For this month’s ‘A Dram With’, we’re focusing on one of our favourite areas of the city… The Jewellery Quarter. Without further ado, meet Gabry from St Paul’s House!
What’s your name:- Hi there! My name is Gabry and I am an Italian bar manager working and living in Birmingham for six years. I now manage the bar of a boutique hotel called “St.Paul House”, in the heart of the jewellery quarter.
What do you do and where do you do it:- I now manage the bar of a boutique hotel called “St.Paul House”, in the heart of the jewellery quarter. As a bartender, I’ve always been fascinated with the whisky world… There are so many different brands and ranges on the market, it’s unbelievable! Different whiskies from around the world have different characteristics and vary in flavour profile.
What’s your favourite whisky and why have you picked it:- I felt in love with Basil Hayden a couple of years ago, when I was working at Ginger’s Bar (on Newhall Street). Before that time I had never seen or tasted this amazing bourbon, but I felt in love with it straight away. Now, I’m definitely not a whisk(e)y expert, but the smoothness and flavour of Basil Hayden made me change my mind about it and whiskey in general.
But let’s start from the beginning. Following the end of the American Revolutionary War, Johannes Reginald Beam emigrated from Germany to the US, and settled in the Kentucky County. Beam began harvesting corn and set forth a family tradition by distilling the excess grains he harvested into whiskey. Since then, seven generation of the Beam family have been involved in the whiskey production.
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, in the late 1700’s. At the time, most bourbon was made from a traditional corn base. In 1976 Hayden start mixing small grains into his mash, believing that the spicy rye flavors, would provide an awesome complement to his mash. The bourbon is created using a traditional corn base, mixed in small grains with the mash, a Kentucky straight bourbon with plenty of rye at its core, spicy, with very well balanced herbal notes and a touch of fruit. It’s aged for 8 years in new, charred American oak barrel. On the nose the high rye content is evident, peppery, with hint of honeysuckle. On the palate is dry and easy, with notes of brown sugar, smooth, with a distinct honey finish.