Monday, 30 April 2012

Unicorn (Robinsons)

Unicorn (Robinsons)
Name: Unicorn
Label: "First brewed in 1896"
Brewery: Robinsons
ABV: 4.3%

Rating: "Bottled beers come and go, but only a few survive six generations. Such is Robinsons legendary UNICORN Extra Premium Ale... a beer for people who know how to appreciate the best of Britain's distinctive beers. Light and refreshing with a full bodied flavour of rich hops and malt, making it ideal to accompany a meal, for a quiet evening, or to help celebrate a special occasion. Look for the legend. Look for the UNICORN." A stunning beer. If I actually saw a real unicorn I would be less stunned than I am when I drink this beer. That doesn't make much sense but I'm too stunned to care.

Game: I was talking to some ghost in The Witcher 2 (like you do), and he happened to mention to me that "the Unicorn returns" in reference to King Henselt and the Dynasty of the Unicorn. This was at the exact same moment that I happened to be supping a splendid pint of Unicorn ale! This coincidence is more than just a coincidence surely. It's like a double coincidence or something. This witchery weirdness further confirms I'm possibly overdoing it on the Witcher front. Time for a bit of Mario Kart 7 instead... talking toadstools, plumbers and lizard things driving go-karts... far less weird.

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Town Crier (Hobsons)

Town Crier (Hobsons)
Name: Town Crier
Label: "The natural choice - Crisp golden ale - Newhouse Farm - Cleobury Mortimer"
Brewery: Hobsons
ABV: 4.5%

Rating: "No. 4 - Series 1. A beer with a big voice. In days of yore, only personages of standing could become a Town Crier. Being able to read was key but another characteristic was the ability to stand by your beliefs - unpopular announcements resulted in torrents of abuse from disgruntled by-standers. A beer with uncompromising integrity. A little like Hobsons really."  I really liked this beer and I also really like to think that gruntled by-standers gave beer to Town Criers.

Game: Today I decided I had to play something else instead of The Witcher 2. I've played it so much recently that I got to a point where I was guiding our hero through a purple forest of huge mushrooms whilst trying to avoid making eye contact with a fifty-foot chicken. So, I've taken the opportunity to finish my first PS Vita game, Uncharted: Golden Abyss. A game I'm genuinely disappointed to get to the end of. Great tomb-raiding action with sublime voice acting and dialogue make this a solid 8/10.  Having never played any previous games from the Uncharted series, Golden Abyss makes me want to buy a PS3!

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Past Masters Double Stout (Fuller's)

Past Masters Double Stout (Fuller's)
Name: Past Masters Double Stout
Label: "Limited edition - heritage series"
Brewery: Fuller's
ABV: 7.4%

Rating: "Brewed to a recipe from 4th August 1893 - a time when 'stout' meant 'strong'. Its signature ingredient is Plumage Archer barley, carefully malted and kilned using C19th methods. Dark, brown and creamy this beer balances a rich fruity aroma with smoky, bittersweet chocolate notes."  An exceptional beer and no mistake. The only mistake was the price maybe. From Sainsbury's, it weighs in at a whopping £3.05 which is the most expensive bottled ale I've ever bought. For most people this probably won't break the bank, but my bank's now just a smouldering pile of rubble.

Game: I've not played anything else for over a week now except for The Witcher 2. It's immensely addictive and the dialogue is on sparkling form. Some of my favourite quotes so far:

"Your next opponent is Smugface, also known as Tassledick."
"Is a pig's arse tight?"
"Did you say something? Or did you just fart?"
"They'll pick us off like ducks and I'm no duck!"
"They say blacksmiths are strong. I say they're fat pussies."

Check out for first thoughts on the game. He's a lot more better with the putting the words together and writing stuff thing than I am.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Swordfish (Wadworth)

Swordfish (Wadworth)
Name: Swordfish
Label: "A unique blend of Wadworth 6X & Pussers rum. A heartwarming salute to 100 years of naval aviation."
Brewery: Wadworth
ABV: 5.0%

Rating: "We salute 100 years of naval aviation with this unique beer, dedicated to the courage of the crews of the Fairey Swordfish Torpedo Bombers who risked their lives to attack enemy battle cruisers during World War II."  War sucks, this beer doesn't. Go and get some, quick!

