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: 6 Sparkling Wines for Valentine’s Day 2010

By Christopher Null | February 7, 2010 |

Run out and buy your special someone a bottle of Moet or Veuve… or look off the beaten path at a different sparkling wine. Here’s a look at six recently released sparklers from literally all over the world (six wines from six countries) — tasted blind, just for the fun of it — featuring three…

Read More

Review: 2008 Dr. Peter Poontinger Riesling

By Christopher Null | January 4, 2010 |

When launched, the ad for this new German import will read, “A Great White Win Named Poontinger? Believe It.” And there is a picture of a Jackalope. Apparently Poontinger is a play on the German version of the mythical creature. Serious wine? No, not really. It’s a $10 wine designed for restaurants to sell by…

Read More

Review: Fever Stimulation Beverages

By Christopher Null | December 31, 2009 |

Tonight you’ll be consuming vast quantities of alcohol (remember one for your homies at Drinkhacker, y’all), so what better way to prep for the festivities than by downing something to up the level of your game. That’s the theory, anyway, of Fever, which aims to “Make Healthy Sexy,” with its collection of herbal, non-carbonated beverages…

Read More

Review: Wines of Tempra Tantrum, 2009 Releases

By Christopher Null | December 27, 2009 |

It’s not a bad idea at its core: Take Spain’s national grape, tempranillo, and blend it with grapes that American consumers might actually know, and sell the concoctions as double-varietal bottlings. Tempra Tantrum (get it?) takes cabernet sauvignon, merlot, grenache, and shiraz, and blends them in 40% concentrations with tempranillo (60%), in each of the…

Read More

Review: Pierre Ferrand Reserve Cognac

By Christopher Null | December 25, 2009 |

On the heels of Pierre Ferrand’s 10-year-old Ambre, I gave the distillery’s 20-year-old Reserve cognac a try. I was less of a fan of this edition of Ferrand’s brandy, which is considerably darker in color but comes off as a bit brutish and somewhat unbalanced. The flavors are relatively typical of the space, veering more…

Read More

Review: Plantation Rum, Three 2000 Editions and Grande Reserve 5 Years Old Barbados

By Christopher Null | December 22, 2009 |

Plantation Rum. The name sounds innocuous, but the way these rums are made are unlike any others you’re likely to encounter. The rums are produced by the team behind Pierre Ferrand cognac and Citadelle Gin, single-country in origin with a bit of a twist. The rums are distilled in the country in which the sugar…

Read More

Review: Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale and Pugsley’s Smashed Pumpkin

By Christopher Null | December 17, 2009 |

Yes, I missed Halloween. Then I missed Thanksgiving. Now I am determined not to miss Christmas and get some reviews of these two pumpkin-flavored beers out of the way before I have to start thinking about Easter brews. Shipyard Brewing Company Pumpkinhead Ale hails from Maine. It’s a relatively light lager, with an aroma, color,…

Read More

Review: Samuel Adams American Kriek, Stony Brook Red, and New World Tripel

By Christopher Null | December 13, 2009 |

Aging beer in oak barrels isn’t exactly a new idea, but it’s a trend that seems to be taking off. While Deschutes is easily the leader in this tiny mini-industry, now some of the bigger players are getting in on the action. Samuel Adams has recently released three barrel-aged brews, each quite different. (Be warned…

Read More

Review: Cuca Fresca Cachaca and Caipirinha

By Christopher Null | December 2, 2009 |

It’s been a while — too long, perhaps — since we sampled a new cachaca at Drinkhacker HQ, but Cuca Fresca has arrived to our watering palates. Cuca Fresca Cachaca – This unaged Brazilian rum is intensely fragrant, filling the room with sweet lime notes. The body is more typical of cachaca, with that smoky…

Read More

Review: Nadared Vodka

By Christopher Null | November 25, 2009 |

Nadared is, as far as I can tell, the first ever anti-communist vodka ever produced. No, seriously. It’s nada red — it’s not red. In fact, it’s made here in the U. S. of A. (in Mira Loma, California, actually), and all profits from the sale of this vodka go towards “institutions in oppressive political…

Read More