Distilled by Beam for the sub-brand Basil Hayden, this release comes to us in 2022 with a partial Red Wine Cask finish. This is important to note - the entire batch hasn't been finished in wine, just some of it, but there is no disclosure as to how much. Bottled at 40% ABV. Let's dive in!
Intense and sweet, I'm immediately surprised by how much wood spice and caramel come through. There are hints of red wine here and there, but it's not the fruit and jam explosion I might have been expecting. This is a good thing.
Thin on the palate, although there is also little to no ethanol prickle on the tongue. Rich caramel, honey, a light touch of sweet oak and cherries burst onto the palate. Sweet, the fruit is here now for real, showcasing cherry, a little bit of stewed fruits and blackberry, faint currant. The fruit works nicely with the other flavors, even though the experience feels muted overall due to the low ABV.
Short to medium finish, Basil Hayden Red Wine Cask finish is smooth and easy on the exit. Sweet cream and maple pair with the cherry and blackberry notes to form a cohesive, juicy finish that's nothing short of easy to drink.
Basil Hayden Red Wine Cask Finish certainly won't overwhelm your palate with flavor and richness, but it's a smooth, easy to drink whiskey that's also affordable and easy to come by. If you're looking for a simpler yet unique whiskey for a whiskey fan who prefers lower ABV's and more approachable drams, this is a perfect fit for that particular drinker. Booker's lovers, on the other hand, need not apply.
Disclosure: The producer provided this sample to review free of charge, and without expectation of review or rating.