Review: Innis & Gunn

Visit Loreal on Twitter

This brew was born in Edinburgh, Scotland with the highest quality in mind. The malt, hops, and maturation process is so unique that it takes 77 days in Bourbon Casks to ensure their unique taste is created, gaining their reputation as the finest “oak aged beer.”

InnisAndGunnLager

Innis & Gunn have 8 beers on the market but the one that really stands out is their original recipe. The Innis & Gunn original has an extremely smooth finish with hints of toffee and caramel from start to end without that awful bitter spot on the swallow. If you aren’t a lover of sweets, don’t be deterred as the beer has a continuous oak atmosphere that balances out any thought of sugar. The brew is actually a perfect blend of dark (from the roasted malts) to the light (super Styrian hops) that combine to make a lasting effect.

If drinking Innis & Gunn at home, pour the beer masterfully tilted into the pint glass while letting the liquid slowly seep out. The pint glass must be held slightly slanted, as well, during the process. When the beer has about a quarter left to go to the top, abruptly turn the pint glass upright so the beer finishes off with a creamy, thick head. If ordering this beer at the bar, make sure the bartender follows the above steps for the best results.

This original recipe is a beer that you would drink casually at the bar or pair with a good quality burger or juicy steak. The oak and toffee in the brew pair extremely well with a red meat or even better, on its own.

If you see Innis & Gunn at your local supermarket be sure to make
a grab for it as it’s brewed in small batches to ensure the best quality and meets the master brewer’s premium standards.

The Facts:
Brewer: Innis and Gunn
Brewed In: Edinburgh, Scotland
ABV: 6.6%

Review: Gem Amber Ale

Visit Loreal on Twitter

England is a very old country where a city called Bath, in the south part, is known for being one of the country’s oldest villages. This makes the beer they produce in this region stand out as being brewed with a high level of skill and passion that has been perfected over centuries of practice. Bath produces a premium line of ales with the Gem Amber Ale being a knockout contender

Gem-Amber-Ale

Gem has a dark, auburn color with a slight hint of carbonation making the foam of the beer handsomely stick to the sides of the pint glass when taking a sip. The brew inhabits a tasty, malty embodiment in the mouth that washes down with a slightly bitter ending. Malt are what make a beer sweet without the tackiness of a sugar like you would get from a piece of candy. While having such an easy, smooth drink, the punch at the end really wakes your taste buds up that satisfies all of your cravings for a fully-rounded experience. Gem is a rare find that expertly balances a blend between the sweet and bitter perfectly.

When you find this ale in a bottle in your local supermarket, make sure to pour it into a pint glass for the best result on taste and appearance. When pairing it with your favorite dishes, Gem pairs perfectly with strong cheeses, spicy pizzas, and barbeque fresh from the flames. The label is somewhat unattractive but the high level of skill that went into imagining this perfect recipe makes up in miles that one small set back.

The Facts:
Brewer: Bath Ales
Brewed In: Warmley, UK
ABV: 4.8%

The News that Mattered From MBNY Fashion Week



The biggest news overall was the surprise reveal, and consequent release of 9k pairs of Adidas Yeezy Boost 750 in the New York City area. Ye stole the show as this much anticipated announcement affected the Fashion, Music, and Sneaker worlds alike, love the shoe or not, it is definitely going to bring Adidas a new revenue source. Yeezy is really a marketing genius; dude was at every event possible, in his new signature shoe. He even went to a release and had a photo op of himself lacing youngster’s kicks up. Guerrilla marketing at its finest here, Ye was everywhere, and we were never there.

