S R Silcox - Author

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Category: Sunday Sesh (page 1 of 4)

Sunday Sesh and How reality smacked me in the face

The Beer

This week’s sesh is brought to you by Young’s Double Chocolate Stout, a brew from the UK.

Truth be known, I’ve been eyeing this one off for a while now, and I figured you can’t really go wrong with beer and chocolate.

Double Chocolate Stout

What I didn’t figure on was this being a burp-factory. This is another with light and tingley carbonation, but it’s so black you can’t see any bubbles in the glass. I can attest to them being there though.

Taste-wise, it’s not as impressive as the name would imply. There’s a slight taste of chocolate on the first sip, but apart from that, it’s a poor cousin to something like the James Squire porter.

The burnt toffee aftertaste lingers initially, but gradually disappears the more you drink – and being a 500ml bottle, there are two whole drinks in this one.

Having said all that, I did finish it, even though it wasn’t one of the best I’ve had. Probably wouldn’t get this one again.

The Post

I had a really cool rant about politics loaded up and ready to go but I came across something while I was traversing the interwebs that I had to share.

Something that made me start thinking about my mortality.

Something that made me realise just how far in the past my childhood is.

Ralph Macchio is fifty. Fifty! I know, right? I can’t believe it myself. I thought he was still sixteen, which would make me around, um,one. (Though in reality, he was twenty-three when he played Daniel-san, so I was actually eight when the first movie came out.) 

The Original Karate Kid

I know, I know. I’m not eight anymore, but that still doesn’t make the fact that The Original Karate Kid is over the hill any easier to take.

I know what you’re thinking too, and yeh, he was a hotty (I can still appreciate a good-looking lad), but I didn’t want to date Daniel-san – I wanted to be Daniel-san.

True story (I have lots of them). When I was a kid, I used to stay at my cousins’ house on school holidays. We used to play Barbies and stuff (I was always Ken – the one with the plastic hair), and we used to have a disco at night where we put cassette tapes in the cassette player (usually home-made ones from taping off the radio or Rage), and we’d turn off the lights in the bedroom except for the bed lamps and the glow worms, and we’d party down.

Usually, we’d have a theme, but no matter what the theme was, I would wear a red robe, tie a hanky around my head, and BE The Karate Kid.

“King Fu Fighting” was my song, and when that song came on, I got to cut loose. (“Wax on, wax off”).

I was also told when I was a kid that I kinda looked like Ralph. (Un)fortunately, I can’t actually find any photos of me when I was eight, but I did have a haircut similar to the photo above, and I could do that intense look quite well. Especially when I was fielding at silly mid-off for my school cricket team.

So anyway, after this discovery, I need more beer to forget the fact that I’m no longer a kid.


Where’s the beer?

Four weeks in and I’ve managed to miss two of those Sunday Sesh’s. Various reasons, but suffice to say that there have been some distractions (to put it mildly), that have taken me away from both drinking beer, and my writing.

Not good.

Normal services will resume this Sunday.

Because yeh, I’ve pre-loaded a Sesh, so it’ll go up whether I’m here or not.

An offer almost too good to refuse

This week’s Sunday Sesh brought to you by Montheith’s Black Beer.

As you can see, I’m trying out a new format this week. Let me know what you think in the comments section below.

Also, I should put a language and content warning on this one for those of you sensitive to words containing asterisks.

The Review

We all know the rivalry and the brotherhood we have with our cousins across the ditch. It’s always been a love/hate relationship. We love them for giving us Russell Crowe (most of the time), Keith Urban, Rebecca Gibney and lesbian icon, Lucy Lawless. We hate them for taking the Bledisloe and World Cups.

We forgive them for beating us in the second test in Tasmania last year, if only because they hardly ever get close to us, and we also have a soft spot for Dan Vettori, Richard Hadlee and the Crowe brothers (the latter tearing us up in the 1980s).

I’m happy to report that they’ve given me something to crow about with Monteith’s Black Beer.

It smells sweet and fresh in the bottle, and pours like sars. It tastes immedediately of coffee and caramel, but gives a slight aftertaste of burnt toffee. I have a mouth full of sweet teeth, so just writing that makes my mouth water.

It’s another of those beers that isn’t overly gassy, so it tingles your tongue. I like how you don’t feel like you’re drinking a mouthful of air as well as the beer.

Although not quite as sweet as Engine Oil and a little drier, this would make a great winter session beer because it’s not as filling as the UK brew I tried last week.

At $3.60 a bottle ($52.99 a carton), this is a mid-shelfer.

