Drinking on a deadline…

10 05 2012

We have all been there, we want to get completely wasted but downing 4 Jaeger bombs and a few Sambucas will just take waaay to long.

Now normally you would start reaching for the bottle of meths but hold your horses their is a new kid on the block….

WA|HH Quantum Sensations

No, this isn’t the next James Bond blockbuster. Behind this rather odd name lurks the brain child of Harvard professor David Edwards and designer Philippe Starck. A neat little gizmo that promises to turn you instantaneously drunk for a few seconds, without any of the harmful effects of alcohol (no hangover!).

The Wahh Quantum Sensations contains 20-25 sprays each of which delivers 0.075 ml of alcoholin the form of micro-particles and reportedly simulates the sensorial pleasure of alcohol, giving the user a brief moment of light-headedness and distraction.

Professor David Edwards came up with the idea of using his micro-particle spraying technology to distribute alcohol after meeting with Philippe Starck and discussing the possibility of recreating the positive sensations associated with drinking – but without the drunkenness and negative health implications. The result is a spray which contains tiny amounts of alcohol, that can be sprayed directly into the mouth or onto food.

“Everyone has an occasional need of light-headedness, distraction, and another place … but our societies and codes of amusement have led to the over-consumption of alcoholic beverages as a kind of social placebo,” said Philippe Starck.

Because each spray of the device contains nearly 1,000 times less alcohol than a standard shot, it’s said it would take hundreds of actuations to deliver the alcohol content found in a typical drink. But while some reports have claimed WAHH Quantum Sensations spray actually gets users drunk for a few seconds before they sober up just as fast, the team behind it is keen to stress this is not actually the case.

“WAHH does not stimulate drunkenness. It is precisely to avoid drunkenness. It stimulates the pleasure of alcohol without the alcohol. There is almost no alcohol in the product, yet the aerosol gives an instantaneous lightheadedness, slight, not disorienting, and is intended for anything but the experience of being drunk”… So no fighting lamp-posts or waking up with your face stuck to the bed by some rogue curry sauce.

There are two types of WAHH Quantum Sensations spray – the Flash, which offers a tonic flavor and a strong and instantaneous sensation, and the Demon, which is described as having a spicy, wooded and slightly fruity flavor and said to be best served vaporized on salty or sweet foods. In describing WAHH Quantum Sensations, David Edwards said, “Its ability to deliver flavor with each actuation that grows in intensity with the vapor cloud of millions of tiny micro-droplets makes WAHH an exciting food spray for the future.”

WAHH Quantum Sensations can currently be sampled at the “Experience 14 WA|HH by S+ARCK + EDWARDS” exhibition at Le Laboratoire in Paris – but will soon go on sale in Europe for €20 (about US$26).





King’s Arms – Bury St Edmunds

7 05 2012

When I was working in Bury St Edmunds the King’s Arms was our favourite spot to head to for lunch and a few pints on a Friday.

It is a reasonably quiet pub owing to it’s location just off of the main shopping area in town and as such has a nice relaxing vibe that is perfect for winding down after work or chilling out of a weekend.

The pub itself is of a reasonable size and is pretty much what you would expect for a traditional pub in a bustling market town; there is one main bar area with a good amount of seating, a smaller dining area off to one side and a lovely little beer garden which magically seems to always be in full sun….

Food was always good with the usual pub grub that one would expect done to a high standard and served with commendable speed, always a plus when you are on a “working lunch”!

The selection of beers is, or was as the case may now be, excellent. Usual suspects from Greene King, Ruddles and Morland accompanied by a nice choice of two or three guest beers on tap.

All things considered the King’s Arms is well worth a visit if you are passing through this charming little market town.

The King’s Arms, 23 Brentgovel Street, Bury St Edmunds Suffolk
http://gkpubs.co.uk/pubs-in-brentgovel/kingsarms-pub/




Joel Campbell rejects Arsenal

20 07 2011

Joel Campbell scanning the horizon for cash

Depending on how much of an alcoholic you are (says the man who reviews beer!) you may or may not remember the weekend.

If you are somehow able to recall what happened a few days /pints ago you might remember the assured tone taken by many “respected” sources as regards the “signing” of Costa Rican international striker Joel Campbell.

We were told that a fee had been agreed and that there was even an agreement in principle between Arsenal and the player, his own father/agent/twat, Humberto Campbell, told us that they were thrilled and everything would be signed, sealed and delivered within the next 24 hours.

Magically the next morning everything had changed, quelle fucking surprise, now we were hearing how other offers had arrived from a host of European clubs and that whilst Arsenal were in “pole position” nothing was in the bag just yet.

Fast forward a few days and we are now told by Campbell senior that his son will be staying with current club Deporivo Saprissa for the foreseeable future in order to focus on the Under 20 World Cup in Colombia.

