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 represents the cream of the crop — excellent products with only minimal flaws. On a five-star scale, these products would score 4.5 stars. On the traditional 100-point scale popular with many wine and spirits graders, these products would merit scores of 94 to 97 points.

Review: Gordon & MacPhail Private Collection Ladaig St. Joseph Finish and Balblair Crozes-Hermitage Finish

By Christopher Null | December 9, 2012 |

Independent bottler Gordon & MacPhail has added to its Private Collection with two new whiskys featuring exotic wood finishes, both ex-wine barrels from the Northern Rhone region. Details on each and tasting notes follow. Both are 90 proof. Gordon & MacPhail Private Collection Ledaig St. Joseph Wood Finish 19 Years Old – Distilled in 1993…

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Evan Williams Single Barrel 2003 Vintage Bottle Shot

Review: Evan Williams Single Barrel Bourbon 2003 Vintage

By Christopher Null | December 7, 2012 |

December is here, and that can only mean one thing: A new Evan Williams Single Barrel release. EW Single Barrel is uniformly one of the best values in the Bourbon world, and while the expressions vary from year to year — sometimes widely — you can’t deny that they’re always quality whiskey from top to…

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Review: Scotch Malt Whisky Society “Holiday Parcels” Winter 2012 Outturn

By Christopher Null | December 6, 2012 |

Ho! Ho! Ho! Santa’s here, and he wants to give you whisky. As Christmas approaches, the SMWS is offering this year-end parcel, chock full of goodies. Thoughts follow. SMWS Cask 27.97 – 13 year old Springbank from Campbeltown – Amazing color, amazing nose, amazing everything. It’s hard to go wrong with Springbank, this one bottled…

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angels envy cask strength

Review: Angel’s Envy Cask Strength Bourbon – Limited Edition (2013)

By Christopher Null | December 3, 2012 |

I’ve been turning people on to Angel’s Envy since naming it as one of my favorite whiskeys of 2010. While Master Distiller Lincoln Henderson prepares his next trick, this very limited edition bottling (600 bottles produced, available only in Kentucky and Nashville, Tennessee) of the Port-barrel finished Bourbon is being released: A cask strength version…

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Review: Dogfish Head Chicory Stout

By Christopher Null | November 25, 2012 |

When I drink beer, I rarely drink stout, and so it came as a real shock to me how much I’ve been enjoying Dogfish Head’s Chicory Stout, the utter antithesis of the lighter style beers I’m more likely to find in hand. Brewed with organic Mexican coffee, St. John’s Wort, licorice root, and roasted chicory,…

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Vineyard 29 2010 cru

Review: 2010 Vineyard 29 Cru Cabernet Sauvignon

By Christopher Null | November 25, 2012 |

I’m an avowed fan of Vineyard 29, but the winery’s stuff is so hard to find that I rarely get a chance to experience its wines. How fun to get a bottle of the 2010 “Cru” release, a Napa Valley Bordeaux-style blend made up of 84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot, 4% Malbec, 3% Petite Verdot,…

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Review: Scotch Malt Whisky Society November 2012 Outturn

By Christopher Null | November 17, 2012 |

Another five-whisky month from the SMWS. Thoughts follow on each spirit in the outturn — easily the best month in recent memory for the SMWS. SMWS Cask 16.32 – 10 year old Glenturret from the Highlands – Lightly smoky Highlands whisky finished in (refill) Port pipes? I never would have thought of the combination, but…

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Review: 2010 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay Napa Valley

By Christopher Null | November 10, 2012 |

Yes, this is the wine. The one that in 1976 beat down all the French Burgundies in the famous Judgement of Paris with its 1973 vintage Chardonnay. It’s easy to see the charms in this wine. It is fresh and fruity, full of big apple, pear and lots of lemon notes. It is both creamy…

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Review: 2009 Cliff Lede Cabernet Sauvignons

By Christopher Null | November 6, 2012 |

This Stags Leap-based winery (Lede is pronounced “lady”) produces just Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon — and fetches a pretty penny for them. The 2009 Cabernets — in two versions — are now hitting the market. Thoughts follow. 2009 Cliff Lede Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Stags Leap District – A bit tight on first blush,…

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Review: Fever-Tree Mediterranean Tonic Water

By Christopher Null | October 21, 2012 |

Fever-Tree has a richly deserved reputation as the producer of some of the finest artisanal mixers in the business. Its Indian Tonic Water, Ginger Beer, and Ginger Ale are all top notch. Now Fever-Tree is expanding its tonic water portfolio with a new spin: Mediterranean Tonic Water, which is made “using the most authentic strain…

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