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 Linkwood Cote Rotie Finish 1991 and Caol Ila Hermitage Finish 1997 Scotch Whiskys

By Christopher Null | February 4, 2012 |

We love Gordon & MacPhail around here. One of the biggest and most reliable independent Scotch whisky producers, its selection is insightful and its releases are utterly vast, with perhaps more than 100 bottlings on the market at any given time. Keeping up with G&M would be impossible even if it wasn’t incredibly expensive, but…

Read More
EH Taylor Tornado Surviving Warehouse C Bourbon

Review: Col. E.H. Taylor Jr. Warehouse C Tornado Surviving Bourbon

By Christopher Null | January 25, 2012 |

On April 2, 2006, a storm ripped through Kentucky, tearing apart two of Buffalo Trace’s warehouses. One was empty. One, Warehouse C, was full of 24,000 barrels of then-young, far-from-release E.H. Taylor Bourbon. The walls and roof were ripped open, but the whiskey survived. But this did expose the barrels inside to the elements (see…

Read More

Review: t1 Tequila, Complete Lineup

By Christopher Null | January 22, 2012 |

t1, aka Tequila Uno, is a new brand of Highlands-grown, 100% blue agave tequila brought to us by the master distiller of the well-regarded Chinaco Tequila line, German Gonzalez. Gonzalez’s twist on the spirit? For some of his varieties, instead of aging in Bourbon casks for his reposado and anejo, he uses ex-Scotch barrels (which…

Read More

Review: The Botanist Islay Dry Gin (2012)

By Christopher Null | January 12, 2012 |

By now my foolish claim that Scotland made only one gin has been widely disproven (by myself, even), but The Botanist makes a more specific, and so far irrefutable, assertion: It’s the only gin made on the island of Islay, that part of Scotland that gives us its peatiest Scotch whiskys, the ones with (arguably)…

Read More

Review: Wines of Pine Ridge, 2012 Releases

By Christopher Null | January 9, 2012 |

Pine Ridge is a winery that I’ve visited many times and tasted many more. The proprietors were kind enough to send their latest round of releases for our commentary. Thoughts follow. 2010 Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc+Viognier California –  79% Chenin Blanc and 21% Viognier, it turns out to be a fantastic combo. Peach and light…

Read More

Review: Hangar One Spiced Pear and Maine Wild Blueberry Vodkas

By Christopher Null | January 5, 2012 |

Hangar One recently launched two new flavors to its extremely well-regarded infused vodka line (Kaffir Lime is widely thought of — by myself included — as the best flavored vodka on the market), with pears and blueberries their respective inspirations. Both are naturally infused, colorless, and bottled at 80 proof, uncommon for flavored vodkas. Thoughts…

Read More
Big Bottom Whiskey 3 Year Port Cask Bottle Image

Review: Big Bottom Whiskey Port Cask Finish 3 Years Old

By Christopher Null | December 22, 2011 |

I liked Big Bottom’s 2 Year Old Port Cask Finished Whiskey so much I named it my top American whiskey of the year. What could be better then than Big Bottom Port Finished Whiskey, one year older? With this second batch of whiskey, the Bourbon is older (3 years, one day) before it went into…

Read More

Review: Auchentoshan Valinch 2011 and 1999 Vintage Bordeaux Matured

By Christopher Null | December 16, 2011 |

Auchentoshan is in just about every way an oddity. It’s the only distillery in the city of Glasgow (making it a Lowlands whisky), and it’s the only Scotch whisky that’s distilled three times instead of the usual two (meaning it comes off the final still at an incredibly high 162 proof). The house style uses…

Read More

Review: The Bruery Black Tuesday

By Greg Bruce | November 28, 2011 |

Drawing allusions to the Stock Market Crash of 1929, The Bruery experienced its own “Black Tuesday,” which eventually led to the naming of this massive imperial stout. While brewing, one of the assistant brewers left a mash paddle in the tank, causing scalding water and grain to slowly flood the brewery and burn those trying…

Read More

Review: Icelandic Glacial Spring Water

By Christopher Null | November 27, 2011 |

We’ve resisted reviewing bottled water on this blog, but finally we’re caving in. Water from Iceland doesn’t sound entirely eco-conscious, but Icelandic says it is a carbon neutral product — in fact, it says it this the first CarbonNeutral (a private certification) bottled water in the world. Sourced from Iceland’s Ölfus Spring System, this protected…

Read More