Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Boozy Tourism: Florida

Yay! Florida! Yes, it is probably one of the last places I’d ever choose to go on holiday but… why not? The thinking here was that it is a useful halfway point (in a way) between Mrs Cake and I, and our relatives in Canada. Since we wouldn’t be going to see them at Christmas this year, why not meet for a holiday? Somewhere hot. And go to Disney World. What? You heard me.

Yes, I have two young nieces (and an overenthusiastic brother-in-law (set to vibrate)) who would love the fuck out of a week in theme parks, water parks and whatever else goes on out there. For me it could be like Fear and Loathing on the Cartoon Trail… it sounded fun – bizarre, but fun – so I hatched a plan to take my hip flask with me and just get hammered the whole time.

Before you waste any time reading further only to be disappointed; I didn’t bother taking my hipflask. I’m not an alcoholic! I need to keep reminding myself of that. Nearly everywhere I go now, I say to myself, “hey, this would be fun if you took your hipflask”… but yeah, then I’d be an alcoholic. There’s a time and a place. I just need to find a sensible way of devising what time and place that is. Moving on.

Duty Free part 1

Outward duty free of course. That’s right, the discerning booze tourist needs to pick something up to enjoy during the holiday. You can always get something when you get there, but I’d already decided that any purchases made in the states would be for bringing home.

So I had a look around, and most of the stuff was more than I wanted to pay. I ended up plumping for a Dewar’s 12 blend at something like £8 off (£19.99).

It turns out I’ve been done. It’s just a rebranding of the 12 year old double aged that I picked up about 3 years ago in Spain and if it wasn’t £8 off, it would be a complete rip-off. Sure, the bottle is more attractive and it actually comes with a stopper instead of a screwcap, but it tastes pretty much the same and, even worse, when I do the £ to cl calculation, it turns out I’ve paid exactly the same amount I did back then – to like, 3 decimal places (£0.285 per cl – what the actual fuck?). I mean, I wouldn’t mind but I thought I was getting something I hadn’t tried before – and at a discount.

Did I enjoy it though? Well, it was all right. It still has the grainy element I associate with cheapish blends, and this one isn’t even all that cheap. It’s no better than a Grouse, a Whyte and MacKay, or even a number of the supermarket blends. Still, it was nice to have something to relax with after a long day out in Florida, or on the parks, or just to accompany a cigar in the afternoon on the resort.
Dewar's 12


It would be a few days before our Canadian family would join us so Mrs Cake and I rented a car and did touristy things like visiting the NASA centre and swimming with manatees. I also used the mobility to indulge my search for bourbon. I figured I’d pick up one bottle from a liquor store and one from the duty free.

We didn’t have any trouble finding liquor stores, there were plenty about, it’s just that none of them were particularly good. Next time I’ll have to do some liquor store research in advance along with the normal product research.

I’d made a shortlist of targets, but I was finding the same uninteresting products like Jack Daniels (and varieties) and Jim Beam (and varieties) in every store. One had the Bookers’, which I’ve read is supposed to be the best, but I didn’t want to blow $80 in one go.

One of the stores had a few varieties of moonshine, which I wish I’d considered now, but I’d gone prepared only to pick up bourbon. In the end I opted for this – it’s a single barrel edition of Four Roses. Four Roses was on my shortlist, but I found soon after that I’d specified a limited edition, and while this single barrel is considered better than the standard edition, it isn’t the imited edition I was after. It’s still interesting though, and at $42 + tax, a modest price.

Four Roses is made from 2 different mashbills  and 5 different yeast strains, making 10 different recipes. There are a variety of bottlings comprised of blends of various recipes, but these single barrel ones are, as suggested by the name, produced from one recipe – and indeed, one barrel.

It’s bottled at an encouraging 50%, with the warehouse location and barrel number handwritten on each label. Quite a nice touch. You can learn a bit more here.

That would be all the booze hunting till the end of the holiday, though I assure you, you can buy bottles of spirits in the resorts. It’s just the selection isn’t extensive and I’m not making any guarantees about the price – they don’t put prices on anything in the “general store” at the Port Orleans Riverside resort, and it’s probably a case of if you have to ask, you can’t afford it, but you probably need it.
a gre't fuck off manatee

Disney World

There is no, repeat: no booze at the Magic Kingdom. ”How can it possibly be magic, then?”  you may well ask. “Is it all psychedelics and weed?

