Thursday, 30 October 2014

Blackcurrant Bear pure YoYo - with cards! @follow_the_Bear [by @NLi10]

I've seen these in the shops a lot, and I've seen them reviewed here a lot too.  I've resisted however as liquorice rolls are cheaper, and fruit bars are cheaper. Why on earth would I want to pay 55p for the two hybridised together?

One reason - TRADING CARDS!

I'd never really spotted that these had collectable things in them (and legitimately part of the packaging as they have the sweets stuck to them).  Surprisingly they are good quality too - with decent art and a bit of information.  I'm assuming there are 80 and that the Day is the collector number.  Could get addictive.

There is also food too!  

I originally picked these up to see whether they would be worthy of this year's trick or treat stash, but I think they may be a little too luxury and good to be prised out of my hands...

I've eaten a bit of this which is why it looks small.  Surprisingly fruity with actual texture and amazingly sharp and sweet for the ingredients (nothing but squished fruit). I'd overlooked these due to the price when getting festival fruit snacks, but I may have to multi buy them from Holland & Barrett for my own personal consumption.

At least until I have enough tokens to get the wall chart anyway...

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Jaffa Cakes - Spooky Cake Bars (Ocado) [By @Cinabar]

I think the thing that strikes me most about this Halloween edition of Jaffa Cake Cake Bars is that despite being orange flavoured, they managed not to include the phrase ‘blood orange’ anywhere in the marketing or packaging. I’d have put that down to an easy win on the Halloween theme. The orange in the cake bars is a meagre ‘zingy orange’.
The wrapper is nicely decorated though, and specially put together for the season complete with pumpkins, a cauldron and even a spooky house. The cake bars inside the packet are individually wrapped, so they are good for handing out to Trick or Treaters, but as there are only five they won’t last too long that way. Last year we had so many knocks at the door that I thought I was going to have start offering out items from the fruit bowl as an emergency!
The cake bars come with a dark chocolate coating on top of a vanilla sponge, with a layer of ‘zingy’ jaffa orange. I was a bit disappointed that the ‘zingy’ orange didn’t look quite as blood red as the image on the packet had hinted out. The flavour was good though, the orange has a tangy sharpness, and the darkness of the coating was a nice contrast. The sponge was fluffy and light, and these are very easy to eat. I think the cake bars are a bit nice for Trick or Treaters so I’d recommend saving them to the end and trying to keep them for yourselves… unless it is between giving these away or a small branch of seedless grapes, but I guess that also depends on how good your relationship with the neighbours is!
By Cinabar

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Pumpking - Evil Pumpkin Beer (Aldi) [By @SpectreUK]

There are lots of uses for a pumpkin. You can gut one, chop a scary face into it and use the slimy contents to make a warming soup, or a refreshing smoothie, a pie, pumpkin bread, or you can even spread it all over yourself to soften your skin! According to Wychwood Brewery the most evil of all pumpkins are saved to make their Pumpking ale. This ruby ale was brewed with (evil) pumpkin and (fairly scary) mace to produce a spicy warming brew to scare away any festive ghouls and ghosts that may creep from the grave on Halloween night and come knocking at your door for sweets and treats, or even blood curdling tricks.

On pouring this Pumpking ale there were spicy undertones to the usual ale type smell. The creaminess of this ale and the sweetness from the crystal malt struck me on first taste. I wasn't expecting that almost toffee taste to begin with. I was instantly glad I had a second bottle to enjoy at a later date. The creamy toffee sweetness was quickly followed by the pumpkin flavour, which had mixed perfectly with the bitterness from the mixture of hops and the added spiciness from mace to produce a creamy sweet and slightly fruity spicy then bitter journey that ended on another creamy note to soften the senses. This ale certainly did warm me up, placing me on cushions of creaminess, then dropping a heavy pumpkin on my head before I dozed off (or possibly knocked out) on the cushions. I reckon this was the evil Pumpking's last laugh just to make me jump and remind me that it's Halloween week. So you'd better watch out, evil Pumpkings are about!

Information on the label;
Brewed by Wychwood Brewery, in Oxfordshire. 500ml bottle at 3.8% in volume.
By Spectre

Monday, 27 October 2014

Soreen Halloween Edition - Toffee Apple Scream [By @Cinabar]

Sometimes being a blogger is fun and lovely companies send you goodies to try. Sometimes companies fill a box with plastic spiders and make you jump half a mile when you go to open it!!! :-D Soreen wanted us to try out their new Toffee Apple edition bars in time for Halloween and sent me a suitably decorated parcel of goodies, complete with an array of black plastic spiders sitting in a web! One of the plastic spiders unbeknownst to me jumped from the box and settled down the side of the sofa, giving me a second fright later in the evening! Oh my, I do get jumpy when it comes to spiders, alive or plastic as it happens! Oh how the folks from Soreen would have laughed…
Anyway once the adrenaline levels had returned to normal, and I had calmed down I decided it was time to try out the new treat. The Toffee Apple Soreen will be available in lunch box sized pieces, individually wrapped. When the wrapper was off, they smelt really nice with a sweet air of toffee about them. Although the colour is lighter and they look more like a cake bar, the texture is still heavy and almost sticky like regular Soreen, you have to remember this is a fruit loaf not a cake.
The flavour was lovely, there was plenty of apple, which worked rather well with the rich tastes, and the toffee aftertaste was spot on, strong and rich. I hope they keep this flavour going for a while after Halloween as it such a nice new addition to the range, and one that you’ll be wanting all autumn.
By Cinabar

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Halloween Mr Kipling Choc Slime Slices (Asda) [by @NLi10]

Crikey - Halloween seems to come around faster and get earlier every year.  No sooner have we packed away the pumpkins, scary trees and fake blood than we are back up the loft looking for the trimmings again.  I'd not been that fussed about the 'holiday' as a kid, but now I get to buy the sweets and freak out the visiting kids it's a lot more fun.  I put most of it down to playing quirky Indie 'kids game' Costume Quest one year while off with the flu - the sequel (Costume Quest 2) is out this year and I haven't got it yet - but I am very tempted... anyway...

