Perhaps the real reason why we encourage our readers to sample exclusive whiskey releases is that there is no guarantee the distillery will revisit the expression in the future. As such, most of these bottles become highly sought after by collectors — especially those who plan to resell them later on. Meanwhile, by some stroke of luck, Basil Hayden brings back the Subtle Smoke.

Unless you’ve completely shut off all news regarding alcoholic beverages, American whiskey continues to experience a surge in interest. Therefore, drinkers are vigilantly waiting for any limited-edition bottlings and snapping these up as soon as stocks are available.

This second outing is a rare opportunity if you missed out on the original launch about two years ago. The Subtle Smoke is a bourbon that underwent a period of storage in special barrels. These casks were reportedly imbued with hickory wood smoke to impart curated tasting notes into the spirit.

If you closely followed Basil Hayden’s past exploits, the Subtle Smoke is a worthwhile addition to any liquor cabinet. The label is hailed by many for its bold experimentation with rye whiskey and the aging process. Sources tell us master distiller Freddie Noe is behind this venture, which is probably why everybody wants one.

The slogan for this bourbon reads “a limited release with notes of soft char & light butterscotch.” Upon closer inspection, the liquid exudes an amber hue with aromas of sweet vanilla and mellow smoke. Sip it neat to experience flavors of butterscotch, maple, and soft char.

Lastly, the finish is what Basil Hayden describes as “crisp yet delicate smokiness with light toasted hickory wood.” The page goes on to say that, “at 80 proof, Subtle Smoke is light enough to examine on the palate without the burn typically associated with higher-proof or overly smoky spirits.”

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Images courtesy of Basil Hayden