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: 10 Cane Rum

By Christopher Null | September 19, 2008 |

Read any bar menu and you’re likely to find at least one cocktail containing 10 Cane Rum. Why’s it so popular? Let’s explore. For starters, unlike most rums, which are made of molasses, the 80-proof 10 Cane is made from pure, pressed sugar juice. Though it’s technically a white rum, it’s also aged in oak…

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Review: Ayala’s Herbal Water

By Christopher Null | September 17, 2008 |

When you’re drinking your federally-mandated 27 gallons of water a day, you might as well enjoy it going down. Flavored water is nothing new, but Ayala’s takes a different approach, flavoring its bottled waters with natural herbs instead of chemical sludge (check the nutrition facts on a bottle of Propel if you don’t believe me).…

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Review: Vignette Wine Country Soda

By Christopher Null | September 6, 2008 |

It’s grape juice for grown-ups: With its Wine Country Sodas, Vignette takes the juice of real wine grapes — Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Sauvignon Blanc & Grenache — adds a little fizz, and puts it into single-serve bottles. But no alcohol, making them perfect for lunchtime, picnics, or those who can’t (or don’t want to)…

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Review: Sagatiba Pura Cachaça

By Christopher Null | September 3, 2008 |

“Fusing more than 500 years of tradition with advanced technology” brings us Sagatiba Pura cachaça, another big entrant into the rapidly proliferating cachaça craze. Sagatiba is a largely representative example of the spirit, 80 proof, fairly clean and noticeably sweet when sipped straight. There is citrus — lemon/lime and a bit of orange — on…

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Review: Hiro Thermo Tahitian Noni Energy Drink

By Christopher Null | August 30, 2008 |

Noni fruit is big in Tahiti. If you buy the claims, it gives you energy, boosts the immune system, has tons of antioxidants, and burns calories when you drink the juice from it. The problem is that Noni juice, on its own, is tough to stomach. I guess Tahitians love the stuff, but choking down…

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Review: Chang Beer

By Christopher Null | August 23, 2008 |

You don’t have to like elephants to like Chang beer (the company claims it is the best-selling beer in its native Thailand), but it helps. Those little elephants on the label are just so darn cute you can’t help but try to snuggle them when you’re deep into your third oversize bottle. Chang is slowly…

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Review: Mount Gay Eclipse Silver, Eclipse Gold, and Extra Old Rum (2008)

By Christopher Null | August 15, 2008 |

Tomorrow (August 16) is National Rum Day, so what better way to celebrate than to sip a little Mount Gay, the first commercially produced rum (per the company), continually produced since 1637 (though the bottles say 1703). They even say George Washington drank this stuff on a stopover in Barbados (my favorite island, by the…

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Review: Leblon Cachaça

By Christopher Null | August 12, 2008 |

Leblon was the first cachaça I ever tried and it remains a perfectly acceptable introduction to the beauty of the spirit. The company was kind enough to send a fresh bottle, and it remains as charming a cachaça as ever. You won’t miss that gigantic green bottle on the shelf (it barely fits in my…

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Review: Tommy Bahama Rum – White Sand and Golden Sun

By Christopher Null | August 8, 2008 |

When the Wall Street Journal’s Eric Felten named Tommy Bahama white rum his favorite of some 10 rums in a blind tasting, I figured I had to try it. The company was kind enough to send both of its rums, light and dark, to be put to the test. Both are bottled in Barbados (not,…

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Review: Gran Centenario Plata Tequila (2008)

By Christopher Null | August 6, 2008 |

The first thing you’ll notice about this blanco tequila is the distinct yellow tone it has. That’s not a tint on the Deco-styled bottle, that’s the spirit. But aren’t blanco tequilas supposed to be totally clear? Surprise: Gran Centenario lets its blanco/plata mellow for 28 days in oak barrels before going into bottle. It’s not…

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