Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Twelve Days (Hook Norton Brewery)

Twelve Days (Hook Norton Brewery)
Name: Twelve Days
Label: "Strong, dark & rich - Handcrafted in the Cotswold Hills since 1849"
Brewery: Hook Norton
ABV: 5.5%

Rating: "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!".  It's nearly Christmas, yay! Well... nearly December.. close enough.

Game: Finally!  My Hitman: Absolution pre-order arrived, only four days late but who's counting? (..narrows eyes and looks in The Hut's direction...).  So far so excellent though. I don't recall a previous gaming experience where you can murder a load of targets, then stroll out of the area disguised in a giant Charlie the Chipmunk suit, with the game still evoking an air of deadly seriousness and suspense. A work of art. 8/10

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Warrior (Elgood's)

Warrior (Elgood's)
Name: Warrior
Label: "Tenax Propositi - Gold award SIBA East bottled beer competition"
Brewery: Elgood's
ABV: 5.5%

Rating: "A truly traditional English Bitter Ale, a blend of finest Pale Ale, Amber and Crystal malt is used for the fruity malty flavour and generous portions of English Hop varities (Challenger, Goldings and Fuggles) to give a well developed hop character.This beer is brewed by Elgood's & Sons at the North Brink brewery, a 5th generation family firm, still fighting to keep the business thriving! Warrior is an expression of the independence that has kept this brewery in solely private hands since 1795."

Game: I was really tempted to go for the staff writer job at the awesome X360 Magazine. This is one of my favourite ever magazines. Imagine having a job at your favourite magazine! The only drawbacks to applying that I can see are; not being able to write very well, living about 500 miles away, no applicable qualifications and a host of other reasons too numerous to mention. Maybe if I was younger and not tied down I'd give it a whirl. It's times like these that this tweet from @MrMichaelSpicer particularly resonates with me: "Don't you hate it when you put the dishwasher on and then find some dirty cups elsewhere and then regret the decisions you made in your 20s?"

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Bad Elf (Ridgeway)

Bad Elf (Ridgeway)
Name: Bad Elf
Label: "Winter's Ale - Elf Warning: Too much Winter's Ale may be bad for your elf, and may impair your ability to drive a sleigh or operate toy-making machinery"
Brewery: Ridgeway
ABV: 4.5%

Rating: "Tis a heavy hand what adds the hops to this festive amber ale. Truth be told, there's near to three pounds of fresh hops goes in every barrel of this treasured brew. And it's conditioned in the bottle, so please pour gently into your best flagon, leaving that wee bit of natural yeast behind. Ere's to your Elf!" Elves and Santa hats - time to get festive! Because it's... er... mid-November..?

Game: Finally finished Resident Evil 6! It always seemed to be a bit of a chore to load it up but then once things were underway I realised again it's actually a pretty great game and wondered why I felt so not in the mood for it every time. Oh, but the left thumbstick-waggling quick time events can go do one. Really. Annoying.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

County Carlow Irish Stout (Carlow Brewing)

County Carlow Irish Stout (Carlow Brewing)
Name: County Carlow Irish Stout
Label: "Based on an authentic recipe first introduced around 1740 - The town of Carlow is noted for the Brownshill Dolmen, a megalithic portal tomb, that weighs an estimated 100 tons and is said to be the heaviest in Europe. The tomb has never been excavated."
Brewery: Carlow Brewing Company
ABV: 4.5%

Rating: "Dark, roasted, bittersweet with an intense coffee & chocolate finish.A unique blend of roasted malts and bitter hops ensures a deliciously balanced and smooth flavour."

