Following the end of the American Revolutionary War, Johannes Reginald Beam emigrated from Germany to the United States, and eventually settled in Kentucky County. At the time, Kentucky County was still considered part of Virginia, and was overseen by a military governor named John J. Bowman. After settling in Kentucky, Beam began harvesting corn and set forth a family tradition by distilling the excess grains he harvested into whiskey. Since then, seven generations of the Beam family have been involved in whiskey production for the eponymous company (the company is actually named after James Beam, who rescued it following Prohibition).
Part of Booker Noe’s Small Batch Bourbon Collection, Basil Hayden’s Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is named after Basil Hayden Sr., a Maryland Catholic who led twenty-five other Catholic families from Maryland to Nelson County, Kentucky (near Bardstown, home of the Jim Beam) in the late 1700s. In addition to being a religious man — Hayden established the first Catholic church in what is now the Commonwealth of Kentucky — Hayden was also a distiller, and a pioneering one at that. While most bourbon at the time was made from a traditional corn base, in 1796 Hayden defied convention by mixing small grains into his mash, believing that the spicy rye flavors would provide a striking complement to the corn’s sweetness. Much to the chagrin of the traditionalist set, Hayden proved to be right.
Basil Hayden’s Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is made from a mash very similar to the recipe Hayden himself developed in 1796. The whisky has a golden amber color and a spicy aroma of breakfast tea and peppermint bark. On the palate, the rye grains are evident, as are the cracked pepper and honey notes. The finish is clean and dry, leaving a pleasant aftertaste of cinnamon and baking spices.
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Very good. Love the cinnoman hot finish.
I got this for a friend that had never tasted it. Huge success.