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: Brinley Gold Shipwreck Spiced Rum

By Christopher Null | August 28, 2010 |

More spiced rum (check out the chatter on the BlackBeard coverage here, and keep the fun going below) from the folks at Brinley, which makes some very good flavored rums. Shipwreck hails from St. Kitts and is aged for four years before being juiced up with exotic (and unnamed) spices. Brinley’s rendition of spiced rum…

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Review: ResQwater Peach and Pomegranate

By Christopher Null | August 27, 2010 |

Once a sweetened but otherwise unflavored hangover remedy, ResQwater now comes in flavors. Much like, say, a bottle of Vitamin Water, the flavoring part is pretty mild, giving the new ResQwater a pale, pastel complexion. The flavoring doesn’t appear to have any basis in actual fruit — aside from “natural flavors” — and, more importantly,…

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Review: Bossa Nova Juices

By Christopher Null | August 25, 2010 |

Bossa Nova juices are now well entrenched among the Odwallas and Naked Juices of the world. These 80% to 100% juice blends — all heavy on superfruits and antioxidant-laden goodness — come in right-sized, ergonomically-shaped, 10 oz. bottles. Many of the blends are 100% juice, but some are sweetened with agave nectar to improve the…

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Roundup: AlcoHAWK Personal Breathalyzers

By Christopher Null | August 25, 2010 |

How drunk are you? No, really? How do you know? If you’re a regular imbiber, it’s a good idea to test yourself once in awhile to make sure you’re OK to drive. 0.08 percent blood alcohol content (BAC) is the maximum legal level in most states, but knowing if you’re over that threshold can be…

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Review: 2006 Hugel Pinot Gris Classic Alsace

By Christopher Null | August 24, 2010 |

Now featuring label artwork by Ralph Steadman, this is not your father’s Hugel, the wine with the iconic yellow label. Tart with minerals up front, Hugel’s Pinot Griss “Classic” is light in body and reveals peach, mango, and vaguely tropical notes before fading into a more alcohol-driven, lightly bitter finish. Otherwise it’s an easy-drinking summer…

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Review: Cordina Mar-Go-Rita Wine Cocktail

By Christopher Null | August 24, 2010 |

The mercury has topped 90 in San Francisco today, and in a city with no air conditioning, that means retreating to whatever means necessary one can dig up to stay cool. Cordina’s goofily-named Mar-Go-Rita has been in my freezer for weeks, so what better time than now to bust it out. What is it? Imagine…

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Review: Effen Vodka

By Christopher Null | August 17, 2010 |

A staple of the high-end bar scene (and even available at most dives), Effen is distilled from wheat in Holland and bottled at 80 proof. All pretty standard stuff, and Effen is indeed a fairly straightforward vodka. Grainy and a bit medicinal on the nose and on the tongue, it offers a moderately long finish…

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Review: Bacardi Torched Cherry Rum

By Christopher Null | August 9, 2010 |

The problem with cherry flavored spirits, of course, is the cough syrup connection. Cherry flavoring is so endemic in over-the-counter throat and lung remedies that most drinkers immediately want to climb back in bed once a cherry liquor hits their lips. Bacardi bypasses that problem with its new cherry rum by “torching” it — now,…

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Review: Riazul Tequila, Complete Lineup

By Christopher Null | August 6, 2010 |

This new line of tequilas comes from the Jalisco Highlands — said to be harvested from land held by a single family for more than 200 years — and is imported into and distributed from Houston, Texas. All three expressions are of course 100 percent agave and 80 proof. Riazul Silver Tequila – This blanco…

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Review: Germain-Robin Craft-Method Brandy and Coast Road Reserve Brandy

By Christopher Null | August 1, 2010 |

These Germain-Robin brandies — crafted in California — showed up unannounced, in minimally-marked sample vials, with no additional information about their manufacture or sale. [UPDATE: Notes have been found, and info below has been updated. These are new products.] They are reviewed here without further knowledge — I’m unclear whether the first brandy is the…

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