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Basil Hayden’s vs Blanton’s: Head to Head!

Discover the differences between Basil Hayden’s vs Blanton’s in this head to head 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 toElijah Craig, Bulleit

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 range of whiskeys.

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.

In fact, I consider it to be the overrated bourbon as it’s a polished version of the super cheap Old Grand Dad which is crafted using the same mash.

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.

Blanton’s Single Barrel

blantons-single-barrel
NoseVanilla, caramel, oak, old leather
PalateCreamy vanilla, honeyed, baking spice, oak
FinishLong, honey, brown sugar, caramel
Alcohol content93 proof (46.5% ABV)
How to drinkNeat
Similar toHancock’s, Garrison Bros, Jack Daniel’s SB

Blanton’s is crafted by Buffalo Trace using a mash bill a bit higher in rye while selecting the barrels from warehouse H which Colonel Blanton discovered to be the place to age whiskey.

Nose is rich in honey and caramel, with an old leather hint and a whiff of oak coming behind.

On the palate, Blanton’s offers traditional bourbon flavors, is rich in butterscotch, vanilla and moderate rye spice only than richer and creamier than your typical bourbon.

The Blanton’s Single Barrel is just so smooth with the right amount of sweetness and oak making a super easy yet complex and interesting pour.

The finish is long, sweet and pleasantly warm with a bit of a NyQuil note coming late to the party.

Blanton’s Single Barrel is worth the hype, this is a super smooth and perfectly balanced bourbon with a creamy body making an entirely rewarding sipper; the best of all is that it is still reasonably priced and widely available.

Blanton’s Single Barrel drinks beautifully neat with no need to add water or ice to it.

There are a few facts worth knowing about Blanton’s Single Barrel:

  • Mash bill is undisclosed but apparently carries 15% rye in the mash.
  • Blanton’s Single Barrel does not have an age statement but is typically aged for 6 to 8 years.
  • Earned the Double Gold Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2012.
  • Named “liquid gold” in Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible.

Basil Hayden’s vs Blanton’s: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

BourbonPrice
Basil Hayden’s$47
Blanton’s Single Barrel$131

Basil Hayden’s vs Blanton’s: Which is better?

Blanton’s is a more rewarding bourbon

WhiskeyBasil Hayden’sBlanton’s
Nose
Body
Palate
Finish
Value
  • Despite the huge price gap Blanton’s provides better value than Basil Hayden’s that can easily be replaced with the humble Old Grand Dad.
  • Blanton’s is the best Bourbon for the normal wallet and one well worth trying as it makes a tasty yet smooth and incredibly satisfying pour.
  • Can it be replaced with the Buffalo Trace? No as they are not from the same mash and barrel management provides enough contrasts between the two.

Consider further options by looking into my roundup with the best Single Barrel Bourbons where you will find one for every budget.