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BOTM 9/17: Basil Hayden's

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fishnbowljoe   
fishnbowljoe

Guess what? I'm right on time for a change. :o

 

All the suggestions I've received for the BOTM have been done, and I haven't received any new ones, so we're gonna revisit a BOTM from almost ten years ago. Basil Hayden's is this month's BOTM. There's been a little talk about this one on the site lately, so once again, I figured why not. ;)

 

I have to be honest and say that I can't actually remember if I've ever bought a bottle of this or not. (CRS disease :huh:) I think I have, but I'm not 100% sure. I checked my spreadsheet, but I didn't start it until I'd been into this for a while. Regardless, I actually have something to say this time around. I've had BH numerous times. Our local bourbon/cigar/storm watcher group gets together at my local American Legion post. They had a few bottles of each of the Beam Small Batch Collection. Over the course of the last year or so, we've pretty much finished all they had. IIRC, BH was the first one to go. :P BH doesn't get a whole lotta love, but I have to say that to me, it's one of those bourbons that has a tendency to surprise you just a little. Yeah it's only 80 proof, and the price might be a tad bit high, but danged if every time I've had it, it tasted pretty darned good. That's the surprise part. :) I know that for me, and possibly a few others as well, if you plan on having a few different pours, BH is a good bourbon to start with. Start low (proof), and then work your way up the ladder. :D IMHO, I have to say that BH is a pretty fair bourbon over all. 

 

So let's hear what y'all have to say about Basil Hayden's. 

 

Cheers and happy posting!

 

Joe

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lcpfratn   
lcpfratn

Joe, I have to agree with you that BH is a decent bourbon, and I bought a few bottles years ago based on LS recommendations. As I've expanded my experience with many other bourbons though I've come to the same conclusion that many others have. It's over-priced and under-proofed. It's readily available as are many other better bourbons for less money. If it was priced closer to $30 and at least 90 proof I'd be a buyer again, but I haven't had a bottle in the house in several years.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Richnimrod   
Richnimrod

I have had exactly one bottle (many years ago), which I enjoyed thoroughly, for what it is... a smooth, mellow very easy drinker with a solid nose and nice finish (especially for such low proof).

My only quibble (well the low proof, too, I guess) is the price.     I believe it is a batched/selected Bourbon (from I have no idea how many barrels), and is carefully chosen for the qualities it shows off, so I suppose it's worth a little extra; but the overall quality just isn't commensurate with the other offerings available at/near the same price.    If it could be had for $25 or so, I'd be buyer again.

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CardsandBourbon   
CardsandBourbon

Having recently gotten into bourbon (around the first of this year) BH was one of my first purchases.  BH, like most of my early buys was mainly done because at that time I was worried that the higher proof bottles were going to be too hot for me and I figured lower proofs would be a good start.  My how things change as one of my favorites right now is the 138 proof Stagg Jr.  I don't grab the bottle too often but if I'm looking for something with pretty good flavor and not too high a proof I'll grab it.  If someone who wasn't much of a bourbon drinker came to the house and wanted a pour this would be a good one to introduce them to bourbons.  Will I buy it again?  I'm not sure.  

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musekatcher   
musekatcher

It was on my not-buy list.  A buddy brought me 8 ounces from a gifted bottle, so I took it to be polite.  Surprise - it has more flavor than it should for the proof.  Its got some nice qualities, and imo, is not just a watered down Booker's.  Will I buy it?  No, not at its price.  But like someone else mentioned, if it were under $30, it makes a pretty smooth drinker, especially for new bourbon drinkers. 

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0895   
0895

I agree that it needs to be upped in proof.

I'll never buy a bottle, but I won't turn down a free taste of it when the reps are at the liquor store pouring.

I think its very mediocre.

 

That being said, I'd probably recommend it to a beginner  ...or my younger sister.

Edited by 0895

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Paddy   
Paddy

I enjoy it for what it is, a more refined (albeit watered down) expression of OGD.  For the price, I just wish they'd bottle it at 100 or 114 proof.  The QPR being what it is, I haven't bought a bottle in a few years.  However, I still enjoy an occasional bar/restaurant pour when the mood strikes, and to its credit, it never seems to vary in quality. 

