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Monday, March 14, 2022

Basil Hayden Toast Review

Welcome to the Columbus Bourbon review for Basil Hayden Toast. As readers may remember, I wrote about the release of Basil Hayden Toast in August of 2021. At that time, I mentioned how I was really excited and would be picking up a bottle as soon as I saw this on the shelves, which I did! 

The concept of this bourbon is that the secondary aging in a toasted then flash-charred oak barrel offers a unique taste. Will that be the case? Let's find out. 

We'll get started with the basics.

Manufacturer: Beam Suntory
Age: No age statement on bottle.

Location Produced: 

Mash Bill: Unknown

Tasting notes (from manufacturer):

Nose: Toasted oak complemented by dried fruit and caramelized sugar

Taste: Toasted wood and vanilla with a light mouthfeel

Finish: Sweet caramel
Proof/Alcohol: 80 (40% alcohol by volume)

Cost (Ohio): $49.99 + tax in Ohio

Let's start the review. 

Taste - Score 25 out of 35

This review was done by me (Mark) and my wife (The Duchess). 

On the nose, we picked up the standard bourbon notes (oak). However, it is lighter than other bourbons and was a bit sweet as I could definitely pick up the sugar. 

The taste was light and sweet and a bit sugary. The Duchess noted it was mineral forward and reminded her a bit of Perrier. 

Smoothness/Finish - Score 14 out of 25

The finish was short to medium and didn't offer anything unique. It was fine. It was smooth, but that may be because of the lower proof of Basil Hayden's. I was expecting more from the toasted barrel. 

Intangibles: Color/Appearance - Score 12.5 out of 15.

I just love the Basil Hayden bottles. It's the BH belt, and how tall they are, and the look and feel. The Toast differs from other Basil Hayden varieties with the unique cork. It sticks out of the bottle and has the BH logo and the works Basil Haden Small Batch engraved at the top. 

The color was a little lighter than I would expect from a bourbon that went through a secondary aging. It's lighter than the Michter's bourbon and the Sazerac Rye. Officially, Basil Hayden calls the color dark amber, which seems about right. 

Availability - Score 2.5 out of 5

This product is available in Ohio, but you're going to have to do a decent amount of work to track down a bottle. As you can see in the availability map, it's showing fully in stock in one location in all of Columbus. It was a little better in Cleveland, but not much. 

Overall Value - Score 12.5 out of 20

The $49.99 question... is this something I would pick up over similar twice barreled bottles or other bottles at the $50 price point... Sadly, I was left disappointed with the Basil Hayden Toast. I felt there wasn't much character to it and it was a bit too light. The Duchess thought this could be a good bourbon to have near the pool in the summer because of the mineral taste and how light and smooth it went down. I'm sad I didn't like this more, but glad I found a bottle and got to experience it. 

Final Score: 66.5 out of 100 - Some uniqueness and could be good in the right situation

What do you think? Let me know in the comments. 

Note: This review was done by Mark with help from The Duchess. The bottle was bought by me in Powell, Ohio at retail price.

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