Heaven Hill Distillery Logo

Heaven Hill Distillery

  • USA, Kentucky
  • Best Whiskey Awards, Double Gold Medals, Distiller of the Year 2023
  • https://heavenhilldistillery.com/
Phone Number
  • +15023371000
  • 1311 Gilkey Run Rd, Bardstown, KY 40004

Modern brewery building with vintage truck outside.

History of Heaven Hill Distillery

Founding and Early Challenges

Heaven Hill Distillery was founded in Bardstown, Kentucky, by the Shapira family shortly after the end of Prohibition in the United States.

Starting in the midst of the Great Depression, the venture began without any existing whiskey stocks or brands, akin to the speculative start-ups of the 1990s.

Despite these challenges, Heaven Hill has grown to become the largest independent, family-owned and operated distilled spirits supplier in the United States.

Growth and Expansion

By 2014, Heaven Hill had evolved significantly, prompting a name change to Heaven Hill Brands. This change reflected its growth from a leader in American Whiskey to the nation’s fifth-largest distilled spirits supplier.

The company’s portfolio expanded beyond whiskey to include a variety of spirits like vodkas, rums, and liqueurs. Notable brands include Evan Williams Bourbon, Deep Eddy Vodka, and Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon.

Innovation and Diversification of Heaven Hill Distillery

Heaven Hill has been recognized for its innovation, developing products like Hpnotiq Liqueur and Rittenhouse Rye Whisky.

These products cater to growing segments of the market, both on and off-premise. The company’s commitment to innovation is evident in its broad and dynamic range of products.

Awards Won by Heaven Hill Distillery

  • Best Whiskey Awards:
    • 41-time Best Whiskey winner.
    • 15-time Whisky of the Year winner.
  • Double Gold Medals:
    • 88 Double Gold medals for their whiskeys.
  • Distiller of the Year:
    • Named Distiller of the Year 7 times.
  • Special Recognition:
    • Only distillery to win Best in Show Whisky.
  • Global Distiller of the Year:
    • Recognized as Global Distiller of the Year.
  • 2023 American Icons of Whisky Awards:
    • Distiller of the Year.
    • Sustainable Distiller of the Year.
    • Lynn House – American Whiskey Brand Ambassador of the Year.
    • Connor O’Driscoll – Highly Commended Master Distiller.
    • Elijah Craig Barrel Proof C922 – World’s Best Small Batch Bourbon and Best Kentucky Small Batch Bourbon.
  • Sustainability Award:
    • Sustainable Distillery of the Year​​​​.

Heaven Hill Distillery Tour Information and Experience

Immersive and Interactive Experience

The Heaven Hill Bourbon Experience, located in historic Bardstown, offers a comprehensive and engaging journey into the world of Bourbon for enthusiasts and newcomers alike.

Visitors are invited to immerse themselves in the heritage and traditions of American Whiskey through various interactive and educational exhibits.

Galleries and Exhibits

  • Heaven Hill Family Gallery: This gallery narrates the story of the five Shapira brothers who founded Heaven Hill in 1935 and the key figures behind its success.
  • Elijah Craig Gallery: Named after the “Father of Bourbon,” this gallery offers an immersive experience inside a charred barrel.
  • Larceny Gallery: Explore Treasury Agent John E. Fitzgerald’s room, where he kept his prized “Fitzgerald” barrels.
  • Bourbon 101 Exhibit: Ideal for newcomers, this exhibit provides an overview of different mashbills and the distillation process.
  • Bottled-In-Bond Exhibit: Showcases Heaven Hill Distillery’s extensive portfolio of bonded products.

Tasting and Educational Opportunities

  • Tasting Rooms: Visitors can join tastings in one of three iconic tasting rooms.
  • 1935 Distillery Theater: An 11-minute show for up to 40 guests highlights the story of the Shapira family and the distillery.
  • You Do Bourbon: An interactive tasting experience where visitors can bottle and personalize their own Bourbon to take home.

Five Brothers Bar and Gift Shop

  • Five Brothers Bar: An upscale bar offering craft cocktails, Bourbon tastings, a lounge area, and an outdoor patio.
  • Gift Shop: Features an expanded range of Bourbon-inspired food, merchandise, seasonal items, and a portfolio of award-winning American Whiskeys.

