GSN Review: Basil Hayden’s Bourbon

BASIL HAYDENS BOURBON“Yeah, my whole family done give up on me
And it makes me feel oh so bad
The only one who will hang out with me
Is my dear Old Grand-Dad
And we drink alone, yeah
With nobody else
Yeah, you know when I drink alone
I prefer to be by myself.” – George Thorogood

Ever wonder who the dear old grand-dad is in this classic blues number?  As it turns out, it’s none other than Basil Hayden, Sr.  Interestingly, he was also the man who helped establish the first Catholic church in Kentucky.  Who knew?

But, of course, it is his namesake bourbon that we are concerned with today.  Hayden’s grandson created a version of bourbon in 1840 which he named “Old Grand-Dad” in memory of his ancestor.  In fact, if you look on that product’s label, the picture is of old Basil H. himself.

Basil Hayden’s is a modern bourbon and part of the Beam Suntory “small Batch” collection of whiskies.  Arguably the easiest of the quartet to drink (the others being Knob Creek, Booker’s and Baker’s), it is an absolutely fine spirit that we here at the GSN offices have been enjoying in Manhattans all week.

Basil Hayden’s Bourbon (80 proof)
Visual: Deep gold.
Nose: Rich, enveloping and welcoming notes of rye spice, oak stave, peppermint tea leaf and a touch of char.
Taste: Sweet corn, but with a rye forward spiciness.  A lighter touch of baking spice, caramel and vanilla comes through as a secondary wave.  Exceptionally smooth and yet with a depth of character that few other young bourbons can match.
Finish: Medium long with plenty of rye brightness to take home with you.
Overall: My current favorite bourbon for sipping straight, this also is absolutely amazing in Manhattans, Sazeracs and even Old Fashioneds.
GSN Rating: A+

For more information go to: Basil Haydens