My new book, “Barrel Strength Bourbon: The Explosive Growth of America’s Whiskey,” charts the remarkable increase in the production not only of bourbon, but also of rye whiskey. For instance: From 2009 through 2014, the volume of rye whiskey produced increased 536%, reaching more than a half-million cases, according to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, an industry group.
A new rye whiskey has now joined this growing category — Basil Hayden’s Rye, which represents the first innovation and limited-edition offering from the Basil Hayden’s Bourbon brand.
Basil Hayden’s Bourbon already uses twice as much rye in its mash bill as most traditional bourbons. Because of this, a rye whiskey was a natural progression for the brand, according to a release from parent company Beam Suntory.
“Basil Hayden’s Rye Whiskey achieves its deepened and distinctive taste with the addition of a unique, re-barreled rye,” the release says. “The re-barreled rye begins as a four-year-old traditional rye whiskey, which is then dumped out and further aged an additional seven years in newly charred quarter cask oak barrels. Just a touch of this re-barreled rye expertly blended with traditional Kentucky straight rye whiskey amplifies the warm aroma of baking spices and adds differentiating depth to Basil Hayden’s Rye Whiskey.”
Bottled at 80 proof, the same as Basil Hayden’s Bourbon, the rye whiskey is available now in limited quantities nationwide for a suggested retail price of $44.99 for a 750ml bottle. Tasting notes will follow soon.