Basil Hayden, Sr.

Sketch Photo of Basil Hayden, provided by Jim Beam Brands, Co. web site

Sketch Photo of Basil Hayden, provided by Jim Beam Brands, Co. web site

"Old Grand Dad," & the“King of High Rye”

Basil Hayden Sr. was a descendant of a wealthy Maryland Catholic family that emigrated from England in the 1660's as a result of religious intolerance. They settled in St. Mary's County along the western side of the Chesapeake Bay. During the American Revolution, Basil Sr. supplied provisions to the Colonial Army.

Later in life in 1875 Basil led a contingent of over one hundred Catholic parishioners from twenty-five Catholic families along the Wilderness Road, through the Cumberland Gap to settle on some land near Bardstown, Kentucky.  The area in Nelson County later became the location for many future famous bourbon brands, including Jim Beam, heaven Hill, Willett, Barton/1792. It is now referred to as the “Bourbon Capital of the World”

There Hayden family actually donated the land for the first Catholic church in the State of Kentucky as well as the first west of the Allegheny Mountains.

Around 1885, Hayden’s grandson Raymond B. Hayden founded a distillery in Nelson County and named his label “Old Grand-Dad” in honor of his grandfather. Raymond’s mother, Polly, was also a member of another bourbon family belonging to J. W. Dant.

The picture on the bottle of "Old Grand-Dad was copied from a rendering of Basil Sr.’s likeness. Later the same image was used but the marketing team made Basil, Sr. smile and later still had him holding a shot glass.

When Beam Industries introduced their “small batch collection," among the four in 1992 was “Basil Hayden’s”, which the company says uses a mash similar to that originally utilized by Hayden in 1788. it is a high rye mash bill equal to 62% Corn, 28% Rye, 10% Malted Barley.

Basil Hayden's Bourbon is the lowest proof (at 80) and lightest bodied of Beam's "Small Batch Collection" produced by Beam Suntory. The others are Booker's at 120 plus proof, Knob creek at 100 or 120 proof and Baker's Bourbon at 107 proof.

A line of Small Batch Whiskies is named after legendary   Basil Hayden  . Pictured above from left to right are;   Basil Hayden Small Batch Bourbon   (Beige Label, the Original released in 1992),   Basil Hayden Rye   (Green Label, 2017),   Basil Hayden Dark Rye   (Burgundy Label, 2018),   Basil Hayden Two by Two Blended Rye Whiskey   (Brown and Green Label, 2018) and   Basil Hayden 10 Year-Old Bourbon   (Black Label, 2019).

A line of Small Batch Whiskies is named after legendary Basil Hayden. Pictured above from left to right are; Basil Hayden Small Batch Bourbon (Beige Label, the Original released in 1992), Basil Hayden Rye (Green Label, 2017), Basil Hayden Dark Rye (Burgundy Label, 2018), Basil Hayden Two by Two Blended Rye Whiskey (Brown and Green Label, 2018) and Basil Hayden 10 Year-Old Bourbon (Black Label, 2019).

All three versions of   “Old Grand Dad”   display a likeness of   Basil Hayden   on their labels. Those include (left to right);   Old Grand Dad Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey   (80 Proof),   Old Grand Dad 114 Small Batch   (114 Proof) and   Old Grand Dad Bottled-in-Bond   (100 Proof).

All three versions of “Old Grand Dad” display a likeness of Basil Hayden on their labels. Those include (left to right); Old Grand Dad Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (80 Proof), Old Grand Dad 114 Small Batch (114 Proof) and Old Grand Dad Bottled-in-Bond (100 Proof).

“The Olds,”   is a group of three of the Oldest brands in the country. They were purchased by the   James B. Beam Distilling Company   in 1987 when they acquired the spirits division of  the National Distillers.

“The Olds,” is a group of three of the Oldest brands in the country. They were purchased by the James B. Beam Distilling Company in 1987 when they acquired the spirits division of the National Distillers.

 

Banner photo by AllPlaidout