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: 2018 Hamel Isthmus Red Wine Sonoma Valley

By Christopher Null | January 2, 2022 |

2018’s Hamel Isthmus is a much more approachable wine than the 2016 bottling. Composed of a much different blend of 64% cabernet sauvignon, 18% merlot, 14% cabernet franc, and 4% petit verdot, the wine is quite dry and weighty, notes of graphite and tanned leather yielding tentatively to a punch of currants and blackberry bramble,…

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Review: NV Le Chemin du Roi Champagne – Brut and Brut Rose

By Christopher Null | December 31, 2021 |

Le Chemin du Roi translates to “the king’s path,” but a better name for the brand might have been Cinquante Cents, on account of the brand being owned by Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson. (He also has a new Cognac brand, which we’ll be reviewing shortly.) “Roi” is available in three versions, all nonvintage. Today we…

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Review: Harpoon Imperial IPA: Big & Limited Edition and Green Mountain Ryed

By Christopher Null | December 29, 2021 |

Harpoon is set for winter with these two frosty-weather releases. Harpoon Imperial IPA: Big & Limited Edition – This may be a limited edition released only for the winter season — it’s made with Harpoon’s standard recipe, but with an upsized abv — but this monster IPA comes across largely as a classic imperial, sweet…

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Review: Ruddell’s Mill Bourbon, Rye, and Cherries

By Christopher Null | December 29, 2021 |

“The Covered Bridges Whiskey Company” is a New Jersey-based operation making Kentucky whiskey, including a straight bourbon and a straight rye. In other words, while the company has a lush backstory about the value of covered bridges, gristmills, and the history of one Isaac Ruddell, dating back to 1788, this is still all sourced stock…

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Review: Trentodoc Wines of Ferrari, 2021 Releases

By Robert Lublin | December 28, 2021 |

It is an exciting time for fans of Italian sparkling wine with great new varieties finding their way to American shores. Today we are trying Trentodoc. This sparkling wine comes from the mountainous Trento region of northern Italy and is made in the traditional method, like Champagne, with secondary fermentation taking place in the bottle.…

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Review: Stone Hazy IPA and 25th Anniversary Triple IPA

By Christopher Null | December 27, 2021 |

Is every craft brewery having a 25th anniversary this year? Let’s catch up with California’s Stone, which recently dropped as new hazy that does not have tangerines and such in it — plus a monster triple IPA brewed special for the anniversary. We tried them both. Stone Hazy IPA – Yep, just Hazy IPA. It’s a…

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Review: Still Austin Cask Strength Bourbon

By Christopher Null | December 25, 2021 |

Hot on the heels of our coverage of its gin, Still Austin Whiskey Co.’s latest whiskey has arrived, its first ever cask strength bourbon, now available as a limited release. Roughly 2200 cases of the “at least two years old” bourbon were produced. Made from 100% Texas grains, the new expression contains the same mash…

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Review: Castle & Key The Untold Story of Kentucky Whiskey, Chapter 1

By Drew Beard | December 23, 2021 |

In recent years, whiskey brands like Uncle Nearest have helped to highlight the important role African Americans have played in the long history of American whiskey production. With its latest release, The Untold Story of Kentucky Whiskey, Chapter 1, Castle & Key Distillery is doing its part to honor that history and promote diversity and…

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Review: Glenmorangie “A Tale of Winter”

By Christopher Null | December 20, 2021 |

Glenmorangie’s last “tale” whisky was one about… cake. Now the distillery turns its attention to something you can’t actually eat: winter, with another wine cask finished single malt. A Tale of Winter, designed to “encapsulate the delight of snuggling up in a winter jumper by the fire, while snow lay on the ground,” is a…

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Review: Wines of CK Mondavi, 2021 Releases

By Rob Theakston | December 19, 2021 |

Mondavi is one of the few family dynasties synonymous with modern winemaking. Now in its fourth generation of family members in the business, CK Mondavi is celebrating Mondavi’s 75th anniversary with a branding refresh: new labels designed with temperature-sensitive inks to let one know when white wines are properly chilled. 2020 CK Mondavi and Family…

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