The Post

I’ve been wanting to do a post on the shit that comes into my email box for ages but most of it’s been relatively boring. Things like:

  • offers for replica Rolexes (as opposed to those nasty fake ones)
  • Gambling offers (‘Free $300 credit when you JOIN NOW!’)
  • Free viagra (I read it as “free vagina once” and almost clicked through)
  • College f*ck books (‘Two hot college girls want to sleep with you this weekend.’ Such a pity I’m always busy – with my Wife!)
  • Fifty Shades of Grey alert from Amazon. Oh wait, that was a legitimate one. (And literary fiction? Seriously, Amazon?)

But one that landed in my inbox this week looked pretty legit. It was from facebook with the subject ‘Re:’. Now anyone who knows me, knows I just can’t go past an email with the subject ‘re:’. I mean, ‘re:’ what? It could be anything, right?

So I took a look.

(The email in italics, and my comments underneath).

BABE… i guess your not getting any of my email huh? ive been tryign to email u so many times but this dam laptop is such a piece of garbage and keeps freezing.. anyways how u been? In case u dont know who this is its ME TORI.. we used to chat a bit on facebook and then I think u deleted me 🙁

First things first – I live in Australia. The only Tori’s we have here are imported. I have never, ever in my 36 years, known a Tori.

Oh, but I’ve been good. Thanks for asking. And I hate to be pedantic but you know me – I’m a writer so spelling’s kinda important. It’s ‘trying’ not ‘tryign’.

anyways guess what… I got 2 things to tell u..  1) im single now.. yup me and my bf broke up about 3 months ago… and 2) guess where im moving?


Oh see, now that’s really unlucky, because I’ll be moving soon to a small town far, far ,far away. Sorry about your break-up though. That’s sad, right? (By the way, there’s the reason for your content warning right there – I hope no-one’s offended by Tori’s use of ‘effing’, especially since she YELLED it).

I remember when we chatted u told me u thought i was cute and u wanted to chill so now we finally can HAHA! …maybe even help me move my shit in…

I don’t drive so you’ll have to move your own shit in. Sorry.

And I tell so many people they’re cute, I’ve lost track. You’ll have to remind me who you are.

ok so more info about me.. well im 23.. virgo.. love the outdoors and love to socialize, go out for drinks, restaurants, movies etc.. travel.. i have a lil kitty named BOO and i luv her to death… uhhh oh im a super horny gurl too but every gurl is they just wont admit it. so ilove watching p0rn and all that..

You should have mentioned your kitty earlier. I totally would have clicked through right then. I also love how you evaded my filter by using ‘p0rn’ instead of ‘porn’. That show’s you’re smart. I like smart women.

i hope u remmeber me and still wanna chill and arent married yet lol..

Does it matter if I am if I tell you I’m not?

OH YA also..

i need to find a job when i get there.. do u have any hookups or know anybody hiring? id LOVE to work in a bar or osmehting like that…really anythgin cause my current job is fun and all..

and technically i CUD keep doign it but i want a change.. i currently work from home and well thats cool but i need ot be out meeting people.. oh wait. i dont think i ever actually told u what i did? hmm shud i……????

Wow, you really don’t ask for much, Tori. And there’s that spelling thing again. You seem to have trouble with where the ‘n’ and ‘g’ goes in ‘ing’ words.
But yeh, why don’t you tell me what you do.

ok WELLLL… and dont get all weirded out on me.. i work on a webcam chat community site and i get paid to chat with people

A webcam chat? Like skype? Cool. I like skype.

and get naked HHAHA…

Oh, riiight. THAT type of webcam.

anyways i hope u dont look down on that and NO THATS NOT WHY IM CONTACTING U RELAX URSELF lol… i actually need help once i move and i remembered u live there so im reaching out….like i said before this computer is a complete piece of CRAP and freezes NON STOP..

I’m so happy you’re only contacting me because you want my help, and not because you want my business.

I do think you should get your laptop fixed though, otherwise your webcam chats could end up looking like they were filmed in a nightclub with strobe lights, all jumpy and pixelated.


ANYWAYS.. heres the deal….every month (my boss) gives each of us 3 VIP codes to give out to whoever we want.. so with this code u can lgoin to watch me at work for free and dont have to pay like everyone else…
I love freebies 🙂 Where do I sign?
i only get 3 a month and she gets pissed if more than 3 people use them so DONT SHARE IT MISTER…

Oh no problem. I don’t like sharing anyway. Plus, it’s Ms, but whatever.

 i figured u cud always email me back instead but my email account doesnt even let me login half the time.. so the bets palce ot chat me is my chat room…

Freakin’ email. It sucks when you can’t log in. I’m glad you can still log in to your webcam chat account though. Such a relief.