Game: Oh no! I just pre-ordered Hitman: Absolution! All this recent game-purchasing is getting ridiculous. I blame Eurogamer (for some reason I've yet to think of). Mitigating circumstances: it was only £19.99 from The Hut when you buy a hoody. And hoodies are my favourite type of clothing after ushankas.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Tolly English Ale (Greene King)

Tolly English Ale (Greene King)
Name: Tolly English Ale
Label: "Tolly Cobbold - Full flavoured red - Brewed in Bury St Edmunds"
Brewery: Greene King
ABV: 2.8%

Rating: "This fine amber ale has been brewed using a complex mix of hops to offer balanced bitterness with strong tropical notes. All the flavour you would expect from a great English ale but at only alc. 2.8% vol."  Hang on... they seem to be saying here that low alcohol is a good thing...? Surely someone at the brewery has taken leave of their senses, you may be thinking. No! It's a brilliant session beer!

Game: Current sitrep on XCOM:
  1. my squad is awesome (they've got plasma weapons, mind control, armour where I can pick the colour and everything) 
  2. only three countries have left the council 
  3. all available satellites have been deployed (very important) 
  4. I need to buy some better aircraft 
  5. I need to change everyone's armour from pink to something more manly (it was funny for one mission but I think they're getting cross with me).

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Oak Aged Beer Rum Finish (Innis & Gunn)

Oak Aged Beer Rum Finish (Innis & Gunn)
Name: Oak Aged Beer Rum Finish
Label: "Oak aged like no other beer - Full-bodied Scottish beer bursting with fruit and spicy notes"
Brewery: Innis & Gunn
ABV: 7.4%

Rating: "This ruby beer is matured over the finest rum-infused American Oak heartwood resulting in a beer with a delicious warming character that is bursting with fruit and lively spiciness. These vibrant flavours perfectly balance the beer's toffee-malt backbone making it an ideal accompaniment to game meats like venison or duck. It is sublime with mature cheeses served with good chutneys and relishes."  Beer with a backbone, come get some.

Game: A game-free evening! What madness is this?  Now my weekly Raptr report will say I only played for 6000 hours this week rather than the normal 7000. I was watching Game of Thrones by the way. If you're late to the game (like I was) and don't know what it is (I don't know, you might be an alien or something), it's a ridiculously good TV series about swords, battles, politics; with a sprinkling of wolves, boobs and dragons.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Wojtek (Beartown)

Wojtek (Beartown)
Name: Wojtek
Label: "Wojtek was a magnificent 500lb Syrian Bear who served in WW2 alongside a unit of Polish Soldiers. Believing he was a man, Wojtek shared their beer, their cigarrettes and, eventually, their fate. See more at: www.wojtekfilm.com"
Brewery: Beartown
ABV: 5.5%

Rating: "Wojtek, like the bear it is named after, this beer is powerful, deep golden, and full of character. A medley of old and new world hops provide an aroma of hop resin and a very distinctive dry finish of citrus fruit and juniper." I much prefer a bear that shares your beer rather than tries to rip your face off.  A good compromise.

Game: The naval element of Assassin's Creed 3 is brilliant.  Miles better than the tower defence type sections in Revelations. Blowing stuff up with cannon is most fun.  Although it can get quite tricky to steer... I crashed the boat into some rocks and yet I could have sworn I heard someone say "Well driven, Cap'n."  Well driven?  Someone doth take the piss, surely. Still gets 9/10, I've not happened across any bugs or glitches yet either.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Black Cab Stout (Fuller's)

Black Cab Stout (Fuller's)
Name: Black Cab Stout
Label: "Brewed in London with the knowledge"
Brewery: Fuller's
ABV: 4.5%

Rating: "Named in honour of that icon of the Capital, the famous London taxi, this tasty dark beer, from London's only traditional brewery, will transport you to the days when porters and stouts were Londoners drink of choice. Now being rediscovered by today's discerning drinker, this style of stout delivers a rich full flavour from the chocolate malts in the brew, giving way to a satisfying creamy finish."

Game: At last, Halo 4 has arrived, it seems like years since Halo 3 came out (I think it has actually been years since Halo 3 came out). The visuals to Halo 4 look absolutely stunning, at times during the opening cinematic I couldn't tell whether it was live action or computer generated.  If this is what's possible as we draw closer to the end of the Xbox 360's life, it certainly bodes well for next-gen.