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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How to Analyze, Score, and Review Whiskey

Review: 42 Below Vodka

By Christopher Null | March 26, 2008 |

What, is it sweet vodka week at 42 Below is New Zealand’s entry into the vodka world (the name refers to the latitude of the distillery), a sweetish spirit thrice distilled from “GE Free” wheat and “washed in spring water” until it hits 84 proof, then distilled once more. The result is a more…

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Review: Ecstasy Liqueur

By Christopher Null | March 25, 2008 |

The red bottle and fancy writing make Ecstasy instantly appealing… but what is this “liqueur” that’s bottled at a whopping 70 proof and includes caffeine? Clearly marketed at the Red Bull & Vodka crowd, Ecstasy is a spirit (basically diluted grain alcohol) for the LiLo/Paris/Britney crowd, spiked with caffeine, ginseng, taurine, and other stimulants designed…

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Review: Level Vodka

By Christopher Null | March 24, 2008 |

People who say there’s no difference among vodka brands should be directed posthaste to Level. It’s a gut-punching vodka, in a way you might not expect. Level (a product of the Absolut folks in Sweden, distilled from grain at 80 proof), is immediately pungent upon opening the bottle, strong and thick when served from the…

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Review: Chopin Vodka

By Christopher Null | March 21, 2008 |

You’re a famous 19th century composer. What are the odds that someone is going to take your good name and turn it into a vodka 150 years later? Well, someone did: Polmos Siedlce and Millennium Import, of Minneapolis, Minnesota. The connection is Poland, where Chopin lived and vodka was (allegedly) born. Chopin is a traditional…

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Tasting Report: Rhone Rangers 2008

By Christopher Null | March 18, 2008 |

One of the most exhausting and exhaustive wine events around, San Francisco’s “Rhone Rangers” celebration of Rhone-style wines (and only Rhone-style wines) was a huge hit last weekend. The only problem: With about 100 wineries in attendance, many pouring 6 or 8 wines at their tables, sampling even one wine from each winery is pretty…

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Review: Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale 25th Expedition

By Christopher Null | March 17, 2008 |

One doesn’t hear the term “barleywine” much outside of Tolkein novels, but Sierra Nevada is bringing us one here in 2008. Looks like a review is in order of this Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale, 25th Expedition. To clarify, barleywine is a styleof very strong ale noted for its high alcohol content (hence the “wine” moniker).…

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Review: Bushmills Black Bush Irish Whiskey

By Christopher Null | March 15, 2008 |

As promised, St. Patty’s got started a bit early here at Drinkhacker HQ, and here’s your review of Bushmills’ Black Bush bottling of its Irish whiskey. Black Bush is, like standard Bushmills, a blend of malt whiskey and (a bit of) Irish single grain whiskey to soften it. The real difference comes in the aging,…

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Review: Navan Vanilla Liqueur

By Christopher Null | March 14, 2008 |

Vanilla is an essential part of any good dessert, and it’s equally essential as part of any good dessert cocktail. (Check out how often I use Licor 43 in my dessert drink recipes if you don’t believe me.) The challenge is that there are very few vanilla-based spirits out there. The aforementioned Licor 43 is…

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Review: saké2me Sparkling Cocktails

By Christopher Null | March 14, 2008 |

My first challenge in this review is not how to describe what saké2me tastes like. It’s how to categorize it in this blog. saké2me is a blend of sake, natural flavors, and sparkling water. It comes in ready-to-drink bottles 187ml in size and weighs in at a beer-like 7% alcohol, comparable to malt liquor-based beverages…

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Review: Gordon Biersch Dunkelweizen (with Dan Gordon)

By Christopher Null | March 13, 2008 |

Dan Gordon (pictured), proprietor of Gordon Biersch, stopped by today with his latest brew, a real rarity in America (or anywhere else, for that matter). Dunkelweizen is a dark wheat beer. The brewing process is basically the same as Hefeweizen, but Dunkelweizen uses 40% dark malted wheat in the malt blend, along with 3% caramelized…

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