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.

Tasting Report: Wines of Roessler, 2011 Releases

By Christopher Null | April 19, 2011 |

Sonoma’s Roessler is a hidden gem in the region, but it’s no small fry: The winery bottles nearly 20 wines with fruit sourced from all over California — and Oregon. Specializing in Pinot Noir, the winery employs hands-off winemaking techniques and the results speak for themselves. We tasted seven recent vintages stretching from its southern…

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Review: No. 209 and No. 209 Kosher Gin

By Christopher Null | April 18, 2011 |

Passover begins tonight, but those among you who keep kosher during the period may be surprised to find that you can still drink your gin and tonic during the week. No. 209 is one of the only kosher gins in the world (Gordon’s is also on the list) — and it’s the only spirit maker…

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Review: Forty Creek Barrel Select and Double Barrel Reserve Canadian Whisky

By Christopher Null | April 17, 2011 |

Canadian whisky outfit Forty Creek has been winning awards hand over fist for its high-quality whiskys, available at reasonable prices. We took at look at the company’s two current releases (another is coming soon), to see what all the fuss was about. Both are 80 proof. Forty Creek Barrel Select Canadian Whisky – A real…

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Review: Effen Cucumber Vodka

By Christopher Null | April 15, 2011 |

Holland’s Effen expands its line of flavored vodkas — the black cherry version is insanely popular — with this unlikely extension: Cucumber Vodka. Effen isn’t the first cucumber flavored vodka on the market — Square One makes a good one — but this isn’t half bad. Read the fine print and you’ll see that Effen…

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Review: Samuel Adams 2010 “Category 23” LongShot Competition Winners

By Christopher Null | April 12, 2011 |

Every year the folks at Sam Adams hold a competition for homebrewers: Contestants submit their recipes to the company along with samples, the lab rats have a taste test, and the three winners (one is always a Sam Adams employee) get produced, bottled, and sold on an experimental basis. Here are the three 2010 winners…

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Review: Three Ribera del Duero Wines, 2011 Releases

By Christopher Null | April 10, 2011 |

These wines hail from the northern, central portion of Spain and are composed exclusively of Tempranillo grapes. Yet, like many varietals and regions, Ribera del Duero comprises a huge range of wine styles — though all are surprisingly light in alcohol (under 14%). Here’s how three vintages of RdD stack up. 2007 Bodegas y Vinedos…

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Review: Four Roses 2011 Limited Edition Single Barrel Bourbon

By Christopher Null | April 8, 2011 |

Another unique winner of a vintage single barrel bourbon from Four Roses, this rendition of its annual release a 12-year old bourbon from barrel code OBSQ (click here to see what this means), the distillery’s rye-heavy whiskey recipe. The preview sample of the 2011 Single Barrel is hot — 118 proof, though this will change…

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Review: Woodford Reserve Bourbon (2011)

By Christopher Null | April 5, 2011 |

Woodford Reserve is a near-ubiquitous brand on the back bar of virtually any drinking establishment, and if you’re in a bind it’s a solid go-to bourbon when you’re unsure about the rest of the booze on offer. This Kentucky Bourbon is a hot 90.4 proof and benefits greatly from a healthy splash of water, which…

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Review: Heaven Hill Trybox Series New Make White Whiskeys

By Christopher Null | April 4, 2011 |

Like it or not (and most of you appear to be firmly in the “not” camp) white whiskey is here for the consuming. The good news: Heaven Hill is doing something useful with white whiskey beyond attempting to make a quick buck. (Since white whiskey is unaged and need not spend years in expensive barrels,…

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Review: Senor Rio Tequila, Complete Lineup

By Christopher Null | March 31, 2011 |

This tequila brand got its start only two years ago. Distribution is now crawling its way across the U.S. (now including California, Oregon, Arizona, and Tennessee). We got our hands on samples of each of the distillery’s three expressions. All are, of course, 100% blue agave and 80 proof. Senor Rio Blanco Tequila – Unaged…

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