Basil Haden Toast Bourbon review. The nose is a very mild toasted char with traditional caramel and vanilla bourbon notes that are mild as well. There is a very mild ethanol smell even at only 80 proof (the minimum required for being designated a bourbon). The nose does not deviate to the left or the right during the tasting. It has a consistently mild ethanol and vanilla aroma.
For a whiskey promoted as “Toasted,” there is a lot more sweet honey vanilla on the front end and a lot less char than one would expect (or than I want). As soon as the bourbon hits the front of your tongue, the vanilla is evident. That quickly goes away, then a little bit of ethanol heat hits the back of your throat.
Because of the proof level and the mild notes, this is a bourbon that would appeal to those new to the bourbon tasting experience. There is minimal character or depth of flavor. However, the low proof level makes it easy to drink for those not used to high-proof whiskeys.
I typically look for whiskeys that are striking, rich, creamy, bold or a combination of the preceding. Unfortunately, I cannot use those terms to describe Basil Hayden Toast. It is off-puttingly light on the palate with no viscosity.
Again, this is a bourbon that you would save for someone new to the bourbon experience.
Interestingly, the finish is slightly longer than I would have expected for an 80 proof bourbon. Sadly, the finish is flavorless.