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: Wines of Franciscan Estate, Summer 2024 Releases

By Rob Theakston | June 25, 2024 |

Franciscan was founded in 1972 by Justin Meyers and Raymond Duncan, and was christened as such in tribute to the Franciscan Friars who brought viticulture to California. Since then, the brand has built a venerable reputation for consistency and quality without escalating costs. The label also produces a critically acclaimed Meritage Bordeaux-style red blend, but…

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Review: Westward Single Malts – Vienna Malt and Vintner’s Cuvee High Proof

By Christopher Null | June 25, 2024 |

Portland, Oregon’s Westward Whiskey has dropped its first two two club releases for 2024, single malt special editions that are, as always, available direct from the distillery to members of its Whiskey Club subscription program (though you might also check at the distillery should you drop in for a visit). We got bottles of both…

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Review: Pinhook Kentucky Bourbon Cask Strength 5 Years Old

By Monica Uhm | June 24, 2024 |

Pinhook is a non-distilling producer of ryes and bourbons and has been on a steady clip of releases since 2014, albeit somewhat an uneven and quizzical one. After a run of limited releases, Pinhook only then began building a stable of core expressions. (Spoiler alert: Horse racing analogies abound, both in their marketing and from…

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Review: The Busker Small Batch Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey

By Robert Lublin | June 24, 2024 |

When we first reviewed The Busker Irish Whiskey line in 2021 we found their Single Pot Still variety our favorite of their four offerings. Three years later, we’re excited to try Busker’s newest release, which is a Small Batch version of that Single Pot Still. The whiskey does not have an age statement, but it…

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Review: Casa Obsidiana Tequila, Complete Lineup

By Christopher Null | June 21, 2024 |

So this is the tequila with the wacky bottles. And the wild prices, too. Now look, I roll my eyes at stuff like this too. Those tall ceramic tequila bottles are gimmicks full of workmanlike product, and Obsidiana’s seem over the top. However… there’s some interesting production going on here, most notably in the aging, which…

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Review: Zing Zang Blazing Bloody Mary Mix and Bloody Mary Made with Vodka

By Christopher Null | June 20, 2024 |

Had a really great Bloody Mary cocktail lately? I did — and when I asked my bartender for the recipe, they revealed the shocking truth: It was simply Zing Zang Bloody Mary mix and vodka. Zing Zang is a mild secret (it’s the top-selling Bloody mix in the U.S.) that I’m all too happy to…

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Review: Thrasher’s Rums – Green Spiced, Relaxed, Coconut, and Spiced (2024)

By Drew Beard | June 19, 2024 |

Todd Thrasher got his start behind bars in Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C. before turning to distilling in 2018 and opening the Potomac Distilling Company in DC’s riverside District Wharf neighborhood. He produces a Guyanese-style rum in a variety of expressions, all of which form the bulk of the backbar at his distillery’s in-house tiki…

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Review: Etude 2021 Pinot Gris and 2020 Pinot Noir

By Christopher Null | June 18, 2024 |

Two wines from Etude, which crafts bottlings from all over California — but particularly Napa Valley. These two expressions are current releases, both from Carneros, sandwiched between Sonoma and Napa. 2021 Etude Pinot Gris Carneros – Etude’s pinot gris invariably offers a floral-heavy, slightly austere experience, and this 2021 bottling is no exception. White flowers and…

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Review: Lapo’s Aperitivo and Negroni (Non-Alcoholic)

By Christopher Null | June 16, 2024 |

Non-alcoholic amari are on the rise, and Lapo’s — a brand inspired by Italy but based in Atlanta — is the latest to enter the fray. Lapo’s focuses on non-alcoholic options built around designing a boozeless version of the classic Campari and its iconic Negroni cocktail. The brand offers both a straight version of its…

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Review: Wines of Aster, 2024 Releases

By Christopher Null | June 14, 2024 |

Bodegas Áster is a sub-brand of La Rioja Alta, focusing on offerings born in the Ribera del Duero region. These include the more traditionally styled Finca El Otero 2019 and the brand new contemporary El Espino 2020. An entry-level Crianza bottling is thrown in for good measure to round out the trio. All three wines…

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