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: Wines of Alex Elman, 2011 Releases

By Christopher Null | May 15, 2011 |

Sometimes the wines we get aren’t our favorites. But we review them anyway, especially when the story behind them is so lovely. This line of inexpensive whites and reds from Argentina are created by a young, blind winemaker (Alex Elman, of course) and are produced sustainably (and affordably). The inaugural releases arrive this month on…

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Review: Remy Martin 1738 Accord Royal Cognac

By Christopher Null | May 14, 2011 |

I regret to inform the reader that Remy Martin’s new Cognac, 1738 Accord Royal, is not 273 years old. It is rather a new blend of some 240 eaux de vie, 65% Grande Champagne and 35% Petite Champagne grapes, aged between 4 and 20 years in Limousin oak barrels. The name derives from a 1731…

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Review: iX MiXers

By Christopher Null | May 12, 2011 |

One way to prevent a hangover is to try any number of hangover prevention products before you go out. (I’ve reviewed dozens of them on this blog.) Another idea: Drop your poison into a hangover-stopping mixer directly, bypassing the need for a preliminary (and often nasty-tasting) pre-cure. That’s the idea with iX MiXers, a pair…

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Review: Koval White Whiskeys, Rye, Millet Whiskey, and Ginger Liqueur

By Christopher Null | May 11, 2011 |

To call Koval Distillery an “artisan” operation would be the understatement of the year. Koval, based in Chicago, is a microdistillery of the bizarre: It takes organic, single grains — not just wheat and rye, but stuff like oats, millet, and spelt — and makes booze out of them. Bottled without aging (under the Koval…

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Review: Clif Family Winery The Climber Wines

By Christopher Null | May 5, 2011 |

How do you solve a problem like bringing wine to a picnic? No one wants to lug glass bottles around. They’re heavy, they break, and yes, you surely forgot your corkscrew, too. Problem solved by Clif Family Winery (yes, they same people who make the tasty nutrition bars): Put two bottles worth of wine into…

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Review: Ole Smoky Distillery Apple Pie Moonshine

By Christopher Null | May 4, 2011 |

You say apple pie, I say apple pie moonshine. Yes folks, it’s two great tastes that taste great together, with Tennessee’s Ole Smoky Distillery moonshine — 80% corn and 20% mystery — making up the backbone of a classic yet indescribable spirit. The nose and body scream cinnamon and apples, in that order. This is…

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Review: 2006 Janzen Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley

By Christopher Null | May 3, 2011 |

The rather thin body on this Napa Cabernet fills out a bit as it gets some time with air, but Janzen’s Cab never quite gels. Tough and tight, you will eke out aromas of coffee and tar, and flavors of dark berries, bramble, and wood — but the hard finish indicates either a wine that’s…

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Review: Tequila Partida Reposado (2011)

By Christopher Null | May 2, 2011 |

I first encountered Partida when this blog was young. Very young, just a few months old. Given the chance to sample the full Partida line, I greatly enjoyed the product. In fact, I remember recommending it by name to numerous young tequila enthusiasts. I have encountered Partida several times since then, but in a formal…

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Review: Winter Palace and Emperor Vodka

By Christopher Null | April 30, 2011 |

The tzar of Russia’s vodka… where might it come from? If Emperor’s Brand (which brought us Giorgio G Cognac) is right, it’s… France. Winter Palace and Emperor may not be the original deal, but at the very least they are inspired by Old World recipes, both distilled (six times) from French wheat and cut with…

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Review: A. de Fussigny Cognac Selection and Superieur

By Christopher Null | April 29, 2011 |

Fussigny Cognac has been made since 1814 but it’s been absent from the U.S. for years, lacking an importer. Now Castle Brands has picked it up and is bringing Fussigny back to the states. We tried two of the three main expressions that this independent Cognac house is offering here. (Tragically our XO sample broke…

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