Rated B-

Reviews of spirits, wine, and beer (and various errata like mixers and garnishes) comprise more than 80% of the content at Drinkhacker, and at the B- level we begin to shy away from recommending these products except in relatively uncommon circumstances or for certain types of drinkers. On a five-star scale, these products would score 2.5 stars. On the traditional 100-point scale popular with many wine and spirits graders, these products would merit scores of 79 to 82 points.

Review: Nyak Cognac VS

By Christopher Null | January 22, 2022 |

I’m naturally prejudiced against anything that claims to be “so smooth” on its label, but let’s set that aside for our first foray into new Cognac brand Nyak. Nyak is the brainchild of some spirits and business royalty, including CEO of Detroit Equities, Dennis McKinley; former VP for Remy Cointreau, Patrick Charpentier; and Jerome Hyafil,…

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Review: Eastside Distilling Burnside Buckman Rsv Bourbon 10 Years Old

By Monica Uhm | January 17, 2022 |

Based in Portland, Oregon, Eastside Distilling produces and bottles Burnside Bourbon, which includes a number of sourced bourbons finished in casks made of quercus garryana (Oregon white oak). They’ve had some solid releases with their Double Barrel Bourbon, 4 year old Bourbon and Marionberry Whiskey in the past. They recently released a 10 year old…

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Review: Wines of Alamitos, 2021 Releases

By Christopher Null | January 15, 2022 |

Alamitos is a Portuguese-influenced winery located at the base of the Santa Cruz Mountains in the Bay Area’s Santa Clara Valley. It’s a relatively obscure AVA, although considering its best-known resident is Ridge, there’s clearly some exceptional quality to be had here. Alamitos sent us three of its recent releases for consideration. Thoughts follow. 2020…

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Review: Wheel Horse Rye Batch 3

By Christopher Null | January 13, 2022 |

In the past we’ve covered the first edition of bourbon and rye from Wheel Horse — sourced from O.Z. Tyler in Owensboro, Kentucky and bottled in Rhode Island. Now the brand is continuing apace with further batches, though there don’t appear to be any changes in the production process. Today we look at Wheel House…

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Review: Wines of Ancient Peaks, 2022 Releases

By Christopher Null | January 9, 2022 |

We’re back with Paso Robles’ Ancient Peaks, with a pair of newly released reds, each intended for wintertime sipping. Let’s dig in. 2019 Ancient Peaks Merlot Paso Robles Santa Margarita Ranch – Very dry, the fruit on this wine feels like a shadow of what it should be. Notes of green herbs and fresh grass are…

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Review: Batiste Rhum Silver and Gold

By Robert Lublin | January 7, 2022 |

To start, what is the difference between rum and rhum? Rum is the larger category and includes all distilled spirits that use sugarcane as the source material. Most rums, however, are made by distilling molasses. Rhum is generally short for “rhum agricole” (French for “agricultural rum”) refers exclusively to rums made by distilling fresh juice…

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Review: Aridus 2020 Sauvignon Blanc and 2019 Malbec

By Christopher Null | December 31, 2021 |

They make wine in every state in the U.S. — and a lot of the stuff that comes from unexpected places is pretty good. Case in point: At least one of these wines from Aridus, which got its start in 2012 in Arizona (though some grapes come from New Mexico next door). Let’s check out…

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Review: Harpoon Imperial IPA: Big & Limited Edition and Green Mountain Ryed

By Christopher Null | December 29, 2021 |

Harpoon is set for winter with these two frosty-weather releases. Harpoon Imperial IPA: Big & Limited Edition – This may be a limited edition released only for the winter season — it’s made with Harpoon’s standard recipe, but with an upsized abv — but this monster IPA comes across largely as a classic imperial, sweet…

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Review: Bruichladdich Black Art 9.1

By Christopher Null | December 19, 2021 |

  With Black Art 9.1, distiller Adam Hannett now officially has more releases of this whisky under his belt (five) than originator Jim McEwan. This one’s also a doozy: A 29 year old carrying a 1992 vintage date, matured entirely on Islay and bottled at cask strength — though as with other Black Art releases…

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Review: Bluecoat American Dry Gin, Elderflower Gin, and Barrel Finished Gin (2021)

By Robert Lublin | December 8, 2021 |

We first reviewed Bluecoat Gin in 2008, two years after it was first released, when American distilled gins were far less common. Today we return to the brand to see how it stands up thirteen years later and also to try two newer gin expressions produced by the Philadelphia based distillery. The distillers of Bluecoat…

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