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: Lillet Rouge

By Christopher Null | July 12, 2008 |

The charms of Lillet Blanc have been adequately covered in this blog. But there’s another Lillet — Lillet Rouge — which is considerably harder to find even though it’s been on the market since 1962. There’s not a lot of mystery to what Lillet Rouge is: As the name implies, it’s pretty much the same…

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Review: Agua Luca Cachaca

By Christopher Null | July 10, 2008 |

Cachaça continues its run for the It Spirit of the ’00s. Here’s another contestant: Água Luca, an otherwise standard cachaça with the distinction of being filtered twelve times en route to the bottle. Maybe that filtering robs Água Luca of some of its character? Água Luca has a very typical cachaça profile, with a strong…

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Review: Brave Spirits Rum, Vodka, Whiskey, Gin

By Christopher Null | July 4, 2008 |

Want to celebrate Independence Day? Well, you can go to a parade, eat a hot dog, light some fireworks, or drink one of these liquors from Brave Spirits, four bottles designed specifically with “soldiers, marines, airmen, police officers, and firefighters” in mind. Presumably you can drink them even if you are not one of these…

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Review: Lucid Absinthe

By Christopher Null | June 21, 2008 |

People of the Internet, you have been heard! I had intended this to be a weekend full of absinthe reviews, based on crushing, popular demand for more absinthe coverage, but the overwhelming heat in San Francisco (both yesterday and today were all-time-high record breakers here) kept me off of spirits and into lighter stuff. Finally,…

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Review: 2005 Hall Wines Cabernet Sauvignon “Jack’s Masterpiece”

By Christopher Null | June 21, 2008 |

Very young but full of promise, this Napa Cabernet created by Hall Wines president Mike Reynolds is a potential keeper, though I fear it’s far too young to drink today. The 2005 Cab is locked up tight as a snare drum. Even after several hours in the glass, it still hasn’t opened up much for…

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Review: Zen Green Tea Liqueur

By Christopher Null | June 18, 2008 |

Green tea isn’t a flavor that most mixologists look to for creating cocktails, but Zen green tea liqueur is nonetheless an intriguing option for making something a little off the beaten path. Bottled at 40 proof, Zen is a shade of green that I’ve never seen in a cup of tea. The color is perhaps…

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Review: NV Gallo Family Vineyards Twin Valley Chardonnay

By Christopher Null | June 11, 2008 |

The good folks at Gallo Family Vineyards (see prior review here) were kind enough to send along a four-pack of mini-bottles of Twin Valley Chardonnay, a non-vintage white that’s as close to a “picnic wine” as you’re likely to find. Like “summer wine,” the “picnic wine” term comes loaded with baggage. It implies an easy-drinking,…

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Review: Jetset Energy Mixers

By Christopher Null | June 3, 2008 |

Jetset advertisements have been pummeling the magazine world of late. How do they stack up? I recently tried all five versions. Jetset Energy Original is your standard, skinny-can energy concoction, a guarana-ginseng-taurine-caffeine soda with a lemon-lime kick. It’s better than Red Bull, and better than most energy drinks out there. It’s a pretty clean drink,…

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Review: 2005 Barossa Valley Estate E Minor Chardonnay and Shiraz

By Christopher Null | May 20, 2008 |

Created from grapes grown throughout Australia’s Barossa Valley, Barossa Valley Estate’s E Minor bottlings are real mutts of a wine, the product of labors of some 60 growers. Can a wine created from grapes from dozens of vineyards be any good? Let’s find out. 2005 Barossa Valley Estate E Minor Chardonnay is a new world…

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Review: Cirrus Vodka

By Christopher Null | May 8, 2008 |

With its sun-and-cloud logo and baby blue color scheme, what would you expect from the 80-proof Cirrus Vodka? Something light, summery, perhaps partly cloudy even. Well you can’t judge a book by its cover nor a vodka by its bottle: Cirrus is serious stuff, heavy duty vodka that, if I didn’t know it was from…

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