The Heaven Hill distillery in Kentucky, home to such American whiskey brands as Elijah Craig Bourbon and Rittenhouse Rye, has been around for sometime, having been founded in 1935 by the Shapira family. Those here are looking to keep up with the times in terms of growth and expansion like the rest of the bourbon industry, and to this end have announced a $65 million expansion project focused across much of their operations.
As the plans are currently spelled out, an investment of $17.5 million and an enlarged footprint will usher in a new visitor center in Bardstown that will focus on the story of Heaven Hill Distillery since its inception. Visitors will experience what’s described as “a multi-sensory showcase of the stories behind the evolution of Kentucky Bourbon, rooted in key periods in America’s history.” This will include one-of-a-kind exhibits, tours and “signature experiences” said to include:
- The Heaven Hill Distillery American Whiskey portfolio will be on full display through the widest variety of whiskey tastings and educational seminars on the market.
- Interactive, educational spaces dedicated to Elijah Craig Small Batch Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey and Larceny Small Batch Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, two brands with unique histories that played an integral role shaping Kentucky Bourbon.
- A “You Do Bourbon” immersive space, where guests will be able to participate in hands-on laboratory learning experiences and bottle their own Bourbon.
- A new rooftop bar will feature cocktails and Bourbon tastings, which visitors can enjoy overlooking Heaven Hill rickhouses.
- An enhanced retail space will offer branded merchandise, specialty food products, locally-crafted gifts, and several of Heaven Hill’s premium Bourbons and American Whiskeys.
“At Heaven Hill Distillery we are committed to the growth of Kentucky Bourbon and invite fans to experience, taste and learn from storied brands across our award-winning portfolio,” said Heaven Hill President Max Shapira in a prepared statement. “By honoring historic figures and recognizing the people who are the fabric of this industry, nurturing the dream held by my father and his brothers more than 80 years ago, and educating consumers to enjoy Bourbon into the next generation, Heaven Hill is able to bring history to life in an exciting, modern way relevant to today’s consumer.”
The remaining funds for this multi-year investment plan will go towards adding production capacity with new barrel warehousing, bottling line and equipment upgrades, and increased holdings of aging bourbon whiskey, amounting to a total of $47.5 million.
Nino Kilgore-Marchetti is the founder and editor-in-chief 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...