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: Jones Soda GABA Lineup

By Christopher Null | April 3, 2009 |

The ever-innovating soda engineers at Jones have just put out a new line of four new beverages: Combinations of brewed tea and juice, not carbonated, and sweetened with cane sugar and natural flavors. The sell: All of the varieties include GABA, or Gamma Amino Butyric Acid, a “smart drug” neurotransmitter said to “improve mental focus,…

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Review: 2007 Golan Heights Winery Golan Cabernet Sauvignon

By Christopher Null | March 30, 2009 |

I knew Israel made wine, but like most consumers I’d figured it was that cough syrup called Manischewitz and that was about it. Turns out Manischewitz is made in New York, not Israel. Real Israeli wines are far, far better, but just as kosher. With Passover a week away, interest in kosher wines is at…

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Review: ÍS Vodka

By Christopher Null | March 23, 2009 |

Clearing up question #1: ÍS Vodka is pronounced “Ice Vodka,” which sadly ensures that it will draw blank stares not just from people who see it written but from those who hear it spoken aloud, too. Hailing from Iceland (which has more trouble these days than how people pronounce the name of a vodka brand),…

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Review: Ravi Instant Wine Chiller

By Christopher Null | March 20, 2009 |

Let’s say you grab a bottle of wine and it’s too warm. What do you do? If you’re like most people, you probably just open it and drink it anyway. Secondary options typically run to sticking it in the freezer for a few minutes, or using a wine-chilling gadget (like one of these) to bring…

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Review: Jameson Irish Whiskey

By Christopher Null | March 15, 2009 |

Come Tuesday, many of you will be picking up a bottle of Irish whiskey to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, and for most of you, it’ll be either Bushmills or Jameson. Can’t blame you, both are solid Irish brands and you can often find them for about $16, especially this time of year. Some more detailed…

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Review: Ron Abuelo Anejo and Anejo 7 Anos

By Christopher Null | March 10, 2009 |

I’ll be blunt: Ron Abuelo’s rums are as good as rums that cost twice as much and possibly more. Right now the company (producer Varela Hermanos, a 100-year-old firm) offers two rums, distilled in Panama from sugar cane the company grows itself. (Abuelo claims to be one of few distilleries in the world to grow…

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Review: Bruichladdich Bourbon Cask 16, 2001 Resurrection Dram, 21 Years Old, and 1984 Golder Still

By Christopher Null | March 1, 2009 |

Bruichladdich — a perennial favorite at Drinkhacker HQ from Islay — recently released a number of new expressions of its classic whisky, some with surprising compositions. We got our mitts (and tongues) on four of them: Bruichladdich Bourbon Cask Aged 16 Years Old – No big surprise here. 97 percent of Scotch whisky is matured…

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Review: Evan Williams Single Barrel Bourbon 1999 Vintage

By Christopher Null | February 13, 2009 |

While Evan Williams may be best known for it’s $9.49 black label bourbon, the fact is the company makes a wide range of whiskeys spanning a range of price levels. While not its most expensive concoction, this vintage-dated, single-barrel bourbon is near the top for the company, though at just $30 a bottle (sometimes less),…

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Review: Brora 25 Years Old Limited Edition 2008

By Christopher Null | February 8, 2009 |

A coastal Highlands single malt, part of Diageo’s limited release series (with about 3,000 bottles produced) whisky is initially a little off-putting, but some time with it opens things up and reveals more of its charms. Cutting through a cloud of smoke is your first challenge, and you’ll find a honey and lemon-orange body underneath.…

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Review: ViB “Vacation in a Bottle” Chill-N Flavor

By Christopher Null | February 8, 2009 |

Vacation in a bottle? It’s like the Holy Grail of beverages… but is it too good to be true? Vacation in a Bottle — or ViB — is a non-alcoholic, lightly carbonated soft drink, sweetened with cane sugar (not corn syrup) and some sucralose, flavored with natural pomegranate and goji berry juices  (at least this…

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