Basil Hayden’s 10 year old Kentucky Straight Bourbon


Nose: This has classic bourbon notes with some dark cherry and apricot scents mixed in. On later sniffs, there’s more vanilla and the tiniest amount of mint. Palate: This starts out with a very nice, slightly oily mouthfeel. The first impression is that this has that “Basil Hayden” smoothness and easy drinkability, but that there’s more going on. There’s a decent amount of rye spiciness but toward and during the finish, there’s also a small amount of smokiness that comes through. The finish is slightly on the longer side of medium and ends with a very pleasant warming that you feel all the way down your throat and into your stomach. That’s about the extent of the heat in this one. On later sips, the rye starts coming across as more chewy….more like a fresh-baked rye bread. I also picked up some oakiness, but it wasn’t very prevalent nor overwhelming. The very last sip brought out some sweeter hints…..which I thought was very interesting……perhaps this needs to sit longer than usual before sipping? Comments: The only thing I’m not crazy about is the aftertaste. I usually don’t mind a little aftertaste, if it reminds me of the sip I just took, but the aftertaste here lingers just a little bit too long and tends to be just a bit too bitter. That said, this is a very tasty, smooth and mild, sipper. If you like Basil Hayden, this does bring it up a notch by adding some complexity that is definitely lacking in the regular version. I didn’t do a side-by-side with regular Hayden, but I seem to think that you get more of the rye on this 10 year old version. This is a very manageable 80 proof. The mashbill is 63% corn, 27% rye and 10% malted barley (this is the same high-rye mashbill that is in Old Grand—Dad and Old Grand-Dad 114). This retails in the $60 range. And….that’s too much. Honestly, there’s nothing wrong with this bourbon and I do like it, but for the money, I’d rather go for other choices. I also don’t think it is THAT much better than the regular Hayden to justify spending the extra money on it. Based on some other reviews I’ve read and other things I read online, I think a Basil Hayden (regular) side-by-side tasting with Old Grand-Dad would be very interesting. If for no other reason than to see if spending the extra $ is worth it. Stay tuned…….when I start running out of bourbon to review, I may start doing this…… I should probably also point out that I’ve never been a huge Jim Beam fan, but I’ve always liked Basil Hayden for its easy drinkability. That said, their expansion of the Basil Hayden line isn’t going well for me. I’m not a big fan of some of their new products, most notably, Two by Two Rye and the Caribbean Cask Rye. That said, I am a big fan of their Dark Rye, which has a very unique and very pleasant taste. Unfortunately, my liking of the dark rye is what keeps me trying the other choices and, so far, I’ve come up short on those. I suppose that means their marketing department is doing its job…...