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Twelve Days - Hook Norton Brewery Co. Ltd.

Not Rated.
Twelve DaysTwelve Days

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

89 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 89
Hads: 129
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 8.57%
Wants: 5
Gots: 10 | 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.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 89 | Hads: 129
Photo of peabody
3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours out a real clear amber reddish dark brown hue with less than one finger of brown suds. Very little lacing but when you aggitate the glass it tends to accumulate small bubbles around the rim.
Smell is a malty raisin and plum skin with a slight aroma of alcohol and a very slight hop burn.
Taste is very caramel and malt with a sweet creaminess that lasts till the bitter takes over at the end. Drys the mouth out quite well.
Mouthfeel is a little dry but still nice.
Drinkability is just OK as this is a bit one sided on the sugary maltyness. (547 characters)

Photo of tmoneyba
4/5  rDev +3.9%
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. (318 characters)

Photo of putnam
5/5  rDev +29.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One reviewer referred to this as a "porter" and if we can use that in the historical sense -- an opportunistic blend of pub ales, some dark, some pale, some roasty, some (slightly) hoppy -- then that works for me. Apparently 5.5% is considered "strong" by brewery.

I wonder to what degree the apparent perfection of this beer depends on its freshness. (It just arrived from England by way of normal state distribution.) The aromas of this reddish brown liquid are an alluring mixture of caramel malts, vanilla, cream, butter, baked red apples, red currants, sweet strawberries, brown bread crust, mashed hazelnuts and almonds, coffee and straw. Voluptuous creamy texture with a biscuity crumb lifts the bread and fruit flavors until they meet with oozing bitter tannins. The resolution is bright and fresh, bittersweet, and fascinating. Irresistable texture and organization. Astonishing drinkability. (902 characters)

Photo of Dukeofearl
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
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. (586 characters)

Photo of biggred1
4/5  rDev +3.9%
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. (551 characters)

Photo of beerdrifter
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
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. (317 characters)

Photo of Dentist666
4.19/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown beer with tan head. Good foam retention. Nice smell: dark fruits, chocolate, roasted malts. Decent taste, close to porters, roasted malts in the front, some fruity roundness, rather warming with evident hop bitterness in the finish. Medium-bodied, balanced and full-flavoured ESA. (297 characters)

Photo of SmashPants
3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
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. (733 characters)

Photo of BedetheVenerable
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
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. (868 characters)

Photo of TheHoppiest
4/5  rDev +3.9%
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. (425 characters)

Photo of Mosstrooper
4.33/5  rDev +12.5%
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. (786 characters)

Photo of doktorhops
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
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. (1,558 characters)

Photo of seanyfo
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle poured into 2 half pint glasses

A - Poured aggressively provides thick creamy 3 finger solid head, that produces great lacing. Body is a dark mahogany brown, some ruby qualities when held up to the light.

S - Some dark fruit notes, with a little citrus grapfruit, some slight hints of sickly sweet caramel malts.

T- Not a harsh citric taste like some ales, some nice fresh bread malts, well balanced with a soft hop bitterness in the finish.Slight alcohol kick in aftertaste.

M - Medium carbonation, full bodied,

D- A very sessionable ale, however nothing that suggests its something out of the ordinary. (632 characters)

Photo of mdwalsh
3.35/5  rDev -13%
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. (656 characters)

Photo of fx20736
4.38/5  rDev +13.8%
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. (510 characters)

Photo of theopholis
3.17/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance- The body is a clear, dark reddish-brown in color. No effervescence, and very little head. Looks like a flat Coke. What little head it had was a beige, slightly foamy head with absolutely no retention at all.

Aroma- Mostly malty with some caramelized sugar. Just enough bittering hops in the nose to let you know it's a beer.

Taste- Nice balance of maltiness, malt sweetness and bittering hops. Doesn't have the dark fruits and powerful esters you might expect from a strong ale, but pleasant all the same.

Mouthfeel-: A bit over-carbonated for the style. The body is light for the style, but it seems to work.

Drinkability- Not a great example of the style, but quite drinkable. (694 characters)

Photo of dgallina
3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
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. (510 characters)

Photo of baggio
4.02/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle@home

A: Dark brown with a creamy beige head. Some lacing.

S: Dark bread, Roasted malt, Dried fruit (pear!), Chocolate.

T: Roasted malts, Coffee, Chocolate, Nuts, Fruit, Dark caramel.

M: Quite heavy on the roasted side with some pleasant bitterness at the end. Body is somewhat thin. Carbonation is just the way i like it (medium).

Very drinkable english-style beer. Might need to buy this again if i can get my hands on it. (435 characters)

Photo of Nipitato
3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Purchased a bottle at Julio's Liquors in Westborough, MA.

A: Very dark brown with ruby highlights. Pours with a large buff head - almost moussy. Dissipates slowly. Opaque. Sticky lacing.

S: As the label says a nutty malty sweet aroma wafts out of the glass. Faint dark fruity esters noticeable. Some cola.

T: Predominantly nutty malt flavor. There is a nice pronounced bitterness that works well with the sweet malt.

MF: Moderate mouthfeel. Moderate carbonation. Slightly dry.

D, notes: I would not define this as a strong ale...maybe a kicked up brown. Still good though. (578 characters)

Photo of sacfly
3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

1pt .9oz. mysterious L233 20:13 on the neck. Just put the date will ya?

Pours a clear deep reddish brown. Cheery wood. No head to speak of. Aroma is sugary sweet. Candied pears. Taste is lightly toasted grain and mild pear- not nearly as slick and syrupy as expected. Body is medium. Aftertaste has a bit of an astringent bite, but that fades rather quickly into a tart(?) slightly sour(?). Rather nice. Not sure if 5.5% qualifies as a “strong” ale, but I was not disappointed. Ha! I just noticed the pears on the front label… I guess the pear was intentional! (564 characters)

Photo of hoegaardenhero
4/5  rDev +3.9%
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 (513 characters)

Photo of fullsweep
4.12/5  rDev +7%
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! (691 characters)

Photo of montageman
4.27/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an imperial pint glass.

The guys at Cloverleaf Wine really pushed this beer as something great. I'm skeptical of British beers because they usually lack the strong flavors of American brews. However, I was pleasantly surprised with this beer. As a Christmas beer, the appearance is reminiscent of liquid gingerbread. The aroma is spicy and sweet. The taste is very nice like spice cookies with some notes of caramel and chocolate. The mouthfeel is fine - nothing objectionable with the carbonation. This is a nice Christmas beer - easy drinking with very nice flavors. Recommended. (594 characters)

Photo of shleepy
3.11/5  rDev -19.2%
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. (352 characters)

Photo of bob3701
3.82/5  rDev -0.8%
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. (423 characters)

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