Archive for the ‘Review’ Category

Tap King, worth it?

Posted: January 30, 2014 in Beer, Rambling, Review
Tags: , , ,

My lovely wife knows me so well. First she gave me a Coopers homebrew kit to replace my ancient set up, the next year she gave me The Beer Machine. Last Christmas I got the Tap King and I love it.
There is nothing better than pouring a cold beer into a crisp cold glass from your own fridge.

BUT!

When the Tap King first hit the shelves all of the variants (James Squires Golden Ale, XXXX Gold, James Boags Premium and other not worth mentioning beer) were selling at the same price. That’s right, you could get Chancer for the same price as XXXX Gold! Beautiful!
But those days have well and truly ended.
Now they are asking for $54 for the Chancer and $35 for the Gold. (Double packs of course because what is the point of 1?)
A Tap King bottles are 3.2L each so a double pack (by their recommendations of 320ml) gives you 20 beers.
A case of Golden is about $60 with 24 beers at 345ml, a case of Gold is about $43 with 30 tinnies at 375ml.

Here comes the maths:

Golden ale – Case of stubbies = 138ml per $1 (24x345ml then divide by $60)
Golden ale – 2 bottels Tap King = 118mn per $1 (2×3.2L then divide by $54)

Hmm I’m losing 20ml of beer for every dollar I spend…not horrible when you enter the convenience factor..Lets look at Gold

XXXX Gold – case of tinnies = 261ml per $1 (30x375ml divide by $43)
XXXX Gold – 2 bottle Tap king = 182ml per $1 (2×3.2L divide by $35)

WHAT THE HELL! I’m losing almost 80ml per $1!

Ok so now think about how quickly you drink the beer. For me, I am a more than casual drinker and the Tap King never seems to last long. But why is that?

It is 6 litres of beer and it should last more than a few nights. This did have me baffled for a while as I sank another pint of beer…..a pint of beer…..Aha!

There is the issue. Drinking from a stubbie you have a set drink, you know what you are drinking and have no control on the volume of amber goodness you are drinking per stubbie. And this is where the trap lies for young players, or older more than casual drinkers that have no patience and only accept drinking pints of beer at a time from my crispy cold glass, can fall into.

Your 6 litres of beer as good value it is, when you are drinking it at 568ml per drink, you will kill your supply quickly. Solution? Use smaller glasses or, my preference, buy TWO double packs at a time.

The lesson here? Don’t drink mid strength beer, its a rip off! Oh and Tap King rocks as long as you use it for the good stuff and you stock up to cover the pints.

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Oettinger Pils – beer

Posted: August 12, 2009 in Beer, Review

review It has been a fair break between beer reviews and I wish this beer was worth the wait.
It wasn’t.
oettinger
I was in need of a new beer as I wanted to get this review thing back up and running but it seems my local (I have moved so its a new local) has bugger all choices.
I see this Oettinger, 500ml tinnies, sitting there and I said “what the hell”. sidenote: they are available in stubbies but only 330ml so I upgraded
I take a swig straight from the can and it was super bubbly. I mean really carbonated with a tinnie taste. So I poured the second into a glass. Still super bubbly with a tin taste.
The colour of the beer was a sickly yellow and has the after taste effect of eating pop rocks
The first thought I had of taste was…garlic, yeah I know. Not a good thing. And its was very weak.
It says its 4.7% (1.9std drinks) but that can only be if you do not eat, move and drink the 6 in one go.
If you haven’t worked it out yet, I was not a fan.

Pub beer: Not likely to even find it let alone have the courage to order it.

Couch beer: No….no and no.

Regular beer: Take a guess….

Overall: fishratefishrate

gamingbuttonBack in 1987, Games Workshop released the board game of Blood Bowl. Based on American Football, the blood letting game was huge for us back then and when news hit that a 2009 PC (and XB360) version was to be released, I was most excited.

So much so that I couldn’t wait for the October hard copy release in Australia and even the September Steam release wouldn’t keep me calm.