 

So, for this mashbill, I just stick with the less refined, and younger, OGD BIB as my 'standard' house bourbon, while relying on  Old Fitz BIB, as my 'wheated' house bourbon. 

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Kane   
Kane

I never understood why they decided to put this 80 proofer next to all those monstrous Beam SBs in the series. It really sticks out... Yeah it's not all that bad, but it sure doesn't fit the theme.

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BourbonDude   
BourbonDude
10 hours ago, lcpfratn said:

Joe, I have to agree with you that BH is a decent bourbon, and I bought a few bottles years ago based on LS recommendations. As I've expanded my experience with many other bourbons though I've come to the same conclusion that many others have. It's over-priced and under-proofed. It's readily available as are many other better bourbons for less money. If it was priced closer to $30 and at least 90 proof I'd be a buyer again, but I haven't had a bottle in the house in several years.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Yeah, for me the most I can say about it is that it's pretty inoffensive juice, possibly suitable for introducing wine or cognac drinkers to bourbon.

Edited by BourbonDude

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dcbt   
dcbt

I don't have a whole lot on this one, I've only had one sip of it and that was several years ago, but I noticed one store last weekend put BH in the locked glass cabinet.  Really?  I don't have the words...

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Flyfish   
Flyfish
11 hours ago, musekatcher said:

 it makes a pretty smooth drinker, especially for new bourbon drinkers. 

Yes. BH is a bourbon you use to convert the Scotch and Canadian drinkers who perceive bourbon as too "rough."

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Kane   
Kane
1 hour ago, dcbt said:

I don't have a whole lot on this one, I've only had one sip of it and that was several years ago, but I noticed one store last weekend put BH in the locked glass cabinet.  Really?  I don't have the words...

Could that have been the rye maybe? In that case the store was just being considerate of the customers, BH rye is so unexciting that I agree it should be kept behind locked glass and never brought out.

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musekatcher   
musekatcher
15 hours ago, Paddy said:

 

So, for this mashbill, I just stick with the less refined, and younger, OGD BIB as my 'standard' house bourbon, while relying on  Old Fitz BIB, as my 'wheated' house bourbon. 

 

 

I know folks consider the Bookers/Bakers/Basil to be related to Beam's OGD, OGDBIB and OG114, or visa versa, but I didn't experience the same flavor profiles in the two families?  I don't really feel like I'm getting the same profile between Bookers and BH either.  So back to BH, I think, and I'm interested in others' opinions, that it has something different going on that is good.  IMO, I preferred BH to OGDBIB independent of price or proof, but given the choice, I buy OGDBIB because its good enough for the price.  What I recall that was most surprising, is that it should have tasted watery, but didn't.  It had more flavor than any 80 proofer I've had.  Maybe that's its niche - its a tastier 80 proof.  I don't know why that would appeal to folks, but I guess Beam does. 

Edited by musekatcher

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JoeTerp   
JoeTerp

Basil Hayd be is solid although I little unexciting. It's pretty smooth and easy to drink at 80 proof. I find that a lot of beginners love this bourbon as it's packaged exquisitely, priced as a real premium product, and very accessible. It's readily available and beam seems to do a great job getting this on premise (along with knobby creek and bookers) even at places without much of a selection. 

 

I was was at a fancy dinner a few weeks ago for my anniversary and their manhattan used BH and that worked very well. 

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JoeTerp   
JoeTerp
Just now, musekatcher said:

 

I know folks consider the Bookers/Bakers/Basil to be related to Beam's OGD, OGDBIB and OG114, or visa versa, but I didn't experience the same flavor profiles in the two families?  I don't really feel like I'm getting the same profile between Bookers and BH either.  So back to BH, I think, and I'm interested in others' opinions, that it has something different going on that is good.  IMO, I preferred BH to OGDBIB independent of price or proof.  What I recall that was most surprising, is that it should have tasted watery, but didn't.  It had more flavor than any 80 proofer I've had.  Maybe that's its niche - its a tastier 80 proof.  I don't know why that would appeal to folks, but I guess Beam does. 