Visiting Information

  • Hours: Open Monday to Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Sunday from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Contact: Visitors can contact (502) 337-1000 for questions or large group reservations.

The Heaven Hill Bourbon Experience is an official stop on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail®, offering a rich and comprehensive insight into the art of Bourbon making and the legacy of Heaven Hill Distillery.

Flask & Barrel Review of Heaven Hill Distillery

Recently, I had the chance to check out the Heaven Hill Bourbon Experience in Bardstown, and let me tell you, it was pretty impressive.

As someone who’s been around the block with distillery tours, I’ve got a keen eye for what makes a tour stand out, and Heaven Hill nailed it.

First off, the vibe of the place is just right. It’s got this perfect blend of tradition and modern flair that really showcases their heritage.

The Family Gallery was a highlight for me, diving into the story of the Shapira brothers. It’s not every day you get to see a family legacy like that in the whiskey world.

The tasting rooms are where the magic happens. I’ve tasted my fair share of Bourbons, but the selection here was top-notch. The Elijah Craig Gallery was a cool twist, making you feel like you’re right inside a bourbon barrel. And let’s not forget the Larceny Gallery – it’s like stepping into a piece of bourbon history.

Now, the ‘You Do Bourbon’ experience was something else. Bottling your own bourbon? That’s a collector’s dream! It’s hands-on and super fun, plus you get to take home a unique souvenir.

If I had to nitpick, I’d say the place can get a bit crowded, but that’s just a sign of how popular it is. And honestly, it didn’t take away from the experience.

Overall, I’m giving Heaven Hill a solid 4.7 out of 5. Whether you’re a whiskey aficionado or just looking for a cool spot to explore, this place is worth the trip. The combination of history, interactive exhibits, and top-notch bourbon makes for an unforgettable experience.

What To Do Nearby Heaven Hill Distillery

  • Willett Distilling Company (0.6 miles): A family-owned distillery known for its unique bourbon and whiskey selections​​​​.
  • Lux Row Distillers (2.5 miles): Offers tours with tastings, including chocolate pairings​​​​.
  • My Old Kentucky Home (Distance not specified): A historic site and state park with rich cultural history​​.
  • Preservation Distillery (1.6 miles): Known for its boutique distillery experience and longhorn cattle on site​​​​.
  • Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey History (1.3 miles): A specialty museum showcasing the history of whiskey​​​​.
  • Old Bardstown Village Civil War Museum (1.2 miles): Features exhibits related to the Civil War era​​​​.
  • McIntyre’s Winery & Berries (Distance not specified): Offers wine tastings and has a variety of seasonal wines​​.
  • Basilica of St Joseph Proto-Cathedral (1.2 miles): A significant historical and religious landmark​​​​.
  • Spalding Hall (1.3 miles): A historic site with interesting exhibits​​​​.
  • Shaq & Coco (1.2 miles): A store featuring boutique clothing and unique decor​​​​.
  • Fine Arts Bardstown Society (1.1 miles): An art gallery promoting local arts and crafts​​​​.

Frequently Asked Questions

What restaurants are near Heaven Hill Distillery?

  • Mammy’s Kitchen & Bar: It has a rating of 4.5 stars on Google Maps. Their address is 116 W Stephen Foster Ave, Bardstown, KY 40004.
    For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +15023501097. 
  • Bourbon Brick Oven & Grill: It has a rating of 4.1 stars on Google Maps. Their address is 966 Chambers Blvd, Bardstown, KY 40004.
    For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +15023484848. 
  • Cinco De Mayo Mexican Bar And Grill: It has a rating of 4.5 stars on Google Maps. Their address is 225 Parkway Dr, Bardstown, KY 40004.
    For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +15023501145.

What hotels are near Heaven Hill Distillery?

  • La Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham Bardstown: It has a rating of 4.6 stars on Google Maps. Their address is 3305 E John Rowan Blvd, Bardstown, KY 40004.
    For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +15022336680. 
  • Hampton Inn Bardstown: It has a rating of 4.1 stars on Google Maps. Their address is 985 Chambers Blvd, Bardstown, KY 40004.
    For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +15023490100. 
  • Talbott Inn: It has a rating of 4.3 stars on Google Maps. Their address is 101 W Stephen Foster Ave, Bardstown, KY 40004.
    For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at +15023483494.