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Haymaker | Hook Norton Brewery Co. Ltd.

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BA SCORE
83
good
31 Reviews
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HaymakerHaymaker
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Hook Norton Brewery Co. Ltd.
England, United Kingdom
hooknortonbrewery.co.uk

Style: English Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Todd on 06-17-2003

BEER STATS
Reviews:
31
Ratings:
51
Avg:
3.63
pDev:
16.25%
 
 
Wants:
3
Gots:
3
For Trade:
0
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Reviews: 31 | Ratings: 51
Photo of patre_tim
4.35/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Amber and slightly cloudy with lots of fine bubbled carbonation. Topped with 4 fingers of light beige tinged head. The lacing looks like honeycomb.

Caramel, toffee, very light. Oh yes, ironically hay is in there. Dried grass. Really subtle on the nose. A hint of peach.

Caramel, cotton candy, almost no distinct hops, only a slight almost non existent bitterness on the finish. Candy apple, fresh pressed cider as well.

Medium body, little carbonation, balanced and clean finish.

Aptly named as the flavour profile is reminiscent of autumn and all its pomp. Candy apples, hay, candy floss, carnivals. Really subtle but delicious. Found and drank in Bangkok July 26th, 2015.

 687 characters

Photo of admiral
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A solid, fruity English pale ale that is on the sweeter side but enjoyable nonetheless.

aroma: fruity, citrus, orange marmalade with some toffee/caramel

taste: sweet, fruity, citrus, grapes and spice, with some candied banana and a solid malt backbone.

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Photo of vinicole
3.85/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pale copper. Wispy head.
English hops to the nose with a hint of malt.
Freshly mown grass and honey. Malt biscuit.
Moderate carbonation.
A good late summer beer.

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Photo of soju6
3.82/5  rDev +5.2%
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.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.59/5  rDev -1.1%
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.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.11/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

500ml brown bottle purchased for me by the in-laws for Christmas.

Pours a pale, relatively clear golden-orange colour, with a fine, but inconsistent head of pure white. Some speckled lacing. Very fine and prolific carbonation, that swirls powdery and anarchic when tilted. Looks pretty decent.

Nose is rather sweet and sweaty, with some tea-like overtones from the weak hops. There's a herbal sweetness to it, and a slightly funky fragrance. Something buttery and sickly, like lemon curd icing. It's hard to put it all together into something coherent, and the beer fails a little in this way. I'm not overly enthusiastic.

Taste is light and empty, with a slight bite of earthy hops on the back, and a light herbal astringency. Sweet malt comes through pretty weakly, but it lends a slightly sickly tone to the beer. Fortunately, the lightness means that it never gets too offensive, but it's a close thing.

Feel is smooth and light, fitting and pleasant enough.

Overall, I'm not really that impressed. It's OK, but not really any better than that—the sweetness is only tempered by the fact that it's actually quite flavourless. Neither of those descriptions is a sign of a great beer.

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Photo of CrazyDavros
3.42/5  rDev -5.8%
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.

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Photo of sfprint
3.15/5  rDev -13.2%
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

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Photo of heygeebee
3.68/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

BB Nov 12

Pours a light gold / copper clear body. Head dies quickly.

Aromas of English style malts. Some toffee. Muted.

Taste is back into sessionable EPA territory as Aromas. Add a hint of maramalade. Traditional flavours.

Mouthfeel light, slight carbed. Just.

A really solid EPA, add in 0.5 for price point in Aus. Very difficult to pinpoint individual flavours/elements, as the whole is very much more than the sum of the pasrts.

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Photo of SmashPants
3.86/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: solid 500mL brown bottle, cool old-school country label. I try not to be swayed by packaging, but the story and the family name have me in the mood for a quiet, classically-styled English Pale.

Appearance: deep golden amber with orange highlights, 1.5 centimetre head, nice and creamy. Great retention and sporadic lacing.

Aroma: disappointingly muted, but still pleasant. That thick and creamy head puts off only slight amounts of bread malts and heavy hop notes.

Taste: follows the nose, fortunately in a stronger guise. Those lovely bread and now biscuit malts take centre stage, with some very slight dried fruits and floral hops.

Aftertaste: the flavours were quite demure, and dissipate rapidly. A teensy bit of bitterness, just to let you know it was there the whole time.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied with low carbonation. If anything, I think it could have done with a bit more carbonation to carry some more of the flavour through.

Overall: a nice if somewhat demure English Pale Ale with a lovely mix of sweet and bready malts, and a touch of floral hops.

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Photo of doktorhops
3.47/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is a new one that showed up in my local - Hook Norton, sounds and looks like one old school bad ass mother____, I'm liking it, the bottle, the blurb on the back, the picture of farmers pitching hay onto the back of a horse drawn carriage; it all screams of a different time and place, a happy place where ales were ales and wearing a trilby was considered normal behaviour.

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a nonic pint.

A: Presents with a classic orange-peel body and a ring of pale lacing, looks like your standard tap poured English pub ale.

S: Aromas of stone fruit and toasted biscuit malt grains with a twist of lemon thrown in. Appeals in a way that only a decent EPA can - with a promise of an even hop/malt balance, unlike an APA (which is clearly skewed towards the hops). Not saying this is better but sometimes we need a break from hop heavy ales, enter EPA.

