However, the saddest change, and the first just before the New Year is my new barber. No, he's fine, but I very recently lost my old barber to cancer. He's been cutting my hair for almost twenty years and we'd got very used to each other with the kind of Mickey taking of old friends. I had my haircut by my new barber today and he was very friendly and understanding. Some people are traditionalists you see, going to the same place and doing the same thing over and over. We can be creatures of habit. We grow comfortable with our surroundings or just too lazy or a little scared to change. My old barber was more a pint of Mild kind of guy, nothing wrong with Mild of course, I do love the stuff and have a few cans regularly in, however I like to try all sorts of beers and write about them. I do appreciate new readers trying something new to read on the internet and our regular readers who have supported us over the years. So I'd like to dedicate this blog to all the regular readers, the new readers, my old barber who gave me great advice over the years and who would never have drank this Cocoa Wonderland in a million years, and to my new barber who made me very welcome today.
Cocoa Wonderland is brewed by Thornbridge Riverside Brewery in Derbyshire. At 6.8% volume this chocolate porter has a good strength for seeing off old friends and welcoming the new. Magnum hops were used in the brewing with the usual malted barley and chocolate malt. There was a deep chocolate aroma on opening the bottle with undertones of roasted coffee. On taste this Cocoa Wonderland really is a chocolatey treat. There is sweet milk chocolate on first taste, which merges with a roasted coffee flavour and a quick smack of alcohol into the aftertaste. This chocolate porter is like a 330ml chocolate coffee liquor. Mmmm… a lip smacking flavoursome pudding beer for full tummies after big hearty winter meals that can't face another bite, but just need something chocolatey, with a touch of coffee and a bang of booze to wash it all down.
So whether you have a year of change or one of relaxing in your comfortable surroundings, have a safe, peaceful (or party-filled), most happy New Year! ;-)