Reviews #84-85: Ten Year Tater Tasting: Heaven's Door 10 Year and Basil's Hayden's 10 Year

I ended up in possession of these two tater ten year bourbons via a questionable purchase and a trade. The Basil Hayden’s 10 Year is the same high rye mash bill and low proof as the regular Basil Hayden’s bourbon just aged a little longer while the Heaven’s Door is a low rye mashbill and bottled at 100 proof instead of the 90 proof of their regular expression. I couldn’t resist doing a little blind tasting to see if either one of them lived up to the hype!

Heaven’s Door 10 Year Tennessee Straight Bourbon

Age: 10 years

Abv: 100 proof

Color: A medium amber

Price: $119.99

Basil Hayden’s 10 Year Kentucky Straight Bourbon

Age: 10 years

Abv: 80 proof

Color: A dark amber

Price: $69.99

Sample #1

Nose: Strong toasted marshmallow, chocolate, a touch of nuts

Taste: Decent mouthfeel with more marshmallow, chocolate milk powder, nuts and a tobacco

Finish: Medium to long finish with the chocolate and tobacco fading to just tobacco

Reveal: Heaven’s Door

Sample #2

Nose: Cherry and sweet honey notes with a touch of spice.

Taste: More cherries and honey but the spice is missing for me. Unfortunately thin, watery mouthfeel though.

Finish: Ah the baking spice note come back in the short finish along side more cherries and honey.

Reveal: Basil Hayden’s

Conclusion

The blind portion of this was pretty easy thanks to those classic Dickel notes and that equally classic thin Basil Hayden’s mouthfeel.

I really enjoyed the Heaven’s Door 10 year would rank it somewhere between the Dickel 9 year and a good Dickel sourced Barrell pick but it’s nontrivially more expensive than either so I can’t see myself buying a bottle. If this was priced a little more favorably I would have given it an 8.

The Basil Hayden’s was fine, just fine. It is a step up from the current NAS bottling but not enough to really make a difference. The notes were all pleasent and based on my taste for Booker’s and Knob Creek I’m curious what a barrel proof or at least 100-110 proof version of Basil Hayden’s would be like.

The Heaven’s Door was the clear winner here but neither was a triumph, or worth the money. That said I could see grabbing the Basil Hayden’s 10 Year as a nice gift for someone who likes Basil Hayden’s like my dad for example.

Heaven’s Door 10 Year Tennessee Straight Bourbon

7 - a great whiskey I’d order at a bar

Poor - Overpriced, not worth the money

Basil Hayden’s 10 Year Kentucky Straight Bourbon

6 - a good whiskey I’m still happy to drink

Poor - Overpriced, not worth the money

Scale

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