Have you tried a smoked bourbon?
If you haven’t, and like that smoky taste in your whiskey, then Basil Hayden has a limited release that you might want to find. Basil Hayden takes their high rye bourbon and finishes it by toasting and lightly charring the secondary barrel. This is followed by delicately igniting hickory-smoked chips at a constant feed to produce smoke, which is then pumped into the barrel, resulting in notes of soft char and light butterscotch. What you get is Basil Hayden Subtle Smoke.
A little background on this brand. The Basil Hayden bourbon brand was introduced in 1992 and is named in honor of Basil Hayden Sr., who was a distiller, and he used a larger amount of rye in his mash than some other bourbons. Later, Hayden’s grandson Raymond B. Hayden founded a distillery in Nelson County and named his label “Old Grand-Dad”, in honor of his grandfather.
Tasting Notes: Basil Hayden Subtle Smoke
Vital Stats: While the bottle states artfully aged, we would believe it to be 8 years old. It has a non-disclosed mash bill but we would believe it to be a reported 63% corn, 27% rye and 10% malted barley. It is the standard 80 proof and has an MSRP of $49.99.
Appearance: How can you not love the rebranding of this bottle. More information and a cleaner look. The smoke has almost turned it a light coffee color.
Nose: Light campfire, sweetness with aged butterscotch, caramel and vanilla. Hints of mint and toasted marshmallow.
Taste: Sweetness of antique butterscotch. It’s light with hints of pop rocks, cinnamon toothpicks and lingering smoke.
Finish: Slow to medium but with a nice Kentucky hug.
Overall: While we know that the bourbon community has a love/hate relationship with this brand, we would suggest giving this one a try. It impressed us both with its spice and just enough smoke. This is a buy for us.