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: Leblon Cachaca

By Christopher Null | August 12, 2008 |

Leblon was the first cachaça I ever tried and it remains a perfectly acceptable introduction to the beauty of the spirit. The company was kind enough to send a fresh bottle, and it remains as charming a cachaça as ever. You won’t miss that gigantic green bottle on the shelf (it barely fits in my…

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Review: Tommy Bahama Rum – White Sand and Golden Sun

By Christopher Null | August 8, 2008 |

When the Wall Street Journal’s Eric Felten named Tommy Bahama white rum his favorite of some 10 rums in a blind tasting, I figured I had to try it. The company was kind enough to send both of its rums, light and dark, to be put to the test. Both are bottled in Barbados (not,…

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Review: Gran Centenario Plata Tequila (2008)

By Christopher Null | August 6, 2008 |

The first thing you’ll notice about this blanco tequila is the distinct yellow tone it has. That’s not a tint on the Deco-styled bottle, that’s the spirit. But aren’t blanco tequilas supposed to be totally clear? Surprise: Gran Centenario lets its blanco/plata mellow for 28 days in oak barrels before going into bottle. It’s not…

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Review: Cabo Wabo Reposado Tequila

By Christopher Null | August 4, 2008 |

Got a chance to try Sammy Hagar’s Mexican brainchild: Cabo Wabo, at least its reposado version, thanks to a bottle courtesy of the company. Reposado is historically my least favorite of the three tequila varieties, so I went in automatically disappointed, but came away reasonably impressed. Cabo Wabo’s Reposado (aged from 3 to 12 months…

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Review: Mata Hari Absinthe Bohemian

By Christopher Null | August 3, 2008 |

Mata Hari absinthe is an Austrian spirit, distilled (per the bottle) from the original Belle Epoque recipe from 1881. Of course, the actual Mata Hari would have been just 5 years old at the time the recipe was created, so we’ll assume the recipe came first, the name came later. Made with Grand Wormwood and…

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Review: Wild Turkey American Honey Liqueur

By Christopher Null | August 2, 2008 |

Honey- and whiskey-based liqueuers are nothing new. Drambuie, of course, is the classic by which others are measured. There’s also another honey+Scotch spirit called Lochan Ora, and one from Macallan called Amber (which is actually flavored with maple syrup instead of honey). American Honey is the first American version of this spirit that I’ve seen:…

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Review: 4 Delamain Cognacs – Pale & Dry, Vesper, Tres Venerable, and Extra

By Christopher Null | July 27, 2008 |

The four Cognacs reviewed below represent $1,150 worth of booze (in 750ml bottle formats)… and compared to the latest entry in Delamain’s collection, that’s pretty much nothing. Delamain’s latest — Le Voyage — costs $7,000 a bottle, which includes a Baccarat decanter and leather “traveling box.” I haven’t tried Le Voyage (that’s on tap, I’m…

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Review: La Fee Absinthe Parisienne

By Christopher Null | July 18, 2008 |

This new kid on the U.S. market arrived on our shores only a month ago: La Fée Absinthe Parisienne was the first absinthe to be commercially produced (starting in 1998) since the country’s ban of the spirit in 1915. Absinthe purists will appreciate its grand wormwood base, but the bright green color (yep, that’s the…

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Review: Karlsson’s Gold Vodka

By Christopher Null | July 13, 2008 |

With its squat bottle reminiscent of those they sell iced tea in and an almost gaudy black-and-gold label (yeah, that’s a golden potato instead of an O), Karlsson’s Gold Vodka won’t be easily missed in a sea of etched-label, oversized bottles of the stuff. But Karlsson’s isn’t bottom-shelf swill. Created by Börje Karlsson, the “Father…

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Review: 2005 Robert Craig Affinity

By Christopher Null | July 8, 2008 |

Robert Craig has been making wine on Mount Veeder for 30 years. Exactly. This year, Craig celebrates its 30th anniversary as a creator of “mountain Cabernets.” In honor, here comes his 2005 Affinity, a Bordeaux-style blend from Howell Mountain, on the other side of the valley. Affinity is 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot, and 1%…

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