Review: Level Vodka

People who say there’s no difference among vodka brands should be directed posthaste to Level. It’s a gut-punching vodka, in a way you might not expect. Level (a product of the Absolut folks in Sweden, distilled from grain at 80 proof), is immediately pungent upon opening the bottle, strong and thick when served from the…

Review: Level Vodka
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Review: Chopin Vodka

You’re a famous 19th century composer. What are the odds that someone is going to take your good name and turn it into a vodka 150 years later? Well, someone did: Polmos Siedlce and Millennium Import, of Minneapolis, Minnesota. The connection is Poland, where Chopin lived and vodka was (allegedly) born. Chopin is a traditional…

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Tasting Report: Rhone Rangers 2008

One of the most exhausting and exhaustive wine events around, San Francisco’s “Rhone Rangers” celebration of Rhone-style wines (and only Rhone-style wines) was a huge hit last weekend. The only problem: With about 100 wineries in attendance, many pouring 6 or 8 wines at their tables, sampling even one wine from each winery is pretty…

Tasting Report: Rhone Rangers 2008
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Review: Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale 25th Expedition

One doesn’t hear the term “barleywine” much outside of Tolkein novels, but Sierra Nevada is bringing us one here in 2008. Looks like a review is in order of this Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale, 25th Expedition. To clarify, barleywine is a styleof very strong ale noted for its high alcohol content (hence the “wine” moniker).…

Review: Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine Style Ale 25th Expedition
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Cool Tool: Bass Black & Tan Brolly

The good folks at Bass have designed one of the neatest pieces of barware I’ve seen since the muddler became a hit: Called the brolly (British slang for an umbrella), it’s a little gizmo designed specifically for making Black & Tans. (Black & Tan is pint glass half full of pale ale (typically Bass), with…

Cool Tool: Bass Black & Tan Brolly
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Review: Bushmills Black Bush Irish Whiskey

As promised, St. Patty’s got started a bit early here at Drinkhacker HQ, and here’s your review of Bushmills’ Black Bush bottling of its Irish whiskey. Black Bush is, like standard Bushmills, a blend of malt whiskey and (a bit of) Irish single grain whiskey to soften it. The real difference comes in the aging,…

Review: Bushmills Black Bush Irish Whiskey
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Review: Navan Vanilla Liqueur

Vanilla is an essential part of any good dessert, and it’s equally essential as part of any good dessert cocktail. (Check out how often I use Licor 43 in my dessert drink recipes if you don’t believe me.) The challenge is that there are very few vanilla-based spirits out there. The aforementioned Licor 43 is…

Review: Navan Vanilla Liqueur
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Review: saké2me Sparkling Cocktails

My first challenge in this review is not how to describe what saké2me tastes like. It’s how to categorize it in this blog. saké2me is a blend of sake, natural flavors, and sparkling water. It comes in ready-to-drink bottles 187ml in size and weighs in at a beer-like 7% alcohol, comparable to malt liquor-based beverages…

Review: saké2me Sparkling Cocktails
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