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Twelve Days - Hook Norton Brewery Co. Ltd.

Not Rated.
Twelve DaysTwelve Days

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

89 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 89
Hads: 130
Avg: 3.84
pDev: 12.24%
Wants: 6
Gots: 9 | 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:
Beer added by: Todd on 03-01-2005

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (16) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 89 | Hads: 130
Photo of fullsweep
4.12/5  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!

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Photo of Redrover
4/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

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Photo of TheHoppiest
4/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.08/5  rDev -19.8%
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.

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Photo of Mosstrooper
4.33/5  rDev +12.8%
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.

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Photo of GilGarp
4.41/5  rDev +14.8%
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.

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Photo of avalon07
4/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

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Photo of BlackHaddock
3.5/5  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.

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Photo of oberon
4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

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Photo of BedetheVenerable
4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
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.

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Photo of beerdrifter
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%
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.

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Photo of CaptFrothy
4.17/5  rDev +8.6%
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.

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Photo of fastpass17
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
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.

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Photo of mdagnew
4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
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...

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Photo of bob3701
3.82/5  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.

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Photo of mdwalsh
3.35/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Big, 4 finger brown head on a dark black/brown beer. Lots of bubbles in this one and alright lace. Seems a little weak.

S: Roasted, carmelized nuts, a lot of peanut in particular. No hops, no spices, and nothing to strong.

T: Again, slightly nutty, but I get a slight burnt grain, though it's very hidden. More nuttyness, though in the taste it seems more walnut than peanut. Still no hops, and less sweet than I had hoped from the smell. This just doesn't fit a style for me. Not the flavor of a winter warmer, somewhere awkward between a brown and a strong ale.

M: Too light for an x-mas beer by a hair.

D: It's drinkable, but not in the good way.

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Photo of Newkie
4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

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Photo of merlin48
4/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

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Photo of wisrarebeer
3.84/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of biggred1
4/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

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Photo of Wasatch
3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

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Photo of hoegaardenhero
4/5  rDev +4.2%
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

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Photo of zeff80
3.87/5  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.

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Photo of corby112
3.46/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a deep dark chestnut brown color that is completely opaque with only the slightest of mahogany edges when held to a light source. Two finger frothy off-white head with very good retention, only slowly fading into a lasting cap.

Slightly toasty sweet malt aroma with hints of toffee, caramel and rye as well as a prominent hazelnut character and very subtle earthy hops.

Slightly toasty medium body with a lot of silky chocolate malt, toffee, caramel, hazelnut, roasted coffee and burnt toast. There's a nice balance of sweet chocolate and deep roasted flavor that somewhat dominates the palate. Slightly bitter with a subtle lactic creaminess. With all of the dark roasted malts the body is still slightly thin and the nut profile and roasted bitter notes are a bit much. I wish the sweetness was a little more prominent creating more balance. Pretty complex for a British brown ale but still kind of underwhelming.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.71/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear, humble brown body with some amber-tinted hues around the edges and topped with a frothy, lasting, light beige head.

Smell: Why, it smells of toasted bread and toasted nuts, it does. Slighter, lesser notes of powderized chocolate and dark fruits.

Taste: Toasty, nutty brown maltiness with lightly sweet hints of brown sugar and cocoa powder. Though agreeable, the various flavors remain mild, though that nutty kick lasts from start to finish for me. Small amount of dark fruitiness. Earthy, herbaceous hop character with a light bitterness. Finishes nicely dry, smooth, and with that lingering nuttiness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium-light carbonation.

Drinkability: It's fairly decent and delightfully nutty, like many of my ex-girlfriends. While nothing beyond the label and name inspires any Christmastime imagery, it is a decent, well-balanced ale regardless of season.

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Twelve Days from Hook Norton Brewery Co. Ltd.
86 out of 100 based on 89 ratings.