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Archive for May 30th, 2012

Brewery –          Hook Norton

Beer –                  Haymaker

ABV –                  5.0%

Origin –               Hook Norton, Oxfordshire

Style –                Golden Ale

Season –             Autumn

Another great brew from Hooky! This time a vibrant golden ale full of delight and wonder and a great name to boot.

Pours amber orange, bright and inviting with a clean white head.`

Hoppy on the nose like a golden ale should be, nose tingling and spicy.

Immediately the malty notes settle on the tongue, bready but sweet like a liquid brioche.

Then the bitterness pounces; an intense explosion on the sides of the tongue, tingling the taste buds. Bitter orange , oregano, and spices battle for dominance whilst that bitterness develops giving it a lengthy finish.

This s a good hoppy and bitter wholesome ale with great character and heaps of flavour.

Have a burp and taste it all again

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Brewery –           Hook Norton

Beer –                   Diamond Reserve

ABV –                  6.0%

Origin –              Hook Norton, Oxfordshire

Style –                Strong Ale

Season –            Autumn

First a bit of background on this brew. Hook Norton originally brewed ‘Old Bill’ to celebrate the Silver Jubilee in 1977., which was then re-named Old Hooky and has been a mainstay at the Brewery to this day. In celebration of the Diamond Jubilee Hook Norton have taken ‘Old Hooky’ re-fined, beefed it up, and unleashed this 6.0% stunner on the nation. Yes 6.0% is in reference to the 60 years our glorious Monarch has sat on the throne.

As you can tell there’s plenty of heritage in this ale and it certainly looks the part; Regal, Majestic, with a beautiful high cream crown atop. Ruby Red in appearance, thick and luxurious.

Chocolate notes welcome you, but there’s also a decent hoppy aroma which gives it a well-balanced yet robust nose.

The first mouthful hits you like a sledgehammer. Full bodied and robust, bursting with more  milk chocolate notes, festooned with ripe cherries, and a tart pluminess  giving sharpness to its otherwise silky creamy mouthfeel.

The sweetness develops on the tongue along with a warming alcohol flavour that clings to the mouth.

There is a slight bitterness on the finish but this just keeps the sweetness in check. 

This reminds me of Fullers ESB but the flavours are deeper and more pronounced.

A thoroughly British ale, made in the heart of the English countryside, full and flavoursome.

Perfect with strong meats such as Venison, Duck, or game, and a nice brandy to follow.  

 

 

 

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