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Heaven Hill Makes History As It Fills Its 7 Millionth Barrel Of American Whiskey

As much of a lover of craft whiskey that I am, I am in awe this morning of the Heaven Hill brand of whiskey products out of Kentucky. The venerable organization, founded in 1935 shortly after the end of Prohibition, filled its 7 millionth barrel of bourbon today, which is a very impressive feat indeed.

Heaven Hill Brands, as they are called today, are the makers behind a range of popular American whiskey products, including Bernheim, Elijah Craig, Evan Williams, Henry McKenna and Parker’s Heritage Collection. It was shepherded through its early days by the five Shapira brothers and a group of local investors, eventually bringing on board in 1946 Earl Beam from the Jim Beam Company as its head distiller. His son Park Beam is involved with Heaven Hill’s distilling operations today, along with Park’s son Craig Beam.

The 7 millionth barrel of Heaven Hill brand whiskey - WOW! (image via Heaven Hill)
The 7 millionth barrel of Heaven Hill brand whiskey – WOW! (image via Heaven Hill)

Described as being the “second largest holder of aging bourbon whiskey in the world with an inventory in excess of 1,000,000 barrels,” Heaven Hill in 1961 had already barreled its 1 millionth whiskey, followed in 1998 by its 4 millionth barrel. Jump forward to 2010, when its 6 millionth barrel was filled, and when you consider that just around five years later they are 1,000,000 barrels more along the way, you understand just how huge the demand for whiskey is in today’s market.

In an interview with the Lexington Herald-Leader, Max Shapira, president of Heaven Hill, told the newspaper he isn’t sure yet how the 7 millionth barrel will be used (it is a sour mash, BTW, which you can’t tell from the photo above). Whether it is a special bottling, or something they sit on for a decade, it will be “a very special day” when it is bottled.

5 Things You Didn’t Know About The Macallan Coronation

In 1953, many millions around the globe gathered in front of the television to watch the coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. 60 years later, The Macallan Distillery released a special commemorative bottling, celebrating the anniversary of the historic event.

Nino Kilgore-Marchetti

Nino Kilgore-Marchetti is the founder of The Whiskey Wash, an award winning whiskey lifestyle website dedicated to informing and entertaining consumers about whisk(e)y on a global level. As a whisk(e)y journalist, expert and judge he has written about the subject extensively, been interviewed in various media outlets and provided tasting input on many whiskeys at competitions. He also maintains a large private collection of whiskey from which he continually educates his palate on this brown spirit type.

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