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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

125 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 125
Reviews: 86
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 12.3%
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
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Ratings: 125 | Reviews: 86 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

Photo of diablo14
3.96/5  rDev +3.7%

Photo of BDTyre
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

Photo of Brenden
3.93/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

Photo of Gusler
3.93/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

Photo of Sammy
3.9/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

Photo of Dukeofearl
3.9/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

Photo of lackenhauser
3.9/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

Photo of TKempe
3.9/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

Photo of wisrarebeer
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

Photo of zeff80
3.85/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

Photo of Wasatch
3.85/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

Photo of dgallina
3.83/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

Photo of bob3701
3.83/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

Photo of soju6
3.83/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

Photo of Bung
3.8/5  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.

Photo of wl0307
3.8/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

Photo of fastpass17
3.78/5  rDev -1%
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.

Photo of SmashPants
3.78/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: solid 500mL brown bottle, stylish country label.

Appearance: dark colouring with a decent, thick off-white head. Decent looking.

Aroma: not hugely strong, per the style. What's there is sweet malts and dark dry fruits. Very nice.

Taste: a combination of flavours - sweet toffee malts, dry earth and nut malts, and some hops bitterness.

Aftertaste: the bitterness lingers for a while, but other than that there isn't much in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied with low-to-medium carbonation. The carbonation carries the flavour across nicely.

Overall: an interesting English Ale with a reasonably restrained flavour. The flavours that do come through, however, are well considered and bounce off each other nicely.

Photo of innominat
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of Ciocanelu
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of egoinski
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of BrazilianAussie
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of vinicole
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of HopHeadMerlin
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Twelve Days from Hook Norton Brewery Co. Ltd.
86 out of 100 based on 125 ratings.