Bottle of Basil Hayden with barrels
Basil Hayden Kentucky Straight Bourbon: The Ultimate Bottle Guide
Making its first appearance in 1992, Basil Hayden was created by the legendary distiller Booker Noe as an attempt to make a high-rye whiskey with a more delicate flavor.
The experiment was a success, and ever since the early '90s, Basil Hayden has become synonymous with smooth bourbon, which has undoubtedly helped its immense popularity.
How It’s Made
Basil Hayden Kentucky straight bourbon is meticulously made through a time-honored whiskey-making process at the James B. Beam Distilling Company.
The process involves selecting high-quality grain (including lots of rye) to create the mash, adding yeast to initiate fermentation, and distilling the resulting liquid twice.
The liquid is then aged in charred oak barrels, where it undergoes the maturation process that changes it into the Kentucky whiskey we know and love.
Basil Hayden is one of the smoothest whiskeys around and provides a light-tasting experience with flavors including vanilla, oak, and pepper, making for easy drinking.
Basil Hayden is produced by James B. Beam Distilling Company, which is also responsible for Jim Beam. Basil Hayden Kentucky is part of Jim Beam's small batch collection.
Small Batch Comparisons
Knob Creek, Booker's, and Baker's are the other bourbons in Jim Beam's small batch collection and, while they have a similar heritage, each is unique.
Basil Hayden is the lightest and most delicate of the collection and stands in stark contrast to the more robust Knob Creek 9-year, which offers an intense tasting experience.
Both Booker's and Baker's also offer bold flavors. If you want something smooth and mellow, choose Basil Hayden, and if not, you can go for any of the others.