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 the Red Wines of Languedoc, 2011 Releases

By Christopher Null | October 19, 2011 |

The Languedoc region of France often gets little respect, but it’s actually the largest wine region in the world, by both area and volume of production. Located on the southern, Mediterranean coast of the country, it shares a lot in common with its neighbor to the north: The Rhone Valley. These three wines are all…

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Review: Clontarf 1014 Irish Whiskey (2011)

By Christopher Null | October 17, 2011 |

Clontarf Classic Blend has been rebranded and upgraded to Clontarf 1014, named now in honor of one of Ireland’s most famous battles (the Battle of Clontarf, as it were) — and released just in time for a 1,000-year anniversary. As for the whiskey, nothing seems to have changed since the old version. My notes —…

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Review: Buffalo Trace Antique Collection 2011 Edition

By Christopher Null | October 4, 2011 |

We’ve been writing about Buffalo Trace’s awe-inspiring Antique Collection for longer than I can remember, and each year it seems like these five Bourbons are better than the last time out. This year that streak seems to be taking a breather, with a mixed bag of very good and merely “OK” whiskeys. I’d still drink…

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Johnnie Walker Double Black

Review: Johnnie Walker Double Black

By Christopher Null | October 1, 2011 |

Johnnie Walker, like the rest of the whisky industry, is betting on black. Twice. Formerly available only as a duty-free product, the company is (today) releasing as a limited edition a new blended Scotch called “Double Black,” a more heavily wooded and smoke-infused version of its classic Black Label — for my money, Walker’s best…

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Review: 2006 Kaesler Grenache “The Fave” Barossa Valley

By Christopher Null | September 30, 2011 |

One sip and this Aussie Grenache will just about knock you down. At 16 percent alcohol, it’s a bruiser amongst bruisers and a wine that isn’t likely to win any awards in a nuance contest. That said, it’s really full of flavor: Jammy, as you’d expect, but surprisingly lush with rich plum and cherry fruit,…

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Review: Cruzan Coconut Rum

By Christopher Null | September 25, 2011 |

Coconut continues to be a vital flavoring agent in all manner of spirits (we’ve got coconut vodka coming later in the week for you), and our friends at St. Croix’s Cruzan sent us their rendition of the classic coconut rum. They even put their money where their mouths are: Sending a mini of Bacardi Rock…

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Review: Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch Bourbon 2011 Edition

By Christopher Null | September 21, 2011 |

This year, the “small” batch gets bigger than ever: Four Roses is batching four of its 10 Bourbon recipes into the 2011 Limited Edition Small Batch release. This year, the annual Limited Edition Small Batch is built out of 13-year OBSK, 13-year OESQ, 12-year OESV, and 11-year OESK. (If none of that means anything to…

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Review: Bacardi Oakheart Spiced Rum

By Christopher Null | September 18, 2011 |

It’s a little hard to believe, but the top-selling rum company on earth — in fact, one of the top-selling spirits brands in the world — did not, until now, have a spiced rum under its umbrella. That is finally changing, as Bacardi this month has launched Oakheart, its own “smooth spiced rum.” The emphasis…

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Review: Tatratea Liqueurs

By Christopher Null | September 16, 2011 |

Today we have the very good fortune to cover a new liqueur series from Karloff Tatra Distillery in Slovakia, all based on tea. Not sweet tea, so common in today’s flavored vodka universe, but hot, fermented tea: Brewed, black tea, spiced with herbs, and mixed with alcohol.  Cane sugar is used for sweetening. Then Tatratea…

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Tasting Report: Momokawa Sake, Complete Lineup, 2011 Releases

By Christopher Null | September 13, 2011 |

When he stopped by with six bottles of domestic rice wine, I asked Dewey Weddington, VP of Marketing for Momokawa, why anyone would want to drink an American sake. The answer was not exactly surprising: Because it tastes good… just like American red wine is as good as French, just as American beer is as…

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