Kentucky whiskeys have been synonymous with perfection. Through the course of its deep history in the world of spirits, Kentucky has brought brands that bourbon and whiskey lovers swear by. The state is home to several illustrious brands, refining the taste of audiences the world over one bourbon at a time. At this year's London Spirits Competition, the brilliance of Kentucky bourbons was on show once again.
Beam Suntory backed distilleries Legent and Basil Hayden were awarded a gold medal and a silver medal respectively, completing a fine showing for the Bourbon capital of the world. A one of a kind competition, the London Spirits Competition ups the stakes for every brand that enters its spirits looking for recognition. Judging the competition on the basis of quality, value and packaging, the London Spirits Competition rewards brands that have been successfully created with a specific drinker in mind. Both the brands from Beam Suntory did just that.
Beam Suntory, Source Facebook
A straight bourbon whiskey from the Bourbon Whiskey capital of the world, Kentucky, Legent is a bourbon unlike any other. Partially finished in wine and sherry casks, Legent is a collaboration between two whiskey legends Fred Noe and Shinji Fukoyo. The collaboration between these two has brought together two unique styles of whiskey making, the detailing of the Japanese and the traditions of Kentucky.
Starting with the historic bourbon recipe from Fred Noe’s family, every drop of Legent is crafted with high-quality grains and limestone water from the rich limestone reserves native to Kentucky. It is then aged for up to four years in newly charred white oak barrels. Some of the bourbons are then aged in sherry and red wine casks where it picks up unique flavors from the different casks. The red wine casks lend a light tartness while the sherry casks impart Legent with layers of spice and fruity undertones.
These secondary finished bourbons are then taken by Shinji Fukoyo who meticulously blends them with Kentucky straight bourbon. This process adds complex layers to Legent, allowing the whiskey to balance the different flavors and hit the flavor profile Fred and Shinji originally envisioned. This is the consistency and the flavor profile that brought the team and the whiskey great honors at the 2021 London Spirits Competition.
Legent, Source Twitter
Legent took home a gold medal with 93 points and was crowned the best spirit from the USA as it won the Best in Show by Country award at the competition. Transcending the broader whiskey category, Legent is perfectly balanced, complex and layered. It starts off just like a bourbon on the palate; rich, warm and oaky. As you progress, the flavors of a Japanese whisky start taking shape. Complex layers with a bright, smooth and unexpectedly long finish.
A premium whiskey that has brought together over two centuries of bourbon making heritage and nearly a century of Japanese whisky artistry. A fine addition to the Beam Suntory family of spirits.
The Basil Hayden story began in 1992 when Booker Noe started producing the bourbon as a part of their small-batch collection. The Basil Hayden’s, inspired by 1792 whiskey pioneer Meredith Basil Hayden Sr. is a more subtle side of the bourbon compared to its counterparts. He chose to distill his bourbon with a higher percentage of rye, one that had a refined, approachable taste profile. Even today, the same recipe is followed, as a tribute to Meredith, a true innovator who sought to welcome new drinkers into whiskey.
Basil Hayden’s, Source Facebook
At the 2021 London Spirits Competition, Basil Hayden was awarded a silver medal. To preserve its subtle sophistication, Basil Hayden’s is aged to the perfect expression and has a sweet-spicy flavor profile. Golden brown in color, it has an aroma of charred oak and sweet notes of vanilla, caramel and hints of dried fruit. The charred oak flavor comes down to the taste as well and is complemented by brown sugar, a touch of black pepper and dried fruit to round it up. The finish is pleasant and lingers for some time. Whether it's your first-ever sip or the first of the night, a sip of Basil Hayden’s is one that will stay with you for a good time.
Header Image Legent, Source Twitter