Apparently there are offers on the table that need to be analyzed and that they will negotiate after the world cup, in his own words “We hope to go to the World Cup and that Joel plays well without pressure. We’ll see what happens.”

Now whilst this is an admirable line for his father/agent to take it does rather fly in the face of his prior dealings and comments….

In fact reading between the lines one might be inclined to believe that what he is really hoping for is that his little darling has an impressive World Cup and that all of a sudden clubs cheque books fly open like a whores legs.

Juan Carlos Rojas the president of his son’s current club had this to say on the matter:

“It’s disappointing for football, for Saprissa that these people have not taken Arsenal’s offer seriously,” explained Rojas.

“I assume the father thinks things will get better after the decision, but there’s always a risk.”

Hmmm… seems I’m not the only person who hears the pitter patter of greedy feet. Personally I hope the whole venture backfires terribly for him, if there is one thing Arsenal doesn’t need it is more money grabbing cunts/agents and their sneaky tricks.





Duvel double pack

17 07 2011

A few weeks back I wrote about the Maredsous and Chimay triple packs that have recently reappeared in our local off licence.

Well hot on their tasty little heels is a new arrival; the Duvel double pack with glass goblet…

 

The glass is great… odd as it sounds to say that it really is, anyone who hasn’t tried Duvel from one of these chalices/goblets is really missing out, the flavours open up a lot and a beer that is already great becomes truly excellent -you can read my review of Duvel here.

The price on this was particularly good, I paid €6.25 which seems like a little bit of a steal when you work out that each bottle of Duvel by itself is €3.80 and that last time the goblets were in stock they wanted a whopping €7.50 for them





Banks UCB – Ultimate Curry Beer

28 06 2011

 

Here is a bit of an oddity that I turned up on draft at the Coppermill in Walthamstow last time that I was back home.

As the sharp eyed amongst you may have spotted UCB stands for Ultimate Curry Beer and it has been brewed specifically to accompany said food stuff, now as anyone who has set foot in the Coppermill will know there isn’t really food on offer in the pub, pickled egg anyone, as such I was drinking this with my usual accompaniment of more pints.

I have heard from a few people that UCB really isn’t a beer to be drunk by itself and whilst I don’t completely agree with them I can see their point, it has a very strong, very hoppy flavour and may not be to everyone’s tastes, however with a good spicy curry it would work perfectly.

Personally I like strong tasting beers and actually enjoyed this as a nice pint for a relaxed afternoon session, the 5.3% ABV is easy going enough that you could sink more than a few pints with ease yet strong enough that know you still know youare having a beer.

In terms of appearance UCB is a rich, golden brown with a fairly thick creamy head not unlike a pint of stout or dare I mention it… Caffreys – Shudder. The head lasts well for the duration of the pint with a fair amount of lacing.

In terms of taste and aroma the hopping comes through very clearly along with some strong citrus and a little floral hint, as mentioned previously the hopping IS strong but in a refreshing way.

All in all a pretty good pint and worth a try IF you happen to come across it, if you are lucky enough to come across it at the same time as a good hot curry then you are in for a real treat.

3.6/5





Maredsous taster pack with glass

28 06 2011

Being the kind chap that I am I thought I would bring to your attention an offer I stumbled upon in my local off licence the other night.

They are selling a “Taster pack” of 3 bottles of Maredsous packaged with an attractive branded glass.

Now personally I am a sucker for beer related glassware and can regularly be seen poncing around with my oversized Chimay chalice or some other piece of promotional tat but fancy glasses aside these packs represent both great value for money and a great introduction for anyone not familiar with Maredsous.

The pack contains 3 x 33cl bottles, one each of the Blond – 6%, Bruin – 8% and Tripel – 10% all of which are great examples of Abbey beers and are cracking beers in their own rights.

I also mentioned that these packs are often good value for money; in my particular off licence each individual bottle of beer would set you back  €2.80 and glasses – when they have them, are normally a fiver so that would be a grand total of €13.40. 

Now this taster pack is selling here at €9.99  so that is a massive saving of €3.41 or in real terms the difference between me going home with 3 bottles of Maredsous and a glass or me going home with  3 bottles of Maredsous, a glass, a bottle of Fullers 1845 and a packet of scampi fries.

Not that I advocate the eating of scampi fries.





Hoegaarden Witbier 4.9%

9 06 2011

It has been a while since my last beer review but rest assured I haven’t been resting on my laurels sipping water, far from it, in fact I have been quaffing a ridiculous number of beers covering the whole spectrum; the good, the bad and the downright ugly.

So without further ado I give you today’s offering:

Hoegaarden may not be the most adventurous or hard to find of the beers I have/will reviewed but it a far cry from most of the mass-produced tat you are likely to find being pumped out down your local and as such is well deserving of my time.

