Twelve Days - Hook Norton Brewery Co. Ltd.
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Ratings: 119 | Reviews: 86 | Display Reviews Only:
3.9/5 rDev +2.4%
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.
05-31-2009 04:38:21 | More by Sammy
4/5 rDev +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.
07-16-2008 13:25:28 | More by BuckeyeNation
3.7/5 rDev -2.9%
Appearance: Pours a clear, humble brown body with some amber-tinted hues around the edges and topped with a frothy, lasting, light beige head.
Smell: Why, it smells of toasted bread and toasted nuts, it does. Slighter, lesser notes of powderized chocolate and dark fruits.
Taste: Toasty, nutty brown maltiness with lightly sweet hints of brown sugar and cocoa powder. Though agreeable, the various flavors remain mild, though that nutty kick lasts from start to finish for me. Small amount of dark fruitiness. Earthy, herbaceous hop character with a light bitterness. Finishes nicely dry, smooth, and with that lingering nuttiness.
Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium-light carbonation.
Drinkability: It's fairly decent and delightfully nutty, like many of my ex-girlfriends. While nothing beyond the label and name inspires any Christmastime imagery, it is a decent, well-balanced ale regardless of season.
12-14-2009 19:10:46 | More by ChainGangGuy
3.3/5 rDev -13.4%
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.
04-04-2011 03:20:03 | More by Knapp85
4/5 rDev +5%
Another chesnut colored winter warmer into a imperial nonic,a well formed creamy-like tan colored head atop.Big juicy fruit malt in the nose mixed with caramel/biscuit malt,the fruit really jumped in your face and was nice.Flavors are of fruit cakes with a tinge of nuttiness,very fruit forward.Its a nice winter beer thats not hot or overly sweet,a very nice winter beer in my opinion.
11-17-2010 23:06:07 | More by oberon
3.85/5 rDev +1%
A - Poured out a dark burgundy color with ruby highlights. It had a one-finger tan head that was very bubbly.
S - It smelled of chocolate notes and roasted malt. Some floral/grassy notes.
T - It tasted very roasty with a good malty flavor. It was earthy with mild chocolate flavors.
M - It was crisp and sharp with a dry finish. A light to medium-bodied beer.
D - This was a pretty tasty christmas ale. It isn't very strong (as it's classfied), but it is very good and easy drinking.
12-19-2009 04:14:58 | More by zeff80
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
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
3.41/5 rDev -10.5%
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.
12-11-2013 17:04:53 | More by StonedTrippin
4.1/5 rDev +7.6%
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.
01-13-2008 20:53:59 | More by jwc215
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
United Kingdom (England)
3.48/5 rDev -8.7%
Just got in from fronting a Christmas Quiz for the local Medical Centre (my wife volunteers me each year to organise, prepare and conduct it). I am therefore ready to have a Christmas beer: too sink slowly and review at leasure.
The tall brown 500ml bottle was best before 28 Jan 2011, I opened it on 4 Dec 2010. Poured into a 'La Chouffe' tulip and a 'Forbidden Fruit' chalice (because I fancied seeing what it looked like in different glasses).
Lovely ruby red body, dark and clear, with a full tan coloured foaming head.
The smells were of roasted/toasted/burnt malts and thick semi-sweet molasses, nutty brown bread sort of thing too.
The taste is all malts, drying as the mouth gets used to the flavours, the hops giving a bitter feel from the initial sip to the end of the tasting. Strangely however the beer ends up sweeter in the mouthfeel than it did when first sampled.
I was expecting/hopeful of, a rich and creamy Winter Warmer, reminding me of Chritmas's past: roaring fires, smoking jackets, cigars and my childhood. Sadly, it didn't produce those sort of memories.
An OK beer, lacked that X Factor which I hoped for.
12-04-2010 23:53:04 | More by BlackHaddock
3.45/5 rDev -9.4%
Pours a deep dark chestnut brown color that is completely opaque with only the slightest of mahogany edges when held to a light source. Two finger frothy off-white head with very good retention, only slowly fading into a lasting cap.
Slightly toasty sweet malt aroma with hints of toffee, caramel and rye as well as a prominent hazelnut character and very subtle earthy hops.
Slightly toasty medium body with a lot of silky chocolate malt, toffee, caramel, hazelnut, roasted coffee and burnt toast. There's a nice balance of sweet chocolate and deep roasted flavor that somewhat dominates the palate. Slightly bitter with a subtle lactic creaminess. With all of the dark roasted malts the body is still slightly thin and the nut profile and roasted bitter notes are a bit much. I wish the sweetness was a little more prominent creating more balance. Pretty complex for a British brown ale but still kind of underwhelming.
12-15-2009 07:32:19 | More by corby112
3.34/5 rDev -12.3%
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.
09-07-2013 07:31:28 | More by lacqueredmouse
United Kingdom (England)
3.8/5 rDev -0.3%
Coming in a 500ml brown bottle, BB 28/03/08, served cool in a straight imperial pint glass.
A: dark reddish-brown in colour, topped with a well-lasting, beige-hued, scottish-pancake-like foamy head; carbonation is constant but mild.
S: mixed aroma of sticky caramelised sugar, sour-bitter nuts, (Bramling-Cross like) apply fruitiness, overripe sour-sweet berry fruits, and a light touch of citric sourness as of Goldings hops. Malty as well as autumny fruity, just what a premium bitter should be like, IMO.
T: bitter-sweet brown tea and caramelised dates lead towards an intensifying flow of tea-leafy bitterness and a lovely roastnutty+autumny fruity+raisiny flavour that both linger in the bitter-sweet finish with a very sound tart edge. The sour edge is esp. crucial for the overall balance.
M&D: softly-carbonated for a bottled ale, and the body is just medium for its alc. strength. Overall this is a quality nut-malty as well as fruity premium bitter, and the ideal body and balanced flavour make it a more-ish pint to enjoy.
09-22-2007 19:28:25 | More by wl0307
4.1/5 rDev +7.6%
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.
01-05-2008 23:10:41 | More by Georgiabeer
3.58/5 rDev -6%
(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.
12-10-2009 22:16:30 | More by rhoadsrage
3.43/5 rDev -10%
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.
01-08-2009 23:59:04 | More by jdhilt
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
3.85/5 rDev +1%
Poured into a Squatters true pint glass, and it still was left short of a true pint, nice black color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy tan head, with some sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with a good dose of toffee/caramel. The taste is sweet, malty, with some vanilla, toffee/caramel, a slight nutty note. Medium body, a nice smooth/creamy brew. Drinkable, a nice one.
12-27-2009 20:44:44 | More by Wasatch
District of Columbia
3.05/5 rDev -19.9%
A: Dark cola brown with a small head that recedes in a few moments, leaving but a faint trace of lacing.
S: The aroma is earthy, fruity, malty.
T: The beer is sweet and fruity, with notes of pears, apples, raisins, malt, toast, toffee, and alcohol. As I make my way through the glass, the sweetness becomes overwhelming. A few ounces was plenty.
M: Medium-thin in body with a fairly low level of carbonation.
D: Not something I would repeat. It was fun for a while, but this beer becomes quite cloying after just a small glass.
12-26-2010 03:55:05 | More by Huhzubendah
Twelve Days from Hook Norton Brewery Co. Ltd.
86 out of 100 based on 119 ratings.