In other surprise news from Fashion Week, the long lost brand from Ralph Lauren, Polo Sport, is making a return to market this year for Fall. Surprisingly, Polo Sport will replace Polo Golf, and run alongside RLX. I’m not sure if that’s permanent, or if maybe the style of clothing for RLX will soon try to rival North Face/Patagonia, and Polo Sport will be a kind of “tweener/hybrid” line, only time will tell. I’m really looking forward to seeing what this shake up will bring us from Polo Sport and RLX respectively. Is Polo Sport going to be revamped, or will old logos, patches, and styles be used? How is the neck tag going to look? Will we get some Polo Sport Polo Bear action? So far just speculation as a full look book is not available, but STAY TUNED as we will break the news with pics as soon as we see more specifics from the Polo Sport line. Currently we only have a few pics of pieces courtesy of Ralph Lauren/GQ, but it’s exciting to see a favorite brand of mine resurrected; it’s almost like when Family Guy came back from the dead. See the slideshow below for a glance at the new Polo Sport, and leave any comments below!

The Best 3.5 Hours of TV, Ever

The Best 3.5 Hours of TV, Ever
The Good & Bad from SNL@40

Last Sunday night proved to be almost as star studded of an event as the Oscars, but this wasn’t LA; bitterly cold New York City brought out the stars and Saturday Night Live alumnus alike, for the comedy’s 40th Anniversary Special. The show itself was great, I laughed out loud so many times during the old sketches and commercials, as well as the new sketches specifically for the special. The guest spots and musical guests were awesome (mostly, *cough* why Miley Cyrus though? *cough*), and the alumni other than Eddie Murphy, genuinely looked like they were having fun during the show.

The Good:

Well, when we get to see a NEW Jeopardy sketch, we’re all winners. Ferrell, MacDonald, Hammond kill it. There were careful mispronunciations (Sean Connery turns “Who Reads” category to “Whore Ads”) and Trebek’s mother jokes. The return of Turd Ferguson aka Burt Reynolds, to the Jeopardy stage was another highlight, however there is some controversy over who appeared in the Cosby Video Daily Double of the sketch, and I’ll get to that later.

The Californians, is a modern sketch that I personally liked. The Sketch mocks the accent, everyone being a blonde, the proud feeling Californian’s get when they know how to avoid traffic, and soap opera’s/reality dramas. Great guest spots from Bradley Cooper and Betty White, but Taylor Swift was horrible and should stick to…whatever it is she does as she almost tanked the sketch. Even David Spade made quick use of a guest spot at the end of the sketch.

The monologue by Steve Martin, where he is joined on the stage by just about everyone including Peyton Manning, was a great way to showcase Martin’s talents. Martin Short attempted a similar monologue with the help of Beyonce (Maya Rudolph), but it just didn’t hold a candle to the smug performance Steve Martin throws out there.

Pretaped winners: the Sandberg/Sandler collab video was alright, “Deep Thoughts with Jack Handy” is always a plus, “Mom Jeans” and “Super Colon Blow” were fun throwbacks, and Phil Hartman was then able to appear via old sketches.

Great short appearances by Bill Murray singing a rendition of the “Jaws” theme song as Nick Ocean, Adam Sandler as Operaman was fun, Tim Meadows self deprecating humor from the audience was hilarious and backhanded at the same time. And we even got a Jerry Seinfeld/Larry David reunion on live TV. Hell, even Joe Piscapo sang a little ditty as Frank Sinatra. The intro of Chevy Chase, by the past anchors of Weekend Update, was better than Heavy, uhm…I mean, Chevy Chase’s appearance. Norm Macdonald stole the show with one line, “We are just merely utility infielders…” while standing with Colin Quinn, Kevin Nealon, and Seth Myers, as he was introducing Chevy Chase.

The Bad:

Weekend Update was horrible, the lady anchors should’ve been unused, and instead let Macdonald, Myers, Quinn and Nealon go at it on the anchor desk. I always thought the Rosana character that Emma Stone impersonated was a regional, not really that funny of a character from the 70s era (sorry not a Gilda Fan), and Melissa McCarthy was just bad as Chris Farley. The only positive of this sketch was Ed Norton as “Stefan.”

The Jon Lovitz being dead running joke was pretty lame, I don’t know if it was an homage to the Beatles because Sir Paul was onset or what, but it wasn’t that good.

The Wayne’s World sketch was nostalgic, but still bad and full of catch phrases, the only highlight was telling Kanye West to remain seated numerous times.

