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Twelve Days - Hook Norton Brewery Co. Ltd.

Twelve DaysTwelve Days

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

111 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 111
Reviews: 85
rAvg: 3.81
pDev: 12.34%


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)
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Ratings: 111 | Reviews: 85 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Newkie
Newkie

Maryland

4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2010 23:59:10 | More by Newkie
Photo of rjimlad
rjimlad

Australia

4.03/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2012 07:41:22 | More by rjimlad
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

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.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2008 13:25:28 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of tmoneyba
tmoneyba

Ohio

4/5  rDev +5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2008 13:49:38 | More by tmoneyba
Photo of hoegaardenhero
hoegaardenhero

California

4/5  rDev +5%
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

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2009 04:56:04 | More by hoegaardenhero
Photo of biggred1
biggred1

Indiana

4/5  rDev +5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2010 04:15:19 | More by biggred1
Photo of merlin48
merlin48

Kentucky

4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle. Body is a dark mahogany with ruby highlights. Medium tan head retains well and leaves some sheet lacing on the glass.

Aroma is mostly malty, with a lot of nuttiness going on. Hints of cocoa and roasted coffee are also prominent. Herbal and spicy hints and some vague fruit add depth.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy. Body is medium, barely. Low medium carbonation.

Taste is dominated by a roasty and bitter maltiness. Dark chocolate, roasted coffee, herbal hops, and a hint of red apple add interest. A hint of spices, pine nuts or ginger, perhaps, elevate this above a brown ale base. Finishes with a roasty bitterness.

Not your typical Christmas Ale. Not very Christmassy at all, really, but enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2010 00:16:12 | More by merlin48
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

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.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2010 23:06:07 | More by oberon
Photo of avalon07
avalon07

South Carolina

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2010 14:29:44 | More by avalon07
Photo of TheHoppiest
TheHoppiest

Ohio

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2010 02:19:44 | More by TheHoppiest
Photo of Redrover
Redrover

Illinois

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.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2011 14:03:12 | More by Redrover
Photo of doktorhops
doktorhops

Australia

4/5  rDev +5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2012 09:55:30 | More by doktorhops
Photo of BDTyre
BDTyre

British Columbia (Canada)

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.

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2011 19:21:42 | More by BDTyre
Photo of Gusler
Gusler

Arizona

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2007 19:35:26 | More by Gusler
Photo of Brenden
Brenden

Ohio

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.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2012 17:01:05 | More by Brenden
Photo of Dukeofearl
Dukeofearl

California

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2007 02:37:47 | More by Dukeofearl
Photo of lackenhauser
lackenhauser

Maryland

3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2008 01:23:31 | More by lackenhauser
Photo of TKempe
TKempe

Netherlands

3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2009 21:11:20 | More by TKempe
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.9/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2009 04:38:21 | More by Sammy
Photo of wisrarebeer
wisrarebeer

Wisconsin

3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Given as a gift for completing my Master's degree. Thanks Eric!

A: dark copper, brown color with nice small-bubbled head
S: a bit mild, but very good roasted (almost burnt) malt overtones
T: well-balanced with a dominant malt presence, roasty, toasty, and a good drinker
M: great mouthfeel, well-balanced and smooth
D: very drinkable

One additional note. I really like the bottle design with the label and back panel description of the brewery. Extra kudos.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2010 01:31:21 | More by wisrarebeer
Photo of zeff80
zeff80

Missouri

3.85/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2009 04:14:58 | More by zeff80
Photo of Wasatch
Wasatch

Utah

3.85/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2009 20:44:44 | More by Wasatch
Photo of dgallina
dgallina

Georgia

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.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2007 05:36:59 | More by dgallina
Photo of bob3701
bob3701

New Jersey

3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a shaker pint. pours a cloudy mahogany color with a big fluffy light tan head that laces rather nicely. Malty aroma with hints of dark fruits and spices. Mostly dark fruits in taste but hints of ginger spice and caramel, also some buttery notes. Slight but pleasant bitter finish. Very interesting and complex brew, drinkable but not one you want to drink a lot in one sitting of. Overall a pleasant experiance.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2010 23:05:51 | More by bob3701
Photo of soju6
soju6

Missouri

3.83/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a mahogany color with a good head that fades to ample lacing.

S: Aroma of roasted malt, nuts with bit of dark fruit in the background.

T: Taste of roasted malt, some nuts and dark fruit. Mild bitterness and dry finish.

F: Medium body, smooth and creamy. Very nicely balanced.

O: Very enjoyable beer. Well worth checking out.

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2013 03:51:35 | More by soju6
Twelve Days from Hook Norton Brewery Co. Ltd.
86 out of 100 based on 111 ratings.