Twelve Days
Hook Norton Brewery Co. Ltd.

Twelve DaysTwelve Days
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Style:
Strong Ale - English
Ranked #13
ABV:
5.5%
Score:
86
Ranked #23,037
Avg:
3.85 | pDev: 12.21%
Reviews:
95
Ratings:
138
From:
Hook Norton Brewery Co. Ltd.
 
England, United Kingdom
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  6
Gots
  11
SCORE
86
Very Good
Twelve DaysTwelve Days
Notes:
View: Beers
Reviews: 95 | Ratings: 138 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of JonnoWillsteed
JonnoWillsteed from England

3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

L- Deep ruby/chestnut, clear, pours with 2mm off-white head.
S- Toasty and some malts, overall seems quite mild.
T- In the same channel as the smell, 'toasty and some malts'.
F- It comes over as around it's 5.5%ABV, it has some malty depth and richness. I think the Feel is pretty ideal for this deep autumn time of year. A solid beer without being a sledge-hammer of an ABV%.
O- One for slow-sipping on darker/colder nights. A very well put together beer. I served this straight from the fridge, I suspect I should have let it warm a touch first, and that doing so would open up the flavour.
Bought from TremblingMadness/York/UK for home delivery to me in London. 500ml trad style bottle £2.55

Nov 01, 2020
Photo of shambeano
shambeano from Australia

3.48/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

500 ml bottle with the best before 19 September 19. Poured into a tulip glass.
Look: Dark browny/black, cola coloured, black when settled but lets a touch of light through giving it a brown tinge. About 1.5 cm of head with tight small bubbles which quickly recede to a thin film. Some lacing.
Smell: Not getting heaps off the nose to begin with. A little bit of soy sauce, dark fruits (maybe cherry and plum) and a touch of coffee. All a little bit restrained.
Taste: Coffee, roast, toffee malt, plum and cherry. Nice bitterness rounds it out. Flavours come through more clearly than on the nose.
Feel: mid-bodied, a little lighter than I was expecting, touch of carbonation. Bitterness hits through at the end.
Overall: I enjoyed it, but would have liked it to be a touch heavier and a little more roasty.

Apr 17, 2019
Photo of drmeto
drmeto from Germany

4.19/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

L:
-pours a clear brown with ruby tinges and a medium,foamy,offwhite head
-low carbonation visible
S:
-caramel,toffee,cherry,strawberry,plum,blueberries,spicy,cream
T:
-spicy,caramel,bready,strawberries,nutty,coffee
F:
-low to medium carbonation
-light to medium body
O:
This was great.

Aug 14, 2016
Photo of patre_tim
patre_tim from Thailand

3.77/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark brown and cloudy. No visible carbonation, light rusty tinge and topped with a half finger of beige head.

Toffee, slight coffee note.

Toffee, coffee, then a sort of mixed spice note. I get a metallic taste, along with the mix of cinnamon, nutmeg, banana and tar. Coffee and burnt notes on the finish.

Medium body, little carbonation, smooth but tannic finish.

Got this at Villa Market in Bangkok, dragged it on my epic journey to Harbin, then back to Chiang Mai where I am drinking it Dec 30th, 2015. Been waiting almost 6 months to have this around Christmas. Great label, really fine brew.

Dec 30, 2015
Photo of captaincoffee
captaincoffee from Virginia

4.21/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Deep mahogany; tint of red when held up to light. Only a little head. Not a big nose; malt, some very light UK hops, and vague roasty flavors. However, the taste is very big; lots of burnt caramel, coffee bitterness, sweet malts, and dried fruits. What a pleasant surprise. Medium-to-thick mouthfeel and some bitterness on the finish. Overall, a really good English strong ale...better than most others I've had. Tastes much,much bigger than 5.5%.

May 18, 2015
Photo of pat61
pat61 from Minnesota

4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Pours brilliant dark brown under a 1” light tan foam collar that quickly dissipates but leaves good lace. S: rich roast malt aromas, nuts, spice and some eaerthiness
T: This is a malt driven beer that starts with a little chocolate, biscuit and nuttiness with traces of toffee and dark dried fruit. Lightly hopped with an earthy bitterness.
F: Moderate carbonation but very fine bubbles give it a soft creaminess.
O: A very drinkable Christmas beer.

