Basil Hayden Caribbean Reserve Rye ReviewEdit Post
Contributed by on Jul 22, 2019
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Basil Hayden Caribbean Reserve Rye is a product of three different countries. Some of the rye whiskey comes from Kentucky (Jim Beam), some come from Canada (Alberta) and blackstrap molasses rum from somewhere in the Caribbean.
You gotta hand it to Jim Beam, they’re working hard at pushing out new products and testing new waters… though not too different. This Basil Hayden’s LS is similar to their 2017 release, the Basil Hayden’s Dark Rye, which was a blend of Kentucky Rye, Alberta Rye and California Port; which itself sat on thread similar to the Alberta Dark Batch.
It’s an interesting approach, blending these spirits together, and there’s only one way to find out if its successful: the “rye whiskey” review below.
Basil Hayden Caribbean Reserve Rye Review: Details and Tasting Notes
Crafted as an approachable whiskey expression to enjoy during the warm summer months, Basil Hayden’s Caribbean Reserve Rye takes inspiration from the sweet and spicy contrast between rye whiskey and rum. The limited-time offering features a blend of 8-year-old Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey and 4-year-old Canadian Rye Whisky, which bring to life layers of flavor, including distinct spice, toasted oak and vanilla notes.
The blend is then finished with the addition of Black Strap Rum which ties the rye whiskey pairing together with sweet notes of brown sugar and molasses. The result is a balanced whiskey that remains approachable to discover at 80 proof.
Details (price, mash bill, cask type, ABV, etc.)
Region: Kentucky, USA
Distiller: Jim Beam
Blend: Kentucky Rye Whiskey + Canadian Rye Whiskey + Caribbean Rum
Cask: New Charred Oak, ex-Carribbean Rum
Age: 4 Years
Brown sugar, rum spice, toffee, vanilla, nuts, caramel apples and a bit of raisins.
Nutty, dried dark fruit, brown sugar, oak, vanilla, nuts, spice (rum and rye), dried apples and molasses cookies.
Medium -> Molasses cookies and hazelnuts.
BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
Decent sense of balance, light body and a light feel.
Basil Hayden Caribbean Reserve Rye Review: Overall and Score
The rum presence isn’t exactly subtle. The Aroma is quite rum-forward with a huge wave of brown sugar and spice; Palate carries the same heavy dark sweetness – it’s less than the aroma, but still makes the biggest impression; Finish is sweet and the longer it sits the more it tastes like cookies.
On the whole I’m enjoying the Basil Hayden Caribbean Reserve Rye more than when they did the same thing with port. I feel like the rum profile works better with the Basil Hayden Rye profile. That said feel like it’s a tad overdone.
To be honest I wish they’d stop adding the spirit (port, sherry, rum, etc.) and just use the barrels. Let the KY and CAN rye whiskies marry in the barrels for a year give supporting hints without covering up so much of the rye goodness.
SCORE: 83/100 (B)
*Disclosure: This Basil Hayden Caribbean Reserve Rye sample was graciously sent to me by the company for the purposes of this review. The views, opinions, and tasting notes are 100% my own.
Basil Hayden Carribbean Reserve Rye Review
Nose - 83
Palate - 83
Finish - 83
Balance, Body & Feel - 83
Basil Hayden Carribbean Reserve Rye Review Summary
Bottled at 40%, aged 4 years and priced around $45. It’s a decent, tasty, unique spirit. It’s not fully balanced, but if you like rum you’ll like this. If you don’t, you definitely won’t.
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