Heaven Hill Distilleries was established in 1934 after
Prohibition in Bardstown, Kentucky by five brothers and
investors. The Shapira brothers had no inventory or
supply to draw from so they had to start from scratch.
The company started out with 12 employees. One year
after the company had started the first barrel was
filled which was to become Bourbon Falls whiskey.
Heaven Hill makes good progress during the first few
years could celebrate their one millionth barrel on
their 25th year. In 1957 Evan Williams Bourbon is
introduced to the market, followed 30 years later by the
now popular Elijah Craig Whiskey. During the 1980 -90s
the company expands by buying several new brands which
are implemented in the portfolio.
During the mid-90s Heaven Hill team up with the Irish
whisky producer Colley Distillery -Irelands only true
independent distillery. Evan Williams is launched as a
Single Barrel in 1995 and quickly becomes a much
In November 1996 the distillery is struck by a huge fire.
Seven warehouses, each seven stories high, and 90 000
barrels goes up in flames. The fire was as high as a 35
floor building an near-impossible to extinguish; the
firefighters were forced to focus on preventing the vast
fire to spread. During the rebuilding the company rented
warehouses nearby which enabled them to continue the
production and limit the financial damage done by the
Successful purchases and good PR has made Heaven Hill
the seventh biggest distributor of spirits in America.
They also have the second largest bourbon stock in the
A Selection of Heaven
Elijah Craig 12 yo 47%
Evan Williams 1994 43,3%
Heaven Hill 10 år 40%
Evan Williams Single Barrel Vintage
Elijah Craig 18 yo Single Barrel
Widely popular and appriciated bourbons!
Sweet with lots of vanilla and
Barley, Corn and Rye are all bought from local farmers
and ground in a hammer mill. A higher proportion corn is
used which imparts a sweet flavor to the whisky. The
grain is then mixed in a specific order at a certain
temperature in the cooker, which is made of stainless
steel. Variations in the temperature are closely
monitored since even small changes may affect the taste
of the finished whisky.
Mash from a previous round is added to the first mash in
the cooker in a process called “sour mash”. After two
hours in the cooker the mash is pumped into the
stainless steel fermentation vats were the “sour mash”
method is used again. After the fermenting process,
which normally takes between four and six days, the
liquid is called ‘distillers beer’ and holds an alcohol
level of about 12 proof. The same kind of yeast has been
used by the family for eight generations and is
considered an important ingredient. The spirit is
distilled twice in column stills, first in a big
“beer-still” and the second time in a smaller still
called a “doubler”. The twice distilled spirit is called
“white dog” and is cut with water to approx 125 proof
before it is filled into freshly charred oak barrels.
The warehouses are located in Bardstown. As opposed to
most other distilleries in the US, Heaven Hill does not
regulate temperature in its warehouses.
Heaven Hill Distilleries,
1064 Loretto Road
Bardstown, KY 40004
Visitors are welcome at Heaven Hills Bourbon Heritage
Centre on Tuesday to Saturday between 10am -l 5pm,and on
Sunday between 12am - 4pm (there are unfortunately no
tastings on sundays according to Kentucky State Law).
Regular guided tours. Shop and catering.
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