Rated D/F

Reviews of spirits, wine, and beer (and various errata like mixers and garnishes) comprise more than 80% of the content at Drinkhacker. This category is a catch-all for everything rated D+, D, D-, or F, our lowest rating. These products should be categorically avoided by everyone (and preferably discontinued altogether). On a five-star scale, these products would score 1.5 stars (for D+ ratings) or 1 star (for D, D-, and F ratings). On the traditional 100-point scale popular with many wine and spirits graders, these products would merit scores 68 or below.

Review: Smirnoff Spicy Tamarind Vodka

By Christopher Null | March 30, 2021 |

My tamarind fandom is well documented, so naturally when Smirnoff released a tamarind-flavored vodka, I was ready to give it a try. This bottling was originally exclusive to Mexico, where the tamarind is king, but recently it arrived in the U.S., complete with a spooky glows-under-black-light label. As cool as the label is, it’s the…

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Review: Biza Sparkling Cocktails

By Rob Theakston | March 29, 2021 |

Depending on how you frame the question and with whom you are speaking, the answer to “What is Ibiza?” could be twofold: a magical island filled with kindhearted soul searchers steeped in tradition, mysticism and unparalleled beauty both in spirit and physical. Or it’s a place where Europeans go for weeks on end during their…

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Review: Harpoon Dunkin’ Dozen Collaboration Beers – Late 2020 Releases

By Christopher Null | January 19, 2021 |

Harpoon made waves in 2018 with its solid Coffee Porter collaboration with, of all brands, Dunkin’ (nee Donuts). At the tail end of 2020 it came out swinging with four more brews (well, three plus a reissue), part of a “Dunkin’ Dozen” case, all inspired by Dunkin’ stuff — and not necessarily its coffee —…

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Review: Wines of District 7, 2020 Releases

By Christopher Null | November 6, 2020 |

District 9 is a movie about a dystopian future on earth. District 7 is a new, affordable label out of Monterey, produced by Scheid Family Wines, all made from sustainably-grown estate fruit. Let’s try them. 2018 District 7 Chardonnay Monterey – A curious wine. While the body is gummy up front, the palate is surprisingly…

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Review: Wines of Diora, 2020 Releases

By Christopher Null | October 6, 2020 |

Diora is a winery located in San Bernabe Vineyard, in the tiny San Bernabe AVA in Monterey County. When first planted to grapes in the 1970s, the vineyard was optimized for large-scale commercial winemaking, with wide vine spacing to accommodate machine picking and pruning. Delicato Family Wines, owned by the Indelicato family, purchased the San…

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Review: Glen Ranoch Special Reserve Highland Single Malt

By Rob Theakston | September 12, 2020 |

Let the record show I have absolutely no problem with going to the budget shelf, nor does anyone else on this staff. Through countless samples of flavored vodkas, beers, gins and whatever else comes our way, we have zero problem venturing forth into anything with a good-faith taste test. Our tongues are not so frail…

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Review: Cardhu 12 Years Old (2020) and Game of Thrones Cardhu House Targaryen Gold Reserve

By Rob Theakston | August 17, 2020 |

When measured against its reputable Diageo siblings, Cardhu would not be the first choice of many a seasoned single malt aficionado. A quick glance at reliable sources shows independent offerings are rare on the market, and with the exception of the occasional special release in a limited-edition collection, there are seldom expansions beyond two or…

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Review: Sheep Dog Peanut Butter Whiskey

By Christopher Null | June 2, 2020 |

Watch out Skrewball, there’s another peanut butter flavored whiskey on the market: Sheep Dog, a new product from spirits giant Sazerac. There’s not a lot of production information here, but the whiskey is naturally flavored and colored with caramel. Put simply, Sheep Dog makes Skrewball look like a masterpiece. Crack the bottle and vaporized sugar…

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Review: Lyre’s Non-Alcoholic Spirits – Amaretti, Aperitif Rosso, and American Malt

By Christopher Null | May 29, 2020 |

Non-alcoholic beer and wine have been around for some time. Now non-alcoholic spirits are becoming a thing. Lyre’s makes nearly a dozen non-alcoholic knockoffs of just about everything on your back bar, from gin to whiskey to spiced rum. What’s this stuff made out of? Mainly water and sugar. A typical ingredient list looks like…

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Review: 2018 Apothic “Cab” Cabernet Sauvignon California

By Christopher Null | April 30, 2020 |

Apothic is known for its aggressively flavorful, low-price red blends, and now it’s making its way into varietal wines for the first time, with a 2018 cabernet sauvignon. Alas, the wine is unapproachable from any angle, a ballbuster of a wine that is unctuous with notes of cheap candy, way-overripe berries, and Russell Stover-class milk…

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