Freakin’ email Sucks when you can’t send any. Just like this one. Must have gotten its little self through before it wigged out on you, huh? Lucky me.

anyways ive rambled on and on now and ur probably soooo annnoyed with me so ill stop now.. im gonna go start work..

k babe im out for now… chat ya soon..

kisses xoxo

Wow, I think I’ve got a good one here. What do you think?

On the up side, at least her english is readable, even with the bad spelling.

One question though, who wants the free codes?

Harviestoun Brewery Old Engine Oil

It’s been perfect weather up here on the Ridge for getting stuck into a few dark ales – cold, windy and rainy.

So, welcome to the first winter Sunday Sesh, brought to you by
Harviestoun Brewery’s Old Engine Oil Porter. 

Something I drained out of the car earlier

Well, this certainly looks like engine oil, but it does have some carbonation, hence the short, creamy head. Tastes a little of burnt caramel, and sweet like a good porter should. There’s a hint of chocolate, but there’s a most interesting aftertaste – vegemite. I guess that’s because vegemite is a yeast-based product, but it was funny being able to taste the stuff I used to eat by the bucket-load for breakfast when I was a kid.

Anything that tastes like an Aussie staple is alright in my book. I really like this beer, but would maybe stop at two or three. It’s quite heavy to drink, as in thickish compared to summery lagers, so fills you up quite quickly.

A side note on this, as I mentioned in an earlier post, the Porters were named after the transportation workers (porters) who enjoyed this type of beer in 18th century London. Apparently, they used to make a meal out the beers. And I can see why, as these types of ales fill you up fast.   

A great beer to kick off the winter Sunday Sesh’s.

A couple of things caught my eye this week.

The first was this news about swing bowling in cricket.

Apparently some scientists discovered that it’s not moisture in the air that causes swing.

I think those scientists haven’t been to a test match in Brisbane. When the humidity’s high at the Gabba, that red ball is practically moving 90 degrees as can be seen by the very first ball of the 2006 first test delivered by Steve Harmison.

One commenter on this video said that maybe it was a tactic by England – to get the ball to Freddy Flintoff as soon as possible. It’s a shame that tactic didn’t quite work. We won that series in a white-wash.

The other thing that caught my eye was this mash-up from youtube. It’s a very clever look at the goal celebrations in football (that’s the round ball game), and adding in some Hollywood-style FX.

Some of the world’s best players are known just as much for their celebrations as the goals they score. So I’ll leave you with this little piece of brilliance to finish of the Sesh.

My favourite is the accordion playing ‘keeper.

Next week, I’m trying out Monteiths Black Beer, a drop from our cousins across the ditch. The last time I had a Kiwi beer, I wasn’t impressed. I have had a Monteiths before when I holidayed in Queenstown and it wasn’t too bad. I’m looking forward to this one, since it promises lots of caramelly, chocolatey, nutty, and coffee goodness.

Until next Sunday’s Sesh,

Sunday Sesh Preview

The first winter Sunday Sesh kicks off next weekend, with a review of Harviestoun Brewery’s Old Engine Oil Dark Beer.   

Before I kick it off though, I thought I’d share a beer that I would love to get my hands on, but at $169.99 a bottle at Dan Murphy’s it’s a little out of my price range.

It’s called Tactical Nuclear Penguin, and it’s made by a brewery in Scotland called Brewdog.

I always thought Scotsmen were crazy, and after seeing how they came up with this beer, I know I’m right. You can’t help but love their ingenuity.

Since I can’t afford to get this one I decided to live vicariously through someone elses review.

What do you think? Is it worth $170?

Broadcasters – the new rule makers for the NRL

Turns out beer isn’t just for summer. I should have known this since the Poms drink beer even though it’s like winter all year round in their half of the world.

During summer, I discovered I quite enjoyed the dark ales – the traditional wintery brews – and want to get some more under my belt. I’ve done a little bit of research, and have come up with a “short” list of 26 beers I’d like to try, and will whittle this down to 13 over the coming weeks.

Each week, I’ll try to give you a heads up on what’s coming up next so you can enjoy a couple with me and tell me your thoughts. All of that kicks off with the official start of winter on the first weekend in June.

Until then, I’ve decided to reprise the Sunday Sesh sans beer, just to flex my writing muscles a little, and because there’s so much to talk about.

This week, it’s footy.

I wasn’t really going to take too much interest in it this year to be honest. The Origin is the only series that still really gets me excited, but I’ve been hearing things around the ridges and reading a few things that have taken my interest. Plus, I’m in a tipping comp so I really should take some sort of notice in order to have a chance at winning at least some of the pot.

