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: Wild Turkey Master’s Keep Voyage

By Christopher Null | August 15, 2023 |

For its latest installment in the long-running Master’s Keep series, Wild Turkey is taking us on a voyage. A voyage to where? Jamaica, where rum casks have been brought in to finish its classic Kentucky bourbon. Made in a first-time collaboration with Appleton master blender Joy Spence, the whiskey starts as a 10 year old…

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Review: 2019 Gran Moraine Chardonnay Yamhill-Carlton

By Christopher Null | August 14, 2023 |

A case in point why you should be drinking more Oregon chardonnay instead of California chardonnay. This juicy number is loaded with notes of guava and lychee, some lemon curd, and a healthy dusting of floral notes that evoke rose petals and orange blossoms in tandem. It’s acidic on the finish but leaves room for…

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Review: The Four Roses Ten Recipe Tasting Experience

By Christopher Null | August 14, 2023 |

Four Roses is famous for its 10 bourbon recipes — but outside of the single barrel releases, it’s impossible to actually taste them on their own, as they’re variously blended into all of Four Roses’ other products. Even the single barrel releases aren’t all that instructive into what the recipes bring to the table, as…

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Review: 6 Rums from the Plantation “Under the Sea” Collection, 2023 Releases

By Christopher Null | August 13, 2023 |

Plantation Rum has just dropped six new expressions in its Plantation Rum Vintage Collection, all rare, small batch collections of just a few dozen barrels each, all sourced from single distilleries and none younger than nine years of age. Dubbed the “Under the Sea” collection, we were fortunate to try all six for review. Plantation…

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Review: Giffard Pamplemousse

By Christopher Null | August 11, 2023 |

Short on grapefruits? Consider a grapefruit liqueur if you’re in a pinch, particularly a luxe expression like this one from the always on-point Giffard, made from steam-distilled pink grapefruit peels. The nose of Giffard’s Pamplemousse perfectly evokes sharp, sour Ruby Red grapefruit sitting on a Sunday morning brunch buffet, ready for digging into with mouth-puckering…

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Tasting Report: Virginia Spirits Expo 2023

By Drew Beard | August 8, 2023 |

Now in its second year, the Virginia Spirits Expo is expanding to include four different events across the state. I attended the first of these in Charlottesville over the summer where more than two dozen Virginia distillers were on hand to share their labors of love. It was unseasonably warm at Ix Art Park that…

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Review: Firestone Walker Double DBA

By Drew Beard | August 6, 2023 |

California’s Firestone Walker Brewery was born, like so many craft breweries, in a garage. That was way, way back in 1996. The brewery didn’t even begin recording their batches until they moved to Paso Robles in 2001. 22 years and a whole lot of success later, the brewery is marking its 10,000th batch with a…

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Review: 2021 Paul Hobbs Pinot Noir George Menini Estate

By Christopher Null | August 5, 2023 |

The George Menini Estate can be found on the edge of the Russian River Valley, and Paul Hobbs has taken up shop here to turn out high-end chardonnays and pinot noirs. Today we look at the inaugural pinot release from the vineyard, harvested in 2021. Anyone looking for elegant, approachable, and versatile pinot noir won’t…

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Review: Wines of Baldacci Family Vineyards, Summer 2023

By Rob Theakston | July 27, 2023 |

Summer is not the most ideal time for a visit to Napa, as it can be hard during the middle of a rather punishing heat wave to muster up excitement about indulging in big, burly reds. However, Baldacci’s Stags Leap Black Label Cabernet Sauvignon proved itself to be one of the top bottles I have…

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Book Review: Champagne Magnum Opus

By Rob Theakston | July 25, 2023 |

Weighing in at a hefty 7 lbs. and 446 pages is Richard Juhlin’s… well, magnum opus… Champagne Magnum Opus, which will not only exercise your forearms and biceps in a healthy resistance training exercise but also your mind as you skim through one of the most expansive books ever written on the subject. Now in…

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