May 18, 2015
Photo of Melvintrude
Melvintrude from England

4.79/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Best of the Xmas ales. Full Christmas pudding flavours but nothing forced or artificial. Sometimes seasonally available on tap in my area, a treat not to be missed

May 11, 2015
Photo of dogin26
dogin26 from Australia

3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer is almost like a nut brown ale but a brown ale but also like a light dark beer. Its like trying to understand a beer after 8 tequila shots and 10 previous beers,

Simple poor with a fading head. Colour is see through but still dark

Instant coffee and chocolate waft. some freshly ground bean and crisp toffee

Coffee and chocolate are the dominant but nice features. Some dribbles on vanilla and young bean.

Simple but refreshing mouth feel. A nice lighter styled dark/brown beer with enjoyable features

May 20, 2014
Photo of StonedTrippin
StonedTrippin from Colorado

3.43/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

nothing about this beer says holidays to me, or English strong ale for that matter. more of an dark English mild, save for the still modest alcohol by volume. dark nut brown color, half inch of lazy tan head that's relatively stagnant, doesn't go anywhere. the nose is sweet and earthy English malts, chocolate malt, and a sweetness I don't all the way like. lots of stale smelling ale yeast too, give it a funny metallic ting. I don't dislike the flavor, which is all grin forward, dark but not unmalted roast barley dark. not as sweet as it smells either, which I appreciate. no holiday spice at all, somewhat of a letdown in a beer that's not particularly flavorful. it reminds me of a lower quality sam smiths product from a yeast standpoint, which some may love, but I don't favor. it lacks the properties that make a holiday beer special for me. rich and robust in body though, which helps a lot, and only gently carbonated, giving it the appearance of a much bigger ale. nothing special here overall in my eyes.

Dec 11, 2013
Photo of Finite
Finite from Australia

4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A - Deep brown with amber highlights. In the light the beer is clear and red like freshly oiled mahogany. The head forms late in the glass and is a crisp off white foamy head but didn't form the quite the height I was expecting for a beer with this power. Lacing is present on the glass during consumption. Visible carbonation is low.

S - Dark toffee with prominent yet not every whelming alcohol phenolics. Heavily malted. Some sutble hop aroma, almost exclusively fruity.

T - Rich toffy-like malt profile. Medium to high sweetness with a good floral hop balance on the medium to low side. The taste certainly reflects the aroma. Finish is medium to dry, a lingering wetness and sweetness before a very late hop drying takes over.

M - Medium to full bodied. Stronger than I anticipated yet wonderfully moorish. Carbonation is medium to low and supportive of above mentioned characteristics.

O - A terrific beer. Ticks near all the boxes required for this class. A full flavored sweet yet well balanced strong English brown ale which packs a punch. A delightful beer and one of my favourites from England yet. Much credit and respect to the brewing team at Hook Norton.

Nov 26, 2013
Photo of EmperorBevis
EmperorBevis from England

3.21/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Bottled
Pours a dark brown body with very little head. Chocolate and oak aroma with a touch of vanilla. Bittersweet taste, slightly metallic. Finish is more bitter with horehound notes in the aftertaste. Watery body. Competent but not overly impressive.

Nov 01, 2013
Photo of vinicole
vinicole from England

3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rich dark chestnut in colour. Thin beige head.
Aroma of fresh fruity chocolate malt.
Mildly roasted malt, some sweetness with a bitter finish.
Moderate carbonation and not as viscous as expected.
My go to December beer.

Oct 04, 2013
Photo of lacqueredmouse
lacqueredmouse from Australia

3.36/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

500ml brown bottle purchased from Dan Murphy's in Alexandria. Shared with Rich on the 2013 Australian election evening.

Pours a solid ruby-tinged brown: quite clear, but with a true depth of colour. Head forms a solid cushion of beige, settling to a slightly pocked but still solid film. Streaky lace forms in fine patterns. Carbonation is quite fine and the body is full. Looks good.

Nose is slightly toasty, but with sweeter nuttier tones than you'd get in a stout or a porter. Slight butteriness comes through, and a solidly sweet English base malt character. There's a faint sharpness to it, perhaps a touch of phenolics, a touch of metal or even a suggestion of acidity. It's not bad though all up. Quite pleasant.

