This is the latest expression from Basil Hayden, a small batch bourbon brand part of Jim Beam's Small Batch Collection. It's a reimagining of the brand with a mashbill that swaps out rye for brown rice.
The mash bill is made with US-grown brown rice, which gives this bourbon a touch of sweetness as well as a less spicy profile than other Basil Hayden expressions. It then undergoes a secondary toasted barrel finish, which draws out more notes of caramelized sugar and toasted wood. After aging, it's blended back with more brown rice bourbon that's rested in level four char barrels.
It's a very subtle, refined expression that's approachable for a variety of whiskey fans. It's a good choice for sipping, but it also makes a great cocktail ingredient, especially ones that use a lot of different ingredients and require some sort of flavoring.
The aroma of this Basil Hayden Toast is very similar to the entry-level Basil Hayden bourbon reviewed above, but with a more complex layer of fruit and seasoned oak. On the nose, it offers up a mix of cherry syrup and stone fruits (peach and apricot) along with some more seasoned oak.
This bourbon is 80 proof and is a very approachable whiskey that's perfect for a variety of cocktails, as well as drinking on its own. It's very mellow, with just a touch of spiciness on the tongue and a hint of vanilla on the finish.