Hoegaarden is a Belgian Witbier  that has been around in one guise or another for a damn long time…it has been brewed in the village of Hoegaarden since 1445  to be precise.

The modern incarnation of this venerable beer came about in 1965 when Belgian milkman Pierre Celis recreated the traditional recipe in his hayloft following the closure of the last commercial brewery in Hoegaarden some ten years previous.

Now what a recipe it is;  water, yeast, wheat, hops, coriander and dried Curaçao orange peel.  Not quite what you get in your dull old Heineken!

Now as the sharp-eyed amongst you might have spotted from the picture this is a slightly cloudy pale beer with a good-sized white head that lasts reasonably well with plenty of lacing.

The aroma of the beer is great there are hints of citrus, freshly mown grass, a slight hint of yeastiness rather like freshly  baked bread  and a hunt of spice… a good start.

On drinking the beer there is a big burst of flavour right up front, cloves, coriander and citrus pretty much explode into your taste buds with a background fruitiness not dissimilar to banana and a slight touch of pepper.

This really is a great tasting beer and as much as there are a lot of seemingly strong flavours they are balance out well and there isn’t anything that ever threatens to overwhelm.

In short a really, really good beer.

4.5





Beer of the year 2010

10 01 2011

You might not have noticed but 2010 is dead and gone.

Whilst I don’t believe in New Years resolutions or anything that daft I do like to take the new year as an opportunity to look back over the previous one and take stock.

One thing that really stuck out for me whilst I was looking back over 2010 was the sheer number of different beers that crossed my path during the past 12 months, from old friends like Theakston’s Old Peculier to new encounters like Sharp’s Cornish Coaster I have sampled a huge variety of beers, even if I haven’t managed to get all of the reviews up yet!

I spent an enjoyable half hour or so considering this selection and there were a couple of beers that stood out for me as being real gems that deserved to be shouted about.

So with no further delay here are my personal picks for Beer of the year 2010

Beer of the Year 2010:

Great Oakley Gobble


 

Best Stout or Porter:

Maldon Oyster Stout

 

It was so tough for me to pick just two beers as I have tasted some really fine examples of the brewers art this past year and could have quite easily come up with a list of beers as long as my arm.

They haven’t all been good beers though and whilst I was happily day dreaming of beers gone by there were one or two horrors that had me shuddering at the thought.

So here we have a new category, one which no brewer should ever hope to end up…

Worst Beer of 2010:

Rocking Rudolph







Bateman’s XXXB

3 01 2011

Batemans is an independent brewery from Wainfleet in Lincolnshire; the Bateman family have been operating the brewery on a pretty much continual basis since  1874 and along the way have turned out some cracking beers and picked up rather a lot of awards – the most recent of these being “Best Regional Brewer” at the Publican Awards 2010.

XXXB is their 4.8% premium bitter and has previously been voted as being one of the top 50 beers in the world.

I have sampled XXXB on a number of occasions over the past few years, both on tap and most recently bottled as part of a deal from our local off licence – all Batemans beers €2.00 a bottle, a real bargain by Irish standards!

XXXB pours to a nice clear coppery finish with a mid-sized head that lasted reasonably well with a fair amount of lacing.

The initial aroma that I picked up was that of a slightly bitter  black tea with some citrus and a bit of sweetness coming in afterwards  – possibly toffee.

On drinking this beer the first thing I noticed was that there is very little sweetness to it, the citrus comes through quite clearly along with a slight nuttiness and some biscuity richness from the malts.

There is a lot of bitterness present through out along with the slight taste of black tea, this with the slight element of citrus makes for a very refreshing pint although some might find it a touch sour towards the finish.

The body is reasonably light but the carbonation is spot on resulting in a very pleasant mouthfeel overall.

In my opinion XXXB is better than average but there is certainly room for improvement.

4/5





Uley’s Old Ric

22 12 2010

I had this beer at the GBBF back in the summer I remember that my sole reason for picking up this particular pint was that I was at the festival with my uncle who just so happens to be called Ric and after a day of drinking strong ale this seemed like the funniest thing ever.

Old Ric is one of the regular beers from the Uley brewery in the Cotswolds and is named after Ric Sainty who was the landlord of the Old Spot Inn in Dursley.

Ric was much loved by his customers and sadly passed away in 2008.

The beer itself is a clear amber colour with a thin white head and a fruit filled, hoppy aroma.

The aromas of the beer come through strongly in the taste and there is a nice full-bodied fruitiness that is very nicely balanced with a slightly bitter finish and a hint of alcohol dryness.

I found Old Ric to be very easy to drink and would like to get my hands on some more should the opportunity arise.

4.2/5








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