Rated A+

Reviews of spirits, wine, and beer (and various errata like mixers and garnishes) comprise more than 80% of the content at Drinkhacker, but only a few (less than 1%) merit our top score of an A+ rating. On a five-star scale, these products would score a full 5 stars. On the traditional 100-point scale popular with many wine and spirits graders, these products would merit scores of 98 to 100 points.

Review: Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye 13 Years Old

By Drew Beard | September 13, 2021 |

Julian Van Winkle III, by all accounts the godfather of today’s bourbon hysteria, put the family name on more than just bourbon. While the annual 15-, 20-, and 23-year-old bourbon releases are some of his most sought-after inventions, a slightly lesser known, but no less coveted, rye whiskey sits among the “Pappy” lineup. The Van…

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Review: A. Smith Bowman Cask Strength Bourbon

By Drew Beard | July 11, 2021 |

We’ve long been impressed with the bourbons rolling out of Virginia’s A. Smith Bowman distillery. While new, hyper-rare limited edition releases under the Abraham Bowman label come around roughly once a year, there hasn’t been any change to the lineup of their core portfolio since the addition of Port Finish in 2017. Now the distillery…

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Review: Fishers Island Canned Craft Cocktails

By Monica Uhm | May 23, 2021 |

One of the pioneers of ready-to-drink cocktails is Fishers Island Lemonade, launched by Bronya Shillo in 2014 based off the popular signature cocktail served up at the Pequot Inn (based in Fishers Island), which was owned by her family. This year they have added 3 new flavors and a frozen version of their lemonade. Their…

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Review: Laphroaig 30 Years Old – The Ian Hunter Story, Book Two: Building an Icon (2021)

By Christopher Null | April 1, 2021 |

The second release — or book, I guess — in Laphroaig’s collectable Ian Hunter Story series has arrived. Like the 2019 Book One, it’s a 30 year old whisky, though this one is completely aged in oloroso sherry casks instead of bourbon. Here’s the short of it: In over a decade of tasting at least…

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Review: Cascade Brewing Contemporary Fashion

By Stephen Allison | January 29, 2021 |

Cascade Brewing, located in Portland, Oregon, is not a typical brewery. The first detail to clue you in is a look at their line-up of beers: not one IPA. Heck, not even an amber ale, stout or lager in sight. In fact, I’m hard pressed to find a single beer that neatly falls into one…

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Book Review: The Japanese Sake Bible

By Stephen Allison | November 14, 2020 |

Sake has been on the rise with champagne cellar master collaborations and delivery services. There is also a growing number books to build upon the foundations set by John Gauntner’s The Sake Handbook and Sake Confidential. The latest book is The Japanese Sake Bible by Brian Ashcraft. The title reminds me of Karen MacNeil’s The…

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Review: Avion Tequila Reserva 44 Extra Anejo

By Drew Beard | September 28, 2020 |

The core offerings from Avion Tequila have consistently impressed us over the years, and the brand remains a significant player amid an ever-growing field of ultra-premium tequilas. In 2013, Avion followed the lead of other premium tequila producers and introduced an extra anejo as the Cadillac offering in their portfolio. Extra anejo is a category…

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The Best Sweet Vermouth Roundup – 25 Bottles Tasted, 1 Winner

By Christopher Null | September 5, 2020 |

I swore off doing a monster roundup like this last time I did a big vermouth writeup — with 16 dry vermouths taste-tested and reviewed. Well, here am I again, facing a phalanx of sweet vermouth bottles that is even larger: 25 in total. Like dry vermouth, sweet vermouth was historically defined and categorized by…

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Review: Joseph Magnus Cigar Blend Bourbon (Batch 27)

By Drew Beard | August 29, 2020 |

We first reviewed Joseph Magnus Cigar Blend back in 2017. At that time, our sample was only the second release of what has since become the distillery’s most premium offering and a coveted, cult whiskey amongst bourbon lovers. In June, the distillery released six different batches of Cigar Blend, which was a bit unusual as…

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Review: Camus Cognac VSOP and XO (2019)

By Christopher Null | January 16, 2020 |

We’ve been fans of Camus since our first encounter in 2010, and the company’s continued efforts at innovation with a regular release of new expressions have only further cemented Camus as a top Cognac house. Recently, Camus took an unusual step and relaunched its core lineup of VS/Very Special, VSOP, and XO Cognacs. The brandies…

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