The Tasting Panel magazine

October 2017

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october 2017  /  the tasting panel  /  41 Venice bartender Sean Conley plays an intense round of giant Jenga with friends in the back- yard of the Bourbon in Residence house. the best manner possible: in the company of good friends. Guests received custom keys to the house inscribed with the event invitation; once inside, they were invited to sample a variety of Basil Hayden's cocktails, pose in an oversized photo booth, challenge their friends to a round of giant Jenga, and craft artistic thank-you notes to grace bottles of Basil Hayden's. Ahead of the fall launch of Basil Hayden's Dark Rye, bartenders tasted neat pours of the spirit, sent directly from the distillery before it had even been formally bottled. The Dark Rye expression was a natural extension of the brand, whose bourbon contains more than twice as much rye as traditional bourbon. Basil Hayden's Dark Rye is crafted from a blend of ryes from Kentucky and one of the world's top distilleries in Alberta, Canada. A small amount of California port is blended into the final liquid, lending the full-flavored spirit a fig-like finish. The night's cocktails featured both Basil Hayden's Bourbon and Basil Hayden's Dark Rye, as well as neat samples of Basil Hayden's Rye Whiskey, a limited-time release which launched earlier this year and was quickly named "Rye of the Year" at the New York International Spirits Competition. With notes of caramel and vanilla, Basil Hayden's Rye Whiskey is "more of a Sunday sipper," Breier said. The event featured a plethora of activities devoted to creative expressions of hospitality, including an artist blind-tooling leather luggage tags to order and a hunt for "Easter eggs" sprinkled throughout the house, including custom candles and a whiskey wheel crafted by local artisans. The evening closed on a note of nostalgia as guests gathered around a crackling outdoor fire pit to roast marshmallows and make s'mores—proving that Basil Hayden's had successfully sprinkled a touch of Southern hospitality on Southern California. Basil Hayden's® Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, 40% Alc./Vol. 2017 Basil Hayden's Distillery, Clermont, KY. Basil Hayden's Dark Rye in the center, flanked by Basil Hayden's Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey to the left and the limited-release Basil Hayden's Rye Whiskey, with a slightly green package and rose- colored belt, on the right. One of the night's featured cocktails was the High Rye Bramble, made with Basil Hayden's Rye, crème de cassis, and elder- flower liqueur. At Bourbon in Residence, guests received luggage tags made with custom leather and marked with their initials (or any combination of letters they requested). Breier led guests in a workshop where they revisited the art of the thank-you note—crafting personal messages inside the label of a Basil Hayden's bottle.

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