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: Flor de Cana Rum Centenario Gold 18 Years Old

By Christopher Null | December 22, 2008 |

Like 10 Cane, Flor de Cana is a name you see “called” on many a bar menu. I just got my hands on Flor’s 18-year version (which, apparently, is so new it does not yet appear on the company’s website). Some thoughts. The initial nose is, bluntly, heavy with smoke. Smoke to the point where…

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Review: Karafe Wine Enthusiast Board Game

By Christopher Null | December 7, 2008 |

I love the concept of the board game Karafe: It’s a lot like the game of Life, where you try to accumulate wealth as you get from start to finish on a long, twisting road, only it’s got a big twist: Rather than go from cradle to grave with a real job, you go from…

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Review: Russell’s Reserve Bourbon (2008)

By Christopher Null | November 16, 2008 |

Bourbon, by law, has to be at least 51 percent distilled from corn. In the case of Russell’s Reserve Bourbon, it seems like the other 49 percent is rye. This is a striking doppelganger to Russell’s appealing Reserve Rye, and the similarities are uncanny. And yet I found myself wishing this was a more straightforward…

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Review: 2006 Potel-Aviron Cote de Brouilly Vielles Vignes

By Christopher Null | November 5, 2008 |

Beaujolais mania continues at Drinkhacker with this Cote de Brouilly from Potel-Aviron. It’s a really tough wine to crack, with some astringency and hefty earth notes, plus pepper, mint, and tobacco smoke. The core Gamay fruit is straightjacketed by the other elements in the bottle. It’s drinkable (and works better with a big dinner), but…

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Review: Triple Eight Vodkas

By Christopher Null | October 28, 2008 |

I’d never seen it until recently, but Triple Eight vodka, with its distinctive three eight balls on the label, has been around since 2001. This vodka is an odd combination of organic corn from Holland (they grow corn in Holland!?) and water drawn from a well in Nantucket, where it is distilled. Mainly available on…

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Review: Canadian Club Classic 12

By Christopher Null | October 22, 2008 |

In case you haven’t been reading your glossy magazines, the venerable Canadian Club is working on a comeback, with retro ads touting the whiskey as what “your dad drank” in a broad appeal to both your machismo and your father complex. Sure enough, though, if you check Dad’s liquor cabinet, he’s probably got a half-consumed…

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Review: Samuel Adams Hallertau Imperial Pilsner

By Christopher Null | October 12, 2008 |

The label of Samuel Adams Hallertau Imperial Pilsner reads “An Intense Hop Experience.” Emphasis not added: “Intense” is in italics, bold, and underlined, so you know they’re serious. Sure enough, as the bottle promises, there is an “enormous, almost reckless” amount of Noble Hallertau Mittelfrueh hops in each bottle of the Imperial Pilsner. Whatever complexity…

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Review: Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon (2008)

By Christopher Null | September 22, 2008 |

With Jack Daniel’s and Jim Beam, Wild Turkey stands as one of the pinnacles of mass market whiskies. Of course, Wild Turkey has a far more dangerous reputation, owing to its 101 proof status… it’s right there in the name of the product! Wild Turkey is a surprisingly tame spirit for something with “Wild” in…

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Review: Dos Manos Anejo Tequila

By Christopher Null | September 8, 2008 |

Tequila makers sure do like naming their spirits after multiples. Perhaps less fanciful than most is Dos Manos (two hands), which is in keeping with its rather humble nature. Though 100% agave (though reportedly there are mixto versions available, too), Dos Manos is not nearly as smooth and layered as many ultra-premium tequilas we review…

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Review: Belvedere Vodka

By Christopher Null | July 23, 2008 |

Any vodka named after a lovable TV butler can’t be bad. Alas, Belvedere, a Polish vodka distilled from rye and one of the older guards of the super-premium vodka space, isn’t entirely the hit that its namesake (OK, not really) was. There’s strong vanilla on the nose of the 80-proof spirit, but the taste is…

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