20 October 2018

Wicked Grove Cider (Aldi) By @SpectreUK



May I be the first of us to welcome you to the spooky Halloween season (which is about two weeks of blogging). Bwuh hah hah haaaa! I seriously had to wrestle an alcoholic pumpkin for this Wicked Grove Cider. He was really quite strong! It harkens from an ancient grove hidden in the Vermont countryside which was full of bewitched apple trees. The apples from the grove were said to have produced the first Wicked Grove Cider, of which this beverage is a recreation. The brewer may have lost the grove to time or the trees themselves were uprooted and pulled through a portal into an enchanted realm! I'll leave you to ponder that while I find a bottle opener whilst looking out for an inebriated pumpkin.

There was a sweetness from the cider apples on opening the bottle, with sourness at the back of the aroma. I'm not sure how they lightly carbonated ancient Wicked Grove Cider, much the same way as someone invented the jacuzzi whilst they bathed in a nearby duck pond perhaps? Having said that, this is a very pleasant cider. There is sweetness to start with as the bubbles tickled my tastebuds, quickly followed by a tartness that follows into the slightly sour apple aftertaste. Much like the feeling of being followed on a dark windy night through a Wicked Grove… possibly by an angry farmer who doesn't like trespassers, or more likely by a drunken pumpkin!

19 October 2018

Sweet Heat Skittles (Coop) By @Cinabar



Chilli it is a difficult thing, some people love it, some people hate and most people under or over estimate their tolerance. I describe myself as someone who likes spice, but I’m not a chilli addict, and if it gets too hot I’m not interested. I think what I’m trying to say here is that chillis is subjective, and as we saw on The Apprentice this week (hot sauce and chocolate doughnuts) it doesn’t always work combined with sweet things.
Skittles have gone for it anyway and released Sweet Heat Skittles, Skittles with sweet fruity flavours and a spot of chilli.


The flavours are:

Scorchin Pineapple - This was sweet and hot from the beginning, the tropical flavour left my tongue buzzing.
Fiery Watermelon - This Skittle tasted like it was going to be refreshing but the chilli built up and caught me at the back of my throat.
Sizzlin Strawberry - This one was I think the softest, and I liked them the most, sweet strawberry with a nice warmth.
Lemon Spark - I think these were the hottest, or the lemon flavour wasn’t quite sweet enough to soften it. The lemon was sharp, the spice warm, it was quit a sensation.
Piccante Passion Fruit - These were hot too, or perhaps I was getting build up from trying the others first, but the passion fruit was pleasingly fruity. It was just a bit warm.

A chilli loving friend tried these Skittles and said the spice was barely noticeable. A colleague tried eating a few and then suffered the chilli as his work phone went off. I liked them, the Sweet Heat Skittles were hot and fun. Grab a handful of them and see how you go!

18 October 2018

Toblerone - Crispy Coconut (France) - by @NLi10

Frequently people go on holiday and bring us back exotic versions of everyday treats - even if they intended to buy the regular edition like with this crunchy coconut Toblerone!


Although it's from France it's packaged like a normal Toblerone


And has the new increased air-gap which people were annoyed about briefly! 


You can just about see the coconut and it adds a little extra crunch between the chew of the nougat and the softness of the chocolate.


Not that you can really tell here! It also tastes more of coconut than the regular version so given the option I'd choose this one for the variety.  Obviously I'd like this as a Toblerone Dark but we can't have everything - at least not yet...

17 October 2018

Ginger Fever! Fever Tree Premium Ginger Ale and Premium Ginger Beer (Sainsbury's) By @SpectreUK


It's times like these that I realise that I can be pretty ignorant. I do love ginger ale, and the nose hair ticklier (yes, I know that's not a word) the better. However, I actually presumed that the terms ginger ale and ginger beer were interchangeable. A little bit like beer and ale. Although ale and lager are different due to their types of yeast and their fermentation process, which is 'top' for ale and 'bottom' for lager. Ginger ale and ginger beer to me were the same. I guess I've never given it much thought, just popped the can open and drunk it. I have had alcoholic ginger beer in the past though. I've even blogged about a few. The clue is in the title… Ginger beer is fermented (brewed like beer!), whereas ginger ale is not, it's ginger flavoured carbonated water. Who'd have (good ole Urban Dictionary) 'thunk' it? These two bottles from Fever Tree made me think again.

