Rated A-

Reviews of spirits, wine, and beer (and various errata like mixers and garnishes) comprise more than 80% of the content at Drinkhacker, and the A- rating is used for very good to exceptional products. On a five-star scale, these products would score 4 stars. On the traditional 100-point scale popular with many wine and spirits graders, these products would merit scores of 90 to 93 points.

Review: 2019 Barone Montalto Ammasso Rosso Sicilia DOC

By Christopher Null | September 18, 2023 |

Ammasso is a curious blend of Nero d’Avola, Nerello Mascalese, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon, all grown in Sicily in the vineyards of Vinicoltori Contalto. As hearty as any pure-Nero Sicilian wine you’ve probably encountered, this brooding bruiser takes its time to come into focus, letting dark fruit notes of overripe plum, currants, and dark chocolate…

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Review: The Balvenie Madeira Cask 15 Years Old and Pedro Ximenez Cask 18 Years Old

By Drew Beard | September 18, 2023 |

Earlier this year, we had the chance to review Balvenie’s new French Oak 16 Years Old aged in Pineaus des Charentes casks. That bottle is actually part of a trifecta of new cask-finished releases launched in the spring of 2022. Two others, a 15-year-old expression finished in Madeira wine casks and an 18-year-old expression finished…

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Jack Daniel's Bonded Rye Whiskey

Review: Jack Daniel’s Bonded Rye

By David Tao | September 17, 2023 |

It seems Jack Daniel’s is capitalizing on momentum after successful releases of their Bonded and Triple Mash whiskeys in 2022, both of which carried bottled-in-bond designations. While on a recent trip to their Lynchburg, Tennessee distillery, company reps told me both releases received better-than-expected responses from consumers and critics alike. Now, the Brown-Forman owned whiskey…

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Review: Ex Libris The Apprenticeship Canadian Whisky 1982

By Christopher Null | September 16, 2023 |

Our friends at La Maison & Velier have recently launched a new line of whiskies bottled under the Ex Libris banner. The concept is that Ex Libris will showcase whiskies from all of the world, each to be named after a key literary work from its country of origin. First out of the gate is a…

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Review: 2019 Planeta Eruzione 1614 Nerello Mascalese Sicilia DOC

By Christopher Null | September 15, 2023 |

Made from 100% Nerello Mascalese, this wine from our friends at Planeta presents with a bright, garnet color and a fruit-forward, spice-laced nose. Initially quite earthy on the palate, it takes some time to settle into its groove, letting notes of anise and blackberry slowly emerge, tempered by fruitier notes of spiced red raspberry but…

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Review: Distillery 291 E Series Wheated Bourbon Batch 12

By Monica Uhm | September 15, 2023 |

  Based in Colorado Springs, Distillery 291 has recently released Batch 12 of their ongoing E Series, which is their limited release offerings of experimental blends. This comes hot on the heels of the All Rye Colorado Whiskey which we recently reviewed (and have covered various other offerings across their portfolio over the years). Batch…

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Review: Franklin & Sons Sparkling Pink Grapefruit

By Christopher Null | September 14, 2023 |

The London company may have an established on date of 1886 on the front label, but Franklin & Sons is a new brand to me in the U.S., at least. (Turns out the brand was relaunched in 2015 after a few decades of dormancy.) Now aiming to compete with high-end mixer makers like Fever-Tree and…

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Review: 2015 La Rioja Alta Gran Reserva 904 Seleccion Especial

By Christopher Null | September 13, 2023 |

The first ever Seleccion Especial — generally used as a top-tier designate above Rioja’s Gran Reserva classification — from La Rioja Alta has arrived. Produced in 2015, the operation felt that 2023 was finally the time for this wine to be released, marking a first in the 120 years of the winery’s history. Crafted from…

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Review: Milam & Greene Unabridged Volume 2

By Christopher Null | September 13, 2023 |

Milam & Greene’s Unabridged label gets its second installment, although this year there’s no mention of compadres Noah Rothbaum and David Wondrich having a hand in the blend. Master distiller Marlene Holmes says that there’s older stock in this release than in Unabridged Volume 1, but it remains a cask-strength blend of rare casks from…

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Review: Old Pulteney Coastal Series – Pineau de Charentes

By Christopher Null | September 12, 2023 |

Old Pulteney has launched a new range of whiskies called the Coastal Series, which is perhaps redundant on account of all of Old Pulteney’s whiskies are coastally born — but I promise there’s some logic here. The Coastal Series will comprise four different whiskies with different finishes, each from locations which are also coastal in…

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