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There’s More to Cider than Strongbow; Real Cider Recommendations

I tried my hand at writing short reviews on a variety of ciders I was drinking over a week or so.  Despite their pomposity I do offer these recommendations as genuine advice for anyone who’s into drinking cider:

Henney’s Vintage still cider 6.5% has big flavour, a strong earthy tang with a subtle metallic overtone that produces an ultimately refined (without sediment), heavily still scrumpy-type cider to the taste-buds.  An excellent choice for a drinker of real ciders, Henney’s offers an incredibly well-bodied session drink that pleasantly fizzes the tongue as the bold organic flavour of irony rustic apples provides a shock to the uninitiated.  4/5

Rosie’s Triple D scrumpy cider 7.4% (not on site) a cloudy, totally flat cider with a wholly dry rustic flavour.  With a blunt, heart-warming alcoholic after-taste, this real scrumpy cider (lots of sediment) represents the genuine, unhampered workings of small-scale orchards that use whatever apples are available.  With its smooth texture (zero fizz), Rosie’s scrumpy cider packs an earthy punch and puts the likes of Strongbow and Magners to absolute shame.  5/5

Henney’s Dry cider 6.0% is very dry, leaving the mouth feeling rather tight after successive drinking.  With a flavour of moderate depth, this session drink has minimal fizz, a translucent yellow-orange appearance (zero sediment/cloud) with a distinctly smoky/oxidized flavour that goes down without bite.  This cider presents a unique combination of texture and flavour; recommended if only for curiosities sake.  3/5

Thatchers 2011 Vintage 7.4% is a tasty medium dry cider from Somerset with a transparent, rusty orange appearance indicative of a real cider.  Although its respectably earthy flavour is dampened by its moderately fizzy texture, the alcoholic punch deepens the overall taste and allows for a pleasant session drink fit for most cider drinkers.  3/5

Dunkertons organic Black Fox cider 7.0% is a moderately cloudy, medium dry cider that as a fantastic body of bitter-sweet earthiness.  The moderately fizzy texture positively adds to the overall flavour with a warming alcoholic bite.  4/5

Aspall dry Premier Cru 7% is an odd drink that seems to have more in common with champagne than cider.  With a strong alcoholic after-taste, this pale coloured liquid offers a significantly fizzy texture (despite its lack of bubbles) with a Strongbow-like apple flavour that may ultimately disappoint the bewildered drinker.  2/5

Écusson Grand Cidre, Maison fondée en 1919, Bio Brut 4.5% is an incredibly fruity, sweet-tasting drink that is without the usual dry rustic earthiness of such calibre of cider.  With its mildly cloudy appearance and moderate fizz, however, the overall experience is one of genuine (a real cider) apple-y pleasantness; greatly recommended to all who chance upon it.  4/5

Filed under: Opinion, , , , , , , , , ,

Remarks on Videogame-Related Media #02

I’m probably not going to buy any of the next generation consoles, but if I do, I’ll make sure I’ve waited enough time to 1) be able to buy it for much cheaper than the original price, and 2) be able to base my decision of which console I buy on a decent range of games and services that’ll undoubtedly become apparent/ announced at a significantly later time after their release.

On Xbox ‘A New Generation Revealed’ May 21 (Thunderbolt) – 22/05/2013

Do you always look for a story in a game? Games can just be about fun, y’know, and that’s where the open-world sandbox game tends to excel (not necessarily moreso than linear ones) in that they allow ultimate (comparatively) freedom. This ‘you create your own story’ point sounds more poetic than actually true. Yes, okay, you ‘go on an adventure’ of your own choosing/parameters, but It’s not like it has anything even remotely comparable to the qualities/characteristics of a written narrative that takes you through all of the tropes (beginning, middle and end etc.) of a great videogame (or even film) experience. A sandbox game has the marginally higher potential to actually deliver (no matter the intention of the developer) an uneventful and monotonous experience because they’re not putting you where they want you to be when they want you to be there – severely restricting theatrics/the ability to dramatise the world in which you are exploring.

Linear games with a story to tell have one up on sandbox games in terms of potential to be fun and provide a great narrative/experience due to how focused the adventure is. I believe this is why I’ve gotten quickly bored of the likes of DayZ and have never failed to enjoy a game of Left 4 Dead.

I wouldn’t necessarily rate a sandbox game on the merits of its story over how enjoyable it is as a fun, casual, social game. Nor would I do the opposite for a game with a focused, linear story/adventure. You should really know what to expect with these two distinct types of setting/mechanics.

On General gaming news discussion (Thunderbolt) – 28/04/2013

I reckon backwards compatibility will be included in the first edition of the new generation of consoles, but (much like the PS3 32GB version) will later be phased out with an additional or newer model so that they can eventually introduce a ‘retro’ style downloadable library of xbox original & 360 games for a reliable stream of easy revenue.

I don’t care for this call to actually see the consoles. Function is what matters, and let’s be honest these designers are going to have so much financial responsibility on their shoulders that they’re not going to propose anything that strays far from the current public perception of what is aesthetically pleasing. Think small, with glossy black plastic, smooth tight curves, miniature rectangular lights, and low-profile buttons that’re practically invisible/flush with the unit.

Another Halo release is inevitable but I don’t at all care for the series these days. Bungie have consistently disappointed me in what I hoped could evolve into something rugged/gritty out of the stereotypical gay space marine universe of vapid characters that it was up until Halo 3 and thereafter.

This next generation is going to be about gimmicks (voice recognition, kinect), social integration and further pushing for an online-based market (cutting costs) with the idea of netting a greater profit (pricing strategies remain the same). If you want to be really cynical you could say the modern trend of sharing everything you do is a way to get us the consumer to operate as free labour for the marketing departments of publishers; exposing as much as possible to as many other people as possible.

I have no doubt, however, that the next generation will sprout some fantastic games, and that the areas of videogame creation that really do improve the experience/enjoyment will continue to be perfected by certain developers.

On Xbox ‘A New Generation Revealed’ May 21 (Thunderbolt) – 25/04/2013

Filed under: Console Gaming, Opinion, PC Gaming, ,

Stop-Motion Animations

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Source Map Releases

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About

I'm a 21 year old fella from England who makes digital art, animations and environmental design when time and motivation allows it. This is not very often.

Throughout my high school education I would always pursue some other creative discipline on the side. Over the years I've taught myself a fair amount of Photoshop and Hammer Editor knowledge; having produced concert posters for official events and released playable maps for Valve's Counter-Strike: Source and Left 4 Dead. I also produce stop motion animations for my YouTube channel; brickmation, claymation and time-lapse photography included.


My most favoured genre of any media format is surrealism: graphic novels by Charles Burns, paintings by Dali and television shows such as Xavier all have a twisted charm that I can't get enough of. I like to interject my own brand of the surreal into my works whenever appropriate.

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