Now to the drinks themselves… The Premium Ginger Ale is a slightly coppery colour. The blurb on the back of the label states that there is natural ginger in this ginger ale and also botanical flavours for a traditional ginger ale taste. I'm used to mass produced ginger ale, big on fizz and even bigger on nose hair tickling flavour. On opening the 500ml glass bottle this Premium Ginger Ale was definitely big on fizz. There was a mild smell of ginger and it didn't make me sneeze like my regular favourite brand if I suddenly masochistically sniff it. On taste this Premium Ginger Ale is very easy to drink. The botanicals they mention taste a little like those within a traditional cola, and the natural ginger is a little understated. It did tickle my nose slightly, but not to sneezing stage… not that the label promised it would provide super ginger heat like some other drinks do. If you prefer a more subtle ginger ale than this is definitely for you.

The Premium Ginger Beer is a cloudy white in colour. The label states that this drink has a blend of ginger roots, and again with the botanical flavours. There was a decent fizz on opening the bottle, only this time I could smell a heady blend of ginger root. It almost made me sneeze. I had a feeling I was going to like this drink. On taste this is a completely different drink to the Premium Ginger Ale. All subtlety is out of the window. There is oodles of ginger root in this drink. It jumps out of the drink as you take a swig and slaps you around the face screaming "ginger". I must admit I got a pretty runny nose from drinking this Premium Ginger Beer. They could definitely put 'fiery' in front of the ginger beer on the label. Not too sweet in flavour, the botanicals take a back seat in this drink, and the ginger root is very much full throttle. As you've probably guessed, this was my favourite of the two. Premium Ginger Beer for the win!

Sneak Peak - Walkers Christmas Crisps including: Brussels Sprout (Ocado)



Photo source: Ocado
Just a quick one with a bit of news here, I was on the Ocado website and looking into new flavours of crisps. At the end of my trawl of new products I spotted some very interesting, not yet available, flavours.

There seems to be two new multipacks coming, one for Sprout Lovers and one for Sprout haters! The Sprout Lovers crisps does include a Brussels sprouts flavour, which I can’t wait to get my hands on!

The flavours in full are:

Sprout Lovers:
2x Brussels Sprout
2x Turkey and Stuffing
2x Pigs in Blankets

Sprout Haters:
2x Glazed Ham
2x Turkey and Stuffing
2x Cheese and Cranberry

The clear conclusion from this that everyone loves Turkey and Stuffing!
If you spot them in the shops let me know - happy hunting. :-)


16 October 2018

Minor Figures Coffee - Nitro Cold Brew Mocha (Stoke Station) By @Cinabar


I’ve been to a meeting in Stoke today with work. As it was lunch time when I finished I decided to look for something to eat and drink on my way back. I spotted a tasty looking salt beef and pickle sandwich at Stoke Station and also on the shelf was this Minor Figures Coffee - Nitro Cold Brew Mocha.
The nitro part refers to the fact that this coffee is cold brewed slowly in its preparation. Also it might go part of the way to explaining the penguin headed man on the tin, but not completely. The can was pretty smart and modern to be fair so it got my attention. I opened up the can and gave it a sip, the taste wasn’t what I’d been expecting. The flavour had some mild coffee and a hint of sweetness from the chocolate and a very much in your face oat flavour that was almost nutty in taste. It was so strong I checked the ingredients and only then realised this was a dairy free drink made with oat milk. The flavour didn’t hide this, but the oat milk wasn’t clear from the front of the can. I assume if you avoid dairy you might just know from the brand, but it surprised me. It also has no added sugar and uses Stevia instead which is still plant based.
Once I got used to the flavour it grew on me, it was still creamy from the oat flavour. For me I would want coffee and chocolate to be the dominant taste in a mocha, even a dairy free one, so this didn't hit the nail on the head even though it was quite pleasant.