Jubilee Beers: Hook Norton Hooky Diamond Reserve

Hooky Diamond Reserve from the Hook Norton Brewery is next up in our Jubilee Beers. One of my favourite bitters comes from Hook Norton Brewery so I am expecting something special.

The look of the bottle for this Jubilee Beer is good, it has the standard Hook Norton styling but in silver, the name “Diamond Reserve” is a good Jubilee beer name, however not being bottle conditioned means it won’t age much – which was something I was really hoping for from the beers produced for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Hooky Diamond Reserve is an amber colored ale with some head and rushing bubbles. The initial smell is fruity but breathing it in there is the smell of summer flowers, right from the start there is a sharp bite from the carbonation, this is quite off putting when trying to work out the flavours, this parts to reveal a fruity middle with a little sweet caramel this ends in a tangy hopiness.

To be honest, I am not keen on this one, the pinging carbonation and the bitter taste left on the tongue make this beer fairly unpleasant. The 6%ABV is lost in the slightly artificial tasting sweetness and would have benefited with quite a lot more body.Hooky Diamond Reserve is apparently based on the Old Hooky recipe  but aimed to be more fruity, in my opinion the Hook Norton flavour in this beer seems to be lost, I really like Hook Norton beer in fact Old Hooky is one of may favourite bitters, but the fruitiness in this just doesn’t taste right. Now, if Hooky Diamond Reserve were bottle conditioned (which it isn’t) I would leave it for a while, then it might mature into something  more impressive – I think this needed a whole lot more conditioning to be something great.

Bottle/name/Jubilee-ness: 5/10
Appearance: 4/10
Smell: 7/10
Taste: 4/10
Overall: 20/40

Check back tomorrow for the next in my Jubilee beer reviews.

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