American Whiskey - Bourbon

Basil Hayden's 8yr Old Small Batch Kentucky Straight Bourbon

From: Kentucky, United States Liquor Review Category: Bourbon American Whiskey

Bottle/Rating Data

Rating Description

Tier 1
This is a Tier 1 score in the Whiskey category. It means the spirit has won the highest recommendation at least once and probably many times.
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Awards

San Francisco World Spirits Competition

  • 2005
  • 2006
  • 2007
  • 2008
  • 2009
  • 2011

Beverage Testing Institute

  • 2005
  • 2010
  • 2011

Wine Enthusiast

  • Pre-2004
  • 2005
  • 2015

Proof66 Notes

Basil Hayden bourbon is part of Jim Beam's "small batch collection," which is intended to compete at the premium end of handcrafted whiskeys. In an effort to make it one of the best bourbon products around, the distillers age it 8 years and serve it at a moderate 80 proof. It's intended for more sophisticated drinks and Jim Beam representatives informed us it is highly recommended for the Kentucky legend Mint Julep cocktail. The recipe itself is credited to one Master Distiller Basil Hayden Sr who created the first recipe in 1796. It is heavily influenced by a high degree of rye in the mash.

The Beverage Testing Institute noted in 2011 that Basil Hayden had "an attractive, feminine style."

BlueKitchen.net featured this on their Best Bourbon Tour with an overall grade of A.

Rabble Reviews

This bottle has 21 ratings and 21 reviews.
baseballfan135 baseballfan135 (7) (2016-08-23)
Nothing special.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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sjusean sjusean (2) (2016-07-02)
ehhhhhh, not bad but I just can't get all that excited about this whiskey. Kinda not much happening until it hit the back of my palate. I guess considering the price, I just expected more.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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Review Comments
Cranecreek (2016-08-10):
This Bourbon is a step backward from Knob Creek-A different pallet was in mind I think. Costs $35 and drinks like $25. My suggestion would be a bottle of Four Roses "Single Barrell" probably about $32. This I think would return you to the path.

lharper lharper (7) (2016-04-02)
Spicy and smooth
0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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Gammonator Gammonator (17) (2016-01-10)
Very smooth, no bite. Would compare to Gentlemans Jack
0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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US Spirit US Spirit (47) (2015-11-25)
I don't know why Basil Hayden doesn't work for me but it doesn't. Its a super smooth 8 year old small batch bourbon with a high rye mash bill. Beam isn't my absolute favorite distiller, but they are certainly capable of making products I enjoy. I don't know what I would have asked them to do different here, yet I can't get the least bit excited about Basil Hayden. My first reaction when I tasted this WAS excitement. This was super smooth, so I figured I might have a potential star on my hands. But as I worked my way down the double on the rocks, I discovered this tasted like... nothing. There was a tiny bit of sweetness, and the faintest hint of rye spice and wood, but the flavor was extremely weak, maybe even weaker than Crown Royal. This is the last thing I would have expected from what is essentially an 8 year old small batch version of Old Granddad (They have the same mash bill, and I believe are distilled in the same place). Like a lot of other bourbons I've rated at 2 stars my biggest issue with this is the price. Currently ON SALE this is about $38 for a fifth where I live. At the SAME store I can get a similar but superior profile out of Four Roses Yellow Label (slightly smoother, and a bit sweeter and spicier with a more interesting nose) for $21 NOT on sale, and Evan Williams is also more interesting and similarly smooth for even less. For free, if there was nothing else around I would actually drink this. But I obviously would not make this a bottle buy at half the price, nor am I likely to ever order this at a bar again 2 stars.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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KaiserSoze KaiserSoze (125) (2015-10-24)
Very disappointing, especially for the price. Smooth and easy drinking but thin and way too bland. Definitely something a non-bourbon drinker could appreciate but I'll never buy again, especially at $42 a bottle in my area.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
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Review Comments
sjusean (2016-07-02):
my sentiments exactly - for the price, I expected more.

danalloway danalloway (4) (2015-10-23)
Smooth, drinkable with a slight Rye edge
0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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Muncher Muncher (263) (2015-09-27)
I can really appreciate a distillery making a $15 bourbon that has the quality and taste of a $37 bourbon, but the opposite seems to be the case with Basil Hayden's. It's $37 and yet it drinks like the best of the bottom shelf (Benchmark comes to mind). Yes, it's "smooth", has a pleasant aroma and flavor, and no off flavors, but so does a number of other whiskeys at a third of Basil's price. Perhaps it would be a fantastic pour (and a better value) at 90 or 100 proof, but as it is it's severely overpriced.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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Joebazz Joebazz (25) (2015-02-12)
A good bourbon. Just a little light for my taste. Still all in all a very nice bourbon. Slightly overpriced.
0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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Irishman Irishman (271) (2015-01-07)
Updating my review of this since it's been 6 years since I submitted my initial review. This bourbon represents that perfect starting point for someone who wants to graduate away from sweet and start to appreciate real bourbon. It is very light and subtle with hints of oak and caramel (without the sweet) and has a very clean finish. I've turned quite a few non-bourbon friends into bourbon lovers with this first step. Beyond the starting point, this bourbon is great in a glass all by itself, but the bourbon purists are going to be looking for something with a lot more complexity for this price point.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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Fitzgerald1119 Fitzgerald1119 (34) (2014-09-08)
This is a favorite of mine, its extremely smooth. Beautiful color, and aroma. I gave this 5 stars only because I couldn't give it the 4 1/2 I think it should really get. My only dislike about this product is the price... I don't believe it to be worth quite what they sell it for here.
0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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AlfredReece1992 AlfredReece1992 (25) (2014-07-10)
I really like this beautiful bourbon. It is very smooth and the smell is wonderful. It has a really nice color as well. A true favorite of mine... Highly recommended to anyone who wants to take a step up on the quality ladder.
0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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Memphis Memphis (14) (2014-04-18)
This is scotch pretending to be bourbon. Packaging gone wild.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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StanMemTn StanMemTn (101) (2014-03-24)
A top-notch bourbon. Great, smooth, caramel backbone. A very satisfying sipper.
0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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derkerderr derkerderr (70) (2014-03-24)
I loved it!
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Edith MaGoo Edith MaGoo (55) (2014-03-15)
It's smooth and has a nice warmth to it. Something of a strong "Beam" finish, but nothing overbearing. Gets better the more you drink. I'd give it a very strong 3.5, but the price is a definite deterrant.
0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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RichardMNixon RichardMNixon (2) (2013-12-28)
Strong lemon notes and a peculiar finish I could only describe as "sandy." Wouldn't recommend it anywhere near its asking price.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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joelbarrett joelbarrett (58) (2013-03-21)
Pretty good.
0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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ProfessorCocktail ProfessorCocktail (48) (2012-09-29)
The sweet smell of vanilla and toffee isn't matched by the flavor, which is oaky and rather plain. Starts off sharp, but fades quickly. It has some complexity and some spicy notes, but more would have been welcome. Decent overall, but not a bourbon I'd return to very often. For more reviews, including the results of our bourbon taste tests, please visit ProfessorCocktail.com.
0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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Ajax Ajax (2) (2011-11-13)
A great Burbon to enjoy "neat".  Not harsh and has a short but clean finish.  My favorate for taking on a hiking trip or anywhere that requires drinking it strait without ice or cold water. 
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TWoman TWoman (43) (2009-04-24)
Just tasted this for the first time and loved it. I'm not a usual bourban drinker so I can't compare to others but for me it tasted much smoother than the usual hard liquors.
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  • 080686012405
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