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Angel’s Envy vs Basil Hayden’s: Head to Head!

Discover the differences between Angel’s Envy vs Basil Hayden’s in this in-depth comparison and decide which Bourbon is better for You!

Angel’s Envy Kentucky Straight Bourbon

NoseCoconut, chocolate, vanilla
PalateBread, maple syrup, caramel, vanilla
FinishToasted oak, baking spice
Alcohol content86 proof (43% ABV)
How to drinkNeat
Similar toFour Roses Single Barrel, Buffalo Trace

Angel’s Envy is not the typical bourbon as it finished it’s aging in port casks. Port is a strong, sweet, typically dark red fortified wine, originally from Portugal, typically drunk as a dessert wine.

The nose has hints not typical of bourbon such as coconut and chocolate followed by vanilla.

On the palate, the Angel’s Envy feels a bit thin lacking in texture. Taste is a little spicy up-front like a red wine, followed by maple syrup, caramel, vanilla and baking spice.

The finish is long and easy, moderately sweet, with hints of toasted oak and baking spice.

Angel’s Envy is an interesting pour. This is different to the hundreds of bourbons I’ve sampled so far. Very smooth with very little to no burn with a maple breakfast vibe and a tad of spice.

Having a bit more proof would make this bourbon a 5-star pour but it’s quite enjoyable as is.

I suggest looking at the Angel’s Envy Rye which is richer and tastier, but pricier.

There are a few facts worth knowing about Angel’s Envy:

  • Aged for 4 to 6 years.
  • Mash bill is comprised of 72% corn, 18% rye and 10% malted barley.
  • Earned 98 points from the Wine Enthusiast.
  • Earned five stars from F. Paul Pacult’s Spirit Journal.
  • This brand was created by Master Distiller Lincoln Henderson who developed the Woodford Reserve and the Gentleman Jack while working for Brown Forman.
  • This brand is owned by Bermuda-based Bacardi Company along Grey Goose, Patron Tequila, among several others.

Basil Hayden’s Bourbon

NoseApple, floral, rye spice
PalateOak, cherry, spice, pineapple
FinishMedium, vanilla, apple
Alcohol content80 proof (40% ABV)
How to drinkNeat
Similar toKnob Creek, Woodford Reserve

Nose is sweet and fruity, with hints of apple, a scent that reminds of fruit cocktail cherries in pineapple juice and a soft hit of rye spice.

On the palate, Basil Hayden’s feels thin and watered-down lacking in texture. Flavor is oak up-front, soaked grains and moves to sweet cherry in the middle.

You also get a the roasted peanut note you get in every whiskey crafted at the Jim Beam Distillery. This peanut note is present in the Jim Beam, Knob Creek, Booker’s and even in the Old Grand Dad and the Old Crow!

Don’t know if this peanut note is by design or by accident but is the common theme across Jim Beam Bourbons.

The finish is short and unremarkable with more apple and pineapple hints, along some rye spice to it and just a little heat that you feel on the way down.

Overall, the Basil Hayden’s is a smooth and well balanced bourbon where the rich rye presence in the mash doesn’t feel.

It lacks body as it feels thin, the finish is quite short and the low proof doesn’t help its cause.

In summary, the Basil Hayden’s looks better than how it tastes as I find it underwhelming for a bourbon at this price.

Consider further options by reading my post with the best alternatives to Basil Hayden’s where you will better value for the money.

There are a few facts worth knowing about Basil Hayden’s:

  • The current mash bill is 63% corn, 27% rye and 10% malted barley.
  • It does not carry an age statement.
  • This brand was introduced in 1992 and is named to honor Basil Hayden, the distiller that went against the grain by adding rye to the mash bill. He’s the man on the label of Old Grand Dad Bourbon.
  • Distilled at Jim Beam Distillery which is owned by Suntory Holdings, headquartered in Japan.

Angel’s Envy vs Basil Hayden’s: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

Angel’s Envy Kentucky Straight Bourbon$55
Basil Hayden’s Bourbon$46

Angel’s Envy vs Basil Hayden’s: Which is better?

Angel’s Envy provides a better experience

WhiskeyAngel’s EnvyBasil Hayden’s
  • Finishing the bourbon in Port wine barrels made the Angel’s Envy unique among bourbons as it has uncommon sweet and fruity notes.
  • Close from being a 5-star bourbon as it lacks in proof and body but drinks quite nicely.
  • Basil Hayden’s feels watery with not much flavor and overpriced providing poor value for the money. Doesn’t taste much better than the Old Grand Bourbon, TBH.

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