About Basil Hayden's Two by Two Rye Whiskey
Basil Hayden’s is following up their distinctive Dark Rye (a blend of Canadian and Kentucky ryes with port wine) with a unique hybrid whiskey, a limited edition blend of four separate Kentucky whiskeys. Two by Two Rye is comprised of two bourbons—one aged for 6 years and one aged for 13—and two Kentucky straight ryes—one aged for 5 years and the other 7 years. Although the blend’s exact recipe and proportions are not disclosed, the majority of the blend is rye. This highly nuanced, balanced blend embodies the best that both types of whiskey have to offer: the sweetness of bourbon and the spiciness of rye.
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About Basil Hayden's
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.
As American as the bald eagle, rye whiskey was first brewed in the American Northeast in the 1600s. Even George Washington distilled it after leaving the Oval Office, so there’s no way of denying its origin.
It’s distinguished from bourbon for its original and unique spicy notes.
By law, rye whiskey must be made from at least 51% rye grain, aged in new and charred oak barrels for at least two years, and bottled at no more than 62,5% ABV.
Check out our impressive selection of rye whiskeys, find your new favorites in The best-reviewed rye whiskeys, and explore our treasury of Best rye bottles under $100.