Book Review: The Connoisseur’s Guide to Worldwide Spirits

Like Fred Minnick, Richard Carleton Hacker is one of those names you eventually start to see everywhere when you spend much time in the booze business. He writes for a bunch of magazines about wine and spirits and has branded himself a “cigar czar” and “the most politically incorrect author in America,” which is tough…

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Review: Old Rip Van Winkle 10 Years Old (2018)

It has been many years since Drinkhacker reviewed anything with Winkle in its name. With Pappy hysteria season fast approaching, I thought I’d take a look at last year’s release of the entry level Pappy, Old Rip Van Winkle 10 Years Old. Purists may not think of this as Pappy, per se, because of the…

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Review: 2017 Day Owl Rose California

Day Owl is an oddly named but quite approachable wine from O’Neill Vintners, a purveyor of bulk wines as well as its own branded offerings. Targeted at “women who get sh*t done,” Day Owl is made from mystery varietals but offers a fruit-forward experience that’s a mix of grapefruit, lemon, and green apple, with a…

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Review: Golden Moon Kummel

I was going to say that we rarely see a bottle of kummel for review here at Drinkhacker, the the truth is we never see one. I’ve made more kummel at home than I’ve ever seen in commercial production, and that obviously creates its own challenge: I have very little to compare Golden Moon’s expression against.…

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Review: 2017 Line 39 Sauvignon Blanc California

Here’s a perfectly approachable and crazy cheap sauvignon blanc from Line 39, an operation which produces a half-dozen California varietal bottlings, all priced at $12.99 — and as little as $8.99 if you shop around. (This one’s from Lake County.) Fresh and fruity, this is a grapefruit bomb that’s dusted just so with white sugar,…

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How to Read a Sake Label Part 2: Honjozo and Junmai Explained

In April, we featured an article decoding Ginjo to get you started on your sake journey. One takeaway is that Ginjo sake can be seen as a “new” style because the technology needed to brew it, most notably the machines that can polish rice below 70%, were not widely adopted until about forty years ago.…

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Review: 2018 Rutherford Ranch Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley

Pale as a glass of water with a squeeze of lemon, this Napa sauvignon blanc is sunny and bright, a departure from the usual styles of this wine — either overly tropical or heavily grassy and full of ammonia character. What Rutherford Ranch offers instead is a crisp, lemony wine that’s lightly herbal, exhibiting solid…

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Review: Barrell Bourbon Batch 20

In case you may have thought that Barrell Bourbon was a bit of a newcomer to the whiskey scene, we’re now actually up to 20 releases in their eponymous line of small batch bourbons. We recently received a sample of the latest offering, Batch 20, which is a blend of rye bourbons produced in Kentucky…

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