religious experience.

Twelve Days English Christmas Ale is both delicious and highly drinkable. Bombastic Big Beer is all well and good, but restraint is sometimes the way to go. For what it's worth, I've had this bottle for more than a year and it has held up beautifully. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good nap.

BuckeyeNation, Jul 16, 2008
Photo of rjimlad
4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

rjimlad, Aug 08, 2012
Photo of Newkie
4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark, bubbly, but not completely black. Some maroon hues when light hits it just right. The head is really impressive and it's sticking all over the place. No sign of it going anywhere, either.

S: Lots of sweet dark malt. Picking up some winter spices too. Smells like its gonna be an easy drinker.

T: An initial bitter bite right up front that seems like its more from the roasted malt than anything else. That gives way to a smooth, oily flavor thats not half bad. A little grainy. Some chocolate flavors too.

M: A smooth finishing beer with a bittersweet taste up front. Carbonation is a little lower than it's poofy head would suggest.

D: Goes down easily. Probably could do more than 1 in a sitting, but I'll take my time with it.

Newkie, Jan 21, 2010
Photo of baggio
4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle@home

A: Dark brown with a creamy beige head. Some lacing.

S: Dark bread, Roasted malt, Dried fruit (pear!), Chocolate.

T: Roasted malts, Coffee, Chocolate, Nuts, Fruit, Dark caramel.

M: Quite heavy on the roasted side with some pleasant bitterness at the end. Body is somewhat thin. Carbonation is just the way i like it (medium).

Very drinkable english-style beer. Might need to buy this again if i can get my hands on it.

baggio, Jan 21, 2009
Photo of popery
4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A good English-style ale with a lot of malt flavor for its size. Twelve Days pours a deep ruby with a small, creamy, off-white head. The aroma is mostly caramel malt with some earthy tones. There's probably a touch of English hops in there but it's light. It's somewhere between a bock and a good English brown ale. The flavor is relatively sweet but nowhere near cloying. I can see what they're getting at with the "nutty" descriptor, but it's more earth to my palate. The mouthfeel gets pretty thin as I drain the glass. I imagine it's a lot better from a cask.

popery, Dec 11, 2009
Photo of tangentrider
4.05/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Reddish brown beer with an off-white head. Carbonation appears light.

S- Sweet caramelly malt; some dried fruit aroma.

T- Roasted malt, a bit of coffee bitterness; nice flavor, but lack the expected richness in a strong ale

MF- Smooth feel, with light carbonation

D- Good beer; a bit lighter than expected, but would be good when I want an English Strong Ale with a lower abv.

tangentrider, Oct 24, 2008
Photo of jwc215
4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
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.

jwc215, Jan 13, 2008
Photo of Georgiabeer
4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
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.

Georgiabeer, Jan 05, 2008
Photo of fullsweep
4.1/5  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!

fullsweep, Mar 15, 2011
Photo of RblWthACoz
4.13/5  rDev +8.1%
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.

RblWthACoz, Jun 07, 2008
Photo of CaptFrothy
4.15/5  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.

CaptFrothy, May 18, 2010
Photo of smcolw
4.15/5  rDev +8.6%
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.

smcolw, Dec 07, 2008
Photo of budgood1
4.18/5  rDev +9.4%
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.

recommended.

budgood1, Dec 08, 2007
Photo of Dentist666
4.19/5  rDev +9.7%
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.

Dentist666, May 19, 2013
Twelve Days from Hook Norton Brewery Co. Ltd.
86 out of 100 based on 122 ratings.