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 the B rating is used for products that are good but which we don’t exactly love — and which we can provide with a qualified recommendation. On a five-star scale, these products would score 3 stars. On the traditional 100-point scale popular with many wine and spirits graders, these products would merit scores of 83 to 86 points.

Review: The Wild Geese Irish Soldiers & Heroes Irish Whiskeys

By Christopher Null | October 31, 2009 |

The Wild Geese Irish Soldiers & Heroes — in a million years I wouldn’t have come up with a name for a line of whiskey like this one. This collection of four new Irish whiskeys (named after soldiers forced out of Ireland during hard times) all share a common DNA, but offer some subtle differences…

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Review: Gordon & MacPhail MacPhail’s Collection 8 Years Old – Glenrothes, Highland Park, and Tamdhu

By Christopher Null | October 27, 2009 |

Gordon & MacPhail is one of the most — if not the most — well-respected independent bottlers of Scotch whiskys in the world. Recently the company put out three young and inexpensive renditions of whiskys drawn from the casks of some major-name distilleries. Here’s how they stack up. All are 86 proof and, oddly, eight…

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Review: Rain Flavored Vodkas, Complete Lineup

By Christopher Null | October 25, 2009 |

The folks at Rain — which makes vodka from organic white corn and distills it seven times — have recently expanded their lineup to four uniquely flavored vodkas. We got our hands on the complete lineup. All are 70 proof and flavored naturally. Rain Lavender Lemonade Vodka is a comparably mild concoction, but quite sweet…

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Review: Kahlua Coffee Cream Liqueur

By Christopher Null | October 21, 2009 |

Kahlua keeps expanding its product lineup, and the latest member of the Kahlua family is this limited edition bottling: Kahlua Coffee Cream 100% Arabica. The recipe is pretty simple: Kahlua liqueur mixed with real cream and bottled for your convenience. It’s slightly lower in proof than standard Kahlua — 34 proof vs. 40 proof —…

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Review: Irish Mist Liqueur

By Christopher Null | October 13, 2009 |

By my count the sixth whiskey+honey combo liqueur we’ve discussed on this website, Irish Mist is as old as the hills… but updated and rebranded for the ’10s. The new bottle isn’t going to wow anyone with its uniqueness (hey, flared base!), but what’s inside may do the trick for you. Of all the honey-flavored…

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Review: Oro Azul Tequila, Complete Lineup

By Christopher Null | October 9, 2009 |

It takes balls to call your spirit “The World’s Best Tasting Tequila,” and if we were judging on guts alone, Oro Azul would get top marks across the board. But what this line really offers is affordability plus the promise of 100% agave tequila. They also come in conversation-piece-friendly pyramid-shaped bottles. Here’s how they stack…

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Review: Buffalo Trace Antique Collection 2009 Edition

By Christopher Null | September 27, 2009 |

Once again Buffalo Trace brings us five limited-edition whiskeys, and for 2009 they carry the same names as last year. However, the formulations and barrels from which these whiskeys have been drawn are different, making them unique expressions that you’ll only get in 2009… and while supplies last. Sazerac Rye 18 Years Old 2009 –…

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Review: El Grado Tequila Reposado

By Christopher Null | September 13, 2009 |

Released this summer, El Grado is a new, ultrapremium, 100 percent agave tequila to arrive on U.S. shelves. Available in the three traditional expressions (and mainly in Texas for now), we got our hands on the reposado for a sample. Rested for six months in old bourbon barrels, El Grado’s reposado is a pale yellow…

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Review: Auchentoshan Classic, 12 Years Old, and Three Wood

By Christopher Null | September 3, 2009 |

Next to Bruichladdich and Bunnahabhain, Auchentoshan is one of my favorite names in the Scotch whisky business. The company (a lowland distillery) also makes some fine whisky to match its name. We recently got a hand on three of its more widely available expressions. Comments on each follow. Auchentoshan Classic is the company’s entry-level whisky,…

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Review: He’Brew Rejewvenator Harvest to Harvest Ale

By Christopher Null | August 30, 2009 |

The good folks at Shmaltz Brewing Company have no shortage of good humor. Brewing under the “He’Brew” label, the company’s kosher beers play up Jewish stereotypes to a hilt, and they never apologize for it along the way. The company’s latest experiment is Rejewvenator, a “half doppelbock, half Belgian style dubbel” which is brewed with…

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