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: Seagram’s Brazilian Rum, Complete Lineup

By Christopher Null | May 12, 2009 |

It looks like cachaca is continuing its rise, and now even mass market spiriters Seagram’s is getting into the mix. Seagram’s (yeah, the gin guys!) new line of Brazilian rum doesn’t say cachaca on the label (and doesn’t offer a whole lot of information about what they’re created from or where, aside from “Brazil”), and…

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‘Cello Roundup: Limoncello and Beyond from Pallini and Loft (2009)

By Christopher Null | May 12, 2009 |

Limoncello is a lovely and simple liqueur that is made from lemon rind and sugar and steeped in alcohol. Served chilled, it can be a bracing way to start the afternoon or end the evening, and it’s an essential ingredient in any number of cocktail recipes. But it seems you can make a ‘cello out…

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Review: Domaine du Tariquet Armagnacs – Blanche, Green Label, and XO (2009)

By Christopher Null | May 10, 2009 |

Arguably the oldest spirit-making region in France, Armagnac is Cognac’s bigger, sometimes crueler brother. Armagnac is located just a bit south of the Cognac region in western France, and like Cognac, it is the home — and the only home — of a distilled spirit that bears its name. Like cognac (the spirit), armagnac brandy…

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Review: Firemans Brew Blonde Beer, Brewnette Beer, and Redhead Ale (2009)

By Christopher Null | April 20, 2009 |

What is it about firemen and beer? Hmmm, makes sense, I guess: When I get merely warm I reach for a brew. One can only imagine what actually being in a fire might do to one’s thirst for a beer. Firemans Brew comes out of Los Angeles, a microbrew crafted by two active-duty firemen who…

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Review: Warre’s Otima Tawny Port 10 Years Old and 20 Years Old (2009)

By Christopher Null | April 16, 2009 |

Eschewing traditional design — those white-stenciled bottles look cool but they’re certainly not “modern” — for a more contemporary approach, Warre’s Otima line aims to “change the perception of Port” through new packaging. What’s inside the bottles is different too, a tawny Port with a lighter structure that Warre positions as good for drinking any…

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Review: Three Olives Cherry and Grape Vodkas

By Christopher Null | April 15, 2009 |

The flavored vodka keeps pouring in to Drinkhacker HQ. Today we look at two from Three Olives (now trademarking the moniker “Three-O”) — practically classics that are widely available, Three Olives’ cherry and grape infusions. Both are transparent/uncolored, 70 proof, and blend natural flavors with “imported English vodka.” Three Olives Cherry Vodka – Big flavor…

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Review: Organic Spirits Lineup – Highland Harvest Scotch, Papagayo Rum, UK5 Vodka, and Juniper Green Gin

By Christopher Null | April 13, 2009 |

Organic everything — that’s the sell of Organic Spirits (aka Maison Jomere), which imports five different products, bottles them disconcertingly in the exact same cylindrical decanter, and puts on each a label emblazoned with the Royal Warrant of HRH Prince Charles. The Warrant is offered for placement on products which have been used for five…

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Review: Jones Soda GABA Lineup

By Christopher Null | April 3, 2009 |

The ever-innovating soda engineers at Jones have just put out a new line of four new beverages: Combinations of brewed tea and juice, not carbonated, and sweetened with cane sugar and natural flavors. The sell: All of the varieties include GABA, or Gamma Amino Butyric Acid, a “smart drug” neurotransmitter said to “improve mental focus,…

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Review: Absolut Mango Vodka

By Christopher Null | March 31, 2009 |

Now out of vaguely northern European ways to spell the names of fruits, Absolut turns the mango (mangeaux?) for its latest infused vodka. The contents of Absolut Mango should not surprise you in the slightest: Absolut Swedish vodka, infused with natural mango flavor. There are no artificial additions or sugar or anything else in the…

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Review: Stevens Point Burly Brown Ale

By Christopher Null | March 29, 2009 |

Craft brewery Stevens Point released its latest addition to its lineup this month, Burly Brown, and American Brown Ale. I’ve tried it a few times and, while it’s a perfectly serviceable brew, “Burly” is a bit of a misnomer. There’s a good slug of hops and a strongly nutty character here, but those looking for…

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