I went and paid money and bought it direct from the Blood Bowl website.

So what do I think of it? Glad you asked.

The gameplay has a couple of options. You can play the original boardgame rules or play the Living Rulebook rules which has all the extra injuries and skills etc. You also get to play real time or turn based.

For me, it was about replicating the boardgame so I play the Blitz rules (Living Rulebook) and turn based.

And it is fun. The flashbacks are there to the old days of the frustration of Skaven running past you to score and the joy when they meet your minotaur who scraps them of his feet. The ‘please please make this pass” tension as you throw the hail mary in the final turn to steal a win…It is fun very very fun. BUT!

Yes there are a couple of buts with this game.

The load times before and after a game are a joke. If you play a 24 team competition, be prepared to be able to bake a cake as you wait for the PC to compile the AI matches.

The controls are fine but could have had a bit of refining down but this is only slight once you are aware of them.

Multiplayer! The big reason for wanting to get my hands on the game. A nightmare to set up a match between yourself and a mate. Very slow search engine to locate the game, crashes when trying to import the other players team and vice versa. Saying that, they have released a new patch to address this but I have not tried before this review.

Graphically. Are pretty good. A very nice amount of blood flies and you can zoom right in to see the pain. It is nothing outstanding but for an essential sporting game, it looks good.

Sound. You can tire of the commentators after a few games, the sounds of the hits are satisfying and the crowd going wild and louder as you approach the touchdown line makes for a very exciting match.

Post Match/Pre Match. The management of your team before and after the match was one area I was looking forward to. I was not disappointed. You can train a player before the game to get a boost for one match, you can buy sports performance enhancing potions, you can bribe the ref you can even bribe the other teams players. After the match you add up your Star Player points and level up your player to give them extra skills in Strength, Agility, General and even a mutation or two. One of my favourite players in my Tides of Chaos team is the Chaos Warrior with Tentacles and a Prehensile Tail, try running pass that bastard you skaven skum.

Look overall I have been playing this game pretty much non stop since last Monday (20th). I thoroughly enjoy it enough to over look its shortcomings but if you were not a Blood Bowl gamer of old, you may have trouble getting in to it.

It would have been a bigger success if the price was around the $40-50 mark instead of the $60-70.
After several games vs some mates, I need to adjust just how fun this games is and add at least an extra fish

For Blood Bowl Fans: fishratefishratefishratefishratefishratefishratefishratefishrate

For new to blood bowl: fishratefishratefishratefishratefishratefishrate

random

IT gives the phrase “a stiff drink” a whole new meaning: Australian researchers have made the surprise discovery that alcohol improves, rather than damages, men’s performance in the bedroom.

That’s right, a new report has come out with the outcomes of getting smashed outta of your mind is no longer an excuse of not performing.
What is even better, they say that ex-drinkers do have a higher risk of erectile dysfunction! So no more nagging to stop drinking because otherwise, I just wont be able to satisfy the wife.

Cheers everyone!

beerwench

BEER Top Five – at home

Posted: January 14, 2009 in Beer, Rambling

ramblingIt has come to ,my attention, that I like beer.
Its true…I do like beer.
I have drunk, made and even reviewed it. So it dawned on me that I never actually said what my beers of choice are.
Because you are all dying to know, here is the first installment. What do I mean 1st installment? Well beer is so good and there are so many occasions, I have decided to have 5 catagories/occassions and list the top 5 beers of choice.
Here is the 1st installment.

