No age statement (6-8 years), 40%, 67 CHF. Very light, fresh, slightly spicy.
This one is part of Jim Beam’s Small Batch-collection (next to Knob Creek, Baker’s and Brookers), was launched in 1992, and is named after an American colonist of the late 18th century. It is said that Basil Hayden used a higher rye content in his mash bill in his little farm distillery; and this is why this bourbon sports a high rye content of about 27%, too.
Jim Beam makes another bourbon from the same mash bill, namely the Old Grand-Dad, which is available at 40%, at 50% and as a 57% barrel proof. The difference between the Basil Hayden’s and the Old Grand-Dad 40%, as one blogger and another note, is barrel management, and a greater depth of flavour in the former.
The Basil Hayden’s used to carry an 8 year age statement, but it was dropped because of supply issues.
In our tasting, we still had a bottle of the 8 year old. We found it to be an extremely light, fresh, slightly spicy whisky.
- In the nose I find some turpentine at first, then heaps of honey and a bit of mint from the rye
- Then in the palate extremely light, again some honey, orange and a certain freshness, maybe ginger, and some spiciness like black pepper.
- The finish is quite short, clean, with lime zest coming through.
It’s a nice whisky to introduce novices to spicier whiskies; and possibly something you might sip if you don’t want to think too much about what’s in the glass. However, it is quite pricey for how light it is.