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Basil Hayden’s vs Four Roses Single Barrel: Discover the Better!

Discover the differences between Basil Hayden’s vs Four Roses Single Barrel in this in-depth comparison and decide which Bourbon is better for You!

Basil Hayden’s Bourbon

NoseApple, floral, rye spice
PalateOak, cherry, spice, pineapple
FinishMedium, vanilla, apple
Alcohol content80 proof (40% ABV)
How to drinkNeat
Similar toOld Forester, 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.

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.

Four Roses Single Barrel

NoseBaking spice, cherry, vanilla, honey
PalateCinnamon, rye spice, vanilla, honey
FinishMedium; caramel, baking spice, cinnamon
Alcohol content100 proof (50% ABV)
How to drinkAdd water
Similar toWoodford Reserve, Angel’s Envy

Nose is delicate, rich in baking spice, cherry and honeyed vanilla.

On the palate, the Four Roses Single Barrel has tingling rye spice up-front with a hint of cinnamon giving way to fruity notes, honey, vanilla and a tad of oak, with a creamy feel to it.

The finish has a medium-length, rich in sweet and cinnamon notes and pleasantly warm.

The Four Roses Single Barrel carries high rye presence in the mash and it feels as the first sips are quite spicy.

But as you grow accustomed it becomes sweeter, showing rich fruity notes, along vanilla and honey making it entirely pleasing.

It bites a bit but is not harsh, which is understandable for something bottled at 100 proof, but the interesting and layered flavor profile makes up for it providing a fine sipper.

Price point provides good value for the money and while also being the best 4 Roses and one of the best Single Barrel Bourbons.

There are a few facts worth knowing about the Four Roses Single Barrel:

  • Made from a mash of 60% corn, 35% rye and 5% malted barley.
  • Single Barrel is bottled from casks aged between 8 and 9 years.
  • Uses a proprietary yeast culture used to ferment the mash producing rich fruity notes.
  • Won the Gold Medal at the 2012 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
  • The Four Roses distillery is located in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, was built in 1910 with Spanish Mission-style architecture, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • Four Roses is owned by the Kirin Brewery Company of Japan.

Basil Hayden’s vs Four Roses SB:

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

Basil Hayden’s Bourbon$46
Four Roses Single Barrel$50

Basil Hayden’s vs Four Roses Single Barrel: Which is better?

Four Roses is a more fulfilling bourbon

WhiskeyBasil Hayden’sFour Roses SB
  • The Four Roses is full of character, perhaps not the smoothest of pours but you can easily tune it down with a drop of water making it easier to drink.
  • Both whiskeys hit with rye spice but the Four Roses offers a better texture and more proof providing more value for the money.

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