Top Rated

The “Top Rated” category contains our favorite products, all reviewed with an A or A+ rating. If you’re looking for the best of the best, this is the place to be. You can filter your search to find only the top rated reviews in certain product categories by using our Advanced Search feature.

Review: Cold River Vodka, Straight and Blueberry

By Christopher Null | December 16, 2009 |

This potato-based vodka hails from Maine — who knew they had potatoes in Maine? — from tubers grown on Cold River’s own farm and bottled using water from its own local aquifer. In fact, everything is done on the premises, and the results show in the finished product: This is a smooth and enchanting vodka…

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Review: Black Bull Blended Scotch 12 Years Old

By Christopher Null | November 29, 2009 |

Slogan: 50% malt, 50% grain, 50% abv. This whisky from the independent bottlers at Duncan Taylor and Co. is half malt whisky and half grain, and far better than that pedigree might imply. Normally blended Scotch is relegated to the second tier of the whisky world, but this is a real knockout of a whisky.…

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Drinkhacker’s 2009 Holiday Gift Guide – Best Alcohol/Spirits for Christmas

By Christopher Null | November 27, 2009 |

Booze: The gift that keeps on giving, whether you like it or not. It’s now tradition at Drinkhacker to look back at the best new spirits of the year, offering our suggestions on our favorite tipples — and the stuff that’s most likely to impress your holiday giftee should he find a neatly wrapped bottle…

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Review: Van Gogh Blue Triple Wheat Vodka

By Christopher Null | November 24, 2009 |

Why “triple wheat?” Because Van Gogh sources wheat for this vodka from France, Germany, and the Netherlands. Get it? Three countries. Triple wheat. Distilled in Holland, this 80-proof vodka is actually pretty amazing. Very light and smooth, it’s got a very light sweetness that plays with flowery notes on the palate. There’s no harshness or…

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Review: Old Rip Van Winkle Family Reserve Bourbon 23 Years Old

By Christopher Null | November 24, 2009 |

23 years is epic for any spirit to sit idle in a barrel, but for bourbon it’s almost insane. Old Rip Van Winkle’s 23-year-old bottling (this sample is from the 2009 limited edition) is positively intense with wood character — and alcohol. It’s 114 proof, which is hefty, but I’ve had far higher-proof whiskeys that…

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Review: Bulldog Gin

By Christopher Null | November 19, 2009 |

Yes Virginia, they still make gin in England, despite all the Johnny-come-latelys operating out of the States and other countries. In fact, you might say they still make the best gin in England, as time and time again these blokes prove that they can’t be beat when it comes to flavoring neutral spirits with the…

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Review: Evan Williams Single Barrel Bourbon 2000 Vintage

By Christopher Null | November 13, 2009 |

Here’s an outstanding return to form for Evan Williams’ Single Barrel bourbons, which the company’s been bottling for years, an amazing whisky that I highly recommend. The 2000 Single Barrel shares a lot of DNA with the 1999, but while last year’s version is noteworthy for its lightly bitter, wood and charcoal finish, the 2000…

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Review: The Balvenie DoubleWood 12, PortWood 21, Single Barrel 15, and Madeira Cask 17 (2009)

By Christopher Null | November 11, 2009 |

Last night, The Balvenie was kind enough to host a few media types for a dinner and tasting of its four current release Scotch bottlings, including its Madeira Cask 17 Years Old, which just arrived in the U.S. a week ago. Some of these are classic bottlings that have been around for years (seriously —…

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Review: J. Witty Chamomile Liqueur

By Christopher Null | November 9, 2009 |

Proof positive that there’s a liqueur for everything — and I don’t mean that in a bad way — I present to you J. Witty Spirits, which to date makes just one product, an organic, artisanal Chamomile tea liqueur. Chamomile tea hardly has a brutish reputation, but one sip and you’ll find its namesake liqueur…

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Review: The Kraken Black Spiced Rum

By Christopher Null | November 3, 2009 |

This is not Captain Morgan, folks. The Kraken, with its sea creature label and black-as-coffee liquid within, makes a striking impression on the bar and in the glass. The idea is kitschy: A drink as strong and dark as kraken (giant squid) ink, powerful enough to take him down. And, yeah, at 94 proof and…

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