Basil Hayden’s

Basil Hayden’s is a premium bourbon whiskey from the Jim Beam family (owned by Beam Suntory.) 80 proof. It has a higher percent of rye in the mash bill, compared to most other bourbons. Until 2014 Basil Hayden’s was aged 8 years, but after that year the company removed the age statement.

Basil Hayden's

Light golden color. Surprisingly, this has a slight citrus scent (but not flavor) almost an apple cider flavor on the front palate. I detected notes of oak and vanilla. This drink is sweet, crisp and clean, like a hard cider. Almost no alcohol burn. I really like it, and would definitely recommend it. But there’s just one thing: It costs 50% more than Old Grand Dad Bottled in Bond, or OGD 114, yet it is really similar.

People studying the distillery report that both Basil Hayden and Old Grand Dad share:

* same mash bill
* same barrels, and same warehouse
* same lack of age statement
* same proof (80)

Hayden’s is aged a little longer, and from select barrels. That indeed could make a difference in flavor, but how much? Is it worth it to pay much more, for a slightly older Old Grand Dad – in an admittedly more beautiful bottle? If you detect a substantial difference in flavor, sure. But otherwise, perhaps it would be good to choose something from the Old Grand Dad family – specifically, OGD Bottled in Bond.

There’s a great history of Basil Hayden’s and Old Grand Dad here, discussing the difference between Hayden’s and OGD. Old Grand Dad 80 proof vs. Basil Hayden’s: From The Whisk(e)y Room

Here’s an interesting note. On several occasions during Live and Let Die, Ian Fleming has James Bond drinking “Old Grandad” bourbon. And an interesting article by Chuck Cowdery on it, The Good and Not-So-Good of the Old Grand-Dad Reboot

Old Grand Dad ad from 1955

Old grand dad whiskey 1955


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