Basil Hayden Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is a premium whiskey produced in Bullitt County, Kentucky by the makers of Jim Beam. It is a moderately-priced premium whiskey enjoyable as a straight sip or mixer.

“Basil Hayden” is the shortened name of Kentucky farmer Meredith Basil Hayden Sr. (1743 – 1804). Hayden’s Catholic ancestors left England in the 1660’s for religious liberty in the American colonies. They settled in Maryland, where they farmed and provided supplies to the Continental Army during the American Revolution. In 1785, Basil Hayden led over one hundred fellow Catholic settlers into Kentucky and founded the village of Bardstown. He began distilling whiskey and developed recipes that included large portions of rye, earning the title Father Of High Rye Bourbon. After his passing in 1804, Hayden’s family continued producing whiskey. His grandson, Raymond Hayden, founded a distillery nearby in 1885 and originated the brand “Old Grand-Dad” in honor of Basil. Thanks to the efforts of the Hayden family and others, the area around Bardstown became the Kentucky Bourbon Capitol Of The World. In 1987, Beam acquired ownership of “The Olds” – three of the oldest Bourbon brands in the country that they continue to produce today: Old Grand-Dad, Old Overholt, and Old Crow.

Producer: Basil Hayden is produced by James R. Beam Distilling Company, a subsidiary of Japanese-owned Beam Suntory Inc. since 2014. Beam Suntory owns brewing and distilling businesses worldwide. Their well known American brands include Jim Beam, Knobb Creek, Old Grand-Dad, Maker’s Mark, and others. Internationally produced brands commonly imported to the US include Suntory (whiskey), Laphroaig (Scotch), Canadian Club (Canadian Whiskey), Hornitos (tequila), and Courvoisier (Cognac).

Description: Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. 40% ABV.

Price: Whiskey tasted retails around $45 (750ml). Premium variations available around $95 to $120.

Tasting Notes

Appearance: Light bronze.

Nose:  Hint of vanilla.

Taste: Vanilla, honey, and pepper notes.

Finish: Balanced finish.

Complexity: Medium depth.

Other Comments: Enjoy straight or in cocktails. The producer provides a web site, The Cocktail Project, that provides cocktail recipes featuring their products.

Disclaimer: Author has no professional or personal relationships with the producer of this product and received no compensation for publishing this review.