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Haymaker - Hook Norton Brewery Co. Ltd.

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

47 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 47
Reviews: 29
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 13.09%
Wants: 1
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Hook Norton Brewery Co. Ltd. visit their website
United Kingdom (England)

Style | ABV
English Pale Ale |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Todd on 06-17-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 47 | Reviews: 29 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by sfprint:
Photo of sfprint
3.13/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

exp: Nov 2012

A: Beautiful warm copper color, very light risng carbonation, sea foam head.
S: Interesting and pleasant spices that I can't quite place. slight plasticy alcohol
T: Tart plasticy alcohol, which I didn't expect. in the direction of an amber, a hair of dull bitterness
M: Not much texture. a hair dry.
O: Okay and drinkable but unexciting

sfprint, Aug 29, 2012
More User Reviews:
Photo of Popsinc
3.93/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured a very clear golden amber with a medium white head....kinda looks like apple juice with a bit of carbonation.

Smell: The nose is very nicely hopped and has a pleasant sweet maltiness to it. A pinch of cotton candy in there as well and some over-ripened fruits.

Taste & Mouthfeel: An almost candy like sweetness off the top. The body is very light and the mouthfeel is both mild and extra smooth. Nice hoppiness creeps in mid way through. The finish is of a hop bitterness that ends with a light tangy/fruity zip. Nice maltiness.

Drinkability: A definite session beer, this one is light bodied and goes down easy but still has enough flavour to satisfy the palate. Great balance. Worth trying.

Popsinc, Jul 07, 2004
Photo of beerhunter13
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%

beerhunter13, Oct 25, 2012
Photo of biboergosum
3.58/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle. It's so cute how British brewers call anything with 5% ABV 'strong'.

This beer pours a crystal clear medium bronzed amber hue, with two fingers of puffy, foamy dirty white head, which leaves a few instances of random wave crest lace around the glass as it evenly wisps away.

It smells of sweet, grainy caramel malt, a bit of herbal tea herbal notes, and some musty, dusty leafy hops. The taste is more sweet, kind of biscuity, grainy malt, with a touch of caramel/toffee essence, ethereally muddled citrus, stoney orchard drupe fruit, mild mustiness, and herbal, leafy hops.

The bubbles are well restrained, though hardly oppressed, the body a wavering medium weight, with a rather agreeable, generally untainted smoothness. It finishes well off-dry, the grainy, bready malt, and lingering inward-looking fruitiness carrying through to the end, with a slightly floral, slightly warm offset the only other loitering agent in the mix.

A standard, and equitably engaging pale ale, of the English persuasion, with a varied fruit and hop melange, that renders this a somewhat surprising candidate for another round or two, wherein my picky nature gets overridden by the generally placid drinkability of this pub-friendly offering.

biboergosum, Jan 15, 2013
Photo of Ciocanelu
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%

Ciocanelu, Nov 16, 2013
Photo of CrazyDavros
3.43/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours amber with a fading white head.
Nose shows some sweet malt and toffee. Also some floral hints.
Very similar flavours, but more spicy hops rather than floral notes.
Carbonation seems a bit high.
Perfectly reasonable but not all that interesting.

CrazyDavros, Oct 29, 2012
Photo of Phyl21ca
2.98/5  rDev -17%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a clear golden colored beer with an average head with almost no retention. Carbonation is a bit thin and body is average. Aroma is mostly malty with some very subtle hops in the background. Taste is quite like your standard bitter as it begins with some malts and ends with some bitterness. This is a bit bland I find and lack some character. Maybe more hops or a bit more roastiness in the malt would have help.

Phyl21ca, Jul 12, 2004
Photo of BrazilianAussie
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%

BrazilianAussie, Nov 04, 2014
Photo of Rwalford74
4/5  rDev +11.4%

Rwalford74, Sep 28, 2013
Photo of BlackHaddock
3.85/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brown, thin and tall 500ml bottle, best before 28th May, drank on the 9th.

