The nose is the plate of pancakes served as a last dinner to a land use attorney about to be executed. He wanted just the pancakes. After all, we are talking about land use and zoning law. Initially there’s no syrup or even an orange wedge to make the plate look nice. But in time, the low-key features of this bourbon begin to open with three-day-old gardenias, fresh apples, and palmetto bug husks drying in the sun.
The mouth is peppery, rich, and sweet. There’s a pleasing bourbon kick; overall it’s just as drinkable as it can be. I’d liken it to one of those motorized Barcaloungers driving around at the Daytona 500 parking lots. It’s not going to win on speed or power, but the charm is universal. You’ll also find honey pirated by paper wasps and chestnuts roasting over Yankee candles.
The finish glides along smoothly. Reams of yellow legal pages, metal clips, fraying rubber bands, and crackled leather attaché cases create a pocket of intense discernibility here. I mean by this to say that it is what we thought it was, to paraphrase the late, great Dennis Green. I don’t mean to say that this whiskey is taking my fumbles and returning them for touchdowns. Far from it. I’m just saying that if it did do this, I would be just as surprised and dismayed as Coach Green was.
On the scale of songs that names a brand of whiskey in them–
The Basil Hayden is “Red Dragon Tattoo” by Fountains of Wayne—The earnest narrator gets the tattoo in the hope that it will help him get the girl, but not before downing a few glasses of Basil Hayden to dull the pain from the tattoo artist’s gun. May this whiskey fuel your love ambitions as well!