So this weekend I was reading the Saturday paper (the courier mail) and a little article, tucked away beside an ad and under a match preview, caught my eye.

Apparently, the TV rights renewal for the NRL is coming up for renewal, and Channel Nine has launched it’s new bid, along with Fox Sports. Now, I don’t get pay TV, and I’m happy(ish) with the number of games I get to watch over a weekend. After all, I can’t possibly find time to watch all of them, and not all of them would interest me. If there are games I’d want to watch but miss out on because they’re not on free-to-air, I just suck it up and move on.

This article made me take pause though. Because apart from wanting to dictate on what nights are best for their bottom line, they also want to make subtle changes to the game in order to increase their advertising revenue.

This (from the Courier Mail) is (probably only part of) what they’re proposing:

  • Increase games from 90 to 95 minutes
  • Extend half-time from 12 to 14 minutes
  • 30-second breaks for stoppages on scrums and line drop-outs, and between try conversions and restarts

On the surface, this doesn’t look like much. The stoppages occur anyway, and the extent of the time is at the referees’ discretion. Often, one team wants to keep the game moving, and the other wants to slow it down. Also, an extra 2 minutes at half-time could be good for coaches – we often try to squeeze as much out of the time we have in the sheds so I can’t imagine there would be too much of an uproar.

The problem, however, lies in who is asking for these changes. The broadcaster should not be the one dictating these types of changes to the group that provides the entertainment. Changes to the game, even small ones, should always be about the game itself. They should come from the players and the people who run the game, for the betterment of the game, rather than the maximising of revenue.

I know, I know. Sport is supposedly all about the dollar now, and I accept that to some extent.

My problem lies in the fact that if we allow a broadcaster to dictate how a game can change, where do we stop? Do we introduce stoppages for substitutions? Or how about we allow whole forward-lines and back-lines to be substituted at the same time, depending on whether a team is attacking or defending?

And who times these stoppages? Do the ref’s on ground get a call from another official that it’s okay to blow time on? And how do these stoppages in play affect the overall time in the game? Does the clock get stopped for these breaks or does the 30-seconds just tick down until the ref blows the whistle to say the ad break’s over?

My biggest problem, however, is that the game isn’t just about the fans who love it or the advertisers who support (and make money off) it. It’s about the players who play it. Most of them will tell you that they want a free-flowing game, that can ebb and flow on its own merits, not at the will of advertisers or officials.
There are subtle nuances of the game that I fear are being lost. I love yelling at the TV for players to get up and stop trying to slow the play down, or at the ref for letting them get away with it, or at my team for not doing enough to lay around on opposition players trying to make fast play-the-balls.
I get cranky with the opposition team when they’re only 1 or 2 points ahead, kicking the ball out, or taking ages to get back for a restart. And don’t get me started on the 10-metre rule (I swear the refs have no idea how far 10 metres really is).
All of that is at the discretion of the players and the refs during the game.

The thing that rugby league does so well that other codes could learn from is stressing the grass roots – the fans and the amateur players. If we start making it about advertisers and broadcasters, that grass roots philosophy starts to take a back seat.
Besides, isn’t it enough that we have to listen to Ray Warren and crew rabbit on about the betting odds at every opportunity? Not to mention cross-promoting The Voice and other shows I doubt they’d take any interest in. But that’s another post altogether.

What do you think? Are Channel Nine’s proposed changes good for the game? Should “partners” to the NRL be allowed to dictate them? And what changes, if any, would you want to see if you had a say?

Sunday Sesh #26 – Blue Sky Pilsner

And so we come to the very final Sunday Sesh for this summer, brought to you by Blue Sky Pilsner. This is the same little brewery in Cairns that produces of one of my new favourites from this summer, FNQ lager.

Blue Sky Pilsner

This is a Czec-style pilsner, so it’s a clear, pale-yellow beer with lots of carbonation. It smells sweet and florally out of the bottle, and pours well, with a small head that sticks around as you drink it.

This one’s a bit spicy, and leaves your tongue feeling tingly. It’s refreshing and very easy to drink. The sweetness in it reminds me of drinking shandies when I was younger, but it’s got a bit of a bite that leaves you feeling the bitterness in the bottom of your throat.

This is on the heavy end of mid-strength brews, and would make a great session beer. Great to share with mates over a BBQ.

Another success from the north of sunny Queensland. Dare I say it – I think we do make some of the best brews Down Under up here.

So what’s next for the blog if this is the last Sunday Sesh? Firstly, I’ll be getting my head stuck back into some writing, which I’ve been neglecting over the last few weeks.

