Basil Hayden's Bourbon is a popular distilled product that has a rich and storied history. It has evolved over the years but maintains its original smoothness and quality. Generations of distillers contributed to the flavor and quality of the product by adding their special touches while maintaining the family traditions. It's an interesting and unique label that was recently resurrected, leaving the impression that it's a new label. In some sense it is, but it follows decades dedicated to the craft of recipe development, aging, and distilling processes that make it one of a kind. To enrich your knowledge, here are ten things you probably didn't know about Basil Hayden's Bourbon.
1. Basil Hayden's Bourbon is Kentucky Bourbon
According to Wikipedia, the current version of Hayden's Bourbon is the Basil Hayden's Bourbon. It is classified as a Kentucky bourbon that first entered the market in 1992. The recipe was created in Nelson County, Kentucky which firmly establishes its pedigree as an official Kentucky bourbon.
2. Basil Hayden's Bourbon is a modern iteration of a centuries-old family tradition
The first distiller in the Hayden family was Basil Hayden. The Hayden family moved from England in the 1660s, settling in the Virginia Colony. They moved to Maryland in the late 1600s, then migrated to Nelson County Kentucky during the time of the American Revolution. Basil Hayden Senior was a supplier for the Colonial Army. He set down roots in Kentucky and developed the mash that is currently used to create the family's first bourbon in the year 1792.
3. Jim Beam owns the Basil Hayden's Bourbon label
Basil Hayden's Bourbon is currently produced by the Beam Suntory, which is the company that produces Jim Beam whiskey products. The brand was established in 1992 with a name that honors the memory of Basil Hayden Sr. He is a memorable character in the history of fine bourbon distilling with family roots that carried on through his son and later, his grandson, Raymond B. Hayden, who produced the "Old Grand-Dad" label to honor his ancestor.
4. Basil Hayden's is a unique bourbon whiskey
Basil Hayden's label is an 80 proof bourbon. It is proclaimed to be the lightest bodied of its kind that Jim Beam produces. It has the lowest concentration of alcohol out of the four labels that are produced by Beam Suntory. These include Baker's, Booker's, and Knob Creek. The distinguishing feature of this bourbon is the small-batch distilling that uses a mash that contains more rye than most other bourbons.
5. Basil Hayden's bourbon is aged bourbon
When Basil Hayden's bourbon was first introduced to the world, the label confirmed that it had been aged for eight years. Over time, the brand evolved and changed its processes. The distiller changed the aging process but now declines to confirm how long the spirits are aged. The label describes the bourbon as "artfully aged." It's hard telling how long it sits in barrels or casks before being distilled.
6. Basil Hayden's Bourbon is fruity on the nose
According to Breaking Bourbon, One of the distinct differences you'll discover when drinking Basil Hayden's Bourbon is its fragrance and aroma on the nose. The first scent you detect is the brightness of peaches, followed by a mixture of ripe berries. The aroma is layered and balanced with subtle hints of orange zest, the earthy scent of oak, and a spicy warm scent of white pepper. They're easily discerned by a keen nose.
7. This bourbon is light but flavorful on the palate
The lightness of this 80 proof bourbon makes it easy to detect the other ingredients used in the recipe and distilling process. This highly sippable bourbon presents with a hint of vanilla with its sweetness, followed by the faint essence of new wood. As the flavor fades it is joined by the peachy flavor that combines with the other essences to produce a warm and lightly spicy finish that is satisfying sipped as a neet.
8. Basil Hayden's Bourbon has a quick finish
The finish for Basil Hayden's Bourbon is so fast that experts claim it nearly doesn't exist. It's ideal for anyone who is not partial to an intense and long finish. The short vague finish doesn't diminish the quality of the spirits in any way. It still produces a brief indication of light fruitiness with a hint of leather and oak for a slightly earthy and subtle indication of sweetness that is barely discernable. It's one of the lightest bourbons you can find and this is the reason for its ultra=smoothness.
9. Basil Hayden's Bourbon is paradoxical
According to Forbes, Basil Hayden's Bourbon is two things at the same time, forming a paradox. It is one of the newest Kentucky bourbon labels, established in 1992, yet its roots go back to the earliest days of the history of the United States of America. The original creator of the mash recipe used to create the forerunner of the current recipe began the tradition of distilling this type of bourbon in the 1700s. It was around during the Colonial era and the Revolutionary War in America. In this regard, it is both the youngest and the oldest Kentucky bourbon.
10. The Basil Hayden's label is expanding
The Basil Hayden Bourbon is one of four established labels for the distillery. The whiskeys produced include 10 YO Kentucky Straight Bourbon, a Dark Rye Whiskey, and a Kentucky Straight Bourbon. There is a new whiskey described as Toast. In the Toast formulation, the rye grain is done away with and rice is used in the place of it. They completed the secondary finish for the whiskey in heavily toasted barrels.
Written by Lily Wordsmith
Read more posts by Lily Wordsmith