This year saw a few new looking festive treats so I thought I'd review some.

First up we have these  - perfect for trick or treaters!

What more could a small child with face paint wearing a bin-bag cape ask for than some skinless sausages! Well i'm sure that there is a reason for spooky bangers, but it escaped me.  Maybe the October BBQ season is one that they are starting to trend.

Instead of traumatising the neighbours kids for life by giving them raw meat lets look at these:

Ignoring the oddly phalic Christmas treats and leaving the bear for the next review we see Mr. Kipling has created another variation based on the fact that lime and slime are a bit similar.

As usual these are just the normal slices but jazzed up, and as usual three sets of two in a box seems quite small.  Naturally I had to tuck into a set early for review so I only have two portions left to give out.  I'm saving them for work I think.

The fondant topping is similar to normal but the green sponge seems to be where the lime is - and boy is it a big hit.  I expected these to be subtle and just like a hint of lime, but no - it's over the top and glorious - to the point where I'm wondering if this is too much lime!

I am a big fan of lime and using it with quorn to create crazy flavours was my signature dish at university.  Even for me this felt a bit OTT, but i guess that adds to the extreme nature of the product. As a lovely 'bogey' coloured cake with a funny taste to freak kids out this is perfect.  You wouldn't catch me having this with a cup of tea though.

Happy Halloween spooky kids.  May all your candy be weird and exciting.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Stone Dead Stout (Brown and Green, Trentham Gardens) [By @SpectreUK]

Whoooooo! It is the week of Halloween and all is eerie quiet, cold and misty. Quiet and cold as the grave in fact. Just imagine you're walking through a murky graveyard late on Halloween night. It's Witching Hour and you hear the sound of solid earth shifting and rotten coffin wood snapping as the dead rise from their graves. Then there is ghostly groaning and shuffling of feet over wet grass, and overgrown brambles and twigs snapping as some paranormal force pushes through years of neglected long forgotten ground. You run for your life stumbling across what you first think is a fancy dress party held in fact by the undead and then of course some zombie wannabe puts Thriller on a beatbox next to the gravestone bar. The undead bartender tells you the best drink on the house, "Stone Dead!" He says, "try it, you'll love it to death!"

Stone Dead is a stout for the living as well as the undead. This Imperial award winning stout was brewed with Millennium, Nugget and Styrian Golding Hops. The label mentioned roasted malt, coffee, burnt toast and bitter fruit flavours. My tastebuds were dribbling just reading the label! On pouring this almost jet black stout there was a definite roasted malt and coffee smell, with fruity hints and the mixture of hops bubbling excitedly like a witch's brew under the dark creamy head. At first I struggled to keep this stout in my beer mug as it threatened to froth out over the brim. I took a deep sip and was instantly rewarded with that promised roasted malt and a lip smacking dark chocolate flavour. The strong bitterness from the dark coffee hit my tastebuds next, which was closely followed by the throat scraping bramble-berry type fruitiness that nipped gingerly at my throat. This was a full bodied stout, not for the faint hearted bursting with complex flavours from roasted malts and chocolate, to coffee and the fruity bitterness from the fighty mixture of hops, leaving a fruity malty burnt toast type flavour in my mouth as an aftertaste. A pleasure to drink on a cold scary night or any other. Whether Stone Dead or not this black hearted stout warmed me right through and would breathe life even into the living dead! Bwah ha ha haaaa!

Information on the bottle;
Produced by the Lymestone Brewery in Staffordshire. 500ml bottle at 6.66% volume (Aaah! The Devil's number!). Contained malted barley and wheat.
By Spectre

Friday, 24 October 2014

Options - Limited Edition Sweet Popcorn Hot Chocolate (@Ocado) [By @cinabar]

One of the things I like about my Ocado order is when it comes to ordering Options hot chocolate because you can add the flavour “Limited Edition” to your basket. This means you get whatever Options hot chocolate sachet is currently the new edition, and you don’t get a clue as to what it is until it arrives! This may seem like a disadvantage to some, but I love it! On my last but one order I had Turkish Delight (which was delicious), but this time I was all smiles when Sweet Popcorn arrived, something totally new to me.
I couldn’t wait to pop the kettle on and give it a try out. Funnily enough when I poured out the powder into the mug and gave it an expectant sniff I couldn’t really pick up on much other than chocolate. I added the hot water and again, the aroma was just chocolate.
So I took my first sip and something weird happened. I have found a product that is too sweet even by my standards. Now I know the flavour is supposed to be “Sweet Popcorn” but I think they put all the emphasis on the first word and pretty much ignored the second. I couldn’t really notice any popcorn taste at all, there was none of that corn flavoured goodness, no hint of the cinema experience. What it did remind me of was a regular cup of Options to which it tasted like there was a couple of extra teaspoons of sugar added to it. From the calories this can’t have been true, it was the usual low calorie count, but the sugary taste over powered the chocolate either way.
Oh well, you can’t win them all, and clearly there is a market for those of you who have an even sweeter tooth then mine. I’ll just be hanging on to see what wonders I get next month when I add “Limited Edition” Options variety to my order, I still enjoy the gamble.
By Cinabar