Poured into my Bateman's half pint sleeve glass twice.

Light amber in colour with a good head, light biege in colour. A slight haze, but I might have cooled it down too much. It did ask (on the label) to serve it chilled, not a regular English Pale Ale request.

Dirty Farmyard Aroma at first, luckily that went away leaving the more normal Pale Ale hoppy and beery smells to come through.

True English Pale Ale traits, hoppy and fairly dry without the hops or dryness ruining the balance of the alcohol and feel.

I paid 79 Pence for this pint, bloody good value.

BlackHaddock, May 10, 2008
Photo of vinicole
3.75/5  rDev +4.5%

vinicole, Jul 07, 2013
Photo of pin
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%

pin, Jul 02, 2012
Photo of SmokinSmyth
3.88/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass, it was a nice clear golden yellow with a good head. I had not had a pale ale recently, so I was looking forward to this one.

Smooth taste with a good feel in the mouth. Hoppy and fairly dry, extremely drinkable. It disappeared quickly and left me wanting another.

SmokinSmyth, Oct 30, 2010
Photo of killcore
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%

killcore, Sep 25, 2014
Photo of baiser
3.63/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

BB date inked on to the neck, 22/04/05. Neat looking brown glass bottle, wide base, slim neck.

Poured a copper/golden amber colour, with a big off white head bulging out of my glass. Rings of lacing clinging to the glass.

Nose is fruity and malty, with hints of caramel. Very enticing.

Taste: Initially metallic, and somewhat hoppy, bitter grapefruit, but then the true character of this beer comes through. Tremendous malt character, a little toasted, and very fruity. As it warms a little, it becomes very sweet and easy to drink. After taste is nothing but malty graininess that leaves you wanting for more.

Mouth feel is light and refreshing. Quite smooth.

A very nice and pleasant beer to drink.

baiser, Jul 15, 2004
Photo of Shiloh
4.75/5  rDev +32.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The only thing holding this brew back is its ho-hum appearance. Pours a deep golden/amber with very slight carbonation. The body is very murky. Crown is thin leaving an island lace with minor glass ring.
First thing that caught my attention was the green apple aroma...very nice.
Taste was exceptional..a hoppy bitterness strikes with a slight malt sweetness as a cushion...no lingering. This brew is just begging to be consumed. Recomended!!!!

Shiloh, Jul 20, 2003
Photo of EmperorBevis
3.25/5  rDev -9.5%

EmperorBevis, Nov 01, 2013
Photo of mdagnew
3.78/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle bought from The Vintage, Antrim

Poured a light golden colour. White head poured thick and foamy with a pock marked topping then faded to light covering... some light carbonation bubbles drift slowly to the surface... light lacing...

Aroma - Some juicy tart fruits (lemons and limes, pears,), quite earthy and grassy, floral honey, light sweet grainy malts, doughy, some rubberiness, talcum powder traces, herbal, peppery hops...

Taste... good peppery hop bitterness, quite floral, metallic hints, light sweet biscuit malts, mouth watering fruits (lemons, apples, limes), some saltiness, faint floral honey sweetness...

M&D - Fairly sharp and dry... light bodied... very quaffable at 5%

Overall - A pretty good English pale ale... very quaffable and certainly worth a try...

mdagnew, Apr 27, 2010
Photo of soju6
3.83/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a slightly hazy copper color with a solid head that fades to quite a bit of lacing.

S: Aroma of citrus, caramel, nuts with some fresh grain.

T: Taste of citrus, a bit fruity, caramel sweetness, nutty and fresh grain. Nice bitterness and a dry finish.

F: Medium boy, smooth with a subtle richness.

O: Enjoyable beer, quite good for the sytle.

soju6, May 31, 2013
Photo of kojevergas
2.03/5  rDev -43.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

500ml brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a tankeresque English style beer mug in London, England. Reviewed live.

A: Three finger head of fair cream, lackluster thickness, and bad retention. Transparent light copper colour.