Game: The Witcher 2 is brilliant. As with all good things, the devil's in the detail, and there's a heck of a lot of detail here spanning two discs. Too much going on in the game to mention here. Suffice it to say if you like high-fantasy (monsters, magic and stabbing stuff with swords), then this is definitely the game for you. There's a lot to take in and it's very much aimed at the more mature audience, it makes Skyrim look like something you'd find in the Early Learning Centre. That's no disrespect to Skyrim by the way (or the Early Learning Centre), Skyrim still rocks.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Lightfoot (Theakston)

Lightfoot (Theakston)
Name: Lightfoot
Label: "Legendary ales"
Brewery: Theakston
ABV: 4.1%

Rating: "This is a very pale, golden-coloured ale brewed using English malted barley and wheat, European hops, water from the Yorkshire Dales and the famous Theakston yeast strain to create a 'continental blonde' style, flavour and aroma." A perfect brew for a Sunday night. When I was pouring it I inadvertently created a tornado of bubbles in the glass. Not very interesting, but it looked boss. You had to be there really...

Game: Back in Skyrim tonight for possibly a final farewell, before I get rid and replace her for a younger model (called Witcher 2). Some lucky tinkers actually managed to get hold of Witcher 2 several days early thanks to Tesco "accidentally" putting it on store shelves prior to the official Tuesday 17th release date. Talk about kicking a game retailer when they're down - a new game that Game are actually stocking on release day and everyone's already bought it from Tesco! Well everyone except me by the looks of it, I was too slow on the uptake.

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Black (Crabbie's)

Black (Crabbie's)
Name: Black
Label: "For more than two hundred years Crabbie's has shipped its ginger from the Far East - following in the pioneering footsteps of the first Scots Merchant Adventures - hence our distinctive Elephant Trade Mark"
Brewery: Crabbie's
ABV: 6.0%

Rating: "Oak matured with extra ginger for enhanced strength & taste - Crafted with added spice & citrus for a rich aroma & flavour." It's spicy AND strong. Beat that.

Game: Suddenly really excited about the Witcher 2. It's rated A for Awesome apparently and the trailer tells me it contains blood & gore, intense violence, nudity, strong language, strong sexual content and use of drugs. One can't argue with that now, can one? The only question left is, will it feel like I'm cheating on Skyrim?  If you're still undecided, check out for a preview. Someone buy me that boxset!

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Pride of Pendle (Moorhouse)

Pride of Pendle (Moorhouse)
Name: Pride of Pendle
Label: "Brewers since 1865"
Brewery: Moorhouse
ABV: 4.1%

Rating: "The balance of malt and hops create a long dry satisfying taste." The force is strong with this ale.

Game: I was determined not to, but I finally capitulated and bought the Kinect Star Wars 360 bundle (from the new "home of gaming" Tesco, no less).  Being a total Star Wars fanboy I completely agree with this C & VG review of the game. The prequels didn't have the same impact on you as the original trilogy did because you're not six anymore. You're old, get over it. The same hatred of the prequels seems to spill over onto anything new that's Star Wars related and this game appears to be no exception. I like it though, but admittedly I don't like seeing Yoda on those Vodafone ads. Yet I don't mind seeing Stormtroopers dancing in Jabba's Palace. Hm, maybe I need to go home and rethink my life. Out of 10, 7.5, this game gets.

Friday, 6 April 2012

Blandford Flyer (Badger)

Blandford Flyer (Badger)
Name: Blandford Flyer
Label: "A bite of spicy ginger"
Brewery: Badger
ABV: 5.2%

Rating: "With the hot summer sun beating down, the patient fly-fisherman of the Dorset Stour await their catch. These 'Flyers' are celebrated in this warming ale with ginger overtones, rumoured to be originally included to remedy the bites of the infamous Blandford Fly. The rounded sweetness of this medium-bodied brew makes it an ideal and refreshing accompaniment to a hot lamb biryani or spicy crispy chilli beef."

Game: Crikey, Mass Effect 3 has caused some controversy! Now it's all about the 'rubbish' endings, which I actually happen to quite like. I didn't really understand what was going on but there was explosions and stuff which looked ace. Anyway, there's been a petition to get the endings changed and now Bioware are releasing DLC to make it happen. An horrific turn of events, I'd sooner have the Reapers destroy Earth than let mob rule choose the endings of the games I buy. Fans are fans, not writers, writers are writers and that's why they write games. Hopefully you can see the logic there.