OGD and BH share the high rye mashbill. The rest of the beam portfolio is a different mashbill. 

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musekatcher   
musekatcher
9 minutes ago, JoeTerp said:

OGD and BH share the high rye mashbill. The rest of the beam portfolio is a different mashbill. 

got it - I haven't tried the 80 proof OGD.  I assume its a lesser OGDBIB.  But BH is not lesser, not imo that similar to OGD family?  A lot more goes into a bourbon than just mash bill and proof I guess. 

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JoeTerp   
JoeTerp
15 minutes ago, musekatcher said:

got it - I haven't tried the 80 proof OGD.  I assume its a lesser OGDBIB.  But BH is not lesser, not imo that similar to OGD family?  A lot more goes into a bourbon than just mash bill and proof I guess. 

BH is likely older than OGD although neither are age stated. 

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Harry in WashDC   
Harry in WashDC
2 hours ago, JoeTerp said:

BH is likely older than OGD although neither are age stated. 

This is what I understand, too.  BH supposedly is some 6- more 8 (if old posts on SB are to be believed) while OGD in all its forms is 4 (a little) to 6.  Persons like Squire could tell age almost by taste (or so the legend goes and grows).  I'm just going by conventional wisdom and what my own tastes tell me.

 

Note to self - go do some research and stop relying on memory.

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Paddy   
Paddy

^^^^^Yes, BH used to be 8 yr age stated and is now suspected to be a mix of 6-8 year old distillate. 

 

The OGD mashbill, good rick/rack locating, fair aging, a dolled up bottle/label, and good batch selecting...all seem to be doing well for Beam.

 

IMO, It's damn good bourbon.  I'd just rather have those 'ripe' barrels going into a higher proof iteration.  :(

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mosugoji64   
mosugoji64

Nothing wrong with BH. It's tasty for an 80-proof bourbon, but as others have mentioned it's just over-priced. For the money, give me an OGDBIB or 114. That said, I've never done a SBS with these and would be interested in doing so.

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BourbonDude   
BourbonDude
1 hour ago, mosugoji64 said:

Nothing wrong with BH. It's tasty for an 80-proof bourbon, but as others have mentioned it's just over-priced. For the money, give me an OGDBIB or 114. That said, I've never done a SBS with these and would be interested in doing so.

Agree. Haven't had as much experience with the BIB, but tthe OGD114 has been consistently a good value for decades now. Other higher-priced bourbons have come and gone with me, but I know I can always count on the OGD114

Edited by BourbonDude

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Limegoldconvertible68   
Limegoldconvertible68

I just finished my first and only bottle last weekend. I'm embarrassed to say I bought it long ago before I knew you guys. I was a huge fan of Deadwood and one character from season 2 (Woolcot) would only drink Basil Hayden. Since it was set in 1870s I thought this was a long established brand and that's why I bought it. It's decent but no where near worth the price but it doesn't seem to be marketed to us, the bourbon affectionado.  That 80 proof sits well with the upscale vodka drinkers looking to branch out. 

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NDN98   
NDN98

I am very neutral on Basil Hayden.  It's not a bad bourbon, but a little too mellow for me in the flavor department.  Pretty smooth and an easy drinker, but I would prefer a little more flavor, especially for the price.

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chappy6107   
chappy6107

I just finished a bottle of this.  I feel it was an amazingly smooth pour.  I did think that the finish was missing something.  I cant put my finger on it but every glass of this I had these thoughts went through my head:

 

"wow great initial flavor, very smooth, no burn.....it needs something to help carry the finish"

 

overall a good pour.  I would not buy another bottle, but I would accept a glass at a friends house.

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Vosgar   
Vosgar

Never found a good reason to buy a bottle of Basil Hayden. Not that it's a bad whiskey, but more that there's not enough to justify its price, IMHO. Inoffensive flavor, low proof and a high price don't mix

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