Reviews

Reviews of spirits, wine, and beer (and various errata like mixers and garnishes) comprise more than 80% of the content at Drinkhacker, and here you’ll find the entire Drinkhacker review archive in one place. Products are rated on a letter-grade scale that should be familiar to most, with F as our lowest, “failing” grade and the very rare A+ as our top score.

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Notes on Grading
How to Analyze, Score, and Review Whiskey

Review: Rhum Barbancourt 8 Years Old

By Christopher Null | November 13, 2021 |

Following up on our review of Haiti-based Rhum Barbancourt’s 15 Years Old expression, we push downmarket a bit into a more readily available bottling, Barbancourt 8 Years Old, also known as Rhum Barbancourt Reserve Speciale 5 Stars. As with all Barbancourt expressions, this is an agricole-style rum made from fresh sugar cane juice (not molasses),…

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Review: Drinks by the Dram Whisky Advent Calendar 2021

By Christopher Null | November 12, 2021 |

November is upon us, which means holiday shopping will soon follow. For the spirits enthusiast in your family, consider an early present in the form of an advent calendar: 12 or 24 30ml mini bottles that can be consumed, one each day, leading up to Christmas. Drinks by the Dram was nice enough to send…

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Review: One Eight Distilling District Made Single Barrel Cask Strength Bourbon

By Drew Beard | November 12, 2021 |

Last year, Washington D.C.’s One Eight Distilling released their first ever single barrel under their in-house District Made label, an impressive cask strength rye whiskey. What makes sense for a sequel? You guessed it. A cask strength, single barrel bourbon. This bottle hit the distillery’s gift shop shelves back in September, but the One Eight…

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Review: Virginia Distillery Co. Courage & Conviction Cuvee Single Cask

By Drew Beard | November 11, 2021 |

Over the summer, Virginia Distillery Co. added three new offerings to their line of Courage & Conviction single malts, each drawn from stocks used in the core Courage & Conviction blend. If that wasn’t evidence enough that the distillery has really ramped up their single malt production, we now have the latest bottling: Courage &…

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Review: Damrak Virgin Non-Alcoholic Gin

By Robert Lublin | November 11, 2021 |

When is a gin not a gin? Try this one, a non-alcoholic offering from Damrak. We tried Damrak’s standard, Amsterdam-based gin in 2018 and enjoyed its citrus-heavy palate. Damrak Virgin is distilled from 10 (different) botanicals, including Valencia and Curacao orange peels, juniper, ginger, lavender, cinnamon, and lemon peel — before the alcohol is stripped…

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Review: Smooth Ambler Old Scout Single Barrel Rye and Port Cask Finish Rye

By Drew Beard | November 11, 2021 |

Earlier this month, we reviewed the reborn Old Scout Single Barrel Bourbon, which died an untimely death, along with the standard Old Scout Bourbon, when the distillery ran out of sourced MGP stock in 2016. That wasn’t the only casualty of Smooth Ambler’s shortage. There was also an Old Scout Rye (MGP’s beloved 95/5 mashbill)…

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Review: Smith-Madrone 2017 Riesling and 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon

By Christopher Null | November 10, 2021 |

Two new releases from our friends at Smith-Madrone, situated in the rugged Spring Mountain District in Napa Valley. 2017 Smith-Madrone Riesling Spring Mountain District – Bright and semi-sweet, this wine shows off layers of honey, floral notes, and a gentle current of citrus, propping up a healthy acidity on the finish. The conclusion evokes apricot…

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Review: Nashville Barrel Co. Single Barrel Rye, Bourbon, and Rum

By Drew Beard | November 10, 2021 |

Earlier this year, David introduced you to Nashville Barrel Co., a new, non-distilling producer based out of Nashville’s Railyard District that offers an impressive portfolio of single barrel whiskeys and rum, as well as a small batch rye, the second batch of which thoroughly impressed us over at Drinkhacker HQ. In addition to their own…

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Review: 2019 Echolands Cabernet Franc

By Anine Myrhagen Ward | November 9, 2021 |

The Walla Walla AVA encompasses both Oregon and Washington wineries, where the days are warm and sunny and the nights are cool. Overall, this climate is a great recipe for grape growing. Cabernet franc is a finicky grape and can show itself quite differently depending on the climate in which it is cultivated, vineyard sites,…

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Review: Compass Box Artist Blend, Glasgow Blend, and Orchard House (2021)

By Christopher Null | November 9, 2021 |

Compass Box never seems to slow down its efforts, and when it’s not releasing new spirits, it’s revamping old ones. The Great King Street collection dropped between 2011 and 2014, launched to celebrate the preferred whisky styles of the people of Edinburgh and Glasgow (at least according to a book published in 1930). In 2021,…

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