Where travel and thirst collide



Badger – Golden Champion – Hall and Woodhouse VI

Hello Pilgrims,

Today I bring you one of the Badger Ales I’m more partial to, as it hits many of the qualities I look for in an ale. Check out the Badger range of beers here:

Beer: Golden Champion

Brewery: Badger, Hall and Woodhouse, Dorset, England

Badger Golden Champion - Dorset, England - very smooth ale with bitter fruity hops sweet vanilla and caramel notes clean finish medium low carbonation delicious - 5 abv - 8 () 10
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Impressions: This is a very smooth ale with a nice bitterness. A fruity hops note is in the foreground with sweet vanilla and caramel notes leading to a clean finish. Medium to low carbonation leads to a nice blend between ale and lager drink-ability.

ABV: 5%

Score: 8 / 10 (Excellent)

Verdict: I like this beer. I have had it quite a few times now. The majority of times have been filled with delicious taste and enjoyment. Unfortunately my last exposure to this beer wasn’t too positive (perhaps an off bottle, these things do happen). However, on the whole, a nice semisweet beer that ticks many of my boxes. A decent ABV to give the beer body and kick, flavours that blend and complement the bitterness, and a drink-ability that has brought me back more than once. Highly recommended.

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Check out my other reviews of Badger ales here!

Backyard Brewhouse – Bad Santa Stout

Today I bring you a delicious little number from the recently established Backyard Brewhouse brewery!

Founded in 2008, this microbrewery produces a wide range of beers, from the generic Bitters and IPAs, to seasonal brews such as ‘Summer’ and ‘Kris Kringle’.

I wish I could review ‘Lionheart’ for you today, as it’s St. George’s Day (Happy SGD!), however, I have only had the pleasure of reviewing ‘Bad Santa’, and it was a pleasure.

Beer: Bad Santa

Brewery: Backyard Brewhouse, Walsall, England

Bad santa 6o8 abv very smooth chalky creamy sweet stout caramel and vanilla nice bitterness woth lingering sweet heavy 8() 10.jpg
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Impressions: This was a very smooth, creamy stout.  Sweetness immediately hits your tongue with notes of caramel and vanilla. This is followed through by a chalky, medium to low bitterness. There is a lingering sweetness in the full bodied stout, as the low carbonation makes this beer easily sippable.

ABV: 6.8%

Score: 8 / 10 (Excellent)

Verdict: This was a pleasant surprise, having never heard of the brewery. Many of these limited edition Christmas ales have been generic, nothing-special ales, however, this was good. Very good. Some might say excellent. A very well put together stout, with a well balanced sweetness and bitter profile. The high ABV gives it a nice kick and it is overall a really enjoyable experience. Too bad this may never come around again.

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Adnams – Ghost Ship

Hey all, today I bring you a lovely little number from the Adnams Brewery. A brewery that produces unique and interesting seasonal beers, Adnams also has a fairly large regular line up of ales as well.

Beer: Ghost Ship

Brewery: Adnams, Southwold, England

Adnams Ghost Ship uk 4o5 abv smooth pale ale sharp citrus hops notes with a soft bitterness malt background 7o5 () 10 (1)

Impressions: This was a very smooth pale ale (quite dark for a pale ale). You’re first hit with sharp citrus hops, followed by a soft bitterness. A light sweet malty background is present amongst strong floral notes. Low carbonation.

ABV: 4.5%

Score: 8 / 10 (Excellent)

Verdict: This was a good introduction to the Adnams line of ales. Smooth and easily drinkable, with a nice bitter hit from the hops. A higher ABV would have bumped this to a higher score as a little bit more kick would have been welcomed. Probably one for those than enjoy lighter ales with strong hops. (Hops, and bitterness in general, is a taste that grows on you. The more you drink it, the more you’ll enjoy it). That said, this is a very deep ale, that is both refreshing and delicious. Try it.

Primitivo Salento, Amanti del Vino, 2008

Today I bring you a fine wine from the Puglia (Apulia) wine region in Italy. This wine was from our local steakhouse here in Lichfield, Not only was the service impeccable, the decor was interesting, and the food was excellent. This bottle of wine was priced up at £25.50, being described as:

“Grown in rich black soil this wine has superb deep fruit concentration.”

I haven’t been able to find a comparable bottle on the internet to price up in comparison, however, the 2011 vintage seems to retail at £6.99 per bottle. I’ll assume the 2008 year is more expensive (as restaurants usually triple the retail bottle price).

Wine: Primitivo Salento, 2008

Grape: Primitivo

Vineyard: Amanti del Vino, Puglia, Italy


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Impressions: This was a tangy, yet smooth deep red wine. Oddly effervescent on the tongue, dry with little tannin. Slightly smoky, with a sharp, almost spicy finish.