No, this isn’t San Francisco in the early-mid 60s! It’s for kids. I know! I figured there must be some bars there, you know, fo’ t’dads. But no, in the Magic Kingdom park itself not even the restaurants sell beer. [I have heard talk of a secret VIP venue where you can get a drink, but… I’m not a secret VIP].

So er, yeh. Nothing much else for us to talk about there unless you want to hear about rides (there’s a bit on the log flume where I definitely heard the line, “come on, show us yer balls” in the song that was being played) or the weather, or the Princess Breakfast where you have an extortionately priced but disproportionately average breakfast while actresses dressed as Disney “princesses” circle the tables posing for photos with the children. Snow White called me Grumpy despite having a beaming smile on my face at the time. I looked around, “Grumpy? I’m feeling positively jovial – in spite of the aforementioned breakfast discrepancy.” She clarified it was because I had a beard, which I accepted at the time, but then; all the dwarves have beards don’t they? Except Dopey. 

Don’t worry the prohibition does not stretch over the rest of the site. In Downtown Disney for example, there are a number of themed bars, stands selling shit margaritas for $5 a time, restaurants and even a bowling alley that is remarkable value compared to what you have to pay to bowl here in the UK. The beer tends to be interesting and good quality though at an average price of $8.50 perhaps a little pricey.

You can also get ice cold Ethiopian beers at the Animal Kingdom park, enjoy a burger with a beer at the Typhoon Lagoon waterpark and authentic German beers at the Biergarten buffet at Epcot. Just be warned, they can be a bit funny about IDs. Your UK driving license should be fine, but one “cast member” advised us that some places insist on seeing your passport. If you don’t want to carry that around with you, you can take a photo of the appropriate page and keep it on your phone. It wasn’t a problem for us though; I suppose I’m wrinkly enough. Mind you, I recall now one instance where they asked for ID and I went, “how about if I do this?” then smiled to show my wrinkles. She just looked at me, probably thinking I thought I could bypass the ID by smiling.

So I didn’t really get hammered while I was there – I didn’t really give it my best effort if I’m being honest, but I did try to maintain the British tradition of getting slightly loaded before heading out in the evening and I did enjoy the beers we picked up along the way.

Here’s a little breakdown (in association with my Untappd account) of all the beers I was able to procure throughout the holiday and (where possible) the venue.

Magic Hat Dream Machine (5.7%) – Splitsville, Downtown Disney. An IPL if I remember correctly.I enjoyed it very much, and the food that accompanied it. 4.5/5

Michelob AmberBock, Anheuser Busch (5.1%) – Cody’s Roadhouse, Crystal River. A nice traditional type bar that you’ve seen on TV and films countless times. So familiar in fact that you look around and wonder when a fight is going to break out or someone’s going to call you “boy” and state that you’re not from around there. This doesn’t happen though because Americans are nice, ordinary people like anyone else.  4/5

Redhook Longhammer IPA (6.2%) – Orlando supermarket. The first of two varieties of IPA bought for keeping in our room fridge. 4/5

Rebel IPA, Boston Beer Company/Samuel Adams (6.5%) – Orlando supermarket. And the second. 4/5

Yuengling Traditional (4.4%) – Splitsville. We were in a bit of a hurry, but were able to get my second one “to go”. Bonus. 4/5

St George Beer, Kombolcha Brewery (4.5%) – Animal Kingdom. Ethiopian lager served from a stand at the Animal Kingdom. A bit picky about IDs, but worth the hassle for the ice cold condition it came in. 3.5/5

Longboard Island Lager, Kona Brewing Company (4.6%) – Animal Kingdom Lodge. An African themed restaurant where the food is Indian and the beer is American. If you’re from the UK you aren’t going to be impressed by the curries on offer here, but at least there’s a good variety of strong beers. 3/5

Hopageddon, Napa Smith Brewery (9.2%) – Animal Kingdom Lodge. 4/5

Ranger American IPA, New Belgium Brewing Company (6.5%) – Animal Kingdom Lodge – I chose to have another beer instead of dessert. 4/5

Session Black Lager, Full Sail Brewing Company (5.4%) – 50s Primetime CafĂ©. Fucking bizarre place where menacing, over-sized waiters prowl around insisting you don’t rest your elbows on the fucking tables. Who’s the fucking customer here? Again, decent beer helps to compensate for the slightly uncomfortable atmosphere that is supposed to be fun and sub-par food. 3.5/5