Beer at HOME
Nothing better than having a nice cold stubbie of beer after work on your fav couch with the tv on with hopefully the cricket. Here are my top 5 beers for home consumption:

1 Boag’s Draught draught
Easily the crispest, full flavoured, full strength beer on the market at standard shelf level. I was so happy when the pubs finally clued on and put Boag’s on tap. Speaking of tap, check this out.
2 Carlton Midcarlmid
Yes I know, not a full strength beer, what am I thinking? I’m thinking I can down a fair few and not get strife with the wife or struggle to get up in the morning.
3 Barefoot Radlerbarefoot
The beer to break the taste of all other beer. I am really a fan of the Barefoot. It really is phenomenally refreshing.
4 Carlton Blackcarlblack
One of my favourite dark ales, if not my favourite. Love the bitter taste, love the hint of coffee, love the not as thick as stout but thicker than draught.
5 Hammer & TongsBeerD5
Yep, cheap $25-30 a case of beer sneaks into my top 5. Why? Well look at the price for a full strength beer and it does come from the Boag’s brewery. It does have a weak boag’s taste, its smooth but not for the full flavour lovers.

reviewBeen awhile since I have review any beers but after drinking Carlton’s latest creation, Natural Blonde, I had to do one.

Apparantly it is so new, I can’t find an official site. So here is a pic so you know what I am talking about:

carlton-natural-blonde

Right here goes….

Carlton’s Natural Blonde is the latest Blonde beer to flood the market. They already have Pure Blonde so why bring out another blonde?

This new Blonde states it has 4.2% alcohol, no preservatives, no additives and 70% less carbohydrates than a regular full strength beer.

I can tell you what it definitely has less of……Flavour. There is none. It is probably the most bland beer I have drunk and yes I am including the beers form the Kings Cross “clubs”.

There is very little fiz, body or even an aroma. You could easily take a case to a party and know you will be the only one drinking it (and probably laughed at for doing so).

For me, a good beer needs to have a good distinct flavour like the Boag’s and dark ales. (and the radlers). This beer is one I will not be drinking again.

Well I guess it would be a good beer for indian, thai or other spicy dishes where you just need to rinse the mouth without killing the flavour of the meal.

Pub beer: hell no and I don’t think it would make it to ‘on tap’ unless carlton spends big.

Couch Beer: only with indian and I had no other choice.

Regular beer: No. I will be sticking with Boag’s Classic Blonde as my blonde of choice. We are still talking beer right?

Overall: fishratefishratefishrate

Hollywood has made another comic to movie flick, DC Comics have released another film and there is but one question?
Is The Dark Knight the best Comic to Movie film made to date?

Simply put……yes.

Myself and a few others saw The Dark Knight on Sunday. Included in the group were 2 comic fanboys (yes, me and IEKenner), 1 ex-comic fanboy and 2 joe publics.
We heard the reviews…4 stars here, Oscar performance by Heath Ledger…best comic movie of the year….best comic movie ever…
So since critics said these things, we expected the movie to be absolute crap.
We were wrong.


Heath Ledger‘s performance as the Joker is the most anticipated and talked about role ever. Was it worth the hype?

Simply put….yes

Sorry Jack Nicholson your crown has been stolen. Heath’s portrayal of the Joker was sublime. The insanity and madness shone through, the manically murderous traits were clear, overall, I can definately see why the are saying it is an Oscar performance.
Christain Bale is was again a great Batman and after this one, has removed Michael Keaton as my fav Batman.
YES! No bloody Katie Holmes! Maggie Gyllenhaal is great as Rachel Dawes, bringing real character to the role.
Aaron Eckhart as Harvey Dent played a great role in the story telling. And then as Two Face! Damn!

Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman and Gary Oldman returned again playing the roles brilliantly. Specially Gary Oldman. As James Gordon he brought the realness and ‘human’ touch to flick. So strong a performance.

Now, how about this guy, Christopher Nolan? what, he has done how many movies now? 7…yes just 7 as a director. But he knows what he is doing. The film flows seamlessly, the character driven plot was beautifully mixed with action, surprise and wonderful effects.
I think when the Joker did his magic trick with the pencil, it just summed up the film. Expect nothing, everything and the unexpected.
Yes it is a long film at 152mins but you will be enthralled by the cinematography, the soundtrack (no surprise it had Hans Zimmer behind it) and the great storyline let alone the brilliant acting.

