8 December 2019

Advent Pile Round-up 2nd to 8th (@NLi10)

For advent this year, because the edible calendars have turned out to be a little homogeneous (see last week) I'm just going to do a picture a day.  For added interest we have a Christmas cats scene that builds itself gradually for advent.


2nd of Dec saw a nice chamomile tea, and an Orange Monty Bojangles.  The blue disk is the plain dairy-free choc, the Orange bar is the standard Lindt prize - both of which I expect to get on half the days for that calendar.  My partner ate the blue disk in one then regretted it - very much stickier than 'real' chocolate but nice enough.


3rd Dec - A tree appears! I've drunk boxes of Supreme Matcha - I think it was my first Pukka tea!  A nice welcome return.  The Monty was Hazelnut (yum) and the NOMO dairy free was the caramel flavour (aftertaste). 


4th Dec - realised that we was supposed to put the tree up on day zero so that is finished now, and today's ornament was the cat.  The teabag shows just how tiny the Lindt ball is.  I'm sure that it's not much more expensive to go for the full size ones and would have cost a similar amount to go to the Lindt shop at resorts world and buy 24 balls.  Will investigate.  Popcorn Monty today - gave this to partner as I know that there will be 3 more in the calendar.


Dec 5th - exciting minty tea - with fennel and rose on top of licorices. First present under the tree.  Standard choccy flavour Monty - rest dull.


Cute little cat today (6th).  Pistachio Monty for partner's birthday (amazing new flavour) and a lovely basey tasting evening tea. 


7th Dec.  Psychedelic tea that I've not been brave enough to try yet.  Hazelnut Monty which is for me later on.  Lindt ball confirming that both varieties are tiny (quarter size?!) and disc of disappointment.  Can already see me giving most of these disks away.  Decent size and flavour but total lack of variety means that it's no different to buying two packs of them and alternating.


The cat count is really beginning to take shape now (8th Dec) and while the Monty flavours are now repeating they are doing so without a pattern and as they are all amazing no one seems to mind.  Lindt balls still small, but are nice.  Not sure why today's teabag didn't make the picture - it's a three liquorice blend (one of this years new bags) that I'll probably write up separately in time for next week. 

7 December 2019

Rye Pale Ale (Sainsbury’s) By @SpectreUK


I do like a good rye ale, especially this time of year with its warming spicy flavour. This Sainsbury's Taste the Difference Rye Pale Ale was brewed by Marston's, which is a favourite brewer of mine. I do love a pint of Marston's Pedigree now and then, so trying a Rye Pale Ale produced by the same brewer sounds like a real treat.

Ay 4.4% volume this Rye Pale Ale was brewed with Rye Crystal malt, which is supposed to give it a 'toasty character'. There is the citrus fruity bitterness from Summit and Cascade hops, and dry hopping with the tropical and zesty orange flavours from Citra and Amarillo hops. This Rye Pale Ale should go very well with my protein packed tuna baguette after my weight lifting session today. It's pretty heavy on the calories though on 196 calories, so I'm glad I've had a seriously long session at the gym.

On opening the bottle this deep red Rye Pale Ale has spicy malty notes to begin with, and then the pale malt and citrus hops come in at the back of the aroma. On taste this is a truly sumptuous pale ale. It's full of character with its full bodied rye spices to start with, followed closely by sweetness from the malts, and then there's that citrus and light orange bitterness from the hops giving my tastebuds a final nudge into the aftertaste. I could happily drink this Rye Pale Ale all through the winter months and beyond. I'm going to have to get a few more bottles of this, I can tell you!

6 December 2019

Pieminister: The Cracker (Waitrose) By @Cinabar


This Pieminister The Cracker pie represents Christmas dinner in pie. The contents include turkey, ham, cranberry, parsnips and even sherry all packed into Pieminister pastry. As wonderful as all this sounds the thing that really caught my eye was the packaging. It isn’t that exciting in terms of the Christmas design, yes there are nice pink Christmas trees in a repeat pattern, but it was the simple window looking down at the pie, it looks like plastic but it isn’t plastic which seems quite impressive. It is actually made from wood pulp and is compostable, which is much better for the environment.
We had the The Cracker pie for dinner and was impressed by it. The pastry was a little crispy on the top, but the right texture around the sides. It was soft enough to pick up the sauce, which went really well with it. The pieces of turkey are generous and moist, and the cranberries added a nice tangy sweetness to the base flavour. I did pick up on a bit of parsnip and warmth from the sherry, but the turkey and the ham were the main flavours and it was a lovely meaty pie.
I have had Pieminister’s pies before and would gladly have this one again. I like the innovation with the packaging, but do have the thought that perhaps the window just isn’t needed at all in the box, that way the whole thing would go into recycling without having to worry about the compostable element.

5 December 2019

Whole Earth Organic No Caf Coffee Alternative (@NLi10)

I drink coffee but it's maybe once a month.  Near the end of last winter I added this to a Holland & Barrett order to round up the postage, or to get one of their crazy offers.  The weather was just getting warmer so I left it in the cupboard.  Now I need warm drinks again, and I can't possibly drink any more caffeine without pinging off the walls.

This is basically somewhere between Coffee and Horliks - being a deep malty drink.


It looks fairly Eco - and it's been around a while


It's pretty easy to make and they don't add sugar so you get to choose.


And it's reasonably healthy with no added vegans.


They correctly assessed that the best part of coffee is cracking the seal on a new jar


And it looks the same


well maybe a bit bubblier, and the smell is not that of normal coffee


But it makes a nice cup for the afternoon - or for in the middle of the night when you can't sleep.

Well recommended - I should have opened it sooner!