Sunday, 27 October 2013

Double Stout (Shepherd Neame)

Double Stout (Shepherd Neame)
Name: Double Stout
Label: "Bottled at the brewery - Britain's oldest brewer - since 1698 - A classic double stout from a recipe discovered in the vaults of Britain's oldest brewer"
Brewery: Shepherd Neame & Co
ABV: 5.2%

Rating: "This beer combines the complex flavours and characteristics of pale ale, roasted crystal and chocolate malts with the finest kilned roasted barley. It is bittered with our famed East Kent hops and brewed in the UK's last remaining wooden mash tuns.  This magnificent example of a classic double stout delivers a velvety-smooth palate of dry, burnt flavours complemented by roast, cocoa and coffee notes. Black, creamy and delicious; it is a Shepherd Neame masterpiece."

Game: I am Batman!  Not really, obviously, just virtually. Batman: Arkham Origins beatdowns its way onto my Xbox. My unboxing of Origins was almost as quick as my Arkham City unboxing post from this time last year.  One of the sequences that has really stood out so far is the battle with Deathstroke. Its almost like watching a brilliantly choreographed fight scene in a film, but you're actually controlling the action! Perfect timing for counters is a must.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Queen Bee (Slater's)

Queen Bee (Slaters)
Name: Queen Bee
Label: "Honey beer - Positively buzzing! A gorgeous golden brew with a taste of local honey."
Brewery: Slater's
ABV: 4.2%

Rating: "This is a multi award winning beer brewed using Halcyon & Crystal malts with local Staffordshire Honey. The sweet taste is balanced by an abundance of Challenger, W G V & Cascade hops to give a spicy hoppy aroma leading to a gently bitter finish on the tongue."  I always get Halcyon mixed up with Halogen or bright lights, as well as great times 'back in the day'.  It's actually a kingfisher or a mythical bird... as well as malt? Soooo confusing.

Game: GTA V single player story: finished!  Batman Arkham City Lockdown: finished! After finishing Lockdown, Batman Arkham Origins appeared on the app store pretty much straight away. Very kind of them to wait for me to finish Lockdown before releasing Origins. It's a 'freemium' game (I detest the word freemium by the way), so you can buy in-game currency to speed up upgrading and stamina regeneration. Stamina decreases with each mission and recharges over a period of (real) time. Needless to say, I won't be purchasing in-game currency. It's a great game anyway and includes console crossover unlocks when the main game is released! Rating: 7/10.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Bombardier Reserve - The Colonel's Choice (Wells)

Bombardier Reserve - The Colonels Choice (Wells)
Name: Bombardier Reserve - The Colonel's Choice
Label: "A rich and well rounded hoppy ale- Premium beer"
Brewery: Wells
ABV: 6.0%

Rating: "If you like hops, you'll simply love this beer. Yes, there are more hops in this beer than you can shake a stick at. Bang On! It's rich and well rounded, just like the Colonel himself. He says it'll put hairs on the hairs on your chest. After a hard day on the battlefield, you deserve it. Go on, put your feet up and enjoy."

I'm not sure who the Colonel is (presumably not the fried chicken dude), but he's got awesome taste in beer!

Game: It's just 11 days until Batman Arkham Origins! To celebrate I'm getting to grips with Batman Arkham City Lockdown on the iPad. Similar to Infinity Blade, you swipe the screen to slash your sword but in this case it's Batman's fists obviously.  I don't think he owns a sword? And if he did it needs writing out of the history books post-haste. A Bat-sword? No thanks! Anyway, the game is a pretty good slug-fest (not slugs, bats). There's quite a steep learning curve but once mastered, get donning your cowl and enjoy some satisfying take-downs and interesting boss fights and cameos. Well worth a look. 7/10.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

T.E.A (Hogs Back Brewery)

TEA (Hogs Back Brewery)
Name: T.E.A - Traditional English Ale
Label: "Surrey's famous brew - Brewed on the Hogs Back - Malt and hops in perfect balance"
Brewery: Hogs Back
ABV: 4.2%

Rating: "T.E.A was the first brew at Hogs Back in August 1992 and was an immediate hit. It has subsequently won many awards, possibly because, as the name says, it really is a classic Traditional English Ale. We use the finest English malt carefully balanced with local Fuggles hops from the other side of the Hogs Back and gently ferment to leave some of the natural malt sugars, giving a full and satisfying flavour. And whilst we enjoy the beer, local hogs enjoy the spent grain from our mash tun... Perfect harmony in Tongham."

Pigs eat people. People eat pigs AND drink their beer. That's why we're top of the food chain.

Game: Whilst every other sane person is playing GTAV, I seem to have become hopelessly addicted to Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes! It's an XBLA game which was free for Xbox Live Gold subscribers this month. FREE. So rather than playing forty quids worth of GTA V, I'm sat playing a free XBLA download.  An HD remake of an old Nintendo DS game I think, it's a puzzley, action-ey, turn-based role playing game that I can't seem to get enough of. I'm just waiting for the inevitable massive difficulty spike which leads to the usual level-up grind that seems quite common with these types of games.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Amber Ale (Black Sheep for Morrisons)

Amber Ale (Black Sheep for Morrisons
Name: Amber Ale
Label: "A smooth, fruity brew with a bitter finish - Wm Morrison Specially Selected"
Brewery: Black Sheep
ABV: 4.5%

Rating: "Brewed in the heart of Yorkshire, this amber ale is a true British classic - the kind of beer that'll warm your cockles on the coldest of Northern nights. Brewed in the famous Black Sheep Brewery in Masham using Maris Otter malted barley, it's packed full of rich, fruity flavours for a classic ale that leads the field, rather than following the herd. Try it with: Hearty meat pies or punchy British cheeses like Wensleydale and Stilton."

Game: I have won second prize in a 2K Games fictional writing competition! It's like Monopoly but in real life and without all the money and property!  The competition was to write a short story involving UFOs as a bit of tie-in with the recent release of The Bureau: XCOM Declassified. Here's my entry and a link to the winning entry. I read the winners effort but I didn't understand it. Too high brow - she can obviously write properly.  Anyway, I got the game by the way. It's a tough cookie and unfortunately I've not had quite enough time to get into it yet, what with Eurogamer and GTAV and so on. However it's looking good so far.

Friday, 4 October 2013

Ale in a "Dead Man's Drink" Skyrim tankard

Ale in a Dead Mans Drink Skyrim tankard
After a week of being in work, Eurogamer 2013 feels like it was decades ago. It was in fact but seven short days ago. To celebrate I'm drinking ale out of a "Dead Man's Drink" Skyrim branded tankard which I purchased at said Eurogamer event. As it happens the ale is 'Traditional English Ale' from Hogs Back Brewery and will be reviewed very soon.

Rating: The tankard appeared on one stand at Eurogamer for £9 and on a different stand for £10. Fortunately I spotted the £9 version first. As far as drinking vessels go, this is one of the best. It's made from chunky, weighty, glass-like material (so, thick glass then) and has already survived being dropped. 10/10.

Game: I've been trying to get on to GTA Online for the past four nights. Apparently there's (another) update due out today so may actually get a go. To be honest I'm not all that fussed about the fuss being made of not being able to get online. There's billions of people trying to access it literally all at the same time. It's never going to work first time is it. Plus I've not finished the single player mode yet. Currently hovering around the 60% mark. Although consistently getting the first race glitch *every* time I try to go online is getting rather irritating.