Not as robust as, say, Booker’s within the Beam brand. But then it isn’t intended to be (note 80 proof). The rye is personally appreciated, but for the seasoned bourbon drinker the finish is likely too short. Very smooth nonetheless, and would highly recommend for those new to bourbon.
Earlier just this spring is when I had my first, shall we say, academic experience with bourbon. I enjoyed a tour and tasting at Woodford Reserve and our wonderful guide explained the bourbon flavor wheel. As we downed our first tast, the guide explained that it was the rye that gave the bourbon that signature spice. It was at this moment that I first thought "Well, since I'm not a real man, I shall henceforth avoid all high rye bourbons and rye whiskey." If you can't stand the heat, stay out of the whiskey.
I am here today to confess my sins and admit that I am, in fact, a total boob. I had a conversation with Basil Hayden and he showed me the error of my ways.
Thanks to the lower proof, the nose is light with barely any scent of alcohol, but barely any scent of much else either. There is evidence of woody oak, tea, and faint hits of chocolate. The mouth feel is light and thin but oily enough to not feel dry. There is a taste of sweet honey and light vanilla with sweet fruit of undetermined origin on the front of the tongue. In the back of the mouth before the swallow is a pleasant spice to remind you of the higher rye content. The finish is short, crisp, and warm with continued pepper, oak, and if you look closely, leather. A higher proof may have provided more complex flavor, but if an approachable, introductory high rye bourbon is what you seek, Basil Hayden's is the answer.
I found this bottle of Basil Hayden to be one of the best purchases I have a bought since I’ve been buying from you. It is very smooth, great tasting and the price was right. All whom I’ve shared this bottle with have agreed with me the quality of this product is worth twenty stars. look forward to my next purchase of Basil Hayden. Thank you