What was so great to see was a comic sequel that was not driven by explosions, an overload of new characters and stupid gimmicks. This film was just such a pleasure to see.

This is the best comic movie to date and even if you don’t like comics, you must see this film.

Overall:

Miller Chill – beer

Posted: April 8, 2008 in Beer, Review
Tags: , ,

Well after the review of the Barefoot Radler a lot of people asked if it was like Miller Chill.
Ok starters, they are 2 different styles of beer, Barefoot is a Radler (lime & lemon) where the Chill is a Chelada (lime & salt). no much differences until you taste them.

The first time I tried the Miller Chill, I could see why folks think the radler is similar but the big difference is the salt. You have a refreshing mouthful of crisp beer only to finish with the after taste of eating table salt.
It wasn’t gut wrenching awful but it was disappointing. The reason you would try one of these types of beers would to have the different taste because you are tired of the heaviness of standard lagers and draughts. To finish with a mouthful of salt which then you have to wash down with, you guessed it, another beer, just leads to drinking because you have to and not because you want to.

I say to all to have a go of it but I would be very surprised if this beer became a regular for anyone. If you are after a clean crisp refreshing taste, I would steer towards the Barefoot Radler instead.

Pub beer: No, just no. Not even to be cool
Couch beer: No more than a six pack
Regular beer: Not for me and not to break up other beers

Overall:

review5.jpgLast night, my wife and I found ourselves way down south in Tuggeranong and we got hungry.
So where do you eat in Tuggeranong?
It seems that they have named a section of Anketell street called “Southlife on Anketell”. Here they have about 5-6 restaurants set out like a strip mall.
After having a look at the menus of all the restaurants, we chose Zbrasserie

The decor of the restaurant gives a very fresh relax feel to the place, almost a cafe setting. Its very open and unlike a lot of places, the tables we well spaced apart.
The Staff:
Best service ever is the simple way to put it. All the waitresses were eager to help, approachable and well informed of the specials. One particular young lass, has a New Zealand accent but we won’t hold that against her, was brilliant. Her service was quick and efficient, polite and could hold a small conversation with you. The one bloke that worked on the floor, I assuming manager/owner, also was very friendly with a relax attitude.
The atmosphere the staff provided was one of, come on in, relax have a bit of fun and enjoy a great meal – we are here to make your night great.
It has been a long time since I have seen this sort of service and it was refreshing to see it still exists.

The Food:
The menu provided a good range of dishes with almost 2 of everything. Seafood does seem to be the specialty with only 2 meat dishes available.

Drinks were offered as we sat and drinks were ordered. Their range of beers was decent with Carlton Draught being the generic local beer, they also had 4 imports of choice as well as premium Australian beers. All were reasonable priced.

I must say, I didn’t even check the wine list so I can tell you nothing of it…..my bad.
We started with some Garlic bread and I must say it was good. The bread slice were thick and soft. The garlic and butter were just right. It was a good start to the meal.
I ordered the Eye Fillet – rare; and my wife ordered the New York Sirloin – well done (I know, its just not right).
While waiting for our meals, the young NZ lass came to inform us that because my wifes steak was think, it was going to take a bit longer to make it well done, funnily enough as soon as she moved away, our meals turned up.
*The Eye Fillet; large plate decorated with black cherries. In the centre, 2 slice of eye fillet on top of roasted potato, pumpkin and some green salad. The meal looked small but it was just playing with my head.
The meat was a very good cut of meat, very tender and juicy. The sauce was delicious and as the meal went, the cherries continued to provide more juices to soak up. In all, the meal was very very tasty and it indeed was filling.
*The New York Sirloin; large plate filled to the sides with a good size of thick sirloin, tasty roasted potato and pumpkin and a large green salad. I only tried a bit of the meat, it being well done and all (just not right). The meat was still pink and tender but because it was cooked correctly not because they didn’t make it well done. The pepper sauce was very fresh and delicious, one of the best I have tasted. Now the problem with open air restaurants, anything can come in and unfortunately a couple of bugs found my wife’s salad delicious. To the credit of the staff, they quickly replaced the salad, added a little extra vegetables and were back quickly so my wife could complete her meal.

