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.

Top Reviews Posts:

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

Review: Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Select (2009)

By Christopher Null | January 2, 2009 |

Your excitement about getting a bottle of this “single barrel” whiskey may dim somewhat when you read the lengthy alphanumeric code identifying the barrel from which it came. In my case, I’m sampling barrel number 7-4229 from rick number L-35 (warehousing information). So, yes, it’s from a single barrel… but we’re talking about thousands of…

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Review: Old Rip Van Winkle Handmade Bourbon 15 Years Old

By Christopher Null | January 2, 2009 |

After enjoying — thoroughly — Pappy Van Winkle’s 20 and 23-year-old bourbons at WhiskyFest, I got ahold of some 15-year-old bourbon from the company. This is an older bottle of Old Rip Van Winkle — bottle number A5909 (not the exact one seen below, but the same style/branding) — and the brand has been repackaged…

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Review: Glen Moray 16 Years Old

By Christopher Null | January 1, 2009 |

A Speyside Scotch, aged 16 years and matured in old Chenin Blanc white wine barrels. This amber/copper Scotch is rich with flavor, a solid malt core backed up with lots of fruit. A big fruit salad in this one, with apples, bananas, and some cinnamon/clove spices to top it all off. Though just 80 proof,…

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Review: The Macallan Sherry Oak 18 Years Old (2009)

By Christopher Null | January 1, 2009 |

What a treat to try the distillery-bottled Macallan 18 Years Old after spending weeks with the Kirkland indie version. Here we see what Macallan had in mind — a honey and caramel-infused spirit with the lightest touch of smoke, layered with light fruit notes — apple and pear and a little citrus. The sherry wood…

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Review: Glenfiddich Solera Reserve 15 Years Old

By Christopher Null | January 1, 2009 |

This 15-year single malt is matured in the solera style in three different types of wood casks — sherry, bourbon, and new oak. Despite being bottled at 80 proof, it strangely comes off as hot. Even after adding a moderate amount of water, it’s still got some burn to it. There is sherry here and…

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Review: Johnnie Walker Green Label

By Christopher Null | December 31, 2008 |

For a long time Johnnie Walker Green Label was really hard to find — I ended up buying my bottle via mail order, then drinking very little of it. That all changed relatively recently: Now you can buy Green Label at Safeway. I set out to see what’s up with a good old-fashioned Green Label…

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Fee Brothers Old Fashion Bitters vs. Angostura Bitters

By Christopher Null | December 29, 2008 |

Artisanal bitters are all the rage these days, with no producer more hallowed than Fee Brothers. (I rely on their Orange Bitters religiously, so I’m a devotee.) But I’d never tried Fee’s “Old Fashion Aromatic” Bitters until recently. Angostura’s always worked for me, so why change? Well today I finally put Fee Old Fashion head…

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Review: Vicious Vodka

By Christopher Null | December 28, 2008 |

I had no idea how combative the idea of caffeinated spirits would be: Vicious Vodka claims to have originated the idea six years ago, fighting for months for government approval to add caffeine to booze. The company has a patent on its production process and remains a small, deeply devoted player in this market, with…

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Review: Sheep Dip and Pig’s Nose

By Christopher Null | December 27, 2008 |

Got samples of my two favorite-named Scotch whiskys, which are now becoming quite widely available in the U.S. market. How do they fare in tastings? Sheep Dip Malt Whiskey – This golden-colored, vatted malt is a blend of 16 single malt whiskys aged between 8 and 21 years, its name arising from British farmers’ slang for…

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Review: Noilly Prat Original Dry Vermouth – New Recipe 2009

By Christopher Null | December 26, 2008 |

People agonize over what brand gin or vodka to use in their martini, but precious little thought tends to go into the selection of vermouth. Today I’ve done something most would deem unthinkable: Drink vermouth straight. Why? Because Noilly Prat, the French maker of one of the world’s best-selling brands of vermouth, is changing its…

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