Mountain Dew Johnson City Gold

I tried Mountain Dew Johnson City Gold for the first time today. I wish I could say it was a new flavor that was coming, but it's actually from a couple years back (2012, I think). There was a regional test-market type release, accompanied by lots of hoopla about a big nationwide roll-out. And, that kind of just never happened. When I recently asked about Johnson City Gold on the Mountain Dew Facebook page, all they said was, "Try our other flavors!" Which, at this point, was more than I expected. I found a can on eBay (don't know if I would trust the plastic bottles to still be fizzy, but the can was fine).

It's a malt flavored soda, and that's kind of a hard sell on several fronts, so, I'm really not surprised that it didn't fly. Although, it would have been really nice if they'd at least done a nationwide limited time release like they did with Pitch Black. How was it? JCG is the best malt soda I've ever had, and by a long shot, though, that's still not saying much. Malt soda isn't that common in US mainstream markets, but the Mexican/Latin American market has several: Malta Hatuey, Malta Goya, Vita Malt. I've tried them, and they generally taste like carbonated breakfast cereal. I'm not a fan, so I wasn't really sure what to expect from JCG.

Johnson City Gold is actually quite different. It's got a light-bodied malt flavor, but it's also sweet, fruity, and citrusy, with a definite beer-like aftertaste (despite being non-alcoholic). It's light and refreshing, tasting a lot like a shandy. I think you might be able to approximate JCG by mixing regular Mountain Dew with a light lager. I can't really see this being a mainstream hit in the American market, though. So, I'm not surprised that they never rolled it out, just really disappointed that they never followed through with their nationwide campaign. I'd say it's even better than I expected it to be, though, and had it been available, I would have consumed quite a lot.

When all else fails, read the rules

On Saturday, I went to the volunteer training session for Dallas Games Marathon. After that, we had open gaming, so I got in a few more plays of Escape: The Curse of the Temple. Success continued to be elusive, to the point that we were wondering if it was even possible with the standard settings. One of the players was reading through the rulebook, and noticed a very critical element we'd totally failed to catch before: The gold mask can heal TWO black masks, so, while the odds were even between damage and healing, the healing was supposed to be twice as effective. Wow. That makes all the difference in the world. It's still a very challenging game, regardless, but we all made it out on our very next play.

Horror Movie Season!

Got a head start today on Horror Movie Season by watching Cabin in the Woods. Absolutely love that movie.

And, on a totally unrelated note, I tried Denny's maple bacon shake yesterday. Very good, if you like that sort of thing. It's amazing how well bacon goes with sweet stuff. Overall, I think the Denny's maple bacon shake was even better than the Jack in the Box bacon shake from earlier this year. Jack's shake was made with Torani bacon syrup and had no actual bacon, and I still thought it was pretty darned good. The Denny's shake has a heavy maple flavor, which is great, but also has tiny bits of bacon mixed in to give it a very genuine bacon flavor. Between the two, I'm giving the edge to Denny's.

Once more into the breach...

Though this blog has long lain fallow, that just means that it's rich and fertile and ready for new growth. So, here I go once again. I expect that I'll primarily be blogging about games and puzzles, but I'm sure I'll also mention lots of other things (not politics, though - I'm totally sick of politics right now).

November is only about a month away now, and that means (at least) two things: Board Game Geek Convention and the North Texas Mensa Regional Gathering. Couple that with the Dallas Games Marathon, which has been expanded to run from Thursday, Nov 8, through Tuesday, Nov 13, leading all the way up to BGG Con and that's a lot of gaming opportunity. Actually, from the 8th to the 25th, that leaves only three days without a gaming event. So, some crazy friends and I were thinking that we would have to do something to fill that three-day void. (Plans are still in the works.) But, while overkill is good, more overkill is better. So, the last time we got together for games, we decided that we would each play at least one game every day in November. Heck, that sounds like a worthy, if insane, goal.