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 solid products that we don’t exactly love, but which we still heartily recommend. On a five-star scale, these products would score 3.5 stars. On the traditional 100-point scale popular with many wine and spirits graders, these products would merit scores of 87 to 89 points.

Review: Starward Octave Barrels Single Malt Australian Whiskey

By Monica Uhm | June 24, 2022 |

Starward is an Australian malt barley whisky that has been inching its way into the U.S. markets over the past several years. (We reviewed a couple of their releases in 2019 and 2020.) Hailing from foodie-centric Melbourne, Starward sources the grains and supplies from local farms and merchants, along with the wine barrels used for…

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Tasting the Wines of Fiddlehead Cellars with Winemaker Kathy Joseph

By Christopher Null | June 23, 2022 |

Fiddlehead Cellars has been an icon in California’s Central Coast region since its founding in 1989 by winemaker Kathy Joseph. Her now-famous Fiddlestix Vineyard began as dirt and has grown to be perhaps the premiere vineyard in this region, used for some of her own prized wines while selling its grapes to numerous other bottlers…

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Review: Xicala Mezcal, Complete Lineup

By Christopher Null | June 22, 2022 |

Xicala Mezcal has been on the market for some time, but it’s recently expanded its line beyond a joven, adding a reposado and anejo to its repertoire. All three are made with traditional methods at Tlacolula Distillery in Oaxaca from 100% espadin agave, but the barrel regimen on the two aged mezcals is where things…

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Review: Jack Daniel’s Bonded and Triple Mash Whiskey

By Christopher Null | June 21, 2022 |

Jack Daniel’s has been on a tear of late, dropping special editions and permanent line extensions like JD 10 Years Old left and right. It’s odd that JD calls these two new whiskeys “the first super premium line extension in 25 years,” but I’m not sure what qualifies as “super premium” under Jack’s rubric, so…

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Review: NV Cavas of Bella Conchi

By Christopher Null | June 20, 2022 |

Bella Conchi’s Cavas are affordable — but a bit hard to find in the U.S. We tried all three of the operation’s nonvintage offerings. Thoughts follow. NV Bella Conchi Cava Brut Seleccion – Bright lemon, pear, and quince lead the way on this iconic and effusive Cava, which fades to showcase notes of vanilla and…

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Review: Rabbit Hole Cavehill, Dareringer, and Boxergrail (2022)

By Drew Beard | June 20, 2022 |

Forever ago, back in 2019, when we reviewed Rabbit Hole’s Heigold Bourbon, we updated you on the distillery’s rebranding earlier that year in which the original bourbon, rye, and PX finished bourbon each received some new duds along with a brand-new name. At a recent sit-down with Rabbit Hole’s founder, Kaveh Zamanian, we tasted through…

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Review: 7 Whiskeys from Broken Barrel (2022)

By Christopher Null | June 19, 2022 |

In 2019, one of our favorite vodka producers, Infuse Spirits, branched into whiskey. The results were, well, not the best, and eventually the line was scrapped and rebranded, with no mention of Infuse on the label at all. Recently, a revamped Broken Barrel re-emerged on the scene and, given our rather tough assessment of its…

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Review: Death & Co. Canned Cocktails – Aurora Highball, Ranger Buck, and Moonsail Fizz

By Drew Beard | June 18, 2022 |

Ready-to-drink fans take notice. We may be experiencing the halcyon days of canned cocktails now that a brand as well-respected as Death & Co. has thrown their impressively plumed hat in the ring. Last fall, in partnership with Craft Spirits Cooperative, the company launched a line of three canned libations modeled after original cocktails created…

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Review: 2021 Domaine de Cala Coteaux Varois en Provence

By Christopher Null | June 17, 2022 |

This is the 4th year in a row that I’ve reviewed Domaine de Cala Rose, this year marking a shift in its blend: 60% cinsault, 30% grenache, 8% syrah, and 2% rolle. At the same time, I can’t help but feel like this wine hasn’t changed much over those four years. Pale pink. Floral with…

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Review: 6 Shochus of Honkaku Spirits

By Christopher Null | June 15, 2022 |

Christopher Pellegrini is trying to do for Japanese shochu what Ron Cooper did with mezcal. The American ex-pat and author of The Shochu Handbook is seeking to “connect the world with artisanal, koji-fermented spirits of Japan.” Honkaku’s portfolio includes koji whiskey, shochu, and aged awamori from 22 family-run distilleries established between 1745 and 1947. We received…

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