View Full Version : Let's vat some Basil Hayden

07-25-2008, 18:59
Who is up for some science? I have some Basil Hayden to finish off....how about some suggestions for vatting!

I think the Basil Hayden is missing something...body to start with...so how about starting off middle of the road and working our way up?

I have a bunch of shot glasses set up...will try:

1. BH 50% + MM 50%
2. BH 50% + BT 50%
3. BH 50% + EC 12 50%

Jump in if you dare!

07-25-2008, 19:13
BH + MM.....still too much BH...the MM was not strong enough to add much.
BH + BT....now there is a difference...more burn...more flavor.
BH + EC...not good...something is off.

Definitely go with the bolder bourbon to bring the BH up.
However...none of the flavor profiles above are good enough to recommend.

07-25-2008, 19:19
BH + MM.....still too much BH...the MM was not strong enough to add much.

Two wrongs don't make a right.

although it's been said that three lefts do.

07-25-2008, 19:21
Dumping the 3 shots together...hey..not bad...smooth...decent body...actually, fairly yummy!

07-25-2008, 19:24
Rye has a stronger flavor presence than wheat, though that is somewhat offset by Hayden's low proof. 50-50, rye/wheat is too much rye.
Ideally, I think, I'd assay maybe 1 part Basil Hayden's with 3 parts Old Weller Antique 107. If that's not available, go with 1:2 or 2:3 Hayden:Weller 12/Weller SR/Maker's.

07-25-2008, 19:41
I have some Weller Special Reserve...

07-25-2008, 21:22
Ok....comparing straight BH w WSR...forgive my limited adjectives.

Shot glasses.,..BH + WSR (1:4) slightly darker..more honeyed...BH light gold..straw colored.

Nose...BH + WSR...sweeter smell...BH a little more alcohol odor.

Taste - BH...some sweet note plus somewhat sharp, astringent..a lingering bitter finish...wood.
BH + WSR...still sharp but less so...not as astringent...has a thicker mouth...orange notes? ...still, a somewhat bitter finish.

Improved with WSR...yes...but still not an ideal flavor.

Dumped the rest of the BH shot into the mix...ratio about 3:5 BH to WSR. Not much difference in overall taste...

07-25-2008, 21:28
If anyone comes up with a killer vatting of BH let me know!

07-26-2008, 01:37
All the suggestions are good but the 1:2 BH to Weller 107 or Weller 12 from Tim sounds perfect. BH has a strong taste of the Beam trademark anise. It's a taste that I find adds character to bourbon if the full-bore Beam taste is brought down a bit. The relative lack of body of BH at 80 proof is dealt with by using the fuller body of a good wheater like the ones mentioned. It might work with MM too at the same ratio but you'd be staying with an overall light-bodied bourbon (nothing wrong with that though, sometimes). Had to smile at Scott's joke!

Also, any combination mentioned above but 1:3 instead of 1:2. A little of the BH taste will go a long way.


07-27-2008, 19:27
Master Gillman...here goes:

Weller SR...has a nice, light nose, sweet..mild on the tongue...actually....reminds me of BH without the woody taste at the finish.

BH:WSR 1:3..........pick up more alcohol and complex scents in the nose...taste...interesting....not a classic...but a decent light bourbon...the wood finish is lessened.

Ok, as both bottles are about finished...they will be dumped together. Now, more room for some new selections....doubt I will be buy either again.

P.S. as my Blackbush is about empty...dumped that in too...hey..that perks things up abit...added some sweetness....maybe a winning dump/vat! Final...1 BH, 1 BB, 3 WSR.

07-27-2008, 19:44
Ok...this has gone too far...I added a few drops of Talisker..for some peat...and it just overwhelmed the lightish bourbon/Irish..now I have a glass of Scotch.

07-27-2008, 21:05
Interesting experiments. All very valid. To me, adding BB is something like increasing the barley content of a bourbon mash bill. True, there is a grain whiskey element in BB, but that will just lighten the whole a bit, can't do any harm.


07-27-2008, 21:35
I don't have any BH on hand, but I wonder what would happen if you vat it with Baby Saz. BS has a fruity tang I haven't found in any other rye, but it might very well reinforce the rye tang in BH.

07-27-2008, 22:31
Don't have any Saz for the experiment...maybe a new purchase is in order.

Have no fear....there are other combos from my cabinet yet to try....before totally draining the BH bottle.

07-28-2008, 08:06
My idea would be to stay away from the wheat and to do something to bring down the rye content while at the same time giving a little more oomph.

Probably heresy, but: Stagg? High corn mashbill and high alcohol might do the trick. I'd guess a reverse ratio -- maybe BH:GTS = 2:1?

07-28-2008, 08:34
Kevin, interesting idea. The corn content is appealing, and certainly the proof point with that vatting could be nice and fiery. I think, given my love of rye, I might try to do something to keep the rye content high while blending down the anise note. Perhaps 1:1:1 or 1:1:2 BH:OO:OC101. The corn content of the Charter and the vanilla notes might level off the BH anise, while the OO keeps the rye content up, and its muddy brown sugar note should set off the crystalline sweetness of the Charter. Unfortunately, while I have the latter two whiskeys, I have no BH to try this out.


07-28-2008, 08:42
I agree re Kevin's suggestion and you could go the other way too, i.e., Stagg to BH 2:1. This would pick up the rye notes of the Stagg and probably bring the proof to around 100. Do it both ways and you'll have two fine and quite different drinks.


07-28-2008, 09:33
I have Stagg...tonight the lab will be working!

07-28-2008, 19:56
Stagg / BH 2:1

Seems to be an improvement...a little rounder mouthfeel...but the dry wood is still on the finish. Not the sweet notes achieved with the addition of Bushmills...it reminds me somewhat of the taste I achieved with the dump in of all...BT, MM and EC into the BH.

BH / Stagg 1:2

Sharper taste...very odd in that it seems to have more bite on the upper palate from alcohol than the higher proof version above...wheras the 2:1 has more overall mouth heat. And yes, I was careful not to switch the shots.

Of the two...I prefer the first...Stagg / BH 2:1.

I enjoy Rye...but BH certainly does not have enought for that complex candied body ....I could try it with a Rye..but think the result would be an overall lighter Rye....without really changing the taste that much. Hang...will run and try.

07-28-2008, 20:08
Ok Kevin....I don't have OO or OC 101 so instead I added
1 part Rittenhouse BIB 100 added to create:

#1 RH 1 Stagg 2 BH 1
#2 RH 1 Stagg 1 and BH 2.

Actually, the Ritt improved both by adding some spice...i.e. more body...I think this points to a likely solution...adding Rye and a higher proof bourbon to the BH....overall it comes across as a light Rye or medium bodied bourbon...i.e. one with a higher Rye % in the mash bill.

The best is still the ratio of 1 part BH instead of 2...it just seems to create too much sharp bite without compensating body. The clear winner for me is #1....this could be tweaked endlessly...but I think this type of formula creates a more satisfying vatting.

07-29-2008, 08:00
Now I'm intrigued to try it, but I don't have any BH in the house -- only the higher-proof/younger-age OGD expressions.

(I suppose I could try vatting Stagg and OGD 114 but I'm afraid I'd set the house on fire!)

07-29-2008, 09:11
Don't run out and buy any! Maybe somebody in your area will read this and offer a little vatting experimentation. I think you could use a similar approach with any light bodied bourbon....maybe a lower shelf item you want to salvage....even using an Irish or Canadian would yield interesting results.