Taste is smooth and light for the most part, with a firm, clean entry that immediately imparts some nuttiness and a rounded if slightly insipid sweetness. This disappears quickly though, leaving the beer feeling slightly weaker and emptier than it should be. On the back, the sweetness sits around rather flatly, not doing much and providing a rather dull finish that doesn't go anywhere. It's fine enough for an English ale, but it doesn't have the structure which would make it really shine.

Feel is smooth enough, but the insipidness towards the back means it feels weaker than some of the better examples.

Overall, it's fine, but really not that exciting. When an English ale like this is good, it can really be phenomenal. This one is not that, however—it feels like a by-the-numbers brown, perhaps with a little more weight behind it than you'd usually get, but missing the edge that would make it something special.

Sep 07, 2013
Photo of ADZA
ADZA from Australia

2.92/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Pours just like kola beer with a one finger head that slowly settles to a rim of lacing and leggy lacing everywhere,the smell is dried fruits,raisins,booze and cotton candy,the mouthfeel is light bodied with moderate carbonation and the tastes are pretty much just like any other dark English ale without the booze its basically toffee,dried fruits,raisins and finished with a herbal earthy bitterness,overall if you havnt tried it you ain't missing much cheers.

Sep 01, 2013
Photo of soju6
soju6 from Missouri

3.82/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

May 31, 2013
Photo of Dentist666
Dentist666 from Russian Federation

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.

May 19, 2013
Photo of PolarBear3
PolarBear3 from Australia

3.26/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a darkish mahogany colour with an tanned head that retains fairly well

S - nutty aromas with some dark sweet malts and a hint of chocolate

T - Roasted malt, nutty , earthy flavours with a a hint of coffee and dark chocolate coffee together a little bitterness at the finish

M - medium bodied and medium carbonation

O - Promised alot at first with pleasant aromas upfront. I was slightly disappointed with the taste which lacks a little intensity and complex flavours to that of a good dark ale. But nonetheless very drinkable on a cold winters evening.

May 03, 2013
Photo of StJamesGate
StJamesGate from New York

3.64/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On cask at the Bull & Castle, Dublin.

Chestnut with ample tan froth.
Nut, earth, roast, and toast nose.
Dark toast, buttered rum, dates, and some woody hops. Goes treacly as it warms.
Chocolate bark finish and astringent linger.
Medium, chewy, round.

Definite zing of acidic black malts that's throwing off the usual sweetness from a dark winter ale. IBUs seems a bit bigger than I'd expect. Just too sharp for a winter warmer.

Rare dud for HN.

Jan 25, 2013
Photo of dgilks
dgilks from Australia

3.45/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear mahogany colour with a small, smooth, light tan head. Fair head retention.

Lovely dark fruity esters. Some toffee and almost chocolate. Raisins. Nicely balanced.

Moderately sweet but not overly so. Decent malt character and nice dried fruit. Some light bitterness but it doesn't dominate. Good.

Medium-light body with moderately-high carbonation. Fine.

A decent English Ale. Full of flavour but not overly complex. Good.

Oct 31, 2012
Photo of rjimlad
rjimlad from Australia

3.96/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Right up my alley, this one, so a little biased. Nice deep, dark red tan colour with thick head and some lacing on a pint handle. Aroma is a little fruitcake and roast. I'm olfactorily challenged so aroma scores are a bit sketchy. Flavour is roasted malt with plum and fruitcake as you'd expect. Good bitterness on the back palate so I didn't find it cloying at all. Boozy? according to Doktorhop. I guess it is a little but the flavour is big enough to pull it off. A bit chewy at the end but that's just lip-smackin' style and I found that all in all this is a really pleasant ale and I would like some more.

Aug 08, 2012
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doktorhops from Australia

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.

Jul 28, 2012
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SmashPants from Australia

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.

Jul 27, 2012
Photo of heygeebee
heygeebee from Australia

3.21/5  rDev -16.6%
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.

Jun 24, 2012
Photo of shleepy
shleepy from California

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.

Apr 29, 2012
Photo of Brenden
Brenden from Ohio

3.91/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

Feb 09, 2012
Twelve Days from Hook Norton Brewery Co. Ltd.
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 138 ratings