Was over at a friend's house a few weeks ago and tried an interesting whiskey.... Basil Hayden Dark Rye. It's a mix of blended Canadian and American rye whiskeys, combined with port.
Yes, combined with port ..... not aged in port barrel. This gives it some prominent fruity notes and definitely a sweeter finish than I usually like in whiskey. It’s moderately spicy, rich, huge mouthfeel, somewhat sweet, especially in the finish (but not cloyingly so).
Found a bottle at the ABC yesterday, and tried it again last night. I'm really looking forward to getting into it this weekend. Moderately priced ($41), a good sipping whiskey - though I'm sure it'd be great in cocktails as well. I had some neat first and then with a single ice-cube, which really opened it up and released the beautiful, spicy rye character.
Looking at some online reviews, it gets mixed reviews – some fans of traditional rye whiskies think it’s heresy, while others love it. Many question why they chose to blend the already excellent Basil Hayden rye with Canadian rye. Others question why they added port rather than the more common practice of barrel finishing. And why at 80 proof rather than barrel strength?
While I wouldn’t mind answers to those questions, I really don’t care. Me likes it.