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: O2 Sparkling Vodka

By Christopher Null | April 25, 2008 |

Yeah, you read that right: Vodka, sparkling. The idea of carbonated vodka is either genius or stupid. I mean, you can pour your vodka into a little soda and it’s got plenty of carbonation right there, doesn’t it? Well, maybe you don’t want soda… maybe you just want sparkling vodka. Great idea! I think. Those…

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Review: Russian Standard (Original) Vodka

By Christopher Null | April 7, 2008 |

Does price matter? Russian Standard offers an “original” version of its vodka in addition to a “Platinum” bottling and its vaunted “Imperia,” which I’ve previously reviewed. All are made in basically the same way, with a few differences, namely in the filtration systems they employ. But Russian Standard “Original” is just $22 a bottle, while…

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Review: Ketel One Vodka (2008)

By Christopher Null | April 2, 2008 |

Mad props to Ketel One. This brand is pretty much singlehandedly responsible for introducing ultrapremium vodka into the market, and it’s still going strong today. Made in The Netherlands from wheat, the 80-proof spirit is very traditional on the whole, and not in a bad way. The taste is clean, lightly citrusy and tinged with…

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Review: Level Vodka

By Christopher Null | March 24, 2008 |

People who say there’s no difference among vodka brands should be directed posthaste to Level. It’s a gut-punching vodka, in a way you might not expect. Level (a product of the Absolut folks in Sweden, distilled from grain at 80 proof), is immediately pungent upon opening the bottle, strong and thick when served from the…

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Review: saké2me Sparkling Cocktails

By Christopher Null | March 14, 2008 |

My first challenge in this review is not how to describe what saké2me tastes like. It’s how to categorize it in this blog. saké2me is a blend of sake, natural flavors, and sparkling water. It comes in ready-to-drink bottles 187ml in size and weighs in at a beer-like 7% alcohol, comparable to malt liquor-based beverages…

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Review: Bushmills Original Irish Whiskey (2008)

By Christopher Null | March 12, 2008 |

Jameson isn’t the only name in Irish. With St. Patrick’s Day just around the corner, let’s share the love with Bushmills, the other major name in Irish whiskey, which is celebrating its 400th anniversary this year. Bushmills — aka Bushmills Original — has a very typical Irish flavor: The honey of Scotch and but without…

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Review: Russian Standard Imperia Vodka

By Christopher Null | March 1, 2008 |

If you aren’t familiar with Russian Standard’s Imperia vodka (its highest-end of three bottlings) due to its ubiquitous print advertising, you won’t miss the angular, hexagon-bottomed bottle at the liquor store. It looks like something that ought to have been erected on the outskirts of Moscow during the Yeltsin years, a stark monument to drowned…

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Review: 360 Vodka

By Christopher Null | February 29, 2008 |

The world’s first “eco luxury vodka,” 360 Vodka is bottled at 80 proof in 85% recycled glass, labeled with chlorine-free paper, and even uses a twine string to attach a postage-paid envelope to the top of the bottle: You use it to return the metal closure on top of the bottle (like a Grolsch beer…

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Review: Cafe Boheme Coffee Creme Liqueur

By Christopher Null | February 21, 2008 |

Inspired, so they say, by the cafe scene of 1920s Paris (it says so write on the bottle: “1920’s Paris”), the folks behind Alizé bring us this curious liqueur, a blend, again so they say, of coffee, vodka, cream, and vanilla. Sounds like four great tastes that go great together! Café Bohême muscles into a…

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Review: VeeV Acai Spirit

By Christopher Null | February 17, 2008 |

Açai (pronounced ah-SAH-eee) is the superfood of the moment, so it was only a matter of time before it became a spirit. VeeV is the only açai spirit on the market, but there’s more to it than that. Not quite a vodka and not quite a liqueur, VeeV is a 60-proof spirit that’s clear and…

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