Sm: Very light scent of only cream.

T: Bland barley and cream. Some water. Quite simple and poorly built. Not even balanced.

Mf: Too smooth, too wet. Classic fallacy. Doesn't suit the taste, except in matching its mediocrity.

Dr: Average ABV, terrible quality, and mediocre drinkability. Avoid this one, lads.

kojevergas, Jul 27, 2011
Photo of JohnfromDublin
3.93/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I tasted this 500 ml bottle on 22nd October 2009, best by date 28 APR 2010.

Poured into a pint tumbler revealing a nice clear amber brew with decent head and bubbles rising. Smelled nice and hoppy with a buttery aroma and distant dark fruits somewhere in the background. The taste was a nice bitter brew but with a slightly sweet finish (if that's not a contradiction).

Overall this is a nice beer and would also work well with food.

JohnfromDublin, Oct 28, 2009
Photo of magpieken
3.25/5  rDev -9.5%

magpieken, Jul 15, 2013
Photo of seanyfo
2/5  rDev -44.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

50cl bottle poured into my hofbrau pint glass.

A- Amber orange/caramel body with 2 finger rocky white head that reduces extremely quickly. No lacing to speak of. Poor

S- Lots of caramel and doughy malt. Not much hop profile at all.

T- Sweet caramel malts very apparent in the beginning. Touch of lifeless hop bitterness in the finish. Thin and watery in the finish

M- Watery, spritzy, high carbonation.

D- Not impressed at all. Not appealing to look at, too much malt on the tongue with hop refreshment replaced by a fizzy wateriness. Impressed by other Hook Norton offerings but this is well below par. If i find on cask, will try again, to note differences.

seanyfo, Mar 21, 2010
Photo of thekkk
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%

thekkk, Apr 11, 2012
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.1/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: A fantastic looking 500ml wide bodied brown glass bottle with one of those thin ‘hour-glass’ shaped necks. The label has a silhouette of Hook Norton’s classic Tower Brewery on a golden yellow background. The bottle neck has an Inked-On Best Before Date of 07/09/04.

Appearance: Copper amber body with a sunset golden hue, a massive white heads forms as it is poured. Lots of honeycombed sticky lacing clings to the glass walls, as the head eventually settles to a ½” thick crusty topping. Perfect conditioning.

Nose: This has such a classic Pale Ale aroma, closing my eyes I could be back in Banbury, Oxford drinking this on Cask. Lots of fresh fruits, grapefruit hints and crispy toasted malts emulsified into a refreshing and very inviting nose.

Taste: Lashings of gorgeous malts drench the mouth, both toasted and fruity at the same time - they are well balanced. Light buttery feel in the ending that threatens to reveal a diacteyl finish – yet somehow this never transpires, and the feel just lends lubrication to the swallow. The last quarter has a light grapefruit bitterness that balances the malts extremely well.

Mouthfeel: Fantastically smooth, immensely drinkable – the solid malts in the backbone demand respect – and they get it.

Drinkability: Beautifully balanced it pirouettes in the mouth, not an ounce of fat on this lean mean drinking machine. A classic English Pale Ale that has more balls than Winston Churchill.

Overall: I first drank this beer on Cask when I last went to visit my best friend and his Wife who had moved to Upper Heyford before I left for the USA 2 years ago. This beer was on sale at the Horse & Groom in Caulcott, a lovely Country Pub in deepest Oxfordshire that we all visited during that trip. So it was especially fitting and almost ironic that this bottle was flown over here by Virgin Atlantic in my best friend’s hand-luggage, and presented to me this weekend during a visit to Long Beach before they headed off on a tour of California. My happy memories of this great beer on Cask were not diminished one little bit from the bottle.

I don’t usually care for English bottled beer, but this is one exception I will make again if I ever see it. A Bloody Excellent English Pale Ale.

TheLongBeachBum, Nov 11, 2003
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Haymaker from Hook Norton Brewery Co. Ltd.
82 out of 100 based on 47 ratings.