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: Whitehouse Sicilian Bitter Wine

By Rob Theakston | September 18, 2021 |

Created in the Marsala region of Sicily, bitter wine shares some familial ties with amaro: both feature gentian root and cinchona bark as core ingredients. But that’s really where the parallels end. This blend of marsala wine and botanicals is crafted by winemaker Nicola Centonze, who also creates an amaro (called Reset) that’s worth seeking…

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Review: A Trio of 2020 Provence Roses

By Linda Prussen | September 18, 2021 |

It’s wonderful that rosé has graduated from a seasonal wine to one that can be enjoyed any day. And while it can be enjoyed any time, it is most often appreciated in the heat or alongside outdoor activities. There was a point, back when I thought I knew something about wine, that if I was…

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Review: Distilleria Varnelli l’Anice Secco Speciale

By Rob Theakston | September 17, 2021 |

You know those recipe blogs that always start off with some long-winded anecdote about family traditions or a trip the author took to someplace magical, and all you want to know about is the recipe or how the product rates? I hate those too. Which is why I’m absolutely not going to tell you the…

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Review: Smith & Cross Traditional Jamaican Rum

By Drew Beard | September 17, 2021 |

Smith & Cross, named for two 18th century London rum traders, is very proud of its funk. The label touts it as a badge of honor, proclaiming that it contains only Wedderburn and Plummer pot still distillate, both high ester styles of Jamaican rum that went out of vogue generations ago (although some are starting to…

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Review: The ImpEx Rum Collection – Long Pond 2007, Long Pond 2005, and Clarendon 2007

By Christopher Null | September 12, 2021 |

Recently we looked at the single malts of the new ImpEx Collection, at which point I noted we’d soon get to the collection’s trio of independently bottled, single barrel rum releases from two famed distilleries: Long Pond and Clarendon, both located in Jamaica. Well, here we are. Let’s visit a different, more tropical island this…

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Review: Harahorn Gin

By Christopher Null | September 6, 2021 |

Norway’s Harahorn makes four different gins, but this is the flagship, made in small batches and including some usual botanical suspects — juniper berries, angelica root — and some unusual additions — wild blueberries, rhubarb, seaweed, wild marjoram, and over dozen additional Norse herbs. Let’s give this unique Scandinavian gin a try. The nose is…

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Review: Madre Mezcal Espadin y Cuishe

By Christopher Null | September 5, 2021 |

Made with espadin and madrecuishe (aka cuishe) agave, Madre Mezcal was formerly billed as an ensamble, but now carries the identities of both of its primary agave varieties on its label. The Oaxaca-made product shows promise right away. Initially rather sweet on the nose, with notes of overripe fruit, it finds balance in its smoky…

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Review: Select Aperitivo

By Christopher Null | September 5, 2021 |

The bright red color can mean only one thing — presuming it’s not maraschino, of course — you’re looking at a bitter Campari clone, one of the kings of the amaro world. Select was born in Venice (Campari hails from Milan), where it was originally created in 1920, using 30 botanicals (including rhubarb and juniper)…

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Review: Stinson Vineyards 2017 Meritage and 2019 Merlot

By Christopher Null | September 4, 2021 |

We’ve covered a lot of wines from Virginia in recent years, but none from Stinson Vineyards, which hails from the Monticello AVA. (Jefferson’s historic home is worth a visit, btw.) Today we look at two bottlings from the winery, both revolving in same way around merlot. 2017 Stinson Vineyards Meritage Monticello – 50% merlot, 20%…

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Review: Four Gate Batch 11 and 12

By Christopher Null | September 4, 2021 |

Four Gate continues to crank out whiskeys, and today we’re looking at two new releases — a rye and a bourbon, both quite different — from the Louisville-based operation. Four Gate Rye Batch 11 Ruby Rye Springs – This is the third representation of the same MGP rye from Four Gate, still 7 years old…

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