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: Up or Over Old Forester Old Fashioned and Herradura Margarita

By Christopher Null | June 28, 2022 |

You’re a major spirits company with some well-known brands in your portfolio, and you know people are going to make cocktails out of them. What do you do? Why, you release them as ready-to-drink versions, of course. Brown-Forman is no stranger to the RTD bandwagon — its Old Forester Mint Julep is an instant winner…

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Review: 818 Tequila – Blanco and Reposado

By Christopher Null | June 16, 2022 |

Kendall Jenner’s ownership of 818 Tequila is an understandable turnoff for many drinkers and a sign that celebriquila has finally reached a tipping point… or so I thought, at least, until 818 started winning a bunch of awards, including the top spot in a blind tasting of celebrity-owned tequilas (which, admittedly, may not be the…

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Review: Thomas Ashbourne Ready To Drink Cocktails

By Monica Uhm | June 12, 2022 |

Thomas Ashbourne is a new brand that partners with celebrities to bottle and can ready-to-drink cocktails. The objective is to offer top-of-the-line variations of favorite cocktails that are as simple to obtain as popping open a bottle or can. There is always plenty of pomp and circumstance surrounding any celeb-related project so best to override…

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Review: Minke Irish Gin

By Robert Lublin | June 4, 2022 |

Minke Irish Gin is made at the Clonakilty Distillery in county Cork, Ireland, and we’ve tried their whiskey before. This gin is made with botanicals that grow wild near the distillery, including one called rock samphire, but the full list of botanicals has not been made available. Most notably, the gin’s base spirit is whey…

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Review: Wines of Opolo, 2022 Releases

By Christopher Null | May 27, 2022 |

It’s been a year or so since we’ve covered the wines of Paso Robles-based Opolo, and then only spottily. Today we correct that oversight with a look at 5 current releases. 2019 Opolo Cabernet Sauvignon Paso Robles – Nothing overly earth-shattering here, this cab making for an approachable but straightforward experience that rests of currants…

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Review: Astral Tequila Blanco

By Robert Lublin | May 21, 2022 |

Astral is a new 100% Blue Weber agave tequila from the lowland region of Jalisco, Mexico. Currently, only a blanco, unaged tequila is available. The distillery’s website explains how it is made, all very familiar stuff: Our production process is steeped in tradition and features a unique milling process using a tahona, a stone wheel…

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Review: Merlet Cognac VS and VSOP

By Christopher Null | May 21, 2022 |

We’ve reviewed some of Merlet’s premium Cognac expressions in the past, but never its two most affordable bottlings, the VS and VSOP expressions. Today, we rectify that. Both are 80 proof. Merlet Cognac VS – Eaux-de-vie mostly from Fins Bois crus, but also from Bons Bois and a little bit of Petite Champagne in the…

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Review: 10 Barrel Brewing Club Tread and Rock Hop

By Christopher Null | May 13, 2022 |

Two new brews from 10 Barrel Brewing, including our first look at the “It” beer of 2022, a Cold IPA. 10 Barrel Brewing Club Tread Mandarin IPA – IPA and orange are natural bedfellows, and here they work together fitfully, imbuing the fairly low-abv beer with a bright orange quality. It’s not particularly identifiable as…

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Review: Gruvi Non-Alcoholic Craft Beers, Red Wine, and Sangria (2022)

By Monica Uhm | May 7, 2022 |

We’ve dived into the non-alcoholic offerings of Gruvi in the past, with mixed and sometimes lackluster reception (see reviews of releases from 2020 and 2021). Today we visit with them once again, with a recent round of mostly limited releases. Let’s see how they’re coming along in this journey. All are 0.05% abv. Gruvi Golden…

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Review: Bladnoch Vinaya, 11 Years Old, and 14 Years Old (2021)

By Christopher Null | May 6, 2022 |

The Bladnoch expressions keep coming, as we turn to three newly available bottlings — the new permanent edition Vinaya and two whiskies that will be released annually — an 11 year old and a 14 year old. All the pertinent details follow as we taste. All are bottled at 93.4 proof. Bladnoch Vinaya – From…

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