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: Brooklyn Brewery Black Ops (2023)

By Christopher Null | January 18, 2024 |

Brooklyn Brewery’s Black Ops is back again in pint-sized cans — again relying on Four Roses barrels to age its hearty Russian Imperial stout for nine months before release. I found the 2023 expression rather fruitier than prior editions, and quite a bit less fizzy. Brooding with notes of prunes and macerated figs, the beer…

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Review: 2022 Cantina Zaccagnini Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo

By Rob Theakston | January 17, 2024 |

We recently had the pleasure of trying both the Tralcetto Montepulciano and the Pinot Grigio from Cantina Zaccagnini, with both wines showing commendable qualities. Now we have the good fortune to try the Cerasuolo varietal from this Abruzzo-based winery. The wine pours a hue of medium salmon and presents aromas of cherry and strawberry complemented…

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Review: Old Forester 1924 and The 117 Series – Scotch Cask Finish

By Christopher Null | January 17, 2024 |

Old Forester surprised us all this winter with the announcement of a fifth edition in the Whiskey Row Series, a collection of whiskeys intended to evoke old timey styles of bourbondom dating variously to 1870, 1897, 1910, and 1920. The 1910 and 1920 bottlings are some of our favorite bourbons ever, so the addition of…

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Review: Vina Leyda Pinot Noir – 2022 Reserva and 2021 Coastal Vineyards Las Brisas

By Rob Theakston | January 15, 2024 |

Chile’s Vina Leyda carries a reputation for making engaging wines aided by the cool climate and Pacific coastline less than five kilometers from the vineyard. We’ve previously enjoyed their lively Sauvignon Blancs and now we turn our attention to two pinot noirs, each with distinct flavor profiles. 2022 Vina Leyda Reserva Pinot Noir – A…

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Review: Deanston Virgin Oak Cask Strength Batch No. 1 (2023)

By Drew Beard | January 15, 2024 |

While we’re starting to see more and more Scotch distillers dabble with virgin oak, Deanston in the Scottish Highlands has had a non-age-stated Virgin Oak offering as a core expression for years now. That bottle clocks in at a respectable 46.3%, but last fall, they decided to turn up the volume on this one with…

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Review: Wines of Colome Estate (Winter 2024 Releases)

By Rob Theakston | January 14, 2024 |

Salta isn’t a region most folks immediately associate with wine from Argentina. Cuyo seems to dominate the conversation, especially Mendoza, but the humble territory from the north quietly turns out wines just as engaging that present the country’s versatile terroir. Colomé is one of those vineyards showing its Salta roots with pride, and today we…

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Review: Deschutes Brewery Late 2023 Releases

By Christopher Null | January 12, 2024 |

At the end of 2023, Oregon’s Deschutes dropped a handful of new (and re-) releases, including the re-revamped version of its highly prized Dissident sour, tasted here next to a vintage version of the same beer from 2019, the last time it was made from this recipe. Let’s check them out. Deschutes Brewery The Dissident…

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Review: Nelson Bros. Rye Whiskey and Nelson’s Green Brier Tennessee Whiskey Cask Strength

By Christopher Null | January 12, 2024 |

Out Nashville buddies the Nelson brothers recently released two new whiskeys — one, a sourced rye bottled under the Nelson Bros. brand, the other a cask strength Tennessee whiskey made by the Nelsons directly, bottled to celebrate the recent completion of the distillery’s renovation (which no includes a restaurant on site). Let’s dig in to…

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Review: Nc’nean Organic Single Malt Whisky

By Drew Beard | January 11, 2024 |

Distilleries all over the world are finally starting to go green, but it feels like there’s been a particular focus on sustainability in the whisky space over the last year or so. Distilling is a notoriously energy intensive process, and for a lot of large-scale heritage brands, it’s going to take a while for their…

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Review: Eda Rhyne Rare Grain Rye Single Barrel and Fernet Barrel

By Drew Beard | January 10, 2024 |

Since they first started distilling in 2018, Asheville’s Eda Rhyne has built a portfolio of spirits unique among most craft distillers. Their first bottlings focused solely on amari instead of the more typical vodka and gin (although they got around to the latter eventually). That approach was rooted in a desire to spotlight the Appalachian…

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