Basil Hayden’s Rye Whiskey
What the Distillery Says
To produce this very special batch of Basil Hayden’s Rye we employed a long known but rarely used “re-barreling” technique.
We start by aging a traditional rye four years, then transfer it to newly charred quarter cask barrels to age an additional seven years. The smaller barrels create more contact with the oak and allows more air to breathe into the cask. The result is an incredibly deep flavor.
It’s not easy or quick, but blending just a small amount of this “re-barreled” liquid into our Rye Whiskey amplifies its natural characteristics and creates a profile that shines in any serve. Find a few friends and try it for yourself. Then be sure to let us know what you think.
AROMA Warm baking spices, caramel, hints of wood and rye spice
TASTE Charred oak complimented by sweet brown sugar, touch of black pepper and dried fruit
FINISH Smoke and char notes wrapped in caramel
What Gary Says
Nose: Soft lemongrass with muted fruit and spice; bright along with some vegetal notes I can’t quite nail down; hint of pickles. All quite subtle – nothing aggressive about this nose.
Palate: Sweet entry that builds to an edge – but never quite sharp; slight spice kick near the end; crème brulee w/ orange zest toasted on top, hints of cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon and clove.
Finish: Moderately long and lingering, with pepper notes as it trails off.
Comments: Stop me if you’ve heard this one before . . . “Nice, but I wish it were higher proof . . . “ I’ll work on a different way to say that, but it holds true here. This is incredibly drinkable right from the bottle (and I was surprised that a couple drops of water opened it up further). It is softer and more refined than most rye, which makes it interesting in my book. While nothing off about this dram, it lacks anything that inspires me enough to go buy one. Basil Hayden has always been an oddity to me, as it is uncharacteristically soft in my opinion for a high-rye bourbon. This very much fits the brand profile. If you’re a big Basil Hayden bourbon fan, this might be right up your alley. If you’ve found Basil Hayden bourbon to be “too refined/smooth/soft” and are a rye whiskey fan – I’d definitely try this before buying a bottle.
Rating: Stands Out
What Richard Says
Nose: A very delicate fruitiness and orange blossom honey peek around the corners but the nose is almost not there.
Palate: More of a honey sweetness with a pinch of cinnamon but overall it is extremely bland.
Finish: The finish has just a bit peppery spice kicking in.
Comments: I can’t say that this impressed me. For a rye, especially a $50 rye, it is very uninspiring. As Gary said, fans of Basil Hayden’s Bourbon might like it but I can’t really recommend it to the masses.
We would like to thank Jim Beam for sending us a sample to review.