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: Connemara Peated Single Malt Irish Whiskey

By Christopher Null | November 11, 2008 |

Connemara wears that “peated” slug right on its sleeve. If the name of the spirit didn’t tip you off, this is a rarity for Irish whiskeys, which are traditionally not peated at all. The smoky peat in this 80-proof whiskey (which carries no age-statement) is immediately at the forefront on the nose and the palate.…

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Review: 2006 M.J. Vincent Juliénas Domaine le Cotoyon

By Christopher Null | November 10, 2008 |

Grown near the village of Juliénas, the Beaujolais wines from this region are as full-bodied and big as the region’s namesake, Julius Caesar. Fruitier than wines from Morgon, M.J. Vincent’s Juliénas offers peppery notes atop fresh fruit — berries and lightly tannic cherry flavors. The trademark youth of Gamay — which manifests as a light…

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Review: Triple Eight Hurricane Rum

By Christopher Null | November 4, 2008 |

The folks of Triple Eight Distillery (whose vodkas I reviewed here) also produce a rum called Hurricane. Now Nantucket is not typically an area one associates with rum, but the folks in Massachusetts at least do a credible job with it. There’s nothing overly surprising about Hurricane Rum aside from its provenance. Named in honor…

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Review: The Glenlivet 12, 15, 18, and 21 Years Old, Nadurra 16 Years Old, and XXV (2008)

By Christopher Null | November 3, 2008 |

After digging Glenlivet’s 25 year old Scotch, the company was kind enough to send samples of the rest of the “core” lineup — the bottles that are available worldwide, year-round, all the time — for comparison. This Speyside giant produces quite a range of whiskys. Some thoughts follow. Glenlivet 12 Years Old (2008) – Your…

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Review: Triple Eight Vodkas

By Christopher Null | October 28, 2008 |

I’d never seen it until recently, but Triple Eight vodka, with its distinctive three eight balls on the label, has been around since 2001. This vodka is an odd combination of organic corn from Holland (they grow corn in Holland!?) and water drawn from a well in Nantucket, where it is distilled. Mainly available on…

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Review: 2006 Boho Vineyards Chardonnay

By Christopher Null | October 17, 2008 |

Wine in a box doesn’t have the most savory reputation, and for good reason: Most of it is awful plonk. Boho Vineyards is a welcome change to that equation, offering a three-liter box of not-at-all-bad Chardonnay that you can stow in your refrigerator so it’s always at the ready. The sell: three liters equals four…

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Review: Skyy Infusions Vodka – Citrus, Raspberry, Grape, and Cherry

By Christopher Null | October 9, 2008 |

Skyy is a big player in the flavored vodka market and is unique for its dedication to only using natural flavors in its concoctions. After raving about its passion fruit version, I tasted four of its classic, more versatile flavors to get a better feel for the line. All are 70 proof. Some thoughts follow.…

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Review: Old Forester Repeal Bourbon

By Christopher Null | October 4, 2008 |

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition (officially ratified on December 5, 1933), so to celebrate, Old Forester is releasing a one-time-only, limited expression of its storied Bourbon whiskey. The whiskey will be sold in a 375ml bottle with a medicine-flash appearance and a replica version of a label from the…

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Review: Highland Park 12, 15, 18, 25, 30, and 40 Years Old

By Christopher Null | October 4, 2008 |

It isn’t every day you get to taste the complete lineup of a serious Scotch producer in one sitting… and have a gourmet dinner to go along with it. While I’m still recovering from gulping down six glasses of Scotch in lieu of wine on Thursday night (pacing yourself when you’re thirsty during a meal…

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Review: Michelob Pale Ale, Irish Red Ale, and Dunkel Weisse

By Christopher Null | September 21, 2008 |

When one says “Pale Ale,” Michelob isn’t a brand that immediately springs to mind. Parent Anheuser-Busch is expanding the Michelob brand, making some seasonal beers permanent and national in availability. I got to try three of them over the weekend. Michelob Pale Ale – This is a fairly traditional Pale Ale style beer, amber in…

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