I intend on starting the Sunday Sesh’s back up again with the onset of summer next year, which means 13 Sesh’s instead of the 26 like this year. Summer got the hint this year and gave me some fantastically hot, steamy and sunny days, so I think I can forgo drinking through spring this time around.

In the mean time though, I’ll be charting more of my writing journey on here, and occasionally throwing in some posts on things that amuse me, just for fun.

The posting schedule is going out the window for the time being, so I’ll really be posting when I have something to say. I’m hoping that will turn out to be at least once a month, but since I can talk under water with a gag on, it’s probably going to be more often. We’ll just have to wait and see.

So that’s it from me for the Sunday Sesh’s. I hope you’ve enjoyed the beer reviews as much as I have. It’s a little disappointing to be getting rid of my best reason to drink beer, but I don’t think Wifey will be complaining.

As always though, I’m always on the lookout for good brews, so if you have any suggestions for something to add to my list for next summer’s reviews, let me know.


Sunday Sesh #25 – White Rabbit Dark Ale

This is the second last beer review for this summer, and it’s brought to you by White Rabbit Dark Ale.

White Rabbit Dark Ale

This little beer proves the Victorians don’t always get it wrong.

It’s a rich dark colour, hints of caramel on the pour. Not much head at all, which isn’t surprising since it’s more fizzy than carbonated. Not many bubbles, and it goes down very smooth.  It’s a little watery, but otherwise not too bad. Very little after taste, which makes it a good session beer.

It’s been a bit cooler up here on the Ridge, and this is the sort of beer I would enjoy in the cooler months.

If you like Kilkenny, you should give this one a go. It’s not as creamy, and a little more bitter, but not bad all the same.

I’m looking forward to giving the White Ale a go, though I’ll save that one for next summer.

Next week marks the last official week of summer, which means it’s also the last Sunday Sesh until the weather heats up again.

I’m still open to suggestions for a beer to finish off the summer with, so feel free to email or add your suggestions in the comments.

Until next Sunday’s Sesh,

Sunday Sesh #24 – Mountain goat Hightail Ale

This week’s Sesh brought to you by Mountain Goat Hightail Ale.

These guys have got a pretty cool story about how they established their brewery. It’s a real backyard home-brewer to microbrewer tale.

I’m not sure what I was expecting with this one – I bought it because of the name more than anything. Certainly not because it was brewed in Victoria – I’m glad I didn’t realise until after the purchase. I don’t think I would have bought it otherwise.

As you can see from the first photo, it was a little bit excited to be opened.

Yep, it’s a boy!

It was a bit better behaved when I poured it though.

Dark and dangerous

It’s a bit of a surprise packet this one. It’s a bit rich and heavy for a summer beer, but I would definitely enjoy this one on a cooler day. It’s very robust, and the flavour sticks around giving a strong after taste.

It has the burnt toast taste of the Old Fart I reviewed previously, but it also has a sweetness that offsets it that makes it easier to drink.

Apart from the froth on the pour, there’s not a lot of gas or bubbles, so it’s quite smooth to drink. A good session beer in Autumn or Winter I think.

All-in-all, it’s not a bad drop for something made in Victoria. Recommended if you like something rich and malty.

Until next Sunday’s Sesh,

Sunday Sesh #23 – Little Creatures Pale Ale

This Sunday’s Sesh is brought to you by Little Creatures Pale Ale, and it’s going to be a straight beer review since I am champing at the bit to get some writing done today. I’ve been struggling to get words down and I’m finally getting some momentum, so this post will be short but sweet.

I’ve been meaning to have a go of a Little Creatures of some kind for a while now, and I’m wondering why it’s taken me so long.

Little Creatures Pale Ale

This is a bright orange colour (though you can’t tell thanks to my crap photography), and it has heaps of bubbles, which means the little creamy head from the pour sticks around even after you start drinking it.

I’m drinking this one on its own as opposed to with snacks like I would normally, and it’s going down a treat.

It’s a little fruity and very refreshing, though a little dry on the aftertaste. I could easily have a few of these, even on a cool day. I won’t today though, since the 1.4 standards drinks is going to my head already, which means I’m drinking this a little too fast. A good sign I say!

I’m looking forward to trying the other Little Creatures beers in the future.

Before I go, there are just three more Sunday Sesh’s left for the summer. I’ve got a couple of beers in mind for the next couple of reviews, but I’m searching for something special for the very last one. If you have anything you really think I should try, let me know in the comments. Or if you have two beers that you think would go well head-to-head, I’m certainly up for that. Let me know.

Until next Sunday’s Sesh,


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