1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

125 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 125
Reviews: 86
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 12.34%
Wants: 4
Gots: 8 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 125 | Reviews: 86 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of HopHeadMerlin
3.75/5  rDev -1.6%

HopHeadMerlin, Mar 19, 2012
Photo of Brenden
3.93/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The color is a red-tinted dark brown showing clarity in the light. There's enough substance to maintain a hefty tan head for awhile. A ring of chunky lacing tops the glass and drops more lacing behind it.
Malty and nutty, yes, but what this beer offers primarily in its aroma is fig and plum with a whiff of alcohol and spiciness. Malts lay down a strong foundation, but the full spectrum isn't permitted to shine beneath the dark fruits.
In the flavor, however, the full effect can be appreciated. Hops bitterness comes out strong but gentle and obviously British, and I assume from which comes a steadying earthiness and peppery nip along with leafy floral notes. The nutty flavor is also more effective. Alcohol still comes through despite a reasonable 5.5% and avoids the fusel taint. Dark fruits still play a major role and the sweetness is appreciated.
The body is medium and has a bit of smoothness but opts for crispness in the overall feel from a carbonation that's just right for this beer.

Brenden, Feb 09, 2012
Photo of DoubleJ
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%
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.

DoubleJ, Jan 31, 2012
Photo of PJCook63
1/5  rDev -73.8%

PJCook63, Jan 16, 2012
Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.63/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A 500ml bottle with a BB of Feb 2012. Features a partridge in a pear tree on the front label - along with the name this hints at a Christmas ale (though this is not explicitly stated). Purchased at the Grog shop in Oxford.

Poured into a tulip pint glass. A dark ruby hue with low carbonation. Produces a small head of creamy off-white foam that lasts for a minute or so before subsiding. A subtle aroma of caramel malt with hints of cocoa, chocolate syrup, dried fruit, brown sugar and alcohol.

Tastes of dark malt with a subtle fruity character and a mild bitter finish. Faint notes of roasted malt, chocolate, dried fruit, vanilla, caramel and stewed hops. Mouthfeel is velvety smooth and full-bodied, with tingly carbonation and slight astringency. Aftertaste of sweet dark malt and chocolate.

An interesting Christmas ale with a restrained character. All the aromas and flavours are subtle, yet this beer achieves a nuanced complexity. No spice, but a definite chocolate note makes itself known. Lovely body. Rewards the perceptive beer drinker. Well worth sampling if you come across it.

jazzyjeff13, Jan 03, 2012
Photo of fx20736
4.4/5  rDev +15.5%
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.

fx20736, Dec 28, 2011
Photo of rob133
4.5/5  rDev +18.1%

rob133, Dec 27, 2011
Photo of theCoder
3/5  rDev -21.3%

theCoder, Dec 16, 2011
Photo of BDTyre
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark copper with a decent, if somewhat porous white head. Earthy malts, raisin, hints of spice and christmas pudding. Nice earthy malts, light buttery character, raisin and even a bit of brandy. Quite pleasant, but a little rough on the finish. At first, this is a little too carbonated, but it eases off as the beer breathes. Good dessert beer, but a bit rough and high in alcohol to be a true session ale.

BDTyre, Nov 08, 2011
Photo of claspada
3.43/5  rDev -10%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Aromas are primarily earthy with brown maltiness. Mild spiciness as it warms. Nothing too mind-blowing or inviting here.

The taste begins fairly muted as well Brown maltiness with some slight hop character (spice and earthiness again). As it warms you get a little nuttiness and mild fruitness from the English yeast strain. Lesser notes of toffee and cocoa as it further comes to room temperature.

The mouthfeel works well for the style and matches what you would expect for this ABV level. It's impressively smooth and has just enough substance to lend a light creaminess to the proceedings. Carbonation is average as well.

Overall this is an average offering but it lacks the depth and complexity for the Strong Ale category and the foreign pricepoint/small bottle size also detracts from needing to revisit this anytime soon.

claspada, May 31, 2011
Photo of Knapp85
3.3/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Knapp85, Apr 04, 2011
Photo of fullsweep
4.1/5  rDev +7.6%
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 Redrover
4/5  rDev +5%
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 TheHoppiest
4/5  rDev +5%
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 Huhzubendah
3.05/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

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.

Huhzubendah, Dec 26, 2010
Photo of Mosstrooper
4.35/5  rDev +14.2%
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.

Mosstrooper, Dec 20, 2010
Photo of GilGarp
4.43/5  rDev +16.3%
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.

GilGarp, Dec 16, 2010
Photo of avalon07
4/5  rDev +5%
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 BlackHaddock
3.48/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

BlackHaddock, Dec 04, 2010
Photo of oberon
4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

oberon, Nov 17, 2010
Photo of BedetheVenerable
4.22/5  rDev +10.8%
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.

BedetheVenerable, Aug 10, 2010
Photo of beerdrifter
3.48/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear, deep red-brown pour with quickly fading head and nice lacing. The nose is very malty with hints of hazelnut, vanilla, figs, and caramel. The taste is much the same but more of a roasty, almost burnt chocolate comes out as it warms. Decent mouthfeel and drinkability but nothing special. A little disappointing.

beerdrifter, Jul 23, 2010
Photo of CaptFrothy
4.15/5  rDev +8.9%
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 fastpass17
3.78/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Mahogany in color, one finger head fades rather quickly. Good lacing through the drink.

S: Figs, caramel, black berry, smoke, malt driven towards the end.

T: Spicy, slightly bitter, strong malt presence, smoked meat, roasted coffee bean in the end.

M: Sharp, dry, stings the tongue, nice sticking aftertaste.

D: Two or three around the holidays would definitely be enjoyed.

fastpass17, Apr 30, 2010
Photo of mdagnew
4.22/5  rDev +10.8%
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...

mdagnew, Apr 27, 2010
Twelve Days from Hook Norton Brewery Co. Ltd.
86 out of 100 based on 125 ratings.