Eddie Murphy and Chevy Chase both looked super reluctant to be there, and that is kind of sad that neither can show humility at this stage in their lives; but we’ll talk Murphy specifically and here’s where the controversy comes into play. Norm Macdonald’s twitter account went crazy Thursday morning with a full blow by blow story as to how some sketches came to be before the live show. Apparently, Murphy was supposed to play Bill Cosby in the Jeopardy sketch during the taped Daily Double. Well, Murphy’s excuse, via Macdonald’s twitter acct was, ‘I can’t kick a man when he’s down,’ referring to Cosby. Well that would normally be commendable; however, Murphy’s 20 second appearance was lackluster at best. In fact, Chris Rock’s introduction, and buildup of Murphy, was about 6 minutes longer than Murphy’s appearance. Murphy said the same quote almost identically 2x (once on stage, and once during the red carpet show beforehand) ‘the stage is SO small, this is like going back to high school.’ Eddie, are you too big of a deal to show us some humor? We wanted the 20 yr old “Delirious” Eddie Murphy, not the 50 yr old Eddie from “Daddy Daycare.” I feel like Norm was trying to cover for Eddie, as I’m sure like many comedians, he holds Murphy in a high regard, but with Murphy talking how ‘small’ everything is, I just feel like Eddie Murphy thought he was above this event, maybe he’ll change his mind in 10 years for SNL@50?

All in all, this was probably the best 3.5 hour block of television ever in the history of man. So many comedy, Hollywood, music, and Sports stars, it was a non stop cavalcade of hilarity. The worst part about the show was that it was live DURING the NBA All Star Game, in the same city no less. There were breakouts and duds, great writing that spanned basically 3 generations, and surprises all night. If you chose this show over the All Star Game, or you DVR’d SNL to watch later, you were rewarded with some of the best TV has to offer, and I for one, can not wait for SNL@50.

Review: Okell’s IPA

Visit Loreal on Twitter

Ever heard of the Isle of Man? They are well known for the Isle of Man TT where motorcyclists race for their lives around the island in a couple of minutes. They are also known for their excellent lagers and ales from the Okell’s Brewery, which creates some of the tastiest beers in Europe. Even though the population of the island is only 86,000 people, that didn’t stop the brewery from becoming an international success.

okells-ipa

The beer is light in color with a lovely, pale crisp hue. At first taste, the hops are the most prevalent feature as the brew slowly tickles down the throat. Hops in a beer are the main concept to give the brew its flavouring and stability. To have a beer that maintains a strong hops flavoring is incredibly impressive as Okell’s demonstrates with its India Pale Ale (IPA). To balance off the hops taste, hints of spicy lemon and a background sweetness round off the incredible full-bodied flavor.
If you have ever walked through a brewery, any brewery at all, and inhaled the aroma lingering around the boilers with a smile on your face and a motivation for the tasting rooms to get your hands on the beer, then Okell’s IPA is for you. It tastes exactly like the lovely hops in the boilers smell. The beer also pairs extremely well with any deep-fried dish, especially french fries (the thicker, fuller ones). This is definitely a beer to have at the bar or at home when around a bunch of friends, as they say, “the more the merrier!”

The Facts:
Brewer: Okell’s
Brewed In: Kewaigue, UK

The Store is NOW OPEN!

shopopenOur store is now open, and we have products from t shirts to jackets and accessories loaded for you to review and purchase, using credit card or Paypal. We are featuring brands such as Polo, Polo Sport, Tommy Hilfiger, Nautica, Burberry, Champion, Starter, The North Face, Patagonia, Nike, and so many more, so make sure to take a look at our current inventory. The inventory is ever changing, and we are always adding new items.

polo-item1Freshemporium strives to find the most fly in vintage menswear and sportswear. We ship fast, always provide tracking, all measurements are listed with each item, and we do offer international shipping. Our customers always receive an email receipt upon purchase, as well as an email at the time of shipment with tracking information. We want to bring our guests and customers the most professional experience as possible; so if there ever is a question or problem you have, either before or after a purchase, make sure to email us because our customers make our business, and we want you happy.

