This is my second Basil Hayden’s rye whiskey specialty. That sounds oddly specific, but that’s the only way I can frame this review as the follow-up to the BH Dark Rye. Speaking of which, the Dark Rye featured one of my all-time favorite noses, but underwhelmed on the tongue. Let’s see how black strap rum plays in a blend of Kentucky and Canadian rye—hopefully it will be more consistent. Nose: The rum definitely shines through. Sugar cane, molasses, and maple. Blackberry jam, maybe with some blueberry/strawberry jam as well. Sawdust, rye spice, toasted almond, walnut, and cashew. Sun-dried tomato and dried apricot. Pistachio and vanilla. Baking spice and oak. Solid nose. Palate: The molasses, maple, and sugar cane take the forefront again. More of the rye spice, with some rye bread, black pepper, and vanilla. Caramel and apple. Dill and baking spice. Much more bitter than the nose let on. It clashes with the promise of black rum sweetness. Finish: More of the molasses, sugar cane, and maple. Apple and vanilla. Black pepper, clove, nutmeg, and pistachio. Rye spice and dill. Medium length. Solid nose, middling palate, respectable finish. Nothing particularly stands out the way the nose did with the Dark Rye, but this is more balanced at the very least. Much like with the wine in the Dark Rye, the rum component dominates this Caribbean Reserve Rye. Unfortunately, this doesn’t get the same score from me. The Dark Rye nose was so spectacular that I had to make exception. It’s score would’ve suffered were it not for that. Factor in that this ran me an extra $13, and this unremarkable rye whiskey specialty garners a score of 2.75/5.
53.0 USD per Bottle