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: Manana Tequila, Complete Lineup

By Christopher Null | February 10, 2011 |

Mañana, of course, means tomorrow in Spanish. Maybe the name foreshadows a simple reality that you should wait to buy the stuff. (You certainly won’t miss those brightly colored bottles, though, each featuring a tiny metal sculpture of a man in a hammock, which swings back and forth inside a recessed portion of each bottle.…

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Review: Early Times Kentucky Whisky and 354 Bourbon

By Christopher Null | February 9, 2011 |

Early Times is one of the biggest names in inexpensive whiskey… and now it’s trying to creep upmarket. Today we look at the (only) ET that’s been on sale since the 1980s, and the new Early Times 354 Bourbon, which debuts this month. Early Times Kentucky Whisky – Note carefully, it’s not “Bourbon.” It’s “Kentucky…

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Pisco 101 with Duggan McDonnell

By Christopher Null | February 8, 2011 |

I can safely say now that I know more about Pisco than I ever thought I would. More than I ever thought there was to know, actually. And yet, I’m still little more than a novice. Pisco is, put simply, unaged, grape-based brandy from Peru (or Chile, which we’ll discuss later). Peru puts strict controls…

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Review: 2009 Imagery Estate Winery White Burgundy North Coast

By Christopher Null | February 8, 2011 |

A rarity for California: A white blend inspired by French wines. Imagery’s “White Burgundy” is a blend of Chardonnay (of course), plus Pinot Blanc and a bit of Pinot Meunier, a typical grape used in the wines of Champagne. The result is, well, mostly Chardonnay-like, buttery and oaky, but not overdone. There is a certain…

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Review: Sliz Cups

By Christopher Null | February 7, 2011 |

This is the first and likely the last review of a plastic cup to appear on Drinkhacker, for reasons that should already be obvious. The idea behind the vessel is, in the company’s words: “Sliz cups are a new drinking product designed to eliminate the cringe between taking the shot and reaching for the chaser.”…

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Review: Canadian Club Reserve 10 Years Old

By Christopher Null | February 6, 2011 |

The 10-year-old version of this workhorse Canadian whisky (various expressions of which we’ve reviewed several times, see links below), offers a lot to like in an unassuming, easygoing package. A rush of raw alcohol on the nose (let it breathe for a few minutes before diving in to help matters) portends little good, but once…

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Review: High West Double Rye!

By Christopher Null | February 5, 2011 |

There is indeed an exclamation point in the official name of High West Whiskey’s latest, cryptic release. I’m not sure how Utah-based High West manages to mix cowboy imagery and metaphors with next-gen, experimental spirit-making technology, but somehow it does. The company now has about a dozen liquors, mostly whiskey, and we’ve gotten our hands…

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Review: Averna Amaro

By Christopher Null | February 4, 2011 |

More bitter stuff, this time the classic amaro (the Italian term for bittersweet digestifs) Averna. Like Cynar, Averna has been a mixology staple for a few years now, though it originated in 1868. Hailing from Sicily, Averna is sweeter than most of its compadres, striking a pleasant balance between bitter and sugary. The body is…

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Review: Latvijas Balzams Riga Black Balsam

By Christopher Null | February 3, 2011 |

Bitter spirits week (month? there’s no end in sight, really…) continues here at Drinkhacker with an obscurity: Riga Black Balsam, a Latvian liqueur made by Latvijas Balzams. “Black” is an understatement. Black Balsam pours with the opacity and color of dark coffee, and it isn’t out of line to suggest there are similarities in the…

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Review: Exclusiv Vodka

By Christopher Null | February 2, 2011 |

Can you find Moldova on a map? (Hint, it is neither an island nor part of what was Yugoslavia.) Never you mind, sir, for the vodka made there, Exclusiv, is imported to our shores. Distilled from wheat, this is simple, Old World vodka without a lot of fuss. Intensely medicinal on the nose, it offers…

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