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: 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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Review: saké2me Sparkling Cocktails

By Christopher Null | March 14, 2008 |

My first challenge in this review is not how to describe what saké2me tastes like. It’s how to categorize it in this blog. saké2me is a blend of sake, natural flavors, and sparkling water. It comes in ready-to-drink bottles 187ml in size and weighs in at a beer-like 7% alcohol, comparable to malt liquor-based beverages…

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Review: Milagro Tequila – Silver and Reposado (2008)

By Christopher Null | March 6, 2008 |

I tried two of Milagro’s tequilas today (the silver and the reposado; didn’t have the anejo). Rather disappointing on the whole. Both are 80 proof. Milagro Tequila Silver (2008) – The Silver is a traditional, 100% agave blanco tequila, but it’s awfully harsh, even for a silver. Most super-premium, traditional silvers are surprisingly smooth, but…

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Review: Gran Gala Orange Liqueur

By Christopher Null | February 24, 2008 |

We did a rare experiment tonight and put Gran Gala to blind test vs. the liqueur it’s designed to imitate: Grand Marnier. This Italian liqueur even has the red ribbon and circular wax seal, just like Grand Marnier, and it promises it’s blended from “triple orange essence from the choicest oranges from Sicily.” So, how’d…

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Review: Pendleton Canadian Whisky 10 Years Old (2008)

By Christopher Null | February 5, 2008 |

Got a sweet tooth? Have I got a whiskey for you. Pendleton’s Canadian blended whisky (they spell it without the E) is aged for 10 years in barrels and bottled at 80 proof. Oddly, it is made from Oregon water and bottled in Oregon, to boot… yet it’s a Canadian whisky. Go figure. Sip #1…

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Review: Turi Vodka

By Christopher Null | February 2, 2008 |

Türi is Estonia’s only vodka exported to the U.S. For that, it’s got some novelty cred. But I’m not entirely sure it’s worth the $20 a bottle it costs… if you can find it at all. Türi is another rye-based vodka, but it isn’t the flavor that immediately hits you: Türi is especially thick and…

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