Desert;
Now the two of us are not big on deserts but last night, after the great service and meal, it just seemed right. So after we ordered our coffees (which were good) we checked out the desert menu.
I tried the Banoffee Pie which was delicious. The caramel was not overpowering and the banana wasn’t mush. My wife went for the sinfull Mars Bar Cheesecake – now this was overpowering, so rich and sweet. Just no way to finish it without overdosing on the goodness.

Overall, the experience was fantastic – great food and great staff made the night very enjoyable. I highly recommend if you are in the Tuggeranong area, check out Zbrasserie.
I was trying to think of why I wouldn’t give this place full marks…..all I could come up with is the fact that it is an open air restaurant in Tuggeranong. This means you do get the idiots of the place walking pass being well…idiots but even then the staff handle them brilliantly. Rather than yelling or telling them to get stuffed, they more well not embrace it butwent along with them. This calmed and copntrolled the idiots and they moved on.
Dame fine restaurant.

Food: Excellent range and delicious
Drinks: Good range of local and overseas beer
Atmosphere: Great, staff were fantastic, very relaxed feel:
Price: Mains $19-28
Overall: fishrate3.jpgfishrate3.jpgfishrate3.jpgfishrate3.jpgfishrate3.jpgfishrate3.jpgfishrate3.jpgfishrate3.jpgfishrate3.jpg

Carlton Dry – beer

Posted: February 7, 2008 in Beer, Review
Tags: , ,

review4.jpgEither my IGA is not restocking their beer quickly enough or I am drinking far too fast..

So I go to get some more of the Barefoot Radler only to find they have sold out (I think I bought the lot). Once more I need a beer that i don’t normally drink.
And there was this dark blue label with silver writing beckoning me to touch it.

Carlton Dry – Premium Lager
Lower Carbohydrates, Smooth Finish
Victorian brewed and bottled

Hmm, looks like Carlton’s answer to Toohey’s Extra Dry. Which for me, is not a good thing.
I will state now that I do not enjoy Toohey’s Extra Dry for 2 reasons, a: the taste – it is like a beer trying not to be a beer, weak in flavour and b: the morning after I always have the worst headaches no matter how much, or little, I drank.
So you can see I was hesitant to try Carlton Dry

But here we go…..

Fist swig:
I was right, it is an exact replicate of Toohey’s Extra Dry. So much so, if you pour each into a glass, I guarantee you couldn’t pick the two apart.
Second swig
If a beer could ever taste cold, this would be it. It does have a very “straight from the fridge” taste even when sitting for 10mins. It is a smooth beer without a nasty after taste but with its weak flavour it is almost like beer cordial.
Sixth bottle:
With an alcohol content of 4.5% (1.3 standard drinks) you could get drunk on this easily and you will feel it. Problem is , for me at least, the headache was already on its way, with a dull ” I ate my icecream to fast” feel.
Sorry folks but I will not go through a case of this one. The next morning after the 6 my head felt like it grew 3 times but on on the inside.
Recommendations? Anyone who drinks Toohey’s Extra Dry and wants to try something different but safe, try Carlton Dry. You may taste the subtle difference but you will still get the same cold taste. I don’t see this being popular in pubs or clubs, not while Toohey’s has such a strong foothold already.

Its strange but this beer (just like Toohey’s) always reminds my of ADFA punks trying to be All That They Can Be where in fact they are just, well, funny looking.

Pub beer: Only if pubs replaced Tooheys Extra Dry………and it was free.
Couch Beer: again, only if you ran out of Toohey’s………and it was free.
Regular: Hell no, not for me. Sometime I wonder if the Dry beers have shares in Aspirin.
Overall:fishrate2.jpgfishrate2.jpgfishrate2.jpg