Bud Light, Anheuser-Busch (4.2%) – I’m not proud of it, but my brother-in-law bought some cans for the resort. 2.5/5

Schofferhofer Hefeweizen, Binding Brauerei (5%) – Biergarten Restaurant. I think you can get this in bottles at Aldi. 4/5

Altenmunster Oktoberfest, Allgauer Brauhaus (5.5%) – Biergarten Restaurant – there were four German beers to choose from, and I would have had them all, but after a couple of visits to the buffet I just wanted to get out of there. Most expensive buffet ever, and they actually expected a tip at the end – when you’d been serving yourself the whole time. 3.5/5

So you can see, there’s                 quite a lot of beer to explore when you’re in the United States. Looking back over the star ratings I’ve given these, I see I’ve given 4 out of 5 on no fewer than 7 occasions. That’s pretty remarkable. So, on to…

Duty Free part 2

Ah, the return leg. One last thing to look forward to before a long, uncomfortable and sleepless night flight, jet lag and a return to work. There’s something soul-destroying about stepping off a plane into a cold Manchester Airport and knowing for the first time in a week, that this temperature isn’t the air conditioning. This is life. Your life. How do you do it? And the duty free was never going to stave off the gathering grey skies. Problem is, you just never know what to expect from Duty Free – you can only hope there’s a rich selection of interesting products to choose from. Aaaaaand… at Orlando Airport, there isn’t.

The only bourbon they had that wasn’t some variety of Jack Daniels, Jim Beam or Woodford Reserve was Bulleit, and that wasn’t on my wishlist, nor did I even know what it was at the time – I’ve since checked the Whisky Bible, and it seems it’s very good though.

The disappointment was almost crushing. I decided to look to the scotch for inspiration. That turned out to consist of the usual selection of Johnnie Walkers, Ballantines, Bell’s’… they did have the Highland Park Harald at $96 but… this just won’t do.

I seriously considered getting the Harald but, realising I hadn’t opened the Einar that I’d picked up in Spain yet and ultimately, even if they didn’t have specific bourbons I wanted, I may as well get bourbon anyway cos: when else am I going to buy bourbon if it isn’t when I’m in the United States?

So I went for these: different varieties of brands I was already familiar with. One is the Woodford Reserve Double Oaked (45.2% ABV and $49 for 75cl) and the other is Jim Beam Black 8 year old (43% and a bargainous $25 for one litre!).

These should be products that are ripe for comparison really, since both are aged longer than their entry level counterparts – the white Jim Beam is aged for only 4 years.

Interestingly, that Jim Beam Black works out in terms of cl per pound to be the third cheapest whisky I’ve ever bought. That’s amazing because only the Cutty Sark I bought in Spain and Wall Street (which isn’t even really whisky) from Vietnam have been cheaper.

So I’m not overly excited about these, but I do at least have two poker nights coming up this month, so I’ll save at least two of my purchases for those. Also, from what I can tell so far, you can’t get the Woodford Reserve Double Oaked in the UK [this has since turned out not to be true], so I have at least achieved one of my booze tourism aims there [no, I haven’t]. You’ll just have to join me later for my verdict on them. And I really hope you do.

In the meantime, a self-imposed prohibition continues in my life until the mini-Cake comes along. I’m sure I’ll write about how hellish it has been eventually, but in the meantime I’ve always got booze related posts waiting for you. And next week I can see that the focus will shift to absinthe once again. See you back here for that.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Spirit Log: Poli Bassano del Grappa Classica

I might actually like grappa more than whisky. No, it isn’t as complex, but with whisky there are always ones that are your favourite, and others that are… possibly even disappointing. In fact, most of the time I spend drinking whisky seems to be spent wondering how much I like it, and whether I really do, rather than simply enjoying it. Sure, that is a symptom of critical evaluation, but I just want to return to the time when I could enjoy what I was drinking. And that’s what I have with grappa. There’s not that much difference between brands of grappa (but there’s enough), and they are all nice – even the bad ones, which you’ll be reading more about in the coming months. And some are amazing. I’m enjoying it; there is nothing left to ponder, I think to myself.

