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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

121 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 121
Reviews: 86
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 12.34%
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: 121 | Reviews: 86 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tangentrider
4.05/5  rDev +6.3%
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 BuckeyeNation
4/5  rDev +5%
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 RblWthACoz
4.13/5  rDev +8.4%
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 Cyberkedi
4.43/5  rDev +16.3%
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.

Cyberkedi, Feb 29, 2008
Photo of DogFood11
3.08/5  rDev -19.2%
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.

DogFood11, Jan 18, 2008
Photo of jwc215
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
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 +7.6%
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 russpowell
4.6/5  rDev +20.7%
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)!

russpowell, Jan 03, 2008
Photo of montageman
4.3/5  rDev +12.9%
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.

montageman, Dec 24, 2007
Photo of dgallina
3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

1 pint, 9 fluid ounce narrow brown bottle. No apparent freshness dating.

Pours clear reddish-brown with a slim finger of head and light lacing. Smells of nutty toasted malts and gentle herbal hops. Flavor is more malt-forward. A base of toasted caramel malt develops nutty and doughy notes in the center and slightly bitter herbal hop and hard water tones in the finish. Faintly smoky aftertaste lingers. Body is creamy and medium-light, with only slight carbonation. Pleasant but not particularly noteworthy.

dgallina, Dec 22, 2007
Photo of Dukeofearl
3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

$5.99 at La Bodega in Riverside, CA. in December, 2007, shortly beofre Christmas.

Pours a brown-ale looking medium brown, clear with ruby highlights. Minimal head and almost no carbonation.

Aromas of toasty malts, a light smokiness, and some herbs. Not sure what, but they are there. Flavor is moderatley rich and full biscuity malts with nutty and herbal notes- some garden leaves and stems baked right into the bread. Slight sweetness, quite pleasant. Full mouthfeel, decently drinkable, but not something I want more than one.

I like this English ale, but one is enough at a time.

Dukeofearl, Dec 22, 2007
Photo of TurdFurgison
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a unique-looking bottle into a pint glass. The beer was dark brown, clear, with a thin head. The aroma was mostly toasted malt, biscuity and nutty. Same with the flavor, toasted and burnt malts and a hint of some light fruits. The beer was full-bodied and filling, nicely complex but not really my style.

TurdFurgison, Dec 18, 2007
Photo of Gusler
3.93/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The pour is a somewhat hazy reddish brown with a modest light tan creamy head that fails quickly leaving a velum like coating of lace. Nose has a sweet rich malt aroma, caramel, and a bit of hops, spicy and pleasant. Front is quite sweet, decently malted, with a touch of the bittering hops at the back, moderate in feel. Finish has a fair to middling acidity, the hops delectable in their spiciness, sweet and dry aftertaste lingers long on the palate, a quite nice beer.

Gusler, Dec 13, 2007
Photo of theopholis
3.2/5  rDev -16%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance- The body is a clear, dark reddish-brown in color. No effervescence, and very little head. Looks like a flat Coke. What little head it had was a beige, slightly foamy head with absolutely no retention at all.

Aroma- Mostly malty with some caramelized sugar. Just enough bittering hops in the nose to let you know it's a beer.

Taste- Nice balance of maltiness, malt sweetness and bittering hops. Doesn't have the dark fruits and powerful esters you might expect from a strong ale, but pleasant all the same.

Mouthfeel-: A bit over-carbonated for the style. The body is light for the style, but it seems to work.

Drinkability- Not a great example of the style, but quite drinkable.

theopholis, Dec 12, 2007
Photo of putnam
5/5  rDev +31.2%
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.

putnam, Dec 11, 2007
Photo of budgood1
4.18/5  rDev +9.7%
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 yemenmocha
3.73/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours lighter brown with near-white head that thins out quickly.

Nose is soft, light baked goods spices and faint chocolate.

Palate - some maple, roasted malt, light chocolate, and a hop dryness at the end to round it out. Very light in character overall. Nothing leaps out.

Easily a session beer as it is somewhat thin bodied and lighter in flavors.

yemenmocha, Dec 07, 2007
Photo of sacfly
3.63/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

1pt .9oz. mysterious L233 20:13 on the neck. Just put the date will ya?

Pours a clear deep reddish brown. Cheery wood. No head to speak of. Aroma is sugary sweet. Candied pears. Taste is lightly toasted grain and mild pear- not nearly as slick and syrupy as expected. Body is medium. Aftertaste has a bit of an astringent bite, but that fades rather quickly into a tart(?) slightly sour(?). Rather nice. Not sure if 5.5% qualifies as a “strong” ale, but I was not disappointed. Ha! I just noticed the pears on the front label… I guess the pear was intentional!

sacfly, Nov 20, 2007
Photo of wl0307
3.8/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

wl0307, Sep 22, 2007
Photo of dalri
3.08/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A strong porter - chesnuts, caramel, woodsmoke, dried fruit like raisins, fits in perfectly with the holidays as a warming, thick brew -I'm not much of a porter lover, but this was quite drinkable. Bottle tasted only. Color is bread crust brown, texture is very smooth

dalri, Sep 20, 2007
Photo of seanyfo
3.68/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle poured into 2 half pint glasses

A - Poured aggressively provides thick creamy 3 finger solid head, that produces great lacing. Body is a dark mahogany brown, some ruby qualities when held up to the light.

S - Some dark fruit notes, with a little citrus grapfruit, some slight hints of sickly sweet caramel malts.

T- Not a harsh citric taste like some ales, some nice fresh bread malts, well balanced with a soft hop bitterness in the finish.Slight alcohol kick in aftertaste.

M - Medium carbonation, full bodied,

D- A very sessionable ale, however nothing that suggests its something out of the ordinary.

seanyfo, Feb 05, 2007
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Twelve Days from Hook Norton Brewery Co. Ltd.
86 out of 100 based on 121 ratings.