Hayner is an old brand of whiskey. The 1899 Mida’s Criteria registry of trademarks has the Hayner trademark registered first in 1894 by William A. Hayner. However, the trademark itself has an 1866 date on the illustration of the registered trademark. This is not unusual. Companies would often go many years before registering the trademark. This means they were a local brand and did not need the expense of registering the trademark until they expanded their market. In the 1890s. Hayner became a very large mail order brand. They had advertisements for their whiskey in many national publications and needed to protect their brand, thus they registered the trademark.
Prohibition shut down the business and the brand was forgotten by all except those who collected old bottles and advertisements. Hayner was famous for creating a bar decanter with a combination lock as a stopper. The Oscar Getz Museum has one of these bottles in their collection. When the brand was revived in Troy, Ohio in the 21st century, the new owners paid homage to those old bar decanters by designing a bottle that looks very similar to it. I recently received bottles of the Hayner Bourbon and Rye whiskeys from Matt’s partner, my niece, Becca, so Matt and I sat down and tasted them. Here are our tasting notes.
Hayner Bourbon, Batch 1 Bottled July 14, 2021
Age: Three Years Old (15% 3 year old, 45% 4 year old, 40% 13 year old Bourbons)
- Mike: Very nice nose. Vanilla, cotton candy, ripe apples and pears, cardamom spice and oak wood.
- Matt: Caramel, oats and honey with oak wood.
- Mike: Vanilla, ripe apple and wild berries, cardamom and oak wood. Tasted with a dried cranberry and the vanilla and spice flavors are enhanced, but there is less fruit. Tasted with a pecan and lemon zest and white pepper spice come out to join the other flavors.
- Matt: Caramel, honey, cinnamon and ginger spice with oak wood. The dried cranberry brought out a floral note of roses and honeysuckle, vanilla, bran flakes and oak. The pecan gave it notes of cinnamon toast cereal.
- Mike: Long with oak and spice with some lingering vanilla sweetness. The dried cranberry added a little pepper spice to the finish. The pecan made it very long and dry with oak tannins and pepper spice.
- Matt: Lots of oak tannins and pepper spice. The dried cranberry made the pepper a floral white pepper. The pecan brought out a note of caramel to the finish.
Hayner Rye Whiskey Batch 2 Bottled October 5, 2021
Age: No Age Statement
- Mike: Rye grass, vanilla, baking spices and oak wood.
- Matt: Rye grass, mint, vanilla and oak wood.
- Mike: A bit of a thin mouth-feel. Rye grass, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, mint and a hint of banana fruit and oak wood. The dried cranberry reduced the vanilla and spice while enhancing the oak and mint. The pecan reduced the mint and enhanced the vanilla and spice notes.
- Matt: Vanilla, Andes mint candy notes of chocolate and mint, apples and oak wood. The dried cranberry brought out the rye grass and made the fruit more citrus, maybe tangerine. The pecan gave it a creamy mouth-feel. With notes of citrus and pumpkin pie spices.
- Mike: Medium long with oak and spice and lingering mint. The dried cranberry made it shorter and drier with lots of mint. The pecan made it long and dry with oak tannins, nutmeg and black pepper.
- Matt: Long with oak, mint and pepper spice. The dried cranberry made it very short with mint and a little oak wood. The pecan made the finish longer with oak with a hint of citrus and maple syrup.
I would pair these whiskeys with a cigar that has a lot of vanilla and cedar spiciness to the smoke. I would reach for a Padron 1926 Series.
Photos Courtesy of Rosemary Miller