The thing that irks me though, is that it seems like I’m the only person in Britain who actually likes grappa – or even knows what it is. I’m doing my best to educate people – writing about it, making my guests try it, buying it as an alternative to whisky for gifts – but the fact remains. It isn’t popular and availability here in the UK is sadly low and the variety poor (not in quality, but in scope).

My latest purchase [at the time of writing] was this one, Poli Bassano del Grappa (40% ABV, 50cl, £24.99). Poli is the distiller, and Bassano del Grappa is the town of origin, and in fact, the town where grappa itself originated.

I spotted this one in my local Marks And Spencer a month or two ago and had been saving my credit card reward vouchers, putting unnecessary expenses on my card and waiting for my next batch of vouchers with the intention of picking it up ever since. M&S only reward customers every three months, so it was a long wait, and the £3 I received was disappointing when it finally arrived. I sighed, subdued the rising tide of ennui, and added it to the £7 I already had. Then, also armed with a 15% off voucher I hotfooted it off down there one Friday after work.

“What’s that? Vodka?” asked the bag packing assistant as the lady at the checkout scanned the price.
“No,”  said the cashier, peering at the label, “it’s grappa.”
“What’s that?”
“It’s a liqueur.”
“It’s not a liqueur,” I interjected, “it’s a kind of pomace brandy.”
Ooo-oooh, it’s brandy, have I hit a nerve?

I didn’t say anything to that. I’ll let you stew in your own ignorance next time. Fucking liqueur. Guh back to drinkin’ yer fooking Glen’s.

I wasn’t offended or anything. It’s all in a day’s work when you’re spreading the good word of the grappa. I don’t think I converted anyone there, but I reckon there were a couple of people in the queue behind who might have been interested. Any grappa distributors want to pay me more than my current job for working less hours, but more importantly, helping grappa take off over here; get in touch.

This is only the second time I’ve been able to buy grappa in a UK supermarket. On the first occasionthe checkout assistant asked me what it was, too. What does that tell you? Supermarket checkout assistants like a drink, but they don’t know what grappa is. Who does?

This one then, is a young grappa produced from a cuvee of red grape varieties of the Venetian province. It is distilled in small lots in a discontinuous copper still provided with steam pots. I don’t know either.

They produce 27 separate expressions of grappa at the Poli distillery, among which are some really interesting varieties:

-          A 13 year old, oak aged expression of which only 9 are produced each year (read: expensive).
-          Expressions finished in various ex wine, port, sherry and even rum barrels.
-          Expressions produced in a number of varieties of different stills and distillation methods, including a “vacuum double boiler still.”
-          A kosher grappa, which you’ve got to be curious about but will probably never, ever buy.
-          They also produce grape brandies.

The Poli made its debut in a straight comparison with its predecessor – La Castellina Squarcialupi – which I had actually kept for nearly a year. I’d been deliberately saving it for the next time I had a new bottle, and this was it.

Now, I’ve been enjoying the Squarcialupi, but it hadn’t quite measured up to the San Perano in Donato that I’d picked up on the same trip. I think I’ve already talked about that at length, so let’s just crack on with some direct observations:


The Squarcialupi was 25 euros while the Poli was £24 – both for 50cl. You can clearly see the discrepancy here between the price you’ll pay in Italy and that you have to pay in the UK. Poli is the absolute entry level of the brand and I’m guessing, but I suspect it would cost 15 euros or less in its country of origin. You’d probably be looking at £40+ for the Squarcialupi, if you could get it here because it is an aged and even numbered variety.

The ABVs

Squarcialupi 42-40 Poli (like a rugby score).


Both are quite nicely presented – Poli with its curvy bottle and clasp-like cap and Squarcialupi with the narrow cylinder and modern, understated label design. If I had to pick, it would be the Squarcialupi.


I don’t want to get into hints of this and that, so let’s just jump straight in. As with the other categories, it’s the Squarcialupi that comes out on top. It’s just a little lighter and more delicate, but then it’s perhaps not entirely fair to compare these two different products – aged and unaged grappas are very different animals. Equally though, I’m not saying I always prefer one variety over the other…

Poli does come into its own… on its own. It’s just in direct comparison that it is slightly bettered. With no reference point to hand it is perfectly drinkable, and if you can get over the fact it’s way more expensive here than it would be over there… it’s actually quite reasonably priced compared to general UK grappa prices. It is only a 50cl bottle, so in terms of value it comes in at around the same as 70cl of a decent (but not expensive) single malt, and if you like grappa, that’s pretty good. I do, and I think it’s time you did too – though this one might not be the best place for you to start.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Exotic Booze: Spirit Wine

You know how sometimes you need to write something, but you don’t know how to start it? Yeah. I’m trying to figure out how to start this piece about obscure Asian booze. I’ve tried a few times already, but I can’t even get the 1st sentence.

