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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 popery
4.02/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a nonic)
A- The dense black body supports a thick tan head that soon fades to a rocky spotty patch on the side of the glass.
S- The fruity malt aroma has some dark notes and some softer berry qualities to it. There is a slight sweaty note from the black malt as it warms.
T- The roasted black malt has a watery taste to it with some fruity pea berry coffee notes that lead to the bitterness in the finish. The bitterness takes on a slight fish oil note when it warms.
M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with no alcohol heat. D- A little fruity i the dark malts but thin until the bitter finish.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.59/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

550 ml bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada Imperial Pint. 5.5% ABV, no date. Brought over by my cousin. Very cool.

A - Clear dark brown with a foamy, off-white head. Great retention and chunky lacing on the way down too.

S - Grassy smelling hops on the nose with a light malty backbone of toasted, medium-brown-like malts. A bit of caramel in there too.

T - Smooth and mild toasted malts with a grassy hop finish. I wouldn't guess this to be a Christmas beer but it's a good English brew.

M - Creamy and smooth with a light body. A hint at dry bitterness towards the end too.

D - A very easy drinking beer that has decent flavor and drinkability. A typical English ale really. I don't get why it's Christmas, but it's decent nonetheless.

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Photo of peabody
3.63/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours out a real clear amber reddish dark brown hue with less than one finger of brown suds. Very little lacing but when you aggitate the glass it tends to accumulate small bubbles around the rim.
Smell is a malty raisin and plum skin with a slight aroma of alcohol and a very slight hop burn.
Taste is very caramel and malt with a sweet creaminess that lasts till the bitter takes over at the end. Drys the mouth out quite well.
Mouthfeel is a little dry but still nice.
Drinkability is just OK as this is a bit one sided on the sugary maltyness.

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Photo of Sammy
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Tasty, drinkable bottle obtained recently from Premiere Gourmet. Pours reddish brown with spicey nose. Nicely integrated spiciness, though not thick mouthfeel, caramel makes it a breeze to drink. Reports in nicely with its a.b.v. you can still function. Satisfying aftertaste. A bit of ginger and cinammon.

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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 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 Bung
3.82/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pint+0.9. A pretty dark amber pour, limited white head arises. Very nice malty aroma, some caramel and rainin. Maltiness is not quite a prominent, there are some piney hops and spice that balance out the sweet malt. A little peaty, roast nut with some very limited red fruits. A little thin, but exteamly drinkable. Somewhat smokey or roast finish that lingers a bit. Not bad and quite sessionable if available in that capacity.

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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 Nipitato
3.63/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Purchased a bottle at Julio's Liquors in Westborough, MA.

A: Very dark brown with ruby highlights. Pours with a large buff head - almost moussy. Dissipates slowly. Opaque. Sticky lacing.

S: As the label says a nutty malty sweet aroma wafts out of the glass. Faint dark fruity esters noticeable. Some cola.

T: Predominantly nutty malt flavor. There is a nice pronounced bitterness that works well with the sweet malt.

MF: Moderate mouthfeel. Moderate carbonation. Slightly dry.

D, notes: I would not define this as a strong ale...maybe a kicked up brown. Still good though.

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Photo of TKempe
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Brown to very deep red in colour with a strong beige head and a good amount of lace.

The smell is very malty in a rather roasted and dryish fashion, accompanied by some big fruity overtones, a delicate touch of refreshing (somewhat minty) hops and a soft whiff of alcohol. A smell that is quite powerful and saturated.

The taste starts of bittersweet with a strong hoppy note and some sour fruitiness. It then very slowly becomes predominantly bitter and roasted, ending very porter-like, with the slightest bit of fruitiness remaining in the background. This beer goes through a major development taste-wise and has a long-lasting aftertaste.

Carbonation is about medium (bordering on soft) and so is the body.

A bold beer this is, 'dark and strong'as the label states.

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Photo of baggio
4.02/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5


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.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.41/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a four finger light tan head that fades very slowly to a thin layer leaving a good lace. Opaque mahogany color. Roasted coffee nose. Medium carbonation and medium bodied. Flavor is malty/roasted coffee. Slight bitterness at finish. $6.50 for a 500ml bottle from Tully's Beer & Wine Wells, Me.
Labeled as a Christmas ale.

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Photo of tmoneyba
4/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

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Photo of bark
3.33/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

The colour is deep brown; the finger thick head is pale brown and firm. Some lacing occurs.

The smell is generous and very malty with roasted notes (nuts, chocolate). Some dry notes of dried fruits, dark bread and caramel.

The taste is powerful with roasted notes of nuts and black coffee. Very dry notes with bitter hints, some rye bread, dried apricots and green apples. The body is quite weak. The aftertaste is dominated by dry roasted flavours too; coffee, earthy fruity malts and a hint of dark chocolate and toffee. The finish is fresh with a somewhat metallic bitterness.

The carbonation is mild; the bubbles very small. The liquid is smooth.

Some more body and a little less metal in the aftertaste, this would be a very fine winter ale.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep amber/ brown-ish color with a small tan head. In the aroma, small roastiness, nutty, and small citrus like hops. In the taste, sweet roastiness, dry nuttiness, citrus like hops but not too bitter. A faint bitterness and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a dry piney/ citrus hops in the aftertaste. A step above from a standard English warmer with nice hop presence, quite nice.

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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 lackenhauser
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice chestnut brown color. No real carbonation to speak of. Malty enough aroma with a somewhat spicy tinge to it-hard to pin down exaclty what you are smelling. Somewhat cinnamon/orange like. Solid malt flavor-rather earthy and nutty. Again a faint spice flavor though nothing stands out. Decent body-rather dry in the finish. A decent effort for sure. Gotta love how the Brits pack a lot of flavor in a lower abv.

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Photo of tangentrider
4.07/5  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.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

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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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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 DogFood11
3.1/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured 16.9oz of this brew into a stemmed tulip. It has a ruby red body and the head was a medium tan. Head falls to a skim layer on top and its loose.

The aroma doesn't jump out at ya. Very subtle nose on this. Roasted malts and a touch of dark fruits come to the surface. Carbonation is laid back. Some astringency and watered towards the middle and then drys up ok in the finish. Not much spice or much of anything to write home about. Tobacco aftertaste. Its a rather boring ale.

Notes: I wouldn't classify this as approachable even with its laid back style. It has some issues with the bitter side that doesn't translate well on the palate. Malt bill is the best part of this and would make it worthy if they can figure out the other side. Pass.

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