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: Jose Cuervo Especial Plata Tequila

By Christopher Null | April 18, 2009 |

Cuervo’s latest doesn’t stray far from its profitable core: Jose Cuervo Especial is a mixto tequila (meaning it’s over half blue agave and the rest neutral grain spirits) and unaged. The results should surprise no one: Especial is a crystal clear and clean spirit, (it’s also known as simply “Cuervo Silver,” although it doesn’t actually…

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Review: Ron Abuelo 12 Anos

By Christopher Null | April 17, 2009 |

12 years is a lot to ask for a rum. Well, some rums handle that kind of time without complaint. Some end up begging for mercy. When last we visited Ron Abuelo I was gushing over the Panamanian rum company’s seven-year old expression, and I stand by that. Tasting it fresh today, it’s still delicious,…

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Review: Zuvo Water Purifier

By Christopher Null | April 17, 2009 |

By now everyone knows how terrible bottled water is, environmentally speaking, churning out 18 godzillion pounds of trashed plastic bottles and belching 430 quadrazillion tons of greenhouse gas into the air as bottles are shipped around the world. But what if your tap water tastes like crap? Then what are you supposed to do? Purifiers…

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Review: Warre’s Otima Tawny Port 10 Years Old and 20 Years Old (2009)

By Christopher Null | April 16, 2009 |

Eschewing traditional design — those white-stenciled bottles look cool but they’re certainly not “modern” — for a more contemporary approach, Warre’s Otima line aims to “change the perception of Port” through new packaging. What’s inside the bottles is different too, a tawny Port with a lighter structure that Warre positions as good for drinking any…

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Review: Smirnoff Tuscan Lemonade

By Christopher Null | April 16, 2009 |

Another entry into the growing market segment of ready-made cocktails, Smirnoff’s Tuscan Lemonade is a definite winner. This isn’t syrupy corn-syrup sludge and requires no doctoring out of the bottle. It’s Smirnoff vodka, limoncello, and lemon juice (and probably a smattering of other, unspecified natural flavors), and a touch of artifical color. The result: Far…

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Review: Three Olives Cherry and Grape Vodkas

By Christopher Null | April 15, 2009 |

The flavored vodka keeps pouring in to Drinkhacker HQ. Today we look at two from Three Olives (now trademarking the moniker “Three-O”) — practically classics that are widely available, Three Olives’ cherry and grape infusions. Both are transparent/uncolored, 70 proof, and blend natural flavors with “imported English vodka.” Three Olives Cherry Vodka – Big flavor…

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Review: Organic Spirits Lineup – Highland Harvest Scotch, Papagayo Rum, UK5 Vodka, and Juniper Green Gin

By Christopher Null | April 13, 2009 |

Organic everything — that’s the sell of Organic Spirits (aka Maison Jomere), which imports five different products, bottles them disconcertingly in the exact same cylindrical decanter, and puts on each a label emblazoned with the Royal Warrant of HRH Prince Charles. The Warrant is offered for placement on products which have been used for five…

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Review: Djabel and Green Fairy Absinthe

By Christopher Null | April 12, 2009 |

Admiral Imports, which is bringing the incredibly controversial (based on the comments on this review, at least) Koruna Absinthe to the U.S. market, isn’t just quitting with one. It’s also bringing these two absinthes — Djabel and Green Fairy, both also from the Czech Republic — to the States. I’m lumping these two reviews together…

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What Does a $20 Bloody Mary Look Like?

By Christopher Null | April 12, 2009 |

Like this. San Francisco’s Waterbar serves this $20 “Ultimate” Bloody Mary, which largely speaks for itself. The garnishes — bacon and two jumbo boiled shrimp — steal the show, but the Bloody itself is darn good, too. Belevedere Vodka — not my favorite on its own — works fine with this superb blend of tomato…

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Review: 2006 Brotte Chateauneuf-du-Pape

By Christopher Null | April 11, 2009 |

What an amazing disappointment this wine was, as Brotte has a solid reputation in the Rhone valley of France. Weedy, gamy, and redolent of Port-like character, I had immense trouble drinking Brotte’s Chateauneuf-du-Pape (primarily a grenache-based wine), either on its own or with a big, traditional French meal. Nothing could cut through this Chateauneuf’s funk.…

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