Basil Haydens

Basil Haydens Bourbon

Basil Haydens Bourbon (40%, OB, 2020)

  • ABV: 40%
  • Age: NAS
  • Bottling: OB
  • Category: Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
  • Cost: £37.50
  • Origin: Jim Beam distillery
  • Vintage: Undeclared

What they say

Crafted in 1992 by Booker Noe as part of the Small Batch collection, Basil Hayden’s® introduced a more subtle side of bourbon compared to its counterparts.

This style of bourbon was inspired by 1792 whiskey pioneer Meredith Basil Hayden, Sr., a rye farmer from Maryland who moved to Kentucky and began distilling. He chose to distill his bourbon with a higher percentage of rye, and Booker set out to create a similar high-rye mash bill that would offer the same refined, approachable taste profile.

Today, this bourbon stands as a tribute to Meredith Basil Hayden, Sr.’s high-rye mash bill ingenuity, as well as to Booker Noe, a true innovator who sought to welcome new drinkers into whiskey.

Official tasting notes:


Golden brown


Charred oak and sweet notes of vanilla & caramel with hints of dried fruit


Charred oak flavor that is complemented with sweet brown sugar, a touch of black pepper, and dried fruit to round it out


A pleasant, lingering charred oak finish with a touch of dried fruit

What I say

Basil Haydens Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, sampled as part of the Master of Malt/Drinks By The Dram American and Bourbon Whiskey advent calendar.

My tasting notes:

  • Appearance: Dark amber gold (11/20), medium tears and medium, strong legs.
  • Nose: Soft, sugary and sweet, vanilla fudge, caramel, oak wood, a touch of dried apple.
  • Taste: Medium-light bodied, sugary fudge, vanilla, caramel, a touch of pepper, slightly bitter oak wood, some prune, blackberry and apple.
  • Finish: Medium, sweet soft vanilla fudge and oak wood.


A relaxed and easy drinking bourbon, soft and sugary and full of vanillic oak wood.

Score 80/100

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