The world may be in a bourbon drought soon, with that in mind please don’t go out and buy a bottle of Basil Hayden. I would like to keep the supply for myself!
Basil Hayden is one of my favorite bourbons and yet I feel I have to place it in the guilty pleasure sections. Why? Mostly because when I rate it gets a 3 out 5. I know how does my one of favorite bourbons get a 3 well probably the same way one of my least favorite vodkas got a 4 out of 5 it is the rules that will get you every time. When you look at Basil Hayden you see a bourbon that will make one of the best bourbon and gingers you have ever had. The same bourbon will have you looking at your Old Fashion with a WTF the reason Basil Hayden is a touch sweatier than you maybe use to. On the flip side of that of the rocks with an orange or lemon twist and you have a slightly addictive summer bourbon drink that is so refreshing. Yes, I know this is January but there is no better bourbon to make a Hot Toddy with so that is why to take a look at it now.
What makes Basil Hayden so enjoyable besides the fact that it looks like it is wearing a championship belt is the fact that it is smooth from the first taste to the last linger. This also is why the touch of extra sweet is a part of the design the nose of Basil Hayden is one of spice, black tea leaf and honey. The taste is light up front with a brown sugar or honey in the middle it is peppery and a honey sweetness and the finish is clean and dry most importantly gentle. It is a softer bourbon but in no way a bad bourbon but all the tricks and toying that bartenders do to a bourbon to give it a more gentle or subtle taste Basil Hayden already there. A lot of that is due to it being only 80 proof which is a light-weight for bourbon that can carry a proof of 130+ proof and it will still be smooth. I won’t however say they have the honey-like flavor or spiced and tea leaf aroma that makes Basil Hayden a favorite of mine. It also has a little rebel in it and who doesn’t like to have a little rebel in there life. Basil Hayden excels where others have failed and its bottle gives Basil Hayden a stance that says don’t even think I am not ready or worthy.
At the end of the day I would love to say that Basil Hayden is a 3.5 out of 5 but that just isn’t how we do it. Basil Hayden was literally 2pts out of 100 away from a 4 out of 5 and as much as I want to give it the push it would only be flattery for the love of Basil Hayden and not the terms of distinction. The bottom line is that it has a lot of ability in craft cocktails but it is hurt by classic cocktails and when it comes to Basil Hayden it will depend on the person. I personally love the fact that it gives me an escape during the cold winter months and with it being soft enough to be enjoyed in the hot summer days without toying with it. On the rocks it is also enjoyable you may find yourself drinking a bit fast especially if you enjoy the bite or woodiness of bourbon for those reason it scores a high 3 out of 5!
Rating 3 out of 5
Basil & Ginger
1 ½ oz. Basil Hayden
4 ½ Ginger ale
In a Hi-ball or Double Old Fashion filled with ice pour the Basil Hayden over the ice and add the ginger ale and enjoy.
2 oz. Basil Hayden
¾ oz. St. Germain
¼ Lemon juice
Garnish orange twist
In a Boston glass drop a blackberry pour the Basil Hayden the St. Germain and lemon juice then fill it with ice shake it hard to break-up the blackberry. Double strain it out into an up cocktail glass and garnish with an orange twist.