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Basil Hayden's

Way back in 1792 Meredith Basil Hayden Sr, a Maryland Catholic who had led a group of twenty-five Catholic families from Maryland into what is now Nelson County, Kentucky (near Bardstown), took an unprecedented step as a distiller. He had the bright idea to mix small grains into the traditional corn mash typically used to make bourbon (bourbon must now be legally made with a mash bill of at least 51% corn). Hayden chose rye, as he felt the spicy character would be a striking complement to the sweet smoothness of the corn. He was right. Hayden's grandson, Raymond B. Hayden, would later go on to found a distillery in Nelson County and name his label ‘Old Grand-Dad"’ in honour of his legendary grandfather. The Basil Hayden's bourbon brand today is part of the family of Jim Beam small batch bourbons produced by Beam Suntory. It was first introduced to the range in 1992. The company says the current incarnation of Basil Hayden's Bourbon is created using a mash similar to the one that was first utilized by Hayden Sr in 1792. Bourbon fans may remember that the expression was originally labelled as ‘Aged 8 Years’. This changed in 2014 when the age statement was removed and replaced by the term ‘Artfully Aged’.

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