In the very near future we are going to add new sneakers from: Nike, Reebok, New Balance, Asics, and Adidas, as well as sportswear from Mitchell & Ness. Make sure to check back with us if you don’t find anything you’re looking for on your first glance at the store, as we will add items to the shop 2-3 times a week.

Thank you all for your support as the growing pains were worked out, enjoy & salute! Make sure to Like us on Facebook, and follow on Instagram & Twitter!

Baird-Ishii-Stone Brewing Co. Japanese Green Tea IPA

Green-Tea-IPA

As an avid IPA fan, I was a little nervous when I read “Green Tea,” on the label of this beer. I thought about it though, and remembered the green tea/citrus drink from Lipton I’ve had, and thought, “You know, this could work.” Bought a 1Pint 6oz bottle for $7.59, once poured, it’s a nice light gold, almost honey colored brew, thick head on the pour, and you can see what looks like small chunks of hops floating in the beer. First sniff, reveals a fruity, tropical and citrus scent.

Upon tasting, the fireworks went off, this is probably my favorite IPA I’ve EVER had, totally floored…this is where the rest of the review becomes totally biased. The citrus and tropical aromas from the hops are definitely present at first taste. Very light and goes down super smooth for a brew featuring 10.1% ABV, totally masked by the masterful brewing. The whole green leaf tea used in the beer is what I think gives the dry ending to the taste, which is good, as it reminds me of sipping a good champagne. It’s pretty amazing to have these drastic of flavors across the palate, even more amazing that from sweet to dry works so well for a full, but smooth taste. I really can’t say enough about this IPA, except that you NEED to try it. Here’s the downside, it is NOT available in all 50 states, and only available in select international locales, so check: stonebrewing.com for availability. Cheers, and Salute!

The Facts:
Name: Japanese Green Tea IPA
Brewer: Baird/Ishii/Stone Brewing Co Collaboration
Brewed in: Escondido,California USA
ABV: 10.1%
Cost: $7.59 +tax for a Pint+
Personal Rating: 9.95 of 10

Review: Lupe Fiasco – Tetsuo and Youth

Lupe Fiasco – Tetsuo and Youth

Lupe Fiasco – Tetsuo and Youth
Copyright Shady Records
Release Date: January 20, 2015

Fire Factor: fire-rating fire-rating fire-rating fire-rating fire-rating

Whoa. Just finished listening to this album beginning to end, again. My head hurts. It’s like drinking concentrated hip hop. Seriously, there should be prerequisites to listening to a Lupe album… like a master’s degree, 5 years on a street corner, and 3 full passports. Hyper-intelligent, concise, and masterful describe the lyrics alone. Musically, I’m glad Lupe took a step back from the weirdness he’s been on the last couple albums. Not to take anything away from them, they were good in their own right. This album just had a throwback Lupe flavor to it in regards to the sound. Maybe the experimentation phase is over and Lupe reverted back to what works? We’ll see what the future holds for Lupe Fiasco. As usual, the core of Lupe’s music is to deliver a positive, uplifting, message. This album doesn’t disappoint in that regard. His wordsmithing, while at times complex, is very clear, to the point and relatively easy to digest if you just listen. Yes, as I mentioned, it is intelligent, but never makes you feel stupid. It’s refreshing to hear, and in some respects, a little more mature than his previous albums. That is to be expected, right? When you have an artist that you’ve followed since the first album you kind of expect a degree of maturity with each album. Lupe was different. The first couple of albums seemed hip hop enough and almost predictable. Then he kind of broke off on a weird, experimental, tangent. Lyrically it felt mostly the same but the music had you kind of questioning where he was going, and not in a good way. At least with this album it felt like he wanted to go back to the sound his fans appreciate. Mural was a solid opening into welcoming those fans back…
Best track: Mural

