American Whiskey - Bourbon

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

Bottle/Rating Data

Awards

San Francisco WSC

  • 2005
  • 2006
  • 2007
  • 2008
  • 2009
  • 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. The name comes from Basil Hayden, Sr, who they claim first introduced rye grain into the corn-grain mash for a "high rye bourbon." The modern product is aged for 8 years, longer than many bourbons, but bottled at a moderate 80 proof. (Note:

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Rabble Reviews

This bottle has 24 ratings and 24 reviews.
BenThere BenThere (34)
Rating: 3.7 (2017-02-24)[Updated Review]
As a Bourbon, it probably is not what you expect. It seems like they took Beam White and infused it with herbs and spices. Yes, you actually taste basil. I like the light flavors. Its not for mixing. Drink it on ice or straight. Don't bother to mix. You could probably get a similar experience if you added a couple shakes of bitters to Bean White.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • - KaiserSoze up voted your review on 2017-05-06.

  • - Cranecreek up voted your review on 2017-02-24.

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Review Comments
Cranecreek (2017-02-24):
Actually "Basil Hayden" was a distiller from the early 1800's who used a high Rye mashbill for his whiskey. Beam just uses the namesake for this bourbon.

Tango Tango (300)
Rating: 2.0 (2017-01-20)[Updated Review]
Basil Hayden's Bourbon is overpriced for the quality you get. Older Beam Brands press release stated ;"Beam Brands developed Basil Hayden taste profile to appeal to Canadian Whisky Drinkers to replace their Canadian whisky.This is a flawed premise as very few Crown Royal drinkers will switch. Crown Royal is cheaper and better for less money .The nose is black , tea, citrus, eucalyptus, and menthol, The palate is water down with honey, vanilla, and mint. The short finish fades into mint and with little rye . Basil Hayden is a lower quality than the the 80 proof Old Grand-Dad and cost almost 4 times as much.It is real rip-off Both taste watered down. Get the Old Grand-Dad 114 proof and have a real 5 star quality bourbon whisky.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • - KaiserSoze up voted your review on 2017-02-18.

  • - BDanner up voted your review on 2017-01-23.

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FuzzyPandaFace FuzzyPandaFace (8)
Rating: 3.0 (2017-01-04)
I originally bought my first bottle because of the shiny wrapping ... I know its not the best way to shop but I can't stay away from shiny things! Started off with a nice smooth taste with a spicy note. Didn't go anywhere from there. I didn't know it was made by Jim Beam until I came here and that would explain the lack of complexity. Definitely need to drink this neat in order to taste anything (doesn't even need water).
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • - Tango up voted your review on 2017-01-20.

  • - BDanner up voted your review on 2017-01-05.

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Review Comments
BDanner (2017-01-05):
This is the same mashbill as the Old Grand Dad series. The only difference is barrel entry proof (and even that's the same for OGD 114). If you like the initial note on the Basil Hayden, try the OGD BIB or 114 to see if it offers you more on the finish.

KaiserSoze KaiserSoze (404)
Rating: 2.5 (2016-10-12)
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.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • - Tango up voted your review on 2017-01-20.

  • - Tango up voted your review on 2016-10-20.

  • - PiggDogg up voted your review on 2016-07-30.

  • - sjusean up voted your review on 2016-07-02.

  • - Muncher up voted your review on 2015-10-24.

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Review Comments
sjusean (2016-07-02):
my sentiments exactly - for the price, I expected more.

baseballfan135 baseballfan135 (11)
Rating: 2.0 (2016-08-23)
Nothing special.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • - Tango up voted your review on 2017-01-20.

  • - BDanner down voted your review on 2016-08-23.

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sjusean sjusean (10)
Rating: 3.0 (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.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • - KaiserSoze up voted your review on 2016-12-17.

  • - Tango up voted your review on 2016-10-20.

  • - Cranecreek up voted your review on 2016-08-10.

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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)
Rating: 4.0 (2016-04-02)
Spicy and smooth
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Gammonator Gammonator (20)
Rating: 4.0 (2016-01-10)
Very smooth, no bite. Would compare to Gentlemans Jack
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US Spirit US Spirit (81)
Rating: 2.0 (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.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • - Tango up voted your review on 2016-10-20.

  • - PiggDogg up voted your review on 2016-07-30.

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danalloway danalloway (4)
Rating: 3.0 (2015-10-23)
Smooth, drinkable with a slight Rye edge
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Muncher Muncher (651)
Rating: 3.0 (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.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • - KaiserSoze up voted your review on 2016-10-26.

  • - PiggDogg up voted your review on 2016-07-30.

  • - sjusean up voted your review on 2016-07-02.

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Joebazz Joebazz (29)
Rating: 3.0 (2015-02-12)
A good bourbon. Just a little light for my taste. Still all in all a very nice bourbon. Slightly overpriced.
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Irishman Irishman (424)
Rating: 4.0 (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
  • - KaiserSoze up voted your review on 2016-10-26.

  • - PiggDogg up voted your review on 2016-07-30.

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Fitzgerald1119 Fitzgerald1119 (37)
Rating: 5.0 (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.
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AlfredReece1992 AlfredReece1992 (29)
Rating: 5.0 (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.
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Memphis Memphis (13)
Rating: 3.0 (2014-04-18)
This is scotch pretending to be bourbon. Packaging gone wild.
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StanMemTn StanMemTn (151)
Rating: 4.0 (2014-03-24)
A top-notch bourbon. Great, smooth, caramel backbone. A very satisfying sipper.
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derkerderr derkerderr (73)
Rating: 5.0 (2014-03-24)
I loved it!
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Edith MaGoo Edith MaGoo (79)
Rating: 3.0 (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.
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RichardMNixon RichardMNixon (2)
Rating: 1.0 (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.
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joelbarrett joelbarrett (58)
Rating: 4.0 (2013-03-21)
Pretty good.
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ProfessorCocktail ProfessorCocktail (72)
Rating: 3.0 (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.
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Ajax Ajax (2)
Rating: 5.0 (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 (45)
Rating: 4.0 (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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