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: Renegade Pre-Cask Single Farm Origin Rums – Lake Antoine and Nursery

By Drew Beard | February 12, 2024 |

Mark Reynier’s terroir-focused rum line, Renegade, has been pumping out new offerings since we last tasted a pair of pre-cask selections in early 2023. As with Waterford, his similarly soil-obsessed Irish whiskey project, the Renegade portfolio focuses on single farm origin bottlings, mostly unaged, that reflect the characteristics of a small piece of land on…

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Review: Wines of Opolo, 2024 Releases

By Christopher Null | February 9, 2024 |

We’ve been covering the wines of Paso Robles-based Opolo for years now, and today we look at five recent releases — all hearty, wintertime reds — from the operation. All hail from the 2021 vintage. 2021 Opolo Grand Rouge Red Blend Paso Robles – A blend of counoise, syrah, and grenache that punches well above…

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Review: Pollinator Crimson Amaro

By Christopher Null | February 7, 2024 |

New York’s Pollinator Spirits is the company behind Crimson Amaro, a Campari-like offering that is made entirely with ingredients grown in the state. The product starts with Pollinator’s own vodka — made from local corn and wildflower honey (hence “Pollinator”), and infused with a “secret blend of more than 15 botanicals, among them juniper, wormwood,…

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Review: Wines of Portugal’s Alentejo, Winter 2024 Releases

By Rob Theakston | February 4, 2024 |

One of our favorite places to revisit and explore is the southern Alentejo (ah-len-tay-zhoo) region of Portugal. Renowned for its versatility, the region cultivates over 250 varietals across a range of climates and altitudes. It is also a very budget-flexible region, offering something suitable at a wide range of price points. Before adjourning for the…

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Review: Martingale Cognac

By Drew Beard | February 3, 2024 |

There’s a new Cognac on the market, and it’s trying very hard to appeal to a younger generation of brandy drinker. Despite the hipper approach to a very old drink, Martingale Cognac retains the pedigree of a heritage brand. It is the product of Guillaume and Amaury Thomas, fourth generation Cognac-makers whose family distillery has…

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Review: Lost Lantern Fall 2023 Single Cask Releases

By Christopher Null | February 2, 2024 |

Indie bottler Lost Lantern‘s latest set of releases focus on old friends from America, with four distilleries returning to the fold. Alongside sequels from Balcones Distilling (TX), Smooth Ambler (WV), New Riff (KY), and Corbin Cash (CA) is a new bottling from what Lost Lantern says its most-requested new partner, Andalusia Whiskey Co. (TX). All…

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Review: Ardbeg Anamorphic and Traigh Bhan 19 Years Old Batch 5 (2023)

By Christopher Null | January 31, 2024 |

Two new releases from Islay’s Ardbeg — the latest Committee Release, Anamorphic, and this year’s annual drop of Traigh Bhan, Ardbeg’s ever-shifting 19 year old expression. Details about each follow in turn. Ardbeg Anamorphic – The story with Anamorphic revolves around barrel charring. After removing the heads of classic Ardbeg bourbon casks, they were scored…

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Review: Wines and Cider of Dutton Estate, Late 2023 Releases

By Christopher Null | January 28, 2024 |

Dutton Estate recently dropped two collections of wines, and we’re combining them all into this one mega-review that spans 11 bottlings — plus the latest release of Dutton’s canned apple cider. Let’s jump right in to the lineup! 2022 Dutton Estate Chardonnay Morelli Lane Vineyard – Incredibly fruit-forward, melding melon and tropical notes with elements…

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Review: La Maison & Velier Rums, Late 2023 Releases

By Christopher Null | January 28, 2024 |

We’re diving back in with three more new releases from La Maison & Velier, with three new rarities from the importer’s prized, limited edition stocks. Some single cask goodies here… along with some more readily available fare. Dig in. Habitation Velier Long Pond STCE 2007 Single Cask #10 – 15 years old, all ex-bourbon casks;…

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Review: Barrell Rye Private Release from The Podcaster Yak Attack

By Christopher Null | January 24, 2024 |

Media mavens are increasingly getting into the private whiskey release biz, but this release is one of the most ambitious we’ve seen to date. Two podcasters — the Whiskey Ring Podcast and This is My Bourbon Podcast — collaborated on a single private barrel of Barrell Craft Spirits Rye which was finished in an Armagnac…

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