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Basil Hayden’s vs Blade and Bow: Head to Head!

Discover the difference between Basil Hayden’s vs Blade and Bow in this in-depth comparison and decide which bourbon is better for You!

Basil Hayden’s

basil-haydens-bourbon
NoseApple, floral, rye spice
PalateOak, cherry, spice, pineapple
FinishMedium, vanilla, apple
Alcohol content80 proof (40% ABV)
How to drinkNeat
Similar toAngel’s Envy, Old Grand Dad

Nose is sweet and fruity, with hints of apple, something 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 body. 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 at Jim Beam.

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 (Similar Bourbons) 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.

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 more rye to the mash bill. He’s the man on the label of Old Grand Dad.
  • Distilled at Jim Beam Distillery which is owned by Suntory Holdings, headquartered in Japan.

Blade and Bow

blade-and-bow-bourbon-whiskey
NoseCherry, vanilla, oak, ethanol
PalateFruit, vanilla, brown sugar, baking spice, peanuts
FinishOak, spice, roasted peanuts
Alcohol content91 proof (45.5% ABV)
How to drinkAdd water
Similar toBuffalo Trace, Weller, Blanton’s

The nose is a bit heavy on ethanol, but it fades swiftly into a cherry scent, along notes of vanilla and oak.

On the palate the first sip delivers a fruity flavor of ripe cherries up-front, along hints of brown sugar, vanilla, baking spice, oak and just a touch of roasted peanuts.

The finish has a medium length, burns on the way down, but nothing too bad. Brings a fair amount of spice, along oak and more roasted peanuts.

Adding a splash of water tunes down the heat by a notch, while releasing a bit more of brown sugar and oak.

Nothing wows me about the Blade and Bow, but is a good option for those who want an everyday sipper with a little warmth to it.

Price is still reasonable as it doesn’t break the bank. You get a decent bourbon in a nice bottle, with a cool backstory and a key that gives you a glass if you ever visit the distillery. The terms seem acceptable to me.

There are a few facts worth knowing about Blade and Bow:

  • It does no have an age statement.
  • The mash bill is undisclosed.
  • Blade and Bow is aged in a solera-style system, using some of the last stocks of whiskey from the old distillery. Is later blended with other bourbons and bottled at Stitzel-Weller.
  • 5 keys are a common theme in the Stitzel-Weller Distillery. These 5 keys represent the steps in the whiskey-making process: grains, yeast, fermentation, distillation and aging.
  • Blade and Bow is owned by Diageo, a British drinks giant, who holds Johnnie Walker, Casamigos, Bulleit Bourbon, Talisker, among a zillion others.

Basil Hayden’s vs Blade and Bow: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

WhiskeyPrice
Basil Hayden’s$46
Blade and Bow$55

Basil Hayden’s vs Blade and Bow: Which is Better?

Blade and Bow is a more interesting than the overly smooth and thin Basil Hayden’s

WhiskeyBasil Hayden’sBlade and Bow
Nose
Body
Palate
Finish
Value
  • Blade and Bow is not an earth shattering dram, somewhat hyped, but is not bad by any means and makes a satisfying pour, with a bit of heat to it that can be tamed with a dash of water.
  • I’m yet to know why is the Basil Hayden’s so popular. Bottled at low proof and thin, lacking in body with nothing remarkable. I find it to be the polished and expensive version of the Old Grand Dad, to be honest.

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