It’s time to play another round of: Was This A Colossal Waste of Money? In the case of Basil Hayden’s 10 year, oh god yes, this money was practically lit on fire. Basil Hayden’s normal edition is already a pretty dumb purchase unless you have the toddlerest of palates. If you love the Beam Suntori catalog, for the same money you could buy knob creek or Bakers or for a little more, Booker’s.
This is for someone who is in a Brewster’s Millions situation who needs to waste money. Who really wants a watery 80 proof bourbon diluted down into suntea? Basil Hayden’s is for your coworker who reads Men’s Health magazine and enjoys Quiznos. The type of person who reads a column written 3 years too late about the types of fall bourbons they just have to try. This is the training wheels of even the most gentle bourbons like Eagle Rare 10, so much so that its is unclear whether the person who buys Basil even likes bourbon at all. The man who nods and grips a Michelob Ultra until it is half full and room temp. It’s fine we get it: you don’t enjoy drinking.
The nose is ethereal and almost nonexistent, nestea and the ghost of discarded Marlboro reds dropped into a wounded soldier. This is the high rye recipe that they use in Old Grand Dad, but it costs like three times as much. I overpaid at $75 but everyone overpays for this, really. The age statement does nothing for this beer and borderline makes it worse by way of shattered watery flowerbomb expectations.
The taste is completely watery and two oaky pumps of disappointment before it dribbles tepid and weak down your throat into leathery completion. This is your ambitious friend who drinks all their water a mile into your hike and ruins the rest of your pace with perpetual rests. If there was a lemon pledge flavored la croix well here it is. It’s so short and fleeting. BH10 is the “planed lumber” scented Yankee Candle that can barely fill the seedy basement you live in but it’s basically your own apartment because it has its own access and your nana never goes down there.
Basil Hayden’s used to be 8 years age stated and then went NAS in 2014. Now it’s supposedly 6-7 years so it amounts to papa watering down the Booker’s in your baba so the spicy spice doesn’t ruin naptime. It’s not that this is a waste compared to other bottles in its segment, it’s so god damn boring and diluted and pointless that even savage white label Jim Beam has a more compelling presence. This is the bourbon world taxing preexisting consumers to court Condé Nast neophyte palates who write about how “authentic” ethnic food is in Yelp
reviews so white that they reek of OxyClean. The ten year version amounts to a stupid bottle you buy your boss because it’s exactly how much you feel comfortable spending and the guy at BevMo makes $11.00 an hour and doesn’t drink this shit either so here you go the guy said it was good you like bourbon do you like this he said it’s rare supposed to be smooth happy holidays, do you use that frosted mug I got you last year? God damn this Basil Hayden’s ten year is trash.