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 Hogue Cellars, 2010 Releases

By Christopher Null | September 26, 2010 |

Hogue may be Washington’s best-known winery. We checked out four bottles from the producer, including two from Hogue’s second-label Genesis. Prices are about the same between the two brands. 2008 Genesis Chardonnay Columbia Valley – A fresh, young, and alive Chardonnay. Why is it so fresh? Because it’s completely unoaked, letting the wine highlight a…

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Review: 2009 Big House White and Bodegas Osborne Seven Boxed Wines

By Christopher Null | September 25, 2010 |

Don’t need 130 glasses of wine at once? Octavin’s 3-liter boxes will get you about 20, while saving considerable space through the elimination of glass. We’ve reviewed lots of these boxed wines in the past — with generally awful results — but these two are surprisingly not bad. 2009 Big House White California – The…

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Review: Silvertap Keg Wines, 2010 Releases

By Christopher Null | September 25, 2010 |

The world of wine has a lot of mystery and ceremony in it: Dusty old bottles. Corkscrews and sniffed enclosures. Fancy labels with cursive on them. Never mind all that, says Silvertap. This company is putting wine into kegs, much like those that beer is served from, and selling said kegs to restaurants and bars…

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Tasting Four 2006 Cabernets from the Stags Leap District

By Christopher Null | September 21, 2010 |

Our friends at the Stags Leap District in Napa, California, were kind enough to send a smattering of Cabernet Sauvignon wines from the 2006 vintage. We tried them all together to see how this vintage is shaping up. Overall, these Cabs are ready to drink but could stand a little more age. Common threads are…

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Review: Wines of Blackbird, 2010 Releases

By Christopher Null | September 19, 2010 |

Blackbird operates out of Napa Valley’s Yountville area, where it makes Merlot-heavy wines that are inspired by those of Pomerol, Bordeaux. We tasted through six new releases from the winery’s top-notch portfolio. Samples were via Tastingroom.com, from 50ml bottles. 2009 Blackbird Arriviste Napa Valley Rose – A very crisp and easy rose of Merlot (58%),…

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Review: Olmeca Altos Plata Tequila (2010)

By Christopher Null | September 16, 2010 |

Don’t go a-hunting for Olmeca Altos tomorrow. Until now this tequila has only been available outside of the U.S. — and in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, it’s a pretty popular brand. Try hard and you’ll be able to find it stateside — and cheap, too — but the search just might undo you.…

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Review: Vesica Vodka

By Christopher Null | September 14, 2010 |

Math time. .75 liters + 1 liter = what? 1.75 liters, that’s right. And here’s the gimmick with Vesica Vodka: Take the .75 liter bottle and the 1 liter bottle of the vodka and put them together and you get the 1.75 liter bottle — not just in volume, but in bottle shape, too. How…

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Review: Wines of Deep Sea, 2010 Releases

By Christopher Null | September 10, 2010 |

Under its Deep Sea label, Conway Family Wines produces a passel of products. In our sampling, quality was all over the map, with a couple certainly worth a try. 2009 Deep Sea Sea Flower Dry Rose – Strawberries and perfume in this rose of Grenache (68%) and Syrah (38%), though the finish is a bit…

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Review: Revel Stoke Spiced Whisky

By Christopher Null | September 8, 2010 |

You got your spiced rum… well now you got your spiced whiskey, too!. From Phillips Distilling in Minnesota comes Revel Stoke, a Canadian Whisky with “spice and other natural flavors” added. Relaunched after years of absence from the shelves (it was originally released in 2000 and was often written as “Revelstoke”), the cult classic (as…

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Review: 3 Gruner Veltliners, 2010 Releases

By Christopher Null | September 2, 2010 |

Three new Gruner Veltliner white wines from our friends in Austria, all very low in alcohol and worthy of attention! 2008 Zantho Gruner Veltliner – A very crisp wine, with apple, lemon, and some peach notes. Very light body, and just 11.5% alcohol by volume, with a simple and light finish. Quite refreshing. Sealed with…

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