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: Rain Vodka

By Christopher Null | May 7, 2008 |

Another entry into the organic spirits universe, Rain (a product of Kentucky’s Buffalo Trace Distillery) is a widely available vodka that few will have trouble finding on store shelves. Pull that eye-catching blue stopper from the raindrop-shaped bottle and a sweet, perfumy aroma fills the air. Rain’s odor gave me much promise, but the taste…

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Review: Reserva del Señor Almendrado

By Christopher Null | May 1, 2008 |

Mexico’s answer to Amaretto (and no, I didn’t know there was a challenge that needed answering either) is Almendrado, a tequila-based liqueur flavored strongly with almonds and bottled at 60 proof. If you’re the type of person who can handle Amaretto on the rocks after dinner, you’ll have no trouble with Reserva del Señor Almendrado.…

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Review: Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy

By Christopher Null | April 20, 2008 |

Continuing on the summer theme here at Drinkhacker we turn to this unique summer beer, a pre-mixed shandy! Leinie’s Summer Shandy is a Weiss beer mixed with lemonade (or at least, per the bottle, “with natural lemonade flavor”), and it doesn’t take long to find both flavors in the bottle. The beer side is very…

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Review: Bacardi Classic Cocktail Mojito

By Christopher Null | April 10, 2008 |

Premixed cocktails are usually a mixed bag. In fact, they’re hardly cocktails at all but rather heavily carbonated malt liquor, watered down to about 6 or 8 percent alcohol and flavored with a variety of components that can be either reasonably tasty or very nasty. Bacardi (which makes it share of the aforementioned malt liquor…

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Review: Chopin Vodka

By Christopher Null | March 21, 2008 |

You’re a famous 19th century composer. What are the odds that someone is going to take your good name and turn it into a vodka 150 years later? Well, someone did: Polmos Siedlce and Millennium Import, of Minneapolis, Minnesota. The connection is Poland, where Chopin lived and vodka was (allegedly) born. Chopin is a traditional…

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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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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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