On the label draped over the bottle like a robe on a half naked monk, the words smooth and gentile appear in the lengthy description. These words are key in describing the experience of this delightful dram, for it is indeed soft and supple as it washes over your tongue – like a lilypad floating upon a brisk moving stream.
This is a great bourbon that anyone can drink. Don’t let the bourbon elite fool you into thinking that B.H.’s is lacking in character and is ‘boring’. This is intentionally made to be a drinkers drink. It is nice and refreshing to be able to sit down and just start sipping. No need to bother with ice or water, or worry that you’ll burn your mouth from too large a swig. This stuff is just pure bourbon flavor and a cute little tingle.
It’s also the perfect bourbon to serve to your non-bourbon friends when they ask for a drink. In fact, even my cat seemed more curious about this one than ususal. She likes to sniff at whatever I’m drinking and usually turns away repulsed, but this time she stayed for a second whiff.
And speaking of smelling the bourbon…
ON TO THE REVIEW
Appearance: Deep amber and gold. Quite nice. After swishing this around a bit, I noticed some very long legs. The drink was stuck to the glass like a gecko on an olive tree. It was almost inviting me to drink it up and wallpaper my mouth with its oily goodness.
Nose: But first a sniff or two. While I was swishing the glass this way and that to admire the legendary viscosity, I must have rustled it a bit to hard. A great whiff of alcohol brought up a very oaky scent that one might expect from a Tennessee whisky. After a second or two, I was completely surprised by the sweet, crisp freshness wafting up my nasal cavity. It was like jamming a stick of juicy fruit up one nostril, and doublemint up the other. There was some cherry to the sweetness as well, and a hint of nuttyness (remember Twin Bing candy?).
Palate: The first sip was pure elation! If joy was a flavor, it would taste like Basil Hayden’s. The rye flavor led a parade of sweet and bouncy flavors such as honey, vanilla, cane sugar, and mintberry crunch.
Finish: It leaves a fun, full-mouth tingle. The party ended all too soon, though, as the finish was quite short. The real problem here is that it compells you to take another sip. And another. And another.
The word drinkable can often be ambiguous, often meaningless. HOwever, Basil Hayden’s give drinkable a new definition. It may not be the most flavorful, or complex, or spicy or sweet – but holy cow is it easy to toss down the ol’ gullet.
AND THIS STUFF
Price: $35 – $45
Benchmark Rating: +2