Basil Hayden Dark Rye Review

The first rye whiskey was from Pennsylvania in the eighteenth century, where farmers made it from rye and corn, the same way as bourbon.

Basil Hayden Dark Rye is a top-selling whiskey in the United States. It focuses on delivering beautiful moments to family and friends.


In this Basil Hayden Dark Rye Review, you are going to see everything there is to know about Basil Hayden Dark Rye including how it rose to prominence after a low time.

Let’s get started!

  • Value for Price
  • Mixability
  • Sippability

⇒ Fun Facts ⇐

Name:Basil Hayden Dark Rye
Brand:Basil Hayden
Country:United States
Spirit Style:Rye Whiskey
Spirit Type:American Whisky
Release Date:2017

Brand History

The Hayden family began operation in 1840, with Meredith Basil Hayden Sr as the master distiller and owner, according to wealth rector, he has a net worth of 1.5 million which he used in the start up. During that period, they used an abnormally high quantity of rye in the mash bill, which helped them to build their popularity as a business brand. In 1882, Hayden’s grandson, Raymond B, started bottling another variant of their family business in honor of his grandfather. He drew the older man’s face on the label illustration. This new brand ran for seventeen years before they sold it off to the Walthen family.

Furthermore, the parent company continued to grow and even expanded to produce medicinal alcohol during Prohibition to keep things going. It also made the Hayden Company remain on top of the game, with the Jim Beam Distillery at the hem of affairs. In 1992, the company launched a new brand to honor its founder, and it was called Basil Hayden’s. This new brand is another successful sub-brand of Jim Beam.

This Dark Rye is a blend of Kentucky straight rye and was the permanent line extension of the Hayden’s and was originally released in 2017. The bottle was redesigned, changing from ‘Basil Hayden’s to Basil Hayden.

Basil Hayden Dark Rye


Basil Hayden Dark Rye Review

Nothing is as exciting as the first sip of Basil Hayden. It is a delicious drink with dark fruit notes. Let us explain the components and flavor profile in detail.

Category: Dark Rye was blended with a Kentucky straight rye whiskey base, which could originate from the Jim Beam Distillery. As a straight rye whiskey, the mash bill contains at least 51% of rye, aged for two years minimum. Then, it is added to a portion of Canadian rye whiskey from Alberta distillery. The third and final layer of the whiskey is a touch of California Port with ripe fruit notes.

Process: Basil Hayden Dark Rye is blended from two flavorful whiskeys from Kentucky and Canada, with a California Port manipulation to give it a rich, fruity flavor. Even though the mash bill is not divulged, the blend has high rye content. Like related spirits, it is 80-proof to provide a light and soft flavor profile. The Kentucky rye came from Jim Beam Distillery, while the Canadian came from the Alberta Distillery.

In addition, the high rye content contributes to its distinct spiciness, but its aging process leads to a sweet, spicy flavor. Basil Hayden has been aged in charred American white oak casks for eight years, contributing to its smooth and pleasant taste and aroma. Moreover, it is not a limited release, so expect always to see it in the market.

Color: Basil Hayden is golden brown.

Nose: The aroma contains charred oak and sweet brown sugar and vanilla notes, with a touch of black pepper and dried fruit.

Taste: On the palate is a charred oak flavor, followed by sweet caramel and hints of dried fruit to balance it.

Finish: It has a nice lingering charred oak finish with a hint of dried fruit.

Alcohol content: This whiskey is bottled at 40% alcohol by volume, the standard bottling for its kind.

Price: This spirit costs around $47 in retail shops in the US.

Also Read: Captain Morgan Cherry Vanilla Rum Review

Pros and Cons

Are you about to pick a bottle of Basil Hayden Dark Rye but need more clarification on what to expect? Your feeling is not out of place. Buying this spirit could be a plus or minus, based on the outcome. Here’s what we think of it:


Price: Prices are usually the first thing that scares people away from an item. Undoubtedly, this drink offers the same feeling. However, going by the standard quality infused, you won’t mind paying double the price. It is a $47 well-spent, which does not feel out of place.

Packaging: This is another aspect of this drink to consider. Though it is the outward aspect, remember that people are first attracted by what they see before their taste buds jump in. The previous packaging of this bottle needed to be more eye-catching, and its paper could rip off in transit. However, this newer version captures everything the older could not. Its sticker is more traditional, highlighting the brand’s information. It would undoubtedly boost sales.

