I love to see the innovation creators can bring to their established works. To look at an already beloved piece and say, “Hmm, you know what would make this even better?” So I was quite happy to dive into not one, but two enhanced editions over the past week.
Bourbon Barrel Sidamo
I first tried Sidamo Coffee Stout from Hardywood Park Craft Brewery in 2015. It was a fantastic brew, with a great balance between the bitterness of a traditional Russian Imperial Stout and the smooth, dark berry flavors of Ethiopian Sidamo coffee (sourced locally from the Lamplighter Roasting Company).
To up the ante on this already tasty beer, Hardywood decided to age their stout for 12 weeks in bourbon barrels. The resulting Bourbon Barrel Sidamo is dark, rich, and delicious. The strong coffee flavor is still present, but with a boozy bite, decadent chocolate notes, and a hint of oak. Drinking this beer tastes like eating a freshly-baked slice of devil’s food cake with a primo cup of spiked coffee.
Cursed Castilla EX
Originally released as a free homebrew PC title from developer Locomalito, Maldita (Cursed) Castilla is a loving tribute to arcade games of the mid-1980s steeped in medieval Spanish mythology. Thanks to collaboration with developer Abylight Studios, an enhanced port of this game debuted in 2016 on various platforms. I scooped up Cursed Castilla EX for my 3DS earlier last month, which adds an impressive arcade mock-up and a codex with unlockable lore on the creatures and myths featured in the game.
While Locomalito cites many different arcade titles as inspiration for his game, the most obvious influence is Ghost and Goblins. Every action taken by the valiant Don Ramiro seems like he attended King Arthur’s School of Adventuring™, which isn’t a bad thing. Cursed Castilla EX feels like a perfection of the style. While still a very difficult platformer, nothing has felt unfair when playing (so far). I just made my way into the third (of eight) levels, and I am greatly enjoying the responsive controls and the medieval aesthetic. Plus, the FM synth soundtrack by Gryzor87 is excellent, with engaging tracks that would be right at home in 1987.
I would definitely recommend Bourbon Barrel Sidamo for fans of rich coffee and dark beer, while Cursed Castila EX is an excellent example of bringing arcade-style spookiness to the consoles of today.
What sort of enhanced editions of beer or video games have you enjoyed recently? Let us know in the comments!