Last Updated on December 29, 2022 by Lydia Martin
Basil Hayden Dark Rye is one of the core brands in Jim Beam’s Small Batch Collection. It is a distilled spirit that bridges the flavor of the skillfully layered taste of rye whiskey and Small-Batch bourbon.
Here’s our honest review of the Basil Hayden Dark Rye – price, tasting notes, and more.
What’s Basil Hayden Dark Rye Whiskey?
Basil Hayden Dark Rye Whiskey has a firm foundation of dried fruit, subtle molasses undertones, and spice that began with Kentucky rye. It is then blended with Canadian rye from the award-winning Alberta distillery.
The third and final layer of the spirit is just a touch of California Port and complementary notes of ripe fruit.
Basil Hayden’s Dark Rye was initially released in 2017 as part of the permanent line extension of Basil Hayden’s.
The drink is owned by Beam Suntory Distillery and re-released with new packaging.
History & Origin
Basil Hayden Dark Rye is an American rye whiskey from Beam Suntory, and it was released in 2017 as a part of a permanent offering collection of Jim Beam Small Batch.
The spirits were crafted by Booker Noe, the sixth-generation Master Distiller of Beam, and its high rye content was inspired by Basil Hayden Sr.
How It’s Made
Basil Hayden Dark Rye is a blend of two flavorful whiskeys with a unique California port influence for a rich and fruity taste.
While the mash bill is not disclosed, the blend has a relatively high rye content.
Basil Hayden combines a Kentucky straight rye whiskey and Canadian rye with port added for an additional layer pleasing to the palate.
Like other distilled spirits, it contains 40% ABV (80 proof) for a light and soft flavor profile.
Ownership & Distillery
Basil Hayden’s Dark Rye is owned by the Japanese multinational company Beam Suntory, and the rye whiskey is produced at the Jim Beam Distillery.
The Canadian rye came from Alberta Distillery, while the American rye is crafted in Beam Distillery.
It is not a limited-release bottle and is part of the permanent line extension of Beam Suntory Small Batch.
Aging Process & Age Statement
The high rye content of Basil Hayden’s Dark Rye attributes to the liquor’s distinct spiciness, but its aging process contributes to the trademark sweet-spicy flavors of the liquor.
Based in Vinepair, Basil Hayden has been aged in charred American white oak barrels for around eight years.
The aging process makes the drink smooth and pleasing to the nose and palate.
- Palate- Complex vanilla, caramel, oak with rounded mouthfeel
- Color/Hue- Rich amber with Ruby undertones
- Nose- Oaky, molasses, and balanced dark berries
- Finish- Lingering with sweetness and hints of rye spice
Price & Value
For around $46.99 per bottle, the price point does not feel out of place. The blend of California port, American, and Canadian rye and its average proof is worth every dollar.
Like red wine, bourbon, and other spirits, it is good value for money, easy to blend, and well enjoyed over ice.
Common Basil Hayden Dark Rye Whiskey Price
|Type||Size||Alcohol By Volume||Average Price|
|Basil Hayden Dark Rye Whiskey||750 ml||40%||Around $46.99|
*Average prices are based on Drizly. Prices may vary in local liquor shops.
Compared to Other Rye Whiskies
Alberta Prem Rye Dark Batch
Alberta Prem Rye Dark Batch can be a cheap alternative for Basil Hayden’s because you can score a 750ml bottle at around $29.99 in Drizly online.
It came from the same distiller of Canadian rye, so if you are looking for a good blend of whiskey, it can be your go-to option.
If you are looking for a high-quality and affordable rye whiskey, check out Rittenhouse Rye. It is a Bottled-in-Bond  whiskey that tastes like premium rye whiskey but is not overly expensive.
A 750ml bottle is just shy of $28.99 in Drizly online, which is cheaper than Basil Hayden’s.
Crater Lake Rock & Rye Whiskey
Crater Lake Rock and Rye Whiskey is an affordable alternative to Basil Hayden’s because a bottle costs approximately $24.99 on Drizly online.
However, it contains a lower ABV and is not as sweet and fruity as Basil Hayden’s.
Popular Basil Hayden Dark Rye Whiskey Cocktail Recipe
Dark Rye Manhattan
Prep Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 8 minutes
- 2 parts Basil Hayden Dark Rye
- 3 dashes of Angostura bitters
- 1 part Sweet vermouth
- Luxardo cherry
Mix all the liquid ingredients in a mixing glass filled with ice and stir thoroughly. Strain into a chilled coupe glass and top it off with Luxardo cherry.
How do you serve Basil Hayden Dark Rye whiskey?
You can serve Basil Hayden Dark Rye whiskey neat, splash, or on the rocks. It contains an average proof that does not give too much kick and is not too mild or bland. However, you can serve it over ice, especially on a hot day.
Is Basil Hayden Dark Rye whiskey good for an Old-Fashioned?
Yes, Basil Hayden Dark Rye whiskey is good for an Old Fashioned. It will elevate and give interesting notes to the mixed drink.
Is Basil Hayden Dark Rye whiskey a sipping bourbon?
Yes, Basil Hayden Dark Rye whiskey is a sipping bourbon. It has a great reputation in the premium whiskey market for being a smooth, enjoyable, drinkable bourbon .
While Basil Hayden is marketed as a rye whiskey, we find it slightly lacking in the kick and spice of rye.
It can be closely compared to a grape liqueur or cognac because of its fruit-forward notes.
However, Basil Hayden’s Dark Rye is a bang for your buck if you enjoy wine widely.
Lydia Martin hails from Redmond, Washington, where you’ll find some of the best cocktail bars and distilleries that offer a great mix of local drinks. She used to work as a bar manager in Paris and is a self-taught mixologist whose passion for crafting unique cocktails led her to create Liquor Laboratory. Lydia can whip up a mean Margarita in seconds! Contact at [email protected] or learn more about us here.