T: All of the above - stone fruit, citrus and toasted malts. Not unlike Harviestoun's "Bitter & Twisted" only this one has more of an acrid sharp tang at the end. It's not quite as nice as the B&T and feels like it's lacking balance between hops/malt and some different hop flavours (herbal hops perhaps).

M: All textbook here: mid to heavy body and low carbonation.

D: Apart from the bitter after-taste, which is cloying towards the end, this is a decent enough drop. As noted above the balance could be better and is really holding this back from a (near) perfect score... and that bitterness too.

Food match: The bottle states "spicy food" and I would agree. Asian or Indian flavours would be the best bet.

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Photo of Thehuntmaster
3.83/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

500ml bottle 5,0% Abv.
Served chilled in a pint my Tripel Karmeliet Tulip.
BB 28/04/2012

Appearance: Good looking pale ale - deep golden amber body with a large, creamy white head that lasts pretty well and leaves great lace.

Smell: A little light, but still very pleasant. Sweet biscuity malt, caramel, some citrus, orange marmalade and a lightly spicy note. As the beer warms, sweet, lightly spiced citrus dominates.

Taste: Lovely flavour - perfect session ale. Sweet caramel malt dominates with citrus, marmalade, grassy hops and light spices. The initial flavour is sweet but is balanced out by the lightly bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Just fuller than light body with smooth, mild carbonation.

Overall: Simple, but very enjoyable. I would happily enjoy a few pints of this at the pub while watching the footy.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.03/5  rDev -44.1%
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.

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Photo of StJamesGate
3.88/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light amber-tinged gold and a fluffy white head that fades to clingy film. Caramel apple and toasted grain on the nose. Bitter almond and wholemeal toast up front with golden syrup sweetness as it warms and lots of woody, orange oil Goldings to end. Apricot finish and a dry spicy linger. Medium, chewy, round.

EKG bomb. Let it never be said the English can't bring the hops. Not sure how summery it is, but I'll take it.

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Photo of SmokinSmyth
3.83/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

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Photo of mdagnew
3.78/5  rDev +4.1%
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...

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Photo of seanyfo
2/5  rDev -44.9%
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.

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Photo of JohnfromDublin
3.92/5  rDev +8%
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.

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Photo of BlackHaddock
3.82/5  rDev +5.2%
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.

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Photo of dalri
3.05/5  rDev -16%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Fairly "green" tasting with alot of straw and alcohol smell. Mild itterness. The color is quite pail and it seemd to be a little less drinkable than other Hook Norton brews.Similar to a Czech pilsner if you are looking for a crisp, young beer. Only had this one from bottle.

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Photo of wl0307
3.85/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Coming in the new package, a slim and tall 500ml brown bottle. BB 28/04/08, served lightly chilled (as suggested by the beer label) in a straight imperial pint glass.

A: dark golden in colour, topped with a spongey off-white head with decent retention; semi-lively carbonation with constant flows of microscopic fizziness.
S: sticky sugary and orangey citrusness come hand in hand, added with a whiff of hop resins; a closer sniff gives out a bit more calcium-pill-like raw-ish malty note. All elements are blended harmoniously, albeit slightly lacking complexities.
T: a dried-grassy taste of hops is balanced by the belated entry of a raw-ish flavour as of coarsely crushed pale malts, while the orangey-citric taste of Goldings and a distinctive sour edge as of a premium lager gradually prevail at the back, leaving a subtly tuned herbal bitter-sweetness (as in the distinctive edge of lemon-grass) and zesty-bitterness in the finish. Remotely, the mixed bitterness seems to stay down the wings of the tongue, prolonging the hoppy pleasure.
M&D: crisp and clean for an ale, while the carbonation comes soft enough w/o being harsh or flat. This med-bodied fruity pale ale is indeed a thirst-quenching one, and shows a rather delicate bitterness to support the assertive (but not thick) maltiness; the hop profile is very decent (like a duo of Goldings and Saaz?), too.

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Photo of bark
3.82/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The colour is medium-dark copper; the beige foam is almost invisible.

The carbonation is pleasantly mild and suits the style fine.

The smell si full of aroma hops and there are some fruity notes mixed with some yeast.

The taste is gemerously fruity and a little burned, this beer got a lot of body! The bitterness is slowly growing and develops into a satisfying aftertaste with some tones of apples and apricots.

A nice strong pale ale, not exeptional in any way but anyway a fine pint at the pub.

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Photo of putnam
4.03/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

"Best Before 26/04/05"
Red honey colored with a hazy, milky foam. The barest suggestion of clay-fine sediment is found at the bottom. Unrefined sugar resides with butter in the aromas. These give way to notes of steeped grain. The texture is glossy, creamy, fleshy and dry. Nectarine and baked citrus fruit is sharpened with slightly dull herbs and bare tannins. There is a moment when the experience seems loose and fractured ; unhinged. Yet several lusty slurps are enough to keep things in perspective: this is a nice ale, rounded and quite spicy.

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.23/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a glowing amber color with a big head and very good lacing. The aroma is of honey and fresh bread with some bitter hops in there as well. The Taste begins with an initial sharp bitterness and then linger with great malt and floral hop notes. The bitterness is prominent in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is very smooth from rather sparse carbonation. This is a very good pale ale, hoppier than I thought it would be.

 417 characters

Photo of baiser
3.63/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Haymaker from Hook Norton Brewery Co. Ltd.
3.63 out of 5 based on 51 ratings.
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