This is an interesting whiskey. First of all it is a blended whiskey but not in the sense most people think of American blended whiskey. There is no grain neutral spirits in this whiskey. It is a blend of a straight rye whiskey, a Canadian rye whiskey and Port wine. I am impressed that Jim Beam is introducing such a product under the Basil Hayden brand. Then again, I do believe that they put a quality whiskey together with this blend and it does deserve a well-known name associated with it.

Basil Hayden’s Dark Rye

Proof: 80

Age: No Age Statement

Nose: Brown sugar, fruit –raisins and berries, with a hint of baking spice.

Taste: Very brandy-like with fruit, berries and cherries, caramel and a hint of almonds and oak. Tasted with a dried cranberry and the oak and almonds come forward and balance the berries and caramel. Tasted with a pecan and the brown sugar comes forward giving the whiskey a pecan pie flavor.

Finish: Long and sweet with fruit and caramel with the oak coming in late to give it a nice dry flavor. The dried cranberry makes the finish a bit more oak come forward. The pecan makes the finish very sweet and nutty.

I am enjoying this product quite a bit. It has more depth of flavor than the average 80 proof whiskey. I am enjoying this afternoon with a Nat Sherman Pan Americana Cervantes cigar. The smoke really brings out the Port wine characteristics with lots of fruit and almonds. The Basil Hayden’s Dark Rye and a creamy sweetness to the smoke. A very good pairing today.

Photos Courtesy of Rosemary Miller