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: Vicious Vodka

By Christopher Null | December 28, 2008 |

I had no idea how combative the idea of caffeinated spirits would be: Vicious Vodka claims to have originated the idea six years ago, fighting for months for government approval to add caffeine to booze. The company has a patent on its production process and remains a small, deeply devoted player in this market, with…

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Review: Captain Morgan Spiced Rum 100 Proof

By Christopher Null | December 19, 2008 |

I’ll start by saying I’m not entirely clear what the function of a new version of Captain Morgan is. The old version has a pirate on the bottle, comes from Puerto Rico, and comes in at a standard 70 proof. The new one has a pirate on the bottle, comes from Puerto Rico, and hits…

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Review: Kirkland Macallan Sherry Cask Finish 18 Years Old

By Christopher Null | December 18, 2008 |

Kirkland? If that name sounds familiar it’s because it’s the house brand of big box megastore Costco. And yes, they bottle their own brand of Macallan Scotch whisky. For newbie whisky drinkers, allow me to explain in brief. In a nutshell, this is how it works: In Scotland they make a lot of whisky. Sometimes…

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Review: Indio Vodkas

By Christopher Null | December 15, 2008 |

As promised yesterday, today we’re plowing through the five vodkas (one straight, four flavored) from Portland’s Indio Spirits. All five are 80-proof and distilled from rye, then filtered through charcoal-activated coconut husks. (All the vodkas are uncolored, too, and feature very approachable prices.) Indio Silver Edition Vodka – This is the straight, unflavored vodka, and…

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Review: Snake River Stampede Canadian Whisky

By Christopher Null | December 14, 2008 |

Designed in all ways — from the name to the bottle to what’s inside — Snake River Stampede Canadian Whisky is a frontier-styled cowboy whiskey through and through. Aged eight years, though, this ain’t saloon rotgut but rather a surprisingly erudite whiskey that would be at home in a high-class bar as it would on…

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Review: Vinturi Wine Aerator

By Christopher Null | December 7, 2008 |

Every wine enthusiast ends up with drawers full of gadgets designed to enhance the flavor of wine, but a good old decanter is perhaps the best way to take both a tannic young wine or a musty old one and bring out the most pleasant characters of each without a lot of sitting around and…

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Review: Tequila Herradura, Complete Lineup (2008)

By Christopher Null | December 5, 2008 |

Finally got my mitts on the full line of standard Herradura tequilas (all except the Seleccion Suprema). Here are some thoughts on all three expressions. All are 80 proof. Tequila Herradura Silver (2008) – (original report here) – This blanco has grown on me since I originally reviewed it in April. My overall tasting notes are…

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Review: Boru Vodkas

By Christopher Null | December 4, 2008 |

The only vodka I’ve sampled from the country of Ireland, Boru is named after a legendary Irish king… who probably wouldn’t have been caught dead drinking vodka. No matter. Distilled five times (from unspecified grain), this vodka hits 80 proof in its unflavored and three flavored incarnations (all use natural flavorings). We sampled all four.…

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Review: 2006 Dos Cabezas WineWorks Red

By Christopher Null | November 30, 2008 |

Dos Cabezas stands as the only wine brand I’ve consumed to hail from the great state of Arizona. No, really: They grow grapes and bottle wine in every state in the U.S., so why not sweltering Arizona, too? Dos Cabezas is based in Sonoita, a mountainous region (nearly a mile high, where it gets awfully…

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Review: Four Compass Box Whiskies – Peat Monster, Peat Monster Reserve, Oak Cross, and Hedonism Maximus

By Christopher Null | November 30, 2008 |

Happy St. Andrew’s Day! Here’s a little Scotch coverage to honor the occasion. Many critics and distilleries use the phrase “peat monster” to describe their heavily-peated malts. Compass Box, which hails from the Islay area, actually gave the term to a couple of its products. Here’s how the two real Peat Monsters, plus two more…

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