Basil Hayden’s Bourbon – Officially Evicting Cola From Its Tumbler

From the heart and soul of bourbon country to Aotearoa, small-batch distilling is here to upskill Kiwi drink connoisseurs on how best to enjoy a classy bourbon – and no, there will not be a cola mixer in sight.

Enter Basil Hayden’s – a Kentucky distilled, straight-shooting bourbon whiskey from Beam Suntory New Zealand.

Up there with the daddy of all whiskies (aka scotch), small-batch bourbons are here to broaden the horizon of the discerning whiskey drinker and revitalize the category here in New Zealand. With luxury bourbon growing by 25 per cent in the last year, the drop appeals to both new and long-time fans.

The super-premium bourbon was expertly distilled by Booker Noe, seventh-generation Master Distiller of Jim Beam and great-grandson of the man himself. Made in small batches, the spirit is aged in charred American white oak barrels giving it a perfectly blended trademark spice balanced with a caramel sweetness.

“Kiwis tend to have a perception that you mix all bourbon with cola,” said Jaron Stockman, brand manager at Beam Suntory New Zealand.

“Basil Hayden’s is designed to be sipped and savoured much like you would a Scotch whisky or used to make a delicious cocktail.”

From grain to bottle, Basil Hayden’s combines the finest ingredients with meticulous processes. An innovative take on Jim Beam’s traditional infamous recipe, a high-rye bourbon mash bill is used to give it a spicy backbone with less of the burn.

It is then artfully aged at a mild 40 per cent in brand new American oak barrels with high levels of char and rested over the warm Kentucky summer pulling up fruity notes and hints of vanilla and peach and subtle oak.

Whether a scotch devotee or a novice to the drop, add it to your drinks cart to imbibe neat, on the rocks or in a classic or new-age bourbon cocktail like a Manhattan or Kentucky Mule.

The lightest-bodied bourbon whiskey in the Beam family, Basil Hayden’s joins Legent, Knob Creek and Baker’s – all part of Beam Suntory’s small-batch craft bourbon collection.


Hot on the tails of a scotch, a Kentucky distilled straight-shooting bourbon whiskey has arrived on Kiwi shores courtesy of Beam Suntory NZ. Basil Hayden’s is here to broaden the horizons of those with the predisposition that bourbon is to be matched with cola.

Artfully aged at a mild 40 per cent in American oak barrels and rested over the warm Kentucky summer, drinkers can expect a spicy backbone coupled with fruity notes and hints of vanilla, peach and subtle oak.

Best enjoyed neat, on the rocks or with a splash of water – the classy drop is changing up the bourbon game for the better!

Check out the recipes for the Apricot Sidecar, Ginger Buck, and Hawkes Bay Highball cocktails.