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: Camarena Tequila Silver and Reposado (2010)

By Christopher Null | May 27, 2010 |

This tequila is just arriving in the U.S., but the family behind it (Familia Camarena, natch) claims six generations of tequila-making experience. Farmed in the Los Altos Highlands region of Jalisco, this 100% agave spirit arrives in two varieties to start (sorry, no anejo), both big bargains. Both 80 proof. Camarena Silver is intensely peppery…

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Review: Glengoyne 10, 17, 12 Cask Strength, and 16 Years Old Shiraz Finished (2010)

By Christopher Null | May 7, 2010 |

I’ve had limited encounters with Glengoyne, a Highland Scotch producer just a dozen miles from Glasgow, and today had the opportunity to sample four of the company’s most worthwhile expressions. Here are some thoughts on each. As a house style, Glengoyne does not peat its whisky, but rather air dries the barley, so sweetness and…

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Review: The Perfect Puree Beverage Artistry Mixers

By Christopher Null | May 6, 2010 |

The Perfect Puree has recently added a series of pre-blended mixes of primarily fruit juice, simple syrup, and other goodies to its pre-squeezed fruit juice base offerings, a collection which ranges from banana to strawberry. Beverage Artistry’s “Premium Blends” offer eight bases you can use to make high-end cocktails without having to buy, cut, squeeze,…

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Review: Rum Jumbie Rums and Liqueur

By Christopher Null | April 20, 2010 |

Rum Jumbie (the name refers to spirits allegedly trapped inside the caves of the Caribbean who would possess the souls of rum drinkers) makes several light, flavored rums plus a rum liqueur. The flavored rums are all uncolored, are sourced from Panama, and are bottled at a scant 48 proof. Flavors are natural but otherwise…

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Review: 2006 Blason d’Aussieres Corbieres

By Christopher Null | April 5, 2010 |

A Languedoc wine from the Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) empire, this dark red is composed of syrah, mourvedre, grenache, and carignane grapes. Nothing very special, Lafite says it chooses the grapes for this wine to be “mature, fresh, supple, and fleshy” — terms which don’t mean a whole lot and which are a little contradictory,…

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Review: Super Sake Smackdown, 2010 Releases

By Christopher Null | April 4, 2010 |

Is sake making a comeback? For whatever reason, Drinkhacker HQ has been flooded with the stuff of late. The intricacies of sake styles are too involved and complex to go into here, so if you’re interested in the differences between, say, junmai and ginjo, I’ll refer you to this Wikipedia article. Here’s our look at…

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Review: Wines of HobNob, 2010 Releases

By Christopher Null | March 6, 2010 |

Can the French go toe to toe with the Australians at their own game: Putting out cheap and simple varietally-focused wines that consumers will lap up? All that’s missing is the animal on the label. Here’s how the five wines of the HobNob label — sometimes seen as Hob Nob and all hailing from “the…

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Review: Wines of Tré, 2010 Releases

By Christopher Null | March 4, 2010 |

Tré means three, and if the faux-talian didn’t tip you off to the threeness of this wine, perhaps the silhouettes of the three men walking along and drinking it will. Tré is a budget wine through and through: Each of these four varietals sells for $9.95. Produced by the Guglielmo Winery in Morgan Hill, California,…

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Tasting Tempranillo with Ramon Bilbao, 2010 Releases

By Christopher Null | February 14, 2010 |

Tempranillo has always been a tricky grape for me, lacking a distinct archetypal style like you get with, say, pinot noir, cabernet, or even (to a lesser extent) zinfandel. Recently I attended a tasting from Spanish winery Ramon Bilbao, which focuses on tempranillo and a few Spanish whites to whet your palate with. Winemaker Rodolfo…

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Tasting Blackstone Reserve Wines with Winemaker Gary Sitton, 2010 Releases

By Christopher Null | February 10, 2010 |

Blackstone is known for its supermarket brand — the company sells over 16 million bottles of budget wines each year — but you may not know about its Reserve lineup, which comprises less than 10 percent of its sales. Recently I tasted through the Reserve lineup with winemaker Gary Sitton, a veteran of Ravenswood and…

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