Rated C-

Reviews of spirits, wine, and beer (and various errata like mixers and garnishes) comprise more than 80% of the content at Drinkhacker. C- products are below average in every way, and are not recommended. On a five-star scale, these products would score 1.5 stars. On the traditional 100-point scale popular with many wine and spirits graders, these products would merit scores of 69 to 71 points.

Review: Strainge Beast Hard Kombuchas

By Christopher Null | November 16, 2021 |

Strainge Beast is the hard kombucha spinoff of California’s Sierra Nevada, and the product is available in (at least) 6 flavored versions, at two different abvs. The standard version of the product, available in 16 oz cans, is canned at 7% abv. The newly released “light” version is just 4% abv and comes in 12…

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Review: Ammunition Wines, Bourbon, and Rye

By Christopher Null | October 1, 2021 |

Windsor, California-based Daylight Wine & Spirits is a rare operation that includes both winemaking and distillation operations. The two are interlinked: Its recent whiskeys are sourced products (both from MGP) that are finished in Daylight’s own wine barrels. Everything is bottled under the brand name of Ammunition (with some spin-off labels also in the mix).…

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Review: River Road Chardonnays, 2021 Releases

By Christopher Null | September 29, 2021 |

River Road Family Vineyards is a collection of uncomplicated California-appellated wines from Sonoma County winemaker Ron Rubin. Designed with affordability in mind, the wines span the range of California’s wine styles. Today we look exclusively at a trio of chardonnays, made in three different styles, and all well under $20. 2020 River Road Un-Oaked Chardonnay…

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Review: Bomani Cold Buzz and Vanilla Cold Buzz

By Christopher Null | August 19, 2021 |

Alcohol-infused coffee is increasingly a thing these days, with Bomani the latest to hit the scene. These 325ml cans come in two varieties: regular and vanilla, both made from cold brew coffee and “alcohol from sugar” — though they do not include added sugar in the mix. Let’s give them a try. Both are canned at 5.7%…

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Review: Coalition Rye Margaux Barriques

By Christopher Null | August 19, 2021 |

Coalition Whiskey is an unusual outfit making not just high-test rye but also a variety of renditions of the spirit, each aged in a different type of Bordeaux wine barrel — Sauternes, Margaux, and Pauillac being the three varieties available. This is 100% rye made from local Kentucky grains, aged five years before bottling. We…

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Review: Balnellan Single Malt Cognac Cask Finish

By Rob Theakston | July 6, 2021 |

Balnellan is another in a long line of private label bottlings for big-box American chain store Total Wine, this time supplied by independent bottler Angus Dundee. There have been a few offerings in the Balnellan line, but this expression of single malt whisky is aged in ex-bourbon casks before transferred to Cognac barrels for finishing,…

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Review: Bombay Sapphire Gin & Tonic Cocktails (Canned)

By Robert Lublin | June 4, 2021 |

Canned gin & tonic is on the rise, and many of them are surprisingly solid in quality. While we’ve been worried that the new trend toward ready-to-drink cocktails would result in gin & tonics that were overly-sweet sugar bubbles with booze, instead, most canned gin & tonics have tended to respect both the gin, with…

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Review: Volare Simple Syrup, Grenadine, and Lime

By Christopher Null | June 1, 2021 |

Volare mixers are made in Italy (appropriately, given the company’s name), and they arrive in full size bottles which, unless you work in an airport bar, are probably guaranteed to spoil before you ever finish them off. Today we look at a trio of essential cocktail ingredients. Note that there are no notices regarding refrigeration…

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Review: GlenDronach Port Wood, Plus Cask Bottlings Batch 18 – 1993, 1994, 2005, and 2008

By Christopher Null | April 14, 2021 |

GlenDronach is hitting the market with a new full-time expression as well as four new expressions from its single cask Cask Bottlings line, denoted as Batch 18. Up first we have GlenDronach Port Wood, which should be self-explanatory (though more details follow below). The four bottlings from the Cask Bottlings Batch 18 line are all…

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Review: Castle & Key Sacred Spring Vodka and Roots of Ruin Gin

By Christopher Null | March 2, 2021 |

Castle & Key’s long road to revival has been years in the making, culminating in the recent arrival of its Restoration Rye and a variety of other special edition gins. Its recent releases also include a pair of white spirits that will be part of C&K’s permanent lineup — one vodka and one gin. Both…

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