All posts by jezzerbear

About jezzerbear

I like chocolate, music, movies and going on adventures. Find me on twitter @jezzbear

All you need is love and Beech’s chocolate- GUEST REVIEW

Thanks to our pal Chomper on twitter me and Marmaduke the marmot (note to self, must google what a marmot is) were recommended a British chocolatier based in Lancashire by the name of Beech’s Fine Chocolates. This company was established in 1920 (which I think is around the time that Uncle Bear was stitched) and uses ethically sourced all natural products, most of which are also suitable for vegans (and bears).

This wonderful company were very kind to send me some chocolates to review, but first I paw you over to Marmie who very kindly took time out to write this very special review for my blog:

“Hello,
Marmie Megève here. I love chocolate – particularly dark chocolate and chocolates with centres that have a high crunchy nibble factor – so was very pleased when my twitter pal @Chomper_TC recommended I try Beech’s Fine Chocolates. The company is based in Preston and offers a wide variety of products, all made using only natural ingredients. The texture of the chocolate bars is firm, so you can manoeuvre each segment in your mouth for the slow-melt, full-flavour pleasure. As a bit of a ginger nut, my favourite of the chocolate bars is the dark chocolate ginger, the rich, aromatic flavour flooding your mouth as you roll it around. We marmots are keen on roots and shoots, so I count the luxury stem ginger chocolates as practically a dietary requirement. You can go for the combined flavour, chew-it-all-together experience or, because of the firmness and texture of the chocolate, you can nibble that off and then enjoy the crunch of the crystallised ginger separately, if that is your preference.”
Thanks Marmie. And now back to me, where I will review three different types of boxed chocolates, all of which will make great gifts for friends, loved ones (or just yourself):

1. Teddy Bears’ Picnic: delicious milk chocolates with soft caramel centres, shaped in a bear family!! How lovely. I really enjoyed these as i’m quite the fan of soft centres. 5 paws out of 5

2. Anglesey Sea Salted Truffles and Marc de Champagne Truffles: delicious, decadent, bold flavoured, firm textured, soft-ish creamy centred- all words I would use to describe my human. Also applicable to these milk truffle chocolates, each box emblazoned with the sentence “All you need is love and chocolate”. The sea salted truffles are deliciously salty and sweet and complex. Delicious. The champagne truffles are rich and fruity and toasty, just like real champagne. A wonderful accompaniment to a bottle of bubbly on a special occasion I reckon. 5 paws out of 5

My shiny new choccy evaluation review journal

My good friend Angel Honey Dog tells me her mum was quite the chocolate tasting expert in her time, so they have helped me to write better reviews by sending me this magnificent journal in hardback-form, to record all my future observations. And what a magnificent production it is:

Jezzer Checks Chocs
Discover the Ultimate

The book has detailed a Forward, an author bio of both myself and Honey, introduction, beautiful images and illustrations designed by Honey, and a hundred tasting pages to be filled in by me each time I trial a chocolate (are you sure 100 is enough Honey?)

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And now to baptise my new book with its first review- an intriguing chocolate bar by Fenwick’s and The Chocolate Smiths entitled “Beer”. This was kindly sent to me by Kenny Koala- model, chef, singer, dancer, bear. If you haven’t purchased his marvellous vegetarian cook book with profits going to the RSPCA, why the devil not? Go now! I can wait………… Done? Okay, let’s continue.

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This is billed as creamy milk chocolate with the taste of Irish stout (think Caffreys), and whilst I agree with the first part, the second I’m not so sure about. This chocolate has somewhat of a yeasty aftertaste, which puts me in mind of the Marmite chocolate I tried previously. Something that my friend Tourguide Ted agrees with. Not terrible, but not stunning either, this gets 3.5 paws out of 5.

evaluation page
Chocolate evaluation profile

My Christmas haul

Christmas is over, and the January blues are sinking in. By now, most of us have broken our New Year’s resolutions, pay day is still a long ways away, the nights are long and cold, and Springtime is still just a glint in Mother Nature’s eye. On top of all that, we have Trump’s inauguration and the triggering of Article 50 to look forward to. So I would like to look back with fond memories to the many generous gifts and cards I received from my lovely Anipal friends on twitter- when all is going wrong, they are there to remind me that the world hasn’t quite gone to hell yet.

So please enjoy my slideshow, and thank you again to all my pals for making my Christmas very special. See if you can spot your card in there, and shout out in the comments if you do!

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The Chocolate Show

Today we have a special edition of #JezzerChecksChocs. Thanks to Zara Chocolates (and my twitter furiend and #Caykclub hostess Mogsbear who introduced me to them), I obtained free tickets to The Chocolate Show at the Olympia in London. Armed with knowledge on how to “taste” chocolate handed down to me by my other twitter furiend Honey Dog‘s mom, herself once a world travelling chocolate expert, I giddily skipped to Kensington (as much as I could skip on The Tube without get strange looks at any rate) and as a result here are some snaps from the day:

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Waiting outside in the rain
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First one inside!
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Lots of stalls
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Still quiet as I got in very early
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Duffy’s chocolates are bean to bar

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Best tree EVER
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Thank you Zara’s for inviting me!
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#chocolateroses selfie
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Nice hat

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Booze!
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Cumby!!
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Must taste the booze
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*bows*

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I’d date this stall
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Pigeons! (Just because)
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Sexy chocolate dresses
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Time to buy chocs!!

