23 March 2019

Session Pale Ale (Aldi @hambletonales) By @SpectreUK

I do like a good pale ale. Well, to be honest with you there aren't any types of ales I don't like, but a refreshing pale ale in the Spring months can be pretty special. This Session Pale ale by Hambleton Ales, in North Yorkshire, harkens back to when folks used to drink ale on the job way back up until around the First World War. Workers used to be given drinking 'sessions', with a light ABV (alcohol by volume) so they didn't get too hammered! Sounds good. We probably shouldn't have stopped that…!

This Session Pale ale has a 3.8% ABV. It was produced with Maris Otter Pale Malted Barley and Crystal Malted Barley, as well as Mosaic Hops and Cascade Hops. It has a pale golden colour and a cheerful fizz on pouring. I'd agree with the bottle in that it has a fruity, zesty smell of lemon and a little apple at the back of the aroma. To begin with there is a jumbled up mixture of flavours. It's not quite; "here's the malts and then the bitter hops", with this Session pale, as they all seem to jump on my tastebuds in one ambush. It's good though. Really good! There is a big malt flavour initially, but there's also bitterness straight away from the hops. There follows a little sweetness from further Crystal Malt undertones, but just as I got used to them there's a big zesty bitter kick with sweet malt flavours into the aftertaste. This Session Pale is pure gold. I could happily drink it all day, rather than just in one se… You get the joke!? ;-p

22 March 2019

Gullon Twins White Chocolate Cookies (Aldi) By @Cinabar

I feel I need to start by saying the biscuits are not sugar free. I say this because my only knowledge of the biscuit company Gullon is that they do a good range of sugar free biscuits and that is what I have come to associate them with. These Gullon Twins White Chocolate Cookies are not low sugar, and it turns out they have a large range of sugary biscuits too, these ones do look rather tasty anyway. They consist of two sandwiches of dark chocolate biscuit over a white cream filling and the whole thing dunked in white chocolate. My brain was thinking they were similar to white Chocolate covered Oreos, and I was looking forward to trying them.

The box opens to reveal six twin packs of biscuits, which are wrapped making them perfect for a portioned lunch box treat. The biscuits have thin white chocolat on the base, where the dark biscuit shows through, and thicker chocolate on the top. I gave them a try and loved every bite. The white chocolate is rich and creamy, and the biscuit is dark and flavoursome, the contrast of the two flavours is heaven. The texture too is wonderful, I love a mix of textures and between the crunchy biscuit, soft filling and the chocolat coating these more than delivered. I have to get myself some more of these Gullon Twins White Chocolate Cookies from Aldi, as they are my new favourite biscuits, and I must check out their other ranges too, see what else they have to offer. There is more to this brand than just sugar free.

21 March 2019

Lipton Matcha - And other Portuguese drinks (@NLi10)

Look at the tiny Strongbow! It almost looks civilised. Almost. Still tastes like Strongbow though, so never mind. There was a fruit one too, but I’ll save those for the Wrestling shows. Effective thirst quencher.

Over in Portugal Captain Birdseye has conveniently changed to Captain Iglo. Maybe he’s hiding from Interpol.


 Still in the supermarket we find a huge stash of Lipton teas. While they are Eurotrash compared to the Asian brewed teas these will do on a hot day - especially when there are new flavours to try.

 I think I maybe should have got two smaller ones for the contrast, but we just went for the green matcha. This was the Yuzu version.

Unfortunately the percentage of Matcha was so low that the percentage in my blood is probably usually higher (not on holiday, I’m getting Jasmine Tea withdrawal symptoms). Still, it’s their nice if not a bit watery green tea so has its own charms and keeps the dehydration away. I mean I’ve got some sunburn, but that’s not the drinks fault.  And we located some actual snacks too!

20 March 2019

Hartley’s 10 calories Flavoured Jelly (@DegustaboxUK) By @SpectreUK

In my life I have met two types of people. There are those that like jelly and ice cream in the same bowl, and those that like jelly or ice cream in a bowl on their own. I'm a jelly or ice cream kind of person. Don't get me wrong, I do like jelly and I also like ice cream, just as long as they don't meet in the same bowl. Now you'll be able to tell which type of person you are by determining how crazy I sound. If I should perfectly reasonable, then you are not a jelly and ice cream in the same bowl type of person either!

Black Forest Gateau Jelly

Cinabar asked me why I choice to try this jelly. "You don't even like Black Forest Gateau!" She exclaimed. It's true I don't particularly like cherries for a start, which doesn't help with liking the cake itself. Many years ago whilst staying in Lumley Castle, near Newcastle Upon Tyne, there was nothing on the pudding menu I liked, but I went for the bowl of cherries, because it came with shortbread. I figured it would be a tiny bowl of cherries with some biscuits on the side. I'm telling you that I never seen such a big bowl of cherries in my entire life!

On opening this 175g plastic pot there was an unsurprising and yet also unsurprisingly unwelcome smell of cherries. This chilled deep red almost liquid jelly smelt of Maraschino cherries, and strangely a little creamy. I wasn't particularly fussed by tasting it at this point, but this is what us hardy bloggers have to do, so I reluctantly dug a spoon in. The only thing that tasted more of cherries than this jelly was the monstrous bowl full that I started and almost threw up at Lumley Castle. I couldn't really pick up on any chocolate flavour though. Although there was a slightly odd taste of cream at the back of the flavour, which didn't bode well with my half crazed jelly or ice cream persona.

Lemon Cheesecake Jelly

Before you say it, yes, with the whole jelly or ice cream ideology this is probably not a good idea! However, I do love lemon cheesecake, unless, of course; it's baked! There are two types of people… Oh, never mind… I just don't like baked cheesecake! Anyway, even Hartley's would have a job on baking jelly flavoured with lemon cheesecake. Surely?

On opening the pot there was a decent smell of lemon. This was to be expected for a Lemon Cheesecake Jelly. In fact if I almost stick the pot up my nose I would say it does smell of lemon cheesecake, and not the baked variety. Phew! There is that creamy flavour again after a initial fairly sour taste of lemon. Here the creamy flavour is more pronounced, however it does actually taste pretty good… well, if you like that sort of thing! I'd certainly say that this was my favourite out of the two jellies… Mainly because no matter how many cherries a hotel can try to force feed me, I'm just never going to like them!