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: 2005 Caduceus Cellars Naga

By Christopher Null | May 30, 2008 |

I doubt I’ll be dropping by Caduceus Cellars any time soon. The wine is made in northern Arizona, far away from the Wine Country as I know it. Fret not: Caduceus is not trying to make wine from local desert grapes: M.J. Keenan brings in hand-picked grapes from Ranchita Canyon Vineyard, in the well-regarded Paso…

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Review: 2006 Sebeka “Cape Blend” Shiraz Pinotage

By Christopher Null | May 28, 2008 |

Uncomplicated and full of lush fruit, Sebeka makes for a perfect introduction to South African wine. What, you didn’t know they had wine in South Africa? They do, and it’s generally pretty good. Sebeka’s Cape Blend is 60% Shiraz and 40% Pinotage, a grape bred in the ’20s  as a cross between Pinot Noir and…

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Review: Ardmore Traditional Cask

By Christopher Null | May 28, 2008 |

I was lucky to get my hands on a bottle of Ardmore’s new single malt, Highland Scotch release, Traditional Cask, which has arrived on our shores with just 3,000 cases available. Non-chill filtered and produced in the Speyside region, it marks Ardmore’s first single malt to be made generally available in the U.S. (The company…

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Review: August Schell Lakemaid Beer

By Christopher Null | May 27, 2008 |

Mention fish near my beverage and I get a little skittish: Nothing can spoil your tipple faster than the pervasive stench of fish. Yet, for Lakemaid, August Schell teams up with fishing titan Rapala to cook up a brew with the fisherman in mind. I can attest that not a single bass has come near…

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Review: Skyy Infusions Passion Fruit Vodka

By Christopher Null | May 23, 2008 |

Did you know: Skyy is the #4 vodka brand in the U.S.? I always thought Skyy was a west coast thing (they’re based here in S.F.), but I guess they’re really a powerhouse in the biz. With products like this one, it’s easy to see why. Passion fruit, as flavors go, is invariably a big…

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Review: 1800 Select Silver Tequila

By Christopher Null | May 17, 2008 |

Good lord, has anyone needed more of a kick out of their tequila? If good old 80 proof doesn’t cut it for you, run, don’t walk, to grab a flask of 1800 Select Silver. At 100 proof, it’s got a bonus kick to it, while still being true to the spirit of blanco tequilas. 1800…

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Review: X-Rated Fusion Liqueur

By Christopher Null | May 10, 2008 |

Club drinks are a mixed bag, but in a canon that includes some awfully weak entries, X-Rated is possibly the best thing going. At 34 proof, it’s light enough to go down easy on its own. Almost too easy, really. It’s sweet, light, full of fruit, and so hot pink you’ll think you were drinking…

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Review: Don Julio Tequila Añejo (2008)

By Christopher Null | May 4, 2008 |

Cinco de Mayo is holiday time… oh, wait, we’ve covered that already. Let’s get right to the review, then. Don Julio’s Añejo tequila is top shelf stuff. This aged spirit has an immediate kick of vanilla, butterscotch, and Christmas spices, with a good, mellowed agave flavor that seeps into all of it. The wood is…

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Review: Swan’s Neck Vodka

By Christopher Null | April 28, 2008 |

More proof to my theory that grapes make the best base for vodka arrives in the form of Swan’s Neck Vodka, an artisan spirit from French grapes distilled in copper pots and named for part of the alembic still used to make it. Swan’s Neck is a very sedate vodka, smooth and silky, offering flavors…

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Review: Plymouth Sloe Gin

By Christopher Null | April 18, 2008 |

Sloe Gin Fizzes were the first cocktail I mastered, but it’s been years since I’ve had one. No reason why, really. Sloe gin, a liqueur flavored with sloe berries, the fruit of the blackthorn tree, has hardly seen the renaissance that other spirits have in recent years. There hasn’t exactly been a clamoring for the…

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