So anyway [that seemed to work], we were having our good friends Pablo and Veronica over for dinner, and had decided it would be a kind of Vietnamese tapas, so I had to go to the Asian supermarket and find all manner of obscure delights – banh tho, banh trang, kecap manis, various types and thicknesses of noodle… Trang Pak… it was a bit of a nightmare, but I managed nearly everything – after an hour circling the aisles. And, just to be interesting, I also decided to go off-list and get some Asian booze.

Now, I knew (and so will you, if you’ve read some of my earlier posts),  that these kind of things can be… repellent to the western palate, so while it was tempting to get one of the £30 bottles of sake (the low 14% ABV counted against that) or the full size bottles of baiju – a spirit that has previously been labelled foot whisky on these pages – I went for something small. So here we have a 100ml bottle of Red Star Er Guo Tou Chwe (identified as spirit wine) and a 125ml bottle of Du Kang Spirit Wine 1972. They are 56 and 52% ABV respectively, which makes them quite respectable. The first was £3.95 and the second £4.50.

Both are Chinese products, and from the photo there, you can see they are intriguingly packaged. I didn’t have a clue what I’d bought, so I had a bit of an internet search. Du Kang revealed a legend about a boy and his uncle who made the spirit accidentally, and found it to be good, though it turns out that both are a kind of baiju. This page goes into a lot more detail about baiju than I can be bothered to, so go check it out – after you’ve read the rest of this of course.

There is one thing from that article that I’d like to refer to however. It states, “Many Chinese feel that foreigners don’t like the taste of baijiu because it is too strong. But the Chinese boast that they can certainly handle it.”

Let me just set the record straight there; it isn’t that it’s too strong. It’s that it tastes weird.

After dinner then, I broke out the baiju. The Du Kang came first. No one wanted to try more than a little sample, and I handed it out in glencairn glasses. I recognised the smell straight away – it was identical to the baiju I’d tried previously, though obviously this was a different brand. It tasted exactly the same too, though I’m prepared to accept that that is down to an inability of my palate to actually detect any particular nuances between one brand and another. Veronica said it tasted like parma violets – which I kind of get, but that certainly doesn’t come close to adequate as a description.

After the 1st glass, no one wanted anymore, and I knew I wouldn’t so I tipped it down the sink. The second brand though, the Red Star, was a very different entity.  It smelled much nicer, tasted different, and I even refilled my glass after the first one. It is still a bit er… repellent, but nevertheless still drinkable. Will I get it again? Probably not.

I think that’s enough of a delve into these kinds of Asian booze for a lifetime, in all honesty. Should I ever go to China, I might even betray my booze tourism principles and not even bother seeking out weird local products to bring home – unless I get to try it first and think it’s nice enough to bring home. People who think grappa is weird should think again.

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Spirit log: Carlos i Solera Gran Riserva

Having already covered the fascinating story of procurement of this latest foray intoSpanish brandy, it is time now to give it its appraisal. How will it compare with its peers or even brandies of different heritage? Let’s find out.

First it should be noted that the ABV is a disappointing 38%. Both my previous dalliances with solera gran riserva brandies, Cardenal Mendoza and Gran Duque D’Alba have lived up to the standard 40. A quick filter of the data on my geeky spreadsheet shows that of all the brandies I’ve purchased [or received as gifts] in the past, only the Tesco Value brandy and Osborne’s 103 would also be members of this sub-strength club – and they weren’t good. Nevertheless, Carlos I (which, like the 103 is produced by Osborne) was the most special offering the supermarket I chose to make my purchase from had. I am hereafter determined to try a bit harder the next time I go to Spain.

Opening this bizarrely (and not particularly conveniently) shaped bottle actually coincided with the death of my last Ikea brandy snifter, so I was “forced” to find the funds for some far better quality John Lewis ones. There’s one in the picture – much better (though you can't really see it all that well).

