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: Charter 101 Bourbon

By Christopher Null | October 15, 2008 |

Here’s a new kid on the block from the good whiskey folks at Buffalo Trace: Charter (aka Old Charter) Bourbon, bottled at 101 proof and retro top to bottom in its gold-trmmed, angular-designed bottle. No age statement on the label, which is the norm for a $24 bottle of whiskey. In the glass, it’s very…

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Review: Tequilas of Don Julio – Blanco, Reposado, 1942, and Real (2008)

By Christopher Null | October 7, 2008 |

Having previously expressed my love for Don Julio’s Anejo tequila, I finally got my mitts on the other four bottles in Don Julio’s line. Some additional thoughts on the products from one of the most reliable, high-quality tequila producers in operation. All are 80 proof. Don Julio Tequila Blanco – A fresh and creamy taste,…

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Review: The Singleton of Glendullan 12 Years Old (2008)

By Christopher Null | October 6, 2008 |

New Scotch expressions are legion. But Scotch producers making it to the U.S. are pretty rare, considering this country’s love of the stuff. Glendullan distillery presents its first American offering this fall, The Singleton, a 12-year single malt that most Scotch enthusiasts will likely find perfectly pleasant, if a bit entry-level. Produced in the crowded…

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Review: Highland Park 12, 15, 18, 25, 30, and 40 Years Old

By Christopher Null | October 4, 2008 |

It isn’t every day you get to taste the complete lineup of a serious Scotch producer in one sitting… and have a gourmet dinner to go along with it. While I’m still recovering from gulping down six glasses of Scotch in lieu of wine on Thursday night (pacing yourself when you’re thirsty during a meal…

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Review: NV Smith Woodhouse Lodge Reserve Port

By Christopher Null | September 30, 2008 |

Smith Woodhouse isn’t the biggest name in Port, but the company’s Lodge Reserve Port is a winner in the nonvintage world. This is a rich and vibrant ruby Port, full of fruit and jam flavors. The finish is impressively long. It stays with you in the back of your mouth for minutes, fading from sugary…

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Tasting Report: Delamain Cognac Guided Tasting, 2008 Releases

By Christopher Null | September 27, 2008 |

All hail the House of Delamain. I reviewed much of Delamain’s exceptional cognac line earlier in the summer. This week, the company’s Managing Director Charles Braastad took the time to guide me and a handful of other wine and spirits writers through his company’s offerings. This tiny cognac producer makes some amazing products: The youngest…

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Review: Michelob Pale Ale, Irish Red Ale, and Dunkel Weisse

By Christopher Null | September 21, 2008 |

When one says “Pale Ale,” Michelob isn’t a brand that immediately springs to mind. Parent Anheuser-Busch is expanding the Michelob brand, making some seasonal beers permanent and national in availability. I got to try three of them over the weekend. Michelob Pale Ale – This is a fairly traditional Pale Ale style beer, amber in…

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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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