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.

Tasting Ciroc’s Red Berry and Coconut Vodkas with Master Distiller Jean-Sebastien Robicquet

By Christopher Null | September 10, 2009 |

Ciroc is one of the big spirits success stories in recent years, and it’s now, according to the company, the #3 ultrapremium vodka brand on the market, after Grey Goose and Belvedere. (Fun fact: The name is made up, a combination of the French words cime (summit) and roche (rock).) This week I had the…

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Tasting Appleton Reserve and Extra 12 Years Old Rum with Master Blender Joy Spence (2009)

By Christopher Null | August 11, 2009 |

I had the immense pleasure to host Joy Spence, master blender at Appleton Rum and a 28-year veteran of the company, at Drinkhacker HQ today, where we tasted two of the company’s upscale bottlings. These estate rums, both from Appleton’s Jamaica sugar cane plantations, are impressive and perfect for sipping or — as Spence notes…

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Tasting Report: Patz & Hall Wines, 2009 Releases

By Christopher Null | August 3, 2009 |

A few miles south of Napa, located in a nondescript corporate office park, you’ll find Patz & Hall‘s tasting salon. And yes, it’s open to the public and no, you don’t need an appointment. (Though, if you have one, you’ll get even more personalized service.) We had a fun 45 minutes (at least) talking wine…

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Review: Jose Cuervo 250 Aniversario Tequila

By Christopher Null | July 31, 2009 |

Folks, I had to work my way up to writing this one. It’s not every day you get to try a tequila with such a pedigree… and I hope you’ll get the chance to sample it eventually for yourself. But first, some history: Jose Cuervo is the world’s oldest maker of tequila, with 10 generations…

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Sipping Wine with Hall’s Steve Leveque, 2009 Releases

By Christopher Null | July 27, 2009 |

Hall isn’t a new winery, but you wouldn’t know it considering its recent pushes, making it more visible than ever. This week I sat down with Hall’s winemaker, Steve Leveque, to discuss what’s new at the winery, and to taste a few bottles of the good stuff. The big news of late is Halls’ Gold…

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Review: Jeremiah Weed Sweet Tea Vodka

By Christopher Null | July 23, 2009 |

Firefly, you’re on notice: There’s another sweet tea vodka in town, and it’s just as good as you are. Jeremiah Weed may not as be as froufrou-friendly — its label design is all western-like and it, well, has “weed” in the name — but damn if it isn’t just as good. Honestly, I have long…

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Review: Vermont White Vodka and Vermont Gold Vodka

By Christopher Null | July 20, 2009 |

In this business, you learn something every day. Today I have learned that you can make vodka out of anything. Vermont Spirits makes its two vodkas, Vermont White and Vermont Gold, out of truly unique base ingredients: milk and maple syrup, respectively. Vodka out of sugar? I’d have thought that distilling sugar would net you…

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Review: Deschutes Brewery Black Butte XXI 21st Birthday Reserve

By Christopher Null | July 6, 2009 |

Recipe for awesomeness: Take a thick, brown porter, add (Bellatazza’s) coffee and (Theo’s) chocolate beans during the brewing process, age 20 percent of the finished product in (Stranahan’s) whiskey barrels, and bottle at 11 percent alcohol. Hefty beers like this are normally not my thing, but Deschutes’ Black Butte XXI (celebrating 21 years of the…

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Review: NV Armand de Brignac Brut Gold Champagne

By Christopher Null | June 29, 2009 |

They don’t call it “Brut Gold” for nothing. The bottle of Armand de Brignac is, for real, plated with gold. The bottle is then placed in a velvet bag and a black lacquered wooden box, just for good measure. All the labels are stamped out of pewter. There’s no paper on the bottle at all.…

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Drinking Ginger Beer with Fever-Tree’s Tim Warrillow

By Christopher Null | June 26, 2009 |

What’s that hot kick in your typical ginger beer from? If you said ginger, you’re probably wrong: Many brands put cheap chili pepper oils in their brews to give them that kick, which is why so many come off as hot, but not particularly spicy in the way that real ginger is. That’s just one…

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