photo credit: BasilHaydens.com
BASIL HAYDEN BOURBON
Age: 8 year old
Distillery: Jim Beam
Master Distiller: Fred Noe
Season: Spring – Summer
INTRODUCING BASIL HAYDEN BOURBON!
Just in time for spring we bring you a review of the lightest bourbon in the Jim Beam Small Batch collection. Like most bourbon namesakes, Basil Hayden was historically significant to the great state of Kentucky: he established our very first Catholic church back in 1785!
For those of you who are fans of Old Grand-Dad, the bust on the bottle is Basil Hayden himself and he IS Old Grand Dad. So Basil Hayden is a bourbon onto itself, and a bourbon by another name. At the same time.
Mind. Blown. So according to the Beam Suntory site, here is how it worked out:
“Old Grand-Dad was a distiller named Basil Hayden who made his name by distilling a bourbon whiskey made with a higher percentage of rye. Basil Hayden passed along the art of distilling to his son and then, in turn, to his grandson. It was the third generation distiller, Colonel R.B. Hayden, who honored his grandfather by naming his justly famed whiskey “Old Grand-Dad.”
BASIL HAYDEN BOURBON TASTING NOTES
Most bourbon lovers default to higher proof, bigger bodied bourbons. But Basil Hayden is a light bodied and elegant warm-weather sipper. Its as smooth as James Bond (in fact, its his bourbon of choice!) and has all the aromas of springtime. When I nosed my pour, I got all green grass, fresh white flowers, and citrus. This is an 8 year-old bourbon, but I smell new wood.
The body is obviously light (Basil Hayden is 80 proof, people). There is no bite on the first sip – so new bourbon lovers might appreciate this more than a scorcher. There is still some nice pepper and spice from the high-rye mash bill and a moderate floral flavor. The finish is light, quick, sweet, and makes me smile.
Look, Bourbonites – you all know I like viscous, hot, obnoxious bourbons. But for the Spring and Summer, I reach for Basil Hayden. Every bourbon has its place, and this should be on your shelf. Its a beautiful bottle and is priced around $40 a fifth. For the flavor, value, and season, I give Basil Hayden bourbon a B-.
Do it with a nice ice cube in the summer, or as a whiskey sour mixer and Basil Hayden will please the crowd!