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: All the Bitter Alcohol-Free Bitters, Complete Lineup

By Christopher Null | June 6, 2022 |

Bitters are traditionally made, quite simply, by steeping botanicals in alcohol for a length of time, then bottling the finished product. Bitters add a lot of flavor to a drink, but they also add a bit of booze — most bitters are actually very high in abv — so for folks looking to limit or…

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Review: Barrelsmith Negroni, Manhattan, and Boulevardier

By Robert Lublin | June 4, 2022 |

We have entered a new and exciting phase of ready-to-drink cocktails. Beyond making cocktails easy, convenient, and more transportable, producers are increasingly dedicating themselves to making quality products. Enter Barrelsmith, with the three cocktails we are trying today. Each is made with high quality ingredients and then aged in oak for an undisclosed amount of…

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Review: 2020 Chalk Hill Estate Sauvignon Blanc

By Christopher Null | June 1, 2022 |

A much more evocative wine than last year’s expression of this wine, which was a little harsh. For 2020, Chalk Hill rolls out a rich and fruit-filled expression of sauvignon blanc, with notes of melon, gooseberry, and lemon curd all up front — tempered by saline and mineral notes. Well balanced between fruity and lightly…

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Review: Milam & Greene The Castle Hill Series Batch 2

By Christopher Null | May 26, 2022 |

Texas-based Milam & Greene keeps making waves, its latest bottling being the second limited edition bourbon in its Castle Hill Series. Like Batch 1, this is sourced stock from Tennessee (unstated, but Dickel). Again the 26 barrels that go into the blend are all at least 13 years old. (M&G breaks down their ages to…

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Review: Teeling Blackpitts Peated Single Malt Irish Whiskey

By Christopher Null | May 23, 2022 |

Blackpitts is a section of Dublin just behind Teeling’s new distillery in the Liberties, and it’s the namesake for a unique and evocative whiskey that will challenge many expectations of what Irish whiskey should taste like. The triple-distilled single malt is made with peated barley — reportedly the only peated whiskey being made in the…

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Review: Sweetens Cove Kennessee Bourbon

By Drew Beard | May 22, 2022 |

On the back label for their newest release, Sweetens Cove asks: “Did we just become best friends?” That question seems intended for any number of recipients including, most obviously, consumers, but also the rival whiskey-producing states from which these bourbons are sourced and perhaps even to Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly fans (Google it).…

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Review: Hella Cocktail Co. Bitters & Soda, Complete Lineup

By Monica Uhm | May 18, 2022 |

Hella Cocktail Co. is leaning into the spirits-alternative category with five bitters-centered non-alcoholic sparkling beverages. The Bitters & Soda expressions all feature “gentian tincture,” aka a tincture (medicine) made from the root of flowering plants in the Gentiana genus. Gentian root has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries across the continents. Let’s dig right…

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Review: Luretta NV Principessa and 2018 Gutturnio Superiore

By Christopher Null | May 17, 2022 |

Luretta hails from the Gutturnio region, a new DOC in northern Italy, south of Milan. Frizzante style wines are most common here, and while the winery produces sparkling wine — in the metodo classico style — it also produces a still red wine, also reviewed here. NV Luretta Principessa Blanc de Blancs – A brut…

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Review: Barrell Bourbon Batch 31 and Batch 32

By Drew Beard | May 14, 2022 |

Barrell Bourbon ended 2021 with Batch 31 of its flagship bourbon and kicked the new year off with Batch 32. Each release is a blend of sourced stocks from Kentucky, Indiana, and Tennessee, which has become a consistent theme in recent years (with the exception of Batch 30). Dig a little deeper, however, and you’ll…

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Review: 2019 Don Melchor Cabernet Sauvignon Puente Alto Vineyard

By Christopher Null | May 13, 2022 |

It’s hard to believe that it’s been 9 years since we’ve reviewed Don Melchor, a semi-cult wine from Chile’s Concha y Toro empire, a wine which launched in 1987. This vintage is a blend of 92% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc, 2% Merlot, and 1% Petit Verdot. One can generate few complaints in tasting Don…

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