The second track on the album, Mural, will break your rewind button. So will Prisoner 1 & 2, but Mural, was a welcoming back to his OG fans for sure. As a matter of fact, pretty much every track has that bar that makes you go, “what the fuck did I just hear?” I strongly advise using genius.com’s annotations to fully appreciate the album. Back to Mural though… 8 minutes, no hook. That should tell you enough right there. The intro to the song was a little long but as soon as Lupe started it was fantastic. Here’s a sample…

Uhhh! Ain’t nothin’ to it but to do it
Unless you Virgin Mary, nothin’ do it but the truest
Believe all that, unless you Jewish
Life is not a dictionary, it’s a thesaurus
And I feel like a missionary to a clitoris
The water bearer heir of traditions that I swear to never change
My chair position or conditions of my porridge
Submission for sedition against the religion of a chorus
Keep them golden weave thieves out the mothafuckin’ forest
As I perform a nerve storm
I prefer my pictures in word form
Bury the hatchet like how a bird born
As I paint cold pictures like Kool-Aid facing condensation
Having conversations with flavorful combinations
Slave to my concentration
So that’s OJ da Juiceman meets OJ with two hands
And two gloves, that’s too snug
To judge who was, who drew blood

I can’t find a bad track on the album. Mediocre…maybe Chopper. I say that only because it seems a tad out of place. Still though, that Dark Street track has a message. Besides, I can’t remember the last time I heard anyone from Psychodrama on album besides anything by Twista. At its worst (which might be the interludes), it’s still enjoyable to listen to. I mean really, I haven’t heard something so well put together since maybe Kendrick Lamar’s, ‘good kid, m.A.A.d. city.’ The musical selection compliments the lyrical wordplay across the board and at no point did this album disappoint. Seriously, I’m not a musical dickrider, but I can’t find any faults with this album. It was an absolute pleasure to listen to and is definitely a must-cop for anyone with any musical preference. It doesn’t have the sound of any other Lupe album to date. And, as good as it is, Food and Liquor is still the best album of his to date. Compared to the 2014 hip hop offerings we’ve had, Run the Jewels 2 is the only album I would say is on this level.

The REAL All Star Game is between the Sneaker BIG 3

Well, The NBA All Star Game is over, the West won, Westbrook was the MVP, cool. The weekend came and went, but one battle was going months ahead of time, the battle for your money between Nike/Jordan, Reebok, and Adidas. We wrote up the Constellation pack last week, the Jordan Laser offerings were obviously a hit with most of you, the Adidas Lillard and Wall Signatures were bland to say the least, and we all have differing opinions on the Yeezy 750 Boost. One brand stood out from the rest in my opinion, Reebok really stole the show with their collaboration packs with Packer/Sneakerstuff and Stance for the Token38 Pack.

Nike 2015 Constellation sneakers

adidas-sneakers

adidas-sneakers2

The reason I’m handing the crown to Reebok, well, their collection of collabs was the opposite of bland, there was color, and a range of materials used to make these shoes. The best part, there was no theme used across the board as with the other all star releases. I get bored when every shoe looks the same, other than their silhouette. I mean seriously, Jordan Brand released the AJ1, AJ4, AJ20 all looking the exact same other than their overall design silhouette? You couldn’t just release one or two this weekend and then release the 3rd retro later this year? The money grab is strong lately, I get the feeling Jordan Brand knows a lot of people are tired of their releases and are jumping ship into other brands as well as other shoe types i.e. runners/casual etc. Releases seem to be coming fast and furious out of JB, but when I see a company do what Reebok did, basically saying “Fck You!” to the typical all star formula (pick a theme/scheme and color all your shoes that way, then release them as all star shoes even though they won’t be on court ala AF1 and Nike CMFT Dunk) and do something totally different to honor past Reebok All Star players and their respective kicks, that’s that shit…and it deserves to be noted, applauded, and given a closer look, and definitely a wide general release.