Flavor profile: Amazing flavor combinations are happening in this spirit, and the Canadian and Californian influence presumably brings them in. The darker flavor they added makes the spirit a good option for cocktails. This fantastic rye whiskey scores above average.


Stiff competition: while Basil Hayden Dark Rye offers everything a standard rye whiskey should provide, the price point could become an issue. Other spirits are in the same price bracket with more sophisticated and deeper flavors. WhistlePig Straight Rye is one.

Basil Hayden Dark Rye

How Best Is Basil Hayden Dark Rye Served?

Basil Hayden Dark Rye can be served neat, on ice, or in mixed drinks. Everyone would love this great drink. If you plan to pop a bottle, you can serve it as you wish.

Neat: Pour it into a glass and sip intermittently. You don’t have to mix anything into it, including water. This method helps you enjoy all the flavor notes the drink has. You can sip it slowly to allow your palate to detect all the flavors.

On ice: Place some large ice cubes in a glass and pour this spirit. The ice enhances the flavor and adds some notes to the drink. This is perfect for hot weather. If you don’t want ice, add a few drops of water to open up the flavors.

In cocktails: You can try several cocktails and mixed drinks with Basil Hayden Dark Rye. Some of them include Manhattan, Rock and Rye, Sazerac, etc.

Perfect Pairings for Basil Hayden Dark Rye

When you have cooked a great meal and sat down to eat it, chances are your next point of call is the drink to wash it down. You don’t just go for a drink; you go for a perfect one. At the same time, when looking for the ideal meal for your drink, you must be careful not to go for meals that won’t match. Rather than pouring a glass of confusing drink, why not go for a Basil Hayden Dark Rye? The food options below are great for this drink:

Steak: Steak hardly rejects any drink, and whiskeys are included. Focus on the fatty part of the steak and watch as this drink cuts through and entices your palate. The range of flavors offered by Basil Hayden Dark Rye highlights a well-prepared steak.

Pork belly: Slow-cooked pork belly offers a culinary experience paired with good whiskey. This dark rye is a hearty option and shares many flavor notes with this meat.

Lambchop: There are many ideas to cook your lamb chop, including grilling, bringing, or doing both. It comes out juicy and irresistible on your plate. This whiskey has a way of cutting through and harmonizing the flavors. It feels heavenly as you bite and sip and smile through it all.

Roast chicken: Chicken must always appear on the menu when you crave sumptuous meals. It has a way of mixing with every drink and making you feel rich and satisfied. Chickens have savory and bold flavors that make this dark rye shine. Try it on a weekend, hang out with friends, and watch as their hearts warm.

Popular Related Drinks

It is necessary to compare Basil Hayden’s Dark Rye to other rye whiskies to other whiskeys within the same price range. Some of them include:

Alberta Prem Rye Dark Batch: this can be a cheaper alternative, and it is produced from the same distiller of Canadian rye. The price is around $30 for 750 ml, which is close to Basil Hayden. It makes a good option for a good blend of whiskey.

Sam Houston 15 Year Old Bourbon: This 15-year aged spirit is among the top the US boasts. Considering the lengthy aging process, it is a pricey drink but worth every penny invested. The flavor profile is rich, with fruity flavors that offer an exciting experience, even toward the finish. It is bottled at 51.5% ABV and costs around $150. If you don’t mind the price, you can go for it.

Stellum Bourbon: This whiskey is made from three Indiana bourbon mash bills – two high-rye and corn. Then, older barrels from Kentucky and Tennessee are slowly folded into them using a multi-step blending process. The process added layers of depth and complex flavors, which gave it a unique profile. Even though it is proofed at 115, it is sippable and offers a good feel. The price of Stellum Bourbon is around $55.

Also Read: Mascota Vineyards Unanime 2017 Review

Frequently Asked Questions – Basil Hayden Dark Rye

How do you serve Basil Hayden Dark Rye whiskey?

You can serve it neat, on ice, with water splashes, or in cocktails. Its average proof does not give much kick and is moderate for the palate.

Is Basil Hayden Dark Rye whiskey sipping bourbon?

Yes, it is sippable, with a reputation for being smooth and enjoyable.


Marketed as a rye whiskey, Basil Hayden is an excellent option for many people. It has fruit-forward notes, which some may find offensive. However, if you can look past it, this spirit is a bang for your buck.