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 (Plus Live Tasting): Laphroaig 10 Years Old (2008) and Quarter Cask

By Christopher Null | June 17, 2008 |

One of the great things about this job is getting to meet the people (like Dan Gordon and Jameson’s Brendan Monks) who actually make the wine, beer, and spirits we so lustily consume. But not every distillery can send their masters on a flight around the world to meet with writers, so classic Scotch bottler…

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Review: Cabana Cachaça

By Christopher Null | June 7, 2008 |

If you haven’t seen Cabana’s advertisements in the glossies, you haven’t been looking hard enough. You really can’t miss them, what with the woman’s lower torso and the tagline “Authentically Brazilian.” (As a side note, this has caused some tongues to wag, as the spirit is brought to us by an American liquor magnate.) Politics…

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Review: Gekkeikan Zipang Sparkling Sake

By Christopher Null | June 6, 2008 |

Sake continues its slow but inexorable push into American cocktails and bottles, this time with Gekkeikan’s Zipang Sparkling Sake beverage. Like saké2me, Zipang is a single-serve bottle (though larger, at 250ml). Unlike saké2me though, Zipang isn’t flavored, it’s literally just sake given a light carbonation. If you like sake, you’ll really enjoy Zipang. Served nice…

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Review: Jetset Energy Mixers

By Christopher Null | June 3, 2008 |

Jetset advertisements have been pummeling the magazine world of late. How do they stack up? I recently tried all five versions. Jetset Energy Original is your standard, skinny-can energy concoction, a guarana-ginseng-taurine-caffeine soda with a lemon-lime kick. It’s better than Red Bull, and better than most energy drinks out there. It’s a pretty clean drink,…

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Review: Van Gogh Flavored Vodkas, 2008 Releases

By Christopher Null | June 2, 2008 |

Maybe if Vincent Van Gogh had had vodka like this he wouldn’t have had to cut off his ear. Van Gogh makes a standard vodka, but it’s best known for its flavored offerings (it currently has 17 of them, plus a gin). The company recently sent a pack of five sample-size bottles for me to…

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Review: Tequila 7 Leguas (2008)

By Christopher Null | June 1, 2008 |

7 Leguas or Siete Leguas (“Seven Leagues”) was the name of Pancho Villa’s horse. How does such a moniker bode for the tequila named after him? Well, I guess I’d rather drink tequila named after a horse than something named after Pancho Villa himself. (Really, think about it…) 7 Leguas offers the three traditional (all…

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Review: Absolut 100 Vodka

By Christopher Null | May 29, 2008 |

With its black label and silver cap, Absolut 100 is an ominous spirit to face down, which probably explains why it’s been sitting on my kitchen counter for three weeks: It scares me. 100 proof of pure vodka, this is a higher-test version of the Absolut that everyone knows so well. Absolut’s characteristic heat is…

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Review: 2005 Charles Krug Cabernet Sauvignon Yountville – Napa Valley

By Christopher Null | May 26, 2008 |

Founded in 1861, Charles Krug is Napa Valley’s oldest winery. I know this because it says so right on the label of Krug’s 2005 Cabernet. Now operated by Peter Mondavi and his family, Krug wines are still alive and kicking. The 2005 Charles Krug Cabernet Sauvignon Yountville – Napa Valley is actually a curious blend:…

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Review: 2005 Barossa Valley Estate E Minor Chardonnay and Shiraz

By Christopher Null | May 20, 2008 |

Created from grapes grown throughout Australia’s Barossa Valley, Barossa Valley Estate’s E Minor bottlings are real mutts of a wine, the product of labors of some 60 growers. Can a wine created from grapes from dozens of vineyards be any good? Let’s find out. 2005 Barossa Valley Estate E Minor Chardonnay is a new world…

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Review: Sergeant Classick White and Gold Rum

By Christopher Null | May 19, 2008 |

Rum is just about the only spirit I don’t regularly drink straight (some superpremium dark rums excepted), but it’s also the one that makes for some of the most delicious cocktails. Funny, eh? Sergeant Classick is one of the only rums that claims to come from the state of Hawaii, as it’s made from molasses…

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