We’ll start with the fact that each pair of shoes in the collection comes with a matching pair of Stance socks, added value is rare in the sneaker world anymore. The Sneakerstuff x Reebok Pump Fury, taking color cues from the home Knickerbockers, is the first shoe in the pack we will cover. I’m not a Pump Fury guy at all, so these were probably the least interesting to me, maybe Knicks fans will dig em? I can get down with the block style coloring chosen, giving the shoe a retro feel, but as a lifelong Bulls fan, I don’t do Knicks CWs, period.

NYC-Reebok-Pump-Fury
Pump Fury – Image Source: Token38.com

Reebok did give basketball Sneakerheads some heat though with the Token38 Pack, the Question Mid “MSG”, and “A Shoe about Crocus,” stole the show in this pack. The MSG features an all black upper with purple accents, and the ‘Crocus’ uses a tiffany like teal and royal purple, both shoes look as though the materials used are nothing short of premium from the HD pics I’ve seen. I wish I lived in NY because I wanted BOTH of these pairs.

Image Source: Token38.com
Question MSG – Image Source: Token38.com
Image Source: Token38.com
Question A Shoe About Crocus – Image Source: Token38.com

Three Kamikaze II’s are in this pack, including a PE, and a Reissue. Super heat continues here as the “Remember the Alamo” ‘Kaze II by Packer steals the show, I wanted these last year, so to see them again, makes me even more upset that this pack wasn’t a general release. Other than the reissue Alamo All Star, we also have the Reebok Token38 Kamikaze II PE, which features White/Black/Purple upper, and Token 38 branding on the ankle support. Raw shoe…real clean, quality pigskin used on the upper leather, just pure and unadulterated freshness. The last Kamikaze II in the set is the version by Sneakerstuff. This ‘Kaze, again featuring premium materials, is mainly a white upper with black 3M accents (gray when flashed), to represent the saying, “Ashy to Classy.” By the way, Ashy Larry, please don’t sue us.

Reebok-Kamikaze-II-Token-38-PE
Token 38 Kamikaze II P.E. Image Source: Token38.com
Reebok-Kamikaze-II-Token-38-Brooklyn
SNS Kamikaze II Brooklyn – Image Source: Token38.com

The final kick in the kit is the Packer Shoes x Reebok Shaq Attaq Token38. Pretty clean; of all the kicks in this pack this particular pair looks most like a general release shoe that could’ve dropped in the 90s. I’m sure up close, there are a lot of features I’m missing with simple pictures, but I know premium pigskins were again used to comprise the upper, and these were basically a reinterpretation of a general release, featuring an inverse of this colorway. Again, Token38 branding is featured, but less prominently on this shoe (behind the tongue).

Packer-Shoes-x-Reebok-Shaq-Attaq-Token-38-The-Neon
Packer Shoes Shaq Attaq – Image Source: Token38.com

I’m sure you’ve by now seen all the All Star shoes by now, but I think Reebok/Sneakerstuff/Packer, won the battle this year with the Token38 Pack, in terms of originality, and quality.

#Pileofkit Highlights for January

We created the #pileofkit hashtag for people to show what they are rocking on instagram. This is our showcase of our readers, followers, and anyone who wants to show the world their style. Show us what you got and we can feature you in February, once we get more response and tags, this will occur twice a month, so tell your friends, and keep tagging!

 

mrfreshkicks pile of kit
@mrfreshkicks rocking Maize AJ7s, Hilfiger sailing gear vest with a Hilfiger belt, hat, and sweater to round out the kid. Saltue!
tharealflyty pileofkit
@therealflyty in his everyday gear, Polo head to toe, with the Playoff AJ8, and he even has the equestrian scarf. Too dope.
willmatic23 pileofkit
@willmatic23 in the Columbia AJ11, HUF socks, vintage Nike sweater. Fresh.
apompey137 pileofkit
@apompey137 rocking the Ralph Lauren flannel, with leggings and boots (#pileofkit isn’t just for men).
mr_sneakerjunkie pileofkit
@mr_sneakerjunkie in the AJ4 Thunder, Polo Sport mountain patch jacket, Stance socks.

Give everyone a follow on instagram, start tagging #pileofkit for a chance to be featured next month, and thank you to all that are tagging!