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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 doktorhops
4/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

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 pin
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of heygeebee
3.2/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

BB Nov 12

Pours dark brown. Fluffy dirty-off-white head crackles and bubbles. Spotty lace.

Malt driven aromas. Moderate. More figs dates prunes than toffees and caramels.

Taste is much more roast malt driven. Almost burnt malt / toast. Didn't see that one coming. Dry finish.

Mouthfeel medium bodied, low carbonation.

Overall, a bit one dimensional, and dry. Add 0.5 for the Aus price point.

Photo of shleepy
3.1/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served from bottle into tulip glasses. Writing based on 2-week-old notes.

A: Dark brown, fluffy head. So far, so good.

S: Toffee, caramel. Not too interesting.

T: Burned caramel. Very toasty, to the point of bitterness, but balanced by sweetness. Leather, prunes.

M: Medium body and carbonation.

O: It's alright for a UK beer, but not spectacular.

Photo of HopHeadMerlin
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

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 DoubleJ
4.5/5  rDev +17.8%
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.

Photo of PJCook63
1/5  rDev -73.8%

Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.63/5  rDev -5%
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.

Photo of fx20736
4.4/5  rDev +15.2%
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.

Photo of rob133
4.5/5  rDev +17.8%

Photo of theCoder
3/5  rDev -21.5%

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 claspada
3.43/5  rDev -10.2%
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.

Photo of Knapp85
3.3/5  rDev -13.6%
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.

Photo of fullsweep
4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
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!

Photo of Redrover
4/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

Photo of TheHoppiest
4/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.05/5  rDev -20.2%
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.

Photo of Mosstrooper
4.35/5  rDev +13.9%
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.

Photo of GilGarp
4.43/5  rDev +16%
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.

Photo of avalon07
4/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

Photo of BlackHaddock
3.48/5  rDev -8.9%
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.

Photo of oberon
4/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

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