During the winter months, there are few things as inviting as the warmth and aroma of a crackling fire. The experience of snuggling up to the hearth is made even better with a tasty dark beer and venturing to virtual realms with friends.
Traditionally known for sticking to Belgian-style beers, Brewery Ommegang decided to experiment with a classic English ale for the colder months.
Simply named Smoked Porter, this pitch brown brew has an inviting nose of toasted dark bread with figs and buckwheat honey. The first taste has a rich flavor of salted caramel, which expands into a malty body of pecan rolls and a hint of clove. While a smoky backbone is present throughout, it moves to the forefront in the finish, with a lingering note of brown sugar. Here’s hoping this delicious limited release becomes a seasonal tradition for Ommegang.
In a previous post, I shared my rocky relationship with FromSoftware’s Souls series. I appreciated the nuanced gameplay of Dark Souls, but it took the horror setting of Bloodborne to draw me to this often onerous style of game.
Having recently received Dark Souls III as a gift, I now know precisely what would pull me deeper into the dark fantasy setting of the core series: cooperative gameplay.
At the earliest opportunity, a pair of friends joined my journey through the cursed Kingdom of Lothric. Having two stalwart (and goofball) companions along for the ride certainly helped when facing the harsh hordes of creatures. Since each of my comrades had previously completed the game, I was also privy to all sorts of secrets and shortcuts. It was a delight to have two veteran adventurers take me under their wing, training me in the ways of pyromancy and making fart jokes along the way.
Just like Bloodborne before it, I find it difficult to recommend Dark Souls III, particularly as a single-player experience. The game is gorgeous and the variety of character builds are engaging, but the antagonistic difficulty can be a huge turn-off to most players. As a multiplayer experience however, Dark Souls III provides loads of challenging fun. Well, until an invader drops in to ruin your day.
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