In 1796, Master Distiller Basil Hayden Sr. broke 'the rules' by mixing small grains into the mash of a traditional corn base. A Maryland transplant unafraid to stand out amidst the residing establishment, Basil conjectured that the spicy flavor of rye would be a striking complement to the sweet smoothness of corn in his distillery's standard bourbon. And much to the chagrin of the traditionalist set, Basil was right. His recipe was a masterpiece, resulting in a unique, singular small batch bourbon whiskey that was blessed with rich hints of peppermint, notes of pepper, slight citrus overtones, and a spicy, warming finish.
Artfully aged at a relatively mild 80 proof, Basil Hayden® is as novel and delectable a bourbon whiskey as it was when the master distiller rolled out his first barrel over 200 years ago. Marked by a rich cascade of aromas and flavors, Basil Hayden® is still a small batch bourbon, but with broader appeal. And just as it was in 1796, the only 'rule' to enjoying our Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey is that it should be done responsibly.