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: 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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Tasting Report: Jameson Irish Whiskey Lineup – 12 Years Old, Gold Reserve, 18 Years Old, and Rarest 2007

By Christopher Null | March 3, 2008 |

Amidst the crushing shelf space given over to Scotch and Bourbon, you (and by you, I mean myself) can be forgiven for not knowing all that much about Irish Whiskey. But did you know that Irish Whiskey was once the most-consumed whiskey in the world. Unfortunately, those days ended with Prohibition, and Irish has never…

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Review: 2006 Beringer Chardonnay California Collection

By Christopher Null | February 9, 2008 |

One doesn’t expect much from a bottle of wine that costs six bucks, but Beringer turns out a pretty drinkable product with this new bottling. Beringer’s Chardonnay “California Collection” is distinguished by a distinct lack of oakiness. Instead, it’s rich with apple fruit, displaying both a nice acidity and a little buttery roundness on the…

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Review: Jose Cuervo Platino Tequila

By Christopher Null | February 1, 2008 |

From the biggest name in the tequila business comes an ultra-premium bottling, Jose Cuervo Platino, a silver tequila that’s priced to the skies. Made using the innermost part of the agave, the piña, the tequila is meant to evoke agave in the extreme. And it certainly does. While it’s impressively smooth, it packs quite the…

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Review: 2004 Clos du Bois Zinfandel North Coast

By Christopher Null | January 30, 2008 |

My expectations for a $10 Zin don’t exactly run high, but Clos du Bois’s latest is just fine for a weekday quaff. It overwhelms with berry aromas the minute you open the bottle, cherry and raspberry filling the room. There’s less to impress when you drink it: It goes down easy but there’s nothing complex…

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Review: Cocktails by Jenn – Appletini and Lemon Drop

By Christopher Null | January 12, 2008 |

You’ve probably seen these pastel-toned, mini-sized premixed cocktails (typically in a little, hat-box-looking tote package) at the grocery store. Cocktails by Jenn seem to be on sale everywhere. With enticing Lemon Drop, Cosmo, Appletini, and “Tropical Blue Lagoon” (to round out the color palette), look good on the shelf. But how do they taste? Unlike…

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Review: Leinenkugel’s Apple Spice Beer

By Christopher Null | January 3, 2008 |

Apple and spice in the beer? You bet. Leinenkugel’s Apple Spice seasonal brew is loaded with apple and cinnamon to the point where it tastes more like a cider than a beer. I found it incredibly sweet and difficult to drink much more than half a bottle, but the ladies seem to be bigger fans…

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Review: Samuel Adams Utopias (2007 Release)

By Christopher Null | January 2, 2008 |

With an alcohol level of 27%, served at room temperature, and not carbonated, Samuel Adams’ Utopias is not your father’s can of Pabst Blue Ribbon. With 8,000 bottles produced — some fetching up to $600 (though a still-insane $175 is a little more standard) — it’s definitely not PBR, no. So, what is it? Utopias…

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Review: Modmix Organic Cocktail Mixers, Complete Lineup

By Christopher Null | December 27, 2007 |

Yes, even I am sometimes too lazy to juice a lime… and sometimes pineapple juice and fresh mint is not in the house. While the idea of prepackaged mixers is a little off-putting to most mixologists, the notion of organic ones has a certain appeal. When am I going to get organic pineapple juice or…

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Review: Pyramid Snow Cap Ale (2007)

By Christopher Null | December 2, 2007 |

Another holiday beer, this one a spin on a traditional brown ale, but overloaded with hoppiness. The dark brown “winter warmer” is certainly rich, giving off a nice aroma of chocolate and caramel malts… but an overpowering bitterness wipes the sweetness away once it hits your lips. It’s not a hard beer to drink by…

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