ABV: 13%

Score: 8 / 10 (Excellent)

Verdict: This was an interesting wine. It’s easy drinking, with a light dryness. The ‘effervescence’ makes this a lively wine, with an overall tangy flavour. The mark is both helped and hindered by this. Unique to me, but perhaps a trait of these wines known to those in the know. Anyway, worth a try, as it complemented my rib eye steak beautifully.

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Norwegian Charm

Howdy All!

Well I’m back after a short hiatus caused by work, Christmas, and adding more beers to my archive! With over 200 still left to Blog I had better start pumping more of these bad boys out.

Today I bring you however, two drinks from my recent work related trip to Oslo, Norway. Oslo is the largest city in Norway at ~1.4 million people in the metropolis (small for a capital by western standards). The city itself is beautiful and modern, sprawling across the ‘Oslofjord’, or inlet from the near by North sea and Kattegat sea. Interestingly, ‘fjord’ in Norwegian doesn’t necessarily refer to the glacier-geological formation, but refers in a general sense to different waterways. Oslo as a bustling city was bright and beautiful, full of life and friendly people. As a tourist destination however, I was a bit disappointed. Having been to Greece and Egypt (the two nations with the most famous mythologies), I had high hopes for Oslo to display with pride its history and folklore. Unfortunately, the city itself is too modern and lacks the medieval charm that cities like Prague possess, or the historical/mythological in-your-face tourism that Cairo has. All in all, it is a city where I would happily live, but probably not return to as a tourist.

Anyway, on to the drinks!

IMG_20130118_142845A view looking across the famous Vigelandsparken Statue park in the centre of Oslo.

Beer: Ringnes Pilsener

Brewery: Ringnes AS brewery, Oslo, Norway

Ringnes - Norway - very smooth pilsner buttery notes at the front with a cereal maise finish a light chalky bitterness with medium high carbonation 6o5 () 10.jpg.jpg.jpg

Impressions: This was a very smooth, cold pint, served in a run down old pub in the downtown Oslo area. This ‘pilsener’ has buttery soft notes when it initially hits your tongue, followed by cereal hops and maize notes that end in a light chalky bitterness. A very average beer with medium to high carbonation that is very drinkable, but nothing special.

ABV: 4.5%

Score: 6.5 / 10 (Average)

Verdict: A very middle ground beer that tickles the throat and sates the thirst. Probably nicer on a hot summers day.

..and now to announce my very first Vodka post!

Vodka: Vikingfjord

Check out their cool website here:

Check out their ‘ FAQ’ where people can ask the brewery some truly random questions..

Vikingfjord - Vodka - Norway 40abv - very smooth vodka sweet notes hit you first mellow followed by a soft burn very little nose 8o5 () 10 .jpg

Impressions: This was drank neat at room temperature. The vodka was very smooth with sweet notes that hit your tongue first. A soft mellow sweetness that leads to a soft burn at the back of the throat. The nose in this glass is very minimal.

ABV: 40%

Score: 8 / 10 (Excellent)

Verdict: This being my first documented vodka, I have probably been very generous in the scoring. I also don’t generally drink vodka neat, so this was an interesting experience. Be that as it may, it was smooth, had a pleasant taste, and had very little harshness/unpleasant burn. At £9 for a litre from the Oslo duty free, this was one killer value for money drink.

Christmas in a Glass

What with Christmas looming upon us all, I figured I’d throw out a couple of pints I had during Christmas last year. One is a unique run of a Christmas ale and one is a limited edition run of a popular Irish cider.

Beer: Rocking Rudolph

Brewery: Hardy’s and Hansons, England

Impressions: This is a smooth, strongly hopsed dark ale. Strong citrus and cereal aromas and like flavours linger with every sip. Quite mild overall due to the low ABV, also with low carbonation, creating a filling, though somewhat watery at the same time, ale.

ABV: 4.2%

Score: 6.5 / 10 (Average)

Verdict: A fairly average, enjoyable ale. A nice amount of hops bitterness balances the low ABV and mild flavours. A unique name, but not much unique found within.

Cider: Magners Spiced Apple and Honey Cider

Brewery: Magners, Ireland

Impressions: This is a very smooth cider. With a strong, sweet, warm apple flavour complemented by cinnamon, and soft notes of honey and citrus. Medium to low carbonation means this is easily drinkable.

ABV: 4%

Score: 8 / 10 (Excellent)

Verdict: I have to admit I have a soft spot for cinnamon. I love cinnamon. Naturally, a cinnamon cider was something that attracted me. Sweet, smooth, and warm with cinnamon, this is naturally reminiscent of a nostalgic Christmas day. Sweet, but not too sweet, this cider hits the spot. I definitely would have rated this Cider even higher had the ABV been a little higher. Can’t have it all! Try one! Mmmmm.

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