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: 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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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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