I don’t know whether it is partially down to the quality of my new John Lewis brandy snifters, but I rate this far more highly than the other aforementioned solera gran riservas. It’s soft and mellow and occasionally there’s a slight hint of caramel in there, along with a hint of balsamic vinegar on the nose. It has proved to be popular with guests and, while I doubt I’ll be opting to buy another bottle in the future, it was of acceptable standard.

It's been a short one this week then. What's next week? I think I might be doing something about weird asian booze. Not sure. Come back next week and find out. Laters.

Friday, 5 June 2015

Aldi vs Lidl: I'm trying these so you don't have to

Let’s get up to date now on what’s been going on in the long running and ongoing Aldi vs Lidl saga, with a few products I’ve been trying of late. First up, Cocobay…

I didn’t get around to writing about it at the time, but a while ago I found that I like popular coconut flavoured, rum liqueur Malibu – I normally mix it with coke; it’s just a good thing to add a bit of an alcoholic kick to a soft drink on a hot day when you don’t have any beer in the fridge – though I like to add a measure of vodka, too – just to make it worthwhile.

The thing is, Malibu is generally too expensive (£12-16 depending where you shop and when) in my opinion so… it’s almost like… you need a cheap alternative… and that’s where the budget supermarkets come in – Aldi in this case where, for a fantastic £4.99 you can pick up… Cocobay. It’s 21%, and worth adding to how ever many feet of Aldi shopping you’ve got already – are we the only people who measure our Aldi shop in feet?

You’re never going to drink this straight, but when I did, I can report that it wasn’t offensive, and when mixed, as described previously, there was no discernible difference between this and the real thing – which means you’d be mad not to buy it.


Switching genre now, with a trip to Lidl for the  Romanetti Extra Dry Vermouth…

One of the things I’ve noticed during the course of this ongoing Aldi-Lidl comparison is that Aldi’s products almost all state “bottled for Aldi” on the label (Clarke’s bourbon being a notable exception) while none of Lidl’s state anything to that effect.

Lidl’s Romanetti Extra Dry vermouth is another brand that strikes me as being made up in order to sound Italian. Is it actually from Torino? I’ve seen pictures online that state so on the label, but mine just says “producto de Italia” or something. On the reverse label it says it is made in Italy, but bottled in Germany. Come to think of it; aren’t all Lidl’s products actually bottled in Germany? Except the scotch. That’s one to look into… This one in all honesty looks the part. It has that generic vermouth presentation style, just… a little bit shitter. Let’s see what it’s like inside.

This has an odd aftertaste, but once the ice takes hold, it does exactly what I want it to – which frankly extends no further than give me a slightly refreshing fortified wine buzz. It is probably the worst [actual] vermouth I’ve bought so far [so Bellino isn’t included in this reckoning], but at £3.99 for 15 ABVs it would be picky to complain. All you can really ask for is not to get poisoned so, Lidl, mission accomplished. The thing is, a product of this standard isn’t going to win anyone over to the delights of vermouth so, with that in mind, next time I think I’m going to have to buy a decent one. It’s just hard to justify the price when you only get 70cl and it costs the same as (what I consider to be) an expensive bottle of wine (as decent vermouths do). It’s essentially only four glasses you’re getting for your money, after all.


And it’s back to Aldi for this week’s final contestant; Specially Selected Irish Cream (17% ABV)

This seems to fit into exactly the same category as Aldi’s Ballycastle Premium, and it’s the same price (£6.49) so I’m not sure why they are offering two almost (if not) identical products. The bottle is the standard Irish Cream type and the label looks like something that’s been stolen from the Tesco’s Finest range.

Without doing a direct comparison with the Ballycastle Premium, I think they’re essentially the same product. There’s certainly nothing here to make me think it is inferior in any way to the established favourite. Superb value, plenty of ABVs, excellent quality.


So where does that bring the head to head comparison? Well, we’ve now evaluated 11 Aldi products and only 3 from Lidl. I really must remedy that shortly. Nevertheless, Aldi is averaging a pretty good 6.6 out of ten, while Lidl is still struggling to recover from that -10 that James Cook is responsible for, and sits on a depressing zero.

Check back over the previous posts if you want to find out about the other products I’ve tried so far, and keep coming back for further updates. I’ll compile everything eventually – once I’ve tried an equal number of comparable products from each. In the meantime, keep it cheap, keep it strong.