159. Twelve Days

Posted: October 10, 2012 in ale, ill-conceived label, International beer
Tags: , , , , ,

Twelve Days

Company info:
Hook Norton Brewery


Bottle size sampled: 500ml

Alcohol: 5.5%
Standard drinks: 2.2

Cap type: Non-Twist

Cost: I picked this up for $4.99 AU

Label info: ‘Twelve Days is a strong dark brown beer, offering a dominantly malty palate with nutty overtones, giving way to a lyrical sweetness that speaks for its strength. It is a fine partner to the cheese board. Cheers! – JW Clarke – Great Great Grandson of John Harris the founder of Hook Norton Brewery
‘We have been brewing award winning beers since 1849. Our traditional Victorian tower Brewery, deep in the Oxfordshire countryside, is still powered by a steam engine’
‘Our beers contain natural ingredients – malted barley and wheat, hops and yeast. With pure water from our own spring-fed well’

What the label really means: Sounds good to me – bring it on.

The Hell-Cat review starts here

Label: I am very concerned by this label. There is a bird of some description sitting smack bang in the middle of the label, a leaf hanging out of it’s cocky seed-stained mouth. It stares at us with an air of self importance that could be mistaken for constipation, while pears dance a mocking jig of joy on either side. Is this supposed to be tooting itself as a fruity beer? The font of Hook Norton Brewery is nice but even that looks a little forced.

I give it a label rating of 6.5 out of 10.

AROMA:  Nutty, malty, chocolatey aromas.

Taste: GLASS – Very smooth with a dry, pervasive bitterness that flows through every drop. There are a chocolatey malty tones that define this drop while the bitterness plays a strong support role that sticks around in the back of your mouth for a long time. It’s a dry brew, so if you like it dry, you’ll love this, but mostly it’s just damned enjoyable.

I give it a beer from glass rating of 8 out of 10.

Taste: BOTTLE – Drink Twelve Days from the bottle and you’ll note it’s good, but not great. It cuts through all of those amazing malty tones and hits with purely alcoholic bitterness. Stick to the glass.

I give it a taste from bottle rating of 6.5 out of 10.

Accompanying food: Ok so I may have snuck a look at the label here, but I do agree a cheese platter with dried fruits and unsalted nuts would accompany this beer well.

Best season to appreciate: A real Winter warmer – farewell Winter 2012!

All-nighter beer? This brew really seems to be going to my head. It’s also a little heavy in flavour and depth, and perhaps a bit too dry for me to drink all night


  1. Hook Norton Brewery was my source of alcoholic sustenance during my formative beer guzzling years (I grew up in Oxfordshire). The ideal way to consume the beverages from this brewery is to step into a pub beer garden and enjoy a game of Aunt Sally. This game is best described as back-to-front skittles (you basically throw skittles at a ball, pretty much). It hasn’t yet reached Olympic status, but the sport is taken seriously by some: http://www.oxfordauntsally.co.uk/


    • Radio Snivins says:

      I first saw Aunt Sally in an episode of The Professionals. Bodie described the game as ‘drunken truncheon practice for off-duty cops.’ Doyle chortled.


  2. Radio Snivins says:

    Superb beer. It starts off very similar to Carlton Black, which is my yardstick for chocolatey/roasty fooze, but it finishes with an esoteric note. Carlton Black, in comparison, finishes like a mental deficient, with ADD, and a lunchbox full of meat. So, in conclusion, Twelve Days is a genuine nine out of ten.


  3. Luke says:

    Mason, you’re gonna kick yourself, but I think you’ll find that that bird is a partridge… In a pear tree.


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