Published on November 5th, 2014 | by Siz0
Basil Hayden’s Bourbon Review
One of my favorite things about bourbon is the good ole folklore that surrounds every ounce of juice that comes out of those oak barrels. Basil Hayden’s Bourbon is no different. As the story goes in 1796 Mr. Hayden, who was a transplant from Maryland decided to come down to Kentucky and start distilling some whiskey. He had a radical idea to include rye in his mash bill. This was a unique at the time apparently. He believed that the spicy notes offered up by the rye would be a compliment and add some depth and complexity to the corn heavy mash that most other distillers were using.
According to the story they’ve been distilling it the same way ever since. Of course, now it’s distilled by the behemoth of Beam Inc who as of last year is now, Beam Suntory. So this bourbon has definitely come a long way from it’s humble beginnings. Basil Hayden’s Bourbon is still created in small batches. In fact it’s part of the Small Batch Bourbon Collection offered up by Beam. Others in the group include Knob Creek, Baker’s, and Booker’s. All are top notch bourbons in my book. But, that’s enough of the backstory, let’s crack this bottle open and see what we’ve got.
This bottle of Basil Hayden’s Bourbon is by far one of the most unique ones out there. It’s also one of my favorites. It’s a tall slender bottle. At the top of the neck there is a fabric that appears to look like duct tape to me. It acts as a protective seal similar to what you would see on a pill bottle. Draped over that is a ribbon that displays Mr. Hayden’s signature. As you move down the bottle there is a paper label that has a hole punched through it so it can slide down the neck of the bottle. This label contains all the information that you need to know about the bourbon itself.
That label is held together with a nice metal cuff that is backed with a thin slice of what appears to be balsa wood. The metal cuff has a bH logo as well. One of the most intricate bottle designs that I’ve seen. In fact it always draws my eyes in and makes me want to pick it up. Talk about standing out on the shelf. This bourbon does that very easily. I think it’s time to pour a glass and see what we get.
This Basil Hayden’s Bourbon offers a bit of complexity on the nose. A good dose of rye spice, also hinting at some sweet and citrus notes. There’s a nice dose of peppermint. Makes me start thinking about Christmas! Forget the eggnog, pass me some Basil Hayden’s this year.
The palate offers up a citrus note, mixed with a good dose of sweet as well. I really get that oaky note and a hint of caramel. On the back side I get some honey and that spice picks up again. Very delicious from the front to the back. Super easy to sip on neat, without a ton of heat. It just flows down very smooth.
Speaking of smooth, the finish on this Basil Hayden’s Bourbon is fantastic. It has a nice mouth coating that stays around just long enough to give it a bit of depth and dissipates without a lasting burn. That citrus note picks up here and offers a nice clean crisp sweeping of flavors on the exit.
Seriously, if you have not tried this Basil Hayden’s Bourbon yet you’ve got to get a bottle. Each time I have a bottle it moves higher up my list of favorites. I continue to find more and more that I like about it. So do yourself a favor, take $40 and go to the liquor store and pick up a bottle. The great thing about this small batch bourbon is that you can find it nearly everywhere!