Monday, 10 August 2015

Roundwood Recommends: Number 1 – Holiday Alcohol: Belhaven Black

As long time readers and followers of this blog might know, this Blog is most definitely not a commercial venture. If it was, I’d be poorer than a No Man’s Land rat!  That being said, there are many resources which I like and have used a lot and which are helpful or fun in a hobby context – certain wargames, paints, miniatures figures and rules come to mind.  From time to time I've thought about mentioning these on this Blog, to publicising these more widely or just to celebrate something which is just fun about the hobby.

Kind of like a cheerleader, but without pom-poms or pennants.

And with that in mind, let me introduce you to a new irregular feature on the Blog: 


My idea is, from time to time, to recommend things which make our hobby much better.

It might be places to go, books to read, films or TV programmes to see, shops to visit, products to try, or just things which help wargaming, modelling and painting in one way or another. I do make one promise – each of the things I'm recommending I will have tried, used, visited or enjoyed several times, and come back for more.

My recommendations will be personal, occasionally well-thought out, often totally subjective, quite possibly geographically limited and will always be offered without financial inducement or reward. If that list sounds like nonsense (possibly like the rest of the Blog), please bear with me as there is some logic to what I have in mind.

I thought I’d start with an easy one. Belhaven Black Scottish Stout.


I’m not sure if you do the same, but when I’m painting figures or preparing for a wargame, I like to try and get into the context of what I’m doing. As you know, I’m on a Highland regiment kick at present. Holidaying in Northumbria this summer (again) has given me the chance to head to the Scottish Borders a few times, visiting Jedburgh, Hawick and Kelso. Not the Highlands of Scotland, admittedly, but wonderful countryside in a totally unspoilt and quiet part of the world.

Jedburgh, Hawick and Kelso are all charming, almost sleepy market towns, but the discovery of Belhaven Black Scottish Stout in the Sainsburys supermarket in Kelso was a true revelation. 

I’m not much of a stout drinker, but Belhaven Black has made me think again. It’s not as thick as Guinness, but has a lot more taste and bite than lager.  There’s a rich liquorice, slightly chocolate, almost-coffee type flavour in the stout, and it went marvellously well with a couple of evening meals of steak and curry. 

I tried replenishing at Sainsburys in Alnwick (on the English side of the border), but sadly they didn’t stock it. Which (long story) required a further trip to Kelso to resupply.

I have no idea if I can get some in London or St. Albans, but I intend to try.  Heartily recommended. It also helped me finish painting some of the figures featured on the blog during last week, and this week coming, so it can't be bad.


18 comments:

  1. I think I might have had this stout at some point.

    It's always good to see recommendations of this ilk :)

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  2. Splendid, I shall definitely have to have a look for that.

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  3. You have my undivided attention. I'm unlikely to find that one here in the States but I'm going to give it a try.

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  4. Sid
    As a man in the know - try the Greeneking Shop.
    https://www.greenekingshop.co.uk/online-shop/bottled-beer/
    good to see my Camra membership is not wasted.
    Cheers
    Stu

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    1. Awesome work, Stu! I shall be looking online for it shortly!

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  5. Sidney,

    I am stout so I have given up Stout! Sad but true.

    Not to be a hijacker, well not much of one since the book is in the photo, how did you like Roe's Waging War in Waziristan?

    Thanks Bill.

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    1. Thanks Bill ! I'm sad to hear about the stout exclusion! Thanks also for mentioning "Waging War in Waziristan".

      You'll be glad to hear that I'm planning another Roundwood Recommends featuring that book, and four others, in a post later this month. I'll hold fire on saying too much more, but I would summarise by saying it's recommended.

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  6. Replies
    1. We shall have to search it out for the next Blog-Con outing!

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  7. Mmmmmm, stout. I doubt I'll ever see it on my side of the Atlantic but I'll keep my eyes out for it.
    The last British stout I had was called Hobgoblin ... quite pleasant.

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    1. Thanks Mike! Hobgoblin do a lot of good beers. I've not tried their stout, though. Hmmmm..... good idea...:)

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  8. Looks delicious mate, i'm very jealous. Unfortunately we can't get many of the lovely stouts down under. Mind, we've got a few local brews made by some craft breweries that aren't half bad.

    Ben

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    1. Thanks Ben. I shall have to get some stout in for your next trip over to the UK!

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  9. You can get it in Shanghai, but I don't think it is that great.

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    1. Ah, that's a shame, Muskie. I wonder if the long journey has something to do with the quality! I promise you, if you were in Scotland, it would taste better!

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