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: 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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Review: Krol Vodka and Lemon Raspberry Vodka (2008)

By Christopher Null | February 12, 2008 |

I have seen the future, and the future is Kröl. Distilled from Polish rye (in, um, Poland), Kröl isn’t exactly the sexiest name in spirits, but it’s a solid product that vodka lovers will want to check out. Kröl comes in two forms (for now). I tried them both. First up is straight Kröl Vodka,…

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Review: Bak’s Zubrowka Bison Grass Vodka

By Christopher Null | February 11, 2008 |

What the heck is bison grass? It’s grass that, well, bison eat, at least in Poland. And what’s good for the buffalo is also curiously delicious for vodka fans: Zubrówka (pronounced zoo-BROV-ka), also known as bison grass vodka, is now being reintroduced to America after 30 years of being banned, much like Absinthe, due to…

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Review: Pravda Vodka

By Christopher Null | February 2, 2008 |

Regularly marketed as ultra-luxe and advertised as besting every major brand in vodka tastings, Pravda is a Polish spirit, distilled five times from rye and bottled at 80 proof. It shares a lot of the characteristics of other rye vodkas, but Pravda is smoother than most and bears a stronger citrus flavor up front that…

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Review: Jack Daniel’s Gentleman Jack (2008)

By Christopher Null | January 28, 2008 |

Few liquor brands are as heralded as Jack Daniel’s, but it’s never been a favorite of mine. Too harsh for sipping and lacking character even in a Coke, Jack has just not been a big winner for me. And not for lack of trying. You can’t go to a bar or a party without being…

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Review: Peak Organic Amber Ale, Nut Brown Ale, and Pale Ale

By Christopher Null | January 13, 2008 |

Organic beer: OK, I’m in! Peak Organic brews three beers out of its Portland, Maine headquarters, using organic barley and hops and, of course, 100% organic water. Can you taste the difference? Well, depends on what you compare it to. I tried all three of Peak’s beers. Here are some comments. Peak Organic Amber Ale…

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Review: Modmix Organic Cocktail Mixers, Complete Lineup

By Christopher Null | December 27, 2007 |

Yes, even I am sometimes too lazy to juice a lime… and sometimes pineapple juice and fresh mint is not in the house. While the idea of prepackaged mixers is a little off-putting to most mixologists, the notion of organic ones has a certain appeal. When am I going to get organic pineapple juice or…

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