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: Fighting Cock Bourbon

By Christopher Null | February 26, 2009 |

One approaches a spirit called “Fighting Cock” with tempered expectations. The name does not suggest smoothness or elegance, but rather an old-school saloon bourbon that will probably encourage you to get into a situation in which you end up bleeding before the night is out. Fighting Cock is not as scary as it sounds —…

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Review: Springbank 21 Years Old

By Christopher Null | February 25, 2009 |

Dug up this old bottle at a friend’s house last night… one whiff and I knew I’d found something special. Springbank isn’t a big name in Scotch whisky in America, but if its younger (and less expensive) bottlings are anything like this one, it really deserves to be. Located in Campbeltown (on the little peninsula…

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Review: Clear Creek McCarthy’s Oregon Single Malt 3 Years Old

By Christopher Null | February 23, 2009 |

One sip — heck, one sniff — of McCarthy’s whiskey and you’d swear it was fresh off the boat from a foggy distillery on the shores of Islay instead of in Portland, Oregon. The only hint that you’re drinking something different is the pale gold color, a signal of a relatively short time in cask…

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Review: Amarula Marula Fruit Cream Liqueur

By Christopher Null | February 21, 2009 |

“This natural fruit cream is produced from fresh cream and the unique fruit of the marula tree.” That pretty much means nothing to me, but that’s not going to stop anyone from drinking Amarula, a cream liqueur that hails from South Africa. You can functionally replace Irish Cream in any drink with Amarula, but the…

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Review: Lagavulin Distillers Edition 2008 – Distilled 1992

By Christopher Null | February 20, 2009 |

Check out the Malts.com “Flavour Map” and look in the top right corner. Yep, that’s Lagavulin Distillers Edition, the whisky we’re drinking here, pegged to the limits of “smoky” and “rich.” There’s nothing subtle in Lagavulin’s 16-year-old special bottling (released in 2008), which is finished in Pedro Ximenez casks to finish off the whisky. This…

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Review: Double Cross Vodka (2009)

By Christopher Null | February 16, 2009 |

Nothing sinister about the name, I assure you. Double Cross refers two, well, two crosses, as seen on the label and on the coat of arms of Slovakia, the country from which this vodka hails. There are certainly other Slovak vodkas out there, but this is the only one I’ve tried to date. Distilled seven…

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Review: Fever-Tree Ginger Ale

By Christopher Null | February 15, 2009 |

Well known for its line of artisan mixers, Fever-Tree is definitely a brand to watch out for if you’re looking to elevate your simplest of cocktails (gin and tonic, scotch and soda, or whatnot) to something more impressive. After all, a tall gin & tonic is probably 70% tonic, depending on your glass, so the…

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Review: Canadian Club 30 Years Old

By Christopher Null | February 14, 2009 |

Celebrating 150 years of whiskymaking, Canadian Club recently put out a very limited edition 30-year-old bottling. With just 3000 bottles produced (there’s no mention of it on the Canadian Club website), finding it might be tough. But if you track it down, here’s what you should expect the experience to be like. Bright amber in…

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Review: Evan Williams Single Barrel Bourbon 1999 Vintage

By Christopher Null | February 13, 2009 |

While Evan Williams may be best known for it’s $9.49 black label bourbon, the fact is the company makes a wide range of whiskeys spanning a range of price levels. While not its most expensive concoction, this vintage-dated, single-barrel bourbon is near the top for the company, though at just $30 a bottle (sometimes less),…

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Review: Right Gin

By Christopher Null | February 12, 2009 |

Who knew they made gin in Sweden? Right Gin may in fact be the only gin from Sweden, but remember that gin is really just flavored vodka, which Sweden certainly knows from Adam. The flavor choices here are largely traditional — juniper, coriander, cardamom, and a variety of citrus botanicals (including lemon as well as…

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