View Full Version : Basil Hayden up 33%

08-06-2012, 08:44
This post is going out to Chuck all others are welcome to chime in. Chuck in your blog you stated that Basil Hayden sales have gone up by 33% do you think that is why they are going NAS? Not being able to keep up with demand?


08-06-2012, 12:08
Basil Hayden is the same high rye recipe as OGD, right? It seems crazy to me how the 8 years improves this bourbon from what's in OGD114, and then to dilute it to 80 proof adds insult to injury. I wonder how a standard OGD114 compares to BH at the same proof...

08-06-2012, 12:41
Did you mean that BH and OGD114 are the same high rye recipe? Or BH and a different verson of OGD?

Here's a post from a different thread that mentions the differences. Apparently BH is just watered down OGD114. OGD BIB and 86pf are slightly different (both go in at a higher entry proof).

Back to the top of this one -- I asked Bernie Lubbers at Spirits Confidential NH about Basil Hayden going NAS and learned a couple things:

Bernie claimed that the point of the label change was to replace the paper wrapper with a stick-on label and didn't believe that the age statement was gone (he's wrong according to the COLA application.)
Yes, BH is watered-down Old Grand Dad -- Bernie was filling flasks with grains representing mashbills, and both Old Grand Dad and Basil Hayden were listed as "High Rye Bourbon"
However, BH goes in at a lower entry proof than OGD BIB and OGD 86
OGD 114 also goes in at lower entry proof!

08-06-2012, 14:12
I used to love BH (before I was exposed to a greater variety), but noticed it's price point seems to have dropped. I've seen it for $29.99, and I thought it used to run closer to $40 (but maybe I just overpaid on the first bottle I picked up 2 or 3 years ago).

08-06-2012, 17:53
I've tasted BH once, and my initial thought was "this tastes like watered down OGD BiB."

08-07-2012, 08:13
I've tasted BH once, and my initial thought was "this tastes like watered down OGD BiB."

Because that's pretty much what it is just older and a lot more expensive.

08-07-2012, 13:15
So what's the question?

One thing you have to remember about COLAs is that approved labels aren't necessarily used. Don't conclude that Beam is dropping the age statement on BH until you see a NAS bottle at retail.

The trend away from age statements has been to give the producers flexibility to mix in some younger whiskey if it meets the brand profile. I know everybody believes the worst of the big producers, but their highest priority is matching the brand profile with each and every batch, so it's not in their interest to make changes that actually change how the whiskey tastes, even if there is some younger whiskey in the bottle.

People responding to that blog post seemed most bothered by the BH report. You shouldn't take too seriously a big one-time bump in sales on a small brand. If BH sustains a 33% growth trend over several quarters, then that's something to pay attention to.

Based on the marketing materials I see, Beam seems to have had success focusing BH on a cocktails-oriented, fashion and style-oriented consumer. Something to drink while watching "Project Runway."

I've always felt that BH and all of the Beam small-batchers are good but over-priced. The only one that seems appropriately priced for what it is is Knob Creek, which has been the most successful. I don't know if they have permanently adjusted the price on BH, or if they've been dealing it a lot. Heavy dealing could account for a one-time 33% sales increase, but that doesn't mean much if they can't sustain the price point that's driving the extra sales. The idea, of course, is that deals drive usage and the hope is that at least some of those consumers will stay with the brand when the price goes back up.