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Cocoa and sausage rolls!
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Mmmm… (not the bloke)

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I also enjoyed a lecture on the history of chocolate and how to “taste” chocolate like wine tasting. A great day out! So I guess the diet starts tomorrow *kicks jezzdad*.

Checkin’ Chocs for Jezzer.

A Jezzer Checks Chocs guest special!

Benni & Hicks & Chloe & Chantilly

Our awesome ted-mate and fellow blogger Jeremy Bear from Jezzer Checks Chocs has asked us to do a review of some choccie we came across the other day that isn’t available where he lives.   Needless to say my brother and I jumped at the chance to eat Chocolate in the name of helping a friend out!!

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The chocolate we’re reviewing for Jeremy is Cadbury’s Apple Crumble and Cadbury’s Lamington Chocolate Blocks…we had to force Mummy to go to two supermarkets for these as the Apple Crumble Block was only available through Coles and the Lamington was only available through Woolworths.

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We decided to give the Apple Crumble a try first.  Opening it up it sure looks good…smells okay too…our resident baker bear Benaud has stepped up to investigate this one closely.  We were expecting a bit more “bits” of apple crumble.

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The first bite…not too bad…but the second and a…

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Bear Beer Special 2016

It’s Olympics time again, and what better way to celebrate these feats of stamina, strength, athleticism and patriotism than with…. beer!! Let us all be inspired.

So first it’s time to find out if Ade Adepitan (paralympic athlete, TV presenter, journalist, world traveler and all round nice guy) likes chocolate:

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So there you go chaps. Depends on what type. I think you will agree that never have truer words been spoken. Thank you Ade.

1. The White Hag “Oatmeal Chocolate Milk Stout” 5.2%alc

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This was kindly given to me by Tourguide Ted at our last tweetup in Greenwich earlier this year. When I say given, I meant it had to be forced from his brofur Theo’s clutches, but eventually I won. The White Hag is an Irish brewery and is named after a witch/ creature/ Mother Nature (delete as appropriate) who shaped the form of the land and is present in everything through the water of the earth. I think the brewers need to stop inhaling the fumes of their own brewery.

This stout was very smooth and full-bodied, with no hint of smokiness. Couldn’t taste any chocolate though, so it loses a paw point. 3 paws out of 5

2. Austmann Sjokolade & Kirsebaer Porter (chocolate and cherry porter) 7.5% alc

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Austmann Brewery is a small Norwegian craft beer company based in Trondheim. My friend Camilla very kindly brought me a bottle on her last visit to London, and I have previously tried their “Three Old Ladies” pale ale and enjoyed it very much. That beer was named in honour of three ladies who financially backed the company when no banks were able to give them a loan! Cheers to that!! Stupid banks.

Austmann were recently at the Bryggeri beer festival and I am sure they made a great success there.

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Oh dear, all the label blurb is written in Norwegian. I may actually have to rely on my tastebuds *gulp*.

Words that come to mine as I sip this lovely porter are… smooth, well-balanced, tasty, strong, so very strong… did I mention it was 7.5%abv? I enjoyed this beer very much, but I think I might need a little lay down now… zzzzzzzz.  5 snoring beers out of 5

Jezzer’s Albums of the Year So Far (2016)

Slightly late this year. Coming in at number 5, pop pickers….

5. Michael Kiwanuka- “Love and Hate”

Only out for a week, this is a very good album with Marvin Gaye-esque soul and R&B influences. I was initially put off with its lead single “Black Man In A White World”, which suffered from the twin misfortunes of mediocrity and being played to death on national radio. However, give the album a chance and you’ll find some very strong song writing and great production. Unfortunately, I suspect Love and Hate is destined to be played only as backing music to middle-class dinner parties across suburbia, which is a shame.

4. Kendrick Lamar- “Untitled Unmastered”

Kendrick Lamar is a Californian rapper who is rightly causing established popular artists such as Kanye West some sleepless nights. This compilation of unreleased demos and outtakes is short and has some rough around the edges recordings (as is to be expected). However, seek out the diamonds in the rough, such as the almost jazzy number below, and you will be greatly rewarded.

3. David Bowie- “Blackstar”

What can I say that hasn’t already been said?

2. Bat For Lashes- “The Bride”

For me, Natasha Khan is way up there among artists such as Kate Bush, Bjork, Peter Gabriel and David Bowie, as a singer who’s creativity stretches beyond just the musical art form. Her latest album is (dare I say it) a concept album which follows the story of a bride who’s fiancé dies on the way to their wedding. That simple sentence hasn’t really sold it well, but listen to the album (as a whole) and a beautiful piece about love, loss and overcoming trauma will emerge. Really wonderful.

1. Radiohead- “A Moon Shaped Pool”

Continuing to march to beat of their own drum, Radiohead turn out an album of mainly ethereal ballads. In this humble bear’s opinion, beautifully constructed songs with lovely melodies that only reward the most patient listeners (as it should be). Interestingly, they have finally recorded a studio version of True Love Waits, a song that has been knocking around since the 90s, and which they use here as the closing track. Worth the wait.