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: Wines of Jules Taylor, 2022 Releases

By Christopher Null | January 20, 2022 |

Jules Taylor is based in New Zealand’s Marlborough region, where the winemaker produces a series of eponymous, affordable bottlings. She was named New Zealand Winemaker of the Year for 2021. Let’s dig in to this trio of bottlings, all newly released. 2021 Jules Taylor Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough – Sauvignon blanc is Taylor’s specialty, and with…

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Review: Viss Vodka – Ballet Blue and Blush Blossom

By Christopher Null | January 11, 2022 |

Remember how we said that fresh, organic infused vodkas were the hottest trend in the category? Well, they say the exception makes the rule, and here it is in the form of Viss, a candy-colored, heavily artificially flavored vodka that’s imbued with a sparkly substance that makes it shimmer in the bottle and in the…

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Review: Wines of Veramonte, Ritual, and Primus, 2021 Releases

By Christopher Null | December 15, 2021 |

Chile’s Veramonte has numerous sub-labels, including Ritual and Primus, all of which we have reviewed extensively in the past. Today we look at a bottling from each of these brands, all of which are made with 100% organic ingredients. Let’s dive in. 2019 Veramonte Cabernet Sauvignon – Organic or not, this is cheap cab, underdeveloped…

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Review: Simi 2019 Pinot Noir and 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon

By Christopher Null | November 30, 2021 |

Sonoma’s Simi bottles a range of whites and reds, sourced from vineyards throughout Sonoma County. Here’s a look at two of the winery’s more widely available bottlings. 2019 Simi Pinot Noir Russian River Valley – Instantly weird — though not corked — and hard to shake. Notes of mint chip ice cream, strawberry soda, and…

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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: Rock N Roll Tequila – Complete Lineup (2021)

By Christopher Null | July 31, 2021 |

Back in 2017 we reviewed two bottlings from Rock N Roll Tequila, distinguished by its extremely heavy bottles shaped like electric guitars. Three expressions are offered: a standard blanco, a cristalino, and a mango-flavored liqueur. Since that time, the brand has changed ownership, though the same distillery, operated by Master Distiller Jose Aceves, is still…

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Review: Schofferhofer Pomegranate Hefeweizen and Passion Fruit Hefeweizen

By Christopher Null | July 5, 2021 |

Schofferhofer Grapefruit was a pioneer in fruit-beer radler-style blends (the original was 50% hefeweizen and 50% grapefruit soda), and now the German brand is back with two line extensions, one made with pomegranate soda and the other with passion fruit. (Both maintain the 50-50 ratio of beer to soda.) Let’s try them both. Both are…

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Review: KÖE Kombucha Sparkling Beverages

By Rob Theakston | May 17, 2021 |

Back in the day when we ran the semi-daily news bulletin Drinkhacker Reads, we reported on an article featured in the New York Times discussing such trends as gluten-free beer, non alcoholic alternatives, and kombucha starting to take hold with the more health conscious among us, author excluded. Fast forward six years and we’ve managed…

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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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