Saturday, 24 June 2017

Today's Review: Co-Op Benji Bears

Oh, Co-Op, you're so shameless. Percy Pigs are a national institution, but you've gone and pumped out these "Benji Bears", identical in design, but surely not in execution? Alright, let's not be too harsh right off the bat, it's nice to have a bit of competition in the market, and besides, these could be great, right?

Yeah, they're not great. I tried to be diplomatic, but these are a somewhat poor imitation. They look like a knock off version of Percy Pigs, and they taste like one too. These come in cola, lemon and berry flavours, and while the berry and lemon are actually quite alright, the cola leaves a lot to be desired, a little bitter from too many flavourings. While the other two flavours are a marked improvement, I wouldn't say they're perfect. Besides, the texture is off too, these are chewy, a little overly so. The time it takes to polish one of these off exceeds the amount of time the flavour lasts, so even the two good flavours lose their charm. So overall, a poor imitation of a classic, turns out we don't need more variety, Percy Pigs are the way to go.

My rating: 2/5

Friday, 23 June 2017

Today's Review: Not Having Enough Time To Write A Proper Review

I had a small window of opportunity today to sit down and write a proper review of something, and it turns out I've squandered that time terribly. My ability to add pictures to reviews on mobile has been severely reduced, so I'm left writing a stream of consciousness rambling while on my way out. It's all my fault really. In all honesty it takes me less than 15 minutes to knock out a regular review. But I still ran out of time to do it. Besides, if I had any modicum of forward planning skills I could have written one up a couple of days ago. But here we are, one measly paragraph of self-deprecating nonsense instead of something even mildly interesting.

My rating: 0/5

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Today's Review Coca-Cola Zero Vanilla

Vanilla Coke is great, it took a long time to come out over here, but when it finally did I loved the stuff. Nowadays though, I can't really handle the regular Cokes, they're too sugary for my liking, so it's nice to see the Zero range expanded to incorporate the other flavours. Now, despite loving cherry Coke, I wasn't fond of the Zero version, but I was hoping they'd make a change with this one. Turns out they didn't really. This is not a great Coke. There's a little hint of vanilla, sure, but it's mostly taken over by more artificial tasting stuff. I was trying to fully appreciate the flavour, but there's no way it lives up to the regular stuff. At its base is the standard Coke Zero recipe, which saves this from being completely awful, but the attempt at vanilla flavouring just doesn't work for me. It's a shame, I was really looking forward to this.

My rating: 2/5

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Today's Review: Costa Coffee Banoffee Frostino

Summer is well and truly here, and although Costa's summer drinks have been around for a while, it's taken me this long to try out the one that intrigued me the most. Salted caramel has been the flavour of the moment for a while, but it seems this season people are going crazy for banoffee. I can't say I've always been keen on it, but it's grown on me lately. So this sounded pretty good, an iced coffee and banana drink, swirled with caramel sauce.

At the first sip, I didn't think all that much of this, the coffee and banana combination was a little odd. After a few gulps though, I was hooked. It's a fresh taste of banana, with a smooth undercurrent of coffee that gives it a nice velvety kick. It's a refreshing drink, with a good amount of milk tying it all together. On top of that, there are the lashings of caramel sauce, which ramps up the sweetness, and combines with the other flavours to make this a complete banoffee experience. I reckon I'll be grabbing quite a few of these over the summer, cool and refreshing and packed full of flavour.

My rating: 5/5

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Today's Review: Hershey's Chocolate Twizzlers

B&M have stocked several varieties of Twizzlers over the years, and I can't say I've been fond of any of them. I fail to see how they're so popular in America, they seem like mostly flavourless rubber to me. But the other day I found these chocolate Twizzlers, which promised the Twizzler experience couple with Hershey's chocolate, another American delicacy that I am not fond of. Hershey's is gross chocolate, and tends to leave me with an after taste I liken to vomit. So with those opinions in mind, it's fair to say I expected nothing good from these chocolate flavoured twists.

I didn't hate these, not with the fiery passion that I assumed I would. Unlike a lot of the Twizzlers I tried, these actually have some flavour, and it is slightly reminiscent of chocolate, so in that way I was quite surprised. However, I would not say these are good. The combination of chocolate and chewiness doesn't sit right with me, and the more I chewed, the less authentic the chocolate became, and by the time I was finished I was left with that chewy lump of flavourless Twizzler that I'm used to. So yeah, chocolate chews, not awful, but not really a good idea. These ain't like Riesen, they're a pretty unholy match.

My rating: 2/5

Monday, 19 June 2017

Today's Review: Mr. Kipling Tangy Raspberry Tarts

Picnicers rejoice, the summer cakes are being rolled out. Of course, Mr. Kipling already has a wide selection of cakes that will sweeten up those hot afternoons, but they don't want to stop there, as evidenced by the release of these new tarts. I went for the "tangy raspberry", because raspberries are great. These consist of a pastry case with raspberry flavour white chocolate ganache, raspberry jam, and topped off with raspberry sugar granules. That's a lot of raspberry, and a lot of sugar.

As you can see from this cross-section, apart from my dental records, is that this is truly raspberry through and through. Basically, it's like a Cherry Bakewell, but instead of the sponge there's just more icing. The ganache is a bit of an odd thing. It's good, but the sheer amount of it does get sickly fairly quickly. I wouldn't have said it was ganache if I hadn't read it either, it's got more of the texture of icing. There are hints of both raspberry and white chocolate, so that's pretty good, but it does tarnish the rest of the tart a little. The jam is great, it's where the tanginess lies, and is the most authentic raspberry element here. The sugar granules are a nice touch, adding a bit of crunch and yet more raspberry flavour, and it's all wrapped up in a nice soft pastry case. A pretty good effort at a nice summery cake, if they'd have gone easier on the ganache I'd say it was perfect, but all that icing does lay a little heavy on my stomach.

My rating: 4/5

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Today's Review: Jack Daniel's Cider

Do you like Jack Daniel's, but find the weather a bit too hot lately to be downing shots, or worrying about mixing it with Coke? What if there was some way to enjoy that Jack taste, in a refreshing, cooling, ready made way? Well, check this out, it's Jack Daniel's cider! A combination of apple cider and Jack Daniel's. Yeah, that's pretty much it. 

Not, don't knock it 'til you've tried it, I've heard a few people complain that this is a very unnecessary product, after all, why not just drink the old fashioned Jack? Well, I'm quite fond of this. This is actually a pretty refreshing bottle, and the Jack Daniel's taste is very authentic indeed. It's not too strong, which is what you'd expect from a cider, and hey. sometimes I'm not quite in the mood for hard liquor. As for the cider side, that's what gives this bottle its refreshing edge. I can't say the apple was too noticeable, the flavour of the Jack does tend to dominate it a little, but there are some crisp notes in there that add to the refreshment. I'd say this is a pretty good combination, a fairly mild, more manageable drink that will be good for cooling off in the summer sun.

My rating: 4/5